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4 Comments 25 May 2011

Re-post by : Lisa Ades

This is a recipe I developed, featured in the New York Times dining section, as part of a piece by Julia Moskin called Burgers Without Borders.  These kebabs are savory and delicious and even good cold the next day (if there are any left over). (Year-round you can tuck them into a pita with salad, but during Passover, when you can’t eat any more matzah, why not go Atkins-style and just have them with a crunchy refreshing salad?)

Adapted by Lisa Ades
Time: 30 minutes, plus 1 hour for chilling

2 pounds ground beef (not extra lean)
4 tablespoons tomato paste
2/3 cup minced onion
2 teaspoons salt
Juice of 1 lemon
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
2 dashes cayenne
1 tablespoon ground allspice
1/3. cup pine nuts
Oil to brush on grill rack
Lemon wedges  for serving
Lemony cucumber salad, for serving (recipe follows).

1. Combine all ingredients but oil, lemon wedges, and salad in a bowl, and mix to combine.

2. You can make these on skewers, but it is much easier to form them and turn them on the grill without.  So just form mixture into torpedo shaped kebabs about 1 inch by 3 inches or into small patties.

3. Lay finished kebabs on a sheet pan and refrigerate at least 1 hour.

4. Prepare charcoal grill, or turn gas grill to medium-low. Spray or brush oil on clean grill rack, and set within a few inches of the fire. Fire should not be too hot, and rack should be at least several inches from heat source.

5. When rack is heated through, place kebabs on grill. Meat should start sizzling gently; it should not spit and turn black. Cook undisturbed until deep brown, several minutes. When meat lifts easily from grill, slide a spatula under kebabs and turn over. Continue grilling until browned on all sides and juicy, but cooked through. Serve hot with lemon wedges and lemony cucumber salad (when it’s not passover, serve also with pita bread that’s been warmed on the grill).

Yield: 4 to 6 servings.

Time: 5 minutes

6 cups romaine lettuce (about 2 hearts)

1 long seedless cucumber or 3 Kirbys, peeled, halved lengthwise, and sliced crosswise 1/4-inch thick

3 tablespoons olive oil

2 teaspoons lemon juice

1/4 cup chopped fresh mint

1 clove finely minced garlic (optional)

Salt and black pepper to taste.

Toss all ingredients. Serve chilled.

Yield: 4 to 6 servings.

SubsrcibeHERE for great Passover recipes!

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Whole Wheat  Zaatar Bread for Shavuot

kosher bread recipes, kosher pareve recipes

Whole Wheat Zaatar Bread for Shavuot

No Comments 09 May 2010

Zaatar Bread

It was 1980, and I remember visiting my Grandma Molly Sutton in her two-family home on Ocean Parkway in Brooklyn. Gathering all of her strenth, she proceeded to pull out a familiar piece of pita bread (or Syrian bread as we call it), and slice it legnthwise  into two large rounds.

She then carefully mixed some olive oil  into the home-made zaatar, spooned the mixture onto the pita circles, and slid the two rounds into her toaster oven.

This was a typical mid-day meal of hers.

She began to tell me how, as a 15 year old girl, she arrived in this country with her older sister Selma on a freighter vessel from Syria.

They did not have much food , but the one thing that they were able to find, was the comforting “Zet ou Zaatar” sold in the Arab quarters on the lower East Side. The zaatar spice was dark in color, so passer- bys who could not comprehend this middle eastern spice, called it  “dirty bread”. Nevertheless, it brought them back to memories of home.

Now, 30 years later, memories of my grandmother toasting her zet ou zaatar come to mind as I attempt to gather ingredients for my own whole wheat version of zaatar bread this Shavuot, 2010.

Even if you are lucky enough to live near a middle Eastern supermarket and can buy this delicacy

any weekday morning, there is nothing like the taste or aroma of your own home baked bread .

Perfect with a slice of cheese and tomato, or dipped into greek yogurt or lebne.

Recipe adapted from HERE.

How To Make Pita Bread- The Video


  • 2 1/2 cups warm water (110 degrees)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon active dry yeast
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 2 cups whole wheat wheat flour
  • 3 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon vegetable oil


Dissolve yeast in warm water. Add honey and stir until dissolved. Let sit for 10-15 minutes until water is frothy.

Combine white flour, wheat flour, and salt in large bowl.

Make a small depression in the middle of flour and pour yeast water in depression.

Slowly add warm yeast water, and stir with wooden spoon or rubber spatula until dough becomes elastic.

Place dough on floured surface and knead for 10-15 minutes. When the dough is no longer sticky and is smooth and elastic, it has been successfully kneaded.

Coat large bowl with vegetable oil and place dough in bowl. Turn dough upside down so all of the dough is coated with oil. Allow to sit, covered, in a warm place for about 3 hours, or until it has doubled in size.

Once doubled, roll out in a rope, and pinch off 10-12 small pieces. Place balls on floured surface. Let sit covered for 10 minutes. Preheat oven to 500 deg F. and make sure rack is at the very bottom of oven. Be sure to preheat your baking sheet also.

Roll out each ball of dough with a rolling pin into circles. Each should be about 5-6 inches across and 1/4 inch thick.

Lightly brush the rounds with some olive oil and sorinkle generously with the zaatar spice.

Bake each circle for 4 minutes until the bread puffs up. Turn over and bake for 2 minutes.

Remove each pita with a spatula from the baking sheet and add additional pitas for baking.

Take spatula and gently push down puff. Immediately place in storage bags.

Storing Pita Bread:

Pita bread can be stored for up to a week in a pantry or bread box, and up to a month in the freezer. Be sure to use freezer bags when storing in the freezer.

Pita bread dough can also be refrigerated for up to one week in the refrigerator.

Buy Kosher Zaatar Here:

Or You Can Make it from scratch:

Two Zaatar spice mix recipes to choose from:

Combine salt,thyme , marjoram, oregano leaves, sumac and sesame seeds in a medium mixing bowl. Sumac is a dark red berry that grows on bushes throughout the Middle East and some parts of Italy. Sumac is sold ground or in dried seed form and can be found at most Middle Eastern markets, or can be ordered from an online specialty company. Store in a dry container until use.

When ready to serve, add the olive oil to the mixture to form a paste. This paste is the zaatar mixture.


  • 1/4 cup sumac
  • 2 tablespoons thyme
  • 1 tablespoon roasted sesame seeds
  • 2 tablespoons marjoram
  • 2 tablespoons oregano
  • 1 teaspoon coarse salt



  • 3 parts toasted sesame seeds
  • - some recipes call for one part  toasted sesame seeds. -it really depends on your tastebuds!
  • 2 parts dried thyme
  • 2 part dried marjoram
  • 2 part oregano
  • 1/2 – 1 part powdered sumac salt, optional
  • coarse salt to taste

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