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Recipes!

This acclaimed Lebanese chef is known for her light recipes and time saving methods, ideal for working women who cook for their families. Her new book “Marlene’s Kitchen from the East and the West” contains more than 400 recipes. She has studied with some of the world’s great chefs and earned the prestigious diploma from the Cordon Bleu cooking school in Paris.

For us fortunate cooks with functioning kitchens, here are some easy ways to recreate the tastes of Lebanon. You will find old-world spices in Middle Eastern markets or in the ethnic aisle at major supermarkets.

Lentil Soup

  • 1 ½ cups brown or green lentils
  • 2 ½ cups water (for boiling)
  • 4 cups meat stock
  • ½ eriste (homemade pasta)
  • 2 tbsps clarified butter
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp plain flour
  • 1 tsp mint salt to taste
  • 1 ½ cups brown or green lentils
  • 2 ½ cups water (for boiling)
  • 4 cups meat stock
  • ½ eriste (homemade pasta)
  • 2 tbsps clarified butter
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp plain flour
  • 1 tsp mint Salt to taste
Step 1:
Wash the lentils and put on to heat in a saucepan with the water. When it comes to a boil turn down the heat and simmer for 40 minutes. Strain the water.
Step 2:
Place the hot meat stock and lentils in a casserole dish. When it boils add the pasta. Melt the butter in a small frying pan and brown the onions. Add the mint, salt to taste and cover. Simmer on a very low heat for approximately one hour, until thickened. Serve in the casserole dish.

Bulgur Wheat w/Onions and Meat

  • 2 tbsps clarified butter
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 1 ½ cups bulgur wheat
  • 1 ½ cups lamp kavurma
  • 4 cups hot meat stock
When we prepare this recipe we need to fry three or four green peppers along with the onions. After the bulgur has been fried we also add tomato puree or fresh tomatoes.
When we prepare this recipe we need to fry three or four green peppers along with the onions. After the bulgur has been fried we also add tomato puree or fresh tomatoes.
  • 2 tbsps clarified butter
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 1 ½ cups bulgur wheat
  • 1 ½ cups lamp kavurma
  • 4 cups hot meat stock
Step 1:
Fry the onion in the clarified butter.
Step 2:
Add the bulgur and continue to fry.
Step 3:
Add the kavurma and meat stock and cover. When it begins to boil, lower the heat.
Step 4:
Cook for 20-25 minutes, until the bulgur becomes soft. Pour in a dish and serve.

Yogurt & Cucumber Salad

  • 1 portion yogurt with garlic
  • 2 cucumbers
  • 1 tbsp chopped fresh mint or ½ tsp dried mint
  • Water
  • 1 portion yogurt with garlic
  • 2 cucumbers
  • 1 tbsp chopped fresh mint or ½ tsp dried mint
  • Water
Step 1:
Prepare the yogurt with garlic and dilute to the consistency you desire.
Step 2:
Peel the cucumbers and chop them into tiny cubes.
Step 3:
Mix with the yogurt and sprinkle with the mint.

Baklava

For the Baklava filling

  • 2 cups shelled walnuts, almonds or pistachios
  • 1 tbsp caster sugar

Sugar Syrup

For the syrup (choose one type of syrup depending on taste)

  • 3 ¹⁄³ cups caster sugar
  • 2 ½ cups water
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice Serves
  • 11 or more Honey Syrup
  • 3 ¹⁄³ cups water 2 cups honey

Pekmez Syrup

  • 3 ¹⁄³ cups water
  • 2 ¼ lb pekmez

For the baklava pastry

  • 3 ¾ cups strong white plain flour
  • 3 ¾ cups self-raising flour
  • 1 egg
  • ¾ cup water with ashes, water or milk
  • 2 tbsps melted butter
  • 1 tbsp wine vinegar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 ½ cups plain flour and 1 ½ cups | corn starch, for rolling out flour
  • ½ cup melted butter or clarified | butter for brushing pastry sheets
  • 2 ¼ cups butter for pouring over | baklava before baking

For the Baklava filling

  • 2 cups shelled walnuts, almonds or pistachios
  • 1 tbsp caster sugar

Sugar Syrup

For the syrup (choose one type of syrup depending on taste)

  • 3 ¹⁄³ cups caster sugar
  • 2 ½ cups water
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice Serves
  • 11 or more Honey Syrup
  • 3 ¹⁄³ cups water 2 cups honey

Pekmez Syrup

  • 3 ¹⁄³ cups water
  • 2 ¼ lb pekmez

For the baklava pastry

  • 3 ¾ cups strong white plain flour
  • 3 ¾ cups self-raising flour
  • 1 egg
  • ¾ cup water with ashes, water or milk
  • 2 tbsps melted butter
  • 1 tbsp wine vinegar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 ½ cups plain flour and 1 1/2 cups | corn starch, for rolling out flour
  • ½ cup melted butter or clarified | butter for brushing pastry sheets
  • 2 ¼ cups butter for pouring over | baklava before baking
Step 1:
You will need a baking tray 16-18 inches in diameter. Grease it with 1 tbsp of butter or clarified butter. Pound the walnuts, almonds or pistachios for the filling and mix with sugar.
Step 2:
Put a saucepan on to heat with the water for the syrup, add the sugar and lemon juice. Stir until the sugar has dissolved. When it begins to boil turn down the heat, boil for two minutes and remove from heat. If you are making honey or pekmez syrup, boil the water, add the honey or pekmez, stirring continuously, and remove from the heat when it begins to boil.
Step 3:
Sift the flour on to a pastry board, break the egg into it, add the water, melted butter vinegar and salt. Gathering the flour from the center, knead into a soft, pliable dough. It is ready when it stretches like chewing gum instead of breaking when picked up. Once it has reached the desired consistency, divide the dough into 20 pieces. Allow it to rest under a damp cloth for at least 30 minutes.
Step 4:
Mix the flour with the corn starch. Roll out the pastry with the melted butter after every two layers, piling the sheets on top of each other. When you have placed half the sheets onto the baking tin in this way, add the filling, then continue to add the layers of pastry, brushing with butter every two layers, as before. Dip the edge of a sharp knife into melted butter, press it down and cut into triangles without lifting the blade of the knife. Repeat to make 10-14 layers.
Step 5:
Drizzle hot baklava butter over the top. Preheat the oven to 395 degrees F and bake the baklava for 30-40 minutes. When it comes out of the oven pour the hot, but not boiling syrup evenly over the top.