Shish Tawook (Grilled Chicken)

“Shish” means skewer in Turkish and it has been incorporated in the Lebanese language. “Tawook” means chicken and other types of poultry in Turkish, and it has also been integrated in the Lebanese language. It can be found in take away shops as a sandwich, along with french fries, pickles and garlic dip (chicken’s best friend). Or, in a platter in the restaurants. It can be bought raw and ready to go to the oven in all the supermarkets and butcheries, and in a wide variety of flavors: tomato, mayonnaise, garlic…etc. But usually I like to make my own mixture to soak the chicken.

Ingredients:

  • 500 grams chicken fillet
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 4 tablespoons plain yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 teaspoon chili paste
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried coriander
  • 1/2 teaspoon clove
  • 1/2 teaspoon cardamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • dash of black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 small can of mushrooms

Preparation:

  • Cut the chicken into 2 inches square
  • Mix all the remaining ingredients and place the chicken pieces in the marinade with the mushroom and keep in the fridge for about 2 hours
  • Preheat the oven to 180 C
  • Place the chicken pieces with mushroom on a wooden skewers and bake for about 25 minutes turning them once after half the cooking time
  • Enjoy eating with garlic dip and cucumber pickles

ET VOILA… C’EST TOUT 🙂

Mdardra (Rice with Lentils)

I like the sound of the word “Mdardra”, I think it is musical. I remember when I was a little girl, I made up a song for this dish. And every time my mother used to cook it I sang it for her, making up words to a known Lebanese tune. My mother thought it was cute at first and sang along with me, but after the millionth time, she threatened to never cook it again unless I stop! I think I was singing badly or something…

This is a very simple meal in that its made with two main ingredients: rice and lentils, the same ingredients used to make mjaddara. Like most old Lebanese dishes, it originated from the villages where food was scarce. Somehow it remained very popular and is now a common dish to be had in a Lebanese home.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup of lentils
  • 1 cup of rice (long grain)
  • 1 small onion finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon salt + a pinch of salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 onions sliced
  • 1 cup frying oil

Preparation:

  • Place the lentils in a pot, cover with about 5 cups of water and boil until it is half-cooked then discard the water
  • In another pot, heat the olive oil and fry the onion finely chopped until transparent
  • Add the half-cooked lentils to the onion with the rice, salt and cumin; cover with 2 cups of water and let it cook on a very low heat until the rice is cooked and the water absorbed
  • In a saucepan, heat the frying oil to fry the sliced onions until brown. Sprinkle with a pinch of salt for crispiness but be careful not to burn them
  • In a serving plate, place the rice with lentils and add the fried onions on top
  • Enjoy eating with plain yogurt or salad

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:)