The start of winter break, 2014-2015

IMG_5557Recipe #18) Swiss chard with tahini, yogurt, and buttered pine nuts – I’m back in Wisconsin for winter break, so expect some serious cooking. This swiss chard dish was our first dish (and my 18th out of Yotam Ottolenghi and Sami Tamimi’s Jerusalem). Greens are wonderful. Everyone should eat them. Every day.

IMG_5581Recipe #19) Poached chicken with sweet spiced cracked wheat – Unless I’m making a soup, I don’t usually think of poaching chicken. The technique used here of using the stock to cook the grain, however, is brilliant. The recipe called for freekeh, but we substituted cracked wheat.

IMG_5597Recipe #20) Burnt eggplant and couscous soup – We substituted regular whole-wheat couscous for the mograbieh (a giant type of couscous), and the result was a bit more porridge-like than we may have desired. But eggplant is eggplant, and eggplant is wonderful.

 

 

3-Course Dinner (Jerusalem-Themed)

IMG_5530 IMG_5531Recipe #15) Pureed beets with yogurt – This first-course dish is my 15th dish out of Yotam Ottolenghi and Sami Tamimi’s Jerusalem: A Cookbook. This dish combines beets, garlic, red chile, Greek yogurt, date syrup (I substituted maple syrup), and olive oil. It’s topped with green onions, hazelnuts, and goat cheese. Such a beautiful presentation, I think.

IMG_5544 IMG_5547Recipe #16) Braised chicken thighs with apricots and currants – I’m becoming more and more adept at cooking meat. And the chicken thigh is quickly becoming my favorite piece of chicken (How could I have once favored the breast?!). The sweet fruit and the fennel are, for me, the stars of this main dish.

IMG_5526Recipe #17) Muhallabieh – This sweet milky dessert finished off this three-course meal. It also was the first dessert I attempted out of the Jerusalem cookbook. It was good but perhaps slightly too sweet for my tastes.

 

 

More from Ottolenghi and Tamimi’s Jerusalem: Shakshuka and Harissa

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Recipe #13) Shakshuka – a wonderful way to cook eggs. This particular shakshuka is made of familiar flavors — tomatoes, red pepper, cumin, chili — but they seem deeper somehow, more concentrated.

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IMG_5477Recipe #14) Harissa – I made this recipe, found in the “condiments” section of the book, for the shakshuka above, but I’m convinced it needs to be a staple in my diet.  According to the authors, harissa is a basic part of Tunisian cooking. It’s a wonderful hot chili paste, with red pepper, coriander, cumin, caraway, red onion, garlic, and, of course, chilies. The caraway is a brilliant addition.

 

Ottolenghi and Tamimi’s Jerusalem: A Cookbook

Following are twelve food adventures I’ve had working with Yotam Ottolenghi and Sami Tamimi’s Jerusalem: A Cookbook (2012).

IMG_5467Recipe #12) Roasted cauliflower salad. November 24, 2014. This was delightful dish, but one perhaps that might have been better executed. The cauliflower was done before it seemed adequately charred. And sadly, I didn’t have the called-for hazelnuts. But the salad was still good (of course – the cookbook is superb). The maple syrup was an interesting addition to this salad.

IMG_5456Recipe #11) Roasted sweet potatoes. November 23, 2014. I made this roasted sweet potato dish last Sunday — a really wonderful way to roast sweet potatoes. I had no figs to use as the recipe called, but I can see how they might go really well with the balsamic reduction (which I had never made before but makes, I think, for a very pretty presentation).

IMG_5439Recipe #10) Roasted chicken with clementines. November 21, 2014. What a lovely dish! Roasted fennel is truly one of my favorite things. I’m getting a bit more comfortable with cooking meat. I used boneless chicken thighs here.

IMG_5309Recipe #9) Lemony leek meatballs. June 24, 2014. These meatballs were unexpectedly delightful. Making meat patties is definitely out of my comfort zone, so this dish was a good choice.

2014-06-08 19.22.20Recipe #8) Barley “risotto” with marinated feta. June 8, 2014. What makes this dish is the feta marinated with caraway. Lovely.

2014-05-30 20.05.57Recipe #7) Wheat berries & kale. May 30, 2014. Wonderful.

2014-05-28 18.38.30Recipe #6) Eggplant with bulgur and yogurt. May 28, 2014. A very interesting dish. The bulgur was wonderful, but I’m not sure about eating eggplant this way. Perhaps I didn’t execute it well?

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Recipe #5) Parsley and barley salad. February 5, 2014. Very nice light dinner.

2014-01-17 22.58.28Recipe #4) Chicken with caramelized onion and cardamom rice. January 17, 2014. This was the main course during my last night at home in Wisconsin before heading back to the east coast. I forgot how much I love cardamom. I must use this spice more often.

2014-01-17 22.22.02Recipe #3) Roasted butternut squash and red onion with tahini and za’atar. January 17, 2014. Amazing.

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2014-01-11 21.15.11Recipe #2) Watercress and chickpea soup with rose water and ras el hanout. January 11, 2014. This was absolutely lovely. The spice mixture was fabulous. A very simple soup that should be made regularly.

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Recipe #1) Beef meatballs with beans and lemon. January 1, 2014. The was the first dish we attempted from this cookbook. Delightful. Who knew I would like a meatball?

 

Andrea Nguyen’s Into the Vietnamese Kitchen

Today is the last day of my 2.5-week visit in Wisconsin. Below are a few Vietnamese dishes — all from Andrea Nguyen’s Into the Vietnamese Kitchen: Treasured Foodways, Modern Flavors (2006) — we made during my stay. Wonderful, wonderful dishes.

Recipe 1. Spicy Cabbage and Chicken Salad. July 29, 2014.
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Recipe 2. Basic Rice Soup. July 29, 2014.
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Recipe 3. Rice Noodle Bowl with Stir-fried Beef. Aug 3, 2014.
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Recipe 4. Spicy Hue Beef and Rice Noodle Soup. Aug 4, 2014.
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Recipe 5. Chicken Pho. Aug 5, 2014.IMG_5395

Recipe 6. Pork with Rice Noodles and Herbs. Aug 10, 2014.
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