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SobaAddict70

Cooking from "Jerusalem: A Cookbook"

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No sign of my ancho chilies so I used a couple of chile de arbol and I was grateful to have some Christopher Ranch pre-peeled garlic. Hope I remember to toss it in the cooler on Friday morning.


Edited by Mjx Rotated image (log)

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This is a subjective question, but do those of you who have cooked from Jerusalem and Plenty find that the recipes in Jerusalem are a bit more accessible? I don't have either book, but have perused Plenty and just reading the recipes and lists of ingredients made me tired. 

 

Last night I made Swiss Chard Fritters with Feta, which I believe is from Jerusalem. It was fantastic, and not overly fussy. I didn't have the same herbs as listed, but used what I had on hand-- dill and chives. 

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I'd say Jerusalem is more accessible for sure. It's not entirely traditional, but the traditional base means more common ingredients. That said, Plenty is one of my all time favorite cookbooks, and while the ingredient lists can be a bit crazy, they're worth it.

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I read Plenty after reading Jerusalem.  I haven't really cooked from either, but I found Jerusalem much more inviting.

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I love this book, it's up there with his first one, maybe even better - don't think I've made an Ottolenghi recipe I don't like yet.

 

On Friday evening (in preparation for a very meat-heavy BBQ day on saturday) we had the fried tomatoes, the spiced fish kebabs and some tabouleh:

 

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I found a really nice (for the supermarket) fillet of cod so decided to do it as a whole piece rather than kebabs, and I'm glad I did.  The spice paste is really flavourful and goes really well with simply grilled fish.

 

The fried tomatoes are a big hit, very very easy to make - note for next time, when the book says 1.5cm thick slices, it really means it - I got a bit carried away and made some a lot slimmer than this, they just turned to mush in the pan.

 

The tabouleh was great - though there was a bit more bulgar than I would normally like, will make sure I weigh the parsley properly next time.

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I read Plenty after reading Jerusalem.  I haven't really cooked from either, but I found Jerusalem much more inviting.

Many of the recipes from Jerusalem require things that you can make in advance. Ottolenghi mentions that if you don't have any pipelchuma, that harissa can be subbed for example (which itself can be either homemade or store-bought). He does list substitutions, so ultimately it depends on how much effort you want to exert.

I didn't get to do any cooking from Jerusalem while I was in SF, that is, apart from a dish of fried tomatoes with garlic (the non-spicy version) I made for my partner. It was a hit.

B will be in NYC in late August; that's awesomesauce because then it will be eggplant season and just in time for maqluba.


Edited by SobaAddict70 (log)

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Preserved limes

This is a variation on the recipe Ottolenghi gives on page 303 for preserved lemons.

4 limes, quartered

4 tablespoons sea salt

2 tablespoons granulated sugar

1/2 tablespoon chopped thyme

1/2 cup lime juice

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

This will sit in a cupboard for one week and be gently shaken each day, then transferred to the fridge for three more weeks.

I picked up a tip on the inclusion of sugar from a friend last night; it makes the brining liquid more palatable if one were to use it in savory things like a tagine or a vinaigrette.

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Soba, I added sugar to some preserved lemons and I have found it enables the juice to work well as a dressing addition. The lemons which I cut into smaller pieces, are good for bloody marys, too.

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Soba, I added sugar to some preserved lemons and I have found it enables the juice to work well as a dressing addition. The lemons which I cut into smaller pieces, are good for bloody marys, too.

That's interesting because I usually don't.

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That's interesting because I usually don't.

I know the sugar isn't "traditional", but in my case I was making more of a "quick preserved" version so I guess they figure the sugar mellows it when you don't have time to allow the full marination. Just a guess. The bonus is that I think I'm able to use the lemons in more (non-traditional) applications because they aren't as salty.

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I'm transferring the contents to another jar tonight. It's an experiment; if successful, I might start adding sugar in the future.

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Clockwise from top left: a small bowl containing sherry vinegar and honey (subbed instead of the maple syrup), heirloom parsley leaves (from USGM), a mixture of cinnamon and allspice and a bowl containing celery and chopped hazelnuts (with skins). Not shown at extreme left is a pot of boiling water containing a handful of dried cranberries that were being plumped.

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Roasted cauliflower and hazelnut salad (page 62 of "Jerusalem")

The salad takes about 35 minutes to make, including prep. Roast some cauliflower, prep the celery and hazelnuts, pick off some parsley leaves, make the dressing; once the cauliflower is done, combine with the celery, parsley leaves, hazelnuts, pomegranate seeds (I subbed dried cranberries that were plumped in boiling water), spices and the dressing; mix well; taste for salt and pepper, then serve.

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I'm trying to decide between the spiced chickpeas and Israeli salad, and the mixed bean salad. Leaning towards the latter.

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

 

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Might also make this later in the week.

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Just curious: I absolutely love the mejadra, but I did find it somewhat overseasoned. I think half the seasoning would have been better. Does anyone agree or have I just become too delicate in my old age? :)  I also toned down the seasoning for the lamb kawarma.

I'll find out when I make it.

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Na'ama's fattuosh (pages 28-29).

If I made this again, I'd get some naan (I used a baguette instead), and try it with yogurt and milk instead of buttermilk.

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Soba

Thanks for posting about the fattoush. It is on my list to make in the next couple of days. Thought I would make my own pita first though as naan is not likely available here. You don't sound particularly impressed by it?

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Soba

Thanks for posting about the fattoush. It is on my list to make in the next couple of days. Thought I would make my own pita first though as naan is not likely available here. You don't sound particularly impressed by it?

 

Well, I deviated from his recipe a little bit because I didn't exactly have those ingredients. I used a baguette instead of naan, buttermilk instead of yogurt/milk and za'taar instead of sumac.

Was just "fine". Not revelatory.

It is exceedingly difficult to go back to regular Greenmarket produce after having spent a week and a half in San Francisco. If I made this in SF, it would have been an explosion of flavor, for sure.

 

It's basically a Lebanese version of panzanella.  That could be why I wasn't taken with it, in addition to the issue of the quality of the produce I have.

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I decided to finally make mejadra (page 120) for Meatless Monday.

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1 1/4 cups brown lentils, and eventually enough water to cover them with room to spare

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After about 15 minutes of simmering.

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Ottolenghi's trick of frying onions coated in flour continues here. I still think this step is tedious, but I wanted to make the recipe as written so I could say I tried it and found it wanting. Next time (and there will be one, b/c I think the recipe is otherwise faboo), I'll slow-cook them over low heat until golden brown.

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Looks food pornolicious though.

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I ran out of black cumin seeds, so need to buy some more at Kalustyan's.

Clockwise from left: rice; coriander seeds; a mixture of ground cumin, ground allspice, ground cinnamon, ground turmeric, sea salt and granulated sugar; olive oil (quantities for all are provided in the recipe).

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Toast the coriander seeds over medium heat...

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...then add the rice, spices, oil, salt and sugar to the pot. Stir to the rice in the spice-and-oil mixture until the grains are well-coated...

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...then add the lentils and water. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat to low and steam, covered, for 15 minutes.

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After 15 minutes, remove the lid and place a clean towel under it, then reseal and set the pot aside for 10 minutes. Resist the urge to inhale the aromatic steam and bask in unadulterated glory. :wink:

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Fluff with a fork and fold in the crispy onions.

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Mejadra, with yogurt, cucumber and filfel chuma.

The yogurt and cucumber salad is on page 299. Basically Greek yogurt, 1/2 thinly sliced cucumber, sea salt, fresh mint and a heaping teaspoon of filfel chuma. I find sometimes that Ottolenghi overcomplicates his recipes ... anyway, I liked my pared down version. I wanted a hint of garlic and lemon, and the filfel chuma served nicely instead of the 1 crushed garlic clove called for in the original recipe.

This is definitely a keeper, and it's on my "re-do" list. It seems I've been making mujadara wrong all this time (for years actually). The steaming part was new to me,.

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Roughly about 1/4 lb. green and yellow beans from today's Greenmarket, trimmed and simmered in boiling water for a little over 5 minutes, then drained, shocked in an ice water bath and patted dry with paper towels.

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3 small sweet peppers (red, yellow, orange), julienned and sautéed in olive oil with a pinch of salt. I deviated slightly from Ottolenghi's instructions, but it came out fine. Cook until peppers are soft, then add to the beans.

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Clockwise from right: chopped heirloom garlic, minced scallion, coriander seed, capers.

Fry the garlic in olive oil for 15-20 seconds, then add the capers and fry for 15 seconds, then add the coriander seed and fry for 15 seconds. As you can see, I omitted the cumin seed (which I ran out of a while ago and haven't had the opportunity to restock since).

Once the garlic has turned color, pour this mixture onto the beans.

Add the remaining ingredients (herbs, sea salt, black pepper, lemon zest), toss once or twice, then serve immediately.

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Mixed bean salad (page 42).

This is definitely a keeper and something I will be making in the future.

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I'd use it for anything savory -- whisked into scrambled eggs, or into mayonnaise.

The fried tomatoes (see above) had a teaspoon stirred in.

 

Soba,

 

Just wanted to say thank you for posting fried tomatoes.  I have made that recipe multiple times since June and it is great.  

 

Now when tomato season is kinda over, I may even try it with something like Kumato tomatoes.

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I like this book, but I liked Plenty more. Interestingly, the cover I have looks like this; must be the UK version.

 

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Anyway, one of best things I've cooked from it is the pistachio and saffron soup. I'm looking forward to cooking this again now that I have a Vitamix - when I cooked it originally, I only owned a stick blender, and while it was absolutely delicious, the Vitamix will give it such a lusciously smooth texture.

 

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The other thing I cooked from it like I liked but have no picture of is the wheat berries with pomegranate molasses and silverbeet (Swiss chard to Americans). I used freekeh instead of wheat berries - I like the smokiness of it.

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Cod cakes in tomato sauce from Jerusalem p 225.

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The fish cakes certainly benefit from some time in the fridge before browning them in oil.  This is why the pan does not contain 8 cakes - the first one was fried without chilling and became a crumbled mess appetizer nibbles.   And they were welcome nibbles as I'd followed the recipe instructions to make the tomato sauce first, then the fish cakes.  I think it makes more sense to prep the fish cakes, then make the sauce while they chill.  I chopped the fish with a knife but I'm tempted to put a least a little of it into the food processor (already used for the herbs and bread crumbs) in hopes that it would make sturdier cakes.

The header notes suggest serving this with rice, couscous, bulgur or bread.  I had it with some fresh corn on the cob and found the sweet corn flavors very compatible so I'd recommend polenta as another option.

I've read other comments that say this reheats very well, not something I usually expect from a fish dish so I'll be keen to see how that works out.

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