Monday, March 13, 2017

Turkish Cheese and Herb Cigars Recipe

Turkish Cheese and Herb Cigars

Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar...except when it is crisp, golden-brown phyllo wrapped around a mix of cheese and herbs. Then it's perfect party fare. Don't be tempted to overstuff the cigars: the smear of salty filling is just enough to balance the layers of phyllo, and excess filling will leak while baking. Rolling the cigars takes a little time, so try making them ahead and freezing them in an airtight container. Bake them right from the freezer, and eat them piping hot.

Recipe courtesy of Food Network Kitchen

Total: 55 min
Active: 30 min

Yield: 12 cigars

Level: Easy


4 ounces farmer's cheese
2 ounces feta, crumbled
1/4 cup shredded part-skim mozzarella
1 large egg
3 tablespoons finely chopped fresh parsley
2 tablespoons finely chopped dill fronds
1 tablespoon chopped fresh chives
1/2 teaspoon grated lemon zest
Freshly ground black pepper
Six 16- to 17-by-12-inch sheets phyllo dough, thawed according to package directions (see Cook's Note)
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

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Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Mash the farmer's cheese, feta and mozzarella together in a bowl using a fork. Work the egg in with the fork, then stir in the parsley, dill, chives, lemon zest and a large pinch of black pepper.

Put a damp, clean towel on your counter. Unfold the phyllo sheets on top and cover with another damp, clean towel.

Put 1 sheet of phyllo on a cutting board with the long side closest to you and brush lightly with butter. Top with another sheet of phyllo and brush lightly with butter. Top with a third sheet of phyllo and brush lightly with butter. Cut the phyllo in half crosswise, then cut each half horizontally into thirds. Place the rectangles on a baking sheet and set aside. Repeat with the remaining phyllo.

Working with one buttered phyllo stack at a time, spread a heaping tablespoon of cheese along the long edge of each rectangle, leaving a 1/2-inch border at each end. Fold the sides over the filling, then roll up from the bottom edge of the phyllo. Transfer rolled cigars to a baking sheet seam-side down and brush each with a little butter. Repeat with the remaining phyllo, filling and butter.

Bake the cigars, rotating the pan halfway through, until crispy and golden-brown, about 25 minutes. Transfer to a serving platter and serve.
Cook's Note

Phyllo sheets vary in size slightly. They come in large sheets like the one in the ingredient list above or half that size. The large sheets vary in size by an inch or two. Regardless of variation, the most important thing is that you get 6 equal rectangles out of each set of 3 large sheets.

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Lebanese Mtabal Eggplant Salad Recipe

Lebanese Mtabal Eggplant Salad

A dish of all season, refreshing in hot summer days, great companion of grills, and suitably appealing for your Christmas dinner celebration!

It is refreshing indeed, and delicious and nutritious. We love it with Lebanese Pita Bread, as a salad for grills, as a side dish or in the Mezza menu. Adopted from Easy Lebanese Recipes.

Servings 5 portions
 Prep Time  20 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes


2 Eggplant (medium) peeled and cut roughly
2 Fresh Tomato diced
1 Green pepper diced small
5-6 Spring onions (without the stems), sliced finely
2 cloves garlic crushed
1/2 bunch Fresh parsley chopped; leave 2 tbsp aside for garnishing


1/2 cup Lemon juice
1/4 cup olive oil extra virgin
Salt & Pepper

To Garnish (Optional)

1 tbsp tomato (small) diced
1-2 tbsp Pomegranate berries


  1. Cook the eggplant pieces in the microwave for 10 minutes. Remove and mash with a fork. Chill i n the fridge for 10 minutes while you chop your vegetables and prepare the dressing.
  2. In a cup, mix the dressing ingredients.
  3. Add the crushed garlic to the eggplant, and blend well with a spoon. Add the remaining vegetables, combine well, pour on the dressing and mix well without smashing the tomatoes.
  4. Transfer into a serving plate, and garnish with diced tomato and chopped parsley.
Recipe Notes

Don't have a microwave?

Make few incises in the Eggplants (unpeeled), roast them in the oven, then skin them off, and mash coarsely.

Lebanese Lemon Chicken Recipe

Lebanese Lemon Chicken

Fast and flavorful Lebanese lemon chicken with shallots, fresh herbs,and a touch of turmeric--a comforting paleo dinner for fall or winter.

Prep time 5 mins | Cook time 25 mins | Total time 30 mins

Author: Becky Winkler
Recipe type: Gluten free, Grain free, Paleo, Whole30, Dinner, Chicken
Cuisine: Lebanese
Serves: 6-8


3 organic lemons
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, plus more for cooking

1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
1½ teaspoons flaky sea salt

Freshly ground black pepper

3 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs (about 12 thighs)
2 large shallots or 1 large onion

2 sprigs of fresh rosemary
2 sprigs of fresh thyme


  1. Juice one of the lemons until you have 2 tablespoons of lemon juice. Put the juice in a large bowl and add the 2 tablespoons of olive oil along with the turmeric, sea salt, and a generous amount of freshly ground black pepper.
  2. Add the chicken thighs to the bowl and toss to coat. Let the chicken marinate briefly at room temperature while you prepare the other ingredients.
  3. Trim the ends off the other two lemons and slice them into ¼-inch thick rounds. Remove any visible seeds. Halve, peel, and slice the shallots.
  4. Heat two large cast iron skillets over medium-high heat (or use one skillet and cook the chicken in two batches). Add enough olive oil to coat the bottom with a thin layer of oil.
  5. Divide the chicken pieces between the two pans with the smooth side of the chicken (where the skin was) facing down, making sure to leave a little room between the pieces so they can brown. Cook for about 5 minutes, until nicely browned on the bottom, and then flip and cook for 8-10 minutes on the second side, until just cooked through, lowering the heat slightly if necessary. Use tongs or a slotted spatula to transfer the chicken pieces to a plate.
  6. Add the lemons, shallots, and herb sprigs to the pans. Let cook undisturbed for 3-4 minutes, until the lemons are browned on the bottom. Pour ½ cup water into each pan and stir, scraping the browned bits from the bottom. Reduce the heat to medium, add the chicken back to the pans, and cook for 4-5 minutes so the flavors can meld. Serve the chicken, shallots, and pan juices hot over rice or cauliflower rice.

Monday, February 20, 2017

Beef Mince “Sfiha” Recipe


Sfiha is an open Middle-Eastern baked pie that looks like a mini pizza and is topped with spiced beef or lamb mince.

Some of the fresh ingredients of “sfiha”, tomatoes and onions keep the mince moist, lime and mint give the mince lots of zing and complement the flavour of the spices. Adopted from The Amazing Flavours of Brazil.



520g plain flour, sifted

2 tbs caster sugar

1 tsp salt

2 tsp instant dried yeast

250ml luke-warm milk

40ml extra-virgin olive oil


700g full fat beef mince

3 tomatoes (about 400g), deseeded, roughly chopped

3 onions (about 450g), finely chopped

Juice of 2 limes

1 bunch mint, finely chopped

1 tsp ground coriander

¼ tsp of nutmeg

¼ tsp ground cloves

1 tsp chilli flakes

½ tsp ground white pepper

½ tsp cinnamon

3 tsp sumac*

1 tbs freshly ground sea salt

Freshly ground black pepper to taste

Extra-virgin olive oil, to drizzle

Lime wedges, to serve

American mustard, to serve

Vegetable oil spray to grease

*Available from Middle-Eastern grocers or large supermarkets


1. For the dough, in a large bowl combine flour, sugar and salt. Make a well in the centre and add milk, yeast and oil. Using your hands combine all the ingredients until the mixture comes to a ball. Knead the dough for 10 minutes, make a ball and cover lightly with olive oil. Cover the bowl with a clean tea towel and set aside to prove in a warm draught-free place for 1 hour or until doubled in size.

2. Pre-heat the oven 200°C, grill fan-forced. Line two large trays with baking paper. In a large bowl mix all ingredients of the topping and set aside for 15 minutes.

3. When the dough is ready make 20 balls of the size of a lime and place them on a clean bench dusted with  flour. Flatten a ball in the middle and push down sideways keeping the round shape. Spoon about 2 tbs of mince, squeeze tightly in one of your hands over a bowl (to remove excess juices) and spread the mince on top of the dough at the same time you flatten the dough to make a thin round mini-pizza shape of about 8cm diameter, leaving a little bit of crust on the edges then place it on a tray. The thinner the dough, the better the end results will be. Repeat with remaining balls.

4. Drizzle the sfihas with extra-virgin olive oil and bake in the middle shelf of the oven for 8-10 minutes or until the crusts are golden and the base is dry and crispy. Serve with lime wedges and mustard.

Makes: 20 sfihas

Broccolini fattoush recipe

Broccolini fattoush

Serve this salad on its own or pair with barbecued beef, lamb or chicken. Adopted from

0:15 Prep | 0:10 Cook | 4 Servings | Easy


1 large piece Lebanese bread
Olive oil spray
1 bunch Coles Brand Australian Broccolini®, cut into 5cm pieces
250g baby cucumbers, thinly sliced lengthways
1/2 bunch radishes, thinly sliced
175g pkt Vine Sweet Minicaps*, thinly sliced
4 spring onions, thinly sliced
350g mixed medley tomatoes, halved
1/2 cup mint leaves
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 garlic clove, crushed
1 teaspoon ground paprika


Step 1 Preheat oven to 180C. Place bread on a baking tray. Spray with oil. Bake for 10 mins or until golden and crisp. Set aside to cool. Break into pieces.

Step 2 Meanwhile, place the broccolini in a heatproof bowl. Cover with boiling water and set aside for 2 mins. Refresh under cold water. Drain.

Step 3 Combine broccolini, cucumber, radish, capsicum, spring onion, tomato, mint and bread in a bowl. Season.

Step 4 Combine oil, lemon juice, garlic and paprika in a screw-top jar. Shake until well combined. Drizzle over the salad.

Saturday, February 18, 2017

Filo pastries filled with spiced mince and pine nuts (znoud el-sit) recipe

znoud el-sit

“Lebanese pastries are a must at any banquet, and home cooks are not forgiven if at least one is not served,” says Norma. Znoud el-sit, meaning “ladies’ arms”, are traditionally sweet pastries, but in this recipe Norma has stuffed them with the popular savoury filling, hashwi.

Makes 15 | Preparation 30min | Cooking 35min | Skill level Easy

Norma Dakhoul


50 g (⅓ cup) pine nuts
80 ml (⅓ cup) olive oil, plus extra, to brush
2 onions, finely chopped
250 g minced lamb or beef
1 tbsp pomegranate molasses, plus extra, to serve
15 sheets filo pastry, fresh or thawed

Spice mixture

½ tsp allspice
¼ tsp black pepper
¼ tsp ground cinnamon
¼ tsp ground coriander
¼ tsp ground cumin
¼ tsp ground nutmeg

Cook's notes

Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.


Cooling time 20 minutes

To make spice mixture, combine all of the ingredients in a bowl and set aside.

Place pine nuts in a frying pan over medium heat. Cook, stirring, for 2 minutes or until browned, then remove from pan and set aside. Add oil to the pan with onion and cook, stirring, for 3 minutes or until softened. Add meat and cook, breaking up with a wooden spoon, for 6 minutes or until browned. Add 1 tsp of the spice mixture and ¾ tsp salt and cook for 2 minutes or until fragrant. Remove from heat and stir in toasted pine nuts and pomegranate molasses. Set aside to cool completely.

Preheat oven to 200°C. Line an oven tray with baking paper. Lay a sheet of filo pastry on a clean work surface or chopping board, with a long edge facing you. Brush the half closest to you with oil, then fold in half lengthwise. Turn filo so that the short edge is facing you and brush with oil. Shape a heaped tablespoonful of cooled filling along the short edge closest to you, leaving a 2.5 cm border on sides and bottom. Roll short edge over filling to enclose, then fold in the 2 longer sides and roll up to form a cigar shape. Place seam side-down on prepared oven tray and repeat with remaining filo pastry and filling to make 15 rolls.

Place in oven and bake for 20 minutes or until golden. Serve pastries with extra pomegranate molasses.

Photography Mark Roper
Styling Berni Smithies
Food Preparation Norma Dakhoul
Source: SBS

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Falafel Wraps - Grilled Vegetables & Salsa Recipe

Falafel Wraps - Grilled Vegetables & Salsa
Falafel Wraps - Grilled Vegetables & Salsa

Recipe by Jamie Oliver from Jamie's 15 Minute Meals - Lifestyle Food

21 Ingredients Serves 4

Try your hand at this quick and delicious vegetarian meal.



1 x 400g tin of mixed beans
1 x 400g tin of chickpeas
1 lemon
1 tbsp harissa
1 heaped tsp allspice
1 heaped tbsp plain flour
1 bunch of fresh coriander
olive oil


2 mixed-colour peppers
4 spring onions
8 small wholewheat tortillas
1 tbsp Lingham's chilli sauce
250g low-fat cottage cheese
optional: pickled red cabbage


1 big handful of mixed-colour ripe tomatoes
½ –1 fresh red chilli
½ a clove of garlic
1 lime

Ingredients out

Food processor (bowl blade)
Large frying pan, medium heat
Griddle pan, high heat


1. Drain the beans and chickpeas and put them into the processor • Finely grate in the lemon zest, then add a pinch of salt and pepper, the harissa, allspice, flour and coriander stalks (reserving the leaves) • Blitz until smooth, scraping down the sides of the processor if needed • Scrape out the mixture and use clean, wet hands to quickly divide and shape it into 8 patties about 1.5cm thick • Put 1 tablespoon of oil into the frying pan and add the falafels, turning when golden and crisp

2. Rip the seeds and stalks out of the peppers, tear each one into bite-sized chunks and put on the griddle pan with the trimmed and halved spring onions and a pinch of salt and pepper, turning when charred • Put the tomatoes, chilli and half the coriander leaves into the processor • Squash in the unpeeled garlic through a garlic crusher, squeeze in the lime juice, whiz until fine, then season to taste and pour into a serving dish

3. Pop the tortillas into the microwave (800W) for 45 seconds while you marble the chilli sauce into the cottage cheese • Squeeze the juice of half the zested lemon over the charred veggies, then take with the falafels to the table, scattering everything with the rest of the coriander • Let everyone assemble their own wraps, and serve with pickled red cabbage, if you like.


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