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*September 2010 COTM: tNBoEF - Vegetables

Our cookbooks for September 2010 are THE NEW BOOK OF MIDDLE EASTERN FOOD
ARABESQUE: A Taste of Morocco, Turkey, and Lebanon by Claudia Roden.

Please use this thread to discuss recipes from the chapter Vegetables from THE NEW BOOK OF MIDDLE EASTERN FOOD

The Chowhound Team has asked me to remind you that verbatim copying of recipes to the boards is a violation of the copyright of the original author. Posts with copied recipes will be removed.

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  1. Batata Harra (Sauteed Potatoes with Garlic, Chilies and Cilantro), Variation, Pg. 298

    This was absolutely wonderful. I chose the variation because of the one pot method and because it was stated to be more spicy than the standard. Not terribly spicy but certainly zippy depending on how many chilies or crushed red pepper flakes one uses.

    After washing a pound of baby potatoes (I usd new fingerlings) are put into a saucepan with oilve oil and 5 whole garlic cloves. A bit of water just to cover is added with S & P, paprika, RPF or chilies, ground cumin and ground coriander. This is simmered till potatoes are tender. If there is any liquid in the pan it's reduced over high heat. Chopped cilantro is then sprinkled over. We loved this!
    Served with our much loved Turkey Kebabs on pg. 104 of Madhur Jaffrey's Indian Cooking... and a salad, of course.

    1. Arnabeet bel Lamoun (Cauliflower with Olive Oil and Lemon) , Pg. 295

      We made this in the waning days of the Complete Asian book before I had reviewed many recipes from The New Book. But, as we had a cauliflower to use up this was perfect.

      Cauliflower, garlic, sugar, EVOO (or vegetable oil), fresh lemon juice and S & P are the ingredients. I steamed the cauliflower after cutting it into florets. When tender, EVOO is heated and crushed garlic is added. Next lemon juice and S & P are added and the cauliflower is turned over in the mix. Very nice... the cauliflower absorbs all the juices. Yummy. This is an Arab recipe.

      Served with Tarator bi Tahina on pg. 65, Minced Meat with Peas on pg. 62 of Madhur Jaffrey's Indian Cooking and corn on the cob since it was in our CSA and.. well, you know.

      2 Replies
      1. re: Gio

        I'm very excited to see a recipe for deep-fried cauliflower, which is one of my favourite dishes in the little restaurant we like to frequent in the small place we go to in Turkey. Cauliflower never tasted so good!

        1. re: Gio

          We made this recipe last night and liked it quite a bit. Although I did like the tarator bi tahini, I prefer the cauliflower without it. I wonder if this recipe would work with broccoli too.

        2. Jazar bi Zeit (Carrots in Oil) p. 296

          Simmer sliced carrots in salted water and then season with garlic, dried mint and olive oil. I used a small sauce pan and what I thought was a small amount of water. After the carrots were done, I had too much water left in the and ended up pouring most of it out to finish the dish. Had I tried to let the liquid reduce as indicated, I would have had carrot mush. We liked this dish and would make it again for a quick side.

          Roasted tomatoes p.292 I have had a surfeit of tomatoes the last few weeks. I have been making tomato sauces, sofritos, roasting, and eating them plain. I thought I'd try this version of roasted tomatoes to compare. Tomatoes are seasoned with salt and pepper, and sugar and roasted at 275 for 3.5-4 hours. I made half a recipe (4 romas) which called for 1 T of sugar. As I was putting the sugar on the tomatoes, I began feeling very guilty for doing so and the 1T of sugar seemed to be a lot of sugar so I didn't add it all (I probably added about 1/2 T of sugar total). The roasted tomatoes were delicious and sweet, and in fairness to the author, I did not follow the recipe and the tomatoes might have even been more amazing, but I will probably stick to my regular roasting method.

          2 Replies
          1. re: BigSal

            Carrots in Oil
            I made this tonight - had the same problem with the water. I also found there was too much water in her cold green bean recipe. Need to watch for that. I think I must have bought the wrong kind of dried mint because this was basically inedible - tasted like mint tea (and not in a good way). I recall having enjoyed using dried mint in the past so I must look out for something better

            1. re: ctbrit

              I find that spearmint works better in recipes calling for dried mint. Much better than peppermint... or other varieties.

          2. Spinach with Raisins and Pine Nuts, Pg. 284, 2000 Edition

            Very easy prep and very quick cook. Spinach, chopped onion, EVOO, S & P and pine nuts - which I had to omit because of dietary restrictions. Too bad, too, cuz I like them and think they would have added just the right contrast flavor to the spinach. But as it was the finished dish was quite tasty. Instead of using two pans, one for the spinach and one for the onions we simply used one large skillet. It worked out fine.

            In the intro notes Ms Roden says, "The Arabs brought it all the way to Spain and Italy." And that's exactly why it was so familiar to me. I served it with a lovely lamb and potato dish from Madhur Jaffrey's "Indian Cooking" and M. Ruhlman's Baked Buttered Corn. The corn dish was a nice sweet compliment to the spinach.

            1. Green Beans in Tomato Sauce, Pg. 294, 2000 Edition

              Nice dish, especially when served cold which is what we did as suggested by Ms Roden. Very much like a salad..

              A chopped onion is fried till golden then chopped garlic (6 cloves) is added and fried. Add the trimmed beans and chopped tomatoes (plums), S & P, lemon juice and sugar. Simmer till beans are tender and the sauce is somewhat reduced. It was served with Lentils and Bulgar with Caramelized Onions on pg. 96

              2 Replies
              1. re: Gio

                I made this dish over the weekend and really enjoyed it. We ate it warm, so I left out the lemon juice and sugar. The onion and garlic were sweet enough that I didn't miss the sugar, and Ms Roden suggested not using lemon juice if serving warm. I thought it made a very nice variation on what tends to be a typical side at my home (green beans). I'm planning to try the similar recipe with okra on the next page.

                I only wish my CSA was still producing tomatoes! Seems like that will be a challenge with a lot of recipes in the book. I'm planning to scour farmer's markets this week to see if any of the other farms are still producing them.

                We served it with a variation on the Braised Beef Short Ribs with Vanilla Glazed Carrots from Spice by Ana Sortun (the butcher didn't have short ribs, so we used a tri-tip roast).

                1. re: Abby0105

                  This is very similar to the green bean recipe I tried - on p92, except for the higher tomato content, the sugar and lemon juice. I found the earlier recipe a bit boring - I think that the lemon juice probably made all of the different - interesting that the recipe's are so similar.
                  I'll have to try this one if my CSA has beans next week (already ate this weeks)