Sous Vide Lamb Chops with Mint Sauce

Sous Vide Lamb Chops with Mint Sauce

I love sous vide cooking! It makes my catering life so much easier. Sous vide cooking has several advantages. First, it ensures that anything you place in the water bath gets cooked evenly, which means you will NEVER get dry food. Secondly, it’s consistent. You can control and set the temperature precisely, which means you will always get the same results every single time. Lastly, you can cook things in large quantities. I can make perfect poached eggs or juicy chicken breast in a big batch without worrying about anything!

And, lamb chops are one of my favorite things to sous vide. They come out a perfect medium rare, and because they get cooked with all the aromatics, the flavors really get penetrated into the chops. After a quick sear, you have a perfect lamb chop that will be the show stopper for your upcoming dinner parties.

Total Time: 3 hours and 30 minutes
Serves: 4-6 people

INGREDIENTS

THE LAMB CHOPS

  • 2 racks of lamb

  • 1 tbsp salt

  • 2 tsp freshly cracked black pepper

  • 1 tsp coriander

  • 1 tsp cumin

  • 4 tbsp unsalted butter, divided into 2 tbsp

  • 2 cloves of garlic, peeled and crushed

  • 4 sprigs of fresh thyme

  • 4 leaves of sage

  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

MINT SAUCE

  • 1 bunch mint

  • 1 clove of garlic

  • 2 lemons, juiced

  • 2 scallions

  • 1/4 cup, extra virgin olive oil

  • 2 ice cubes

  • salt, to taste

INSTRUCTIONS

LAMB CHOPS

  1. Heat the sous vide bath to 131F for medium rare.

  2. Pat dry the lamb chops and salt all around, including the back of the lamb chops.

  3. Mix freshly cracked black pepper, coriander, and cumin and season the lamb all around the mixed spices.

  4. Place your lamb chops in an airtight bag and put 2 tbsp of butter, garlic, thyme, sage, and olive oil. Seal the bag with a plastic straw in the corner of the bag. Slowly drop the bag into the water, letting the straw do its job taking any excess air in the bag out. Slowly take out the straw as you complete the seal of the bag. The lamb chops should be submerged in the sous vide water bath.

  5. Cook the lamb chops in the sous vide bath for 3 hours.

  6. Once done cooking, take the lamb chops out of the bag. Pat them dry and discard the aromatics.

  7. On a large skillet, preferably cast iron, heat up the rest of butter on high heat. Make sure the butter doesn’t burn.

  8. Sear the whole lamb chop on each side for 1 minute. It should take about 3-4 minutes total. Let it rest at least for 5 minutes before slicing.

  9. Slice and serve the chops with mint sauce (optional).

MINT SAUCE

  1. Put mint, garlic, lemon juice, scallions, extra virgin olive oil, and ice cubes to a blender. Blend until the mixture is smooth.

  2. Season with salt and serve it with the lamb chops.

Salted Tahini Brownie

Salted Tahini Brownie

A super easy, but super delicious twist on your every day brownie. Even though I am using the boxed brownie mix, the addition of Greek yogurt, tahini, and salt add extra flavors and moisture.

If you are short on time and skills, but want to make an impressive dessert, this is the way to go!

Total Time: 1 hour
Serves: 10 - 12

INGREDIENTS

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Preheat the oven to 350F.

  2. Follow the package directions of your brownie mixes. It will typically ask you to mix water and vegetable oil with the dry ingredients that come in a package.

  3. Add the greek yogurt and salt to the brownie mixture, and mix until fully incorporated.

  4. Pour the batter into the prepared, parchment-lined baking pan. Swirl tahini throughout the batter as you smooth it out.

  5. Bake the brownie for between 45 minutes and 55 minutes.

  6. Serve with sprinkles of flaky sea salt. Enjoy!

Warming Moroccan Lemon Tea

Warming Moroccan Lemon Tea

While walking the streets of Beirut during my recent trip to Lebanon, I saw an old man, sipping on a Moroccan tea. I stopped by a little bodega and asked the guy how to make one. And I was pleasantly surprised to see how easy it was to make it. It was as simple as steeping fresh spearmint in hot water, so say no to buy prepackaged tea bags!

This tea is soothing for the soul, and a touch of lemon adds just a right amount of zing to the drink. Naturally decaffeinated, and absolutely tasty. It’s a perfect way to end your long day with a hot cup of tea.

Total Time: 10 minutes
Serves: 4 - 6

INGREDIENTS

  • 1L water

  • 2 bunch of spearmint

  • 1 lemon, sliced

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Boil water.

  2. When ready, pour over mint in a tea pot. Let it steep for 8 minutes or longer, if desired for a darker, stronger flavor.

  3. Garnish with sugar cubes and lemon slices.

Cumin Carrot Soup

Cumin Carrot Soup

A simple and flavorful soup that will spice up your kitchen and warm your soul. It’s made with roasted carrots, spiced with cumin, and the apples add a touch of natural sweet flavor to the soup. It’s completely vegan and a crowd pleaser, and I know you will want to make this soup all winter long.

Total Time: 40 minutes
Serves: 4

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 lb carrot, peeled, roughly chopped

  • 2 tbsp cumin

  • 2 tsp salt

  • 3 tbsp EVOO

  • 2 onions, peeled, roughly chopped

  • 1 apple, peeled, roughly chopped

  • 2 cloves of garlic

  • 2 cups vegetable stock

  • 1 can of coconut milk

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Set the oven to 450F.

  2. Toss the carrots with 1 tbsp of cumin, 1 tsp of salt, and 1 tbsp of EVOO. Roast them for 10-15 minutes.

  3. Meanwhile. In a large pot over medium heat, add 2 tbsp of EVOO and roughly chopped onions. Sauté them until the onions get translucent for 5-6 minutes.

  4. Once the onions are fragrant and translucent, add chopped apple and garlic. Cook until the apples are soft for another 5 minutes.

  5. Add 2 cups of vegetable stock. Once it boils, add the roasted carrots to the pot along with another 1 tbsp of cumin and 1 tsp of salt.

  6. Cook everything for another 10 minutes with the lid on.  

  7. Pour the coconut milk to the mixture and mix everything together. Cook for another 5 minutes.

Crispy Spiced Chickpeas

Crispy Spiced Chickpeas

Total Time: 20 minutes
Serves: 2 to 4

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 can (15 ounces) chickpeas, rinsed and dried with paper towels

  • 1 tbsp salt

  • 2 tsp coriander, ground

  • 2 tsp cumin, ground

  • 2 tsp dried thyme

  • 1 tsp smoked paprika

  • 1 lemon, zested

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. In a large bowl, combine all the seasonings and toss with dried chickpeas to make sure that they are evenly coated.

  2. Transfer spiced chickpeas to the air fryer and cook at 400F until browned and crisp, for 6 to 12 minutes. Shake the basket halfway through to make sure that they get cooked evenly.

  3. Serve warm!

Souvlaki Buttermilk Fried Chicken Fingers

Souvlaki Buttermilk Fried Chicken Fingers

Total Time: 2 hours 30 minutes
Serves: 2 to 4

INGREDIENTS

Buttermilk chicken tender:

  • 1 cup buttermilk, chilled

  • 1 tsp of salt

  • 1 tsp of dried oregano

  • 3 sprigs of fresh thyme

  • 1 lemon, zested and juiced

  • 2 eggs

  • 2 large chicken breast or thighs, cut into chunks

Drenching session:

  • 1 cup of AP flour

  • 1 tbsp of cumin

  • 1 tsp of Aleppo pepper

  • 1/2 tbsp of black pepper

  • 1 tbsp of salt

  • Cooking spray

Garlic labneh aioli:

  • 1/2 cup of labneh

  • 1/2 cup of mayo

  • 1 tbsp honey

  • 1 garlic, grated

  • 1/2 tsp salt

INSTRUCTIONS

Marinate:

  1. In a large bowl, whisk the buttermilk, salt, dried oregano, fresh thyme, lemon zest and juice, and eggs until well combined.

  2. Add the chicken to the buttermilk marinade and refrigerate for 2 hours — overnight.

Drenching:

  1. In a bowl, stir the four, cumin, Aleppo pepper, black pepper and salt.

  2. Remove the chicken from the buttermilk mixture; drench in the flour until evenly coated. Transfer to the air fryer rack and spray the chicken with an oil spray.

  3. Transfer the chicken to the air fryer and air fry it at 375F until golden brown, for about 7 to 9 minutes.

  4. Transfer it to the plate, and serve it with garlic labneh aioli.

Garlic labneh aioli:

  1. Mix all the ingredients in a bowl. Serve it with fried chicken tenders!

Apple Cider Donut Holes with Tahini Glaze

Apple Cider Doughnut Holes with Tahini Glaze

I recently sat next to Ben Mims, who introduced me to my new favorite kitchen gadget. It cuts cooking time in half and makes everything crispy with no hassle or oil — IT’S AN AIR FRYER!

After I purchased his book, Air Fry Every Day: 75 Recipes to Fry, Roast, and Bake Using Your Air Fryer, right away, Ben helped me decide which air fryer to purchase; I went ahead with the multi-functional one that combines a convection oven and air fryer because that suits my catering business. I have not stopped using and experimenting with it since I purchased it. I’ve made everything from fried chickpeas to baked muffins!

Inspired by his Apple Cider Doughnut Hole recipe from the cookbook, I came up with this tahini glaze. The glaze adds that nutty, sweet flavors to the crisp, doughnut holes and those toasted sesame seeds on top add a satisfying crunch.

If you are still debating whether you should get an air fryer or not, I highly recommend it. It changed my life! And, check out Ben’s incredible cookbook!

Total Time: 20 minutes
Serves: 10 mini doughnuts

INGREDIENTS

For the doughnut holes:

  • 1 1/2 cup AP flour

  • 2 tbsp sugar

  • 2 tsp baking powder

  • 1 tsp baking soda

  • 1 tsp kosher salt

  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon

  • 1/4 cup buttermilk, chilled

  • 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar

  • 1 egg

  • Oil spray

Tahini Glaze:

  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar

  • 2 tbsp tahini

  • 2 tbsp water

  • A pinch of salt

  • Toasted sesame seeds for garnish

INSTRUCTIONS

To make the doughnut holes:

  1. In a bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon until well combined. In a separate bowl, whisk together the buttermilk, apple cider vinegar, and egg until combined. Add the wet ingredients to the dry mixture and stir with a spatula or hands until the dough just comes together.

  2. Scoop out 10 to 12 balls onto the air fryer basket, spaced evenly apart, and spray with oil spray. Air-fry at 350F until the doughnut holes are golden brown and fluffy, about 6 - 8 minutes. Transfer the doughnut holes to a wire rack to cool.

To make tahini glaze:

  1. In a small bowl, stir together the powdered sugar, tahini, water, and a pinch of salt until smooth and coats the back of a spoon.

Assembly:

  1. Dip the doughnut holes in the tahini glaze, then sprinkle sesame seeds.

  2. Let them stand until the glaze sets before serving.

Lemon-Semolina Almond Cake

Lemon-Semolina Almond Cake

I recently came across Ottolenghi’s Semolina-Lemon Syrup Cakes, and it reminded me of my grandmother’s semolina cake; she used to make it for me all the time when I was growing up!

Inspired by Ottolenghi's recipe, I added rosewater to simple syrup for a Middle Eastern touch to this cake. The cake, paired with candied lemon slices and drizzled with rosewater simple syrup, has a coarse texture, making it a wonderfully versatile dessert. Whether you want to eat this with a scoop of ice cream or with a cup of coffee for breakfast, this lemony cake will be your new favorite!

Total Time: 1 hr 30 minutes
Serves: 8 - 12 slices

INGREDIENTS

Lemon-Semolina Almond Cake:

  • 1 cup almond flour or almond meal

  • 1 cup semolina flour

  • 1 tsp baking powder

  • 1 tsp kosher salt

  • 3/4 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil

  • 1 cup sugar

  • 2 lemons

  • 3 large eggs, beaten to blend

Rosewater Simple Syrup:

  • 1 cup sugar

  • 1 cup water

  • 1 lemon, juiced

  • 2 tbsp rosewater

Candied Lemon:

  • 1 lemon, thinly sliced

INSTRUCTIONS

Lemon-Semolina Almond Cake:

  1. Preheat your oven to 350F.

  2. Grease a loaf pan and line with parchment paper. Sift together the almond flour, semolina flour and baking powder on a medium bowl. Add salt to the mixture and whisk everything to combine.

  3. Using an electric mixer with a whisk attachment, whisk oil, sugar, and lemon zest from 2 lemons together, about 3 minutes. With motor running, gradually add eggs one at a time, beating to incorporate, about 1 minute. Add dry ingredients and juice of 1 lemon and whisk everything to combine, about 1 minute.

  4. Transfer batter to prepared loaf pan. Place the cake on the middle rack, and bake until golden brown, approximately for 60 minutes. Lightly press the top of the cake to test — it should feel lightly springy when done. Let cool for 20 minutes or so in pan before removing and transferring to a cooling rack.

Rosewater Simple Syrup & Candied Lemon:

  1. In one easy step, combine water, sugar, juice of 1 lemon, and rosewater in a pot. Cook it over medium-heat until the sugar is fully dissolved, for 4-5 minutes.

  2. Add thinly-sliced lemon to the simple syrup, and cook it on medium-low heat for 10-12 minutes until the lemon is tender.

  3. Transfer candied lemon to a wire rack.

Assembly:

  1. Drizzle rosewater over a cake. Garnish the cake with candied lemon slices on top.