Friday, January 12, 2018

Sayadiyeh / Lebanese Fish "Risotto" Recipe

Sayadiyeh / Lebanese Fish "Risotto" Recipe


Serves 4

You can turn this plain sayadiyeh into a "Sayadiyeh Royale" by adding 60g pine nuts - saute the nuts in a little butter until golden brown and stir into the rice just before serving.

Ingredients

400g white short grain rice
500g fish heads
1 kg white fish filets or steaks
Sea salt
Vegetable oil for frying
4 medium onions, sliced
1 tsp Adonis Fish Spices
1 lemon, quartered

Cooking instructions
Rinse the rice under cold water, then let soak in cold water for about half an hour.
Put the fish heads in a saucepan. Add 900 ml water and place over a medium heat. Just as the water is about to boil, skim the surface clean. Boil gently for 15 minutes.

Rinse the fish filets or steaks in cold water. Pat them dry with kitchen paper and rub them lightly with salt. Fill a large, non-stick frying pan with vegetable oil to a depth of 1 cm. and place over medium heat. When the oil is hot - dip a piece of bread in the oil; if the oil bubbles around it, it is ready - fry the fish for 1 minute on each side to seal it. Remove with a slotted spoon onto a double layer of kitchen paper to drain off the excess oil.

Add more oil to the pan to deep fry the onions and wait until the oil is very hot before adding the sliced onions. Fry until they caramelize and turn a rich brown - be careful not to let them burn. Remove with a slotted spoon onto several layers of kitchen paper to drain off any excess oil. Spread the onions thinly to drain well and become crisp.

Strain the fish stock. Return to the pan and add three quarters of the fried onions. Reserve the rest for the garnish. Bring back to boil, and then lower the heat and simmer for 10 minutes or until the stock takes the color of the onions. Strain the brown stock. Liquidize the onions and return to the stock.

Put the stock and onions in a clean saucepan and place over medium heat. Drain the rice and add to the stock together with any loose fish flakes from the fried filets or steaks. Season with the Adonis Fish Spices and salt to taste and bring to boil. Reduce the heat to low, cover the pan and simmer for 15 minutes, or until the rice is done and the liquid is fully absorbed. Place the fish filets on top of the rice. Wrap the lid of the pan with a clean kitchen towel and replace over the pan. Let it sit for a few minutes, or until the fish is done to your liking. Carefully transfer onto a serving dish, making sure you place the fish in top of the rice. Scatter the reserved crisp onions all over. Serve hot or at room temperature with the lemon quarters.

Shish Taouk / Chicken Kebabs Recipe

Shish Taouk / Chicken Kebabs

Serves 4-6

Here is a wonderful variation on shish kebab, which you can also prepare with drumsticks or chicken wings.

Ingredients

800g boneless chicken meat (both white and dark) , cut into pieces about 3 cm squared
6-8 garlic cloves, crushed
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
Juice of 1 lemon, or to taste
1 tsp Adonis Shish Taouk Spices
Sea salt
1 large pita bread, opened at the seam
10 large cloves garlic, chopped coarsely
Sea salt
100 ml sunflower oil
100 ml extra virgin olive oil
3-4 tbsp full fat yoghurt (labneh)
1 medium potato, boiled and mashed
1 large pita bread, opened at the seam

Cooking instructions

Mix all the ingredients for the marinade together in a large mixing bowl. Add the chicken. Mix in well. Let it marinate for about 2 hours.

Put the chopped garlic and a little salt in a mortar and pound with a pestle until reduced to a very fine paste. Drizzle in the oil very slowly, stirring constantly as if you were making mayonnaise. You should end up with a dip with a consistency that is a little looser than mayonnaise. If you find the dip too strong, add strained yoghurt or mashed potatoes or a combination of both. You can also make the dip in a food processor if you have a small enough bowl for the amounts given above.

Turn your grill on to maximum heat or prepare a charcoal fire-the latter being an unbeatable way to grill the meat.

Thread equal quantities of chicken cubes onto 8-12 long metal skewers. Dont cram the pieces too close to each other to allow them to cook evenly. Grill for 5 minutes on each side, or until done to your liking. Arrange the two layers of pita bread one on top of the other. Slide the chicken kebabs off the skewers onto the bread. Serve immediately with the garlic dip.

Sunday, December 31, 2017

Baba Ghannouj / Grilled Eggplant Dip Recipe

Baba Ghannouj / Grilled Eggplant Dip

Some tips to help you produce a superior Baba Ghannouj. Grilling the eggplants over an open fire will produce the smoky flavor that is so typical of this dish, though the smoky flavor will come through to a certain extent if you cook them under the grill in your oven. It is important to let the grilled flesh drain for a while to get rid of the excess liquid; and finally, once this done, you need to mash the flesh with the back of a fork to retain texture. The dip will be too smooth if you use a food a processor.

Ingredients

6 large eggplants (about 250g each)
4 tbsp Tahini
1 garlic clove, crushed (or ¼ tsp Adonis garlic powder)
Juice of 1 lemon, or to taste
Sea salt
Fresh pomegranate seeds (Ideally the sour type)
Extra virgin olive oil

Cooking instructions

Prick the eggplants in several places with a small knife to stop them from bursting during cooking. Place them on a non-stick baking sheet and cook under a hot grill for 25 minutes on each side. The eggplants are ready when they have become very soft to the touch. By then, the skin should have become slightly charred for a smoky taste.

Remove the grilled eggplants onto a large chopping board. Cut each in half lengthways, and with a spoon, scoop out the flesh. Place the flesh in a colander to drain the excess liquid. Let it drain for a least half an hour.

Put the eggplants in a wide mixing bowl and mash with a masher or the back of a fork. Be sure not to crush them too much, as you want the dip to have texture. Add the tahini and salt to taste. Mix well. Then add the lemon juice and crushed garlic. Mix well. Taste and adjust the seasoning if necessary.

Transfer the dip to a shallow serving bowl and with the back of a spoon; spread it the same way as with hummus. The garnish can be the same as that of hummus, using mint instead of parsley; or you can use pomegranate seeds, arranged in a star shape in the middle and at regular intervals along the edge. Olive oil is of course used with both garnishes.

Spicy Prawn Biryani Recipe

Spicy Prawn Biryani

INGREDIENTS

300 gms Basmati rice
300 gms Prawns
2 onion Chopped
2 teaspoons Ginger garlic - paste
1 - 1/2 tablespoons Kashmiri chilli powder
2 tablespoons Coriander powder
1/2 teaspoon Garam masala powder
1/4 teaspoon Turmeric powder
2 tomatoes Chopped
3 Green chillies slit
1 tablespoon Poppy seeds
3 Bay leaf
2 Cinnamon " - stick
4 Cloves
4 cardamom Green
Mace - a small piece
1 tablespoon Caraway seeds jeera / Shah
3/4 cup Curd
2 tablespoons Cashewnuts
to taste Salt
2 tablespoons ghee Oil or
2 tablespoons coriander leaves Chopped
375 ml Water

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Clean the prawns and marinate it with 1/2 tablespoon chilli powder, 1 teaspoon ginger- garlic paste, a pinch of turmeric powder and salt.
  2. keep aside for 10 minutes.
  3. Soak rice for 30 minutes.
  4. Heat a pan and cook the prawns on low heat till the water is absorbed.
  5. Drain onto a plate and keep aside.
  6. Heat oil in a pan.
  7. Add the bay leaf, cloves, cardamom, mace, cinnamon, poppy seeds, caraway seeds and cashew nuts and fry for 2 minutes or till they crackle.
  8. add the chopped onion and green chillies and saute till golden brown.
  9. add the remaining ginger- garlic paste and fry till oil separates.
  10. Add the remaining chilli powder, turmeric powder, coriander powder and garam masala powder and saute for a minute.
  11. Add the chopped tomatoes and cook till oil separates.
  12. Add the prawns and mix well.
  13. slowly add curd, a little at a time and stir well.
  14. Adjust the seasoning as needed.
  15. Add the soaked rice and stir for 2 minutes.
  16. Add water and a dollop of clarified butter and mix well.
  17. Cover and cook till the rice is done.
  18. Garnish with chopped coriander leaves and serve hot.
  19. You don't really require any side dish but if you wish you can use Raita.

Monday, December 25, 2017

Meat Crescents / Sanbusak bil-lahmeh Recipe

Meat Crescents / Sanbusak bil-lahmeh

Makes 25-30

You can vary on the taste here by replacing the lemon juice with either vinegar, verjuice or pomegranate syrup. Each

Ingredients

150 g plain white flour
¼ tsp salt
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, plus extra to brush dough
50g unsalted butter
25g pine nuts
125g lean minced lamb
¼ tsp Adonis ground cinnamon
½ tsp Adonis Seven Spices
1/8 tsp Adonis ground black pepper
2 tsp lemon juice (or your choice of variation mentioned above)
Salt to taste
Vegetable oil for frying

Cooking instructions

Mix the flour and salt in a mixing bowl and make a well in the centre. Add the oil to the well and, with the tip of your fingers, mix the oil with the flour until well incorporated. Gradually add 90-100 ml water (it is difficult to measure the exact amount of water as it depends on the brand of flour you are using) knead until you have rough dough.

Remove the dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead for 3 minutes. Invert the bowl over the dough and let it rest for 15 minutes. Knead for another 3 minutes, or until the dough is smooth and elastic. Form into a ball, cover with a damp cloth and let it rest for 5 to 10 minutes.

Melt the butter in a frying pan over medium heat. Add the pine nuts and saute, stirring constantly until golden brown. Remove with a slotted spoon onto a double layer of kitchen paper to drain of the excess fat. Cook the minced meat in the same butter, stirring and mashing it with the pack of a wooden spoon or fork so that it separates well and does not form lumps until it loses all traces of pink. Season with Adonis cinnamon, Adonis Seven Spices, Adonis ground black pepper, and salt to taste. Add the lemon juice (or vinegar, very juice or pomegranate syrup) and sauteed pine nuts. Cook for another minutes or so. Taste and adjust the seasoning if necessary. Set aside.

Divide the dough into two balls. Place one on a lightly floured surface. Flatten it slightly and sprinkle with a little flour. Roll out into a large circle, about 2 mm thick, turning over the dough regularly and sprinkling with a little flour every now and then so that it does not stick. Use a 7 cm round pastry cutter to cut the flattened pastry into as many circles as you can. Pick up the excess pastry, knead together and let it rest under the damp cloth.

Turn the circles over. Then take one and lay it on the fingers of one hand. Put a tea spoon (or less if you are making smaller crescents) of the meat filling in the middle and fold the dough over the meat, aligning the edges to form a half circles. With your free thumb and index finger, pinch the edges together into a thin flat edge, starting at one end of the half circle. Slide the filled pastry onto the tips of your fingers so that the flat edge is on the outside. Pinch the end that is furthest from you to flatten it even more and fold it towards you into a little diagonal pleat. Continue pinching and pleating the edge until you form a fluted edge (or until you form a border resembling a twisted cord)- this is done to decorate as well as to seal the pastry tightly together so that it does not open during frying. Place the finished crescents until you finish the first lot of circles.

Fill a large frying pan with enough vegetable oil to deep fry the pastries and place the pan over a medium-high heat. When the oil is hot - test with the corner of one pastry; if the oil bubbles around it, it is ready - slide in as many crescents as will fit comfortably in the pan and fry until golden brown on both sides. Remove with a slotted spoon onto several layers of kitchen paper to drain of the excess oil.

Take the oil of the heat and roll out the remaining dough. Knead the cut outs together. Cover and let rest while you make and fry more crescents. Roll out the left over dough and finish making the crescents - you should end up with 25-30 pieces. It is important you make and fry the crescents in batches so that the dough does not dry up or rise too much. As with fatayer, sambusak freeze well, but here it is best to freeze them raw and fry them frozen. Serve hot or warm.

Kaftah / Minced Meat Kebabs Recipe

Kaftah / Minced Meat Kebabs

Serves 4

Kaftah is traditionally molded onto skewers to make a kind of minced meat Sausage but you can just as easily shape it into patties or meat balls to either grill or cook over the stove, preferably in a non-stick pan.

Ingredients

2 medium onions, peeled and quartered
50g flat-leaf parsley (1/4 bunch), leaves only
600g minced lamb, preferably from the shoulder
1 tsp Adonis Kaftah Spices
Sea salt
2 medium onions, thinly sliced
2 tbsp coarsely chopped flat-leaf parsley
2 tbsp Adonis sumac
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 large pita bread, opened at the seam

Cooking instructions

Put the onion and parsley in a food processor and process until finely chopped. Transfer to a mixing bowl; add the minced lamb, Adonis kaftah spices and salt . Mix well with your hands until well blended. Taste and adjust the seasoning if necessary. Divide the meat into 12 equal portions.

Pre-heat your grill to high, or prepare a charcoal barbecue.

Roll each portion of kaftah into a ball. Place one ball of kaftah in the palm of your hand, take a long skewer, preferably a flat one as the meat will hold better onto it, and start wrapping the meat around the skewer, squeezing it upwards, then downwards to bind it around the skewer in the shape of a long sausage. Grill for 2-3 minutes on each side, or until the meat is done to your liking.

Mix the ingredients for the salad garnish together. Season with salt and Adonis Sumac to taste. Arrange the two layers of pita, one on top of the other, rough side up. Spread the garnish over the bread. Then slide the kaftah off the skewers onto the salad garnish. Serve immediately.

Kibbeh Bil-Saniyeh / Baked Kibbeh Recipe

Kibbeh Bil-Saniyeh / Baked Kibbeh

Kibbeh is one of Lebanon's great national dishes and until the arrival of the food processor, the meat was pounded by hand in a marble or stone mortar (jorn) with a wooden pestlem(m'daqqa). Because of the time and effort involved in its preparation, kibbeh was - and still is - a festive dish. It is a highly seasoned mixture of finely minced lamb, burghul and very finely chopped onion. When it is served raw, kibbeh is made with less burghul and a handful of crushed basil or mint leaves are added to give the meat a fresh, fragrant flavor. A little liyeh (fat from the sheep's tail) is also added to make it more velvety.

Ingredients

90g unsalted butter, plus extra to grease baking dish
60g pine nuts
500g large onions, finely chopped
200g lean minced
4 ½ tsp Adonis Kibbeh Spices
1 medium onion, peeled and quartered
500g lamb from the leg, boned, skinned, defatted and finely minced 200g fine burghul
4 ½ tsp Adonis Kibbeh Spices
Unsalted butter

Cooking instructions

Melt the butter in a deep frying pan over a medium heat. Saute the pine nuts, stirring constantly until golden brown. Remove with a slotted spoon onto a double layer of kitchen paper. Saute the chopped onion in the same butter until soft and transparent. Add the minced meat and cook until it loses all traces of pink. Keep mashing and stirring the meat with the back of a wooden spoon or fork so that it separates well and does not form lumps. Remove from the heat. Season with the Adonis Kibbeh Spices and salt to taste. Add the pine nuts. Mix well. Taste and adjust the seasoning if necessary. Set aside.

Put the quartered onion in a food processor and until very finely chopped. Add the minced meat, Adonis Kibbeh Spices and salt to taste and process together until smooth. Prepare a bowl of lightly salted water and have it on hand.

Wash the burghul in two or three changes of cold water. Drain well and add to the meat. Mix with your hand; dipping it every now and then in the salted water to moisten both your hand and the kibbeh. Knead until the mixture is well blended. Taste and adjust the seasoning if necessary.

Grease a deep baking dish about 30x20x5 cm with a little butter. Preheat the oven to 180° C.

Divide the kibbeh in two equal parts. Moisten your hands in the salted water and pinch off a handful of kibbeh from one piece. Flatten it between your palms to a thickness of about 1 cm and place on the bottom of the baking dish, starting from one edge. Smooth it evenly with your fingers. Pinch off another handful from the same piece of kibbe. Flatten and lay next to the first piece, slightly overlapping it. Dip your fingers in water and smooth the pieces together until the joint disappears. Be sure to connect the kibbeh pieces well so that they do not come apart during cooking. Continue the above process until you have covered the bottom of the pan. Go over the whole layer with moistened fingers to even it out.

Spread the stuffing evenly over the kibbeh and make a top layer, using the other half of the kibbeh and laying it over the stuffing in the same way as with the bottom layer. You may find the top layer slightly more difficult to do as you will be laying it over the loose stuffing instead of the smooth surface of the baking dish. Do not worry. You will soon get the hang of it.

Cut the pie into quarters, then with a knife make shallow incisions to draw a geometric pattern across the top of each quarter. The decoration work is time consuming and can be omitted without affecting the taste, although the presentation will be less attractive and less traditional. Press your index finger in the middle to make a hole. Place a knob of butter over the hole and one knob of butter over each of the quarters. Insert a round-pointed knife between the edge of the kibbeh and the side of the pan and slide it all alongside the edge to detach the kibbeh from the sides of the pan.

Bake in the preheated oven for 15 to 20 minutes, or until the pie has shrunk and the meat is just done. Serve hot or warm with a yoghurt and cucumber salad.
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