Rice and Chicken (Lebanese Way)

Arabs love this dish! If you have an Arab friend, make this dish when you invite them over; it will guarantee to make them smile 🙂 Every Arab country has their own variation of it and is generally cooked during special occasions. The combination of the rice cooked with chicken stock and the fried nuts spread on the top of the plate gives it a special flavor and texture in your mouth. Some people like it covered in gravy but personally, I like it with yogurt. Try it both ways, tell me which way you prefer 🙂

Ingredients: for boiling the chicken

  • 1 whole chicken (about 1 kilo)
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 teaspoon seven spices
  • 1/2 teaspoon clove
  • few bay leaves
  • 1/2teaspoon whole cardamon
For cooking the rice:
  • 200 grams minced meat
  • 2 cups long grain rice
  • 1/2 teaspoon seven spices
  • 4 cups chicken stock
  • 1 tablespoon corn oil

For the decoration:

  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • handful of each: halved almonds, pine seeds, pistachios, cashew
  • a pinch of ground cinnamon

Preparation:

  • Place the chicken in a large pot, cover with about 2 liters of water, place on fire and let it boil.
  • Skim the white foam. Then put the salt, cinnamon stick, clove, cardamon and seven spices and let it boil until tender (in pressure cooker it will take 15 minutes)
  • When boiled, drain the chicken from water (but keep the stock) and tear the chicken meat from the bones and keep aside
  • In another pot, heat the oil and fry the minced meat until brown, season with salt and seven spices
  • Add the rice and cover with 4 cups of chicken stock, cover the pot and let it simmer on a low fire until the rice is cooked
  • In a saucepan heat the butter and fry the nuts until nice golden, stirring constantly to prevent them from burning then place on a kitchen towel
  • To serve place the rice in a large plate, put the chicken pieces on the top, sprinkle with cinnamon then cover with the fried nuts
  • Enjoy eating with a side salad (and yogurt or gravy, whatever you prefer)

ET VOILA..C’EST TOUT!

Stuffed Intestines (Fwaregh)

This is one of the most exquisite traditional Lebanese Meals. In the old days people would use every piece of the sheep – waste not, want not. After making sure they used all the meat for cooking in many different ways, they used the wool, the head, the bones, etc… and even the intestines. They found a way to stuff it and cook it in a DELICIOUS recipe. When my mother used to make it, every body knew that she was making Fwaregh for lunch, because while cooking, this meal has a very special and nice aroma.

The main work consists of cleaning the intestines. It has to be washed in running water several times. The extra fat stocking on the sides shall be removed, keeping the small parts because it helps keep it moist while cooking. After washing (from inside and outside) it should be rubbed with salt and water, then soak in water and white vinegar for an hour (1 cup of vinegar for 4 cups of water). Now it is ready for stuffing and cooking.

Ingredients: (for two whole intestines):

  • 300 grams of minced meat, beef or lamb (I used beef)
  • 2 cups of small grain rice
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon seven spices
  • 1 cup of soaked chick peas ( or 1 cup of pine seeds, as you desire)
  • 1 medium onion, choppped
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 peeled onion
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 1 teaspoon salt

Preparation:

  • Heat the oil in a saucepan and fry the meat for few minutes ( until it changes color only)
  • Wash the rice, mix it with meat, chopped onion, chick peas then add the salt and spices
  • Hold the intestine from the smaller end, then start stuffing, pushing it into the opening of the intestines with your thumb. This way, when you finish stuffing the intestine will be inside out
  • When all the quantity is finished, place them in a large bowl and wash them again, now they are ready to be cooked
  • Place the stuffed intestines in a large pot, cover with a lot of water and boil on a high fire. Remove the white foam formed on the top, add 1 peeled onion, cinnamon stick,salt, 3 bay leaves and cook on a very reduced flame for about 45 minutes, until the intestines are tender
  • Serve it with crushed 2 cloves of garlic mixed with 1/2 teaspoon salt, juice of 2 lemons and few drops of extra virgin olive oil, or with red vinegar.

ET VOILA… C’EST TOUT  🙂

Freekeh With Chicken And Meat

Freekeh is green wheat, roasted, smoked and dried. It is a very nutritious grain which contains a large amount of protein, vitamins and minerals. The use of this green wheat goes for back more than 2000 years ago. It can be used as a side dish like rice or couscous, and can even be mixed with some vegetables in a salad. The recipe I will be showing you uses the green wheat as a main dish. The recipe is from the south of Lebanon, and I learned it from my mother in law. The south of Lebanon is well known for the plantation of the wheat like the Bekaa area in the East of Lebanon. This grain can be found in Gourmet shops or in big supermarkets in foreign countries.

Ingredients:

  • 1 chicken
  • 200 grams beef cubes
  • 3 cups freekeh washed and drained
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon sweet pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon corn oil + another tablespoon of corn oil
  • handful of pine seeds, handful of almonds

Preparation:

  • Fry the beef cubes with oil until brown then cover with water and cook until tender
  • In another pot, boil the chicken then remove the skin and bones and keep the water to cook the freekeh with
  • Heat the oil in a third pot, add the freekeh, season with salt, cinnamon, sweet pepper and cover with 6 cups of chicken stock
  • Cover the pot and let it cook on a very low flame. When the water evaporates, if the freekeh is not tender then add more chicken stock and let it continue to cook
  • Add the meat to the pot and mix it with the freekeh
  • Roast the almonds and pine seeds
  • Serve by placing the freekeh with pieces of the boiled chicken and garnish with the pine seeds and almonds over
  • Decorate with few leaves of parsley (optional) and enjoy your meal with yogurt or a salad

ET VOILA..C’EST TOUT… HOPE YOU’RE HAVING A NICE WEEK END   🙂

Wrapped Rice With Meat and Peas

I couldn’t come up with a different name for this recipe. Today, I had in mind to make rice with meat in our traditional family way. But I made a twist to the recipe, to make it more attractive 🙂 Usually I cook the minced beef with rice with a sauce on the side and some roasted almonds, pistachios and pine seeds on the top. So instead of making it as usual, I had the idea to make a wrap out of it.

Ingredients:

  • 150 grams minced beef
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 1 handful of pine seeds
  • 1/2 cup frozen peas
  • 1 cup of long grain rice
  • 1 teaspoon salt for the meat+1 teaspoon salt for the rice
  • 1/2 teaspoon seven spices
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • a dash of black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 5 spring rolls dough
  • 1 tablespoon of melted butter

Preparation:

  • Heat the oil in a pot and fry the onion until golden then add the pine seeds and fry for another 3 minutes
  • Add the meat to the onion and continue frying until brown, season with 1 teaspoon salt, seven spices; then add the peas, reduce the heat, cover the pot and let it cook for about 5 minutes
  • Put the rice over the meat and cover with 2 cups of water. Add the remaining salt, cinnamon and black pepper and let the rice cook slowly until it absorbs all the water
  • Preheat the oven to 180C
  • Brush a small sized bowl with the melted butter and place one sheet of spring roll dough. Fill it with the rice and meat, then fold the dough to cover it and brush the top with butter
  •  Place it facing down on a tray and brush it again with butter
  • Place the tray in the oven for about 7 minutes or until the dough turns a light golden color
  • Serve it hot with yogurt

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:)

Stuffed Artichoke Hearts

Artichoke is the kind of vegetable you can have fun with.:) Usually we boil it and we strip the leaves one by one and dip it in a mixture of one crushed garlic with a dash of salt, lemon juice and olive oil, it is delicious. Also we can make a stew of artichokes with lamb meat. And like i did it during the family lunch… I stuffed the  artichokes hearts with minced meat, and I assure you that this recipe is healthy, nutritious and very tasty.

Ingredients:

  •  8 whole pieces of artichoke
  • 200 grams minced beef
  • 1 medium onion finely chopped
  • handful of pine seeds
  • 2 medium carrot peeled and cut
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon seven spices
  • juice of one lemon
  • 2 tablespoons of flour
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil

Preparation:

  • Boil the artichokes in salted water until they start to soften. Peel the leaves, cut off the stems, and keep the hearts. Place them in a tray with the carrots
  • Prepare the stuffing by frying in the heated oil the onion, then add the meat and the pine seeds. Season with salt and the seven spices
  • Preheat the oven to 180C
  • Place a generous tablespoon of the filling in the heart of artichoke and press gently down
  • Prepare the sauce to cover them , mix the flour with a cup of water then add it to about one liter of water and pour gently over the stuffed hearts
  • Add the lemon juice, bake in the oven for about 30 minutes until the sauce boils and starts thickening
  • Serve it with cooked rice (if desired)

ET VOILA.. C’EST TOUT..BON APPETIT 🙂

Roast Beef with Gravy

Previously I made Roast beef using ground meat, and it was stuffed with pistachios. But, today I used chuck beef. To ensure the meat will be tender and moist, I always bake it with the gravy sauce after cooking, in the oven for about 25 minutes. This way the meat will always turn out juicy and succulent. Here is the recipe.

Ingredients:

  • 1000 grams of chuck roast beef
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon seven spices
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • for the gravy: 1 teaspoon salt, 1 teaspoon seven spices, 2 bay leaves, 1 cinnamon stick, 2 cloves, 1 medium potato, 1 carrot
  • 1.5 liters water

Preparation:

  • Rub the meat with the salt and spices
  • Heat the oil in the pressure cooker, then brown the meat all over
  • Cover with the water and add all the gravy ingredients
  • Close the pressure cooker and cook on high heat until it steams
  • After the whistle, lower the heat to medium and leave it to cook for about 40 minutes
  • Remove the meat from the water and let it cool completely
  • Preheat the oven to 180C
  • In the meantime drain the gravy from the spices used and mash the vegetables and add them ton the gravy
  • When the meat is completely cold, slice it thinly and place in a tray
  • Mix 2 tablespoons of flour with a half cup of water and add it to the gravy sauce and pour it over the slices of roast beef in the tray
  • Place the tray in the oven for about 25 minutes, then serve with mashed potatoes and mix boiled vegetables

ET VOILA..C’EST TOUT.

Menu for Special Occasions…

Today I decided to write about what you can serve for a special occasion. Being a mother of four, grandmother of four, I have had the pleasure over the past 30 odd years of entertaining many guests and relatives and it remains a pleasure every time. I love to ponder what recipes would make my guests happy, and always wish that they leave fully satisfied and pleasantly full of good tastes. This particular menu is for my children and grandchildren as they came to have lunch here, so the recipes are aimed to make them happy to eat mama’s cooking. Other occasions I try sophisticated dishes as well as rich deserts. Today my dessert was the Sanniyye bil Tamer ( it means a pastry filled with date stuffing, quite relevant as I am currently in the land of dates! :))

Menu consists of:

Rocca and green vegetable Salad

Stuffed Vine Leaves in oil( warak inab bilzeit)

Stuffed Artichoke hearts

Roast beef with gravy

Potatoe puree

Mixed vegetables

Side dish of rice

Date pastry

RECIPES COMING SOON..ET VOILA..:)

Fettuccine with Spinach and Chicken

Pasta, spinach and chicken are three ingredients that most of people like. So when I wanted to make something healthy, nutritious and full of vitamins I would cook this gratin and my children always loved it. It is inspired from the Italian cuisine that we love. And, feeling nostalgic for when my children were young, and how I made them eat it telling them a lot of fairy tales and stories, they asked me to cook it for their children to see how they would like it. And believe me, THEY JUST LOVED IT…

Ingredients:

  • 300 grams fettuccine
  • 750 grams fresh spinach, chopped
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 250 grams fresh mushroom, sliced
  • 50 grams butter
  • 1 chicken breast boiled
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 1/4 cup chicken stock
  • 1 1/4 cup cooking fresh cream
  • 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese ( or any other kind of cheese you like)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon seven spices

Preparation:

  • Boil the fettuccine pasta with one tablespoon vegetable oil, drain and pour cold water over it
  • Put the butter and olive oil in a saucepan add the onions, the salt and spices, stir for about 5 minutes
  • Add the sliced mushroom, the spinach and the boiled and shredded chicken, cook for another 5 minutes then remove from fire
  • Mix the fresh cream with the chicken stock well then add it to the mixture of spinach and chicken
  • Preheat the oven to 180 degC
  • Put the cooked fettuccine in a baking dish, cover with the cream-spinach mixture and top with the shredded cheese
  • Cook for about 25 minutes or until the color of the cheese turns golden
Makes about 6 servings

ET VOILA…C’EST TOUT.

Sweet And Sour Fish

Today, my 2 daughters and I went to this lovely “Cafe” in down town Abu Dhabi and shared one of those delicious breakfast they serve, and of course we chose the Lebanese one. It had Labneh, Halloumi cheese, Halawe, Black olives, as well as Man’oushe ( we decided to have it with Kashkawal cheese instead of Za’atar). And we had scrambled eggs as a side order, as well as butter and jam.

So, after this breakfast we decided to have for lunch (for dinner I mean), a light chinese meal. This is why I made the Sweet and Sour Fish.

It will take three steps for cooking: the fish, the vegetables and the sauce:

Ingredients for the fish:

  • 500 grams fish fillet of your choice, cut into bite size
  • 1/2 can beer
  • 1 egg, 1 egg white
  • 4 tablespoon flour
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • salt and pepper
  • oil for deep frying
Preparation of the fish:
  • Mix the beer with 2 tablespoons  flour and the whole egg and some salt and pepper and marinate the fish for 20 minutes
  • After the 20 minutes drain the fish
  • Mix the egg white with soy sauce and the remaining flour, dip the fish into this mixture and deep fry until it’s a nice golden color and put aside

Ingredients for the vegetables mixture:

  • 1 can pineapple chunk (360 grams)
  • 1 medium onion
  • 1 green pepper, 1 red capsicum
  • 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil

Preparation of the vegetables:

  • Cut the onion and the green and red pepper into quarters
  • Drain the pineapple, and keep the juice for the sauce
  • Heat the oil and fry the onion and the vegetables for about 5 minutes and remove from the pan and keep aside

Ingredients for the sauce:

  • 1 cup of fish stock
  • the juice of the pineapple can
  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 4 tablespoons white vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 6 tablespoons ketchup
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • salt and pepper to taste

Preparation of the sauce:

  • Using the same pan you cooked the vegetables in, mix all the sauce ingredients together except the flour and keep on a medium-high neat until it boils
  • Dissolve the flour in 1/2 cup of cold water and add to the mixture, stirring constantly until it thickens

Add the fish and the vegetables to the sauce and simmer for about 5 minutes on very low heat. Serve with noodles or rice.

ET VOILA..C’EST TOUT.