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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Green Pepper and olive salad

Everybody in Beirut goes to the mountains when the heat and humidity of the summer first hits, around July, and you see narrow winding  mountain roads teeming with cars piled up with mattresses and all manner of odds and ends for the summer getaway trip that lasts until September.

So, here I was with my […]

By |May 26th, 2010|Salads|52 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