Main Courses


BREADED CHICKEN BREASTS WITH FRESH TOMATO SAUCE

6 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
about 1 cup milk
2 1/2 cups flour
1 tablespoon cumin
1 tablespoon paprika
1 1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon pepper
olive oil

Tomato Sauce:
2 tablespoons olive oil
3 large tomatoes, seeded and cubed
1 red pepper, seeded and cubed
1 bunch scallions, thinly sliced
6 cloves garlic, minced
10 leaves of fresh basil, torn

2 cups shredded mozzarella

Soak chicken breasts in milk. Set aside.

Mix together flour and spices in a large bowl. Sandwich chicken with flour mixture, like making mud pies. Saute chicken in olive oil, over medium-high heat, 5-8 minutes per side.

In another pan, saute tomatoes, red peppers, scallions and garlic in olive oil over high heat for 5 minutes. Reduce heat and cook 5 minutes more. Add basil and cover, cook for 2-3 minutes more.

Serve over chicken breasts and top with mozzarella.

CHICKEN GAZA

Six breasts of chicken
1 teaspoon of hot chili or cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon of black pepper
1/2 teaspoon of paprika
1/2 teaspoon of cumin
1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon
1/2 cup of lemon juice
6 cloves of garlic, crushed
1/4 cup pomegranate juice
1/4 cup white wine
2 tablespoons butter
Pomegranate seeds to garnish

Mix hot pepper, black pepper, paprika, cumin, cinnamon with half of the garlic. Add the lemon juice.

Marinate the chicken breasts in the mixture.

Broil the marinated chicken for 15-20 minutes, turning once.

Melt the butter in a frying pan, and add the rest of the garlic to the heated butter. Add the Pomegranate juice with the wine to the garlic and butter.

Add the chicken breasts to the sauce and let simmer together for 5 min.

Garnish with pomegranate seeds and serve.

FALAFEL

1 cup chick peas (soaked for up to 24 hours)
1 cup fava beans (soaked for up to 24 hours)
1 bunch of parsley
1 bunch cilantro
1 large onion
6 cloves of garlic
1 bunch scallions
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/4 teaspoon paprika
olive oil

Drain peas and beans.

Grind the chick peas and fava beans in the food processor.

Chop the onion, garlic, parsley and cilantro in the food processor.

Mix the two mixtures together. Add the spices and salt with the baking powder. Mix well.

Make balls by tablespoonfuls of the mixture and deep fry them.

Serve them with tahina sauce, cucumbers, tomatoes and green or black olives.

KOFTA

2 pounds lean ground beef or lamb
1 large onion
4 cloves garlic
1 bunch parsley
1 cup basmati rice
1 1/2 teaspoons cumin
1 teaspoon coriander
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
3/4 cup water

Roughly chop onion and garlic. Put in a food processor with the leaves of the parsley. Process until you have almost a thick paste.

Mix puree into meat with rice and spices. Shape into little footballs, about an inch and a half long.

Put the kofta into a skillet with water. Let the water boil, then turn it down to low and cover. Cook for about 10-15 minutes, turning once.

Variation:

KOFTA BIL BAYD

Using same ingredients as above, mix as directed. Shape into patties. Cook as described above.

Whisk together 1 large egg, 1/2 teaspoon baking soda, 1 tablespoon flour and 1 tablespoon of milk. Dip patties into egg mixture and fry on both sides to cook egg.

KOUBBEH

There are two ways to do this, you can make them into little ovals (footballs) with the shell on the outside and filling on the inside and deep fry them, or you can do them this way. This is slightly easier and less work intensive.

For the meat shell:

2 cups fine ground bulghur wheat (cracked wheat)
1 teaspoon salt
1 large onion, quartered
2 pounds lean lamb or beef
pepper
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon allspice

For the filling:

1 large onion, chopped
4 tablespoons olive oil
2 pounds ground lamb or beef
salt and pepper
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon allspice
1/2 cup pine nuts or slivered almonds

4 tablespoons olive oil

For the shell, soak the bulgur in lots of cold water for about 15 minutes. Rinse in a sieve, press to drain thoroughly.

Process onion in a food processor. Add the meat, blend to a paste, take out and mix with bulghur and flavorings. Process, in batches, to a soft, well blended, dough-like paste.

For the filling, fry the onion in the oil until soft. Add the ground meat, salt, pepper, cinnamon and allspice and fry, turning and crushing the meat with a fork, until it has changed color. Add the pine nuts (or almonds) and mix well.

Grease a large shallow baking dish with oil. Press half the shell paste evenly on the bottom, about 1/2 an inch thick. Spread the filling on top and cover with the rest of the paste. You'll need to flatten the paste in sections between your palms, then apply to the top. Patch any holes and press firmly.

Use a pointed knife to score the meat in straight or diagonal lines (to make squares or diamonds). Dot each square with an additional pine nut (or almond), if you like. Brush with the 4 tablespoons of olive oil.

Bake in a preheated 375 degree oven for about 25 minutes.

KRISHNAMURTHY KEEMAH

This was taught to me by my friend Kim, who learned it from her Indian mother in law. I've watched her make it and she told me how to do it over the phone. These are loose instructions, and assume that the person cooking understands a little bit of how it should taste in the end. Very yummy. Experiment.

Over medium heat, fry broken cinnamon sticks, 1/2 onion, 4 cloves garlic and 1 tomato (all chopped up) in olive oil until onions are translucent. Put everything in the blender and add a little water, lemon juice, hot curry powder, chile powder and salt. Blend, put back in frying pan and add ground meat (she used chicken, I used beef) to brown. Add cilantro and cover until meat is cooked.

Serve over white rice with yogurt and vegetables and lime pickle.

MEATLOAF

1 pound ground beef
1/2 pound Italian sausage (sweet/hot your preference)
1 can Italian style stewed tomatoes
1 cup dry bread crumbs
2 large eggs
1 medium onion, diced
1 large potato, peeled and shredded
6 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup chopped parsley
1 teaspoon thyme
1 teaspoon oregano
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper

Mix together and form into loaf or bake in loaf pan.

Bake at 375 for about an hour and a half, until brown and center is cooked.

MEJEDDERRA

1 1/2 cups lentils
1 cup basmati rice
1 large onion, finely chopped
4-6 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 teaspoons curry powder
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
3/4 teaspoons salt (or more, to taste)
1/2 teaspoons ground pepper (preferable a mix of peppercorns)
olive oil

Put lentils and rice in a large pot, add enough water to cover by 1 inch. Boil until lentils are tender.

Saute onions in olive oil. When they are transparent, add curry powder, cumin, salt and pepper. Add garlic and saute until onions are slightly caramelized.

Add onions to lentils and rice simmer on low until all water is absorbed. Stir and serve.

PIZZA

Dough:

2 cups warm water
2 packages yeast
2 tablespoon sugar
2 teaspoons salt
3/4 cup olive oil
5 1/2 - 6 cups flour
1 1/2 cups cornmeal

Topping:

mozzarella
canned or fresh Italian plum tomatoes, sliced
sliced garlic
oregano
kalamata olives, pitted and sliced lengthwise
roasted red peppers, peeled and seeded
freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Mix 2 cups water, yeast, sugar, salt, olive oil, 3 cups flour and cornmeal in stand mixer or by hand until sticky dough is formed. Add additional flour and knead about 15 minutes.

Let rise in a large bowl with greased plastic over the top for about an hour, until doubled in bulk.

Punch down and roll into 4 rounds (or 2 large rectangles). Layer tomatoes, garlic, oregano, and mozzarella on top. Arrange olives and peppers and sprinkle Parmesan on crust.

Bake at 425 F for 25-35 minutes until crust is browned and cheese is melted.

PORK TACOS

4-5 pounds pork butt roast
8-10 cloves garlic, slivered
2 tablespoons kosher salt
3 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
olive oil
tortillas
diced tomatoes
salsa
shredded lettuce
sour cream
guacamole

Preheat oven to 325 F.

Insert slivers of garlic all over pork roast. Rub with salt, cumin, cayenne and pepper all over. Roast for 5-6 hours at 275 F. Let cool enough to touch.

Tear meat apart and set aside with any fat from pan. Saute in a small amount of olive oil, with all the garlic and fat from roasting.

Serve with warmed tortillas and accompaniments.

SAMBOUSAK

Dough:

1 egg
2 cups flour
1/2 cup butter
enough cold water to hold dough together

Filling (Muffroom):
1 1/2 pounds ground beef
1 onion, chopped very finely
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 bunch fresh dill, chopped finely
1 bunch flat leaf parsley, chopped very finely
salt and pepper

Mix together ingredients for dough. Roll into small balls and let rest, covered with a damp towel, before rolling out.

Brown ground beef with onions and garlic. Drain in a strainer and toss with dill, parsley and salt and pepper to taste.

Roll out dough into circles and fill with about a tablespoon or more of muffroom. Fold over into half moon shape and crimp edges (I curl them the way my mother did), making sure that each one is sealed.

Deep fry in corn oil until golden. Serve hot.

SAUCY SWEDISH MEATBALLS

I don't know how authentic this is, but we like it a lot. It is in our regular rotation of meals.

1 pound lean ground beef
1 large egg
1 cup fresh bread crumbs, from 2 slices bread
1 small onion, minced
1/4 cup milk
3 tablespoons chopped fresh dill or 1 1/2 tablespoons dried dill weed
1 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1 1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
3 tablespoons butter
8 oz medium egg noodles
8 oz fresh green beans, cut into 1 1/2" pieces, about 2 cups (I have used frozen French cut green beans)
1/3 cup sour cream
fresh dill sprigs, optional

In large bowl, combine egg, bread crumbs, milk, 2 tablespoons chopped dill, nutmeg, paprika, 3/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper; using hands or wooden spoon, blend well.

Shape mixture into 1 1/4 inch balls. In 12 inch skillet, over medium-high heat, melt 2 tablespoons butter; add meatballs; cook about 12 minutes, turning frequently until browned on all sides.

Meanwhile, prepare noodles according to package directions, add green beans to boiling water along with noodles; do not add salt. When meatballs are browned, remove to a plate using slotted spoon.

To drippings in skillet, add remaining 1 tablespoon. butter; melt over medium-high heat. Return meatballs to skillet along with 3/4 cup water and remaining 1 tablespoon chopped dill, 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper.

Increase heat to high; bring to boil.

Reduce heat to low; cook, covered, 5 minutes until meatballs are cooked through. Stir in sour cream; cook 2 to 3 minutes longer until heated through.

To serve: Drain noodles and green beans; arrange on serving platter. Spoon meatball mixture over noodles; toss quickly. Garnish with dill sprigs, if desired. Makes 6 servings.

SCAMPI FETTUCINE

10 oz fettucine
5 tablespoons olive oil
juice of one lemon
4 large scallions, chopped
5 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
1 tablespoons fresh grated ginger
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1/4 pound asparagus, trimmed and cut into 1 inch pieces
1 large red pepper, seeded and cut into 1 inch pieces
1 pound medium/large shrimp, peeled and deveined
3 tablespoons capers, drained
1 1/2 cups white wine
3 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons fresh basil, chopped finely

Boil pasta until al dente.

While pasta is boiling, heat oil in skillet. Saute all ingredients except wine, butter and basil. Pour in wine and swirl in butter. Reduce slightly. Add drained pasta to skillet, top with basil and cover for 30 seconds to wilt basil. Serve.

SHAWERMA

2 pounds good cut of lamb, like for a roast, slice in very thin strips, think thick cold cuts

Marinate overnight in the refrigerator in:

1 large onion
8-10 cloves garlic
1/2 cup lemon juice
1 1/2 teaspoons salt (or less)
3/4 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/2 teaspoon allspice

Pureed in the blender or food processor

Either saute or broil. This cooks very quickly.

Serve with warm pita bread, tomatoes, cucumbers, onion and tahina, thinned with lemon juice.

WARAQ OUNAB

1 1/2 pounds ground beef
1 medium onion, minced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 bunch parsley, finely chopped
1/2 bunch mint, finely chopped
1/2 bunch dill, finely chopped
1/2 cup uncooked rice
2 teaspoons ground coriander
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1 jar grape leaves
8 oz can tomato sauce
1 tablespoon tomato paste
water

Rinse and stem grape leaves, set aside in a strainer to drain all water and brine off.

Mix beef, onion, garlic, parsley, mint, dill, rice, salt and pepper together with a wooden spoon or your hands.

Place about a rounded teaspoon of the meat mixture in the bottom center of each grape leaf, fold sides in and roll up.

Arrange rolls in a large saucepan or stock pot (I have made these in a crockpot successfully as well). Pour tomato sauce over rolls, refill can with water twice and pour that in as well, place a small plate on top of the grape leaves to weight them down. Cover pot and cook over low heat for 45 minutes to an hour. Check to make sure meat and rice are cooked.

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