I am not a big eater of veal. I never cook it, and hardly ever eat it. But one Friday night, my mom decided she wanted a rubut, so I took on the challenge. Some of you may be thinking “WHAT?” and I”ll explain to you what this crazy dish is. Basically you take a piece of veal and cut a slit in the center so that you can stuff it (we Syrians love stuffing our food!). The veal is stuffed with hashu, a mixture of meat and rice, and cooked with either more hashu around it or some vegetables. Fava beans are classic, and many people make it with mushrooms, but I like to make it with peas. And add some hashu balls in the peas just for some extra meatiness (meat stuffed with meat with some meat around it…a well-rounded meal). Continue reading
Corned beef is really quite easy to make. You basically put it in a pot with lots of water and watch it boil. It takes a long time (three + hours), but you don’t actually have to do anything…unless you’re doing the corning by yourself, but that’s a different story. Continue reading
I finally got Ina Garten’s new cookbook! It took a while, especially because I pre-ordered it on Amazon. Turns out, shipping during Hurricane Sandy got kinda iffy, and it just never showed up. Thanks to Amazon’s amazing customer service (once I figured out where to find it), they overnighted me a new copy! Yay! After looking through the recipes, and weeding out the very unkosher ones, I decided that a one-pot pasta dish was the perfect first recipe to try. Why? Because we love pasta! Because Richie loves pasta. Because It reheats easily on a weeknight. And because sausage is something I don’t cook much, so I thought I’d give it a try.
Hope all of you in Sandy’s path (like us!) are staying safe and have enough projects to entertain you on this second day at home! If you happen to have lamb, leeks and potatoes at home, I have a dinner idea for you:
This is becoming one of my favorite dishes. It takes too long to cook be a regular weeknight meal, but it’s all made in one pot (my Dutch oven), it can be made ahead and it’s definitely a special enough for a celebration. Don’t worry, it’s mostly waiting around in the oven time, so you can watch a movie while it cooks, you don’t have to sit in the kitchen all night.
Lamb is usually a treat for us, but it’s not expensive to buy shoulder chops or stew meat, and the long cooking time makes the meat super soft. Leeks are totally underrated. I don’t use them enough, even though they play a part in many of my favorite dishes, including this ginger fried rice. It’s called a lamb and leek hotpot, but potatoes also play a key role in it; they soak up all of the delicious lamb flavor and all of the leek juices. Mm, amazing!
I’ve actually never had or even heard of a hotpot before, but it’s basically lamb and vegetables, surrounded by potatoes. Thanks, Greedy Gourmet for introducing me to this delicious Lancashire pub grub!
Now, the first time I made this, I was smart and bought boneless meat. That’s what I thought I bought the second time around, until I got home and realized there were bones in my stew meat. Oops! Just as delicious, but a little more annoying to eat. Also, I didn’t bother peeling the potatoes, I was too lazy. And if you’re feeling lazy, you’re better off skipping the potato-peeling than the leek-frying! This is a crucial step. Do not skip it.
Your kitchen is about to smell so good!
- 6 tablespoons olive oil
- 3 leeks, trimmed and chopped
- 1 onion, chopped
- 1 1/2 to 2 lbs boneless lamb shoulder, cut into cubes
- 1 tablespoon flour
- 2 garlic cloves, chopped
- 4 medium “waxy” potatoes (about 1 3/4 lbs) (I used yukon golds)
- chopped thyme
- 1 cup vegetable broth
- 1/2 cup white wine
- salt and pepper
- Heat about 2 tablespoons of the olive oil in a Dutch oven or another pot that can go on the stove and in the oven. Add the leeks and onions, coat with oil, cover the pot and cook for about 10 minutes. Uncover, salt, remove the leeks and onions to a bowl and set aside.
- Meanwhile, lightly coat the lamb with the flour. Add 2 tablespoons of oil to the pot and brown the meat on all sides (in batches, if necessary) with the garlic, salt and pepper. Remove from pot and set aside.
- Preheat the oven to 350.
- Layer half the potatoes on the bottom of the pot. Sprinkle with salt, pepper and thyme. Add half the leeks on top. Then add all of the meat, the rest of the leeks, and finally, arrange the rest of the potatoes nicely on top. Sprinkle with salt, pepper and thyme, then pour in the broth and the wine.
- Turn the fire on, bring to a simmer, cover, and place in the oven to cook for about an hour and 50 minutes. Remove the lid, sprinkle with the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil, and cook for another 30 to 40 minutes. Serve immediately.
We have a baby foodie in the house! He’s older than 6 months, which means we are thinking about food. And although right now he survives only on breastmilk and single veggies, pretty soon he’ll be sharing family meals with us. Which is why when he was born I had to buy Tyler Florence’s new baby food cookbook Start Fresh. First of all, Tyler Florence is awesome. Second of all, I love people’s takes on what babies should eat. He thinks baby’s first food should be baby carrots (the real kind, not the cut and bleached processed kind). Continue reading
The Irish are very proud of their Guinness. So even though I’m not Irish, and St. Patrick’s day has nothing to do with Middle Eastern Jewery, They do say, “On March 17, everyone is Irish,” so I’m sticking to that. Happy Saint Patrick’s Day, Dear Internet Friends!
Ades soup is a classic Syrian dish. These red lentils turn yellow when boiled, and often confuses people who’ve never seen the soup before (“Wait, I thought you said RED lentil soup. This is yellow!”). It’s an easy and comforting dish you can make on a chilly winter evening and that you can enjoy for lunch the next day. The first time I made this dish was in college, and my roommates were not to keen on tasting it (I don’t know why!). Lucky me! I ate a lot of soup that week.
It’s flavored with coriander and cilantro, one of my favorite flavors. If you don’t like cilantro, just use parsley instead. Or leave it out, this soup has enough flavor on its own. To add some extra flavor, use vegetable or chicken stock in place of the water.
Ades Soup, or Syrian Red Lentil Soup, adapted from here and some family traditions:
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 tablespoon ground coriander
- 1 red onion
- 4 cloves garlic
- 1 cup split red lentils, rinsed
- 6 cups water
- 1/4 cup flour
- 1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
- Kosher salt, to taste
- 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
- 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
- Pinch of cayenne pepper
1. Heat a large saucepan over medium heat and add oil.
2. When the oil is hot, add the coriander and let cook for about one minute.
3. Then, add onions and garlic. Add some kosher salt. Stir and cook for about 10 minutes, until onions soften.
4. Add the lentils to the pot. Mix and coat them with oil.
5. Add 5 cups of water and bring the mixture to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer for 5 minutes.
6. Meanwhile, mix flour with the remaining cup of water to make a paste. Add to the lentils.
7. Stir in the lemon juice and some more salt. Continue stirring over high heat until the mixture boils. Then, cover and cook another 15 minutes.
8. Add the cumin and cayenne. Mix well. Taste for salt and add more if needed.
9. Then add the cilantro. Serve with some lemon wedges and more chopped cilantro on top, if desired.
As you can tell, we like making stews in our Dutch ovens. It’s not something we do much during the summer, but now that the temperature is dropping, we’re back to braising and browning and serving over rice!
I used mostly vegetables from my csa with a few other groceries that were hanging around in my fridge. Served with a simple green salad, this made for a delicious dinner for two with enough leftover for a lunch the next day. Which is the perfect kind of dinner.
Beef and Vegetable Stew
- 1 pound beef stew meat (I don’t know what that means, I bought it at Trader Joe’s)
- 4 carrots, chopped
- 3 medium potatoes, chopped
- 3 tiny red onions, chopped
- 1 celery stalk, chopped
- 5 cloves of garlic, minced
- 2-3 cups of stock or water
- olive oil, salt and pepper
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
- Brown the beef over medium-high heat in a little bit of olive oil in a heavy pot or Dutch oven.
- Remove beef from pot and stir in chopped onions. Let cook for 5 minutes and add garlic. Mix and add the rest of the vegetables. Season with salt and pepper.
- Add half of the stock (I used vegetable stock), mixing well. Put the beef back into the pot and mix. Add more stock if it seems too dry.
- Bring the mixture to a boil. Lower the heat, cover, and let simmer, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes.
- Put the pot in the oven and bake for 30-45 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Serve over rice.
When David Lebovitz posted a recipe for caramelized shallot chicken, I knew I had to try it. Chicken is a cheap, healthy, and easy dinner, and I was blown away by how great his looked and then later by how great mine tasted. This has become a favorite Monday night dinner of mine.
I love shallots, and recently started using them in place of regular onions in many of my recipes. I always have shallots in my onion bowl, so after reading this recipe, I didn’t have to do much shopping, and that totally added to the awesomeness of this dish.
While looking through a Syrian cookbook, I came across a dutch oven recipe for hameen, a dish that required a whole chicken, 5 hours, and long-grain white rice. It sounded delicious, but I definitely had to switch it up a little bit. This recipe is pretty simple and the ingredients are all really basic, and you should have most, if not all of them in your house already. Continue reading