1 (1-lb.) package frozen fries
12 oz. flank steak, sliced into 5″ sections
1 tbsp. vegetable oil
FOR THE CHEESE SAUCE
3 tbsp. butter
3 tbsp. all-purpose flour
1 c. whole milk
2 c. shredded cheddar
1 1/2 tbsp. lime juice
1 medium tomato, diced
1 small yellow onion, finely diced
1/4 c. sour cream
1. Make the seasoning mix: Mix all ingredients in a small bowl.
2. Make fries and steak: Preheat oven to 425°. On a large baking sheet, bake french fries in a single layer according to package instructions. Season with salt to taste immediately after they’re baked.
3. Meanwhile, rub steak with vegetable oil and season with 1 ½ teaspoons salt and 1 tablespoon seasoning mix. Heat a medium cast iron skillet over medium-high heat. Add steak and cook, flipping once, until a deep golden crust forms on both sides of the steak, about 5 minutes total. Let meat rest 10 minutes before slicing into 1” cubes.
4. Make cheese sauce: In a medium saucepan over medium heat, melt butter. Add flour and cook until just golden, 1 to 2 minutes more. Add milk and bring to a simmer, then whisk in cheese and let thicken, 3 to 5 minutes more.
5. Assemble: In a small bow, mash avocados with lime juice and 1 teaspoon seasoning mix, and season with salt. Top fries with cheese sauce, sliced steak, mashed avocado, tomato, onion, and a dollop of sour cream. Sprinkle on remaining seasoning mix and serve immediately.
Last month during my visit to my daughter and her family in Georgia there was an epic snowstorm in the East Coast. My grandson, Devon, requested I make him some “Sinigang”. I was surprised that he even knew what it was, but it seems that one of their friends makes it. Of course I said yes, after all that’s what Nanas do, cook for the grandkids! This Shrimp Sour Soup is the perfect comfort food for cold rainy (or snowy) days!
This was one of my favorite childhood dishes and I was happy to find out that my grandchildren love it too. Like many Filipino dishes this soup is very easy to prepare. Traditionally my grandmothers used tamarind (sampaloc) or the small Filipino limes called “Calamansi” to make the soup sour. These days it’s so much easier, you can buy the powdered soup base at most Asian markets or even order it on Amazon! (Affiliate Link)
This dish is typically eaten with steamed white rice with a side of “Patis“, Filipino fish sauce also available at Asian markets and on Amazon. It can be made with fish, shrimp, or meat with assorted vegetables like spinach, radish, eggplant, tomatoes, onions, or string beans. This time I made it with shrimp, spinach, radish, tomatoes, onions, and jalapeno pepper. I like to add the pepper to give it a bit of spice, we all love spicy things in our family.
In most Filipino households this shrimp soup is made with whole shrimps, meaning shrimps with shells and heads on. I’m not a big fan of shrimp heads so I use shrimps with shells on. You can also use prawns if you have any handy.
Mansaf, Fatiyeh, or Fatihah this traditional middle eastern lamb stew in yogurt sauce is a big part of Arabic cuisine. It is a favorite dish for large gatherings including weddings and engagement parties. In short it plays a large part in Middle Eastern hospitality.
In my experience folks in the Arab world are very hospitable and generous. Rolling out a huge tray of Mansaf is a sign of respect and welcome to anyone visiting an Arab home whether it be in Jordan, Dubai, Europe, or America.
But of course this traditional dish has several names depending on the country or even city one is in. In most countries like Jordan and Lebanon it’s called Mansaf; it’s the same dish Palestinians from the West Bank call Fatiyeh or Fatihah and those who hail closer to the larger cities call Mensaf. Whatever it’s called it’s basically the same dish with a few regional additions to the toppings.
So what is Mansaf? It’s a dish typically made with Lamb that’s simmered in a yogurt sauce made from reconstituted “Chisitch/Kishk/Jameed” (fermented or dried sheeps’ milk yogurt.) Then the meat and sauce are served on a bed of torn unleavened bread like Shrak or pita and rice. The whole dish can be topped with fresh parsley and sprinkled with toasted pine nuts; or as I’ve been taught by some of my Palestinian husband’s friends a ring of fried onions and tomatoes.
Really the secret ingredient, or not so secret, is the Chisitch. Okay it’s not the easiest thing to get your hands on. I usually get the dried balls of Chisitch from my husband’s relatives who travel to and from the Middle East or my sister-in-law who actually makes it! I’ve also been able to buy it from a market in Oman during one of my trips there. But you might be able to find it at a middle eastern market where it’s usually called Kishk or Jameed. It’s available in liquid or powder form. Or you can believe it or not order it from Amazon by clicking this affiliate link!
If all else fails and you simply can not get a hold of Chisitch/Kishk/Jameed then use Buttermilk! Yes the carton you find in your grocer’s diary section. Good old fashioned buttermilk, the stuff you can use to make Buttermilk pancakes and biscuits!
If you’re using balls of chisitch from where ever you must reconstitute it – meaning soak the balls in water overnight, then place all of it in your blender until it is liquified. You might need to add water to the blender to get the liquid you need.
If you’re using powdered kishk or jameed then dissolve it in water. Obviously the easiest one to use would be liquid jameed or buttermilk.
Whichever one you use the real secret is to keep the jameed or kishk liquid from curdling when you add it to your meat. To do that you must temper it by slowly stirring the liquid into a little bit of lamb broth. This brings the temperature of the jameed up to the temperature of the stewed meat.
So if you want to try this yummy dish at home scroll down for my recipe. It’s pretty fussy, it takes me a whole afternoon too make it! This recipe is for a fairly small tray, you can double or triple it if you need to make a large tray for more people.
By the way Mansaf or Fatihah is traditionally eaten with one’s fingers right off the serving tray. The polite and proper way to eat this dish is to use your fingers to take bite-sized portions from the tray and pop it in your mouth. You take portions only from the meat and rice that is directly in front of you; respect other diner’s tray space. That’s how it’s traditionally eaten; at our house it’s served family style with a serving spoon used to spoon a portion on to each person’s plate and we uses forks and knives.
Place meat in large pot and cover with water. Bring to a boil.
While meat boils fat will come to the surface. Skim off fat and discard. Continue this process until fat stops forming on the surface.
Strain meat and set aside while you thoroughly wash out the pot. Dry pot before proceeding.
Heat 1 Tbs. Olive Oil in pot and add 1 portion of chopped onions. Cook onions until they start to soften.
Add meat and Lebanese 7 Spices Mix and stir well. Cook until onions become translucent.
Add beef broth to cover meat. Bring to a boil.
Reduce heat and simmer covered for 2 hours.
Meanwhile you can prepare other parts of the dish.
Heat remaining Olive Oil in frying pan and add remaining chopped onions. Cook until onions start to soften.
Add garlic to pan and cook about 1 minute stirring constantly.
Add chopped tomatoes and cook until tomatoes are soft and juices start to come out. Salt & Pepper to taste. Remove from heat and set aside.
Melt 2 Tbs. Butter in saute pan and toast pine nuts until they start to turn golden brown. Remove from heat and set aside.
About 30 minutes before stew is cooked prepare rice by first melting remaining butter in pot.
Add Vermecelli and saute until pasta starts to turn golden brown.
Add dry rice and saute another minute.
Stir in about 4 cups of water to cover the rice. Cook covered over low heat for 20 minutes or until rice is cooked. Let rest at least 5 minutes to absorb any remaining water.
Check you meat. It should be tender and falling off the bone.
If meat is cooked turn down heat very low.
Remove about 1 cup of broth from pot to temper your jameed or buttermilk.
Slowly pour liquid jameed or buttermilk into that broth. Stirring only in one direction as you add the jameed. This is tempering the jameed. It is very important that you stir as you combine the liquids and stir only in one direction to keep the jameed from curdling.
Once the jameed is tempered using the same procedure slowly add the tempered jameed into the pot of stew.
Simmer on low heat for about 20 Minutes.
Meanwhile prepare your serving tray. Break up the bread into pieces and place pieces on to the tray.
Cover bread with rice.
Place meat on the rice. Pour yogurt sauce (liquid you cooked meat in) over the meat and rice.
A Beef Shawarma sandwich or plate! Yum! It’s one of my favorites. It’s one of the things I always order when I find myself at a Middle Eastern restaurant anywhere in the world.
Shawarma is sort of like the Greek Gyro or Turkish Doner Kebab; it’s a cone of seasoned meat or meats that’s cooked on a vertical spit. Typically beef, lamb, and chicken are combined to form the large hunk of meat which is slowly grilled as it turns on its axis on the vertical spit. Pieces of cooked meat are shaved off and stuffed in a pita with sauces, veggies, and pickles or placed on a plate with a serving of salad, hummus, rice, and pita bread.
I believe Shawarma started out as Middle Eastern street food where the sandwiches can be taken to go and eaten on as you go. But these days you’ll find mixed meats, beef, and chicken shawarma on fast food and restaurant menus throughout the Middle East and beyond.
We love this tasty dish so much that we make it at home since there really aren’t any good Middle Eastern restaurants where we live. Recently I’ve started making Beef Shawarma in my Instant Pot! It’s the easiest and fastest way to make it!
We usually make Beef Shawarma sandwiches but we’ve also made Beef Shawarma plates and bowls. We also use the leftover meat to top hummus, assuming we havhttp://www.savvynana.com/wp-admin/e leftovers that is!
But really the secret to this Beef Shawarma that tastes like you got it from a Middle Eastern restaurant isn’t in the way it’s cooked, the secret’s in the spice mix that’s rubbed on the meat! Marinating the meat overnight ensures that the meat is infused with the exotic flavors of the spices. Cooking it in the Instant Pot just makes the cooking process faster, but you can actually make it in the oven or on a grill if you don’t own this handy dandy electric pressure cooker.
Once you make the Beef Shawarma you can make it into a sandwich and top with your favorite toppings such as hummus, tahini sauce, lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers, pickles, and I love it with Tzatziki sauce! (I know I’m mixing Arabic and Greek foods, but who cares? It tastes great!)
Using a small knife drill 12 holes all over your roast
Stuff a garlic half in each hole
Mix Shawarma Spice Mix with 2 Tbs. ACV and 1 Tbs. Olive Oil
Rub this spice mixture all over the roast then place the meat in a covered dish or ziplock bag and let rest in the fridge for at least 8 hours and up to 24 hours. I find that overnight works well.
30 minutes before cooking set the meat on the counter and let the temperature go down to room temperature
Place remaining olive oil in instant pot and set pot to saute
Sear the meat on all sides for about 5-8 minutes per side
Add beef broth and remaining ACV to the pot
Cover making sure the valve is set to sealing
Set pot on Manual and adjust time to 60 minutes
When pot turns off allow pressure to release naturally
When pot is completely depressurized carefully open the lid and remove the meat
Shred the meat and place in a bowl or baking sheet. At this point you can use the meat to make sandwiches, plates, or bowls. Or if you prefer you can crisp the ends by sprinkling a bit of the broth over the meat and popping the pan in the oven to broil on high for 10 minutes or just until the ends turn darker brown. If you are crisping it keep a close eye on the meat as it will burn quickly in the broiler.
Store any leftovers with a bit of broth to keep it from drying out. Reheat in the microwave or in the over, drizzle some of the broth over the meat before reheating.
Binagoongang Manok or Chicken Sautéed in Shrimp Paste is a specialty from the Philippine province of Pampanga. It was originally made with small cubes of pork and called Binagoongang Baboy but the simple recipe has been adapted to include chicken or even just veggies.
I think it’s a great way to use up that jar of Bagoong or shimp paste that usually ends up shoved in the back of my refrigerator. I usually only use bagoong when having Kare Kare. So many times the bagoong gets too old and dehydrated. Recently I learned how to make Binagoongang Manok and it takes care of the open jar of bagoong sitting in the back of my fridge.
When I make Binagoongang Manok I use cubes of chicken, onions, garlic, tomatoes, and string beans. And I add fresh spicy chili peppers like jalapenos. You can also add cubes of eggplant if you like.
I love this simple dish because the bagoong gives it a sweet and salty taste and the jalapenos give it that pop of spicy heat. It’s the perfect comfort food and a perfect example of good old Filipino home cooking! Served over hot steamed white rice, it’s delish!
If you’re wondering where you can buy shrimp paste it’s available at any Asian market. It’s sold in a jar, buy the one that’s already been sauteed like the Kamayan brand or something similar.
Here’s my recipe! I hope you like it!
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Chicken Sauteed in Shrimp Paste - Binagoongang Manok
Sweet, salty, and just a bit spicy. These tender cubes of chicken sauteed in shrimp paste is a perfect example of Filipino home cooking.