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Family Favorites - Tykemart

Family Favorites - Tykemart (8)

TykeMart bloggers and members share easy budget friendly recipes to make for the whole family.  Recipes for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

This recipe is my version of a Middle Eastern dish popular in my husband’s hometown.  It’s called “Macluba” which I am told literally mean “upside down”.

There are special covered pots sold at Middle Eastern stores for this dish, I got this pot from a market in Jordan.   But if you don’t have one any large pot with a lid will work. 

It is usually made with lamb, but I don’t eat lamb and therefore do not cook it well.  It can also be done with beef, but I find that the beef gets tough and dry.  In my family we almost always make it with chicken.

The dish can also be made to include eggplant along with the cauliflower and potatoes, but I’m allergic to eggplant, so I don’t use it. 

It’s a great dish to serve company as it always looks pretty when it’s flipped onto the serving tray.  It is tedious to prepare taking about 3 hours, but aside from making a salad it’s all you need to prepare because the meat, veggies, and starch are all in one pot.  Servings can be adjusted by using a larger pot and adding more ingredients. 



It’s also a great idea for pot-lucks.  You can easily transport it in the pot and flip it over onto a tray when you get there. 

We serve it with a fresh salad made of finely chopped tomato, onion, cucumber, and parsley which each person can mix into their plate of “macluba”.  My kids also like to mix in plain yogurt so we usually have a bowl of yogurt on the side too.




Serves 8


8-12 chicken thighs, bone-in and skin on

1 large onion – chopped in large chunks

1 bulb of garlic – minced

2 cans chicken broth

4 cups Uncle Ben’s parboiled rice

1 large cauliflower – separate the fleurettes

3 medium sized potatoes – peeled and thickly sliced

1 large eggplant (optional) – peeled and thickly sliced

1 large tomato – sliced into wedges

4 oz. Vermicelli (Angel Hair pasta) broken into thirds

½ cup pine nuts (optional)

2 tbls. butter

2 tbls. ground cumin

1 tbls. ground nutmeg

1 tbls. ground turmeric

Sea Salt & ground pepper to taste

Olive oil for frying

Cooking spray







1.       Place uncooked rice into a large bowl.  Sprinkle turmeric on the rice and add hot tap water to fully cover the rice, water should be at least 1 inch above the rice.  Stir rice/water mixture until the water turns slightly yellow.  Set aside.  Rice will absorb most of the water and will turn light yellow.  If you want the rice to be a darker yellow increase the turmericto 2 tbls.


            Clean chicken.


2.       Sautee chopped onions in 2 tbls. olive oil on medium heat until slightly tender.  Add ½ of the minced garlic.  Sautee 1 minute.  Add 1 tbls. cumin, ½ tbls. nutmeg, salt and pepper. Stir spices  to mix with onions and garlic.  Add chicken thighs, sautee for 3 minutes.  Add chicken broth and water to cover chicken.


            Boil chicken over medium heat until done, about 45 mins.   You will have to skim the foam that forms on the top a few times.  If liquid boils down add more water, chicken should be covered in liquid until it’s cooked.  Cooked chicken will be tender. 



           Fry cauliflower, potatoes, and eggplant in olive oil until done.  Veggies should be cooked but not soft.  Drain on paper towel.  Set aside.


      Sautee vermicelli and pine nuts in butter until browned – do not burn.  Set aside


       Cut tomatoes into thick wedges.  Set aside.




1.       Spray a large pot – with cooking spray.

2.       Arrange cooked chicken and veggies on the bottom of the pot. Reserve the chicken broth.

3.       Arrange tomato wedges between chicken and veggies.


       Sprinkle remaining garlic, cumin, and nutmeg over all. Salt and pepper if desired.

2.       Drain remaining water from rice.

3.       Mix sautéed vermicelli and pine nuts into the rice.


       Pour the rice evenly over the chicken and veggies to form the top layer.


         Pour reserved chicken broth over all.  Liquid should be about 1” above the rice layer.  If it’s not add water to reach this height. 


        Cover pot and cook over medium heat for 25 mins. or until liquid is absorbed and rice is cooked.  If liquid is absorbed but rice is still not cooked add more water or reserved broth to cover rice and continue cooking until rice is tender but not mushy.  Do not overcook, chicken on the bottom will burn.  Some of the ingredients will rise to the top during cooking. 


       When rice is cooked remove from heat and let rest covered for 15 mins.  before flipping the pot over onto a serving tray. 


Every Sunday evening we get the family together by having a barbecue at our house.  It's a great time to share awesome food and catch up with the week's events.  My daughters who now live in different states take part in this tradition on Facetime, the marvels of technology!

This weekly dinner is great, but it does create a bit of a problem, what to cook!  I spend the day searching for something different or at the very least putting a new twist on our regular standards of steaks, kebobs, hot dogs, and burgers.

Last week I saw some yummy looking stuffed burgers on Pinterest.  I decided to put my own spin on the burger and my family loved it!

I used 80/20 ground chuck to make sure the thick patties hold together during grilling. I love garlic so I use a couple of teaspoons, and omit the salt because I feel the onion soup mix has enough salt in it.  Spices can be adjusted to taste. It's really simple, kids can help prepare it.  It goes great with oven baked crosscut seasoned potatoes found in the freezer section of the local supermarket. 

This recipe makes 8 good sized stuffed patties.


3 lbs. ground ground chuck

1 envelope onion soup mix

2 tsps. garlic powder

1 tbls. worchestershire sauce

8 slices pepper jack cheese - quartered

8 slices cheddar cheese


Mix first 4 ingredients together in a large mixing bowl.  Make sure soup mix, garlic powder, and worchestershire sauce are evenly mixed into the beef. 

Divide meat into 16 equal parts and roll each portion into a meatball.  Make the meatballs as equal in size as possible.

Quarter each slice of pepper jack cheese to make 8 stacks of quartered slices


Flatten meatballs into patties making it thinner in the center.  Press one stack of cheese into each of 8 patties.


Place the other patties over the patties with cheese and seal.  Pinch the seams together all the way around, make sure the patties are sealed well so that cheese doesn't seep out while grilling.


Wipe the grill with some oil to keep burgers from sticking.  Grill burgers about 10 minutes each side or until it's cooked the way you like.  Server on buns with desired condiments and sides.


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