Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Lebanon 1-2

Lebanon, now there's a country I would love to visit one day. Aside from being just about beautiful and one of the nicest touristic spot in the world, the second language is French, so I wouldn't have any problems with communicating. The food on the other hand is just unbelievable. Arabic cuisine with French influence yet deeply rooted within it's ancestry. While in Boston we're lucky enough to have the Falafel King down the street ( I know... I know..) but it's just not the same!

I had wanted to make kafta patties for a long time and with my whole Indian bout, I felt like it was time for kafta and something else (soon to come!). Kafta is one of those dish that's so simple, you wouldn't believe how delicious it is at first. I did some snooping about in my MANY cookbooks (I will show you my collection someday) and I gathered the best recipe for you to try.

Kafta Patties
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cooking Time 10 minutes
Servings 13 patties

2 lbs of ground beef (80/20)
1 lb of ground veal *If you cannot find veal, use more beef
3 tsp of Arabic 7 Spice
2 medium onions
half a bunch of fresh parsley, chopped (Do not use dry parsley)

  • Pulse the onions in a food processor until it turns to minced and drain the juice out as much as possible, cheese cloth or through a colander.
  • Mix in your ground beef and veal with the spices, the onions and the parsley
  • Form 13 patties, around 1/4 lb each. ( I had assumed 3 for hubby and I for dinner and lunch and then it made 13, woot!)
  • Grill on a grill pan or a Foreman grill. You could also fry pan them (gasp)
Fattoush Salad
A farmer's recipe, it can easily be adapted to taste and to availability of vegetables. This version is low carb but it usually contains cooked slices of pita and pomegranate molasses.

1 head of romaine lettuce, chopped
4 radishes, sliced thin
1/2 large cucumber, thick slices cut in halves.
4 plum tomatoes, diced
3 tbsp of green onions, greens only, sliced thin
2 tbsp of fresh mint, minced
2 tbsp of fresh Italian Parsley, minced
1 green pepper, diced

For the dressing

1/4 c of olive oil
3 tbsp of lemon juice
2 cloves of garlic, crushed
1 tsp of sumac*
1/4 tsp of salt

Mix everything together and pour on the salad just before serving.
* Sumac is a bright red spice that smells a little like vinegar, I found it at an Indian grocer and had never heard of it. It's very interesting and I can't wait to try it on more recipe. If you can't find it or don't want to add to your spice rack, leave it out completely.

I mixed up a plate with some hummus, normally it would be baba ganoush but I really like both. The Sabra brand had the least carbs of the whole display, which ranged from 5 per 2 tbsp to 2 per 2 tbsp in this case. The only thing missing is a little tzatzki but I had nothing to complain about. I was in heaven. You can cut the recipe in half if you want less kafta but they freeze beautifully and can be cooked at a later time. 

Net Carbs
1 ~ 12

* Nutrition for the patties alone, salad will vary according to your ingredients and quantity

Internationally Yours
Hungry Julie

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