(collected by Abdallah HAYAR)
|Probably we all know how tasteful the Lebanese bread is. Bread is an essential ingredient of this rich cuisine. There are two types of bread, the flat pitta pocket (pictured) found everywhere in the Middle East, and marcook - a thin bread baked on a domed dish over a fire.|
Tabbouleh is a Middle Eastern salad in which the subtle perfume of mint permeates the dish, without dominating the other flavours
(Parsley and cracked wheat salad)
HUMMUS BI-TAHINI (Chick Peas with Sesame Oil)
This is eaten with Arabic bread (pita bread.)
BABA GHANNOOJ (Cooked Eggplant Appetizer)
Peel the egglant, and bake or steam till tender. Mash in a bowl with
a wooden spoon. Mix in the sesame oil, lemon juice, salt and garlic,
and beat until smooth. Mound on a plate or in a shallow dish, pour the
olive oil on top, and sprinkle with parsley. Serve as an appetizer.
Yield: 4 or more servings.
Categories: Ethnic, Vegetables
Yield: 12 servings
Marinate the meat ovenight in the spices , garlic and vinegar . Fry the meat in a little bit of oil until half cooked , cut it in thin stripes , and put it in a pyrex. Cover with aluminium paper and put it in the oven for about 20 mn, uncover it and leave it in the oven for 10 more minutes and serve . PS: So far I never found in the US the fat you're supposed to put with the meat (li'e) so I just do it without it . Bon appetit
This is the basic recipe, you can vary the amounts according to taste (More/less garlic, More coriander etc..)
Wash the Swiss chard, trim the ends [if the stalks are thick enough keep for the next recipe] chop into thin strips of about 1 cm (0.5 inches). Put the lentils and water in the pot over a high heat. Bring to a boil. add the chopped chard. reduce the heat to medium, cover and boil for 15 minutes. Mix the softened chard and lentils well and cook covered for another 45-50 minutes.(if augmenting the quantities,then adjust cooking time for about an hour..)
Meanwhile, peel the garlic cloves and pound in the mortar with a generous portion of salt and chop the cilantro(coriander). In a skillet, heat some of the olive oil , add the garlic and cilantro and saute for a few minutes (2-3 minutes about). DO NOT BURN THE GARLIC! yuckk..
Add the lemon juice, the rest of the olive oil to the coriander-garlic mixture and mix well. Incoporate well in the soup and simmer uncovered for another 5 minutes. Taste, adjust seasonings and serve (Can be served at room temperature).
DLOU'EL SIL^ BI-THIHEH (Swiss Chard Stalks in Tahini)
Clean the Swiss chard, trim the edges and cut the the stalks in pieces of about 1 inch or so. To make the tarator sauce, mix slowly the lemon juice with the tahini in a mixing bowl, adding a little bit of water at a time. Keep stirring until sauce starts to lool like liquefied yogurt. Stir in the crushed garlic at the end.
In the meantime, either steam the stalks (for 5 minutes or even less) or boil them in salted water for about 5-10 minutes. When done pour the sauce over the stalks.
Variations: use boiled/steamed cauliflower instead of the Swiss chard.
The following recipes are extracted from Good Food from the Near East by Joan Rowland with some modifications.
KIBBE (Baked Lamb and Wheat Dish)
This is the national dish of Lebanon.
Pour enough ground water over the wheat to cover it and let it soak overnight, and then drain. To the ground lean lamb, add one half of the onions, and grind again. Saute the rest of the onions in two tablespoosns of the butter till golden; add the nuts and mix. Stir in the meat mixture and set aside to cool.
To the other pound of ground meat, add the drained wheat. Knead this
in quickly, adding the salt and pepper. Then spread one half in a
greased 12 in. square cake pan. Spread the onion and meat mixture on
this; cover with the rest of the mixture. Pat down firmly. Then with a
thin sharp knife cut the cake into diamond-shaped pieces. Run the knife
around the edge of the pan. Dot the top with remaining butter. Bake in
a moderate oven 375F, 50-60 minutes. Yield: 6 to 8 servings.
KOUSA MEHSHI (Squash Stuffed with Lamb and Rice)
Cut a lengthwise slice from each squash. Scoop out the pulp, leaving only the shell. To the pulp, add the rice and lamb, salt, pepper, cinnamon, nutmeg, and mint leaves. Stuff the squash with this mixture and replace the slice.
Place the lamb bones in the bottom of a kettle with the stuffed
squash on top. Weight down the squash with a plate and add tomato juice
to cover. Bring to a boil, cover the kettle, and simmer until squash
are tender, 30-40 minutes. Yield: 4 servings.
MALFOOF MEHSHI (Stuffed Cabbage Leaves or Cabbage Cigarettes)
Wash the cabbage, drain, turn it upside down. Cut out the stem end and core. Put the cabbage in a large kettle, cover with boiling slated water, and cook until the leaves are loose enough to separate with a fork (20 minutes). Remove the cabbage, drain and separate the leaves.
Mix the lamb and rice with the pepper, allspice, and cinnamon. Place a small amount of the mixture on each cabbage leaf, and roll into a cylinder, tucking in the ends of the leaves. Place the stuffed leaves in layers in a large casserole. Add the hot water, salt, lemon juice, and garlic. Cover and cook on low heat for one hour. Yield: 6 to 8 servings.
KIBBE BALLS (Cracked Wheat Balls)
Soak the wheat in water to cover overnight. Drain and add the ground beef which has been mixed with the pepper, salt, and onion. Mix well. Form into small balls and make a hole into one side of each.
Saute the onions in two tablespoons of the butter till golden; add
the nuts and mix. Stir in the ground meat and set aside to cool. Put a
little of the mixture in the opening in each ball and press it closed.
Saute in the butter until the balls are golden brown. Yield: 8 to 10
MUJADDARAH (Lentil and Rice Pottage)
Soak the lentils in water overnight. Boil them in the same water
about one and a half hours. Brown onions in oil, then add half of
onions, rice and seasonings
to lentils. Let the mixture boil for a few minutes. When it thickens,
into a tureen, and spread the remaining onions over the top. Yield: 4
TAJIN (Precooked Baked Fish)
Cut the cleaned fish into chunks. Remove bones, head, and tail;
drain and saute the pieces lightly in oil. Add the onions and cook
until they are lightly browned. Then arrange in a shallow baking pan
with the onions on top of the fish. Add water. Beat sesame oil and
lemon juice together. Pour over the fish
and stir lightly around it. Bake in a moderate oven 350F for 20
until bubbling and brown. Yield: 4 to 6 servings.
NIKHA'AT MIQLIYAH (Fried Lamb Brains)
Wash the meat, drain, cover with water, and boil until pale golden
in color and tender when pierced with a fork. Drain. Mix the onion with
the eggs and add salt and pepper. Cut the meat into serving-sized
pieces. Dip them into the egg mixture and saute in the butter or
margarine until golden brown. Serve
very hot. Yield: 6 servings.
LAHM BI-AJIN (Chopped Meat on Dough)
Melt half of the shortening, add to flour, and mix well. Add the mashed yeast or the egg. Salt and add water. Make the dough heavy enough to roll easily. Cover dough with a cloth and put it aside while you prepare the stuffing.
Saute the onion in 1 tablepoon of the shortening. Remove before
brown, and add the meat and remaining shortening. Season the meat a
salt and pepper. Add some of the greated cheese, tomatoes and lemon
Grease a shallow baking pan. Roll the dough 1/4th inch thick, and cut
rounds with a large cooky cutter. Arrange in the pan, then put the meat
mixture on top of each piece of dough as needed, pressing it into the
dough. Bake in a moderate oven, 375F, for 15 minutes. Yield: 4 or more
SAMBUSIK (Meat Tarts or Patties)
Melt the shortening and mix with the flour and salt. Add sufficient water to make a dough, Knead the dough until it is manageable, then spread it on a floured pastry board, and roll out to 1/8th inch thickness. Cut in rounds with a 3-inch cooky cutter.
Mix the meat, nuts, onions, seasonings, and parsley; moisten with the liquid. Place a spoonful of the stuffing on 1/2 inch of each circle; turn the other half over and press the edges together. Prick the tops with a fork. Fry in deep hot fat until light brown 4-6 minutes. Serve hot. Yield: 8 or more servings.
Variation: The stuffed patties may be baked in a preheated hot oven, 450F, 15-20 minutes. Brush with milk or melted fat for better browning. (Too long baking toughens them.) Serve hot or cold with soups or salads.
1.5 cups sugar
.5 cup water
1 tablespoon mazaher (orange blossom water)
squeeze of lemon
1 box phillo dough
3 cups chopped walnuts
1 tablespoon cinnamon
2 tablespoons mazaher
2 sticks melted unsalted butter honey
1 package of shredded Fillo dough
1/2 pound of butter melted
2lbs Ricotta cheese
1/2 cup pine nuts
3 cups sugar
1 tsp. lemon juice (fresh)
Preparations:<>---First step is to defrost the Fillo dough. Do this by shredding the fillo in a bowl continuously till completelly defrosted.
SFOUF (A cake-like dessert that you can have with tea or milk.)
PITA - eight 6-inch pieces
The pieces of dough must be rolled flat before they are placed into a hot (500F) oven. The dough should be rolled to a thickness of no more than 3/16 inch. This is the thickness of a wooden yardstick, the kind given away at country fairs, auto dealers, and paint stores. It can be used as a gauge. The oven heat generates steam inside the pita which causes the dough to puff into a ball. Later, as it cools the dough will collapse. The oven must be hot. If it is not, the piece of dough will think it is meant to be a bun, and will rise slowly but without the all- important pocket in the center.
While this is a yeast dough, it puffs because of the steam. The yeast only adds flavor and texture. Don't overpower the dough with flour or it will be too dry to allow sufficient steam to be generated. Leave the dough on the soft side. Sprinkles of flour will take care of stickiness.
Into a large mixing bowl measure 1 cup flour and stir in the dry ingredients. Add the oil and hot water. Mix for about 30 seconds to blend and then beat vigorously with a wooden spoon for three minutes. Stir in the balance of the flour, 1/2 cup at a time. The dough should be a rough, shaggy mass that will clean the sides of the bowl. If the dough is moist, add a small amount of flour.
Turn the dough onto a lightly floured work surface and knead with a rhythmic motion of push-turn-fold. Knead for about 6 minutes.
Preheat oven to 500F.
Divide the dough into eight pieces. Roll into balls, cover with wax paper or a towel, and let rest for 20 minutes.
With the palm of your hand, flatten each ball into a disk. With a rolling pin, flatten the dough into a disk about 6 inches in diameter and 3/16-inch thick. Their thinness is more important than making perfect circles. Irregularity adds charm!
Place each round on a prepared piece of foil. Placing the rounds on the foil rather than on a baking sheet or stone allows a softer heat to surround the dough. A direct thrust of heat from a baking sheet or stone would form a crust difficult to puff.
Carefully place 2 or 3 of the breads (on their foil) directly on an oven rack in the oven. Back for about 8 minutes, or until they are puffed. Repeat with remaining disks. Place the pitas under the broiler for 2 minutes if a browner crust is desired.
Remove the breads from the oven and wrap in a large piece of foil. The tops will fall and there will be a pocket in the center. Serve warm, or let cool and freeze. Thaw before using. To reheat, stack several in a pile, wrap in foil, and place in 375F oven for 10 to 15 minutes.
Any contributions are welcome!