Monthly Archives: May 2010

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Shredded phyllo with clotted cream (Ossmaliyeh bel Ashta)


This is a homestyle version of one of the most popular desserts served in traditional Lebanese restaurants and pastry shops in Beirut. It comes either in a large pie format or in individual servings.

It is composed of a super crispy base of fried or oven-toasted shredded phyllo  dough, topped with unsweetened ashta or […]

By |May 31st, 2010|Sweets|73 Comments
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Lebanese cream (Ashta)


Ashta, our Lebanese cream is the foundation for all pastries; yet it does not contain cream.

Sure, there was a time when ashta was pure cream. Nowadays, it is made with milk (frequently powdered milk in Lebanon), fresh American-style  toast and flavorings!

The result: a clotted cream that tastes fresh and light, without any cream

Such […]

By |May 30th, 2010|Sweets|120 Comments
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Tabouleh Gazpacho


This is a recipe from Lebanese chef Marlene Mattar; I tweaked it a bit, for a good cause (my tomatoes were tasteless). Chef Marlene took a Lebanese classic, our tabbouleh salad and converted it to a gazpacho. The result? A soup that will reconcile you with the scorching heat of summer. A cooling beverage […]

By |May 28th, 2010|Salty|78 Comments
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Sesame-crusted pork tenderloin with orange blossom glaze


My mother used to cook  pork tenderloin  a lot when she lived in France; she would throw herbs and spices and stuff on it and it was always delicious; I figured I would try it with this jam, a typical Lebanese jam I found at the middle-eastern store; and why not crust it with […]

By |May 27th, 2010|Salty|39 Comments
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Spaghetti with radish greens pesto


There is a mountain resort village in Lebanon where people go in the wintertime to ski. I was there one summer  as a guest of my dad’s favorite cousin, Tante Marcelle. I owe her my life, in fact, because she is the one who introduced my mom to my dad.

So, Tante Marcelle, who had […]

By |May 25th, 2010|Salty|67 Comments
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Eggplant stuffed with cheese and nuts


What kind of shopper are you? Do you go to a store with a list, and check off the list? or do you buy what you see that tempts you?

These  eggplants were small. They were thin. They were fresh.I could not resist.

I stuffed them with what I had in the fridge:  Feta, Kashkaval, walnuts […]

By |May 24th, 2010|Salty|75 Comments
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Milk and Cherry pudding


My son Nick announced he was moving to Montreal for a while; upon receiving the news I first did what any self-respecting (Lebanese) mother would have done: I told him in no uncertain terms that he was GOING TO KILL ME.

When that failed to ignite  the slightest spark of guilt, I asked ” what […]

By |May 23rd, 2010|Sweets|75 Comments
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Baby Octopus salad


When the weather is warm, who wants heavy food?

Light, grills in five minutes, baby octopus salad is the answer in my book.


1 pound baby octopus
2 large lemons
olive oil
Dressing: 2 cloves of garlic, mashed with a pinch of salt, juice of a large lemon, olive oil, a generous pinch of hot Aleppo pepper.
2 […]

By |May 22nd, 2010|Salads|42 Comments
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10-minute baklava


In Lebanon, nobody makes baklava at home! Every neighborhood has at least one famous pastry-maker whose family has  been making it for hundreds of years.People just buy it!

I had used phyllo dough a few times over the years; decided it was too much trouble.

Then one day, a lady I knew was having a fund-raiser […]

By |May 20th, 2010|Sweets|119 Comments
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Pasta with muhammara sauce


Muhammara, a word that means “reddened” is a dip in our neck of the woods; it originated in Aleppo in Syria but is prepared and served as a mezze (appetizer) all over Lebanon. When I first tasted it in the town of Zahlé, in the Bekaa valley, a town famous for its restaurants […]

By |May 19th, 2010|Salty|80 Comments