Archive for the ‘Deserts’ category

Lebanese Rice Pudding – Riz b-Haleeb

June 13th, 2010 Leave a reply »
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Many Lebanese cookbooks will tell you that Lebanese rice pudding isn’t so different from western rice pudding. They are perhaps made in a similar way, but they do not taste the same at all. I was never truly fond of rice pudding until I tasted riz b-haleeb the true Lebanese way. And now I love it. Here is an authentic recipe for a delicious oriental rice pudding garnished with pistachios & almonds.

Cooking phase: 1hr
Resting phase: 3hrs or more

Servings: 6-8

Lebanese Rice Pudding

Ingredients: Use the same measurement cup for the rice, water, milk and sugar!
1 cup of rice, 2 cups of water, 8 cups of milk, 1 cup of sugar, 2 tbsp of orange blossom water, 1 tbsp of rose water

1. In a small pan, place 1 cup of rice in 2 cups of water and let it boil for ~15min until the water has evaporated
2. In a large pot, heat 8 cups of milk until boiling, then add the cooked rice and stir constantly under medium heat for ~20min. Do not let the milk & rice rest – you must keep on stirring
3. Add 1 cup of sugar and continue stirring for ~20min
4. Add 2 tbsp of orange blossom water and 1 tbsp of rose water and stir for another 5min
5. At this point, the pudding should be thick. Remove from the heat and place in a large glass container or in small individual glasses. Let the pudding cool down in the refrigerator for at least 3hrs. Serve cold with pistachios & almonds

Do you like riz b-haleeb? What is your favorite Lebanese sweet?

Crêpes – A Mardi Gras Tradition

March 1st, 2010 Leave a reply »
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Although Crêpes are originally from France, they are very common in Lebanon. Two weeks ago was Mardi Gras (Fat Tuesday), a celebration with parades, parties and big meals. In France, the tradition is to eat crêpes. When I was young, I loved crêpes so much that I established a new Sunday-night tradition: crêpes and hot chocolate. I have baked crêpes since my childhood and have perfected this long-lasting family recipe.

Crêpes are not hard to make, but there is a clear technique required to perfect the art of crêpe making. It may have taken me 1 hour to cook my first crêpe, but now it takes me 15min to make the batter and 15 more to cook about 20 crêpes (while handling 2-3 pans on the stove). Here is my trick.
 
Preparation phase: 30min
Resting phase: 2hrs or more
Cooking phase: 1hr for 15-20 crêpes

Servings: 20 crêpes

Crêpe Desert

Ingredients: 2 cups of flour (white or whole wheat), 2 cups of milk, 3 eggs, ½ cup of beer (or water), 1 tablespoon of olive oil, a pinch of salt

Preparation Phase – making the batter (~ 30min)

1. Place 2 cups of all-purpose flour (white or whole wheat) in a mixing bowl and create a small well. Then add three eggs in the middle as shown below

Crêpe Recipe 1

2. Slowly pour 2 cups of milk into the center of the mixing bowl. While pouring, whisk the mixture slowly in the same direction (either clockwise or counter-clock wise, do not switch from one direction to the next and back…). This will help blend the flour and the milk.

 
Crêpe Recipe 2

3. When the flour, eggs and milk are well blend, you will still find small lumps of flour. Do not panic, the lumps will go away during the resting phase. Add ½ cup of beer (or water), 1 tablespoon of olive oil and a pinch of salt. Whisk together

Resting Phase (~ 2hrs)

4. Cover the mixture and place it in the refrigerator for 2 hours or more – the longer, the better

Cooking Phase (~ 1hr)

5. When you are ready to cook the crêpes, take the mixture out of the refrigerator. You will see two layers: the flour and milk will be separated from the beer/water & oil. Blend the mixture into a smooth cream
6. Heat a lightly oiled frying pan over medium heat. Then scoop about ¼ cup of batter onto the pan. Tilt the pan in a circular motion so that the batter coats the surface evenly. As a rule of thumb: the thinner the crêpe, the better it tastes
7. When the borders of the crêpe turn light brown, flip the crêpe over and let it cook on both sides. Make sure to grease your pan after cooking every 5 crêpes, or the batter will stick to the pan

Crêpe Recipe 3

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My Favorite Toppings

Salty Crêpes:
- Ham & Cheese
- Turkey/Chicken & Cheese
- Smoked Salmon with Sour Cream, Capers & Lemon Juice

Sweet Crêpes:
- Fruits (bananas, strawberries etc…)
- Nutella
- Whip Cream
- Ice Cream
- Sugar / Honey / Maple Syrup

** Feel free to contact me or leave a comment if you have any questions about the ingredients and recipes.

Carrot Cake – A Thanksgiving Treat

December 6th, 2009 Leave a reply »
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Carrot Cake is not originally from Lebanon, I know. But after bringing one to work, I promised my colleagues that I would post this recipe on my blog. This recipe has become a Thanksgiving tradition that my family enjoys. It’s a moist cake that can be baked in various pans (see instructions below).

Estimated preparation time: 30min

Baking pan size & cooking time: 9″ springform pan (45-50min) | Two 4.5″x8.5″ loaf pans (35-40min)
Servings: 16

Carrot Cake

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Carrot Cake

Ingredients:
4 eggs
2 cups sugar
1 cup vegetable oil
2 cups flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
3 cups grated raw carrots (~ 3 large)
1 cup finely chopped nuts and/or raisins

1. Preheat oven at 350F
2. In a large bowl, beat eggs until frothy. Add gradually sugar and vegetable oil
3. Separately, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and salt
4. Add egg mixture (2) to the flour mixture (3) until combined
5. Grate carrots and stir to mixture with nuts and/or raisons
6. Grease a 9″ springform pan and pour batter into pan (see above for pan size details)
7. Bake in preheated 350F oven for 45-50min (see above for cooking time details)

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Cream Cheese Icing

Ingredients:
9 oz cream cheese
1/4 cup butter
2 tsp vanilla extract
3 cups icing sugar

1. Beat cream cheese & butter until soft
2. Cream together cream cheese, butter and vanilla extract until fluffy
3. Gradually add icing sugar while beating smoothly
4. Once the cake cools down to room temperature, frost with this delicious cream cheese icing