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 ūüôā 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:)

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..:)

Moghrabiyeh

This is a traditional Lebanese dish from our cuisine, one which we like to make in special occasions. The Moghrabiyeh is made of semolina, water and salt. It has a special way of cooking when it is dry. In Lebanon we can find it fresh and the cooking time is less than with the dry version as well as less work. You can find it in Lebanese delicatessen shops. Today I made it for both of my daughters who are coming for lunch as it is a meal you like to share with your loved ones. It’s cooked with both meat and chicken. As for kids we say these are small pasta balls and we can serve it to them with yoghurt. They seem to enjoy it as much as we grown ups do!

Cooking Moghrabiyeh has 3 steps:

-Boiling the chicken

-Preparing the sauce

-Cooking of Moghrabiyeh itself

Ingredients for boiling the chicken:

  • a whole chicken of 1.5 kilograms
  • 1 tablespoon of salt
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 3 whole cardamon seeds
  • 1 teaspoon 7 spices
  • 3 cloves
  • 2 bay leaves

Preparation of the chicken:

  • Wash the chicken and place it in the pressure cooker with about 2 liters of water
  • Place all the spices with it cook for about 15 minutes in the pressure cooker until it is tender
  • Drain the chicken, remove the skin and the bones. Keep the chicken stock because you will need it to cook the Moghrabiyeh
Ingredients for the sauce:
  • 400 grams of lamb cubes ( you can use beef as well if you prefer)
  • 2 cups of chick peas, soaked over night
  • 750 grams of baby onion peeled
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon cumin
  • 1 tablespoon caraway
  • 1 teaspoon 7 spices
  • 4 tablespoons of vegetable oil
  • 3 tablespoons of flour

Preparation of the sauce:

  • Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil and fry the meat, add salt and the seven spices , cover with one liter of water and cook until the meat is tender.( In the pressure cooker it will take about 20 minutes)
  • Remove the meat from the water when cooked and keep the meat stock
  • In a pot heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of the oil and fry the baby onion until nice golden color
  • Add the peas, cover with about 2 cups of the meat stock and cook until the peas are tender, this will take about 15 minutes
  • Place the cooked meat back, add the cumin and caraway, cover and put on a low heat
  • Dissolve the flour with a cup of water and add it to the sauce, stirring from time to time and let it simmer until the sauce thickens
  • Adjust the salt as needed

Ingredients for the Moghrabiyeh:

  • 1 kg of dried Moghrabiyeh
  • 100 grams of butter
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • 1 tablespoon cumin
  • 1 tablespoon caraway

Preparation of the Moghrabiyeh:

  • Boil about 2 liters of water with a pinch of salt
  • Put the fire off and place the Moghrabiyeh in the hot water for 15 minutes, drain and wash with cold water
  • n a pot melt the butter and place the Moghrabiyeh, add the cumin and caraway and mix well
  • Pour 2 cups of the chicken stock over the Moghrabiyeh, check if it is tender, if not add another cup of the chicken stock at a time until tender

Now you have all the ingredients ready. To serve place the Moghrabiyeh on a plate, cover with the pieces of chicken. Place the sauce in a bowl. Mix to eat, you can have yogurt on the side.

ET VOILA..C’EST.. BON APPETIT..

Home Made Shawarma

I think a lot of people are familiar with Shawarma, the one we see in the shops who make these delicious sandwiches, where the meat is fixed into a large skew turning on itself electrically to let the meat cook from all sides. The smell of the added spices gives the meat its appetizing aroma. The only problem is they add a lot of fat to the meat to soften it.

Since my children like Shawarma a lot, and so do I, I learned how to make it at home from my mother years ago. Everytime I prepare it I remember my small son when was three years old, and whenever I used to ask him what he would like to have for dinner he would say”Chamara sandwich”, because at his age he couldn’t pronounce the letters properly. Until now to make a joke¬†out of this story , we still name it chamara. So, enough talking and here is my recipe for a home made chamara, sorry I mean “Shawarma”.

Ingredients:

  • 1 kilo of sirloin steak ( faux fillet)
  • 2 tablespoons of shortening
  • 1 1/2 cup of red vinegar
  • 1 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • juice of one lemon
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon seven spices
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 1 teaspoon of wole cardamon
  • 1 teaspoon of clove
            

Preparation:

  • In a saucepan heat the shortening and fry the steak until they turn into a nice brown color, and place them when fried on a kitchen towel to absorb the excess of shortening
  • Cut the fried steak into fine strips, place them in a tray. Cover them with the oil, vinegar and lemon and put all the spices
  • Cover in aluminium oil and place the tray in the fridge for few hours
  • Preheat the oven to 220 C, place the tray and leave it for 30 minutes with the aluminium foil on, then remove it and leave the tray in the oven for another 10 minutes or until the meat is tender
  • Remove the Shawarma pieces from the tray without all the spices

Now the Shawarma meat is ready. To serve it, cut onions into wings and sprinkle sumac over them, slice tomatoes, wash few leaves of parsley and fresh mint, and some cucumber pickles.

The most important thing to have Shawarma with is the “taratour dip”, which is a mixture of one cup of tahini, and one clove of garlic crushed with a 1/2 teaspoon of salt, and juice of one lemon, to be mixed all together with water until they have the consistency of yogurt.

You can have the Shawarma in pita bread as a sandwich with all the vegetables topped with the taratour dip..And roll it.

ET VOILA..C’EST TOUT..:)

Hummus with Ras Asfour

I believe that everybody is familiar with our traditional plate Hummus (Chick Peas with Tahini).¬†Lebanon entered the Guinness Book of World Records when our Lebanese Chef’s prepared the biggest plate of Hummus ever. However, I don’t think that many of you know what is Ras Asfour, which translated literally means “the head of the bird”. Ironically, it is actually sheep’s meat cut into small sized pieces, nearly as big as a bird’s head, hence the name. Today I made a plate combining hummus with the Ras Asfour meat.

I brought the meat from the butcher in small cuts and I cut it into even smaller pieces. Sheep meat is not lean, so I had to remove some of the fat, but leave enough to keep the meat tender.

Note that you can eat these two separately and each will taste delicious on it’s own.

Ingredients for the Hummus:

  • 2 cups of chick peas
  • 1 teaspoon of baking soda
  • 1 cup of Tahini
  • 3 lemon squeezed, salt
  • 2 clove of crushed garlic

Preparation for the Hummus:

  • Soak the chick peas in a large bowl of water and baking soda, for 12 hours at least.¬†The peas will increase volume after soaking.
  • Drain them from the water, wash thoroughly and boil in salted water. It will take about one hour and a half for the chick peas to be cooked. When you see a white foam forming¬†on the top of the water, remove it and keep boiling
  • When the chick peas are soft, drain from the water again and mash them, you can use whatever you have for this purpose (a food processor, blender, etc)
  • Add the crushed garlic, the salt, the Tahini and the lemon juice and mix well. Adjust the taste of salt and lemon as you desire

Now that the Hummus is ready you can prepare the meat of Ras Asfour.

Ingredients for the Ras Asfour meat:

  • 200 grams of tender sheep meat cut into small size
  • 1 small onion finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon of grenadine of molasses
  • 1¬†tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon seven spices

Preparation:

  • In a small saucepan heat the oil and fry the onion
  • When it becomes golden color add the meat and fry until it turns very dark, add a small cup of water and cover, let it cook on very low heat until the meat is tender
  • When it is done add the salt, seven spices and the grenadine of molasses

Now that you have everything ready, place the chick peas in a plate, On he top put the cooked meat. For decoration and taste, add some fried pine seeds on the top of the meat and some olive oil.

ET VOILA..C’EST TOUT:) BON APPETIT

Kafta with Tahini

About a month ago, I posted the recipe for¬†Kafta with Potatoes.¬†But there is many other ways to cook this lovely meat: it can be grilled on a barbecue, put in a pita bread and cooked in the oven and many other different ways as well. Today I prepared it with Tahini. I remember my grandmother used to cook it for us when we would go over her house for dinner, and I liked it a lot. It’s a less common way to prepare Kafta, but it is very tasty. Try it yourself!

Ingredients:

  • 500 grams of minced meat
  • 1 cup of chopped parsley
  • 1 onion finely chopped
  • 4 potatoes
  • 1 cup of Tahini
  • 3 lemons squeezed
  • salt, seven spices
  • frying oil
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • Some pine seeds

Preparation:

  • Mix the minced meat with chopped parsley and chopped onion in a food processor (or you can take it ready from the butcher if he knows how)
  • Season with 1 small tsp salt and 1/2 tsp seven spices
  • Preheat the oven at 180C, grease a tray, place the Kafta in thin layer and flatten it with a wet hand
  • Put it in the oven for about 10 minutes.¬†In the meantime, peel the potatoes and cut them into thin slices
  • Fry the potatoes until golden
  • Mix the Tahini with one cup of water, the lemon juice and salt; flavor to your taste
  • Take the Kafta from the oven, place the fried potatoes over the meat, and cover them with the Tahini sauce
  • Place in the oven for about 30 minutes until the sauce thickens
  • While waiting for the food in the oven to cook, roast the pine seeds in a sauce pan
  • Serve it with cooked rice and sprinkle the roasted the pine seeds over it

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 ūüôā

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.

Baked Kibbe (Kibbe Bilsaniya)

Kibbe is a famous Lebanese traditional food. It is made out of meat and bulgur with stuffing inside it from minced meat onion and spices. There are many ways to cook it: it can be baked in the oven, or rolled into balls with the stuffing inside it then fried and even cooked with yogurt. All these recipes require the same ingredients to make the Kibbe mixture and stuffing, however there are some variations. For instance, there is a vegetarian form of Kibbe made from pumpkin.

It’s a bit complex to make this dish, so I tried my best to simplify it for today’s post. Don’t be discouraged and feel free to post any questions in the comments if you need some clarification on any point, I’ll answer as soon as I see it. Together, we’re going to make Kibbe like rock stars! ūüėÄ

1.For the Kibbe:

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups of fine brown bulgur
  • 600 grams beef meat
  • 1 onion
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon seven spices

Preparation:

  • Wash the bulgur and drain it from water
  • Grate the onion until very fine
  • Mix the meat with bulgur, add the salt and seven spices with the grated onion
  • Place the mixture in a food processor a bit at a time and keep blending until the mixture becomes creamy and all the meat and bulgur is used

Now your Kibbe is ready, put it in the fridge until you prepare the stuffing.

2.For the Stuffing:

Ingredients:

  • 500 grams minced meat (better fresh not frozen)
  • 3 medium onions finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon seven spices
  • 1/2 cup pine seeds (this is optional, but it is traditionally added and enhances the flavor)
  • 1 tablespoon grenadine molasses
  • 2 tablespoon vegetable oil

Preparation:

  • In a large saucepan, ¬†heat the oil and fry the onion until golden brown
  • Add the meat and fry with the onion for about 15 minutes
  • Now add the pine seeds, season with salt, seven spices and the grenadine molasses
  • Cook for about 10 minutes or until the pine seeds becomes golden color

Let the stuffing cool. Now you have all the ingredients to make the Kibbe in the oven. All you need to do now is assemble them.

3.Putting it all together:

You’re going to need one more additional ingredient:¬†1 tablespoon of corn wheat.

  • Preheat the oven to 200C and butter a baking pan.
  • In a small bowl, mix 1 tablespoon of corn wheat with 1 cup of cold water. Wet your hand in this corn wheat solution when handling the Kibbe.
  • Take enough Kibbe and spread it on the bottom of the pan to make a thin layer. (Remember to keep your hand¬†wet¬†with the corn wheat solution when handling the Kibbe!)
  • Add enough of the stuffing on top of the Kibbe to just cover it.
  • Afterwards, add another thin layer of the Kibbe over the stuffing, the same way you did for the bottom one. With your hand still wet from the corn wheat solution, press gently down on the top layer with the palm of your hand to flatten (not squish) it
  • Divide the tray into four equal parts with a knife (go through each of the layers)
  • With the knife still in hand, lightly make diagonal lines on the top layer to form small diamonds. This adds texture to the dish and also helps it bake properly
  • Spread 1 tablespoon of butter and 2 tablespoons of olive oil on the upper crust. Bake in the oven for about 30 minutes until you see it become a nice brown color
  • Serve it with plain yogurt, or yogurt salad: crush one clove of garlic with a pinch of salt and mix it with yogurt. Peel and dice 5 cucumbers. Mix with¬†1 tablespoon of dried mint.

ET VOILA..C’EST TOUT:)