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Apr 30, 2012 09:24 PM

May 2012 COTM: Food of Spain and Moro The Miscellaneous Thread

Please use this thread to discuss recipes from the following chapters:

Food of Spain - Stocks and Basics, pages 123 - 131
Food of Spain - Dressings and Sauces, pages 133 - 145
Food of Spain - Desserts and Pastries, pages 501 - 577
Food of Spain - Drinks, pages 579 - 588
Moro - Bread, pages 9 - 20
Moro - Sauces and Dressings, pages 247 - 260
Moro - Puddings, pages 261 - 279

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    I have started reading the first 120 pages-
    interesting so far- The introd to most cookbooks are revealing about the authors
    I haven't decided which recipes I am going to make in first section.

    1 Reply
    1. Pomegranate molasses dressing, Moro, p260

      OMG! I'm so glad I discovered this because it's (forgive the adolescent hyperbole) crazy good. I made it as the sauce for a simple first course of asparagus but it was so great I ended up using the leftovers to dress a simple green salad. My dinner companions, both men, were asking for seconds and thirds of the salad - it's that good.

      Anyhow, very easy to make. Crush a garlic clove to a paste, then mix with a little cinnamon and 2T pomegranate molasses. Whisk in 1T of water and 4T EVOO. If it's too tart, add a little caster sugar to taste - mine needed just a touch. Season.

      We loved this with the asparagus and the salad. It would be really nice with feta. Gorgeous.

      20 Replies
      1. re: greedygirl

        This *does* sound good! Any particular brand of pom molasses? Oh wait, I remember you're in the UK, might have to find a good brand here in the US.
        I cooked some pom juice down once, but I don't think it's the same--I'll do some reading.

        1. re: blue room

          I think the brand is Al- Rabih - I got it from a local deli.

        2. re: greedygirl

          gg I'm excited by your enthusiastic review. I'd flagged this so it's great to know you loved it! We've become quite fond of pomegranate molasses and really look forward to trying this. I'm imagining it w some bitter greens and roasted salmon as a main and your idea of asparagus as a starter is terrific too. Thanks for starting us off on such a positive note!

          1. re: Breadcrumbs

            It would be fantastic with greens and salmon, yes. As it's quite a sour dressing, you might want to add a little more sugar to balance the flavours.

          2. re: greedygirl

            Going to have to try this - I'd passed it right over when I had the book from the library, but jeesh, this is a huge endorsement.

            1. re: greedygirl

              In my first foray into Spanish Month, I tried the Pomegranate Molasses dressing. I have to say I was a bit doubtful - I have never put cinnamon into salad dressing before! My only substitution was green garlic for regular, and this actually worked well because the green garlic is a bit milder when eaten raw. I did not add additional sugar as my pomegranate molasses is on the sweet side. Everything came together easily and the dressing emulsified beautifully as promised. Served on a salad of mixed baby lettuce (including some chicories) with sliced green shallots. We liked the dressing very much. However, it is on the sweet side. Because of the sweetness, I don't think we'd repeat this very often. It was nice for a change though. I would definitely include bitter lettuces in the salad - I think they are essential to balance the sweetness of the dressing. BC, I think it would go very nicely alongside salmon.

              1. re: Westminstress

                That's interesting - mine was the opposite - definitely on the tart side. Must be a difference in the brand of pomegranate molasses.

              2. re: greedygirl

                Pomegranate molasses dressing, Moro, p260

                We loved this as well and found it to be more on the tart side than the sweet side. I served it over a spring salad mix that included many bitter greens and it worked quite well. Next time, I'd like to take gg's suggestion and add feta to it.

                1. re: greedygirl

                  Pomegranate molasses dressing, Moro, p. 260.

                  Such an interesting and different dressing--I'd never had anything quite like it (my previous exposure to pomegranate molasses has been nil!) and we enjoyed how it complemented the roasted asparagus that we tossed it with. I added some sugar to counteract the tartness of my AlWadi brand, and the combination of crushed garlic, cinnamon, and EVOO was refreshing. Mr. Goblin, who has a bit of a sweet tooth, loved it.
                  Like others, I think it would also be great on salmon.

                  1. re: greedygirl

                    Pomegranate Molasses Dressing, Moro, page 260.
                    I tried this on a whim last night, as I had the ingredients, and some greens, on hand. I used it over mixed lettuces, with a bit of red cabbage, tossed with feta (per greedygirl's recommendation). The dressing was a bit sweet for me when paired with the greens, which is odd, because the molasses by itself is so tart, I scrunch up my face when I taste it. It is very good with the feta. I did like the taste of it, and I want to try it with some other things that would stand up better to the flavor. I think it would be good on a chicken and vegetable chop salad. And for some reason, I want to try it with roasted sweet potatoes.

                    1. re: L.Nightshade

                      Pomegranate Molasses Dressing Redux...
                      I used this dressing again tonight on a salad of greens, feta, and strawberries. I'm not sure what the difference was, but it was wonderful! Not too sweet, not too tart, just perfect!

                      1. re: L.Nightshade

                        I made this dressing for the third time last night, and served it with roasted asparagus with a little feta crumbled on top (a Gourmet Today recipe I think). It was really, really good.

                        1. re: greedygirl

                          Inspired by GG, I did the same thing last night. Roasted asparagus, a little crumbled feta on top, and the pomegranate molasses dressing drizzled over. It was very good! Brilliant combo, GG, thanks for sharing.

                          1. re: Westminstress

                            Inspired by this thread, I made this last night to have with my asparagus and spring greens, was delicious. Was quite tart, but then I like it like that. The idea of feta over the top is great, will try that tonight.

                    2. re: greedygirl

                      After reading through the discussion on this dressing, I had that in mind when I went to a Med. import store this morning; lo and behold - they had TWO brands of pom. molasses, 1 marked 'sour' and the other not. Read the ingredients, and the one marked 'sour' had concentrated pomogranate juice, citric acid, sugar, water as ingredients in decending order. This brand is 'SADAF". The second one not marked 'sour' has concentrated pomogranate juice, sugar, water, citric acid in that order. That is the other brand in the picture.

                      I think this might account for sweetness or tartness of how the dressing turns out. I bought the 'sour' Sadaf, and will report back, as planning on making that dressing tonight.

                      Here is a pic of them both....

                      1. re: gingershelley

                        Well, now I had to go and check my pomegranate molasses. The only ingredient is pomegranates! The outcome of the salad seemed odd to me, because the molasses is so tart, but the dressing tasted sweet. I think my taste buds were confounded by something. I'm actually going to try it again tonight.

                      2. re: greedygirl

                        I made the pomegranate dressing based on greedygirl's description here. My pomegranate molasses is pretty tart, but I thought the dressing was fine as is and didn't add sugar. I used it on roasted asparagus and liked the combo very much.

                        1. re: greedygirl

                          A twist on pomegranate molasses dressing...

                          In a local Middle Eastern market, in the same section as the (multiple brands of) pom molasses, there was a Turkish mulberry molasses, so I bought it just because. Similar texture to pom molasses, and similarly tart-sweet. Imagine a very tart (in a good way, not an underripe way) blackberry flavor. Ingredients, rendered in seven languages (I'm assuming the Arabic matches the roman-scripted ones), reads: mulberry syrup. Ha. Anyway, I made this dressing using the mulberry molasses, just to use on a mixed green salad, and it was very nice. Oh, instead of cinnamon, I added a little pinch of ground cumin.

                          1. re: Caitlin McGrath

                            Oh that tart blackberry flavour you describe sounds wonderful Caitlin. I'll keep my eye out for this. Thanks for posting, its always exciting to discover a new product!

                            1. re: Breadcrumbs

                              Breadcrumbs, the brand is Sera. Looks like it's widely available via mail order, at least in the states. This is it, for visual reference, except the bottle I have is half this size (340g/12 oz):

                        2. Tarta de Santiago (Almond Cake) from Food of Spain

                          I don't have the book, so used the recipe at Epicurious.


                          I can't imagine anyone not liking this, it's a moist flourless cake, made with ground almonds, superfine sugar, and eggs. Both orange and lemon zest and a little boost from almond extract add flavor. I made a half recipe in an 8 inch round pan, didn't change the temp in the instructions, but took it out 5-6 minutes early.

                          The almond-grinding and egg-white-whipping make it a little time consuming, it would be well worth doing a whole 11 inch cake.

                          I spun my plain granulated sugar in the food processor a bit to make it the superfine sugar called for. (The sugar on top is powdered, I had a heavy hand with it here!)

                          While reading online, I learned that almond *flour* is made from almonds ground after the oil is pressed out. That's different from simply grinding unpressed almonds. (This cake uses the latter.) I also learned how to get that light brown papery skin off almonds. It's very easy -- cover them with boiling water for a minute or two, drain, the skin slips right off as you pinch them.

                          Enjoy this -- it would be perfect to bring if you're invited to dinner -- will not outshine the host's dessert, but excellent anyway.

                          2 Replies
                          1. re: blue room

                            I made this cake several times and like it better with orange blossom water instead of almond extract. It is light as a feather and super flavourful. Keeps well tightly wrapped.

                            1. re: blue room

                              Just received this book as a gift and have been pining over making a Santiago for ages. Can't wait to dive in and start cooking although right now I am engrossed in the introduction. As a Spanish teacher I have read a lot on the history of te peninsula but never really in English. So many interesting tidbits of information already. Can't wait to get home from work to read some more.

                            2. Green Sauce with Parsley (mojo de perejil), Food of Spain, p. 139

                              This is similar to a chimichurri: parsley, garlic, olive oil, white or red wine vinegar (I used red), and salt whizzed up in food processor or blender. I made 1/3 recipe with 2 small garlic cloves, heaping 1/3 cup parsley, 1/4 cup olive oil, 1 T vinegar, in the mini bowl of my FP. Roden suggests using it on meat or fish, but I tossed it with small steamed potatoes

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: Caitlin McGrath

                                Tahini Sauce, p. 255 Moro Cookbook

                                Perfect flavor and consistency. Made a batch to drizzle over the grilled chicken wings mentioned on page 39, but it tasted equally good as a dip for celery sticks and slices of grilled chorizo. Yum! Make this one!

                              2. Sherry Vinegar dressing, pg. 258, Moro Cookbook

                                A simple vinaigrette but it worked well with the butter bean salad. I reduced the ratio of oil to 2 to 1 instead of 4 to 1 and I included the squeeze of lemon.

                                5 Replies
                                1. re: dkennedy

                                  Sherry Vinegar dressing, pg. 258, Moro Cookbook

                                  I made this to go with the cecina and beet starter in the book (reported in the other thread). It worked quite well with the beets and I wouldn't mind trying it with a green salad.

                                  1. re: dkennedy

                                    I made the sherry vinegar dressing to go with the fantastic hot chorizo and butter bean salad. I have this amazing new sherry vinegar made with Pedro Jimenez that is incredibly complex and not too sharp. So I added an extra TB of vinegar to the dressing and did not include the squeeze of lemon. I liked the dressing, though I am sure getting tired of muddling single cloves of garlic in my giant mortar and pestle! I am actually contemplating buying a garlic press again after tossing mine years ago, with never any regrets until now. For some reason I'm not too good at crushing garlic with the side of a chef's knife.

                                    1. re: Westminstress

                                      Do you have a rasp? Very easy to finely grate garlic, ginder and such. The trick with the side of chef's knife is to use a but of coarse salt that helps to make garlic into a paste. I use salt in my M&P too.

                                      1. re: herby

                                        Yes! I actually have three sizes of microplane and this is a great idea, I will give it a shot. I do use salt when crushing the garlic, but I think my salt is not coarse enough. I have a few different salts though, I really should dig some of them out and experiment.

                                        1. re: Westminstress

                                          The rasp and my mortar and pestle with salt are my best garlic secrets. Highly recommended.