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Ottolenghi [The Cookbook]

Candy Feb 27, 2009 10:48 AM

As was suggested, I am starting a thread on Ottolenghi as I cook my way into the book, I just can't wait until spring to get into this great book. Tonight I am making the salad of hericots vert, snow peas and hazelnuts to accompany our dinner. On Sunday I will be making the Orange Polenta cake that was featured in Gourmet in January. I will report back on both.

Candy

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  1. The Dairy Queen Feb 27, 2009 10:59 AM

    First very important question: how is this name pronounced? Otto-lang-ghee?

    I can't wait to hear about the orange polenta cake!

    ~TDQ

    19 Replies
    1. re: The Dairy Queen
      MMRuth Feb 27, 2009 11:00 AM

      I *think* that is about right - though I might say "Otto-leng-ghee". Was so sorry I didn't fit them in on my London trip!

      1. re: MMRuth
        The Dairy Queen Feb 27, 2009 11:26 AM

        Thanks! For those following along with Candy, here's a link to the orange polenta cake recipe http://www.gourmet.com/recipes/2000s/...

        I couldn't find a recipe online for the hericots vert, snow peas and hazelnuts one, alas.
        ~TDQ

        1. re: The Dairy Queen
          greedygirl Feb 27, 2009 02:11 PM

          You have to translate it into English English. ;-) So green beans and mange tout.

          http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/m...

          ETA - it's probably best to use the original, British English names for the recipes so people can find them easily online. :-)

          1. re: greedygirl
            MMRuth Feb 27, 2009 02:12 PM

            Mange tout are the peas, right?

            1. re: MMRuth
              greedygirl Feb 27, 2009 02:38 PM

              Yes.

              1. re: MMRuth
                Candy Feb 27, 2009 03:12 PM

                snow peas.

              2. re: greedygirl
                c
                cpw Feb 27, 2009 03:38 PM

                Now how would you pronounce mange tout. Like, mango (but, how would the *e* be) and stout?

                1. re: cpw
                  Candy Feb 27, 2009 04:17 PM

                  mange-a - tout. the "ge" is soft. Not like a dog's mange.

                  1. re: cpw
                    greedygirl Feb 28, 2009 03:40 AM

                    Tout is pronounced "too". The name literally means "eat all" - ie you eat the whole pod.

                    1. re: greedygirl
                      c
                      cpw Feb 28, 2009 04:59 AM

                      Thank you both. I would have definitely failed my spelling test!
                      Is assume the root is latin.

                      1. re: cpw
                        MMRuth Feb 28, 2009 05:02 AM

                        It's French, so I think so.

                        1. re: MMRuth
                          s
                          Stuffed Monkey Feb 28, 2009 05:58 AM

                          The Brits often use the French word for veg. ..Mange Tout, Aubergine, Courgette.

                      2. re: greedygirl
                        oakjoan Mar 2, 2009 09:48 AM

                        There's also no "a" at the end of mange. It's "monge" (soft like the second g in garage) then "too".

                    2. re: greedygirl
                      The Dairy Queen Feb 27, 2009 04:09 PM

                      HA! I was oblivious, thank you!

                      ~TDQ

                  2. re: MMRuth
                    Candy Feb 27, 2009 11:54 AM

                    That is how i have been pronouncing it. Too bad you missed it, but welcome home.

                    1. re: Candy
                      MMRuth Feb 27, 2009 11:55 AM

                      I did eat well though - you may want to check out my trip report on the UK board for future trips!

                      1. re: MMRuth
                        Candy Feb 27, 2009 01:04 PM

                        I'll take a look. We're going back next March/April for 2 weeks. 35th anniversary trip. Last time 2 years ago we went in October. My birthday trip. That is where I first encountered Ottolenghi. Gorgeous shop and the weather could not have been better. I love London. We had our 30th anniversary at Le Gavroche, fabulous meal. We'll be going back there for sure.

                        CKG

                        1. re: Candy
                          MMRuth Feb 27, 2009 01:21 PM

                          Do post on my UK thread should you have any questions. There were lots of places that I wanted to try, but didn't make it to.

                    2. re: MMRuth
                      roxlet Feb 27, 2009 12:56 PM

                      Yes, "Otto-len-ghee" should be correct. No double g, I think.

                  3. alwayscooking Feb 27, 2009 11:11 AM

                    Mushroom Parcel
                    http://www.guardian.co.uk/theguardian...

                    Although I did not follow it precisely, this recipe inspired me last week. I used cremini, button, shitake, and a small amount of dried morel. I also replaced the chervil and tarragon with parsley and thyme (they were in the ref) and the only alcohol in the cupboard was cognac. To even further deviate, I cooked it on the stove in a pot. Some of the mushrooms were sliced and seared while the others were left whole or quartered - I thought it would make the texture more interesting.

                    It was great!

                    I served the ragout over 'pancakes' made from garbanzo flour. The textures and flavors "mated" (see other thread!) very well(!). The next morning the mushrooms, along with spinach, ended up in an omelet and in the evening became the basis for a pasta sauce.

                    I will definitely make this again. And I might even follow the recipe!

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: alwayscooking
                      oakjoan Feb 27, 2009 01:16 PM

                      ggg

                    2. greedygirl Feb 27, 2009 02:48 PM

                      I've made quite a few dishes from the book, but I'll start with the ones I did at the weekend, which are fresh in my mind.

                      Marinated rack of lamb with coriander and honey (p104)
                      http://eattherightstuff.squarespace.com/blog/2008/8/6/ottolenghi-marinated-rack-of-lamb-with-coriander-and-honey.html

                      This was very easy - you whizz up the marinade the night before and leave in the fridge overnight. When ready to cook, remove the meat from the marinade and shake off the excess. Sear on a hot griddle and then cook in the oven. I did it for the suggested 15 minutes, which gave quite rare lamb. I would probably leave it a couple of minutes more next time. The sauce is made from the reserved marinade, gently heated.

                      This was absolutely delicious - meltingly tender with a beautifully balanced, herby sauce. Very good for a dinner party, as there's hardly anything to do on the night.

                      I served it with the butterbeans in sweet chilli sauce and fresh herbs (p72

                      )

                      http://www.telegraph.co.uk/foodanddri...

                      I used dried beans but I've also made it with canned. I think dried and freshly cooked is better, as you can dress the salad while they're still warm, and the beans really absorb the flavours. But canned is fine at a pinch. Basically you combined the cooked beans with a dressing made from garlic, sweet chilli sauce, sesame oil, lemon juice, coriander and mint. You also add a couple of chopped red peppers and some spring onions.

                      Again, very tasty indeed, and Mr GG enjoyed the leftovers for lunch at work. A great accompaniement to the lamb.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: greedygirl
                        jen kalb Apr 24, 2009 07:47 AM

                        We made this dish a few weeks ago as written with big dried polish lima beans. It was very favored by all, but I thought the mint did not add anything - it would have been better in my view with just the cilantro - tasted better and clearer before the mint went in.

                      2. MMRuth Feb 28, 2009 05:05 AM

                        I'm going to make the meringues today. I see that their website has some recipes too:

                        http://www.ottolenghi.co.uk/blog/cate...

                        1. Candy Feb 28, 2009 11:45 AM

                          I made the salad last night with the French green beans, snow peas, hazelnuts and orange zest. it was very delicious and simple to make. The dressing was olive oil and walnut oil (it was what I had) and the orange zest added a nice bright flavor. I'll definitely be doing this again.

                           
                          14 Replies
                          1. re: Candy
                            MMRuth Feb 28, 2009 11:47 AM

                            It looks lovely - I have the cinnamon meringues in the oven, and hope to have time to make the pistachio rosewater ones as well, to take to a friends for dinner. My meringues did something odd though - they cracked and seeped early on .....

                            1. re: MMRuth
                              Candy Feb 28, 2009 12:46 PM

                              Was the oven a little too hot? That can make meringues weep a bit. I think I learned in college Foods and Nutrition class that adding a bit of cornstarch to the egg whites will help stop the cracking and weeping.

                              Tomorrow the orange polenta cake. i had to go to 4 stores to find Almond meal. It is just Bob's red Mill i don't know what the deal is with so many main stream stores not stocking it.

                              1. re: Candy
                                MMRuth Feb 28, 2009 01:09 PM

                                Thanks - that could be. My oven is so damned inconsistent, even with my using an oven thermometer. I'll try that cornstarch trick next time.

                                1. re: MMRuth
                                  Candy Feb 28, 2009 01:30 PM

                                  I don't remember the exact proportions but it was not a lot. Good luck. Try low and slow with the meringues. Sometimes 175 F and patience is the way to go. I know you know about humidity and meringues so I won't bring that up. But low and slow can work well. Did you use super-fine sugar or regualr granulated? Super-fine dissolves better in the whites and is also less prone to weeping.

                                  1. re: Candy
                                    MMRuth Feb 28, 2009 01:34 PM

                                    I did use superfine. I'll take some photos and post tomorrow.

                                2. re: Candy
                                  c
                                  cpw Mar 1, 2009 08:09 AM

                                  Other than finding almond meal in a store, the other problem is that sometimes it has been sitting in the store from a long time. In the past I have bought meal where the almond oil has gotten rancid and it tastes yucky!

                                  1. re: cpw
                                    oakjoan Mar 2, 2009 09:54 AM

                                    cpw: I do know about rancid almond meal...double yuck!

                                    Luckily, we here in Oakland, CA have nearby Berkeley Bowl where they have freshly-made almond meal in a cooler. What luck to live nearby!

                                    Old nuts and their oil are among the worst tastes around. I once picked up a bag of pistachios I thought were recently purchased and used w/out looking at the date. Ewwwwwww! Now I try to be more aware of the sell by date.

                              2. re: Candy
                                linengirl Jul 13, 2010 08:57 PM

                                I made this salad a little bit ago too. Rather underwhelming. I think there is hazelnut oil and then there is hazelnut oil. That's all I can come up with, because yes, I DID salt appropriately. And it just wasn't that bright and lively, to be honest.

                                1. re: linengirl
                                  LulusMom Jul 5, 2012 05:28 AM

                                  You are so right about the nut oil. I remember spending an arm and a leg for a walnut oil a few years ago and it was tasteless.

                                  1. re: LulusMom
                                    flourgirl Jul 13, 2012 05:28 AM

                                    I've had that happen too. The only nut oils I buy any more (that are commonly available in my area) are La Tourangelle.

                                    1. re: flourgirl
                                      LulusMom Jul 13, 2012 05:49 AM

                                      Thanks for the tip. I'll look for that brand.

                                      1. re: flourgirl
                                        s
                                        smtucker Jul 13, 2012 06:40 AM

                                        strangely, I have had great luck finding La Tourangelle nut oils at marshalls and tj maxx. I always check there before paying retail.

                                        1. re: smtucker
                                          LulusMom Jul 13, 2012 07:01 AM

                                          Wow, I'd never have thought of looking at those places. Another good tip.

                                          1. re: LulusMom
                                            buttertart Jul 13, 2012 05:15 PM

                                            Always check their food, you'd be surprised what shows up.

                                2. greedygirl Mar 1, 2009 01:10 AM

                                  Chicken with sumac, za'atar and lemon, p122

                                  Another simple and delicious recipe. It requires some forward planning as you need to marinate the chicken for a few hours or overnight, but once you've done that you just whack it in the oven. I made it a while ago now, but it was tender and tangy and very good cold as well as hot.

                                  http://thecookbookgeek.blogspot.com/2...

                                  48 Replies
                                  1. re: greedygirl
                                    MMRuth Mar 1, 2009 03:16 AM

                                    And I had just started working on my list of recipes for the week, and this is on it!

                                    1. re: greedygirl
                                      LulusMom Mar 1, 2009 04:56 AM

                                      Have you tried Nigella's Za'atar chicken? That is a family favorite here, and I'm wondering how they compare.

                                      1. re: LulusMom
                                        greedygirl Mar 1, 2009 04:57 AM

                                        I haven't. Which book is it in?

                                        1. re: greedygirl
                                          LulusMom Mar 1, 2009 07:11 AM

                                          Forever Summer. She has it with a recipe for fettoush, and that meal is so easy and so good.

                                          1. re: LulusMom
                                            greedygirl Mar 1, 2009 09:32 AM

                                            I've just found it online, and it sounds like the Ottolenghi recipe is more complex as it has allspice, cinnamon, lemon and sumac as well as za'atar. The chicken is then garnished with pine nuts fried in butter.

                                            1. re: greedygirl
                                              LulusMom Mar 1, 2009 10:21 AM

                                              Def. sounds more complex. Pine nuts fried in butter - my mouth is watering.

                                              1. re: LulusMom
                                                MMRuth Mar 1, 2009 10:42 AM

                                                They are good on top of hummus too - and particularly with ground lamb cooked in butter.

                                        2. re: LulusMom
                                          oakjoan Mar 1, 2009 08:24 PM

                                          LulusMom: I also love that Nigella recipe. The best is the Za'atar chicken with fatoush salad. Mmmmm.

                                          1. re: oakjoan
                                            LulusMom Mar 2, 2009 01:28 AM

                                            Love it. My husband could eat that fettoush (sp?) every day of the week.

                                            1. re: LulusMom
                                              oakjoan Mar 2, 2009 10:00 AM

                                              Nigella writes it as "fatoush", but since it's probably translated from Arabic, the spelling can differ. So fettoush, fatoush, fuh-toosh, whatever!

                                          2. re: LulusMom
                                            oakjoan Apr 6, 2009 03:21 PM

                                            LM: I've tried both and, if memory serves, they are quite similar. I actually made the Ottolenghi recipe with cut up chicken and roasted them in the oven. Amazingly good. I remember having the same amazingly good results making Nigella's za'atar chicken and fatoush salad

                                            1. re: oakjoan
                                              roxlet Apr 6, 2009 03:41 PM

                                              I don't have that Nigella book. Is there an on-line source for those recipes?

                                              1. re: roxlet
                                                t
                                                toveggiegirl Jun 22, 2009 04:58 PM

                                                Her Za'atar Chicken recipe is here: http://www.thestar.com/Article/246269
                                                And there is a youtube video of her making both the chicken and salad where you can get a rough idea of the fatoush recipe. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xFnpBz...

                                                1. re: toveggiegirl
                                                  oakjoan Jun 22, 2009 10:16 PM

                                                  Although I do love Nigella's za'atar chicken, I think Ottolenghi's is even better...more complex. Amazingly delicious in fact.

                                          3. re: greedygirl
                                            Gio Mar 1, 2009 08:06 AM

                                            I have a question regarding Za'atar and Sumac. Are the sesame seeds whole or are they ground to make the blend? I'm interested because I must not eat whole seeds per Dr.'s orders.

                                            1. re: Gio
                                              MMRuth Mar 1, 2009 08:13 AM

                                              Both the Za'atar and Sumac that I have are in powder form, if that helps.

                                              1. re: MMRuth
                                                Gio Mar 1, 2009 08:21 AM

                                                That does help, MM... Thank you very much. Now off I go to Penzey's.....

                                                1. re: Gio
                                                  MMRuth Mar 2, 2009 04:51 AM

                                                  Gio - I steered you wrong. When I opened up my packet, there were indeed sesame seeds in there, whole. I wonder if you could whizz it around in a coffee grinder, so that they would be much finer? I've got this dish marinating for tonight, and it smells fabulous.

                                                  1. re: MMRuth
                                                    Gio Mar 2, 2009 05:16 AM

                                                    Thanks M. I haven't ordered it yet because I thought that Penzey's blend was ground. I did think about grinding my own, which is peobably what I'll do. I've never had either spice and the chicken recipe did look tantalizing.

                                              2. re: Gio
                                                LulusMom Mar 1, 2009 08:33 AM

                                                I just checked mine, and the sesame seeds are whole in it, so just be sure to take a look before buying.

                                                1. re: LulusMom
                                                  Gio Mar 1, 2009 04:47 PM

                                                  OK LLM. Thanks for the warning!

                                                2. re: Gio
                                                  Rubee Mar 1, 2009 08:41 PM

                                                  I just checked and, like LuLusMom, for the Za'atar I have - Penzey's, and a jar that a Lebanese friend supplied me with - the sesame seeds are whole, as are the dried thyme leaves; looks like the sumac berries are crushed. I also have ground sumac from Penzey's.

                                                  Thanks for the report and recipe link GG! I cut up a chicken today to make tbe COTM/Schneider's chicken with sherry vinegar sauce tomorrow night, but I think I'll do this Ottolenghi recipe instead,

                                                3. re: greedygirl
                                                  MMRuth Mar 2, 2009 06:37 AM

                                                  Note to anyone else making this - I mistakenly included the za'atar as one of the spices that you add to the marinade. Upon reading through the recipe fully, I learned that you are only supposed to add it before baking the chicken. Oops.

                                                  1. re: greedygirl
                                                    MMRuth Mar 3, 2009 01:21 PM

                                                    We had this for dinner last night and just loved it - my husband mentioned it again today. He also said that, based on the couple of things we've had so far from the book, he think it rivals his girl friend's book (Suzanne Goin). I served it on a bed of rice, and spooned on the juices left in the pan. I wish had remembered to line the pan with foil. My chicken did take more like 45 - 50 minutes - probably just a bigger chicken.

                                                     
                                                    1. re: MMRuth
                                                      greedygirl Mar 3, 2009 02:26 PM

                                                      Goin has a rival! That chicken really is gorgeous, isn't it?

                                                      1. re: greedygirl
                                                        MMRuth Mar 3, 2009 04:19 PM

                                                        Yes, the first time he's ever referred to a possible rival for his affections. Well, except me of course (grin).

                                                        1. re: MMRuth
                                                          greedygirl Mar 4, 2009 12:38 AM

                                                          And Winston!

                                                          I think the food is a lot more rustic than Goin, and easier to prepare as a result. While I love Sunday Suppers, I wouldn't attempt any of the recipes for a simple weekday dinner, whereas Ottolenghi is much more achievable.

                                                          1. re: greedygirl
                                                            MMRuth Mar 4, 2009 02:51 AM

                                                            Yes, you are absolutely right about that.

                                                            1. re: greedygirl
                                                              The Dairy Queen Mar 4, 2009 03:25 AM

                                                              STOP STOP STOP. Ahhhhhhhhhhhh... I can't stand to read any more good things about this book, lest I run out and buy a copy RIGHT NOW. I really want to have it.

                                                              You gals make it sound so delicious and healthy and approachable.

                                                              When is the U.S. edition supposed to come out? I wonder if I can hold out that long?

                                                              ~TDQ

                                                              1. re: The Dairy Queen
                                                                greedygirl Mar 4, 2009 05:29 AM

                                                                Buy some scales and order it from the UK - I don't think it's coming to the US any time soon.

                                                                1. re: greedygirl
                                                                  c
                                                                  cpw Mar 4, 2009 02:59 PM

                                                                  I am not so sure I can hold it any longer either - I want this book NOW! These recipes look so delicious.

                                                                  1. re: cpw
                                                                    greedygirl Mar 4, 2009 03:05 PM

                                                                    I really should be on commission. ;-)

                                                                2. re: The Dairy Queen
                                                                  flourgirl Mar 21, 2009 06:08 AM

                                                                  I couldn't hold out any longer either. :) I just ordered my copy from Amazon UK

                                                                  1. re: flourgirl
                                                                    The Dairy Queen Mar 21, 2009 06:40 AM

                                                                    Welcome to the Ottolenghi-obsessed.

                                                                    ~TDQ

                                                                    1. re: The Dairy Queen
                                                                      flourgirl Mar 21, 2009 03:07 PM

                                                                      Thanks! I can't wait to get my hands on this book...

                                                        2. re: greedygirl
                                                          Rubee Mar 5, 2009 08:54 AM

                                                          Chicken with sumac, za'atar and lemon.

                                                          My turn to make this. Moist and flavorful. Good weekday dinner as I prepped and marinated the night before, and then last night turned it out into a roasting pan, sprinkled with a little za'atar and roasted at 400 degrees for about 45 minutes. I served it with two side dishes from January's COTM "A New Way to Cook" - Roasted Asparagus, and Greek-Style Potatoes with Lemon and Thyme. The potatoes went especially well with the chicken and tasty sauce.

                                                           
                                                          1. re: Rubee
                                                            roxlet Apr 9, 2009 08:57 AM

                                                            Chicken with sumac za'atar and lemon
                                                            I made this for dinner last night and it was a huge hit. My DH who is not usually a fan of what I will call Middle Eastern food, absolutely loved this dish and suggested we put it in rotation. The only question would be whether it might be better with crispier skin, and he suggested sticking it under the broiler for a few minutes at the end. I wonder whether anyone has tried this. Also, when I had the marinated chicken out on the counter, he commented that he thought that it would be really good grilled, too. Then you wouldn't get as much of the onion/lemon flavor I think, but it might be worth trying when the weather makes turning the oven to 400 less appealing. Did anyone think about peeling the lemon? I know that the pieces would probably dissolve, but I was thinking that lemon segments would enhance the "sauce" that was created as it baked. Served with brown basmati, it was delicious. I just wish that I had had some broccoli to do the grilled broccoli recipe from the book.

                                                          2. re: greedygirl
                                                            roxlet Apr 6, 2009 07:26 AM

                                                            I am wondering about the allspice in the recipe. It says (pimento). Is it the same?

                                                            1. re: roxlet
                                                              MMRuth Apr 6, 2009 07:33 AM

                                                              I thought that was very odd, and just used ground allspice. I don't think of them as the same thing at all.

                                                              1. re: roxlet
                                                                greedygirl Apr 6, 2009 07:48 AM

                                                                Allspice is made from ground pimento berries.

                                                                http://www.jamaicatravelandculture.co...

                                                                1. re: greedygirl
                                                                  MMRuth Apr 6, 2009 08:03 AM

                                                                  Well, I'll be! Learn something new every day - just looked at one of my books and indeed it is "pimento dioica". That said, in the U.S., I've never seen it called pimento in stores.

                                                                  1. re: MMRuth
                                                                    greedygirl Apr 6, 2009 10:43 AM

                                                                    Did you not believe me then? ;-)

                                                                    1. re: greedygirl
                                                                      MMRuth Apr 6, 2009 10:51 AM

                                                                      I did believe you ... but you know, as lawyer, I tend to like more than one citation! Thank you for posting the correct information.

                                                                  2. re: greedygirl
                                                                    LulusMom Apr 6, 2009 10:17 AM

                                                                    That is SO weird. Thanks for the info gg.

                                                                    1. re: LulusMom
                                                                      pitu Apr 15, 2009 11:43 AM

                                                                      Soooo, you've never bought one of those tiny bottles of pimento booze at the airport in Jamaica, huh? That's how I found out . . .
                                                                      : )

                                                                      1. re: pitu
                                                                        LulusMom Apr 15, 2009 01:47 PM

                                                                        Honey, I've never bought a *tiny* bottle of booze anywhere!

                                                                        1. re: LulusMom
                                                                          pitu Apr 20, 2010 09:42 AM

                                                                          : )

                                                                    2. re: greedygirl
                                                                      roxlet Apr 6, 2009 11:01 AM

                                                                      Thanks greedygirl! After my run-in with double (heavy) cream in the Rose bakery book, I wanted to make sure I had it right before plunging in!

                                                                2. greedygirl Mar 1, 2009 01:14 AM

                                                                  Radish and broad bean salad, p16

                                                                  I made this several times last summer when broad beans were in season. I love broad beans, and this is a very good way to eat them. The dressing is made with preserved lemon, lemon juice, parsley, olive oil and cumin. They suggest serving it with green tahini sauce but I always just had it as a side dish. It looks gorgeous on the plate as well.

                                                                  http://www.eattherightstuff.com/blog/...

                                                                  1 Reply
                                                                  1. re: greedygirl
                                                                    c
                                                                    cpw Mar 1, 2009 09:49 AM

                                                                    Thanks gg for the reco as well as the link (I know you have the book).
                                                                    This recipe looks great!

                                                                  2. greedygirl Mar 1, 2009 10:52 AM

                                                                    Fennel and feta with pomegranate seeds and sumac, p17

                                                                    A lovely combination as I am a big fan of all the main ingredients! Here's a link - I'm beginning to think this whole book is online!

                                                                    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/foodanddri...

                                                                    1. greedygirl Mar 1, 2009 10:57 AM

                                                                      Couscous and mograbiah with oven-dried tomatoes, p77

                                                                      http://www.ottolenghi.co.uk/recipes/c...

                                                                      Mograbiah is the Arab name for Israeli couscous. You make your own oven-dried tomatoes by baking them in the oven for a couple of hours with oil, sugar and balsamic vinegar. The tomatoes are combined with a mixture of mograbiah and regular couscous and fried onions. What makes this dish imho is the labneh - you can buy it in Middle Eastern shops, but they also give a recipe so you can make your own out of Greek yoghurt. It's absolutely luscious. This is a good recipe for a barbecue (I made it last summer).

                                                                      1 Reply
                                                                      1. re: greedygirl
                                                                        oakjoan Mar 2, 2009 10:04 AM

                                                                        I like to use fregola in place of Israeli couscous. The fregola is more rustic looking and not uniformly colored. Israeli couscous creeps me out due to its whiteness and perfectly-shaped "pearls". I'll say no more.

                                                                      2. Candy Mar 1, 2009 11:53 AM

                                                                        The Orange Polenta cake just came out of the oven and is cooling. I'll post photos in a little while. I did want to offer up a word of caution. Read the recipe thoroughly before beginning. I threw away the orange peel before realizing I would need the zest. Luckily i had other oranges on hand. Reading the recipe this AM and then getting out my 9" standard cake pan I quickly realized a standard 9" x 1 1/2" cake pan was not going to be deep enough. So a quick trip to the shop for a deeper pan. A 2" deep would have been fine but I brought home a 3" deep pan and am happy with that. i can turn it out in a bit and glaze it. Smells great.

                                                                        2 Replies
                                                                        1. re: Candy
                                                                          Caitlin McGrath Mar 1, 2009 12:32 PM

                                                                          When I need a deeper cake pan, I will often use a springform pan. As long as the fit is good and tight, there aren't problems with leakage, whatever the kind of cake/batter.

                                                                          1. re: Caitlin McGrath
                                                                            Candy Mar 4, 2009 04:11 PM

                                                                            They caution in the book that if you don't bring parchment up over the bottom rim of a springform pan that the caramel and oj can leak out and cause a real oven mess.

                                                                        2. Candy Mar 1, 2009 12:18 PM

                                                                          Finished cake. Just waiting for it to cool and I can cut into it. I'll take some over to Pikawicca to share, have a slice each tonight and take the rest to the shop tomorrow.

                                                                           
                                                                           
                                                                          25 Replies
                                                                          1. re: Candy
                                                                            greedygirl Mar 1, 2009 12:55 PM

                                                                            That looks gorgeous.

                                                                            1. re: greedygirl
                                                                              Candy Mar 1, 2009 01:42 PM

                                                                              Thanks. I've just had a nibble and am waiting for after dinner for a full slice. The texture is mealy/crumbly kind of like a moist corn bread (US) would be. I am pondering thinning the marmalade with a bit of Grand Marnier next go 'round.

                                                                              1. re: Candy
                                                                                roxlet Mar 2, 2009 09:17 AM

                                                                                I am considering this as one of three caked that I am bringing to a party later this month. Do you think that this would be appropriate as a celebration cake? I am also making an apple cake and I think a coconut cake, and I want the cakes to all be very different. This looks different.

                                                                                1. re: roxlet
                                                                                  Candy Mar 2, 2009 03:26 PM

                                                                                  It would work and be different, but i discovered today it is really at its best on the day it is made. The texture suffers if left to stand too long.

                                                                                  1. re: Candy
                                                                                    The Dairy Queen Mar 2, 2009 03:34 PM

                                                                                    Oh no! What a disappointment!

                                                                                    ~TDQ

                                                                                    1. re: The Dairy Queen
                                                                                      Candy Mar 2, 2009 04:10 PM

                                                                                      The recipe says you can keep it for a day but not to glaze it before you get ready to serve. Since i glazed it yesterday and then too leftovers to the shop this AM the texture did suffer, but not the flavor.

                                                                                  2. re: roxlet
                                                                                    roxlet Mar 4, 2009 04:12 AM

                                                                                    Thanks for the tio, Candy. I guess that I will not make it for this since I have to have the option to make the cakes the day before.

                                                                              2. re: Candy
                                                                                chef chicklet Mar 1, 2009 02:33 PM

                                                                                That's just gorgeous. I'll be the house smelled so wonderful while it was baking.
                                                                                I'm thinking about the pear and cranberry cake, because I have pears that need to be used up. But the orange polenta cake is going to be on my list for future baking.

                                                                                1. re: chef chicklet
                                                                                  pikawicca Mar 1, 2009 02:37 PM

                                                                                  Mmm, mmm, good! This is delicious, and worth searching out the almond meal. It's also a very pretty cake, and would be great for company, maybe with a dollop of creme fraiche. Thanks, Candy!

                                                                                  1. re: pikawicca
                                                                                    Candy Mar 1, 2009 03:55 PM

                                                                                    Definitely needs creme fraiche or lightly sweetened whipped cream. The Loulou said give me more but the Suze was not up for it. She is the picky cautious eater.

                                                                                    1. re: Candy
                                                                                      LulusMom Mar 1, 2009 04:20 PM

                                                                                      You have a Lulu (sp ...) too??

                                                                                      1. re: LulusMom
                                                                                        pikawicca Mar 1, 2009 05:00 PM

                                                                                        Lulu is a lovely poodle with a very impressive set of teeth. She adds a dash of excitement to a visit to Candy's kitchen.

                                                                                        1. re: LulusMom
                                                                                          Candy Mar 1, 2009 08:48 PM

                                                                                          She is in the photo. All food is game to her. She was eating haricots verts and snow peas the other night.

                                                                                          I wish you cold meat the Lou in person, she has a huge grin, genetic but funny!

                                                                                          1. re: Candy
                                                                                            LulusMom Mar 2, 2009 01:28 AM

                                                                                            You DO have a Lulu too! Canine counts. Mine is a very adventurous eater too.

                                                                                    2. re: chef chicklet
                                                                                      Candy Mar 1, 2009 03:56 PM

                                                                                      I still have some cranberries. Maybe next weekend. The house definitely smelled orangy.

                                                                                    3. re: Candy
                                                                                      Gio Mar 1, 2009 04:46 PM

                                                                                      Oh gosh... that looks so beautiful! I can just imagine how the house smelled.

                                                                                      1. re: Gio
                                                                                        oakjoan Mar 1, 2009 09:43 PM

                                                                                        Here's my report on the Marinated Turkey Breast With Cumin, Coriander and White Wine, p. 126. This is quite simple to do. You marinate the turkey breast with mint, parsley, coriander(cilantro) garlic, lemon juice, olive oil, white wine, cumin, salt, and pepper. The book calls for a "small" turkey breast, but mine was very large. I just added a bit more of each ingredient, whizzed them up in the blender, put the turkey breast in a large stainless steel bowl and poured on the marinade. You then massage it into the breast, cover with plastic wrap and leave overnight. It's roasted in a very hot oven for most of the cooking, with heat turned down at the end. Since mine was so big, I used an instant read, inserted thermometer. The turkey got gorgeously browned and the flavoring of the marinade went into the meat due to the long marinating period.

                                                                                        I served it with Kosheri (p. 85), a lentil, pasta and rice dish that he says is very popular in Egypt. He also says it's not far removed from kitchari, which is an Indian dish from which kedgeree sprang. It's served with a spicy tomato sauce.

                                                                                        This was very, very good. It's a bit of work to get it all together, but nothing is difficult. You first cook green lentils in cold water ‘til they come to the boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 25 minutes. He says that they shouldn't be mushy and should still hold their shape. I thought they were at that stage after about 15 minutes and so stopped the cooking at that point. Drain in colander and set aside.

                                                                                        Vermicelli noodles are then broken into pieces and sauteed in butter. Basmathi rice is added (I used brown basmati and so had to cook it longer) and broth. Nutmeg, cinnamon, salt, and pepper are added, and rice and noodles are cooked together and set aside.

                                                                                        2 sliced onions are sauteed until browned and a bit carmelized.

                                                                                        The lentils are added to the rice/noodle mix as are the cooked onions. The whole dish is served with a spicy tomato sauce made with garlic, tomatoes, cider vinegar, chilis, lots of cumin, salt and chopped coriander.

                                                                                        The Kosheri went perfectly with the roasted turkey breast. I served it with a green salad made with lots of escarole, frisee, arugula, romaine, a bit of fresh baby spinach and chopped green onions. The salad was simply dressed with oil, sherry vinegar, a bit of crushed garlic, mustard and S and P.

                                                                                        This was a big hit and it's not that complicated to make.

                                                                                        I'd post the recipe, but it's in British measurements and I can't find my conversion notes. When I do, I'll post it, because it's not online anywhere I can find.

                                                                                        We had my new favorite dessert: frozen low and nonfat yogurt mixed with Seville orange juice and pith, and a touch of vanilla and sweetened with agave syrup. This is cranked in the Donvier and becomes soft-servish. Really good as I've said about 20 times on this Board.

                                                                                        The lentil are added to the rice and noodles and then the onions.

                                                                                        I've also made the Cauliflower Fritters with Lime Yoghurt, p. 50 of the book. These are simple to make and absolutely wonderful. I'll post the recipe if anyone's interested. I think this recipe is on the U.K. Guardian website, but I'm not sure. There are loads of fritter recipes on that site.

                                                                                        1. re: oakjoan
                                                                                          greedygirl Mar 2, 2009 11:19 AM

                                                                                          Here's the recipe - the whole book really has made it's way onto the web!

                                                                                          http://sugarbowl.wordpress.com/2008/0...

                                                                                      2. re: Candy
                                                                                        jen kalb Apr 24, 2009 08:37 AM

                                                                                        made this cake last night and we just loved the mix of flavors (almonds, orange, orange flower water) and the involved, fragile buttery texture. I used the trader Joe's ground almonds, which include the skin so the color is darker than it would be if skinned almonds were used and mineola tangelos - Im tempted to try it with meyer lemons as a variation.. Definitely one of the most delicious desserts we have baked.
                                                                                        Came downstairs this am and even more is gone. I dont understand the big fuss about the glaze - its a very small amount of glaze for a large cake - not enough to soak in and affect the texture of the cake. I will give a day after report if any is left when I return home tonight., but I have to believe that the flavors if anything will be improved by the sit.

                                                                                        I used a regular flat teflon layer cake pan for this - I thought the instructions re partchment were fussy and cut a bigger round than the bottom of the pan - this almost messed me up since I couldnt get the excess to flatten against the side walls. Stupid. I would simply cover the bottom and butter and flour the next time - the cake is so buttery it would come out just fine without the parchment on the sides. I was worried about the pan capacity, since this was a relatively shallow pan, but tho it was filled to the top and rose above, it did not spill at all - so you dont need to buy a special pan for this one. I baked it more than 45 min - even though my toothpick came out clean earlier, I was not quite satisfied with the firmness of the cake at the center, and even with a little extra time, it sank a bit at the center so I think even a few minutes more of baking time might have been in order.

                                                                                        Both the Gourmet and cookbook called for superfine sugar - fussy, fussy, regular granulated worked fine. Why would you need superfine to make caramel??.

                                                                                        Finally, this was my first time using the actual cookbook - side by side with the online Gourmet recipe translated into English English.The typeface and layout of the recipes in the book are tiny and designed for style, not readibility. I could not look at the recipe and see where I was (thank God for the printout).. I think I need to do a full scale conversion/translation chart to put alongside this book before I feel fully comfortable using it.

                                                                                        1. re: jen kalb
                                                                                          Caitlin McGrath Apr 24, 2009 01:47 PM

                                                                                          It's not that you *need* superfine, but that superfine (caster) sugar is the standard thing in England. I understand that there isn't really an equivalent to our granulated there, but the finer grind is not a specialty product in England as it is there - and therefore it's not fussy to call for it in a British context. No reason not to just use regular granulated for most applications if it's easier.

                                                                                          1. re: Caitlin McGrath
                                                                                            jen kalb Apr 24, 2009 02:09 PM

                                                                                            Guess I was fuzzy in how I said this - I understood calling for caster sugar in the English cookbook - but it was silly for the Gourmet writer to call for superfine in the US article.

                                                                                            As well as to specify an offset spatula as desirable for smoothing the batter. These are the sort of finicky things that can stop some cooks dead in their tracks.

                                                                                            1. re: Caitlin McGrath
                                                                                              greedygirl Apr 24, 2009 03:38 PM

                                                                                              Not true - we have granulated sugar as well. Caster sugar is specifically for baking.

                                                                                              1. re: greedygirl
                                                                                                Caitlin McGrath Apr 24, 2009 04:24 PM

                                                                                                I believe I've heard that your granulated is coarser than ours, which is why recipes call for caster, whereas in the US, most all cookbooks call for standard granulated for baked goods, which is why I stated, "an equivalent to our granulated" - but it's absolutely possible I'm misinformed!

                                                                                                It could simply be a difference of style vs. one of function, as all sorts of things differ country to country. Superfine costs much more and is not common in the US, but our granulated works perfectly for most baking applications.

                                                                                                1. re: Caitlin McGrath
                                                                                                  greedygirl Apr 25, 2009 12:19 AM

                                                                                                  You can use granulated sugar fo baking - as does my mother. It's not particularly coarse. But you're right that caster sugar is both common and inexpensive.

                                                                                                  1. re: greedygirl
                                                                                                    Caitlin McGrath Apr 25, 2009 11:05 AM

                                                                                                    That's nice. It's really nice for many things, since it dissolves and incorporates easily. Wish it were both common and inexpensive here - though it's possible to "make" it by grinding granulated in a food processor or blender.

                                                                                                    '

                                                                                                    '

                                                                                        2. MMRuth Mar 2, 2009 04:59 AM

                                                                                          Cinnamon and Hazelnut Meringues.

                                                                                          I made these on Saturday to take to a dinner party and they were a big hit. You heat the egg white with the sugars (super fine, and brown muscovado - I think you could just use dark brown sugar) over simmering water, and then whisk in a stand mixer, to make the Swiss meringue. Fold in cinnamon, put dollops on parchment paper lined sheets, and sprinkle on chopped hazelnuts.

                                                                                          I also made the rose water and pistachio ones, but had some difficulties. For these, you heat the superfine sugar in the oven, but mine caramelized somewhat in the time they recommend. It was a real PITA to then get the sugar into the mixing bowl, even with my husband's help, and I lost some sugar in the process, and so added a bit more when I beat the sugar with the egg whites and rose water. You form the same dollops as with the other ones, but are supposed to drop them onto a plate with finely chopped pistachios. I was in a rush at this point, so after trying that once, I just made the dollops and sprinkled them with pistachios. You are supposed to bake for two hours at 230 F, which I did, but when I checked them before I left, they were still not crisp on the outside, so I just turned the oven off and left them. When I got back later that night, they had definitely crisped up, but weren't at all chewy inside - just dried out. Because of the caramelization, mine were a light brown, rather than white, and some of the rose water flavor dissipated. I'll try to get a photo of them though.

                                                                                          When I was in London, I had a dish called "Eton Mess" - crumbled pieces of meringue, whipped cream, and cooked rhubarb. I'm thinking about making something similar with the rose water meringues, and am wondering how to flavour the whipped cream with cardamom - not sure how it would be if I used sprinkled some in - then I'll had some stewed apricots, I think.

                                                                                           
                                                                                           
                                                                                           
                                                                                          12 Replies
                                                                                          1. re: MMRuth
                                                                                            The Dairy Queen Mar 2, 2009 07:53 AM

                                                                                            oooohhh...I'm always looking for things to do with rhubarb. I think I need to find a recipe for Eton Mess--sounds delicious!

                                                                                            ~TDQ

                                                                                            1. re: The Dairy Queen
                                                                                              MMRuth Mar 2, 2009 08:04 AM

                                                                                              I think it's just whipped cream, pieces of meringue, and fruit, folded together. I believe that the traditional recipe is with fresh strawberries, but the rhubarb, of course, was cooked.

                                                                                              1. re: MMRuth
                                                                                                The Dairy Queen Mar 2, 2009 08:07 AM

                                                                                                Interesting. I assume the rhubarb was sweetened, similar to Hopkinson's rhubarb fool?

                                                                                                ~TDQ

                                                                                                1. re: The Dairy Queen
                                                                                                  MMRuth Mar 2, 2009 08:10 AM

                                                                                                  Exactly - and that's a good tip for cooking it. It was a lovely color.

                                                                                                2. re: MMRuth
                                                                                                  oakjoan Mar 2, 2009 10:09 AM

                                                                                                  MMR and TDQ: If you guys have the Rose Bakery cookbook, Breakfast Lunch Tea, it has a recipe for Eton Mess. The story is funny about how the French fell in love with this essentially boarding school cafeteria food.

                                                                                                  I'll post it if you need it.

                                                                                                  1. re: oakjoan
                                                                                                    MMRuth Mar 2, 2009 10:10 AM

                                                                                                    I don't have that one - and would certainly enjoy seeing the recipe.

                                                                                                    1. re: MMRuth
                                                                                                      The Dairy Queen Mar 2, 2009 11:24 AM

                                                                                                      Yes, please, oakjoan!

                                                                                                      ~TDQ

                                                                                                      1. re: The Dairy Queen
                                                                                                        oakjoan Mar 3, 2009 01:03 PM

                                                                                                        Eton Mess (paraphrased from Breakfast Lunch Tea (Rose Bakery, Paris).

                                                                                                        Rose Carrarini says that Eton Mess became so popular that it replaced Pavlovas.

                                                                                                        4 egg whites
                                                                                                        1 cup and 1 tblsp. of superfine sugar
                                                                                                        a "dash" of vanilla extract
                                                                                                        2 cups heavy cream
                                                                                                        3 cups strawberries (I figure you could put whatever fruit you wanted. She says that in winter they often make it with chestnut puree and chocolate sauce)

                                                                                                        Preheat oven to 250

                                                                                                        Grease a baking tray and cover with parch. paper

                                                                                                        Meringues

                                                                                                        Beat egg whites until firm and white. Gradually add the sugar and then vanilla extract.

                                                                                                        Put "giant spoonfuls" on the tray and bake until the meringues are almost dry but "a bit gooey" in the middle. This will take about 3 hours. Set them aside.

                                                                                                        Whip the cream to soft peak stage

                                                                                                        Puree a quarter of the strawberries in a food processor with 1 Tbsp of sugar. Cut the rest of the strawbs into pieces and break up the meringue into pieces by hand

                                                                                                        Fold the meringues, strawbs and whipped cream together gently. She says you can make these as you like them - more whipped cream than strawbs or vv. Top with the pureed strawberries and serve at once or put in fridge to chill.

                                                                                                        I imagine you'd leave some of the rhubarb in those soft chunks and puree the rest.

                                                                                                        I've made this and it's realllllly good. Who'd a thunk that a boarding school cafeteria dessert would be popular!

                                                                                                        Let us know how it turns out. I'm already thinking about making it with part non-fat yogurt. Hey, I can't help myself.

                                                                                                        1. re: oakjoan
                                                                                                          The Dairy Queen Mar 4, 2009 03:28 AM

                                                                                                          Thank you!

                                                                                                          ~TDQ

                                                                                              2. re: MMRuth
                                                                                                greedygirl Mar 2, 2009 11:17 AM

                                                                                                I've made the rosewater and pistachio meringues as well, but don't recall any problems. I made one big meringue though, for pavlova, and I think I just sprinkled it with pistachios as well. It was gorgeous.

                                                                                                1. re: greedygirl
                                                                                                  MMRuth Mar 2, 2009 11:20 AM

                                                                                                  What did you end up with when you heated the sugar? And how did you get it into the mixing bowl?

                                                                                                  1. re: MMRuth
                                                                                                    greedygirl Mar 2, 2009 11:22 AM

                                                                                                    You know what, I really can't remember. I will take a look at the recipe and search the recesses of my memory and report back.

                                                                                              3. MMRuth Mar 2, 2009 05:18 AM

                                                                                                Jerusalem Artichoke Soup with Rocket (aka Arugula):

                                                                                                I made this for lunch yesterday. I made a full batch, simmering the cubed tubers with garlic cloves and arugula in chicken stock for about 20 minutes (with some pinches of salt). I then put half of it in a smaller sauce pan, whisked together half an egg and half the yogurt, tempered it, and then gently heated the soup as called for. You then season with salt and pepper, add in chopped scallions, and garnish with argula.

                                                                                                This was a quick and easy soup, rich and flavourful. My husband declared it one of the best soups he'd ever eaten. I served it with a roasted beet salad that I concocted, with frisee, chopped pistachios leftover from the meringues, finely grated ricotta salata, shallots, olive oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper.

                                                                                                 
                                                                                                 
                                                                                                4 Replies
                                                                                                1. re: MMRuth
                                                                                                  oakjoan Mar 2, 2009 10:11 AM

                                                                                                  MMR:

                                                                                                  May I have permission to rip off your beet salad?

                                                                                                  1. re: oakjoan
                                                                                                    MMRuth Mar 2, 2009 10:14 AM

                                                                                                    You absolutely do. It's funny - finally, after YEARS of cooking by the book so to speak, I'm becoming creative and starting to come up with things on my own. I'm going to start keeping a file of "my" recipes - who knows, maybe some day I can write a cookbook!

                                                                                                    I roasted the beets a la Goin, and then did a bit of a short cut, tossing the sliced shallots with the beets, olive oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper and let them sit for a bit. I didn't dress the frisee as I thought there was enough dressing on the beets.

                                                                                                    1. re: MMRuth
                                                                                                      oakjoan Mar 3, 2009 01:05 PM

                                                                                                      Thanks! I've been making beet salad with sauteed beet tops ever since I had it at a restaurant a few years ago. I need to branch out!

                                                                                                      I was at one of our local produce shrines, Monterey Market, yesterday and they had NO frisee. None at Berkeley Bowl either. Maybe the shipment didn't come in or our recent deluges have ruined the crop. My heart sinks.

                                                                                                      1. re: oakjoan
                                                                                                        MMRuth Mar 4, 2009 10:28 AM

                                                                                                        Here's another beet salad - with some baby golden beets this time - dressing had sherry vinegar, olive oil and honey - toasted chopped hazelnuts on top.

                                                                                                         
                                                                                                2. Candy Mar 3, 2009 04:12 PM

                                                                                                  Tonight's dinner was composed of dry diver scallops with aioli and a side of samphire, asparagus and potatoes cooked with saffron. Delish. On the shortcut thread i confessed to cheating on the aioli. All was good and will do again. I am truly loving this book and it is getting me to eat more veggies. I have one of the chicken with z'atar recipes for later this week. I may just have to work my way through the whole book and wait anxiously for our next trip 3/10

                                                                                                   
                                                                                                   
                                                                                                  14 Replies
                                                                                                  1. re: Candy
                                                                                                    MMRuth Mar 3, 2009 04:18 PM

                                                                                                    Lovely. I saw samphire at the market today, but didn't pick any up. I do think that this book is so wonderful that we should wait until it's widely available in the U.S. to have it as COTM. I'm going to make some phone calls in the morning to see what I can find out about a U.S. publishing date.

                                                                                                    1. re: MMRuth
                                                                                                      greedygirl Mar 4, 2009 12:39 AM

                                                                                                      Another convert to the altar of Ottolenghi!

                                                                                                      1. re: MMRuth
                                                                                                        The Dairy Queen Mar 4, 2009 03:28 AM

                                                                                                        Funny. I was just wondering about the U.S. publishing date upthread. LET US KNOW, please. :).

                                                                                                        ~TDQ

                                                                                                        1. re: The Dairy Queen
                                                                                                          Candy Mar 4, 2009 05:03 AM

                                                                                                          Their website said that they don't have a US publisher yet. It may take a long time so buy a scale and order the book from the UK. It may be a long wait. Cooking on the metric system is not difficult and I'm a math atheist.

                                                                                                          1. re: Candy
                                                                                                            MMRuth Mar 4, 2009 05:10 AM

                                                                                                            Thanks Candy - good to know. I called but the person I spoke to wasn't particularly helpful. I agree though - between a scale and measuring cups w/ ml on them it's very straightforward.

                                                                                                        2. re: MMRuth
                                                                                                          greedygirl Mar 4, 2009 05:21 AM

                                                                                                          The answer may be to select this book in advance for, say, May or June to give people time to order it from the UK.

                                                                                                          1. re: greedygirl
                                                                                                            The Dairy Queen Mar 4, 2009 06:20 AM

                                                                                                            I agree with your recommendation, assuming that's okay with everyone, including Foxy Fairy, our esteemed COTM coordinator.

                                                                                                            ~TDQ

                                                                                                          2. re: MMRuth
                                                                                                            roxlet Mar 4, 2009 11:53 AM

                                                                                                            Which market, MMRuth? I think that I recall that you are in the NY Tristate area? Was it a local store? In response to a previous question, (on I think this thread or some other dealing with British food maybe) I saw salad cream at the Food Emporium in Bronxville when I was there earlier today.

                                                                                                            1. re: roxlet
                                                                                                              MMRuth Mar 4, 2009 12:48 PM

                                                                                                              It was at the Fruit Exchange in Chelsea Market.

                                                                                                          3. re: Candy
                                                                                                            greedygirl Mar 4, 2009 05:33 AM

                                                                                                            Is it March 2010 you're coming to London, Candy?

                                                                                                            1. re: greedygirl
                                                                                                              Candy Mar 4, 2009 04:16 PM

                                                                                                              We are planning on it. 2 years away is too long!

                                                                                                              1. re: greedygirl
                                                                                                                Candy Mar 5, 2009 11:46 AM

                                                                                                                We are aiming for 2 weeks, end of March-beginning of April.

                                                                                                                1. re: Candy
                                                                                                                  greedygirl Mar 5, 2009 01:09 PM

                                                                                                                  Great! You must e-mail me nearer the time.

                                                                                                                  1. re: greedygirl
                                                                                                                    Candy Mar 5, 2009 04:03 PM

                                                                                                                    Will do. I've had some great London meet ups in the past with Howler and another poster whose Chowhound name is escaping me at the moment. We usually try to rent a flat in S. Ken or Ken. Looking forward to it ,and let me know if there is something you want me to bring along.

                                                                                                                    My last breakfast in London was take out chocolate croissants from Otttolenghi in Kensington. Oh so fine!

                                                                                                            2. d
                                                                                                              dexters Mar 4, 2009 02:22 AM

                                                                                                              This thread has inspired me to go eat there for lunch today. I think I'll buy the book too and join you guys as you cook through it.
                                                                                                              I love this place!

                                                                                                              4 Replies
                                                                                                              1. re: dexters
                                                                                                                roxlet Mar 4, 2009 04:19 AM

                                                                                                                I just received my copy of the book yesterday. I ordered it through Amazon, and it said that it shipped from Delaware (I think, but definitely a US state). They book arrived clearly from the UK with British postage and a "Royal Mail" sticker. Obviously, all the measurements are in grams, etc. I keep www.traditionaloven.com on my bookmark bar and I have it set to the conversion section. Very useful!

                                                                                                                1. re: roxlet
                                                                                                                  The Dairy Queen Mar 4, 2009 06:20 AM

                                                                                                                  Very helpful. Did you buy it from Amazon US or Amazon UK?

                                                                                                                  ~TDQ

                                                                                                                  1. re: The Dairy Queen
                                                                                                                    roxlet Mar 4, 2009 07:09 AM

                                                                                                                    I ordered it from the US Amazon web site, and it was really relatively speedy -- I think less than 2 weeks to arrive, though the delivery estimate that they emailed to me after I ordered it ranged from one to four weeks. I guess that they were just covering their ass in case it was somehow delayed.
                                                                                                                    This is the exact conversion link:http://www.traditionaloven.com/tutori...

                                                                                                                    1. re: roxlet
                                                                                                                      The Dairy Queen Mar 4, 2009 07:28 AM

                                                                                                                      Thank you roxlet. So, officially, I am on now on the Ottolenghi bandwagon, in spite of swearing to my husband that I was going to hold out on buying the book...

                                                                                                                      Oh well.

                                                                                                                      ~TDQ

                                                                                                              2. t
                                                                                                                themags Mar 4, 2009 07:34 AM

                                                                                                                Tonight I am making the Seared duck breast with blood orange and star anise (p.128) & the French beans and mangetout with hazelnut & orange (p.36) - however I'll use lemon with the green veg as I don't want both dishes to feature oranges. I'll report back - hopefully with pictures :-)

                                                                                                                1 Reply
                                                                                                                1. re: themags
                                                                                                                  t
                                                                                                                  themags Mar 18, 2009 08:09 AM

                                                                                                                  Seared duck breasts with blood orange and star anise (p. 128) w/French beans and mangetout with hazelnuts and orange (p. 36)

                                                                                                                  The duck recipe prefers the English Gressingham but my local butcher had the French Barbary, which Ottolenghi said was a good alternative. The greengrocer had blood oranges so all I needed was some star anise – note to self – never buy spices at Planet Organic again - £2.79 for some broken pieces and not one single star :-( I’m not sure of the size differences between Gressingham and Barbary duck breasts but I reduced the cooking time by a third and the duck was medium rare and nowhere near as pink as in the picture – however I do think it was still pink enough. The only other thing that didn’t really happen for me was that the blood orange slices reduced to almost a compote when the recipe indicated that they would remain intact. However this didn’t affect the taste one bit.

                                                                                                                  I used lemon in the beans and mangetout so to not have orange in both recipes. For years I’ve made a similar French (green) bean dish but with toasted almonds and lots of garlic and it was a learning experience to just use one clove – it tasted great. The leftover veg and rice accompaniment made a great cold packed lunch the next day.

                                                                                                                  I’m usually not one for following recipes – cookbooks are more bedtime reading – so this thread piqued my curiosity and I thought I should give it a go as an experiment. All in all I was pretty pleased with the outcome!

                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                2. Candy Mar 4, 2009 04:04 PM

                                                                                                                  Last night and tonight. Last night was the scallops with saffron potatoes, samphire and asparagus. Divine! Tonight was chicken with za'atar (courtesy of Anna Sartoum in Boston), and lemon. The lemon was really just for flavoring. The toasted pine nuts with red onion and warm spices was excellent.

                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                  5 Replies
                                                                                                                  1. re: Candy
                                                                                                                    oakjoan Mar 4, 2009 08:18 PM

                                                                                                                    I'd also recommend trying that salad with red rice, quinoa salad with orange, arugula and pistachios (p. 76). I'll go look for the link now, I already posted about it a few months ago.

                                                                                                                    Here's a link to the recipe where the poster has helpfully change the measurements to U.S.

                                                                                                                    http://www.101cookbooks.com/archives/...

                                                                                                                    1. re: Candy
                                                                                                                      Rubee Mar 6, 2009 11:32 PM

                                                                                                                      Hi Candy

                                                                                                                      Just a question - You mentioned that the chicken with za'atar was courtesy of Anna Sortun (I'm a huge fan and have her cookbook "Spice"), but your recipe looks like Ottolenghi's, not Sortun's chicken with lemon and za'atar. Did you mean Sortun's za'atar blend? I love her dukkah, but haven't made anything else from her cookbook.

                                                                                                                      If you've cooked out of "Spice" - I've mentioned it a couple of times for COTM, so would love recs.

                                                                                                                      Either way, your picture looks delicious!

                                                                                                                      1. re: Rubee
                                                                                                                        Candy Mar 7, 2009 05:16 AM

                                                                                                                        Someone I work with is a friend of hers. She sent a bunch of Za'atar to him and he shared.

                                                                                                                        1. re: Rubee
                                                                                                                          emily Mar 7, 2009 08:07 PM

                                                                                                                          I'll give you a few recommendations for Spice: pistachio beef kebabs (double the spices, though) and the muhammara. Yum. Love that book.

                                                                                                                          1. re: emily
                                                                                                                            Rubee Mar 7, 2009 10:03 PM

                                                                                                                            Thank you!

                                                                                                                      2. d
                                                                                                                        dexters Mar 6, 2009 12:26 AM

                                                                                                                        Thank you so much <b>Candy</b> for starting this thread! I am fortunate to live very near a branch of Ottolenghi, and eat there relatively often, but I had never even noticed the cookbook. I picked it up yesterday and stayed up way too late reading through it. I am heading back out today to pick up a few more copies to mail back to some friends in the US.

                                                                                                                        Tonight I am making the Chargrilled Broccoli with chilli & Garlic (p. 41), & the Salmon with red pepper and hazelnut salsa (p. 139).

                                                                                                                        6 Replies
                                                                                                                        1. re: dexters
                                                                                                                          greedygirl Mar 6, 2009 12:38 AM

                                                                                                                          Do you ever buy the Guardian on a Saturday? Ottolenghi has a weekly column in the magazine called The New Vegetarian which is worth checking out as well. Lots of the recipes are online.

                                                                                                                          1. re: greedygirl
                                                                                                                            d
                                                                                                                            dexters Mar 6, 2009 04:29 AM

                                                                                                                            I don't typically buy the paper, but I may have to. I did a search and several of the archived columns came up on the Guardian's website. Are they above and beyond what is in the cookbook?

                                                                                                                            1. re: dexters
                                                                                                                              pikawicca Mar 6, 2009 04:38 AM

                                                                                                                              The recipes are different from those in the book, and the entire series is available on the Guardian website.

                                                                                                                          2. re: dexters
                                                                                                                            Candy Mar 6, 2009 07:01 AM

                                                                                                                            My last breakfast in London was from the Kensington branch. Wonderful chocolate croissants. Can't wait for next March and to go back. I have picked up some small cucumbers to make the salad with the peppers and poppy seeds tonight. It is a great book. Too bad no US publisher has picked it up yet. When they do it may be too late.

                                                                                                                            1. re: Candy
                                                                                                                              oakjoan Mar 6, 2009 11:43 AM

                                                                                                                              Hmm, U.S. publisher may be too late? You think we have that much influence? After us, there are no more interested cooks in the U.S.? ;+)

                                                                                                                              I certainly hope not! May Ottolenghi live long, prosper and write more cookbooks!

                                                                                                                              So here's what I made last night: CRUSHED NEW POTATOES WITH HORSERADISH AND SORREL (p. 63) and TURKEY AND SWEET CORN MEATBALLS with ROASTED PEPPER SAUCE (p. 125).

                                                                                                                              Both of these were quite easy to make and were absolutely delicious.

                                                                                                                              The meatballs (I used ground breast and dark meat and some ground chicken) are made of ground turkey, bread soaked in water and squeezed dry, an egg, chopped spring onions and parsley, a lot of ground cumin (2 1/2 tsp), pepper, salt and crushed garlic. Oh, and corn. It's tossed into a very hot skillet and left to become "lightly blackened", cooled and then added to the turkey mix. I used Trader Joe's frozen organic sweet corn). All this is mixed together and formed into "golf ball" sized meatballs. They are then fried in hot olive oil until browned and cooked in the oven for 5 minutes. I skipped that step because they seemed done after frying.

                                                                                                                              These are served with the red pepper sauce which I actually made from scratch for a change. My husband's a big fan of roasted peppers so I buy them jarred. This time I broiled them and scraped off most of the blackened skins (He says peeling isn't essential for this recipe). They're then blended with olive oil, salt, coriander (cilantro), a garlic clove, a small mild red chili (I used a teaspoon of my Universal Condiment) and 2 Tbsp "sweet chilli sauce" - I only had garlic chili sauce and so used that with a tsp of sugar) and 2 Tbsp white wine vinegar.

                                                                                                                              The sauce with the meatballs was really good and the mashed potatoes added a bit of semi-blandness that was perfect.

                                                                                                                              Except when served with a spicy red pepper sauce, the mashed potatoes are anything but bland. What a great combo!

                                                                                                                              The potatoes are simple: you boil some unpeeled new potatoes until done, drain and mash them crudely. While they're cooking you prepare a sauce of Greek yoghurt, olive oil, 2 crushed garlic cloves, some grated fresh horseradish (or you can use jarred or both), 4 tsp of chopped sorrel leaves and some chopped watercress (or other "small sprouting leaf"), 2 chopped spring oinons and S&P.

                                                                                                                              This dish was really great. It stood up to the pepper sauce and yet didn't clash with it.

                                                                                                                              I served the whole thing with a small salad of lots of greens (arugula, radicchio, frisee, escarole, romaine) and chopped green onions, cukes and romanito tomatoes.

                                                                                                                              Another Ottolenghi winner - Ring the gong!

                                                                                                                              1. re: oakjoan
                                                                                                                                Candy Mar 6, 2009 11:51 AM

                                                                                                                                What I meant that word of mouth about this book is getting out fast and then there was the January article in Gourmet. People are ordering it from the UK all of the time. There are lots of copies being imported. Some US publisher is missing the boat.

                                                                                                                                I'm making that cucumber salad with peppers and poppy seeds tonight. This book is inspiring me to eat more veggies. I've been bad about that.

                                                                                                                          3. Candy Mar 6, 2009 04:24 PM

                                                                                                                            The cucumber, sweet red pepper salad with poppy seed dressing tonight was a delight. Very fresh tasting and different. Another keeper.

                                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                            6 Replies
                                                                                                                            1. re: Candy
                                                                                                                              oakjoan Mar 7, 2009 09:23 PM

                                                                                                                              Candy: Apparently great minds DON'T think alike. The cucumber salad was the first thing I've made from the book that I haven't been totally in love with. It just seemed refreshing but nothing special. Maybe my peppers weren't piquant enough.

                                                                                                                              1. re: oakjoan
                                                                                                                                Candy Mar 8, 2009 10:57 AM

                                                                                                                                I used a very sweet red pepper. Much sweeter than regular red bell peppers.That are a long red variety from Mexico and larger in circumfrence than an Anaheim. The only thing I would change is to change from poppy seeds to toasted sesame seeds. I was flossing out poppy seeds even the next day.

                                                                                                                                1. re: Candy
                                                                                                                                  oakjoan Mar 8, 2009 11:18 PM

                                                                                                                                  I used one semi-hot small red pepper and a bit of red bell. I agree about the poppy seeds. We need Waterpiks (sp?)!!!

                                                                                                                                2. re: oakjoan
                                                                                                                                  d
                                                                                                                                  dexters Mar 9, 2009 02:09 PM

                                                                                                                                  Also, were you able to find the small cucumbers? I bought some of the mini ones as they suggested in the book, and they really did seem to have much more flavor.

                                                                                                                                  I liked this salad very much. I think it would be fantastic on a hot summer day.

                                                                                                                                  1. re: dexters
                                                                                                                                    oakjoan Mar 9, 2009 03:14 PM

                                                                                                                                    No, I got all Scroogey at the market and refused to pay $2+ a pound for Persian cukes (my faves). I bought "small" regular cukes instead. They were probably much less crisp than the Persians, as well as less flavorful. I'll try it again when the Persian cukes come down in price as summer approacheth.

                                                                                                                                    1. re: dexters
                                                                                                                                      Candy Mar 9, 2009 05:06 PM

                                                                                                                                      I used the small cukes. I will be making this again. The very sweet peppers were a nice touch.

                                                                                                                                3. oakjoan Mar 8, 2009 11:35 PM

                                                                                                                                  Today I made the Apple and Olive Oil Cake with Maple Icing. It was a bit complicated, but not difficult and we split a piece to see how it'd taste. Ah the rigors of science. I just got a new computer and haven't set up the photo/camera program yet. So you'll have to believe me that it looks good.

                                                                                                                                  I added walnuts on top because I love walnuts on any cake or cookie, and since we got a package of organic walnuts this week in our CSA box.

                                                                                                                                  The cake is very moist and light because it's made with olive oil. Of course the icing is made from butter and cream cheese as well as maple syrup. In my case, all I had was low-fat cream cheese and it didn't seem to make much difference in the end.

                                                                                                                                  As is my practice, I made the cake on Sunday and my husband will take it to work tomorrow so that we don't eat the whole thing. I get a taste and his office mates love me.

                                                                                                                                  The complicated part was the measurement conversions, but it seemed to be correct as the cake wasn't flat as a pancake or tough. Mine doesn't look quite as gorgeous as the one in the book photo, but it's pretty nice.

                                                                                                                                  1. d
                                                                                                                                    dexters Mar 9, 2009 02:15 PM

                                                                                                                                    Tonight I made the Camargue red rice and Quinoa salad.
                                                                                                                                    My store was out of rocket, so I used pea shoots. I think rocket would definitely be better, as the peppery flavor would add a bit more bite.
                                                                                                                                    Overall though, I did like this, as did my kids. My husband thought it would be better with bacon (but isn't everything?).

                                                                                                                                    I also made the Sweet & Sour Celeriac & Swede. This is fine preparation for 2 veggies that I am usually uninspired with. I would make a bit more dressing than called for in the recipe (or maybe I used too much veg).

                                                                                                                                    The swede salad is on the left, and the Quinoa is on the right in the photo.

                                                                                                                                    Also, I made the Chargrilled Broccoli with Chili & Garlic last night and very much liked it. Didn't taste as good as it does in the restaurant, but very good nonetheless.

                                                                                                                                    Finally, I made the Smashed Potatoes with Horseradish last night as well and found it a bit dry. I think my proportion of dressing:potatoes was off. I need to get a new scale!

                                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                    27 Replies
                                                                                                                                    1. re: dexters
                                                                                                                                      Caitlin McGrath Mar 9, 2009 02:34 PM

                                                                                                                                      If rocket is unavailable, perhaps watercress would be a good substitute, as it is also a bit peppery.

                                                                                                                                      1. re: Caitlin McGrath
                                                                                                                                        d
                                                                                                                                        dexters Mar 9, 2009 02:54 PM

                                                                                                                                        Thanks for the tip. I made the mistake of going to Sainsburys at 4 on a Sunday, and it was completely demolished of almost everything. I should know better. : )

                                                                                                                                        1. re: dexters
                                                                                                                                          oakjoan Mar 9, 2009 04:09 PM

                                                                                                                                          I just finished looking through the Ottolenghi cookbook because The Dairy Queen (on another thread) was talking about the number of unusual or unknown ingredients in the book.

                                                                                                                                          I remembered feeling the same way when I first got it, i.e., 'WHAT THE !**$! is "mograbiah"? Turns out it's a type of couscous and he suggests fregola as a replacement. He also says it's known as "pearl couscous" in the UK. I figure that'd be Israeli couscous here.

                                                                                                                                          Camargue Red Rice. I couldn't find that (I didn't look very hard) and subbed Bhutanese Red Rice which I found at the market.

                                                                                                                                          Spec is, I think, a sort of German prosciutto (anybody know?)

                                                                                                                                          Broad beans are favas

                                                                                                                                          Manouri cheese - he suggests goat cheese if you can't find it

                                                                                                                                          Samphire - no subs here. I've never heard of it but might find out if a local produce market could get it.

                                                                                                                                          Mangetout - snow peas as discussed above.

                                                                                                                                          Salsify - Is that what's also known as "oyster plant"? This is also something I've rarely seen outside of a restaurant menu

                                                                                                                                          Romano peppers - I think these are similar (or a different name for) Italian frying peppers which we see in the market in summer/fall. They don't say that they're piquant or I'd say one could sub those long, pretty mild chillies called Anaheim.

                                                                                                                                          Mushrooms of various types: One recipe calls for CHESTNUT mushrooms. I've never heard of these, but the others are locally available here in Oakland: enoki, oyster and shiitaki In the Mixed Mushrooms with Cinnamon and Lemon dish, I figure one could sub in other mushrooms such as portobello if one couldn't find chestnuts.

                                                                                                                                          Sorrel: I find this in the herb section, but it may not be widely available. It has a wonderful sour taste

                                                                                                                                          Swede: called rutabaga here and swede elsewhere because some of my ancestors started planting it in Sweden

                                                                                                                                          Pea shoots: Again, we have these because of our large Asian population. Don't know how widely they are available elsewhere.

                                                                                                                                          Vine leaves: Grape leaves are available all over in jars

                                                                                                                                          Elderflower cordial: Oh, come on now!

                                                                                                                                          Labneh - if you can't find it he suggests full-fat yoghurt (I don't even know what that tastes like anymore! ;+) mixed with olive oil.

                                                                                                                                          Arak - Sub is Pernod

                                                                                                                                          Swiss Chard: He says it's difficult to come by in England. Hey! One for our side.

                                                                                                                                          Muscovado sugar: You know where to find it if you participated in the Pure Desert (Medrich) DCOTM a while ago.

                                                                                                                                          Dessicated coconut: Dried coconut

                                                                                                                                          Ground rice: I've never heard of this one - anybody? Is it just rice flour? Is it available in Asian shops?

                                                                                                                                          Well, this certainly tags me as an obsessive-compulsive personality.

                                                                                                                                          1. re: oakjoan
                                                                                                                                            MMRuth Mar 9, 2009 04:23 PM

                                                                                                                                            Camargue Red Rice. I do see that in NY.

                                                                                                                                            "Spec is, I think, a sort of German prosciutto (anybody know?)" - Speck - pretty widely available in NYC - I believe it is from the Tyrol, and can be either Italian or Austrian, but is indeed similar to prosciutto.

                                                                                                                                            Broad beans are favas - yes - finally found my "All You Need to Know About the British Kitchen" and it confirmed that Broad beans are favas, and butter beans are limas.

                                                                                                                                            Samphire - I think Candy posted about this. My pamphlet says "A fleshy green seaweed plant which cannot be cultivated but still grows wild on the sea marshes of East Anglia." I saw this at Chelsea Market, but am blanking as to the name used for it.

                                                                                                                                            "Salsify - Is that what's also known as "oyster plant"? This is also something I've rarely seen outside of a restaurant menu" I see this on occasion in NYC, and my pamphlet comfirms that it is also known as "oyster plant".

                                                                                                                                            Sorrel - I mostly see it in the spring and early summer in NY - not widely available, but attainable.

                                                                                                                                            Pea Shoots - I see them in NY as well, though mostly in the summer.

                                                                                                                                            Muscovado Sugar - I did buy that for the meringues, but I think one could just use dark brown sugar with good results.

                                                                                                                                            Ground rice - I made those pistachio shortbread cookies - still need to post about them - but I just ground some rice in my coffee grinder.

                                                                                                                                            1. re: MMRuth
                                                                                                                                              oakjoan Mar 9, 2009 06:17 PM

                                                                                                                                              I've also seen Camargue red rice in fancy places around here, but the Bhutanese worked fine for me.

                                                                                                                                              I'm never sure I can get my coffee grinder clean again after using it for something else. I have another old one that I use for spices, but that is also "tainted" with the residue of cumin, etc.

                                                                                                                                              I should really spring for another one to use in grinding neutral stuff like rice.

                                                                                                                                              I fell in love with muscovado sugar during the Pure Dessert month. I use it a lot now because it's so full of flavor.

                                                                                                                                              1. re: oakjoan
                                                                                                                                                JoanN Mar 9, 2009 06:23 PM

                                                                                                                                                It is often recommended, oakjoan, that you use rice to clean out your spice grinder. Instead of buying a new one, just grind a small amount of rice in it and throw out that batch before grinding the rice you need for the recipe. I'll bet that would do it for you.

                                                                                                                                                1. re: JoanN
                                                                                                                                                  MMRuth Mar 11, 2009 08:55 AM

                                                                                                                                                  That's what I do all the time, and it's a good way to use up odds and ends of different kinds of rice.

                                                                                                                                            2. re: oakjoan
                                                                                                                                              Caitlin McGrath Mar 9, 2009 04:40 PM

                                                                                                                                              Samphire is sea beans, which I have seen at produce markets. Although, I see here http://www.epicurious.com/tools/foodd... that there is a samphire generally available only in Europe. I don't know if that's what Ottolenghi intends, but I assume Candy used sea beans (her report above).

                                                                                                                                              I have D'Arbo elderflower cordial in my pantry; it's sold at gourmet shops (I think I may have seen D'Arbo locally at the Pasta Shop), and you can sometimes fnd elderflower syrup at Ikea, too. It's tasty in sparkling water and sparkling wine. It's floral with strong lychee notes.

                                                                                                                                              1. re: Caitlin McGrath
                                                                                                                                                MMRuth Mar 9, 2009 04:45 PM

                                                                                                                                                I see Elderflower cordial/sparkling water/syrup in many stores in NYC. And, thanks - that is what I was thinking of for the samphire - found it at Chelsea Market in Manhattan last week.

                                                                                                                                                1. re: Caitlin McGrath
                                                                                                                                                  oakjoan Mar 9, 2009 06:21 PM

                                                                                                                                                  Thanks Caitlin, I'll look for that elderflower syrup in Emeryville!

                                                                                                                                                2. re: oakjoan
                                                                                                                                                  Candy Mar 9, 2009 05:12 PM

                                                                                                                                                  Speck I am planning on using prosciutto unless I get up to Indy to the German market.

                                                                                                                                                  Samphire= Sea Beans available in my local (Mid western Kroger)

                                                                                                                                                  Salsify - I have grown it. I found it available canned, I figured it would be too hard to move in the shop.

                                                                                                                                                  Sorrel I grow

                                                                                                                                                  Pea Shoots - readily available in our local Asian shops

                                                                                                                                                  Ground rice- Asian shops

                                                                                                                                                  1. re: oakjoan
                                                                                                                                                    greedygirl Mar 9, 2009 05:57 PM

                                                                                                                                                    Romano peppers - they're the long, thin Spanish ones.

                                                                                                                                                    Swiss chard - I get a lot in my organic veg box

                                                                                                                                                    Ground rice - you should be able to get this in Asian shops

                                                                                                                                                    Labneh - delicious - you can find it in Middle Eastern shops.

                                                                                                                                                    Chestnut mushrooms - they're like regular button mushrooms but with a brown skin

                                                                                                                                                    1. re: greedygirl
                                                                                                                                                      Caitlin McGrath Mar 9, 2009 06:15 PM

                                                                                                                                                      "Chestnut mushrooms - they're like regular button mushrooms but with a brown skin"

                                                                                                                                                      Thanks. That's easy; here they're called crimini.

                                                                                                                                                      1. re: greedygirl
                                                                                                                                                        oakjoan Mar 9, 2009 06:23 PM

                                                                                                                                                        Thanks you guys! I was writing that mainly for people who don't live in London or Manhattan or San Francisco and might not be able to get certain ingredients without lots of trouble and expense. Therefore, it's nice that he has replacement suggestions throughout.

                                                                                                                                                        GG is right about labneh, it's great stuff.

                                                                                                                                                        Glad to know about the "chestunt mushrooms" - I guess they're what we call "crimini".

                                                                                                                                                      2. re: oakjoan
                                                                                                                                                        The Dairy Queen Mar 9, 2009 06:42 PM

                                                                                                                                                        Wow, this info is FANTASTIC. Thank you oakjoan, MMRuth, JoanN and Caitlin. I can't wait for my copy of the book to arrive.

                                                                                                                                                        ~TDQ

                                                                                                                                                        1. re: The Dairy Queen
                                                                                                                                                          MMRuth Mar 9, 2009 06:45 PM

                                                                                                                                                          Ha! So you succumbed. I still need to post about two desserts that I made. My pamphlet about British Cooking is now at hand, should you need any more help.

                                                                                                                                                          1. re: MMRuth
                                                                                                                                                            The Dairy Queen Mar 9, 2009 07:00 PM

                                                                                                                                                            I think I succumbed within 24 hours of telling my husband that I absolutely, positively, was going to hold firm and resist buying this book. :)

                                                                                                                                                            I still haven't told him.

                                                                                                                                                            ~TDQ

                                                                                                                                                            1. re: The Dairy Queen
                                                                                                                                                              MMRuth Mar 9, 2009 07:04 PM

                                                                                                                                                              Well, some things are better left unsaid.

                                                                                                                                                              1. re: MMRuth
                                                                                                                                                                The Dairy Queen Mar 11, 2009 04:42 PM

                                                                                                                                                                It's here! It's here! It's here! The mailman delivered our mail, and then actually made another trip back to deliver just the book. WOOHOO! Very impressive package, with the Royal Mail stamp and all. Can't wait to cook from it. Won't be tonight or even tomorrow night. Maybe Friday.

                                                                                                                                                                ~TDQ

                                                                                                                                                                1. re: The Dairy Queen
                                                                                                                                                                  greedygirl Mar 11, 2009 05:04 PM

                                                                                                                                                                  Congrats TDQ! It's nice to hear that people still get excited about the Royal Mail!

                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: The Dairy Queen
                                                                                                                                                                    roxlet Mar 19, 2009 04:51 AM

                                                                                                                                                                    Yes, it was that "Royal Mail" stamp that threw me after having ordered the book on Amazon, which said it was shipping from Delaware! Glad you received it, though!

                                                                                                                                                          2. re: oakjoan
                                                                                                                                                            d
                                                                                                                                                            dexters Mar 10, 2009 04:07 AM

                                                                                                                                                            I've seen ground rice in the baking section of my supermarket.

                                                                                                                                                            Surprisingly, the only thing I can't find are the jarred vine leaves!

                                                                                                                                                      3. re: dexters
                                                                                                                                                        oakjoan Mar 9, 2009 03:06 PM

                                                                                                                                                        dexters: I used a bit more yoghurt in the potatoes with horseradish. Aside from the dryness, how did you like the taste of the potato dish? I thought they were fab. Also, did you use jarred horseradish or fresh? I used all fresh since it was very peppery and fresh. The books says either are fine...as well as wasabi paste.

                                                                                                                                                        I first made the rice/quinoa salad for a large group and it was a big hit. I think the peppery flavor of the rocket/arugula is key and agree that watercress would be a good sub. I was intrigued with that recipe from the moment I saw it months ago....oranges, rocket, red rice, dried apricots, onions? Oh, and don't forget the pistachios. I thought it'd either be great or very weird. Turned out it was great.

                                                                                                                                                        1. re: oakjoan
                                                                                                                                                          d
                                                                                                                                                          dexters Mar 10, 2009 04:03 AM

                                                                                                                                                          I did like the flavor. I would probably amp it up with more horseradish, but I didn't want to overwhelm my small children. I used the Stokke's jarred horseradish.

                                                                                                                                                          One think I noticed about the Quinoa salad is that it did improve drastically as it sat out & cooled down. He says in the book to eat it when it is completely cool, but I was a bit rushed to get dinner on the table so it was still a tad warm when I served it. I liked it and I will make it again.

                                                                                                                                                          The swede salad also improved overnight as the flavors permeated the swede and celeriac. My 18mo. old son just demolished the leftovers, which surprised me since he wouldn't touch it last night.

                                                                                                                                                          Next up are the carrot, apple and pecan muffins, and the granola bars. I'll report back!

                                                                                                                                                          1. re: dexters
                                                                                                                                                            Candy Mar 10, 2009 11:33 AM

                                                                                                                                                            I'll have to give the Quinoa salad next. Too late to get to it today. Thanks for the tip.

                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Candy
                                                                                                                                                              Candy Mar 21, 2009 02:01 PM

                                                                                                                                                              I just finished the quinoa salad, with an emergency trip to the maincurist. The pistachios were murder on the nails. I have not yet added the arugula. I think you are right Dexters, I am going to hold off until tomorrow to let the flavors develop. It tastes good now but I imagine sitting for 24 hours will meld and mellow the flavors.

                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Candy
                                                                                                                                                                Candy Mar 23, 2009 02:14 PM

                                                                                                                                                                We had the quinoa salad last night with some braised lamb shanks. The salad was very good but neither I nor my DH liked the arugula in it. We kind of shoved it to the side.

                                                                                                                                                      4. d
                                                                                                                                                        dexters Mar 11, 2009 08:24 AM

                                                                                                                                                        Last night I made the turkey meatballs with sweetcorn, with the roasted red pepper sauce. I typically don't love mince turkey, but I haven't been let down yet with this book so I gave it a whirl.
                                                                                                                                                        These were really good. I was kind of surprised at how much I liked them, since I thought the idea of corn in a meatball was odd. I only used 2 peppers for the sauce, as that was all I had, and it was still more than adequate quantity. The sauce gave the meatballs a great zing.

                                                                                                                                                        I also made the granola bars last night. OMG. So good. I have eaten nearly the entire pan already. With 95 grams of butter, this granola is in no way healthy, but it is delicious all the same. I will make these again and again.

                                                                                                                                                        ALSO, (I'm on a roll lately!), I made the carrot, apple and pecan muffins this morning. I have yet to bake them off as I don't have liners. I did have to add a bit more water to the topping than the 1 tsp. called for to get the "coarse, sandy texture". If the tasty batter and topping is any indication, these will be another fabulous item.

                                                                                                                                                        5 Replies
                                                                                                                                                        1. re: dexters
                                                                                                                                                          oakjoan Mar 18, 2009 11:46 PM

                                                                                                                                                          dexters: Aren't those turkey meatballs great? I used, as I said in another report, a combo of ground turkey breast, turkey meat and ground chicken.

                                                                                                                                                          1. re: oakjoan
                                                                                                                                                            oakjoan Mar 23, 2009 04:36 PM

                                                                                                                                                            I'm making Koshary (koshari, koshery, kosheri) for a lunch tomorrow. There are now 2 great dishes (among others) I gleaned from Ottolenghi and both have various grains mixed together. Koshery has basmathi rice, lentils and pasta and the quinoa salad has red rice and quinoa.

                                                                                                                                                            I just love this mixing of grains/beans/pasta, etc. together.

                                                                                                                                                            1. re: oakjoan
                                                                                                                                                              oakjoan Mar 28, 2009 04:36 PM

                                                                                                                                                              Last night I made Chickpeas and Spinach With Honeyed Sweet Potato (p. 82).

                                                                                                                                                              What a spectacular dish this is...even made with canned chickpeas.

                                                                                                                                                              Sweet potatoes are cut into slices and then cooked in water until tender. They are then put into a pan wide enough so that they all have contact (or most) with the bottom of the pan. They're then sauteed in a bit of water with butter, honey and salt until the water has evaporated and they're a bit brown on the bottom.

                                                                                                                                                              A sauce of a sauteed, sliced onion, cumin seeds, coriander seeds, sauteed onions (fried together for 8 minutes (how specific can you be?). Then chopped canned tomatoes, a tsp of sugar and 1 1/2 tsp of ground cumin are added along which spinach (which I left out because the stuff I had turned out to be pretty wilted and decayed looking. Chickpeas (I used one soup can-sized can) are added and the whole mixture is cooked together for 5 minutes. Season with s&p if necessary. He says to serve the tomato/chickpea mixture with the sweet potato slices on top, but I just stirred the whole thing together. Chopped cilantro is added at the last minute.

                                                                                                                                                              It's served with a sauce made of yoghurt, crushed garlic, juice of one lemon 3 Tbsp of olive oil and 1 tsp dried mint. I had some fresh mint and so used that instead.

                                                                                                                                                              This was amazingly good. The combo of the tart, acidic tomatoes with the crunchy garbanzos and the soft and sweet sweet potatoes was delicious.
                                                                                                                                                              The 2 of us ate a whole recipe and we had other stuff, too.

                                                                                                                                                              I also made hamburger patties using home-ground chuck. I almost always make my own hamburger since I read Bittman on the subject. Of course, his description doesn't mention much about all the tendons and tough membranes one finds in chuck roast and which tend to make the ground beef less of a delight to eat. I spend some time cutting away as much as I can, which improves them a good deal. The taste, however, is far superior to the stuff in the supermarket. I grind it in the food processor with sliced onion and garlic, salt and pepper.

                                                                                                                                                              We also had a green salad with lettuces from Full Belly.

                                                                                                                                                              A very, very good dinner.

                                                                                                                                                              1. re: oakjoan
                                                                                                                                                                roxlet Mar 29, 2009 05:15 AM

                                                                                                                                                                How did you like the Koshary? It is a very common dish in Egypt, and I really enjoyed it when we had it there. The crispy onions are key. I would be tempted to make it, but my son didn't like it very much and I am not sure that I need to be eating that many carbs in one sitting, but I'm curious as to how this recipe is.

                                                                                                                                                                1. re: roxlet
                                                                                                                                                                  oakjoan Mar 29, 2009 05:50 PM

                                                                                                                                                                  I love the koshary and am actually making it tonight for a dinner party along with the roasted chicken with za'atar and lemon. The onions didn't get crispy this time, but I'll tell you that it's terrific even with wilted onions!

                                                                                                                                                          2. Caitlin McGrath Mar 28, 2009 09:33 PM

                                                                                                                                                            Whole wheat and mushrooms with celery and shallots (p. 73)

                                                                                                                                                            This simple salad is so good. Additional ingredients are flat-leaf parsley, tarragon, sherry vinegar, brown sugar, olive oil, salt and pepper. Soak wheat berries overnight, then cook until tender but still a little firm to the bite (mine were fairly fresh, from the local farmers' market, so didn't take too long). Whisk brown sugar into sherry vinegar, and marinate the shallots and celery in it. Then add the wheat berries and remaining ingredients. I didn't have any tarragon, as the market was out. I added the chopped leaves of the celery along with the parsley. And I sautéed the mushrooms instead of leaving them raw (I used crimini instead of white button). Can't wait to have the leftovers.

                                                                                                                                                            Served this alongside the tofu with white wine, lemon, soy, and butter sauce from Flexitarian Table and some steamed asparagus dressed with lemon olive oil.

                                                                                                                                                            Red lentil and chard soup (p. 90)

                                                                                                                                                            I made this a couple of weeks ago. I loved this recipe on the page: the sautéed onions, cinnamon, cumin, coriander seeds garlic fried in butter, cilantro, lemon zest and juice sound like lots of great flavor. So I was disappointed that the flavor wasn't deeper; cooking the lentils with vegetable broth or chicken stock instead of water and adding the spices earlier might help, but I won't rush to repeat it even with changes - especially given that it's straightforward but uses multiple steps (simmer lentils in one pot, sauté onions in another, fry garlic and coriander seeds separately [I did not use a *third* pan for this as the recipe instructs, just used the skillet from the onions]).

                                                                                                                                                            12 Replies
                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Caitlin McGrath
                                                                                                                                                              oakjoan Mar 29, 2009 05:52 PM

                                                                                                                                                              Caitlin: I'm always confused about what whole wheat is. I have spelt and faro. Are those comparable? I was going to ask at our shrine of a grocery store, but it was very crowded at the counter where they weigh bulk items and I didn't want to wait.

                                                                                                                                                              I also love the salad with quinoa and red rice.

                                                                                                                                                              1. re: oakjoan
                                                                                                                                                                Caitlin McGrath Mar 29, 2009 06:52 PM

                                                                                                                                                                Joan, whole wheat I think generally means wheat berries ("whole wheat grains" in Ottolenghi). Since farro is a type of wheat, if you have whole farro grains, I think they're comparable. I'm not sure about spelt because I don't have personal experience with it. (This link says it's "in the wheat family": http://www.wisegeek.com/what-is-spelt... ) I've been using excellent wheat berries from Full Belly.

                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Caitlin McGrath
                                                                                                                                                                  alwayscooking Mar 29, 2009 07:04 PM

                                                                                                                                                                  All three are types of wheat. Faro, I believe, is the most ancient and from the eastern Mediterranean. Spelt is also very old and arose in Italy (it may be a cross between farro and more nothern wheats breeds). The most commonly used today is durham wheat. Spelt and faro tend to have more nutrition than durham. (Someone correct me on this please.)

                                                                                                                                                                  Wheat berries are simply the entire kernel (the whole grain) of wheat that may or may not be cracked. It is whole wheat but so is the same kernel more finely milled into whole wheat flour.

                                                                                                                                                                  All three would work in this recipe if a whole grain. Joan, since you have both spelt and faro, it may be interesting to compare the flavors and report back.

                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Caitlin McGrath
                                                                                                                                                                    The Dairy Queen Mar 30, 2009 04:03 AM

                                                                                                                                                                    Oh good to know. I have some farro to use up. Maybe I'll try this.

                                                                                                                                                                    ~TDQ

                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: The Dairy Queen
                                                                                                                                                                      Caitlin McGrath Mar 30, 2009 11:31 AM

                                                                                                                                                                      I really liked it. Somehow more than the sum of its parts.

                                                                                                                                                                    2. re: Caitlin McGrath
                                                                                                                                                                      oakjoan Mar 30, 2009 04:23 PM

                                                                                                                                                                      Thanks, Caitlin. I can probably find it in the bins at Berk Bowl. If not, I'll give Full Belly an email. Last time I was at BB I gave up because it was so crowded.

                                                                                                                                                                      I am going to try the recipe with faro and will report back.

                                                                                                                                                                      Well, since I've started this message I might as well post about dinner last night. I made a big batch of koshary and its sauce because one guest is a vegetarian. Another friend is almost entirely a meatatarian, but he likes my cooking and I've now been able to trick him into eating eggplant and cauliflower. Last night he ate lentils because I told him koshary was like a pilaf. mmmWAHAHAHAHAHAahahahah.

                                                                                                                                                                      I made the chicken with za'atar, but cut the chicken into pieces. I had originally planned to serve a couple of roast chickens, but the thought of all that carving made me change my mind. If you don't feel like roasting a chicken, this is quite easy and absolutely devine! I love that combo of spices: the sourness of the sumac and the sweetness of the cinnamon and allspice. Add garlic and lemon slices and you'll break into a chorus of "Heaven, I'm in heaven, and my heart beats so that I can hardly speak....etc., etc."

                                                                                                                                                                      The chicken and kosary are a great combo with a big green salad. I used mizuna(o)?, arugula, romanita tomatoes, cukes and Full Belly Farm lettuces and spring onions.
                                                                                                                                                                      Except for the marinating time, this is quite simple to make....unless, of course, you're a bozo like me and have to cut up 2 whole chickens.

                                                                                                                                                                      For dessert I made the Almond and Orange Florentines (p. 227). These are a snap to make and not full of butter and eggs. They're made entirely of sliced almonds, egg whites, sugar and orange zest. You mix this with your hands and then make little mounds with your hands on the baking sheet (I used parchment for one batch and Silpat for the other - both worked fine). You dip a fork in water and flatten them as much as possilble without creating too many gaps btwn the flakes. I also used my water-dipped fingers to tidy them up. He says to bake for only12 minutes at what I figured to be around 300 degrees. Nothing much happened to them in that time, so I turned up the heat to about 325 and left them in for a few more minutes. I wish I could be more specific, but I wasn't really thinking about posting while doing this. You do have to watch so that they don't burn on the bottom. These cookies are quite deelish - very crispy.

                                                                                                                                                                      I served them with something I discovered at Trader Joe's yesterday when I realized I wasn't going to have time to do the frozen yoghurt I'd planned. TJs has a non-fat frozen yoghurt that is quite good and quite tangy. I got some frozen blackberries which I defrosted and simmered a bit with some sugar. Served them over the fro-yo with the cookies on the side.

                                                                                                                                                                      This was a really good dinner, with many compliments to the chef.

                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: oakjoan
                                                                                                                                                                        Caitlin McGrath Mar 31, 2009 12:56 PM

                                                                                                                                                                        Berkeley Bowl definitely sells wheat berries in their bulk section, though it sounds as if you're good to go with your farro.

                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Caitlin McGrath
                                                                                                                                                                          oakjoan Mar 31, 2009 08:55 PM

                                                                                                                                                                          Thanks CMcG: I was pretty sure they had them, but I was shopping at the most crowded time and gave up too easily. I used all my brain power to remember that hazelnuts are called "filberts" at the Bowl and that they are on the other side of the aisle from most of the other nuts.

                                                                                                                                                                        2. re: oakjoan
                                                                                                                                                                          mirage Apr 15, 2009 06:28 AM

                                                                                                                                                                          Made the Almond and Orange Florentines - We loved them!! They were way better than I expected. I did have the same problem with the cooking time that oakjoan had and, based on her success, I did the same thing - after 12 minutes raised the heat to 325 degrees. They cooked for EIGHT more minutes. Of course I did open the oven door twice during that time so YMMV.

                                                                                                                                                                          Delicious AND Passover friendly, so I was able to serve them to my friends this week! Each of whom demanded the recipe.

                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: mirage
                                                                                                                                                                            Candy Apr 15, 2009 08:45 AM

                                                                                                                                                                            They have been on my list to try. Maybe Sunday. I had loaned my book to a friend and got it back yesterday. I was thinking about putting a light coating of dark chocolate on the bottom. I think I'd put chocolate on any thing.

                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Candy
                                                                                                                                                                              Caitlin McGrath Apr 15, 2009 12:24 PM

                                                                                                                                                                              Florentines with a dark chocolate drizzle or dip are the best. Almonds and chocolate = match made in heaven.

                                                                                                                                                                    3. re: Caitlin McGrath
                                                                                                                                                                      BigSal Jul 5, 2012 04:58 AM

                                                                                                                                                                      Whole wheat and mushrooms with celery and shallots (p. 73)

                                                                                                                                                                      We made this salad to go with the flattened chicken from Italian Easy and roasted red peppers and capers (Batali- Molto Gusto). This was my first time eating wheat berries in something other than bread. Taking note from Caitlin's original post, I sauteed the mushrooms and would continue to do so when making this salad. The tarragon was a pleasant addition as well. It made for a delicious salad, but a bit too sweet for me. I would use less brown sugar the next time I make this, but otherwise very nice.

                                                                                                                                                                    4. MMRuth Mar 31, 2009 12:37 PM

                                                                                                                                                                      Seared Duck Breasts with Blood Orange and Star Anise

                                                                                                                                                                      I am so behind on posting about so many recipes generally, but trying to catch up. I used purchased blood orange juice for the juice, but 2 blood oranges for the segments (I halved the recipe). I had a huge duck breast, and so cut it in half for this recipe. I loved this dish, but next time would cook the duck a la Goin, so as to render a bit more of hte fat. Also, I thought that the cooking time here was too long for medium rare, and so cut back a bit. I served this with a wild rice pilaf that I made up, with baby bok choy and toasted pine nuts.

                                                                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                                                      3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: MMRuth
                                                                                                                                                                        Caitlin McGrath Mar 31, 2009 12:54 PM

                                                                                                                                                                        I have had my eye on that recipe, and your photos look scrumptious, MMRuth. What is Goin's method? After trial and error over the years, I now do duck breasts by scoring the skin and fat and cooking slowly to render out lots of the fat, for a longer time and at lower heat than most recipes suggest; then turn them and cook flesh side down briefly to medium rare.

                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Caitlin McGrath
                                                                                                                                                                          MMRuth Mar 31, 2009 12:59 PM

                                                                                                                                                                          Hers is the same as yours - score, and cook slowly over low heat to render the fat, etc.

                                                                                                                                                                          Here's the post where I cooked her recipe:

                                                                                                                                                                          http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/3970...

                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: MMRuth
                                                                                                                                                                            Caitlin McGrath Mar 31, 2009 01:12 PM

                                                                                                                                                                            That recipe with the roasted grapes reminds me of one from one of Rozanne Gold's 1-2-3 books for chicken breasts. You take a bunch of red and green grapes, slow-roast some and puree and strain the rest. When the chicken comes out of the pan, you deglaze the pan with the juice and add butter and the roasted grapes to make a sauce. I always thought it would go even better with duck (or pork).

                                                                                                                                                                      2. MMRuth Mar 31, 2009 12:47 PM

                                                                                                                                                                        Khalid's Chocolate & Chestnut Bars

                                                                                                                                                                        Pistachio Shortbreads

                                                                                                                                                                        The bars - I used cooked and peeled chestnuts from TJ's. The recipe says to bake for 15 to 20 minute, and not to go beyond the point where a skewer comes out with a gooey crumb attached to it. That said, I thought it was still far too gooey, and baked for another ten to fifteen minutes. I left it to cool, noting that even the top of the middle seemed undercooked, and then refrigerated overnight. After further testing the next day, I let it come to room temp. and baked for another 15 minutes or so. While I will fully admit to preferring cake-like brownies, these were still fudgey after all my finagling. I didn't bother with the cocoa on top - they were rich enough as it was.

                                                                                                                                                                        The Pistachio Shortbreads - overall, an easy recipe, though I was too lazy to completely peel the pistachios, so mine don't quite have that lovely green. I did find that rolling the logs of dough in the chopped pistachios was more of a pain than I thought it would be, and there were bare spots. That said, I'd make them again. For the ground rice I, well, just ground some rice. I gather this is an ingredient that can be found in the U.K, but don't know if it differs from just plain ground rice. I did have to be careful that they didn't brown too much, and was lucky to have some vanilla sugar on hand to sprinkle on them.

                                                                                                                                                                        Both desserts were winners at the dinner party to which I brought them.

                                                                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                                                        11 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: MMRuth
                                                                                                                                                                          oakjoan Mar 31, 2009 09:15 PM

                                                                                                                                                                          I have had my eye on the Pistachio Shortbreads and now both eyes are on them.

                                                                                                                                                                          Tonight I made the Chicken and 3 Rice Salad for dinner, using the leftover za'atar chicken with lemon and garlic from Sunday night instead of roasting another chicken. It's pretty simple. One just cooks basmathi rice and, in another pot, brown rice and wild rice. When the rice is cooked, drained and cooled down (I just ran cold water over them through a sieve), you mix it with sliced regular onions, spring onions, chopped cilantro and mint leaves. He calls for shiso leaves, but says rocket can be subbed. I used rocket. I had some almost ready to throw in the towel romanita tomatoes and so chopped them up and put them in as well as some Persian cukes I got today at Berkeley's other temple of produce, Monterey Market. His dressing is lemon juice, sesame oil, fish sauce and olive oil. I got totally sick of fish sauce after making SE Asian food and and overeating it at restaurants, so I put in some cider vinegar and a dash of balsamic. Served it with some wonderful pain epi. We wolfed down a whole big bowl of the stuff. A very nice salad. Oops, it's on page 124.

                                                                                                                                                                          I also got some pretty good strawberries at Mont. Mkt. today and made some non-fat/low-fat froyo to go with it. Mmmmmm good.

                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: oakjoan
                                                                                                                                                                            oakjoan Apr 5, 2009 11:09 PM

                                                                                                                                                                            Well, I've completed my most complicated Ottolenghi recipe and it was a great success. I made the Caramel and Macadamia Cheesecake for my cousin's birthday on Saturday. This was somewhat of a chore as the measurements in baked goods need to be closer to exact than for, say, quinoa and red rice salad.

                                                                                                                                                                            The cake base is made of "dry biscuits (HobNobs are good)". I didn't know what HobNobs were, but I went online and found that they seem to be made by one of my favorite cookie makers, i.e., McVittys (sp) I am totally addicted to their Ginger snaps - very hot in the spicy way. I couldn't find HobNobs although Berkeley Bowl had several McV cookies. I ended up buying some Spanish butter cookies. I now know that HobNobs are oatmeal cookies (thank you greedygirl!).

                                                                                                                                                                            So the base is a basic cheesecake crust - cookies and butter whizzed in the processor and then pressed into the bottom of a springform pan.

                                                                                                                                                                            The recipe also calls for vanilla seeds to be scraped into the cake batter. Mine have been residing in a big jar of sugar for so long that they've become impossible to slit open - too dry. I used liquid vanilla. You beat sugar, cream cheese, sour cream and eggs and then pour into the prep. pan and bake for about an hour.

                                                                                                                                                                            They say that the cake can be difficult to get off the cake pan bottom, but that you can use a couple of "fish slices"....gg? I think we need a translation here.

                                                                                                                                                                            The macadamia nuts are roasted on a baking sheet for about 15 minutes and then set aside.

                                                                                                                                                                            You make the first caramel by melting and browning sugar in a heavy pan. After it caramelizes, you add the nuts. Then you turn them out onto a large pan lined with parchment to dry and cool down. When it's cool you chop up the nuts very roughly (leaving lots of halves and some whole nuts).

                                                                                                                                                                            You then make a caramel sauce out of butter, superfine sugar and whipping cream. To finish the cake, you pour the caramel sauce over the top of the cake (a depression will appear during baking, leaving a lip around the edge of the cake....mine did anyway.

                                                                                                                                                                            The nuts are then scattered over the caramel.

                                                                                                                                                                            OHMIGOD!!!! This is the most delicious thing I've ever eaten! It's soooo rich and yet refreshing. My cousin and the guests loved it and ate the whole thing.

                                                                                                                                                                            The richness of the caramel along with the slightly tangy cheesecake go beautifully with each other. I forgot to take a picture, but the finished cake actually looked quite like the photo in the book.

                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: oakjoan
                                                                                                                                                                              greedygirl Apr 6, 2009 12:35 AM

                                                                                                                                                                              Hob Nobs are a classic British biscuit (cookie). Here's a picture from a fab website:

                                                                                                                                                                              http://www.nicecupofteaandasitdown.com/biscuits/previous.php3?item=12

                                                                                                                                                                              Fish slice = metal spatula thingy that you use to slide a piece of fish or similar out of a pan.

                                                                                                                                                                              http://www.choiceful.com/choiceful-id...

                                                                                                                                                                              That cake sounds amazing oj, and well done for triumphing over the language barrier!

                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: greedygirl
                                                                                                                                                                                oakjoan Apr 6, 2009 03:30 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                What a great website! I actually found my favorite cookies - McVities Ginger Nuts. They paired them off with a ginger cookie from New Zealand which they also liked, I have to keep myself to a schedule with Ginger Nuts because otherwise I'd be eating 50 or 60 a day.

                                                                                                                                                                                Who'd a thunk such a bland-looking cookie without chocolate or frosting or nuts could be so delicious!

                                                                                                                                                                                Thank you to Milan Market on University Avenue in Berkeley, California, for introducing me to these delightful treats.

                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: oakjoan
                                                                                                                                                                                  greedygirl Apr 6, 2009 03:42 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                  Ginger nuts are great. I bet you'd like Hob Nobs too. I actually prefer a plain biscuit. You can get chocolate Hob Nobs now but I prefer the original ones.

                                                                                                                                                                                  Have you tried the hot and spicy ginger cake fom Rose Bakery?

                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: greedygirl
                                                                                                                                                                                    oakjoan Apr 6, 2009 09:13 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                    Haven't tried it yet. I've always been so in love with Claudia Fleming's Oatmeal Stout Gingerbread that I've passed it by.

                                                                                                                                                                                    I do remember she says it's not that sweet which sounds very interesting to me.

                                                                                                                                                                                  2. re: oakjoan
                                                                                                                                                                                    MMRuth Apr 7, 2009 12:24 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                    BTW - I would add that those bars were some of the most expensive ones that I've made. Digestive - $6.00, 4 bars of Lindt - $12, plus the rest of the ingredients!

                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: MMRuth
                                                                                                                                                                                      greedygirl Apr 7, 2009 12:54 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                      $6 for digestive biscuits!!! I'm in shock. For reference, a packet of digestives are about 75p and a 100g bar of Lindt would be about £1.50.

                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: greedygirl
                                                                                                                                                                                        oakjoan Apr 7, 2009 02:45 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                        Yeah, I got some locally and they were nowhere near that expensive. MMR - where did you buy them? Did Daniel Boulud personally deliver them to your door?

                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: oakjoan
                                                                                                                                                                                          MMRuth Apr 8, 2009 04:25 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                          I bought them at the market around the corner from me, on Madison Avenue.

                                                                                                                                                                                2. re: oakjoan
                                                                                                                                                                                  The Dairy Queen Apr 6, 2009 04:34 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                  Brava! That does sound delicious! And thank you, greedygirl, for translating. How does that expression go, we're two countries separated by a common language?

                                                                                                                                                                                  ~TDQ

                                                                                                                                                                            2. Candy Apr 8, 2009 09:42 PM

                                                                                                                                                                              I loaned my copy to a friend. His GF is a veg. because of migraine issues with meat. As soon as i get it back I am going to plan a diner party based on the book. 2 Vegs 1 who won't eat fish and 5 omnivores. I think with the book I can pull off a menu that will satisfy all.

                                                                                                                                                                              4 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Candy
                                                                                                                                                                                oakjoan Apr 8, 2009 10:22 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                Candy: I am positive you can make a great meal from Ottolenghi given your requirements. I had similar guests a couple of weeks ago when I made a dinner from the book. Everybody was very happy. The pickiest eater ate lentils without knowing they were there. Insert "Ha Ha" here ala the kid in the Simpsons.

                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: oakjoan
                                                                                                                                                                                  m
                                                                                                                                                                                  Maryld Apr 20, 2010 09:07 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                  I'm joining in as I just got the book a couple of days ago, but he now has another one out called PLENTY. I noticed that someone had problems finding rocket-it's arugula. Also, our local Target carrys Camargue Red Rice. You might want to check for it there. To OakJoan--did you use salted macadamias for the cheesecake?

                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Maryld
                                                                                                                                                                                    jen kalb Apr 20, 2010 10:31 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                    I dont think Plenty has been released yet - His site says May 5
                                                                                                                                                                                    I have an order into Amazon UK but nothing yet so far.

                                                                                                                                                                                    Looks like its all (or maybe almost all) vegetarian

                                                                                                                                                                                    http://www.guardian.co.uk/lifeandstyl...

                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Maryld
                                                                                                                                                                                      Caitlin McGrath Apr 20, 2010 11:18 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                      MaryId, welcome to the Ottolenghi lovefest! It was a Cookbook of the Month last August, so there is a ton more discussion about it in those threads. Here is the master COTM thread, with links to all the other threads about the different chapters, with everyone's reports: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/641730

                                                                                                                                                                                2. j
                                                                                                                                                                                  juniper77 Apr 22, 2010 02:55 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                  I'm finally making the turkey and sweetcorn meatballs tonight. Musing on sides - any suggestions?

                                                                                                                                                                                  1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: juniper77
                                                                                                                                                                                    jen kalb Apr 22, 2010 06:56 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                    what about broccoli raab or some tasty chinese green?

                                                                                                                                                                                  2. buttertart Jun 5, 2010 02:56 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                    Those of you who have so far resisted the siren call of this book may be interested to know it (and a number of other interesting books, such as the Nigel Slater on the veg garden) is on sale at Amazon.uk - Ottolenghi for 50% off, GBP 12.50. With shipping about $25.00 with the GBP where it is these days.

                                                                                                                                                                                    17 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: buttertart
                                                                                                                                                                                      j
                                                                                                                                                                                      JaneEYB Jul 12, 2010 07:39 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                      I picked up Plenty when I was just over in the UK. I want to cook every single recipe in it - just wish my kids weren't so veggie-averse. Although all the recipes are quasi-vegetarian, he is happy to recommend "goes with fish" or "great with lamb chops", which apparently attracted lots of criticism in the Guardian, where most of these recipes first appeared.

                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: JaneEYB
                                                                                                                                                                                        buttertart Jul 13, 2010 06:04 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                        There's a thread on cooking from Plenty on Home Cooking, did you see it? I've had it for quite a while and not cooked from it yet although everything indeed looks wonderful.

                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: buttertart
                                                                                                                                                                                          The Dairy Queen Jul 13, 2010 06:24 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                          Hey buttertart, I was just re-reading your post above. Have you bought or seen the new Nigel Slater on the veg garden? Tender or something? It's still on sale, so, I'm wondering if I should snag a copy.

                                                                                                                                                                                          ~TDQ

                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: The Dairy Queen
                                                                                                                                                                                            buttertart Jul 13, 2010 06:44 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                            I didn't but Harters did, I believe. Calling Mr H???

                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: buttertart
                                                                                                                                                                                              h
                                                                                                                                                                                              Harters Jul 13, 2010 07:14 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                              You rang, ma'am?

                                                                                                                                                                                              I am indeed a recent purchaser of not only the Ottolenghi book but the Slater one. Although normally an avid fan of Slater (owning all of his previous except "Thirst"), I'd cribbed at buying Tender for some time. There was a related BBC programme which irritated me by his prissie attitude, so I vowed not to buy. I've relented.

                                                                                                                                                                                              Have to say, I have a strict policy about reading books in order of purchase and havnt yet opened either. Ottolenghi is up next (after I've finished a fascinating tome about World War 1 flyers in 1918). It'll be some time before Slater gets a look-in ..... a couple of trashy crime novels and more military history before then

                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: buttertart
                                                                                                                                                                                                greedygirl Jul 13, 2010 09:45 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                I have it too. Must admit to not having used it much yet, but I do like his style. We should have a Slater month at some point for COTM.

                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: greedygirl
                                                                                                                                                                                                  Gio Jul 13, 2010 10:00 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                  A Slater book would be interesting at some later date. I have his Real Fast Food and Kitchen Diaries but have not cooked from either one. I have a pre-order of Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall "River Cottage Every Day" set to arrive in August...should have been sooner but there was a publisher's delay. And not to bend this thread too off the mark, I've been watching Jamie at Home on Create in late afternoon and Love the food he cooks from the garden....I think that book might just be my next acquisition.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Gio
                                                                                                                                                                                                    greedygirl Jul 13, 2010 10:03 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                    I like River Cottage Every Day a lot - will be interested to hear what you think.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: greedygirl
                                                                                                                                                                                                      buttertart Jul 13, 2010 11:19 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                      Could you point me to some recipes in the River Cottage book? Haven't found anything irresistible.

                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: buttertart
                                                                                                                                                                                                        greedygirl Jul 13, 2010 12:28 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                        buttertart: as usual, have only made a couple of things from there. The one that stands out is the shin of beef with ginger and soy. Have also made a few of the vegetable dishes, including teh beetroot with balsamic, rosemary and garlic, which was good.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. re: Gio
                                                                                                                                                                                                      h
                                                                                                                                                                                                      Harters Jul 13, 2010 10:06 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                      My advice about the Jamie at Home book (and with all recent Oliver books - those after the Naked Chef batch) is to thoroughly read the recipe and make sure that you feel it's going to be "right" or can you instinctively feel that something or somethings need adding. We've cooked a few dishes from this and from a couple of other recent books and have found them very underwhelming.

                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Harters
                                                                                                                                                                                                        Gio Jul 13, 2010 11:06 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                        GG.. Glad to know what you think, as usual. I'll be sure to let you know.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        Harters, many thanks for your advice. In the past I have not been shy about adjusting any recipe I've cooked to my liking. (Probably some of the few books I don't need to tweak are the 2 Ottolenghi books I have.) Perhaps I ought to seek out a copy of At Home at a local library or bookseller first and have a read. BTW, my husband likes everything we've cooked from Jamie At Home.
                                                                                                                                                                                                        Thanks again.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Gio
                                                                                                                                                                                                          Gio Jul 14, 2010 05:26 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                          Edited to say... My husband likes everything we cooked from...
                                                                                                                                                                                                          Jamie's Italy.

                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Gio
                                                                                                                                                                                                            h
                                                                                                                                                                                                            Harters Jul 14, 2010 06:12 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                            It's possible you may be able to get this on your side of the pond through the second-hand bookshop websites, like AbeBooks - but one you may like is Gennaro Contaldo's "Passione".

                                                                                                                                                                                                            Contaldo often appears in Jamie's TV programmes and is usually described as his mentor. Jamie used to work for him at Passione - his restaurant in London (now closed & sadly missed by Mrs Harters & me). A good book of Italian dishes.

                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Harters
                                                                                                                                                                                                              Gio Jul 14, 2010 06:23 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                              I think I've seen Gennaro Contaldo on several JO programs, Harters. Many thanks for the recommendation. I like the title, Passione. And to think it was the name of his restaurant too. Italians Are passionate about their food.

                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Gio
                                                                                                                                                                                                                buttertart Jul 14, 2010 06:41 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                Passione available in multiple copies from ABEbooks for under $10.00 plus shipping...(no, I don't work for them, I just have a heavy book monkey on my back).

                                                                                                                                                                                                              2. re: Harters
                                                                                                                                                                                                                greedygirl Jul 14, 2010 07:05 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                Passione is a great book - one of my favourites which is not known about widely enough, imho.

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