Fatayer (Spinach turnovers)

I wish you could have tasted Asma’s fatayers! They were the best in Beirut! The dough was so thin and translucent and so buttery. The spinach filling was melting with just the right touch of tartness. Asma  was  a Kurdish lady and  mother of seven, who immigrated to Lebanon from...
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Veggies in pita

  I bet a lot of people when told to eat more fresh fruits and vegetables picture in their head some iceberg lettuce covered with ranch dressing, or the ubiquitous Caesar salad with all the croutons and creamy cheese sauce. In the Lebanese cooking, folks actually love their vegetables, which take...
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Hummus (Chick-peas hummus)

I get so annoyed, actually fuming when I see mediocre or downright disgusting hummus served all over America. I guess I take it personally. In Dallas, it is served at American and  Iranian and  Greek and  Indian restaurants, in addition to so-called Mediterranean restaurants. It never tastes how it should! Since...
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Stuffed swiss chard leaves

  I find it annoying that so-called dolmas are the only stuffed leaves known to the American consumer ; furthermore, they are most often than not stringy, rubbery, tough, greasy, little bundles. In reality, stuffed grape leaves and swiss chard leaves should always be meltingly tender! If you do not have...
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Semolina cookies with date (Maamoul)

  We knew Easter was coming when our Teta (grandmother) was busy in the kitchen making these. Hers were unbelievably soft and crumbly and filled with the luscious and buttery date paste. She also made round ones with almonds and walnuts.   I would sneak in and grab some when...
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Beet salad (Salatat Shmandar)

Several beets, orange or red (about 6 medium sized) 1 bunch of green onions, sliced Dressing #1: 1/2 cup of tahine paste in a jar 5 cloves of garlic, mashed with a dash of salt or 1 teaspoon of toom (see post) 1/2 cup of water 1/2 cup of lemon...
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Yogurt and cucumber salad

  INGREDIENTS: 1 large jar of plain yoghurt several cucumbers, 1 teaspoon of dried mint, crumbled to a powder 2 or 3 cloves of garlic, mashed up with a tad of salt or 1 teaspoon of toom (see post) METHOD: Pour the yogurt in a bowl. Beat it a few seconds...
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Lentils and rice casserole (Mujaddara)

  This dish is simple but wonderful. The Lebanese culinary lore claims that it was the dish for which Esau sold his birthright to his brother Jacob (Old Testament, book of Genesis). It is  served especially during fasting ; considered a dish for the poor, because of the absence of...
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stuffed zucchini

Stuffed zucchini in tomato sauce

If there is one dish that sums up Lebanese homestyle cooking, this is it! Humble yet delicious. It can be stuffed with meat and rice or meat only and served with a rice pilaf. I like to stuff it with the rice and meat combo, this way I can just...
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