Lachmagine is a classic mazza, a “small bite” Syrian Jews often eat before dinner. It’s kind of like a mini pizza, but instead of sauce and cheese we put tamarind and meat on it. It’s a staple in many homes on Shabbat and holidays.
I have seen this episode of Barefoot Contessa many many times. Ina makes this pot roast with some baked potatoes. It’s such an easy recipe, though you do need a whole bunch of ingredients to make it. I finally decided to try it, and it was definitely worth it! The pot roast is soft and flavorful, and the sauce is thick and delicious over rice or couscous. I dipped garlic bread in mine. yum! It’s also a pretty forgiving recipe, so if you don’t have some of the ingredients, don’t fret! Continue reading
Growing up, we always thought Grandma Rena was the best cook! Our parents still make fun of us that we liked her can of Hunt’s tomato sauce over a box of boiled pasta better than theirs, but what can we say, there was something special about it.
Recently, our dad started buying veal so that our mom could recreate his mom’s veal pasta. We’ve been trying to recreate her recipe, and while it will probably never be as good as grandma’s, we can come close to it.
Sometimes I like to cook up a couple of big juicy steaks, mix up a salad, and call it dinner. David likes it, too. But sometimes, plain old steak gets boring. I’m not one to dip my steak in ketchup, but I want something to eat my steak with. Something good. Well, that brings me to our next recipe: shallot and red wine steak sauce. This whole meal fits together quite nicely, almost like a puzzle where the steak fits into the sauce and then the sauce with the glass of red wine you are drinking with dinner. Because it’s the same wine, you see.
And that is a perfect night at home, good food, a glass of wine and great company.
Shallot & Red Wine Steak Sauce
- 2 steaks (make sure they have some fat on them, you’ll need it!)
- 1 gigantic shallot, or 2 regular sized ones, cut into rings
- 2 springs of thyme, leaves only
- 1 cup red wine
- olive oil
- salt and pepper to taste
- Turn on your broiler (this step is optional; you can really cook the whole steaks on the stove, but my tiny apartment + a lot of smoke = angry smoke alarm) and line a baking sheet with tin foil
- Sear the steaks in a little bit of olive oil in a heavy-bottomed pan for 4 minutes on each side (you may need to do this one at a time), or whenever they lift up easily. I used my dutch oven, because I have a limited collection of meat cookware.
- Remove the steaks to the prepared baking sheet and let them finish cooking in the broiler (or a plate if they’re done).
- Lower the flame, add the shallots to the pan with a pinch of salt and cook for 8-10 minutes until the shallots cook down and become soft.
- Add the thyme and wine and raise the fire. Reduce the sauce by about half.
- Spoon the sauce over the steaks and eat.
These little Syrian meatballs are totally different from the ones we eat on top of spaghetti. Keftes tend to be smaller and are cooked in a sweet and sour tomato-based sauce and are eaten over rice. They’re one of my favorite Syrian dishes, and though they’re usually served as part of a whole spread of meats, salads and vegetables (sometimes they’re not even the only serve-over-rice dish), I like to make them the main event on a weeknight!
Keftes, or Syrian Meatballs
For the keftes:
- 1 lb chopped meat
- 1 egg
- 2 tablespoons matzah meal
- salt and pepper
For the sauce:
- 2 (14 oz.) cans tomato sauce
- juice of 1 lemon
- 2 tablespoons tamarind paste
- 1 cup water
- 1 teaspoons sugar
- salt to taste
- Mix all of the ingredients for the keftes together and form into balls, about 2 tablespoons in size.
- Brown the meatballs in a little bit of olive oil in a pot.
- Add all of the sauce ingredients, mix well and bring to a boil.
- Lower the fire, cover and let simmer for 40 minutes to an hour, making sure the keftes are cooked through.
- Serve over rice.
Oh, and happy birthday Rebekah!