Thursday, August 25, 2016

Eggplant With Lamb, Tomato and Pine Nuts Recipe

Eggplant With Lamb, Tomato and Pine Nuts
Eggplant With Lamb, Tomato and Pine Nuts

With its layers of golden eggplant, cinnamon-scented lamb, and sweet tomato sauce topped with melted cheese, this traditional Lebanese dish is made for celebratory meals and gatherings. Even better, it’s just as good served warm or room temperature as it is hot from the oven. It also reheats well, meaning that you can bake it the day before, and reheat it before serving if you like. Pull it out of the refrigerator, let it come to room temperature for an hour, then reheat it covered for about 40 minutes at 350 degrees.

Melissa Clark | Yield8 servings Time2 hours


2 large firm eggplants, cut into 1/2-inch slices
4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 teaspoons kosher salt, more as needed
1 medium yellow onion, finely diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 pound ground lamb or beef (80 percent lean)
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
Black pepper
½ tablespoon unsalted butter
½ cup pine nuts
1 (28-ounce) can tomato sauce, or 31/2 cups homemade sauce (see recipe)
12 ounces fresh mozzarella, sliced


  1. Heat broiler and line a baking sheet with foil or parchment.
  2. Brush both sides of eggplant slices with 2 tablespoons olive oil and sprinkle with 1 teaspoon salt. Arrange slices on prepared baking sheet and broil in batches until they are deep mahogany brown, turning once halfway through, 5 to 7 minutes per side.
  3. Adjust the oven to 375 degrees with rack positioned in the center.
  4. In a large skillet, heat 1 tablespoon of the remaining olive oil over medium heat. Add onion and sauté until translucent, but not browned, stirring occasionally, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add ground lamb or beef, stirring frequently and breaking up meat into very small pieces with the side of a metal spoon. Season with remaining teaspoon salt, cinnamon and pepper. Sauté until meat is just cooked through. Taste and add more salt or pepper, or both, as needed.
  5. In a medium skillet, melt butter over medium heat. Add pine nuts and reduce heat to medium-low. Stir nuts to coat them with butter and continue stirring constantly until nuts are golden brown, 2 to 4 minutes. Keep a close watch over the nuts; they can burn quickly once they begin to brown. Transfer nuts to a bowl while still warm and salt them lightly.
  6. Coat a 13-by-9-by-2-inch baking dish with remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Spread 1/2 cup of tomato sauce in the bottom of the dish. Lay 1/3 of the eggplant slices in a single layer over the sauce, covering as much surface area of the bottom of the dish as possible. Spoon half the meat evenly over eggplant. Pour 1/3 of the remaining tomato sauce evenly over meat. Sprinkle with 1/3 of the pine nuts. Layer again with eggplant, meat, tomato sauce and pine nuts. Finish with a layer of eggplant and cover with more tomato sauce, sprinkling top with pine nuts.
  7. Pour 1 cup warm water around the perimeter of the baking dish. (Sauce will thicken as it bakes.) Cover pan with foil and bake for 90 minutes. Remove foil and top eggplant evenly with mozzarella. Bake for 15 minutes longer, uncovered, or until the cheese is bubbling and golden. Serve eggplant warm, over rice.
Nutritional analysis per serving (8 servings)

478 calories; 36 grams fat; 13 grams saturated fat; 0 grams trans fat; 15 grams monounsaturated fat; 5 grams polyunsaturated fat; 17 grams carbohydrates; 6 grams dietary fiber; 10 grams sugars; 22 grams protein; 76 milligrams cholesterol; 1355 milligrams sodium

Note: The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.

Featured in: Maureen Abood’s ‘Rose Water & Orange Blossoms’ Takes You To Lebanon.

Monday, August 1, 2016

Tahini Chocolate Cakes Recipe

Tahini Chocolate Cakes
Tahini Chocolate Cakes

These luxurious tahini chocolate cakes from the cookbook "Smashing Plates" by Maria Elia are served with crème fraîche, dusted with lime zest, and are ideal for those seeking to indulge their sweet tooth with something small and fudgy.

By Florence Fabricant

Yield 6 or more cakes


10 tablespoons/150 grams unsalted butter, plus more for greasing pans
⅓ cup/25 grams unsweetened cocoa, plus more for pans
3 tablespoons/27 grams sesame seeds
½ cup/60 grams all-purpose flour
Pinch of salt
5 ½ ounces/165 grams 70 percent dark chocolate, in pieces
3 large eggs
1 cup/200 grams superfine sugar
5 tablespoons/100 grams tahini
Zest of 1 lime
Crème fraîche or ice cream, for serving


  1. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Use butter to grease 6 half-cup muffin molds or similar, or use smaller molds. Dust molds with cocoa and sprinkle the sesame seeds in the bottom of each. Sift together remaining 1/3 cup cocoa with the flour and a pinch of salt. Set aside.
  2. Melt chocolate and remaining 10 tablespoons butter in a heatproof bowl over simmering water, or in a small, heavy saucepan on very low heat. (Watch carefully if using a saucepan.) When almost completely melted, remove from heat and stir until smooth. Set aside.
  3. Using a whisk or electric beater, whisk eggs and sugar together until pale and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Stir a little of this mixture into the tahini to lighten it, then stir the tahini into the egg mixture. Stir in the cooled chocolate mixture. Fold in the cocoa mixture.
  4. Pour the batter into the molds and set molds on a baking sheet. Place in the oven and bake 12 to 14 minutes, less for smaller molds. A skewer or toothpick inserted in the middle should not come out clean.
  5. Cool 20 minutes or more before unmolding. Dust tops with lime zest and serve with crème fraîche or ice cream.
Nutritional Information

Nutritional analysis per serving (6 servings)
642 calories; 42 grams fat; 20 grams saturated fat; 0 grams trans fat; 13 grams monounsaturated fat; 6 grams polyunsaturated fat; 65 grams carbohydrates; 5 grams dietary fiber; 47 grams sugars; 10 grams protein; 146 milligrams cholesterol; 110 milligrams sodium

Note: The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.


Thursday, July 21, 2016

Hazelnut Baklava Recipe

Hazelnut Baklava
Hazelnut Baklava

Yield About 30 pieces | Time 2 hours 30 minutes


For the nut filling

2 cups (8 ounces) skinned hazelnuts
1 cup (4 ounces) slivered almonds
1 ½ tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
¼ teaspoon ground cloves
⅛ teaspoon salt

For the pastry

1 one-pound package frozen phyllo dough, defrosted
1 ½ cups warm clarified butter

For the honey syrup

1 ¼ cups sugar
⅓ cup honey
2 strips lemon zest, each 1/2-inch wide by 2 inches long
1 teaspoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 teaspoon rosewater
1 teaspoon orange blossom water
1 whole cinnamon stick
3 whole cloves
⅛ teaspoon salt


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a food processor, pulse together skinned hazelnuts, almonds, sugar, cinnamon, cloves and salt until finely ground.
  2. On a large surface, unfold phyllo dough, removing plastic wrapping. With a sharp knife, slice dough in half crosswise, forming two 9-by-12-inch rectangles. Cover entirely with one or two damp dishcloths.
  3. With a pastry brush, generously brush bottom of a 9-by-12-inch baking pan with clarified butter. Carefully place one phyllo sheet in pan (it should just fit) and brush with butter. Repeat with 7 more phyllo sheets, brushing each sheet with butter. Keep unused phyllo covered as you work. Sprinkle about 1/3 of nut and sugar mixture evenly over top layer. Repeat layering process with phyllo, continuing to brush each sheet with butter, until you have stacked on 6 more sheets. Sprinkle another 1/3 of nut and sugar mixture evenly over top layer. Repeat layering process with phyllo and melted butter, using another 8 phyllo sheets. Sprinkle final 1/3 of nut and sugar mixture over phyllo. Cover with two more sheets of phyllo, leaving top layer unbuttered.
  4. Placing your palms in center of top layer, gently move your hands in an outward, sweeping motion, flattening and smoothing top of pastry. Brush an additional 1/4 cup melted butter evenly over top layer.
  5. Using a sharp pointed knife, carefully slice baklava into 2-inch-thick diagonal strips. Repeat in opposite direction, forming a diamond pattern. Bake baklava until golden and flaky, 50 to 60 minutes, rotating pan as necessary to ensure even baking.
  6. Meanwhile, in a medium, heavy-bottomed saucepan, combine honey syrup ingredients with 3/4 cup water. Bring mixture to a boil, stirring occasionally, and cook until sugar has completely dissolved, about 5 minutes. Transfer syrup to a bowl and refrigerate, stirring occasionally, until cool. Once cooled, strain mixture into a liquid measuring cup with a spout.
  7. While baklava is still very hot, pour cooled syrup into cracks between diamond-shaped pieces, reserving about 3 tablespoons syrup. Drizzle reserved syrup evenly over top of baklava. Let cool on a wire rack for 2 hours, then cover with foil and let sit at least 4 hours or overnight before serving.
Nutritional Information

Nutritional analysis per serving (30 servings)
254 calories; 17 grams fat; 7 grams saturated fat; 0 grams trans fat; 8 grams monounsaturated fat; 1 gram polyunsaturated fat; 23 grams carbohydrates; 1 gram dietary fiber; 12 grams sugars; 3 grams protein; 26 milligrams cholesterol; 93 milligrams sodium

Note: The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.


Saturday, July 16, 2016

7 Layer Lebanese Hummus Dip Recipe

7 Layer Lebanese Hummus Dip
7 Layer Lebanese Hummus Dip

A fun twist on everyone’s favorite appetizer, this Middle Eastern seven-layer dip is made with creamy hummus, crunchy vegetables, toasted pine nuts and a drizzle of olive oil and za’atar.


1 ten-ounce container Sabra Classic Hummus
½ cup diced cucumbers
1 roma tomato - seeded and diced
¼ cup scallions - thinly sliced
2 tablespoons minced parsley
2 tablespoons pine nuts - toasted
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon za'atar
1 tablespoon lemon juice
pita chips to serve

  1. Spread hummus in a thin layer on a large plate or serving platter.
  2. Sprinkle hummus with cucumbers, tomatoes, scallions, parsley and pine nuts.
  3. Drizzle platter with olive oil, za'atar and lemon juice before serving with pita chips.
Calories do not include pita chips.

Nutrition Information
Serving size: ¼ cup Calories: 97 Fat: 8.6 g Saturated fat: 1.4 g Unsaturated fat: 7.2 g Trans fat: 0 Carbohydrates: 5.3 g Sugar: .5 g Sodium: 122 mg Fiber: 1.2 g Protein: 2.3 g Cholesterol: 0 mg

Source: The lemon Bowl

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Hammour Kabsa Recipe

Hammour Kabsa
Hammour Kabsa

Yield: 10 persons


3.00 kg Hammour fish fillet
30.00 ml Water
100.00 g Knorr Tomato Pronto
50.00 g Garlic Cloves
300.00 g Onion, sliced ring
1.20 kg Basmati rice
1.80 l Water for rice
40.00 g Knorr Savoury Rice Seasoning
15.00 g Arabic mixed spice blend (Baharat)
30.00 g Knorr Fish Spice Speciality Seasoning
150.00 g Butter
150.00 g Roasted Pine nuts
150.00 g Coriander
15.00 g Knorr Lemon & Herb Seasoning


1. In a large pan, on medium heat add butter, onions and garlic; cook until tender. Add Arabic spice blend and mix well. Carefully add fish and Knorr Fish Spice Speciality Seasoning, allow to cook halfway on each side until lightly pink-white for about 1 minute or less on each side. Remove fish/onion mixture and set aside.

2. Add Knorr Tomato Pronto and Knorr Savory Rice Seasoning to a pan cook little then add rice and water. Carefully place fish mixture on top. Raise heat to high and allow it to boil, cover and reduce to low.

3. Cook until rice and fish are thoroughly cooked. Depending on the thickness of the fish fillets and the rice type, adjust timing.

4. Once done, arrange fish kabsa on a serving platter, season with Knorr Lemon & Herb Flavoured Seasoning; finish by decorating with cilantro and pine nuts on top.

Monday, July 11, 2016

Kofta Meatballs with Sweet and Sour Cherry Sauce Recipe

Kofta Meatballs with Sweet and Sour Cherry Sauce
Kofta Meatballs with Sweet and Sour Cherry Sauce

Servings: 8-10 Prep Time: 5 minutes Cook Time: 20 minutes

Feel free to sub the lamb with ground meat of your choice.


For the Cherry Sauce
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 shallot, chopped (or 2 tablespoons diced red onion)
1 cup dried cherries
3 teaspoons honey
splash of Brandy (optional)
1/2 lemon, juiced
1/2 cup water
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 tablespoon minced fresh mint
salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

For the Meatballs
1 pound ground lamb
1/4 cup sparkling water
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley
1/2 teaspoon cloves
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon allspice
salt and pepper to taste
3 tablespoons olive oil


To make the Cherry Sauce

In a small saucepan over medium-high heat, add the olive oil and shallot and saute until tender. Add the cherries, honey, lemon juice, water and cinnamon and bring mixture to a boil. Lower the heat and allow to simmer for 5 minutes or until the sauce has thickened. Add salt and pepper to taste. Stir in the mint.

To make the Meatballs
Preheat oven to 375F.

In a large mixing bowl, add the ground lamb, sparkling water, garlic, cloves, cinnamon, cumin, allspice, salt and pepper. Mix lightly to incorporate all ingredients. Form mixture into small meatballs.

In a large frying pan over medium high, add olive oil. Add meatballs and fry, turning often to brown all over, about 5-7 minutes. You might have to cook meatballs in batches if your pan is too small. After browning all the meatballs, place meatballs on a baking sheet and bake in oven for 10 minutes to cook through. Drizzle with the cherry sauce just before serving.


Lebanese Roasted Stuffed Onions Recipe

Lebanese Roasted Stuffed Onions
Lebanese Roasted Stuffed Onions

Servings: 10 stuffed onions Prep Time: 5 minutes Cook Time: 45 minutes

Try buying the largest onions you can find. It will be easier to peel apart the layers.


2 extra-large onions (or 3 large onions)
1 cup white rice
1 tablespoon tomato paste
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon allspice
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher or sea salt
freshly ground black pepper
3 tablespoons minced fresh cilantro or parsley (reserve some for garnish)
1 pound ground meat of your choice (original recipe uses lamb)
2 tablespoons white wine vinegar or cider vinegar
3 pinches of sugar
2 tablespoons olive oil


The first step is to soak your rice in a bowl cool water. The rice will absorb some of the water -- we'll drain off the water in a later step.

Fill a pot with water (enough to cover a whole onion by 1" and bring to a boil. Cut off the very top and bottom of each onion. Make a cut down one side of each of the onions, cutting into the center from top to bottom. This helps the onion layers cook evenly and make it easier to peel. Add the onions, and let them cook for 10 minutes or until the layers soften and separate easily.

Drain the rice completely. In a large mixing bowl, add the drained rice, tomato paste, cinnamon, allspice, cumin, coriander, salt, pepper, cilantro or parsley and ground meat. Mix well.

When the onions have finished cooking, remove and drain from the boiling water. Let cool and separate out the layers individually and place 1 heaping tablespoon of the filling, wrap onion around filling, but not too tightly to allow rice to expand during cooking.

In a large, oven-safe saute pan over medium-high heat, swirl in the olive oil. When pan is hot, place the onions seam-side down. Let cook for 2 minutes until the bottoms have browned slightly. Add vinegar to the pan and sprinkle the tops of the onions with sugar. Cover the pan and turn the heat to low. Cook for 20 minutes or until the meat and rice are fully cooked, rotating the onions halfway during cooking.

From The Food and Cooking of the Middle East cookbook by Ghillie Basan.

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