Saturday, February 6, 2016

Chocolate nut halva recipe

Chocolate nut halva photo
Chocolate nut halva

Derived from the Arabic word for “sweet”, the term halva or similar is used in countries around the world to refer to countless varieties of nut- or flour-based confectionery. This sesame-based version, popular throughout the Middle East, is from Lebanon and is swirled with chocolate, slivered almonds and pistachios. The flaky texture of store-bought halva is difficult to re-create at home because many traditional recipes include a meringue-like substance made from sugar syrup and boiled soapwort roots, however this version comes about as close as you can get.

Serves 8 | Preparation 10min | Cooking 15min | Skill level Mid

Angela Nahas


220 g (1 cup) caster sugar
385 g jar hulled tahini (see Note)
125 g pistachios, chopped
115 g slivered almonds
100 g dark chocolate (70% cocoa solids), melted

Cook's notes

Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.


You will need a sugar thermometer for this recipe.

Chilling time 2 hours

DRINK Osborne Amontillado Medium Dry Sherry, Jerez, Spain, ($13)

Place sugar and 80 ml water in a pan over medium heat. Stir to dissolve sugar, then cook for 4 minutes or until mixture reaches 140ºC on a sugar thermometer. Remove from heat.

Meanwhile, place tahini in an electric mixer. With motor running, immediately add sugar syrup to tahini in a thin, steady stream. Continue whisking for a further 30 seconds or until mixture starts to crumble.

Stir in nuts, then add two-thirds of the melted chocolate and lightly stir to marble.

Press mixture into a greased 20 cm round cake pan, then drizzle with remaining melted chocolate. Using a knife and a swirling action, marble the chocolate on the surface.

Cover surface with plastic wrap and press to compact. Refrigerate for 2 hours or until firm. Cut into wedges and serve with coffee or sherry. Keep refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 1 month.

• Hulled tahini, available from supermarkets, delis, health food shops and Middle Eastern food shops, is a paste made from sesame seeds.

Also written by Wendy Quisumbing and Peta Gray. Photography by John Laurie. Drinks suggestions by Dan Coward.

Stuffed rib and lamb shoulder (dela’ah mehshi) recipe

Stuffed rib and lamb shoulder (dela’ah mehshi)
Stuffed rib and lamb shoulder (dela’ah mehshi)

Fiddly to prepare but worth the effort, this is an impressive dish to serve as a family feast. Ask your butcher to remove the bones from the lamb and have a large needle and strong thread on hand. Serve with salad or cooked vegetables.

Serves 8–10
Preparation 1hr
Cooking 3hr 30min
Skill level Mid

By Sue Dahman


30 g unsalted butter
¼ cup blanched almonds, halved
¼ cup pine nuts
2 tbsp olive oil
1 medium brown onion, finely chopped
250 g coarse lamb mince
1 ½ cups long-grain rice, rinsed, drained
1 ½ tsp salt, or to taste
1 tsp black pepper
1 ½ tsp Lebanese mixed spices (see Note)
3.5 kg lamb shoulder, breast and ribs in one piece, bones removed

Cook's notes

Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.


The following recipe has been tested and edited by SBS Food and may differ slightly from the podcast.

Heat the butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Add the almonds and pine nuts and cook, stirring, for 3–4 minutes until lightly browned. Remove with a slotted spoon and set aside.

Add 1 tablespoon of the olive oil to the saucepan. Add the onion and cook until soft.

Add the lamb mince and cook for 10 minutes, stirring to break up the lumps, until browned.

Add the rice, 1 teaspoon salt, ½ teaspoon black pepper and the mixed spices and cook for 2 minutes until aromatic.

Add the almonds and pine nuts and 500 ml water. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for about 10 minutes until the water has evaporated. Spread on a tray to cool.

Preheat the oven to 200°C. Line a baking dish with baking paper.

Remove excess fat from the lamb and spread on a flat board. Fold the ribs over the shoulder and using a strong needle and thread, sew along two sides to make a pocket. Place the rice stuffing in the pocket and then sew to close completely. Season the lamb with the remaining olive oil, salt and black pepper. Wrap the lamb tightly in foil and place in a deep baking dish. Add 500 ml water to the tray and bake for 1 hour.

Reduce the oven temperature to 160°C, adding another 125 ml water to the baking dish. Bake for a further 2 ½ hours, adding 125 ml water every 30 minutes to keep the lamb moist.

Remove the lamb from the baking dish and set aside to rest for 20 minutes.

Slice the lamb thickly and serve warm.

• Lebanese mixed spice is available from Middle Eastern grocery stores. If unavailable, combine 1 ½ tablespoons ground black pepper, 3 teaspoons allspice, ½ teaspoon cinnamon and ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg.

Photography by Alan Benson

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Lebanese Zaatar (Za'atar) Bread Recipe

Lebanese Zaatar (Za'atar) Bread Picture
Lebanese Zaatar (Za'atar) Bread

Traditional Lebanese bread. Crispy, flaky cracker like bread infused with fresh za'atar (similar to oregano). You can substitute oregano for za'atar, but use less. May place under broiler to brown tops.

Prep 30 m | Cook 25 m | Ready In 55 m

5 m 40 servings 266 cals


3 cups warm water
1 (.25 ounce) package yeast
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon white sugar
8 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups whole wheat flour, or more if needed
2 cups olive oil
1 cup corn oil
2 cups fresh za'atar


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).

Mix water, yeast, salt, and sugar together in a large bowl. Add all-purpose flour, whole wheat flour, olive oil, and corn oil; mix using your hands, adding more whole wheat flour if needed, until dough holds together. Mix za'atar into dough until evenly incorporated (see notes).

Shape dough, about 1/4 cup per piece, into rounds on a floured work surface. Arrange rounds on baking sheets.

Bake in the preheated oven until lightly browned, about 25 minutes.

Cook's Note:
You may substitute fresh oregano for the fresh za'atar, but use less.

Editor's Note:
If you use the dried spice blend or dried oregano, start with 2 tablespoons; adjust to taste.


Green Beans in Seasoned Tomato Sauce Recipe

Green Beans in Seasoned Tomato Sauce
Green Beans in Seasoned Tomato Sauce

Prep 15 m | Cook 35 m | Ready In 50 m

50 m 8 servings 72 cals


2 tablespoons olive oil
1 onion, diced
3 tablespoons chopped garlic, or to taste
salt to taste
1 (28 ounce) can crushed tomatoes (such as San Marzano®)
1 (12 ounce) bag thin green beans, trimmed
1 teaspoon white sugar
1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon


Heat olive oil in a skillet over high heat; cook and stir onion, garlic, and salt in the hot oil until onion is softened and browned, about 15 minutes.

Mix tomatoes and green beans into onion mixture. Add sugar and cinnamon to mixture; bring to a boil, lower heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer until green beans are tender, 20 to 25 minutes.

Cook's Note:

Time to prep may take longer if you buy beans that haven't been cleaned yet.


Heavenly Hummus Wrap with Homemade Hummus Recipe

Hummus Wrap with Homemade Hummus Picture
Heavenly Hummus Wrap with Homemade Hummus

Total Time: 20 min | Prep: 5 min | Cook: 15 min
Yield: 2 servings (plus additional hummus and vinaigrette)
Level: Easy



1 tablespoon butter or olive oil
1/2 red onion, sliced


Three 14.5-ounce cans chickpeas, rinsed and drained
1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon tahini
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin, or more to taste
3 cloves garlic, chopped, or more to taste
1/2 lemon, juiced
1 tablespoon olive oil
Balsamic Vinaigrette:
3/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 large spinach tortilla
1 jarred roasted red pepper, sliced
3 canned artichoke hearts, halved
2 cups mixed salad greens
1/4 cup crumbled feta cheese
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For the onions: Melt the butter in a skillet over medium-low heat. Add the red onions and cook slowly, stirring occasionally, until soft and deep golden brown, 10 to 15 minutes. Set aside and let cool slightly.

For the hummus: Meanwhile, combine the chickpeas, tahini, cumin, garlic, lemon juice and some salt in a blender. Pulse until the mixture becomes somewhat smooth and combined, but do not over-mix. Add 1/2 to 1 cup cold water as needed to facilitate blending and reach the desired consistency. Add the olive oil and pulse a few more times just to incorporate. Taste and add more cumin, salt or garlic if needed. Pour the hummus into a bowl and stir to ensure it's combined. Serve immediately, or refrigerate for up to 3 days.

For the balsamic vinaigrette: Shake together the oil, vinegar and some salt and pepper in a Mason jar. This makes more than you'll need for 1 wrap; store the rest in the fridge and use for another salad.

For the wrap: Grill the tortilla on a grill pan over medium heat just until it has grill marks on the outside, 1 minute. (If you don't have a grill pan, just use a skillet.) The tortilla should still be soft and pliable, with just a little bit of color! Let the tortilla cool slightly.

To assemble the wrap, spread about 1/4 cup of the hummus down the middle third of the tortilla. Arrange the cooked onions and roasted red peppers all over the hummus. Add the artichoke heart halves. Toss the salad greens in 1 tablespoon of the balsamic vinaigrette, then lay them on the wrap. Finally, sprinkle the crumbled feta all over the greens. Carefully wrap up the tortilla, tucking in the ends. Slice the wrap down the middle, share with a friend and chow down!

Recipe courtesy of Ree Drummond

SHOW: The Pioneer Woman
EPISODE: Healthy 16-Minute Meals

Falafel with Tahini Sauce Recipe

Falafel with Tahini Sauce Picture
Falafel with Tahini Sauce

Total Time: 1 hr 25 min | Prep: 25 min | Inactive: 30 min | Cook: 30 min
Yield: about 2 1/2 dozen
Level: Intermediate


1 1/2 cups dried, peeled fava beans (skinless, split broad beans), soaked in cold water for 24 hours
1/3 cup dried chickpeas, soaked in cold water for 24 hours
1 yellow onion, finely chopped
1/4 cup minced parsley leaves
1/4 cup minced cilantro leaves
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon baking soda or baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
Vegetable oil, for frying
Tahini Sauce, for serving, recipe follows
Pita bread, for serving, optional

Tahini Sauce:

1 cup tahini paste
1/4 cup plus more, if necessary, lemon juice
2 small cloves garlic, minced
1/2 to 3/4 cup water, as needed
1/2 to 3/4 teaspoon salt
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Drain and rinse both the fava beans as well as the chickpeas. Combine both beans in the bowl of a food processor, along with the onion, parsley, cilantro, garlic, cumin, baking soda, salt, ground coriander, and cayenne, and pulse, scraping down the sides of the bowl as necessary, until a coarse paste is formed. Add 1 or 2 tablespoons of water, if needed to make the paste hold together - you will have to remove the lid of the processor and check this by pressing some of the mixture together between your fingers. Add a bit more water, if necessary. Transfer to a bowl and set aside to rest for about 30 minutes.

Preheat at least 3-inches of oil in a saucepan or a deep-fryer to 350 degrees F.

Scoop the fava-chick pea mixture into 1 1/2 to 2-tablespoon increments and, using your hands, shape into balls or patties about 1 1/2 to 2-inches in diameter. Gently lower the falafel balls into the hot oil (these are fragile - do not drop them or they will fall apart.) Fry the falafel in batches until crisp and brown, turning to promote even browning, 2 to 2 1/2 minutes. Transfer to paper-lined plates to drain briefly before serving with the Tahini Sauce and pita bread, if using.

*Chef's Note: if you cannot find skinless fava beans, you will need to peel them. This is most easily accomplished after the beans have soaked for a short while - the skins will puff up away from the bean and can then be peeled off. While this is not terribly difficult to do, it is very time consuming and we recommend using skinless if you can source them.

Tahini Sauce:

Make the sauce by combining the tahini paste, lemon juice, and garlic in a bowl and stirring to combine. Add the water a little at a time as needed to form a smooth, creamy sauce approximately the thickness of heavy cream. (Note that the sauce might appear to separate for a bit before enough water has been added; just keep adding more water bit by bit and stirring until the sauce comes together.) Season to taste with salt and more lemon juice, if necessary. Transfer to a nonreactive container and refrigerate until ready to serve the falafel.

Yield: about 2 cups

Recipe courtesy of Emeril Lagasse, 2007

SHOW: Emeril Live
EPISODE: A Persian Feast

Monday, February 1, 2016

Fish and pumpkin tagine recipe

 Fish and pumpkin tagine picture
 Fish and pumpkin tagine

Try this quick and easy fish and pumpkin tagine.



1 tablespoon olive oil
1 brown onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 tablespoon ground ginger
2 teaspoons ground turmeric
1 cinnamon stick or quill
400g can crushed tomatoes
1 1/2 cups (375ml) chicken stock
500g pumpkin, peeled, cut into wedges
4 (200g each) large ling fillets, halved
1 cup (120g) frozen peas
2 cups (400g) couscous
1/3 cup parsley leaves
2 tablespoons slivered almonds, toasted


Step 1 Heat oil in a large deep frying pan over medium heat. Add onion and cook for 5 mins or until soft. Add garlic, ginger, turmeric and cinnamon and cook, stirring, for 30 seconds or until fragrant. Add tomato, stock and pumpkin and simmer, covered, for 10 mins or until pumpkin is just tender. Season with salt and pepper.

Step 2 Place fish over the pumpkin mixture and cook, covered, for 10 mins or until fish is just cooked through. Add the peas and cook, covered, for 2 mins or until peas are tender.

Step 3 Meanwhile, place couscous in a large heatproof bowl and cover with 2 cups (500ml) boiling water. Cover and set aside for 5 mins to absorb. Separate the grains with a fork.

Step 4 Divide couscous among serving plates. Top with tagine and sprinkle with parsley and almonds to serve.

Coles - 01 May 2015


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