Fattet il kofta … فتة الكفتة

Standard

Ingredients:

  • 2 lbs ground beef
  • 1 cup parsley finely chopped
  • 2 small onion finely diced
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp allspice
  • Salt and pepper
  • 3 cups cooked rice

For the sauce

  • 1 cup tomato sauce
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 tbs dried mint crushed

For the yogurt sauce

  • 1 cup plain yogurt
  • 2 -4 garlic smashed
  • 2 tbs tahini
  • 2 tbs lemon juice
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 pita bread cut into small squares for the bottom

Method:

  1. In a big bowl add the ground beef, spices, parsley, onion, salt and pepper.

Roll the ground beef into fingers as shown in the picture

In a deep sauté pan, add oil and brown the ground beef fingers from all sides for couple of minutes .

2. Add the tomatoes sauce and water and let cook for about 20-30 minutes on a medium heat stove or until sauce thickens.

3. In a big oven tray spread the pita bread and drizzle the 2 tbs of oil on top

4. Preheat oven to 400F.

5. Bake the pita bread on the middle rack of the oven until golden brown. Keep watching the bread because it burns so fast.

6. In a bowl mix in yogurt, garlic, tahini, lemon juice and salt. Set aside

7. In the bottom of a big serving dish, spread the pita bread evenly and drizzle it with the tomato sauce ( you might not use all the tomato sauce, because you don’t want the bread to be very soggy).

8. Spread the rice on top of the pita bread

9. Spread the yogurt on top of the rice

10. Arrange the ground beef kofta on top and sprinkle with toasted pine nuts.

Enjoy!!

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Za’atar twisted bread … خبز الزعتر

Standard

Ingredients:

For the sponge:

  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 tbs fast active dry yeast
  • 2 tbs honey
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 cups Luke warm water

For the dough:

  • 3 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 2 tbs plain yogurt

For filling:

  • 1 cup Za’atar
  • 1/2 cup olive oil mixed together

For egg wash

  • 1 egg yolk
  • Drop of white vinegar
  • 1 tsp water mixed together

Method:

1. For the levant, in a big bowl, mix together the 2 cups of all purpose flour, yeast, honey and water until combined. Cover and let rest for 15 minutes.

2. When sponge is ready, In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook attachment, combine the sponge mixture, 3 cups of all purpose flour, olive oil, salt and yogurt at medium speed until a soft smooth dough forms and the dough pulls away form the sides of the mixing bowl about 5 minutes. (You can do this by hand, as well)

3. cover, and let it rise for 45 minutes or until double in size.

4. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead for 2 minutes. Divide it into two equal parts. Pat out each part into a rough rectangle shape. You can divide the dough into four equal rectangles, if you want to make two loaves of bread.

5. Take one of the rectangles of dough and roll it out into a roughly 24 x 8-inch rectangle. Spread it with 1/3 of the za’atar /olive oil mixture, then roll it up along the longest edge as you would if you were making cinnamon rolls. Repeat the same procedure with the other rectangle of the dough.

6. Take one of the cylinders and roll it on a flat clean working surface, lengthening it with your hands until the cylinder reaches about 34 inches in length. Cut it in half legnthwise and set the two long strips aside. Repeat with the other cylinder.

7. To form the bread, see pictures.

8. Cover with a plastic wrap and set aside to rise for 1 hour or until double in size.

7. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.

8. Lightly brush the bread with the egg wash and bake it in the middle rack of the preheated oven for 25 minutes. Remove it, cover lightly with foil, and bake another 25 minutes. Remove the foil and bake for 5 to 10 minutes more, uncovered, until the exterior of the bread is deeply golden and a thermometer inserted into the bread reads at least 190F.

Enjoy!!

Kibbeh bissinieh … كبة بالصينية

Standard

Ingredients:

  • 2 lbs extra lean ground beef
  • 2 cups of bulgur soaked in water for 20 minutes and drained really well
  • 1 big onion cut into quarters
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 3/4 tsp pepper
  • 3/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tbs marjoram

For filling

  • 2 lbs ground beef
  • 1 big onion diced
  • 3 tbs vegetable oil
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2tsp turmeric
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tbs summac
  • Vegetable oil, samneh (ghee butter) or crisco for brushing the top and the bottom of the kibbeh

Method:

  1. In the food processor add all kibbeh dough ingredients and grind for 2-3 minutes until a fine texture obtained
  2. Place the dough in a big bowl and cover with a plastic wrap
  3. To make the filling, in a sauté pan add the oil and onion, sauté until onion translucent.
  4. Add in the ground beef and the spices, brown until meat is no longer pink and most of the meat water is dried
  5. Turn the heat off and mix in the sumac
  6. Preheat oven to 375F.
  7. Brush a generous amount of oil or samneh (if used) in the bottom of a safe oven baking dish
  8. With your hands, press down half of the kibbeh dough until smooth
  9. Spread the ground beef filling on top and try to press gently with your hands
  10. Spread the rest of the dough on top and press down to smooth it out.
  11. With a sharp knife cut the kibbeh into the shape desired

Make a small hole in the middle.

12. Brush more oil oil or samneh on top of the kibbeh

13. Decoration the kibbeh with almonds or pine-nuts.

14. Bake the kibbeh in the middle rack of the preheated oven for 30-40 minutes

15. After baking let it cool down for about 10 minutes before cutting

Enjoy kibbeh with a squeeze of lemon juice and a side of yogurt cucumber salad.

Stuffed artichokes … الخرشوف او الأرضي شوكة المحشية

Standard

Ingredients:

  • 8 fresh artichokes or 16 frozen
  • 4 cups water
  • 1 tbs sugar
  • Lemon juic of half a lemon

For filling:

  • 2 lbs ground beef
  • 3 tbs vegetable oil
  • 1 big onion or 2 small diced
  • 1 tsp allspice
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 2 big potatoes thinly sliced
  • 2 big potatoes grated for topping
  • Toasted pine nuts and parsley for garnishing (optional)

Method:

1. Clean the fresh artichokes, by Cutting off the top, cutting off the stem to make a flat bottom, removing the outer layer of small, tough leaves from the stem end. Snipping all remaining spiky tips from the outer leaves, pulling open the leaves at the center until you see the spiky, lighter leaves around the heart. Scooping out all these leaves and then with a knife trim of the sharp edges.

2. In a big pot, boil the water, sugar and lemon juice. Add the artichokes into the pot and boil for 5 minutes.Transfer to a colander to drain. Skip the first and second steps if you are using frozen artichokes, because the frozen ones are already cooked and cleaned.

3. In a sauté pan and on a medium high heat stove, add the vegetable oil and the onions, sauté until onions are translucent. Add the ground beef with all the spices. , sauté stirring occasionally, until the meat loses its pink color. Stir in the salt and pepper.

4. In an oven safe baking dish or Pyrex pan, arrange the sliced potatoes and arrange the artichokes on top of the potatoes, fill the artichokes to the rim with the meat mixture. Top each artichokes with a tbs of the grated potatoes.

5. Add the chicken broth to the pan. Cover the pan with aluminum foil and bake for 1 hour for fresh artichokes, 30 minutes for for frozen ones.

6. Remove the foil from the pan, and bake for an additional 10 minutes on the top rack of the oven to obtain a nice golden color.

7. Garnish with toasted pine nuts and chopped parsley and serve with cooked rice.

Cream of mushroom soup …. شوربة كريما المشروم

Standard

Ingredients

  • 2 tbs unsalted butter
  • 2 pounds sliced fresh mushrooms
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • 1 1/2 tbs all-purpose flour
  • 6 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 5 cups chicken broth
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1 pinch salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Method:

  1. Melt butter in a large soup pot over medium-high heat, cook mushrooms in butter with 1 pinch salt until the mushrooms give off their juices, reduce heat to low. Continue to cook, stirring often, until juices evaporate and the mushrooms are golden brown, about 15 minutes. Set aside a few attractive mushroom slices for garnish later, if desired.
  2. Sauté onion with mushrooms and cook until onion is soft and translucent, about 5 more minutes. Stir flour into mushroom mixture and cook, stirring often, for 2 minutes to remove raw flour taste. Tie thyme sprigs into a small bundle with kitchen twine and add to mushroom mixture; add garlic cloves. Pour chicken broth into mushroom mixture. Bring to a simmer and cook for 30 minutes. Remove thyme bundle.

3. Transfer soup to a blender in small batches and puree on high speed until smooth and thick. Or use the immersion blender.

4. Return soup to pot and stir in cream. Season with salt and black pepper and serve in bowls, garnished with reserved mushroom slices and a few thyme leaves.

Orange yogurt cake … كيك البرتقال و اللبن الرائب

Standard

Delicious moist cake loaf, drizzled with orange glaze and decorated with candied oranges.

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 cup plain yogurt
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • zest of two oranges
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 4 tbs freshly squeezed orange juice

For the glaze:

  • 1 cup confectioners’ sugar
  • 2-3 tablespoon freshly squeezed orange juice

For the candied oranges:

  • 1 orange thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup water

Method:

1 Preheat oven 350F. / 180C. Grease and flour a 8.5 inch x 4 inch loaf pan and set aside.

2 In a small bowl combine the flour, baking powder, and salt. Whisk to combine.

3 In the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the whisk attachment combine the yogurt, sugar, eggs, orange zest, orange juice, and vanilla. Whisk to combine. With the mixer on running on low, add in the dry ingredients into just combined. Then pour the vegetable oil into the batter and mix until it’s combined well.

4 Pour batter into loaf pan and bake in preheated oven for about 50 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.

5 To make the candied orange slices, combine the sugar and water in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Heat the mixture until the sugar dissolves. Add the orange slices to the mixture so that they are in a single layer, reduce the heat to medium-low and let simmer about 20 minutes, turning the slices at least once so both sides are candied. Remove from the heat. Let air-dry on a cooling rack (place some paper towels underneath the rack to catch the syrup drips) until ready to garnish.

6 to make the glaze: When the cake is completely cool, combine the confectioners’ sugar and orange juice in a small bowl and whisk to blend until smooth. Adjust the consistency as needed with additional juice or confectioners’ sugar. Drizzle the glaze over the top of the cake and garnish with the candied orange slices. Let stand briefly until the glaze sets. Slice and serve.

Hash brown crusted frittata …. كاسارول البطاطا و البيض

Standard

One of my family favorite dishes for breakfast, made of a layer of hash brown topped with beaten eggs, veggies and cheese and then baked in the oven.

ingredients:

  • 3 cups, shredded frozen hash browns, thawed and drained
  • 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) butter, melted
  • 3 large eggs, beaten
  • 1 cup half-and-half
  • 3/4 cup diced cooked mortadella ( optional)
  • 1/2 cup diced green onions
  • 1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 F.
  2. Gently press the drained hash browns between paper towels to dry them as best as possible. In a 9-inch pie plate, toss the hash browns with the melted butter into the plate. Press them into the bottom and up the sides to form a crust.
  3. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes until golden brown and starting to crisp.
  4. Meanwhile, in a large mixing bowl, combine the remaining ingredients.
  5. When the hash brown crust is ready pour the egg mixture over it and return to the oven.
  6. Lower the oven temperature to 350 degrees F and bake for about 30 minutes until the quiche is light golden brown on top and puffed.

This recipe adapted from Paula Deen.