Wednesday, August 28, 2019

Lebanon - Sfouf

Sfouf is a lebanese cake made from semolina. I bought the semolina and felt suspicious it was exactly the same as polenta. But it isn't! Semolina is made from wheat and polenta is made from corn. They look the same though.


Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup Fine Semolina
  • 3/4 cup Course Semolina
  • 1 1/2 cups All-Purpose Flour
  • 2 cups White Granulated Sugar
  • 2 tsp. Baking Powder
  • 1 tbls. Turmeric
  • 1 cup Whole Milk or lower fat milk.
  • 1 cup Vegetable Oil
  • 1 tbls. Tahini
  • 1/4 cup Pine Nuts or Almonds


 Preheat the oven to 190 C. Spread a layer of tahini on the base of the pan you're using.

 Put all the dry ingredeints (not the pine nuts) in a bowl.


Stir the dry ingredients and then add the milk and oil. Stir well.


Pour the batter on top of the tahini in the pan. Sprinkle the pine nuts on top.


The recipe I was using said to bake for 45 minutes but beware! I baked mine for 25 minutes and it burned a little on top. It was cooked through too. So maybe bake it for 20 minutes and check. I sneakily turned the cake out upside down so you can't see the burned bits :D

When it has cooled for 10 minutes or so, tip it out and cut into squares.


We were all really surprised how nice this was! Even the kids tried it and ate seconds. The turmeric makes it a lovely yellow colour and the tahini gives it almost a peanut butter flavour. It's coarse in texture kind of like cornbread. Nice and crumbly as you eat it with a slightly chewy centre. Very nice. I can see why they save this one for special occasions in Lebanon.

Friday, August 23, 2019

Lebanon - Chickpea Balila

Time for a recipe made with one of my favourite foods, chickpeas! I love how this recipe seems to be a chunkier version of hummus. Has to be a winner :)


Ingredients:

2 cans chickpeas
1 onion
4 tablespons lemon juice
1 cup vegetable stock
1 teaspoon cumin
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons oil
Parsley & Pine Nuts to garnish



Heat the oil in a pan and add the drained chickpeas. Add the garlic powder, cumin and salt. Stir well as the chickpeas saute.


After 3-4 minutes use a potato masher to smash about 1/3 of the chickpeas.


Add the vegetable stock and lemon juice. Bring to the boil and then simmer for 10 minutes until the liquid has reduced and the chickpeas are cooked.


Garnish with chopped parsley and pine nuts.


I wasn't prepared for how fresh and lemony this dish would be. You can't tell from the picture but the lower layer was more liquidy, combined and really delicious. If I made it again I'd smash more chickpeas to get that consistency throughout. I like how simple but tasty Lebanese food is. Their flavours all go so well together. Definitely a winner!

Wednesday, August 14, 2019

Lebanon - Kafta

However it's pronounced (Kafta, Kofte, Kufte) I've always been a fan of this spiced meat dish. Many countries have a similar dish. Lebanon has it's own version made from beef, onion, parsley and spices. Which is what I'll be making today.


Ingredients:

1 package beef mince
1 onion
30g parsley
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon cayenne
1/4 teaspoon allspice
1/4 teaspoon black pepper


Put the minced beef in a bowl and add all the spices. Chop the parsley and throw that it too. Grate the onion (watch your fingers!) and add it to the mix.


Squish it all together with your hands until it's well combined.


Split into four and put a quarter on each skewer. I did a more flat shape for mine because it makes it easier to cook.


Heat some oil in a frying pan and cook the kafta until done. I used my pan lid to steam the kafta to make sure they were cooked throughout.


Serve the kafta with flatbreads, sliced cucumber and some yoghurt.


Wow! I don't know if it's this particular spice combination but Lebanese Kafta is the best kofta/kafta/kufta (delete as appropriate) I've ever had. It's so delicious. I thoroughly enjoyed it with the yoghurt on top. This recipe is so versatile, it'd be great as burgers or meatballs too. Perfect for a barbecue. I'm just here thinking of other times I can eat this. Yum!

Wednesday, August 7, 2019

Lebanon - Batata Harra

L is for Lebanon. In February, 2012 I made Kibbeh which was my first taste of Lebanese food. It's meat and onion stuffed inside more meat and onion. Unusual but tasty nonetheless.


This time I'm making Batata Harra, a fried potato dish that looks simple and delicious.


Ingredients:

500g potatoes
1 bunch coriander
3 cloves garlic
1/2 lemon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon paprika


Peel and cube the potatoes giving them a rinse under the tap when they're ready.


Saute them in some oil.


Keep going until the potatoes have changed colour and are starting to soften.


Now chop up the coriander and garlic.



Add them to the pan along with the salt, paprika and the juice from the half lemon.


Stir well and saute for another few minutes.


This dish was delicious and fresh tasting. The lemon goes really well with the coriander with the paprika giving a nice spice to the overall flavour. JD and I really enjoyed these potatoes. It's a simple enough recipe that you can make it often to accompany all sorts of foods. Lovely!


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