Eat like Hoda and KLG with these recipes for branzino fish, cinnamon rolls

Want to eat like the fourth-hour ladies when they get together with family? Try these recipes for Egyptian-style branzino fish with rice and salad from Sami Kotb, Hoda's mom, and for decadent cinnamon rolls from Sandy Epstein, Kathie Lee's sister-in-law.

Sweet treat! Try Hoda's mom's baklava

Sami's branzino with rice and salad
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  • For the Egyptian-style branzino fish:

    • 2.5 pounds whole branzino (European sea bass, cleaned inside and out)
    • 8 cloves of garlic (minced or pressed)
    • 2 tablespoons of cumin
    • 2 tablespoons of chopped fresh parsley
    • 2 tablespoons of chopped fresh dill
    • 1 tablespoon of thyme
    • 1/2 teaspoon of cardamon
    • 1 tablespoon of soy sauce
    • Salt and pepper to taste
    • Juice of 1 lemon
  • For the Egyptian salad:

    • 1 whole bunch of Italian parsley (Remove leaves; no stems)
    • 4 green onions
    • 4 small cucumbers
    • 4 roma tomatoes
    • 3 cloves of garlic
    • 2 carrots
  • For the salad dressing:

    • 1/3 to 1/2 cup of olive oil
    • Juice of 2 lemons
    • 1 tablespoon of vinegar
    • Salt to taste
  • For the brown rice:

    • 1 medium onion, chopped
    • 2 cups of Basmati rice
    • 3 tablespoons of olive oil
    • Salt to taste


Baking Directions:

To make the Egyptian-style branzino fish:Mix all seasonings and spread inside of fish. Brush fish with olive oil.Bake at 350 degrees for 20 or 25 minutes.Serve on a platter garnished with parsley and lemon slices.To make the Egyptian salad and dressing:Chop all salad ingredients into small pieces. Mix dressing ingredients together. Eat salad with pita bread.To prepare the brown rice:Brown onion in olive oil until dark brown.Add rice and 3 cups of water.Add salt and bring to a boil (uncovered) until water evaporates. Cover and simmer until rice is cooked.

Sandy's cinnamon rolls
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  • For the cinnamon rolls:

    • Warm water
    • 1 package Fleischmann's Active Dry Yeast
    • Sugar
    • Salt
    • Egg
    • Oil
    • Butter
    • Cinnamon
    • Raisins
    • Butter frosting (Recipe follows)
  • For the butter frosting:

    • About 2 cups confectioners sugar
    • 4 tablespoons softened butter (not melted, just room temperature)
    • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
    • A few tablespoons of milk until icing reaches the right consistency


Baking Directions:

To 1/4 cup warm (not hot) water, add 1 package Fleischmann's active dry yeast. (You can use fast-rising.) Mix with wire whip.Using wire whip, stir in 3/4 cup lukewarm milk (not hot), 1/4 cup sugar, 1 teaspoon salt, 1 egg, 1/4 cup oil.Stir in half of 3 3/4 cups of flour with wooden spoon. Mix with spoon until smooth. Add rest of flour gradually, until it's not too sticky but not dry. (You may not need all the flour or you may need extra.) Then knead until smooth and elastic. (I usually put some flour on the counter and knead it about 5 minutes.)Round it up in a greased bowl and cover it with a damp cloth. Let rise in a warm place until double — about 1 1/2 hours or less if fast-rising. (Sometimes I warm up the oven just a little, then turn off oven and place covered bowl inside.)  After it rises, punch it down and let it rise again till almost double (in a warm place, about 30 minutes). Then roll the dough into an oblong shape (15 by 9 inches). Spread with softened butter (room temperature, not melted — about 4 tablespoons, may need more). Sprinkle with cinnamon mixture (2 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon and 1/2 cup sugar). Optional: Add raisins.Roll dough up tightly, making a 15-inch roll. (Pinch ends so it will stay rolled up.) Cut into pieces and place in greased 13-by-9-inch baking pan. Cover with cloth and let rise again in a warm place (35 to 45 minutes).Bake at 375 degrees for about 25 to 35 minutes or until light brown.Mix frosting ingredients together.Frost cinnamon roll while warm. 

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