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.

Tuna and Egg Sandwich

This is a sandwich that you can prepare and enjoy eating within 15 minutes. So, when I have friends over and we’re hungry I usually make this  sandwich, because the ingredients  are always available in the kitchen and there is no need to buy any groceries…

And, I usually make this sandwich when I feel lazy 🙂

To make 3 sandwiches you need:

Ingredients:

  • 9 slices of square bread (any kind you like)
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tablespoons of mayonnaise
  • 1 can tuna
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 medium tomato sliced
  • three leaves of lettuce
  • some potato chips ( any flavor you like)

Preparation:

  • Boil the eggs in salted water for about 11 minutes to become hard
  • In the meantime heat the slices of bread slightly in a toaster, but don’t let them get hard
  • Add the lemon juice to the tuna
  • Cover one layer of toast with mayonnaise, place the tuna over the mayo and put some lettuce
  • Place another slice of bread over the tuna, cover it with mayo and place a layer of sliced boiled eggs, and put over the eggs slices of tomatoes
  • Cover with another slice of bread, cut it diagonally, place in a plate  with the chips of your choice, and enjoy eating. Bon Appetit.

ET VOILA..C’EST TOUT.

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.

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..:)

Moussaka and Versatile Blog Award

The first time I taste this Greek plate was in a nice restaurant in Cyprus, where I spend the summer 25 years ago. I loved it, and the moment I came back home when I still have the taste in my mouth I tried to make it. Since me and my children love the “gratin food” with cheese melting with white sauce, we all loved it. Today I felt nostalgic about Greece and her lovely food, which is, with many dishes, is similar to our Lebanese Cuisine. So, I prepare the ingredients, potatoes, eggplant, tomatoes, minced meat, went to the kitchen and prepare it. Maybe the recipe is not the traditional Greek way, but I assure you it is delicious.

Ingredients:

  • 1 large eggplant or 2 medium size, about 500 grams
  • 5 potatoes, about 500 grams
  • 200 grams minced beef
  • 5 tomatoes
  • 1 onion finely chopped
  • 2 clove of garlic crushed
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon seven spices
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil

Ingredients for the white sauce:

  • 100 grams butter
  • 5 tablespoons all purpose flour
  • 5 cups mils
  • 2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon of freshly ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 cup of grated Gruyere cheese (or any other kind you like)

Preparation:

  • Heat the oven to 180C
  • Peel and slice the eggplant and the potatoes
  • Put the olive oil in a baking tray, place the eggplant an the potatoes in the tray and place the tray in the oven for 40 minutes, turning the vegetables in the midway of cooking. I use to fry them but I found that this way it is less oily
  • In the meantime prepare the meat sauce, heat the vegetable oil in a small pot, fry the onion until nice golden color, add the meat to the onion and cook gently, add the crushed garlic, season with salt and seven spices
  • Peel and dice 1 tomato and add it to the mixture of onion and meat, let it cook gently on low fire, then add to tomato paste with 1/2 cup of water, cover and let it simmer on a very low fire
  • Prepare now the white sauce: in another small pot heat the butter, add the flour and mix well together, add slowly the milk stirring constantly with a whisk until it thickens, season with 1 teaspoon of salt and the nutmeg
  • In an tray place one layer of eggplant, then potatoes
  • Slice the remaining tomatoes and place one layer of tomatoes over the potatoes
  • Place now half of the meat mixture, then half of the white sauce
  • Repeat the process with one layer of eggplant, one layer of potatoes, tomatoes, the meat ssauce and the white sauce, and at the end put the grated cheese
  • Bake in the oven for about 25 minutes, until the cheese turn nice golden.

ET VOILA..C’EST TOUT 🙂

Also, I had another pleasant surprise few days ago being nominated for the Versatile Blogger Award by dutchgoesitalian; it was especially nice for me because I admire her blog a lot! Please check it out.

Mjaddara (Lebanese Way)

For a long time, Mjaddara has been considered food for poor people because the ingredients are very cheap and easy to get. Lentils, onion, rice and some spices. However, nowadays  due to increased interest in healthy food containing proteins, iron, and vitamins we find Mjaddara being increasingly served at lunch or dinner parties. Did I mention that it is also one of our many Lebanese mezze dishes? Yes, it is. We can have it as a side dish, and even as a main dish. So here is the recipe I learned from my mother 🙂

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups of lentil of broad white lentils
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons Egyptian rice ( small grains)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon seven spices
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

Preparation:

  • Boil the lentils in 2 litre of salted water, it will take about 30 minutes. Then drain it from water
  • In a pot heat the olive oil and fry the onion until light golden color
  • Wash the rice and add it to the onion with one cup of water, leave it ten minutes on a very low heat, until the rice is half cooked
  • In the meantime, put the cooked lentils in a food processor and puree them
  • Add the puree of lentils to the onion and rice, if you find the mixture is too thick, add a little water
  • Season with salt, seven spices and cumin, stirring always the lentils until the rice is well cooked
  • Pour the Mjaddara on a plate and leave until it is completely cold and set
  • Serve it with salad and pickles.

Sometimes I may boil excess lentils and after they are well cooked I’ll put the remaining in the freezer until I need them again.

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 🙂

Vegetable Stew

Most children don’t like vegetables, especially zucchini and eggplant. They prefer to eat chicken nuggets, hamburger or anything else that can be found at a fast food restaurant. Even my siblings and I didn’t like those kinds of vegetables when we were young . My mother used to cook vegetables in this kind of stew with some meat to make us eat them (or else we’d be in trouble). It’s funny how we become our mothers… I too used this same recipe on my children. May it be as effective on your children as well:)

By the way, for those of you who can’t find the Lebanese Seven Spices ready mixed, here is a very useful guide to making it yourself.

Ingredients:

  • 200 grams lean beef cut into cubes
  • 2 potatoes cut into cubes
  • 1 large carrot cut into slices
  • 2 zucchini cut into slices
  • 1 large eggplant cut into cubes
  • 1 onion chopped
  • 2 red tomatoes chopped
  • 3 clove of garlic crushed
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • salt, seven spices, 1 tablespoon of dried coriander
  • cooking oil

Preparation:

  • In a pressure cooker, fry the meat with a little oil
  • When the meat is cooked, cover with water add one teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon seven spices cook with the pressure cooker closed for 20 minutes
  • In the meantime, heat some oil in a pot and fry the the onion for 2 minutes then add the garlic and stir together for about a minute
  • Add the chopped tomatoes, cover the pot, lower the heat and leave it for 3 minutes
  • Remove the cooked meat from the pressure cooker and keep the water of the meat
  • Place the meat over the tomatoes, onion and garlic mixture
  • Add the carrot first for 4 minutes then the potatoes
  • Cover with the water used to cook the meat and add the tomato paste
  • Now add the zucchini then the eggplant after a couple of minutes
  • Season with salt, seven spices and the dried coriander
  • Lower the heat, cover the pot and let it cook slowly for about 20 minutes or until the carrot is tender
  • Serve it with cooked rice and green salad on the side

ET VOILA..C’EST TOUT 🙂

Eggplant Bolognese Bake

This recipe is a variation of an Italian classic. If you’re on the SCD (Specific Carbohydrate Diet) and have been craving pasta then this recipe will definitely hit all the right spots.

Ingredients:

  • 1 medium onion finely diced
  • 1 garlic clove crushed
  • 3 large tomatoes
  • 100gs minced beef
  • 1 large eggplant
  • 5 tbsp olive oil
  • 50 gs of emmenthal and parmesan ( or your choice of cheese)
  • 1 tbsp dried provence herbs
  • salt and pepper

Preparation:

  • Peel the tomatoes and place in a blender with a splash of water, blend until you have a nice frothy juice
  • Fry the onion in 1 tbsp of oil until softened
  •  add the garlic clove and the minced beef
  • Keep on medium high heat until cooked through
  • Add the blended tomatoes and stir
  • Put now salt, pepper and provence herbs
  • Bring to boil then lower the heat and simmer gently for about 20mins
  • Meanwhile peel and cut the eggplants into 5mm thick long slices
  • Brush the eggplants with a little olive oil and place on a hot griddle pan, cook for 5-7 mins until browned and cooked through
  • You are ready now to assemble the dish
  • Start by lining a small baking dish with the cooked eggplant, season then spoon over some of the bolognese sauce
  • Add a little grated parmesan
  • Place another layer of eggplants and repeat the process until you finish the eggplants and sauce
  • Top with the emmenthal cheese and remaining parmesan
  • Bake in the oven for about 20 mins, until the top is golden brown and bubbling

ET VOILA.. C’EST TOUT!