Three different kind of Kale: Curly, Tuscan, and Russian Red Kale!

10 years before I had never heard of Kale, and when I first tasted it I don’t really remember falling for it. Next I hear, it’s becoming an official trend, consumed ravenously and featured on every glamorous salad carte du jour or stylish smoothie menu.

Kale belongs to the group of wild cabbage, their leaves are edible and range in color from light green to dark green with a trace of blue or purple. It grows in a loose bouquet of leaves without forming a head in the center.

Kale are known to like dry, olive oil, or lemon juice hand massages; this quick process helps breaking up the cellulose structure, in a way to get a slightly sweeter and milder taste.

Like quinoa, because of its health value, it became wildly popular. Consuming Kale may help boost your digestive system. It contains a wide range of nutrients like calcium, vitamins A, K and C, fiber, antioxidants, and iron. It is available in different types.

Curly Kale-Blog

  1. Curly-leaf Kale

This is the most common type. They tend to have a distinct peppery flavor. The leaves are so crinkly and tight. The best way to chop them is to separate the leaves from the stalk first, next lay the leaf upside down on the chopping board and using a knife cut following the stalk down along both sides. The stalks are fibrous and hard, if you prefer not to discard them, they can be used to make stews or stocks.

Russian Kale-Blog

  1. Russian Red Kale

Russian red kale has dark green fringed leaves and red stems. They somehow resemble to oak leaves. The tips of the leaves are tender and sweet with a slight edge of nuttiness making it a good ingredient for raw dishes. They are juicy but not tender, the stems are thick and fibrous to consume same like Tuscan and curly kale. This gourmet variety will add lavish touch to your menu.

Italian Kale-Blog

  1. Baby Tuscan Kale

Tuscan Kale is better known by Italian as “cavolo nero” translated to English as black cabbage and often used in the Tuscan soup “ribollita”. Other names include dinosaur kale because its leaves resemble to dinosaur skin! It’s different than the curly kale because of its dark green color, smooth tender texture and mild flavor. It’s actually this type of Kale that changed me from a kale-hater candidate to a living-by-it one! It doesn’t taste bitter and has a deep nutty sweetness that I relish in my salads. Above picture features baby leaves, but it comes in bigger leaves as well.

Lemon Curd

Lemon Curd-HR

Lemon curd tops my lemon tart to make it epic, and layers my blueberry cake to make it a star dish and spreads over my coconut scone to make it morish. This is how I make it!

Ingredients

  • 4 egg yolks
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 1 tbsp lemon zest
  • 1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
  • Pinch of salt
  • 85g /6 tbsp unsalted butter, softened to room temperature and diced

Preparation

This is best done in a double boiler or in “Bain Marie”. Fill a small saucepan with water (about 4 inches) and bring it to boil, reduce the heat to keep the water at a simmer and place a clear Pyrex bowl inside. Make sure the size of the heatproof bowl (i.e. the Pyrex) is not too smaller than the saucepan so the steam is concentrated underneath it.

Place egg yolks, sugar, lemon zest, lemon juice, and salt into the Pyrex bowl and whisk until completely blended. As the curd cooks, whisk constantly until the mixture becomes thick, around 10 minutes.

Off the heat, add the butter dices and whisk until completely melted. Pour curd into a jar. Leave it open until completely cooled. Store in refrigerator up to 10-14 days.

 

 

Lemon Rice Salad

Lemon Rice SaladBlog3

This is the broad beans season in Lebanon and prices have dropped to less than 1000LBP per kg. In Lebanese currency this is really cheap. So we ate “fül” (broad beans) with beer, we cooked some as a stew with cumin and oil, we put a stack in the freezer. What else?

A salad! This salad makes a refreshing side dish. People enjoy most the combinations of fresh thyme and lemon zest that brings a burst of brightness to the rice. It is done with Basmati rice, but I like to mix my basmati with black forbidden rice, I’m not sure if I do it because of the flavors or because of the name. Forbidden rice or “emperor’s rice” earned its name because it was once reserved for the Chinese emperor to ensure his health and longevity, and forbidden to anyone else. It is gaining popularity for its high levels of antioxidants and superior nutritional value. I used today a Tilda Basmati Rice & Wild Rice pack, it contains 2 kinds of rice in 1 bag.

Like any salad, other ingredients of your choice can be added like dill, red onions or yellow pepper. “Who knew Rice Salad could be so good!”

Lemon Rice Salad

Ingredients

  • 1 cup basmati rice, uncooked
  • 2.5 cups water
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • 1/3 cup thyme leaves
  • 3/4 cup fresh broad beans, skinless
  • 1/2 cup unsalted pistachios, soaked in water and peeled

Dressing

  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • Sea salt

Preparation

  1. Bring water to boil, then pour in rice. Cook rice until tender and water is all absorbed. (I used a mix of white and black basmati).
  2. Place cooled rice in a salad bowl and stir in lemon zest, thyme, beans and pistachios.
  3. Combine dressing ingredients together and drizzle over the salad. Toss to well combine.

 

 

 

 

Foul Mudammas

Foul Meddamas -Blog

Although Lebanon is a small country but over the course of history many civilizations settled here bringing their own culinary creations and passing it on to us. Ottoman and Levantine cuisine has great influence on Lebanese kitchen and similarly, most dishes use olive oil, garlic, parsley and lemon. I love how Lebanese are rooted in traditions but also easily embrace modernity and move abreast. They developed an eclectic mix of food and made dining the center of every get-together, no matter what the occasion is. I wonder if this is gonna be ever the same after the confinement because of the covid19 virus. I can’t imagine Sunday without family reunions and summers without sunset drinks on the terrace.

Breakfast also includes marvelous options. From the savory list like manakish, kishik, balila or the sweet list, like knefeh, sahlab, honey areesheh cheese; Food here is taken seriously. Lebanon’s fertile soil grow flavorful produce, I think one has to taste it locally to really understand what I’m talking about. I was so happy with my foul mudammas this morning that I have been itching to share the recipe with you.

 

Serves 1

Foul Mudammas

Ingredients

  • 1 x 400g cooked broad beans or canned foul mudammas, drained
  • 1/3 cup of water
  • 1/3 cup lemon juice
  • 1/3 cup tahini
  • 1/3 olive oil
  • 2 tbsp parsley, chopped
  • 1 stem green onion, finely chopped
  • 1 tomato, diced
  • ½ tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp salt

Preparation

  1. In a small saucepan, over medium low heat, place the broad beans with water and bring to heat.
  2. Add lemon juice, olive oil, tahini, salt, pepper and cumin. Reduce to desired consistency.
  3. Return beans to plate and top with tomatoes, green (or spring) onions and parsley.
  4. Taste and adjust seasoning if desired and serve with bread.

TIP: I think spring onions or onions are essential in this recipe and don’t forget to drizzle with extra olive oil before eating.

 

 

Spaghetti Bolognese

Spaghetti Blog

Hello pasta lovers! Aren’t you numerous? Sometimes I really feel you don’t need a recipe to cook pasta. You throw it in the pan with any ingredients you have on hand and voilà! A fabulous meal is ready and bellies and taste buds are satisfied.

Spaghetti Bolognese is one of the meals that when I cook, I don’t have to worry about who doesn’t eat or who will whine about lunch because it’s everyone’s favorite. A meal I can cook with my eyes shut and my focus off.

Let’s do that!

Spaghetti Bolognese

Ingredients

  • 1 pack / 500g Spaghetti
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 400g minced beef
  • ¼ cup red wine (optional)
  • 400g fresh tomatoes, peeled and diced
  • 1 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 tbsp fresh basil, finely chopped
  • Salt and pepper
  • Parmesan

 

Preparation

  1. Cook spaghetti in boiled water according to package instructions
  2. In a large saucepan, sauté onion and garlic until golden.
  3. Add meat and cook for 2-3 minutes, drizzle with wine and continue cooking until browned on all sides.
  4. Add tomatoes and cover with water. Add tomato paste. Season with basil, salt and pepper and let simmer for about 30 minutes or until the sauce is thick and rich.
  5. Drain cooked spaghetti and add to the pan with the Bolognese sauce. Toss well and serve with parmesan cheese.

 

Lebanese Sahlab – “SALEP”

Sahlab by Maya Oryan1

Many 5 stars hotels in Turkey greet you with a cup of Sahlab or Salep at arrival. This drink was introduced to Lebanese by Ottomans. Originally it consists of milk and orchid flour, but now many cafés prepare it with milk, sugar and cornstarch. I personally use Sahlab mix, they are available in many brands in Lebanon and all over the world. You just mix it with hot milk and ready in a-snap-of-a-finger! Some add orange blossom water or honey, others top it with pistachios and shredded coconut, but I like it the way dad used to make it, sprinkled with cinnamon and served with kaak on the side.

This thick creamy drink has higher demand on cold winter days, just perfect to snuggle on the sofa with. but I love that during summer it can be found among ice cream flavors.

Sahlab is popular throughout the Middle East, and heard from my vegan friends that it can be done with soya milk.

If you can get Sahlab -Salep- fine powder, here below the recipe!

Ingredients

  • 2 cups milk
  • 1 1/2 tsp ground sahlab
  • pinch (or a bit more) of ground mastic
  • 2 tbsp sugar

Preparation

  1. Dissolve the mastic in 1/3 cup warm milk. Set aside.
  2. On a medium heat, pour the rest of the milk and bring to boil. Add the Sahlab by sprinkling gradually and stirring. Keep stirring for about 5 minutes.
  3. Add sugar and stir. Transfer the mastic milk mixture and stir to form a thick creamy milk.
  4. Serve hot sprinkled with cinnamon and with your favorite brioche or kaak.

#confinement_day45

Instagram @MayasIngredients

 

Springtime Crinkle Cookies

Easter Crinkle Cookies

Axel my daughter turned TEN 2 days ago, despite the confinement because of coronavirus, she still deserves a nice table decoration set by “MOMMY” i.e myself. Axel loves these cookies and they are super easy to make. To color them, you just split the dough in 3 parts and add 3 drops of food color to each. The result is a batch of fluffy Crinkle Cookies with a dash of lemon flavor. 

Springtime Crinkle Cookies

Makes 32 cookies 

Ingredients

  • 100g butter
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tbsp Lemoncello
  • 3 cups flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 cup icing sugar

Preparation

  1. Cream the butter and sugar.
  2. Add in eggs and lemoncello until fully incorporated.
  3. Combine flour, baking powder and salt and add into batches.
  4. Split the dough into three portions and color with food color of your choice.
  5. Refrigerate the dough for 2 hours.
  6. Roll dough into balls and cover with icing sugar.
  7. Bake in oven at 170°C oven for 8-10 minutes.