Kibbeh Recipe





 500 g finely minced meat (lamb or beef)

400 g fine burghol

1 onion, grated

Salt and pepper

Vegetable oil for deep frying

100 g coarse minced meat

50 g pine nuts

1 onion chopped fine

1 tbsp veg oil


 To prepare the kibbeh, soak the burghol in water, squeeze it well to drain and mix it with the minced meat and the onion, to obtain a paste.

 Add salt and pepper.

 To prepare the stuffing, stir fry the meat in the oil until half cooked, season with salt and pepper, add the onion and the pine nuts, keep stirring for 2 more minutes, and leave to cool.

To form the kibbeh balls, take a piece of kibbeh dough (as big as a ping pong ball), shape it well as a ball, hold in the left hand, and poke a whole in it with the right index, to form thin walls.

 Insert stuffing, and close the ball in a pointed rugby ball shape.

 Fry in hot oil until golden

 * If you dip the tip of your finger in cold water it helps in forming the kibbeh ball and sticking the top end close.

                                                                                                      Butheina alnounou

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Chicken with Lemon and Tarragon


Yield: Serves 6-8


2 lemons
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh tarragon
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 (3 1/2-lb) chicken,  rinsed and patted dry
1 head garlic, left unpeeled and halved horizontally
1/4 cup honey( if you want)
1 tablespoon olive oil


Put oven rack in middle position and preheat to 425°F.

Finely grate enough zest from 1 lemon to measure 1 tablespoon, then squeeze enough juice from same lemon to measure 2 tablespoons. Stir together butter, tarragon, zest, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and pepper.

Put chicken, breast side up, in a small roasting pan. Starting from neck, work your fingers gently between skin and flesh of breast to loosen skin all the way to thighs without tearing. Put one fourth of tarragon butter under skin of each breast, then rub skin from outside to spread evenly.

Starting from large cavity, loosen skin on both sides of cavity with a paring knife (to provide access to thighs), then work your fingers gently between skin and flesh of thighs and drumsticks. Divide remaining tarragon butter among thighs and drumsticks, rubbing skin from outside to spread evenly. Season cavity and skin with salt and pepper, then halve remaining lemon and put inside cavity along with garlic.

Whisk together honey, lemon juice, oil, and remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt. Roast chicken 30 minutes, then brush pan juices and half of honey mixture over chicken and roast 10 minutes more. Brush chicken again with pan juices and remaining honey mixture and continue to roast until thermometer inserted in fleshy part of a thigh (do not touch bone) registers 170°F, about 20 minutes more.

Transfer chicken to a cutting board and let stand 10 to 15 minutes before carving. Skim fat from pan juices and serve juices with chicken. Enjoy.

Butheina Alnounou

Cauliflower Soup


1 head cauliflower

1 potato (large)

1 onion

2 Tablespoons olive oil

2 cups chicken stock

salt and pepper to season 


Clean and cut the cauliflower into 1-2 inch pieces. Scrub the potato and cut into one inch cubes. Peel and slice the onion into quarters. Toss the vegetables with the olive oil; season with salt and pepper.  Roast in a 425 degree F oven for 45 minutes, occasionally stirring the vegetables to turn them over. 

Combine with the chicken stock in a large saucepan and puree with an immersion blender. Or, use a blender to puree the soup. Top with meat and green onions if you'd like. Enjoy.


Butheina Alnounou

Browned Butter Cardamom Tea Cookies


•           1 cup butter

•           ¾ cup sugar

•           1 egg yolk

•           1 tablespoon vanilla

•           ½ teaspoon ground cardamom

•           2 cups all-purpose flour

•           1 cup powdered sugar


1.         Melt butter in saucepan over medium heat, constantly stirring until butter just starts to turn golden brown and gets foamy and bubbly – about 4 minutes. Immediately remove from heat, transfer to a bowl and cool in refrigerator for about 30 minutes.

2.         Pre-heat oven to 350°F.

3.         Combine cooled browned butter and sugar and beat at medium speed until smooth.

4.         Add egg yolk, vanilla and cardamom, and continue beating until combined.

5.         On low speed, gradually add flour until mixture is no longer crumbly and forms a dough.

6.         Shape dough into 1-inch balls. Place 1 inch apart onto ungreased cookie sheets. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes or until cookies puff and start to turn light golden brown, and small cracks form on the surface.

7.         Immediately remove from cookie sheets. Cool 1 minute. Roll cookies in powdered sugar while warm and again when completely cooled. Store between sheets of waxed paper in loosely covered container.

     Butheina Alnounou

Beef Curry with Chickpeas


Serves 4

Curry tastes better once it’s stood for a while, so make this lovely sweet curry the day before to allow the flavors to develop nicely. If you like a bit more of a kick, increase the curry powder to taste.


1.5kg stewing beef, cubed
Salt and freshly ground black pepper.
80ml flour
60ml oil
1 large onion, coarsely chopped
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
15ml medium curry powder
300ml beef stock
1 tin (410g) Chopped Peeled Tomatoes
30ml chutney
250g butternut, cubed
1 tin (410g) boiled Chickpeas, drained
150g baby potatoes, cooked


Season the meat with salt and pepper and roll each piece in the flour. Heat the oil in a saucepan and fry the meat until golden brown. Remove from the saucepan. Heat the remaining oil and fry the onion, garlic, curry powder and boiled potato for several minutes. Add the meat to the saucepan and add the stock, chopped tomatoes and chutney. Bring to the boil, reduce the heat and simmer for an hour-and-a-half. Add the butter and simmer until done. Add the remaining ingredients and simmer for several more minutes. Season to taste and serve with rice.

Butheina Alnounou