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January 2013 Cookbook of the Month: Jerusalem: A Cookbook

Our first book for the new year, by Yotam Ottolenghi and Sami Tamimi, is
"Jerusalem: A Cookbook." I have seen only "look inside this book" glimpses of "Jerusalem," but the reputation of the authors and their past books are rock solid assurances that everyone will be pleased with this choice --
and I really want to be right about that!
Here is the voting thread for this book:
http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/882214
Please join in the cooking this January, everyone is welcome to participate a little or a lot. I *think* the photo on the cover of this book is of a dish called "shakshuka" and it might be good dish to start with!
I'll put up threads for reviewing and reporting on tested and tasted recipes on January 1, 2013.
Thanks to everyone who nominated and voted -- it was a strong win for "Jerusalem" and I can't wait to see my copy.

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  1. In an amazing twist of fate, I am first on the list for one of my library system's copies of Jerusalem. Hope to get it next week! I lived in Israel years ago - looking forward to checking out the current food situation.

    1. Ah.... well then, I have to buy this book. I love love love the other two, but have been resisting. As I think about it, I don't really know why.

      So which version to get? Does the US version have weights in grams? Has anyone compared the two versions side by side?

      Very excited to cook from Jerusulem.

      38 Replies
      1. re: smtucker

        yes the US version has measurements in metric as well as cups and ounces.

        1. re: smtucker

          Now I might have to get the book too. Love the other two but have been resisting. I have even tried looking for barberries at the middle eastern shop. (But they don't have it). Do I need this? I was thinking to get Nigella Lawson's Kitchen, but maybe I should get Jerusalem. I am kind of afraid the recipes maybe too involved. I don't have much time to cook now.

          1. re: lilham

            the barberries may also be called zereshk in your store. they are small and look like currants - they are tart so if you sub currants you might want to add some lemon juice to the dish.

            1. re: jen kalb

              Thanks for the info. I'll try zereshk instead. And the currant one is a good tip. I might try soaking the currants in lemon juice as well.

              1. re: jen kalb

                Jen, where do you get barberries locally? I tried sahadis but no luck.

                1. re: Westminstress

                  Kalustyan's has them, but they're expensive. $10 for 3 ounces. That would be more than $6 worth of barberries in the lamb meatball dish alone. Haven't looked online, but probably not any cheaper with shipping charges. In the book he says you can substitute cranberries. Figuring that's what I'll do.

                  1. re: JoanN

                    Look for a Persian supermarket, not just middle eastern - barberries appear to be very specific to Iranian cooking. $10 for three ounces is ludicrous. The Persian market where I bought mine (from a huge bulk bin) charged $5.99/lb, for comparison's sake.

                    1. re: geekmom

                      Wow! I always knew Kalustyan's was expensive, but that's usury. It looks as though there may be a couple of Persian markets in the Curry Hill area of Manhattan and I have to be in that neighborhood right after Christmas. I'll check them out.

                      1. re: JoanN

                        In the recipe for Fava Bean Kuku on p. 39 Ottolenghi notes that you can substitute "chopped dried sour cherries" for the barberries.

                        1. re: Breadcrumbs

                          And then, in the recipe for Lamb Meatballs with Barberries, Yogurt, and Herbs, he says the barberries can be substituted with cranberries. (He doesn't mention chopping the cranberries.) I wonder if it's dish specific or if either will do. Curious about the barberries nonetheless. Will check out the Persian market when I'm in that nabe next week.

                          1. re: JoanN

                            You know, I'm thinking I may have seen dried cranberries (aka craisins) with lemon flavor added. No idea how or what this lemon flavor really is, but it might be worth looking into as a sub, at least for me.

                      2. re: geekmom

                        So yesterday I went to a very small Persian market, according to Yelp the only one in Manhattan, and the barberries were $8 for 3 ounces, $16 for half a pound. I figure they must be checking out the prices at Kalustyan's, about five or six blocks away, and charging just a tad less. So I'll get to try them in at least one dish, haven't yet decided which, and see if it's worth it. I was just in Vancouver, BC, a few months ago. Too bad I didn't know about barberries then. Probably couldn't have brought them back in anyway, could I?

                        1. re: JoanN

                          JoanN, there is a restaurant in Brooklyn called barberry - wonder if they could be a source of information for Middle Eastern shops.

                          1. re: JoanN

                            Wow, that is truly astonishing how much they are charging. I'd definitely be using a substitute instead of paying that much for the barberries... they are yummy, but not so unusual in flavour that you can't just sub in cranberry & lemon or some such thing to get a similar result.

                            We have a very large Iranian population in Vancouver so I guess it's economies of scale & competition that keeps the prices low at the various Persian markets around town. (I did find one higher-end dried fruit and nut store run by a Persian family, which had both red and black barberries - the black ones were running $10.99/lb) Hunting down decent Mexican food, on the other hand, can be a real challenge here and I bet you are surrounded by great Mexican in NYC.

                            1. re: JoanN

                              That's unbelievably expensive. They're charging £2.25 for 4 oz in the Persian shop a couple of miles down the road. So a third of the price.

                              1. re: greedygirl

                                I just picked some up at my Persian market. CAD $2.49/100g (approx 3.5oz)

                                I'm glad I'd looked at photos of the berries in the book and online though as the shopkeeper only knew them by their Persian name of Zereshk. I thought I'd share that in case other folks run into this.

                                I also found Baharat which I was told translates into "Spice" The mixture of spices was referred to as "Seven Spices Plus" in this shop. The "plus" it seems is "cumin" which I was told is not included in a traditional Lebanese 7 Spice Mix. I paid CAD $1.99 for 3oz

                            2. re: geekmom

                              I found barberry powder at Russian market-made in Georgia-Tbilsi 1.75 oz $2.49
                              they also had sour cherries in a variety of products

                              1. re: jpr54_1

                                I tasted the ground berries- sour and not like cranberries

                                  1. re: jpr54_1

                                    SUCCESS!!

                                    http://www.sadaf.com/Default.aspx

                                    barberries are used in Iranian Jewish recipes

                                    they even had barberry and sour cherry shoe leather

                              2. re: JoanN

                                If he says cranberries are ok, then I'd go that way (and it is a good tip for when I have the book). The nearest Persian market for me is about a 40 minute drive, and I'm not really up for that.

                                1. re: LulusMom

                                  :-) ... What would COTM be without substitutions?!

                                  1. re: LulusMom

                                    This recipe that was done on Turntable Kitchen says you can sub out currants for the barberries too. http://www.turntablekitchen.com/2012/...

                                    1. re: juliejulez

                                      Good news there. I keep both currants and dried cranberries in my pantry.

                                      1. re: LulusMom

                                        Reading from the Wikipedia entry on barberries, I saw this:
                                        "In Europe for many centuries the berries were used for culinary purposes in ways comparable to how citrus peel might be used." So, it might be a stretch and create a different dish, but a grating of peel (lemon lime orange) might still have the acidity/tang/smack of flavor that you need.
                                        Maybe too far afield, but in some recipes OK.

                                        Edited to say I see geekmom in this thread has already mentioned lemon!

                                  2. re: JoanN

                                    If you decide to substitute cranberries, I'd suggest adding lemon zest to the recipe, or maybe squeezing some fresh lemon juice over the dish before serving so you can get as close as possible to the flavour profile. (I'd probably chop the cranberries too, since the barberries are a lot smaller). My friend's daughter was visiting when I made the chicken with caramelized onions & rice dish and she described the barberries as tasting like "if lemonade were a fruit, only not sweet."

                                    1. re: JoanN

                                      Just looked on amazon and it seems to be about the same price - $9.99 for .25 lb. This is for dried barberries - is that what the recipe calls for?

                                      1. re: LulusMom

                                        I found an online Persian grocer kalamala.com that charges $19.99/lb (yes, they are dried - that's what you want). They offer free shipping if you order more than $75. HTH

                                        1. re: geekmom

                                          In case I need $75 dollars worth of them ... too funny!

                                          1. re: LulusMom

                                            ;-) I figure they may have some other things for sale that would be useful for cooking from Jerusalem & hard to find for those who don't have easy access to ethnic grocery stores. Ottolenghi sure does seem to enjoy sending us on impossible hunts for obscure ingredients.

                                            1. re: geekmom

                                              At least one of the recipes (fava bean kuku) also suggests using dried sour cherries as a replacement. I'll check out my local Persian market, but if they don't carry the barberries, that's probably the route I'll go.

                                  3. re: jen kalb

                                    For those in LA, I just got barberries at Super Sun Market on Westwood - $10 for half a pound (and they didn't have any smaller packages). But since they're dried, I imagine they'll keep for a while.

                                    1. re: jen kalb

                                      For those in the greater Boston area, Sevan Bakery in Watertown has barberries. The smaller 3 oz size is $8. They are behind the cash register. Sevan also has date molasses in a small tub.

                                      I didn't check Arax since they open an hour later (9 am).

                                      ETA: 3 oz is a lot of barberries. They are much smaller then I thought they would be. I was picturing something dried cranberry sized.

                                      1. re: beetlebug

                                        They must have been in collusion with my guys in Manhattan. Do you think we have a case for price fixing of barberries?

                                    2. re: lilham

                                      Dried cranberries, the kind that are widely available in supermarkets, are a good substitute for barberries. They have a similar sweet/tart flavour and look, but are a bit easier on the western palette. Barberries are a bit of an acquired taste, as they’re a bit tarter than we’re accustomed to. Cranberries can be coarsely chopped in a food processor to get them to the right size, if you feel their size matters for the recipe you’re making.

                                      1. re: Celena

                                        I quite enjoyed the zereskh on the first use in this recipe. its interesting to try new items, and, admitting what you say about ease of substitution, I think I might notice a cranberry flavor. Wondering, why do you think cranberries would be easier on the western palate?

                                  4. Hurrah! This will be great fun.

                                    1. Although I didn't vote for this one, I'm actually intrigued by this. I'm a somewhat beginner cook in terms of actually having to put dinner on the table every night (and have been getting bored), and I love middle eastern food, so hopefully this will get me "out of the box"!

                                      1. Hooray! I've jumped the gun and made my first recipe from this book tonight. I will have positive things to say when the threads go up.

                                        Thanks blue room, job well done!

                                        1. I put this on my Christmas list, so I'm hoping to find it under the tree. Excited about it. And big thanks blue room - great job.

                                          1. Here's the Jerusalem pre-COTM thread started by Pikawicca on 16 Sept 2012...

                                            http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/869192

                                            11 Replies
                                            1. re: Gio

                                              Note that this pre-COTM thread (thank you, Pikawicca and Gio) contains several recipes from the book, and links to many more that are online.

                                              Here are some I found:

                                              http://www.montrealgazette.com/life/f...

                                              1. re: blue room

                                                Oh that's great, BR. The roast chicken w clementines is right at the top of my To Do list. Doesn't it sound delicious?

                                                1. re: Gio

                                                  My husband made it (the chicken with clementines, but he subbed tangerines), and it was deeeeelish.

                                                  1. re: LulusMom

                                                    Oh Boy ! I knew it. Can't wait. Thanks.

                                                    1. re: Gio

                                                      Made the roasted chicken with clementines & arak for Sunday dinner yesterday and we Loved it. I'll have more to say when the threads go up...

                                                      1. re: Gio

                                                        Gio, I am debating between this recipe and the preceeding one with Jerusalem artichokes. Made two salads - beet and cauliflower - for tonight's dinner and they look good; will wait for the verdict :) "Jerusalem" is covered with stickies just like "Plenty" and possibly even more.

                                                        1. re: herby

                                                          I am planning on trying both of those - they both look so good! I'm sure you can't go wrong with either.

                                                          1. re: herby

                                                            Happy Holidays Herby! If you like Jerusalem artichokes by all means go ahead, but personally JAs and I don't agree...LOL

                                                            The clementines I used were very small, so I used 6 instead of 4, and Very sweet. When roasted the flavor added just the right counter-point to the perfectly roasted chicken. Also, I used ouzo, the recommended alternative, instead of arak.

                                                            1. re: Gio

                                                              And we used Anisette. The mixture of that, the fennel, and the clementines (erm, tangerines) was lovely.

                                                              1. re: LulusMom

                                                                Oh, I'll definitely make both :) Probably will start with the first one. He suggests boiling JA before incorporating into the dish. And I read somewhere that they need to be boiled first and that makes them more "agreeable". Know exactly what you mean, Gio - I fried up some JA for breakfast one day....

                                                                I also have arak and tangerines - decisions!

                                                2. re: Gio

                                                  I love this book - it was a birthday gift from my foodie FIL. He knows my tastes too well. I can't wait to make more recipes from it.
                                                  Here's a link to the fried cauliflower with tahini recipe which has become my favourite way to eat cauliflower. http://m.guardian.co.uk/lifeandstyle/...

                                                3. Thanks for the great job Blue Room. My copy is on hold at the library.....should have it late next week.

                                                  1. I'm very excited about this book. "Plenty" is a book that revolutionized cooking for me and I've been enjoying Jerusalem too.

                                                    1. I got to look through my friend's cookbook briefly and it looks gorgeous!

                                                      1. BR, the picture on the cover of the US version is braised eggs with lamb, tahini & sumac (p 205 in the UK edition). I've made the shakshuka recipe from Jerusalem and it's extremely good, with a great spicy kick.

                                                        2 Replies
                                                        1. re: geekmom

                                                          Oops, I saw eggs and tomato and jumped to shakshukas. My education will continue when I receive the book, I'm sure!

                                                          How fun that everyone seems so energized.
                                                          When we did "Ottolenghi" I participated a little, but only through online recipes. No experience at all with "Plenty". So I have lots more to explore.
                                                          I spent about a year in Israel and loved it (decades ago) but mostly had kibbutz food!

                                                          1. re: geekmom

                                                            We loved the shakshouka! Even my toddler ate it.

                                                          2. Thank you for bringing it all together, BR! We made a great choice to start the new year - according to EYB, Jerusalem is No. 1 cookbook for 2012:

                                                            1. Jerusalem by Yotam Ottolenghi and Sami Tamimi

                                                            This is the third year in a row in the top 10 for Yotam Ottolenghi - last year he was also #1 with Plenty. Obviously he earns top place by producing stellar cookbooks, but also because his books appeal to reviewers all across the USA, Canada, UK, Australia, and New Zealand

                                                            1 Reply
                                                            1. Thanks, blue room! I just ordered it, looking forward to participating in a COTM again, seems like a long time since I have.

                                                              1. Must be karma. In cleaning out the freezer I ground up odds and ends left from a sectioned leg of lamb I’d bought at Costco last summer. Wasn’t all that sure exactly what I was going to do with it. And later that afternoon, “Jerusalem” arrived. Ground lamb is now weighed out in baggies with a recipe planned for each. Talk about perfect timing!

                                                                1. I bought Jerusalem when it first came out, being a big fan of the other two Ottolenghi books. My husband saw it on the shelf, picked it up, gave me a look, and said, "Jerusalem? You've got to be kidding me." I have yet to cook from this book, but I'm looking forward to making something that will knock his socks off. I look to all of you for guidance!

                                                                  1. For a change I own the book. I ordered it when it first came out.
                                                                    There r so many recipes-I am not sure where I will begin.

                                                                    1. Though not the book I voted for, I must admit that this is a wonderful consolation. I settled down with Jerusalem the other night and compiled a thorough list of what I wished to make, and the number of recipes that made the cut far outweighed the ones that didn't.
                                                                      Looking forward to sourcing some of these ingredients, too! I love food quests. I may even work up the gumption to try cooking with lamb for the first time....

                                                                      3 Replies
                                                                      1. re: Allegra_K

                                                                        I have made a few things from Jerusalem and am not impressed. I love love plenty and really not inspired by this book. I write this with a heavy heart because I really love them...

                                                                          1. re: Gloriaa

                                                                            Please tell us what you made, Gloriaa.
                                                                            I am planning to make a few dishes tomorrow: cauliflower, beet, bean and carrot salads and a chicken dish with Jerusalem artichokes. All look delicious to me and would be good to know if some are not since all will be shared with friends.

                                                                            TIA!

                                                                        1. Tahini question. I'm spending some quality time with Jerusalem marking all recipes I'd like to try and I noticed "light tahini paste" is specified. Are they referring to unroasted tahini (which is what I usually purchase) or do they mean something else?

                                                                          4 Replies
                                                                          1. re: BigSal

                                                                            I wondered the same thing Big Sal as I was looking at the book last night. I did a little digging online and found my answer on the Ottolenghi website.

                                                                            It seems Ottolenghi is referring to regular tahini paste when he calls for "light tahini paste" The "light" is a reference to the colour and flavour. Here's a link to the brand he recommends:

                                                                            http://webstore.ottolenghi.co.uk/coll...

                                                                            He specifically mentions that this would be good in his "Fried cauliflower with tahini or Butternut squash and tahini spread and, of course, in Basic hummus (Jerusalem, p. 114)"

                                                                            He also sells a wholemeal variety of tahini that is darker in colour.

                                                                            On the subject of tahini Ottolenghi notes: "We prefer using light tahini for savoury sauces and dark tahini to spread over bread in either sweet or savoury context."

                                                                              1. re: Breadcrumbs

                                                                                wow shipping to us is 17.82 GBP
                                                                                wonder if they have us site

                                                                                1. re: jpr54_1

                                                                                  You really don't need to order any of the ingredients direct from Ottolenghi - you can get light tahini paste at a natural foods store, at a well-stocked supermarket, or a middle eastern market.

                                                                            1. Have been on a bit of a COTM hiatus due to crazy work schedules. Am finally off work and at home for a few days and excited to see Jerusalem as the COTM for Jan! I know I am in the minority in that I have not yet fallen in love with Ottolenghi. Borrowed Plenty from the library and was not that inspired. I made one thing, if I recall, and I liked it okay, but socks were not knocked off. I have flipped through Ottolenghi a number of times, but never felt really inspired to make anything.

                                                                              However, I am ready to be proven wrong by Jerusalem. And I even have some vacation in January so hopefully will be able to get some cooking done!

                                                                              1. This will be my firs COTM! I've excited to join in and cook from Jerusalem. Do y'all usually stock your pantry with ingredients that you don't normally have around? There are many ingredients that are used in this cookbook that i don't have (sumac, za'atar, date syurp to name a few).
                                                                                Also, do you have a good online middle eastern grocer to recommend?

                                                                                19 Replies
                                                                                1. re: pagesinthesun

                                                                                  My usual approach with Ottolenghi recipes is to start out with dishes that I have *most* of the stuff for, then seek out the one or two "weird" things that particular recipe calls for. After a while I find more and more recipes in the book that I can make without doing an ingredient hunt.

                                                                                  I've spent the past six months trying to cook most of the recipes in "Plenty" and find that I have such a ludicrous number of weird ingredients in my kitchen that I'm running out of space. My spice cupboard is a scary mess. :-)

                                                                                  1. re: geekmom

                                                                                    Agree completely with the running out of space due to more and more exotic ingredients in kitchen :)

                                                                                    1. re: pagesinthesun

                                                                                      Hi, pagesinthesun! (I'm excited about this book too.)
                                                                                      I google (at least a little) for substitutes frequently, and usually find them. I know in my heart if I'm really cheating -- a different kind of brown sugar doesn't seem so bad, but subbing maple syrup for date syrup might not produce the desired dish!
                                                                                      So, yes, I have bought some unusual things. I have za'atar -- bought from Penzeys online. I forgot which exotic dish I bought it for, but it's delicious on cottage fried potatoes.

                                                                                      1. re: blue room

                                                                                        I bought date syrup, and I have to tell you, to me it tastes EXACTLY like molasses.

                                                                                        1. re: aching

                                                                                          Really?! I've never used date syrup, but assumed it would taste like dates!
                                                                                          I see recipes on the 'net for making date syrup -- it's just dates and water and lemon juice or dates and water and vanilla.

                                                                                          1. re: blue room

                                                                                            Yes - so much so that I would consider subbing date syrup for molasses, like in ginger cookies, now that I have a big jar of it!

                                                                                          2. re: aching

                                                                                            to me too. I was glad I tasted it at a friend's house .

                                                                                            1. re: aching

                                                                                              fascinating (and very helpful) tip about the date syrup tasting like molasses. I know during Fuschia Dunlop month there was a lot of helpful talk about where to buy products, what to sub with, etc. and it looks like we're doing a good job of getting the same kind of good info here. There was the earlier suggestion of subbing dried cranberries (with a bit of lemon juice) for the barberries. And it is helpful to know that light tahini is just regular tahini. I don't have the book in my hands yet (hoping tomorrow!) but once I do I'm going to put a note in the front with all this info.

                                                                                              1. re: LulusMom

                                                                                                I agree that these substitution ideas are very helpful. We do have a lot of the unusual ingredients already, but I'm doing my annual "eat out of the pantry/freezer" month with a very strict food budget for perishables in January and that means being very firm with myself about which recipes I try from this cookbook.

                                                                                          3. re: pagesinthesun

                                                                                            Since receiving this cookbook, I have bought za'atar, date syrup, tahini, barberries, sumac, cardamon pods, and harissa! That's in addition to a number of ingredients I already had. However, I feel they were good investments as every dish I've made so far I want to make again.

                                                                                            1. re: aching

                                                                                              I have a jar of dry spice mix called harissa that I picked up at Williams Sonoma. Can I use this instead of buying harissa paste? Would the measurements be the same? Or should I buy harissa paste?

                                                                                              1. re: pagesinthesun

                                                                                                "Make a simple version of Harissa paste by adding 1/2 cup Harissa spice mix with 1/2 cup olive oil and 1/2 cup water and blend in food processor. "

                                                                                                http://www.zamourispices.com/harissad...

                                                                                                If you do this use hot water when mixing.

                                                                                                1. re: Gio

                                                                                                  Thanks! Great advice.

                                                                                                  I just found a recipe on epicurious for za'atar. I think I'll just order some sumac and make my own za'atar.

                                                                                                  http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/foo...

                                                                                                  1. re: pagesinthesun

                                                                                                    I've done that as well. It's amazing that we really don't need to buy stuff if we find reliable recipes for homemade...

                                                                                                    1. re: pagesinthesun

                                                                                                      Ah has anyone tried this epicurious recipe for za'atar? I am just curious because I would also like to avoid adding further clutter to my spice rack and I have the component ingredients.

                                                                                                      1. re: delys77

                                                                                                        Delys, do you mean this one?
                                                                                                        http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/foo...

                                                                                                        I make one with the same ingredients but use dry thyme. In fact I'm using it for these recipes...

                                                                                                        1. re: Gio

                                                                                                          Excellent,one less spice to search out. Thanks Gio!

                                                                                                2. re: aching

                                                                                                  The only thing on that list that is not a staple chez moi are the barberries and date syrup. I have two kinds of harissa, and ground cardamom as well as pods (cardamom is also readily available in South Asian groceries).

                                                                                                  But I live in Montréal where there are large Arab communities (Middle Eastern and Maghrebi) and very important Jewish communities, both Ashkenazi and "Oriental" (Sephardi, Mizrahi).

                                                                                              2. oh so excited! i just found this discussion on chowhound AND i just got this book for xmas!!!!! will be very interested to try this as my first COTM!

                                                                                                3 Replies
                                                                                                1. re: rmarisco

                                                                                                  Welcome to you rmarisco. Glad you'll be joining us!

                                                                                                  1. re: rmarisco

                                                                                                    The coming month is looking extra-ordinary and extra-worthwhile, can't wait!

                                                                                                    1. re: blue room

                                                                                                      I agree. I didn't find Jerusulem under the tree, but after reading the other thread on it and the reviews on Amazon, I went ahead and bought it. I am very anxiously awaiting delivery now and can hardly wait to get started :-). So between the pot pies over on the dish of the month topic and cookbook of the month, I can see it's going to be a busily delicious month!!

                                                                                                  2. http://webstore.ottolenghi.co.uk/coll...

                                                                                                    the web store has all the ingredients needed for Jerusalem and
                                                                                                    Plenty

                                                                                                    shipping to US is over 18 pounds
                                                                                                    not all ingredient can be sent to U.S.

                                                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                                                    1. Since finishing grad school this month, I am going to have more time to devote to cooking and am looking forward to getting "Jerusalem" from the library and hopefully joining in this project!

                                                                                                      1. I found date syrup in my local Middle Eastern store, tasted it and loved it. Not like any other syrup! I can taste dates and it is not cloyingly sweet. I never paid attention to the selection of syrups in the store and was amazed that if there is a berry or a fruit, they have a syrup made of it! There is even a tamarind syrup, who knew?! Apparently these syrups are added to water to make soft drink.

                                                                                                        They did not have barberries but suggested an Iranian store and even called to make sure and they do carry red barberries. Hopefully the weather improves and I'll swing by the shop on Monday.

                                                                                                        4 Replies
                                                                                                        1. re: herby

                                                                                                          Herby, do you think id be missing out if i subbed with molasses or maple syrup? I already have maple syrup, along with regular, blackstrap and pomegranate molasses, and I don't want to give shelf space to another sweetener unless it's really worth it.

                                                                                                          1. re: Westminstress

                                                                                                            I went to the kitchen and tasted maple syrup, pomegranate molasses and date syrup. They are all different. You could sub maple syrup for the date but definitely not pomegranate. I never had date syrup before and not really a sweet person but I love it now that I tried it. I do not think there are many recipes in the book that use the syrup. One I want to make is roasted butternut squash spread on p. 69 and the syrup is drizzled over the dish - I think in this recipe you will notice the difference. Not sure if this is helpful at all - sorry :(

                                                                                                            1. re: herby

                                                                                                              Thanks, herby, very helpful and now I'm not sure what I'll do. Would you put date syrup on pancakes or drizzle it over oatmeal or yogurt? I ask bc my maple syrup is running low anyway and that butternut squash purée is on my list for this week.

                                                                                                              1. re: Westminstress

                                                                                                                Date syrup will be great on pancakes, oatmeal and yogurt - I think it will taste more interesting (in a good way) than maple syrup. When you taste them side by side, maple syrup seems to be rather bland. The book also says you can use it in salad dressing - I would like to try that. It is not super expensive - $5.69 for 500ml jar.

                                                                                                        2. I'm hoping to get some clarification on terminology....when Ottolenghi calls for crushed garlic, is it literally to be crushed, or is this a British word for minced? I've never been able to figure this out.
                                                                                                          Thanks!

                                                                                                          4 Replies
                                                                                                          1. re: Allegra_K

                                                                                                            I'm looking forward to the answers you get Allegra. When YO calls for crushed garlic.. that's just what I do: Smush the cloves with my chef's knife.

                                                                                                            1. re: Allegra_K

                                                                                                              Per previous discussions about this very terminology in British-authored cookbooks, the resident Brits say crushed garlic means put through a garlic press. (I don't actually have a garlic press, so I generally just mince it extra fine.)

                                                                                                              1. re: Caitlin McGrath

                                                                                                                Ahh, many thanks; I tried in vain to locate the info within the chow threads so really appreciate the answer!

                                                                                                                1. re: Caitlin McGrath

                                                                                                                  Thanks Caitlin. I do have a garlic press so now I know that to do. And, to be honest, I vaguely reading something about the press but couldn't recall exactly what it was.

                                                                                                              2. Recipe for homemade Date Syrup:

                                                                                                                http://zomtbakes.blogspot.com/2010/06...

                                                                                                                I have not made this yet but intend to. The dates are on my shopping list for 5 Jan...

                                                                                                                2 Replies
                                                                                                                1. re: Gio

                                                                                                                  This looks very diferent from the date syrup that I bought. Mine is dark and honey-like in appearance, has no additives (just dates) and no preservatives. I am sure homemade will be even tastier :)

                                                                                                                  I bought barberries today - $5 for 1/2 lb.

                                                                                                                  Chicken with Jerusalem artichokes is marinating. I am in love with the book!

                                                                                                                  1. re: herby

                                                                                                                    I made that a few weeks ago. Delicious.

                                                                                                                2. I'm really excited about this one. I've cooked about a dozen recipes from the book so far (did a Middle Eastern Thanksgiving and many found their way into the menu) and they have all been excellent.

                                                                                                                  In particular the cauliflower salad with hazelnuts and pomegranate has already become a favorite and I know I'll be cooking it for years. The rice pudding recipe is lovely as well. I can't wait to try more--especially some of the fish dishes.

                                                                                                                  I did buy some date syrup (it came from Amazon via Dearborn, MI and was manufactured in Iraq!). The family enjoyed marveling at the can. And the contents are very nice and not too sweet.

                                                                                                                  1. [Note: We're copying below blue room's post with the reporting links for January COTM for future reference. -- The Chowhound Team]

                                                                                                                    January 2013 COTM -- Jerusalem: A Cookbook

                                                                                                                    I had to smile when this was chosen because I'm aware of the (sweet and bittersweet) Jewish phrase "Next year in Jerusalem" -- sort of a looking forward, spiritually or literally, to that city. And here we are, "in Jerusalem" in the new year! This book is so beautiful. And inspiring, interesting, compelling (on and on I could go, better to cook though.)
                                                                                                                    Absolutely everyone is invited to join in! And thank you, all of you who have contributed to this month already.
                                                                                                                    See a pre-Cookbook of the Month thread for this same book here:
                                                                                                                    (a big head start!) http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/869192
                                                                                                                    You can learn about Cookbook of the Month in the archives here:
                                                                                                                    http://www.chow.com/cookbook_of_the_m...
                                                                                                                    The nominations and votes that brought us to this month's book are in these threads:
                                                                                                                    http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/882214
                                                                                                                    http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/881402

                                                                                                                    Please report and review recipes here for JERUSALEM: A COOKBOOK

                                                                                                                    Vegetables 24 - 93
                                                                                                                    Beans & Grains 94 - 129
                                                                                                                    Soups 130 - 149
                                                                                                                    http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/884301

                                                                                                                    Stuffed 150 - 171
                                                                                                                    Meat 172 - 213
                                                                                                                    Fish 214 - 239
                                                                                                                    http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/884302

                                                                                                                    Savory Pastries 240 - 255
                                                                                                                    Sweets & Desserts 256 - 295
                                                                                                                    Condiments 296 - 309
                                                                                                                    http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/884303

                                                                                                                    Love,
                                                                                                                    blue room

                                                                                                                    1. Arrived home from Jerusalem (and other parts of Israel) to find that our next COTM is Jerusalem! I have been thinking of adding an Ottolenghi cookbook to my shelves for some time so it is going to be hard to resist buying this one but I just tallied up my cookbook purchases for 2012 - the total came in just under 30. Very sobering, so I am trying to resist.

                                                                                                                      I am # 49 on the waiting list at the library so I may be a lurker for this month. While I enjoyed trying all the Jerusalem offerings this past month, to be honest, I am a little burned out on middle eastern food for now. I think I will be satisfied being an onlooker. Having said that, I did bring home a ton of spice mixes for the Tel Aviv and Jerusalem "shuks" so I may be cooking with those cheater mixes while all of you toil away. Hope to get into a book store soon to at least look through Jerusalem so I can have some perspective as to what you all are talking about and drooling over. Enjoy!

                                                                                                                      7 Replies
                                                                                                                      1. re: dkennedy

                                                                                                                        Oh the irony! I thought of you there this past month, glad the trip worked out.
                                                                                                                        I know for sure the best hummus in the world can only be had in Jerusalem, the old city part. I've had it and it's the best, end of story.
                                                                                                                        Don't worry, by month's end we'll likely all be "a little burned out on middle eastern food".

                                                                                                                        1. re: dkennedy

                                                                                                                          There are many online recipes from the book. Shouldn't let the lack of book stop you from participating :)

                                                                                                                          1. re: lilham

                                                                                                                            No, I won't let it deter me. I'll be around. Blue room, probably the only thing I didn't have while in Israel was hummus - unless you count the type that is included in the Israeli breakfast buffet. I did have a lot of other fantastic tastes:

                                                                                                                            Shakshuka
                                                                                                                            Sahlab
                                                                                                                            Falafels
                                                                                                                            Pastelikos
                                                                                                                            Pizza filled bourekas (going to have to get the recipe)
                                                                                                                            Tzfat/Safed zatar wrap

                                                                                                                            ETA: I forgot to mention the endless variations of Halavah - brought home a giant chunk of the coffee infused halavah from the Jerusalem market and am already regretting not buying more. Goes great with Turkish coffee.

                                                                                                                            1. re: dkennedy

                                                                                                                              I had Shakshuka for breakfast this morning and freshly made falafel mix is in the fridge ready to be fried - all from Jerusalem (the book) - love it!

                                                                                                                          2. re: dkennedy

                                                                                                                            You bought 30 cookbooks and none of them were Ottolenghi! the original is an essential IMHO.

                                                                                                                            1. re: dkennedy

                                                                                                                              d, hate to tell you this, but this is a book worth buying ;-). My cookbook total for 2012 is only a couple of books short of yours. Jerusalem arrived yesterday and I'm already plotting what to make, there are so many options.

                                                                                                                              I spent most of last night goign through the book...very impressed. It will be hard to decide what to make first. I think you'll find it a useful cookbook once you get a little more time between now and your recent trip :-)

                                                                                                                              1. re: DiningDiva

                                                                                                                                I stopped at the very first recipe and made it immediately.. I want to make everything in this book!!

                                                                                                                            2. yay! I actually just purchased this book. It was on my xmas list but I guess I was too naughty...so I bought it! Cheap cheap at Costco :)

                                                                                                                              1 Reply
                                                                                                                              1. I'm surprised at how many recipes from this book are online. I use a mobile app (mealboard) so being lazy I always search to see if I can copy and paste recipes I want to keep into it rather than typing them out. Almost every recipe I've tried is online somewhere. I'm not suggesting people not purchase the book, it's a great read as well as having wonderful recipes. However there is plenty of opportunity to try before committing.

                                                                                                                                1. Where are the links to the reporting threads for different chapters of the book? I'm finding the new format unwieldy, now that it's not stickied. Yes, I could save it, but it's annoying to retrieve them.
                                                                                                                                  Okay, gripe over. Will go look again.
                                                                                                                                  ETA:
                                                                                                                                  Oh, just scrolled up and found it. :)

                                                                                                                                  3 Replies
                                                                                                                                  1. re: pavlova

                                                                                                                                    Totally agree. Will we always have to look within the thread for the link to the reporting threads. I think this will prove problematic when we want to go report back when the book is in archives.

                                                                                                                                    1. re: dkennedy

                                                                                                                                      You shouldn't have to look within the thread for the links. The current COTM links can always be found by clicking the red "Quick Links" under Home Cooking. Clicking the cookbook in the archive should also bring you to the posting of the links.

                                                                                                                                      1. re: L.Nightshade

                                                                                                                                        Thanks for that--I hadn't noticed that tiny red link!

                                                                                                                                  2. I made the trip to the fabulous Persian shop a couple of miles away today, and stocked up on barberries among other things. It turns out they also supply Ottolenghi for some things!

                                                                                                                                    The owner, Sally Butcher, has written a couple of books. I was really tempted by One of them, Veggiestan.

                                                                                                                                    2 Replies
                                                                                                                                    1. re: greedygirl

                                                                                                                                      Don't tempt me. Veggiestan is on my amazon wishlist. I am trying to buy less books this year.

                                                                                                                                      1. re: lilham

                                                                                                                                        This is a link to an article about the authors in todays local newspaper. (Ventura County Ca, 50 miles north of LA) if you are interested.

                                                                                                                                        http://www.vcstar.com/news/2013/jan/0...

                                                                                                                                    2. I caved ...just ordered it from Amazon!

                                                                                                                                      1. For anyone in L.A., I was able to find barberries ($3.99 for 3 oz), date syrup and Arak (4 kinds to choose from no less!) at Jon's Marketplace in Glendale. I bet they'd have them at their other L.A. area locations too.

                                                                                                                                        I don't have Jerusalem, but hoping to break my long drought of COTM participation this month with the help of online recipes, as all of your reports have me drooling. Hopefully this is the start of a great COTM year!

                                                                                                                                        2 Replies
                                                                                                                                        1. re: mebby

                                                                                                                                          Thanks for the tip Mebby, I'll try the Jon's near me.

                                                                                                                                          1. re: dkennedy

                                                                                                                                            Did you also see Aching's post upthread about finding barberries at a Persian market in Westwood at a great price? From your previous posts, I think you're not too far from there...

                                                                                                                                        2. Can someone please help me? I'd like to participate in COTM, but I always find out too late - about 1/3 into the month by way of Chow Cooking Tips Newsletter. How can I find out what is the COTM at the beginning of the month, or even better, the month before?

                                                                                                                                          Appreciate your help!

                                                                                                                                          3 Replies
                                                                                                                                          1. re: bonbon35

                                                                                                                                            bonbon it would be great if you could join us. I find it's a little more difficult to find COTM threads since the recent Chow "upgrades" but here's what you do:

                                                                                                                                            If you select the "Home Cooking" board, you'll see two bulleted notes in red font beneath the board title. One of those is a link to the COTM and DOTM threads. Clicking that link will take you to the most recent posts. Here's where you'll end up if you click on the current link:

                                                                                                                                            http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/881405

                                                                                                                                            FYI, we're currently in the process of making nominations for the February COTM. If you'd like to make a nomination or two, here's the link to that thread:

                                                                                                                                            http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/8856...

                                                                                                                                            1. re: Breadcrumbs

                                                                                                                                              Thanks so much for taking the time to help me out Breadcrumbs! Appreciate it :)

                                                                                                                                              1. re: bonbon35

                                                                                                                                                My pleasure bonbon, happy cooking!!

                                                                                                                                          2. Cooked the roasted chicken with clementines and fennel. Substituted fennel pollen for fennel seeds. Cut salt in half. One of the best dishes I have ever eaten. The mix of sweet and spice and savory is just brilliant.

                                                                                                                                            Baked semolina, coconut, marmalade cake. Wonderful texture, luscious taste.

                                                                                                                                            1. I'm watching the first episode of Ottolenghi's Mediterranean Feast on 4OD and it's a treat. He's a charming TV presence so if you find it on US TV you should definitely take a look.

                                                                                                                                              1 Reply
                                                                                                                                              1. re: greedygirl

                                                                                                                                                I second greedygirl's recommendation; there are quite a few clips from these programs on youtube at the moment, for those who cannot access the 4OD videos.

                                                                                                                                                There's another one-off special called "Jerusalem on a Plate" that is worth seeking out, too.

                                                                                                                                                YO is enthusiastic, in a geeky kind of way, on camera and he deliberately puts himself into situations where he is NOT the expert on cooking whatever dish he's interested in - so he's learning from elderly ladies who've been hand-making couscous their whole lives, etc.

                                                                                                                                              2. I do not think I ever made as many recipes from a single book as I made this month from Jerusalem! Every time I had friends over this month I went to Jerusalem for inspiration and made many salads from it to supplement a variety of meals in addition to main dishes and sides. It is almost the end of January but I still go to Jerusalem to everyday meal ideas and casual entertaining.

                                                                                                                                                Great COTM joice everyone!

                                                                                                                                                1. I love this cookbook. I just got it 5 days ago and made 2 recipes so far and have so many things marked to try. I think I'm going to love it even more when summer produce season hits!

                                                                                                                                                  1. I'm planning a Jerusalem dinner party this weekend & wondered if anyone can suggest how to fill a hole in my menu.

                                                                                                                                                    I plan to have musabaha (warm chickpeas with hummus) on the table as people arrive, with carrot sticks & warm Persian flatbreads to dip.

                                                                                                                                                    For dessert I'll make the clementine & almond syrup cake with the optional chocolate icing.

                                                                                                                                                    The in-between part is where I'm still trying to figure things out... I though the roasted chicken w clementines & arak served with rice would be a crowd-pleaser, and perhaps the spinach & date salad would be a good starter, but I feel like I need to make something else (particularly to ensure there is some type of protein on the table for my gluten-free vegetarian kid) - mejadara comes to mind but it seems redundant to have another rice dish on the table. The roasted butternut squash with tahini & za'atar is really yummy but the flavours don't seem to be the right match for the fennel/anise/orange with the chicken.

                                                                                                                                                    If anyone's got any great ideas I'd love to hear them.

                                                                                                                                                    5 Replies
                                                                                                                                                    1. re: geekmom

                                                                                                                                                      The jerusalem artichoke chicken is also really good and mejadra is the recommended accompaniment ... that way you can have complete protein for your vegetarian child without doing double rice. The JA chicken is good for a dinner party because you marinate it the day before, so all you do on the day of is roast it for 45 min.

                                                                                                                                                      Or what about the butternut squash and tahini spread? That has tahini and yogurt for protein and is veg and gluten free.

                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Westminstress

                                                                                                                                                        You know, that's a good idea to do the JA/lemon chicken instead. Thank you! I'll take a look at that recipe.

                                                                                                                                                      2. re: geekmom

                                                                                                                                                        Geekmom, I had Jerusalem dinner last Friday and made Chicken with Clementines & Arak, rice/orzo dish (you can definitely sub Mejadara for your GF child), spicy carrot salad and been salad that stood in for sides. If I had time I would've made spinach salad - I love it :) For dessert I served leftover chocolate tart (from Flour - so delicious!).

                                                                                                                                                        1. re: herby

                                                                                                                                                          Mine was hummus shwarma with lemon sauce and stuffed vine leaves (out of a tin) for the starter, followed by chicken with clementines and spinach salad. The veggie had the chermoula aubergine with bulgur salad. I intended to make the carrot salad but ran out of time and actually it wasn't needed. I also served a chocolate dessert. I looked at the clementine cake but decided it would be clementine overkill.

                                                                                                                                                          1. re: herby

                                                                                                                                                            Thanks for sharing your menus herby and greedygirl! I love to cook & am good at following recipes but I am hopeless at putting menus together so this is extremely helpful.

                                                                                                                                                        2. Just a few days shy of February, can I add a post mortem comment? I LOVE this book and am so sad January is coming to an end. I've made quite a few recipes, almost all with spectacular results, and there are many, many recipes still on my "to make" list. I am almost wishing we could go on with Jerusalem in February as I am not ready to say goodbye to this book. (Yes, I know we can continue adding to the threads at any time, but the momentum, enthusiasm and conversation around this book has been a lot of fun.)

                                                                                                                                                          13 Replies
                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Westminstress

                                                                                                                                                            It's rare I get to participate in two consecutive COTMs.

                                                                                                                                                            I really wanted to love December's How To Eat. I've got the book for years, know that it's a classic, but somehow it has never inspired me to really cook from it. I thought COTM would encourage me to give it a fair go. But after much flipping through the book, I still wasn't that inspired. A lot of recipes seem to be too labour intensive (doesn't suit a full time working mum with a toddler). Of those that are quicker, they all just taste meh. On the other hand, the pudding looks very good. Most of the recipes I've marked are puddings. But I don't have time to make much pudding nowadays. I guess there's a reason why I've not cooked more than a handful of recipes after owning it for nearly 10 years.

                                                                                                                                                            My experience with January cannot be more different. I bought the book especially for COTM. But I wanted to buy it anyway and just needed a little push. (I've got both Ottolenghi and Plenty already). I feel so inspired everytime I browse the book. I still can only make 1-2 from the book a week, but I am struggling to choose which one to try first, instead of struggling to actually find something to cook like with How to Cook. Everything I've made is just delicious. I've already made a repeat. (Roast chicken with Pernod and clementine). The month simply felt too short. I'm definitely going to continue cooking from this book, and try out all the recipes I've marked.

                                                                                                                                                            1. re: lilham

                                                                                                                                                              Me too, especially since I got a late start (aside from the chicken with pernod and clementines). Too much travel in this family for us to be sure we'll get enough dinners together. But I really loved what I made last night, and have another meal from the book planned for Thursday. Very excited.

                                                                                                                                                            2. re: Westminstress

                                                                                                                                                              A long time after January is over I'll still be cooking from Jerusalem, WM. I didn't get to nearly half the recipes I intended, so I'll be joining you. The mixed bean dish is definitely on the agenda since the fiasco with the first attempt...

                                                                                                                                                              Folks seem to come out of the woodwork when they see a past COTM being updated so I think there will be plenty who will continue with the book as well. After all, a day without an Ottolenghi dish on the menu is a day without some of the most intriguing flavor combinations imaginable..

                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Gio

                                                                                                                                                                I agree, I'm going to continue cooking from Jerusalem and posting in the threads. I got the book half way through the month and there are so many recipes I haven't tried yet. The ones I have cooked will be repeated.

                                                                                                                                                              2. re: Westminstress

                                                                                                                                                                I know what you mean, that feeling that something has ended.
                                                                                                                                                                (Happily, we're wrong!)

                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Westminstress

                                                                                                                                                                  This is my first COTM and it's been a great experience. The results from the recipes have been mainly excellent and cooking along with all of you has been a fun experience. I too have many recipes bookmarked to try yet so Jerusalem will still be in high rotation here after the month has closed.

                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Frizzle

                                                                                                                                                                    So glad you enjoyed the experience, Frizzle. Sometimes it feels as if we're in our own room within a larger house...we've built such a closely knit, but inclusive, cooking community. I've learned so much about every aspect of cooking just from the discussions and being exposed to cuisines I never would have tackled on my own. Being here has definitely broadened my culinary life tremendously.

                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Gio

                                                                                                                                                                      Thanks Gio. Participating has been wonderful and even the old threads have been very useful to me, especially the Fuchsia Dunlop month. I agree, it takes the fear factor out of exploring new cuisines.
                                                                                                                                                                      I'll probably bow out of the next few months due to all the drama that shifting countries entails but I look forward to joining in on the COTM fun again when we are settled down around July. Right now I have two months to use up all our specialty pantry ingredients before the shift, then we may face a month or two in temporary accommodation with limited internet. Roll on July!

                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Frizzle

                                                                                                                                                                        Best of luck with your move, Frizzle! Hope it goes as smoothly as possible.

                                                                                                                                                                    2. re: Frizzle

                                                                                                                                                                      This is the second one I've participated in and I agree that it has been great. I still have a few recipes I tried that I haven't written up here (unexpected travel has kept me out of the US since the 20th), and I will post them in the appropriate threads once I get home.

                                                                                                                                                                      I am also doing an international move in the next few months so my posting may be light until I get re-settled. But at the very least I will be lurking in the COTM threads, I learn a lot from reading about the experiences of others. And often a recipe that hadn't caught my interest initially gets my attention after I read the reviews.

                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: pluralofcow

                                                                                                                                                                        Now I'm curious, where are you off to if I may be so bold.

                                                                                                                                                                    3. re: Westminstress

                                                                                                                                                                      Most definitely "me too" to this post. I have absolutely loved cooking my way through this book with all of you this month. I had already cooked quite a few recipes from Jerusalem before January, but having this crowd of fellow cooks all trying things out together was such tremendous fun and really kicked things into high gear for me.

                                                                                                                                                                      I have discovered so many new dishes that my whole family loves - it's just fantastic to have them asking when we can make something again because they liked it so much (especially when it makes them realize that something they previously didn't think they liked is actually great when cooked in an interesting way). I have discovered some new ethnic markets that I plan to shop at regularly and some new ingredients that will be great for experimenting with in the future. I just counted and I've made 18 new recipes from "Jerusalem" this month, have several more planned for this week (quails are defrosting in the fridge for tomorrow's dinner as I write!) - and even after all this cooking, it's exciting that I still have a little forest of paper bookmarks sticking out of the top of the book, new and exciting recipes waiting to be tried. Bliss!

                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Westminstress

                                                                                                                                                                        After some lacklustre months/ books, Jerusalem has reminded me of how great a successful COTM can be. I've loved exploring this book with all of you.

                                                                                                                                                                        I was in the pub last night with one of my Jerusalem dinner guests from last week, and she was raving about how wonderful the food had been, especially the hummus, which takes a familiar dish to another level. She said she was going to buy the book on the basis of that recipe alone!

                                                                                                                                                                      2. As usual, I didn't get to cook as many dishes as I had hoped, and I'm sad that January is at an end. I still have dishes bookmarked, so I'll be returning to these threads in future months, I'm sure.

                                                                                                                                                                        This has really been a great month and a great cookbook. We've been delighted with everything we've tried. The flavors have been compelling and slightly unusual.

                                                                                                                                                                        BTW, it is rather difficult to find this thread, I wonder if we should see about putting it in the quick links so people can easily come back to post their impressions at the end of the month.

                                                                                                                                                                        5 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: L.Nightshade

                                                                                                                                                                          I'm all for Quick-linking this thread LN, but Quick Links are difficult to find too, with no hint of what lies within.

                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Gio

                                                                                                                                                                            Agree completely. Even for us seasoned participants. It must be very had to find for someone new. But, as I understand it, they are working on a fix for that.

                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: L.Nightshade

                                                                                                                                                                              Good to know about the fix, LN, thanks. BTW: Love your new avatar.

                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Gio

                                                                                                                                                                                Thanks Gio! I wanted to find something round for the new format, so I used my walnut tart!

                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: L.Nightshade

                                                                                                                                                                                  Oh my goodness, yes, new avatar is gorgeous!

                                                                                                                                                                        2. I think that the overwhelming success of "Jerusalem" as COTM should lay to rest the idea that a cookbook with an already established thread is a poor candidate for COTM, and will have low participation. I've greatly enjoyed reading about everyone's experience with this book during the last month.

                                                                                                                                                                          12 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: pikawicca

                                                                                                                                                                            For sure, an extra-ordinary book will overcome any imagined obstacles.
                                                                                                                                                                            I'm trying to think of the end of a COTM month as actually *the beginning* of that book's usefulness!

                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: blue room

                                                                                                                                                                              We do not have to stop cooking from it just because it is February! I am making lamb meatballs with barberries tomorrow.

                                                                                                                                                                            2. re: pikawicca

                                                                                                                                                                              I'm not ready to sign on to that blanket statement. Some books with already established threads have been successful (Flextarian Table, Mighty Spice, Fish Without a Doubt) and some less so (Bon Appetit Y'All, Roast Chicken and Other Stories, Around My French Table, Cook This Now). Any truly great cookbook is going to invite participation and Jerusalem is a great book. I'm not going to do the math, but I'd bet that Jerusalem, more than any other COTM except perhaps Dunlop, has brought more new participants to COTM than any other.

                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: JoanN

                                                                                                                                                                                I don't think Mighty Spice has been COTM - yet!

                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: greedygirl

                                                                                                                                                                                  Nope, not yet. And I still have plenty of recipes from it that I need to get around to ...

                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: greedygirl

                                                                                                                                                                                    Oops. Just goes to show how successful a non-COTM cook-along thread can be. ;-)

                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: JoanN

                                                                                                                                                                                      You don't think cook this now was successful? I loved that month.

                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Westminstress

                                                                                                                                                                                        I was just lurking that month and didn't see much that was sufficiently compelling to make me want to buy it. Maybe I should take another look.

                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: JoanN

                                                                                                                                                                                          I was totally surprised by how much I loved that month. I started off a total non-believer, and did a complete turn around. Ended up with both books and still use them all the time. Probably the most used books I got last year aside from Mighty Spice (and I'd have to say Radically Simple gets used a lot too).

                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: LulusMom

                                                                                                                                                                                            Ha! Radically Simple didn't interest me much either. ;-) I chalk it up to not having to get dinner on the table every night. At least, not for anyone other than myself.

                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: JoanN

                                                                                                                                                                                              Totally understand. But just want to point out that it isn't a book filled with "easy" recipes. It is more that she has made some elegant meals without making them overly fiddly. Think of it as haiku instead of sonnets, maybe?

                                                                                                                                                                                  2. I'm not ready to stop cooking from this book either. In fact, Sunday dinner will include 3 recipes I've been wanting to try since Christmas morning: the date and spinach salad, the chicken with fennel and clementines, and the filo and cheese dessert.

                                                                                                                                                                                    2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: pavlova

                                                                                                                                                                                      Love the spinach salad - I think this is going to be WFD tonight :)

                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: herby

                                                                                                                                                                                        I can't wait to make that--that picture was the first that caught my eye and made me want to dive right in to this cookbook.

                                                                                                                                                                                    2. Just a heads up for any Canadians who haven't been able to locate barberries--I found them in Bulk Barn for 2.99/100 gms....so it looks like a special trip to the Middle Eastern grocer is unnecessary!

                                                                                                                                                                                      4 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Allegra_K

                                                                                                                                                                                        Thanks Allegra! I did just get some there this afternoon!

                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Allegra_K

                                                                                                                                                                                          I love our bulk barns! I travel a lot and can't say I've seen anything similar elsewhere...curious if this is a Canadian thing?

                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Breadcrumbs

                                                                                                                                                                                            I've seen bulk stores elsewhere but nothing quite like bulk barn. Sadly they don't have any locations in Vancouver.

                                                                                                                                                                                          2. re: Allegra_K

                                                                                                                                                                                            I bought mine at an Iranian store and didn't notice them in Bulk Barn - what was near? dried fruit? Was definitely cheaper - I would say under $2/100 gm

                                                                                                                                                                                          3. Yotam Ottolenghi did a webchat on mumsnet yesterday night (UK time).

                                                                                                                                                                                            He hinted about another veggie book on the horizon! About half way down this below.

                                                                                                                                                                                            http://www.mumsnet.com/Talk/mumsnet_l...

                                                                                                                                                                                            1. I posted a link to an article in today's NYTimes about the huge popularity of this book over on the Food Media and News Board.

                                                                                                                                                                                              http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/911348

                                                                                                                                                                                              1. To all Nigel Slater fans.

                                                                                                                                                                                                Because I looked at Mighty Spice Express the other day, this book came up in the recommendation of my Amazon page.

                                                                                                                                                                                                http://www.amazon.co.uk/Eat-Little-Bo...

                                                                                                                                                                                                It looks like a weeknight book for busy cooks, like his Real Fast Food and the 30min cook. I am a huge fan of his older quick books. I think they are over 10 years old now, and is great to see an update.

                                                                                                                                                                                                It's not out till September. So I can buy Mighty Spice Express next month, and this in September. And still not break my one-book-a-month target.

                                                                                                                                                                                                1. Just signed up here so this is my first post - spotted this thread immediately and it awakened much nostalgia. Really looking forward to giving this book a try!

                                                                                                                                                                                                  4 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: PastaChicksHusband

                                                                                                                                                                                                    Welcome PCH! These Cookbook Of The Month ("COTM") threads are what drew me to Chowhound and I've never looked back.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    If you do cook from Jerusalem, or any of the past COTM books we'd love it if you would share your experience with the recipes here. We all continue to post to old threads.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    Here's a link to the archive of all COTM's past FYI:

                                                                                                                                                                                                    http://www.chow.com/cookbook_of_the_m...

                                                                                                                                                                                                    Each month we vote on a new book for the month ahead. This month, the 7 year anniversary of the COTM, we're cooking from Edward Lee's Smoke & Pickles. You can join in here:

                                                                                                                                                                                                    http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/915282

                                                                                                                                                                                                    Happy Cooking!

                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: PastaChicksHusband

                                                                                                                                                                                                      Welcome to CH! It is a really wonderful community. Please chime in even on older threads. I've been really pleased with the recipes in this book.

                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: PastaChicksHusband

                                                                                                                                                                                                        Welcome aboard! I look forward to reading your contributions. I had to chuckle when I saw that you're feeling nostalgic for a book that hasn't been out a year yet - but I *totally* understand what you mean.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: geekmom

                                                                                                                                                                                                          Geekmom - I meant nostalgic for Jerusalem of course. :) Have spent some time there! Haven't even seen the book yet, though I did just come across a review at, I think, tabletmag.com. Anyway, many thanks for your welcome!

                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. Finally just got a good look at this book at a friend's house - wow!!! Have a copy on order.