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 🙂

Endive Salad With Parmesan Cheese And Cheese Dressing

When I used to live in Abu Dhabi, three friends and I would arrange a Scrabble night once a week . We had decided that the host would only make a salad to avoid adding any extra work and also for us to eat less. Since we used to rotate who would host, it quietly became a competition who would make the most delicious salad, each one of us trying to outdo the other. It was a fun time. Tonight, I remembered those days while playing Words With Friends with my daughter and decided to make one of my more flavorful salads made with endives, parmesan cheese and dressing made out of cheese also.

Ingredients:

  • 3 endives
  • 3 cucumbers
  • 2 tomatoes
  • few leaves of iceberg or lettuce
  • 1 grated carrot
  • few leaves of parsley for decoration
  • 100 grams sliced parmesan cheese

For the dressing:

  • 100 grams cream cheese
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • dash of black pepper

Preparation:

  • Wash all the vegetables, pluck the endives leaves and spread them out in a serving plate
  • In the center place the iceberg leaves
  • Slice the tomatoes an cucumber and put them over the iceberg
  • Top it off with the slices of cheese, the grated carrot and the leaves of parsley
  • Mix well all the dressing ingredients; adjust the seasoning as you like and keep it in a saucer on the side
  • Invite some friends over and play Scrabble 🙂

ET VOILA..C’EST TOUT. BON APPETIT 🙂

Croquettes of Cheese with Salsa Dip

The croquettes of cheese is one of my favorite appetizers. Every time we go out for dinner outside, first thing we check for on the menu is the cheese croquettes to have before the main meal. Believe me, I’ve tries a lot of recipes and the one I am sharing with you today is the more successful one. The good thing about this recipe is that it can be adjusted to your taste. You can use whatever kind of cheese you like and also you can add any kind of flavor like basil, rosemary, thyme, or anything else. Also, It can be baked in the oven or deep fry. Tell me if you like it 🙂

Ingredients:

  • 100 grams shredded cheese of your choice (I used Gruyere and Emmental)
  • 1 1/4 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup yogurt
  • 1 egg
  • pinch of salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon of baking powder
  • 1/4 cup melted butter

For the fried croquettes, the extra ingredients you will need:

  • one egg
  • one cup bread crumbs
  • about one liter frying oil

Mix all the ingredients and let it rest in the fridge for about half an hour. You can now prepare the croquettes by either frying them or baking them.

To fry them:

  • Make a small finger shape from the dough
  • Roll them in a slightly beaten egg, then in bread crumbs and deep fry for about 5 minutes untl they turn golden brown color

To bake them:

  • Preheat the oven for 180C
  • On a floured surface board roll the dough and cut into medium sized circles
  • Place them on a tray and bake for about half an hour until the croquettes turn golden color

These croquettes are delicious when accompanied with this salsa dip:

  • Chop one red tomato and one small onion very finely
  • Add one tablespoon of ketchup, a small teaspoon of salt, 1/2 teaspoon chili paste and a few leaves of chopped parsley

ET VOILA.. C’EST TOUT! 🙂

Fried Zucchini and Eggplant with Egg Free Shakshouka

Today I felt nostalgic for the good old days, when I was young and my grandmother used to make delicious food for me and my siblings. Maybe because it is Mother Day in many countries (we celebrate in Lebanon on the 21st of March with the beginning of spring). I remembered that I didn’t like the fried zucchini so grandmother dipped them in a batter before frying, which I found made it delicious.

Before posting, I did some research on Google to find  out about the meaning of Shakshouka, and I found that this is a very popular dish in a lot of Mediterranean countries. Many dishes of Lebanese Cuisine have a Turkish source. I assume that during the Ottoman occupation of these countries, some of their plates passed around. Most of these countries make the Shakshouka as a main dish with eggs on top, and that in Syria they call it Jaz Maz. But, in my family we have it as a side dish along with the fried zucchini, eggplants and other fried vegetables, sans egg. Whatever the source of this dish is, it will always be associated with nice memories from my childhood.

Ingredients for the Shakshouka:

  • 2 green peppers
  • 4 red tomatoes
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 3 cloves of garlic, crushed
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon dried coriander
  • a pinch of chili pepper (if you like it more spicy, you can put more chili)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

Shakshouka

Preparation:

  • Heat the oil in a saucepan and fry the onion for 2 minutes
  • Dice the green pepper and fry with the onion for 3 extra minutes
  • Peel the tomatoes and dice them very small and add over the green pepper and the onion, reduce the fire and cover the casserole and let it simmer
  • In the meantime mix the garlic with salt, dried coriander and the chili and add it over the tomatoes and green pepper, mix well all the ingredients and let it cook for about 5 minutes
  • Serve it as a side dish with fried zucchini and eggplants

Ingredients of the batter:

  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon salt

Preparation of the batter:

  • Mix all the ingredients together
  • Cut all the vegetable you want to fry: zucchini, eggplant, dip in the batter and deep fry for about 5 minutes until golden
 
Fried zucchini
 

Fried eggplant

ET VOILA..C’EST TOUT.

Vegetable Spring Rolls

If you like Spring Rolls like me, and have been looking for an alternative way to having them other than deep fried without compromising the taste….then this is the post for you!

Ingredients:

  • 1 packet spring rolls wrapper ( about 450 grams)
  • 500 grams shredded cabbage
  • 400 grams bean sprout
  • 2 carrots shredded
  • 1 onion thinly sliced
  • 5 cloves crushed garlic
  • 2 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • dash of sweet pepper
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil

Preparation:

  • Heat the oil and fry the onion with garlic until golden, add the carrots and leave it for about 10 minutes, then add the cabbage and bean sprouts, season with salt pepper and soy sauce
  • Drain these vegetables in a colander over a bowl and leave it until completely cold, keep the liquid because we will use it to make to sauce
  • Place one spring roll wrap and put in the center 1 tablespoon of the vegetable filling ten roll it
  • These spring rolls can be eaten raw with the sauce

For the sauce:

  • Take the liquid from the drained vegetables, add 1 tablespoon sugar, 1 tablespoon corn flour, mix it well then bring to boil
  • When it starts boiling add to the sauce one clove of garlic crushed, and 1 tablespoon crushed peanuts
  • And if you like you can have them deep fried as well, with the sauce you like

ET VOILA… C’EST TOUT… BON APPETIT.

Stuffed Artichoke Hearts

Artichoke is the kind of vegetable you can have fun with.:) Usually we boil it and we strip the leaves one by one and dip it in a mixture of one crushed garlic with a dash of salt, lemon juice and olive oil, it is delicious. Also we can make a stew of artichokes with lamb meat. And like i did it during the family lunch… I stuffed the  artichokes hearts with minced meat, and I assure you that this recipe is healthy, nutritious and very tasty.

Ingredients:

  •  8 whole pieces of artichoke
  • 200 grams minced beef
  • 1 medium onion finely chopped
  • handful of pine seeds
  • 2 medium carrot peeled and cut
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon seven spices
  • juice of one lemon
  • 2 tablespoons of flour
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil

Preparation:

  • Boil the artichokes in salted water until they start to soften. Peel the leaves, cut off the stems, and keep the hearts. Place them in a tray with the carrots
  • Prepare the stuffing by frying in the heated oil the onion, then add the meat and the pine seeds. Season with salt and the seven spices
  • Preheat the oven to 180C
  • Place a generous tablespoon of the filling in the heart of artichoke and press gently down
  • Prepare the sauce to cover them , mix the flour with a cup of water then add it to about one liter of water and pour gently over the stuffed hearts
  • Add the lemon juice, bake in the oven for about 30 minutes until the sauce boils and starts thickening
  • Serve it with cooked rice (if desired)

ET VOILA.. C’EST TOUT..BON APPETIT 🙂

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:)

Garlic Dip

Garlic is one of the main ingredients in our kitchen,  we use it in a variety of recipes. And I think it is Chicken’s best friend. And the garlic dip is a must have  in any fridge especially to make those delicious sandwiches with boiled chicken and garlic dip, topped with pickles and then toasted.. It is simply delicious. But to make it properly you should have a food processor. I remember when I was in the States in 1990 with my husband and children, I wanted to make this garlic dip but didn’t have  a food processor at home, so I made it by hand using the pestle and mortar, and it took me about half an hour or more to finish it. The result was ok, but not as good as the one made with food processor. I also remember the pain I had  in my hand next day:).

Ingredients: 

  • 25-30 cloves of garlic
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice

Preparation:

  • Place the garlic with salt in a food processor, use the metal blade and mix for about 2 minutes, taking care of pushing the sides always to the bottom to mix well
  • Add the oil in thin stream mixing always until it forms a white smooth paste
  • At the end add the lemon juice. You can keep in the fridge for one month

ET VOILA..C’EST TOUT:)

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:)