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Home Cooking - #CookforSyria - Our New Year's Eve dinner

Hubby and I had one of our 'great minds think alike' moments this Christmas when it came to which cookbook we needed to get. He texted me from Foyles about whether I wanted anything and I didn't see it until 30 min later when he had already left. Though fortunately he had already grabbed it :) #CookForSyria is a book published to collect money for Children in Syria. All proceeds go to UNICEF to help the children impacted by this terrible war. The recipes were donated by various chefs and bloggers in the UK and there are so many amazing looking options to try and in this post you will see a few we tried out on New Year's Eve.

If you want to buy the book (and I totally recommend that you do) check out Amazon:
- UK -
- France -

Here is the result of our romantic New Year's Eve meal at home. We had been out with friends on the 30th and felt like being home just the two of us after hosting over Christmas. We drank copious amounts of champagne and really enjoyed our chilled out dinner.

So what did we make? We did the almond chicken meatballs with an almond sauce, on wilted cabbage and brown rice, with lemon garlic coriander broad beans plus two dips - muhammara and moutabal. Hubby also made some flat breads - all so good :)

The meatballs (by Amelia Freer) are sooo easy but soooooo yummy, seriously good. We will be making these again for sure! You roughly chop some chicken and then mince it by using the food processor on pulse. You add some ground almonds (you might want to clean the processor out first!) then chop up some spring onions and add them in. Beat an egg and add that. Then add cumin and coriander, salt and black pepper plus coriander leaves and mix it all together.

Mix it all together:

Roll into balls, brush with olive oil and pop in the oven to bake. Healthy, tasty, easy and quick - what else could you ask for?

Quick inside shot :) That one's just for you Kev ;)

You pair the chicken balls with an almond sauce which is creamy and nommy. You need almond butter which we didn't have so we made our own by roasting almonds and then blitzing them until they form a paste which seemed like it would never happen but it suddenly magically turns into this lovely creamy butter. Awesome! You then mix the butter with warm chicken stock, add salt and lemon zest and you are done. Again simple and fragrant. We however would probably add some lemon juice to the sauce next time we make it for a more of an acidic note to the dish. But it is really an amazingly tasty meal!

Next - the broad beans from Dalia's kitchen. Another fast and fun dish that paired really nicely with the chicken balls. You just boil the broad beans for a few minutes, drain them and then toss them in a pan with olive oil, garlic and coriander leaves. Once the garlic is no longer raw you add lemon juice and salt and you are done. So easy! 

End to end about 10 minutes to get this dish to the table. Worth it!

We blanched some cabbage leaves to go with the chicken balls.

And here is the full set of dishes we made. From top left - brown rice (simply boiled), moutabal (roasted aubergine dip), muhammara (roasted red pepper and almond dip with pomegranate molasses which we finished with some mint), the chicken almond meatballs, the broad beans, the cabbage and the almond sauce in the middle. 

And the flat breads hubby whipped up.

I felt that I had to at least try to plate it prettily so here is my attempt - rice topped with cabbage, the meatballs, the almond sauce and scattered broad beans. YUMMMMMMM!!!!!

And with the dips :) I probably could have found a prettier way to incorporate them, at least the red muhammara which could be cool with the green of the beans.

And my hubby's plate full of tasty food :)

What should we try next - any fav recipes in the book or other Syrian dishes? How was your New Year's Eve? Drop me a note below :)


  1. Yummmmm!!!! All looks so good! I love Syrian food (as you know) try Angela hartnetts olive oil & pistachio cake maybe 😍


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