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Posts Tagged ‘Lebanese’

by Caitlin Saniga

Cedars Lebanese Restaurant: meza selections

Cedars has a meza menu available on weekdays and for a limited window of time on Saturdays. Diners can choose 5 full-size appetizers from a list of 10 or 12 for about $18. When my mom and sister came to visit recently, we ordered (clockwise from bottom left): cheese sambousek, hummus bi tahini, falafel, fried beef kibbeh and fattoush.

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by Sarah Steimer

I clearly haven't yet mastered the art of photographing meatloaf. Check out the NYTimes' photo if you'd like a more attractive idea of what you'll be making.

  • 1 cup fine-grain bulgur (in your grocer’s foreign foods aisle)
  • 1 pound lamb shoulder, ground fine (I used ground beef, sorry tradition)
  • 1/4 cup chopped onion
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • pinch cayenne pepper
  • salt and pepper
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 cups sliced onions, 1/4-inch thick
  • 1/2 cup pine nuts, lightly toasted

Rinse the bulgur well, then cover with cold water and soak for 20 minutes. Drain well.

Put the drained bulgur, lamb (beef!), grated onion, cumin and cayenne in a large mixing bowl. Season with salt and pepper. Mix well with your hands. With a wooden spoon, beat in about 1/2 cup ice water until the mixture is smooth and soft.

Heat the olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add the onions and fry gently, stirring occasionally, until they soften. Season with salt and pepper. Raise the heat and add 1/4 cup of the lamb (beef!) mixture. Continue frying, allowing the meat to get crumbly and the onions to brown nicely. Stir in the pine nuts. Let cool to room temperature.

Lightly oil a shallow 9-by-13-inch baking dish, then press half the remaining lamb mixture evenly over the bottom of the pan. Spread half the onion-pine nut mixture over the meat. Add the rest of the meat to the pan, patting and pressing it with wet hands to make a smooth top. I didn’t go all the way to the edges with mine, but I’m sure it doesn’t make a difference.

Bake uncovered at 350 degrees for 35 to 45 minutes, until the top is golden. Do not overcook! Split the loaf in the middle to check to make sure the meat is cooked, but do not leave in the oven too long – I could see this getting dry easily. Spread with the remaining onion-pine nut mixture. Serve warm, at room temperature or cool, with a dollop of Greek or plain yogurt. FYI: This is fantastic when you heat it up the next day.

Serves 4 to 6 (I bet it could serve a lot more, actually).

Recipe adapted from: The New York Times

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