lebanese food

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!

Mini Man'oushe

Mini Man'oushe

The traditional and best way to start your morning in the Middle East is with a man'oushe in hand. A man'oushe is a flatbread that is normally made with zaatar, and finished with fresh veggies rolled up and eaten like a sandwich. If you get it at the right place, fresh out of the oven - it is to die for. Crunchy, simple and delicious. I decided to make this breakfast essential into a mini hors d'oeuvre to add to my spring menu! With different toppings and sauces this can be catered for any event or client! 

The dough recipe is from David Lebovitz' website !!

Enjoy the recipe - comment below and let me know if you try it out!

Photos by Edouard Massih

Total Time: 2 - 2.5 hours
Serves: 4-5 people

Dough:

  • 1 cup tepid water (slightly warmer than room temp)

  • 1 tsp active dry yeast

  • 1 tsp sugar

  • 1 tbsp olive oil

  • 2.5 cups (350g) AP flour

  • 1.5 tsp sea salt

Za'atar Topping:

  • 1/4 cup za'atar

  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

  • salt to taste

Pizza Topping:

  • 1/2 cup tomato sauce

  • 1 cup shredded cheese

  • 6-8 sliced mushrooms

INSTRUCTIONS

Dough Making:

1.    In a stand mixer bowl, activate the yeast by sprinkling it over the water along with the sugar. Let sit in a warm place until the yeast starts to bubble, about 10 minutes. 

2.   Using a dough hook attachment, stir in the olive oil, flour and salt. Mix on medium-high speed for 5 minutes - until the dough becomes a smooth ball, but is sticky when touched by your finger. The dough should start pulling off the edges of the mixing bowl.

3.   Cover the dough in the bowl with a kitchen towel, and let it rise in a warm place until the dough has doubled in volume - about 1.5 hours. 

4.    When the dough has doubled in volume, roll it out onto a lightly floured countertop, and divide the dough into 4 pieces. Roll each piece of dough out, until the dough starts to resist. Cut the dough into small circles with a circle cutter. Then roll again to stretch the mini circles. 

Topping & Baking:

1.      When ready - preheat the oven to 450F. 

2.     Line a sheet tray with parchment paper, drizzle with olive oil, and start lining up the man'oushe circles the parchment paper. 

3.     In a small bowl, mix the za'atar and extra virgin olive oil to make the za'atar spread

4.     Spread the za'atar mixture on half of the man'oushe circles, and spread tomato sauce on the other half.

5.     Finish the pizza man'oushe with a little cheese, and a slice of mushroom. 

6.     Bake the man'oushe for 5-7 minutes or until golden, and crispy. 

7.   Serve warm, or cool down and freeze for later use. 

Cheers!

 

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. 

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!

Savory Lebanese Toast

Savory Lebanese Toast

This is a little twist on one of my favorite breakfast foods. I tend to eat more savory than sweet so I decided to switch it up. Instead of making a sweetened toast, I used an olive loaf, topping it off with tomatoes, mint, cucumber, grilled halloumi cheese, and the legendary Black & Bolyard aleppo pepper brown butter.

Photos by Carmen Ladipo

Total Time: 25 min
Serves: 4-6 people
Yield: 1 large stack

INGREDIENTS

French Toast:

  • 1 olive loaf, sliced ½’

  • 4 whole eggs

  • 2 tbsp za'atar

  • 1 tbsp sumac

  • Pinch sea salt

  • Aleppo pepper brown butter

Toppings:

  • 2 each tomatoes, cubed

  • 1 each cucumber, halved and sliced

  • ¼ cup mint leaves, washed

  • 1 block halloumi cheese, rinsed and sliced ¼’

  • Extra virgin olive oil

  • Salt to taste

INSTRUCTIONS

1.     In a medium bowl, crack eggs and whisk with za'atar, sumac, and sea salt – until well combined

2.     In a large bowl toss cubed tomatoes, cucumber, mint, EVOO, and salt together – and set aside. 

3.     Dip bread in egg mixture, until fully coated

4.     In a large cast iron skillet, melt the brown butter over medium high heat.

5.     Cook each slice for 2-3 minutes on each side, or until golden brown.

6.     Let the bread cool, and sear the halloumi cheese for 2 minutes until the edges are crispy.

7.     Assemble the toast by adding a slice of halloumi, and a scoop of salad.

8.     Finishing it off with melted brown butter, and za'atar.

9.     Cheers