RECIPES FROM THE CHEF: Lebanese favourites
Chef Ali Hussain at the award-winning Al Nafoorah Lebanese Restaurant in Jumeirah Emirates Towers shares two classic recipes
Lamb Chop with stuffed marrow and vine leaves
For the marrows (serves four)
4 x 80g lamb chops, 4 baby marrow ea, 100g minced lamb, 100g chopped tomatoes, half cup Egyptian rice, 20ml tomato juice, 20ml water, salt and pepper
For the stuffed vine leaves
100g minced lamb, 10 grape vine leaves ea,
10g butter, 15g peeled tomatoes, 1 finely chopped onion ea, half cup Egyptian rice, 10g finely chopped mint leaves, 20g finely chopped parsley leaves, 40ml hot water
Method: For the stuffed marrow
1. Wash and scrub marrows well. Scoop out middles using a small teaspoon. Mix the rice, meat and seasoning. Add half chopped tomatoes and stuff marrows three quarters deep.
2. To cook lamb chops, place at the bottom of a pressure cooker and cover with remaining chopped tomatoes. Arrange marrows neatly on top. Add tomato juice and set to one side.
Method: For the Stuffed Vine Leaves
1. Mix all ingredients, except for leaves and water. Season. Neatly arrange leaves on clean working surface and place a teaspoon of mix in middle of each. Starting from the stem, tightly roll the leaves and fold in the edges, being careful to seal in the mix to avoid filling coming out. It should be a parcel-like shape.
2. Arrange parcels above marrows making sure you pack them tightly. Add water and a good pinch of salt and cook under pressure for 30 minutes.
3. Reduce heat to medium and cook for a further 25 minutes. Once cooked, strain off broth and set aside.
4. Arrange lamb, marrow and leaves on plate. Pour over the sauce and serve.
Fattoush with makdous
For the fattoush (serves four)
1 Arabic bread ea, 80ml corn oil
For the salad
4 baby cucumber ea, 4 small tomatoes ea, 4 heads local lettuce, 2 spring onions ea, 20g flat parsley, 30g Bakleh, 15g fresh mint, 5g sumac powder, 4g makdous (stuffed eggplant pickles)
For the dressing
1 large lemon ea, 30ml Lebanese olive oil, salt & pepper
Method: For the bread
1. In a medium-sized pan, heat the corn oil and deep fry the bread until golden brown.
2. Remove from the oil with a perforated spoon and place on absorbent paper to drain off any excess oil.
Method: For the dressing
1. Place the oil and the lemon juice into a small mixing bowl, add salt and whisk together. Set aside.
Method: For the salad
1. Cut the cucumber, tomato and lettuce into medium dice and mix with the rest of the salad ingredients, in a medium sized bowl.
2. Add the dressing and toss the salad. Place into four bowls, top with sliced makdous, fried Bread, garnish, arrange neatly and serve.