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Ebaidoon

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  1. The Arabic word fatteh comes from a verb meaning to "shred" or "tear apart", in reference to the torn pieces of pitta that form the base of these dishes. It's a well-chosen name for a variety of dishes, built on layers of ingredients including chickpeas, stuffed aubergines, artichokes, stewed meat or tahini and garlic yoghurt. My family usually makes chicken fatteh at the beginning of Ramadan or the start of the year: the idea is that the whiteness of the yoghurt and of the rice symbolise good luck and a pure beginning. For me, chicken fatteh is my favourite as it is comforting and refreshing. I always like to poach a whole chicken for dishes such as this because any leftover chicken or stock can be used for other meals. However, you can just as easily poach two chicken breasts or thighs, depending on your tastes. One rule: eat fatteh straight away as the bread will become soggy the longer it sits (although it's too delicious to remain uneaten for long!) By Mouna Elkekhia, Middle East Eye Serves: 6 people Preparation and cooking time: 1 hour Ingredients For the chicken I whole chicken 3 bay leaves 1 onion, quartered 1 tbsp vegetable oil Aleppo spice mix or Lebanese seven-spice mix* 2 tsps salt hot water to cover For the yoghurt sauce 500g (17½oz) plain natural yoghurt 1 garlic clove, crushed 1 tbsp tahini 1 tsp salt 190g (1 cup) of uncooked white rice 3 small pitta breads, cut into 2cm squares chopped parsley and toasted almonds (or pine nuts) to decorate Note: Lebanese seven-spice mix can be found in most Middle Eastern stores. Otherwise, you can replace with ½ tsp allspice, ¼ tsp ground black pepper, ¼ tsp ground cinnamon, ¼ tsp ground nutmeg, ¼ tsp ground cardamom and ¼ tsp ground cloves Method To make the chicken and rice 1. Heat one tbsp of oil in a large saucepan. Add the chicken and turn it around to sear the different sides in the oil. 2. Add the quartered onion and the bay leaves. Pour the hot water over the chicken so that it is covered. Add the salt and spices. Bring the water to a boil and then turn down the heat and simmer the chicken for 45 mins or until the chicken is cooked through. 3. Remove the chicken from the stock, reserving the stock. 4. Once it is cool enough, remove the bones from the chicken meat and discard. If you have used boneless chicken pieces, shred the chicken pieces into large pieces. 5. Cook the rice in 500ml (2 cups) of hot salted water. Bring to the boil and then simmer for 20 mins until the rice is cooked through. For the pitta squares 1. Toss the pitta bread in a bowl with some vegetable oil. 2. Transfer it onto a baking tray lined with parchment paper. 3. Bake at 180°C (355°F) for 10 mins or until the pitta squares are a light golden colour. To make the yoghurt sauce 1. Mix the yoghurt with the tahini, garlic and salt in a glass bowl. 2. Heat the mixture in a microwave for 1 minute until it is warm. NB: Be careful to not overheat it or the yoghurt will curdle. 3. Alternatively, you can gently heat the yoghurt in a saucepan over medium heat until just warm, again being careful to not overheat it. To assemble 1. Place the pitta crisps in a deep serving dish (I use a glass baking dish so that the different layers are visible). 2. Using a ladle or large spoon, lightly cover the pitta crisps with some of the warm chicken stock. 3. Cover the bread and stock with a very thin layer of the cooked rice. This stops the bread from becoming soggy too quickly from the yoghurt. 4. Pour the yoghurt sauce over the bread and rice, spreading it out to ensure the dish is evenly covered with the sauce. 5. Spoon the remaining rice over the yoghurt. Place the shredded chicken on top of the rice 6. Decorate it with toasted almonds or pine nuts and the chopped parsley. Mouna is a London-based chef and member of the Marhabtayn Syrian supper club. She is originally from Aleppo, Syria and has a passion for recreating authentic delicious flavours as a way to share a glimpse into the rich culture and history these dishes come from. You can follow her on Instagram @mounaskitchen or website www.mounaskitchen.com Check out my blog for more recipes
  2. Ghraybe/ Lebanese-Syrian cookies…… A shortbread that has a smooth texture and shaped into wreath-like shape. When you bite into them, you first hear a crunch, then literally these will melt into your mouth – you do not even have to chew them. If you like shortbread, then this recipe is for you. These classics are always a hit around the holidays, but beware they are highly addictive, you may want to eat the entire pan. Please keep an eye on these cookies while baking them because the edges can burn quickly. Happy eating! Ingredients: 2 cups all-purpose flour 1 cup icing sugar (powdered sugar) 1 cup ghee or vegetable shortening 1/8 teaspoon baking soda Some raw pistachios, optional Directions: 1. Place the icing sugar, baking soda, flour and ghee or vegetable shortening in a bowl. Mix well with the tips of your fingers. 2. The mixture may first crumble, continue kneading until you have a dough. Set aside for 20 minutes. 3. Preheat the oven to 180°C/ 350°F. 4. Break the dough into equal balls, roughly the size of an apricot. 5. Make sure your hands are dry then flour them before shaping the dough (this will prevent the dough from sticking to your palms) 6. Rub each dough with the palm of your hands forming a 5 cm/ 2.5 inches long rope – like dough. Pinch the ends of the rope forming a circle. 7. Place on a sheet lined with parchment paper, leaving 2.5cm / 1 inch of space between one another. 8. Place a pistachio on the connecting ends. 9. Bake for 12- 15 minutes to a creamy color (do not let the cookies turn golden). Remember all ovens are different, so keep an eye on your cookies. 10. Allow to cool down completely before transferring to a serving dish. Enjoy!! Recipe By Hadias CuisineCheck out my blog for more recipes
  3. The fried balls have a crispy brown exterior with a dense sugar syrup interior. A vegan, dairy free and egg free recipe and a crowd pleaser both in taste and quantity – though a bit of project but tasting the final product makes it all worthy!! What ingredients go into awamat? - All-purpose flour: All-purpose flour has a moderate protein content, it helps the batter hold without producing an overly chewy awamat! - Cornstarch: It helps in browning and creating a super crisp crust! - Potato: Most people don’t use potatoes to make awamat, but I believe they should! This magic ingredient helps the awamat absorb the sugar syrup way better! They don’t taste like mashed potatoes at all, so no worries here! - Active dry yeast: It is the leavening ingredient to help the batter rise! It does require some rising time, usually 1 to 11/2 hours - A very small pinch of salt: This very small pinch of salt will enhance the natural flavor, you won’t taste the salt! - Lukewarm water: Lukewarm water activates the yeast better! But beware boiling and hot water can damage or kill the yeast! Tips For Making Best Awamat! - For best looking round balls, scoop out a little of the batter, enough to fill your hand. Squeeze your fist hand enough to push a ball dough between your thumb and index finger, the size of a cherry. This may look like a complicated process, but believe me it is not. Watch the video to make it easier for you to understand. Anyway, if you have difficulty scooping the dough with your hands, you may place the dough in a pastry bag with a plain tip and start squeezing the pastry bag to pop up the balls, but definitely with your hands you are able to create better looking balls. - One secret you need to know for making crispy awamat! In order to get a perfect awamat, you need to use a double fry method. This will cook the awamat balls way through, while also achieving the -golden delicious crust that everyone loves. - The sugar syrup should be room temperature when dipping the hot fried awamat! Ingredients: 2 cups + 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour 1 teaspoon active dry yeast ¼ teaspoon salt 1 medium-sized potato, boiled to fork tender 2 tablespoons corn flour/ cornstarch 2 cups lukewarm water Sugar syrup 3 cups granulated sugar 11/2 cups water 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice 2 tablespoons orange blossom water 4 cups vegetable or sunflower oil Directions: 1. Prepare the sugar syrup: Add the water, sugar and lemon juice to a saucepan and cook over medium heat. Stir occasionally with a wooden spoon, until the mixture starts boiling. Reduce heat to low and simmer uncovered for 7 minutes. Add the orange blossom water, remove from heat and set aside. 2. Place the potato in a pot, cover with water and bring to a boil. Cover the pot, reduce heat to low and simmer for 20 minutes or until fork tender. Drain. When cool enough to handle, peel the potato and mash well with a potato masher, leaving no lumps. 3. Transfer the mashed potato to a large bowl, add the flour, active dry yeast, cornstarch and the lukewarm water. Whisk the batter until it becomes smooth. Cover the batter with cling film and store for 11/2 hours or until it doubles in size. 4. In a large deep heavy-bottomed pot, heat oil to an adequate frying temperature. 5. Scoop out a little dough, enough to fill your hand. Squeeze your fist hard enough to push a ball between your thumb and index finger, the size of a cherry. Watch the video to make it easier for you to understand. 6. Drop into the hot oil, and start frying the balls in batches, as to not crowd the oil. Reduce heat to medium, and stir every now and then until the balls start to firm up a bit and turn to pale yellow. Watch the video!! Remove with a slotted spoon. Repeat until you have fried the whole batter. 7. Return the fried balls to the hot oil, you need to do that in 3 batches, and fry again the awamat to a brown golden color. The double frying makes the awamat crispier. 8. Remove with a slotted spoon, and drop into the sugar syrup. Allow the balls to absorb the sugar, for about 2-3 minutes. Remove the balls from sugar syrup and transfer to a serving dish, enjoy!! Recipe by Hadias CuisineCheck out my blog for more recipes
  4. Are you ready guys to make with me an extra ordinary Lebanese crowd-pleaser? I am guessing most of you have an idea about these Lebanese meat pies which we call in Lebanon sfeeha. They are served as part of the Lebanese mezze or as a main dish accompanied with plain yogurt, whether eaten alone as a snack or a main, sfeeha always satisfy and eating them all day long would be great if only my waist would allow it. Their crispy exterior with their steamy soft meat interior take them to the top list of comfort food! You will find sfeeha at all bakeries in Lebanon – these hand-pies are portable and delicious!! The best place to go for sfeeha is the city of Baalbek, also called the city of the sun, where the large archeological ruins of the Roman temples and monuments are surrounded, and a major touristic destination! If you visit Lebanon, keep Baalbek on your agenda and don’t miss these insanely decadent treats! About the dough! The recipe may sound laborious since you will be making the dough from scratch!! I think the biggest obstacle for people is a fear of making yeast dough recipes like sfeeha, especially beginner bakers as they find working with yeast intimidating, but I guess the dough here is a good start even for beginners! Don’t be afraid to work with yeast!! It is a straightforward recipe for a foolproof dough. This is such a versatile dough, it can be used to make mini manakish, spinach fatayer, calzones, mini pizzas, and turnovers, so I guess it is pretty good to learn it and keep it in your repertoire. Use whole milk to make the dough and never use the skimmed stuff. When making the dough, milk should be lukewarm and never use hot milk. The hot milk will kill the yeast which guarantees your dough will never rise. Kneading the dough by hand is pretty simple; I love kneading all yeast dough by hand – I am an old school, but you can use a stand mixer fitted with a hook if you prefer! Slam the dough on a floured countertop a couple of times this will strengthen the gluten in the flour, resulting in a very light and fluffy dough. Watch the video! About the filling! Traditionally sfeeha pies are made with lamb meat, but if you are worried about lamb meat being too strong for you, beef can be used instead – though my personal preference is lamb!! Fatty meat is advisable and not the lean stuff. A quick word about the filling: tomatoes and onions can be hand chopped, but I would prefer to throw them both (onions and tomatoes) in a food processor and blitz to a smooth blend – do not add the minced meat to the food processor! Some people add pomegranate molasses and tahini to the filling, I simply don’t! I need nothing to overpower the flavor of the lamb meat, I would only spice it up with a very small pinch of seven spice, cinnamon powder and chili powder. Strain the filling before shaping the sfeeha, to get rid of the excess liquid and to avoid unravelling the sfeeha while baking. Can you freeze sfeeha? - The sfeeha freeze well which make them a quick dinner with some yogurt on a busy weeknight. They even make a great solution for unexpected guests or even parties and gatherings. Once the sfeeha is baked and cooled, wrap any leftover individually in with plastic wrap. They freeze beautifully for up to three months. How to reheat frozen baked sfeeha? - I find reheating baked sfeeha, in the oven, far better than a microwave here, because microwave convert moisture to steam, softening them as they heat producing a soggy sfeeha. Lay the sfeeha on the grate in the oven at 200°C/400°F and warm a couple of minutes. - But let’s be honest and say that sfeeha are at their best when fresh out of the oven!! Your house will smell warm and welcoming. My family invade the kitchen as soon as I pull them from the oven, and I would all the time warn them “allow them to cool down a few minutes, so you don’t get burnt!” - Most get eaten right away and rarely anything get in the freezer! They are easy to make, don’t shy away from making sfeeha, it is a fun project! Happy eating!! Ingredients: For the dough: 1 kg. / 2lb 4 oz. all-purpose flour 3 tablespoons sugar 2 tablespoons active dry yeast 1 tablespoon salt ¼ cup sunflower oil 2 + 1/4 cups whole milk For the meat filling: 500 g. / 1 lb 2 oz, minced lamb meat 2 small onions, diced 4 medium-sized tomatoes, chopped, no need to peel the tomatoes 1 teaspoon salt or to taste ¼ teaspoon cinnamon powder, optional ½ teaspoon seven spice or allspice Chili flakes, optional Canola or sunflower oil to grease your baking sheets Directions: 1. Start making the dough: In a large bowl, mix the flour, active dry yeast, sugar, salt and oil. Add the lukewarm milk and mix well. 2. Knead the dough until it is of one texture. Slam it a couple of times on a countertop before you cover it with cling film, this will strengthen the gluten in the flour, resulting in a very light and fluffy dough. Watch the video! Set aside for one hour or until it doubles in bulk. 3. In the meantime, prepare the meat filling: Place the tomatoes and onions in a blender and blend until smooth, you may even use an immersion blender. 4. Transfer the pureed tomatoes to bowl, add the minced meat, salt, spices and chili flakes if used. Stir well to homogenize the mixture. 5. Strain the filling to get rid of the excess liquid, this is a crucial step to avoid unravelling the sfeeha while baking. 6. Preheat the oven to 200°C/400°F. Place the rack in the center of the oven 7. When the dough has doubled in size, flour a counter top and break off the dough into equal balls roughly the size of a ping pong ball. 8. Stretch each dough with a rolling pin to a round circle ½ cm. thick, making sure to flour the countertop and the rolling pin every now and then to avoid sticking the dough. 9. Place a tablespoon of the meat filling in the center of each circle dough. Watch the video above to learn how to shape the dough; I have provided you with two ways to shape the sfeeha, choose your preferable way! The classic way is to pinch the two opposing ends of the round dough, creating a square shape sfeeha. The other way to shape sfeeha is to crimp the edges around the filling, creating pleats as you go! Watch the video to make it easier to understand. 10. Lightly grease two large baking sheets with oil and place the sfeeha on the greased baking sheets, don’t crowd the sheets. 11. Bake each sheet for about 12 minutes to a golden color. Serve warm with a squeeze of lemon juice for an extra kick or some plain yogurt on the side. Total joy!! Recipe By Hadias Cuisine Check out my blog for more recipes
  5. Even carnivores will relish sinking their teeth into these juicy, charred cauli steaks from Sabrina Ghayour's new Persian leaning cookbook, Feasts. Difficulty easy Cooking time less than 30 minutes Serves 6 By Sabrina Ghayour, Honey kitchen Ingredients 2 large cauliflowers 3 tablespoons rose harissa 4 tablespoons clear honey 1 tablespoon olive oil, plus extra for frying 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon 4 tablespoons light tahini 6 tablespoons Greek yogurt (see note for vegan alternative) good squeeze of lemon juice Maldon sea salt flakes and freshly ground black pepper To serve 6 preserved lemons, deseeded and thinly sliced into rounds generous handful of toasted flaked almonds ½ small bunch (about 15g) of flat leaf parsley, roughly chopped Method 1. Cut away any outer leaves from the cauliflowers, then cut each cauliflower into 4 slices of equal thickness. On the slices cut from the outer edges of the cauliflowers, trim and shave away enough of the curves to create flat surfaces, so that the slices cook evenly. 2. Combine the harissa, honey, olive oil and cinnamon in a small bowl, season with salt and pepper and mix well. Brush or rub the mixture over the cauliflower slices. 3. Drizzle a little oil into a large frying pan set over a medium heat. When the oil is hot, fry the cauliflower slices for 6–8 minutes on each side, or until they are cooked through and charred nicely on both sides. Blackening will occur as the spice paste is not only dark but also contains sugar (in the honey), which will burn naturally. This is part of the flavour of the dish and nothing to be worried about. (Alternatively, roast the cauliflower slices in a preheated oven, 220°C (200°C fan), Gas Mark 7, for 20–25 minutes.) 4. Meanwhile, mix the tahini with the yogurt and lemon juice in a bowl, season generously with salt, then stir in a little lukewarm water, 1 tablespoon at a time, until the mixture has a sauce-like consistency. 5. Transfer the cauliflower slices to serving plates. Drizzle over the yogurt sauce and any remaining marinade, then scatter over the preserved lemon slices, toasted almonds and parsley to serve. Tip: To make this a vegan recipe, substitute coconut or soya yogurt for the Greek yogurt.Check out my blog for more recipes
  6. Hummos is an essential part of a Levantine mezze and is served in many different ways, either plain or with shawarma lamb slices on it or ground meat and pine nuts. The key is to achieve a balance of very creamy yet firm, with an undercurrent lemony and garlicky taste that lingers in the mouth after the hummos is gone. This will make you want to reach for more and more…and more. INGREDIENTS: 2 cans of chick peas or 8 oz. of dried chick peas, to end up with 1lb. of cooked chick peas. If using dried chick peas, soak them in cold water overnight and add to the water a teaspoon of baking soda. Drain them the next day and cook them in 4 cups of water for at least 1 hour until they are very tender. If using canned chick peas, drain them and place them in a pot, add 2 cans of water and put on the stove to simmer for 30 minutes or so to get rid of the metallic taste. Then, take 2 cups of ice cubes and drop them on the chick peas and when it is safe to do so, rub the peas to get rid of as much skin as possible. This is optional. 3/4 cup of tahini ( or more depending on personal preference). You need to stir the container with a wooden spoon because the oil tends to come up to the surface. 1/2 cup of lemon juice, squeezed fresh if possible. Some people like to add a pinch of citric acid to add more tartness, this is optional. 1/2 cup of warm water, preferably from the cooked chick peas 5 cloves of garlic, or 1 tablespoon of toom, which is a garlic paste that you can prepare several days beforehand. METHOD: 1. After cooking the chick peas until they are very tender, or simmering the canned ones, put them aside and let them cool a bit while you prepare the other ingredients. 2. Have ready and nearby the lemon juice, tahineh and garlic mashed with a teaspoon of salt. 3. Drain the chick peas but keep about 1 cup of their cooking water in the pot. Keep 1/4 cup of chick peas for garnish. Now start processing the chick peas to a creamy paste in the food processor for a few minutes. 4. Add the tahineh, then lemon juice and garlic. 5. If it is too thick, add some of the cooking water, 1/4 cup at a time. Taste it. If it is lemony, garlicky and creamy and you absolutely love it, stop. If not, add more lemon juice, or garlic, or even tahineh to your satisfaction. 6. Pour the hummos in a bowl, garnish with the whole chick peas and a little extra-virgin olive oil and a sprinkling of paprika, if you wish. Serve with fresh pita bread or pita chips. NOTE: This quantity will serve at least 8 people generously. Hummos will keep for a week in the fridge without any alteration in flavor. To make garlic paste or toom, here again, you can plan ahead. Peel enough garlic cloves to equal one cup (5 oz.)and mash them to a paste with 3 teaspoons of sea salt in a mini-processor. Gradually add about 3 tablespoons of canola oil (or olive oil) to the mixture as well as 2 tablespoons of fresh lemon juice. Use the garlic paste for everything including this hummos, salad dressings, on sandwiches (it is healthier than mayo!), soups, stews, steamed veggies, baked potatoes, etc. TIP: If you find that your hummos is too runny, I learned this trick from my mother who told me that restaurants in Beirut were doing it: tear the crust of one or several slices of plain American bread (white sandwich bread). Add the white fresh bread to the processor while mixing: this will give it body and texture without taking away the taste. Also, the traditional way to garnish the plate of hummos is with a touch of ground paprika and a splash of extra-virgin olive oil. Check out my blog for more recipes
  7. Give your rice a boost of flavor with curry powder and herbs that turn this side dish into a feature. Ingredients 125 ml or 1/2 cup uncooked brown or white long grain rice 300 ml or 1 1/4 cup chicken or vegetable broth 25 ml or 2 tbsp margarine or butter 125 ml or 1/2 cup chopped celery 125 ml or 1/2 cup sliced mushrooms 125 ml or 1/2 cup shelled chopped pistachios 50 ml or 1/4 cup chopped onion 2 ml or 1/2 tsp dried basil leaves 1 ml or 1/4 tsp curry powder 1 ml or 1/4 tsp ground sage 1 ml or 1/4 tsp pepper 125 ml or 1/2 cup water 250 ml or 1 cup All-Bran Original* cereal or All-Bran Buds* cereal 125 ml or 1/2 cup pomegranate seeds 60 ml or 1/4 chopped cilantro Directions 1. Cook rice according to package directions, replacing with broth and omitting salt and butter or margarine. 2. In large skillet, melt butter or margarine. Stir in celery, mushrooms, water chestnuts and onion. Cook over medium heat stirring occasionally, until celery is tender-crisp. 3. Add basil, curry powder, sage and pepper and stir for about 30 seconds. Stir in cooked rice and water; bring to a boil. Remove from heat and stir in cereal, pomegranate seeds and cilantro. Serve immediately.Check out my blog for more recipes
  8. Commercial kitchens from Milan to Sydney to Singapour to Dallas are serving Panna Cotta these days. I get the impression that most chefs the world over think that Italy is where the mediterranean starts and ends! I wish they would serve what we call ashtaliyeh.Ashta is the word for cream in Arabic and ashtaliyeh is the pudding derived from it; a bit deceiving, because it does not contain cream! This is a very creamy pudding, without any cream! It is thickened with cornstarch which avoids the rubberiness that comes from gelatin; it is nearly unsweetened and served with a syrup on the side. Flavorings are traditionally orange blossom and rose water and mastic. This is a recipe from a Lebanese chef and restaurant owner in the UK, Hussien Dekmak. It is an extra rich recipe that adds some cream cheese spread such as Kiri to the pudding; optional, since the pudding can just as easily be made with milk alone. Time to make? figure on less than 10 minutes; however, it needs to cool and firm up in the fridge, preferably overnight. INGREDIENTS : 4 servings Ashtaliyeh: 1 pint of milk (500ml) 1 tablespoon of sugar 1/4 cup of cornstarch (add one tablespoon more if you like it stiffer) 75 g of Kiri or 3 ounces of cream cheese spread (optional) 3 pebbles of mastic-optional- 1 teaspoon of orange blossom water and 1 teaspoon of rose water For the syrup: (You will most likely have some leftover, which is fine, it will keep for several weeks in the fridge) 1 cup of granulated sugar 1/2 cup of water a squirt of lemon (about a teaspoon) a teaspoon of orange blossom water, a teaspoon of rose water To garnish the ashtaliyeh: A couple of tablespoons of pistachios, ground in a mortar with a pinch of sugar METHOD: 1. Heat 1 1/2 cups of milk, sugar and cheese over medium heat, stirring to dissolve both the sugar and cheese. Take the cornstarch and dissolve in the remaining milk. As soon as the milk mixture starts steaming, add the cornstarch and keep stirring nonstop for a couple of minutes until the mixture thickens. 2. Add the mastic, the orange blossom and rose water, stir for 10 seconds and remove from the stove. 3. Pour the pudding mixture through a strainer into a bowl or measuring cup, pushing it through with a spoon to get it as smooth as possible. 4. Pour into several ramequins. Cool on the counter and then chill in the fridge overnight uncovered. How to use the mastic: The mastic or miskeh (in Arabic) is sold in Middle-Eastern groceries; it is imported from Greece. The store where I shop keeps it under lock and in small jars. It comes in tiny pebbles. It needs to be ground up in order to be mixed into the pudding in the last minutes of cooking. My method was to grind it in a tiny marble mortar with a pinch of sugar until powdery and throw the lot into the milk mixture; the problem is that this method leaves a residue of mastic in the mortar. Another method which was recommended by Peter from kalofagas.ca is to freeze the mastic for a minimum of two hours (I would keep the jar in the freezer); then place the pebbles between two sheets of plastic wrap and pulverize them with a rolling pin. He claims this method uses up every last speck of mastic. To make the syrup: 1. Place the sugar and water in a saucepan; bring to a boil and boil for 3 minutes; add the lemon juice and keep boiling the syrup for a total of 12 minutes. Add the flavorings at the end, cool the syrup and serve alongside the ashtaliyeh for those who like it sweeter. 2. When ready to serve the ashtaliyeh, sprinkle the top with a little ground pistachios. 3. If unable to secure the cream cheese spread (called Puck or Kiri in Middle-Eastern groceries) substitute some cream for the milk (about 1/2 cup) and proceed as above.Check out my blog for more recipes
  9. Recipe by Peter GordonMore often than not, this classic North African dish is vegetarian and, much as I am happy to eat it that way, I prefer this spiced up version containing lamb — although simply omit it if you prefer.Ingredients3 Tbsp Olive oil¼ tsp Cumin seeds½ tsp Sesame seeds2 Onions, peeled and thinly sliced2 Red capsicums, deseeded and sliced2 Garlic cloves, peeled and chopped¼ tsp Paprika, or cayenne pepper150 g Lean lamb, minced (optional)6 Ripe tomatoes, diced (or 1 x 400g tin chopped tomatoes and a little tomato pasta)4 Eggs50 ml Plain yoghurt1 small handful Parsley, mint and corianderDirections1. Ideally you want to serve this in the dish you cook it in, so a large frying pan with a lid is good.2. Heat up the pan and add the olive oil, cumin and sesame seeds.3. Once they begin to sizzle, add the onions, capsicums, garlic and paprika or cayenne pepper. Saute until the vegetables collapse, stirring frequently.4. Add the mince (if using) and a little salt. Cook until the lamb crumbles, stirring all the time.5. Add the tomatoes and bring to a boil, then cook over moderate heat for 6–8 minutes, at which point much of the juice will have evaporated.6. Make four impressions in the mixture and break an egg into each “hole”.7. Spoon on the yoghurt, put a lid on the pan and cook until the eggs have begun to set, but still have runny yolks.8. Scatter with the shredded herbs and serve immediately, straight from the pan.This recipe is from Peter Gordon's new book 'Eating Well Everyday'.Check out my blog for more recipes
  10. Serves 6 Persons Preparation Time 20 Minutes Cook Time 50 Minutes A great Middle Eastern appetizer that will add a great touch to your mezze table. Making grape leaves has never been this easy! INGREDIENTS 1 ½ cups short grain rice, washed and drained 1 chopped onion 1 chopped tomato ½ cup thinly chopped parsley 500 g American Garden grape leaves ½ cup olive oil 1 cup water ¼ cup American Garden lemon juice Salt-to-taste Black pepper-to-taste For serving: American Garden ranch sauce PREPARATION 1- In a bowl, combine the rice with the onion, tomato and parsley. Pour in half of the olive oil then season with salt and black pepper. 2- Place American Garden grape leaves on a solid surface then add about 1 tablespoon of the filling in the center just above the stem end. Tuck in the sides over the filling then roll tightly into a cigar shape. Repeat with the rest of the ingredients. 3- Layer the grape leaves in an oven dish. Drizzle the rest of the oil, American Garden lemon juice and the water on top. 4- Cover with foil paper and cook in the oven at 180˚C for 40-50 minutes. 5- Serve with American Garden ranch sauce.Check out my blog for more recipes
  11. Serves 7 Preparation Time 20 Minutes Cook Time 10 Minutes These cheese samosas are stuffed with a delicious mixture of cheeses then fried until golden and crunchy. Serve them hot to enjoy the melting cheese! INGREDIENTS 500g samosa sheets 400g mozzarella cheese, shredded 120g cream cheese 3 Tbsp. feta cheese 3 Tbsp. parsley, chopped 1 Tbsp. Oregano 4 Tbsp. Flour 8 Tsp. water Vegetable oil for frying For Serving: American Garden Ranch dressing-to-taste American Garden Creamy Italian dressing-to-taste American Garden Ketchup-to-taste American Garden Mayonnaise-to-taste American Garden Mustard-to-taste White pepper-to-taste PREPARATION 1. In a bowl, crumble together feta and cream cheese. Add mozzarella cheese and mix. 2. Add parsley and oregano and stir to combine. Set the mixture aside. 3. In a small bowl, stir together flour and water. Set aside. 4. Put 1 tbsp. of filling on one corner of a sheet. Fold the sheet into a triangular samosa and seal the open corner with the flour – water mixture. Repeat with the remaining sheets. 5. Fry the samosas in preheated oil over medium heat, for about 3 minutes or until golden brown. Drain on paper towels. 6. For serving: In a bowl, mix ketchup, mayonnaise, mustard and a pinch of white pepper until combined. 7. Serve the samosas next to this dip, in addition to American Garden’s Ranch Dressing and Italian Dressing. Note: While working with one samosa sheet, keep the rest covered with a towel to prevent them from drying out.Check out my blog for more recipes
  12. Are you looking for a simple jam recipe? Look no further! The smell of jam fills the air!! We just came back from a visit to Beirut and Paris. We spent some family time together with my mom and my in-laws! While we were there, mama made quince jam, using the wonderful smelling fruit sitting in her kitchen basket! Mom is widely creative and passionate about her jams! One of the most pleasurable moments for me is to look through her old torn sheet recipes and her old cooking magazines! I don’t know why !! Maybe this brings back fond memories of the dishes we enjoyed as children.Quinces, a distant relative to apples and pears, make a wonderful, spreadable sticky jam.- though more mouth-puckering when eaten raw. The fruit is native to Lebanon, Iran, Turkey and Greece and a familiar tree throughout the Middle East; quince produces a natural pectin when cooked. The jam is flavored with mastic gum that adds a wonderful dimension.Quince is so good for you, here is an article about the health benefits of this underrated fruit from The Organic Facts and why you should include it more in your diet! The good thing here is that the jam does not require food coloring or even pectin. The flesh of the fruit is beige in color when cut raw that naturally turns to red when cooked. Have you ever thought of pairing mastic gum with jams? Yes, mastic goes enticingly well with jams, and here is a good example for that! The jam is great with Arabic bread, toasts, scones or French baguette, crackers or just straight out of the jar! Em! Yes I do that!! Happy eating The jam is made up of equal weights of fruits and sugar. Store the jam in sterilized glass jars Ingredients 1 kg /2 lb 4 oz. quince, leave the peel on 1 kg / 2lb. 4 oz. sugar ¼ teaspoon citric acid (hamod allaymoun) or ¼ cup freshly squeezed lemon juice 8 mastic gum pods crushed with a pinch of sugar 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice to be added at the end of cooking Directions: 1. Wash and pat dry the quinces 2. Cut each in half, core and grate using a grater with large holes. Toss with sugar and let them sit overnight in the fridge. 3. Transfer the quince-sugar mixture to a heavy bottomed saucepan, add the citric acid or the lemon juice and bring to a boil, reduce heat to low. 4. Cook for 11/2 hours uncovered, stirring every now and then and make sure heat is reduced to low.You will notice the quince starts to turn pink-red and thickens a bit (I like mine well clotted) 5. Crush the mastic gum with a pinch of sugar and add to the jam; add an additional tablespoon of freshly squeezed lemon juice, stir well. Remove from heat and set aside to completely cool down before transferring to sterilized jars. Refigerate and it will keep up to 1 year Recipe By Hadias CuisineCheck out my blog for more recipes
  13. Khibbiz Arabi (Pita or Arabic Bread) is used to scoop sauces or dips such as hummus and to wrap kebabs, gyros or falafel in the manner of sandwiches. Most pita breads are baked at high temperatures (700°F or 370°C), causing the flattened rounds of dough to puff up dramatically. When removed from the oven the layers of baked dough remain separated inside the deflated pita, which allows the bread to be opened into pockets, creating a space for use in various dishes. Ingredients: 2 1/2 teaspoon of yeast 1 teaspoon sugar 1-1 1/4 cups of lukewarm water (40-45 c) 3 1/2 cups flour 1 teaspoon salt 1 teaspoon olive oil 1/4 cup cornmeal Preparation: 1. Dissolve yeast and sugar in 1/2 cup warm water, and let the mixture rest for 5 minutes. 2.In a deep bowl, combine the flour, and salt, making a well in the center. 3. Pour in the yeast mixture, the oil, and 3/4 cup water. 4. Using your hand, gently blend the ingredients in the liquid. 5. Continue mixing and kneading in the bowl for about 10 minutes until a smooth dough results. (Add a little more flour or water if necessary). 6. Return the bread to the bowl and cover with a clean dishtowel. 7. Leave to rise in a warm spot until boubled in bulk (2-3 hours). 8. Place the dough on a lightly floured board, and knead with floured hands for 5 minutes. 9. Tear off pieces the size of oranges or grapefruits and roll between cupped hands to form smooth balls. 10. Set aside on a floured cloth. Cover and let rise for 30 minutes. 11. Preheat oven to 475 F . Sprinkle baking sheets with cornmeal. 12. Using a rolling pin, roll out each piece of dough onto a circle about 0.75 cm thick. 13. Arrange the circles on the baking sheets, cover with a towel and let rise again for 30 minutes. 14. Place sheets in the bottom of the oven, directly on its floor, and let them bake for 5 minutes, until the loaves puff up and are lightly browned, or place under the broiler until browned.Check out my blog for more recipes
  14. If you love Roast Chicken and Vegetables this recipe is sure to put a smile on your face. Ingredients: 750g small new potatoes , such as Charlottes, halved 2 small red onions , cut into wedges 1 head of garlic , separated into cloves 2 tbsp olive oil 2 tbsp maple syrup 1 heaped tbsp wholegrain mustard 1 large red pepper , deseeded and cut into chunky pieces 2 large courgettes , halved length ways and very thickly sliced few sprigs fresh thyme 4 large chicken legs portions Preparation: 1. Heat oven to 200C/fan 180C/gas 6. Mix the potatoes, onions, all but 2 garlic cloves and half the oil in a large roasting tin with seasoning to taste. Roast for 15 mins. 2. Meanwhile crush the remaining garlic and mix with the maple syrup, mustard, remaining oil and seasoning to taste. 3. Toss the pepper, courgettes and thyme with the potatoes, then arrange the chicken portions on top and brush liberally with the maple syrup mixture. Roast for 45 mins to 1 hr until the chicken is golden and sticky and the vegetables are tender. Serve with rocket or green beans.Check out my blog for more recipes
  15. The ideal pasta for this recipe is the very small Rison No. 63, which resembles brow rice. It is available at continental delicatessens and some supermarkets. Broken up vermicelli is a suitable substitute. Serves: 4-6 Cooking time: 1½ hours Ingredients: 1 large chicken 1 cup ghee or substitute 12 cups water 2 medium onions, finely chopped 1 clove garlic, crushed 1 cinnamon stick 4 teaspoons salt ¾ cup chick peas, soaked overnight 1 lb (500g) coarsely ground meat ½ teaspoon cinnamon ½ teaspoon black pepper ¾ cup Rison Pasta No.63 or broken up vermicelli 1 cup rice, washed and drained ½ cup slivered almonds Preparation: 1. In a large saucepan, brown the chicken in ¼ cup of the ghee. Add 8 cups of water, half the chopped onions, the garlic, cinnamon stick and 2 teaspoons salt. Bring to the boil, cover and continue to cook until chicken is tender enough for the meat to fall off the bones. While the chicken is cooking, drain the soaked chick peas and place in a large pot with 4 cups water. Bring to the boil, cover and simmer vigorously until just tender. Drain and set aside. 2. In another saucepan, lightly brown the almonds in a little ghee. Remove and set aside. 3. Add ¼ cup of the saucepan and heat. Fry the meat in the ghee, stirring occasionally, until brown all over. Turn down heat to simmer and cook until nearly tender - approx 15 minutes. 4. Stir in the cinnamon, black pepper and the remainder of the onions and salt, and continue to cook for a further 25 minutes. Remove from saucepan and set aside. Place the remaining ½ cup of ghee in the same saucepan and sauté the pasta or vermicelli until golden brown. Add the rice and sauté for a few more minutes. 5. Pour 5 cups of the boiling broth from the cooked chicken over the rice (make up quantity with water if necessary). Bring to the boil and add the cooked meat and onion mixture and the cooked chick peas. Stir well, cover, and turn down heat to simmer and cook until the rice is tender and the liquid is absorbed – approx 20 minutes. Turn off heat and allow standing for further 10 minutes. 6. Serve the chick pea and rice mixture on a platter, garnished with the almonds and chicken pieces.Check out my blog for more recipes
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