Monthly Archives: October 2010

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Pork tenderloin with fennel and onion jam


Lebanon is a small mediterranean country; as such, it is covered with wild fennel. I saw this herb growing in the mountains and on the coastline. It can be made into an infusion or incorporated into all sorts of dishes.

This dish however uses the fennel bulb offered in supermarkets, caramelized in a bit […]

By |October 31st, 2010|Salty|31 Comments
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Coffee pudding

Lebanese folks fall into two categories: the ones that like to drink their Turkish coffee with ground cardamom mixed in (hale in Arabic) and those who like it just plain. In the Middle-Eastern stores, the packages of Turkish coffee with cardamom have a green border and printed with cardamom at the bottom.

People (in the […]

By |October 29th, 2010|Sweets|39 Comments
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Chicken loaf with cranberries and pistachios (Rosto)


This loaf is made in  traditional Lebanese homes with extra-lean  ground veal or beef and usually stuffed with carrot sticks or hard-boiled eggs. Seared in fat and simmered slowly in a vinegar sauce.

My aunt Wadad is 88 years-young; about four feet tall and eighty pounds or so, she has a commanding and blunt […]

By |October 27th, 2010|Salty|30 Comments
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Artichoke bottoms with a yogurt sauce


I made this today in memory of a great lunch I shared with a friend in Beirut recently; he took me to a place called Walima, that used to be located in a traditional old house, unfortunately  demolished since;  the homestyle restaurant had to move to a nearby location in a non-descript building; the […]

By |October 25th, 2010|Salty|47 Comments
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Goat chili


Goat meat is available at my neighborhood Middle-Eastern store. Much leaner and much more nutritious than other red meats, it makes  an  excellent  chili.

I used cranberry beans to go with it. Simmered the mixture for about  three hours and served it with a handful of extra-sharp cheddar cheese and a sprinkle of chopped onions.


By |October 24th, 2010|Salty|31 Comments
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Birthday Cake with phyllo


This cake is one I made to celebrate a cousin’s birthday. I had zero time to pipe some swirls of frosting and so I used phyllo sheets that I cut in triangles in lieu of a polished frosting.

The cake is a sponge cake, cut in the middle horizontally  and filled with vanilla ashtaliyeh or […]

By |October 22nd, 2010|Sweets|39 Comments
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Couscous with chick peas and grape molasses


This couscous  is inspired by a country dish I had read about in Chef Ramzi’s Culinary Heritage of Lebanon in which chick peas are cooked in grape molasses and water for hours till tender.

To add some depth of flavor, couscous, caramelized onions, a whole head of garlic and a generous pinch of  zaatar or oregano […]

By |October 21st, 2010|Salty|20 Comments
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Chewing-gum, Lebanese style


Chewing gum was a major treat for me growing up in Beirut. It was exciting as well, because my father forbade it , saying that it made us look like camels.

My aunt Marcelle lived in the same building  two stories up: every few weeks her  seamstresses  would come over and spend the […]

By |October 20th, 2010|Tips|29 Comments
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Kaak (Lebanese crackers)


Kaak is a dry breadstick covered with toasted sesame seeds and flavored with mahlab, a very popular spice in the Lebanese pastry world.

A traditional kaak recipe is available here.

Kaak is also  made with grape molasses, which makes it sweet and richer-tasting. It can be flavored with zaatar, which gives it a little pungent taste. […]

By |October 20th, 2010|Tips|22 Comments
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Potatoes with muhammara (Batata muhammara)


Muhammara is my favorite dip; it is very rich, but so what? Eating  a rib-eye steak is a rich meal and at least here, the components are walnuts and red pepper and spices.

I have mixed muhammara with pasta.

Today, I am mixing it with a baked potato.

Come to think of it, you could have […]

By |October 18th, 2010|Salty|38 Comments