Thursday, 22 August 2013

Next global cooking destination : Lebanon


We've just spent a fortnight in Morocco and loved discovering some of the local dishes - you may have seen my recipe blogposts since we got back for Kefta Meatball Tagine, Tagine-Cooked Fish with Olives & Vegetables and Chakchouka and there are several more on the way - so it was a lovely surprise to come back to a brand new globe-cooking goodie box from Kitchen Nomad. I was already excited about getting back home to try out the remaining recipes from the first two boxes, featuring foodie products and recipes from Greece and Vietnam, and now I have a whole new country to discover : Lebanon !

We ate in a Lebanese restaurant once and I have fond memories of a whole meze table laid out with little dishes to sample - I have visions of garlicky dips with crusty bread and hummus, cucumber with yogurt, spicy kefta meatballs, stuffed vine leaves ... I was therefore excited to see which recipes would be in the box. But first I went to examine the goodies.


Pomegranate Molasses - a sweet & sour fruit syrup which is a very popular ingredient in Middle Eastern dishes as it can be used for both savoury and sweet dishes

Za'atar Mix - a mixture of 10 spices: cumin, coriander, fennel, sumac, anise, thyme, nuts, salt, sesame and sunflower seeds

Tahini - thick sesame paste that can be used in dressings and dips

Sumac - a spice from dried berries with a sour, citrussy flavour

Freekeh - a green grain being dubbed the new 'must-have' ingredient

Lebanese All Spice - Lebanese seven spices mix made of Nutmeg, Ginger, Allspice, Fenugreek, Cloves, Cinnamon and Black pepper

Dates

Nougat Bi Festok - traditionally flavoured with rosewater and pistachio

Oooh that all sounds very exciting but I wouldn't have a clue where to start with using most of it so this is where the recipe cards come in. They suggest Baba Ghanouj (aubergine dip), Spiced Meat Flatbread Pizza, Fattoush Salad, Spiced Roast Vegetables, Freekeh Salad with Sea Bass and finally, Date & Tahini Truffles.

I'm still visiting family until the end of the month but watch this space at the start of September to see how we get on with recreating this little lot.

Disclosure : I received a Kitchen Nomad box in order to write an honest review.

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