macaroni and yoghurt salad

macaroni and yoghurt salad topped with pine nuts, flat-leaf parsley, and cilantro

macaroni and yoghurt salad
topped with pine nuts, flat-leaf parsley, and cilantro

For my last evening in Wisconsin about a week ago, we concocted something of a three-course menu. All recipes were taken from my beautiful new book, Moro East by Sam and Sam Clark. First up was this macaroni and yoghurt salad.

nutmeg, cloves, cinnamon; allspice (back)

nutmeg, clove, cinnamon; allspice (back)

For the spice mixture, we used a combination of nutmeg, clove and cinnamon — as the authors suggest. The Clarks call this blend “baharat,” which, as they note, means “spice” in Arabic. The blend varies across regions, but I think that the mixture of the three spices they suggest is definitely a keeper.

They also note that ground allspice can be used instead of the blend. But, as you can see in the photo, we added just a bit of allspice in addition to the baharat — for good measure. 😉

blending the spices into the Greek yoghurt

blending the spices into the Greek yoghurt

This represents our seventh completed recipe from Moro East. Percentage complete: 4.38%

chicken with grapes and pecans

chicken with grapes and pecansHere is our second attempt at a meat dish from Moro East. Because of a food allergy, we used pecans instead of the called-for almonds, but the sauce still turned out well.  I must admit, though, that I would rather not have to eat bone-in chicken. Am I just lazy?! Perhaps I will tear the chicken into manageable pieces before serving next time.

chicken with grapes and pecansWe now have completed six recipes from Moro East (percentage complete: 3.75%).


wild rice, celery and pomegranate salad

wild rice, celery and pomegranate

We were particularly pleased with this salad from Moro East. The recipe calls for bulgur, but our bulk foods store had been out — so we ended up using a wild rice blend in its place. The salad’s few ingredients (grain, celery, walnuts, pomegranate, mint, and flat-leaf parsley) made us wonder if this was going to be enough to eat, but we were more than satisfied — quite full, actually — after this particular supper.

wild rice, celery and pomegranate saladWe now have completed five recipes from Moro East (percentage complete: 3.13%)

“clouds on cream,” sciumette

"clouds on cream"

We switched back to Mario Batali, just for a bit, to make this “clouds on cream” dessert with whole milk, heavy cream, confectioners’ sugar, eggs, and blood orange. We dusted the sciumette with cocoa powder.

It was good — better than expected, actually. We were rushing when we made this, so we were pleased when we actually produced something pleasing. 🙂

"clouds on cream"

I now have completed 70 (70!) recipes from Batali’s  Molto Italiano (percentage complete: 21.4%).

cauliflower and cumin soup

cauliflower and cumin soup

cauliflower and cumin soup – drizzled with caramelised chilli butter

I feel like I say this often, but I love soup. And this cauliflower and cumin soup from Moro East serves only to justify my infatuation with a good soup. The authors claim that crushing toasted cumin seeds produces one of the most evocative smells. I can only agree.


browning the cumin seeds

into the mortar, they go

into the mortar, they go

freshly ground cumin

freshly ground cumin

cinnamon, cayenne pepper, and ground cumin

cinnamon, red pepper, and ground cumin

I now have completed four recipes from Moro East (percentage complete: 2.50%).