Turkish Gözleme.. المطبق التركي باللحمة و الخضرة

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Gözleme is a traditional savory Turkish flatbread,  made of hand-rolled  dough that are filled with various toppings, sealed, and cooked over a griddle. The name derives from the Turkish word göz, meaning “compartment”, in reference to the pocket of dough.
Ingredients:
For the dough:

  •  2 1/4 cup all purpose flour
  •  1/2 tsp salt
  •  1/2 cup plain yogurt room temperature 
  • 1/2 cup warm water

For Filling

  •  1 tbs vegetable oil
  • 1 small onion chopped
  •  1/2 lb ground beef
  •  1 tsp ground cinnamon 
  •  1/2 tsp turmeric 
  • 1 tsp crushed red pepper شطة مجروشة
  •  2 tsp ground cumin
  • salt and pepper to taste
  •  1/2 cup green bell pepper chopped
  •  1/2 red bell pepper chopped
  •  1/2 yellow bell pepper chopped
  • 1/2 cup fresh parsley chopped
  • 1/2 cup feta cheese crumbled
  • 1 medium tomato seeded and chopped
  •  lemon wedges and olives to serve

Method:
For the dough:

  1.  In a large bowl combine the flour and salt. Make a well in the center and stir in the yogurt and water. Continue mixing with a spoon until everything is well combined. If the dough is too dry adjust by adding a bit more water, start with a tablespoon at a time.
  2. Flour your work surface and knead the dough for about 3 minutes, or until smooth and elastic. Cover with a clean tea towel and set aside.
  3.  To make the filling, in a medium skillet, heat the oil over medium heat, sauté onion until translucent.
  4.  Add the ground beef to the skillet and break it up with a wooden spoon. Cook for about 4 to 5 minutes, until browned. Stir in the bell peppers, parsley, crushed red pepper, cinnamon, turmeric, cumin, salt and pepper. Add the chopped tomatoes and stir everything together and cook for another 2 minutes. 
  5.  Transfer the meat mixture to a wide dish and let cool slightly.
  6.  Meanwhile, divide the dough into 4 equal balls. Roll each piece into a rectangle that’s about 12×10 inches.
  7. Spoon about 3 tbsp of the lamb mixture in the middle of the rectangle and spread it out a bit. Add some of the crumbled feta. Fold over the edges of the dough to seal. Repeat with remaining dough pieces.
  8. Heat a large nonstick griddle over medium heat. Depending on the size of your griddle, add 1 or 2 of the gozleme and cook on each side for about 3 to 4 minutes or until golden brown and crisp.
  9.  Cut each gozleme in half diagonally and serve with lemon wedges.                                  Enjoy!

Zaatar (thyme) bread … مطبق الزعتر

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Zaatar bread … مطبق الزعتر . Is a Palestinian pastry mostly made in spring, which is the season of collecting fresh wild thyme. It is a flat bread stuffed with sautéed fresh zaatar leaves, onions and sumac and I like to add crumbled white cheese to mine. When baking these pastries my house smells phenomenal.

مطبق الزعتر الاخضر الفلسطيني

  • 2 1/2 all purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup whole weat flour
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 tbs rapid rise yeast
  • 1 tsp honey
  • 2 tbs powdered milk
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 lukewarm water
  • More olive oil for brushing 

For filling

  • 3 cups fresh green thyme (zaatar)
  • 1 medium size onion diced 
  • 2 tbs sumac 
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 4 tbs olive oil
  • White cheese crumbled (optional) 

Method:

  1. To make the dough: in the mixer bowl add flour, salt, powdered milk and mix to combine.Make a well in the middle and stir in the yeast and honey and 1/4 cup of the luke warm water. 
  2. Let rest 5 minutes until the yeast mixture is frothy. Add the rest of the water with the olive oil and with the paddle hook attached to the mixer, mix for a minute.
  3. Replace the paddle hook with the dough hook and start kneading until a soft dough ball is obtained and the sides of the bowl are clean.
  4. Brush some olive oil on top of the dough and cover to rest for about 20 minutes.
  5. Meanwhile start preparing the Zaatar filling.
  6. Take off the Zaatar out of the branches and wash it for 3 times by changing the water each time until the water comes out clean. 
  7. Get rid of excess water by squeezing the zaatar leaves between your hands.
  8. In a medium sized frying pan and on medium heat on the stove add olive oil and sauté the onions until translucent. 
  9. Stir in salt, black pepper, sumac, and Zaatar .
  10. Sauté for a minute and transfer the Zaatar mixture to a plate to cool down.
  11. In a big tray that is brushed with olive oil, divide the dough into 8 equal sized balls.
  12. Brush a little olive oil on top of a clean surface and start rolling out each ball into very thin squares.
  13. Brush some olive oil on top of each square to help rolling out.
  14. Spread a table spoon of the thyme ( Zaatar ) mixture in the middle and top it with a tablespoon of the cheese.
  15. Fold dough the same way as in the picture.
  16. Keep repeating the same procedure with all the balls.
  17. Leave them aside to rest for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 400F.
  18. With the roller pin flatten each square to make it bigger (as shown in picture).
  19. In a oven tray covered with parchment paper arrange the Zaatar squares and brush the top with olive oil.
  20. Bake in the middle rack of the preheated oven for about 10 minutes or until golden brown.
  21. Arrange the Zaatar pastries in the serving plate and brush with more olive oil.

Enjoy!

Swiss chard and lentils soup …. سلق و عدس

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Swiss chard and lentils soup is a traditional Old Palestinian  soup that is made with chard, potatoes, whole chickpeas and lots of lemon juice. What you get is a naturally gluten free vegan nutritious, delicious and satisfying meal for lunch or dinner any day of the week.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup lentils washed 
  • Bunch of Swiss chard
  • 1 small onion diced
  • 2 small potatoes diced
  • 1 cup whole cooked chickpeas drained
  • 1 tsp dried coriander crushed
  • 1/2 tsp cumin powder
  • 1 tsp dried mint
  • 1/2 tsp dried chili crushed ( optional)
  • 2 tbs corn oil
  • 3 cups vegetable broth
  • Juice of 2 lemons
  • 1 tsp dried mint
  • Salt to taste 

Method:

  1. Wash theSwiss chard really good
  2. Wash the lentils 
  3. Cut the stems of the chard leaves and set them aside
  4. Chop the leaves roughly and the stems.
  5. In a medium sized pot heat the 2 tbs of oil and sauté the onion until translucent. 
  6. Stir in the coriander, cumin and chili.  
  7. Stir in the lentils and potatoes.
  8. Add the broth and let cook on a medium low heat for about 30 minutes.
  9. Stir in the Swiss chard and chickpeas and let cook for about 20 minutes more.
  10. Taste the soup to adjust the salt
  11. Turn off the heat and stir in the lemon juice and dried mint.
  12. Serve it hot with lemon wedges and toasted bread.

Enjoy!

French onion soup

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Ingredients:

  • 2 tbs unsalted butter
  • 3 tbs corn  oil
  •  4 cups sliced onions
  • 2 cups beef broth
  • 1 tbs brown sugar
  • 2 tbs apple cider vinegar 
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  •  sea salt and pepper to taste

For serving:

  •  4 slices French bread
  • 4 slices provolone or gruyere cheese
  • 1 cup mozzarella cheese shredded

Method:

  1. Melt butter with  oil in an 8 quart stock pot on medium heat. Add onions and stir occasionally until onions are deep golden brown and caramelized, about 15 minutes. 
  2.  Add  salt, pepper, brown sugar,  vinegar and thyme,  and simmer covered for 30 minutes.
  3. Heat the oven broiler.
  4. Ladle soup into oven safe serving bowls and place one slice of bread on top of each (bread may be broken into pieces if you prefer). Layer each slice of bread with the cheese. Place bowls on cookie sheet and broil in the preheated oven until cheese bubbles and browns slightly.
  5. Enjoy!

Spinach hummus … حمص بالسبانخ

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This a silky creamy hummus and  adding spinach to it, gives it a nice vibrant hue and a ton of nutrients. It truly tastes like the classic hummus, but it’s way more fun. 

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups whole chickpeas (garbanzo beans) cooked and drained from water
  • 2 cups baby spinach leaves washed
  • 4 tbs tahini
  • Juice of 1 1/2  freshly squeezed lemon
  • 1 garlic clove mashed
  • 1/2 tsp salt, plus more to taste
  • Water as needed
  • Olive oil for topping

Method:

  1. Add everything but the the chickpeas to the pitcher of a blender or food processor. Pulse, until all ingredients turned into a smooth paste.
  2. Add the chick peas and water as needed to get things moving, until the hummus is completely smooth.
  3. Taste and add additional salt if desired.
  4. Transfer into  a serving dish and drizzle with olive oil.
  5. Serve with pita bread 

Enjoy!

Baghrir/ 1000-hole Moroccan crepes … البغرير المغربي

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Ingredients:

  • 250 gram fine semolina (1 1/2 cup)
  • 4 tbs all purpose flour
  • Pinch of sat and turmeric 
  • 1 tbs yeast
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 375 ml warm water (1 3/4 cup)

Method:

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  1. In a blender, pulse in the semolina, flour, yeast, salt, and turmeric until combined.
  2. Add water and  blend on the lowest speed for 2 minutes (the blending time allows the semolina to become finely ground so it thickens the Baghrir batter). 
  3. Add the baking powder and continue blending for 4 minutes more. 
  4. Pour the Baghrir batter into a big bowl, cover with plastic wrap and let rest at room temperature until foamy, about 25 minutes.
  5. To Cook the Baghrir, heat a small non-stick skillet over medium heat. Stir the batter, and use a ladle to pour batter into the hot skillet. Pour carefully and slowly into the center and the batter will spread evenly into a circle. (Do not swirl the pan as you would for a crepe; the batter should spread itself.) Make the Baghrir the size you like.
  6. Bubbles should appear on the surface of the Baghrir as it cooks. Don’t flip the Baghrir, It only gets cooked on one side.
  7. Cook for about two minutes, or until the beghrir doesn’t appear wet anywhere on the surface. It should feel spongy, but not sticky or gummy when you touch it lightly with your finger. 
  8. Transfer the Baghrir to cool in a single layer on a clean kitchen towel. 
  9. Repeat with the remaining batter. 
  10. Serve Baghrir on the side of honey butter or jam.

Cream of asparagus soup … شوربة كريما الهليون

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The best way to put asparagus in use when it is in season. Silky creamy vibrant soup that is easy and fast to do.

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound fresh asparagus, trimmed and cut into 1 inch pieces
  • 1 onion diced
  • 1 cup chicken  or vegetable broth
  • 1 tsp fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tbs butter
  • 2 tbs all-purpose flour
  •  1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 pinch ground black pepper
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup half n half or heavy cream
  • 1 tsp worcestershire sauce

Method:

  1. In a large saucepan,  add  asparagus, diced onion, lemon juice and 1/2 cup chicken broth. Cover, and bring to a boil over high heat. ( I like to add the lemon juice to maintain the vibrant color of the asparagus)
  2. Reduce heat, and simmer uncovered until asparagus is tender, about 12 minutes. 
  3. Process the mixture in a blender to puree the vegetables. Set aside.
  4. In the same saucepan, melt the butter over medium-low heat. Stir in the flour, salt, and pepper.
  5.  Whisk in the remaining chicken broth and the worcestershire sauce, and increase the heat to medium. Cook, stirring constantly until the mixture boils. Stir in the asparagus puree.
  6.  Add the milk and the cream.Stir while heating the soup to serving temperature, but don’t allow it to boil. Serve immediately.