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heidih

"Jerusalem" by Ottolenghi and Tamimi

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It must be the pre holiday cookbook release season as the new ones seem to be popping out. I have been quite interested in the food of the region and Jerusalem by Ottolenghi and Tamimi is calling . Has anyone seen a pre-release copy or ordered it?

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I saw this in a shop the other week (I guess we get some books before the US!?) and it looked fascinating. I didn't spend much time with it but it reminded me alot of "Plenty" in terms of layout, and the boldly spiced/herbed rustic looking recipies. I'm interested to hear what other people think of it, I'm definitely on the fence. I never really look at "Plenty" anymore and only cooked a handful of reciepes out of it due to a lack of reasonably price herbs where I live :(


Edited by Merkinz (log)

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Ordered it and it'll be here on Tuesday! I can't remember the last time I was so excited about a cookbook. I feel quite the opposite of Merkinz re Plenty (one of my all-time favorite cookbooks), and I don't expect to be disappointed by this one.

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Ordered it and it'll be here on Tuesday! I can't remember the last time I was so excited about a cookbook. I feel quite the opposite of Merkinz re Plenty (one of my all-time favorite cookbooks), and I don't expect to be disappointed by this one.

Don't get me wrong! I love 'Plenty' and the food I cooked from it was spectacular I just found that down here in little old New Zealand it can be difficult and expensive buying some of the ingredients for this book. And damn near in possible in winter... This is more of a comment on New Zealand than it is the book itself.

I've still got my eye on this :)

PS: I really should get stuck into the garden and grow some herbs!!!

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You should. Most herbs grow like weeds. You can also grow vegetables that are hard to find -- ie heirloom varieties or things like tomatillos.

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I may buy this later this year as a Christmas treat.....for myself. For anybody who's got it.....what's the Shawarma (sp?) recipe like? I know it's there because it's in the index.

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I pre-ordered this as a Kindle book and received it a few weeks ago. Yotam Ottolenghi grew up in the Jewish west and Sami Tamimi grew up in the Moslem East. The book tries to capture the diversity of food across the complex city that is Jerusalem. I haven't cooked anything from it as yet but reading the recipes it seems that they are a worthwhile addition to any Middle Eastern collection. The "Kawarma" recipe looks good. It is made with lamb neck fillet chopped by hand, spices including black and white pepper, cinnamon, allspice, and nutmeg. Herbs include za'tar leaves, parsley and mint. Also adds vinegar and salt. Sounds really tasty.


Edited by nickrey (log)

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Oh no......I've never heard of za'tar before.

hey alder1, you should be able to find zatar in Uk quite easily now - its a Middle eastern herb blend, mostly dried tyme, oregano and sesame amongst others. have a feeling I saw it in Waitrose when i was last back - if you are near london teh spice shop in notting hill sells it and I am pretty sure you can order from them online too

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Oh no......I've never heard of za'tar before.

hey alder1, you should be able to find zatar in Uk quite easily now - its a Middle eastern herb blend, mostly dried tyme, oregano and sesame amongst others. have a feeling I saw it in Waitrose when i was last back - if you are near london teh spice shop in notting hill sells it and I am pretty sure you can order from them online too

OK thanks

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Za'atar (sorry auto correct changed it) is the herb as well as the condiment described above. It is a specific type of oregano. You can use Greek oregano as a substitute.

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Za'atar (sorry auto correct changed it) is the herb as well as the condiment described above. It is a specific type of oregano. You can use Greek oregano as a substitute.

Does this have to be fresh? Dried Za'atar or dried Greek Oregano is quite easy to come by.

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Mmmmm. My wife and I spent many of our most memorable days in Jerusalem and surroundings (still dreaming of aliyah one day). I just pre-ordered the kindle version and plan on surprising her with some of these recipes. Thanks for the tip off!

On a parallel track - 'Secrets of a Jewish Baker' is the only baking book I've ever used, and I absolutely adore it.

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It's my understanding dried za'ataar herb mix can vary with the maker, though thyme and oregano are usual, along with sumac, which is what makes the mix unique.

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I also live in New Zealand and received my copy of Jerusalem the other day. It's an amazing book, and has loads of great recipes that have turned out beautifully. And with regard to Merkinz's comments above, yes, herbs can be expensive in NZ in winter (especially) but they are easy to grow yourself, and the only ones you really need to have, like Italian parsley and maybe coriander, grow well in NZ year-round, especially if you have a sunny windowsill or a tunnel house.

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Yes! I am going to be more dedicated to growing my own herbs this summer. :) it usually pays off alot more than growing your own vegetables which can be had for dirt cheap at the farmers markets.

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This book has lived up to all my wildly high expectations. Have made Na'ama's Fattoush, the Bulgur Risotto with Marinated Feta, and the Hummus Kawarma with Lemon Sauce. All fantastic, though mostly not photogenic. I did take one of the risotto that turned out acceptably, though with terrible lighting:

photo (47).JPG

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I've made the Fattoush as well - amazing recipe, really really tasty and very simple to make. Cribbed the recipe off the "Look inside" section on amazon, will definitely be getting this book.

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Wondering about what recipes y'all have tried from the book. I've had it for a few months and have a bunch of recipes tagged but haven't had a chance to try any.

What are the favorites?

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Sami Tamimi's grandmother's hummus recipe is pretty much perfection in purée form.

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Namaa's fatoush for sure

The grilled eggplant with yogurt and pomegranate seeds. Best use I've ever seen for big eggplants.

We actually had less luck with the hummus. Maybe our tahini wasn't high enough quality? I've also seen that skinning the chickpeas is desirable. Gonna try that next time.

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with the added bicarb and cooking until VERY soft, skinning wasn't necessary for me.

I will say that as you make it, there seems to be FAR too much liquid called for, but once it all cools down and sets up, using appreciably less water or other liquid results in a very stiff product. So if you think it seems too watery at first, don't worry.

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yeah i bought this along with his veg book "plenty" and i'd definitely recommend these as they're both great. (though i'd say jerusalem more-so since you get a greater coverage of foodstuff)

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Namaa's fatoush for sure

 

The grilled eggplant with yogurt and pomegranate seeds. Best use I've ever seen for big eggplants.

 

We actually had less luck with the hummus. Maybe our tahini wasn't high enough quality? I've also seen that skinning the chickpeas is desirable. Gonna try that next time.

 

I agree about the hummus - I was disappointed with it, but chalked my lack of success up to using canned chickpeas. It was too dry for my taste, but of course, hummus tastes vary. I've bought a bag of dried chickpeas to experiment with this weekend, because I have a tub of tahini I want to use up before I leave my apartment for the summer.

 

On a more successful note, I made the swiss chard with pine nuts; and the sumac sauce for the turkey burgers. Both were huge hits, and my husband has requested that we use the sumac sauce for chip dip in the future. To this end, I've got a bag of ruffles for further weekend experimentation.

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