Sambsay Shirin (Fruit and Nut Dessert) (214x214)

Sambsay Shirin (Fruit and Nut Dessert)

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Desserts are not served too often at home, and are made with locally grown fruits, often sun-dried. They are usually served for guests and at special dinners, and are not part of the everyday menu.


Afghan Pastry Dough:
2 cups white flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 cup shortening
2 small eggs, lightly beaten

The Filling:
3/4 cup chopped dates
3/4 cup ground pistachio nuts
2 Tablespoons hot water
Pastry dough (see recipe)
1/2 cup vegetable oil
Powdered sugar


Sift the flour and baking powder into a mixing bowl. Cut the shortening into the dry ingredients.

Place the eggs in a measuring cup and add enough water to make 1/2 cup of liquid. Mix the egg mixture into the dry ingredients to form stiff dough. Divide the dough into 3 equal balls and allow to rest for 15 minutes.

Roll out the dough on a floured board into a very thin layer about 15 inches in diameter. Dust lightly with the flour and fold the dough back over itself several times, rolling with the pin each time.

The dough is then rolled out, cut into desired form, and filled.

To make the filling:

In a bowl combine the dates, nuts, and warm water.

Roll out the dough 1/8-inch thick. Cut into 12 equal squares. Put about a tablespoon or so of the mixture into each square of pastry. Fold the pastry to form a triangle.

Deep fry in oil until lightly browned. Remove and drain on a paper towel. Sprinkle with powdered sugar and serve either warm or cold.

Charcoal-Grilled Fruit for Dessert

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Mixed Grill. Cut fruit of choice in half, remove core and seeds or pits, and arrange in a hinged grill. Squeeze a lemon over the surfaces; sprinkle with sugar and a dash of ground cinnamon and grill quickly until just hot. Brush with melted butter. Sprinkle a little brandy or sweet liqueur over all.” –Maggie Waldron


Suggested Fruits for Grilling

  • Banana–Sliced in half lengthwise

  • Mango–1/2 inch thick slices

  • Orange–Single sections

  • Papaya–1/2 inch thick slices

  • Peach–1/2 inch thick slices

  • Pear–1/2 inch thick slices

  • Pineapple–1/2 inch thick rings

  • Strawberry–Sliced in half



Caribbean Fresh Fruit Compote w/ Habanero Spiked Syrup

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Use this “hot” fruit compote to accent any breakfast or brunch. Since this habanero syrup compliments a wide variety of fruits, vary the ones you use depending on what is in season.


  • 3 tablespoons cider vinegar

  • 2 tablespoons sugar

  • ½ teaspoon ground habanero chile

  • 1 cup cubed fresh mango

  • 1 cup cubed fresh papaya

  • ½ cup sliced strawberries

  • Garnish: Fresh mint leaves


Add the vinegar, sugar, and chile in a small saucepan and stir to mix. Heat the mixture over high until just below the boiling point, reduce the heat, and simmer for 5 minutes. Allow the syrup to cool to room temperature.

Combine the fruit in a large mixing bowl. Pour the sauce over the fruit and toss to coat.

Ladle the fruit into individual bowls, garnish with the mint leaves and serve.


Crab, Salmon & Scallop Cakes w/fruit relish

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Chef Jean-Pierre Brehier, originally from Aix-en-Provence, France, is the popular TV cooking show host of “Incredible Cuisine with Chef Jean-Pierre,” owner of The Left Bank Restaurant, proprietor of Chef Jean-Pierre’s Cooking School, and author of two cookbooks titled Sunshine Cuisine, and Incredible Cuisine with Chef Jean Pierre. Here, he offers an unusual, lighter variation of the standard crab cakes. Serve as an appetizer or a light lunch.


  • 1 cup salt-free saltine cracker crumbs

  • 1/4 cup whole wheat cracker crumbs

  • 3/4 cup egg substitute, or 3 whole eggs

  • 3 cloves garlic

  • 1 tablespoon fresh ginger, chopped

  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro leaves, chopped

  • 1/4 Scotch bonnet chile, stem removed, seeded and quartered

  • Salt and white pepper to taste

  • 1/2 green bell pepper, finely diced

  • 1/2 yellow bell pepper, finely diced

  • 8 ounces salmon, chopped into half-inch cubes

  • 8 ounces sea scallops, chopped into half-inch cubes

  • 8 ounces jumbo lump crab meat

  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

  • 2 cups Papaya, Mango and Pineapple Relish (see recipe below)


Preheat oven to 350°F degrees.

Using a food processor, make crumbs with the whole wheat and saltine crackers but KEEP THEM IN SEPARATE BOWLS.

In a food processor, combine the egg substitutes, garlic, ginger, cilantro, Scotch bonnet chile, and salt and white pepper to taste. Mix until all ingredients are liquid.

In a large glass or stainless steel bowl, combine the bell peppers, salmon and scallops with the egg mixture and blend well until the seafood is coated with egg. Add the whole wheat cracker crumbs, mix again and then carefully fold in the crab meat.

Form six cakes that are approximately 3″ diameter by 1″ thick each. Roll each cake in the saltine cracker crumbs until totally coated.

In a nonstick sauté pan, heat 1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil. Fry the cakes until they are golden brown on one side. Turn them over and bake in a 350°F oven for 10 minutes.

Serve with the Papaya, Mango and Pineapple Relish.

Rujak (Spicy Padang Fruit Salad

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World traveler Jeff Corydon, who provided this recipe, says that the secret of this spicy salad is in the sauce, and the local taste is honored by including crushed peanuts and additional chiles. Any firm fleshy fruit can be used, such as under-ripe bananas, carambolas, Asian pears, and even some vegetables like jicama or cucumber.


  • 1 quart water

  • 1 teaspoon salt

  • 1 pomelo or tart pink grapefruit, sectioned

  • 2 mangoes, slightly underripe, peeled and cut into bite-size pieces

  • 2 tart apples, peeled and cut into bite-size pieces

  • 1 small pineapple, peeled and cut into bite-size pieces

  • 4 serrano chiles, seeds and stems removed

  • 2 tablespoons dried tamarind pulp

  • 2 tablespoons hot water

  • 1/4 cup palm sugar or dark brown sugar

  • 1 cup water

  • 1/2 cup unsalted, roasted crushed peanuts, or 1/4 cup crunchy peanut butter


Mix the water with the salt and add the pomelo or grapefruit, mangoes, apples, and the pineapple and soak overnight in the refrigerator.

Place the chiles in a blender and process until smooth.

Make the tamarind water by mashing the dried tamarind in the 2 tablespoons of hot water until it softens and dissolves. Strain the mixture to remove any seeds or tissue.

Melt the brown sugar in a pan with 1 cup water over low heat until the sugar dissolves, about 5 minutes. Add the crushed peanuts, processed chiles, the tamarind water, and simmer for 5 minutes, stirring often, until a fairly thick, sticky syrup forms. Put the syrup in the refrigerator to chill.

When ready to serve, drain the water from the fruits. Pour the syrup over the fruit and toss to coat evenly. Serve at once.