Sesame Kibbeh + Beet Yogurt

Sesame Kibbeh + Beet Yogurt

Kibbeh is an essential dish to lebanese cuisine. There are various different forms, and techniques used to make kibbeh. You can bake it, fry it, or grill it. Make it into balls, stuffed and baked, or crispy and flat. During my last trip to Lebanon I learned how to form the kibbeh balls. They look like footballs - I might not be an expert yet but I tried!

The beet yogurt steals the show - it is refreshing and delicious, complimenting kibbeh so well. Use it as a dip for your next mezze spread! 

Total Time: 40 minutes
Serves: 5-6 people

Kibbeh:

  • 1/2 cup fine bulgur

  • 1 onion, peeled

  • 2 tbsp buharat-7 pepper seasoning (cumin, coriander, clove, cinnamon, cardamom, nutmeg, black pepper)

  • 1 lb lamb, ground

  • 1 lb beef, ground

  • 1/2 cup white sesame seeds, roasted

  • 1.5 tbsp kosher salt

Beet Yogurt:

  • 2 cups greek yogurt

  • 3-4 roasted or boiled beets

  • 1/2 lemon, juiced

  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

  • 1 tbsp kosher salt

INSTRUCTIONS

Kibbeh:

  1. Preheat your oven to 450F. 

  2. In a medium size bowl, soak the bulgur with lukewarm water for 10 minutes.  

  3. Place the onion and 1 tbsp of buharat in a food processor and pulse for 60-90 seconds or until well-minced.

  4. In a large bowl mix the ground beef and ground lamb with the onion mixture, the remainder of the buharat, salt, drained bulgur, and sesame seeds.

  5. Mix well and until fully combined. 

  6. Drizzle olive oil on a sheet tray and form footballs with the meat mixture, by pinching the ends. Put the finished, football-shaped mixture on the sheet tray.

  7. Bake for 12-15 minutes.

  8. Serve with the beet yogurt dip.

Beet Yogurt:

  1. In one easy step, add all the ingredients into a food processor and mix well until well combined! Taste for salt – and adjust seasoning.

  2. Garnish with roasted pumpkin seeds.

  3. Cheers!

Kalamata Olive Hummus

Kalamata Olive Hummus

You guys! I've been feeling very HUMMUSexual lately ;) I've been playing around with hummus, adding all sorts of different toppings. The crowd has spoken! Salty, Greek olives have won! They add a perfect Mediterranean bite to the smooth hummus. 

You can play around with the flavors. I often top my hummus with beets, pine nuts, and even some chopped herbs! Make this crowd-pleasing dip for your next gathering! 

Serves: 4 - 6 people

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 15-oz cans chickpea, drained

  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled

  • ½ cup tahini

  • 1 lemon, juiced

  • 1 tbsp cumin, ground

  • 1 tbsp salt

  • ½ cup ice water

  • ½ cup kalamata olives, diced

  • Extra virgin olive oil to garnish

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Add chickpeas, garlic, cumin, tahini, and salt to a food processor and pulse on low for 30 seconds.

  2. Add lemon juice and pulse on medium for a minute.

  3. Accelerate the speed to high and add ice cold water slowly until it's fully corporated. Pulse the hummus for 2 minutes or until it becomes a smooth consistency.

  4. Fold chopped olives into the hummus.

  5. Plate and garnish by drizzling more olive oil.

  6. ENJOYY!!

 
 

Zucchini Fetteh a Collaboration with Seed + Mill

Zucchini Fetteh

A traditional Lebanese vegetarian meal taken to the next level!! With extra spices, crunch, and texture this is the perfect side or main dish. Marrying za’atar and tahini to bring you the finest Middle Eastern flavors.

Photos by Seed + Mill

Total Time: 25 minutes
Serves: 3-4 people

Ingredients:

  • 4 green zucchini, cut into 2-3in’ slices
  • 1 cup tahini
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup Greek yogurt
  • 1-2 Lebanese/Syrian pita bread, thinly sliced
  • 2 tbsp za’atar
  • ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt + Pepper to taste

INSTRUCTIONS

Pita Chips:

1. Preheat your oven to 350F.
2. In a small bowl toss the pita bread with salt and olive oil.
3. Place the seasoned pita chips, on a parchment lined sheet tray, and bake for 5-6 minutes or until golden brown and crunchy.

Zucchini:

1. Heat your grill pan, on high.
2. In a large bowl toss the zucchini with salt and olive oil.
3. When your pan is smoking hot, grill the zucchini for 2 minutes on each side, and let rest.

Sauce:

1. To make the tahini sauce (tarator) start by whisking the lemon juice into the tahini. At this point the tahini will become thick and lumpy. This is the consistency you want.
2. Start adding the water little by little – until fully incorporated. The tahini sauce should become silky smooth.
3. In a separate bowl mix 1 cup of tahini sauce and 1 cup of Greek yogurt with salt to flavor.

Serving:

1. In your serving platter, start off by lining the zucchini into a layer, then topping it with the tahini yogurt sauce, another layer of zucchini, another layer of sauce, and finishing off with the final layer of zucchini.
2. Top off with crunchy pita chips.
3. In a small bowl mix the za’atar with 2 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil and drizzle all around the plate.
4. There you have it a delicious fetteh!

P.S. you can make this with any of your favorite vegetables. 

Muhammara Dip

Muhammara

A Traditional Middle Eastern Red Pepper Dip

Unlike hummus this dip has yet to make it into the American household fridge, but I'm telling you this is WAY better - and super easy! Perfect on flatbreads, to dip with pita chips, or with your next chicken breast. The one tip I have for this dip is the longer it sits in your fridge the more flavors it develops. 

Photos by Jessica Marx
Video by Benjamin Wiseman

Total Time: 35 minutes
Serves: 6-8 people

Muhammara:

  • 4 red pepper 
  • 1/4 - 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tbsp cumin
  • 1 tbsp salt
  • 1 tbsp aleppo pepper (or pepper flakes)
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 1 cup walnuts, toasted
  • 1/4 cup pita chips
  • 3 tbsp pomegranate molasses
  • 2 lemon, juiced

INSTRUCTIONS

1.    Preheat the oven to 450F degrees.  

2.   Place the peppers on a sheet tray, sprinkle with olive oil, and roast for 30-35 minutes in the oven. Turn the peppers occasionally so the skin blackens on all sides. 

3.   Reserve the peppers in a bowl, cover with saran wrap, or a lid. This step is very important for peeling the peppers. (The moisture from the steam loosens the skin, which makes it easier to peel the peppers). 

4.    When the peppers have cooled down - peel, and discard the seeds.    

5.    In a food processor, add peppers, seasonings, garlic and olive oil. Pulse for 1 minute or until well combined. 

6.    Add the walnuts, pita chips - and pulse for another 2 minutes until well combined. 

7.     To finish off add the pomegranate molasses, and lemon juice - pulse for 30 seconds. 

8.     Voila you've got yourself a delicious dip to impress everyone with! 

P.S. you can buy jarred roasted peppers if you want to skip step 1-4 but the flavor is a little different :)

Rose Water Lemonade

Rose Water Lemonade

Aight aight I know what you are saying - it's fall I want a fall drink but let's be honest lemonade is a all year round drink - at least in my house. This drink is floral, acidic, sweet, and different! So let's keep pretending that it's summer and enjoy this spiked rose water lemonade! Cheers 

Photos by Jessica Marx

Total Time: 15 minutes
Serves: 4-6 people

Spiked Lemonade:

  • 1/2 cup rose water (preferably al-wadi)
  • 3 1/2 cups lemonade
  • 1 cup vodka
  • 2 lemon, juiced

Garnish:

  • Dried rose petals

INSTRUCTIONS

1.    In a large pitcher, mix together the rose water, lemonade, vodka, and lemon juice.  

2.   Fill a glass up with ice. Pour the spiked lemonade.

3.    Garnish with dried rose petals. 

4.     Drink up!!

P.S. You can make the lemonade alcohol free, or alcoholic by adding one 2oz shot of vodka to each 8oz glass! 

Chicken Souvlaki Dinner

Chicken Souvlaki Dinner!

If you're trying to make a good first impression this is the way to go! A date, family dinner, meeting the parents, whatever it may be this is honestly the perfect, most delicious meal! It's refreshing, healthy, and full of flavor. You can make any sides with it - but these are my favorites and most accommodating. 

Photos by Jessica Marx

Total Time: 60 minutes
Serves: 4-6 people

Chicken Souvlaki:

  • 3-4 lbs chicken thighs, cleaned, cubed
  • 6 garlic cloves, minced
  • 3 tbsp dried oregano
  • 2 tbsp fresh thyme, chopped
  • 2 tbsp 7 pepper seasoning
  • 2 tbsp salt
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 2-3 lemons, juiced

Rice:

  • 1/2 cup vermicelli egg noodles, crushed
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 cup jasmine rice
  • 3 cup chicken stock
  • Salt to taste

Cucumber Salad:

  • 1-2 large cucumber
  • 1/2 cup mint, cleaned
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • Salt to taste

INSTRUCTIONS

1.    In a large bowl, mix the chicken thigh cubes with garlic, oregano, 7 pepper seasoning, and salt. 

2.   Then add the olive oil, and lemon juice, mix well. Let the chicken marinate for 2-24 hours in the fridge. 

3.    Preheat the oven, or grill at 450F.

4.     When ready skewer the chicken, about 6-7 pieces per skewer.

5.    In a medium size pot, heat the vegetable oil on high. Add the vermicelli egg noodles, and sautée until golden brown. 

6.   Add the rice, give it a quick stir, then add the stock and salt. When it comes to a simmer, reduce to medium-low heat, and cover. The rice should be ready in 20-25 minutes. 

7.   Start grilling, or roasting the chicken.
     Grill: About 3 minutes on each side.
     Oven: 15-17 minutes. 

8.   In a small bowl, start peeling the cucumber like you normally would, making long ribbon like strings. 

9.   Mix in the mint, lemon juice, and salt. Voila you got a salad. 

10.  When ready serve the chicken skewers, on a bed of rice, with a side of cucumber salad, and never forget the greek yogurt! 

11. Enjoy!!!! 

Biscuit Au Chocolat

Biscuit au Chocolat

I recently wrote an article about the two women that influenced me into the culinary world - Teita (my grandmother) and Kivi, my family's live-in maid. Through their recipes, techniques, and culinary education I was able to find myself in the kitchen. This Lebanese version of Biscuit au Chocolat is featured in the article and truly symbolizes the childhood cookie that all kids in Lebanon grew up eating!  My grandmother would make this for us and keep it in the freezer for whenever we were behaving. Give it a try - it's three easy steps.

'Sahtein! a culinary education begins with two women in Lebanon' can be found in Jarry Magazine - purchase your copy here!

Photos by Jessica Marx

Total Time: 15 mins
Serves:  30-40 cookies


INGREDIENTS

  • 12 ounces (340 grams) dark chocolate chips

  • 12 ounces (340 grams) milk chocolate chips

  • 2 cups heavy cream

  • Three 7-ounce (98-gram) packages Goya Maria cookies or any British tea cookies

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. In a medium saucepan, warm the heavy cream.

  2. Combine the dark and milk chocolate in a wide, heat-safe bowl, and pour the hot heavy cream over it.

  3. Stir the chocolate until it is fully melted, and combined.

  4. Using your hands, crumble the cookies, until small - medium size pieces.

  5. Add cookies to chocolate genache, and fold to combine.

  6. Scoop one-third of the chocolate onto a square parchment paper, fold the edges over the mixture and, using your hands from the outside of the parchment, gently roll it into a log about 2-3 inches (5-7.5 cm) in diameter.

  7. Repeat, making two more chocolate logs.

  8. Wrap each one tightly in aluminum foil and place in freezer for at least 1 hour, can keep for up to a month.

  9. To serve, unwrap the cookie logs and slice into 1/2 inch (1.5 cm) discs.

  10. Sahtein!

Minted Tahini Eggplant

Minted Tahini Eggplant!

I can't lie, when I received Plenty - the cookbook by the infamous Yotam Ottolenghi, all I could do was stare at the cover. The longer I stared at it, the more I fell in love! A few weeks later I decided to take a spin on that cover photo. I made one of grandmother's favorite side dishes - Tahini eggplant! As a young boy growing up in Lebanon - eggplant was at every meal. This is my take on a modern healthy lebanese eggplant dish! This could be a main dish, or  a side dish - whatever you prefer :)

 Photos by Jessica Marx

Total Time: 50 minutes
Serves: 4 people

Eggplant:

  • 2 large eggplants, washed
  • 3 tbsp EVOO
  • 2 tbsp fresh thyme leaves, chopped
  • 1 tsp fresh rosemary, chopped
  • 1 tbsp ground cumin
  • Salt + black pepper

Garnish:

  • 6-7 parsley leaves
  • 6-7 mint leaves
  • 1 pomegranate, seeded

Sauce:

  • 1 cup greek yogurt
  • 1/2 cup tahini 
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp evoo
  • Salt to taste

INSTRUCTIONS

1.    Preheat oven, or grill to 450F.

2.   Slice the eggplant into thirds, lengthways. Make four small parallel cuts, throughout the heart of the eggplant.

3.    Line a sheet tray with parchment paper, and drizzle with olive oil. place eggplants, cut-side up. Sprinkle with the rest of the olive oil, thyme, rosemary, cumin, salt and pepper. 

4.     Bake for 45 minutes, until brown, soft and tender.

5.    While the eggplants are baking mix greek yogurt, tahini, minced garlic, lemon juice, oil, and salt. Mix until combined, and smooth.

6.   Serve eggplant, with plenty of tahini yogurt. Sprinkle with salt, pomegranate seeds, mint, and parsley.

7.   Sahtein!