My plan was simple: to put together a proper meal for a cold day. That morning, the temperature had dipped below freezing and Karin and I were both in the mood for something hearty and comforting for dinner. On the menu was Hummus (naturally!), followed by "Loubieh bi Zeit", French Green Beans cooked in Olive Oil and stewed, juicy tomatoes. For the main course, I made a Lebanese potato and meat stew called "Yakhnet Batata" and for dessert, we had Ghirardelli chocolate squares I had brought over from SFO!
"Loubieh bi Zeit" (Green Beans Cooked in Olive Oil). Serves 4 - 6.
1 kg. (2 lbs.) frozen French green beans (haricots verts). Fresh greens beans work well, just cut the stems off from each end.
8 cloves garlic, sliced
1/2 cup good quality extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp paprika
1 small can (about 3 tbs) tomato paste
1 tbs salt & 1 tsp pepper
|Once the onions have sauteed, in goes the bag of frozen beans|
|Next you add the tomatoes, the spices and the paste before adding water and cooking everything on low|
Add the beans and continue cooking until the beans turn a pale green color.
Add salt, pepper, paprika, tomatoes, tomato paste and mix well.
Cover the beans mixture with hot water and bring to a boil.
Reduce the heat to low, cover and cook until the beans are softened, about 35 - 40 minutes.
Serve warm as is or with your choice of cooked rice. Brown rice tastes great with this dish.
"Yakhnet Batata" (Potato Meat Stew). Serves 4 - 6.
I prefer chicken as the protein for this dish. Although traditionally, it is made with lamb, which is also excellent.
1.5 kg (48 oz) potatoes, peeled, washed and cubed
600g (20 oz) boneless chicken breast or thigh meat (according to your preference), cubed
1 entire head of garlic, peeled & crushed
2 1/4 tbs unsalted butter
1 1/2 cups vegetable oil
1 tbs salt
1.5 tsp allspice
1 tsp pepper
6 cups water
Heat vegetable oil in a large pan and fry the potato cubes over medium-high heat until golden. Remove onto a paper-towel lined plate.
Fry coriander and garlic with 1 tbs butter in the same pan over low heat. Stir till fragrant for about 2 minutes. Set aside.
Add butter to a large pot and fry chicken cubes until golden brown.
Add water to the chicken and bring to a boil over high heat. Skim any foam that accumulates on the surface. Reduce heat to medium and cook for 30 minutes (or 2 hours if using lamb).
Add fried potatoes, salt, allspice and pepper to chicken and stock. Bring to a boil over medium heat. Reduce heat. Cover. Cook for 15 minutes.
Add coriander and garlic. Cook for 5 minutes.
Serve warm with a rustic loaf or your choice of bread on the side.
Note: the Kibbeh meatball making party I wrote about in my last post was a huge success. The girls and I had a fantastic time cooking together and catching up. We made lots of meatballs and ate some that night. The rest we froze.
|The fried meatballs were a huge hit at dinner that night, and I am going to post the recipe sometime this Spring and I'm even planning on a second Kibbeh party with more photos, so stay tuned!|