Tuesday, 12 August 2008

Mdardrah - Lentils with Rice

2 tbs olive oil
1 medium sized onion, sliced
3 dl green lentils
4 dl rice
vegetable stock to cover
salt and pepper to taste

In a deep pot, fry the onion in the olive oil for about five minutes. Add the lentils and rice together with the salt and pepper and stir well.

Add the vegetable stock and stir one last time. There should be enough liquid to reach one centimetre above the rice line.

Leave to simmer until the rice is cooked through and you can hear that the water has disappeared.

This dish is absolutely delicious served with yoghurt, green salad and brown-fried onions and mushrooms (onions and sliced mushrooms stir-fried until browned with salt and pepper).

Mtabbal, commonly called Baba Ghannoush

This is a yummy dip, often included in Middle Eastern mezze.

2 medium-sized aubergines (egg plant)
2-3 tablespoons of Tahini (sesame paste)
salt, pepper
juice of one or two lemons
1 garlic clove
olive oil
a dash of paprika powder
parsley for garnishing

Poak the aubergines witha fork and put them on a greased oven-proof dish or some aluminium foil. Grill for about minutes, in the oven, turning them occasionally, until the skin has changed colour. Take the aubergines out and peel them once they have cooled off.

Put them in a mixing bowl, and add 2-3 tablespoons of Tahini, salt, pepper, the juice of one or two lemons, and 1 crushed garlic clove. Mix with a blender or hand mixer and taste. The garlic should not be too strong, because its taste matures and gets much heavier with time. Add more lemon juice if needed.

Arrange the dip in a plate, sprinkle red paprika, drizzle some olive oil over it and decorate with some parsley sprigs.

Place it in the fridge, preferrably for at least a few hours before serving it with pita bread as a side dish to a main meal or as an appetizer.

Semolina Porridge

4 servings

8 dl milk
1 1/4 dl semolina
1/2 tsp salt
sugar, milk
toppings: sugar, cinnamon or jam (eg. strawberry jam)

Put the milk with salt (and sugar if you want) over the medium hot stove, and add the semolina slowly while stirring, making sure not to get any lumps. When the porridge starts to bubble, lower the heat to its lowest grade and let it simmer for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. When it has become thick it's done. If it's too watery, let it simmer for some longer or adjust the recipe for next time, adding some more semolina. If it's too thick, add some more milk and stir.

Serve with milk and jam or cinnamon.

Sunday, 10 August 2008

Whole-meal bread

I love baking. Some of the simplest breads are what people love the most, and this is a bread with a simple recipe :)

0.5 kg whole-meal flour
0.5 kg white flour
1 tbs dry active yeast (tepid water and sugar to activate dry yeast)
or 0.25 g fresh active yeast (ask at a local bakery or supermarket bakery, you might get it for free)
1 tbs salt

Activate the yeast, if needed. Add the dry ingredients and then add water to make a dough, while mixing it all together. When I bake, I use eye-measurements, so take my instructions 'with a pinch of salt'.
Knead for about ten minutes and leave to rise to double size approximately 1 hour.
After it has risen, punch down the dough (knead it again) a few minutes and divide it. Make three big round loaves or the shape you're familiar with. Leave to rise another twenty minutes.
Bake in medium hot oven (180°C, gas mark 7?) for 40 minutes.