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SobaAddict70

Cooking from "Jerusalem: A Cookbook"

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After USGM, I went over to a Barnes & Noble and bought

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which I've been wanting to get for a long, long time. My partner, B, has their book "Plenty" which came out in May 2010. I considered buying that, but it didn't "grab" me the same way that this one did.

I'm dreaming about making a few things right off the bat, like for instance, maqluba (page 127), sabih (page 91), charred okra with tomato, garlic and preserved lemon (page 74) and roast chicken with clementines and arak (page 179).

I'm looking forward to cooking my way through this book.

Anyone want to join me?

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Anna N   

Soba

While I am usually happy to join a cookbook project, I will be staying on the sidelines for this one. First of all the title makes me want to burst into song. Not the William Blake version but the other one, "Jerusalem Jerusalem lift up your gates...." And given that I am both tone deaf and unable to carry a tune even in a suitcase...... Well you see the problem. But beyond that I can never get my head around the flavors and ingredients of food from this part of the world. I am not saying that there is no single dish that appeals to me. That's just not true but whereas I can look at most Asian cookbooks and mark recipe after recipe that I would like to try, I seem to have a hangup about middle eastern ingredients and flavors. Perhaps if you and others demonstrate dishes from this book I can be persuaded to at least try one or two of them. Anyway I will be following with interest as I do with most of what you post. I hope you get a lot of takers.

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Franci   

While D. Lebovitz is highly overrated for me, I just LOVE Ottolenghi instead (my husband cannot always appreciate Ottolenghi's boldness and often just by looking asks if we are eating something Ottolenghish).

I don't own Jerusalem (just the cookbook) but made many many recipes from the Guardian column. Looking forward to this.

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I love this cookbook. Also - Anna - if anything might make you intrigued with these cuisines, it could be the photography in Ottolenghi's Jerusalem. To my mind it sets a new standard in cookbook photography.

 

Soba, some recipes I've particularly enjoyed:

 

- Na'ama's fattoush (p. 29)

- Cannellini bean & lamb soup (p. 135)

- Roasted chicken with clementines & arak (p. 179)

- Chicken with caramelized onion and cardamom rice (p. 184) <--- this is particularly fantastic

 

What didn't work for me:

 

- The much-lauded hummus. I've tried it several times and it's just not my kind of hummus.

 

Quick plug for a recipe in Plenty (which I agree isn't as good as Jerusalem):

 

- Eggplant with buttermilk sauce (the cover illustration too) (p. 110)

 

I think there maybe an existing thread on this cookbook? I could be wrong...

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I searched for "Jerusalem" and didn't get any results. Anyway, someone will fix it sooner or later.

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IMG_2613.JPG

Here, you see 2 tablespoons tahini in a measuring cup. I typically cook for one person so all quantities listed in this thread are halved or as close to that as possible, for those of you who are following along but don't have the book.

To that, add 1 tablespoon lemon juice, a little crushed garlic (I used half a clove), 2 tablespoons yogurt (Ottolenghi calls for Greek yogurt, but I subbed regular plain yogurt) and a tablespoon or so of water.

Whisk until smooth, like so:

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Reserve the sauce.

Next, take your chard and trim it.

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This is about half a large bunch of chard; I used part of it for the first demo in the Sauteeing Vegetables thread.

Trim the chard; Ottolenghi instructs you to separate the stems from the leaves. This is relatively immature chard so the stems aren't nearly as tough as they normally would be. I could have kept the chard whole, but separated them anyway. I blanched them in lightly salted simmering water, then shocked them in ice water and squeezed out the liquid, like so:

 

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This is 1 tablespoon unsalted butter and 1 tablespoon olive oil.

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Melt the butter and add 2 tablespoons pine nuts once the butter foams.

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Toast the nuts and lift out with a slotted spoon; set aside and reserve.

This is about 1/2 large clove garlic, sliced thinly.

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Add to the pot or pan with the butter-oil mixture; fry until the garlic turns color, then add 1/4 cup white wine.

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Cook until the wine has reduced by nearly two-thirds,

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then whisk in 1 tablespoon unsalted butter

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and add the chard.

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Cook the chard until it's warmed through. Taste for salt and pepper. Remove from heat, then divide chard amongst warmed serving bowls.

Top with tahini-yogurt sauce. Sprinkle with pine nuts. Drizzle with extra-virgin olive oil and garnish with a touch of paprika, if you like.

 

14421804154_63e409325f_z.jpg

 

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Chard with tahini, yogurt and buttered pine nuts (pages 88-89)

Time: About 30-35 minutes, including prep.


Edited by SobaAddict70 (log)
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Anna N   

Thanks very much. Did you enjoy it? Was it a side dish or did you make it a meal? As I research Jerusalem I see, as with so many cookbooks, the same recipes being tried and praised. Perhaps four or five. Are you inspired by more than these very popular dishes?

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Thanks very much. Did you enjoy it? Was it a side dish or did you make it a meal? As I research Jerusalem I see, as with so many cookbooks, the same recipes being tried and praised. Perhaps four or five. Are you inspired by more than these very popular dishes?

 

That was a first course.  ;)

 

I doubt very much I'll dislike anything in this cookbook.  I adore the flavors emblematic of Middle Eastern cuisine; their profiles already appear in much of my cooking and it's a vegetable-heavy genre, which is a huge plus.

 

I'll probably be making this again; I can see it as part of brunch, for instance.

 

I really want to make maqluba as my first major project.  It's a "cake" made from eggplant, tomatoes, rice, chicken thighs and spices.  The rice is the "batter" that seals everything together, and all of the ingredients are cooked in a spice-infused chicken stock.  Unfortunately that will have to wait until later in the year since eggplant is not yet available at USGM.

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nakji   

I love this cookbook. Also - Anna - if anything might make you intrigued with these cuisines, it could be the photography in Ottolenghi's Jerusalem. To my mind it sets a new standard in cookbook photography.

 

Soba, some recipes I've particularly enjoyed:

 

- Na'ama's fattoush (p. 29)

- Cannellini bean & lamb soup (p. 135)

- Roasted chicken with clementines & arak (p. 179)

- Chicken with caramelized onion and cardamom rice (p. 184) <--- this is particularly fantastic

 

What didn't work for me:

 

- The much-lauded hummus. I've tried it several times and it's just not my kind of hummus.

 

Quick plug for a recipe in Plenty (which I agree isn't as good as Jerusalem):

 

- Eggplant with buttermilk sauce (the cover illustration too) (p. 110)

 

I think there maybe an existing thread on this cookbook? I could be wrong...

 

I completely agree about the hummus. I found it bland.

 

I actually cooked from this book last night, making the zucchini-turkey meatballs with sumac sauce. It was the third time I'd made the sumac sauce, which actually serves quite nice as a crudite dip (or for potato chips, which is how we had it). It's hard to get turkey mince here, but I finally got my hands on some, and decided to have a go at these. I thought the mince was too damp before I started frying, but in fact they held together beautifully. They were tender and flavoursome. I think the next time, though, I'll make them with pork, as I didn't find much turkey flavour coming through with the spices and herbs, and pork is so much cheaper. I also tend to think of cumin being more appropriate for stronger-flavoured meats such as lamb or beef, so I dialled back the cumin called for in the recipe, and would do so again. 

 

We had them with mini-pitas and stir-fried corn, and both my husband and son were big fans. 

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14237239388_fc44c7fe61_z.jpg

There's even a recipe for brik...oh wow. Wowie wow wow.

It's calling my name...

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nakji   

That brik does call out, doesn't it? Oozing egg never fails.

 

I missed your post about the swiss chard above - that was actually the first recipe I made from this book as well. Super.

 

Swiss Chard.jpg

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If you are a member of Eat Your Books there are loads of comments on recipes rated 4 stars or more...there are over 50 such rated recipes.

I highly recommend Mejadra on page 120. It makes a lot so I would suggest making a half recipe first time around.

I do not recommend Kubbeh Hamusta on page 163...there was too much filling for the dough and I did not like the texture.

I also agree about the hummus.

Others that I have made and enjoyed:

Stuffed artichokes with peas and dill, page 171

Stuffed eggplant with lamb and pine nuts, page 166

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Smithy   

I held true to my moratorium on buying more cookbooks, saved by the fact that our library has this book. I've just checked it out and am trying to decide which recipe(s) to try first. The photography is beautiful. One small quibble with it is that I prefer a cookbook to have a comprehensive list of recipes within each chapter, or in the Table of Contents, to make it easy to see, say, all the vegetable recipes in one go. The Kindle version does not. There is an index at the end, however, and that saves one from having to 'page' through the entire vegetable chapter to find, say, chard recipes.

I'm looking forward to trying some of these, but will have to wait to see which ingredients are available at our markets.

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Dinner's already set in stone for the next couple of nights (you'll see why when I post to the Dinner thread later), but I'll probably be making the couscous with tomato and onion (page 129) this week.

Seems like I'll have to visit Kalustyan's to get pomegranate molasses, barberries and za'taar.

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nakji   

I'm keen on making the barley with feta - I think someone made it in the "Cookbooks" topic. I borrowed the book from a friend and only copied the recipes I thought I'd likely make. That one made the cut, along with the chicken with cardamom, which I've made two or three times now. 

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Franci   

I'm keen on making the barley with feta - I think someone made it in the "Cookbooks" topic. I borrowed the book from a friend and only copied the recipes I thought I'd likely make. That one made the cut, along with the chicken with cardamom, which I've made two or three times now. 

 

I don't know how different it is. I made the pearl barley tabbuleh with marinated feta. It was quite good

barleytabboulehottolenghi.jpg

 

 

Stuffed artichokes with peas and dill, page 171

 

Long time I made this but I was not a huge fan, I liked better the traditional turkish dish with artichokes and favas.

I need to look for the photo I took of this dish, I'll add it if I can find it.

 

I also made from the book the chermoula aubergines and substituted  smetana  for yogurt. This dish I liked much more the day after.

 

auberginecouscousotto.jpg

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Anna N   

So I have been lured over to the dark side! After researching and researching and telling myself I would not be tempted I succumbed. I'll be soaking up the kindle edition over the next few days. Damn!

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We made the Mejadra a couple weeks ago for Meatless Monday (on Tuesday).

Mejadra.jpg

That looks so good. One of my favorite middle eastern soul foods
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So I have been lured over to the dark side! After researching and researching and telling myself I would not be tempted I succumbed. I'll be soaking up the kindle edition over the next few days. Damn!

 

They say denial is the first stage of acceptance :biggrin:

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Smithy   

My first recipe attempt was part of tonight's dinner:

 

Root vegetable slaw with labneh to come.jpg

 

Root vegetable slaw with labneh (photo shot before labneh was added).

 

It was / is very pretty: even prettier once something creamy and white is added.  I didn't take a picture of the served salad with yogurt, but the vivid pink beet juices were turned into vivid creamy hot pink - almost magenta - with the addition of a milk product.  Truly lovely.

 

Having said that, I'll add the following notes:

 

Given my knife skills - not bad, but not professional - if I make this again I'll use a food processor.  Getting matchsticks out of raw beets and kolhrabi was a bit much for me, and at present I'm typing with only 9 fingers because of a miscalculation with a knife and a beet.

 

It appears that getting truly small matchstick sizes - the recipe specifies 1/16" or smaller - is critical to getting the dressing to permeate and soften those root vegetables.  Either that, or one needs to use much younger, more tender roots, or the whole thing needs to marinate overnight.  (We'll know about that tomorrow.)

 

We thought the dressing was too sweet and didn't meld with the ingredients properly.  This assessment may also change after everything has a chance to marinate for a day or two.  

 

Unless the taste and texture change dramatically after a day or two in the refrigerator, I won't bother with this recipe again.  It isn't worth the effort, and we'll be challenged (based on tonight's taste test) to finish what I made. Neither of us likes to throw away food, but there's a fine compost pile outside.

 

Two other, probably relevant, points:  this really, truly is not compatible with an oniony potatoey beef pot roast, which was very satisfying tonight; and

our labneh was going bad and we had to substitute yogurt.

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nakji   

That's another of the recipes I was interested in, so I'm glad you made it, Smithy! Funnily enough, I had made a note to make this AFTER I get around to getting a food processor.  :raz:

 

Did you use Greek yogurt as a sub for the labneh? Because that's what I'd have to do, lacking the patience to make labneh myself.

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