Hello Summer. How I love you. How I am delighted to meet you again after you have been away for a year. How I have plans for us. Big plans. Most of them involve books and napping, but still big plans. Some of my plans also include cooking. So much cooking. Stay tuned for pasta dishes, peanut butter shakes, ceviche, pastry cream. It looks like's going to have fun together, Summer.
One of my first plans was to make Yotam Ottolenghi's Lamb Shawarma. Shawarma is the Arabic fast food of choice that is closely related to the Greek gyro, the Turkish doner kebab, and the Armenian tarna. It is also big on heavenly goodness and is brought to you from Jerusalem via London from the dear, sweet, culinary mind of Ottolenghi. What a good man.
From the Turkish word çevirme, which means turning, shawarma can be made from chicken, veal, goat, lamb, even fish. We're going to focus on the lamb--which Ottolenghi ensures will get us as close to authentic shawarma witho…
Risotto is such a delightful dish. Comforting, creamy, simple, stable.
And I amahugefan.
As in, I will make me a risotto any chance I get, with any sort of ingredient you can imagine. It doesn't matter--any season.
Spring--lemon and peas;
Summer--tomato and parmesan;
Winter--butternut squash and pancetta.
If it's in your fridge, you can put it in this Northern Italian rice dish.
However, you will want a very specific kind of rice--a high starch, medium- or short-grain rice--in order separate this delicacy from any other rice dish. The high starch means that as you cook it, it releases its starch, making that requisite creamy smoothness to risotto.
The most popular risotto rice in the United States is, hands down, Arborio rice. This short-grained rice isn't as starchy as some of its popular Italian counterparts, but it is the most easily procured. However, a great article from Fine Cooking that details other risotto rices that are becoming more readi…
Oh, what a sauce this is. What a glorious, glorious sauce.
And it comes from our new Jerusalem cookbook, from one of this blog's favorite chefs and current culinary darling, Yotam Ottolenghi. I need not detail that this blog has featured recipes from Ottolenghihere and here and here and here, but I will anyway because, whoo boy, I love these recipes.
This sauce comes from the Sephardic Jews, who resided on the Iberian peninsula until the Spanish Inquisition. After their expulsion from Spain in 1492, many Sephardic Jews were folded into the Mizrahi communities in Northern Africa and the Middle East. Such intermingling of people and cultures has produced some culinary superstars; this being no exception. Indeed, you can taste the Spanish, Moroccan, and Libyan influence on this sauce.
Sephardim pride themselves on their chraimeh recipes, and often serve them at Rosh Hashanah and Passover celebrations (whereas Ashkenazim might serve gefilte fish). The husband father's f…
In this Cook Your Books series, I had chosen 15 books to read in 2018 based on somewhat arbitrarily chosen categories; I failed. I failed not to read (I read a ton), but I failed to blog. So I reignited the quest in 2019. My theory (bogus it might turn out to be) is that all 15 of these books will somehow connect to food. And I plan to write about that food. It turns out that these entries are a sort of long-form blog-post. So settle in. This first for 2019 installment is a novel about anxiety.
About a year ago, I sat around the dinner table with part of my family and I asked for four recommendations for book categories, and this (a book about anxiety) was one of them. And I have to tell you, outside of non-fiction, this was a tough one. A lot of fiction may include anxious characters, but not many where the anxiety rides front and center, but John Green's young adult novel, Turtles all the Way Down, does just that.
In a nutshell, the premise to this book is that Aza Holmes, a 16-…
Can we talk about shrubs for a little while? No, not the vegetation in your front yard. I want to talk about drinking vinegars. Wait. Don't go. They're really quite good. So, March was Shrubs month over at the Food in Jars Mastery Challenge. And due to our move across town(s), I have been a bit behind on posting. However, I want to be very clear--these shrubs quenched a good deal of thirst this spring, as I packed boxes, threw out clothes, and cursed the sheer amount of books I have accumulated in my 20-year teaching career. (Seriously, how many copies of Heart of Darkness does a person need...? Don't answer that.) Shrubs have been a fixture in our home these past two months.
A shrub is an old-fashioned drink that is making a heady comeback, in part because of mustachioed barkeeps who are looking for new (old) things to stir into their fancy drinks. Lucky for all of us. Shrubs originated as a frugal way to ensure you didn't have to throw out your turned wine or as a wa…