Mixed Vegetables with Boiled Chicken

Today is a very special day for me. My son who is living in the United States came yesterday evening for a 10 day vacation in Lebanon. He came with his friend who loves chicken and vegetables, and since they decided at the last minute – as usual – to eat at home instead of going to a restaurant I was pressed to make something  quick, healthy and yummy at the same time for them. Luckily I had plenty of vegetables in my fridge, and boiled chicken in the freezer, so I whipped up this dish and it turned out to be a delicious meal and they enjoyed it. I hope you will too!

Ingredients:

  • 500 grams boiled chicken, skin and bones removed
  • 3 carrots, sliced
  • 1 onion, cut into wings
  • 2 cloves of garlic, crushed
  • 1 cup of green beans
  • 1/2 cup peas
  • 3 zucchini, sliced
  • 2 red tomatoes, finely diced
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon seven spices
  • 1 tablespoon and a half oregano
  • 2 tablespoons of butter
  • a handful of halved almonds

Preparation:

  • Heat the oil in a pot, fry the onion and garlic for about 3 minutes, add the sliced carrots, cook for three minutes more until nearly tender
  • Add the green beans, cover the pot and let it cook for about 5 minute on low fire
  • Put the tomatoes and the peas, add the salt, pepper and oregano, cover the pot again and let it simmer for about 5 minutes
  • Cover it with 1 cup of water, add the zucchini and let it cook on a very low flame, until the vegetables are soft and the water evaporates
  • In another pot, heat 1 tablespoon of butter and gently heat the boiled chicken until the pieces of chicken start coloring
  • In a saucepan heat the remaining tablespoon of butter and fry the almonds until nice golden color
  • For serving, place the vegetables in a plate, then put the chicken pieces, on the top place the fried almonds, and enjoy eating

ET VOILA..C’EST TOUT 🙂

Grilled Kafta and Potato Salad

Today, the weather is very nice, sunny with a little breeze, just the spring time before the venue of the summer. This is why I decided to make something quick and yummy for lunch today, to have time to enjoy going out on this lovely day. I thought grilled kafta with boiled potato salad and cherry tomato salad would be a perfect combination. In previous posts I cooked the kafta in the oven with potatoes and tomato sauce, and also with tahini. Today is a new way of making the kafta.

Ingredients:

  • 500 grams kafta ( 500 grams minced beef mixed with a small onion finely chopped and 1 cup of chopped parsley and season with 1 teaspoon salt and 1 teaspoon seven spices)
  • 1 tomato, sliced
  • 1 teaspoon corn oil
  • 1 kilo boiled potatoes
  • 4 spring onion, sliced
  • 1  red pepper, finely chopped
  • 1 cup parsley, finely chopped
  • a few cherry tomatoes
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • juice of one lemon
  • 1/2 cup virgin olive oil

Preparation:

  • Preheat the oven to 180 C
  • With a wet hand take a small ball of kafta meat and put it on a wooden skewer, when all the meat is finished place the skewers in a tray, put on the sides the slices of tomato, and teaspoon of corn oil in the tray
  • Bake for about 25 minutes, turning the skewers half way
  • To make the salad, cut the boiled potatoes in cubes, add the chopped parsley, sliced spring onions and the diced red pepper
  • Season with salt, lemon juice and the olive oil and mix well

ET VOILA…C’EST TOUT… BON APPETIT 🙂

Mdardra (Rice with Lentils)

I like the sound of the word “Mdardra”, I think it is musical. I remember when I was a little girl, I made up a song for this dish. And every time my mother used to cook it I sang it for her, making up words to a known Lebanese tune. My mother thought it was cute at first and sang along with me, but after the millionth time, she threatened to never cook it again unless I stop! I think I was singing badly or something…

This is a very simple meal in that its made with two main ingredients: rice and lentils, the same ingredients used to make mjaddara. Like most old Lebanese dishes, it originated from the villages where food was scarce. Somehow it remained very popular and is now a common dish to be had in a Lebanese home.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup of lentils
  • 1 cup of rice (long grain)
  • 1 small onion finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon salt + a pinch of salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 onions sliced
  • 1 cup frying oil

Preparation:

  • Place the lentils in a pot, cover with about 5 cups of water and boil until it is half-cooked then discard the water
  • In another pot, heat the olive oil and fry the onion finely chopped until transparent
  • Add the half-cooked lentils to the onion with the rice, salt and cumin; cover with 2 cups of water and let it cook on a very low heat until the rice is cooked and the water absorbed
  • In a saucepan, heat the frying oil to fry the sliced onions until brown. Sprinkle with a pinch of salt for crispiness but be careful not to burn them
  • In a serving plate, place the rice with lentils and add the fried onions on top
  • Enjoy eating with plain yogurt or salad

ET VOILA..C’EST TOUT!

Yogurt With Meat (Laban Immo)

The literal translation for the word “Laban Immo” is : the milk of his mother. This yogurt cooked in this meal is very silky and smooth almost like the texture of the milk 🙂 . It is cooked with meat, onions and garlic with dried mint to enhance the flavor of the meal.

Ingredients:

  • 1 kilo yogurt
  • 2 tablespoons corn starch
  • 300 grams lamb chunks (you can use beef also if you prefer), 1 teaspoon seven spices
  • 400 grams baby onions, peeled
  • 3 cloves of garlic, crushed
  • 1 tablespoon dried mint
  • 1 tablespoon corn oil + extra teaspoon to fry the garlic
  • 1 teaspoon salt + 1 teaspoon to add to garlic
  • handful of pine seeds

Preparation:

  • In a pot fry the onions until brown, then remove and put aside
  • In the same oil fry the lamb until brown then cover with about 4 cups of water, add 1 teaspoon salt and the spices and let it cook until tender(you can use pressure cooker it will take 20 minutes to be cooked). Drain the meat from water, and keep one cup of the lamb stock
  • In another pot, place the yogurt
  • Mix the corn flour with one cup of the cold meat stock then add it to the yogurt, put the pot on fire and let it boil, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon until it thickens
  • Add the cooked meat and the fried onions
  • In a small saucepan heat the remaining oil and fry the pine seeds, then put aside
  • In the same oil fry the crushed garlic mixed with one teaspoon salt and dried mint, then add it to the yogurt pot
  • Put in a serving plate, garnish the top with fried pine seeds
  • Enjoy eating with plain boiled rice

ET VOILA…C’EST TOUT.

Rice and Chicken (Lebanese Way)

Arabs love this dish! If you have an Arab friend, make this dish when you invite them over; it will guarantee to make them smile 🙂 Every Arab country has their own variation of it and is generally cooked during special occasions. The combination of the rice cooked with chicken stock and the fried nuts spread on the top of the plate gives it a special flavor and texture in your mouth. Some people like it covered in gravy but personally, I like it with yogurt. Try it both ways, tell me which way you prefer 🙂

Ingredients: for boiling the chicken

  • 1 whole chicken (about 1 kilo)
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 teaspoon seven spices
  • 1/2 teaspoon clove
  • few bay leaves
  • 1/2teaspoon whole cardamon
For cooking the rice:
  • 200 grams minced meat
  • 2 cups long grain rice
  • 1/2 teaspoon seven spices
  • 4 cups chicken stock
  • 1 tablespoon corn oil

For the decoration:

  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • handful of each: halved almonds, pine seeds, pistachios, cashew
  • a pinch of ground cinnamon

Preparation:

  • Place the chicken in a large pot, cover with about 2 liters of water, place on fire and let it boil.
  • Skim the white foam. Then put the salt, cinnamon stick, clove, cardamon and seven spices and let it boil until tender (in pressure cooker it will take 15 minutes)
  • When boiled, drain the chicken from water (but keep the stock) and tear the chicken meat from the bones and keep aside
  • In another pot, heat the oil and fry the minced meat until brown, season with salt and seven spices
  • Add the rice and cover with 4 cups of chicken stock, cover the pot and let it simmer on a low fire until the rice is cooked
  • In a saucepan heat the butter and fry the nuts until nice golden, stirring constantly to prevent them from burning then place on a kitchen towel
  • To serve place the rice in a large plate, put the chicken pieces on the top, sprinkle with cinnamon then cover with the fried nuts
  • Enjoy eating with a side salad (and yogurt or gravy, whatever you prefer)

ET VOILA..C’EST TOUT!

Bulgur With Meat (Burgul Bi Dfeen)

We Lebanese like to have a side dish with the stew, usually rice, pasta, potatoes or bulgur. Bulgur is a main ingredient in our cuisine. It could be fine in kibbe and tabboule, or coarse when cooking it with tomato, vegetables or meat. The meal I am making today is called “Burgul Bi Dfeen” in Arabic, which translated means buried in bulgur. Maybe they named it such because after cooking, the meat is buried under the bulgur 🙂

Ingredients:

  • 300 grams meat lamb chunks
  • 500 grams baby onion, peeled
  • 1 cup chickpeas (soaked one night ahead with a dash of bicarbonate of soda)
  • 2 cups coarse bulgur
  • 2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon seven spices
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 2 tablespoon corn oil

Preparation:

  • Heat one tablespoon of oil in a pot and fry the meat until brown and add 1 teaspoon of salt and seven spices before covering it with about 2 liters of water and boiling it until nearly tender
  • In another pot heat, the remaining oil and fry the onion until golden brown, then add the chickpeas and cover with one cup of water; let it cook on a very low flame until tender
  • Add the cooked meat to this pot with the bulgur and cover with about 3 cups of meat stock; season with salt, pepper and cumin and cover the pot to let it simmer on low heat until the water is absorbed
  • Serve it with yogurt on the side

ET VOILA..C’EST TOUT 🙂

Steak With Garlic And Cherry Tomato Salad

Every once in a while I like to have a light dinner, myself and my son. Especially after heavy meals for few days in a row. 🙂 This is why last night,  I decided to make for dinner just a salad and steak. I chosen to make the steak with garlic and lemon, as for the  salad I made it with cherry tomatoes which are in season and has a nice lemony taste.

Ingredients for the steak: 

  • 4 pieces of sirloin steak
  • 2 cloves of garlic, crushed
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 teaspoon corn flour
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 tablespoon corn oil

Preparation:

  • Rub the meat with salt and pepper
  • In a saucepan heat the butter and oil and fry the meat until brown
  • Mix the crushed garlic with lemon and put over the steaks
  • Dissolve the corn flour with a half cup of cold water then add it to the steak, lower the flame and let it simmer until the water evaporates

Ingredients for the salad:

  • 300 grams of cherry tomato
  • 1/2 bunch of parsley
  • 3 or 4 green onions
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

Preparation:

  • Cut the cherry tomatoes in half
  • Slice the green onions
  • Finely chop the parsley
  • Mix in a salad bowl and add the dressing: salt, balsamic vinegar and olive oil mixed together and you salad is ready

ET VOILA..C’EST TOUT..

BON APPETIT  🙂

Stuffed Intestines (Fwaregh)

This is one of the most exquisite traditional Lebanese Meals. In the old days people would use every piece of the sheep – waste not, want not. After making sure they used all the meat for cooking in many different ways, they used the wool, the head, the bones, etc… and even the intestines. They found a way to stuff it and cook it in a DELICIOUS recipe. When my mother used to make it, every body knew that she was making Fwaregh for lunch, because while cooking, this meal has a very special and nice aroma.

The main work consists of cleaning the intestines. It has to be washed in running water several times. The extra fat stocking on the sides shall be removed, keeping the small parts because it helps keep it moist while cooking. After washing (from inside and outside) it should be rubbed with salt and water, then soak in water and white vinegar for an hour (1 cup of vinegar for 4 cups of water). Now it is ready for stuffing and cooking.

Ingredients: (for two whole intestines):

  • 300 grams of minced meat, beef or lamb (I used beef)
  • 2 cups of small grain rice
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon seven spices
  • 1 cup of soaked chick peas ( or 1 cup of pine seeds, as you desire)
  • 1 medium onion, choppped
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 peeled onion
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 1 teaspoon salt

Preparation:

  • Heat the oil in a saucepan and fry the meat for few minutes ( until it changes color only)
  • Wash the rice, mix it with meat, chopped onion, chick peas then add the salt and spices
  • Hold the intestine from the smaller end, then start stuffing, pushing it into the opening of the intestines with your thumb. This way, when you finish stuffing the intestine will be inside out
  • When all the quantity is finished, place them in a large bowl and wash them again, now they are ready to be cooked
  • Place the stuffed intestines in a large pot, cover with a lot of water and boil on a high fire. Remove the white foam formed on the top, add 1 peeled onion, cinnamon stick,salt, 3 bay leaves and cook on a very reduced flame for about 45 minutes, until the intestines are tender
  • Serve it with crushed 2 cloves of garlic mixed with 1/2 teaspoon salt, juice of 2 lemons and few drops of extra virgin olive oil, or with red vinegar.

ET VOILA… C’EST TOUT  🙂

Freekeh With Chicken And Meat

Freekeh is green wheat, roasted, smoked and dried. It is a very nutritious grain which contains a large amount of protein, vitamins and minerals. The use of this green wheat goes for back more than 2000 years ago. It can be used as a side dish like rice or couscous, and can even be mixed with some vegetables in a salad. The recipe I will be showing you uses the green wheat as a main dish. The recipe is from the south of Lebanon, and I learned it from my mother in law. The south of Lebanon is well known for the plantation of the wheat like the Bekaa area in the East of Lebanon. This grain can be found in Gourmet shops or in big supermarkets in foreign countries.

Ingredients:

  • 1 chicken
  • 200 grams beef cubes
  • 3 cups freekeh washed and drained
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon sweet pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon corn oil + another tablespoon of corn oil
  • handful of pine seeds, handful of almonds

Preparation:

  • Fry the beef cubes with oil until brown then cover with water and cook until tender
  • In another pot, boil the chicken then remove the skin and bones and keep the water to cook the freekeh with
  • Heat the oil in a third pot, add the freekeh, season with salt, cinnamon, sweet pepper and cover with 6 cups of chicken stock
  • Cover the pot and let it cook on a very low flame. When the water evaporates, if the freekeh is not tender then add more chicken stock and let it continue to cook
  • Add the meat to the pot and mix it with the freekeh
  • Roast the almonds and pine seeds
  • Serve by placing the freekeh with pieces of the boiled chicken and garnish with the pine seeds and almonds over
  • Decorate with few leaves of parsley (optional) and enjoy your meal with yogurt or a salad

ET VOILA..C’EST TOUT… HOPE YOU’RE HAVING A NICE WEEK END   🙂

Chicken With Spinach

I enjoy getting playful when cooking, more and more since I started this blog. I watch a lot of food shows on television and I  also read cooking magazines, so I’m always trying new recipes while adding a touch of me, mixing and matching with other recipes to make something that suits my taste. I won’t pretend to have created this meal, but I think that everyone makes food in their own way and this way is mine 🙂

Ingredients:

  • 500 grams chicken fillet
  • 3 tablespoons corn oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon black pepper, 1 cinnamon stick
  • 500 grams fresh spinach, chopped
  • 1 can of sliced mushrooms, washed and drained
  • 3 large green onions slices
  • 1 tablespoon butter

For the sauce:

  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • 3 cups milk
  • 1 handful finely chopped fresh spinach
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 dash of freshly ground nutmeg

Preparation:

  • Rub the chicken fillet with salt and black pepper
  • Heat the oil in a saucepan and fry the chicken until brown, cover with one cup of water and add the cinnamon stick; let it cook until tender
  • In another saucepan, melt the butter, fry the green onion for about 4 minutes then add the mushrooms and the spinach with a dash of salt; cover the saucepan and let it simmer on a very low flame for about 10 minutes
  • Prepare the sauce:  melt the butter in a small pot and add the flour, mixing it well
  • Gradually add the milk, whisking constantly until it becomes thick and add salt, nutmeg and finally the finely chopped spinach

  • Serve together in a plate. You can add rice or pasta if you wish, remember to make it your way too 🙂

ET VOILA..C’EST TOUT.. BON APPETIT 🙂