Saturday, March 14, 2009
Left -molkeyah and right- bamia. Molkeyah is a green leafy vegetable -leaves pulled of the plant 'jute' (also makes hessian!). This is cooked with lamb and lemon and too much garlic, served over rice. I have found it impossible to get this vegetable fresh in Melbourne (though I am sure you can probably find it in Dandenong somewhere) so have settled for the far inferior frozen product. Bamia is an okra and lamb stew which i have blogged about here
and here we have a pasta bake and kefta bil tahini, which I have blogged previously here. I wish I had a Pyrex dish as big as this though - mum has had it for 30 years.
Too much food was had on this trip leading to a week of vegetarianism (is that a word?). Luckily my garden is still overproducing so that has not been a problem. Arabic food often has a lot of meat in it which i can only really handle in small doses. The food and family though, were great! Hopefully it will not be as long between family get togethers.
Tuesday, March 3, 2009
I wanted to do the Arabic traditional vine leaves and stuffed zucchini (warrah and koosa siami) but did not have enough vine leaves. My mother suggested on the phone from Sydney that I could use silver beet instead if I had any. Had any? I have 5 plants in the backyard! I had never eaten these silver beet rolls before but they were really lovely – difficult to say if it is better or not to the vine leaves…
I originally posted on the way to make vineleaves the Arabic way here . I basically used the same rice mix, but this time threw in some currents and pine nuts. I think these were a really nice addition, adding something sweet to the already sweet silver beet.
These photos show the rolling up process for the silver beet. They need to be blanched briefly in boiling water to make it easier to roll. One thing to note is that the stems need to be cut away or else it makes it very difficult to roll. Large silver beet can be cut into two (or three). Place the silver beet rolls tightly into a pot as shown in the last photo. Make a sauce out of tomato paste, water, lemon and oil and pour over the top. Cook on a low heat on the stove. The silver beet rolls don’t take as long as the vine leaves – I think 30 minutes was probably enough.
And don’t throw away those stems! Cut them up rather small, throw them into some boiling water, cook until tender. Then toss them with a sauce made from tahina, lemon and garlic. This makes a really nice side salad to the stuffed goodies.
I also stuffed some white zucchinis from the garden...
And don’t throw out the inside of the zucces! I sauté it slowly with onion and garlic for a long time until it breaks down and then add lemon, salt and pepper and cumin and coriander. This is delicious hot or cold, served as a dip with extra olive oil or as brushcetta topping. Really really good!
I also stuffed these – alas not from the garden but how cute is that pumpkin! I roasted these rather than cooked on the stove and added the rice mixture already cooked (for the silver beet and zucces the rice was added uncooked).
This is a close up of the cooked zucchini and long eggplants. So good!!!
This yoghurt dip is essential with stuffed goodies. Yoghurt, salt, garlic, cucumber and mint (all from the garden!).
As is this salad! Fatoush – basically tomato, cucumber, spring onions, parsley, mint, radish, toasted pita bread and a dressing of oil, lemon, sumac and garlic. We positively reeked after this meal from all the raw garlic but it was worth it!
Wow, that was a long post. But if you find yourselves with a glut of any of these vegies – give this a go, you will not be disappointed!
Note: All these vegies were stuffed ‘siami’ which means without meat. There is a meat version, which I personally do not like as much, but if anyone is interested I can post my mothers recipe.
Sunday, March 1, 2009
We made a batch of passatta earlier in the week. I haven't tried the results yet (as we have so many fresh ones still!) but I followed a recipe by Maggie Beer. I am a little concerned with shelf life as I have not made preserves of any kind before - any information from worldly bloggers reading this would be appreciated!
And this is the latest preserve -tomato relish based on a Stephanie Alexander recipe. It seems a bit thinner than I am used to but I haven't tried it yet. I was also thinking a tomato jam might be nice but cannot find a recipe I am happy with.
Of I go to make some zucchini bread and butter pickles. Happy eating everyone!