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   🙂

Baked Mashed Potatoes With Meat

This is a very smooth dish, easy to digest and generally liked by all. Boiled potatoes, mashed  and baked in the oven with cooked minced meat. We enjoy it best when eating with a good salad.

Ingredients:

  • 1 kg potatoes
  • 150 grams minced beef
  • 1 medium onion
  • salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon seven spices
  • a handful of pine seeds (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon grenadine molasses
  • 1 tablespoon corn oil
  • 2 tablespoons soft butter
  • about 1/2 cup bread crumbs

Preparation:

  • Boil the potatoes until tender, peel and mash, if the potato is dry you may add a little of water while mashing it, season with 1 teaspoon of salt
  • Heat the oil in a casserole and fry the onion for two minutes then add the pine seeds (if used) until it turns golden and finally add the meat and fry it until brown, season with 1 teaspoon of salt, seven spices and the molasses (this is a key ingredient for the flavor)
  • Preheat the oven to 180 C
  • Butter a tray, place half of the mashed potatoes in the tray, with a wet hand flatten the surface of potatoes
  • Place the cooked meat, then cover it with the remaining mashed potatoes with wet hand
  • Brush the soft remaining butter on the top of potatoes then sprinkle the bread crumbs
  • Bake in the oven for about 25 minutes until it turns golden color

As for salad, today I mixed chopped cabbage with sliced cucumber and tomatoes. For the dressing I crushed two cloves of garlic with salt, mixed with one lemon juice and extra virgin olive oil… DELICIOUS..

ET VOILA..C’EST TOUT.. 🙂

Wrapped Rice With Meat and Peas

I couldn’t come up with a different name for this recipe. Today, I had in mind to make rice with meat in our traditional family way. But I made a twist to the recipe, to make it more attractive 🙂 Usually I cook the minced beef with rice with a sauce on the side and some roasted almonds, pistachios and pine seeds on the top. So instead of making it as usual, I had the idea to make a wrap out of it.

Ingredients:

  • 150 grams minced beef
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 1 handful of pine seeds
  • 1/2 cup frozen peas
  • 1 cup of long grain rice
  • 1 teaspoon salt for the meat+1 teaspoon salt for the rice
  • 1/2 teaspoon seven spices
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • a dash of black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 5 spring rolls dough
  • 1 tablespoon of melted butter

Preparation:

  • Heat the oil in a pot and fry the onion until golden then add the pine seeds and fry for another 3 minutes
  • Add the meat to the onion and continue frying until brown, season with 1 teaspoon salt, seven spices; then add the peas, reduce the heat, cover the pot and let it cook for about 5 minutes
  • Put the rice over the meat and cover with 2 cups of water. Add the remaining salt, cinnamon and black pepper and let the rice cook slowly until it absorbs all the water
  • Preheat the oven to 180C
  • Brush a small sized bowl with the melted butter and place one sheet of spring roll dough. Fill it with the rice and meat, then fold the dough to cover it and brush the top with butter
  •  Place it facing down on a tray and brush it again with butter
  • Place the tray in the oven for about 7 minutes or until the dough turns a light golden color
  • Serve it hot with yogurt

ET VOILA..C’EST TOUT..

Kibbe With Yogurt (Kibbe Bel Laban)

As I mentioned in a previous post, Kibbe is a traditional Lebanese food made out of ground meat mixed with bulgur and spices. Today were going to make them in a ball shape stuffed with minced meat cooked with onion. These balls can be eaten fried or cooked in yogurt. This is the kind of meal you like to share with your family and your friends. The kibbe meat is the same for all the recipes, the stuffing as well. Also, I have to mention that kibbe can be eaten raw when the sheep’s meat is fresh.

Ingredients: for the kibbe:

  • 1 and 1/2 cup fine brown bulgur
  • 300 grams  beef meat
  • 1 small onion
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon seven spices

Preparation:

  • Wash the bulgur and drain it from water
  • Grate the onion until fine
  • Mix the meat with bulgur and grated onion, add the salt and spices
  • Place in a food processor a little at a time until all the quantity is used
  • Your kibbe is ready place it in the fridge until you prepare the stuffing

Ingredients for the stuffing:

  • 300 grams minced meat
  • 2 onions, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon seven spices
  • a handful of pine seeds (optional, but it enhances the flavor of the stuffing)
  • 1 teaspoon grenadine molasses
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil

Preparation of the stuffing:

  • In a saucepan heat the oil, fry the onion until golden brown
  • Add the meat and fry with the onion for about 10 minutes, then add the pine seeds, season with salt, spices and the molasses
  • Cook for about 10 minutes until the pine seeds turn golden

Stuffing the kibbe:

Your going to need an additional ingredient, a tablespoon of corn flour

  • Dissolve the corn flour in a cup of cold water
  • Make a medium sized ball from the kibbe dough with you wet hand (dip it in water and cornflour), and using your index make a hole in the ball of kibbe, and with the other hand (wet also) turn it around your index until it thins out and the hole becomes wider
  • Place 1 teaspoon of the stuffing inside and close it, turning the ball in your hand to form a nice shape
 Stuffing the Kibbe

Usually I make a big quantity and keep in the freezer; they can last for months uncooked.

These balls can be fried and eaten with yogurt or salad, and it can be cooked with yogurt.

Fried Kibbe

Ingredients for the yogurt cooking:

  • 1 kg of fresh yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon corn flour
  • 4 cloves of garlic, crushed
  • 2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons dried mint
  • 1 tablespoon oil

Preparation for the yogurt: For about 16 pieces of kibbe balls:

  • Dissolve the corn flour with one cup of cold water and add it to the yogurt
  • Place the yogurt in a pot on fire, stirring constantly. When it starts boiling, add the uncooked kibbe balls and reduce the fire, stirring occasionally for about 15 minutes
  • In the meantime, mix the crushed garlic with salt and dried mint
  • Heat the oil in a saucepan and fry the garlic mixture until light golden color, then add it to the yogurt and let it cook on a very low heat for five more minutes
  • Serve it with rice cooked with vermicelli

N.B: 

To make the rice with vermicelli, fry a handful of vermicelli in hot oil in a pot until golden brown. Next, cook it with one cup of rice while adding an extra half cup of water to the normal measure of water to allow the vermicelli to cook.

ET VOILA..C’EST TOUT:)

Meat Balls in Tomato Sauce With Tagliatelle

I am back home today and I asked my son what he would like me to make him after being gone for so long and he answered: “surprise me”. Yes, he made me happy, and I wanted to make something different but I also wanted to be sure that he will like it. In the morning I went grocery shopping and when I came back home I was ready to prepare a favorite meal of his, with a twist. He loves meat balls and I usually make it with onion sauce and rice so in fact, it was a very pleasant surprise for him 🙂

Ingredients for the meat balls:

  • 700 grams minced beef
  • 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 1 clove of garlic crushed
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon seven spices
  • 2 tablespoon breadcrumbs
  • 1 teaspoon mixed dried herbs
  • 1 tablespoon dried basil

Ingredients for the sauce:

  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic crushed
  • 2 red tomatoes, finely diced
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 2 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 box (500grams) tagliatelle
  • 1 tablespoon butter

Preparation:

  • To make the meatballs, mix all the ingredients (for the meatballs) by hand and shape into golf-ball sized balls
  • Heat the olive oil in a pot and fry the meat balls until brown, remove from the pot
  • Fry the onion and the garlic until golden, add the the tomatoes with salt, basil, oregano and tomato paste, cover with 2 cups of water and let it simmer for about ten minutes
  • Add to the tomato sauce the meat balls and let it cook on a low heat for about 20 minutes
  • Cook the tagliatelle pasta as directed on the box, then discard water and place the pasta again in the pot with one tablespoon of butter
  • To serve, place the pasta in a platter and pour over the meatballs with the sauce

ET VOILA..C’EST TOUT.. BON APPETIT 🙂

Stuffed Potatoes With Meat

Potatoes…What can I say. It is healthy, filling, full of energy, and definitely one of my favorites foods. It has many kinds of recipes and ways to cook and enjoy. Boiled, fried, grilled, roasted, gratined, .. in any kind of sauce, and it is always delicious. One of my favorite recipes of potato is this of stuffed ones. When I was young I was amazed by the way my mother used to remove the inside of each one and then fill it with minced meat. Now, as I master this technique I feel so proud that I can make this recipe like my mother.

Ingredients:

  • 1 kilo of medium size potatoes
  • 150 grams minced meat
  • 1 medium onion finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon salt+ 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon seven spices
  • 1 tablespoon of grenadine molasses
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 2 cups frying oil

Preparation:

  • Peel the potatoes then remove the insides with a corer. But, be careful not to open the other side
  • Heat the frying oil and fry the potatoes until golden color. And allow to cool
  • Prepare the stuffing: fry the onion with the meat and season with salt , spices and the molasses
  • Fill the potatoes with the stuffing and place it in a pot with the vegetable oil
  • Cover with about 2 cups of water, add the tomato paste, salt and season as desired
  • Let it boil uncovered, then cover and lower the heat for about 20 minutes, until the potatoes are tender, serve with cooked rice

ET VOILA ..C’EST TOUT.

Roast Beef with Gravy

Previously I made Roast beef using ground meat, and it was stuffed with pistachios. But, today I used chuck beef. To ensure the meat will be tender and moist, I always bake it with the gravy sauce after cooking, in the oven for about 25 minutes. This way the meat will always turn out juicy and succulent. Here is the recipe.

Ingredients:

  • 1000 grams of chuck roast beef
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon seven spices
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • for the gravy: 1 teaspoon salt, 1 teaspoon seven spices, 2 bay leaves, 1 cinnamon stick, 2 cloves, 1 medium potato, 1 carrot
  • 1.5 liters water

Preparation:

  • Rub the meat with the salt and spices
  • Heat the oil in the pressure cooker, then brown the meat all over
  • Cover with the water and add all the gravy ingredients
  • Close the pressure cooker and cook on high heat until it steams
  • After the whistle, lower the heat to medium and leave it to cook for about 40 minutes
  • Remove the meat from the water and let it cool completely
  • Preheat the oven to 180C
  • In the meantime drain the gravy from the spices used and mash the vegetables and add them ton the gravy
  • When the meat is completely cold, slice it thinly and place in a tray
  • Mix 2 tablespoons of flour with a half cup of water and add it to the gravy sauce and pour it over the slices of roast beef in the tray
  • Place the tray in the oven for about 25 minutes, then serve with mashed potatoes and mix boiled vegetables

ET VOILA..C’EST TOUT.

Menu for Special Occasions…

Today I decided to write about what you can serve for a special occasion. Being a mother of four, grandmother of four, I have had the pleasure over the past 30 odd years of entertaining many guests and relatives and it remains a pleasure every time. I love to ponder what recipes would make my guests happy, and always wish that they leave fully satisfied and pleasantly full of good tastes. This particular menu is for my children and grandchildren as they came to have lunch here, so the recipes are aimed to make them happy to eat mama’s cooking. Other occasions I try sophisticated dishes as well as rich deserts. Today my dessert was the Sanniyye bil Tamer ( it means a pastry filled with date stuffing, quite relevant as I am currently in the land of dates! :))

Menu consists of:

Rocca and green vegetable Salad

Stuffed Vine Leaves in oil( warak inab bilzeit)

Stuffed Artichoke hearts

Roast beef with gravy

Potatoe puree

Mixed vegetables

Side dish of rice

Date pastry

RECIPES COMING SOON..ET VOILA..:)

Stuffed Vine Leaves and Lamb Chops

Vine leaves are abundant in Lebanon, and we have a lot of wine products well known internationally. The vine leaves can be stuffed either with minced meat and rice or with rice and vegetable, it can also be eaten raw with our Tabbouleh, instead of lettuce or cabbage.

This meal is very popular also in all the Mediterranean countries, and every country has its own special way of cooking it. Today I prepared it stuffed with minced meat, and cooked it with lamb chops.

Ingredients:

  • 300 grams fresh vine leaves ( if not available you can use the preserved ones)
  • 200 grams minced meat
  • 1 cup short grain rice
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • salt, sweet pepper, dash of cinnamon

Preparation:

  • Blanch the vine leaves in boiling water for 2 minutes to soften then drain. If you are using preserved ones just wash in cold water
  • Prepare the stuffing, fry the meat with the oil until brown, then mix with the washed rice and season with 1 teaspoon of salt, 1/2 teaspoon sweet pepper and the cinnamon
  • Place one vine leaf on a working board face down, put a teaspoon of the stuffing in the center fold the sides and roll it
  • Rub the lamb chops with salt and pepper ( as desired) and place them in the bottom of a large pot
  • Tightly place the rolls over the lamb chops, then place an upside down plate over them to prevent opening while cooking
  • Add water and cover by an inch, season with salt, cook on medium heat for 15 minutes, when it starts boiling lower the heat and cook for 20 minutes more or until the rice is soft
  • Serve with yogurt

ET VOILA …C’EST TOUT…ENJOY:)

Meat Sambousek

Sambousek is a kind of small pie served in our Lebanese Mezze, as well as Baba Gannouj , Hommos, Stuffed Vine Leaves..etc. The ones I prepared today are filled with minced meat. But they can also be filled with cheese, labneh or vegetables. They take only a few steps to make: preparing the dough, cooking the meat and assembling then frying or cooking in the oven. Working with the dough of this Sambousek is fun, so get working 🙂

Ingredients for the dough:

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

Preparation of the dough:

  • Sift the flour with salt, mix it with the oil then add the yeast
  • Add the water, mixing well by hand until you have a soft dough
  • Put in a container, rub it with oil all around and cover with a clean towel, and let it rise for about 2 hours

Ingredients of the filling:

  • 200 grams minced beef
  • 1 large onion thinly sliced
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon seven spices
  • 1 tablespoon grenadine molasses
  • handful of pine seeds
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil

Preparation of the filling:

  • In a saucepan heat the oil and fry the onions until transparent
  • Add the pine seeds and fry for about 2 minutes then add the meat and cook
  • Season with salt , seven spices and the molasses and allow to cool

Assembling of the Sambousek:

  • On a floured surface roll the dough to about 3 mm thick, cut in circles of 6 cm
  • Place 1 teaspoon of the filling in the center and close tightly, then twist the edges or press with a fork
  • To cook them, you can do it one of 2 ways. Deep fry them until they’re a nice golden color and drain on a kitchen towel to absorb the excess of oil. OR bake them on an oiled tray in a preheated oven until lightly golden. You can serve with yogurt or salad.

Makes about 40 pieces

ET VOILA.. C’EST TOUT..