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20 April 2010

Get Your Freekeh On + a Lebanese Pantry Giveaway

Freekeh with Lamb

Notice anything different? Yup. DKS has just had a face lift. Just a little nip tuck to help make space for more content like the new section called “The Lebanese Pantry” where you can find information about the key ingredients used in Lebanese cuisine. I’ve also added a section called “The Mediterranean Diet” which brings together wholesome, nutritious recipes that incorporate essential ingredients to the Mediterranean diet; grains, pulses and vegetables. Be patient with us though as things are still feeling a bit sore and bruised as we continue to make improvements over the next couple of days.

Also, every month I will be highlighting a “Blog of The Month”. A blog will be chosen based on my personal likes and will be one that I find inspiring, beautiful, well-written, humorous, touching or anything else that may strike my fancy. To kick-start this off I have chosen Sari’s blog; Cook Your Dream as “Blog of The Month”. Sari’s blog always unites beautiful photography with mouth-watering recipes. Do check it out!

In celebration of all these new happenings, I’ve decided I’d like to have a GIVEAWAY. Many of you write to me asking about where you can find some of the ingredients I use in my recipes. Sometimes you’re lucky, sometimes you’re not. So I want to help you out.  A month ago my sister was in Lebanon and was nice enough to haul back a bunch of ingredients for me. I’ve selected some of the most important ingredients, packaged them and labeled them in English, so they are ready to go right into your cupboard. Here’s what the Lebanese Pantry Package includes:

7-spices, allspice, za’atar, sumac, dried mint, moghrabieh, freekeh, kishk, rose water, orange blossom water & pomegranate molasses.

Guidelines to enter: All you have to do to enter for a chance to win the Lebanese Pantry Package Giveaway is tweet this post on twitter and/or to increase your chance you may also comment on this post (please no double entries) by the 30th of April. I will tally up all the entries in an excel sheet and with the help of this website a winner will be selected at random.

Please note: I will send this package anywhere in the world but the winner is responsible to check with their Customs Office about any specific guidelines and/or prohibitions that may be in place.

FreekehFreekeh is my all time favorite grain. In fact I can just eat it all alone; plain, drizzled with some olive oil. It is so rich in flavor and texture as it’s got quite a nutty undertone and a smoky aroma but yet works really well as a blank canvas, allowing your imagination to run wild with recipe possibilities.

Freekeh is another ancient grain and cereal food made from green wheat. The wheat is harvested young when it is still full of moisture; it is then sun-dried before being burned or roasted over an open fire for several minutes. Once cool it is then rubbed to separate it from the chaff. It’s name is derived from the Arabic root  “Al Fark” or to rub.

According to Nachit (2007) & Slow Food Beirut, freekeh originated around 2300 BC, when the attackers of a Mediterranean village set its green wheat fields on fire before retreating. To salvage what they could, the inhabitants rubbed away the burnt layer and found that the grain had ripened due to the heat and that it had retained a greenish hue. This discovery led to the later production of freekeh.

Freekeh is an outstanding grain and a nutritional powerhouse. It is high in fiber, protein, vitamins and minerals and although not yet proven, some believe it to be suitable for gluten-free diets as the gluten is denatured due to the high temperature burning process.  For more information on Freekeh you may visit this site.

Freekeh with lamb

The following recipe is a freekeh salad with grilled lamb loins that have been dusted with seven spices. The cucumber and a generous drizzle of the cool, minted yogurt dressing works wonderfully to unite tastes and textures and create really vibrant explosions of flavors in one’s mouth.

Get Your Freekeh On + a Lebanese Pantry Giveaway
 
Author:
Serves: Serves 2

Ingredients
  • 350g lamb loin fillet
  • ½ teaspoon of seven spices
  • 3 garlic cloves- minced
  • 80ml or ⅓ cup red wine
  • 150g freekeh or about 1 cup (whole or cracked- I used whole)
  • 120g of cucumber or about 2 cucumbers
  • 8-10 cherry tomatoes (You could substitute with pomegranate seeds if in season)
  • 125ml Greek yogurt or about ½ cup
  • 30ml of water or 2 tablespoons
  • 1 tablespoon of dried mint
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • Salt & pepper to taste

Instructions
  1. Begin by rubbing the lamb with the seven spices and then marinating it in the wine & 3 minced cloves of garlic for about 2 hours or overnight.
  2. I like to make the dressing a day in advance so all the flavors can sit and really develop. Place the yogurt in a bowl, add the water, dried mint, minced garlic, salt and mix well. Cover and set aside in the fridge till ready to serve.
  3. I do not add salt till just before grilling as it can draw out the moisture making the meat chewy.  Before roasting the lamb bring it back to room temperature as this allows it to roast evenly. Roast the meat in a pre-heated oven for about 15-20 minutes at 400F/200C/6G for medium rare or cook longer to your liking. Once cooked, remove from the oven and let it sit for five minutes or so before slicing.
  4. Place the tomatoes into a baking dish, add salt and pepper to taste and drizzle with some olive oil. Pop into the oven half-way once the lamb has been cooking for 10 minutes. Cook for about 10 minutes or till soft.
  5. While the meat is roasting, rinse the freekeh then place in a deep, heavy bottomed pot and cover with water (for every 1 cup of freekeh add 3 cups of water).  Add some olive oil and bring to a boil. Once boiling reduce and let it simmer. The cooking time will vary depending on the freekeh and whether it is whole or cracked. For whole freekeh it could take about 15 minutes for the cracked variety and about 40 minutes for the whole variety. It’s ready when it is soft and easily chewable.
  6. While the freekeh is cooking and meat is roasting, slice the cucumber into quarters.
  7. When freekeh is cooked, drain any excessive water. Bring back to the pot or a serving bowl and let it cool for about 10-20 minutes if you wish. Add the yoghurt dressing and mix well. Top with the cucumber, tomatoes and lamb. Add salt and pepper to taste.

 

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43 thoughts on “Get Your Freekeh On + a Lebanese Pantry Giveaway

  1. The updates look GREAT, Bethany!! 🙂 So fresh and clean. 🙂 What a splendid idea for a giveaway. I love your recipes so much and have been able to track down some of the necessary spices, but not all of them. 🙂

  2. I love the facelift, it looks amazing. Just checked out the Lebanese pantry section and it’s brilliant. Lovely to see you the other day and now I can visualise you working hard in your kitchen and taking your wonderful photos outside in the garden. xx

  3. Love the new look and the Lebanese sections are fantastic!!! :)) And, yes, awesome giveawy! Finally I can make some of your drool inducing dishes!! :))

  4. Yum! I hope I win! I have been experimenting alot with cooking lately. I would love to add these spices to my rack.

  5. Love the new look site Beth and really like the idea of the Lebanese Pantry.

    I absolutely love Lebanese/Middle Eastern food but have never come across Freekeh before, I must hunt some out.

    Fabulous and very thoughtful giveaway too 🙂

  6. NICE STUFF Bethany. I’ve just begun to discover a whole bunch of similar pantry items reading through an interesting new cookbook called Moorish. Count me in dahlin’, pom molasses and all, customs are cool here! I am entirely intrigued by your stocked up pantry, and love the makeover. Light and clean.
    O BTW, I RT’d before I got here… teehee! For once I’m at the right place, at the right time maybe? xoxoxo

  7. Im loving the new nip & tuck Beth. It looks fabulously fresh. And your Lebanese Pantry is just brilliant. Love it! I could just tuck into this salad right now. The flavors must be awesome. Do pop over and take a peek at my new blog. Hugs xx

  8. An amazing new addition : the Lebo Pantry and a little facelift to boot.
    Alot of work has gone into that…
    Your an inspiration.

  9. I feel like I must have eaten freekeh before but can’t remember when. As you know, I’d love to get my hands on that mograbiah, although I’m still confused as to where Ottolenghi get theirs since Yotam says in Middle Eastern grocers here.

  10. This is the first time that I encounter a website dedicate to the Lebanese food. I am soo glad I found it. It is user friendly, organized, appealing etc. Love it!!!

  11. Okay, that was seriously THE best prize pack I’ve ever entered. Better than anything Le Creuset or Williams Sonoma. I’ll be haring on Twitter, but I had to take this opportunity to write up my “blog of the moment” for you. http://bit.ly/cn7nx0

    Enjoy! And thanks for the opportunity to win yummy ingredients!

    ~Maria

  12. Fabulous! And just retweeted! We try so hard to stick to a Mediterranean diet because we know how healthy it is, and with fabulous raw ingredients and fabulous dishes like this salad it is easy to stick to it! I must try this salad now! And this is a great giveaway! And I love the new blog set-up!

  13. I love your new look 🙂 Gorgeous! I have never tried or heard of freekeh before so it was very interesting to read about it here. I’ll try to see if they do sell it here on the oriental section at the supermarket in France. Love your giveaway!

  14. You’re not playing fair Bethany, if I don’t win can I buy a Lebanese Pantry Package? I’m going through withdrawal after dining with you and Chris last year…hold on while I book my next UK trip!

  15. Hi! Love your blog and your gorgeous recipes. I went to the Middle East (including fabulous times in Lebanon) on my honeymoon but didn’t bring nearly enough things back- just a few spices from the Syrian souqs. Now I’m kicking myself! What a great idea for a giveaway. Whoever wins is lucky indeed!

  16. I love the facelift – it’s so clear and crisp, like so much that is good about food! The freekeh sounds intriguing, i have never noticed it before, but have never looked for it either. I will keep my eyes open as new grains are always worth experimenting with.

    I really like the use of cucumber and yoghurt in the dish above, it will really keep it fresh flavoured and means it has something summery about it.

  17. Oh, wow, thank you Beth so much! I’m truly honoured and humbled that you chose my blog to be a blog of the month! And I really like the DKS’s new look! I think I don’t know most of those ingredients. I’ve tried rose water about a month ago for the first time. Freekeh looks delicious. I’ve never heard of it before but it looks similar to bulgur which I love.

  18. Thanks so much for stopping by my blog! I’m so glad you led me to your blog — it’s fabulous! (I love your pretty header!) My hubby and I both love freekeh so this salad would be a huge hit in our house — I especially love that minted yogurt dressing!

  19. I don’t think such a wonderful giveaway would pass Australian customs so I have to give this a pass but just wanted to say I love the new look of your blog. The Lebanese pantry section is fantastic – there is just not enough information around so this will be a great resource.

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