Stuffed Vine Leaves in Oil ( Warak Inab Bilzeit)

This is a vegetarian recipe, and I must say that Stuffed Vine leaves in Olive Oil is an essential dish from our rich Lebanese Mezze. It is so delicious and light that you can easily eat a small plate alone before having your main meal. Last week when I brought a large quantity of fresh vine leaves to make them stuffed with meat and cooked with lamb cutlets, I  was left with a lot. So I put the remaining in the freezer, where they can usually last up to six months. When we had the family lunch I took a pile from the vine leaves and made them the vegetarian way. And believe me my children made them disappear within just few minutes.

Ingredients:

  • 100 grams of vine leaves, blanched and ready to cook ( you can use the preserved ones too)
  • 1/2 cup of short grain rice
  • 2 tablespoons of parsley, finely chopped
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 1 medium red tomato, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon seven spices
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil+ one extra tablespoon for cooking
  • your choice of thinly sliced vegetable, such as onion, tomato, carrot or even potato (I used sliced onions)

Preparation:

  • Prepare the stuffing by mixing the washed rice with the parsley, onion, tomato, salt, spices lemon juice and the olive oil well
  • Place a vine leave face down and stuff it with one teaspoon of the mixture of rice for filling in the center, fold the two sides toward the center then roll it in a cigar shape
  • When you finish all the quantity of the vine leaves and stuffing, prepare the pot, place the tablespoon of olive oil in the bottom of the pot, cover the base of the pot with your choice of sliced vegetable, place all the stuffed vine leaves in the pot
  • Pour water to cover the vine leaves by about one inch, place a plate upside down over them to prevent the vine leaves from opening during cooking. Adjust the salt and lemon as desired
  • Cook on a medium heat and when it starts boiling reduce the fire and let it cook gently for about 25 minutes until the rice is cooked and tender
  • Turn upside down on a plate and it’s ready to serve

ET VOILA C’EST TOUT… BON APPETIT:)

Swiss Chard Moutabbal

I posted this recipe previously in Arabic, but today I “re-posted” it in English due to popular demand. Whenever I made Stuffed Swiss chard or Adas bi Hamod, I would keep the stalks and make them this way.

Ingredients

  • 1 bunch Swiss chard stalks
  • 2 small garlic cloves, crushed
  • 4 tablespoons Tahini
  • Juice of 1 lemon

Preparation

  • Wash the stems removing any bad ones, wash and chop into 1inch pieces, place in the pot covered with water with some salt and boil
  • When tender, strain and gently crush them with a pestle and mortar
  • Add the garlic and the lemon juice mixing well together
  • Add the above mixture and the tahini to the stems and mix well
  • Put in a serving plate and top with some extra virgin olive oil. Serve with pita bread

ET VOILA… C’EST TOUT… BON APPETIT:)

Spinach Fatayer+ Award

Another Award nomination…:) I would like to thank The Burlesque Baker for the Versatile Blogger Award. Her blog includes good recipes as well as many other interesting topics. Please have a look at her blog if you are not yet familiar with it. I am very flattered by all these nominations, I realize how nice fellow bloggers are, and really this encourages me to do my best always. Thank you again to “The Burlesque Baker”.

I will not say anything about myself today (I think I did a lot:))

My nominees are:

1-simplydelicious

2-becomingmadame

3-dinutrition

4-acorinmyktichen

5-rocksalt

Fatayer is another kind of Lebanese pie which uses the same dough as Sambousek, but filled with spinach, or it can be filled with swiss chard, or even with purslane. It is also a dish from our Lebanese Mezze.

Ingredients for the dough:

  • 3 cups of all purpose flour
  • a pinch of salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon of instant dried yeast
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 cup of water

Preparation of the dough:

  • Sift the flour with the salt, mix with oil, add the yeast
  • Add the water, mixing by hand until the dough is soft
  • Rub it all with oil , place it in a bowl and cover with a clean towel and leave it for about 2 hours to rise

Ingredients of the filling:

  • 1 kilo of fresh spinach
  • 1 large white onion chopped finely
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon seven spices
  • handful of pine seeds
  • 1 tablespoon of grenadine molasses
  • juice of one lemon
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon sumac

Preparation of the filling:

  • Preheat the oven to 180
  • Cut the spinach and wash, keep in a strainer, add all the remaining ingredients to the spinach keeping them in the strainer. The spinach will wilt
  • Roll the dough very thinly on a floured surface, and cut into 7 cm circles
  • Put in the center of each circle 1 teaspoon of filling and pinch the dough to form a triangle
  • Place all the Fatayer on a oiled tray and bake for about 30 minutes until golden, or if you want you can deep fry them instead

Makes about 60 pieces.

ET VOILA…C’EST TOUT:)

Sweet And Sour Fish

Today, my 2 daughters and I went to this lovely “Cafe” in down town Abu Dhabi and shared one of those delicious breakfast they serve, and of course we chose the Lebanese one. It had Labneh, Halloumi cheese, Halawe, Black olives, as well as Man’oushe ( we decided to have it with Kashkawal cheese instead of Za’atar). And we had scrambled eggs as a side order, as well as butter and jam.

So, after this breakfast we decided to have for lunch (for dinner I mean), a light chinese meal. This is why I made the Sweet and Sour Fish.

It will take three steps for cooking: the fish, the vegetables and the sauce:

Ingredients for the fish:

  • 500 grams fish fillet of your choice, cut into bite size
  • 1/2 can beer
  • 1 egg, 1 egg white
  • 4 tablespoon flour
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • salt and pepper
  • oil for deep frying
Preparation of the fish:
  • Mix the beer with 2 tablespoons  flour and the whole egg and some salt and pepper and marinate the fish for 20 minutes
  • After the 20 minutes drain the fish
  • Mix the egg white with soy sauce and the remaining flour, dip the fish into this mixture and deep fry until it’s a nice golden color and put aside

Ingredients for the vegetables mixture:

  • 1 can pineapple chunk (360 grams)
  • 1 medium onion
  • 1 green pepper, 1 red capsicum
  • 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil

Preparation of the vegetables:

  • Cut the onion and the green and red pepper into quarters
  • Drain the pineapple, and keep the juice for the sauce
  • Heat the oil and fry the onion and the vegetables for about 5 minutes and remove from the pan and keep aside

Ingredients for the sauce:

  • 1 cup of fish stock
  • the juice of the pineapple can
  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 4 tablespoons white vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 6 tablespoons ketchup
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • salt and pepper to taste

Preparation of the sauce:

  • Using the same pan you cooked the vegetables in, mix all the sauce ingredients together except the flour and keep on a medium-high neat until it boils
  • Dissolve the flour in 1/2 cup of cold water and add to the mixture, stirring constantly until it thickens

Add the fish and the vegetables to the sauce and simmer for about 5 minutes on very low heat. Serve with noodles or rice.

ET VOILA..C’EST TOUT.

Adas bil Hamod (Lentil soup with Swiss chard and lemon)

Hi everyone. This is a soup I posted previously in Arabic, but due to popular request, I have translated as below. And also feel free to  tell me if you have any favorite recipes or allergy related recipes you would be interested for me to post..I would love to hear from you..:)
It is winter and the cold weather has arrived. Winter is the season when Swiss chard (an iron rich leafy vegetable) is abundant in Lebanon, and today I prepared a delicious soup which consists of lentils and lemon which is quite suitable for this cold season.
 Ingredients:
  • 2 cups green lentils
  • 2 liters of water
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 3 medium sized potatoes, peeled and diced
  • 1 kg Silik (Swiss chard)
  • 1 tablespoon dried mint
  • 1 tablespoon sunflower oil
  • Juice of 2 lemons
  • salt & pepper

Preparation

  • Wash then boil the lentils in a pot with the water
  • Wash the Swiss chard, and cut off the leaves, then chop them into thin strips. Keep the stems aside for another recipe
  • After 20mins of cooking the lentils add the potatoes
  • When the water starts to boil, lower the fire and leave to simmer
  • After another 20mins add the chopped leaves to the pot and cook for about 7 more mins
  • Peel the garlic and crush with salt and mint
  • Fry in a saucepan with the sunflower oil til it goes golden, then add them to the pot
  • At the end add the lemon juice and put off the fire

ET VOILA.. C’EST TOUT! BON APETIT 🙂

Stuffed Swiss Chard (Silik Mehchi BelZeit)

In previous posts I used the Swiss Chard to make the soup with lentils, and Mutabbal made out of Swiss chard stalk. But today I prepared the traditional stuffed Swiss chard, which is an alternative to stuffed vine leaves. It  is a vegetarian recipe cooked with extra virgin olive oil. I remember when I was young I used to say to myself that the stuffing looks like tabboule with chick peas, but made with rice instead of bulgur.  🙂

Ingredients:

  • 2 kilos of Swiss chard
  • 2 cups Egyptian rice
  • 1 cup of chick peas, soaked overnight
  • 1/2 cup chopped parsley
  • 3 tomatoes finely diced
  • 2 medium onions finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon seven spices
  • juice of 2 lemons
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

Preparation:

  • Remove the Stalk of  the Swiss chard, wash and drain
  • Boil about 3 liters of water in a pot, add some salt
  • Blanch a few leaves of Swiss chard at a time in the boiling water for about a minute, remove and place in cold water directly (boiling of the Swiss chard is delicate, you should be careful)
  • Prepare the stuffing by mixing the washed rice with parsley, chick peas, tomatoes, onions, season with salt, seven spices, add half of lemon juice and one tablespoon of olive oil
  • On a working board, place one leaf of the boiled Swiss chard, place in the center 1 teaspoon of the stuffing and roll it
  • When you finish all the leaves, prepare a pot to cook them
  • Pour 2 tablespoon of olive oil in the bottom of the pot, then thinly slice one onion, one tomato and one potato and place them in the bottom of the pot. Place the stuffed Swiss chard in layers over the slices of the potato, onion and tomato
  • When you finish piling them cover with water by about 1/2 inch, add salt, the remaining lemon juice, then place an upside down plate to hold them down during cooking
  • Put the pot on fire and let it boil, reduce then the fire, cover the pot and let it simmer for about 15 minutes or until the rice is tender
  • Allow to cool, then carefully turn the pot upside down on a serving plate.

ET VOILA..C’EST TOUT.. BON APPETIT:)

Siyadieh

It’s Good Friday today and in many parts of the world, it’s a meat-free day. Most people in the Levant Area will prepare something that includes fish. Today, I prepared a very popular dish with fish and rice called Siyadieh. It is an eastern meal, but each country has it’s own way of preparing it. Even in Lebanon each area has it’s own way of cooking it. this is the way I make it.

Ingredients:

  • 1000 grams of hamour fish fillet (or any other white fillet) cut into medium sized pieces, and the head of the fish
  • 4 onions
  • 2 cups of rice
  • 2 tablespoon of cumin
  • 2 tablespoon of salt, 2 teaspoon seven spices
  • 1 teaspoon of turmeric
  • 4 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • frying oil
  • handful of pine seeds, handful of boiled and peeled almonds
  • 1 tablespoon of butter
  • 4 tablespoons flour+1/2 cup to coat the fish fillet

Preparation:

  • Cut the onions in thin slices
  • Heat 2 tablespoons of the vegetable oil in a pot, fry the head of the fish and remove it
  • Fry half of the cut onions in the same oil of the fish until dark brown color,cover with 1/2 cup of water cover the pot and let it simmer until the water evaporates and the onion get caramelized, remove half of the onions and put aside. We will use it for decoration of the plate
  • Put the head of the fish back, add about 6 cups of water, 1 teaspoon salt, 1 teaspoon seven spices, 1 tablespoon cumin, let it boil, then let it simmer for about 20 minutes on a low heat, then drain it. We will use this water as a fish stock to cook the rice
  • In another pot, heat the remaining vegetable oil and fry the remaining onion until brown, then cover with 1/2 cup of water and caramelize it
  • Wash the rice, add it to the fried onion, cover it with 4 cups of the fish stock, add salt, seven spices, cumin and 1 teaspoon of turmeric, cover and let it cook on very low heat until done
  • To make the sauce of this meal, we will use the remaining water of the stock fish, put it on fire
  • Dissolve the flour with 1 cup of water and add it to the fish stock, stirring with a whisk until it gets thick
  • Rub the fish fillet with a bit of salt and seven spices, coat it with flour and fry it until nice light brown color
  • In a small saucepan melt the butter and fry the pine seeds, then the almonds, place them on a kitchen towel to absorb the excess of butter
  • To serve, place the rice on a plate, cover with the fried fish fillet, place over the fried onion and the pine seeds and the almonds. Place the sauce in a bowl, and just pour some over the rice when you’re about to eat.

ET VOILA..C’EST TOUT..BON APPETIT.

Croquette of Chick Peas

We all love from time to time to have a delicious snack; one that is vegetarian, dairy free, high in protein, and best of all filled with aromatic spices and flavors. Life is full of surprises, I learned this recipe from a French lady friend of mine. She invited me over for an afternoon gathering with friends, and among other snacks she made this croquette, and told me that it is a Lebanese one. To be honest, I am not sure it is Lebanese but what I am sure about is that it is delicious, And when I came back home with the recipe I tried it at home, and everybody liked it.

Ingredients:

  • 300 grams of chick peas
  • 3 onions
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 3 tablespoon of flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 pinch of red spicy pepper
  • 1 teaspoon of cumin
  • 1 pinch of cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon of chopped parsley
  • salt, pepper
  • Bread crumbs
  • frying oil

Preparation:

  • Soak the chick peas in water for 12 hours, after that peel the chick peas, wash and boil until they become tender, then puree them
  • Peel the onion and garlic and cut into small pieces, add the chopped parsley to the onion and garlic and mix to the puree of chick peas
  • Season with salt, pepper, cumin, cinnamon, spicy pepper, the baking powder and the flour, mix all the ingredients again and let it rest in the fridge for one hour
  • Take it from the fridge and take a tablespoon of this mixture, shape it into a ball, repeat until you finish all the mixture
  • Heat the oil, roll the balls into the bread crumbs and fry for about 4 to 5 minutes until golden brown
  • Serve with a dip of yogurt with diced cucumber mixed with dried mint

ET VOILA..C’EST TOUT.

Fatteh

Chickpeas, Pita bread, Yogurt are the three main ingredients of Fatteh. Fatteh is a traditional Lebanese plate, it can be served either as a main dish or a side dish. My son-in-law likes it very much, then again he is a great fan of my cooking :). One time he had it with my daughter at a nice restaurant in Down Town Beirut, among some other orders. Apparently my daughter said that she preferred my Fatteh, and her husband replied :” well, let’s wait and see”. After a few days I prepared it and I had my daughter and her husband for dinner. After eating my daughter was waiting for her husband to react , and after he finishes his plate he said just one word”Yummy! This is Fatteh”.

Ingredients:

  • 2 cans of chick peas
  • 3 medium size pita bread
  • 1 kg Yogurt
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 1 teaspoon salt, 1 teaspoon of cumin
  • a handful of pine seeds
  • 1 teaspoon of butter
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon dried mint, a pinch of ground cinnamon

Preparation:

  • Drain the water of the chickpeas and wash them
  • In a small pan heat the olive oil and fry the crushed garlic with a pinch of salt, for 1 minute
  • Add the chickpeas to the garlic and the cumin and let it boil with 1/2 cup of water in a low heat
  • In the meantime cut the pita bread in small pieces and fry until they become brown in color
  • Separately, fry the pine seeds with butter until golden brown
  • In a serving bowl place the fried bread, the the chickpeas, and lastly the yogurt
  • On the top put the fried pine seeds, sprinkle the dried mint and the cinnamon

ET VOILA..C’EST TOUT.:)

Vegetarian Potato Kibbe (Kibbet Batata)

There is a wide variety of Kibbe recipes in Lebanon, as I mentioned in a previous post Baked Kibbe. It can be made by mixing bulgur with meat, or with pumpkin and even with potato like the one I made today. The bulgur is always the main ingredient of all kinds of Kibbe, it should be fine and brown color. This recipe is vegetarian, which makes it suitable for Lent. The major ingredients are simple, based on bulgur, potato and onion, but it needs a lot to spices and flavors.

Ingredients:

  • 4 potatoes
  • 1 cup of fine brown bulgur
  • 2 tablespoon flour
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon seven spices
  • 1 small onion grated

Ingredients for the filling:

  • 3 large onions
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon 7 spices
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon dried mint
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon dried coriander
  • 1 tablespoon sumac
  • 1/2 teaspoon caraway
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

Preparation:

  • Boil the unpeeled potatoes in a saucepan with salted water, until they becomes tender
  • When the potatoes are cold peel then mash them
  • Wash the bulgur and drain it from the excess water
  • Mix the mashed potatoes with bulgur, the grated onion, the flour, salt and the spices; mix by hand very well until smooth
  • Cut the onion of the filling into fine strips and mix with all the spices
  • Preheat the oven to 180 C
  • Grease an oven pan with little of olive oil until you cover the bottom
  • With wet hands place a thin layer of the potato Kibbe mixture and flatten it
  • Place the filling of onion and cover it with another thin layer of potato Kibbe
  • Wet a knife and cut the Kibbe into a square or diamond pattern
  • Drizzle the remaining of the olive oil on the top
  • Bake for about 30 minutes in the oven, until the top becomes a nice golden color
  • Serve with a green salad for better taste

Nota Bene:

  • You can also shape the potato Kibbe in a small ball; stuff it with the onion and close the ball forming a flat circle. Fry it in a deep frying pan. It is also DELICIOUS.

ET VOILA..C’EST TOUT..:)