Friday night, after joining a friend’s birthday celebration for a few drinks, I headed over to the first annual Bunbury Festival, a three-day music festival here on our little Cincinnati waterfront.
The headliners included Jane’s Addiction, Weezer and Death Cab for Cutie, plus dozens of other local, regional and national acts. 3 days of music and festival fun. Good times.
I scored my ticket for Friday night to see these superstars…..
During the show, I ran into a friend, who wanted to get his dance on. That’s a feeling I know well, so off we went to Japp’s for some booty shaking and cocktails. They were playing a great mix of music that included some dance music, som indie pop and some Whitney (RIP). Perfect.
Needless to say I was moving pretty slowly on Saturday. However, I pulled myself together Saturday night to join a Jordanian friend at her cousin’s engagement party.
Oh my, oh my, this was a great way to get my Middle Eastern family, food and music fix (making me miss my own big fat Lebanese family).
The mother of the bride made a gorgeous assortment of traditional Jordanian foods for the celebration.
I tried a little bit of everything, and it was all outstanding.
Hushwee: In Middle Eastern culture, this is our “stuffing” a mixture of beef or lamb, rice (or buhlger) and lots of spices.
Labne: A thick strained yogurt
Fatayah: A spinach pie (there was also a meat version called sfeeha).
Mansaf: A traditional Jordanian dish made with lamb, chicken, rice and a warmed yogurt sauce. The lamb is cooked in a broth made with a fermented then dried yogurt-like product called jameed, and served on a large platter with a layer of flatbread (markook or shrak) topped with rice and then meat, garnished with almonds and pine nuts, and then sauce poured over all. A spice mixture called baharat adds distinctive flavour.
This was my first time having Mansaf and I thought it was absolutely delicious, full of different textures and flavors.
Wadadarish: Grapeleaves stuffed with hushwee (see above).
Syrian Salad: A simple salad made tomato, cucumber, lettuce, onion and a homemade dressing of lemon, olive oil, mint and garlic.
We happily toasted the newly engaged couple; enjoyed the amazing food; and then danced to the Arabic drummer that was present. Yup, it’s not an Arab party unless you’re dancing in the living room. Love that.
Sunday was a day of rest. Amen.
While rocking out to Pandora Punk, I made (surprise!) another grain salad.
This blog will soon be known as “Your Kind of (Grain) Salad”.
Eat your whole grains.
And listen to punk music.
And be nice to children and the elderly (that one is good anytime).
Artichoke, Prosciutto Orzo Salad
1/2 c. WW Orzo, dry (you could use regular orzo or small pasta if you prefer).
5 slices prosciutto
1 can artichoke hearts in brine (not oil)
3 tbs basil pesto
3 tbs parmesan cheese
1 tbs olive oil
1 tsp garlic powder
Cracked Black Pepper
Sea Salt (optional)
Pre-heat oven to 350. Lay prosciutto in one layer on a baking tray lined with tin foil and bake for about 15-18 minutes until crisp (you could also do this on the stove in a saute pan). We want our prosciutto crispy! Using kitchen shears or a sharp knife dice the prosciutto. Rinse the canned artichokes well, and (if not already quartered) chop roughly into quarters. Measure out pesto and Parmesan. Set all ingredients aside.
In a large bowl, combine warmed orzo, prosciutto, pesto, artichokes and Parmesan.
Mix thoroughly. In a small bowl, whisk olive oil, garlic powder and black pepper. Add to mixed salad. Stir well. This dish has quite a bit of salt from the pesto, Parmesan and prosciutto; so taste before adding any salt to the dish. Serve warm. Serves 4 as a side dish.
How was your weekend? Any Bunbury attendees? Any good food?