food stylist

Cucumber Thyme Fizz

Cucumber Thyme Fizz

Cucumber juice has just started being on my radar. Not only is it refreshing, but it's bright in flavors when you add some lime juice in; the cucumber flavors really come through! This is a perfect drink for summer, or fall, in fact, any season!! Have some fun with it and use vodka or gin. Enjoy!

Photos by Lauren Zaser

Serves: 6-8 people

INGREDIENTS

Thyme Simple Syrup:

  • 1/4 bunch thyme, fresh

  • 2 cup sugar

  • 2 cup water

Cucumber Thyme Fizz:

  • 4 cucumbers, peeled

  • 1 cups thyme simple syrup

  • 1/2 cup lime juice, fresh squeezed

  • 1 cup vodka or gin

  • 1 bottle (25.3 oz.) sparkling water

INSTRUCTIONS

Thyme Simple Syrup:

  1. In a small pot combine sugar, water, and thyme.

  2. Cook until all the sugar has dissolved about 10 minutes.

  3. Let cool.

Cucumber Thyme Fizz:

  1. Slice cucumbers and blend for 2 minutes.

  2. Strain the cucumber juice.

  3. In a large pitcher or a serving bowl, combine strained cucumber juice, thyme simple syrup, fresh squeezed lime juice, alcohol, and sparkling water.

  4. Stir all the ingredients until well combined.

  5. Serve in a large glass over ice, and garnish with sliced cucumber or cucumber peels.

  6. Cheers!

Sheet Tray Nachos

Sheet Tray Nachos

An American classic! Of course we had nachos in Lebanon but believe me it was nothing like an all American loaded nachos! I mean the amount of cheese, and toppings that can be added are endless. This recipe is an easy, go to, leftover type of thing. Start off with chips, any meat or veggie, cheese - pop it in the oven - then layer all the fresh ingridients on top and voila you got yourself a great crowd pleaser! Crack a can of beer open, or shake up a margarita cause this sheet tray is coming your way! 

Serves: 4-6 people

INGREDIENTS

  • 1-2 bag of tortilla chips

  • 2 cup rotisserie chicken, shredded

  • 1 lb cheddar cheese, shredded

  • 1 jalapeno, sliced

  • 3 radishes, sliced

  • 1 pint sour cream

  • Cilantro - to garnish

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Preheat the oven to 450F.

  2. On a large sheet tray, start off with a layer of chips.

  3. Scatter the chicken all over the chips.

  4. Sprinkle with cheese, if you want to be extra - tuck some cheese under some chips.

  5. Place the sheet tray in the oven, cook for 10-12 minutes or until the cheese is fully melted.

  6. Layer the rest of the fresh ingridients on top!

  7. ENJOY

PS. anything goes here - ground meat, sauteed vegetables, avocados, corn, beans, tomatoes - so have fun with!

Frosé

Frosé All Day!

If you know me well enough, you would know that the only thing I drink is rosé. 365 days a year I am sipping on rosé. So this summer I decided to spice things up and turn my favorite drink into my new favorite slurpee! Shake things up this summer and make your life a little pinker! Cheers from Brooklyn!!

Serves: 4-6 people

INGREDIENTS
Simple Syrup:

  • 1 Qt strawberries (halved), or watermelon (cubed)

  • 1 cup sugar

  • 1 cup water

FROSé:

  • 1btl rosé

  • 1 lemon, squeezed

  • 1/3 cup simple syrup

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. In a freezer safe container, pour the bottle of wine - and freeze for 6-24 hours.

  2. In a blender combine frozen rosé, lemon juice, simple syrup, and 1-2 cups of ice.

  3. Purée until smooth!

  4. Serve right away, or keep in freezer until ready to serve! Can be made a week in advance!

  5. Slurp Up!!

4 Go-to Toast Recipes

4 Go-to Toast Recipes

Toast toast toast - the easiest fastest snack or go to meal. You can start your day with it, have it as a midday snack, or end up forgetting to eat dinner and substituting a toast instead. My 4 recipes are a variety of my go to's they are simple, delicious, refreshing, and healthy. 

2-Way Ricotta Toast

Total Time: 15 min
Serves: 4 people

INGREDIENTS
Ricotta Toast:

  • 1 loaf bread, sliced

  • 2 cups fresh ricotta cheese

  • 1 tbsp fresh thyme, minced

  • 1 tbsp fresh rosemary, minced

  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

  • 1 tbsp sea salt

Toppings:

  • 1-2 tbsp honey

  • 1 tbsp dried rose petals

  • 1 pint mushrooms, sauteed

  • Sea Salt to taste

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Toast bread to your desire

  2. In a medium sized bowl, combine ricotta, thyme, rosemary, olive oil, and salt. Whip together until well combined.

  3. Start by smearing the toast with 3-4 tbsp of ricotta.

  4. To make it sweet - top it off with a drizzle of honey and rose petals.

  5. To make it salty - top it off with sauteed mushrooms, extra virgin olive oil, and sea salt.

  6. Enjoy!

Labneh & Zaatar Flatbread

Total Time: 20 min
Serves: 4 people

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 pack naan or pita bread

  • 1 quart roasted garlic labneh or greek yogurt

  • 1/2 cup zaatar

  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil

  • 1 each cucumber, thinly sliced

  • 2 each radish, thinly sliced

  • 1 bunch mint

  • sea salt to taste

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Heat a large skillet on high heat.

  2. Brush the naan with extra virgin olive oil.

  3. Crisp up the naan on both sides until golden brown, 5-7 minutes.

  4. When ready place the naan on a large plate.

  5. Start layering the toppings, starting with the roasted garlic labneh. Spread 2-3 tbsp on each flatbread.

  6. In a small bowl mix zaatar with extra virgin olive oil, sprinkle all over flatbread.

  7. Arrange the cucumber, and radish as desired.

  8. Scatter the mint, drizzle extra virgin olive oil, and finish off with a sprinkle of sea salt, and Enjoy!

Curried Fish Toast

Total Time: 15 min
Serves: 4 people

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 loaf bread, sliced

  • 1 cup white fish, cooked - this is a great way to use leftover fish

  • 1/2 cup celery, diced

  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise, or greek yogurt

  • 1/2 tbsp curry powder

  • Pickled red onions

  • Cilantro, chopped

  • Sea salt to taste

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Toast bread to your desire

  2. In a medium sized bowl, combine white fish, celery, mayonnaise, curry powder, and 1 tsp salt. Combine all the ingredients, until fully incorporated.

  3. Smear the toast with 1/4 cup of the white fish salad.

  4. Garnish with pickled red onions, cilantro, and sea salt to taste.

  5. Now munch and crunch away!

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!

Kimchi Cauliflower Fried Rice

Kimchi Cauliflower Fried Rice

I recently went to LA for the first time and to be totally honest, New Yorkers are too harsh on LA. I enjoyed every second I was there. You see, while you're in LA you need to do all the stereotypical LA things, like going to juice press, eating healthy, and drinking vodka water. LA inspired me to try out this healthy gluten free dish that is surprisingly delicious. 

I stopped by the LINE hotel in Koreatown and ate at Roy Choi's restaurant Commissary. A chef that inspired me in college to be creative with every dish I prepared. Thus the kimchi addition to this faux rice. 

Photos by Sean Fagan

Total Time: 35 minutes
Serves: 4-6 people

INGREDIENTS

Kimchi Cauliflower Fried Rice:

  • 1 head cauliflower, cut into florets

  • 3 tbsp vegetable oil

  • 3 garlic cloves, minced

  • 2 tbsp ginger, minced

  • 2 scallions, thinly sliced

  • 1 bag frozen organic peas & carrots (10 oz)

  • 1 pint mini bella mushrooms, cleaned & sliced

  • ½ cup kimchi, chopped

  • ½ cup soy sauce

Topping:

  • 1 tbsp sesame oil

  • 2 eggs

  • 2 scallions, thinly sliced on bias

  • 1 pack Nori (seaweed), thinly sliced

  • ½ cup kimchi, sliced or whole

INSTRUCTIONS

Kimchi Cauliflower Fried Rice:

1.     Add cauliflower to a food processor and pulse until the florets become rice size. Reserve in a bowl. 

2.     In a large deep pan heat vegetable oil on high heat. Add garlic, ginger, and scallions stir frequently until you smell the aromas. 1 minute. Reserve in a bowl.

3.     Add mushrooms, and cook for 4-5 minutes until it reaches a caramel color around the edges. 

4.    Return the garlic, ginger, and scallions to the pan, followed by cauliflower rice, and 4 tbsp water. Cook for 5 minutes, while stirring. 

5.    Add peas and carrots, and stir for an additional minute. 

6.    Add soy sauce, and kimchi and cook until all the liquid has evaporated. about 3-4 minutes. 

7.     Serve rice in a medium bowl, top off with egg and nori strips, scallions, and kimchi. 

Topping:

1.     In a medium sauté pan, heat sesame oil over medium-high heat.

2.     Beat eggs in a small bowl, and add half the eggs in a swirling motion into the pan to form a thin crepe. Cook for 3 minutes, flip to finish cooking for another minute. Repeat this twice. Cut egg crepe into thin strips, fluff, and reserve on a plate. 

3.     Serve topping on the side for the people that are extra in your life!

4.    Enjoy!

Two-Way Hummus

Two-Way (5 minute) Hummus

This takes me back to my real roots. When I first moved to the states Hummus was not yet popular, but fast-forward to 2017 hummus became an American fridge staple. So here it is - my 5 minute, 5 ingredient hummus + a traditional topping that transforms this dip from basic to extra! 

Side note: Hummus can be stored for up to two weeks in the fridge

Photos by Brandon Kaiser

Total Time: 5 minutes
Serves: 4-6 people
Yield: 1 Quart

INGREDIENTS

Hummus:

  • 2 15-oz cans chickpea, drained

  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled and smashed

  • ½ cup tahini paste (preferably al-wadi)

  • ¾ cup extra virgin olive oil

  • 1 lemon, juiced

  • 2 tsp cumin, ground

  • Salt, to taste

Ground-Lamb Topping:

  • 1 tbsp olive oil

  • ½ lb ground lamb (or any ground meat)

  • 1 tsp pomegranate molasses

  • 1 tsp 7-spices seasoning

  • Salt, to taste

  • ¼ cup pine nuts, toasted

  • ¼ cup pomegranate seeds

INSTRUCTIONS

Hummus:

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

2.     Add lemon juice, and tahini paste and pulse on medium for one minute. 

3.     Accelerate the speed to high and add olive oil slowly until it is fully incorporated. Pulse the hummus for 2 minutes or until it becomes a smooth consistency.

4.    Plate, and garnish with paprika/chile powder, drizzled extra virgin olive oil, and a few chickpeas.

5.    Voila! Ready to enjoy, dip away kids.

Ground-Lamb Topping:

1.     In a medium sauté pan, heat olive oil over medium-high heat.

2.     Add ground meat, pomegranate molasses, seasoning, and salt.

3.     Cook for 3-5 minutes or until meat is fully cooked.

4.     Adjust seasoning, and incorporate the pine nuts.

5.    Serve as a topping on hummus, and garnish with pomegranate seeds.

6.    Enjoy!

 

Ramen Carbonara

Ramen Carbonara

This dish was created when I first moved to Brooklyn. I decided to live in prime Williamsburg, getting line cook hourly pay, which meant a lot of ramen dinners. One night I was having the worst case of munchies and just wanted to be sitting at Rosemary's in the West Village eating their famed carbonara, when the lightbulb went off and my very own ramen carbonara was born! 

Photos by Carmen Ladipo

Total Time: 20 minutes
Serves: 2 people
Yield: 2 bowls

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 package of ramen noodle soup (preferably chicken flavored, maruchan)

  • 3 egg yolks

  • ½ cup Greek yogurt

  • ramen seasoning

  • 2 pancetta slices,1.5-inch thick, cubed

  • 1 cup peas, frozen

  • black pepper, freshly ground

  • Parmigiano Reggiano

INSTRUCTIONS

1.     Bring a medium pot of water to boil for the noodles.

2.     On medium-low heat, brown the pancetta for 13-15 minutes, or until golden crispy.

3.     Add noodles to the boiling water, and cook to al dente, 5-6 minutes.

4.     In a small bowl, whisk together the egg yolks, Greek yogurt, 1 tbsp freshly ground black pepper, and ramen seasoning until well combined.

5.    Drain noodles, and keep 1/2 cup of starchy cooking liquid.

6.     Add the noodles back into the pot and heat on high with the extra ½ cup of starchy liquid. Swirl the noodles until the water has evaporated. Turn the heat off and mix in the egg mixture. 

7.     Keep swirling for 1-2 minutes until the eggs are cooked. Leave the burner off, you do not want to scramble your eggs. The key here is creaminess. 

8.     Add peas and pancetta mix again.

9.     Serve and finish off with freshly ground black pepper, and Parmigiano Reggiano.

10.    Slurp away!