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Lebanon (Lebanese Recipes)

World Cuisine Recipes


   Lebanese Food was always one of the country's principal attractions, and it has now largely passed the borders to become extremely popular in the West. Lebanese cuisine as a whole goes under the heading "health food". It is mostly based on cereals, in the shape of bread, bourghoul (crushed wheat) and rice. A large and varied assortment of vegetables and milk products accompany the above, and meat plays a relatively small part. Bread was and still is treasured; it is never thrown away. If it has become truly improper for consumption, it is kissed before being disposed of. Stale bread is grilled in the oven or fried so that it becomes dry and crunchy as cracker; such grilled bread is a tasty variant that enters the composition of several dishes. Several foreign dishes, like couscous, French fries and spaghetti, have been imported into the cuisine and thoroughly modified to the point of rivaling the original recipes. They were adapted to the local ways to the extent of becoming a part of the traditional food.

Aubergine and Tahini Puree (Baba Ghannouj)

2 medium aubergines
125ml/4 fl oz tahini (sesame paste)
Chopped fresh parsley
2 cloves garlic, chopped
Pita bread, cut into wedges, or savoury crackers or crusty bread
Juice of 1 lemon
Olive oil to serve
Cooking Instructions:
Leave the stems on the aubergines and roast over glowing coals on a barbecue until soft, for about 30-40 minutes. Turn them often, and allow the skin to char lightly all over. Alternatively, cook on the middle shelf of a oven preheated to 200 C/400 F/gas mark 6, turning occasionally. Peel off the skin while hot, and remove the stems. Chop the flesh roughly, place in a colander and shake well to remove the excess moisture. Transfer to a food processor with the garlic and process to a coarse puree. Add the lemon juice and the tahini and process to a thick puree. Add salt to taste and more lemon juice if necessary. Transfer to a bowl, cover and refrigerate until required. To serve, place the puree in a shallow bowl, swirling it with the back of spoon. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle lightly with parsley. Serve with bread.

Kafta (Kaftah)

2 medium onions, peeled and quartered
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
Salt to taste
About 1-1/4 lb lean minced ground lamb (use leg)
1/2 bunch parsley (7 oz on the stalk), washed, dried and moist of the stalk cut off
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon finely ground black pepper
Cooking Instructions:
Put the quartered onions and parsley in the blender or food processor and process until finely chopped. Transfer to a mixing bowl and process the minced meat with the seasonings until you have a smooth paste. Mix the meat with the parsley and onion with your hand until well blended together. Taste, adjust seasoning if necessary, and serve it raw (kaftah nayeh) with your choice of Arabic bread.

Baked Fish with Tahini (Samak bil-Tahineh)

About 2 lb white fish fillets or steaks or 1 whole fish weighing about 2 lb
1-1/2 cups water
3 large onions, thinly sliced
Juice of 2-1/2 lemons, or to taste
1 tablespoon pomegranate seeds for ganish, optional
3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons tahini
Vegetable oil for frying
Cooking Instructions:
Rinse the fish pieces (or whole fish) in cold water, pat dry with paper towels and rub lightly with salt. Set aside for half an hour to soak up the salt. In the meantime pour the tahini into a mixing bowl and gradually stir in the water and lemon juice, alternately, until you have a pale creamy liquid. The tahini will first thicken to a puree-like consistency before it starts to dilute again. If you use less lemon juice, make up for the reduction in liquid by adding more water. The sauce should be quite runny, like a thin, creamy soup. Preheat the oven to 425 F. Take a large non-stick frying pan, pour in vegetable oil to a depth of 1/2 inch and place over a medium heat. When the oil is hot (to test the heat dip in one end of a fish piece, and if the oil bubbles around it, it is ready), fry the fish pieces or whole fish for 1 minute on each side to seal. Remove fish with a slotted spoon and put on a plate for later use. Fry the sliced onion in the same oil as the fish until golden. Remove with a slotted spoon and drop the onion into the tahini sauce. Add salt to taste, mix well together and pour into a deep baking dish. Arrange the fish in the tahini and onion sauce, turning it to coat evenly, and bake in the preheated oven for 30 minutes or until the sauce has thickened and is bubbling all over. Serve tepid or at room temperature, ganished with a few pomegranate seeds (if you are using them).

Artichoke in Oil

16 artichokes, cleaned and left whole
6 oz. oil
1 lb. small onions
2 1/2 pts. boiling water (to boil artichoke)
2 oz. flour
1 oz. salt
1/4 tsp. white pepper
12 oz. of green fava beans
Cooking Instructions:
Put all the ingredients together in a pot and cook over high heat first, then reduce heat to medium and cook until done. Take out artichokes arranging them side by side on a platter then pour the rest on top. Serve cold.
Tabouleh, Parsley Salad
Servings: 4
½ cup burghul
8-10 spring onions
2 teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon black pepper
¼ teaspoon mixed spices
5 cups very finely chopped parsley
¼ cup very finely chopped fresh mint or 2 teaspoon dried mint
3 large tomatoes, finely chopped
approx ¼ cup lemon juice
¼ cup olive oil
Cooking Instructions:
Wash the burghul and drain well by squeezing out excess water with cupped hands. Place in a bowl and refrigerate for at least 1 hour. Trim the spring onions to leave about 8 in (20cm) of green. Finely chop the white of the spring onions and mix it into the drained burghul with the salt, pepper and spices. Finely chop the green of the spring onions and place it with parsley, mint and tomatoes on top of the burghul mixture. Set aside in the refrigerator until ready to serve. Just before serving, add the lemon juice and olive oil and toss well. Adjust salt and lemon juice to taste. Tabbouleh is usually served in a wide based bowl or deep serving dish and garnished with lettuce leaves. When it is served as mezza a large spoonful is placed in a lettuce leaf, wrapped into a roll and eaten with the fingers.
Salad of Asparagus and Bread

3 lbs. 5 oz. asparagus
7 oz. toasted Arab bread, broken in small pieces
5 oz. olive oil
2 tbs. salt
3 1/2 oz. onions chopped fine
1 clove garlic mashed with salt tomatoes sliced in shape of wings for garnishing
Cooking Instructions:
Cook asparagus as in No. 42. Sprinkle some of liquid of the asparagus over the bread. Mash garlic with salt and dissolve it in a small portion of asparagus liquid. Add the major part of asparagus, the dissolved garlic, the onions and oil and toss well. Serve on a flat platter and garnish with rest of asparagus and tomatoes.
Servings: 4-6
1 cup brown or green lentils, prepared and washed
5 cups water
2 medium onions, cut into fine rings
½ cup olive oil
1 cup burghul, washed and drained
1 tablespoon salt
Cooking Instructions:
Boil the lentils in the water until soft. Fry the onions in the oil until very dark brown (practically black). Add the burghul to the cooked lentils and bring to the boil. While boiling slowly add the hot oil from the onions. Add salt. Cover and simmer slowly. Set the drained, browned onion rings aside and when dry and crisp, crush into a paste. Mix the onion paste into the simmering lentil and burghul mixture. Continue to simmer until burghul is soft approx 1 ½ - 2 hours. The soup must be stirred regularly while cooking to prevent it sticking to the bottom, and boiling water may be added if required to keep a thick, creamy consistency .Adjust salt to taste.
Lebanese Chicken
Servings: 4
3/4 c Lemon juice
8 lg Garlic clove(s), minced
2 tb Thyme, minced or 2 ts Dried thyme
1 tb Paprika
1 1/2 ts Ground cumin
3/4 ts Cayenne pepper
2 Chickens (3 lb ea) Split lengthwise, backbones
Removed and discarded Lemon wedges to garnish
Cooking Instructions:
Whisk lemon juice, minced garlic, thyme, paprika, cumin, and cayenne pepper in small bowl. Place chicken in 13x9x2-inch glass baking dish. Pour marinade over; turn chicken to coat. Cover and refrigerate at least 6 hours or overnight, turning occasionally.
Preheat oven to 425 F. Transfer chicken and marinade to large roasting pan. Season chicken with salt and pepper. Bake until chicken is golden brown and cooked through, basting occasionally with pan juices, about 50 min. Transfer chicken to plates. Garnish with lemon wedges. Pass pan juices separately.
White Bean Soup (Shourbet Fassoolia bayda)
Servings: 4-6
1 lb (500 g) white beans, soaked overnight
2 spring onions
3 tablespoons ghee or substitute
2 ½ pints (1.25 liters) Basic meat broth plus meat
½ teaspoon salt
Cooking Instructions:
Boil the soaked beans for 30 minutes and drain. Fry the spring onions in the ghee and add to the broth along with the cooked, drained beans and salt. Bring soup to the boil, cover and simmer until all the ingredients are soft approx 30 minutes, Sieve or blend into a purée. Adjust salt to taste. Reheat before serving.
Stuffed Zucchini in Tomato Sauce (Mihshi Kousa Bbanadoura)
Servings: 6
18 small or 12 medium zucchini
4 cups Meat and Rice Stuffing
2 medium onions, chopped finely
4-5 tablespoons ghee substitute
2-4 cloves garlic
2 tomatoes, sliced
1 ½ teaspoons salt
2 tablespoons tomato paste or 14 ½ oz (1 x 455 g) can tomatoes
4 cups water
1 teaspoon dried mint
Cooking Instructions:
Wash the zucchini and cut off the tops, just below the stems. Scoop put the pulp being careful not to break the skin: the other end must remain closed. Rinse and drain the hollow zucchini. Three-quarters fill each one with stuffing, allowing for rice expansion. Lightly brown the onions in the ghee using the saucepan in which the zucchini are to be cooking. Add the garlic and sliced tomatoes to the onions and ghee, covering the bottom of the saucepan evenly. Place the zucchini over the tomatoes, in closely packed rows and layers, sprinkling salt between each layer. Mix the tomato paste or soup with the water and pour over the zucchini. Sprinkle with mint. Turn a heatproof dinner plate upside-down over the zucchini to keep them in place and keep in the steam. Cover the saucepan. Bring to the boil, turn down the heat and simmer very slowly until the zucchini shells are tender and the filling cooked approx 1 1 ½ hours. When cooked, keep the zucchini covered and allow cooling in the juice. Reheat before serving. To serve, drain the juice from the saucepan into another container. Gently place the zucchini on a platter and pour the juice over the top. Serve as a complete meal with side salad and bread.
Stuffed Swiss Chard Leaves in Oil (Mihshi Silq b Zeit)
Servings: 5
2 lb (1 kg) fresh Swiss chard
3 cups chopped parsley
2 onions
1/2 cup olive oil
3 large ripe tomatoes
3/4 cup rice, washed in several waters
1 tablespoon salt
A few mint leaves
Juice of 2 lemons
A dash of pepper
Cooking Instructions:
Chop the onions finely and rub with salt and pepper. Chop the tomatoes and the mint leaves very finely and place in a medium-size mixing bowl, then stir in the rice. Add the parsley, olive oil, onion and lemon juice and mix well. Cut off the Swiss chard stems and wash the leaves well. Drop the leaves in boiling water for a few seconds then remove quickly. Stuff the leaves (see stuffed vine leaves). Place a few stalks at the bottom of a saucepan, then place the stuffed leaves over them in closely packed rows and layers. Pour the remaining sauce from the rice mixture and add enough water to cover the stuffed leaves. Turn a platter upside-down over the leaves to keep them in place. Cover the saucepan and bring to the boil. Reduce heat and simmer for an hour. When the leaves are almost cold, turn onto a plate and garnish with a few tomato rings.
Eggplant Dip with Tahinah (Badinjan bi tahina)
Servings: 5
2 lb (1kg) eggplants
3 garlic cloves
1 tablespoon water
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup tahinah paste (Ground, hulled seame seeds)
Juice of one and a half lemons
Cooking Instructions:
Grill the eggplants then mash the pulp. Crush the garlic cloves with the salt in a pestle, and then stir in the lemon juice. Add the above mixture to the mashed eggplants, and then stir in the tahinah and water. Serve in bowl and sprinkle with chopped parsley and a little cumin.
Kebbeh Stuffed

3 T. butter
1/4 c. pine nuts
1 pound ground lamb or beef
1 medium onion, chopped fine
3/4 t. allspice
3/4 t. nutmeg
Pepper to taste
Cooking Instructions:
In a large skillet melt the butter. Sauté the pine nuts until they are a light golden brown. Stir in the ground meat and sauté for 10 minutes. Add the remaining ingredients and cook until the onion is tender; use in recipe as directed.
Chicory Leaves in oil (Hindbeh b Zeit)

2 lb (1 kg) chicory
1/2 cup olive oil
3 onions, sliced into thin rings
1 tablespoon salt
5 garlic cloves
Cooking Instructions:
Remove the outer yellow leaves from the chicory, then wash and shred crosswise, very finely. Immerse the shredded leaves in hot water for 2 minutes. When almost tender, remove the leaves and squeeze out excess water between the palms of the hand. Set aside to cool. Fry the onion rings in oil until golden. Remove the onions from the oil and place the chicory in the same oil with the crushed garlic and salt. Sauté over medium heat for 5 minutes. Pour some lemon juice over it and serve cold, garnished with the fried onions rings.
Eggplant and Tahini (Baba Ghanouj)

1 large eggplant
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
4-5 tablespoons tahini
2 cloves garlic
1 1/2 teaspoons of salt
1/4 cup fin chopped fresh parsley
Cooking Instructions:
Remove green leafy part around stem of the eggplant but do not remove the stem. Place in a hot oven 450 degrees about 15 to 20 minutes or until soft. Allow to cool. Carefully remove the skin while holding the stem. Mash the pulp thoroughly with a fork or you may use a food processor. Gradually beat in the lemon juice alternately with the tahini. Crush the garlic with salt and mix into a paste. Blend the garlic/salt mixture into the eggplant mixture. Adjust salt to taste. Best way to eat: Pour mixture into shallow serving dishes and garnish with chopped parsley. Serve with pita bread, fresh or toasted.
Chick Pea Dip (Hoummus BTahiti)

1 ½ cups chick peas, soaked overnight
2 teaspoons salt
Approx 2 cloves garlic
¾ cup tahini
Approx ½ cup lemon juice
Pinch cayenne pepper and 2 tablespoons chopped parsley to garnish
Cooking Instructions:
Drain the soaked chick peas, place in a pot and add there times their amount of water. Add 1 teaspoon salt and bring to the boil. Boil vigorously for about 10 minutes, turn the heat down, cover the saucepan and simmer until the chick peas are very soft- approx 1 hour. Drain liquid off and reserve. Reserve ½ cup of the whole, cooked chick peas for garnish. Purée the remainder of the peas by pressing through a sieve or placing in blender. Crush the garlic with the remaining teaspoon of salt. Beat or blend it into the purée. Slowly beat in the tahini and lemon juice alternately. Blend in a little of the reserved liquid to make the mixture a thick creamy consistency. Adjust salt and lemon to taste. Serve on a platter garnished with a pinch of cayenne pepper, parsley and the reserved chick peas.

 lb Chick peas (soaked for 24 h)
1 md Onion
1 md Potato, peeled
4 Garlic cloves
1 t Ground coriander
1 t Cumin
2 ts Salt
1/2 ts Pepper
1/2 ts Cayenne
1 tb Flour
Vegetable oil for frying
2 ts Baking soda
Cooking Instructions:
Drain chick peas. Quarter onion and potato. Run all through fine holes of the meat grinder along with the garlic two times. Add all remaining ingredients except baking soda and vegetable oil. Mix well. Run through grinder once more. Mix again. Cover and leave to rest for two to three hours. Heat oil for deep frying. While oil is heating add baking soda to the chick pea mixture. With dampened hands, form mixture into balls the size of a walnut, then flatten slightly into a patty. Deep fry, making sure patties are cooked
through and are golden brown. Remove from oil with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels.

World Cuisine Recipes


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