Kafta bi Saneah (baked Kafta)

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Most people now know what kafta is, and the many ways of cooking it.

It can come as skinless sausages, on skewers or not, which are grilled or barbecues and traditionally served with hummus and salad.  That’s a very popular to have it.

I’m baking it with potato, onion and tomato. The mix prepared the same way but instead of forming it into sausages we spread it onto a deep baking dish, add veggies and tomato and serve with rice, or riz.

We had a barbecue a couple of Sundays ago at mum and dads for mum’s and my Birthday. Menu choice was ours. I love barbecues. Our choice was lamb kebabs with hummus, Kafta sausages and loads of veggies, large portabello mushrooms, sliced zucchini and eggplant. We had great weather and the whole family was there to eat and have cakes. What a fantastic day.

Anyway...Kafta bi Saneah….

In a bowl mix together:

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250g lean beef or lamb mince

1 small brown onion – finely diced

1/2 bunch flat leaf parsley – finely chopped

1 tsp salt, 1 tsp cinnamon, 1/2 tsp ground pepper, 14 tsp ground cumin.

Spread 1 tsp olive oil over the bottom of a deep oven proof dish and press the kafta mix evenly over it. Slice 1 small onion into 5mm thin slices and place on top with 1 large potato that’s been sliced into 8mm rounds.Image Pour over 400g canned diced tomato with the juice and enough water to cover the potato. Give it all another small sprinkle of salt and pepper and bake at 200c for about 60 minutes or until the potato is cooked.

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Serve with Riz (see Bazella post for Riz recipe) and if you like, a little natural yoghurt.

Perfect.

Enjoy…

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Fun Food Friday (Nachos)

Friday night at our place is Fun Food Friday. It’s the end of the working week and we can sit back with some wine or beer and look forward to work free weekend. Unless, of course, my husband has to work on Saturday in which case we make Fun Food Friday really count……Image

Beef and Bean Chilli

To a small saucepan add 2 tbs olive oil, 4 cloves finely chopped garlic, 1/2 finely diced brown onion and 2 finely chopped red chillies and cook on medium high heat for 4-5 minutes or until the onions start to brown on the edges. Be sure to stir occasionally.

To this then add 1 tsp each cumin seeds, fennel seeds and hot or medium paprika, and 1/2 tsp each of ground cumin, ground coriander, tumeric, smoked paprika and cayenne pepper (optional, depending on how much heat you like). Stir well and cook for 1 minute before adding 200g lean beef mince and stirring in really well, making sure to break up any clumps, until the beef is browned.

Throw in 200g diced canned tomato (with the juice), 1/2 cup water, 1/2 tsp sugar and 1 1/2 tsp salt.

Once it comes to the boil, turn the heat down to low, half cover the saucepan with a lid and let it simmer away gently for 30 – 35 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Add 200g canned 4 bean mix (or whatever beans you like – red kidney works very well), mix it all in and allow to continue simmering for another 10 – 15 minutes.

I love serving with lots of corn chips, grated tasty cheese, some hot tomato salsa, sour cream or Greek yoghurt and heaps of guacamole :

In a bowl mix together 2 mashed avocados, 1/4 very finely diced or grated brown onion, 1 clove minced garlic, 2 tbs freshly squeezed lemon juice, 1/2 tsp  salt, sprinkle of pepper and a sprinkle ground cumin.Image Tonight meal was accompanied by a glass of Peter Van Gent Verdelho for me and a Coopers premium Lager for  Brian.

Perfect…

Enjoy…

Cauliflower and Leek Soup

What’s for dinner tonight…..?

Well, nearly had cheese sandwiches actually.

There I was chopping veggies, getting things ready and the electricity goes out. My stove and oven are electric.

A massive power outage  took out the electricity grid for most of the inner west of Sydney and then some. Who knew if it was going to come back on any time soon?

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There was no telling when my husband was getting home – trains weren’t running on the line he catches.

I had bought a loaf of sourdough bread from the local bakery this morning so fresh bread slices with cheese and tomato would be a easy dinner to prepare in the dark.

However, the electricity did come back on with plenty of time to continue with my plan of making soup.

So…..

Chop up a head of cauliflower (mine ended up being about 600g), throw it into a large saucepan and then fill with water. Bring to the boil. Then turn the heat off and leave to sit for about 5 minutes and strain. (They’ll only be partially cooked at this stage)

In the same saucepan melt about 40g butter with 2 tbs olive oil. Add 1 large leek that you’ve washed and sliced very thinly. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes on a medium heat, then add 1 large diced potato and the cauliflower.

Top up with 2 cups of water and 2 cups of stock (I used beef because its all I had in the kitchen), cover, bring to the boil. Turn the heat down and allow to simmer for 15 – 20 minutes. Season with salt and pepper (I love adding fennel seeds – about 1/2 tbs).

Once the veggies are tender, whizz up in a food processor, blender or with a stick blender. Taste, adjust seasoning.

Serve and eat.

Not many ingredients but full of flavour and because of the potato, it ends up being rich and creamy – no need to add any cream. Bonus.

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Enjoy…

Lahme B’Ajeen (Lebanese Pizza)

image This is a go to recipe when I’m running a little short on time or when I feel like a pizza without wanting an actual cheesy pizza. I found these pitta breads in my local butcher of all places. They’re perfect for this dish. You’ll need :-Image 400g lean minced beef 1 medium onion – finely diced 2 medium tomatoes – finely diced Salt, pepper, cinnamon (to taste) Pitta or Lebanese bread. In a bowl mix together the beef, onion, tomato and seasonings. (Mum adds finely chopped flat leaf parsley too but I didn’t have any. Still tastes great though. Image Spread the mix evenly over the bread and grill until brown and cooked. Yes, that simple. Serve with a salad or a plate of spring onion, radish and lots of lemon. Chilli sauce is great squeezed on them too. EnjoyImage

Koussa Ma’hshi (stuffed marrows or Lebanese zucchini)

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This one was very difficult to write. I’ve made Koussa dozens of times but every time I made it,  the weights were wrong and I’d end up with heaps of filling left over. I believe I’ve got it right this time.

Koussa Ma’hshi is a family favourite. Growing up it was always served with vineleaves stuffed with the same filling. Mum would make the filling and stuff the zucchini while I rolled the vineleaves.

There was never a shortage of vineleaves thanks to the vine in mum and dad’s backyard. All spring and summer you could find us outside picking the leaves, laying them flat on top of each other and storing them in the freezer. Things haven’t changed much over the years either, except now you’ll also find my husband outside picking them as well.

During summer the vine covers alot of the yard and provides a wonderful canopy. Perfect place for barbecue lunches.

We use a tool called a manakra which is a kind of long thin apple corer to hollow out the zucchini. You’ll find a manakra in most Middle Eastern food stores. I’ve seen it written that you can core the zucchini with the handle of a long spoon, but I’ve yet to try it.koussa 2

For this dish you’ll need:-  8 medium (10 – 15 cm long) Lebanese zucchini

4 large cloves garlic – finely chopped

1/2 medium brown onion – finely diced

150g long grain rice (rinsed well)

250g canned diced tomato

200g lean beef mince

1 tsp salt

1/2 tsp each ground black pepper and ground cinnamon.

juice of 1 large lemon

Cut the stalks off the zucchini. Carefully hollow out the fleshy inside making sure not to poke any holes through the skin. Rinse well with cold water, and allow to drain while you prepare the filling.

In a bowl mix well the garlic, onion, rice, tomato, mince, salt, pepper and cinnamon.

Stuff the zucchinis with the filling, and arrange in a medium saucepan.

Sprinkle a little salt over the zucchini, invert a plate to fit over them and cover completely with water.

Cover with a lid and bring to the boil. Turn the heat down to low and simmer for about 45 – 50 minutes or until the zucchini are tender.

Serve warm with a little of the cooking liquid and some lemon juice.

The filling amounts should stuff 8 zucchini but I only did 6, so with the left overs I defrosted some vineleaves and rolled them up with the filling inside.koussa 4

Yum

Enjoy…

Banana and Coffee Bread

In the mood for some banana bread…

I’ve made this many times and each time I tend to add something different or change the recipe a little, but it always seems to turn out really nice. It takes like 10 minutes to prepare. Lots of banana keep it  very moist.

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In an electric mixer cream together 110g butter and 160g castor sugar. Beat in 1 egg. Add 250g plain flour, 1/2 tsp bicarbonate Of soda, 1 tsp baking powder, 1/2 tsp fine salt, 75ml milk (I use soy), 225g  smashed up banana and mix altogether to form a batter. Throw in 60g chopped walnuts (optional) and this time I added 1 1/2 tbs instant coffee granules for something different.

Pour batter into a baking paper lined loaf tin and bake at 180c for about 1 hour.

Having just tasted a piece I can tell you, the coffee works. Could have even added a little more.

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Yum!

Enjoy…