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Anyone have Ottolenghi's Jerusalem? Recap

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Joined: Jan 11, 2007


Posted to Thread #25880 at 8:19 pm on Apr 7, 2014

My cooking group covered Jerusalem this weekend and wow! It's quickly become a favorite. Menu and my notes to follow:

The final menu (potluck):

- Harissa The recipe called for a long red chile which I assumed was fresh and spicy. I was unable to find it, but referencing a harissa recipe on the New York Times website, I substituted dried New Mexican chiles. Soaked and pureed in the blender, they worked great. I made no other substitutions to compensate for the change. This is my new favorite condiment.

- Basic Hummus I made this recipe because theres an interesting technique twist. Soaked garbanzo beans are dry fried with baking soda. This is supposed to loosen the skins, which will float to the surface when you boil the chickpeas. My chickpeas were older and this didnt happen, but it made a creamy hummus anyway and was very well received. (I recently switched my tahini brand to Costas and feel that makes a big difference in the flavor. The former brand I bought had a bitter element to it and I just assumed that was a characteristic of tahini until I read an article by Ruth Reichl. She suggested to switch your tahini brand. I did, and never went back.)

- Pureed Beets with Yogurt and Za'atar Beet lovers loved this. I liked the substantial puree, but next time, Id like to chop the beets, then toss it in the same sauce. I think I prefer pieces of beet rather than the puree. The flavor profile, however, is terrific.

- Pistachio Soup Lots of layers of flavor in this soup. Really enjoyed it. Another person in our group has made the same soup with blanched almonds and enjoyed it that way too.

- Baby Spinach Salad with Dates and Almonds Would like to try this salad again. I wanted to like it but thought it got drowned out in the other bold flavors on the table.

- Roasted Cauliflower and Hazelnut Salad I enjoyed this far more than I thought I would. The woman who brought it was able to find whole pomegranate seeds frozen at Metropolitan Market (gourmet grocery store). This is an excellent tip for making dishes beyond pomegranate season. I would have never looked in the freezer section.

- Herb Pie I wanted to like this more than I did. I thought it needed more salt and with so many flavors going on, none really stood out. I think Id like it on its own, but it got lost in the other dishes.

- Braised Eggs with Lamb, Tahini, & Sumac This was delicious (its photographed on the cover of the book.) I thought the sauce was a definite compliment. Tomatoes are roasted separately and tossed on top. Ill be making this again, for sure. Vivid flavors.

- Marinated Sweet & Sour Fish I liked this dish but Im not sure Id make it again.

- Turkey & Zucchini Burgers with Green Onion & Cumin Loved these and will make them often. I was surprised how juicy the meat was (I bought ground turkey at Trader Joes). Its served with a Sour Cream & Sumac sauce that could easily stand on its own. I shared with a co-worker who raved, and thought it would make an amazing chip/vegetable dip. Agreed.

- Lamb Shawarma To die for! This will be the first dish I make again. So delicious! Who knew lamb could be so good?

- Roasted Chicken with Clementine and Arak This dish is a hit and a Google search will confirm the legions of fans. Tracy made this dish and was unable to find the Arak. She substituted an anis liqueur.

- Mejadra with Yogurt and Cucumbers Ive tried Mejadra now twice and have been underwhelmed both times. I can safely say, its not a favorite. The yogurt and cucumber sauce was really good.

- Basmati and Wild Rice with Chickpeas, Currants and Herbs I really liked this. It has curry in it, and is a substantial side dish with vivid flavors.

- Chocolate Krantz Cakes Holy hell! This was amazing. Will be making this again soon! One of the best recipes in the book, in my opinion.

You can't do anything about the length of your life, but you can do
something about its depth. - M

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