Home-living: Arabic brunches and Filet Mignon Suppers

My mother is an incredible cook chef

And I’m not just saying that because she’s my mama, but anyone who has ever tasted her Kafta, Kabsa (Saudi spiced rice/chicken/veggies dish), and lasagne can attest to this- oh and she makes the best Finnish/Swedish meatballs I have ever had (and my Dad is the Scandinavian source of the genetics). And I’m not even mentioning her baking- she can whip up the best baklava you’ve ever had like it’s nobody’s business and her chocolate cheesecake puts New York to shame (and thankfully I have a birthday coming up)

When Nora and I were children, my mama packed our lunches and cooked dinner for the family just about every night. In fact, the first time I tasted a frozen meal was in college (it was Trader Joe’s chicken vindaloo). Therefore it is quite fair to say we’ve been spoiled with culinary indulgences ever since the surfacing of our first milk teeth.

Yesterday, Mama and I were feelin’ a little Middle East homesick so she whipped us up a fantastic Arabic Brunch spread

Foul Mudammas (it’s not foul, you pronounce it like fool), basically a stew made of fava beans, garbanzo, tomatoes, parsley, cilatnro, tahini, olive oil, garlic and a whole bunch of spices- this is an essential component of any Arabic breakfast

Baba ghanouj with smoked paprika and kalamata olives

Shakshouka: Scrambed eggs with stewed tomatoes/onions/red peppers, parsley, cilantro, LOTS of cumin/coriander/other Arabic spices

Fresh whole wheat pita bread: (Okay, this is courtesy of Trader Joe’s…) If we were in Saudi though we would probably be eating Tameez or Za’atar bread 
Our individual bowls of mudammas
Za’atar Zeit (Za’atar with olive oil)

Brunch! Only thing missing: Labneh (yogurt cheese) and all my hungry uncles


For dinner, we had a few filet mignons chillin’ in the freezer that required consumption as well as a substantial amount of fresh produce:

Balsamic mushrooms

Sauteed French Beans


Pea & Parmigiano Risotto

Organic swiss chard sauteed with onions/garlic/lemon juice/spices

My plate (ate this x2): Filet mignon with all fixings
Daddy’s Dinner Plate of Feastly Glory (also containing leftover scalloped potatoes)
Mountain of Mignon: YES

If I haven’t already made it apparent, I am a steak-a-phile- my favourite food as a kid was going to Benihana and ordering the Surf and Turf Filet Mignon with Lobster (Yes, this is when I was three or four). Steak gets wayyyy too much of a bad rap nowadays, the truth is that it is actually a healthy component of one’s diet if they choose a lean cut (sirloin/trimmed filet mignon, tenderloin, etc) and go for grass-fed hormone-free organic beef! We’re lucky to have Niman Ranch here in Marin which produces amazing quality beef free of nitrates/hormones/antibiotics. Plus, it’s a more than adequate source of protein, iron, and B-vitamins (and is straight up delicious paired with a nice balsamic reduction or perhaps some bearnaise.)

Fan of steak? Yay or nay?

Did you grow up with home-cooked meals or frozen food/eating out?

Ever tried Foul Mudammas, Shakshouka, or Za’atar?


2 thoughts on “Home-living: Arabic brunches and Filet Mignon Suppers

  1. I love learning about and trying new food from other cultures! I haven’t tried Foul Mudammas, Shakshouka, or Za’atar, but I would like to! Want to have me over for dinner? 😉

    My mom makes a really delicious flat iron steak. That’s about the only time I’ll eat it!

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