Blanche Shaheen is an Arab American and network television host and reporter in both entertainment and news. She reported on the ABC entertainment program called “View from the Bay,” hosted the independent film show “Video I” for PBS for 10 years, reported live news daily for the Tech TV show called “Tech Live,” and hosted news and political programs for Link Media. In 2010, Blanche began hosting her own cooking show, and sharing hundreds of years of treasured recipes preserved by her mother and grandmother. These are heirloom recipes handed word of mouth from one generation to the next, recipes that even many culinary schools lacked – however, there were no written measurements. With her solid journalism background, Blanche decided to document her family recipes in an ongoing cookbook, and Feast in the Middle East was born.
Blanche launched her popular YouTube cooking show called Feast in the Middle East to not only share these recipes with her family, but with the world. Her videos were featured on the inflight entertainment on Virgin America Airlines, where over 1 million passengers a month could watch her cooking program. She has gained recognition in the press, featured on NBC’s “California Live,” BBC World News, KQED’s “Check Please” program, NPR radio, the Palo Alto Weekly, the Los Altos Crier, the Mountain View Voice, the San Jose Mercury News, and the Rumi Awards show that she hosted for an international audience. Go to: https://www.youtube.com/user/blanchetv.
It’s time to make the appealing Mediterranean Shepherd’s Pie that Blanche created while her family was in quarantine the last several months at their home in the San Francisco Bay Area. “You won’t miss the meat with this shepherd’s pie, with a rich ragout of lentils, and Middle Eastern spices. I developed this recipe after being fed up from not finding what I needed at the grocery store, so I used shelf-stable pantry ingredients like root vegetables and lentils to make this hearty dish. These potatoes are fluffy and creamy — a perfect balance for the rustic lentils,” adds Blanche.
1 tablespoon olive or avocado oil, to taste