Iced Mint Tea

May 31, 2012

Iced Mint Tea

Even though I believe it might be sacrilege in the South, I never was a fan of sweet tea. My mom and dad loved it, and as a child, I would drink it, but I preferred to put so much lemon juice in it that it tasted like tea-flavored lemonade (or, I guess I just loved Arnold Palmers from a young age!). It wasn’t until adulthood set in that I even started drinking tea again. And when I did, it was the discovery of hot tea, unadulterated, that lured me back. When it got the least bit lukewarm, I would throw it away.

That is, until I traveled to Sharjah. While there, I had one of the most refreshing drinks I’d ever tasted on a 100 degree day – iced mint tea, served in a tiny, Moroccan glass no less. (more…)

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Lettuce Wraps with Red Lentil Köfte

April 28, 2012

Lettuce Wraps with Red Lentil Kofte

Butter lettuce is one of my weaknesses. I’m not much of a greens girl most days, but when I see the big heads of butter lettuce show up in the store as spring is springing (or, when it begins to fill out in my garden), I get the urge to make lettuce wraps of all types. Since I’ve been trying to focus on working more vegetables into my diet, I decided to try a recipe for red lentil köfte that looked delicious in A Chef’s Travels through Turkey. The recipe called for serving in bits of romaine lettuce leaf, but I think the butter lettuce is far superior.

What are köfte you might ask? (more…)

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Lamb Sliders

April 27, 2011

Lamb Sliders

One of the best parts of making the Spicy Cig Kofte is using the leftovers. Usually I buy a leg of lamb, so after portioning out the 3/4 pound I need for the kofte, I easily have a couple of pounds left over. What to do with all that lamb? Make lamb sliders!

This recipe was born from my love of the kofte. I wondered how the spicy mixture would taste grilled. So I altered the spices a bit, made a couple of substitutions given that there are certain ingredients I didn’t have left over, and one of my favorite burgers was born (and my husband’s favorite burger, and my friend’s favorite burger… they’re really good!). (more…)

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Post Number 100: A Special Lunch

April 20, 2011

Spicy Cig Kofte & Zucchini Blossoms

In less than one year, I’ve finally made it to 100 posts! Since this seemed quite the milestone, I decided this post needed to be something special, but what to write about? After a little thought, it hit me: I should write about one of my favorite lazy Sunday lunches. It’s the lunch that, in tandem with a blog post, kickstarted the idea to start a food blog (more on that in this first post).

The lunch – spicy cig kofte and stuffed zucchini blossoms. It’s a lazy Sunday lunch not because it’s a quick and easy meal, but because it’s one of those meals that you savor and enjoy while sitting under the sun, shaded by umbrellas, while sipping sparkling water and good wine. It’s not how I first enjoyed kofte, but I’ve done it since, and decided it may be superior.

So what is kofte? This dish is raw lamb, minced with numerous spices, and served with pita. I first enjoyed this dish at a Lebanese restaurant in Dubai while I was on my honeymoon. Upon ordering the kofte, which was listed on a menu page with “RAW” written not only at the top but down the side, the waiter said, “But ma’am, that is raw”. Yes sir, but I like to live on the wild side!

Long story short, I loved the kofte and long after arriving back in the States, I craved the dish. With some birthday money, I picked up a couple of cookbooks from Greg Malouf, one with Lebanese and Syrian dishes, and one with dishes inspired by Turkey. Low and behold, the Turkish one had a kofte recipe! (more…)

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