Supper Club:

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It all started a year ago when I had a group of my close girlfriends and their families over for a shrimp boil.  I asked them if they would be interested in starting a supper club and voià Super Club was born!

There are currently four couples involved and NO KIDS.  We love them, but the mamas need a break.  It’s a potluck supper club where the host picks the theme and cooks the main meal.  All other couples bring apps, dessert or a special drink/wine.

This month, to mark our one-year anniversary, I was cooking at my home and cooked an authentic Lebanese meal.

The menu was as follows:

Mazza Platter- Lebanese mixed appetizer platter that consisted of hummus, tabouli,  feta, olives, pita bread and veggies.

Rolled Grape Leaves, also known as Mahshi Warak Areesh – recipe to follow

Rice Pilaf

Kibbee (Lebanese Meatloaf)- The art of kibbee making will be something to look forward to in a future blog.

Foul Maddamus- recipe link below

Green Beans with Tomato sauce – Also called Lubiyeh, recipe below

Bakalawa- dessert with filo dough and nut filling

This time around I was a bit nervous because this was my first time cooking and serving a full Lebanese meal.  I cooked my heart out, with my grandmother, Tattee, and my Aunt Emily with me in spirit.  Both are in higher places but with me while I prepared these very traditional meals we always enjoyed together.  I also took advantage of my mom’s recent visit. We made the Kibbee weeks before and froze it.

All supper clubbers came with growling bellies and indulged in the food I was raised on.  My husband, the not so adventurous eater, even ate a few of my grape leaves.  It brought me such joy to share food that I grew up with.

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Rolled Grape Leaves:

 

1/2 16 oz. jar grape leaves in brine

½ lb ground beef

½ lb ground lamb

½ cup short grain white rice, uncooked

2 TBs of canned tomatoes sauce

1 cup water

Juice of 2 lemons

Salt and Pepper

Separate grape leaves and cut off stems.  Let leaves soak in cool water in a shallow bowl.  While they soak, mix the beef, lamb, white rice, tomato sauce and salt and pepper to taste.

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Now for the fun part, place the leaf, point facing away from you.  Place a heaping tablespoon of the beef mixture in the lower middle half of the leaf and shape into a log shape.  Then, fold over one side of the grape leaf then the other and somewhat tightly roll the leaf away from you.  Place leaf in a deep saucepan.  Although time consuming, it’s fun to use your hands and the final result is well worth it!  Once all leaves are rolled then add water and lemon.  Place a dish on top of the leaves to make ensure they stay under the liquid.  Bring to a boil and then simmer for 20-25 minutes.  I think that when they sit for a day then you reheat them they taste the best.   I plan on having a You Tube video in the near future to show you the process.

Makes about 25-30 rolled grape leaves.  Serve warm with plain yogurt, known as Laban, to dip and a lemon wedge

Green Beans with Tomato Sauce:

1 lb green beans, trimmed and cut in half

1 medium onion chopped

1 16oz can tomato sauce

Salt and Pepper to taste

Olive oil

 

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In the bottom of a saucepan, heat oil over medium heat.  Add chopped onion and cook for 5 minutes or until browned.  Add green beans, sauce, salt and pepper.  Cook on medium-high until you have a slight boil and then simmer for 20 minutes.  You can also add ground meat or lamb meatballs for a full meal. 

I was happy that people tried things they have never had before and enjoyed it.  The taste of home cooked Lebanese food not only brings back memories of my own family growing up, but also makes it more enjoyable when eaten together with friends.