Photographs by Abu Naser@Station

Salad Cake

1 carrot par boiled and grated
1 beetroot boiled and grated
¼ cup of cauliflower florets steamed and finely chopped
30 g butter divided into 3
3 tsp mustard paste divided into 3
3 tbsp mayo divided into 3
A few drops of green food colouring
4 slices of bread cut into a circle
½ cup mashed potatoes mixed with butter, grated cheese and a drop of pink food colouring

Mix each vegetable with mustard paste butter and mayo and set aside. Add the green colouring into the cauliflower mixture. Place a slice of bread and apply the vegetable spread sandwiching each layer with a slice of bread. Spread the mashed potato as an exterior coating and decorate the surface with red and yellow bell peppers cut into butterfly shapes. Other salad cakes are a combination of prawn with thousand-island dressing, cucumber spread on brown bread. The exterior is iced with a mixture of cream cheese and sour cream spread. Also a combination of red, white cabbage and boiled egg layers with mayo. Outer surface is iced with cream cheese and sour cream spread.

Salmon Roll

1 ladle American style pancake batter
A drop of green colouring
4 sliced of smoked salmon
2 tbsp cream cheese
2 tbsp sour cream
A handful of steamed spinach
A few basil leaves.
1 tsp of caviar
I tsp olive oil

Add green colouring to half of the batter. Heat a non-stick frying pan with oil and simultaneously swirl the green and white batter to create a marble effect. Toss over and cook on both sides. Place the pancake over a cling wrap and add the slices of smoke salmon over it. Mix the cream cheese, sour cream, spinach and basil together. Spread it over the salmon. Roll the pancake inwards along with the cling wrap. Secure the sides of the cling wrap and set the roll to firm up in the refrigerator. Once chilled cut slices and decorate it with caviar.

Marmalade Chicken

1 thigh piece of the chicken cooked in orange juice, marmalade jam and a few slices of red chillies.
¼ cup of pumpkin puree mixed with butter
A few slices of carrots, beetroot and potatoes
2 tbsp Parmesan cheese, grated
A sprinkle of oregano and pepper
1 tsp butter , egg wash, a few basil leaves

Make the vegetable roses by placing the fine slices of carrots, beet and potato into a small greased muffin tin. Place then in formation of circles within each tin. Put the cheese between each circular row and add the butter over. Sprinkle with oregano and pepper. Coat each flower with a dab of egg wash and bake in a moderate over until the vegetables are cooked and golden brown on the surface. Remove from the oven and let it cool in the tin. Add the pumpkin puree into a piping bag and create a swirl design on a plate. Place the chicken in the centre. Remove the vegetable roses from the tin and place it on the plate with the basil leaves.

Braised Veal Steak

1 veal round steak cut into three and cooked in mint sauce.
¼ cup green peas puree mixed with butter and cream
¼ cut of can corn puree mixed with butter and sour cream
A handful of purple spinach leaves
A few sprigs of basil leaves
A few cherry tomatoes cut to look like tulips
2 to 3 shiitake mushrooms soaked in hot water

Fill a piping bag with the green pea puree and decorate the plate followed by the corn puree. Place the spinach and basil leaves at the base of the plate. Add the braised veal and pour the jus over the steak. Further decorate the plate by adding the cherry tomato flowers and the mushrooms.

Seafood Special

I small octopus cooked in Thai red curry paste.
5 pieces of squid with crisscross insertions on the inner surface, cooked in garlic and butter
2 tbsp. hot chilli sauce
2 tbsp grape reduction
2tbsp olive oil
1 tsp chilli flakes, dry

Place the octopus on the plate followed by the arranging the squid around it. Splash the sauce, grape reduction and oil across the plate. Sprinkle the chilli flakes over randomly.

Eid Cookies

500g cookie dough
200g icing sugar
4 tbsp corn flour
A few drops of hot water
A few drops of food colour

Roll out the cookie dough and cut shapes using cutters. Place it on a greased tray and bake in a moderate oven until lightly golden. Mix the corn flour with the icing sugar and divide it into separate bowls. Add required food colour to each bowl and a few drops of hot water. Mix well. Then, pen the design on the cookie with yellow food colour using a fine paint brush. Using a tooth pick fill in the design with appropriate coloured icing. Let it dry before adding the adjacent icing colour on the cookie.

Staying within the fringes of mainstream cultures, Aidha Cader, ICE Today’s culture connoisseur has inculcated an appreciation for food, history, travel and art beyond her comfort zone.