Friday, September 26, 2008



Serves 4

This Lebanese gem is my absolute favorite salad ever. I jokingly call it "Fat Tush", but all the ingredients are very healthy. I actually like it even better than my other favorite, Tabbouleh, which is more classic in my husband's Muslawi cuisine. This recipe is my own adaptation of countless recipes I've read on the internet and versions I've tried in friends' homes. I actually copied this recipe from my other blog. Try it and enjoy!


1/4 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice
2 teaspoons red wine vinegar
a pinch of sea salt
1/2 tsp lemon pepper
1/4 tsp granulated onion
1/8 tsp celery seed
1/8 tsp sumac (optional)
1/4 teaspoon fresh garlic, smashed into some sea salt
1/4 extra virgin olive oil
15 fresh mint leaves, finely chopped
1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh cilantro

Combine all ingredients in a jar and shake, shake, shake! This can be made up to a day ahead, but if you do, add the mint and cilantro just before serving so they'll be at their freshest when you eat.


2 cups torn romaine lettuce hearts
2 medium tomtoes, chopped (chopped cherry tomatoes are great, too, due to the intensity of their flavor)
2 Persian cucumbers, chopped (about 1 cup, if you're not using Persian)
1/4 - 1/2 cup finely chopped green pepper
1/3 cup finely chopped white onion
1/4 cup chopped parsley

Resist the temptation to use anything but the hearts of romaine on this salad...all the flavors should be fresh and toughness or bitterness allowed. Marriage metaphor, hmmm?

Pita Chips

2 whole wheat pita rounds, cut into chip-sized pieces
extra virgin olive oil for frying
Sea salt

Immediately before serving, heat oil in a large skillet over high heat. Place pita pieces into the skillet. Fry over high heat until browned and crispy. Watch carefully, as oil will be near the smoking point. Salt to taste. Transfer to paper towels.


Pour dressing over the salad and toss to coat. Keep everything cold until ready to serve. Fry the pita chips immediately before serving and serve the pita chips on the side so people can garnish with how much they like. This is also preferable to adding the chips directly to the dressed salad because they stay much crispier.

Serve as an appetizer or side salad and enjoy!

Posted to My Other Blog by me! on September 9, 2007

Monday, September 1, 2008


This one I like enough, but not as much as other dishes. I guess I prefer okra battered and fried, the way my Aunt Norma makes it. The Scientist asked me to add bamia to the rotation, though, so here it is, thank you very much. And he really does like it! And yes...I'll eat it.

Serves 4

1 1/2 lbs. lamb neck or other tender cut of lamb, with bone
5-6 cups water
1 tsp. salt

In large stockpot, bring water, salt, and lamb to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer uncovered for 30 minutes to make a light stock, reduced to approximately 4 cups. After 30 minutes, remove from heat, allow to cool, and chill overnight. Skim hardened fat from the stock.

1/2 onion, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
2 Tbs. olive oil
1/8 tsp. ground cardamon
1/8 tsp. cinnamon
1/8 tsp. ground black pepper
1 tsp. coriander
1/2 tsp. salt, or to taste
6 Tablespoons tomato paste, preferably Tukas brand
1 lb. frozen cut okra
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
1/2 tsp. sugar
Juice of 1 lemon

Saute onion and spices in olive oil until translucent, then add garlic and saute 2 more minutes. Add lamb, stock and tomato paste, stir to combine and heat to simmer. Add okra and sugar, then simmer 15 minutes (do not boil or overcook) or until okra is cooked. Remove from heat, then squeeze lemon juice over everything and stir lightly.

Serve over basmati rice. Makes good leftovers!