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.
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
In a small saucepan, over medium low heat, place the broad beans with water and bring to heat.
Add lemon juice, olive oil, tahini, salt, pepper and cumin. Reduce to desired consistency.
Return beans to plate and top with tomatoes, green (or spring) onions and parsley.
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.
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!
2 cups milk
1 1/2 tsp ground sahlab
pinch (or a bit more) of ground mastic
2 tbsp sugar
Dissolve the mastic in 1/3 cup warm milk. Set aside.
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.
Add sugar and stir. Transfer the mastic milk mixture and stir to form a thick creamy milk.
Serve hot sprinkled with cinnamon and with your favorite brioche or kaak.
1. In a blender, place beet and milk and blend until smooth.
2.Add egg, vanilla, sugar and oil. Blend to combine.
3. Add flour, baking powder, and salt Pulse a few times to combine.
4. Transfer batter to bowl.
5. Heat a nonstick pan over medium-low heat. Grease with butter and laddle 1/3 cup of the batter into the pan. Cook for 2-3 minutes on each side, same as you cook pancakes. Repeat to finish all batter.
6. Pile the pancakes up to form a cake and decorate with icing sugar, fruits, sprinkles, … or serve separately like you do regularly. Bon Appétit!
1. Grate the potatoes manually or using your electric robot. Rinse grated potatoes until water is clear. Drain then squeeze using a tea towel to dry well.
2. Combine potatoes, onion, egg, flour, salt and pepper
3. In a large heavy skillet, heat about 1/4 inch of oil. I use kitchen metallic tongs to spoon about 1/2 cup potatoes into the pan in a flat thick layer. Around 3 “potatoes pancakes” can be cooked at a time.
4. Cook until a nice brown crust forms on the bottom, then flip over and brown on the other side.
Don’t you hate when you invite guests over and hear them cheering, drinking, having a blast while you’re stuck in the kitchen, running in all directions, heating dishes and making sure everything is perfect?
Thinking of this makes me have second thoughts about how much I truly love (or not) Christmas!
This is exactly the time when, I appreciate recipes like that. Recipes that can be done entirely the day before and requires minimum manipulation on the day of the event.
This tart requires no baking.
If using a round tin, then 20cm would be required.
The base can be done with Chocolate Oreo or Speculoos biscuits.
Crush biscuits in a food processor or in a plastic bag using a rolling pin.
As for the filling, semisweet chocolate can be replaced with dark chocolate and two more tablespoons of sugar, or use milk chocolate and omit the sugar.
For coffee lovers: caramel sauce can be replaced with 1 tablespoon instant coffee powder.
Merry Christmas food lovers!
Caramel Chocolate Tart
For the base
32 chocolate biscuits or Oreo Biscuits, crumbled
½ cup / 50g butter, melted
For the filling
150g semi-sweet chocolate chips
2 cups heavy cream
3 tbsp sugar
2 tbsp caramel sauce
½ tsp salt
25g corn flour
1/3 cup milk
To make the base In a food processor, pulse biscuits, butter and salt until you have a moist sandy mixture. Press biscuit mixture into a tart tin and refrigerate for 3 hours.
To make the filling In a saucepan, on low-medium heat, pour the chocolate chips and the cream and stir until the chocolate melts. Add sugar, caramel and salt. Stir to well combine.
In a small bowl, whisk corn flour and milk together and, off the heat, add to the chocolate mixture and mix. Return sauce over low heat and keep stirring 5-7 minutes or until sauce thickens. Leave to cool 15 minutes.
Take out the base-lined tart tin, pour the chocolate mixture evenly on the top and return it to the fridge to chill overnight.
April is for me a month to celebrate; Kaia turns 11 and Axel turns 6 and my youngest baby Maya’s Ingredients turns 5!
Yes, Five years ago, my baby blog was born!!
Like any child, he needs attention, warmth and care. He kept me awake at night reading him stories. He made me wake up early answering his inquiries. He tested my photography skills and made me follow him with a camera. He became so popular that he made me famous:)
My baby blog has followers and friends from all around the world. He is established on the blogosphere and has a fine reputation.
To celebrate I prepared a giant bowl of fruit salad soaking in orange juice, just by adding a drizzle of honey and a handful of pine nuts, I made it taste like the best fruit salad ever.
No recipe directions to follow! Combine at least 4 to 5 varieties of your favorite fruits chopped. Add fresh orange juice. Drizzle some honey and decorate with raw pine nuts.
Enjoy it fresh and Happy anniversary to Maya’s Ingredients!
My Christmas shopping started in Paris, I was there just 2 weeks before Christmas, it was the perfect time of the year to visit the city and enjoy its chic boutiques, festive decorations and fairy lights.
I stayed in the 16th arrondissement, not too far from Trocadero and Eiffel tower, despite the cold weather I made sure to walk every day outside and take a hot chocolate break in one of the Parisian gourmet cafés to warm my hands and satisfy my taste buds.
Paris is where the best hot chocolate is found! Enriched with a little cream or milk, Parisian hot chocolate is served thick, velvety and rich. The luxury comes from the excellent quality chocolate concoctions they add.
Cocoa contains flavonoids, antioxidant-rich pigments that relax blood vessels and promote cardiovascular health, but also if consumed in large quantities it can expand my waistline, therefore I like to flavor my drink with cinnamon or vanilla and drink it in an espresso-size cup.
Time for a selfie with my lifetime friend Nidal!!
Creamy Hot Chocolate With Cinnamon
2 cups unsweetened almond milk (or cow milk)
¼ tsp ground cinnamon (or more)
3 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
¼ cup 70% dark chocolate, chopped
2 tbsp brown sugar
Pinch of salt (preferably fleur de sel)
Bring milk and cinnamon to a boil. Let simmer over low heat for 5 minutes.
Whisk in vigorously cocoa powder, chocolate, sugar and salt, until mixture is frothy.
Divide among 2 mugs and garnish with mini marshmallows or cinnamon sticks if desired.