One of my favorite type of cuisine is definitly Middle-Eastern cuisine and more specifically Lebanese food. I had friends over for dinner last week end and spent literally 9 hours straight in the kitchen cooking a full Lebanese meal from scratch. It was for sure worth it as all the plates were empty at the end of the meal :) I will post all the recipes of the dinner but let’s start with Dolmas!!
The one thing about Dolmas is that it is pretty hard to get the vine leaves to be tender. I am lucky enough to live in the middle of many vineyards so it is easy for me to go get fresh leaves but getting the right texture requires trial and error.
Let’s start by looking at what you need: (make 25 dolmas)
3 tbsp. olive oil
1 clove garlic, minced
1 small yellow onion, minced
½ cup long-grain rice
½ tsp. minced fresh thyme
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
3 cups chicken stock
1 oz. dried Turkish apricots, minced
½ cup minced cilantro
⅓ cup minced parsley
¼ cup golden raisins
¼ cup pine nuts
2 tbsp. minced mint
2 tbsp. red currant jelly
⅛ tsp. cayenne pepper
1 tbsp. fresh lemon juice, plus the zest of 1 lemon
25 grape leaves packed in brine, rinsed
1 lemon, thinly sliced
How to make it: ( you can see some of the steps in the pictures above)
1. Heat oil in a 4-qt. saucepan over medium-high heat. Add garlic and onions; cook, stirring, until soft, 3-5 minutes. Add rice, thyme, salt, and pepper; cook 2 minutes. Add 1 cup stock and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and cook, covered, until rice is tender, 22-24 minutes. Stir in apricots, cilantro, parsley, raisins, nuts, mint, jelly, cayenne, lemon juice and zest, salt, and pepper.
2. Heat oven to 375°. Working with one leaf at a time, stuff the grape leaves (see How to Stuff Grape Leaves). Place stuffed grape leaves seam side down in a single layer in an 8” x 8” baking dish. Add remaining stock and distribute lemon slices over grape leaves. Cover pan with aluminum foil and bake until tender, about 1 hour. Let grape leaves cool before serving.
I love eat to deap the Dolmas in Hummus or Levaneh (recipes will be there very soon)
One of my favorite thing in Brazil was definitly Açai. Such a fresh and healthy start to your day and so convenient to eat on the go when you are in a rush. I had some kiwis that started to go bad and thought I could make an açaibowl with them instead of using berries which are used in the traditional açai recipe.
I am also trying to get more probiotics into my diet and try to drink Kefir every morning. Kefir is an amazing way to nourish and grow healthy gut bacteria which are so critical to your health. To make it even healthier, I sprinkeld some turmeric and Cinamoon on top. Turmeric is known to be one the most protective spices due to its high amount of curcumin and cinammon helps regulate blood sugar.
Add some fruits and some almonds for healthy fats and you have a very healthy breakfast.
For the Kiwi Açai breakfast bowl:
Mix two or three kiwi fruits with 1 cup of almond milk.
Add 20g of almond powder of regular almonds and mix in blender until you get a liquid mix.
Toast a handfull of oat flakes in a pan and add on top of the Açai.
For the Kefir drink:
Poor some organic kefir in a glass and sprinkle it with some cinammon and Turmeric.
Evey time I make Icecream, I like to make some cookies to go with it. I made a big batch of two different kind of icecreams last week end ( “Praliné” and “Speculos) and I decided to use some of the ingredients that were laying around in my pantry and thought that chocolate, coconut flakes and nuts would do it. Here’s what you need to make aournd 20 cookies:
250g of flour
1/2 teaspoon of baking soda
150g of butter
100g of sugar
1 teaspoon of salt
1 chocolate bar or 1 cup of chocolate chips
1 hanfdull of almonds
1 handfull of cranberries
1 cup of sunflower seeds
1 cup of coconut flakes
How to do it?
Pre-heat oven oat 180° C (356F)
Mix flour and baking powder
In another bowl, mix sugar with melted butter,mix until well blended
Add eggs and mix well
Add flour and baking soda to the previous mix
Add all the nuts, chocolate chips and cranberries. If the mix is to dry, add 10 cl of almond milk or regular milk if you are not lactose intolerant
Forms some small balls and lay out your cookies on baking sheet
I went to a friend the other night who served samosas with this amazing version of mayonnaise! It gives a very exotic touch to a meal and can be used with meat or fish. I made it last night and we used it as a veggie dip. Here’s how I made it:
-Start by making a regular mayonnaise by Combining one egg, with one tablespoon of lemon juice and mustard in the container of a blender or food processor. Blend until smooth, then blend on low speed while pouring 3/4 cup of olive oil into the blender in a fine stream as the mixture emulsifies and thickens.
Once your mayonnaise is done, simply add one tablespoon of curry powder and a tablespoon of creamy coconut milk.
I have always been obessed with Speculos and was craving them yesterday (as everyday actually!). I had some kiwi fruits laying around and thought that the combination of the sweetness of the speculos would perfectly match the tangy taste of the kiwi fruits! Here’s how I made this pie:
For the speculos filling:
-Mix one package (you can use two for a stronger taste) of speculos cookies in a blender. Add one cup of heavy cream or greek yogurt for a lighter version. Mix well until the speculos and the cream form a liquid mix. -Add one tablespoon of brown sugar and mix for a couple of minutes
For the marinated kiwi fruits:
-Start by cutting very thin slices of kiwi fruits. Put them in a bowl. -Boil one cup of water with two tablespoon of brown sugar until you get a sirup. Add 2 cups of shredded coconut and toss together. Set aside until the mix cools down. -Add the sirup on the kiwi fruits and put them in the fridge for half a day. -Cook the pie crust by itself (since the rest does not get cooked). -When the pie crust is cooked (about 20 min on low temperature), add the speculos cream and dispose the kiwi fruits in pretty way on top.
Rhubarbe is one of my favorite plant (yes it’s a plant,didn’tknow until then!) to cook and use in desserts! It has such a bitter and distinct taste that it goes pretty well with the sweetness of most desserts.
For this one, I thought that the rich taste of ginger bread would be perfect with the bitter taste of the rhubarb! Here’s how I made this yummy pie:
For the crust:
In a large bowl, combine 2 cups of flour and 1 tsp of salt. Cut in 1 cup of shortening until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Stir in 1/2 cup of water until mixture forms a ball. Divide dough in half, and shape into balls. Wrap in plastic, and refrigerate for 4 hours or overnight. Roll out dough on a floured counter. Don’t over work it. Use as directed in pie recipe.
For the gingerbread layer:
You can either make it from scratch or buy it if you don’t have too much time. I bought regular gingerbread slices and deeped them in hazelnut/barley milk (you can use anykind of milk, soy milk, it just has to be a bit sugary). Once the gingerbread slices are soft and full of milk, layer them on the pie crust.
For the rhubarbe purée:
6 cups 1-inch pieces fresh rhubarb (from about 2 pounds) 1 1/4 cups sugar 1/3 cup water 2 eggs 2 tsp of heavy cream
Combine all ingredients in heavy large saucepan. Bring to boil, stirring until sugar dissolves. Reduce heat to medium-low; simmer until rhubarb is very soft and begins to fall apart, stirring occasionally, about 20 minutes. Transfer compote to medium bowl. Refrigerate uncovered until cold, about 3 hours. Once the compote is called, beat the eggs, heavy cream until you get a liquid mix. Add on top of the gingerbread layers.
I am a big zucchini fan and eat them cooked in olive oil or steamed most of the time! But I decided to try them raw and was agreeably surprised by the result! This is a very simple and fresh recipe that you can make as a side dish or as a main course meal with some chicken or fish:
-Start by cutting up two medium sized zucchini in thin layers. (make sure you wash them prior since you eat the flesh) - Get the sauce ready by mixing one tablespoon of olive oil, one teaspoon of rice vinegar and two tablespoon of fresh mint (cut very thin).Add the juice of one lemon, some salt and pepper to taste. -Set the sauce aside in the fridge for one hour so that the ingredient get enough time to marinate. -Gently toss the zucchini in a bowl and add the sauce on top.
I had some avocados that were ready to be eaten and decided to start by making a green salsa (with cucumber and green onions). Then it gave me the idea of having it with homemade falafels which are really easy to make.
For the falafels:
- Blend one cup of chickpeas with half of a cup of olive oil. Add two garlic cloves, some fresh cilantro, one teaspoon of balsamic vinegar and blend everything together until you get a smooth paste. -Put the paste in a bowl and add one cup of whole weat flour, mix, and form small balls that you will set aside in the fridge until they become hard.
For the tahini sauce: 1/2 cup tahini (sesame seed paste) 3 gloves garlic, crushed 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt 2 tablespoons olive oil 1/4 cup lemon juice 1 teaspoon parsley, finely chopped (optional)
In a food processor or mortar and pestle, combine garlic and tahini. Add kosher salt. Remove from food processor and add olive oil and lemon juice. If too thick, add a teaspoon of warm water until desired consistency. Mix in parsely Serve immediately or refrigerate.
I ate the falafels in whole wheat tortilla bought from a store and added some green cabbage inside. All this topped with Tahini sauce HEAVEN :)
Almond Pesto, Green Gaspacho & Mini Burrata sandwich
Here’s a simple and fast pesto sauce to make! With a cup of green gaspacho for a fresh note during the hot summer and a mini burrata sandwich makes it a perfect dinner!!
For the pesto: - In a blender, combine one cup of almond powder, half a cup of parmesan cheese and two diced tomatoes. Add Three tbs of olive oil, some fresh basil and blend until the sauce becomes liquid.
For the gaspacho: - Cook two zucchini in some olive oil until they become tunder. Set aside and let them cool down. -Peal one cucumber, dice it and add in a blender with the zucchini. -Add one cup of olive oil, one cup of water, some salt and pepper, some fresh basil and blind until it get really liquid. - Deep two slices of bread in some olive oil and lemon juice, add to the blender and blend well. -Set aside in the fridge for a couple of hours.
After such a long break from blogging, i’m back with plenty of new recipes :) Here’s an express and super easy curry to make! I also love it because there is almost a pound of turmeric in there, and there’s nothing healthier!!! especially coupled with olive oil and black pepper, turmeric becomes a strong ally for a healthy body!I made this curry vegetarian but you can also make it with shrimp of chicken for a little protein.
Start by cutting up two onions with two garlic cloves and sautée them in one TBs of olive oil.
Once they are golden, add two cups of coconut milk, one tablespoon of turmeric, half of a teaspoon of curry powder
Cut up some green pepper, cherry tomatoes. Cook them in the coconut milk for 1à minutes.
Add some salt and pepper to taste and serve with rice
Hello! Welcome to Cece's Kitchen. This blog is a guide to some of my favorite recipes. I hope you have fun browsing through my recipes and love trying them out for yourself! ! Happy reading and Bon appetit :)