My good friend Hadia from Hadia's Lebanese Cuisine
was gracious to send me her cookbook. When I received the book, I was like a kid in a candy store. I opened it up immediately and started looking thru.
Not only was I reviewing the cookbook and salivating, I brought it over when I would visit mom and was reading her the recipes and showing her the mouth watering pictures as well. Can I just say, this book is chock full of pictures personally taken by our good friend!
This cookbook is literally next to none, and let me tell you, I have a ton of cookbooks. I used to have about 300 and have since paired down to about 25, so when I tell you this cookbook is absolutely beautifully done I mean it. Hadia was kind enough to translate metric for her American readers. Her step by step, is literally that, step by step, no steps missing. Her ingredients are fresh, homemade, which do not require a zillion ingredients but most of all, they are not labor intensive!
She has meticulously explained every ingredient if you have to purchase it, and even how to even substitute that said ingredient if need be so you don't have to stop in the middle of recipe and say to yourself; "dang it, I don't have..." Right? I hate that! I also hate those really weird exotic ingredients that cost a fortune, which you will only use 2 tsp at the most and never use it again.
Hadia must share our thoughts and frustrations!
There were quite a few recipes that caught my mom's eye. I have about 7 more I need to make for her as soon as possible is the command!
Mom's first recipe she wanted to try out was Hadia's Zalabbia. They are fried dough with sesame seeds and anise seeds, coupled with just a smidgen of sugar? Heaven! Absolute heaven!
I love Hadia's tip of putting in 3 small holes into the strips prior to frying. It's absolutely genius I say! You are going to ask me; "Didi why are you so excited about 3 small holes into the dough"?
Well my friends, why it so genius is because you can see through the holes that the one side is now nicely golden and can then flip over to the other side. See? I told you genius.
The Zalabbia's are crispy, absolutely not greasy at all, and that is very important! They are slightly sweet, they are nutty with the addition of the sesame seeds and possess a light Anise flavor which translates my friends into a bite of heaven! These are absolutely perfect for breakfast, or an afternoon munchie...
Hadia recommends a Lebanese cream cheese "Labneh", or you can slightly sprinkle them with powdered sugar.
Mom and I tried both these versions and LOVED THEM! Mom loved the sprinkled powder sugar, she has such a sweet tooth I say! I tried something different and dipped them in a combination of Tahini w/ honey. OH MY GOODNESS! The combination of the Tahini with honey along with the the slightly sweet, nutty Zalabbia's? That was my most favorite combination! Mom tried it and also promptly fell in love just as I did!
We love this cookbook so much I ordered my mom one for a surprise Mother's Day gift. I know I will be making them, but as long as I keep my mom interested and wanting to create? That is a score onto itself!
So order yourself a copy of this cookbook, I cannot stress this
enough! You can order here; Hadia Lebanese Style Recipes
When you get your cookbook, do what I did; grab yourself a cup of tea, and start bookmarking the recipes you will be making first...