Za’atar Man’ouche Recipe

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Za’atar Man’ouche is traditionally a food the Lebanese claim as their own however many believe it can be traced back to Biblical days. I have always loved Za’atar Man’ouche (a combination of herbs- Za’atar, toasted sesame seeds, dried sumac and often salt on a type of dough or مناقيش‎  in Arabic). My Assyrian Nan was over a few weeks ago so we decided to make some.

Za’atar Man’ouche

Ingredients

2 1/2 cups plain flour

75ml Olive Oil + 5 Tbsp more

150ml warm water

2 tsp yeast powder

1 tsp salt

6 Tbsp Za’atar Mixture

How To

  1. In a large bowl combine the flour, yeast powder and salt
  2. Make a well in the centre and pour in the Olive Oil and warm water
  3. Mix well until it all comes together and then start kneading until you have a smooth non sticky dough
  4. Cover the bowl with a tea towel and place in a warm area of your home for at least 30 minutes.
  5. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface
  6. Divide the dough into 4 sections, lightly knead one section of the dough and roll out to desired thickness with a rolling pin. We used a pot lid to measure them out in round shapes.
  7. Using a brush, brush olive oil onto the dough and sprinkle with Za’atar
  8. Bake in a 200 degree Celsius oven for approx 7-10 minutes. I like to sprinkle mine with sea salt when they come out.

Maltese Macaroni

One day I’ll go into the history of my own family, but until then, this is a little glimpse into my dad’s side of the family.

My dad, though born here in Sydney, is 100% Maltese. I grew up going to my Nanoo and Nana’s house every Thursday night for dinner and games. My dad’s entire family can build you a house, brick lay your driveway, fix your car or pretty much fix anything else that may be broken- they are incredible, and they are 100% Maltese. Our surname is Grech (in Malta this is their version of the last name Smith!)

My Nanoo passed away a few years ago, but my Nana is still with us- thankfully. I remember over the years my Nana slaving away in the kitchen- she would make a rotation of meals- Marinated Pork Neck, Macaroni, Ravioli, Handmade Canoli’s and every so often Rabbit Stew.

You never really think your grandparents won’t be with you forever, especially as a child.. and then one day they are gone. They leave behind memories, and material things but you’ll never get to have that conversation with them again.. or hear them laugh.. or hear their accents (years of living in Australia hasn’t change my Nana’s accent one bit). Often Greg will call my dads name with the same inflections that my Nana says his name, rolling the f’s like she came from Malta yesterday! Her voice is a dear memory I have, saved away for those moments I know will come when she is no longer with us.

Before Nana was bound to a wheelchair, and lost the main function in her hands, I sat with her at her vinyl covered dinner table and took the recipes down for her Macaroni and Marinated Pork Neck. I remember her telling me the recipe out of order- as she remembered it. It was brought with her from Malta, and I don’t think she had ever made a point to write it down.

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I hope this recipe continues to live on with Ava, and her children.

stockmen.pngNana’s Macaroni

Serves: 4-6

636350592895786254_Afterlight_Edit.jpgIngredients

1/2 Brown Onion

2-3 Tbsp Olive Oil

2 cloves of garlic, crushed

340g Tomato Puree (Passata)

2-3 Tbsp Tomato Paste

250g of each Pork and Veal Mince (Picture below of the one I use)

2-3 Tbsp Vegeta

1/2 tsp raw sugar

1/2 cup cup grated Parmesan (I use mozzarella sometimes)

2 eggs

250ml thickened cream

600g Rigatoni Pasta

How to

Pre-heat your oven to 180 Celcius

1. Cook the pasta as per the instructions, drain and set aside.

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2. Place the Olive Oil in a large frypan/pot and heat

3. Fry the onions and garlic

636350594628963337_Afterlight_Edit4. Once they are softened add the mince, passata and tomato paste. Leave it to cook until the oil rises (approx 10-12 min)

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5. Add the sugar and vegeta and stir to combine

6. Beat the eggs and cream in a jug

Now it’s assembly time!

7. Get your baking dish (you can use any size, you just may need to use multiple dishes), lightly grease the dish and line with baking paper. I line the dish with baking paper so the cheese and passata doesn’t harden and become impossible to clean afterwards!

You are going to layer the macaroni as follows:

1st layer- tomato meat layer

2nd layer- pasta

3rd layer – cream/egg mix

4th layer- cheese

Repeat until all the meat is finished (ensuring that the top layer is cheese)

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8. Place in the oven to bake for 10-12 minutes, or until the top of the macaroni is golden.

Enjoy!

*This is the pork/beef mince I use!

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Easy BBQ Lamb

If you’re an Australian you probably have read a thousand lamb recipes.. if you’re from anywhere else in the world (mainly U.S.A) this may be new for you.. Greg, my husband, hadn’t had much lamb before he moved here 8 years ago. Now, it’s one of his favourite meals!

The great thing about lamb is that it is hard to get wrong. You can BBQ it, Pan-fry it, put it in the oven.. whatever you decide it will normally come out tasting incredible! When I was pregnant we were having lamb at least once a week.. my love for lamb went into over drive!

Apart from the lamb, everything you need for this recipe you should have you in your pantry and fridge!

IMG_3153.JPGEasy BBQ Lamb

Serves 2

Things you need

– 4 Lamb Forequarters (I cut mine in half. If you pull them apart slowly you’ll see a fat line that you can cut against)

– 3 tsp Crushed Garlic/3 garlic cloves. I use the crushed garlic in a jar, you can use fresh chopped garlic though.

– 2 TBSP Olive Oil

– 3 Rosemary Sprigs

– a few pinches of salt and pepper

How to

1. Cut the lamb forequarters in half

2. Place all ingredients in a bowl and combine. Place bowl in the fridge overnight so the flavours absorb

3. Leave the lamb at room temperature as you heat the BBQ up.

4. Place the lamb on the BBQ and cook for approx 2-3min on each side twice over. Lamb is best eaten medium.

5. Service immediately with salad or mixed vegetables.

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