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January 2013 COTM: JERUSALEM -- Stuffed; Meat; Fish

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  1. Roasted chicken with clementines & arak p. 179

    I made this zowie success of a dish with tangerines and ouzo. We couldn't have been happier with this! A 5# box of tangerines came from a neighbor for Christmas, I knew what to do.
    The ouzo (anise flavored booze but don't let that scare you) is mixed with orange juice, (I used tangerine juice!) lemon juice, olive oil, brown sugar, grain mustard -- I had smooth Dijon, not grainy but tasty. Salt and black pepper too.
    Then chicken, (we used thighs) and thin-sliced unpeeled tangerines, and partially crushed fennel seeds, and thyme leaves -- I had only dried thyme. The recipe calls for fennel bulbs too, but we had other vegetables to finish up so I just stuck to meat. This all gets marinated for however long -- I did 6 hours. Then bake hot for 40 or so minutes -- oh! The liquid left gets simmered to reduce, poured over the chicken.
    I warn you that fruit juice and brown sugar will turn into black kryptonite in your baking pan -- maybe try a foil liner.
    Half-burnt tangerine slices cooked this way are addictive--!
    Holy kamoly yes try it -- what a good intro to the book for me--!

     
    111 Replies
    1. re: blue room

      Oh, yum, that sounds like the perfect way to use up some of the massive bottle of ouzo gathering dust in my liquor cabinet, and I even have a box of clementines! Happy to hear this works even without the fennel. Lovely review!

      A touch off topic, but I wonder--where does the general discussion go for Jerusalem now that the intro to the book and links to the chapters are listed in the 'quick links' section--the announcement thread?

      1. re: Allegra_K

        I was wondering the same, and figured the same -- the announcement thread, found here

        http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/882964

      2. re: blue room

        My husband made this one for me when the recipe showed up in the WSJ (he knows my tastes well), and we all absolutely loved it.

        1. re: LulusMom

          Haha, yes, this golden dish is right on the money!

        2. re: blue room

          We have done this one too...I am sure it will be popular. It is worth including the fennel, it was my favourite part of the dish. It takes up the other flavours, especially the orange, and amps up the mild anise scent. We served with roasted squash. Definitely a keeper.

          1. re: blue room

            OK, this is going right onto my list. Maybe even tonight!

            ETA, just looked in the fridge and realized our thighs are skinless, boneless. I'm guessing that wouldn't work as well.

            1. re: L.Nightshade

              It would still be good - the arak (or sub), fennel and clementines bring a *lot* of flavor to this.

              1. re: LulusMom

                I've decided to save the thighs for some kind of a pot pie, and order a whole chicken to do this dish next week. Looking forward to it!

              2. re: L.Nightshade

                Ack. We're away for the weekend, and I brought absolutely everything to make this dish. Chickie has been thawing in the fridge for two days, and I forgot to check on it until a couple of hours ago. Still frozen solid. Our free range chicken ranch must have some super flash hard-freeze thing. I'm sooo disappointed.

                Tomorrow. Chicken with Clementines and (Pernod).

                1. re: L.Nightshade

                  I'm planning on cooking mine on Wednesday and got the chicken out of the deep freeze this morning. I wouldn't be surprised if I get the same result as you come Wednesday...

              3. re: blue room

                we made this the other night and it was one of those dishes i will return to again and again: SO easy to do, and a great looking dish for company.

                we didn't have ouzo - so went with jaegermeister instead! still lovely, as the jaeg. has anise in the secret herbal mix

                1. re: rmarisco

                  Didn't see this before, but glad to hear the jaegermeister works.

                2. re: blue room

                  Roasted Chicken with Clementines and Arak, Pg. 179, US Edition

                  We made this too, on 23 Dec, and loved it. Used 6 small clementines, ouzo, the fennel seeds, 1 large fennel bulb, dried thyme, a 3 1/4 lb chicken. Marinated the chicken pieces over night. Good idea, Blue Room, about lining the roasting pan. . There are 3 lbs of bone-in thighs in the freezer and all the other ingredients in order to make it again. Truly a wonderful introduction to this cookbook.

                  The ouzo has been in the liquor cabinet since "The Olive and the Caper" month and I had never tasted it neat, only used it as an ingredient in recipes. All I have to say about that little experiment is I'm sorry I did have a sip because had I known how nasty it is I would have tossed it long ago. Must be an "acquired taste." However, it's amazing that when cooked the flavor enhances a dish rather well.

                  1. re: Gio

                    Ouzo (and it's cousins in other countries) are definitely better for cooking than drinking (imo). Certainly very popular drinks abroad though, so go figure.

                    1. re: LulusMom

                      The odd thing is I like anise-flavored liqueurs and bitter/sweet vermouth, for instance - Punt e Mes is a favorite aperitif. But the ouzo... That was a first and last tasting for me. I'm happy to use it in cooking, though.

                      1. re: Gio

                        We really like sambuca Gio but ouzo is very harsh (at least the brand we have anyway...like you, we purchased it for O&C month). Mr bc thought we should just toss it out after tasting it but I've since used it in cooking and as LlM says, it's definitely better that way.

                        btw, I always forget to mention how much I enjoy your seasonal avatars. Are they your own paintings?

                        1. re: Breadcrumbs

                          Thanks for the avatar mention, BC. Not paintings but some of them are elements of much larger hooked rugs or simply cropped photographs...

                    2. re: Gio

                      Did you try it neat, Gio? Because it's normally drunk with iced water. It tastes best on a hot day, preferably in a Greek bar.

                      1. re: greedygirl

                        I did try it neat. Damn... Now I have to get me to a Greek island... Ikaria, I'm thinking. Where folks live a Really Long Time. And stay up all night drinking.

                        1. re: Gio

                          Neat would be... Interesting. It's like Pernod - a long drink, usually an aperitif. It doesn't travel particularly well, IMHO.

                      2. re: Gio

                        Roasted Chicken with Clementines and Arak, Pg. 179

                        Help!

                        I have all the other ingredients on hand except the Pernod/Arak/Ouzo. Do you think Jagermeister would work?

                        1. re: dkennedy

                          DK: I've never heard of Jägermeister much less tasted it...But... Just know that Arak/Ouzo/Pernod more or less taste like fennel or anise. From what I've read of Jägermeister it is a sweet type of liqueur. When I made the chicken & clementines, I did not taste any sweetness... I don't know if this helps you but I hope it does.

                          1. re: Gio

                            Jagermeister is not sweet. It has a strong licorice taste and is quite herbaceous IMO. Kind of reminds me of prescription cough medicine. Very potent.

                            1. re: dkennedy

                              FYI, someone upthread used Jager with success so I am going to follow their lead. Mine is marinating right now. Will serve with a Persian rice blend I bought on my recent trip to Israel (not sure if that is politically correct way to say it but it is how I have always referred to these blends).

                              1. re: dkennedy

                                Update: The chicken came out just as everyone described. I absolutely loved it. The fennel and the clementines being my favorite part by far. Plan on making a salad today to use the leftovers up. My husband and kids liked it, but no rave reviews so this one goes in the once-only pile for me, I'm afraid.

                          2. re: dkennedy

                            I'm tempted to try this one too, but I DESPISE arak/ouzo/all anise-flavored liqueurs. I like fennel, though (weird, I know). Might dry vermouth work, perhaps with a bit of vodka or something to up the alcohol content if necessary? I'm open to buying a bottle of something else that would work as a sub, too, but I know I won't use an anise liqueur for anything else.

                            1. re: biondanonima

                              I agree, anise is just not our thing. And I was unfortunately well into prep for this on Sunday when I discovered a lack of vermouth. Or anything else [? I had no idea.] that might have been suitable.

                              I subbed equal amounts of extra juice. I don't know if that's where I went wrong, but most of the sauce cooked off [almost dry accompanying orzo. ugh.]. Sometimes it just doesn't pay to muck around with a recipe. The flavor in the bird was really good, so not a total loss. But dang, no sauce.

                              1. re: nikkihwood

                                Thanks - I think I will try it with vermouth and see how it goes. And I'll keep an eye on the liquid in the pan, because I'm all about sauce!

                            2. re: dkennedy

                              I was curious bout the differences between Pernod/Arak/Ouzo.
                              Got some really interesting responses here:

                              http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/887302

                          3. re: blue room

                            All ingredients on hand for this except for any of the called-for liquors. I do, however, have just barely the right amount of sambuca. Any thoughts as to whether or not that would be too cloying?

                            1. re: JoanN

                              Joan, it seemed to me that the ouzo blended into the other ingredients without a pronounced flavor. Much less intense than I anticipated. In some dishes I do like the liquor to come through but not overpower, but I'm not so sure about the sambuca...it's more of a heady anise flavor on its own than the ouzo was to my palate.

                              1. re: JoanN

                                Maybe just cut down on the (light brown) sugar in the recipe? It calls for three tablespoons -- one or two and some sweet liqueur would be fine I think.

                              2. re: blue room

                                How would this be with chicken cutlets?

                                1. re: blue room

                                  I made this tonight. I forgot to put the sugar in the marinade, so I threw a pinch into the sauce while it reduced. It was plenty sweet, so I may leave it out in the future. And I'll definitely be making it again!

                                  1. re: blue room

                                    I made this last night, using a whole cut chicken, ouzo, clementine juice and dried lemon thyme. All was marinated overnight. When I initially tasted the marinade the mustard flavor was too strong. But it all ends up marrying together and mellows to a delicious balance.

                                    I'll switch to all thighs in the future just to make timing simpler - my wings were done at 45 min., breasts at 50 min. and leg/thighs at 55 min. I used a glass cake pan and cleanup was a breeze.

                                    The chicken was quite nice but the fennel/clementines were exceptional! I think this could transition into a vegetarian dish with ease. I'm planning to skip the meat and add sliced delicata squash, Meyer lemons and perhaps leeks next time. I'm toying with the idea of using the marinade with beets too!

                                    1. re: meatn3

                                      I've been playing with the marinade a bit. It was quite nice with fennel, kumquats and Jerusalem artichokes served with shrimp. I subbed orange juice for the clementine juice. I also tried it with regular lemons - not so good. They just tasted bitter. I think Myers lemons will work since they are sweeter.

                                      1. re: meatn3

                                        Whole Foods has bagged meyer lemons-

                                        6-8 lemons for $3.99

                                        1. re: jpr54_1

                                          Thanks! I still have some of the marinade left so I'll try to pick some up.

                                      2. re: meatn3

                                        Just an update...

                                        I prepared this for a holiday potluck for 60 people. I doubled the recipe and used chicken thighs since I felt they would not dry out as quickly as breasts. The thighs (Costco) were huge so I used a cleaver and cut them into 3-4 pieces each. Which gave a nice size for this type of event where there is so much food to try.

                                        After cooking I put the finished dish in a crockpot set on low. It held up well even though the skin lost some of it's crispiness.

                                        The dish was very well received and about a dozen people sought me out to deliver compliments or inquire about the recipe! I went home with an empty pot after giving the last few bits to a fellow who was completely enamored with the recipe.

                                        1. re: meatn3

                                          Smart idea with the cleaver! I always use Chicken Thighs with this dish. It's wonderful.

                                      3. re: blue room

                                        I loved your summary. I cannot wait to try this recipe.

                                        1. re: blue room

                                          Roasted Chicken with Clementines & Arak (page 179)

                                          I made this with four thigh/leg quarters, and thought 45 minutes was perfect timing. I thought I might use a whole, cut up chicken if I were making this for company, but after reading your comment, meatn3, I’m not so sure. It turned out I had only about three tablespoons of sambuca, but cut the brown sugar (turbinado, in my case) back to two tablespoons nonetheless as blue room suggested and it was just fine. (After three weeks in Turkey a few years back I found myself addicted to arak but was unable to locate it when I returned home. I now pursue the quest with increased avidity.) Once the dish was cooked, there really wasn’t any sauce in the pan to reduce, so I just poured the juices over the chicken.

                                          What a delightful recipe for such extraordinarily little effort.

                                           
                                          1. re: JoanN

                                            You photo shows the dish off splendidly! It is such a pretty dish that I think it could move to my "company" list. The seemingly unusual flavors marry so well that I think most of my guests would enjoy it - I wouldn't mention a few of the ingredients until later!

                                            By the time I thought about taking a picture All of the lovely skin had disappeared...one of the pleasures of solo dining!

                                            1. re: JoanN

                                              That looks stunning. I can't wait to try this dish.

                                            2. re: blue room

                                              It sounds like alot of you have tried the recipe for Roasted Chicken with Clementines and Arak. Since I don't have the book, can you look over this online version and let me know how it compares?

                                              http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10000...

                                              Hoping to make it later on this week.

                                              1. re: dkennedy

                                                Can't get past WSJ subscriber fire wall. Here's the recipe on Epicurious. Minor differences in wording of the directions (clementines cut into thin slices rather than into 1/4-inch slices as in the book), but not enough to make a difference.

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

                                                1. re: JoanN

                                                  Is it me, or is this site super slow today? Thanks Joan for the link. I will compare the two and try the recipe later this week.

                                                2. re: dkennedy

                                                  This link seems to bypass the WSJ firewall, and it looks the same as the book.
                                                  http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10000...

                                                  Well darn. I guess it doesn't work as a link. But if you google the recipe title, you'll find this link without a firewall.

                                                  1. re: dkennedy

                                                    I used the recipe at this link - there are several other Jerusalem recipes too!

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

                                                  2. re: blue room

                                                    Roasted Chicken with Clementines & Arak (Ouzo) – p. 179 Canadian Edition

                                                    Another round of praise for this dish. mr bc & I loved it. It’s a pleasure to prepare, aromatic while roasting and, a sheer delight to eat. We absolutely loved it.

                                                    Since those who have gone before me have done a stellar job in describing how all this comes together, I see all that’s left for me to share are my own elections.

                                                    Here’s what we did:

                                                    • I used bone-in, skin on chicken thighs
                                                    • All ingredients were combined in an extra-large (Ikea) zippered bag and marinated in the fridge for approx 8 hours. We turned the bag twice during this period.
                                                    • Heeding Blueroom’s advice, I lined my baking pan w foil to prevent burned sugars from fusing to it however I had plenty of sauce so this wasn’t an issue for me.
                                                    • I likely reduced my sauce by half vs 1/3 as suggested. I wanted to achieve a thicker texture and was very pleased w our results.

                                                    We thought this was sensational. The sauce was outstanding, citrusy w a strong fennel flavour that we absolutely love. We served this w the Mujadara and drizzled a little sauce atop of that as well. Pure heaven. Honestly.

                                                    I’d also add that I truly appreciate that the authors provide weight measures in addition to quantities (in most recipes). Knowing we were looking for 400g of clementines was perfectly instructive. Like Gio, this resulted in our using 6 fruit vs 4. If I had to change anything in this recipe, I’d have incorporated 2 more pieces of chicken and reduced the fennel to 1.5 bulbs. Regardless, nothing will go to waste. We’ll serve the leftover fennel and orange w some roasted salmon tomorrow.

                                                     
                                                     
                                                     
                                                     
                                                    1. re: blue room

                                                      Roasted Chicken with Clementines and Arak, p. 179

                                                      We also made this last night and absolutely loved it. Seriously, I think this has to be one of the most delicious chicken preparations ever invented. I used Pernod instead of Arak, which worked very nicely as a sub. For chicken I used about 2 pounds of legs and thighs and wished I had a bit more. I was out of foil so tried lining my pan with parchment which was not successful in preventing black goop from fusing to the bottom of my pan! I also didn't bother with the final reduction as I felt my cooking juices reduced enough during the cooking. I just drizzled them over the chicken and called it done! I used satsumas instead of clementines and they were sooooo good after roasting. Just as sweet and tart as candy but even tastier! We just loved this dish and I know I'll return to it during satsuma season every year.

                                                      1. re: blue room

                                                        Roasted Chicken with Clementines and Arak Pg 179

                                                        Much like the other participants, this dish was a great success for us. When I first purchased the book I skipped over this recipe because of the Arak, which I mistook to be the same thing I had once sampled in Indonesia (to ill effect). Once I saw the reviews and realized that in this context it was anise liqueur I thought I would give it a go as I have a bottle of Pernod cooling its heels in the liquor cabinet.

                                                        I went with 8 chicken thighs in a lined roasting pan and just popped in the oven. I did use the convection function to brown the skins towards the end, otherwise the results were just right. The dish has a touch of sweetness, but it wasn't overpowering, with a good balance between fennel and citrus flavours. I didn't find that any one flavour component dominated the others, which for me is an excellent thing when it comes to roasted chicken since the flavour can so easily be muddled.

                                                        The dish also gets top points for being so easy to put together. There is barely any prep to do before marinating, then the whole things goes into the oven without any pre-browning. Easy weeknight fair if you have pre-marinated the chicken.

                                                        Definitely a winner and something we would make again. The only issue was the salt level, but this was user error. I wanted a touch more salt but I realized this was because when I sauced the chicken, I hadn't reduced the pan juices, so the flavours had not had time to concentrate. It was still excellent, but I am sure that if I had done it correctly I would have ended up with an even better dish.

                                                         
                                                        1. re: blue room

                                                          Loved this dish too, even though I'm not generally a fan of orange flavours with meat. Used ouzo for the booze hit, and halved the recipe to no ill effect. Fantastic.

                                                          1. re: blue room

                                                            Roasted Chicken with Clementines & Arak p. 179

                                                            Finally, I made this dish yesterday.After reading your rave reviews, I expected the yummiest of dishes and it did not dissapoint but did not wow me either. I had all ingredients but grainy mustart and used regular Dijon instead. I loved how various anise flavours mingled and created an appealing and almostdelicate aroma thatperfumed my apartment in a good way. What I did not like very much is the bitterness thatcame from clementines. No one else mentioned this and I am wondering whether my clementines had unusually bitter piths or my sense of bitterness is at its peak.... Definitely repeatable dish but maybe next time i'll peel clementines.

                                                            I served this with plain Israely couscous and liked the combination.

                                                            1. re: herby

                                                              Sorry to hear about your clementines herby. I'm thinking it must have been an issue w the ones you picked up. Our skins were caramelized so fairly sweet with a firm-ish texture (something like that of candied fruit though definitely not as sweet). We've been eating these clementines as well and their flesh was super-sweet so undoubtedly their sugary juices played a role in sweetening and caramelizing the skin/pith.

                                                              1. re: Breadcrumbs

                                                                I had a lot of liquid in the dish when it was finished cooking. Chicken thighs sat on top of fennel/clementines and had nicely browned skins. I took chicken out and put the roasting pan on the heating element to reduce the sauce. This worked very well but nothing was remotedly caramelizaed. Maybe that was the problem.

                                                                1. re: herby

                                                                  It may have been herby. Like you, I too had a lot of sauce but it was the pieces on top that caramelized. You can get a sense as to what my clementines ended up looking like in the third photo up-thread:

                                                                  http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/8843...

                                                                  1. re: herby

                                                                    I have a lot of sauce left too. No burned pan like other posters. And nothing caramelised either. Is your roasting pan quite packed? I think mine is so wet because of that.

                                                                    1. re: lilham

                                                                      My pan did not burn either, not even close! My pan was packed - chicken pieces sat on top and clementines/fennel on the bottom covered with liquid. Lesson learned - next time it will be larger pan so that everything is exposed to direct heat and pith off clementines :)

                                                                    2. re: herby

                                                                      If I recall correctly, the instructions say to roast everything in a single layer. I did mine in a sheet pan. Everything was caramelized and I had hardly any liquid and lots of black goo on the pan. My tangerines (I used satsumas, similar to clementines) were almost as sweet as candy, not bitter at all. So I think lots of surface area and a single layer is key to success with this dish.

                                                                      1. re: Westminstress

                                                                        Somehow I missed the single layer instructions :( Have enough pans of all sizes to do it correct next time. Hadleftovers yesterday and had to pull all clememntines out because they became even more bitter sitting in the sauce!

                                                                        1. re: herby

                                                                          Herby when I made the chicken and clementines I roasted it just as Westminstress did. With very little sauce - G would have liked more - and black/burnt juices. A single layer makes all the difference.

                                                                          1. re: Gio

                                                                            Gio, you had a large quantity of juice after marinating, right? I can see it all evaporating in the hot oven when everything is in one layer. My chicken was on top of the fennel/clementine mixture and I guess alcohol/acid combination did a great job of extracting bitterness from clementine piths into the sauce :) Live and learn.... I will try this recipe in a while and will follow (read!) the directions carefully.

                                                                  2. re: herby

                                                                    I didn't have bitter clementine piths because I was rubbish in following instructions and roasted with peeled clementine segments instead. They provide delicious mouthful of sweetness against the fennel and chicken.

                                                                    1. re: lilham

                                                                      Next time I'll follow your lead, Lilham:)

                                                                    2. re: herby

                                                                      Had this problem with his chicken with lemons in the first book. Second time I used grated lemon rind and squeezed juice much better

                                                                      1. re: jen kalb

                                                                        That's a good idea! Zest clementines, remove pith and slice as instructed. Alot more work but it will improve the taste for me - worth trying!

                                                                    3. re: blue room

                                                                      Roasted chicken with clementines and (white wine) pg. 179

                                                                      Add me to the list of fans for this dish! My family is anise-averse, so I actually changed it up significantly by subbing white wine for the arak, onions and shallots for the fennel and skipping the fennel seeds. Guess what? Despite the serious butchering of the ingredient list, this produced a phenomenal dish! No doubt, the flavor profile was not exactly what was intended, but the onions and shallots soaked up the chicken and orange flavors and were absolutely wonderful. I loved the slight sweetness in the chicken as well. Some of my clementine slices were bitter as well, but others weren't. I think it was actually variation between the individual fruit, because all my slices were nicely caramelized.

                                                                      This dish (with my tweaks) is definitely in the do-again pile. Such pay-off for so little effort!

                                                                      1. re: greeneggsnham

                                                                        Oh I think you answered my question I posted, I'll just use white wine instead of the ouzo.

                                                                      2. re: blue room

                                                                        Roasted chicken with clementines and arak (p 179)

                                                                        I'll just add to the chorus of happy, satisfied cooks who liked this dish. YUM. The fennel was the real knockout here - it absorbed the orange flavours and the cooking juices and was just so wonderfully delicious. The cooked sliced oranges were really yummy, mostly sweet with just a tiny bit of tartness left. The chicken was moist and had a lovely golden colour on the skin, which I normally don't eat but it was extremely delicious. The meat also absorbed the flavour elements from orange, fennel and the marinade.

                                                                        My changes: I used ouzo ($23 a bottle!! And we will never drink the stuff, so I will have to cook this dish many times... Thank you, British Columbia government :-) ) and Chinese mandarins because that's what was available at the store. I spatchcocked a whole chicken and waited to segment it till after it had cooked. This worked extremely well. The wing tips were sticking up so they caramelized very well & were quite tasty. Fellow butchering-challenged cooks might consider doing this as well.

                                                                        Also, in spite of using our biggest, turkey-sized roasting pan, we did not have enough room for a single layer of the chicken + fennel and orange (and I seemed to have a huge proportion of orange slices - maybe cut them a little too thin) so once the chicken was done, I took it out to rest covered in foil on a plate and spread out the orange and fennel, then turned the oven up and blasted them to try and get some caramelization going while we were reducing the sauce on the stove top. At this point the rice was done, and we were all very hungry, so we didn't leave this in as long as we could have to get more black spots on the oranges & fennel.

                                                                        Also, many many thanks to blue room for your excellent suggestion of the foil liner. Cleanup was a snap.

                                                                         
                                                                         
                                                                        1. re: blue room

                                                                          Roasted Chicken with Clementines and (Pastis), page 179.

                                                                          I don't know if I've ever seen a COTM dish prepared by so many of us. I finally took my turn last night. I used Henri Bardouin pastis in place of the arak. Everything else was by the book. My chicken (once it had thawed, which took two days) went into the marinade in the morning before work, then was cooked up in the evening. I didn't get the caramelization that I was looking for on the fennel and clementines, but the chicken was done, so it came out of the oven. And we loved it. Wonderful flavor combinations, and I loved the orangey-anisey aroma. Yay! I made couscous with parsley, dill, scallions, garlic, lemon, and tomatoes for a side.

                                                                           
                                                                           
                                                                           
                                                                          1. re: L.Nightshade

                                                                            This looks delicious - and oh, your dishes! You've inspired me to start poking around in thrift shops to see what I can find that will be better than my (mostly) IKEA ware. :-)

                                                                            1. re: geekmom

                                                                              Be careful; it's addictive. Soon you'll have to own the right plate for every food!

                                                                              Thanks geekmom!

                                                                              1. re: L.Nightshade

                                                                                I'm sure you're right. I haven't really acquired any nice things up till now, because I have a very... energetic little boy in the house... :-)

                                                                                1. re: geekmom

                                                                                  I have a very energetic big boy. In his sixties. Still results in a lot of chips and cracks!

                                                                            2. re: L.Nightshade

                                                                              I, too, made this on Wednesday to serve on Friday night. It held very well. I didn't initially get the caramelization I wanted on the fennel and oranges, so rather than pull out all the solids and reduce the sauce on the stovetop, I removed the chicken and put the pans (I used two, to make sure it was all in one layer) back in the oven for the fennel/clementines to brown, and the sauce to reduce down. It went over beautifully.

                                                                              I also replaced the Arak with Jaegermeister, and the grainy mustard with Dijon, thank you to those who made those suggestions above.

                                                                            3. re: blue room

                                                                              I want to make this but I don't like anise flavors, what could I substitute that would work? I love cooked fennel, so that is staying.

                                                                              1. re: rasputina

                                                                                Others will have other ideas but I say just use white wine or dry sherry...

                                                                                1. re: rasputina

                                                                                  I think white wine, vermouth, or even a smidge of brandy. I know that brandy goes well with oranges, but I'm not sure how it would work with fennel.

                                                                                  1. re: delys77

                                                                                    I think brandy is a great idea! I love anise liquor, so I didn't have that problem, but if I had to sub, I'd go with brandy. I think it would be a fuller taste than white wine.

                                                                                  2. re: rasputina

                                                                                    rasputina, you most definitely could make a substitution and others have made great suggestions but, honestly, I think what makes this dish special is the interplay between the orange and anise flavours. It's a very common pairing in Mediterranean dishes and in my humble opinion, it's ultimately what makes this dish work. I think anise/fennel is really key to the success of this dish. If you're not a fan of that flavour, I honestly would just skip this dish unless you're more interested in giving quick and effective cooking method a try....

                                                                                    1. re: Breadcrumbs

                                                                                      My husband read the recipe and said we had to use arak or ouzo LOL so I guess I'm making it at least once as written. He has plenty of experience drinking them when he lived in Israel

                                                                                    2. re: rasputina

                                                                                      I tasted the marinade immediately after mixing it. I was very skeptical...
                                                                                      Plus my best friend in high school was Greek and we raided the Father's ouzo once - 'nough said!

                                                                                      Somehow once cooked the flavors come together perfectly, they mellow and become something altogether new and wonderful.

                                                                                      I think it is worth the gamble trying the recipe as is once. If you are really hesitant make half with a substitute and cover your bases.

                                                                                      1. re: meatn3

                                                                                        This is a good suggestion. I am inclined to agree with BC that the ouzo/arak really does make this dish. The anise smell filling the house is pretty strong while it bakes - that might bother you since you don't like the taste.

                                                                                        1. re: geekmom

                                                                                          I havent made the dish but I think pernod (which is not as rank as arak or ouzo) might be more acceptable for someone who believes they do not like anise liquors.

                                                                                          1. re: jen kalb

                                                                                            I used Pernod and quite enjoyed it. I personally can't stomach ouzo.

                                                                                        2. re: meatn3

                                                                                          Thanks, I was wondering how the flavors would change after cooking. I've never had arak or ouzo but I have had pernod and sambuca and didn't like either. I do love fennel though.

                                                                                      2. re: blue room

                                                                                        Roasted chicken with clementines & arak, p. 179

                                                                                        Add me to the list of those before who think this is wonderful. I used two thighs, but otherwise cut the ingredients in half, using three very small mandarins, medium fennel bulb, Dijon mustard, and ouzo. Oh, and I found I was out of dried thyme, so used oregano. Marinated about four hours, and roasted in a 9x13" metal pan (lined with foil, per advice here), where it all fit in one layer. By the time the chicken was done and its skin crisp, the fennel and tangerines were nicely caramelized. There was liquid left in the pan, but not enough to reduce, so I just spooned it over everything (and ended up wiping the plate with a piece of bread!).

                                                                                        1. re: blue room

                                                                                          Roasted chicken with clementines & arak p. 179

                                                                                          I followed the recipe, even used the arak ( special liquor store trip to buy) even though I previously posted to not liking anise flavors. I used 8 chicken thighs, Maille whole grain dijon mustard and fresh thyme. I must say once I had it all together to marinade it smelled incredible and I was glad I used the arak.

                                                                                          I did manage to squeeze it all into my large roasting pan in a single layer but it took some maneuvering with the fennel and clementines.

                                                                                          This was a huge hit at our house. I loved the way the flavors all came together. I'm so glad I used the arak as it wasn't overpowering. The clementines were incredible, especially the peel. The chicken skin was perfect, crisp with all those incredible flavors.

                                                                                          I'll be making this again.

                                                                                           
                                                                                          1. re: rasputina

                                                                                            Awesome rasputina and how lovely your presentation/photo looks...just beautiful and I'm so glad you enjoyed it.

                                                                                            1. re: Breadcrumbs

                                                                                              Thank you Breadcrumbs!

                                                                                            2. re: rasputina

                                                                                              The dish looks wonderful! So glad you gave the arak a try. It definitely is the sort of flavor combo which is a leap of faith for many - myself included!

                                                                                              1. re: meatn3

                                                                                                Thanks, I'm glad I read everyones posts here before I made it as I probably wouldn't have used the arak otherwise.

                                                                                              2. re: rasputina

                                                                                                Lovely looking dish, Rasputina :) Glad you enjoyed it.

                                                                                                I used Arak as well and think that among all other anise flavoured liquors this is the best one for this dish. I am thinking about making it again and roasting in one layer. I have an adventurous friend over for dinner on Friday and I think she will love it. Wondering what to serve it with - rice and orzo, maybe, and spicy carrot salad?

                                                                                                1. re: herby

                                                                                                  I think those sides sound perfect. I made basmati rice with it but we really like chicken and rice dishes at our house.

                                                                                                  1. re: herby

                                                                                                    The spicy carrot salad would be great with this. Just enough complementary flavour, not too much competition!

                                                                                                2. re: blue room

                                                                                                  Roasted Chicken with Clementines and Arak (Ouzo) p. 179

                                                                                                  A bit late to the party with my report of this delicious and easy dish, which is true comfort food! The whole process is beautifully and fully described in the entries before me. I would only add two suggestions coming from my experience:
                                                                                                  1) Do marinate the chicken for several hours or overnight in the refrigerator if possible; I was pressed for time and could only spare two hours of marination, and I don't think this resulted in enough flavor in the final dish. My finished dish wasn't as flavorful as others have described, though the interplay of orange/anise/fennel was very pleasant but somehow muted, compared to the other reviewers' results. Next time I'll marinate longer.
                                                                                                  2) Do make sure the fennel and orange slices caramelize in the oven. My chicken was nicely browned and tender so I stopped the roasting process before the other slices were very colored. I liked having plenty of liquid left to reduce (no "black goo" on the bottom of the pan) but I don't think the caramelized flavors were intense enough in the finished sauce. So next time, continue roasting orange and fennel slices till they brown more fully, even if it means adding extra liquid to the pan to keep it from reducing TOO much.

                                                                                                  1. re: blue room

                                                                                                    Well, I could not pass up the party that is this dish. It was one of the recipes I first marked in the book but I hadn’t yet had a chance to make it. It's been fun reading everyone's posts about it.

                                                                                                    My take:

                                                                                                    1) Line your pan with foil, yes! Thanks for that tip, blue room. Even after lining with foil, a little bit of the sauce crept onto the pan and it was indeed kryptonite! (great word for it :)

                                                                                                    2) Sauce: I love sauce. Given so many people had so little remaining, I doubled the sauce. Even doubling the sauce, however, we ended up with very little sauce when it was finished cooking. So I did not cook it down, as instructed, there simply wasn't enough. But the sauce we had was terrific.

                                                                                                    3) Flavor: Wonderful and original. A friend of mine who is a great cook talks about restaurant food tasting so much better than food from most home cooks because restaurants use quality butter and salt, and a lot of each. True. But there is also the perfect combining of flavors that a great chef can create in a recipe. This is one of those dishes. More than anything I have cooked lately, we all remarked that this tasted like a dish that emerged from a very fine restaurant. It was that complex, that good. The merging of all the different tastes and sensations… sweet, savory, bitter, etc… was terrific. And addictive.

                                                                                                    One friend who was over doesn’t like anise, doesn’t like ‘sweet with her meat’ and was a little weirded out when she saw the unpeeled clementines. She tore through it like a demon and asked for more. Just sayin’.

                                                                                                    My before and after pictures are below as well. The clementines did not get as dark as I'd have liked but the chicken was crispy (wonderful) and ready so out of the oven it came. Even had I not bought a bottle of Pernod for 30 bucks (!) which I don't want to sit in the cabinet, I would be excited to make this again. I will, soon!

                                                                                                     
                                                                                                     
                                                                                                    1. re: Tom P

                                                                                                      So glad you enjoyed this Tom, your dish looks lovely and it's good to know it had such broad appeal with your dinner guests. You may just have converted your ansie-hating, sweet-meat-averse, weirded out friend!!

                                                                                                      1. re: Tom P

                                                                                                        Nice review and lovely photos Tom!

                                                                                                        1. re: Tom P

                                                                                                          I made this again last night for a dinner party and everyone raved about it. I didn't line the pan, had no problem with burning and plenty of sauce.

                                                                                                          1. re: Tom P

                                                                                                            I loved this so much, I made it again, and wanted to try it without the overnight marinade. Long story short: at 6 PM I was in Whole Foods, having just found out a friend was coming over for dinner. At 8:15, with no prep, it was done. While I will always let it sit overnight if need be, this was still terrific and will now be a 'go to quick dinner' as well as a weekend special.

                                                                                                            I doubled the sauce again, given how little there was last time. And decided to forgo foil. No idea what happened or why, but no kryptonite this time on the pan and plenty of sauce left over.

                                                                                                            It still did not get black here and there, so when it was all done, I turned on the broiler for a minute or two, which crisped up the skin and made a little black on the clementines.

                                                                                                            Wonderful.

                                                                                                            1. re: Tom P

                                                                                                              Thanks for posting, it's great to know that it's wonderful even when we don't have time to plan ahead!

                                                                                                          2. re: blue room

                                                                                                            This was the first post I read about the book and the first recipe I wanted to try. Finally made it last night.

                                                                                                            I have been marinating/brining meats lately and can see what I have been missing out on. This recipe was no exception. The ingredients were fairly easy enough to come by except no Ouzo in my house so I used Sambuca, and I was only able to commandeer one large fennel bulb. I am wondering if these two reasons is why I did not have huge black licorice taste to the meat?? I guess it does not matter as everyone, including myself, was licking their fingers after having this chicken. The high heat cooked the meat perfectly and got a nice char on some pieces of meat, fennel, and the clementines. My sister actually got a little bowl and poured herself some leftover cooking sauce to just drink as a broth. I am guessing that means she liked it.

                                                                                                            One note, the recipe in my book said this dish serves 4. 3 pounds of meat, tons of fruit and fennel and only serves 4?! I think it should say 8-10 people but that might just be me.

                                                                                                             
                                                                                                             
                                                                                                            1. re: DebHo

                                                                                                              Your finished product looks fabulous, DebHo! You got some lovely caramelization on your oranges & fennel. Did you adjust the cooking time/temperature at all?

                                                                                                              1. re: geekmom

                                                                                                                I did not adjust a thing. They came out that way and I loved it like that. I have to say I have one of those oven thermometers that you buy at the grocery store as my oven knob temperature is not quite accurate.

                                                                                                              2. re: DebHo

                                                                                                                A three pound chicken cut into pieces does not equal 3 pounds of meat. I bought a free range chicken the other day for this dish and thought it was about right for four.

                                                                                                                1. re: greedygirl

                                                                                                                  Agreed. I opted for 3 pounds of chicken thighs, and did not cut up the bird. I think I had a lot more meat that way.

                                                                                                                2. re: DebHo

                                                                                                                  Deb - WOW! That looks amazing. I'm w your sister...I'd be drinking that broth too!! Lovely photos.

                                                                                                                  1. re: Breadcrumbs

                                                                                                                    Thanks, I was pretty proud of that dish.

                                                                                                                3. re: blue room

                                                                                                                  I've made this dish 7 times now. Yes, it's that good. And I don't even tend to like anise flavor (which somehow doesn't come across in the dish strong at all.) I can't recommend it enough, even if you can't marinate the chicken overnight. I've done it impromptu and it is still wonderful. Last night was my first experience with the black kryptonite, as blue room aptly dubbed it! Check the photo. I'm glad I have about 15 of these pans, this one is going in the trash.

                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                4. Open Kibbeh (page 160, US edition)

                                                                                                                  I had odds and ends of lamb on the freezer from a portioned boned leg I’d bought at Costco last summer and leftover cooked bulgur from a failed “How to Eat” dinner, so this was the first dish to scream Make Me Now.

                                                                                                                  Chopped onion, garlic, and green chile is softened in olive oil and removed to a plate. Ground lamb is cooked until brown in the same skillet. Then the onion mixture is dumped back in; allspice, cinnamon, coriander, cilantro, parsley, and pine nuts are added to the mix; and all is cooked for a few minutes and set aside.

                                                                                                                  Instead of soaking fine bulgur in water, I used my leftover cooked bulgur, adding home-made self-rising flour (AP flour, baking powder, and salt), olive oil, and s&p “into a pliable mixture that just holds together.” Mine didn’t quite hold together, but I went ahead anyway and pressed it into an 8” springform pan lined with parchment paper. (He calls for lining the pan with waxed paper, but after a call for help on picka’s “Jerusalem” thread, I used parchment instead.) The packed, evened, bulgur is covered with the lamb mixture, and that too is packed down. It’s baked at 400F for 20 minutes then spread with a mixture of tahini mixed with lemon juice and water, sprinkled with a few more pine nuts and parsley, cooked for another 10 minutes, and then allowed to cool either to warm or to room temperature. Before serving it’s drizzled with olive oil and sprinkled with sumac.

                                                                                                                  I’ve only eaten kibbeh once before and have no clear recollection of it so had no taste expectations here. I loved the flavors of the meat mixture, thought the bulgur added little to the dish (although that may have been because I was using leftovers; also, I guessed and used 2 cups of leftover bulgur; maybe I should have used only half that), and although the tahini topping added a lovely touch, mine had a tad too much lemon juice in it (probably user error since I measured only by eye).

                                                                                                                  Happy as I was to be eating this (and the leftovers, by the way, were marvelous), I doubt it’s dish I’ll make again. First, it serves 6, and there’s no easy way to halve that, and secondly, it’s not a picture-perfect dish to plate and serve (again, perhaps due to the use of leftover bulgur) so I’d only make it for company under special circumstances. Nonetheless, it was a wonderful introduction to the flavors of this part of the world and made me eager to keep exploring.

                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                  2 Replies
                                                                                                                  1. re: JoanN

                                                                                                                    I tried this tonight and was underwhelmed. To me it fell short of improving a traditional dish. I followed the recipe exactly and found the bulgar to be tasteless. The meat was under-spiced to my taste and the sauce not as sharp as I would have liked (I did end up adding more lemon).

                                                                                                                    As JoanN noted it's hard to plate and very crumbly. Reading the recipe I had expected the crumbly result but I hoped what I would have got was an easy version of kibbeh that was moister than traditional versions.

                                                                                                                    I doubt I'll try this again either. I guess they can't all be winners.

                                                                                                                    1. re: JoanN

                                                                                                                      I made this and loved it. Traditional kibbeh is hard to make and deep fried. This is a nice alternative. But I love bulgar and tehina (I actually love it extra lemony like the Sephardic) so for me I was thrilled. My Israeli husband also liked it as a compromise to actual kibbeh as that is too time consuming for me at the moment. As for the spices - I never measure - I season to taste as the potency of 1 tsp of the same spic can vary greatly depending on source and age. Can't wait to make again but so many other things in the book I want to try also

                                                                                                                    2. Panfried sea bass with harissa and rose
                                                                                                                      page 219 American Edition

                                                                                                                      I adjusted recipe for 1/2 lb of sea bass
                                                                                                                      It is quite expensive i.m.h.o
                                                                                                                      The finished product was tangy and fragrant from the rosewater and flowers.
                                                                                                                      I enjoy making food with edible flowers-and I will make this again with other white flesh fish
                                                                                                                      I didn't use the currants or cilantro

                                                                                                                      29 Replies
                                                                                                                      1. re: jpr54_1

                                                                                                                        I've never had sea bass, but would certainly try this with cod or halibut.
                                                                                                                        I'm amazed that the rose flavor came through harissa and onions and vinegar!

                                                                                                                        1. re: jpr54_1

                                                                                                                          Sea bass is quite cheap in the UK. I'm sure it's ok to sub with a fish more appropriate to where you live.

                                                                                                                          1. re: lilham

                                                                                                                            a pound of chilean seapass was 25.99 usd at Whole Foods in
                                                                                                                            Florida

                                                                                                                            1. re: jpr54_1

                                                                                                                              Haven't got a calculator on my ipad, but google told me US$26/lb is £35/kg.

                                                                                                                              My ocado app tells me atm will cost me £14/kg for a whole sea bass, and £21-£23/kg for fillets. (Ocado is the supermarket I normally get my grocery from). I think seafood in the US is normally cheaper isn't it? At least that's my impression.

                                                                                                                              1. re: lilham

                                                                                                                                not on all fish
                                                                                                                                it depends where u live-
                                                                                                                                lots of the fish come from different countries
                                                                                                                                The fish and seafood from Florida are cheaper

                                                                                                                              2. re: jpr54_1

                                                                                                                                Ah, you used Chilean sea bass - much more expensive than striped or black bass, which are both more sustainable and also more like other firm white fish like cod and halibut.

                                                                                                                                1. re: jpr54_1

                                                                                                                                  IME Whole Foods is a horrendously expensive place to buy fish.

                                                                                                                                  1. re: geekmom

                                                                                                                                    It is expensive but they do have good sales-

                                                                                                                                    their fish is usually fresh and edible.

                                                                                                                              3. re: jpr54_1

                                                                                                                                This dish has been shouting at me to make at first sight! I can't wait to make it; glad it works out so well.

                                                                                                                                1. re: jpr54_1

                                                                                                                                  By the way, did you buy the edible flowers? Or was it from your own garden? Do you the dish will still be ok without them?

                                                                                                                                  1. re: lilham

                                                                                                                                    I have edibleflowers in spring and summer.

                                                                                                                                    Sometimes Whole Foodshas edible flowers in section where they have herbs in small containers.

                                                                                                                                    1. re: jpr54_1

                                                                                                                                      jpr, I just wanted to confirm...did you use the dried edible flowers or fresh in your dish? You noted that your fish was fragrant from the rosewater and flowers.

                                                                                                                                      Also, was the rosewater flavour discernible? Like blueroom, I thought it might be lost amidst the strongly flavoured vinegar and harissa.

                                                                                                                                      Personally, I'm not a fan of rose water in food but I do have some on hand and use it for authenticity when I feel fairly confident that the flavour will blend and not be predominant.

                                                                                                                                  2. re: jpr54_1

                                                                                                                                    Pan-Fried Sea Bass with Harissa and Rose pg.219

                                                                                                                                    This recipe has been calling out to me since the book first arrived at my door. I was eagerly awaiting the time when I could get around to making this truly exotic and delicious-sounding recipe. Maybe my expectations were too high, but this was the first real letdown from this otherwise fabulous book.

                                                                                                                                    Fish fillets are marinated in a harissa/cumin blend for a couple of hours, then dredged in flour, pan-fried, and set aside. In the same pan, onions sizzle until golden. More harissa is added to the pan, along with a hearty quantity of red wine vinegar, cinnamon, s&p, and water to dilute. The sauce is simmered until reduced and thickened, then rose water, honey, and currants are stirred in, at which point the fish is added back to the pan and heated through, spooning the sauce over the fillets. Serve warm or at room temperature, sprinkled with dried rose petals.

                                                                                                                                    Once I added the sinus-clearing vinegar to the sauce, I started questioning how this recipe would turn out. There was just so much of the potent acid that it ended up overwhelming all the other flavours in the blend, even the rose water, and my entire home took on a very unappealing aroma; so much, in fact, that I went around the house opening windows (in January!) to clear the air. Once the rose water was added, I lost all hope. For me and my palate, these flavours did not mesh well. After tasting the sauce and finding it very tart, I added some extra honey to give it some more balance, but nothing could salvage this for me anymore. I double and triple-checked the quantities to ensure I didn't overlook an ingredient or make an error but it was all correct. At the dinner table, we scraped off the sauce and found the harissa-flavoured fish to be edible. Despite how lovely the plated fish looked, with its deep orange-red thick sauce dotted with dark currants and lovely pink rose petals, I am sad to report that this was not for me.

                                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                    1. re: Allegra_K

                                                                                                                                      Well that's a sad tale. I just looked at the picture in the book again and it *is* lovely.
                                                                                                                                      Did you happen to read the story of the recipe's originator (p. 244?) A fellow like that could pick up some eccentric tastes!

                                                                                                                                      1. re: blue room

                                                                                                                                        I think 'eccentric' is the perfect word to use when describing this dish.

                                                                                                                                      2. re: Allegra_K

                                                                                                                                        Allegra, so sorry to read of your experience with this dish. I have it flagged and my biggest concern was the rose water. I'm not a big fan of that flavour but felt pretty confident it wouldn't be predominant given the harissa and vinegar in this dish. Was is primarily the vinegar that turned you off? I see the recipe calls for 200g of water...do you think more water could have salvaged this at all for you? I happen to love the flavour of vinegar but mr bc doesn't love it, he will tolerate it however as long as it's not too strong. I usually prepare vinegar based dishes (my red cabbage, canned salsa etc) when he's out as he's especially sensitive to the aroma.

                                                                                                                                        1. re: Breadcrumbs

                                                                                                                                          The rose water is pretty easy to pick out in the dish. Its aroma isn't easily masked, methinks! What did it for me it was the combination of the rosewater with the vinegar...tho maybe I had an especially acidic variety? It was 7%, is that standard? Since the sauce is to be reduced I don't know if adding additional water would help much. I would proceed with caution when adding the vinegar.
                                                                                                                                          I was pretty bummed that it didn't work out, but again we all have different tastes and I hope it works for you!

                                                                                                                                          1. re: Allegra_K

                                                                                                                                            I'm still on the fence about making it Allegra. If it's vinegary mr bc won't be a fan and I definitely won't like it if I can taste the rosewater but if I leave it out (the rosewater) I feel like I'd be steering away from the intended flavours of the dish.

                                                                                                                                            I have a couple of red wine vinegars I use for cooking. One is a pinot noir I purchase from a Niagara winery and the other is an Italian import. Neither is intense (IMHO) but I wouldn't have a clue what the acidity level is.

                                                                                                                                            1. re: Allegra_K

                                                                                                                                              In case it helps, I checked mine (La Molisana organic red wine vinegar) and it says it's 6% acidity. I think I'll try this recipe and maybe use half the vinegar to start out and taste before deciding whether to add more. What a bummer that the dish didn't work out for you! I'm glad you were at least able to eat the fish.

                                                                                                                                        2. re: jpr54_1

                                                                                                                                          Pan Fried (Black Cod) with Harissa and Rose, page 219.

                                                                                                                                          This dish finally made it to our table. I don't ever see sea bass around here, but we did get a good deal on a whole black cod. Mr. NS bravely filleted it, we set aside two servings and froze the rest.

                                                                                                                                          Reading the other reviews, I wonder if the fact that we ran out of vinegar helped this dish along. I emptied the bottle, and only had about 1/2 or 2/3 of what the recipe required. I used barberries instead of currants, and I used dried baby rose petals.

                                                                                                                                          Wonderful dish! All the flavors came through. Our harissa was pretty hot, and it was a nice mix with the tang of vinegar and the floral aroma. The barberries worked very well with the other flavors. I'd do this again any time.

                                                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                          1. re: L.Nightshade

                                                                                                                                            I also made this-did u use the rosewater?
                                                                                                                                            It was delicious

                                                                                                                                            1. re: jpr54_1

                                                                                                                                              Yes, I used the rosewater. We thought it was delicious too!

                                                                                                                                            2. re: L.Nightshade

                                                                                                                                              This looks so gorgeous and appealing. Thank you for the great review -- will definitely give it a try. Do you think it would work with halibut?

                                                                                                                                              1. re: geekmom

                                                                                                                                                Thanks geekmom. There are some threads on Chowhound that say nothing substitutes for sea bass, but the National Geographic ocean site recommends black cod (sablefish). It was probably quite different from the dish made with bass. It might be a little different with halibut too, but I think it would be fine.
                                                                                                                                                P.S. if you're crossing the border anytime soon, the Costco here has black cod for $9 per pound.

                                                                                                                                                1. re: L.Nightshade

                                                                                                                                                  Wow, $9 is an amazing price. My local market charges $20 per pound for black cod. So I'm not buying it too often!

                                                                                                                                                  1. re: L.Nightshade

                                                                                                                                                    We bought frozen black cod at our local Trader Joe's at $14.00/lb and thought it was a terrific price. Lucky you!

                                                                                                                                                    1. re: L.Nightshade

                                                                                                                                                      I'm definitely overdue for a cross-border grocery run, but would you believe I don't have a Costco membership? Darn it! That's a great price!

                                                                                                                                                  2. re: L.Nightshade

                                                                                                                                                    LN your dish looks absolutely stunning, I'm truly salivating at that first shot. Beautiful.

                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Breadcrumbs

                                                                                                                                                      Thanks so much for your kind comment Breadcrumbs! It was indeed a dish worthy of salivation.

                                                                                                                                                2. Turkey & Zucchini Burgers w/Green Onion & Cumin pg.200

                                                                                                                                                  The lone meat dish on the New Year's Eve spread turned out to be a light and flavourful affair, and the charming little patties were eagarly snatched up by small fingers, gobbled up nearly instantly.

                                                                                                                                                  To begin, a tantalizingly tart sour cream-based sauce is made up--including mouth-puckering delights such as yogurt, lemon zest and juice, and a hearty dose of sumac powder. Also into the sauce go the usual suspects-garlic, olive oil, s&p. This sauce gets to languish and mellow while the burgers are made up.

                                                                                                                                                  The burgers themselves consist of ground turkey (I used ground dark-meat chicken), shredded zucchini, green onions, egg, mint, cilantro, garlic, cumin, cayenne, s&p. Because I was short about 100 grams of meat, my mix was kind of soggy, so I threw in a handful of bread crumbs to hold it all together. Even so, the blend was rather loose and I found it difficult-nay, impossible- to shape them into balls, so they were unceremoniously dropped by spoon onto the hot frying pan to sear. Once browned on all sides, the meat is transferred to a waiting oven to finish cooking through.

                                                                                                                                                  These can be served warm or at room temp. Since my hands were already full with preparing a million other things, this was very welcome indeed, so they were consumed at a cooled temperature. I thought they were nice; super moist inside, but pretty mildly spiced. I don't know if I would ever make them again, as I didn't love them, but they were well liked. The sumac sauce, on the other hand, went well with nearly everything I served that night--latkes, kuku, falafels, pita. Even though it was eaten with all items, I still have leftover sauce. Would cut the amount in half for next time.

                                                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                                  28 Replies
                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Allegra_K

                                                                                                                                                    i wonder if you might have put the mix into the fridge for a bit if that would have helped stiffen it up prior to shaping.

                                                                                                                                                    i am definitely putting this on my list to try!

                                                                                                                                                    1. re: rmarisco

                                                                                                                                                      Yes, perhaps I should have chilled it first, that may have worked.

                                                                                                                                                      I do hope you like it. I've been dipping things into the leftover sumac sauce all day!

                                                                                                                                                    2. re: Allegra_K

                                                                                                                                                      I made these using ground goat meat, which I happened to have in my freezer. I upped the amounts of spices a bit and doubled the garlic, because I am a fan. My sumac had turned to dust in my cupboard, so I opted for super thick Greek yogurt thinned with lemon juice, to substitute for the sumac. The results were fantastic. I might use less zucchini next time, as the mixture was definitely much more wet than necessary, despite letting the mix firm up in the fridge for an hour. My goat mixture had more fat than turkey, so I was able to "fry" them in a nonstick pan with no additional oil.

                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Allegra_K

                                                                                                                                                        Had these for supper tonight. Really enjoyed them, I think they make a solid weeknight dish. I followed the recipe, except I just used yogurt for the sauce, no sour cream. When I first saw the recipe, I thought it sounded great, but it didn't occur to me that it was basically variation of a dish my grandmother used to make... zucchini stuffed with ground meat/chicken and topped with yogurt and sumac. No wonder I found this so comforting :)

                                                                                                                                                        1. re: bunnylicious

                                                                                                                                                          I agree that these make a solid weeknight dish. My mixture was also a little soggy - I think next time I will try to drain some of the water out of the zucchini before mixing in. We served with rice pilaf and hot sauce.

                                                                                                                                                          1. re: bunnylicious

                                                                                                                                                            Breakstone has a new product that is sour cream and Greek yogurt mixed together. It is amazing and worked well for this recipe. So delicious.

                                                                                                                                                          2. re: Allegra_K

                                                                                                                                                            Turkey and Zucchini Burgers Pg. 200

                                                                                                                                                            The title might be a little bit of a misnomer as the patties are very small (more like sliders really), but the results were very good nonetheless. I followed the recipe very closely except that I squeezed the grated spinach out a bit as I was concerned they would make the mixture a little too loose, and I upped the cayenne a little. The result was a very moist little patty with a nice bit of heat, and just a hint of herb. As good as they were I do think I would up the cilantro and the mint just a little next time. Not too much mind you, as I wouldn't want to over power the light flavour of the turkey, but just a little more. The sauce that went with it was very good, if a little pungent. Again, I didn't want to overwhelm the burgers so I was relatively light handed in my application of the sauce. Overall a very good dish I thought, and the left over sauce will make an excellent dip for veggies.

                                                                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Allegra_K

                                                                                                                                                              Turkey (Chicken) & Zucchini Burgers with Green Onion & Cumin – p. 200 (Cdn. Ed.)

                                                                                                                                                              YUM! I figured we’d like these but I wasn’t prepared to love them and guess what…we did, we really, really loved them!! We liked the texture and pop of colour that the zucchini brought to the mix. The heat was just right. My cayenne pepper was fresh and definitely added a kick to these but nothing overpowering. mr bc proclaimed this to be his favourite dish from the book thus far. Juicy and flavourful all on their own and even better w (my version of) the sauce. We served these atop steamed brown basmati rice.

                                                                                                                                                              I wholeheartedly agree with those who have posted before me in that this mixture is exceedingly loose. I actually had 560g of ground chicken and expected to have less of an issue than others since I kept the quantities of the other ingredients to the prescribed amounts and even weighed the coarsely grated zucchini. Once I’d blended the mixture together it was practically a paste it was so moist. At this point, I too added some breadcrumbs; mine were dried (approx 2/3c.) Even then the mixture was extremely wet.

                                                                                                                                                              Instead of frying the mushy mess, I decided to do my best to shape into something that resembled small patties and bake them on a parchment lined jellyroll pan. I baked them at 375° for 25 mins and at that point they were cooked through. My patties were bigger than YO describes. I had 12 patties. I was pleased with their appearance when they came out of the oven. Although they didn’t brown/caramelize like those in the book’s photograph they were firm enough to hold together and did manage to get some colour.

                                                                                                                                                              Since I had some Tzatziki (Olive & Caper recipe) leftover from the night before I decided to adapt the leftovers vs making the sour cream sumac sauce. I stirred some sour cream into my Tzatziki, added some lemon zest and some sumac to mirror the flavours of the intended sauce. Arguably mine had cucumber, dill and red wine vinegar vs lemon juice but overall the two recipes are similar once the sour cream is added. The sauce was outstanding with the patties and I’ll consider adding some sumac to my Tzatziki in the future from time to time depending on what I’m serving it with.

                                                                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Breadcrumbs

                                                                                                                                                                BC, I'll be making these tonight and am so glad I reread the posts about them. I'm going to go with your method of baking them since it seems that universally people are having a hard time keeping them together. You didn't sear them or anything first, right?

                                                                                                                                                                1. re: LulusMom

                                                                                                                                                                  Realized that I can do these in the oven the same way I've done the Dahlia's chicken fingers from Melissa Clark. But thanks for BC for putting the idea in my head.

                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: LulusMom

                                                                                                                                                                    Hi LulusMom
                                                                                                                                                                    I'm sure breadcrumbs will answer but I just wanted to give you a heads up that mine did stick together, but I chilled them in the fridge for about 20 minutes.

                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: delys77

                                                                                                                                                                      Maybe because I don't eat red meat and therefore always use turkey for burgers/meatloaf/etc. I'm not having any problem right this moment, as I shape them (or perhaps more truly I don't notice any problem, being used to this consistency). Still and all, just going to bake them. But I appreciate your input very much delys. Thanks.

                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: LulusMom

                                                                                                                                                                        No worries, best of luck.

                                                                                                                                                                    2. re: LulusMom

                                                                                                                                                                      LlM, So sorry I missed this and I'm likely far too late but no, I don't sear them or refrigerate them. I do recommend the parchment though as it makes for easy release and super quick clean up!

                                                                                                                                                                    3. re: Breadcrumbs

                                                                                                                                                                      Made the turkey burgers with zucchini last night and it was a huge hit with the family. I always grate zucchini into my meatloaf so that felt very familiar to me. Baking them on tin foil on a cookie sheet made clean up extra easy (as BC mentioned). I think I would give the slight edge to Dahlia's chicken fingers (in M. Clark's In the Kitchen ...) with bumped up spices, but Lulu and her dad both loved these. And Lulu especially loved the sauce. She had three big scoops of it and at the end was simply putting her finger into it and licking it off (I know, I know, I shouldn't allow that kind of stuff at the table). Served with the spinach salad with dates from the same book and warmed pita.

                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: LulusMom

                                                                                                                                                                        LlM I'm so glad these turned out well for you and that my post reached you in time. I'll have to give Dahlia's Chicken Fingers a try as well, thanks for mentioning them. Funny, I pulled that book off the shelf last night as I remembered folks really liked the lentil soup and I've been craving something lemony. I think it should be good w a Caesar salad and after trying Zuni's on the weekend, mr bc is already pleading for more...

                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Breadcrumbs

                                                                                                                                                                          I love lentil soup. Probably my favorite. Sounds like a great meal. And thanks again for the tip on the burgers.

                                                                                                                                                                    4. re: Allegra_K

                                                                                                                                                                      Sacrilege Alert: We made this with pork, and on the barbecue. Held together welll, great flavours. A keeper for us.

                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: painperdu

                                                                                                                                                                        Ha ha, I am actually planning the Kofta B'sniyah for next week and I have lots of pork I freshly ground and I am thinking of subbing it in for the beef. Sacrilege for sure, but necessity is the mother of all invention.

                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: painperdu

                                                                                                                                                                          I also committed sacrilege - I made a rub of the spices called for the burgers, plus sumac, and applied it to a pork loin, which I roasted and then finished on the grill. I made the sauce as written except with all yogurt (no sour cream). The combination was so spectacular, we were oohing and aahing all the way through dinner. The sauce was also fantastic on the grilled summer squash we made to accompany it, and would be just as great on anything grilled, I suspect.

                                                                                                                                                                        2. re: Allegra_K

                                                                                                                                                                          Turkey & courgette burgers with spring onion & cumin p.200

                                                                                                                                                                          I had a similar experience to everyone else here in that the mixture was very sloppy and I didn't even include the egg since I had run out (it is so cold here in Massachusetts that I'm avoiding going outside unless I absolutely have to!).

                                                                                                                                                                          I followed Breadcrumbs excellent lead in baking them rather than frying them first and it didn't seem to matter that they were so loose, they came out the oven in excellent shape. I liked them but for me the sauce really made the dish. I can see making the creamy sumac sauce to go with lots of things, actually I'd eat it on its own!

                                                                                                                                                                          I served it with couscous with tomato and onion on p.129 which strangely isn't suggested as an accompaniment on the burger recipe though it is on the couscous recipe.

                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Allegra_K

                                                                                                                                                                            Turkey and Zucchini Burgers with Green Onion and Cumin, page 200.

                                                                                                                                                                            Wow! We loved these! I followed the recipe as written, but I wrung out the grated zucchini in a towel, so it was quite dry, and I used Breadcrumbs' method of cooking them in the oven on parchment paper. The patties were perfect, held together well, remained tender but not soft or soggy. The level of spicing was exactly right, with a little bite, and the sauce was a cool and tangy accompaniment.
                                                                                                                                                                            Like LulusMom, I served these with the spinach and date salad. This was a knockout meal!

                                                                                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: L.Nightshade

                                                                                                                                                                              I really cannot wait to try these. I'm holding out till zucchini season when we will be inundated with them & then I can magically transform them into Awesome and amaze my family. I hope.

                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: geekmom

                                                                                                                                                                                I know, geekmom. I've been holding out too but with all the rave reviews can I wait till August? That's when zucchinis are in season here (Zone 6),

                                                                                                                                                                            2. re: Allegra_K

                                                                                                                                                                              Turkey & Zucchini Burgers (Meatballs) w/Green Onion & Cumin

                                                                                                                                                                              I made these as meatballs for the SuperBowl and we loved them. As others have, I wrung a lot of moisture out of the shredded zucchini and added some breadcrumbs and finished them in the oven. I think you could take these in many directions (Mexican, Asian) by changing up the seasonings and sauce. On the other hand, they are fabulous as is. Next time I am going to try tzatziki instead of the prescribed sumac sauce.

                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Allegra_K

                                                                                                                                                                                Turkey and Zucchini Burgers, p. 200

                                                                                                                                                                                As it's finally zucchini season, I decided to celebrate by making these burgers, which I've had my eye on for many months. Happy to report that we enjoyed them just like everyone else did! Wish I had reread these posts though, because my burger mix was very wet. Wringing out the zucchini first would definitely have been a good idea. For ease of weeknight cooking, I decided to bake my burgers in the oven at 400. I checked at the 20 minute mark and they were not quite done and very pale, so I blasted them at 550 for another 5-10 minutes. (Please keep in mind that I have an exceedingly slow oven) At this point they were cooked through, very moist, juicy and flavorful with a little brown on top. I would use this cooking method again as it is easy. But if I had a little more time/fewer little ones underfoot I would fry the burgers as indicated in the recipe. I think it would help them develop better color and a nice crust. Both of my kids loved these burgers (including my zucchini-hating, vegetable-adverse 3 year old).

                                                                                                                                                                                For the sauce, I used 1 cup of greek yogurt and no sour cream, kept the other seasonings the same. Yummy yummy sauce. We used some of it with the burgers, some to dress a kohlrabi salad, and still had some leftover.

                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Westminstress

                                                                                                                                                                                  Another year, another zucchini season. I had all the ingredients for these burgers on hand, so I decided to give them another go. This time for ease of cooking I decided to forego the oven entirely. I shaped the meat mixture into 8 medium sized patties and cooked them entirely on the stove-top as I did the Parsiburgers from this month's COTM. This worked perfectly. This was better than the all-oven method because they developed a nice brown crust and did not heat up the house on a hot day. I will repeat this cooking method in the future. The Parsiburgers are a little easier (and I might like them just a tad better) but these are also very good, plus I have to say I get a kick out of watching my kids eat the normally untouchable zucchini!

                                                                                                                                                                                2. re: Allegra_K

                                                                                                                                                                                  I made this the other night and had the opposite problem with amount of meat vs. zucchini. I recommend using an ice cream scoop with the meat instead of balls because they are supposed to be a little irregular. The sauce was amazing and I eyeballed my amounts and used it liberally. I must have had less food in general though because I got more burgers out of this than it said. I would definitely make both items again.

                                                                                                                                                                                3. Roasted chicken with Jerusalem artichoke and lemon
                                                                                                                                                                                  page 180 (U.S. edition)

                                                                                                                                                                                  I have chicken thighs marinating in refigerator
                                                                                                                                                                                  Fortunately, I had all the ingredients-even the tarragon which I grow in my small container garden.

                                                                                                                                                                                  I appreciate that most recipes do not have specific amounts of salt and pepper

                                                                                                                                                                                  12 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: jpr54_1

                                                                                                                                                                                    the dish is in the oven-

                                                                                                                                                                                    is there a substitute for the saffron-since it is so expensive?

                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: jpr54_1

                                                                                                                                                                                      chicken is finished-
                                                                                                                                                                                      I will have it for dinner-
                                                                                                                                                                                      I tasted a small piece of chicken and it was tasty.

                                                                                                                                                                                      In place of regular lemon I used meyer lemons which were on sale at the market

                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: jpr54_1

                                                                                                                                                                                        I have seen people substitute saffron with turmeric. This will however only give you the colour. I can't think of anything that has the smell of saffron.

                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: jpr54_1

                                                                                                                                                                                          I know a lot of people use "Mexican saffron," which is the stamen of safflower. It looks similar to saffron, and imparts a similar color, but I am not sure about the taste.

                                                                                                                                                                                        2. re: jpr54_1

                                                                                                                                                                                          Roasted Chicken with Jerusalem Artichokes and Lemon - p. 180

                                                                                                                                                                                          I loved this dish but JAs did not like me :( So, we are not fit for company together and I will accept it and not try again... Your mileage may vary and if it does, this is one tasty dish. Here is how it comes together.

                                                                                                                                                                                          You need to plan ahead and marinate chicken "properly" - overnight is good and mine marinated over two nights because something came up - you know how it goes at times...

                                                                                                                                                                                          Jerusalem Artichokes are pre-cooked and marinated along with the chicken in a mix of lemon juice and slices, shallots, garlic, saffron, pink peppercorns (I only had black), thyme, tarragon, salt and pepper. The next day chicken is arranged in a roasting pan skin side up and surrounded by the rest of the ingredients. Into a hot-hot oven it goes for 30 min until the skin is coloured. The dish is covered with foil and continue to cook for another 15 min. Out it comes to be sprinkled with more tarragon and lemon juice - yummy!

                                                                                                                                                                                          It was beautiful and very tasty dish. Wonder if plain potatoes would work, can't see why not.

                                                                                                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: herby

                                                                                                                                                                                            herby I am so glad to hear your review, I was very curious how this came out! JAs do have an unfortunate effect on some and I think potatoes would be a great substitute for them.

                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: herby

                                                                                                                                                                                              Roasted Chicken with Jerusalem Artichokes and Lemon, p. 180

                                                                                                                                                                                              This dish was yummeeee! We all loved it. I didn't have time to marinate for more than an hour. Herby does a great job explaining prep, so I wont repeat. It was still good, but I think a longer marinating time would have been even better. Also I cooked my chicken for almost an hour. After 45 min my chicken didn't look quite done plus I wanted it browner, so I took the foil off and let it cook and brown a bit longer, glad I did. I have a slow oven though. I happen to love Jerusalem artichokes and they were so good in this lemony, anisey sauce. But for those who don't like them, potatoes would be a good sub. I'd use a waxy variety and the sweeter the better. The aromas were incredible through prep, cooking and then at the table. Served with bulgar wheat cooked in a simple pilaf style and beet greens boiled and dressed with olive oil and lemon juice. These paired well. Word of warning though, there was a lot of chopping and prepping to this recipe! More than I expected. Much as we loved it, not sure if well get back to it as the prep time was longer than suits my lifestyle these days.

                                                                                                                                                                                            2. re: jpr54_1

                                                                                                                                                                                              Roasted chicken with jerusalem artichoke and lemon - p 180

                                                                                                                                                                                              I cooked this as the main course for a Jerusalem-themed dinner party last weekend. I had planned for us to eat mejadra and Westminstress suggested that this would be a good accompaniment. The dish was delicious and went very well with the mejadra - the lemon, tarragon and saffron combo is new to me and I really enjoyed the way the flavours played against one another. That said, somehow this didn't wow me in quite the same way as the arak/clementine chicken dish - perhaps because the food was no longer hot by the time it hit my plate, due to one of my guests arriving very late.

                                                                                                                                                                                              I wasn't able to find the banana shallots that are called for in this recipe so I had to use regular shallots. Is this a regional thing, where this variety is perhaps more popular in Europe and not known in North America? I had a couple of foodies and an organic farmer at the table and none of us had heard of them before. I went to a big market that has an incredible variety of fresh produce, and also looked at the largest Whole Foods in the area, but no luck.

                                                                                                                                                                                              I will also add that this dish took a lot of prep. Great for a dinner party, because you do everything the day before and leave it to marinate overnight, so all you have to do is pop it in a roasting pan and stick it in the oven on the day you cook it - that said, compared to the roasted chicken with clementines & arak it was a lot more work and the results were not quite as tasty.

                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: geekmom

                                                                                                                                                                                                I have not heard of banana shallots either. But according to the bbc good food, it's simply the largest variety of shallots. It has a picture of them in the link below. Do you have something similar in Canada?

                                                                                                                                                                                                http://www.bbcgoodfood.com/content/kn...

                                                                                                                                                                                                FWIW, the ones I bought are called Echalion Shallots. They look the same to me.

                                                                                                                                                                                                http://www.ocado.com/webshop/product/...

                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: lilham

                                                                                                                                                                                                  Thanks for the link, lilham -- interesting. The only ones I can get here are the pink-skinned ones (the inside part is more purple than pink) that are sort of small and squat, not long like the ones in the photos in Jerusalem. I'm sure the flavour difference didn't affect the taste of the dish too much, though.

                                                                                                                                                                                                2. re: geekmom

                                                                                                                                                                                                  Sorry Geekmom! I really liked both chicken dishes but it seems I led you wrong ....

                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Westminstress

                                                                                                                                                                                                    Not at all - I did like the dish quite a bit and I thought it went much better with mejadra than the clementine/arak dish (also, one of my guests doesn't drink and would not have wanted the ouzo-flavoured chicken if I had cooked this) so I am glad you brought it to my attention.

                                                                                                                                                                                              2. Stuffed Eggplant with Lamb and Pine Nuts, page 166.

                                                                                                                                                                                                This recipe is available online on many sites. I won't go into the details here, but refer you to this link:
                                                                                                                                                                                                http://www.independent.co.uk/life-sty...

                                                                                                                                                                                                The recipe calls for four eggplants to serve four people. We've learned from past experience that what is referred to as a medium eggplant over on the other side, is a small one here. So I used one half eggplant for each person, and chose the smallest ones I could find. That was plenty!

                                                                                                                                                                                                I didn't have tamarind paste, so I shelled and cut up some tamarind pods and put them in the liquid. Other than that, I followed the recipe.

                                                                                                                                                                                                I liked the cooking method for this dish. Once the eggplants are stuffed, they have their final bake sitting in a pan, covered, and surrounded by the spiced liquid. It really infuses them with a lovely flavor. Not to mention filling the kitchen with enticing aromas.

                                                                                                                                                                                                I served this with root vegetables roasted with cumin and garlic, trying to use up our CSA bounty. This first foray into Jerusalem was quite a success!

                                                                                                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                                                                                2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: L.Nightshade

                                                                                                                                                                                                  Beautiful as always, LN!
                                                                                                                                                                                                  You're so right about the vegetable sizes being different. I'm pleased that the authors provide weights for most things, as I probably would be using double the amount of veg in all recipes otherwise!

                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Allegra_K

                                                                                                                                                                                                    Thanks Allegra! And you're right, the weights are so helpful. I wish more cookbook writers did that.

                                                                                                                                                                                                2. I am enjoying cooking from this cookbook
                                                                                                                                                                                                  It ismy favorite of all COTMs.
                                                                                                                                                                                                  I find recipes easy to flollow.
                                                                                                                                                                                                  The spices and herbs give dishes great flavor and aroma

                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. Chicken with caramelized onion & cardamom rice, p. 184

                                                                                                                                                                                                    I got Jerusalem for Christmas. I'm looking forward to trying lots of recipes from this book.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    This dish took almost two hours to put together including cooking time. I had to breakdown chicken leg (4) and a whole breast so the dish should take 1.5 hours if you use chicken thighs.
                                                                                                                                                                                                    I omitted the currants (my bf doesn't eat them) and the greek yogurt garnish. The fresh herb mix (parsley, dill and cilantro) is a must, it really makes the dish.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    The rice and chicken were delicious, not too greasy, very flavourful and great for leftovers. I served this with a kale salad.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    I would make this again, no changes.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    25 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: cookiebaker

                                                                                                                                                                                                      I've made this recipe twice in the last month, with some modifications - primarily that I used boneless skinless chicken thighs instead of the whole chicken. The second time I also skipped the step where you sweeten the barberries, and I thought they tasted great unsweetened. I also skipped the step where you cover the cooked dish with a tea towel for 10 minutes - I assume that's to soak up additional moisture, but I didn't find the dish too moist. Finally, I added a healthy dash of cayenne to the Greek yogurt topping - I thought the spicy, tart yogurt was a perfect foil to the rich chicken and rice. I will be making this again soon!

                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: cookiebaker

                                                                                                                                                                                                        Chicken with caramelized onion & cardamom rice, p. 184

                                                                                                                                                                                                        http://www.turntablekitchen.com/2012/...

                                                                                                                                                                                                        This was our dinner tonight and a delicious one it was. We made half a recipe using 3 chicken thighs. I used just a touch less oil (1T total for the whole dish), but otherwise no other adjustments. I was uncertain about the addition of the barberries, but there was no need for concern. They added a pleasant lemony tartness. My barberries were quite small, so for those using substitutes of dried cranberries, etc, may want to cut your berries in half depending on their size.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        I agree with cookiebaker about the fresh herbs being a must. The rice without it was delicious, but the added freshness from the herbs added quite a bit.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        The Mr. enjoyed this one too and gave it an 8 out of 10. If I had sauteed onions made in advance, dinner could be on the table in 40 minutes.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: cookiebaker

                                                                                                                                                                                                          This recipe lies like a rug with regard to the cooking time - there's no way you can caramelize onions in 10-15 minutes, or brown chicken in 5 minutes per side. I browned for 10 minutes/side, and mine still wasn't the lovely color in the recipe. (I was reminded of this article: http://www.slate.com/articles/life/sc... ) Like others, I used currants rather than barberries, and I skipped the optional yogurt topping. I used brown basmati rice (which I parboiled before adding to the recipe) rather than white.

                                                                                                                                                                                                          The recipe was easy enough, but I would have liked it to be more strongly flavored. The flavors improved with time in the fridge, and the fresh herbs were essential. I would perhaps increase the number of cardamom pods next time around.

                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: GilaB

                                                                                                                                                                                                            I agree about the onions, but maybe you didn't have your pan hot enough when you put the chicken in, GilaB? This was the first dish I made from this book so I'm casting back in my memory but I'm pretty sure I was able to brown my chicken quickly enough. I am chuckling at that article you linked... so true.

                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: geekmom

                                                                                                                                                                                                              It's possible, but I've browned a lot of chicken in this particular saute pan, and I know from experience that if I don't want it to burn, and want to get a good golden brown color, I need 10+ minutes per side. You can get a pale brown in 5 minutes, but not the nice one shown in the recipe photo.

                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: GilaB

                                                                                                                                                                                                                He's pretty clear in the recipe that he wants the chicken to be only partially cooked - 10 min per side would pretty much finish the thighs. I was really happy with the result and with the level of searing - cant say I looked at the picture or would have relied on it if I did..

                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. re: cookiebaker

                                                                                                                                                                                                            I made this over the holidays and liked, but didn't love it. I was in a small town so couldn't find barberries and omitted the currants as I don't like them. Maybe that was the missing link, as this recipe contains many of my favourite flavours. I will certainly give it another try, either with barberries or another acidic ingredient. Don't get me wrong--we ate it all, it was just a bit meh considering all the fresh herbs.

                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: cookiebaker

                                                                                                                                                                                                              made this dish last night, a bit upsized with 8 chicken thighs,and no modifications except (1) I washed my basmati and let it dry so it would swell well, also sauteed it a bit when it went into the pan (2) added a couple of bay leaves (3) because of the upsizing, and rice soaking, I was not comfortable with simply doubling the water measurement. I added the water before putting the chicken back into the pot and made sure that the amount of water vs. rice looked right..

                                                                                                                                                                                                              Overall I thought this was a very workable, well put together recipe of this type, quite easy. The onion browning did take a bit longer than 10 min, but thats my only quibble with timing. I tried to stick with the browning timings, and in general the chicken seared appropriately in 5 min per side or so - leaving lots of tasty brown stuff in the pot (the skins helped) which I scraped off when the water went in- given that the chicken was going to have a fairly long cook in the pot, I did not want to brown these thoroughly. I sweetened the zereshk as instructed and was pleased with the result - they were a nice enhancement to the dish..the rest of the prep could not have been easier,

                                                                                                                                                                                                              The chicken was not overcooked in the finished dish and the herbs (I left out the dill) were a great enhancement to this light, savory and fragrant dish. The barberries, onion and browning all contributed to the effect. We will make again!

                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: cookiebaker

                                                                                                                                                                                                                Chicken with Caramelized Onion and Cardamom Rice, p. 184.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                Made this comfort-food dish twice on cold January nights and both times it was delicious: the cinnamon and cloves mellowed nicely with the cardamom pods and caramelized onions and the addition of fresh herbs fluffed into to the finished rice added a nice touch of freshness. I liked that it is essentially a one-dish meal since the cardamom rice cooks along with the lightly browned chicken until both are tender and done. The first time I made it I didn't add quite enough liquid and the rice was slightly crunchy when the chicken was done; we ate it up anyway, and it softened for the leftovers the next day. The second time I was careful to watch and add just a bit more broth before the end. The rice turned out perfect this time. I did make the finishing sauce of Greek yogurt and olive oil, and we ll liked this garnish.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: cookiebaker

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I am making this for dinner this evening.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I used chicken thighs
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I am roasting the ingredients instead of using pan.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: cookiebaker

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Chicken with Caramelized Onion & Cardamom Rice, p. 184

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I finally got around to making this recipe a couple of nights ago, and I absolutely loved it. I caramelized the onions ahead of time, over the weekend, to streamline the prep for weeknight cooking. Otherwise I made the recipe as written, except that I substituted currants for barberries and omitted the dill. I did have an issue with some of the rice being still a bit crunchy at the end of the cooking time. Thinking it over, some of the grains of rice were not covered with liquid at the beginning (the chicken pieces displaced them) and those were the ones that didn't cook through properly. What I did was scoop out the chicken and the underneath part of the rice, which was perfectly cooked, then I added a bit of extra water to the pan and continued steaming the crunchy parts while we ate. Next time I will add a bit of extra water and make sure that all grains of rice are thoroughly submerged. I agree that the fresh herbs were wonderful in this dish. But, I loved the dish. Will definitely be making this one again. I skipped the yogurt topping because we were serving it with a dish that included yogurt, but it sounds really good. Next time I will include it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Westminstress

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I can't believe I haven't made this yet. Had to look upthread because it seems like such an obvious thing for me to try, but it looks like I never did. Thanks for posting and putting it back on my radar.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. re: cookiebaker

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Looking for a little help/advice here. I'm making the Chicken with caramelized onion and cardamom rice tomorrow night. Unfortunately after trips to 2 different stores yesterday I haven't been able to find dill. I have the parsley and cilantro, but no dill. I have a feeling leaving this out will make it not as good. Any advice? Do I need to call every store in town? Would some other herb do well in its place? Am I over-thinking the importance of the dill? Thanks so much in advance for any words of wisdom or comfort.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: LulusMom

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Any dry dill? Or how about fennel fronds? I think the dish will still be delicious with just the parsley and cilantro. Maybe more of each of those to get the herbiness.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: beetlebug

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          thank you both so much beetlebug and Westminstress. I do have dried dill, and I'm happy to hear that W didn't miss the dill at all. I really like fresh dill, so i was looking forward to that part of it, but I have to admit my husband is not crazy about it, so maybe in the end this will work out for the best.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        2. re: LulusMom

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I used parsley and cilantro (no dill) and it was still really good.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: LulusMom

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            the dish is fine without it. Just use a little more of the other herbs. We have made it both ways in the past and it is a wonderful dish without the dill.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. re: cookiebaker

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Made the Chicken with Caramelized Onion and Cardamom Rice tonight for dinner. Oh. My. God. I loved the flavors, and so did the others at the table. The only issue was that the rice was still slightly crunchy. Maybe next time more water? Is that the way to deal with this issue? I *really* want to make this again, so I'd love to know how everyone thinks I should deal with this.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I used boneless, skinless thighs cut into pieces, and still did brown them slightly before (and was glad i did - they weren't at all overcooked). I subbed currants for the barberries. I couldn't find fresh dill, so just used a bit of dried along with fresh parsley and cilantro. Seriously wonderful comfort food. I'm not from that part of the world, but somehow this reminded me of my childhood. It was really wonderful. Cooking the onions a day in advance while working on other kitchen stuff made this come together fairly quickly and easily - good tip and thanks go to Westminstress for it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: LulusMom

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I had the same problem with slightly crunchy rice when I made it before (see report upthread.) I added a bit more stock--about 4TBS) --the next time I made it and the rice was fine.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Goblin

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Same here. Crunchy rice first time. More stock each subsequent time. Love this dish so much/

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              2. re: LulusMom

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Glad to hear you enjoyed this, but sorry to hear about the crunchy rice. We haven't experienced that, but Goblin's suggestion of adding a bit more stock should do the trick.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: BigSal

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Thanks to Goblin for the tip. And even with the somewhat crunchy rice this was a total hit. Thanks to everyone who suggested it!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                2. re: LulusMom

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  If you get to the end and the rice seems a bit overcooked or dry, simply add a little more water cover tightly and give it another say 5-10 minutes.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: LulusMom

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    yes that happened to me too. in my case some of the rice wasn't completely submerged in stock and that was the rice that stayed a little crunchy. the rice under the chicken pieces and towards the bottom of the pan was fine. i think adding a bit more liquid would help as well as just making sure all grains of rice are underneath the liquid to start with. In my case, I removed the chicken and the soft rice from underneath, added a bit more liquid and continued to cook the crunchy parts for 10-15 min. They turned out great. I agree, this is a wonderful dish, I'm glad you liked it!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Westminstress

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I loved it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Even the rice under the chicken wasn't fully cooked. It was sort of weird. This was on a burner that I almost never use to cook rice because it doesn't get low enough; that said, I was using a le creuset that may have been much thicker than the stuff I normally cook rice (by itself) in - maybe that made the difference? I'm definitely going to make this again, so I'll see if adding more water (and maybe upping the temp a little?) helps. Thanks everyone!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                3. Beef Meatballs with Fava Beans and Lemon Pg. 196

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Comfort Food Alert!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Hopefully someone else here will know what I am talking about when I say that this is one of those dishes that you recognize as comfort food the first time you have it. True, most of the things I think of as comfort food are things that I grew up eating, but every so often I come across a dish that I have never had that really strikes that comfort food chord in my mind. A bit like food déja vu I suppose.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Essentially these are lightly fried and stewed meatballs with a beautiful herb and lemon sauce dotted with both shelled and unshelled fava beans. What makes it so interesting I believe is the sauce and the legumes. It isn't lemony, it isn't herbaceous, and it doesn't scream of legumes, it is all those things, a beautifully balanced sauce where no one flavour dominates the others, and where the fava beans add just enough texture for interest, but not enough that you would consider the sauce to be thick or chunky in any way.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  The meatballs themselves have a very nice texture and good flavour from the herbs and spices. I might consider however dropping the amount of cloves in the baharat spice mix, as it came out quite strongly in the meatballs. The herbs however, and mixture of a bit of lamb into the mix made for juicy meatballs with little flecks of herby goodness that tied in perfectly with the sauce.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  My only other note would be to perhaps scale back the onion a little as well. I don't have the book in front of me but I do recall the he called for a specific size or weight of onion, I eyeballed the size and thought I was ok, but I ended up with a little too much onion. Next time I might weigh the onion and cut it back just a little.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Otherwise, delicious!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  21 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: delys77

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Great write-up, thank you. This sounds fantastic. Where did you get fava beans? I notice that a lot of British cookbooks assume you can buy various types of beans frozen, but I haven't seen them anywhere around my usual supermarkets.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: geekmom

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Thanks Geekmom. The sad truth is that I have had a bag in my freezer for quite some time. I think I got it at Osaka, which is the Asian market at Park Royal in West Vancouver. Not sure where you are in the city, but I believe they stock them along with lots of other frozen legumes. At least I hope so, since I have another recipe on the books for later this week that calls for favas, and I am now out.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      On another note, have you seen Sumac anywhere around town.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: delys77

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Yes, for the sumac try South China Seas (I've seen it at their Granville Isl. location but would call ahead to verify that it's in stock first). I haven't had to buy any yet because I'm still finishing off the souvenir jar I bought at Ottolenghi back in the spring.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I'm actually going to be at Park Royal tomorrow so I'll try Osaka for the frozen beans. Thank you for the tip!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: geekmom

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Excellent, thanks for the info on the sumac, I'll try heading over to Granville Island.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: geekmom

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I live in Manhattan and have access to innumerable Asian markets, but I was just blown away by South China Seas on Granville Island when I visited last September. They had the most beautiful young ginger I think I'd ever seen. I was so taken with the shop that I bought their shopping bag with the motto "Life is Too Short for Boring Food." I can't tell you how many people at Fairway have asked me where I bought it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: JoanN

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Yes, they are really good at what they do - everything they stock is top quality and they are my go-to place for "odd" ingredients for my ethnic food explorations (sadly, they were stumped by my request for barberries - had never even heard of them!).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: geekmom

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                OK, I'm convinced. I'm overdue for a bop over the border anyway. Looking forward to shopping!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: L.Nightshade

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Too funny - I'm heading to your home town tomorrow, myself, LN, for a TJs and natural foods co-op run.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: geekmom

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I'm reading this conversation with much (good-natured) envy. You guys are killing me!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: geekmom

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      It always amazes me that you Vancouverites, with all your wonderful food shops, cross the border to shop here! I can't wait to get up there.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I'd invite you to come for lunch, sadly, but I'll be working.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: L.Nightshade

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        The half-price organic butter at TJs is a pretty big draw :-)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. re: geekmom

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    In case you are still looking geekmom, Ayoub's carries them. They have a few locations, one on Denman and on e on Lonsdale I think.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: delys77

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Yes, they just opened a location on W 4th too which I've been meaning to check out. Thanks for the tip!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            2. re: geekmom

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              It's really interesting to learn what's easily available at home turns out to be a mission to get in another country. I'm a lazy cook and have always bought broad beans frozen (from the supermarket). Even when in season. I can't face peeling them.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: lilham

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I agree, they are a bit of a pain -- definitely a project for a lazy summer afternoon when you haven't got a lot else going on.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              2. re: geekmom

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                In the UK you can buythemin ordinary supermarkets. Or any Middle Eastern store should have them.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: geekmom

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I'm not sure if this will help but they are called 'broad beans' in many countries so keep an eye out for that name as well.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                2. re: delys77

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Beef Meatballs with Fava Beans & Lemon – p. 196 (Canadian Edition)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Big thanks to Delys for doing a wonderful and enticing job of describing how this comes together. I did make a couple of modifications, which I’ll cover below:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • I didn’t have any ground lamb so I just used beef. I think this would be outstanding with just lamb though and I’ll definitely try this as well as a mixture of meats as the authors suggest.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • I was sad that I had to use canned favas (hence their grayish colour) since my supermarket was out of stock of the frozen ones.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • I purchased my Baharat spice mix and I found the flavours to be quite balanced and reminiscent of Asian Five-Spice Powder. I would not say that the clove was the predominant flavour in my blend. The meat mixture smelled amazing as I was tossing everything together…my sous chef (golden retriever) agreed!
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Delys is correct in that a weight measure is not provided for the onion. In my case the moisture of the onion was welcome since my meat was quite lean. My onion weighed 5oz FWIW.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  We loved everything about this dish. The meatballs were juicy, tender and beautifully seasoned. The sauce was delicious; we especially enjoyed the subtle tang from the lemon juice. I’m sure I could have finished off all the sauce by myself, in a cup!!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I served this atop the Saffron Rice with Barberries (p. 195) and thought the dishes paired well together with the tang of the barberries mirroring that of the lemon in the meatball dish.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Breadcrumbs

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I was just adding my recipe notes to EYB and realized I forgot to mention (here) that I baked vs fried the meatballs. 35 mins @ 375° did the trick beautifully. I stored the cooked meatballs in a ziplock bag in the fridge overnight then picked up the recipe the following evening to make life simpler for a weeknight meal.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. re: delys77

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Beef meatballs with broad beans & lemon (p.196)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Not much to add to the comprehensive reviews by Delys and Breadcrumbs. My dish had a lot more sauce and did not look as enticing as the picture. In the text he says you want a lot of sauce but the picture really just looks like a glaze. I served it with the Basmati rice and orzo on p.103 so plenty of sauce was necessary.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I used frozen fava beans so didn't shell half of them as I was running short of time. I think the greenness of the shelled beans in the picture definitely helped the visual appeal.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    But it tasted great. I loved the lemony, herby sauce and the meatballs had good texture and taste (I also used all beef). The amount of breadcrumbs seemed far too much when I was making the meatball mixture but it worked out fine. I liked the spice levels but my daughter thought it was far too heavy on the cumin (not a big fan). There is cumin in the baharat spice mix plus another tablespoon of ground cumin, which I had freshly ground, so I suppose that is quite a lot.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    A good idea of Breadcrumbs to bake the meatballs a day ahead as this was quite a time-consuming dish when it was all done in one night. Worth it though!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: JaneEYB

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      meatballs with broad beans and lemon
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I've made this a couple of times and am a big fan.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      A couple of points to add to the previous discusson - it freezes well and is good with pasta (I like it with tagliatelle) if you find it too heavy with rice.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  3. Cod cakes in tomato sauce p. 225

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    More comfort food, I'd say. Very good and I'd think even kids would like this. Flaked cod with fresh breadcrumbs, mixed with chopped onion, garlic, parsley and cilantro. Cumin and salt add more flavor and an egg holds these together. Fry gently in olive oil (they're delicate but will stay in plump patties if you're patient.) The tomato sauce (canned tomatoes ok!) is just right--more cumin, paprika, coriander, red pepper (I just used a pinch of cayenne) are cooked with onion, white wine, garlic, and a little sugar. Salt and pepper to taste. The cakes are browned first, then placed in a pan with the sauce and some water and simmered, covered, on low heat for 15 minutes or so. Of course everything melds into tomato-ey...comfort food. Another winner from this book.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    My changes were leaving out the cilantro, and having no fresh mint to garnish, I'm afraid I just used more parsley to sub for both.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    6 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: blue room

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I loved this dish when I made it last fall (reported in pre-COTM thread). It's very flavorful, with all the herbs and spices, but in a mellow way. Did you eat it at room temp, as instructed? I served it hot and had leftovers at room temp, and preferred it hot.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Caitlin McGrath

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Just found and read your report -- you had the same experience, easy and delicious. I've never understood the appeal of room temperature eating -- it would be like lasagna at room temp -- thanks, no.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I'm having my leftovers for breakfast, hot.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. re: blue room

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Cod cakes in tomato sauce p. 225

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I loved this dish! Made full recipe expecting company but the visit was cancelled, so I froze some and will report later when I taste it defrosted on how it fared.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I made it as written and it was delicate and flavourful at the same time; will definite appear again in not too distant future:)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: blue room

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Cod Cake in Tomato Sauce Pg. 225

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          This dish was a definite winner. We are trying to eat more fish so I am always looking for new recipes to try, and this one will be going into the rotation.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Much like Blue Room, this had that great comfort food note that I have also found with some other dishes in this book. The only modification I made is that I used crushed tomatoes as I prefer a smoother sauce, and I didn't think diced tomatoes would have enough time to break down with the relatively short simmer. The result was a silky smooth sauce with some nice hints of spice and a definite light sweetness to it. I do suggest that you make sure you follow his instruction to simmer the dish on low when you add the fish cakes, as the sugars in the sauce were just starting to blacken and bond to the pan when after the suggested cook time, my flame might have been a tad too high though.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          The fish cakes themselves went into the fridge for about 20 minutes before being browned, so that they could firm up just a bit, this worked out perfectly as they browned up very nicely and remained whole. The end product had a lovely light flavour of fish, blended with the herbs and fresh breadcrumbs it was just the right balance.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          My partner was suspicious when he heard the name of the dish, but he was definitely a convert as he enjoyed it very much.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: blue room

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            We just had this tonight and I agree with blue room. Easy and really tasty. I used red pepper flakes since there were no red chills at the store, I cut back on the garlic a bit and did the same with the garnish. We had the tabbouleh from the book, with bread and butter as a side for a really enjoyable meal.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: corneygirl

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              cod cakes in tomato sauce
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I wasn't keen on this - I found the texture of the cakes too soft and really didn't like it at room temperature (it was served as art of a buffet so prepared in advance, the ones I tried straight on the frying pan were better but still not great for me)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. Braised eggs with lamb, tahini and sumac US pg 205 and cover recipe

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            This is my first recipe out of Jerusalem. I have wanted to make this recipe from the first day I got the book, but waited for COTM. Also, my first COTM!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I followed the recipe as written. I didn't make any substitutions.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            This is a very flavorful dish. My family (DH and 11 year old step daughter) really enjoyed the dish as well. I served it with a pear arugula salad and toasted store bought naan.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            As I had mentioned in a previous thread I had the dry harissa spice. As suggested, I put it in the food processor with equal parts spice, OO, and water. Now I have the paste to use for the next recipe.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I also dry roasted my tomatoes in the beginning using the same cast iron skillet. I was a little uncertain about this technique, but it worked very well. I just let the skillet cool a bit and then continued on with the onion/garlic as written.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Question? Do you think that tahini paste is different than roasted tahini? I would think yes. But, that is what I have and used it with the yogurt for the sauce. The yogurt sauce is a must. It cools the highly spiced (yet not hot) dish. My DH didn't like the dollops. He said he couldn't tell the difference between the yogurt sauce and the egg whites. Maybe a drizzle next time?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            The things I would do differently:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I used my 10 in deep cast iron skillet w lid. I think an 8 in skillet would work better as there wasn't enough of a layer of the lamb mixture to make a well for the eggs.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I over cooked the eggs! When the egg whites are set serve the dish. I still had to set the table and rally cry. It was too long (maybe 5 more min off heat).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I would add less salt. Despite using usalted pistachios and unsalted chicken broth I think I was too heavy handed with my salt. In the text of the recipe it calls for 3/4 t salt. I'll add less next time.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I would roast the tomatoes a little bit longer.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            The photo in the book looks like they might have added some kind of herb sauce (like a pistou?). This might be a good addition, the flavor of the cilantro got kind of lost.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I will be making this recipe again. Next time taking extra care to not over cook the eggs!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Cheers!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            9 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: pagesinthesun

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Made this dish as well. Overall really enjoyed it , though I too ended up over cooking the eggs due to distraction from my 11 month-old :)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I think the herb mixture you refr to is zhoug, from the condiments section. The recipe calls for either cilantro or zhoug. I used zhoug and it was wonderful. We actually made sandwiches on pita with yogurt-tahini, the lamb and egg, and the tomatoes topped with a generous amount of zhoug. Delicious!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: bunnylicious

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                The sandwich sounds great! I have a little leftover stashed away. I think I will make a pit sandwich for lunch tomorrow!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I will use the zhoug next time for sure.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Thanks!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              2. re: pagesinthesun

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Great report, pagesinthesun, marking this to make soon!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: pagesinthesun

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I made this dish too, and I too found it a bit too salty - I will be cutting back next time. I also agree that a smaller pan is needed - I didn't have enough depth of the lamb layer to make the wells for the eggs the way I wanted. And I added some spinach at the end just to get some vitamins in there; I really liked the taste.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: pagesinthesun

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Braised eggs with lamb, tahini and sumac (US pg 205)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Good golly miss molly. This dish was fabulous! And, my finished version looked like the cover picture.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Not much to add to pagesinthesun's excellent report. I agree that the dish is a tad salty. My chicken broth was also on the mild side (leftover poaching broth) and it may have helped alleviate the saltiness.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    This recipe really came together quickly especially since I decided to toast the pine nuts and pistachios as I made breakfast. Then, when it was time to cook dinner, that part was already completed (somehow, toasting nuts during dinner prep just annoys me).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Anyway, for the leftovers, I stir fried swiss chard and added the leftover lamb mix. This helped even out the salt and was a delicious breakfast.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: pagesinthesun

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      This is a wonderfully written and very helpful review of the recipe. Thanks for your great write-up, and welcome to COTM. I'm considering making this dish soon, and I greatly appreciate your thoughtful comments.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: pagesinthesun

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Braised eggs with lamb, tahini and sumac p. 205

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        http://www.ladlesandjellyspoons.com/2...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Another winner. The only change I made was to use a little less oil to saute the onions and garlic and I blotted the cooked lamb to remove some of the excess fat.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I made the zhoug and was glad I did. It adds additional flavor and spice. Can't wait to use it in other applications.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: pagesinthesun

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I was fortunate enough to go to a dinner party recently where the host made this dish! I agree that the yogurt sauce really balanced out the dish well, though I also confused it with the egg whites sometimes. The egg on my plate was not overcooked, and I really liked the richness from the runny yolk.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: pagesinthesun

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I finally got around to this dish last night. I made it in a smallish iron skillet, with half the recipe and just two eggs, for two people. I only had salted pistachios, so I didn't add salt to the dish. However, I had used up all of my preserved lemons, so I thinly sliced some fresh lemon and sautéed it with a bit of salt. That turned out to be a pretty decent substitute. I did make the Zhoug, which added a lot. I drizzled the yogurt tahini sauce, per pagesinthesun's suggestion.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I don't know what happened to the yolks of the eggs, they came out white, as if they had been cooked "over easy." I was afraid they had overcooked, but they were runny and perfect.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            This dish was wonderful! So many flavors and textures. I plan on serving it for an unusual brunch one day soon.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. Prawns, Scallops, and Clams with Tomato and Feta, page 233.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            We started dinner tonight with a few olives and the last wedge of bread dipped in olive oil and duqqah (or dukkah, if you prefer). While the seafood dish was cooking, I realized we'd like a little bread for the saucy tomatoes and clam liquid. Not wanting to run to the store, I whipped up a batch of Suzanne Goin's brown scones. These worked amazingly well with the dish.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I was mildly surprised to find this scavenger shellfish dish in the book (haven't found any pork yet!), but it was just what we were looking for tonight. The recipe is published here, pretty close to the original:
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            The only thing we did differently, was to add a bit of aleppo pepper to the sauce. Our oven is a bit unreliable, so it didn't get as browned, and the feta didn't get as melty, as we were expecting. But I loved it! Easy, flavorful, and fresh. I would recommend starting the prawns a tiny bit before adding the scallops, as they always seem to take a bit longer to cook. And if you don't have the crusty bread called for, whip up a batch of brown scones with a few grinds of black pepper. Perfect!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            6 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: L.Nightshade

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              That both looks and sounds scrumptious. I hadn't even made note of it in the book and now it's headed toward the top of the to-try list.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: L.Nightshade

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                This one is calling to me too--feta and tomatoes and seafood!
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Your shrimp and scallops are giants!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: L.Nightshade

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Wow, this looks very appealing for a cold winter day - so colourful and warm. Thanks for the write-up and the photos.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: L.Nightshade

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Prawns, scallops, [and clams] with tomatoes and feta, p. 232.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    On this final day of the "official" January 2013 COTM, I made this dish for my family, and it was so good--tender shellfish in a saucy tomato-wine-clam juice reduction with fresh oregano and feta . Mr. Goblin scarfed it up, as did the other adults at my table, and the two kids enjoyed the shellfish, too. I used a couple of chopped fresh plum tomatoes and a 15-oz. can of Italian plum tomatoes, which I chopped up before adding them and their juice. The sauce is hearty without being overpowering, and I made it bit ahead and kept it warm until I was ready to toss in the scallops and shrimp and then finish the final dish in the oven for 10 minutes (a bit longer than the recipe called for.) Really quite easy.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    The cubes of feta did not melt a lot for me, either, but the result was still very satisfying. I did not use fresh clams, but rather upped the quantity of shrimp and scallops, and added a cup of clam juice to the simmering sauce after adding the 3/4 cup of reduced white wine, as instructed. Loved the final garnish with some sliced green scallions. All in all, a very satisfying recipe which is simple but still has some layers of flavor. Served with basmati rice and orzo, to happy effect. Mr. Goblin would be very happy if I made this again.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: L.Nightshade

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      [Cod], Scallops and Clams with Tomato and Feta, p. 233

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Made this delightful dish for dinner last night and, I agree, it is easy and delicious! I just made a couple of changes -- subbed rosemary for oregano and cod, chopped into scallop-sized pieces, instead of prawns. (I buy my fish at our local farmer's market, and they don't sell prawns or shrimp of any kind). These changes worked well, though I think I would have preferred the recipe with oregano. I just didn't have any on hand and what was at the market didn't look too good. I made the clams and sauce ahead of time while my son was napping, which made dinnertime a breeze! All I had to do was reheat the sauce and quickly cook the fish, and there is dinner in 10 minutes. The feta added a delightful tang, and the whole family liked the dish. I served it with bulgar wheat to soak up the sauce and broccoli simply dressed with olive oil and salt. Good dinner!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Every time I return to this book (which is not often enough) I am reminded what a pleasure it is to cook from. The aromas, the delightful little twists that come together in a whole that beats the sum of its parts, I just love it. Definitely one of my favorite books ever.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Westminstress

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Westminstress, so glad that you liked this dish as much as I did! And your words about cooking from this book really resonated with me. I have really enjoyed cooking from it; the recipes are so flavorful, It's been of my favorite COTMs, and I and going to continue to revisit it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. Fish & caper kebabs with burnt eggplant & lemon pickle, p. 221 (US ed.)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I'm two-for-two on the fish cakes in this book, with this one another winner. Really delicious! I wouldn't call them kebabs, as they are small fish cakes that are pan-fried. They're made up of minced white fish bound with fresh breadcrumbs and egg, made full of flavor from lots of dill, a couple green onions, capers, lemon juice and zest, and some ground cumin and turmeric. Instructions would have you cut the fish by hand, but I took the easier route and cut it in chunks that I gave a few judicious pulses in the food processor. I was serving this as a main for three, so chose to make six larger patties rather than twelve smaller.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      They're accompanied by relish of sorts made up of the drained, chopped flesh of blackened eggplants with a bit of garlic, a bit of Greek yogurt, some chopped parsley, and salt. They call for serving it all with a small amount of the Quick Pickled Lemons on p. 303, but instead I used preserved lemon rind, since I have it in my kitchen already. I minced it and stirred it in, too. I did the eggplants over the gas stove burner, and the flesh did end up with a nice smoky flavor.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Caitlin McGrath

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Caitlin, those sound fantastic! I can hardly wait to make these and the ones in tomato sauce -- I absolutely love fish cakes.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Caitlin McGrath

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Fish & caper kebabs with burnt eggplant & lemon pickle

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I thought this was wonderful. I served it as a starter and particularly loved the combination of flavours. The quick pickled lemons are fabulous and I'llmake them often as I think they will go with a lot of other dishes. They perked up leftovers from the meal very nicely.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        2. Kofta b'siniyah (US pg. 195)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Another hit. I served this with the butternut squash with tahini which probably wasn't the best choice. Both dishes have fairly identical tahini sauces. No matter since we really enjoyed them both. This recipe is also very similar to the meatball baked in tahini sauce from Ottolenghi's first book. That recipe is a favorite of ours so I wanted to try this variation.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Make the kofta (mixture of ground lamb and veal along with chopped onions, garlic, pine nuts, parsley, hot chile pepper, cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg, salt and pepper. Roll these into torpedo like fingers and brown in batches for about 6 minutes.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          After the kofta is browned, lay them on a baking dish. You can either bake for a few minutes to cook through, or you can begin the finishing touches with the tahini sauce (tahini, lemon juice, water, garlic and salt). If you don't want to bake the meat, drizzle the tahini sauce on and around the kofta and bake another minute or so to warm the sauce.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Lastly, I skipped this step, but you can drizzle melted butter over the kofta as soon as they come out of the oven.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          My kofta were not torpedo like fingers. Probably more round with some edges, kind of ovally, but fat. They took longer to brown and I should have baked them a bit longer. That said, these were delicious. So many flavors and textures going on. They tasted better the next day, as long as you didn't nuke them for too long, causing the tahini to do weird things.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          8 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: beetlebug

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Because I like this book so much I'm thinking of getting both Plenty and Ottolenghi. And I just read in your post that this (great sounding!) dish is a lot like a meatball dish in Ottolenghi -- would you say there a lot of similar dishes in the books?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: blue room

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              There are a lot of similar dishes but nothing identical. This dish was different enough from the first book that I used this recipe. Many of the ingredients were the same, but the execution itself was quite different. I have all three, and while I have delved as deeply as other hounds, I'm really happy that I do have them and don't feel like I have identical books.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              If you have all three Fuchsia Dunlop books and see some of the differences and similarities and don't think they are repetitive, you will feel the same here. While I adore the Dunlop books, EGOR has crossover recipes with less changes then these books do.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: blue room

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                One other thing to keep in mind of course is that Plenty is vegetarian. You will see replication of techniques and flavour profiles (burnt eggplant, loads of herbs, similar dressing), but I definitely think all of his works bring something new and interesting to the table.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: delys77

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Thank you both. beetlebug said it well --similarities OK, repetition not OK.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              2. re: beetlebug

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Kofta B'siniyah, Pg. 195, US Edition

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                We like the koftas from Madhur Jaffrey's "Indian Cooking" so were excited to try Ottolenghi's recipe. This kofta mixture was made with just the ground lamb so I essentially halved the recipe. I did omit the pine nuts as usual, used a serrano for the hot chile, and all the other listed ingredients. Instead of baking the meat we simply drizzled the tahini sauce on the kofta and baked for a few minutes to heat the sauce.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                As Beetlebug said, this was definitely A Hit. And, just different enough to keep in our rotation. BTW: My 'cigars' held together very well.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                The Spiced Chickpeas and Fresh Vegetable Salad on page 56 but w/o the chickpeas which is the suggested accompaniment, and roasted root vegetables: parsnips, rutabaga, yams, garlic seasoned w EVOO, S & P, cumin and garlic were the two side dishes. All together a delicious meal. As Alice says to Geraldine as she takes her leave of the Vicar of Dibley, "Abyssinia."

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: beetlebug

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Kofta b'siniyah - p 195 (UK ed)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  These are wonderful and very easy. I made the kofta the night before, which made the cooking process even more simple - heat up your oil in the pan, preheat the oven, and the kofta are ready to put on the table in 15 minutes. The sauce is simple to make while your koftas are browning - you just whisk everything together and away you go.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I think I left the tahini sauce in the baking pan in the oven with the koftas for a little too long, because it thickened up and developed a sort of curdled texture. It tasted just fine, but wasn't "pourable" any more. I think in future I'd probably add a bit more water to the sauce before I pour it around the koftas, in case this happens again.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Oh, and as a side note, my vegetarian loved this tahini sauce with her Amy's Kitchen Sonoma veggie burger, which she normally finds rather dry and bland. I thought I'd mention it in case any of you are also juggling cooking for committed carnivores and picky vegetarians at the same time.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: beetlebug

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Kofta B'siniyah Pg. 195

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    This was my last dish from the book for the month, and my fourth meatball/patty/kofta recipe. I have made very good use of my meat grinder that is for sure. I followed the results precisely and the results were good. I would have to say I preferred the lemony meatballs with fava and the turkey burgers to this preparation.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Don't get me wrong, we quite liked this, but these others were great while this was just good for us. I did find them a little under seasoned so if I were to repeat I would up the salt a little in the kofta. Also, it might be my tahini, but the sauce was slightly bitter and I had similar clumping problems as some other posters. Next time I would thin the sauce a little further with a bit more water and more lemon, so that the tahini sauce is slightly less dominated by the sesame flavour.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Overall a good dish though. I would actually love to try the kofta in a pita pocket, drizzled with the tahini sauce and then topped with a bit of Israeli/Arab salad, yum!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: beetlebug

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Kofta b'siniyah (US pg. 195)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I made these last weekend, and they were a big hit. I subbed in ground pork for the veal, and mine had plenty of flavor. I usually hate making meatballs because they fall apart in cooking, but these "fingers" held together very well. We served it with the roasted cauliflower and hazelnut salad, which was a nice complement.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. Salmon Steaks in Chraimeh Sauce p.234

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Part of the reason why I want to make so many items out of this book is because of all the fantastically appealing food photos, and this recipe was no different--it grabbed me for the cherry-red hue of the sauce swimming around those lovely pink salmon steaks.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I had expected this recipe to be much more time-consuming than it really was, and was pleasantly surprised at how quickly it all came together. Fish steaks (I used fillets) dredged in seasoned flour are seared until golden and put aside. The sauce consists of a spice mixture involving toasted and ground caraway, cumin, cayenne, cinnamon and paprika that gets blended until smooth with chile, garlic, and oil. I elected not to use the food processor and instead made the paste with a mortar and pestle, saving me some dish-washing. This paste is fried briefly in oil, whereupon tomato paste and water is added. After a quick simmer, some sugar and lemon juice find their way into the mix. The fish is placed in the sauce and cooked with the lid on until just done. It is served warm or at room temperature with a garnish of cilantro leaves and extra lemon wedges.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      The sauce was thick and robust and intense (though more orange-red than the photo suggests), a perfect counterpoint to the flavours of the salmon. Because the chile I used was a jalapeno, it certainly wasn't as spicy as it might have been, but that could easily be changed into a brow-wiping affair by subbing the chile type and amount. Throughout dinner, I kept thinking that the fish reminded me of another dish but couldn't put my finger on it. It wasn't until clean-up time that it came to me--Tandoori! The flavour profiles were very similar to the spicing used within a sauced tandoori chicken dish. We really enjoyed this with rice as a side to stir the sauce into.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      4 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Allegra_K

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Salmon Steaks in Chraimeh Sauce p.234

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I approached this recipe with trepidation, since I typically don't enjoy strongly flavored sauces with fish. I'm glad I took the plunge with this one. This robust dish was delicious on a cold winter's night.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        As Allegra indicates, the sauce is thick, robust and intense. We enjoyed the combination of sweetness, spice and heat. We made this with Thai red chili peppers which added to the heat.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        The salmon stands up nicely to the sauce. I'm not sure if I would enjoy this dish as much with a mild, white fish.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        We served this with basmati rice and orzo which worked well as the flavors did not compete with the salmon. My Mr. enjoyed this as well and even said he would have this for dinner again.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: BigSal

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Thank you BigSal and Allegra_K, for posting this salmon page. So encouraging and I know to pick my peppers. (We're wimps.)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I will try to do this sooner than later!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        2. re: Allegra_K

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Salmon (fillets) in chraimeh sauce, p. 234

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          When I first looked through the book, I think I was a bit skeptical about this recipe, though I can't remember why. But Allegra_K and BigSal's reviews made me want to try it and I'm glad I did, because I thought it was excellent. I used a jalapeno and the result was pleasantly spicy but not very hot. Instead of using ground cumin, I toasted and ground cumin seeds along with the caraway. (I swear they are almost indistinguishable in looks - same size, same striations, the cumin just a hair darker - but aroma tells the story.) I thought the sauce and salmon were a good match, and agree with BS that it wouldn't work as well with a mild fish. I used the specified amount of oil in the garlic-chile-spice paste, but much less for browning the fish and making the sauce.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I served it with Itamar's bulgur pilaf from Plenty (terrific dish!) and roasted green beans, and it was the beans I was spooning the extra sauce over.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Allegra_K

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Salmon Steaks in Chraimeh Sauce, p. 234

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            My turn for this dish, which I am happy to report was a big hit with everyone at my dinner table, including me! Sometimes when I have cooked the dinner myself, I end up not being that hungry at the actual mealtime. Makes it harder occasionally to evaluate the results. What does this tell you about my proclivity for tasting as I cook? ;-)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            But this time, I could tell even so that this was a deliciously savory, balanced, layered sauce, with enough heat from my large jalapeno pepper (seeded) to satisfy the adults, but still mild enough for the kids at the table. Robust, but not overly so.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            The method of first lightly sauteing the salmon separately and then finishing it by gently poaching it, covered, in the sauce until just done ensured a moist and velvet-y texture for the fish.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I used organic salmon filets, since I couldn't find steaks, and they were fine. Like BigSal, I served it with basmati rice and orzo ( p. 103) which worked well to sop up the good sauce!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Finally, I agree that a firmer, more strongly-flavored fish like salmon is best. Maybe try monkfish sometime? I'll definitely make this again, with even more sauce!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. this was an interesting link to some products
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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            http://www.mountainroseherbs.com/bulk...
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            dried barberries, etc. are available on this site

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. Saffron chicken and herb salad pg 188 UK edition

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Sweet, bitter, fresh and a tiny bit spicy. It's a great combination of flavours and I was very surprised by it as it's not the sort of flavour profile I had expected from a recipe in this book. It seems more SEA perhaps.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              You cook a segmented orange (skin on) with honey, vinegar and saffron on the stove until you reduce the water added and get a syrup like consistency (mine took longer than the hour mentioned in the book) that then gets blitzed into a paste.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Chicken breast is then cooked in a griddle pan to get those marks and them transferred to the oven to finish. When cool it's shredded by hand into fairly large chunks and mixed through half of the orange saffron paste.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Fresh herbs are added (basil, mint, coriander) as is thinly sliced fennel, crushed garlic, red chilli, olive oil and lemon juice and it's tossed again. More lemon and olive oil can be added after tasting along with S&P.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              This was another perfect for summer recipe. It would work equally well for lunch as a light dinner (I halved the recipe for two people - no leftovers). It looks beautiful on the plate as well. My only dilemma now is how to use up the leftover orange paste. I foolishly made a full batch of that instead of halving it so I have three quarters of it left. The book suggests using it for a herb salsa to go with oily fish which would be nice but not really helpful with a fish hater in the house.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              7 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Frizzle

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                My three suggestions for the orange saffron reduction would be:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1) incorporate into carrot soup
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                2) use as base for sauce for duck
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                3) artichoke sauce, this guy uses ottolenghi's orange sauce : http://herbivoracious.com/2012/11/fri...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: ChrisOfStumptown

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Brilliant ideas. I like the sound of them all. I'm going to do the carrot soup I think. We're not big meat eaters and artichoke season has finished here. Thank you very much!!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                2. re: Frizzle

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I made this a couple of days ago. My first reaction was 1/2 teaspoon of saffron for a single orange? And after cooking the sauce down and tasting, my reaction was utter disbelief at its opulence.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  The salad itself was tasty, but when you come down to it, it is just pan roasted chicken salad. It's good but I'm not certain that it merits the sauce, which is what makes the dish. I am not made of saffron.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Over the next week I'll tinker a bit with the leftover orange saffron sauce. One thing I have discovered is it is fantastic as a flavoring for carbonated water. I expect it would be dynamite with champagne or possibly mixed with vodka, which is its likely destination for any sauce I cannot finish. It should keep indefinitely that way.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: ChrisOfStumptown

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    great ideas for the leftover sauce chris - sadly I had to bin mine as I was going away for a few days and the freezer is full to bursting.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I liked this dish but agree that it is all about the sauce, which is fine as it creates lots of space for experimenting.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: abby d

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      This is on the menu for me this week so your photo is very enticing. I'm looking forward to it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. re: Frizzle

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Saffron Chicken and Herb Salad Pg. 188

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Excellent dinner salad, I definitely echo the comments of others with regards to the orange sauce as we found it absolutely delicious. The dish is very well balanced with pronounced sweet, savoury, and spicy flavours, but also has a great balance of texture with the crunchy fennel paired with succulent tender chicken. This would be great on a summers afternoon with a nice glass of sparkling wine.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Definitely repeatable.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: delys77

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Saffron Chicken and herb salad p.188
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      As written, the flavor profile of this recipe was far too sweet for my taste. I felt the saffron disappeared. I enjoyed the flavor of the orange but felt it would be more balanced by some tang. Would definitely try this again with less honey and a few other changes.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  3. Pan-fried Mackerel with golden beetroot & orange salsa - p 222 (UK ed.)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    A chunky, slightly spicy and brightly coloured salsa of citrus fruit, cubed golden beets, olives, red onions, spices and herbs, served on top of pan-fried mackerel which has been marinated in harissa mixed with salt and ground cumin.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Yum, yum!!! This was my first attempt at cooking mackerel and I am not disappointed that I went to the trouble of tracking down the correct ingredients for this dish. The fish is not overpoweringly spicy, just has a nice lift from the harissa rub, and the salsa really elevates the whole dish. There are a lot of very strong flavours here and none of them overpowers either each other or the oily, succulent mackerel.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    My only suggestion - mackerel is a bony fish and so when you're eating it you are always looking out for pin bones. For this reason, next time we make this we would be sure to use only leaves and not include any bits of parsley stems in our salsa - they really do feel like bones in your mouth.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    9 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: geekmom

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Wow, that looks fantastic, geekmom! I love your plate, too. A great review; I wish I had access to fresh mackerel now.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Allegra_K

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Thanks! As for tracking down the mackerel - if you have a chance to visit a Korean supermarket you may be able to find it there. I understand it's a staple item in Korean home cooking.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. re: geekmom

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I'm so glad you've made this and say it's good. It's on my list as a sustainable seafood recipe to try. I think mackerel aren't eaten much here because of all the bones. They're dirt cheap when you buy them whole but I never see fillets sold. Possibly because there is not enough of a demand for them.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        The only way I've cooked them is on the BBQ and then used a Vietnamese style dressing so a new recipe is very welcome.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Frizzle

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I could only find them whole, too, but the young man at the fishmonger's was very happy to fillet them for me - and I got a bag of fish head/etc to make stock today. I don't mind filleting fish but it's slow work and I'm pretty bad at it. :-/

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: geekmom

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I'm not sure about using mackerel for stock - it's a pretty oily fish.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: greedygirl

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              You're right. It'll be interesting to see what results -- I've only ever made fish stock from salmon before, and then never ended up using it because my fridge is like a black hole.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            2. re: geekmom

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I'm hopeless too. Good idea to get the shop to do it. I always forget they offer that service.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. re: geekmom

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            My turn to make this one tonight. The fish was nice but not earth-shatteringly good and the salsa was fantastic. I have issues with beetroot and feel that it tastes like dirt most of the time but here the 'dirt' flavour (perhaps I should use the word 'earthy' instead) is perfectly balanced with all the other flavours going on. I only made one fillet of fish but the full amount of salsa and I'm planning on getting some pumpernickel bread tomorrow to eat with the rest of the salsa.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            My alterations to the recipe were to use normal beetroot instead of yellow. I can't comment on taste difference here as I've never had yellow but the red does stain juices a pink colour so maybe that's the reason the recipe specifies yellow.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I didn't have any nut oils so I used olive oil. I'm sure a nut oil would add yet another delicious layer of flavour to the salsa.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Also to note, I used shop bought harissa that had been languishing in my fridge and could barely taste it. I wonder if I had made my own how I would have felt about the fish. I think it may make a big difference.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I took the time to pin bone my fillet, it was well worth the small amount of time.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I bought good quality kalamata olives, they added a big lift to the dish and complemented the mackerel very well. I think it's worth spending a couple of extra dollars here to get decent ones.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: geekmom

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              ...and the photo with red beetroot.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            2. Chicken sofrito, p 190

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              This recipe is basically for a chicken steamed in its own juices in a dutch oven on the stovetop. You sear the chicken skin side down, season, turn over, close the lid and basically let it cook for an hour and a half. About half an hour before the end, you place some previously fried potatoes and whole unpeeled garlic cloves under the chicken.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I halved the recipe, but otherwise followed it. Hubby and I were just blown away by the potatoes and garlic. They had soaked up all the juices, and had such a luscious texture. We loved popping the garlic cloves out of their peel and smearing them on the chicken and potatoes. The chicken itself had a nice texture, but was a bit bland. I shredded the leftover chicken and mixed it in with the leftover potatoes, and that turned out great. So I think that next time, I will season the chicken a bit more, maybe placing some of the same spices called for in the recipe under or rubbed onto the skin.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I have to say though, the potatoes really made this dish special and worth a repeat!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              4 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: bunnylicious

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Mmm. This was the same kind of thing that happened with the chicken with caramelized onions & cardamom rice - the rice soaked up all those cooking juices from the chicken and was just incredible.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I had been planning to make this dish regardless, because it's recommended to go with the wild rice & chickpea thing that I made and liked yesterday, but you've just bumped it up my list, bunnylicious!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: geekmom

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  We seem to gravitate towards the same recipes, geekmom :) The chicken with cardamom rice is on next week's menu!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                2. re: bunnylicious

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I am surprised this one hasnt had more take-up. Maybe its those potatoes. Too deadly in the January diet days. But delicious!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: bunnylicious

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I concur. My chicken was also a tad dry - I think I cooked too long. I might try presalting the chicken next time, a la Zuni.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    The potatoes were, indeed,TDF.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. Saffron Chicken & Herb Salad - p. 225

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I thought someone made it before me but coud find a report...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I made this salad tonight to take for lunch tomorrow; had a little taste and it is yummy. I think it will improve by sitting around allowing all the flavours to come together. I made several changes to use the ingredients that I had on hand and changed the technique a bit; this is how I made it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Boiled orange with honey, vinegar, saffron and water as instructed; processed in FP and mixed with the rest of the dressing ingredients - lemon juice, chili pepper, garlic, S&P, and olive oil - before tossing with shredded chicken.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    My chicken was leftover roasted half (a breast and a leg). The mixture looked dry wanting more dressing but I wasn't willing to give it any more and it was a good thing as it came out just fine in the end.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I did not have mint and basil and thought that using just fennel for the veg will overpower the salad. I used 2 lg radishes, a celery rib, 1/2 small fennel thinly sliced on mandoline and a hefty green onion thinly sliced. For the herbs I used parsley and cilantro.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    My salad looks different from the picture in the book. I hope it tastes as good or better tomorrow.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. I spotted a recipe for Seared Scallops with Chinese Sausage and Peas on The Guardian website. I don't have the book - can anyone check and see if this recipe is from Jerusalem? I'll probably make it soon either way.

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

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: meatn3

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Nope, not in Jerusalem. Though there are shellfish recipes, not surprisingly, the book doesn't feature pork.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Caitlin McGrath

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Thank you - I was afraid of that! I suspect this book will be one of near future purchases. The experiences seem really positive!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. Lamb-Stuffed Quince with Pomegranates & Cilantro (page 155 US edition)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        This was the first recipe I chose to make from the book. I ground the lamb, bought all the ingredients, and then couldn’t find the quince. When I finally did find quince, nearly three weeks later, it was horrendously expensive ($3/ea; but I’d never cooked quince before and was very eager to try it) and not in the best of shape. I bought three instead of four and adjusted the recipe accordingly.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        The ground lamb is mixed with garlic, chopped red chile, cilantro, bread crumbs allspice, grated ginger, and a chopped onion. The quince are peeled, seeded, scooped out and put in acidulated water to keep from browning. Another chopped onion, more ginger, and cardamom pods are sautéed until the onion is soft, then the scooped out and chopped remains of the quince, pomegranate molasses, lemon juice, sugar, chicken stock and s&p are added. The quince halves are stuffed with the lamb mixture and added to the sauce. The pan is covered and all is simmered for about 30 minutes until the sauce is thick. Uncover the pan and reduce the sauce further if necessary. Sprinkle with pomegranate seeds and cilantro and serve hot or at room temp.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        From three quince I managed to get four halves that didn’t split on me and were capable of being stuffed. He says in the headnote that they teach a simplified version of this dish where the quince is diced and added to the sauce and the meat is shaped into meatballs. So I stuffed the four halves of quince, chopped the rest of it in the food processor and added it to the sauce, and made meatballs of the remaining meat mixture.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I had a couple of problems in addition to having difficulty scooping out the quince. The only fresh red chile I had were frozen Thai chiles; I used one, but didn’t seed or devein it. I should have. I like spicy, but this was a tad too much and the balance was wrong. And my sauce never thickened. After 30 minutes I uncovered the pan and cooked the dish at a strong simmer for probably 10, maybe 15, minutes. The sauce still didn’t thicken. No idea why and not sure it made any difference in the flavor. But my finished dish had a lot more sauce (perhaps because of the extra chopped quince?) than what’s shown in the photo and it was much paler in color.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        This was a lovely and very tasty dish, with a marvelous balance of flavors, and a very attractive presentation. The sauce was tangy with just the barest hint of sweetness and, except for user error with the chile, the lamb was subtle and delicious. I’d definitely make it again, but next time wouldn’t bother with the quince and would try the alternative hard pears. And unless I was making it for a dinner party, I’d definitely go the meatball route. I made the Basmati Rice [jasmine brown rice] & Orzo ( http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/8843... ) to go with. Brilliant pairing.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        29 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: JoanN

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          That looks wonderful, Joan. I've been reading that recipe every time I've opened the book and do want to make it but alas, we can't locate quince anywhere around here. The other day I subbed hard Bosc pears in the kohlrabi and quince salad with very good results. I do know that quince really don't have much flavor and neither did the pears so perhaps I'll simply use them with the lamb. Thanks for reporting the results.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: JoanN

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I've been meaning to stop by the Persian market & see if there are any quince left so I could try this dish, and you totally beat me to it! Your results look great, and sound delicious.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Quince season seems to be more or less over, and even during that brief period when they are in season in November/early December they're hard to find and tend to be expensive.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Gio, I am curious why you think they haven't much flavour as we absolutely love quince & think they have the most wonderful, deep rich tart honey-ish, appley flavour -- I cooked a quince & lamb tagine a couple of months ago and they added so much to the dish.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            If you do make this with hard pears I hope you'll report back about your results, JoanN, because I'm really not convinced that it would work well without quince.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: geekmom

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Geekmom, I guess the quince I have had in he past were just not to my liking. They were decidedly lacking in the lovely flavors you mentioned. That's why I thought hard Bosc pears would be an OK substitute. They had a mild pear taste, not the saccharine sweetness of ripe pears.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              In the tagine you made did the "tart honey-ish" or "appley" flavor come through? Or both? Perhaps apples would be a better sub?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Gio

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Gio, I do not think you can successfuly substitute other fruit for quince. It has unique aroma unlike any other. Sort of like date syrup - nothing tastelike it. Not to mention the gorgeous redish colour of cooked quince. I very much wish to make this dish but have not seen quinces at all this fall.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: herby

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  "Redish"? Really? As I said, I'd never cooked quince before, but these were very pale yellow, almost white, both peeled and cooked, without even a hint of red in them. Different variety, perhaps?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: JoanN

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I agree Joan. This is what I'm used to:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    http://www.farmersalmanac.com/food/20...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    http://www.tradewindsfruit.com/quince...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Gio

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Interesting, Gio. That first link says "it turns pink, or sometimes even deep crimson, when it is cooked," but mine most definitely did not.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: JoanN

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I know... I was going for the photo only but after reading it seemed to me that I better give both links. I've only ever seen the yellow/white variety.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: JoanN

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          My grandparents had a quince tree in their backyard and I well remember a light greenish jam that they made. Nothing red about it at all.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. re: JoanN

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Have a look at these pictures, Joan - https://www.google.ca/search?q=cooked...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        This is what I am trying to describe. Thereare several varieties but I never had one that did not "blush" after cooking.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: herby

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I have, as they say, no dog in this fight. But you can see quite clearly in my photo of the plated quince that there's not a hint of red or pink in it. And the color in the photo agrees with what was on my plate. A few of the photos in your link also show what seem to be cooked quince that remained pale yellow in color. Guess it has to be chalked up to varietal differences.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: JoanN

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I was intrigued by this discussion & just found a fascinating blog post that really appealed to my geeky side by applying a scientific approach to answering the question of why quinces sometimes don't turn pink when you cook them.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Here it is, for those who aren't already sick of this topic!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            http://www.woolfit.com/wordpress/2011...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Her conclusion seems to be that the acid from lemon juice is essential to the colour change, as is a long cooking time. She also links at the end to a chart that shows different quince varieties & how pink they turn when cooked. So there we go.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: geekmom

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              My geek is very pleased that your geek found that. Interesting read. Thanks.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: geekmom

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                thanks for digging this up!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: geekmom

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  This is interesting, geekmom. I recently canned a lot of pears in ginger syrup. They were pure, pale, whitish concorde pears. I added lemon juice and zest, and the end product was richly pink.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            2. re: JoanN

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              the quince Ive bought in NY and NJ has white/cream flesh but turns an orange-y pink when its cooked. The quince liqueur in Italy is also in a yellow orange color range.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I think a good, firm tasty cooking apple light a northern spy - or another where the flesh keeps its shape - would be the best sub for a quince, better than a pear in a recipe like this

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. re: Gio

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            That makes sense, Gio. I know there are different varieties of quince so maybe the ones you tried were less flavourful, or perhaps they had been in storage for a while & lost some of their flavour.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I only just discovered this fruit a couple of years ago and my husband and I have become completely addicted to it. Our favourite way to eat quince is poached or baked in a simple sugar syrup with a vanilla bean, star anise & cinnamon sticks. The house fills with a heady aroma and the quince slices turn a gorgeous blush colour. If you bake them the liquid reduces to a pink spicy syrup which is a perfect topping for vanilla ice cream. If you happen to find quince for sale next fall I'd encourage you to try this out (David Lebovitz has a good recipe on his site) & see what you think. It's not to everyone's liking (my resident picky eater thinks the results smell and taste like cough syrup!).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            The quince in the tagine definitely came across more tart than honey-ish; there isn't much sweetness in the recipe. What's interesting is how well the assertive tart flavour works in either a savoury or a sweet dish.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            (The tagine recipe: http://www.taste.com.au/recipes/5829/... )

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: geekmom

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Thank you both for your replies, Herby & Geekmom. The funny thing about the aroma Herby spoke of is I remember my mother putting a quince or two in the linen closet amongst the bed linens, much as we do with lavender. Another thing is that the fruit I originally ate was grown in a mixed border garden along with other fruits, vegetables such as artichokes, and edible flowers so perhaps they were a different variety than those we see in the market. In the Autumn I'll definitely look for quince at one farm we shop at where I feel sure they'll be on offer....

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          3. re: geekmom

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I wouldn't have thought to substitute hard pears on my own. He mentions it as an alternative in the headnote.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I loved the quince, and I love how you describe it's flavor which is spot on. I just didn't love the price.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: JoanN

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I sometimes read the comments on YO's recipes in the Guardian and he is frequently roasted by grumpy readers who can't find the latest "weird" ingredient he's asked them to track down. I have a feeling the suggestion of pears was put in there to ensure that people could at least try the recipe even if they couldn't find the elusive quince.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            2. re: geekmom

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              For what it's worth, I talked to the produce guy at my local upscale market, where I know I've see quince before and he said they never got it in this year as they usually do, so perhaps a bad year for quince?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: mebby

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                My friend has a quince tree and didn't get a single fruit this year. Too wet. I had the same problem with my pears.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              2. re: geekmom

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Just to note, I saw some "spicy pears in the NJ Chinese supermarket that I shop in $2.99. Couldnt resist.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: jen kalb

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Fresh pears? That was how they were labeled? How did they taste? What Jersey market do you shop at? I sometimes drive to the new H Mart in Edison. Would be interested in knowing of someplace closer to Manhattan.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: JoanN

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    This was at Kam Man on Route 10 - not that close to Manhattan. Like I said, they were labeled spicy pears. I also saw quiinces at Three Guys in Brooklyn a couple of weeks ago - I am a litle skittish since the last I bought there seems a little over the hill - but I am no quince expert..

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              3. re: JoanN

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Wow, when I saw this in the book I immediately thought no, sigh, expensive, won't find, pomegranate, lamb, *quince*. (First of all, for the first several posts discussing quinces I had Persimmons In mind!) But it sounds so worthwhile -- if quinces are between a pear and an apple with a distinct sweet smell -- I'd try this with some really good pears, the meatball version.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: JoanN

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I made this dish yesterday out of the "spicy pears" (quinces I bought a couple weeks ago, chopping up all the quinces for the sauce and poaching the meat as meatballs in it. The meatballs (I used my meat grinder for the lamb meat, onions, ginger and other solid ingredients, also some cilantro stems from a disintegrating bunch) held together very well and were delicious and tender - well flavored, as was the sauce. My husband was impressed with the dish and asked if it was out of "that cookbook". Family and friends are all very high on ottolenghi's dishes. This was fairly quick given the number of incredients and wonderful flavor produced.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: JoanN

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    When I saw this recipe in the book I knew I had to try it. I just love quinces. Now I just have to find some. I saw some a few months ago, but none since.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: rasputina

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      They have a very short season, in Nov-Dec in the northern hemisphere, and once they're gone that's it until next winter. I understand sometimes they are imported from Chile in the spring/summer but you'd have to watch carefully for them.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. Lamb Meatballs with Barberries, Yogurt, and Herbs, page 199.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    The recipe is online here:
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    http://www.guardian.co.uk/lifeandstyl...
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Meatballs are made with ground lamb, onion, parsley, garlic, allspice, cinnamon, barberries, and an egg. They are browned, then braised in wine and stock atop a bed of shallots and figs. They are served with yogurt and fresh mint, cilantro, tarragon, and dill. With herbs indeed. I weighed the herbs to the precise amount, and it looked like someone trimmed their yard onto the plate! Lovely flavors though.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    My meatball mixture was a little mushy, and the balls really wanted to be patties. I know eggplant is bigger here, I wonder now if eggs are also. So they didn't hold together that well during the long stovetop braise. But they tasted fine. I loved the tart barberries with the lamb.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    9 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: L.Nightshade

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Wow - that looks gorgeous, what a perfect plate for this dish! Do you think this could work with ground beef instead of lamb?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: L.Nightshade

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Loved the review, especially the part about the yard trimmings on your plate!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: L.Nightshade

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Yes, it's rather amazing how 25g of parsley, or whatever - which doesn't sound like much - turns out to be the whole bunch.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: L.Nightshade

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            LN, stunning photo, on the perfect plate! Question for you: I have two meatball recipes which like these contain no breadcrumbs and they both tend to have a rubbery texture although I love the flavor. Did you find that to be an issue with these?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: GretchenS

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Thanks all, for your kind words!
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              geekmom - I think this dish could be done with beef, but to me, the fruity flavors of the figs and barberries wouldn't work as well. That's just my personal taste. I'd probably try it with ground turkey before doing it with beef.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              GretchenS - Once I assembled all of my ingredients, I thought I forgot to buy bread. But indeed, the recipe does not call for any. The meatballs were certainly not rubbery; they were very soft, a bit too soft actually.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              We had the leftover meatballs for dinner the next evening, reheated and stuffed into pita bread. Very good!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: L.Nightshade

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I am by no means a meatball expert but I grew up on my mother's which did not include breadcrumbs, and they weren't chewy or rubbery. My primary experience with rubber meatballs is in Asian cuisines where the mince is often extremely fine and very aggressively worked, this seems to change the texture of the meatballs and typically makes them a bit spongier, which I believe is often what is called for in certain Asian preparations.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I made little pork meatballs for an Szenchuan soup I was serving the other day and the recipe actually called for 3 minutes of aggressive hand whisking (odd I know) after the ingredients had already been mixed. The result was more of a meat paste (cooked into a ball in boiling water) than a traditional non asian meatball.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Sorry for the diatribe, but given the extensive meatball, kebab, and patty recipes in the book I thought it might be of interest.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Cheers

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: delys77

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Not a diatribe at all, very interesting. I make some Asian meatballs that have no crumbs but do have finely chopped mushrooms which absorb moisture and they are wonderfully tender. My two Indian meatball recipes have just onions and spices and although I love them they don't have an ideal texture. Maybe I will try working them agressively next time. There are some Middle Eastern recipes (Claudia Roden comes to mind) which have you knead the ground meat for kebabs for several minutes until it gets pasty and they are certainly very tender so I think you are onto something.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            2. re: L.Nightshade

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              All the pictures coming from this book are especially gorgeous this month! An inspiring book.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              (I wish my lawn looked so good, LNightshade.)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: L.Nightshade

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Lamb Meatballs with Barberries, Yogurt, and Herbs

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I was unsure about this as I was worried it would be too sweet. it was sweet due to the figs but i thought the barberries balanced it out nicely. I finished mine in the oven, which perhaps helped the meatballs keep their shape as the simmer was very gentle. I didn't serve it with the yoghurt and didn't miss this. again, leftovers were good.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                the picture is pre-cooking through in the oven.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              2. Stuffed potatoes p. 168
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                This is ground beef, seasoned and stuffed into peeled raw potatoes that have been hollowed out. Cooked (for "at least 1 hour" in a tomato sauce. Not bad, but not exciting to us.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                The sauce is loaded -- carrot, celery, garlic, onion, red chile, cumin, allspice, both sweet and smoked paprika, tamarind paste, crushed caraway seed, sugar, and of course tomatoes. Phew! I had everything but the caraway, and cooked this sauce as directed.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                The meat mix is beef with breadcrumbs, egg, onion, garlic, parsley, thyme, cinnamon. I think too much thyme and cinnamon, to my taste. Salt and pepper too. Peeled and hollowed the potatoes (I used waxy white ones, not Yukon Golds.)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                The spuds are stuffed and placed in the sauce -- water is added to almost cover, and cooked (with a lid) until the potatoes are soft and the meat mixture cooked through.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                The sauce thickens, of course, and you've got a hearty and savory meal. It's too bad that the beef doesn't brown -- small point I guess.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Served with plain baked butternut squash.