Grilled Kibbeh with Thyme Goat Labneh and Walnut

Kibbeh Qrass

Kibbeh is considered as one of the national traditional Lebanese dishes. There are more than a dozen adaptations of this recipe including options for vegetarians. The one constant and main ingredient is cracked wheat (burghul / bulgur or fine ground durum wheat).

Kibbeh is almost everyone’s favorite Lebanese dish. The variety ranges from starters to main course, depending on the size and the filling or sometimes no-filling at all.

The recipe I’m sharing today is a specialty of the villages in North Lebanon, in particular Zgharta, because this recipe for many Lebanese is known as Kibbeh Zghirtaweeyeeh

Preparing this recipe for the first time might be a long and delicate process, but it is also a true art revealing the devotion put into cooking since always.

I still enjoy mixing it manually and pounding the filling with a mortar and pestle, but the ghee traditionally incorporated isn’t something my heart desires, therefore I changed the filling to a healthy version inspired from my dad’s recipe. Hope you will like it.

Ingredients

Kibbeh Bowls (Kibbeh Qrass)

  • 1kg lamb or beef ground meat
  • 3 cups fine light or dark cracked wheat (burghul), rinsed and dry
  • 1 medium white onion, chopped
  • 10 fresh basil leaves, minced (optional)
  • 1 tsp dried mint
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ½ tsp ground sweet pepper
  • ½ tsp ground cinnamon
  • ½ tsp ground black pepper

Option 1- Traditional Filling

  • 2/3 cup sheep ghee
  • 1 large white onion, finely chopped
  • 3 tbsp fresh parsley, coarsely chopped
  • 2 tbsp fresh mint leaves, chopped
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp black pepper

Option 2- Maya’s Ingredients Filling

  • 150g goat labneh, crumbled
  • 4 tbsp / handful fresh thyme leaves
  • 1 tbsp toasted sesame seeds
  • 1 tsp sumac
  • 1 tsp honey
  • Chunks of walnut
  • Olive oil, to drizzle

      •  Vegetable oil, to brush

Extra tools

  • Plastic film
  • Small glass bowls x 6

Preparation

1.Combine kibbeh bowls ingredients to get a dough-like consistency. This can be done in a large bowl and wooden spoon or using a food processor.

2.Refrigerate for 15 minutes.

3a.Meantime prepare the filling. For option 1, combine onion, parsley, mint, salt and pepper. The ghee should stay solid and set aside.

3b.To make the filling option 2, pound the sesame seeds, thyme and sumac in a pestle and mortar. Spoon over crumbled labneh. Drizzle with honey and sprinkle with chunks of walnut if desired.

4.To form the bowls shape kibbeh, wet a plastic sheet (cling film) and place it inside a small bowl. Press the meat dough flat, 1/3 inch / 7mm thick inside to take the shape of the bowl. Repeat, wetting your hands with cold water as you work.

5.Each 2 molds will make one piece of kibbeh. Stuff one half with your preferred mixture and place it on the palm of your hand (after pulling away the plastic film), place the second half over it and seal the rims together. Brush with vegetable oil.

6a.If using the traditional filling, just spoon the onion mixture inside followed by the pieces of ghee.

6b.If using my filling, spoon the labneh mixture, finish with a drizzle of olive oil, before joining the 2 molds together.

7.Carry carefully the kibbeh bowls and bake over charcoal on both sides until cooked thoroughly. Serve with green salad.

 

Advertisements

Mistletoe Mimosas

Cranberry Grenade Mimosa.jpgMimosas are astonishingly, ridiculously, exceedingly, embarrassingly easy to make. Not that simple doesn’t taste yummy and easy won’t add the sparkle you’re looking for:) The flavors are splendid! I promise you a cool drink that will deliberately take care of the mood.

Merry Mimosas everyone!

Ingredients

Serves 6

  • 6 tablespoons grenadine syrup
  • 1 cup cranberry juice, chilled
  • 1 (750ml) bottle champagne, chilled
  • Rosemary sprigs, to garnish
  • Fresh cranberries (optional)

Directions

  1. Add 1 tablespoon of grenadine syrup in each flute.
  2. Combine cranberry juice and champagne together and fill up the flutes almost right to the top. Garnish with rosemary and drop the berries right before serving.

 

 

APPLE CRANBERRY CAKE WITH CINNAMON FROSTING

APPLE CRANBERRY CAKEApple – Cranberry – Clementine – Cinnamon… These are the necessary key words to make you want to bake this elegant Christmas cake.

Nothing beats a smoothly frosted cake semi-naked look, I promise you it’s so easy to prepare anyone should give it a chance.

I couldn’t resist, but taking photos from different angles and post them on all of my social medias accounts.

I have tried many recipes for the festive season. I hope I’ll get the chance to share them all, since all of my spare time lately has been spent on Christmas shopping hearing Georges Michael and Mariah Carrey songs on repeat.

APPLE CRANBERRY CAKE WITH CINNAMON FROSTING FLAVOR

Ingredients

  • 1 cup whipping cream
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 200g unsalted butter (at room temperature)
  • 1 ½ cup sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 1tsp vanilla
  • 4 cups flour, sifted
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ¼ cup Clementine juice
  • ¼ cup dried cranberries
  • 1-2 red apples, cored and sliced (skin on)
  • 1 tsp brown sugar
  • ½ tsp cinnamon
  • 1tbsp limoncello

Preparation

  1. To make the frosting, add 1 teaspoon of cinnamon to the whipping cream and whisk on high speed for 3 minutes or until fluffy. Refrigerate.
  2. Preheat oven to 175° C. Butter and flour a cake pan.
  3. Beat butter and sugar together until light and fluffy, add eggs, vanilla, flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
  4. Pour Clementine juice gradually while mixing and scraping down the bowl with a spatula as you go. Turn off the mixer and fold in the cranberries.
  5. Pour the batter in the cake pan and decorate with the apple slices arranging them close together and overlapping on top of the batter.
  6. Mix brown sugar and cinnamon together and sprinkle this over the apples. Drizzle with limoncello liqueur (or lemon juice).
  7. Bake for 45-55 minutes. Cake is done when a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  8. Cool the cake in the pan on a wire rack.
  9. Frost the cake with your chilled cinnamon icing. Sprinkle with icing sugar. Decorate with cinnamon sticks, kumquat and fresh cranberries, if desired.

Blueberry Cake

Bueberry Cake.jpg

Hello hungry people:) I have good news for you, this cake recipe is so simple that even the most amateur cook may bake it. And with the almond crumble that tops it, you will end up with a celebratory treat to serve on ceremonial occasions like Christmas.

What makes this cake looks fabulous is the Bundt pan and the glaze. So if you are tempted to try this recipe please don’t skip these two steps, especially the topping.

Happy Baking!

Ingredients

  • 1 ½ cup sugar
  • 1 cup / 2 sticks unsalted butter
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 2 ¾ cups all-purpose-flour
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ cup milk
  • 3 tablespoons lemon zest
  • 1 cup fresh or frozen (and thawed) blueberries

For the topping

  • 3 tablespoons icing sugar
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • 2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons oats
  • 2 tablespoons almonds, broken or sliced
  • 2 tablespoons butter, at room temperature

Preparation

  1. Preheat the oven to 185 degrees C. Grease and flour a 12-cup pan.
  2. In a large bowl, beat butter and sugar together until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Beat in eggs, one at a time. Beat in vanilla.
  3. Sift flour, salt, baking soda, and baking powder in a large bowl. Add gradually to butter mixture. Beat until well mixed, making sure to scrape down the bowl with a spatula.
  4. Fold in lemon zest and blueberries and transfer to pan.
  5. Bake for 60-70 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  6. Remove the cake from the oven and let it cool on a wire rack for at least ten minutes before trying to remove it from the pan.
  7. To make the topping, combine flour, sugar, oat and almonds. Add the butter and rub the mixture with your fingers to make small clumps. Spread the mixture on a baking tray and cook in oven for 7-10 minutes. Let cool. To make the glaze, whisk together icing sugar and lemon juice. To finish, drizzle the glaze over the cake and immediately sprinkle with the almond mixture and wait for the glaze to dry before serving.

 

Spicy Hot Chocolate

SpicyHotChocolateIMG_9585.JPG

After skiing in the wind for five hours straight, I was chilled to the marrow and all I could think of was my special spicy version of hot chocolate.

This chocolaty monster will make you swoon! Think of the cocoa and all the spices that contains this drink that promote cardiovascular health and boost the immunity. It is rich, I know, but absolutely marvelous!

Feel free to play with the amounts of the ingredients to suit your own taste:)

Stay warm!

Spicy Hot Chocolate

Ingredients

•2 cups milk (preferably almond milk)
•½ tsp ground cinnamon
•¼ tsp nutmeg
•¼ tsp chili powder
•2 tbsp brown sugar
•2 mini chili peppers
•3 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
•¼ cup 70% dark chocolate, chopped
•Pinch of salt

Preparation
1. In a medium saucepan, bring milk, cinnamon, nutmeg, chili powder and sugar to a boil.
2. Slit the chili pepper lengthwise and stir in.
3. Whisk in cocoa powder, chocolate and salt, let simmer until mixture is frothy.
4. Discard the chili peppers and divide drink among 2 cups and garnish with mini marshmallows or cinnamon sticks if desired.

Pumpkin Jam

pumpkinjam-mayaoryan

 

Pumpkin Jam

Go fetch your most beautiful pumpkin soon, my simple pumpkin jam recipe is online!

Ingredients

  • 2kg pumpkin, peeled and cut in bite-sized pieces
  • 1.2kg sugar
  • 100g limestone (kilis)
  • 4L water

 Directions

Dissolve the limestone in water. Leave to rest for 1-2 hours. Soak the pumpkin chunks inside the water for 10 hours or overnight.

Gently take out the pumpkin out of the water and wash thoroughly. Strain and leave to dry.

In a heavy-based saucepan, add the sugar to 2.5 L water and bring to a boil stirring constantly until the sugar is dissolved.

Add the pumpkin pieces and let it simmer on low heat. Remove scum from the surface.

When a small amount of the juice gels on a chilled plate this indicates that the jam is ready. Turn off the heat and  ladle carefully in jars finishing with a coat of syrup.

For immediate consumption, keep refrigerated and consume within 3 weeks.

Alternatively, boil the tightly sealed jars for 10 minutes, remove from water and turn upside down till next day. Label them and store in a cool dark place.

Orange Pineapple Punch

maya-oryan-img_0461Hello beautiful people! Is it summer where you are? I spent my day running from one air-conditioned room to the other, trying to avoid the heat and humidity.

My kiddos spent the day at the pool with the cousins swimming and playing in the sun all afternoon, when they got back I couldn’t but surprise them with this cool refreshing orange pineapple punch.

Add some vodka inside and turn it into an adult party-wide hit punch!!

Decorate with strawberry slices and orange wedges, and serve.

Ingredients

  • 2 parts orange juice
  • 2 parts pineapple juice
  • ½ part lime juice
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 2 parts 7up or Sprite
  • Fresh strawberries and orange wedges, to decorate.

Preparation

Combine well the orange juice, pineapple juice, lime juice and honey in a pitcher. Taste and adjust sweetness.

Add 7up or Sprite, right before serving and garnish with fresh fruits and paper straw.

P.S Substitute the sprite with rum or vodka for an adults party version