Monthly Archives: April 2012

  • Armenian-tahini-cookie1

Armenian tahini galette (Tahinov hatz)


This Armenian specialty is a crispy, flaky, sweet bread that is slathered with tahini and doused in sugar prior to baking. You can make it at home like I did or buy it fresh in the Armenian district (Bourj Hamoud) in Beirut.

Click here for the recipe.

Bourj Hamoud is the place to explore if you […]

By |April 28th, 2012|Sweets|17 Comments
  • poisson-simple

Fish in papillote


Even a die-hard cooking aficionado needs a respite; that’s why this technique of cooking fish is so great; first of all, it won’t smell up the kitchen, it takes just minutes to put together, and the results are always superlative. A perfect way to end the workweek. 

All you need is a good fish fillet […]

By |April 27th, 2012|Salty|14 Comments
  • olive-and-cheese

Olives stuffed with cheese


Or how to eat olives and cheese in one bite!

Pick a strong goat cheese to offset the pungent taste of the olives; get some pitted olives and a decorating bag with a tiny tube and you can get this fancy appetizer ready in no time!

Photo taken from my aunt’s balcony in Adma, Lebanon.

By |April 25th, 2012|Salty|18 Comments
  • natef-and-strawberries

Soapwort meringue (Natef)


Congratulations to those of you who knew what these roots were!

Called shilsh al-halawa or soapwort or Bois de Panama roots , these are used to make natef. Natef is a type of meringue, similar in texture to marshmallow fluff, that is served alongside a semolina and pistachio pastry called karabij. 

These roots are also […]

By |April 23rd, 2012|Sweets|34 Comments
  • mysterious-ingredient

Mysterious ingredient in the Lebanese pastry kitchen


Anybody care to guess what this is? And what it is used for?

By |April 21st, 2012|Tips|26 Comments
  • choc_cherry-cupcakes-and-coffee-cup_11

Flourless black forest cupcake


Beirut is not lacking in fine pastry shops; quite the contrary, I can list several that rival Paris best pâtisseries (there is even a Ladurée shop in Beirut for macarons), not counting my friendAnne-Marie’s yummy creations.

As a side note, the reason Lebanon has such a strong French influence is not because it was a […]

By |April 19th, 2012|Sweets|24 Comments
  • a-plate-of-ducks-apples

Duck breast with apples


Perfect for a weeknight meal (speedy) yet elegant enough for a sit-down dinner. To coat the apples and duck use a superlative honey ( I used that jar of grape molasses on the left) or apple molasses.

INGREDIENTS: 4 servings

2 duck breasts
4 apples, peeled and sliced 
1/2 stick of unsalted butter (or more as needed)+ 1 […]

By |April 18th, 2012|Salty|15 Comments
  • Janarek-and-almonds_1

Lebanese snacks


Greengrocers, street cart vendors are displaying huge mounds of these fresh almonds (background) and sour plums called janarek. 

These are eaten here as a snack with a dab of salt, but I have used the almonds cut up in salads with good results. They are very crunchy and a bit sour. 


By |April 17th, 2012|Tips|19 Comments
  • Filipino-chicken

Chicken Asian-style


A  large number of Filipinos  reside in Lebanon  and this dish is inspired by  a recipe from an article  featuring  Filipino cuisine in Fatafeat magazine (12/09 issue).

This chicken and veggie dish  belongs to the category of no-brainers, with minimum fuss and maximum flavor from the coconut milk, ginger and garlic trio.

INGREDIENTS: 6 servings

1 Chicken, […]

By |April 16th, 2012|Salty|10 Comments
  • trio-of-zaatar

Zaatar, Aleppo or Lebanese-style


Had to stop for a kaak on my way to the mountains this weekend at ABU ARAB. ABU ARAB is a kaak place in which kaak is baked on the premises and stuffed with traditional things like zaatar or Picon cheese (a cross between cream cheese and Velveeta)or non-traditional like mortadella and cheese, or […]

By |April 15th, 2012|Tips|20 Comments