Serves 6 Persons Preparation Time 20 Minutes Cook Time 50 Minutes
A great Middle Eastern appetizer that will add a great touch to your mezze table. Making grape leaves has never been this easy!
1 ½ cups short grain rice, washed and drained 1 chopped onion 1 chopped tomato ½ cup thinly chopped parsley 500 g American Garden grape leaves ½ cup olive oil 1 cup water ¼ cup American Garden lemon juice Salt-to-taste Black pepper-to-taste
For serving: American Garden ranch sauce
1- In a bowl, combine the rice with the onion, tomato and parsley. Pour in half of the olive oil then season with salt and black pepper. 2- Place American Garden grape leaves on a solid surface then add about 1 tablespoon of the filling in the center just above the stem end. Tuck in the sides over the filling then roll tightly into a cigar shape. Repeat with the rest of the ingredients. 3- Layer the grape leaves in an oven dish. Drizzle the rest of the oil, American Garden lemon juice and the water on top. 4- Cover with foil paper and cook in the oven at 180˚C for 40-50 minutes. 5- Serve with American Garden ranch sauce.
For Serving: American Garden Ranch dressing-to-taste American Garden Creamy Italian dressing-to-taste American Garden Ketchup-to-taste American Garden Mayonnaise-to-taste American Garden Mustard-to-taste White pepper-to-taste
1. In a bowl, crumble together feta and cream cheese. Add mozzarella cheese and mix. 2. Add parsley and oregano and stir to combine. Set the mixture aside. 3. In a small bowl, stir together flour and water. Set aside. 4. Put 1 tbsp. of filling on one corner of a sheet. Fold the sheet into a triangular samosa and seal the open corner with the flour – water mixture. Repeat with the remaining sheets. 5. Fry the samosas in preheated oil over medium heat, for about 3 minutes or until golden brown. Drain on paper towels. 6. For serving: In a bowl, mix ketchup, mayonnaise, mustard and a pinch of white pepper until combined. 7. Serve the samosas next to this dip, in addition to American Garden’s Ranch Dressing and Italian Dressing.
Note: While working with one samosa sheet, keep the rest covered with a towel to prevent them from drying out.
Are you looking for a simple jam recipe? Look no further! The smell of jam fills the air!! We just came back from a visit to Beirut and Paris. We spent some family time together with my mom and my in-laws! While we were there, mama made quince jam, using the wonderful smelling fruit sitting in her kitchen basket! Mom is widely creative and passionate about her jams! One of the most pleasurable moments for me is to look through her old torn sheet recipes and her old cooking magazines! I don’t know why !! Maybe this brings back fond memories of the dishes we enjoyed as children.
Quinces, a distant relative to apples and pears, make a wonderful, spreadable sticky jam.- though more mouth-puckering when eaten raw. The fruit is native to Lebanon, Iran, Turkey and Greece and a familiar tree throughout the Middle East; quince produces a natural pectin when cooked. The jam is flavored with mastic gum that adds a wonderful dimension.
Quince is so good for you, here is an article about the health benefits of this underrated fruit from The Organic Factsand why you should include it more in your diet!
The good thing here is that the jam does not require food coloring or even pectin. The flesh of the fruit is beige in color when cut raw that naturally turns to red when cooked.
Have you ever thought of pairing mastic gum with jams? Yes, mastic goes enticingly well with jams, and here is a good example for that!
The jam is great with Arabic bread, toasts, scones or French baguette, crackers or just straight out of the jar! Em! Yes I do that!! Happy eating
The jam is made up of equal weights of fruits and sugar.
Store the jam in sterilized glass jars
1 kg /2 lb 4 oz. quince, leave the peel on 1 kg / 2lb. 4 oz. sugar ¼ teaspoon citric acid (hamod allaymoun) or ¼ cup freshly squeezed lemon juice 8 mastic gum pods crushed with a pinch of sugar 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice to be added at the end of cooking
1. Wash and pat dry the quinces 2. Cut each in half, core and grate using a grater with large holes. Toss with sugar and let them sit overnight in the fridge. 3. Transfer the quince-sugar mixture to a heavy bottomed saucepan, add the citric acid or the lemon juice and bring to a boil, reduce heat to low. 4. Cook for 11/2 hours uncovered, stirring every now and then and make sure heat is reduced to low.You will notice the quince starts to turn pink-red and thickens a bit (I like mine well clotted) 5. Crush the mastic gum with a pinch of sugar and add to the jam; add an additional tablespoon of freshly squeezed lemon juice, stir well. Remove from heat and set aside to completely cool down before transferring to sterilized jars. Refigerate and it will keep up to 1 year
Khibbiz Arabi (Pita or Arabic Bread) is used to scoop sauces or dips such as hummus and to wrap kebabs, gyros or falafel in the manner of sandwiches. Most pita breads are baked at high temperatures (700°F or 370°C), causing the flattened rounds of dough to puff up dramatically. When removed from the oven the layers of baked dough remain separated inside the deflated pita, which allows the bread to be opened into pockets, creating a space for use in various dishes.
2 1/2 teaspoon of yeast 1 teaspoon sugar 1-1 1/4 cups of lukewarm water (40-45 c) 3 1/2 cups flour 1 teaspoon salt 1 teaspoon olive oil 1/4 cup cornmeal
1. Dissolve yeast and sugar in 1/2 cup warm water, and let the mixture rest for 5 minutes. 2.In a deep bowl, combine the flour, and salt, making a well in the center. 3. Pour in the yeast mixture, the oil, and 3/4 cup water. 4. Using your hand, gently blend the ingredients in the liquid. 5. Continue mixing and kneading in the bowl for about 10 minutes until a smooth dough results. (Add a little more flour or water if necessary). 6. Return the bread to the bowl and cover with a clean dishtowel. 7. Leave to rise in a warm spot until boubled in bulk (2-3 hours). 8. Place the dough on a lightly floured board, and knead with floured hands for 5 minutes. 9. Tear off pieces the size of oranges or grapefruits and roll between cupped hands to form smooth balls. 10. Set aside on a floured cloth. Cover and let rise for 30 minutes. 11. Preheat oven to 475 F . Sprinkle baking sheets with cornmeal. 12. Using a rolling pin, roll out each piece of dough onto a circle about 0.75 cm thick. 13. Arrange the circles on the baking sheets, cover with a towel and let rise again for 30 minutes. 14. Place sheets in the bottom of the oven, directly on its floor, and let them bake for 5 minutes, until the loaves puff up and are lightly browned, or place under the broiler until browned.
If you love Roast Chicken and Vegetables this recipe is sure to put a smile on your face.
750g small new potatoes , such as Charlottes, halved 2 small red onions , cut into wedges 1 head of garlic , separated into cloves 2 tbsp olive oil 2 tbsp maple syrup 1 heaped tbsp wholegrain mustard 1 large red pepper , deseeded and cut into chunky pieces 2 large courgettes , halved length ways and very thickly sliced few sprigs fresh thyme 4 large chicken legs portions
1. Heat oven to 200C/fan 180C/gas 6. Mix the potatoes, onions, all but 2 garlic cloves and half the oil in a large roasting tin with seasoning to taste. Roast for 15 mins.
2. Meanwhile crush the remaining garlic and mix with the maple syrup, mustard, remaining oil and seasoning to taste.
3. Toss the pepper, courgettes and thyme with the potatoes, then arrange the chicken portions on top and brush liberally with the maple syrup mixture. Roast for 45 mins to 1 hr until the chicken is golden and sticky and the vegetables are tender. Serve with rocket or green beans.
The ideal pasta for this recipe is the very small Rison No. 63, which resembles brow rice. It is available at continental delicatessens and some supermarkets. Broken up vermicelli is a suitable substitute.
Serves: 4-6 Cooking time: 1½ hours
1 large chicken 1 cup ghee or substitute 12 cups water 2 medium onions, finely chopped 1 clove garlic, crushed 1 cinnamon stick 4 teaspoons salt ¾ cup chick peas, soaked overnight 1 lb (500g) coarsely ground meat ½ teaspoon cinnamon ½ teaspoon black pepper ¾ cup Rison Pasta No.63 or broken up vermicelli 1 cup rice, washed and drained ½ cup slivered almonds
1. In a large saucepan, brown the chicken in ¼ cup of the ghee. Add 8 cups of water, half the chopped onions, the garlic, cinnamon stick and 2 teaspoons salt. Bring to the boil, cover and continue to cook until chicken is tender enough for the meat to fall off the bones. While the chicken is cooking, drain the soaked chick peas and place in a large pot with 4 cups water. Bring to the boil, cover and simmer vigorously until just tender. Drain and set aside.
2. In another saucepan, lightly brown the almonds in a little ghee. Remove and set aside.
3. Add ¼ cup of the saucepan and heat. Fry the meat in the ghee, stirring occasionally, until brown all over. Turn down heat to simmer and cook until nearly tender - approx 15 minutes.
4. Stir in the cinnamon, black pepper and the remainder of the onions and salt, and continue to cook for a further 25 minutes. Remove from saucepan and set aside. Place the remaining ½ cup of ghee in the same saucepan and sauté the pasta or vermicelli until golden brown. Add the rice and sauté for a few more minutes.
5. Pour 5 cups of the boiling broth from the cooked chicken over the rice (make up quantity with water if necessary). Bring to the boil and add the cooked meat and onion mixture and the cooked chick peas. Stir well, cover, and turn down heat to simmer and cook until the rice is tender and the liquid is absorbed – approx 20 minutes. Turn off heat and allow standing for further 10 minutes.
6. Serve the chick pea and rice mixture on a platter, garnished with the almonds and chicken pieces.
A feast in your mouth, lots of flavors , the unique aroma of basmati rice topped with pieces of lamb,beef or chicken. This one dish meal will feed a crowd.
Ingreidnets - Makloobet betenjan:
2 cups basmati rice, well washed 4 Tbsp. clarified butter about 2 cups onion, diced 1/2 kilo boned lamb shoulder, cut in 1 1/2 cm. cubes salt and pepper to taste 1 1/2 tsp. ground cumin 3/4 tsp. ground allspice 4 cloves garlic, crushed 2 Tbsp. olive oil 1 large or 2 small eggplants, sliced into rounds but not peeled generous pinch of saffron dissolved in 3 cups beef stock 1/2 cup pine nuts
Preparation - Makloobet betenjan:
1. Soak the rice in lightly salted lukewarm water for about 1 hour. Drain well.
2. In a large, heavy skillet heat 2 Tbsp. of the butter and in this saute the onions just until translucent.
3. Sprinkle the lamb generously with salt and pepper and add to the onions. Saute, stirring regularly until the meat is seared on all sides and the onions are golden. Add 1 tsp. of the cumin, the allspice and just enough water to cover the lamb. Bring to a boil and then lower the flame, simmering uncovered for 20 minutes.
4. In a large heavy skillet melt the remaining butter together with the olive oil. In this fry the eggplant slices, seasoning with salt and black pepper and the remaining cumin. When nicely browned drain the slices on paper toweling and set aside.
5. Sprinkle a 6 cup casserole dish with salt, spread the garlic on the bottom and then add the lamb and onions. Top the mixture with the eggplant slices and the rice. Pour over just enough of the stock to cover the rice, bring to a boil and then cover tightly. Reduce the heat and simmer until the rice is cooked and the liquids absorbed (about 1/2 hour, keeping in mind that the rice should remain somewhat moist). To umold, run a knife around the rim, place a platter on top and quickly invert (be sure to use a heat absorbent towel to hold the casserole) and then unmold. Sprinkle over with the pine nuts. Serves 4 - 6.
I was asked about Kaak A’ras a type of bread found in American-Lebanese communities specifically baked at Easter. I had always eaten Kaak bi haleeb but was not sure if they were the same but with different names. So I decided to go looking for it in Lebanon and went in search of this treat in the town of Zahle.
The Lebanese, take kaak for granted, it belongs to daily life. Kaak is not a supermarket type of bread; it is street food, it is out there with the human hustle bustle. Eat it on the go with or without filling, it costs a few pennies and satiates hunger.
There is early morning kaak - crunchy sticks sprinkled with sesame - served with coffee and there is afternoon kaak - a round pouch-like puff with a handle - generally sold by peddlers on motorbikes . There are also the feast days kaiak or dainty little cakes filled with dates, walnuts or pistachios also known as Maamoul.
Now, Zahle is famous for its cafes along the Berdawni River, its invigorating climate and its population’s fighter spirit. But Zahle is also famous for kaak-bi-haleeb - kaak with milk - a swirl of a bun made with leavened sweet dough. Flavoured with mahlep this type of kaak is deliciously plain with a texture so soft that it melts in your mouth, once you’ve had one bite you become hooked .
At Easter the same dough is used to make a larger round bun, called Kaak el Eid or A’ras. These are sometimes flavoured with aniseed or orange blossom and embossed in the centre with a cross shape. They are usually distributed at the end of a church service, or simply baked at home and shared with visitors.
The best recipe of kaak bi haleeb that I have come across is our aunt Aida's who has lived in Brasil for the past 65 years. She has kept this tradition alive and although she guards her fantastic recipe with care she likes to share it and explain it with the most detailed instructions.
This recipe is kneaded by hand you can however make it is a mixer without having to ‘activate’ the yeast. Simply rub the yeast into the flour using your fingers, just as if you were making a crumble and mix as instructed.
Preparation time: 20 minutes Resting time: 1 to 2 hours Proving time: 30 minutes Baking time 15 minutes
250 g plain flour 125 ml milk 75 g butter 150 g sugar 1 teaspoon, fresh yeast 1 teaspoon mahlep
1. Warm the milk in saucepan and leave the butter to melt in it. Stir the sugar in and dilute it. 2. Be careful not to over heat, keep the mixture tepid. 3.Mix one tablespoon of warm milk together with one teaspoon of sugar together with the fresh yeast. Stir until combined. Allow about 10 minutes for the yeast to ‘activate’; it will froth on the surface. 4. Place the flour in bowl and form a mound. 5. Add the milk and butter mixture and the diluted yeast. 6. Combine all the ingredients together. 7. Transfer the dough onto a work surface and fold and stretch it with your hands to get lots of air in. As it starts to come together it will come clearly off the work surface. This should take you about 10 minutes. Alternatively you can knead it in a machine for about the same amount of time. 8. Form the dough into a ball and place it in a bowl which you cover with a tea towel. 9. Leave to rest for an hour or two in draft-free place. The dough is ready when it has doubled in size. 10. Divide the dough into 20 pieces of equal size. Roll each of the pieces into a sausage-like shape and bring both ends together and pinch to achieve a ring. 11. Place each of these galettes, on an oven tray lined with baking paper. 12. Leave the rings to prove for about 30 minutes. They should again puff and double in size. 13. Pre-heat the oven to 180°C and place the baking tray in the middle shelf. 14. Depending on your oven kaak should bake in about 15 minutes. The tops are then a golden brown colour and the dough firm and spring-like to the touch. 15. Turn out onto a wire rack. Leave to cool. Source: The Libaliano Kitchen
2 lb (1kg) fresh okra (tender) 4 medium-sized onions 2 whole garlic bulbs 1 tablespoon salt 3 lb (1 1/2 kg) ripe tomatoes, peeled and diced 1 cup olive oil 3/4 cup chopped fresh coriander 1/2 cup lemon juice 1 tablespoon ground, dried coriander
1. Cut off the stems of the okra then wash and drain. 2. Sauté the okra, a few at a time, in oil until almost golden, then drain. 3. Peel the onions and slice finely, then fry them with one whole peeled garlic bulb in the same oil that okra was fried in. 4. When the onions and garlic are lightly browned, add the okra, diced tomatoes, salt and lemon juice. 5. Crush the remaining garlic cloves with the dried coriander, and then add with the green coriander to the above ingredients. 6. Pour half a cup of water over the okra and allow boiling over slow heat for half an hour without stirring. 7.Garnish with slices of green pepper then serve cold.
A soft plastic bottle with a small hole in the tip is used. A ketchup or mustard bottle may be used. Syrup may be divided into 2 or 3 parts and desired food coloring may be added to each.
3 cups warm water 1 teaspoon sugar 1 1/2 tsp. yeast 2 1/4 cups flour sprinkle of salt 1/2 cup cornstarch oil for deep frying sugar syrup food coloring
1 Make sugar syrup and set aside. Place water in large mixing bowl. Stir in sugar and dissolve. Add yeast and leave to rise for 5 minutes.
2 Using an eggbeater on low speed, gradually beat in flour, salt, and cornstarch. Beat until smooth (approximately 3 minutes). Cover and leave to rise for 30-40 minutes. Fill plastic bottle with batter. Heat oil in heavy skillet for deep frying. Squeeze batter into oil, forming a round ring 2-3 inches in diameter, and filling the inside of the ring with the batter, forming a lacey rosette. 4-5 rosettes may be made at a time.
3 Fry until golden brown turning once.
4 Remove from oil with a slotted spoon and drop into cool syrup. Remove and place on platter. Variation: Food coloring is not necessary, but is usually used in the syrup.