Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Food Favorites - Lebanese

Back again! And my laptop is somehow functioning, so life´s good.

Last week Frenchie left back to France and we had my godparents over for dinner at my parents place before that. Frenchie is half Lebanese, and he´s inherited some awesome cooking skills from his dad. Like father like son, at least in this situation. Anyways, we did some yummy homemade Lebanese food and I thought you might like the recipes, so here goes!

We did Hummus, Baba Ghanoughe and Za´atar chicken. My favorite is the hummus, I could eat it all day long, it´s so gooood. And super easy to make. As are the others, you just need a few ingredients, Tahini and Za´atar (which is a blend of Middlea Eastern herbs, sesame and salt) and some patience when doing them for the first time . In Helsinki you´ll find Za´atar at least in the Jewish food store, Zaafranco, on Malminkatu in Kamppi.The Tahini has to be the right one, there´s a lot of readymade-dips and other stuff that also goes by the name Tahini. There´s big differences between Tahini´s from different countries. As long as it´s 100% sesame oil, it´s good.Frenchie said to go ask at a Lebanese restaurant if they could sell some. In Helsinki try asking at Farouge, the owners are super nice and the food is delicious. We wen´t out on first date to Farouge, try it out!

So, once you got the Za´atar and Tahini covered your almost good to go. You´ll also need some lemons, garlic, olive oil, chickpeas, eggplant, Dijon mustard and then you have it all. 
Frenchie wrote down the recipes for me to share with you. 


-Take a can of chickpeas, rub them with your hands to peel off the skin (it will be easier to digest, less chunky parts after blended)

-In a bowl crush one garlic clove, add one or two teaspoons of salt, the juice of a lemon and six big tablespoons of Tahini.

-Add the chickpeas to the mix, blend it until it becomes a smooth dip (add salt, garlic, lemon to taste, add a bit of water to help the mixing part if too chunky).

- Decorate the Hummus with a thin circle of olive oil on the side and ground paprika, finish up with some persil on top. 
I decorated this one, would´ve been way prettier if Frenchie had done it, but I´m learning. 

Baba Ghanouge:

-Grill entire eggplants on a barbecue (preferably on a coal barbecue or in a fireplace) and once well cooked, shut the fire down and keep the eggplant in the heat (buried in the ashes or close the lid of the barbecue) so the flesh melts and becomes soft.

-Once they are soft, peel off the skin. It can be done roughly, but the less skin, the better.

-Mix with the juice of half a lemon, salt to taste, a yoghurt (optional, for more smoothness) and, per eggplant, one garlic clove and three tablespoons of Tahini.

Looks a bit suspicious at this point... 

But it´ll eventually look like this (we did not add yoghurt since I don´t eat milk produce that much, but if you add it´ll be a lot smoother).

Za´atar Chicken:

This is very easy. You need chicken filets, Dijon mustard and Za´atar. Mix half and half Dijon and Za´atar, slice the chicken filets in half horizontally to get them thin, and spread the mix on both sides of the filet. Put the filets on the barbecue and you´ll have delicious chicken in no time. Easy and fast. I´m not a fan of mustard, don´t like the taste at all, but in this recipe you can´t taste the mustard and I love it!

I´ll post another Za´atar recipe later on, that mix is so delicious! 
Start practicing those homemade Lebanese dips, way to impress your guest next time you invite people over!

For dessert we did a shortcut and bought Pappagallo raspberry sorbet. I´m usually not a fan of sorbets you can find in the grocery stores, but this was so good. And who can resist the color, pink sorbet, doesn´t get better than that.

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