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Fish shawarma sandwich


Ever had samkeh harra?Samkeh harra is a glorious dish that is served at buffets at big parties like weddings for example; it is a large fish (loukoz, a type of sea bass), baked whole (head and tail included) and served encased in a tahini and herb sauce with a touch of red chili pepper […]

By |April 25th, 2011|Salty|33 Comments
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Mussakhan with cornish hens


I have made this Palestinian dish before using  boneless thighs or bone-in chicken pieces;  this is the first time I try it with cornish hens. The cornish hens lend themselves very well to this dish, because one hen will suffice per piece of (lavash or markouk) bread. As a result, each person will […]

By |April 13th, 2011|Salty|31 Comments
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Bazin (Libya)


Feeling compassion and a heavy heart for folks who have to endure a tragic and nightmarish situation  in Libya, I escaped  into the kitchen and made a very ancient and traditional Libyan dish, bazin.

Libya is an extraordinary country with a wide coastline of beautiful beaches and a rich history replete with Phoenicians, Greeks, Romans, Ottomans […]

By |February 27th, 2011|Salty|43 Comments
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Okra stew (vegan)


In Texas, okra is practically a state vegetable,  offered fried at every BBQ joint and road stand. Well, okra aka bamieh is also beloved in the Eastern mediterranean shores, especially in Egypt, Lebanon and Syria.

Now that Easter is fast approaching and people will be fasting, this dish will  appear with regularity. Okra, stir-fried in […]

By |February 23rd, 2011|Salty|49 Comments
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Lentil and green wheat porridge(mujaddara)


As a young mother, I had a mission: my kids were going to like Lebanese food. No room in my pantry for hamburger helpers and the like.

Here is how I introduced mujaddara, our Lebanese lentil and rice porridge.

” Chocolate pudding kids!”

(It worked); they loved it.  My son  learned to make it  when […]

By |December 8th, 2010|Salty|42 Comments
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Chicken with potatoes and onions


My friend Kerene uses an expression which always makes me smile: “It’s a no-brainer!”

When I was fretting over a catering job that I felt ill-prepared for, her answer was: “Come on, Joumana, it’s a no-brainer!”

Well, this herewith is truly a no-brainer, Lebanese-style.

Stir-fry some chicken and veggies and add a typical homestyle Lebanese touch […]

By |November 28th, 2010|Salty|17 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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Armenian bulgur salad (Itch)


Up until a couple of years ago, my knowledge of Armenian cuisine was limited. Even though I had grown up with Armenian friends in school, I had no idea what Armenians ate besides sujuk and basterma.

Then  I heard about an Armenian restaurant called Mayrig and I wanted to try it.

Mayrig is located in a […]

By |September 2nd, 2010|Salads|22 Comments
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Bulgur pilaf with zucchini and green beans(Madfoonet bel koossa)


I left the house today at 2PM; I knew that Elie, owner of the  internet café closes shop  till 5PM due to lunch and siesta. I got in the car and drove the winding mountain roads, hoping for a lit internet sign somewhere.

I am now sitting in a restaurant in a village in the […]

By |July 25th, 2010|Salty|30 Comments
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Wild Zaatar salad


Wild zaatar, aka zaatar barrey or wild, is a variety of zaatar (oregano) found on the Lebanese countryside; not to be confused with the zaatar mix sold in stores as a dry spice mixture; this zaatar is  eaten with chopped onions and olive oil as a mezze item; pungent and velvety-textured,  it is very […]

By |July 21st, 2010|Salads|26 Comments