Cauliflower Gratin

Cauliflower Gratin

On this occasion I would like to wish all Christians a blessed Ash Monday! Ash Monday, or the first day of Christian lent, marks the beginning of forty days of fasting where Christians should avoid meat, chicken and even fish and they should eat only vegetables and fruits. Tomorrow I will post something related to lent and an applicable dish for the occasion.

Today however, the dish I made is taken from French Cuisine, and is made from cauliflower, white sauce and cheese. While it contains no meats, the milk and cheese may be unsuitable for those strictly following lent.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cauliflower, about 1 kg
  • 80 gs of butter
  • 4 tablespoons of all purpose flour
  • 4 cups of milk
  • salt, dash of nutmeg
  • 1/2 cup of mozarrella cheese and 1/2 cup of emmenthal cheese both shredded

Preparation:

  • Wash the cauliflower and cut it, boil to half cooked in a casserole with salted water, then drain the cauliflower
  • In the meantime prepare the white sauce: put the butter in a pan and melt it, add the flour and mix well with the butter, then slowly pour the milk over, mixing well with a manual beater until the mixture start to thickens
  • Put the fire off and season with salt and freshly grounded nutmeg
  • Preheat the oven to 180C
  • In an oven tray put the cauliflower and cover it with the white sauce and then on top of it put the cheese
  • Put the tray in the oven and bake for about half an hour

ET VOILA .. C’EST TOUT:)

White Beans with Meat and Rice (Fasoulya)

This stew is a traditional Lebanese dish. When my youngest brother went to a boarding school in Lebanon for a few years, they used to serve it to the students with white beans, meat and rice every Wednesday, and as he got homesick sometimes, this dish made him remember his home and made him feel good.

He’s a lot bigger than he used to be then, but even now when he knows I have it for lunch, he gladly invites himself over to eat. But I have to make bigger portions. A lot bigger.

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups of dried white beans
  • 300 gs of beef meat cut into large cubes
  • 5 cloves of garlic
  • 1/2 cup of chopped fresh coriander
  • 1 tablespoon of ground dried coriander
  • 1 teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda
  • Juice of one lemon
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 tablespoon of tomato paste
  • Cooking oil

Preparation:

  • Soak the white beans with the bicarbonate of soda and cover with water, overnight
  • The next day the beans double in volume – drain them form the water and wash them
  • In a casserole put 2 tablespoons of cooking oil and fry the meat then cover it with water, cook for about one hour until the meat is tender (to save time you can use the pressure cooker)
  • In another casserole boil the beans until it is almost tender, then drain again the water
  • Put the beans over the meat, add the tomato paste, salt and pepper, cover with water and let it boil on low heat in the covered casserole
  • Crush the garlic with salt, add the fresh and dried coriander and mix all the ingredients well
  • In a small saucepan, heat some oil and fry the mixture of garlic and coriander then add it to the casserole of beans with meat
  • Finally, you can put the lemon juice
  • Serve this delicious food with cooked rice.

ET VOILA ..C’EST TOUT:)

Lasagna

The first time I ate lasagna was 20 years ago when I was still living in Abu Dhabi, and my friend invited me to her palce to have lasagna for lunch.  I thought at the time that making lasagna was complicated so I asked her for the recipe and, and she explained to me the way she did it. Since then, I have made some modifications to her recipe, and my children just love  lasagna I make. I am glad to share it with you today:)

Ingredients: The meat sauce

  • 200 gs of minced meat
  • 2 large onions
  • 4 red tomatoes
  • 1 tablespoon of tomato paste
  • salt, pepper
  • 2 tablespoon of cooking oil

The white sauce:

  • 100 gs of butter
  • 4 tablespoons of all purpose flour
  • about 4 cups of milk
  • salt, 1/2 teaspoon of ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 cup of shredded emmental cheese, and 1/2 cup of mozzarella

Preparation:

  • Heat the oil in a casserole and fry the onion chopped finely
  • Add the minced meat to the onion and fry until the meat is cooked
  • Cut the red tomatoes in small pieces and add it to the meat with the tomato paste
  • Season with salt and pepper and put the sauce aside

Now prepare the white sauce:

  • In another casserole melt the butter and add the flour, mix well
  • Pour the milk gradually and keep mixing with a whisk
  • When the sauce thickens put the fire off and put the salt and the nutmeg

Finally:

  • In a deep oven tray, put a large tablespoon of white sauce to cover the bottom of the tray
  • Put one layer of lasagna, cover it with meat sauce and then put the white sauce, repeat this until the tray is 3/4 full
  • On the top after the last layer of the white sauce sprinkle the cheese and put in hot oven for about 30 minutes

My son was with me in the kitchen while preparing the lasagna, and he came up with the idea to put the lasagna in a aluminium foil cup cake, he did, and it turn out to be beautiful. I think it is a good idea to make a “cup cake lasagna” if you have a party.

ET VOILA.. C’EST TOUT. BON APPETIT!

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 🙂

Madeleine with Pistachios

I love to have always some desserts ready at home to have them with tea or coffee, especially when I receive friends. Of course, my favorites desserts are home made. The madeleines  are easy and quick to prepare, within half an hour they are ready; this is why I use to make them when I invite my friends over. One good  friend of mine who lives now in another country recently told that she misses the madeleines I made and asked me for the recipe. So I decided to make her happy, and to share this recipe with you today. I hope you will enjoy it as well.

It is recommended that you have the special mold for this shape of madeleine.

Ingredients: for about 14 pieces

  • 2 eggs
  • 70 gs of butter+ one tablespoon soft butter
  • 3/4cup of icing sugar
  • 1 cup of all purpose flour
  • 1and a half teaspoon of baking powder
  • 3 tablespoons of roughly chopped pistachios
  • a pinch of salt

Preparation:

  • Preheat the oven on 200C, and grease the madeleine’s mold with the soft butter
  • In a bowl mix the eggs with the sugar
  • Melt the butter in the microwave and add it to the mixture
  • Add the flour and the baking powder and mix well, and at the end put the pistachios
  • Fill each of the molds with some batter, and bake in the oven for 10 minutes. Don’t let the madeleines be over cooked
  • Remove  from the oven, and let it set for a few minutes in the molds, then remove it and let it cool on a wire rack.

ET VOILA.. C’EST TOUT:)

Spinach and Rice

It’s a very simple meal to prepare, and it pleases all the family. I remember when my son was about 5 years old, he used to hate the spinach and refused to eat it. I was determined to make him eat it, knowing the benefits of the spinach, so I used to show him the “POPEYE” cartoon. Before you knew it, my son wanted to take the spinach directly from the can too!

Ingredients:

  • 500 gs of chopped frozen spinach
  • 200 gs of mined beef
  • 1 onion chopped finely
  • 1 tablespoon of all purpose flour
  • salt and seven spices
  • juice of lemon if desired
  • cooking oil, about 3 tablespoons

Preparation:

  • Heat the cooking oil in a casserole and fry the onion, when it becomes light brown add the meat and fry it until its well cooked
  • Add some salt and seven spices, then add the spinach followed by one cup of water and let it cook on low heat and cover the pot
  • Mix flour with a half cup of water and add it to the pot as soon it starts boiling and cover the pot again
  • Let the spinach simmer on a very low heat, stirring occasionally
  • Adjust the seasoning, and add the lemon juice if you like
  • Serve it with white rice

ET VOILA… C’EST TOUT

Lebanese Omelette

Today, I did not have enough time to make a lunch that takes a lot of preparation. So I decided to make spinach and rice (my son loves it, tune in for the recipe tomorrow!) and lebanese omelette.  My grand mother told me that during the second World War, people in Lebanon suffered from starvation, especially in the mountains because it was difficult to get many ingredients they needed for cooking. Since most people in the countryside had their own farm, this recipe came to be a main dish at that time.

Today, I like to make the omelette as a side dish with a green salad accompanying it.

It is simple and easy….. And delicious, of course.

Ingredients:

  • 3 eggs
  • 1/2 cup of chopped parsley
  • 1 medium onion chopped finely
  • 3 tablespoons of all purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup of water
  • salt, pepper and a pinch of ground cinnamon

Preparation:

  • Mix all the ingredients together very well in a bowl until it becomes like pancake batter, then put the bowl in the fridge for about one hour
  • Afterwards, heat about one liter of cooking oil in a large frying pan
  • Drop about a half cup of batter into the cooking oil fry on both sides until golden brown
  • When done, remove them onto a plate with a large paper napkin to absorb the excess oil

ET VOILA.. C’EST TOUT.

Tuna salad with pasta

I consider salad a free dish. I mean, you can put all kinds of vegetables you like, you can add some fruits to have an exotic salad and you can even put any kind of meat, poultry or fish and have a complete meal. As for the dressing, use your imagination and your “taste” to create all kinds of dressings..

Today I made tuna salad with pasta, which reminds me of the good old times when me and my friends used to play scrabble at night; we would decide to make a salad instead of having a heavy dinner while taking a break from the game. This way, its easier to prepare for the host, and less calories for us at dinner time.

This tuna salad is one of my favourites, because you can prepare it within 20 minutes maximum.

Try it, you will see…

Ingredients:

  • 250 gs of pasta
  • one tomato
  • one green pepper
  • one red capsicum
  • lettuce ( any kind you like )
  • one can of sweet corn
  • one can of tuna

For the dressing:

  • juice of one lemon
  • one tablespoon of mayonnaise
  • salt, pepper
  • a pinch of black pepper
  • olive oil

Preparation:

  • Fill a pot with water, put a tablespoon of salt, and 2 tablespoons of cooking oil and bring the water to boil
  • Add the pasta and respect the cooking time you find on the box
  • In the meantime, wash the vegetables and cut them into very small pieces
  • When the pasta is cooked, drain it from the water, put it in a serving bowl, add the vegetables, and the tuna
  • Mix the ingredients of the dressing together very well and pour it over the salad

ET VOILA.. C’EST TOUT.

Beef Rosto

A lot of people think that this dish is very difficult to do, but in this recipe you will find it simple, and it can be the main course for a dinner party, it is very nice to see and definitely tasteful..

roast beef

Ingredients:

  • 500 gs of ground beef
  • 1/2 teaspoon of mustard
  • 1 tablespoon of bread crumbs
  • 2 eggs slightly beaten
  • 2 tablespoons of bread crumbs mixed with 2 tablespoon of all purpose flour
  • salt and pepper
  • 1/2 cup of pistachios

Preparation:

  • Mix the meat by hand with the salt and pepper, the mustard and the tablespoon of bread crumbs
  • Spread the meat on a piece of wax paper and shape a rectangle
  • Put the pistachios on the meat and roll the meat carefully
  • Now dip the meat in the eggs slightly beaten in a large tray, and then roll the meat in another tray where you put the mixture of bread crumbs and the flour, now roll the meat in the wax paper, close tightly from both sides and put it in the freezer for about half an hour until it becomes firm
  • Heat three tablespoon of frying oil in a casserole and fry the roast beef until it becomes light brown
  • Cover it with water and let it boil. When the water starts boiling cover the casserole and put the fire low, let it simmer for about 30 minutes
  • Remove the meat from the water and let it cool completely
  • Keep the water in the casserole and make the sauce (next step)
  • Dissolve 3 tablespoons of flour in 1/2 cup of water and add it to the water in the casserole, season as desired, and let it boil. Stirring continuously, lower the fire and let it thicken
  • When the meat is cold cut it into thin slices
  • Put the meat in a serving dish with a side of  mashed potatoes and pour the sauce over it
Et Voila. C’est tout.

المشبك

المشبك:

المشبك هو نوع من الحلويات اللبنانية التي غالبا ما نجدها في الاسواق أيام شهر رمضان المبارك أو خلال عيدي البربارة وانتقال السيدة العذراء, ولذا, ولانني أحب أن آكل هذه الحلوى في جميع أوقات السنة وليس فقط وقت المناسبات فلقد تعلمت وصفتها من والدتي, رحمها الله, التي كانت تشترط علينا مساعدتها لكي تحضرها لنا.

ومع أنني حتى اليوم لم أستطع أن أتقن فن صبها في الزيت بطريقة مثالية كما نراها في الاسواق, الا أني متأكدة أن طعمها لذيذ جدا وسوف أشارككم هذه الوصفة.

muchabak

المقادير:

  • • كوبان من الطحين
  • • ملعقة كبيرة من نشاء الذرة مذابة في نصف كوب من الماء الفاتر
  • • ملعقة كبيرة من خميرة البيرة الفورية
  • • رشة ملح صغيرة
  • • ليتر من زيت القلي

طريقة التحضير:

  • • يمزج الطحين مع الملح والخميرة ويضاف الى هذه المقادير النشاء, ثم يضاف الماء الفاتر الى أن تصبح العجينة متوسطة الكثافة (مثل اللبن تقريبا)
  • • توضع العجينة في وعاء, تغطى بمنشفة وتترك في مكان دافىء حوالي الساعة, أو لحين تبدأ فقاعات هواء تظهر على سطحها, وذلك يعني أن حجمها قد تضاعف
  • • توضع العجينة في قنينة بلاستيك لها رأس رفيع, لتسهيل سكبها, أو توضع داخل كيس نايلون , ونحدث ثقبا صغيرا بزاويته
  • • يحمى الزيت في طنجرة على نار متوسطة, ثم تصب العجينة على شكل دوائر وتقلى وحين تنزع عن النار توضع مباشرة في القطر المعد سابقا
  • • يرفع المشبك من القطر ويوضع في صحن التقديم مباشرة

طريقة عمل القطر:

يغلى 4 أكواب من السكر مع كوبين من الماء جيدا حتى يشتد, بعد ذلك يوضع في القطر عصير نصف ليمونة حامض, وحين يرفع عن النار يضاف الى القطر ملعقة كبيرة من ماء الزهر.
وهذه كانت حلوى اليوم أرجو أن تنال اعجابكم.
وألف صحتين..