Grilled Marinated Chicken Kebabs

Grilled marinated chicken kebabs on a vintage blue platter, from Maureen Abood.

Chicken marinated in yogurt is so tender and flavorful, especially grilled for a summer meal. These chicken kebabs are perfect for the summer grilling season: simply marinate skinless, boneless chicken (breast or thigh meat), thread on metal or wooden skewers, and char-grill over medium high heat. Be sure to remove the chicken from the skewers…

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Seared Lamb Chops with Mint Salt Dry Rub

Seared Lamb Chops with Mint Salt,, Maureen Abood

The funny thing is, I wasn’t even thinking meat rub when I came up with the Mint Salt idea. The goal was to make any food, especially salads and vegetables, taste authentically Lebanese, not to mention out-of-this-world fresh and delicious, with one pinch of the fingertips in a spice tin. Brainstorming what to call this…

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Oven-Fried Chicken Wings with Spicy Za’atar

Za'atar Chicken Wings,

Oven-fried chicken wings are right up there with deep fried in the flavor category–these are so good, you’ll want a double or triple batch to keep your crew happy! The za’atar, a Lebanese spice blend of wild thyme, sumac, and sesame, is lightly dusted on the wings after baking for an extra dimension of deliciousness.…

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Braised Chicken with Lemon and Olives. And smiles.

Chicken with lemon and olives in a copper baking dish

Braised chicken with lemon and olives is so flexible and fabulous that you can serve the dish on a quiet weeknight, or with fanfare to guests. I had spent the afternoon with Sitto, my grandmother, running errands. Grocery store, drug store, the mall for hosiery. When we landed back at her cozy little apartment, we…

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Chicken Shawarma Recipe

Chicken Shawarms,

  No matter how much you prepare, you can’t anticipate everything. This is true in most facets of life, and it’s been true on the promotional tour for the Rose Water & Orange Blossoms cookbook. On my part there’s preparation for what to say, what stories to tell, and what to cook if it’s a…

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Lamb Recipes and Fresh Mint Sauce

Lamb Shish Kebab,

My Lent has gone something like this: I think I’ll give up my usual sweets for Lent. And while I’m at it, I’ve been eating more bread than I’d like, so I’ll toss that off the menu for good measure. Oh, and red meat. Yeah, no more red meat (and that includes you, lamb recipes!);…

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Za’atar Fried Chicken and my cookbook photo shoot

When I take photos for Rose Water and Orange Blossoms, there are so many things to consider: the light, the lens, the plate, the background surface and the backdrop. And of course, the food itself. I run around the kitchen and down the stairs to get it all together, then hope the sun doesn’t fall…

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Hummus with Lamb and Sumac.

Hummus with lamb, hummus kwarma on a blue plate

Hummus with lamb and sumac is a luscious, healthy way to change-up your hummus fix by adding marinated, sauteed lamb atop smooth hummus. For some, texture is important because it bothers them. They say of their aversion to eating raw oysters that “it’s a texture thing.” For me, I love eating raw oysters, and yes…

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Kofta Burgers

Kofta burgers are a version of the classic spiced Lebanese kofta–highly seasoned ground lamb (beef works too!), char-grilled. Typically kofta is served in the shape of a log, pressed to a skewer to hold its shape. Don’t get scared off of these burgers thinking that “kofta” (also: kefta, also: kafta) can’t mean burger. Traditionally the…

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Kishk Soup with Garlic

Kishk Soup with green herbs

There were so many striking things about the day I ate kishk for the first time. As I mentioned, kishk is not something I’d ever heard of, let alone eaten, until recently. I tasted a steaming bowlful after a winter morning’s baking lesson in Lebanese flatbread last year; my teacher, Naemi, walked us up the…

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