The latest venue to open in Amwaj is helmed by an industry veteran who knows his way around the kitchen.
With almost 20 years’ experience under his toque, executive chef Ramzi Waheed Jalal worked across the region before bringing his talents to the Ramada Hotel & Suites Amwaj Islands.
Having trained with Marriott in his native Jordan, he moved to Saudi Arabia, taking on the role of head chef in the household of Prince Abed Al-Elah bin Abed Al-Aziz Al Saud. After three years running the royal kitchens, he decided to make the move to hotels, heading for a stint at the Riyadh InterContinental before moving back to Jordan where he held positions in a number of five-star properties.
He joined Ramada Amwaj in October last year on the pre-opening team and is responsible for all kitchen operations in the new property, which boasts 162 rooms and suites as well as three restaurants (Citrus, Flavours of Morocco, Lounge), banqueting facilities and outside catering.
Here he shares a favourite festive recipe for you to try at home.
TURKEY LIVER PARFAIT WITH CARAMELISED ONION AND CRANBERRY SAUCE
– 300g butter, softened
– olive oil
– 2 shallots, peeled and finely chopped
– 2 cloves garlic, peeled and finely chopped
– 400g turkey liver, trimmed
– fresh sage
– 1 small glass raspberry vinegar
– sea salt
– freshly ground black pepper
– 1 pinch ground nutmeg
– 1 loaf French or ciabatta bread
– 1 punnet salad cress
Preheat the oven to 110ºC. Put half the butter in an ovenproof saucepan and place in the oven to slowly melt until it’s separated, approximately 10 minutes. Strain the yellow clarified butter into a bowl and set aside to cool. Discard the remaining milky-coloured butter.
Heat a little olive oil in a frying pan and fry the shallots and garlic for 10 minutes, until soft and tender, then remove to a plate. Wipe the pan clean, turn up the heat and throw in the livers and most of the sage. Cook the livers for a couple of minutes on each side, until lightly coloured but still a little pink in the middle – overcooking will spoil the texture.
Pour in the raspberry vinegar. Simmer for a minute, then take the livers off the heat and tip them into a food processor with the cooked shallots and garlic. Blitz until you have a smooth purée. Add the rest of the softened butter and continue to blitz, then season well and add the nutmeg. Transfer the mixture to a serving bowl.
Sprinkle the remaining sage leaves over the parfait, then spoon over the clarified butter. Leave to set in the fridge for one hour. If the butter seal isn’t disturbed it should last up to two weeks.
When you are ready to serve, slice up some bread and griddle small toasts. Pile them onto a board next to your parfait with a pile of snipped cress on the side and dig in.
– 2 tbsp olive oil
– 1 tbsp butter
– 2 large red onions, thinly sliced
– 1/4 cup white sugar
– 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
– salt to taste
Heat olive oil and butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Cook and stir onions and sugar in hot oil until onions start to caramelise, about 15 minutes. Stir balsamic vinegar into onion mixture and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until liquid is evaporated, 15 to 20 minutes more. Season with salt.
– 1 1/2 cups cranberries
– 1 cup white sugar
– 1 cup orange juice
In a medium-sized saucepan over medium heat, dissolve the sugar in the orange juice. Stir in the cranberries and cook until the cranberries start to pop, about 10 minutes. Remove from heat and place sauce in a bowl. Cranberry sauce will thicken as it cools.