Mouneh

Obtaining a copy of Mouneh: Preserving Foods for the Lebanese Pantry by Barbara Abdeni Massaadl has been the object of my obsession for the last seven years. If I could reclaim the hours I've spent googling and searching for a copy of this book, I'd be able to take up a new hobby (I'd probably just read more cookbooks). A year ago I wrote a post on how to manage your cookbook collection and one of my last lines read ".... I still want a copy of Mouneh!" Shortly thereafter, I wrote to Barbara and she informed me that Interlink Books was re-publishing the title this year, and I was overjoyed. The long wait has been worth every second. 

Mouneh is a comprehensive study of traditional Lebanese food preserving methods, an important aspect of Lebanese culinary heritage. The content shared here is derived from recipes produced all around Lebanon. Organized by the four seasons and later into twelve months, the book provides readers the opportunity to seasonally produce sweet preserves, pickles, cheeses, distilled items and dried goods derived from vegetables, fruit, herbs, flowers and animal products. 

Barbara's knowledge is best described as an encyclopedic passion for all things Lebanese. This title is home to almost two hundred recipes that are wrapped in a wealth of stunning photography. The author also shares captivating stories of her  dealings with farmers, food producers and the people who continue to prepare food the traditional way and is a gifted storyteller.

Do yourself a favor, do not let the opportunity slip by to order this book. Travel with Barbara on her culinary journey through Lebanon, you will be the richer for it. Special thanks to Interlink Books for providing two copies in our giveaway below as well as for sharing a recipe with our members today. Please support our authors and publishers by sharing this post and visiting their social media pages - those options provide you extra entries as well. 

 

 

Apricot Syrup
Sharab el Meshmos
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  • 1 kg (2.2 lb) apricots
  • Granulated sugar equal to the weight of juice extracted from the fruit
  • Freshly squeezed juice of 1 lemon

Wash the apricots with cold water. Dry with a kitchen towel. Remove the stone from the apricots. To stone apricots, take a sharp knife and cut the fruit in half lengthways following the natural line. Firmly grasp the two halves and twist them in opposite directions. Pull them apart and remove the stone.

Use a food processor to extract the juice from the apricots. You may filter the juice through a strainer lined with muslin. I don't!

Measure the weight of the juice and prepare the equivalent amount of sugar. Cook the mixture in a non-reactive pan on a low heat, bringing it slowly to a boil. Stir constantly until the sugar is dissolved. Add the lemon juice.

Skim the froth from the surface. Turn off the heat before the liquid sets, or becomes too thick. Pour the hot syrup into sterilized bottles. Seal immediately, closing the lid of the bottle tightly. Leave to cool.

Put the bottle in the refrigerator or if you want to conserve the bottle outside of the refrigerator, boil it for 10 minutes. Let cool until the next day. Wipe with a damp kitchen towel. Label the bottle and store in a cool, dark place, if not for immediate consumption. Once the bottle is opened, it should be refrigerated.

To serve, pour about 2 tablespoons of syrup in a glass, dilute with water, and add ice cubes.

Recipe from Mouneh, published 2018 by Interlink Books, recipe © Barbara Abdeni Massaad

The publisher is offering two copies of this book to EYB Members in the US. One of the entry options is to answer the following question in the comments section of this blog post.

Which recipe in the index would you try first?

Please note that you must be logged into the Rafflecopter contest before posting or your entry won't be counted. For more information on this process, please see our step-by-step help post. Be sure to check your spam filters to receive our email notifications. Prizes can take up to 6 weeks to arrive from the publishers. If you are not already a Member, you can join at no cost. The contest ends at midnight on August 21st, 2018.

33 Comments

  • Takethetoyz  on  7/12/2018 at 12:53 AM

    I’d try the dries eggplant first!

  • vickster  on  7/12/2018 at 7:00 AM

    Fig Molasses

  • SheilaS  on  7/12/2018 at 8:53 AM

    I have her beautiful book, Man'oushé, on Lebanese breads and have also been on the lookout for this one. I would love to try the traditional goat cheese in terra cotta or the labneh balls.

  • annmartina  on  7/12/2018 at 9:59 AM

    Mandarin marmalade

  • kmn4  on  7/12/2018 at 10:07 AM

    Strained goat yogurt cheese balls in oil (Labneh mkaazaleh bil zeit)

  • AlexH  on  7/12/2018 at 10:38 AM

    Rose Petal Jam!

  • monasli  on  7/12/2018 at 11:06 AM

    Spiced cheese ball.

  • Maefleur  on  7/12/2018 at 11:09 AM

    I would like to try any of the okra preparations as I have so much in my garden right now.

  • Terrill  on  7/12/2018 at 11:45 AM

    Id try the Plum Paste

  • laffersk  on  7/12/2018 at 11:58 AM

    Fig Jam

  • riley  on  7/12/2018 at 12:11 PM

    Pickled green cherry tomatoes

  • mziech  on  7/12/2018 at 1:51 PM

    Great book! I already have a copy but would recommend to buy it (or win it!)

  • tennyogirl  on  7/12/2018 at 2:57 PM

    That apricot syrup recipe looks pretty great!

  • demomcook  on  7/12/2018 at 3:14 PM

    I'm intrigued by the pickled green thyme.

  • amyz218  on  7/12/2018 at 4:32 PM

    Apple molasses

  • parnassus  on  7/12/2018 at 5:08 PM

    whole dang apples stuffed with almonds

  • MiMi60  on  7/12/2018 at 5:40 PM

    Grape roll ups sound interesting.

  • ladybrooke  on  7/12/2018 at 9:59 PM

    I'd try orange blossom petal jam (Mrabba zahr el laymoon)

  • sarahawker  on  7/13/2018 at 10:27 AM

    Mulberry jam

  • pappaslauren  on  7/13/2018 at 12:46 PM

    This book looks amazing. I would like to try making Rose Water.

  • aoiwowie  on  7/13/2018 at 1:19 PM

    Stuffed green olives in oil

  • Ingridemery  on  7/13/2018 at 5:02 PM

    I’d love to try fig molasses

  • amandabeck  on  7/13/2018 at 10:09 PM

    There are a lot of similarities with Greek cooking and preserving. I would like to try the lemon jam and lemon marmelade...sound delicious! What a unique book.

  • ravensfan  on  7/14/2018 at 12:32 PM

    Strawberry jam (Mrabba el farawla)

  • LaurenE  on  7/14/2018 at 9:42 PM

    Rose Petal Jam

  • RSW  on  7/15/2018 at 11:02 AM

    Orange blossom petal jam (Mrabba zahr el laymoon)

  • thecharlah  on  7/15/2018 at 9:13 PM

    Vegan cheese in oil (Kishk el khameer bil zeit)

  • Karen.2018  on  7/16/2018 at 8:21 AM

    I would try Apricot roll ups (Amareddine)

  • kitchen_chick  on  7/16/2018 at 9:52 AM

    Rose water - I’ve never made my own.

  • sedm3949  on  7/17/2018 at 1:49 AM

    Pickled green grapes or green cherry tomatoes!

  • sgump  on  7/18/2018 at 1:40 PM

    I'd try making fig molasses.

  • AsTheNight  on  7/19/2018 at 12:06 AM

    The very first thing I'd try is the drying grapes technique. Then, depending on how well my young fig tree produces, I'd try making fig jam.

  • mduncan  on  7/19/2018 at 11:15 AM

    First preparation would definitely be the Stuffed Eggplant in Oil

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