Lebanese Food / Wine and Culinary Traditions

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

Monday, October 31, 2011

Barbara with Chef Fernando "Helwe Beirut"

Introducing Chef Fernando and delicious Mexican food! This food is MY WEAKNESS!

Chef Fernando and Edid (my love)!
Chef Fernando trying to eat his compadre (Pepito)
Edid always working to make things pretty
Roasting green bell peppers on the saj

Chef Fernando's Mexican recipes:

Guacamole en Molcajete

Chile Paste Ingredients

1 tbs of finely chopped white onion
1 firmly packed tbs chopped fresh cilantro
2 tsp finely chopped jalapeno, or more to taste
1 teaspoon salt, or as needed

Additional Ingredients

3 medium ripe but firm Hass avocadoes
3 tbs diced tomato
2 firmly packed tbs chopped fresh cilantro
1 tbs finely chopped white onion
salt to taste
Tortilla chips and / or fresh corn tortilla

Make the chile paste: Grind the onion, cilantro, jalapeno, and salt together in a molcajete until all the ingredients are very finely ground. Alternatively, use a fork to mash all ingredients to a paste in a wide hardwood bowl.

Cut each avocado in half, working the knife blade around the pit. Twist the halves to separate them and flick out the pit with the tip of the knife. Fold a kitchen towel in quarters and hold it in the palm of your "non-knife" hand. Rest an avocado half cut side up in your palm and make 3 or 4 evenly spaced lengthwise cuts through the avocado flesh down to the skin, without cutting through it. Make 4 crosswise cuts in the same way. Scoop the diced avocado flesh into the molcajete. Repeat with the remaining avocado halves.

Makes 4 servings.

Red Pepper Soup

·         4 large red bell peppers
·         1 medium yellow onion, peeled and diced (about 1 cup)
·         1 large russet potato, peeled and diced (about 1 1/2 cup)
·         3 cloves garlic
·         1 quart chicken stock (or vegetable stock for vegetarian option)
·         1/4 cup cream or milk
·         3 Tbsp butter
·         Cayenne, salt and pepper to taste


1.      Roast the red bell peppers by placing them over or under an open flame until they blacken on all sides. (You can use a grill, cooktop gas burner, or oven broiler.) Place the blackened peppers in a bag, close the bag and let the peppers steam for 10-15 minutes, or until the skins feel like they can easily be slipped off. Remove the peppers from the bag, peel off the blackened skins, remove the seeds. Chop the peppers roughly.
2.     Heat the butter in a large soup pot over medium-high heat. Add the chopped onion and saute for 2-3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the potatoes and cook another 1-2 minutes, then add the garlic and roasted peppers. Stir well and cook for 2 minutes.
3.     Add the stock, stir well and bring to a simmer. Cook over medium heat until potatoes are soft.
4.      Purée the soup in a blender or food processor until very smooth. Fill the blender about halfway with the soup. Start the blender on low and keep your hand on the top, in case the lid wants to pop off from the rising steam. Once everything is well chopped, turn the blender to its highest setting and blend until smooth, about 1 minute. You might need to do this in batches.
5.      Return to a clean pot set over low heat. Add the cream, stir well and taste. Add some cayenne, salt and pepper to taste.

Makes 4 servings.

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