Monthly Archives: January 2012

  • artichokes-with-spinach2

Stuffed artichoke bottoms


Certain kitchen jobs are just not fun: Like plucking artichokes. Fortunately, the bottoms are available in all Middle-Eastern shops in the US or Canada and in every supermarket in Lebanon. 

These are filled with a spinach custard; baked and topped with a slice of hard-boiled egg; it would be great too with a poached egg […]

By |January 30th, 2012|Salty|32 Comments
  • cranberry-oat-bars

Oatmeal bars

Seems like oatmeal bars (and cookies) are in the air; saw some over at Bo’s then at Oui, Chef. Had to make a Levantine version! Cranberries are imported here (from the US) but can easily be replaced by dried cherries or apricot or raisins. These bars are chewy and the cranberries add a […]

By |January 28th, 2012|Sweets|25 Comments
  • kibbeh-blabnieh

Kibbeh in yogurt sauce


One major difference between, say, French or Italian or Greek cuisine  and Middle-Eastern cuisine  lies in the widespread use of yogurt in cooking. In traditional Lebanese cooking, béchamel or white sauce is not used, period. Yogurt from cow milk or goat milk is used in hundreds of dishes. To add some kick, a pesto […]

By |January 26th, 2012|Salty|21 Comments
  • bulgur-and-lamb-shanks

Bulgur and lamb pilaf (Burghul bedfeen)

I would name this one of the most exquisite in the Lebanese roster of traditional dishes; however, it does require some TLC. The onions have to be browned first, the lamb or beef need to simmer till thoroughly cooked in their broth and  the bulgur pilaf, studded with onions, chunks of meat and chickpeas, […]

By |January 24th, 2012|Salty|21 Comments
  • white-coffee1

Coffee: White or black



For those of you who dread the jolt that caffeine-laden Turkish coffee inflicts, there is  white coffee. White coffee is offered at get-togethers in Lebanon and it is simply boiled water with a few drops of orange blossom water (to taste) and sugar (optional).

In Lebanon there are a few major Turkish coffee providers (offered […]

By |January 22nd, 2012|Drinks|33 Comments
  • petites-tartes

Apricot Jam tartlets (Mabroucheh)

In the summer, when apricots are in season, most everybody in the villages makes apricot jam (partially cooked in the sun). The apricot season is very short and the apricots are extremely fragrant during that time. A tart is made with the apricot jam called mabroucheh in which the top layer of dough is […]

By |January 19th, 2012|Sweets|28 Comments
  • a-helping-of-safsouf

Bulgur and cabbage pilaf (Safsouf)



 Today a man was offering homemade products from his village: Carob molasses, orange and rose water, tomato paste, olives, olive oil etc. When I asked him “How much” he replied “I will give it to you for free, my mother made these”. So I offered him what I thought was a great price for […]

By |January 18th, 2012|Salty|21 Comments
  • ftira-tunisia

Tunisian donuts (Ftira)


Beirut and Lebanon in general are  seriously  lacking in North African restaurants or foods from the Maghreb; it is easier to find a can of harissa in Dallas than in Beirut! 

So imagine the thrill I felt when Leyth Hazgui,  from the resort town of Hammamet, flagged me about his native ftira, with a recipe […]

By |January 16th, 2012|Sweets|25 Comments

Kurdish kibbeh (video)

By |January 16th, 2012|Others|8 Comments
  • Kurdish-kibbeh

Semolina/bulgur kibbeh (Kuttelk)


This is a traditional kibbeh from Merdin, Turkey made in Beirut by Asma Z., a Kurdish lady. Asma is one of my favorite people here and she told me some tidbits from her life; her family left Turkey and settled in Lebanon and her mother put her to work as a maid at the […]

By |January 15th, 2012|Salty|50 Comments