Thyme and olive oil (Manakeesh)

INGREDIENTS NEEDED:

Dough:

  • 4 cups of all purpose flour
  • 1 ½ cups of warm water
  • 1 cup of warm milk
  • 1 tsp of white sugar
  • ½  tsp of salt
  • 2 tsp of yeast
  • ½ cup of olive oil

Zataar:

  • 1 cup of zataar
  • ½ cup of olive oil ( more if desired)

PREPARATION:

  • Mix all the ingredients together and kneed well.  Cover dough with a damp cloth and let raise for a least 1 hour in a warm spot.
  • Mix Zaatar with oil and set aside.
  • Divide the dough into 12 equal size balls or 18 smaller ones. Roll each one to form flat dough roughly 1 cm thick.
  • Spread zaatar paste all over it then place on tray.  Repeat this for all.
  • Place into a 350 degree oven and bake for 10-15 minutes or until bottom is golden brown.
  • Remove and serve hot or cold, this s enjoy with plain yogurt for a dip and tea.

Butheina Al-Nounou

Syrian Fatta

INGREDENTS NEEDED:

  • 2 cups of Chick peas
  • 3-4 Arabic pita bread ( cut into bite size pieces and Toast)
  • 2 tablespoon of melted butter
  • 8 cups of plain yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon of garlic(Crushed)
  • 2 teaspoon of Salt ( more if desired)
  • ½ cup of pine nut (toast)
  • ½ cup of chopped parsley

If you want it with meat ( beef, lamb or chicken)

  • 150 grams Fried ground lamb meat (optional or your choice of meat)
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper 

PREPARATION:

  1. Drain and rinse the chick peas and  set aside.
  2. Cut the bread into small square pieces and place them in a deep bowl. Add the olive oil and mix with the      bread until well coated. Place on a flat sheet and bake on 375 degrees until golden brown.
  3. Place the toasted bread in a deep dish.
  4. In a bowl, mix the plain yogurt,  salt and garlic ( taste, add more salt or garlic for your liking)
  5. In a small pan, fry the meat until cooked with salt and black pepper, place into a bowl.
  6. In the same pan, toast the pine nuts until light golden brown.
  7. Once everything is ready, pour  the yogurt over the bread.
  8. Pour the Chick peas over the top and spread evenly.
  9. Add cooked meat on the top ( optional)
  10. Place the pine nuts chick peas  and yogurt
  11. Sprinkle chopped parsley on top.

     

     Botheina Al-nounou 

Spicy Chicken Curry

INGREDIENTS NEEDED:

  • 3 medium size chicken breast ( cut into desired shape)
  • 3 meduim potatoes ( cut into cubes)
  • 1 red pepper sliced
  • 1 ½ cups of green peas
  • 1 large onion diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 2 cups of coconut milk
  • 4 cups of water
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoons fresh ginger (grated)
  • ½ cup of  boiled then mashed yams ( substitute for sweet potato or yellow squash)
  • 2 large tablespoon of red curry paste ( more or less for desired taste)
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon curry powder
  • 1 tablespoon of tomato paste
  • 1 bay leaf
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon of salt

Preparation:

In a wok or pot heat oil and add chicken, cook well and set aside.

 In the same pan add onion slices and fry on medium heat for 2 minutes or until they become light golden in color.

Add garlic, ginger, curry paste, ground coriander, curry powder, tomato paste, black pepper, salt mashed yams and bay leaf then mix well. Then add coconut milk and water and simmer on medium heat for 5 minutes.

Add the cooked chicken, potato’s and green peas to the pot. Stir and simmer for another 20 minutes or until potatoes are well cooked and sauce is slightly thickened.

Serve alongside your favorite rice.

Butheina Alnounou

 

Syrian Barazeq ( Sesame cookies)

INGREDIENTS NEEDED:

  • 2 ½ cups of plain flour
  • ¾ cup of white sugar
  • 1 tablespoon of baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • ½ pistachio nuts, crushed
  • 1 cup unsalted butter at room temperature
  • Water ( AS NEEDED)
  • 1  ½ cup toasted sesame seeds
  • 1  cup pistachio nuts, crushed

Preparation

Combine the flour, sugar, and baking powder then mix well. Add the melted butter and vanilla and mix with your hands until well combined.

Then add 1 tablespoon of water at a time until soft dough and keep aside for 10 minutes.

Make small balls with the dough. Press each ball gently to make a circle. Dip one side in the crushed pistachio, turn and dip the other side in the sesame seed press well here to hold the seeds in place.

Place them using a non-stick tray and bake at 300 degrees for 8 to 10 minutes or until golden in color

Remove and let cool before serving with coffee or tea.

Butheina Al-Nounou 

Melokhie (with chicken)

INGREDIENTS NEEDED:

•           500g  of fresh or dry melokhia leaves

•           1 whole chicken, cleaned and cut into 6 pieces

•           1 cup of chopped onion

•           1 cup fresh coriander, finely chopped

•           1 cup of fresh garlic roughly chopped

•           1 tbsp of finely chopped green chili( seeded)-as desired

•           1 tsp of black pepper

•           ½ cup of lemon juice

•           1 tbsp of salt

•           ½  cup  of oil

•           1 cinnamon stick

•           1 bay leave

•           1 tsp of whole gloves

•           1 tsp of  whole cardamom

•           8 cups of water

PREPARATION:

•           In a pot, sear chicken in 1 tsp of oil skin side down, until golden brown. Place in cinnamon stick, bay leave, whole gloves and cardamom, then pour water  and cook on medium heat  for 1 hour  make stock for Melokhie

•           If using dry melokhia leaves, rehydrate in water for 20 minutes, then place into a large pot  with water ( 6-8 cups) and cook for 1 hour while constantly turning then drain water.  OR after rehydration remove access water completely and fry 1 cup at a time in 1 tbsp of oil for 10 minutes each patch.

•           If using fresh melohkia leaves wash and rinse then fry in small patches and place side

•           Once your done, using the same pot, sauté garlic, onions coriander and chili in 2 tbsp of oil for 5 minutes on medium heat, then mix in fried melokhia and lemon juice and cook for another 5 minutes..

•           Remove chicken from stock and set aside to cool, and then pour stock over melokhia making sure you remove all other stuff inside the stock.

•           Cover pot and cook over low heat for 1 hour or until melokhia is tender.  Remove and serve hot aside Lebanese rice and lemon wedges.

•           Remove skin and bones from chicken and garnish

Butheina  Al-Nounou