Seven Spices on Turkey Day


It’s Thanksgiving. Finally giving food blogging a shot after trying different forms in past years. My Turkey is “dry-brining” in the fridge for Saturday’s feast at our house. Today it’s my wife’s family’s Thanksgiving dinner. I will post about my Turkey later, but here’s what I will be contributing to today’s feast: a Lebanese dish with the Lebanese Seven Spices that inspired this blog’s title.

Quick Lebanese Ouzeh Rice

Lebanese Rice and meat

This is the basic recipe for the famous Lebanese “Rice with meat”. It’s used as Ouzeh filling– stuffed puff pastry balls—or as even as Turkey stuffing. Or it can be eaten with a side of salad, preferably Fattoush (I’ll post my version of Fattoush soon), or yogurt. It has  become a Thanksgiving staple! It tastes great with gravy and Turkey meat. You can even cook it with Turkey stock if you have some. If you have time, cook some beef in your slowcooker with the same spices and some beef stock and serve it on top of the rice.

Recipe

1 ½ cups of Rice (I am partial to Uncle Bens)
3 2/3 cups of beef stock (or chicken. Follow the instructions on your Rice box for how much water the rice needs to cook)
1 lb ground beef (or less if you don’t like a lot of meat in your rice)
1 small onion, chopped
½ cup of pine nuts (optional)
½ cup of slivered almonds (optional)
1 cup of frozen peas (optional)
1 ½ teaspoons seven spices
2 tbsp butter or vegetable oil
Pinch of Salt

First, if you’re making with pine nuts and almonds, roast them in a pan with some of the butter. When they’ve turned brown, remove them with a slotted spoon and set aside.

Roasted Almonds and Pine Nuts

In the same pan (I do everything in one pot), add the remaining butter and cook the chopped onion until wilted.

Onions

Add the meat, brown it.

Meat

Add the rice, mix with the beef then add the stock. Add the spices, stir and bring it to a boil.

Rice and Meat

Seven Spices

Stock

Add salt, but not too much, especially if your stock is not reduced sodium. When it boils, lower the heat and cover.

Defrost the peas separately (or just throw them in frozen 10 min before your rice is done). When the rice is cooked, add the peas (if not in yet), pine nuts and almonds. Mix. Let it rest for 10 minutes and then enjoy!

Lebanese Rice and Meat

If you don’t have seven spices, try making it with allspice (NOT THE SAME), or make the mix yourself. Seven spices consist of cloves, cumin, nutmeg, coriander, cinnamon, and paprika.

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