As I noted last post, I have been on a Jerusalem kick. The flavors and ingredients of the Near East are exotic, yet delightful, offering a welcome change from some of the normal mid-week meals. One such ingredient is tahini, a ground sesame paste, that is central to hummus, halvah, and other staples of middle eastern cuisine. Another ingredient is bulgur, which is a critical component of kibbeh (a stuffed meatball) and tabbouleh.
In one recent dinner, a layered kibbeh pie, we had a mix of bulgur and tahini (along with ground beef, pine nuts, and plenty of chopped parsley). Speaking of chopped parsley, tabbouleh can properly be seen as a vehicle for parsley and more parsley. It is a parsley-heavy salad. But it is also a cool Continue reading
I have been really enjoying Yotam Ottolenghi’s Jerusalem of late. The book features recipes from the Israeli and Arab cultures of the region, with many vegetarian recipes highlighted. Chickpeas, eggplants, and tahini are, predictably, staples of many of the items found in the book. Many of the recipes are straight-forward and come together relatively quickly. All of them have been delicious.
This Wild Rice and Spiced Chickpea Continue reading
I wouldn’t consider myself a stuffing man. It’s not something I usually think to have or make with a meal. And I am definitely not bold enough to try putting the stuffing in any raw bird. That’s just not something I am willing to try.
But this past Thanksgiving (yes, this recipe is looong overdue) I was willing to try a stuffing recipe. And I am glad that I did. This recipe turned out great. It was absolutely delicious and the leftover stuffing was the first of the Thanksgiving leftovers to bite the dust.
We had actually tried to make cute stuffing muffins from this recipe, packing the mixed stuffing into buttered muffin tins. The stuffing cooked fine, but it did not hold together in a muffin shape. Instead, it quickly came apart the minute we removed it from the tins. In the end, it was probably for the best. I liked Continue reading
Picking a recipe is never easy. There are thousands of recipes on any given website and among any collection of cookbooks. And then, when cooking for a crowd, things get only more complicated, as more and more tastes, allergies, and preferences must be accounted for.
Among the vast collections of recipes, this one stood out almost immediately. I love a good homemade crust. Caitlin loves a good gourd. The addition of fresh rosemary (from our own herb garden out back) was an additional selling point. Beyond those considerations, Continue reading
We are now in the second year of our CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) from the La Vista farm in Godfrey, Illinois. Every other week, we pick up our bounty of fresh vegetables and herbs. In recent weeks, we have been enjoying La Vista’s tomatoes, okra, summer squash, basil, and other similar items from our farm basket. We have also supplemented from our herb garden, replete with rosemary, thyme, and dill, giving us the full array of summer flavors.
This recipe comes together Continue reading
I am not a huge meat-eater, and red meat is particularly rare. Though I still do enjoy the occasional burger and roasted chicken. Caitlin is almost exclusively vegetarian. So the hunt is often on for a new twist on vegetarian cooking.
I came across this recipe while flipping through our copy of the Vegetarian Times (that, by the way, is not a sentence we’re likely to hear around town). The potato chips offer a fun and crunchy twist on the standard stuff vegetable recipe.
With our CSA in full swing, these zucchini boats Continue reading
I had never heard of 00 flour when I first bought it. My regular grocery store had never heard of it. Even Whole Foods seemed unfamiliar with it.
Finally, after searching The Hill, Saint Louis’s Italian neighborhood, I found a grocer who carried this Italian flour. Having tried it, I’m glad I did; it makes an extraordinary pizza crust.
As Saveur notes, 00 flour is ideal for pizza crust because it is finely ground and because it has a lower gluten content than other flours. In Italy, flour is graded from 1 to 0 to 00, with 1 describing a rough grind and 00 describing the finest grind.
Gluten is the natural protein that remains when starch is removed from wheat grains. It creates the elasticity you feel when biting Continue reading