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

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Stuffed 150 - 171
Meat 172 - 213
Fish 214 - 239

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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: 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.

                                                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                                  29 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.

                                                                                                                                                                    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.

                                                                                                                                                                      2. re: Breadcrumbs

                                                                                                                                                                        Imade these last night for a holiday meal and they were delicious - just a single comment on technique - arter the turkey and other indgredients were mixed it it was evident that I would not be able to form these into balls or patties; I simply spooned the ximsture into the hot fat using a tablespoon and pushed it a little together if needed. It cooked up fine and was very tender and moist - I would recommend this over adding breadcrumbs which would coarsen the texture and make for a dryer dish.

                                                                                                                                                                        There was delicious browning going on in the fryimg pan - I would not skip the frying step or stint on the frying fat.

                                                                                                                                                                      3. 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.