Recipes 2 comments on Tabbouleh Made Easy

Tabbouleh Made Easy

Since my early childhood, I’ve been the one asked to take the first spoonful of tabbouleh when it was freshly done. Once the combination of tastes was perfect for my tastebuds, it was served on the lunch table. The perfect taste is one that combines the sour feeling brought by lemon juice, the mediterranean olive oil’s familiarity, and the crispiness of the fresh ingredients: parsley, not-too-juicy tomatoes, and really fresh onions. The bulgur was always a little extra for me, I never really cared for it and the Lebanese recipe of a tabbouleh doesn’t call for a lot of it anyway.

As I’ve grown up and been doing my own cooking, making tabbouleh is a tad complicated and it’s all because of the parsley. When I get back home from work, the last thing I want to do is pick and wash parsley, so tabbouleh is mostly had at family lunches or in restaurants. Rare are the times when I get the same one I used to when I was a child.

Not long ago however, I found a way! It’s all thanks to one thing: ingredient replacement. By simply substituting parsley with rocket leaves, chopped the same way as parsley, you’re one step away from a delicious tabbouleh on a weeknight! Here’s the recipe.

What you’ll need (for 2 persons)

 

  • 5 cups of chopped rocket leaves
  • 3 medium to large tomatoes (choose them sour, not very juicy)
  • 2 medium white onions (we sometimes use red onions instead)
  • 1 Tbsp of bulgur, soaked in water (optional)

For the dressing:

  • The juice of 2 lemons
  • 4 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp pomegranate molasses (known as debs el remmen)
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

How to make it:

  1. Chop the rocket leaves, dice the tomatoes and the onions
  2. Soak the bulgur in a bit of water
  3. Place all ingredients in a bowl and start adding some of the lemon, then oil and mix. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and have a spoonful to determine what’s missing. Continue adjusting the dressing until you’re satisfied 😉

And there you go! Tabbouleh made easy!

 What do you think? 

Interviews 0 comments on The Day We Met Chef Greg Maalouf

The Day We Met Chef Greg Maalouf

A few weeks ago, we had the pleasure to attend a lunch at Mymouné (a Lebanese brand of all-natural specialties) in Ain el Kabou, Lebanon to celebrate their 25th anniversary. Apart from the wonderful ambiance and setting, the food was really excellent. The reason for this is that everything was cooked by Michelin-starred Chef Greg Malouf using Mymouné products. From the rose petals infused yogurt to the delicious shawarma, passing by a delicious freekeh, that day kept our tummies busy. The highlight of the day was when we actually got to meet Greg Malouf and have a little chat. He then happily agreed to answer some of my questions about his life and background.

greg malouf | breadonbutter

Greg Malouf is a Lebanese Chef born in Melbourne that was honored with a Michelin Star. He is widely known for his Middle Eastern cuisine and opened his own restaurant, Clé Dubai, last year.

I hope you enjoy reading as much as we did! Here goes.

About Greg – I’m an Australian boy, through and through, but I was raised in a Lebanese family and my earliest memories are of my mum’s kitchen, and of being surrounded by women – my mum and grandmothers, aunties, cousins and family friends – all pinching my cheeks and urging me ‘Yallah! Tekkel’, as they thrust a stuffed vine leaf or sweet cookie into my chubby hand. Is it any wonder I became a chef?

During my training and early years in restaurants, the last thing I wanted to do was cook mum’s food, and I spent many years working in Europe and Asia honing my skills and expanding my repertoire. But I found that as time went by I was thinking more and more about those favourite dishes from my childhood: of stuffed eggplants and home-made tabbouleh, of creamy yoghurt cheese and smoky baba ghanoush, and my all-time favourite, kibbeh nayeh, a sort of lamb tartare, mixed with cracked wheat and spices.

I returned to Melbourne in the early 1990s, a time when Middle Eastern food was limited to the odd traditional Lebanese banquet-style restaurant or greasy kebabs and watery tabbouleh from grubby Lebanese takeaway shops. I was still relatively young and energetic and I had a crazy dream of recreating the flavours of my childhood in my own style of Middle Eastern restaurant: not traditional Lebanese dishes, but rather food which captures the essence of the Middle East and expresses it in the best western tradition.

How Greg knew he wanted to be a Chef – It was through sheer appetite and love of the family’s generosity and nurturing that drove me to my life’s work. I have a vague memory of mixing bathroom products whilst bathing as a kid. I guess that was my first interpretation of hummus.

How Greg gets inspired – Childhood memories of my Lebanese upbringing and travels through the Middle East are a major creative sources of inspiration. Lebanese cooking is essentially home cooking, so it doesn’t really require much in the way of tricky techniques. Dishes are handed down through generations and like every home cook it’s important to learn patience, too, as some of the very best Middle Eastern dishes take time (slow-cooked braises and tagines) and care (stuffed vegetables or pastries) to prepare.

His favorite ingredient – Too many to choose from, but yoghurt stands out as a favorite not only to cook with but to consume!

What makes a dish special to him – I have tried to forge a unique style of cooking that captures the essence of the Middle East and that is presented with a signature contemporary flair. Ingredients such as sumac, pomegranate molasses, preserved lemons, orange blossom water, haloumi and kataifi pastry, and spice blends such as ras al hanout and za’atar are the currency of their menus (and are sprinkled through more mainstream restaurant, bistro and café menus across the cities of Australia and, increasingly, the world). The dishes they appear in are exotic and Middle Eastern but vibrant, modern and Australian at the same time. For example, I might serve Egyptian eggs with bastourma and fennel salad; warm smoked ox tongue salad with fava beans, feta and coriander à la Greque; golden ras al hanout lentil and pumpkin soup with grilled scampi; and his own Rose of Damascus — layers of honeyed crisp filo with Turkish delight ice cream and toffeed strawberries.

About his favorite city – I love Melbourne. It’s where I grew up. Restaurants, cafes, bars and eateries are very much hidden so it’s really a haven for locals. Elegant, sophisticated and non-elitist can best describe the food scene.

I’m also in love with Beirut. I’ve been back many times and just feel the city has so many more things that are waiting to be discovered. I love to explore, to get lost in its narrow streets, and to assure myself that I am on the right path with Lebanese food culture.

His favorite book – Favourite cookbook: Claudia Roden inspired so many generations as her knowledge of Middle Eastern cooking is legendary she’s a true historian. She is Egyptian but spent much of her student life in Paris. She has written many wonderful books – some about recipes from her mother’s kitchen, and others tracing the history of dishes across time and geographies. A Book of Middle Eastern Food, published in the late 1960s is a classic, and since then I have read many of her other books and really come to admire her and her authentic and grounded approach to food. She inspires me – her traditional recipes evoke wonderful childhood memories for me.

 Secret hobbies aside from cooking – Music – classical, alternative & jazz. Design – crockery, fabric, prints & jewelry

About what he does during his free time – There’s not a lot of free time as I’m still very active in the kitchen. As it happens, I work many days straight and tend to head to the airport for a 3-4 day trip to a neighboring country.

About comfort food and guilty pleasures –  Any type of kibbeh, even if it’s leftovers from a previous meal. Guilty pleasure moves into the more elaborate as I have cholesterol issues cheese, especially white mould triple cream, terrines and pâté’s.

His favorite Lebanese dish – Warab Enab – meat and rice stuffed vine leaves cooked on top of lamb neck chops with mint, lemon and garlic. And always with natural yoghurt.

His favorite town/city/village in Lebanon – Hamra for its street food, Ashrafiyeh for its classiness, Gemmeyze for its night life, clubs, bars and Restaurants and of course Mount Lebanon, the Bekaa valley, Zahle and Baalbek.

If you had to choose between Beirut, the Lebanese coast or the mountains, which one would you choose? – I’m a city boy and need the energy and vitality of Beirut.

 A perfect day – A wedding day or the birth of a child.

Here are some pictures of the Mymouné lunch.

greg malouf | breadonbutter greg malouf | breadonbutter greg malouf | breadonbutter greg malouf | breadonbutter greg malouf | breadonbutter

Thank you so much Chef! 🙂

You can click here for more information about Clé Dubai and here for Greg Malouf’s website, to be published soon.

Click HERE to follow our foodie and travel journey on INSTAGRAM @breadonbutter_

and HERE to get your daily Breadonbutter news on FACEBOOK

Don’t forget to tag us if you try our recipes and tips: #breadonbutter

Fadsfood 0 comments on Fadsfood’s Weekly Picks: Lebanese Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Fadsfood’s Weekly Picks: Lebanese Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Never eat alone. Always share what you eat. There is no bigger pleasure in life than giving.

– Fadsfood

This week, Fadsfood’s picks are all about Lebanese meals! Scroll down for 3 amazing recommendations of breakfast, lunch and dinner. Also, they’re all healthy! Check it out and follow Fadsfood on instagram for mouthwatering pictures and food inspiration: @fadsfood.

Here are this week’s Lebanese picks

Breakfast at Mayouli – Batroun, Lebanon

lebanese | breadonbutter
Breakfast in nature

Lunch at Babel Sur Mer – Amchit, Lebanon

lebanese | breadonbutter
Excellent #Food and #Service at#babelsurmer #lebanesefood#lebanesefoodies #Amchit #Lebanon#Fadsfood

Dinner at Studio 43 – Mar Mikhael, Beirut, Lebanon

lebanese | breadonbutter
The Healthiest #Buffet@studiobeirutlb #MarMkhayel #Beirut#Fadsfood

Where do you go for a good Lebanese meal? 

Click HERE to follow our foodie and travel journey on INSTAGRAM @breadonbutter_

and HERE to get your daily Breadonbutter news on FACEBOOK

Don’t forget to tag us if you try our recipes and tips: #breadonbutter

Places, Places 2 comments on Onno: The Inspiring Story and The Great People Behind It

Onno: The Inspiring Story and The Great People Behind It

Two years ago, along with a group of friends, we came up with a tradition. Since not one of us is really into Valentine’s Day and the buzz around it, we decided to have dinner together on the 14th of February. Our first dinner was Armenian and delicious and the habit took off from there. It’s been two Valentine Armenian dinners. The very last one was at Onno. The initial plan was to head to the original one in Bourj Hammoud. But we then heard a new branch had opened its doors in Badaro so we booked our 20 (s)eaters’ table for the 14th of February. We now swear by this great and homey Armenian Bistrot.

onno | breadonbutter

When I approached the managing team over at Onno to chat with them and Karnigue Nigolian (the original person behind it), they happily accepted. So today, I bring you their story and a small glimpse of the atmosphere and the characters behind this cozy and welcoming place.

I first sat with Saadi Hamady and was later joined by Karnigue (both owners of ONNO).

onno | breadonbutter
Karnigue Nigolian (left) and Saadi Hamady (right)

Saadi first told me about his relationship with food. How he started in the food and beverage industry in the States in 1988, dealing with various domains such as dry food, groceries, delis, coffee shops, restaurants, and even airline catering. Then, like any Lebanese at heart, Saadi came back to Lebanon after spending 29 years in the States and opened up the very first fusion-cosmopolitan food places in Beirut called Cello. He quickly expanded his restaurant openings and other businesses related to the tourism industry.

His new baby is ONNO. The story is actually one of those coincidences (if they do exist) we love to hear about. Saadi’s plan for an evening out was to go fine-dine with friends somewhere upscale. But he wasn’t convinced that was the atmosphere he wanted and begged them to take him somewhere more relaxed with a proper glass of Arak. His friends, without hesitation, decided to take him to ONNO, this cozy little homey place in Bourj Hammoud where a nice glass of Arak was guaranteed. Right then and there, Saadi fell in love with the food and Karnigue’s personality, who made you eat as he pleases. He then absolutely wanted to take ONNO in his hands and expand it like it should be. Karnigue had been approached by many and had humbly refused. But Saadi managed to convince him. “I didn’t come as an investor who wanted to take. I came and told him we would work together hand in hand. We think alike a lot. Sometimes I think about something and then he comes and says it to me!” Saadi.

So a joint-venture was established and ONNO is now quickly expanding. They are open in Badaro and will be open in Hamra in June.

The Badaro branch was a great success for the ONNO team. They saw a great feedback from people who loved the food and the place.

Onno succeeded to attract the mass clientele, which was the biggest challenge. You can see people in their 60s and 70s but also in their 20s. This was basically the idea of opening up a bistro. It serves only one purpose: good food. “In our bistro, they only come to eat, not for the drinks or music, just the food.”

onno | breadonbutter

For Saadi, it’s simple. It’s all due to their Bistro’s atmosphere, philosophy and values behind their work.

The values they follow are quite natural. According to Saadi, in all businesses and in anything we do, if there is no honesty about what you do, what you serve and give your clients, there is no success. To him, ethics are the most important thing in business. “We pick our ingredients, we have no shortcuts. The cost doesn’t matter because in the long-term, you are the winner”. “My value is my honesty.”

“I believe you are what u eat and food to me is very dear to my heart, I’ve been doing this for a long time so have good customer service, good products and value for money and then the people will come to you. It’s that simple.”

onno | breadonbutter onno | breadonbutter

One very important thing Saadi mentioned was the importance of the authenticity in the dishes one serves at his place.

“When I started working in Lebanon, I saw that if, let’s say we go out to eat penne arrabiatta, we notice the same taste in all of Lebanon even though it’s not a real arrabiatta. So people start thinking it is the real taste because not everyone knows the real taste. They all taste the same because it’s all the same ingredients. So this is where we said: let’s give them the real taste, the authentic taste and then let them decide if they like it or not. Give it as it is and let them decide. Every time you give something authentic, it will be liked.”

onno | breadonbutter

Karnigue came to sit with us at this point. His first sentence was: “It was a dream. It was a dream to open a restaurant one day and make food for everyone.”

He went on saying he hadn’t learnt cooking in any school or institution, that his school was his home when he was younger, his mom and his grandma. But the most essential school of all is experience and love for food. Everything he learnt was from testing with his clients in his small homey restaurant in Bourj Hammoud.

“He sometimes surprises you with a dish you didn’t even order!” Saadi

onno | breadonbutter

When asked why he chose ONNO, Saadi had a clear answer: “Because it’s one of the tastiest restaurants I’ve ever visited in my life and I’ve tasted a lot, everywhere. I remember the first bite I had there. This is why I chose ONNO, but also because you see something good, you want people to try it. It’s too bad if they don’t. ONNO has to be known. And I now have a belly donut.”

For Karnigue, the most important thing is to see the customer happy. “They’re happy, I’m happy. There was a couple outside just now, I said hello and gave them the menu. He asked if I was Onno, I asked how he knew, he said I speak differently. Always talk to the people.”

Onno is indeed a story. It is a story of partnership, chance and good authentic food that is just waiting to be shared with the world.

The menu is a work of 20-25 years of experience, trial and error. If you haven’t tried it yet, you must!

onno | breadonbutter

 

Click here to watch a short video about Onno and to get an idea of the warm atmosphere and the people behind it. 🙂

Have you been to Onno? We’d love to know your thoughts!

  Click HERE to follow our foodie and travel journey on INSTAGRAM @breadonbutter_

 

Breadonbutter Guests, Fadsfood, Guest Writers and Interviews, Places, Uncategorized 0 comments on Fadsfood’s Adventures Weekly Picks: The Authentic Lebanese Food

Fadsfood’s Adventures Weekly Picks: The Authentic Lebanese Food

Never eat alone. Always share what you eat. There is no bigger pleasure in life than giving.

– Fadsfood

This week, Fadsfood’s picks make us long for warm weather and Lebanese food on warm sunny days. They’re traditional and delicious. Check it out and follow him on instagram for mouthwatering pictures and food inspiration: @fadsfood.

Here are this week’s Lebanese picks:

Sporting Club – Rawche, Beirut, Lebanon

lebanese | breadonbutter
#Vintage #Sunday #Lunch #Sporting #Beirut#Lebanon #lebanesefood #Fish

JOZ Lebanese Diner – Rawche, Beirut, Lebanon – Instagram: @jozlebanesediner

lebanese | breadonbutter
Excellent #taste #Shawarma #Meat #hommos #fries#salad #Joz #Lebanese #Diner #JozLebaneseDiner#Antelias #Fresh #Beirut #Lebanon #Food #Fadsfood

Mhanna Zahle – Zahle, Lebanon

lebanese | breadonbutter
#Tomato #Garlic #Sumac is a must on every#lebanesefood table #Mhanna #Zahle #Lebanon#livelovelebanon

Click HERE to follow our foodie and travel journey on INSTAGRAM @breadonbutter_ 🙂

Opinion, Travel, Uncategorized 2 comments on Lebanese Wine Vanquishing The World

Lebanese Wine Vanquishing The World

Yesterday, an article about Lebanon came out in the Telegraph online. In it, Victoria Moore writes about how Lebanese wine is booming and calls her readers to try it.

During times when the Lebanese are famous for being porn stars, or when the only news we hear all day are the bad things happening around us, this is good news indeed!

The article basically depicts the Lebanese Wine production scene, mentioning the recently deceased Serge Hochar and nominating “two particular stars” : Domaine des Tourelles and Ixsir.

The last sentence says a lot:

It’s time to recognise the new Lebanon. The king is dead; long live the king.

You can read the article on this link.

I’d love to know your thoughts 🙂

Home & Kitchen 0 comments on Design Item of The Week: Nayef Francis

Design Item of The Week: Nayef Francis

Design is increasingly becoming something important when it comes to lifestyle and home interior. What’s more is that design and practicality are becoming a pair. Designers are no longer producing items that have no use and we thus get to enjoy the aesthetics together with the usefulness.

It’s been a while since I haven’t written about Design. I haven’t selected a Design item on the blog since A Whole Lotta Love.  But the ‘Design Item of the Week’ is back on Breadonbutter, offering you ideas, inspiration and beautiful things designed by talented people.

This week, it’s Nayef Francis we’re talking about. A Lebanese Interior Architect, Nayef “pursues his long-life passion for furniture and product design” and exhibits his products in his own gallery in Mar Mikhael, Beirut, “offering a distinctive line of furniture and household items and accessories, exclusively hand made in Lebanon”. He constantly innovates and comes up with fine products.

I’ve chosen two items from his collection that I’ve always had my eye on (and that I will be buying as soon as I move into my own house), made of the same materials – These bottle vases available in different colors, and these layered bowls.

 Bottle Vases nayef francis | breadonbutter nayef francis | breadonbutter

Layered Bowls

nayef francis | breadonbutter nayef francis | breadonbutter

What do you think? Isn’t it a great idea for a gift? 

P.S. You can follow Nayef Francis on social media here, check their website here, or pass by the showroom in Mar Mikhael, Hadechian Bldg., Ground Floor, Armenia Street, Beirut.

 On a side note, Mar Mikhael is becoming quite the creative district in Beirut and these creative activities are being fiercely supported by the MEDNETA project aiming at enhancing the positive role of “creativity”. Check out their interesting page (here), where events happening everyday around the area are communicated, photos and music related to the neighbourhood’s life and secrets are posted, and updates on the project are shared. 

Recipes 2 comments on Potato and Meat Patties (Kafta Batata)

Potato and Meat Patties (Kafta Batata)

This is a quite traditional Lebanese dish. Kafta Batata is healthy and is just the perfect mix of meat, carbs and yummy sauce. I never ate it with rice but recently discovered you can. It all depends on your diet and how many carbs you’re willing to mix together.

As any Lebanese dish, you can either make your own meat mix, or ask your local butcher to do it for you. The main ingredients of Kafta (meat patties special to this dish) are: minced beef, onions, and parsley all processed together. A trick is to add a bit of chili powder to enhance the taste.

So what you’ll need (for 2 persons):

kafta-batata-ingredients

– 600 grams of meat (mixed as above), formed into small round patties

– 4 small to medium potatoes, sliced

– 2 to 3 medium onions, cut into rings

– 4 medium tomatoes, sliced

– 250 grams of tomato juice (pomi)

– Salt and Pepper to taste

– Water

How to make it:

1) Start by placing the patties in the oven (7 minutes on each side). Set aside

2) Do the same with the sliced potatoes

cooked-patties-and-potatoes

3) In the serving dish (that also has to be oven friendly), place the patties first, then top them with the potatoes, onions, and tomatoes

sliced-potatoes

sliced-onions

sliced-tomatoes

kafta-batata-layers-without-tomatoes

kafta-batata-layers

4) Cover the whole thing with pomi and a bit of water (to make it juicy)

kafta-batata-before-oven

5) Place in the oven for approximately 20 to 30 minutes

Enjoy with a fresh green salad (and rice, if you choose to add it to the whole meal).

Potato-and-beef-patties-kafta-batata-breadonbutter

Bon Appetit! 🙂