Monday, 30 September 2013

Let's Go A Little Lebanese

Hi peeps!

Welcome back to the Chef Mother and we are holding thumbs that you manage to go through the week without clobbering a colleague with a keyboard.

Last week I was particularly lazy and I feel it only fair I make up for my laziness with a week's worth of awesome recipes. On today's menu; we take a look at two gorgeous Lebanese dishes; but first; here's a little write up about it from wiki:

Lebanese cuisine includes an abundance of starches, whole grain, fruits, vegetables, fresh fish and seafood; animal fats are consumed sparingly. Poultry is eaten more often than red meat. When red meat is eaten it is usually lamb on the coast, and goat meat in the mountain regions. It also includes copious amounts of garlic and olive oil, often seasoned by lemon juice.; olive oil, herbs, garlic and lemon are typical flavors found in the Lebanese diet.

Most often foods are either grilled, baked or sautéed in olive oil; butter or cream is rarely used other than in a few desserts. Vegetables are often eaten raw or pickled as well as cooked. Herbs and spices are used and the freshness of ingredients is important. Like most Mediterranean countries, much of what the Lebanese eat is dictated by the seasons.

BABA GHANOUJ - Esperance Sammour
Baba Ghanouj is a delicious Mediterranean appetizer made with fire roasted eggplants and Tahini sauce.
Ingredients
• 3-5 medium eggplants (3 lbs)
• 5 table spoons Tahini paste
• Juice from 1 freshly squeezed lemon
• 3 garlic cloves, crushed
• 1 table spoon white vinegar
• 1 teaspoon salt (or to taste)

Instructions
Roast the eggplants in the oven on medium heat, or on a BBQ grill for about 30 minutes.

While eggplants are still hot (not too hot so you don’t burn your hands), peel them and discard as much as possible of their seeds.

Strain the water from the eggplants by placing them on a colander for about 10 minutes. This step is important so you don’t get a liquid Baba Ghannouj.

Add eggplants and all ingredients in a food processor and let run for 2-3 minutes until you get a paste.

Place Baba Ghanouj paste into a serving plate, garnish with any/all of the following: olive oil, chopped parsley, sumac spice or chili powder, salted pickles…etc

Serve cold as an appetizer, with a side of Pita bread


LEBANESE STYLE RICE PUDDING WITH PISTACHIO - Esperance Sammour
Try This Delicious and Easy to Prepare Lebanese Rice Pudding Dessert.
Ingredients
• 4 cups of milk
• 10-12 teaspoons of sugar (to taste)
• ½ cup of rice
• 2-4 Table Spoons of corn flour
• 2 teaspoons of orange blossom water
• Pistachio as a garnish

Instructions
Rinse the rice then let dry

Boil the milk with the sugar and rice on low heat for 15 minutes or until the rice softens all while stirring continuously.

As the rice softens add the orange blossom water and the corn flour and stir it in and boil/stir for another 5 minutes or until the pudding hardens and gains the consistency of yogurt. If you add too much corn flour the pudding becomes too jello-like and if you add little it’ll take on a more watery consistency. This is a personal preference. Try adding 2 first then increase if you need to.

As the pudding hardens, pour it in your heat-resistant serving cups/plates and let rest for a few minutes before garnishing with pistachio and stick in the fridge.
Serve cold.

Both these recipes with the images were extracted from www.mamaslebanesekitchen.com. Go make a stop there for more delightful traditional Lebanese recipes <3.

Made my mouth water! See you on the flipside!

*a little Lebanon love*
Chef Shants ************

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