Julie Taboulie’s Lebanese
Sauces and seasonings make all the difference in the flavors that define how food tastes, and preparation techniques with ethnic food combinations create the adventure of eating.
Cookbook Review: Julie Taboulie’s Lebanese Kitchen
Author: Julie Ann Sageer
What do your tastebuds imagine when you hear “Lebanese”— Mediterranean? Middle-Eastern? Lamb, mint, grape leaves, eggplants, Tahini, couscous, nuts, rose water? And what can you make with these ingredients? Find out from Julie Ann Sageeras she artfully shares memories of her childhood and family recipes in a gorgeous new cookbook, Julie Taboulie’s Lebanese Kitchen.
Learning that Chef Julie has a cooking show, I immediately searched my DISH and selected “Record when Available.” Thinking it will be fun to follow-along with her cookbook in hand, I skipped over to Youtube and sure enough, Julie is there cooking her “mama approved” dishes. I love cooking with a friend, but if you find yours are all otherwise engaged, make Julie your new best cooking buddy. She won’t disappoint.
Hindbeh. Simple and delicious. Find dandelion greens at your local farmer’s market or grow your own, a Vidalia onion and then make Hindbeth. But wait, not quite that fast. Julie finesses these ingredients into a special dish. Finesse is the key word for Julie’s recipes. Most ingredients are familiar, but the spices are specially combined, the preparation steps a bit different, and the results spectacular. These are not recipes for the novice cook, but the novice chef, yes. Follow the steps and you’ll feel secure in Julie’s knowledge of Lebanese cooking, comforted by her words and definitely inspired.
Gift this beautiful cookbook to yourself, sit down and read through it by turning to the introductory thoughts of each chapter and recipe. When you’re ready, shop the ingredients and experience Lebanese food the way Julie does. If you avoid the mint, you’ll miss out on the full flavor. Serve in stoneware or use fun bowls and plates to mix-up your usual dinner table. This cookbook does not include a photo of every dish, but the photography will spark presentation ideas and whet your appetite for certain. Keep an eye out for that special serving platter. Get those inherited plates down from the top shelf and find that tablecloth you never use. Savor the food you’ve prepared, remove your shoes, and feel transported to another place and time when you dine — this time to Lebanon.
If you’d like to include a teaching moment for your children practice some of the country’s dining etiquette.
“Once the food is served follow your host's lead as he or she may invite everyone to begin serving themselves at the same time or may request that either you [as guest] or the elders be served first. Try a bit of everything offered as turning down food is rude. If you finish your first serving, expect to be offered a second helping; turn this invitation down at first, and only after your host's insistence should you accept more food. Eat asthe locals eat; in some settings this means eating in the continental style (knife in the right hand, fork in the left), but for other foods and on other occasions, you should eat with your right hand; only touch your food with your right hand. As you finish your food, leave a bit on your plate to show there was more than enough and place your fork and knife together in the 5:00 position.”
We invite you to try Julie's recipes for
Sautéed dandelion greens with caramelized onions
and one for
Falafel, Spiced chickpea fritters
included in our partner-review of
Julie Taboulie's Lebanese Kitchen
posted by Linda Kissam at FoodTravelWineChix.com.
Center 3 photos & recipes courtesy of Julie Ann Saager
Available where books are sold.
Disclaimer: As is common in the book review industry, Adrianne and Linda were each provided with a copy of the cookbook for the purpose of review. While it has not influenced this review, these two writers are happy to provide full disclosure of all potential conflicts of interest.