Archive for the ‘Mezze’ Category

Lamb kebab + mezze 01-08

10 January, 2008


Click for a couple more photos.


Lamb kebab; mezze of bulgher; scallion & red pepper vegetable plate; onion salad with sumac; black olives; pistachio nuts:

2 1/2 pounds lamb leg (after trimming), trimmed and diced into about 1 1’2 inch to 2 inch cubes;
1 dried red chile (ground);
1 tablespoon dried chile flakes (ground);
1 tablespoon corriander seed
2 teaspoons black mustard seeds (ground);
2 teaspoons black peppercorns (ground);
1 teaspoon white peppercorns (ground);
3 tablespoons olive oil (one could use as little as 1 tablespoon;
9 garlic cloves, finely chopped;
Salt sprinkled to taste while cooking.
Spices that could have made it into the mix: fenugreek (2t), cumin (up to 1T), dried oregano (1t), fresh rosemary (1t)

Put lamb pieces into ziploc bag or bowl. Add oil and massage. Add garlic and ground spices and massage. Marinate in fridge for 2 hours or as long as you like.

Cook meat over charcoal grill (with two soaked wooden skewers per kebab), or (as here) on HOT ridged grill pan (oven at 500 degrees for 15 minutes, then a couple minutes on high on the range). Sear and turn. Continue turning until desired doneness. Don’t feel obligated to use skewers. I didn’t–I was out, therefore the “kebab.” If you use skewers, the preparation is properly called “shish kebab.”


Lunch: New world “mezze” salad.

2 August, 2007

Corn, tomato, salt, pepper, balsamic vinegar, parsley (could have used basil in lieu of parsley). Yum.


Mezze of mussels, fava, tomatoes, etc..

13 July, 2007




Well, its time for some more Mezze. Today’s meal includes mussels, fava beans, tomatoes, cucumbers, wine, et al.. I wonder what this would cost at a restaurant.

  1. Mithia krassata (Mussels in white wine, garlic, and parsley);
  2. Fava beans with garlic, feta and thyme;
  3. Tomatoes dressed with salt, pepper, oil and sherry vinegar;
  4. Khiar bel na’na (cucumber salad with mint);
  5. Bread (in this case a La Brea baguette from the local market);
  6. Wine: Rosemont Estate Australian Merlot.

Notes: H.T. had Maine raised mussels on sale this week for 3.99 per pound, so it was time to enjoy some deep blue crustaceans (though part of me deep down still shrinks at them (and their neighbors, the nasty barnacles) due to my my pier-shooting days in California). Two mollusks from the two-pound bag were open and nonresponsive to cold water or rapping; two were broken (these four were discarded. All the others opened during steaming.

The brief recipies of the nonobvious:

1) Mussels: Contents of one two-pound bag, washed and debearded in chilled water; dead and broken mussels removed. Prepare: olive oil; 1 cup white wine; 3 cloves minced garlic; mussels; 1/4 cup fresh minced Italian parsley.

Heat oil. Add garlic (until aroma). Add wine. Simmer 10 minutes. Add mussels (cover); High 1-2 minutes. Sprinkle parsley (+ a few seconds). Serve with strained pan juice.

2) Fava: Heat with cooking water and olive oil. Mince garlic into pan. When hot, plate, add thyme and crumble feta. Serve.

3) Salad: Peel and slice 1 cucumber (best to peel, seed, and cut into quarter moons). salt in colander and set aside for 1 hour. Rinse quickly. Add some diced fresh or dried mint, bit of salt, drop of olive oil. Sumac can be added as variation.


Lunch mezze: fava beans, grilled squash.

12 July, 2007


Wish I had a chianti… I had the fa- fa-fa- fava.


Candycane and Zoot’s bachelor(ette) party photos.

3 July, 2007

Here are a few photos of the prep and food for Candycane and Zoot’s bachelor(ette) party. If anyone has any photos of note, please forward them on to me.

The Photos: ((Click Here))

Thursday night mezze.

28 June, 2007

The menu:

  1. Adds bel tamatem (lentils in tomato sauce);
  2. Baba ganooj;
  3. Beet and mint salad;
  4. Hummus;
  5. Pickled onion salad with mint and sumac;
  6. Plate of herbs (mint), peas (sugar snap) and cheese (feta) plate;
  7. Cherries.

The pictures: (click here)

Monday night mezze: 6-4-07.

5 June, 2007

More mezze last night. I set up a plate for a pic. The lamb was particularly moist and tasty (a baked mixture of lamb, cumin, red pepper, bread crumbs, one egg, salt, pepper, olive oil, and sumac). The eggplant was brushed with olive oil, baked for a while on a rack, then finished off under the broiler. They were a bit dry. Next time I’ll set them directly on foil to keep them in their own moisture. Finally, there was a bit too much brown/beige in this meal. We’re low on some staples, so I had to make do with what we had. I should have dusted the yogurt with paprika and a dash of turmeric for visual bling.

  1. Yogurtlu patlican (roasted eggplant slices with yogurt and mint dressing);
  2. Fava beans dressed with olive oil and fresh thyme;
  3. Radishes (edible garnish);
  4. Mint leaves (edible garnish);
  5. Lamb meatballs;
  6. Bulgher pilaf with raisins.


Friday night mezze.

2 June, 2007

More good food last night (I wish I had taken photos):

  1. Baba Ganooj, garnished with parsley and radish half-moons;
  2. Onion/mint salad (onions “quick picked” with red wine vinegar, salt, and sumac);
  3. Radish (edible garnish);
  4. Peppermint leaves (refreshing after-meal palette cleanser);
  5. Flame roasted pita bread;
  6. Bulgher pilaf;
  7. Koftit Ferakh = “fried minced chicken balls”-hmmm, gotta find a better translation for that! (See note below). Sort of like chicken burgers meets meatballs. We ground chicken breasts up in TimmyB’s small grinder with some onion and bread. To this mixture we added whole cumin, salt, pepper, olive oil, a bit of cooked bulgher, and red pepper flakes. After kneading the spices in, we divided the meat into balls and coated with flour. We pressed the balls down into patty shapes to facilitate cooking (though traditionally, they would have been marble sized and not needed pressing. Transfer to paper towels, squeeze on some lemon, and voila! Though next time I’d serve them with lemon/parsley/sumac sprinkled on top, with a yogurt sauce nearby. TimmyB decided to mix some Mayo and Vietnamese “rooster sauce” together to function as a sauce for the chicken, and that was pretty tasty. Next time, we will marinate the chicken for a few hours in some sort of concoction.

**Note on Gallus gallus: In the current parlance of our times, “chicken” refers to the whole species; the female of Gallus gallus is a “hen”; a young female is a “pullet”; the males are “roosters,” “cocks,” or cockerels.” Should a male rooster be castrated, it is called a “capon.” All chickens are called “chicks” when recently hatched.

In relation to this entry and this meal, while it is awkward to refer to a portion of our meal as “fried minced chicken balls,” the fact is that, in the U.S., only the females are eaten. Despite implied anatomical impossibility, it would seem further absurd to refer to the dish as “fried minced hen balls.” So if you feel like snickering at our eating “fried…balls,” well, I invite you to come up with a better name.

Wednesday night mezze.

2 May, 2007

We will be eating well tonight: It’s a middle-eastern night.

Onion salad with vinegar, mint, and sumac,
Orange and radish salad,
Mushrooms sauteed in olive oil (a Cypriot dish),
Rice with spinach,
Spicy shrimp (a Moroccan dish),
Ful Mudamas (Fava beans),
Hard boiled egg,
Fresh scallions and green bell pepper,
Pita bread,