Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Lebanon main courses

It's a wonder that the Lebanese are not squat and wide as the food would certainly lend itself to was really fantastic.

We have a distinct lack of photos for the actual entrees. But, there are photos of desert and then the dance party...

Fattouch (Salad)
Chopped lettuce, parsley, mint, cucumber, onion, tomato, radish, fresh thyme, oregano leaves and grilled Lebanese bread…portions are your choice.
Sauce: Red vinegar, olive oil and summak

Lebanese Chicken
Yield: 4 servings

3/4 cup lemon juice
8 large Garlic cloves, minced
2 Tbsp Thyme, minced or 2 tsp dried thyme
1 Tbsp Paprika
1 1/2 tsp Ground cumin
3/4 tsp cayenne pepper
2 chickens (3 lbw each) Split lengthwise, backbones removed and discarded lemon wedges to garnish.

1. Whisk lemon juice, minced garlic, thyme, paprika, cumin and cayenne pepper in small pepper.
2. Place chicken in 13x9 glass baking dish.
3. Pour marinade over; turn chicken to coat. Cover and refrigerate at least 6 hours or overnight, turning occasionally.
4. Preheat oven to 425 F. Transfer chicken to large roasting pan.
5. Season chicken with salt and pepper. Bake until golden brown and cooked through, basting occasionally with pan juices, about 50 mins.
6. Transfer to plates, garnish with lemon wedges.
7. Pass pan juices separately.

Potato Pie (Kibbet Batatah)

about 3 lb potatoes
4 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup pine nuts
1 lb lean minced (ground) lamb
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
1/4 teaspoon finely ground black pepper
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons creme fraiche, or sour cream if unavailable
1 egg yolk

1. Wash the potatoes and put them in a large saucepan. Cover with water, add a generous pinch of salt, put the lid over the pan and place over a high heat. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat to medium and boil gently for 30 minutes or until the potatoes are done.
2. Preheat the oven to 400 F and grease a deep baking dish, about 12 inches x 8 inches, with a little butter.
3. Melt the butter in a frying pan over a medium heat and saute the pine nuts, stirring regularly, until they become golden brown. Remove with a slotted spoon onto a plate. Saute the minced meat in the butter until it loses all traces of pink. Keep mashing and stirring it with a wooden spoon or fork so that it separates well and does not form lumps. Remove from the heat and season with cinnamon, allspice, pepper and salt to taste. Stir in the pine nuts, taste, adjust seasoning if necessary and set aside.
4. Drain the cooked potatoes. Peel and puree them. Stir in the cream and egg yolk and season with pepper and salt to taste. Spread half of the puree in an even layer over the bottom of the baking dish. Spread the stuffing over the potatoes and cover with a layer of the remaining puree. Bake for 30 minutes or until the top becomes golden and the pie is hot throughout. Serve hot.
5. To make a vegetarian version, replace the minced meat with 3/4 pound onions, finely chopped and fried until golden in the same butter as the nuts.

Chickpea and Rice Stuffing

4 tablespoons olive oil
12 medium-sized green peppers
6 spring onions, chopped
200g/7oz long-grain rice, cooked
425g/15oz can chickpeas, drained
4 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley
2 medium tomatoes, peeled and chopped
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
salt and freshly ground black pepper
TOMATO SAUCE: 2 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium onion, grated
1 clove garlic, crushed
225ml/8 fl oz water
400g/14 oz can chopped tomatoes
3 tablespoons tomato puree
1 teaspoon sugar
salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons finely chopped flat-leaf parsley

1. Cut the tops from the peppers, trim and reserve. Discard the seeds and white membrane. Put the peppers into a large saucepan of boiling salted water for 5 minutes. Drain in a colander, then invert onto layers of kitchen paper and leave to drain.
2. FOR THE CHICKPEAS AND RICE STUFFING: Heat the oil in a frying pan. Add the spring onions and cook gently for 2-3 minutes. Remove from the heat, add the remaining stuffing ingredients and season to taste with salt and pepper.
3. Stand the peppers upright in an oiled baking dish and fill them loosely with prepared stuffing. Replace the tops of the peppers. Preheat the oven to 180 C/350 F/gas mark 4.
4. FOR THE TOMATO SAUCE: Heat the oil in small saucepan. Add the onion and garlic and cook gently for 5 minutes. Stir in the remaining sauce ingredients and bring to the boil.
5. Pour the tomato sauce over the peppers, cover with foil and bake for 45 minutes. Remove the cover and bake for 15 minutes, basting the peppers with the sauce if necessary to keep them moist. Serve hot.

BBQ Kafta

1 1/2 pounds lean ground lamb
1 medium onion, grated
1/2 cup finely chopped fresh parsley
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
1 teaspoon salt, or to taste
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
6 wooden or metal skewers


1. Preheat an outdoor grill for high heat. If using wooden skewers, soak in water.
2. In a large bowl, mix together the ground beef, onion, parsley, cayenne, allspice, salt and pepper until evenly blended. Divide into 6 portions, and press around one end of the skewers to form a log shape approximately 1 inch thick and 6 inches long.
3. Grill for 10 to 15 minutes, turning occasionally, until meat is no longer pink.

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