Do you prefer luxuriously prepared and aesthetically pleasing fine dining using the most exquisite ingredients but can’t even afford to buy brand name laundry detergents? Or do you have an intense case of social anxiety which prevents you from speaking to a waiter? Or are the Western spies after you that you can’t leave the safe house? Well what ever the reason, this blog will show you how to make elaborate dishes in your own kitchen using the cheapest ingredients.
A recipe like this requires you to break the bank and spend that sweet money on buying a rack of lamb. A rack of lamb is arguably the best part of the animal because it has that incredibly tender rib eye in the center and it the crown jewel of any dinner party. Since I am not going to spend $17 on barely one pound of meat, I went to a local farm and bought an entire 120 pound lamb for just a hundred dollars and got about 50 pounds of meat including two complete racks. I frenched one and made the other into lamb rib eye steaks. Sure I got drenched in blood and shit and it took about three hours on heavy labor and came home looking like a serial killer, but it was worth it. Expect to see a lot of lamb recipes in the near future.
Kibbeh is found in almost all of the Levant countries and surprisingly is the national dish for several Middle Eastern countries. That is a surprising amount of information about a dish that I didn’t know existed until last week when my Arab friend took me to a halal restaurant and ordered this mediocre looking appetizer. It’s like finding out that your run-of-the-mill neighbor Jim is actually the immortal Perpetual who serves as the ruling monarch of the Imperium of Man, and is described by the Imperial Ecclesiarchy and the Imperial Cult as the Father, Guardian and God of humanity. This meze is literally a ball of fried bulgur (cracked wheat flour) stuffed with ground meat. It has slight modifications depending on the country and the ruling party, the Turks call it an Içli köfte (ich-li kuf-ta) and add some potato in the dough and use ground walnuts instead of pine nuts in the meat stuffing. Pine nuts taste better but cost more, and the potato gives a much needed consistency to the dough. I’ve made this dish several times using recipes from different countries and come up with an abomination that probably tastes good.
This is the “other” Kanafeh (Kunafa) which is actually easier to make. I tried reading up the history of this dish and it is either a Turkish variant of the original Palestinian dessert or it just descended from the sky in delicious angelic hands. Not to be confused with the not-so-delicious angelic hands that touched you when you were a kid as you wondered why your uncle called his penis “angelic hands”. Good times. This recipe uses an ingredient called kataifi which is just soft vermicelli dough and can be obtained from any Middle Eastern store. The cheese of this dish is called Akkawi and is like a softer version of unsalted mozzarella. This recipe make two 8″ pies which can serve up to 8-10 people, but my friend and I ate it in one sitting while reading MRIs. Me while looking at a mirror: “Why are you like this?”
So according to those pompous steak gourmets, the only way to eat a steak is grilling it with salt and pepper to a temperature of medium rare. But I don’t have space to have a grill in my apartment. And I’m definitely not driving to the park to wait for those rich Imperialist families to finish their barbecue so I can go and sneak some of those used hot coals, never again! Instead I’m going to buy a nice N.Y. strip loin for $6.95 and dine on it in the most exclusive restaurant in New York State: Hotel Delicatessen du BrokeButFancy. The next best way to cook a steak is by a method called reserve searing, basically you bake it in the oven at a low temperature and then sear the fuck out of it! This is definitely better than the simple pan searing method and limits the chances of error because it is cooked so slowly. It is especially good for thicker steaks (about 2 inches wide) because they are cooked more evenly. This method is time consuming but can be set into place before your guests arrive (if you have any) and requires no resting period so the steak will be hot when it reaches the table. One more tip: never wash a good piece of meat with water, make sure you buy the meat from a hygienic source and let the blood juices tenderize the meat for you.