These savory Lebanese meat pies (known as sfeehas) get their irresistible flavor from clarified butter, toasted pine nuts and fragrant cinnamon.
Today’s post is dedicated to my husband, Rich, in appreciation of all that he does (and puts up with!) as the spouse of a food blogger. In honor of the occasion, I am sharing his most favorite recipe: Lebanese Meat Pies, also known as sfeehas or fatayer.
To celebrate Appreciation Day, I took a few minutes to interview Rich so that he could answer a few questions for our reading pleasure:
1. What is Liz’s favorite blog? That’s easy! Aggie’s Kitchen. It’s no surprise considering they text 100 times a day and both like to make healthy, family-friendly recipes. Aggie is also pregnant so they have that in common!
2. Why did you pick Lebanese Meat Pies as your favorite recipe? I fell in love with sfeehas during one of our first trips to Michigan when we were dating. I think Aunt Paula made them. They were completely new to me and not something I can find in Boston where I grew up. The toasted pine nuts and cinnamon-spiced meat mixture is killer.
3. Who does the dishes? Oh are you kidding me? That’s a given. I always do the dishes. Let’s be honest, I did the dishes before you started The Lemon Bowl. (Oops! Guilty as charged…)
4. What was Liz’s biggest cooking mistake? As the baker of the family, I always get a kick when Liz attempts to bake complex recipes involving yeast. A few months ago she attempted homemade pizza dough but had trouble transferring it from the paddle to the baking stone. Instead of trying to save it she threw the whole thing out. I was mad – I would have still eaten it!!
5. If you could have your own blog what would it be called? Hmm…that’s a tough one. Let’s go with “Sweet Riches”. I love to bake and would share lots of sweets like my famous New England Hermit Bars, a chewy molasses cookie bar.
Isn’t he cute? I love him.
No fork required this time!
Divide dough into small balls and roll to 1/8 inch thick. The rounds should be 3-4 inches wide. Let dough rest 20-30 minutes.
Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees.
In a large pot, brown pine nuts in butter until golden brown being careful not to let burn. Remove from nuts from pan but leave any remaining butter.
Add ground meat, onions, salt, pepper, cinnamon and allspice to the pan and cook until meat is browned - about 8-10 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in toasted pine nuts, yogurt and lemon juice. Let mixture cool slightly.
Place 1 tablespoon of the filling into the center of each round. (A stainless steel scoop is great for this step.)
To begin folding the dough into a triangle, bring the bottom third up over the meat then bring another third of the dough to the first fold and pinch together to form a tight seal.
Fold the final third over and pinch with the first two thirds of the dough to create a tightly pinched triangle. Repeat until you run out of dough.
Place filled triangles on a greased baking sheet (or one lined with a silicone baking sheet) and bake for 15-20 minutes or until bottoms are lightly browned.
Remove from oven and lightly brush with melted clarified butter.
Serve with plain yogurt.
Recipe adapted from the book Kibbee 'n' Spice and Everything Nice