Monthly Archives: February 2009

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Zucchini Fritters (Ejjeh Koossa)

This is an absolutely scrumptious dish. We usually ate it the day after having the koossa mehche (stuffed zucchini in meat)  as it is made with the flesh gathered after coring the zucchini for koossa. It is eaten at room temperature stuffed in pita for a quick lunch or as an appetizer  before […]

By |February 24th, 2009|Salty|9 Comments
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Spinach and rice quiche

In Beirut, growing up, we used to go out for Italian food all the time; either for pizza  or at a cafe in Hamra for lasagna or escalopes milanaise. My mother’s friend who left Egypt after Nasser started nationalizing everything even opened a tiny hole-in-the wall in Hamra making fresh pasta.

This is a very […]

Spinach and rice quiche
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Servings Prep Time
8 servings 45 minutes
Cook Time
45 minutes
Servings Prep Time
8 servings 45 minutes
Cook Time
45 minutes
Spinach and rice quiche
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Servings Prep Time
8 servings 45 minutes
Cook Time
45 minutes
Servings Prep Time
8 servings 45 minutes
Cook Time
45 minutes
Ingredients
Servings: servings
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Instructions
  • Heat the chicken broth in a pan till it simmers. Saute bacon, onion and garlic in a large skillet in butter and olive oil. When the onion is translucent and the bacon (or pancetta)is cooked (around 5 minutes) add the rice and stir till it gets coated in the butter and oil, around 3 minutes.
  • Add the spinach, some salt and keep stirring while adding the broth gradually in 1/2 cup increments. Cook the rice by adding more broth or water until the rice is tender and creamy, about 25 minutes in total. Cool the rice and spinach mixture. It should have absorbed all liquid but retained moisture.
  • Heat the oven to 350F. Grease a 9-inch cake pan or pie plate with butter and sprinkle some breadcrumbs and shake off. Mix the eggs, parmesan and spices in a bowl and then add to the rice and spinach mixture. Pour the whole mixture into the cake pan and spread it evenly. Cook it for 35 to 45 minutes till puffy and firm.
  • Right before serving, sprinkle the mozzarella and a couple tablespoons of cream on the top and run it under the broiler. Serve with a salad on the side.
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By |February 23rd, 2009|Quiches|0 Comments
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Stuffed zucchini in yogurt sauce

I was in the mood for some koossa Mehche …We used to have it once a week, either in tomato sauce or in laban (yogurt sauce). Those were the days…comforting and homey food. The neighborhood’s middle-eastern grocery sells Mexican zucchini and these will have to do. In Lebanon, the zucchini are tiny, no more […]

Zucchini stuffed with lamb (Koossa Mehchi)
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Servings Prep Time
6 servings 60 minutes
Cook Time
45 minutes
Servings Prep Time
6 servings 60 minutes
Cook Time
45 minutes
Zucchini stuffed with lamb (Koossa Mehchi)
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Servings Prep Time
6 servings 60 minutes
Cook Time
45 minutes
Servings Prep Time
6 servings 60 minutes
Cook Time
45 minutes
Ingredients
Servings: servings
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Instructions
  • Gently wash and dry the zucchini. Place them in a bowl and have another (smaller) bowl handy. Core them by removing the flesh and placing it in the smaller bowl. Try not to break the zucchini and get all the flesh out so that the shells are very thin. Cover the bowl containing the zucchini flesh and put it aside to use later for making omelettes. Start making the stuffing by mixing the ground meat with the rice and mashed garlic or toom and spices. It is a good idea to soak the rice for 30 minutes prior and drain it, although not absolutely necessary.
  • Fill the zucchinis with the stuffing until they are almost but not quite full; you should allow some room for the rice to expand. Place the zucchinis or koossa in a pot and cover them with cold water; place a heavy plate over them to hold them down. Cook on top of the stove till the liquid simmers gently for about 45 minutes to one hour or until the stuffing has expanded and is cooked.
  • Meanwhile you can cook the yogurt. Pour it all in a deep pan, add the beaten egg adn diluted cornstarch (in 1/4 cup water) and start heating it and stirring with a wooden spoon in the same direction until the yogurt is cooked and steams, about 15 minutes (or longer if needed) When the zucchinis are cooked in the broth, drain them, save the broth for a soup, and add the yogurt sauce to the pot.
  • Before serving, fry gently some mashed garlic in olive oil in a small skillet, add about a tablespoon of dried mint and mix it until the fragrance is released. Stir this mint pesto into the yogurt for a delicious flavor.
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By |February 20th, 2009|Salty, Traditional, Whole Grain|3 Comments
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Fig jam cookie roll

 

 

This cookie is  a combination of rugelah and ma’amoul . I used a recipe from Rose Levy Beranbaum’s book Rose’sChristmas Cookies and given it a Lebanese touch by stuffing it with a traditional dried fig jam. The richness of cream cheese in the dough and fig jam and walnut in the filling create an almost decadent […]

Fig jam cookies
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Servings Prep Time
24 servings 20 minutes
Cook Time
12 minutes
Servings Prep Time
24 servings 20 minutes
Cook Time
12 minutes
Fig jam cookies
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Servings Prep Time
24 servings 20 minutes
Cook Time
12 minutes
Servings Prep Time
24 servings 20 minutes
Cook Time
12 minutes
Ingredients
Dough
Stuffing
Servings: servings
Units:
Instructions
  • Soften the cream cheese and butter by letting them sit at room temperature for a couple hours. Mix the cream cheese and butter till creamy and well-combined. Add salt and sugar to the all-purpose flour. Add to the butter mixture and when a dough forms, gather and place in a plastic bag and in the fridge for at least 2 hours.
  • Empty the content of the jar of fig jam into a food processor. Chop so that it becomes pasty and more manageable. Remove the rugelah dough from the fridge. Divide it in halves. Spread each on a counter adding more flour to prevent sticking. Form 2 large rectangles about 1/8 in in thickness, no more. Spread the fig jam on the dough, then sprinkle the walnuts and a tablespoon of anise powder. Roll the 2 rectangles and place them on a parchment-lined cookie sheet. Freeze them for 15 minutes.
  • Brush some milk on the dough and sprinkle sesame seeds on it. Cut the dough roll thinly with a serrated knife. Bake in a 350F oven until golden and crispy The cookies will keep very well for about 5 days in an hermetic jar.
Recipe Notes

The filling can be versatile and the fig jam substituted for apricot, or raspberry or any other jam.

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By |February 14th, 2009|Cookies|1 Comment
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Milk Pudding (Muhallabiyeh)

 

I read one time the results of a study on what taste men in general were drawn to:  it was “creamy” things, like vanilla ice cream or whipping cream. The study concluded by stating that it was certainly derived for the primal longing for mother’s milk that accompanies men throughout their lives!!

No pudding equals […]

By |February 6th, 2009|Sweets|6 Comments