|my love, Mario Ashkar|
As mentioned above, Lavash has some stellar Lebanese food, they also have reasonable prices for fresh ingredients too expensive at the store. I stopped by Lavash this week and picked up some of their homemade pita, their tahini sauce (which is so freakin' expensive at the store!!), and their yogurt. I definitely recommend at least getting the yogurt from Lavash. It is not only way cheaper, its more delicious and authentic then anything you will find in stores. I also shamelessly flirted with one of the cooks for free falafel....hey, I'm young and single, and love falafel.
The idea of mezze really stuck with me this week, so that I wanted to recreate it with my some of my closest girls. Two of my newest sorority sisters, Alicia and Kamilah (Whose dad is Lebanese), came by to help cook, along with my other sister Nakeshia, my real sister Jennifer (who did not help cook!) and Angie, my partner in crime, whose hard work made the meal possible. In total the meal consisted of tabouleh, hummus, yogurt, and kibbeh. Tabouleh is a cold parsley salad made from burghul. It is made with all fresh ingredients, so the flavor is very earthy, and it's super healthy for you. Kibbeh is the national dish of Lebanon. While making it, we were joking that it is meat fried meat, and thats actually really what it is. Kibbeh is sort of a Lebanese pate, made from emulsified ground beef, burghul, and spices, and then stuffed with cooked ground beef mixture, and deep friend. They were delicious, but a pain in my behind. I didn't buy enough meat, and they meat wasn't forming a dough, but Angie worked her magic, and after much time and love, the dough came out perfect. The meal was filling, and super fun to make with your friends!!
- 16 oz of chickpeas
- 1/4 cup liquid from can of chickpeas
- 1/4 cup of fresh lemon juice
- 1 1/2 tablespoons tahini (buy at a Mediterranean restaurant)
- 3 cloves of garlic, crushed
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- Drain chickpeas and set the liquid from the can.
- Combine remaining ingredients in a food processor and chickpea liquid.
- Blend until mixed and smooth.
- Place in bowl, and create a shallow well in the center and add fill with olive oil.
- Garnish with olives and parsley.
- 1/4 cup fine burghul
- 2 cups parsley, finely chopped
- 1/2 tomato, finely chopped
- 1/2 cup fresh mint, finely chopped
- 1/2 cup onion, finely chopped
- 1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 1 teaspoon salt
- Wash the burghul serval times and drain.
- Soak it in the chopped tomatoes for 20 minutes.
- Mix the onions with salt.
- Mix all the ingredients together in a large bowl.
- 1 lb ground beef or lamb, divided
- 1/4 lb of fine bulghur
- 1 onion, chopped
- 1/4 cup pine nuts, toasted
- 1/4 tsp cumin
- 1 tsp allspice
- salt, pepper, olive oil, vegetable oil
- Soak bulghur for 30 minutes in cold water. Drain and remove excess water by squeezing the wheat through a cheesecloth.
- Place in bowl and mix half of the meat, chopped onion, and season with salt and pepper.
- Combine in a food processor until it is doughy (this takes a lot of work! add water if it gets very sticky). Place mixture aside, and cover.
- In a frying pan sauté onions in olive oil. Add pine nuts and ground beef. Cook until brown.
- This is the fun part. Take an egg sized amount of the beef pate and form it in a ball. Poke a hole in the ball and stuff with the filling. Pinch the top to seal the ball.
- Once all that is done, deep fry in oil until golden brown, and crispy. Drain on paper towels.