By Sybil Kaplan
In my recipe drawers, I have a large selection of Middle Eastern recipes, which I especially like to fix for winter. Here are some I hope you will enjoy.
Jerusalem Mixed Grill
As the story goes, sometime in the 1960s or 1970s, a soldier was walking along Agrippas Street late at night by the shuk and stopped at a street food place for a bite. The owner said he was closing and didn’t have much left, but he managed to stir fry what he had and stuff it into a piece of pita. So the Jerusalem mixed grill was born.
- 1 heaping cup diced chicken livers
- ⅞ cup cleaned and halved chicken spleens
- 1 heaping cup chicken hearts
- 1 sliced chicken breast
- 4 sliced onions
- 1 teaspoon baharat*
- 1 teaspoon sweet paprika
- ½ cup olive oil
- Pita breads
- Sliced pickled cucumbers
- small hot pickled green peppers
1 tablespoon each cardamom, black pepper, cinnamon and ginger
½ tablespoon each allspice and nutmeg
1. In a bowl, combine chicken livers, spleens, hearts, breast, onions, baharat and paprika. Refrigerate at least 5 hours.
2. Heat oil in a frying pan. Add bowl contents and stir fry 12-15 minutes until meat is done.
3. Stuff in pita and serve with pickled cucumbers and peppers and a dollop of tahini.
Easy Couscous With Lamb and Chicken
This North African dish came from a very old newspaper column.
- ¼ cup oil
- 1 pound cubed lamb
- 1 cut-up broiler-fryer chicken
- 2 large quartered onions
- 3 cups chicken broth
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 1 teaspoon dry coriander
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 2 sprigs parsley
- ¼ teaspoon turmeric
- 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- Dash ground saffron
- 3 quartered red potatoes
- 3 quartered carrots
- 2 zucchini, cut in 1-inch pieces
- 1 ½ cups drained, canned chickpeas
- 3 cups precooked couscous
- ⅛ teaspoon coriander sprigs
- Lemon wedges
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 1 minced garlic clove
- 2 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- 2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- ⅛ teaspoon cayenne
- ⅛ teaspoon cumin
1. Heat ¼ cup oil in a Dutch oven. Add lamb and cook for 5-10 minutes. Remove to a bowl. Add chicken and cook for 5-10 minutes. Add lamb, onions, chicken broth, cinnamon, coriander, salt, pepper, parsley, turmeric, red pepper flakes and saffron. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover and simmer for 30 minutes.
2. Add potatoes, carrots and zucchini. Cover, cook for 15-20 minutes. Stir in chickpeas. Remove 3 cups of cooking liquid and put in a saucepan. Bring to a boil, then add couscous. Cover, let stand for 5 minutes, then fluff with a fork.
3. For the harissa, place oil, garlic, lemon juice, red pepper flakes, cayenne, cumin and ¼ cup cooking liquid in a blender and process until smooth. Place in a serving dish.
To serve, place couscous on a large platter. Pile meats and vegetables on top. Garnish with coriander sprigs and lemon wedges. Serve with harissa sauce.
Sybil Kaplan is a Jerusalem-based journalist, author and compiler/editor of nine kosher cookbooks. She is a food writer for North American Jewish publications, and she leads walks of the Jewish food market, Machaneh Yehudah, in English.