88th Annual Middle Eastern Festival

St. Elias Church Serves up Delicious Menu and More

The St. Elias Antiochian Orthodox Church is set to host its 88th Annual Middle Eastern Festival this weekend. This year the church will be organizing four days of dance, music, church tours, and, of course, food. The menu provides a huge range of options of homemade Middle Eastern cuisine covering all of the essentials from falafel to pita. Needless to say, there are many chances to explore something new and experience your regional favorites - the menu changes every year as tastes evolve!


Festival Director Dr. Ramzi Khairalla and festival spokeswoman Rita Algattas give us a taste of what we can anticipate when the festivities open, bringing truly delicious chicken and beef pita sandwiches featuring authentic Lebanese spices. Many nationalities and their cooking are represented - and the taste clearly speaks for itself, as the festival continues to grow year after year. Even as the scale increases, the organizers keep things up to speed, with only short waits even at the busiest hours.


The festival runs from Thursday, July 6th, to Sunday, July 9th. Hours are 4pm to 10pm Thursday and Friday, 12pm to 10pm Saturday, and 12pm to 6pm Sunday. The church is located at 4988 Onondaga Road in Syracuse. You can see the menu and read more at syracusemideastfest.com.

If you'd like to try making the dish featured in the segment, the recipe for pita panini of beef tenderloin sheesh kabab is as follows.


Beef tenderloin diced in 1.5-2 inches cubes.
(Or your favorite cut of meat)
Olive oil, black pepper and salt .
Sumac spice.
Green Peppers and onions.
Your favorite hummus. 
Tomatoes, parsley.
Your favorite pickles.
Pita bread.

Sheesh Kabab prep:
Mix the beef tenderloin meat with your favorite spice and/or black pepper along with olive oil to coat it nicely. Skewer the meat cubes with onions and peppers in between.
Let the skewers rest in the fridge for at least four hours before grilling for better results. Solve the skewers right before grilling. 

After grilling the skewers to the temperature of your liking, let the sheesh kabab rest for about 10 minutes before rolling it in the sandwich.

Pita Panini prep:
Prepare the parsley, onions, tomatoes and pickles by dicing them and mix the onions with the sumac spice.

Open the pita bread and lay it on the table with the porous side facing you. Place and spread 2-3 tablespoons of hummus on one side of the bread. Sprinkle a generous portion of tomatoes, pickles, parsley and onions on top of the hummus.
Place the sheesh kabab meat and vegetables after removing the skewer on top of the pita and roll the pita bread while closing both sides.

Grill the pita roll in a warm Panini machine until the outside of the bread becomes crunchy.





More Stories

Don't Miss

Trending Stories

Latest News

Video Center