Vegetarian food can get a bad wrap for being flavorless, dull and boring. Sorry vegetarians, it’s a hard truth you have to admit. However, that’s not the case with Lebanese food. We have a lot of vegetarian dishes that are packed with flavor and this dish is no different.
Warak Enab is the counterpart of the beef-filled Warak Areesh. They’re both Lebanese stuffed rolled grape leaves. Where they differ is the filling. The filling for warak enab is vegetarian and full of flavor. The filling includes parsley, tomato, rice and more. When cooked, the grape leaves are tender, tangy and they melt in your mouth. You won’t be missing any flavor with this very healthy Lebanese vegetarian dish.
I have a great affinity for Italian food. In fact, besides Lebanese food, it’s my go-to cuisine. One of the great staples of Italian food are meatballs. They’re akin to the Lebanese Kafta, but with sauce and cheese. Ain’t nothing wrong with that. When I’m sick spaghetti and meatballs, I just stick the meatballs in some good toasted bread with some sauce and cheese and I’m a happy girl. Meatball subs are such an easy meal that I love to make. They’re great when you’re in a pinch for something quick, because you can make them in under half an hour. They taste great and are so easy to make. Now, I’m no Italian, but I think these meatballs are pretty good. They’re my meatballs, my way. This is how I make meatball subs.
First, I like to cut up the onions and garlic and place them in a bowl. You want minced garlic and small dice for the onions.
Next, add in the breadcrumbs and cheese. I use Pecorino Romano, but you can use Parmesan. I also use Panko breadcrumbs, but you can use Italian instead. It’s really whatever you prefer. At this point, I also add in the seasoning and red pepper.
Next, I add in the herbs. Fresh parsley and basil here.
Add in the whole egg and give it a mix.
Add the beef. I use ground chuck. Mix it until just combined. Don’t overmix.
Use an ice cream scoop to scoop out the meat and roll between the palms of your hands into a ball. Place on a greased baking sheet and bake at 375°F and bake it for about 10-13 minutes.
Once cooked, remove from oven.
I like to finish cooking the meatballs in whatever sauce I’m eating with them. In applications like Spaghetti or meatball subs, I always cook them in sauce. Not for long, just a minute or so.
For meatball subs, I like using bolillo or sub bread. I chop up onions, green peppers and banana peppers. I use an Italian cheese blend, with some grated Pecorino on top.
See how I do it:
- 1 small to medium sized white onion, small dice
- 3-4 garlic cloves, minced
- 1/2 cup Panko or Italian breadcrumbs
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper or to taste
- 1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning
- 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 1/2 teaspoon salt or to taste
- 1/8 cup grated Pecorino or Parmesan
- 1/2 cup flat leaf parsley, chopped
- 3-4 basil leaves, torn
- 1 egg
- 1 lb ground chuck
Chop up the garlic and onions and place in a large bowl.
Combine with breadcrumbs, red pepper flakes, seasoning, cheese, parsley, basil and egg.
Mix until thoroughly combined.
Add the beef and mix until combined. Don't over-mix or over-handle the beef.
Use an ice cream scoop to scoop out the beef and roll out memat balls between the palms of your hands.
Place the meatball on a greased baking sheet. Continue forming the balls until finished.
Bake at 375°F for 10-15 minutes or until browned on the outside and firm on the outside.
Finish cooking in your favorite marinara sauce for a minute or two. Make it into a sub and enjoy!
The meatballs will store in a container, cooked for up to five days in the fridge. For the sub, obviously you can use any good sub bread and any toppings you'd prefer.
Eggs are such a wonderful and versatile ingredient. America’s favorite way to utilize this ingredient seems to be making omelets. Omelets are one of the most popular breakfast dishes in America. They’re easily found in every diner across the country. People love omelets, because they’re so delicious and versatile. There are so many different ways to make omelets, including so many different fillings. Though an omelet is very easy to make, it’s really very easy to mess it up, as well. The key is seasoning. If you under season, you’ll mess up the dish. If you over season, you’ll mess up the dish. While this principle is applicable to any dish, it’s especially true for egg dishes. You can typically fix seasoning issues with other dishes, but eggs don’t give you much leeway. So be careful.
I love omelets in different ways, but you really can’t go wrong with a basic cheesy omelet. If you are a cheese fiend like me, then you’ll tend to agree. This omelet is very easy to make and produces a nice moist, fluffy omelet that is stuffed with cheese. There’s something so satisfying about cutting into it and having those strands of cheese follow your fork as you lift up the slice.
So here are the ingredients you’ll need:
Grate cheddar cheese.
Chopped flat-leaf parsley.
Salt and pepper, of course! Let’s get started.
In a bowl, whisk together the eggs, salt and black pepper.
In a pan, melt the butter with some olive oil and swirl around to coat the pan when fully melted.
Pour the egg mixture into the pan. With your rubber spatula, stir gently in a circular motion for about a minute on medium low speed. Then, tilt the pan and bring in the edges to the center for about 30 seconds.
Cover and let it cook for about 5 minutes on the lowest setting.
After it cooks, remove the pan from the heat and add the cheese over the top. Cover with the lid for another minute to allow the cheese to melt.
Run a rubber spatula around the outside of the omelette carefully. Ease one half of the omelette onto a warmed plate and allow the other half to cover the first half. Sprinkle the remaining cheese and the chopped parsley.
Watch how I do it:
- 4 large eggs
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/16 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 tablespoon flat-leaf parsley, chopped
- 1/2 cup cheddar cheese, grated
Whisk the eggs, salt and pepper together in a bowl.
Melt the butter with the oil in a 10" nonstick skillet over medium heat. Swirl to coat.
Add the eggs and cook, stirring gently in a circular motion until the mixture is thickened slightly. About a minute.
Use a rubber spatula to pull the cooked edges of the egg towards the center of the pan, tilting the pan so the uncooked egg runs to the cleared edge of the pan. Do this for about 30 seconds to a minute.
Cover the skillet in cook on the lowest heat for about five minutes.
Remove the pan from the heat and sprinkle most of the grated cheese on top. Cover with the lid and allow the cheese to melt for about 30 seconds to minute.
Uncover and run the spatula around the outside of the omelette.
Slide half of the omelette onto the warmed dish using the spatula, then tilt the skillet so the remaining half flips over onto itself to form a half-moon shape.
I’m not one to brag, but the Lebanese just know how to do it right when it comes to food. Fattoush, hummus, shish kabobs, stuffed grape leaves. I can go on and on. Well, one of the most delicious staple dishes that is a personal favorite is called kafta. The lucky ones out there already know what this is and have perhaps had it before. Those who haven’t been so fortunate are probably saying, “kafwhat?”
Kafta is a meat mixture composed of beef or lamb, parsley, white or red onion and some spices. If I’ve peaked your interest, let me keep on going. To simplify it to the average everyday American, kafta is akin to a meatball, but with less ingredients! There is an added advantage kafta brings to the table though. It’s unbelievably versatile.You can take the kafta base and make a dozen different dishes. You can skewer them and grill them. You can saute them in a little bit of olive oil and drizzle some lemon over top of them. You can add some tomatoes and potatoes and enjoy with some rice. There are just so many ways to utilize this mixture. The method I’m going to show you is by far the easiest and makes for a quick, delicious dinner in under half an hour.
We’re going to cook it in pita bread. Cooking the kafta in the bread gives you a crispy edge and a chewy, moist middle. You can dip the bread in some laban (Lebanese yogurt) and have at it. It is one of those dishes, I wouldn’t mind eating everyday.
You can use either ground beef or ground lamb to make kafta. It’s all about personal preference. We prefer beef because it’s less gamey. Add the meat to a bowl.
Chop the onions into a small dice. You can use a knife or food processor to do this. Also, you can use red or white onion. We switch it up every now and then. This time, we’re using red.
Chop the parsley until fine. Again, you can use a processor knife, whatever is easier for you.
You’ll also need some salt.
Some freshly ground black pepper. Makes a difference.
Some seven spice.
Some good pita bread will also be needed. Not the thick ones. Try to find the authentic thin ones.
Combine the onions and parsley with the meat. Add the salt, pepper and seven spice.
Mix until thoroughly combined.
Smear heaping tablespoons onto the inside of the pita and spread into a layer. Fold the other half over and place it on a baking sheet lined with greased aluminum. Continue to do this until you fill your baking sheet in a single layer.
Bake in a preheated oven at 350°F for 10-15 minutes or until the inside is no longer raw and the outside is golden brown. The moisture from the meat may make the bread wrinkly on some of them. No biggie.
Serve immediately with some laban and fries. Enjoy!
See how my mom does it:
- 3 lbs ground chuck or ground lamb
- 2 large white or red onions, chopped
- 3 bunches flat leaf parsley, chopped
- 2 1/2 teaspoons salt
- 2 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 2 1/4 teaspoon seven spice
- Good thin Pita bread
Chop the onions into a small dice and chop the parsley until fine. An easy method is to chop the onions and parsley in a food processor until desired size.
Add the parsley and onions mixture to a mixing bowl.
Add in the salt, black pepper and seven spice.
Mix it thoroughly and taste a small piece to adjust seasoning if necessary.
Open up your pita so it's open faced. Smear two heaping kitchen tablespoons of the meat mixture onto the pita.
Bake at 350°F on a baking sheet lined with greased aluminum for about 10-15 minutes or until the meat is cooked inside, but the outside is golden brown.
Enjoy immediately with some laban and fries!
There are plenty of great tasting dressings out there. Thousand island, Greek, French, blue cheese and so one. But hands down, I’m a ranch girl. Ranch is the only way to go for me. And if I’m going to go with ranch, I’m going to do it right. None of that beige colored thick blob of garbage you’d find at your local supermarket. You know what particular brand I’m talking about, right?
Well, I’m good on all that nastiness. I want mine made the right way. And the right way is homemade. The real stuff. Real ranch should be pourable, white and filled with herbs. Homemade ranch is so easy to make, I’m surprised more people don’t make it or don’t know how to make it. It’s the perfect topping for an easy, quick salad with croutons and grated cheese on top. Yum! If you’re ranch obsessed like I am, I’ll do you a favor. I’ll save you from the bottled garbage. Here’s an easy and delicious ranch dressing recipe.
I like to use the big measuring cups to measure and mix in. Why? Because, who the heck wants more dishes.
We’re going to start by adding in the sour cream.
Next, let’s add in some mayo. Mayo haters, you will not taste it in here. I promise. It’s just to emulsify the dressing and thicken it a bit.
Pour in the buttermilk.
Add in the minced garlic and mince shallot, if you’re opting to add in shallot too.
Chop up the parsley, dill and chives finely and add to the buttermilk mixture. You can use flat leaf or curly parsley.
Season with freshly cracked black pepper and salt. I’m using sea salt, but Kosher or table salt is fine. If you don’t have a pepper mill, use regular black pepper. I go easy on the seasoning and adjust if needed later.
Give it a good mix with a whisk until smooth.
Store the spare ranch dressing in a plastic container with a lid. Refrigerate for up to a week. Enj
I’m enjoying my homemade buttermilk ranch with a quick salad.
See how I do it:
- 8 fl. oz. sour cream
- 8 fl. oz. mayonnaise
- 4 fl. oz. buttermilk
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon flat leaf or curly parsley
- 1 tablespoon chives
- 1 tablespoon dill
- 1 teaspoon garlic
- 1 teaspoon shallots (optional)
- salt and pepper to taste
Combine all the ingredients and mix until smooth and combined well.
Taste and adjust lemon, salt and pepper if needed.
Refrigerate any spare dressing in a plastic container w/ lid in the fridge for up to a week.