Simple, quick and easy. I feel like that’s how I always describe my recipes in these posts. Sorry guys, I really need to widen my vocabulary. Anyways, I thought I had shared this before but I don’t think I have so lets cook some good food!!
You will Need: Dried Porcini mushrooms (I find a bag of these at The Grape Tree 40g), 5 cloves of garlic, 7 chestnut mushrooms, 2 sprigs of basil, a handful of parsley, single cream, soy sauce, BP and Salt, Salted butter, olive oil, parmesan. Oh and Spaghetti.
How to Make: Firstly, get the dry mushrooms and either in a spice blender or Nutri blend them until they become a powder. You want to boil water with a sprinkle of salt for the pasta to cook in. Start cooking the pasta now (put the timer on your phone for 7 mins). Put that on the stove, in a mini food processor (or you can chop the ingredients yourself) put in the garlic cloves until they are finely chopped; add the garlic to a deep pan with a knob of butter that’s already melting on the heat. Add the chestnut mushrooms to the same food processor until they are finely chopped and into the pan with the garlic. Sauté for a couple of minutes (they will clump together, it’s okay) add 2 cups (2/3 ladles) of the pasta water. Lower the heat here, add the black pepper and salt (tsp of each). Add the powdered mushrooms. Add the herbs to the food processor with a drizzle of olive oil. They will turn into a paste, add this to the mushroom sauce. The sauce will thicken, start adding the spaghetti into the sauce with another cup of the pasta water. Stir all the ingredients together. Drizzle in the single cream around 30ml. Add 1 tbsp of soy.
Mix it all together and the pasta will not be overcooked because we took it out early. See if it needs more salt or black pepper.
Plating time: Pasta, drizzle some good olive oil (or truffle oil is even better), grated parmesan, and a little bit of finely chopped parsley. This. Is. SO. Good. Please please try it. You can also add a little bit of chilli flakes when you’re adding the spices if you like.
I have a dessert for you, it’s lazy, quick, minimal effort, 1 pot of washing up, need I say more to convince you to make this?
When we were kids, my mum used to make us custard dessert layered with banana and biscuits. It’s a cold dessert so it was popular during summer time. I’ve kinda gone off the base off the original recipe and came out with this one which I think is better (not being bias I promise🤣)
Ingredients: for measurements here it really depends on the dish you’re going to use to layer it in so eye ball measure but i used the following;
1) ready made custard (or make it yourself) I used a whole carton, 2) 1tsp of cardamom 3) digestive biscuits 4) 3 small bananas 5) 1 tbsp of cocoa powder 6) 1 tbsp of cocoa nibs (OPTIONAL)
How to make: on low heat let the custard and cardamom mix together and for the cardamom to release its flavour with the custard. While this is happening, lay the first layer with digestive biscuits, I crushed them and compressed them into a deep glass container. (You don’t have to crush them, can be laid out the way they are. Also, I’ve used tea biscuits before but they turned really mushy and not nice with the rest so for me digestive biscuits is better), then slice the bananas and layer on top of the biscuits. Let the custard cool down and pour a layer on top. REPEAT. Biscuits, banana, custard. This last layer of custard I added the cocoa and nibs, mixed it well and poured it on top!
Refrigerate for a couple of hours & leave in the fridge until it all disappears. Easy? Yessssssss
Next time you’re in the shop, grab a couple of tins of butter beans for this quick and easy healthy brunch meal. I make a batch which feeds my husband for the next couple of days (I’m not a fan of butter beans lol).
You will need: 2 tins of butter beans, 1 tin of chopped tomatoes, 3 cloves of garlic, 1 medium sized onion, salt, 7 Lebanese spices (black pepper if you haven’t got this in your cupboard), and a handful of coriander.
How I do it: I finely chop the onion and garlic sautéing them in rapeseed oil. I drain the butter beans and add to the pot for about 5 mins mixing everything together. Adding the tomato and the spices. Taste and see whether you want more salt or pepper. You can add chilli flakes if you fancy. Let it all simmer for 20 mins. Chop a handful of coriander and add it just before you plate! Drizzle some good olive oil & serve with rice or quinoa or pitta bread or toast. This dish goes with a lot of other ingredients.
I had leftover sourdough bread, I cut them into squares and add it to the pot which soaked in all the juiceness!
A healthy lunch option for us all. What gave this THAT extra kick was the salad dressing.
Bistro mix salad bag (here you can literally use whatever type of salad leaves you have in your fridge)
3 Spring onions
1 pepper (yellow, red, or green)
5 cherry tomatoes
1 can of lentils
Roasted Cauliflower (in the oven until crispy with a bit of olive oil and some of your favourite chilli mix)
Your favourite cheese (optional) feta, or grilled halloumi
2 juices of a lemon
1 tsp of pomegranate molasses
5 tbsp of olive oil
1 tsp of salt & black pepper
1 small clove of garlic (grated)
Grate a bit of ginger
If you have fresh herbs or dry you can also add here for extra flavour
Directions Get a bowl and start layering your salad. Obviously chop all the ingredients up, add it to the bowl and give it a rough mix. Leave the cauliflower and fresh/dry herbs for the top layer. Once the cauliflower is proper toasted and crunchy get it out the oven. The cheese and cauliflower go on top. Mix the salad dressing in a separate bowl and let your family/friends dress their salad to their liking.
A dessert that will become everyone’s favourite. It is simple, cheap and so easy to make. For months I’ve been working on a recipe that my family and friends loved the most! There are many recipes out there for this dessert and I think I tried every single one. After which, it left me with this delicious recipe that I am about to share with you. Minimal ingredients, washing up and cooking time. Let’s go!
100g of unsalted butter (melted), 3 heaped tbsp of your choice of cocoa , 1 tin of condensed milk, cheapest rich tea biscuit you can find & dedicated coconut (optional).
Method: break biscuits into small pieces in a bowl. In a medium heated pan, melt the butter, add the cocoa, and last add the condensed milk. Keep stirring until thick and all ingredients have combined. Add desicated coconut if you wish! Then pour mixture over biscuits. Give it a good mix and wait for it to cool. If you have a long tin you can use this but firstly layer down cling film and then pour the mix in because you don’t want it to stick to the pan .. once it’s frozen you are able to take it out easily and cutting a slice or two!
If you don’t have a tin that’s fine. You can still do it without by pouring the mix onto layers of cling film long enough to cover it all the way round like a sandwich then, twist the sides and roll it in the air so it’ shapes it into a log kinda thing!
I like to make this traditional Lebanese dessert for special occasions or if I’m really craving it and can be bothered to go through the effort. This is because it can be really tiring and just looooong in the kitchen. However, it really does taste great homemade if you follow this recipe ;). I read up a lot on this recipe online but couldn’t really understand the method, every site had different ashta (white filling) ingredients etc so I just called my mum and she gave me the best recipe and its super simple. You just have to be patient as it takes time. The following measurements are a lot and they are to be dished out around your family homes, friends, or given in charity.
Ingredients for the ASHTA (Ashta is the white filling (it’s like clotted cream)): 1 litre of whole milk, 300ml of double cream, 1 tbsp of sugar, and 5 tbsp of cornstarch. AND 1 tbsp of orange blossom and rose water. Method: Pour milk first until warm. Grab a whisk. Add the sugar and cream. Then take some of the warm milk in a cup to melt the cornstarch (this is done so that it doesn’t clump when you add it straight to into the pot). Keep whisking and whisking until it becomes thick and your arm starts to hurt. Right at the end, add the orange blossom and rose water. Take off the heat. Whisk for another couple of minutes. Pour into a bowl to let it cool down and put it in the fridge. This should take around 30-35 minutes. Just keep going until the ashta is thick thick.
Whilst this is cooling in the fridge, we can prep the batter mixture for the mini pancakes. Ingredients: 4 cups of plain flour, 1 cup of Semolina (smede), 4 and a half cups of water, 1 sachet of yeast and 1 tsp of Baking Powder. Method: in the above order add the dry ingredients, then just mix until all combined. I used a hand blender to stop lumps from happening. 10 minutes before you pour the mixture onto a non-sticky pan you ADD the Baking Powder. During this 10 minutes; I left this to set in the fridge. The consistency is meant to be watery like pancake batter. It literally is like pancakes but mini.
Okay lets get to work. Now, heat a non-sticky flat pan and rub it with a tissue soaked in vegetable/sunflower oil or whatever oil. Using a jug to pour the pancake mixture to get a non messy perfect circle. Do a trial and see how long it takes to bubble and let it get golden on the bottom. I like them small to medium sized pancakes. Small are really cute and I usually count to three when I pour the batter. Once the pancake bubbles fully, remove it onto a clean towel and cover them with another clean towel. Do not flip the pancake, I repeat DO NOT. Just cook one side. L Do this until you’re fed up lol; or until the batter mixture is finished. I had a lot leftover so I put it in the fridge to make over the next couple of days.
Now that you have your mini pancakes, grab a seat and the ashta from the fridge and get to filling. Grab the pancake in your hand and a tablespoon in the other to fill it with ashta. Cup the pancake from one corner and pinch to close all the way to the middle. You don’t close it fully (you can if you want). Line them up on a nice platter/plate whatever you have in the kitchen. Then sprinkle some grounded pistachios on the ashta et VOILA. You have your QATAYEF. Repeat until you’re once again fed up, or done with the mixture.
We make a sugar syrup called ATER. This is 1 cup of sugar, 2 cups of water, squeeze of fresh lemon juice and a drizzle of orange blossom and rose water. You can also drizzle honey instead of this sugar syrup or nothing at all if you think this step will be too sweet for you.
If you want to be adventurous or do your own thing you can add your favourite nuts with the ashta such as walnuts, almonds, raisins. If you want to continue and close the whole pancake up you can. Do what you want… there are no rules to this! We put some dark chocolate spread in a few of them and it tasted amazing.
This dessert goes well with arabic mint tea or peppermint tea. I tried to explain this step by step and I hope it was clear enough. If not leave a comment and I will get back to you. I hope you love it and enjoy this traditional Lebanese dessert. Apparently it looks like cannoli. We can call it Lebanese Qatayef Cannoli.
This is an all time summer Favourite. But can be eaten in winter too, I mean who makes up these rules except for us!! Gooooo enjoy that marinate guys!! Instead of grilling these baby skewers on a BBQ, shove it in the OVEN!
You can eat this with salad, in a wrap, with rice, grilled veg! It goes with everything. Sheesh Tawook is really popular in the Middle East. It originated in Turkey and spread all the way to the south.
The three key ingredients in the marinade are; garlic, lemon, and yoghurt.
With measurements you add;
half a head of garlic (or more if you love garlic) 1 squeezed lemon 3 tbsp of yoghurt tsp of salt 2 tbsp of tomato pureé 1 tbsp of Black pepper a drizzle of olive oil dried oregano or thyme
I prefer diced chicken breast, but once again in the summer time I add this marinade to chicken legs and thighs. Mix the marinade into the chicken breasts and cover to put in the fridge for cooking next day.
And there you have it guys. A sheesh tawook marinade. I love making my own homemade garlic sauce to go with this which will just make you lick your fingers after it (also for vegans). That recipe will be posted soon :).