I adore foreign cuisine from the now-familiar Middle-East to the far reaches of Asia, and from Lebanon to Sichuan. Like many Montrealers, I discovered Lebanese cuisine thanks to Basha, too many decades ago for me to count down comfortably. As a student at McGill University, I would walk down to the corner of Sainte-Catherine and Mansfield streets at lunch time, grab a tray and order dishes whose names were unknown back then: hummus, baba ghanouj, shish taouk, shawarma & all. Then I would pray for a spot near one of the large bay windows and dive into the food, while watching the hustle and bustle of downtown Montreal below. I was discovering the potency of cumin, the freshness of cilantro and, I confess, vegetables no one was cooking around me like eggplant and okra.
Featured on À la di Stasio TV show, this recipe’s barely adapted from a dish presented by Québec chef Racha Bassoul of former Anise restaurant. I never got a chance to try Anise, so I like exploring the multiple recipes of hers one can find here and there, and on show website (in French).
This quick weeknight dish is easy, delicious and a welcome change from hamburger steak, one food I did grow up on, too much so. I prefer this version much better.