Potato Stew With Meat

When me and my siblings were young, and for as long as I remember my mother used to make this meal at least once a month. She liked to have HEALTHY children. And by healthy I mean she wanted us to be  fat!

Regardless, there is nothing more comforting than tucking into a bowl of hot stew, especially as the warm weather starts to cool down and we need crave some warming comfort food. We Lebanese always serve our stews with rice, but if you feel that you would rather not it tastes just as good without.

Ingredients:

  • 1 kg potatoes
  • 200 grams beef cube
  • 1/2 cup fresh coriander, finely chopped
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 4 cloves of garlic, crushed
  • 1 teaspoon dried coriander
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon seven spices
  • 1 tablespoon tomato puree
  • oil for frying
  • 2 tablespoon canola oil

Preparation:

  • In a large pot of pressure cooker, heat 1 tablespoon oil and fry the meat, add 1 teaspoon salt, half teaspoon seven spices, cover with 6 cups water and cook until tender
  • Peel the potatoes and cut them into cubes
  • Heat the frying oil, fry the potatoes until golden, remove the potatoes from the oil and place on a kitchen towel to absorb the excess of oil
  • In a pot, place the cooked meat, cover them with some of the meat stock, add the potatoes and the tomato puree, and let it cook on medium fire
  • In the meantime, heat the remaining tablespoon of oil in a casserole, mix the crushed garlic with the fresh and dried coriander, fry them in the casserole
  • When the stew starts boiling add the fried garlic and the lemon juice and let it cook on low fire or further 5 minutes
  • Serve with cooked rice

ET VOILA… C’EST TOUT.

Awarma (Preserved Meat a La Libanaise)

The winter season in Lebanon is very cold, especially in the mountains. Back in older times, villagers used to preserve the meat cultivated in the summer to cook it during the cold season. Awarma can last for one year when kept in the fridge. Although people are no longer isolated enough to worry about it, especially in the city,  Awarma is still found in many homes. It is usually cooked with egg, kishk or even over hummus.

It is very important that everything you use for cooking is very dry. Make sure to keep away from water while cooking and preserving.

Ingredients:

  • 1 kilo lean beef, cut into very small cubes (about 1/2 cm)
  • 1/2 kilo sheep fat, (the best part is the fat found in the tail area, but if not available, you can use other part)
  • 1 tablespoon sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper or seven spices

Preparation:

  • In a pot, and on a low fire, place the fat and let it melt very slowly; when the fat is halfway cooked, add half the salt
  • When the fat is completely melted, add the meat, and cook stirring always, to allow the meat to cook evenly
  • Season with salt and pepper, cook on a low fire until the meat is well cooked
  • When cooked, place the meat in jars, and keep in cold dry place. You can refrigerate it also.

After it is prepared, you can store it for several months. It is best eaten alongside something else. I prepared it with scrambled eggs 🙂

ET VOILA..C’EST TOUT..

Ablama With Laban (Stuffed Zucchini With Yogurt)

Zucchini is one of the vegetables which can be cooked in many different ways. I posted once zucchini stuffed with meat and rice. Today I prepared it the way my grandmother used to make it, stuffed with meat and cooked with yogurt. It was one of my favorite foods when I was a child. My mother used to make it in tomato sauce, and both ways are DELICIOUS. But, since today I had a lot of fresh yogurt, I decide to prepare it as per my grandmother’s recipe.

By the way “ablama” means in Arabic “ahead of time”, but I have no idea why it is called as such 🙂

Ingredients:

  • 1 kilo zucchini, small size
  • 200 minced meat
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 1 handful pine seeds
  • 1 kilo yogurt
  • 2 tablespoons corn flour
  • 10 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 tablespoon dried mint
  • salt, 7 spices
  • canola oil
  • cooked rice

Preparation:

  • Wash the zucchini, cut the head and with a vegetable corer remove the insides and drain them
  • In a saucepan heat 1 tablespoon of oil and fry the chopped onion and pine seeds until slightly golden then add the meat and fry. Season with 1 teaspoon salt and 1 teaspoon spices
  • Fill the zucchinis with the cooked meat until you have filled them all
  • Heat 2 tablespoon of oil and fry the stuffed zucchini until slightly colored, put on a kitchen towel to absorb the excess oil

  • Place the zucchini in a pot, cover with water and cook on a medium fire, when the water boils reduce the fire, cover and let it simmer for about 5 minutes, then drain

  • In another pot mix the yogurt with 2 tablespoons corn flour dissolved with 1 cup water
  • Place on fire, stirring constantly with a whisk until the yogurt starts boiling
  • Mix the crushed garlic with 1 teaspoon salt and the dried mint then fry gently in a small frying pan with 1 teaspoon of oil and add it to the boiled yogurt

  • To serve place cooked rice on a plate, add the stuffed zucchini and cover with the cooked yogurt

ET VOILA..C’EST TOUT.. BON APPETIT

Back to My Kitchen With… Tamrye

Hi everyone,

It’s been a long time since I posted last as this was a busy summer for me; my two daughters came with their families to spend their vacation in Lebanon. My son was so jealous he also visited from New York to join the fun. We all had a lovely time together but now I’m back to the recipes you love and I miss posting about 🙂

Here I am back to my kitchen with a ton of new recipes that I would love to share with you.

Tamrye is a kind of sweet is found mainly during the Holy Month of Ramadan, as well as during special occasions such as St. Marie day, St. Charbel’s and others – we have several saints in Lebanon.

“Tamr” in Arabic originally means date, but this recipe has nothing to do with dates. It’s made of a dough filled with a mixture of semolina and milk with sugar, fried and dusted with icing sugar.

Ingredients for the dough:

  • 2 and a half cups of flour
  • 1 cup water
  • pinch of salt
  • 1/4 cup oil

Ingredients for the filling:

  • 1 cup semolina
  • 5 cups milk
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon flower blossom water
  • about 2 cups frying oil
  • icing sugar for dusting

Preparation:

  • Sift the flour with salt, add water and mix until you have a soft dough
  • Cut the dough into small pieces, put them in a oiled tray, and pour some oil over the dough, cover the tray and let it rest for about 2 hours

  • In the meantime prepare the filling: In a pot, place the semolina with sugar and milk, put on fire and let it boil stirring consantly
  • After boiling add the flower blossom water and place the filling on a tray and let it cool

  • Take a piece of the dough and roll it very thinly, brush oil over it and cut into square, place a tablespoon of he filling in the center of the dough, fold the four corners overlapping them

  • When you finish filling all the dough, heat the oil and fry them until golden brown, dust them with icing sugar and enjoy eating while still hot

ET VOILA C’EST TOUT… BON APPETIT 🙂

Makmoura (Rice with Cabbage)

This meal is very special to me. It reminds me of my childhood as my grandmother prepared it often, and I always enjoy eating it with a cabbage salad. Also, once when I was pregnant with my youngest boy (my fourth child:), I had a nap in the afternoon and when I woke up craving something with cumin. It is all about cumin. When I woke up, I cooked this Makmoura and on my plate I have to add a big tablespoon of cumin to satisfy my desire. Until now, I like this meal a lot. And I am so glad to share it with you, it is very simple to prepare.

Ingredients:

  • One medium cabbage
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 8 to 10 cloves of garlic
  • 2 cups rice
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon cumin
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

Preparation:

  • Remove the leaves of cabbage, wash and thinly slice, remove about half for the salad
  • Heat the olive oil, fry the onion until translucent, add the garlic then the cabbage, cover the pot and let it cook for about 5 minutes
  • Add the rice, cover with 4 cups of water, season with salt and cumin. When it starts boiling lower the fire, cover and let it simmer gently until the rice is well cooked
  • Serve with cabbage salad: put the cabbage in a bowl and mix with 1 clove garlic crushed, 1 teaspoon salt, juice of one lemon and extra virgin olive oil

ET VOILA…C’EST TOUT.. BON APPETIT 🙂

Lentil Soup

In the spirit of the holy month of Ramadan, we are still covering recipes for the Iftar (the meal after a long fasting day). It is important to start with a soup and a salad, mainly Fattouch, and this lentil soup is usually a favorite. Especially in the summer when the weather is so hot like now, this soup is refreshing and nourishing, and needless to say it is delicious. Ingredients:

  • 2 cups of lentils
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon corn oil
  • 1/3 cup of short grain rice
  • 1 cup fresh parsley, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon cumin

Preparation:

  • Boil the lentils in a large amount of salted water until tender, then discard the water. Then with a hand blender puree the lentils
  • In a pot heat the oil and fry the chopped onion until translucent
  • Wash the rice and add it to the fried onion and cover with one cup of water, let it simmer on low fire until the rice is nearly well cooked
  • Add the pureed lentils to the rice and onion, and cover with about 2 cups of water, season with salt and cumin
  • Let it boil on a low fire, stirring occasionally until the rice is well cooked. If the soup thickens, you can always add more water. When the soup is finish put the fire off and add the chopped parsley
  • Enjoy eating the soup with some toasted pita bread

N.B : If you like your soup to have a richer taste, add 1 teaspoon of butter at the end of cooking. I did and it was DELICIOUS…

ET VOILA..C’EST TOUT… BON APPETIT. (SAHTEIN)

Atayef With Cheese (Arabic Version of Pancake Filled With Cheese)

The Holy Month of Ramadan, which started about twelve days ago, is the month of fasting for the Muslim. But, after fasting for more then 14 hours, the dinner in Ramadan consist in the most variety of rich foods and desserts. Atayef is a kind of sweet very popular in Ramadan, the dough could be filled either of cheese or with Ashta (kind of Arabic cream). This sweet requires quite some time to prepare but it is worth it.

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups of flour
  • 2 teaspoons yeast
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 cup orange blossom water
  • 1 1/2 cup water
  • 500 grams Akawi cheese (or Mozzarella). Akawi cheese is a kind of salted cheese like feta
  • sugar syrup
  • about 2 cups of frying oil

Preparation:

  • Start by cutting the cheese into small pieces and soak in water to remove the salted taste, change the water every half an hour for about 3 times, or until you find the cheese is sweet enough,(if you are using mozzarella cheese you can skip this step)
  • Prepare the dough: dissolve the yeast in a cup of warm water and leave for few minutes

  • Mix the flour with the baking powder, add the yeast with water, the orange blossom water and the water until you have the consistency of a pancake dough. Let it set for about one hour, until it double volume
  • Heat a large non stick saucepan, and place about half cup of the dough and cook from one side only, you will see on the uncooked side some bubbles formed, that means that the dough is perfect

  • Place the cooked Atayef on a plate until they cool down
  • When the cheese is no longer salty, discard the water, place on a strainer and rub it with you fingers
  • Pinch each piece of Atayef and fill it with a teaspoon of cheese and close it tightly

  • Heat the oil and fry the Atayef about 4 to 5 minutes, place them on a kitchen towel to remove the excess oil, then dip them in sugar syrup

For the sugar syrup:

  • In a casserole boil 4 cups of sugar with 2 cups of water, then add the juice of half lemon, allow to cool a little then add about 1/4 cup of orange blossom water.

ET VOILA..C’EST TOUT..BON APPETIT 🙂

Sheikh El Mehchi (Stuffed Eggplant)

Hi, I know I have not posted anything in a few days. But believe me, I have been cooking everyday. Now, the summer has started, and my children are coming to Lebanon to spend their vacations, so I am very busy with my children and my grandchildren. Also, I changed the theme of the blog, and I have been trying to choose pictures for the banner 🙂 It hasn’t been so easy.

About the recipe today, Sheikh El Mehchi, it is called so because the eggplants are stuffed without removing their tops, so it looks like the head of Sheikhs.

Ingredients:

  • 1 kilo small eggplants
  • 200 grams minced meat
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon salt+ 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon seven spices+1/2 teaspoon seven spices
  • handful of pine seeds
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 1 red tomato sliced
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 2 cups frying oil

Preparation:

  • Peel the eggplants without removing the heads
  • Heat the frying oil, fry the eggplants until brown color. Place on kitchen towel to remove the excess oil
  • Heat the canola oil and fry the chopped onions until transparent, add the pine seeds and fry for another 2 minutes, then add the meat and fry until well cooked. Season with salt and 1/2 teaspoon seven spices
  • Preheat the oven to 180 C
  • Slice open the eggplant in the middle and place a generous tablespoon of the meat stuffing inside it, press it down gently with the back of spoon
  • Place the stuffed eggplants on a baking tray or dish, cover with the tomato slices
  • Dissolve the tomato paste with 2 cups of water, season with remaining salt and spices and pour over the eggplants
  • Bake in the oven for about 25 minutes
  • Serve with cooked rice

ET VOILA… C’EST TOUT.

Homage To My Father… Kibbe With Spinach

Yesterday in Lebanon everybody was celebrating Father’s Day. My dad left us ten years ago and I miss him a lot. I was very close to him and he was the only person who knew what I wanted without me saying anything. When I was young, he treated me like a little princess and I think he spoiled me a bit. I got nostalgic thinking of him, so I decided to make homage to this big man by cooking his favorite meal. His mother used to cook it for him and he’d encourage me to eat it by saying: “if you want to grow strong, you should have this kibbe. The spinach has a lot of iron and it will make you strong like your Papa”.

Ok, I want to stop being emotional and post the recipe that I took from my grandmother.

Ingredients:

  • 1 kilo fresh spinach
  • 1 cup fine bulgur
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped or grated
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 4 large onions, chopped into wings
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • an dash of chili pepper (optional)

Preparation:

  • Wash the spinach leaves and boil in hot water for 2 minutes, drain then wash with cold water and keep in the strainer until needed
  • To make the kibbe dough, wash the bulgur and discard the water then mix the bulgur with flour, salt, cinnamon, paprika and cumin to form a soft dough (add water if needed); mix it it with the grated onion
  • Take a small piece from the dough, shape it into a small ball then flatten it, place it on  slightly floured plate; repeat until all the dough is used
  • Boil the kibbe dough in hot water for about 15 minutes
  • Heat the olive oil and fry the wing chopped onions until golden brown
  • Add the boiled spinach and the kibbe dough to the frying pan, let it cook on a low heat for about 5 minutes stirring occasionally
  • To serve place the kibbe with spinach on a plate and sprinkle some chili pepper if used

ET VOILA.. MAIS CE N’EST PAS TOUT!

HAPPY FATHER’S DAY TO ALL THE FATHERS IN THE WORLD 🙂

Potato Croquette

When I was about ten years old, I spent one summer day with my 2 cousins and my aunt in her house in the mountain. Me and my cousins were playing very loudly and my aunt got annoyed at us. She offered to cook potato croquette, something we loved as kids, on a condition: we help her make them. Very interested to help cooking something we love, we stopped playing noisily and did as she asked.  We had to boil the potatoes, peel them and mash them with a fork since we didn’t had any masher to use. It took us a lot of time to prepare but when the potato croquettes were ready, we enjoyed eating them thinking that it was the best meal we ever had  🙂

Ingredients:

  • 1 kilo potato
  • 1 or 2 eggs slightly beaten
  • 1 cup of bread crumbs
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 2 cups frying oil

Preparation:

  • Boil the potato, peel them and mash them
  • Place the egg in a shallow plate, mixed with salt and pepper and the bread crumbs in another shallow plate
  • Heat the oil in a frying pan
  • Shape a medium sized ball from the mashed potato and flatten it, dip it in the egg then in the bread crumbs
  • Fry the breaded potatoes in the hot oil until golden brown, then drain it on a kitchen towel to remove the excess oil

ET VOILA..C’EST TOUT.. 🙂