World Food Challenge

Day 96: Lebanon and Fattush and Kibbi

Good evening, Raffies!

Today is the usual day for late dinner..it is 21:30 and we are starting with our dinner..
We are going to Lebanon. This amazing country, that I haven’t had a chance to visit yet, but I have been in love with its cuisine for a long time. It wasn’t easy choosing a dish from my Lebanese cookbook.

Since the summer is coming, I decided to make something summery: Fattush, bread salad, and Kibbi.
For Fattush, I made my own pomegranate molasses, since I could not find any. The procedure is really simple: all you need is pomegranate juice, sugar and lemon juice. Bring to the boil in a pan and let it simmer until is gets the consistency of syrup.

Well for the Fattush, as stated in my beloved cookbook, “Lebanese Cuisine” by Madelain Farab, you’ll need:

1/2 loaf of Arabic bread
3 tomatoes, chopped
1 cucumber, peeled and diced
1-2 cloves garlic
1/2 c freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/2 c parsley
2 tbsp dried mint
4 shallots, thinly sliced
2 tbsp (or more) pomegranate molasses
2-3 small romain lettuce, torn into pieces
1-2 tsp sumac
olive oil
salt
pepper

Start by tearing apart the bread into bit-sized pieces and toasting it until golden brown. In a bowl, mix the pressed garlic, salt, pepper, parsley, peppermint and sumac. Add lemon juice, pomegranate molasses and olive oil and mix well. You can also add one or two teaspoons of white wine vinegar, if you want to. You can add more lemon juice, pomegranate molasses and olive oil at the end, if you feel like it.
Add the salad, the cucumber, the tomatoes, the bread and the onions. Mix well and decorate with fresh peppermint and parsley.

As for my kibbi recipe, I have found this version that is somewhat similar to the recipe from my book.

Ingredients:

500 g minced beef or lamb (divided in 250 and 250)

225 g couscous

2 onions, finely chopped (divided)

2 tsp cumin, ground

1 handful pine nuts

Salt

Pepper

2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

oil for frying

Start by soaking the couscous in water for about 30 minutes. Drain and set aside.

Combine the couscous with the first half of the meat, the onions, half the cumin and season with salt and pepper. Now, if you would like to, to improve the end result, shred the mixture in a food processor.

In a pan, heat the olive oil and sauté the onions until translucent. Add pine nuts and the other half of the meat. Season with salt and pepper and the cumin. Fry until done.

Now, allow the meat to cool down a bit. Take a handful of the couscous mixture and make a ball. Make a hole in the middle to be able to place a spoonful or two into it. Seal it and set aside.

Repeat until you have used up all the ingredients. Fry in oil until golden brown. Drain on some kitchen paper and serve.

Needless to say, I really loved dinner. The salad was refreshing and crunchy thanks to the bread. Whereas the kibbi made you want to eat one after the other, regardless of how full you were.

Love,

Raffi

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