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Syrian Maklouba (eggplant with rice)

Ingredients

  • 1 kilo baby veal meat, clean and cut into circle shapes
  • 3/4 kilo eggplant, cut into circle shapes
  • 2 medium onion, cut into circle shapes
  • 1/2 kilo potato, cut into circle shapes
  • 1/2 kilo tomato, cut into circle shapes
  • 4 cups of rice
  • 3 tablespoon of tomato paste
  • Salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, black pepper (to taste)
  • Olive oil, for frying

          Preparation

  1. Heat olive oil in a saucepan over medium-high heat and sauté eggplant, onion and potatoes separately and set aside.
  2. Heat olive oil in a deep pot over medium-high heat and sauté baby veal meat and cook until golden brown. Add water to the pot and cook again until all water is drained and the meat is cooked well then take the meat out and set aside.
  3. In large bowl combine tomato paste and rice mixing them together very well.
  4. Prepare the same cooking pot and place fresh tomato as first layer into the pot then add onion as second layer after that add the veal meat
  5. Add eggplant over the meat then add potato as final layer. Add the rice over the layers and carefully overflow with water until the water cover the rice with about 3cm height.
  6. Cover the pot and place it over high heat until the water start to boil then reduce the heat to medium and keep until the Maklouba is cooked.
  7. Open the cover and use larg spoon to press down the rice to stick more stronger together.
  8. Prepare flat serving plate and quickly flip the pot over the plate then hammer the pot with hand from different places and gently lift it up
  9. Serve and enjoy

      Butheina Al-nounou

Stuffed Zucchini (Kousa Mahshi)

(Yield:  8-10 servings, allow the equivalent of 1 zucchini per serving)

Ingredients

8-10 zucchini

1 ½ c medium-grain rice

2 TB olive oil

1 large onion, finely chopped

~3 cloves garlic, minced

2 c peeled and diced tomatoes, with their juices (you can use fresh or canned)

3 oz tomato paste

1 tsp ground allspice

2 tsp salt, divided

¾ tsp ground black pepper, divided

2 beef bouillon cube

2 bay leaves

¼ c chopped fresh parsley

1 lb ground beef or lamb (meat that is between 80-90% lean works well)

3 TB butter, melted

Fresh lemons, cut into wedges (for garnish)

 

Sharp-tipped vegetable peeler

Heavy-bottomed 5-quart pot with a cover

Method

Clean the zucchini and trim off the ends. each piece should be 4-5” long.  Use a sharp-tipped vegetable peeler to hollow out each piece, being careful to leave one end of the zucchini intact.  The zucchini shells should be ~.5 cm thick when you’re done hollowing them out.

In a 5-quart pot with a lid, heat the olive oil over medium heat; add the onion and sauté for 6-8 minutes, or until softened; add the garlic and sauté another minute.  Remove ¾ of the onion/garlic mixture and reserve in a separate bowl.  For the tomato broth, to the pot, add the tomatoes, tomato paste, ½ tsp salt, ¼ tsp pepper, bouillon, bay leaves, fresh parsley, and enough water to fill the pot so that it is somewhere between 2/3 to 3/4 of the way full.  Heat the tomato broth over low heat until it comes to a simmer.

For the zucchini filling, mix together the reserved onion and garlic, raw ground meat, uncooked rice, melted butter, 1 ½ tsp salt, ½ tsp pepper, and allspice.  Stuff each zucchini shell with the meat and rice mixture; pack the mixture down so that when turned upside-down the mixture doesn’t fall out of the zucchini; leave a gap of ~¾” at the top of each zucchini because the rice will expand when cooking.

 

Butheina Al-Nounou

Roasted Garlic-Potato Soup

Ingredients

- 5 whole garlic heads

- 2 bacon slices, diced

-  1 cup diced onion

- 1 cup diced carrot 

-  2 garlic cloves, minced

- 6 cups diced baking potato (about 2 pounds)

-  4 cups low-salt chicken broth 

-  1/2 teaspoon salt

-  1/4 teaspoon pepper

-  1 bay leaf

-  1 cup 2% low-fat milk

-1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley

Preparation

  1. Remove white papery skin from each garlic head (do not peel or separate cloves). Wrap each head separately in aluminum foil. Bake at 350° for 1 hour; let cool for 10 minutes. Separate cloves, and squeeze to extract 1/4 cup of garlic pulp; discard the skins.
  2. Cook bacon in a large saucepan over medium-high heat until crisp. Add onion, carrot, and minced garlic, and sauté 5 minutes. Add potato, broth, salt, pepper, and bay leaf; bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 20 minutes or until potato is tender; remove bay leaf.
  3. Combine garlic pulp and 2 cups potato mixture in a blender or food processor, and process until smooth. Return purée to pan; stir in milk, and cook over low heat until thoroughly heated. Remove from heat, and stir in chopped parsley.

   Butheina Al-Nounou

Parmesan Garlic Roasted Potatoes

Ingredients

Potatoes Cut in to smaller size pieces

A few tablespoons of olive oil

2-3 cloves garlic, minced

1 to 2 Tablespoons fresh chopped parsley

Fresh grated Parmesan cheese

Salt and pepper, to taste

Method 

Preheat oven to 450 °F.  

Cut potatoes into cubes or wedges.  Bring a pot of water to a boil. 

Add the potatoes and cook for 3 to 6 minutes depending on size. 

While potatoes are cooking put oil in cast iron skillet or other heavy

pan and heat in oven.  

 

Drain the potatoes,  and place them back in the pot.  Put the pot back

on the burner and shake to dry the potatoes and to rough up their

surface. This is what gives roasted potatoes that perfect crust. 

Add the potatoes to the hot oil , toss to coat and roast turning once or twice. 

When potatoes are almost tender sprinkle with fresh

garlic and Parmesan, salt and pepper and continue roasting until

potatoes are tender.  Turn at least one more time for even browning.   

Just before serving, toss with fresh chopped parsley.

Butheina  Al-Nounou

Mashed Potatoes

 

Ingredients:

4 large yukon potatoes (about 1 1/2 pounds)
3-4 tablespoons salted butter
salt
OPTIONAL: few sprigs fresh chives, minced (or other fresh herb)

Directions:

1. Peel the potatoes and cut each potato into 4 pieces. Place the potatoes in a steamer rack (or see notes above) and prop up in a large pot. Pour in 2" of water into a large pot, and bring to a simmer. Turn heat to medium-high and steam the potatoes for 20 minutes or until they pierce very easily with a paring knife. You might have to refill the steaming water in your pot (just keep an eye on the water level).

2. Let potatoes cool and process through a potato ricer.

3. Stir in the butter and season with salt. Taste and adjust with additional salt and/or butter if needed. If the mashed potatoes aren't quite creamy enough, add more butter. Sprinkle fresh minced chives on top.

Butheina Al-Nounou