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This month's Walima Cooking Club challenge is representing the Lebanese Cuisine.
We share this recipe also with the Turkish cuisine and with a little difference in preparation, they call it "mantee" or "manti" and the shish barak word that we use is I would say comes from the Turkish and Balkan word "burek". I used the manti this time in my recipe which is the dough filled with meat, it's the same except that it comes in a different shape. In Lebanon, we shape it (the Sheesh Barak) like tortellini.

Here are the ingredients as given by Walima Club founder Arlette from Phoenician Gourmet blog:

Lebanese Style Sheesh Barak

INGREDIENTS:
1 ½ kg of plain Greek style yogurt or home made
1/2 quantity of Ajeen or basic dough recipe
3 cloves garlic, crushed with a dash of salt
1 cup finely chopped fresh mint (if fresh is not available use couple spoons dried)
½ kg (16 oz) ground meat (either beef or lamb)
3 medium sized onions, finely chopped
¼ cup fried pine nuts
1 tsp salt
¼ tsp ground allspice
¼ tsp ground cinnamon
2 tbsp butter

Basic Dough or Ajeen
(this is used in many savory pastries)

INGREDIENTS:
1 kg (32 oz / 5 cups) plain flour
1 ¼ cups warm water
½ cup olive oil
½ cup vegetable oil
2 tbsp salt
2 tbsp sugar

PREPARATION:
Sift the flour into a working surface.Mix in salt and sugar. Make a well in the center. Pour olive oil and vegetable oil in the well. Mix the dry ingredients into the liquid. Add water gradually. Knead the dough into a ball (if the dough is too stiff add some water). Knead the dough on a floured working surface until it is smooth and elastic this can be done in an electric mixer fitted with a dough hook, or in a food processor. Form the dough into a ball and put into a lightly floured bowl, covered with a damp cloth. Leave in a warm place until the dough has doubled in size.

For the Cooked Yogurt:

INGREDIENTS:
1 1/2 kg of plain Greek Style Yogurt
or home made you can check my blog for home made yogurt (you can check my blog for homemade yogurt)
2 tbsp cornstarch
1 tsp salt
1 cup water + 1 beaten egg (or egg's white)

PREPARATION:
Strain yogurt using a smooth colander into a pot. Add egg or egg's white. Dissolve cornstarch in 1 cup of water. Stir into cold yogurt for 2 minutes.Place on medium heat, stirring constantly until it boils.
Preparing the Sheesh Barak:

Roll out the dough with a rolling pin to about 1 cm thickness. Using a round cookie cutter (medium size), press over dough to get equal rounds.
Fry onion in shortening till color changes a little. Add meat, salt, allspice and cinnamon. Stir occasionally and fry for 7-8 minutes. Add pine nuts and Mix. Drain the mixture as butter would affect closing the pastries.

Spread the round a little with your fingers. Place 1 tspn of the filling on it. Fold over one end to make a semi-circle. Press edges down to seal. Take the two ends from the straight side, bring them together to make a small ring. Press well. Repeat till rounds are done.

You will have left over dough , (this is the best part) roll the remaining dough in thin rope and cut into diagonals. Place the stuffed dough and the cut pastries in a tray with parchment, Bake in a hot oven (400F) for 10 minutes or until golden. During this time prepare and cook the yogurt and when it starts to boil add the baked pastries to the boiling cooked yogurt one by one. Let it boil over low heat for 10 minutes or till pastries are cooked.


Note: The egg and the cornstarch are there as stabilizers so that the yogurt won’t separate.
Make sure to cook the yogurt on medium low heat , high heat could ruin the sauce.

In a separate skillet you’ll want to quickly sautée the garlic and mint in one tbsp extra virgin olive oil and add it to the Sheesh Barak. And cook for another 2 minutes .

Serve hot in bowls, or you can serve with it Lebanese Rice Pilaf with Vermicelli.
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I thought I could post something quick to serve on Thanksgiving table. A combination of an appetizer-salad or combined side. I reviewed quite a few recipes of potato purees I can try this one because it's quick and simple and can be pretty much used with fish or meat. I really liked the flavor of the sweet potatoes baked for few minutes inside the orange shells. Hope you like it too.

For the Potato Puree: (4 servings)
2 medium sweet potatoes peeled and cooked in boiled water until soft and ready
2 oranges cut in half and emptied (I juiced them, then scraped off the rest
2 tablespoon of orange juice (from those oranges I suggest)
1/2 tsp garlic powder
Some chopped chives
Few drops of hot sauce
2 tablespoons olive oil or 1 tablespoon of butter
Some salt, black pepper, garlic powder

For the salad:
Fresh watercress, some chopped onions, some tomato slices or wedges, some toasted pine nuts. Balsamic vinegar and olive oil for the dressing.

After the potatoes are cooked, drain the water and mash them. Add butter or olive oil, the spices, garlic powder, orange juice, hot sauce. Mix them all together then fill the orange halves with the puree and bake for about 12 minutes in a 375 oven. I baked them in the muffin tin because it hold the oranges pretty well. Put the salad together. Now serve the baked orange potato puree by sprinkling the chopped chives on top and some black pepper. Serve it on the side of the salad or in the middle.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!
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Bulgur Bedfeen is a healthy healthy recipe, can be made with chicken, stew meat or simply vegetarian substituting the chicken or meat stock with vegetable stock or water. The one I chose today is with chicken. I used a couple of chicken breasts but you can use half a chicken or even a whole chicken depending on the amount of servings.

Ingredients: (About 4-5 Servings)
2 big Chicken breasts cooked, by covering them with water and adding 2 bay leaves, 1 cinnamon stick, small carrot, black pepper, small onion, 2 cardamoms (I saved the broth for the rest of the recipe).
2 cups of Bulgur no.2 (not the fine one we use for tabbouli)
2 cups of cooked chickpeas or garbanzo beans
4 cups of broth
1 medium onion diced
2 tablespoons of tomato sauce
Olive oil (you can substitute with butter)
Salt, pepper, allspice to taste

After you cook the chicken, shred and set aside.
In the cooking pot, add onions, olive oil, spices. cook for a couple of minutes then add the washed and drained bulgur, mix and cook for a couple of minutes then add the chickpeas, tomato paste and broth. Bring to a boil then let simmer just like rice.
Serve with chicken on top. This meal is served with green salad or plain yogurt.
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