Lebanese Food / Wine and Culinary Traditions

Lebanese Food / Wine and Culinary Traditions
Spring time always inspires me...

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Restaurant Training - Day 2: Kebbeh Labanieh

So enough about fighting food wars, tomorow we'll do that! Second day of my training, a basic element that should not be forsaken on a Lebanese table - The vegetable basket. For those who want to know, tomatoes (baladi is best), cucumbers, mint, radish, lettuce, carrot sticks, green and red chili peppers. The vegetables should be crisp and just washed. It makes quite a statement when you enter the restaurant and start with a drink and snack on fresh vegetables. That's Lebanon! Ok enough said about this subject ...

Today, I was aimed to delve into the making of Kebbeh Labanieh, don't know about you, but this is one of my favorite Lebanese dishes. I'm looking at my notebook and there so many comments, let's start:

1. Use the freshest laban (yogurt) you get get - not bitter - (baladi)
2. When you start heating the laban, it should be already at room temperature. The biggest fallacy is to start cooking the laban straight from the fridge (instant shock, no good!!!) So we agree that the laban is to be taken out of the fridge hours before heating it on the fire.
3. When you start heating the laban, you must use the lowest temperature before you add cornstarch diluted into a bit of water. Then you can raise the fire a bit to let the cornstarch act to thicken the laban. NO EGGS!

laban - 1kg
clarified butter - a bit
kebbeh balls (unfilled/ but i prefer the filled ones)- 24
corn flour - 1 tbs
garlic - 3 cloves
mint or cilantro (kezbarah) - a bunch

1. deep-fry the kebbeh balls, strain and reserve.
2. heat the laban as mentioned above, cook until it starts to boil, here comes the secret ingredient - add a bit of cream (a small box) and some warm stock (reserved from a previous cooking).
3. in a small pan, add some clarified butter, fry garlic for a minute, add diced mint or cilantro, turn off fire... don't over cook the mint or cilantro
4. when the laban is hot, add the fried mint or cilantro, mix then add the kebbeh balls carefully without breaking them. Heat for a further 5 minutes. It's ready!

Serve kebbeh labanieh with rice ... you know how to make rice, right? Use angel hairs in the rice, kids love it....

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