All posts filed under: Libya


Monday Meal Review: Libya

THE SCENE: I take off Ava’s fuzzy hat and coat, give her a kiss and off she goes – into her classroom. As I turn to leave, her teacher calls after me. “What are you cooking today?” “Libya!” I exclaim, perhaps a bit to excitedly, “I’m trying their version of shortbread. They put a whole clove in them!” “Sounds great!” she smiles, and gets right back to work, helping the kids with the day’s craft project. I pause for a moment to watch them work, admiring how carefully their little hands stamp stars and hearts onto the paper. Thirty minutes later, I am home, ready to work. The Libyan cookies whip up easily and, while they aren’t very sweet, the whole clove makes them taste like the holidays. Once cool enough to handle, I pack them up in tissue-lined tins; red, green, and white. In the afternoon I pick up Ava from school and hand one to each of her teachers as a thank you for their hard work so far this year. Over the …

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Whipped Ghee Shortbread Cookies | Ghraiba

Every day should be special. A day to use fancy napkins. A day to nibble cookies with tea. A day to smile more than you did the entire year before. This cookie is for such a day. Say hello to the ghraiba, or Libya’s answer to crispy, buttery shortbread. They aren’t super sweet, but they have a tender crumb, perfect for teatime. Two things make these cookies unique. First, they are made with ghee, a.k.a. cooked, clarified butter. Second, they are studded with whole cloves, which can be eaten in their entirety. The quick bake in the oven mellows the flavor enough to make the experience bearable. I made half of the cookies plain and half of them with a hit of cocoa. Decorated with whole cloves (yes, eat the whole thing!) and pine nuts, they make for a delightful giftbox for a hostess gift. The funny thing about these cookies is that they do not spread. At all. And they cook very quickly, so plan accordingly Makes several dozen 1 inch balls. Ingredients: 7.5 ounces ghee, room temperature (about a …

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Stuffed and Fried Potato Wedges | Mbatan Batata

The New Year is all about possibility, hope, health, and doing things better. That’s why I’ll be deep frying as the ball drops. But I’m not deep-frying just anything. This isn’t the state fair (where everything from butter to kool-aid makes it into the bubbling oil). I’m in the real world. This is a Libyan dish – one that combines the best of everything – delicate potato wedges, stuffed with wonderfully spiced meat loaded up with fresh parsley, crunchy breadcrumbs and a whole lot of yum. I can count on one hand the number times I’ve deep fried in the last couple of years, so this is a big deal. And, while it isn’t steamed veggies, it’s pretty well rounded as far as fried food goes. Eh. Who am I kidding. This isn’t the healthiest dish in the world. But it is a nod to mixing things up, having little Adventures, getting out of my comfort zone. And that’s what I hope for all of us in 2012. Note: Some Libyans like to serve these swimming in …

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Menu: Libya

If I can pick food up with my fingers, I will. It just… tastes better. And forget double dipping… everyone needs their own dipping bowls in my house because theirs is not safe with me. I’m a triple dipper. Heck, I’m a quadruple dipper. This week, because holiday entertaining is still going strong, and because I’m in the mood for a good dippable snack, I chose finger foods. I found that Libya has some of the best around and – as you can see by Ava’s expression – she definitely agrees. What sounds good to you? Stuffed and Fried Potato Wedges (M’batan Batata) [Recipe] This is the best munchie food in the world. Deep-fried potato wedges stuffed with spiced lamb and parsley. Yep. That about says it all. Oh, except that you can triple dip it all you like in tomato sauce. Yum and awesome. Shortbread Cookies (Ghraiba) [Recipe] Two different cookies made with ghee, one plain and one with a bit of rich cocoa powder. The little balls are topped with cloves and pine nuts for a bit …

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About the food of Libya

I feel like I’m waking from a long walk in a deep fog. I spent this past weekend in a whirlwind of food, family, friends, and… the flu. I reached 101 on Christmas Day, which was just enough of a temperature to send me off napping for the better part of the afternoon. The interesting side effect was that I was ever more appreciative of the time I was awake and able to spend time with family. Now, as we roll back into normal life – cooking Libya – I find myself soothed by the familiar routine of stovetop travel. Translation? I’m happy as a clam to get back to business.  And – P.S. – I missed you. So, here we are. Let’s talk Libya. She’s a large country, mostly covered in sand (a.k.a. the Sahara). This means that the vast majority of Libya’s small population resides along the Mediterannean coast in rather crowded cities. Her people benefit from the same cooling sea as the rest of her neighbors and good thing, too, because the highest …

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