Nouilles

It is so funny how children have specific opinions even from an early regarding food! When I came to Abu Dhabi,  I discovered that my grandson now insists on eating only spaghetti as his main meal. My daughter was very frustrated and came to me for help. I told her that when my children were young I had the same problem, and that I had difficulty to find a food that pleases them all, this is why I had to make more than one dish everyday. I taught her a trick for feeding a picky eater, which is to feed him what he demands, cooked in a nutritious way. We all like the “gratin foods”, and Nouilles is one of our favorite dishes in the family. And, thank God, the children enjoy it too.

Ingredients:

  • 500 grams of Nouilles pasta, fettuccini or tagliatelli kind
  • boiled chicken
  • 6 cups of milk
  • 100 grams butter
  • 5 tablespoon all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt, 1 teaspoon seven spices
  • pinch of freshly ground nutmeg
  • 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil
  • 1 cup mozzarella grated , 1 cup parmesan grated

Preparation:

  • Boil the Nouilles with one tablespoon of vegetable oil and salted water, and keep it “aldente”, then drain it
  • Prepare the white sauce: in a small pan melt the butter, add the flour and mix properly with the butter until all the flour is well absorbed by the butter, add the milk slowly and whisk constantly until all the milk has been added
  • Boil on a low heat until the mixture start to thickens, but we do not want it very thick, because the pasta needs to absorb the white sauce
  • Season with salt and nutmeg and remove from fire
  • Preheat the oven to 180 C
  • In a tray place half of the pasta
  • Peel the boiled chicken, remove the skin and bones and break into small pieces, rub them with salt and spices
  • Place a layer of the chicken over the pasta, pour half of the white sauce
  • Cover with another layer of pasta and the remaining white sauce, top with the grated cheeses
  • Bake in the oven for about 30 minutes until the top turns a nice golden color, serve with salad of your choice

ET VOILA..C’EST TOUT:) And HAPPY PALM SUNDAY EVERYONE..

Mloukhiye

Today I am in Abu Dhabi at my daughter’s house. She asked me to make Mloukhiye, because she likes the way I make it. Even though I taught her how, she said that mine is different and tastes nicer. She flattered me and I couldn’t refuse her demand:).

I believe there are many ways to cook Mouloukiye in lebanon, and also in other Arab Countries, but my recipe is the traditional family one.

Ingredients:

  • 1 kilo of fresh Mloukhiye (or the frozen one if you don’t find the fresh)finely chopped
  • 250 grams of cube meat
  • 1 bunch of fresh coriander
  • 7 clove of garlic
  • 1 small onion finely chopped
  • salt, seven spices
  • 1 teaspoon dried coriander
  • vegetable oil

Preparation:

  • Fry the meat  in  oil in the pressure cooker until it turns dark brown from all sides
  • Add a teaspoon of salt and another teaspoon of seven spices, cover with water and cook until it is tender, it will take about 15 minutes in the pressure cooker
  • In a pot heat some oil and fry the onion until golden
  • Add the Mloukhiye to the onion and mix for about two minutes
  • Put the cooked meat over the onion and Mloukhyie and put water just to cover, reduce the fire,cover the pot and let it simmer
  • In the meantime wash the fresh coriander and chop into very small pieces, mix it with the crushed garlic and a teaspoon of salt and the dried coriander
  •  Heat 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil in a small saucepan and fry the mixture of garlic and coriander until golden brown
  • Add the coriander to the Moloukhiye pot and cook for more 5 minutes
  • Add the lemon juice and put the fire off

Now that the Mloukhyie is ready we need to serve it.

For serving we need:

  • Toasted pita bread
  • 2 small onion finely chopped
  • Lemon juice or red vinegar (as you desire)
  • Boiled chicken
  • Cooked rice

Serving method:

  • In a plate place the toasted pita bread and break into small pieces
  • Over the bread put the rice, then the Mloukhiye
  • On the top place some pieces of boiled chicken
  • At the end put on tablespoon of the chopped onion with lemon juice or vinegar

ET VOILA..C’EST TOUT.

Couscous With Chicken

The first time I ate couscous was at a newly-wed couple’s house in Abu Dhabi, a Lebanese man married to an Algerian lady. Of course, couscous is originally a Moroccan dish, but there are variations of it in different countries and she had prepared it the Algerian way. This was 25 years ago and at the time I though it must be very difficult to cook. Since then, I’ve learned that there are many ways to prepare this plate; it is a very flexible recipe and the choice of vegetables is completely up to you. It can even be cooked with meat, chicken or seafood. It is a very playful dish and I encourage you to add a bit of your own personality when cooking it.

Today I prepared couscous with chicken, my way. Use this recipe as a guide to finding your own favorite way of making it.

Ingredients:

  • 200 grams of chicken fillet
  • 1 large onion chopped
  • 1 red tomato peeled and diced
  • 1 large carrot sliced (or two medium sized carrots)
  • 1 cup of frozen peas
  • 1 tablespoon of tomato paste
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • 1 teaspoon of dried coriander
  • 1/2 cup of chopped fresh coriander
  • salt, 7 spices
  • 2 tablespoon of corn oil

Preparation:

  • Cut the chicken into medium size cubes
  • Heat the oil in a casserole and fry the chickens until nice golden color then remove the chicken from the casserole
  • In the same oil fry the chopped onion for about 3 minutes
  • Add the carrot and tomato, cover the casserole and leave it for 5 minutes
  • Put the chicken back with the onion, carrot and tomato
  • Season with salt and seven spices as desired
  • Add the tomato paste and add water until it is enough to cover the chicken and vegetables
  • Let it boil on a high fire
  • Now put the peas, reduce the fire and cover the casserole
  • In the meantime heat some oil in a frying pan
  • Mix the crushed garlic with the fresh and dry coriander then fry them for 3 minutes
  • When the vegetables are tender, add the fried garlic with coriander over the vegetables and chicken
  • Prepare the couscous as instructed on the package (it is sometimes different depending on the brand, but usually very simple)
  • To serve put the couscous on a plate, and pour the chicken vegetables over

ET VOILA.. C’EST TOUT 🙂

Chicken Stew with Potato

The traditional Lebanese potato stew is made with meat and tomato sauce. My mother use to cook it the that way, but at some point my father started to get a stomach pain due to the tomato sauce, according to his doctor, and had to stop eating things cooked in it. Since he used to like the potato stew a lot, my mother had to make a few changes to the recipe: she replaced the meat with chicken and the tomato sauce with garlic and coriander. It was an instant hit with me, my brothers and sister. These days, I am making it for my children and they seem to like it too. Try it! 🙂

Ingredients:

  • 500 gs potatoes
  • 500 gs chicken fillet
  • 1 tablespoon ground coriander
  • 3 clove of garlic
  • 1/2 cup fresh coriander chopped
  • salt, seven spices, 2 bay leaves, 1 cinnamon stick
  • one lemon’s worth of juice
  • 1 tablespoon of flour
  • frying oil

Preparation:

  • Boil the chicken in a pot of water, add salt, allspice, cinnamon stick and  bay leaves
  • When the chicken tender, drain from water and put the chicken aside. Keep the water for the stew
  • Cut the potatoes into cubes and fry them until golden
  • Put a little oil in a casserole and put the chicken with potatoes, cover with the water used to boil the chicken
  • Dissolve the flour with 1 cup of cold water and add it to the casserole of chicken and potatoes
  • Crush the garlic with 1/2 teaspoon salt, then mix with the fresh and dried coriander
  • In a small saucepan, fry the mixture of garlic and coriander until the garlic starts taking color
  • Add the garlic to the chicken and potato stew, lower the fire and cover the pot; let the food simmer for 15 minutes
  • Finally put the lemon juice and season with salt and allspice

This dish is best served with rice. You can enhance the flavor of the rice by adding a cup of the water used to boil chicken when cooking the rice.

ET VOILA..C’EST TOUT! 🙂

Chicken with Cream and Vegetables

It is Sunday and the sun is high in the sky, the snow is clear white and shining like crystals under the sunlight. It got me in the mood for white cream, so I decided to get playful with some chicken and vegetables, using what I could find in my fridge, with boiled pasta on the side. It turned out to be very yummy!

Ingredients:

  • 500 gs of fillet chicken
  • 1 onion chopped finely
  • 2 cloves of garlic(optional)
  • 1 green pepper, 1 red capsicum, both cut into fine strips
  • 1 can of mushroom sliced
  • 4 carrots peeled and sliced
  • salt and pepper, cooking oil
  • 250ml of fresh and thick cream

Preparation:

  • Cut the chicken filet into medium size cubes and fry it in a casserole, until light brown
  • Remove the chicken and put aside on a plate, then fry the onion in the same oil, with the garlic if used
  • Add the carrots and fry for few minutes, then the mushroom
  • Put the fried chicken back, season now with the salt and pepper, cover with a small cup of water and let it boil, then cover the casserole and lower the heat and let chicken cook gently with the vegetables
  • When the chicken is tender, put the fresh cream , the green pepper and the capsicum, let it cook for 5 minutes, and it is ready
  • Serve it with cooked pasta

ET VOILA.. C’EST TOUT 🙂