Baked Mashed Potatoes With Meat

This is a very smooth dish, easy to digest and generally liked by all. Boiled potatoes, mashed  and baked in the oven with cooked minced meat. We enjoy it best when eating with a good salad.

Ingredients:

  • 1 kg potatoes
  • 150 grams minced beef
  • 1 medium onion
  • salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon seven spices
  • a handful of pine seeds (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon grenadine molasses
  • 1 tablespoon corn oil
  • 2 tablespoons soft butter
  • about 1/2 cup bread crumbs

Preparation:

  • Boil the potatoes until tender, peel and mash, if the potato is dry you may add a little of water while mashing it, season with 1 teaspoon of salt
  • Heat the oil in a casserole and fry the onion for two minutes then add the pine seeds (if used) until it turns golden and finally add the meat and fry it until brown, season with 1 teaspoon of salt, seven spices and the molasses (this is a key ingredient for the flavor)
  • Preheat the oven to 180 C
  • Butter a tray, place half of the mashed potatoes in the tray, with a wet hand flatten the surface of potatoes
  • Place the cooked meat, then cover it with the remaining mashed potatoes with wet hand
  • Brush the soft remaining butter on the top of potatoes then sprinkle the bread crumbs
  • Bake in the oven for about 25 minutes until it turns golden color

As for salad, today I mixed chopped cabbage with sliced cucumber and tomatoes. For the dressing I crushed two cloves of garlic with salt, mixed with one lemon juice and extra virgin olive oil… DELICIOUS..

ET VOILA..C’EST TOUT.. 🙂

Fried Zucchini and Eggplant with Egg Free Shakshouka

Today I felt nostalgic for the good old days, when I was young and my grandmother used to make delicious food for me and my siblings. Maybe because it is Mother Day in many countries (we celebrate in Lebanon on the 21st of March with the beginning of spring). I remembered that I didn’t like the fried zucchini so grandmother dipped them in a batter before frying, which I found made it delicious.

Before posting, I did some research on Google to find  out about the meaning of Shakshouka, and I found that this is a very popular dish in a lot of Mediterranean countries. Many dishes of Lebanese Cuisine have a Turkish source. I assume that during the Ottoman occupation of these countries, some of their plates passed around. Most of these countries make the Shakshouka as a main dish with eggs on top, and that in Syria they call it Jaz Maz. But, in my family we have it as a side dish along with the fried zucchini, eggplants and other fried vegetables, sans egg. Whatever the source of this dish is, it will always be associated with nice memories from my childhood.

Ingredients for the Shakshouka:

  • 2 green peppers
  • 4 red tomatoes
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 3 cloves of garlic, crushed
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon dried coriander
  • a pinch of chili pepper (if you like it more spicy, you can put more chili)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

Shakshouka

Preparation:

  • Heat the oil in a saucepan and fry the onion for 2 minutes
  • Dice the green pepper and fry with the onion for 3 extra minutes
  • Peel the tomatoes and dice them very small and add over the green pepper and the onion, reduce the fire and cover the casserole and let it simmer
  • In the meantime mix the garlic with salt, dried coriander and the chili and add it over the tomatoes and green pepper, mix well all the ingredients and let it cook for about 5 minutes
  • Serve it as a side dish with fried zucchini and eggplants

Ingredients of the batter:

  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon salt

Preparation of the batter:

  • Mix all the ingredients together
  • Cut all the vegetable you want to fry: zucchini, eggplant, dip in the batter and deep fry for about 5 minutes until golden
 
Fried zucchini
 

Fried eggplant

ET VOILA..C’EST TOUT.

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..

Man’oushe

The most famous Lebanese breakfast is the Man’oushe and is considered the Lebanese version of pizza. It is made out of dough, traditionally topped with Zaatar mixed with olive oil or with cheese. Zaatar is made out fresh thyme, washed, dried and grounded, then mixed with sumac, sesame and salt. In Beirut, you can find a Man’oushe shop on every street corner. It is the perfect breakfast for anybody who doesn’t have time to prepare a decent meal during a busy day; they can grab a Man’oushe from any bakery nearby.

Ingredients:

  • 3cups flour
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon instant dried yeast
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup of Zaatar mixed with 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup shredded cheese of your choice ( I used Gruyere)

Preparation:

  • To make the dough, mix the flour with salt, oil, dried yeast and water in a bowl until you have a soft dough; let it rest covered with a towel to rise for about 1 hour
  • Preheat the oven to 200C
  • Roll the dough into circles of about 1/4 inch thickness (the size of the circle is totally up to you) and top with Zaatar or cheese; bake for about 15 minutes and serve hot

Try it and tell me which one you prefer, the Zaatar or cheese? Personally I cannot decide which is tastier, they are both tasty 🙂

ET VOILA..C’EST TOUT..BON APPETIT! 🙂

Meat Balls in Tomato Sauce With Tagliatelle

I am back home today and I asked my son what he would like me to make him after being gone for so long and he answered: “surprise me”. Yes, he made me happy, and I wanted to make something different but I also wanted to be sure that he will like it. In the morning I went grocery shopping and when I came back home I was ready to prepare a favorite meal of his, with a twist. He loves meat balls and I usually make it with onion sauce and rice so in fact, it was a very pleasant surprise for him 🙂

Ingredients for the meat balls:

  • 700 grams minced beef
  • 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 1 clove of garlic crushed
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon seven spices
  • 2 tablespoon breadcrumbs
  • 1 teaspoon mixed dried herbs
  • 1 tablespoon dried basil

Ingredients for the sauce:

  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic crushed
  • 2 red tomatoes, finely diced
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 2 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 box (500grams) tagliatelle
  • 1 tablespoon butter

Preparation:

  • To make the meatballs, mix all the ingredients (for the meatballs) by hand and shape into golf-ball sized balls
  • Heat the olive oil in a pot and fry the meat balls until brown, remove from the pot
  • Fry the onion and the garlic until golden, add the the tomatoes with salt, basil, oregano and tomato paste, cover with 2 cups of water and let it simmer for about ten minutes
  • Add to the tomato sauce the meat balls and let it cook on a low heat for about 20 minutes
  • Cook the tagliatelle pasta as directed on the box, then discard water and place the pasta again in the pot with one tablespoon of butter
  • To serve, place the pasta in a platter and pour over the meatballs with the sauce

ET VOILA..C’EST TOUT.. BON APPETIT 🙂

Vegetable Spring Rolls

If you like Spring Rolls like me, and have been looking for an alternative way to having them other than deep fried without compromising the taste….then this is the post for you!

Ingredients:

  • 1 packet spring rolls wrapper ( about 450 grams)
  • 500 grams shredded cabbage
  • 400 grams bean sprout
  • 2 carrots shredded
  • 1 onion thinly sliced
  • 5 cloves crushed garlic
  • 2 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • dash of sweet pepper
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil

Preparation:

  • Heat the oil and fry the onion with garlic until golden, add the carrots and leave it for about 10 minutes, then add the cabbage and bean sprouts, season with salt pepper and soy sauce
  • Drain these vegetables in a colander over a bowl and leave it until completely cold, keep the liquid because we will use it to make to sauce
  • Place one spring roll wrap and put in the center 1 tablespoon of the vegetable filling ten roll it
  • These spring rolls can be eaten raw with the sauce

For the sauce:

  • Take the liquid from the drained vegetables, add 1 tablespoon sugar, 1 tablespoon corn flour, mix it well then bring to boil
  • When it starts boiling add to the sauce one clove of garlic crushed, and 1 tablespoon crushed peanuts
  • And if you like you can have them deep fried as well, with the sauce you like

ET VOILA… C’EST TOUT… BON APPETIT.

Stuffed Vine Leaves in Oil ( Warak Inab Bilzeit)

This is a vegetarian recipe, and I must say that Stuffed Vine leaves in Olive Oil is an essential dish from our rich Lebanese Mezze. It is so delicious and light that you can easily eat a small plate alone before having your main meal. Last week when I brought a large quantity of fresh vine leaves to make them stuffed with meat and cooked with lamb cutlets, I  was left with a lot. So I put the remaining in the freezer, where they can usually last up to six months. When we had the family lunch I took a pile from the vine leaves and made them the vegetarian way. And believe me my children made them disappear within just few minutes.

Ingredients:

  • 100 grams of vine leaves, blanched and ready to cook ( you can use the preserved ones too)
  • 1/2 cup of short grain rice
  • 2 tablespoons of parsley, finely chopped
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 1 medium red tomato, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon seven spices
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil+ one extra tablespoon for cooking
  • your choice of thinly sliced vegetable, such as onion, tomato, carrot or even potato (I used sliced onions)

Preparation:

  • Prepare the stuffing by mixing the washed rice with the parsley, onion, tomato, salt, spices lemon juice and the olive oil well
  • Place a vine leave face down and stuff it with one teaspoon of the mixture of rice for filling in the center, fold the two sides toward the center then roll it in a cigar shape
  • When you finish all the quantity of the vine leaves and stuffing, prepare the pot, place the tablespoon of olive oil in the bottom of the pot, cover the base of the pot with your choice of sliced vegetable, place all the stuffed vine leaves in the pot
  • Pour water to cover the vine leaves by about one inch, place a plate upside down over them to prevent the vine leaves from opening during cooking. Adjust the salt and lemon as desired
  • Cook on a medium heat and when it starts boiling reduce the fire and let it cook gently for about 25 minutes until the rice is cooked and tender
  • Turn upside down on a plate and it’s ready to serve

ET VOILA C’EST TOUT… BON APPETIT:)

Swiss Chard Moutabbal

I posted this recipe previously in Arabic, but today I “re-posted” it in English due to popular demand. Whenever I made Stuffed Swiss chard or Adas bi Hamod, I would keep the stalks and make them this way.

Ingredients

  • 1 bunch Swiss chard stalks
  • 2 small garlic cloves, crushed
  • 4 tablespoons Tahini
  • Juice of 1 lemon

Preparation

  • Wash the stems removing any bad ones, wash and chop into 1inch pieces, place in the pot covered with water with some salt and boil
  • When tender, strain and gently crush them with a pestle and mortar
  • Add the garlic and the lemon juice mixing well together
  • Add the above mixture and the tahini to the stems and mix well
  • Put in a serving plate and top with some extra virgin olive oil. Serve with pita bread

ET VOILA… C’EST TOUT… BON APPETIT:)

Mshabak (Sweet pastry)

Mshabak  is a Lebanese sweet mainly found  during the Holy month of Ramadan or during All Saint’s day or the Virgin Mary’ day. I love to eat this sweet even on regular days and that is why I learnt the recipe from my mother, God rest her soul, who used to make us help her with these sweets we loved so much.

Until today I am still unable to master the shapes they are found in the shops, I am sure this recipe I am sharing with you is just as delicious.

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon cornflour dissolved in a half cup of  water
  • 1 tablespoon instant yeast
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 liter cooking oil


Preparation:

  • Sift the flour with the salt then mix with yeast and cornflour and water until the mixture is as loose as yoghurt
  • Place in a bowl and cover with a tea towel in a warm place for a while till it rises
  • Pour the mixture in a plastic bottle with a narrow dispenser for easier pouring into the oil, or into a plastic bag and cut a corner off
  • Heat the oil in a pot on medium fire, pour the mixture in  circular shapes and fry till golden
  • remove from the oil and place directly into the already prepared sugar syrup
  • Remove from the syrup and place directly into a serving plate

Sugar Syrup Preparation:

  • Boil 4 cups of sugar with 2 cups of water until it starts to thicken then add juice of half a lemon, remove from fire and add 1 tablespoon of Blossom water
This was today’s sweet recipe, I hope you enjoy it!
ET VOILA.. C’EST TOUT. BON APPETIT 🙂

Stuffed Swiss Chard (Silik Mehchi BelZeit)

In previous posts I used the Swiss Chard to make the soup with lentils, and Mutabbal made out of Swiss chard stalk. But today I prepared the traditional stuffed Swiss chard, which is an alternative to stuffed vine leaves. It  is a vegetarian recipe cooked with extra virgin olive oil. I remember when I was young I used to say to myself that the stuffing looks like tabboule with chick peas, but made with rice instead of bulgur.  🙂

Ingredients:

  • 2 kilos of Swiss chard
  • 2 cups Egyptian rice
  • 1 cup of chick peas, soaked overnight
  • 1/2 cup chopped parsley
  • 3 tomatoes finely diced
  • 2 medium onions finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon seven spices
  • juice of 2 lemons
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

Preparation:

  • Remove the Stalk of  the Swiss chard, wash and drain
  • Boil about 3 liters of water in a pot, add some salt
  • Blanch a few leaves of Swiss chard at a time in the boiling water for about a minute, remove and place in cold water directly (boiling of the Swiss chard is delicate, you should be careful)
  • Prepare the stuffing by mixing the washed rice with parsley, chick peas, tomatoes, onions, season with salt, seven spices, add half of lemon juice and one tablespoon of olive oil
  • On a working board, place one leaf of the boiled Swiss chard, place in the center 1 teaspoon of the stuffing and roll it
  • When you finish all the leaves, prepare a pot to cook them
  • Pour 2 tablespoon of olive oil in the bottom of the pot, then thinly slice one onion, one tomato and one potato and place them in the bottom of the pot. Place the stuffed Swiss chard in layers over the slices of the potato, onion and tomato
  • When you finish piling them cover with water by about 1/2 inch, add salt, the remaining lemon juice, then place an upside down plate to hold them down during cooking
  • Put the pot on fire and let it boil, reduce then the fire, cover the pot and let it simmer for about 15 minutes or until the rice is tender
  • Allow to cool, then carefully turn the pot upside down on a serving plate.

ET VOILA..C’EST TOUT.. BON APPETIT:)