Stuffed Cabbage (Mehchi Malfouf)

A small girl asked her mother, “Mum where did I come from?” Her mother answered, “I found you in a cabbage”. This little girl believed her mother until she grew up and had her own children. Surprise surprise, it wasn’t a cabbage that brought them! That little girl was me, and as a mother, I was asked her the same question by my children and passed down this old wives’ tale just for laughs.

Every time I prepare any dish with cabbage, I remember this story and say to myself: poor delicious cabbage! how people have mistreated you. Its such a versatile vegetable that can be eaten raw, boiled, steamed, stuffed or in a salad. However, I have yet to find any kids in inside!

Stuffed cabbage is a popular dish among Arab countries, with small differences in preparation. As per usual, I’ll be showing you how to make it like my mother taught me, a la Libanaise.

Ingredients:

  • 1.5 kilo cabbage
  • 200 gs minced meat
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • about 15 clove of garlic peeled
  • 2 cups of rice
  • salt, 7 spices
  • lemon juice
  • dried mint
  • some corn oil

Preparation:

  • Separate the cabbage, leaf by leaf
  • Put it in a casserole of boiling salted water and cook for about 7 minutes, then strain it
  • In a small saucepan, fry the minced meat in some oil
  • Crush the garlic cloves, add to the meat while cooking and season with salt and 7 spices. Turn off the fire after a few minutes, before the meat is well cooked
  • Wash the rice and mix it with the meat. This is now your stuffing for the cabbage
  • Take one leaf of cabbage, open it carefully, place 1 teaspoon of the stuffing in the center and roll it. Repeat this with the rest of the leaves until you finish your stuffing
  • Put some corn oil in a pot and pile the stuffed cabbage inside delicately with the garlic cloves in between rows
  • On the top, place a plate upside down to keep them together while cooking
  • Fill the pot with water until the cabbage is all covered, and not more
  • Cook it on a low heat for about 25 minutes or until you find that rice is tender
  • Add lemon juice for flavor
  • Sprinkle with dried mint

ET VOILA..C’EST TOUT:)

Tabboule

Tabboule is our Lebanese pride, along with hummus. Lebanon is the record holder in the Guinness Book of World Records when 250 of our Lebanese Chef’s made the biggest plate of Tabboule in the whole world. We Lebanese can and will eat tabboule any place, any time: for breakfast, lunch, as a snack or even at dinner. It is THAT Delicious. The best thing about it is that tabboule is made just from vegetables and bulgur, so anybody can enjoy it and it goes well with most anything!

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups of finely  chopped fresh parsley
  •  few leaves of fresh mint chopped with the parsley, or else they will turn black
  • 1 small onion filnely diced
  • 3 red tomatoes, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon of bulgur, fine and dark brown color
  • juice of 2 lemons
  • salt, seven spices, olive oil

Preparation:

  • Wash the chopped parsley with mint and put in a strainer
  • Add the chopped tomatoes to the parsley
  • Mix the chopped onion with a dash of salt and a little seven spices and add it to the mixture of parsley, tomatoes and onion
  • Wash the bulgur and drain it, then add one tablespoon of lemon juice to it
  • Now the Tabboule is ready, season it to your taste with salt, allspice, lemon juice and olive oil
  • Mix it well and put it on a serving plate garnish with lettuce or cabbage

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! 🙂