Choosing a recipe can sometimes feel like putting together a baseball team. It is the home chef as general manager.
In each field, the objective is the same — to please the folks at home by offering them a winning dish while remaining within the allotted budget. The objective is straightforward. As is the theory behind it: acquire the best ingredients, assemble, and serve warm.
But this process is never as straight forward as it seems. Expensive ingredients, like high-priced free agents, may Continue reading
Try as I might, I’m slow in the kitchen. For me, prep times are not so much the letter of the law, as they are guidelines, or helpful recommendations. A ten-minute prep time is, before I know it, the better part of a half-hour. Where the prep time is an hour or more, I remember to set aside my morning or afternoon.
For that reason, I’m always looking for a quicker way of doing things. A way to save time without necessarily cutting corners or sacrificing in taste or flavor. But sometimes, the slow way is the only way.
The first time I made this hummus, I cooked the garbanzo beans for over an hour, before processing them. And the hummus was fantastic! The second time around, I decided to see if I couldn’t save myself 90 minutes of cooking. I could not. The uncooked garbanzo beans produced a hummus with a granular and fibrous taste. It was not to be. Sometimes, it seems, the slow way Continue reading
Making the perfect couscous is kind of like doing laundry. It requires washing, drying, steaming, and sorting. Just boiling a pot of water is not going to cut it. The same way wrinkled sweat pants don’t quite compare with creased slacks, instant couscous has nothing on old-fashioned Moroccan-style couscous.
And just as dressing well takes effort, so does making the perfect couscous. But if you have the time, it is well worth the effort. You will need Continue reading
Not every couscous recipe has to be served with dinner. Seffa, a couscous sweetened with cinnamon, sugar, and rosewater, is one of the more common couscous-based desserts. This recipe Continue reading
Couscous is not a grain, as you might think, but a semolina paste. In fact, couscous is made from the same wheat semolina flour used to make commercial spaghetti.
Couscous originated in the Maghreb, today’s North Africa, and owes its origins to the Berbers, an indigenous people of the region. The Saracen conquest of Europe in the 7th and 8th Centuries is believed to have introduced the dish to the Western world.
Owing to its origins, couscous is often served Continue reading
As near-eastern dishes go, baba ghanoush is the quiet sibling to the more popular hummus. Both recipes revolve around a similar mix of ingredients, and both dishes are all-but ubiquitous in your pita-bread establishments. And yet, for whatever reason, hummus always seems to get top-billing. It practically co-starred with Adam Sandler in You Don’t Mess with the Zohan.
It needn’t be this way any longer.
I prefer grilling the eggplants, Continue reading