Showing posts with label Yotam Ottolenghi. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Yotam Ottolenghi. Show all posts

Sunday, April 7, 2019

Ottolenghi's Cauliflower Soup with Mustard Croutons for Souper (Soup, Salad & Sammie) Sundays

I had a big head of cauliflower in the fridge that I hadn't gotten around to using this week so I knew it was destined for the soup pot. I googled cauliflower, soup and Yotam Ottolengi and found this recipe for Cauliflower Soup with Mustard Croutons online at his website. Like many Ottolenghi recipes, there are plenty of ingredients, but they are simple ones, and the soup is easy to put together.


Ottolenghi says, “These mustard croutons, adapted from those in Suzanne Goin's inspiring book Sunday Suppers At Lucques (Alfred Knopf, 2005), are a brilliant thing to have to hand and to sprinkle over gratins and salads. If you'd rather not make them, you'll need something else to perk up the soup: a teaspoon of rose harissa or some other savoury chilli sauce, swirled into each bowl before serving, would do the job perfectly well.


Cauliflower Soup with Mustard Croutons
(Serves 6)

2 Tbsp olive oil
10g (.35 oz) unsalted butter
5g (.18 oz) thyme sprigs
20g (.8 oz) parsley
Shaved skin of 1 lemon, plus grated zest of 1/2 lemon
1 large onion, peeled and thinly sliced
2 large celery sticks, cut into 3cm pieces
2 bay leaves
1 tsp caraway seeds
salt and white pepper
1 large cauliflower, broken into small florets
1 large potato, peeled and cut into 2cm dice
1.4 litres (about 6 cups) vegetable stock (or chicken stock for non-vegetarians)
2 Tbsp chopped chives

For the mustard croutons:
90g (3 oz) unsalted butter
3 Tbsp Dijon mustard
3 tsp picked thyme leaves
3 tsp finely chopped parsley
150g (5 oz) crustless ciabatta, torn into 1cm pieces (I used sourdough)

First make the croutons. Heat the oven to 180C/350F/gas mark 4. Put the butter in a medium saucepan on a medium heat. When it starts to foam, whisk in the mustard, herbs and a quarter-teaspoon of salt, take off the heat, leave for a couple of minutes to cool slightly, then stir in the ciabatta. Spread out on a parchment-lined baking tray and bake for 12-15 minutes, until crisp. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool. (Any you don't use for this dish, store in an airtight container.)

For the soup, put the oil and butter in a large saucepan on medium heat. Tie together the thyme, parsley and lemon skin (or put them in a tied-up muslin), and add to the pan with the onion, celery, bay leaves, caraway seeds, three-quarters of a teaspoon of salt and a quarter-teaspoon of white pepper. Cook for eight to 10 minutes, stirring often, until the onion is soft but has not taken on any colour. Add the cauliflower, potato and stock, bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer and cook for eight minutes, until the vegetables are cooked but still have some bite.

Use a slotted spoon to lift a third of the cauliflower out of the pan – avoid removing any potato – and set aside. Let everything simmer away for another five minutes, then remove the herb bundle and the bay leaves. Using a hand-held blender, or in a food processor, blitz the soup until smooth, return to the pan and add the reserved cauliflower pieces. Stir in the grated lemon zest and chives, and serve, sprinkling the croutons on top at the last minute.



Notes/Results: The mustard croutons are definitely the highlight of this simple soup--although the sou itself has good flavor from the herbs, lemon and caraway. I like that the soup isn't too thick and has a creamy texture and the bites of cauliflower florets, then the crispy croutons on top. It goes together easily--I started my soup while making my croutons, so it all came together relatively quickly. I would happily make it again. 


Linking up to I Heart Cooking Clubs where we are saying Welcome Back! to all of our nineteen IHCC featured chefs. Come join us!


And we have Tina hanging out with me in the Souper Sundays kitchen...
 

Tina of Squirrel Head Manor shared this Broccoli, Potato and Spinach Creamy Soup and said, "Anyway......I was fortunate enough to receive a cool new eBook called Soups and Stews recently and wanted to share one result for Souper Sunday. There will be more coming up. Here is the first recipe - a healthy broccoli potato and spinach soup.  Very creamy! ... This recipe comes from a new book Soups and Stews by the author Emily Brown. I will add more recipes and do a review soon."


Thanks to Tina for joining in!

About Souper Sundays:

Souper Sundays (going since 2008) now has a format of a picture link each week where anyone interested can post their soups, salads, or sandwiches at any time during the week and I post a recap of the entries the following week.

(If you aren't familiar with Souper Sundays, you can read about of the origins of it here.
 
If you would like to join in Souper (Soup, Salad, and Sammie) Sundays, I would love to have you! Here's how...

 
To join in this week's Souper Sunday's linkup with your soup, salad or sandwich:
  • Link up your soup (stew, chili, soupy curries, etc. are fine), salad, or sandwich dish, (preferably one from the current week or month--but we'll take older posts too) on the picture link below and leave a comment on this post so I am sure not to miss you. Also please see below for what to do on your blog post that you link up to Souper Sundays in order to be included in the weekly round-up.
and 

On your entry post (on your blog):
  • Mention Souper (Soup, Salad & Sammies) Sundays at Kahakai Kitchen and link back to this post. (Not to be a pain but it's polite and only fair to link back to events you link up at--so if you link a post up here without linking back to it on your post, it will be removed.)
  • You are welcome to add the Souper Sundays logo to your post and/or blog (completely optional).
You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!
Click here to enter
Have a happy, healthy week!
 

Sunday, March 3, 2019

Ottolenghi's Sour Lentil Soup (Adas Bil Hamoud) for Souper (Soup, Salad & Sammie) Sundays

On the hunt for a good, nourishing soup to help with a lingering cough and a newer sore throat and cold this weekend, I found Yotam Ottolenghi's Adas Bil Hamoud or Sour Lentil Soup. It looked simple to make and Ottolenghi is a master of flavors, plus lentils, potatoes, garlic and lemon are always favorite ingredients of mine.


Ottolenghi says, "Versions of this soup, in which lemon is king, are found all over the Arab world. Mine is ever-changing, depending on what kind of stock I have in my freezer, or herbs in my fridge, so feel free to play around with the ingredients as you see fit. I like my soup super lemony, but adjust this to your taste, too. If using vegetable stock, consider adding a couple of teaspoons of miso paste to enrich the broth"


Adas Bil Hamoud (Sour Lentil Soup)
Slightly Adapted from Yotam Ottolenghi via TheGuardian.com
(Serves 4-6)

200 g (7 oz) Brown or green lentils
110 ml (3 oz) olive oil 
2 large onions, peeled and finely chopped
5 cloves garlic, crushed
1 12 Tbsp cumin seeds (I used black cumin seed)
3 lemons, finely shave the skin off one into 5 strips, juice all three to get 75 ml (1/3 cup)
salt and black pepper to taste
3 firm, waxy potatoes (I used Yukon Gold), peeled and chopped into 4 cm pieces (about 650-700g or 2.5-3 lbs weight)
400 g (1 bunch) Swiss or rainbow chard, leaves and stalks separated and coarsely chopped
1 litre (1 quart) vegetable stock (I used 2 quarts water with vegetarian non-chicken broth paste)
1 1/2 Tbsp coriander leaves, finely chopped
2 spring onions, chopped at an angle

Put the lentils in a medium saucepan, cover with plenty of cold, lightly salted water and bring to a boil. Turn down the heat to medium and simmer for 20-25 minutes, until the lentils are nearly cooked but still retain a bite, then drain.

While the lentils are cooking, put 80ml oil in a large, heavy-based pot for which you have a lid, and put on a medium heat. Once hot, add the onions, garlic, cumin, lemon skin, two and a quarter teaspoons of salt and plenty of pepper. Cook for about 15 minutes, stirring often, until very soft and golden. Stir in the potatoes, lentils and chard stalks, pour in the stock and 800ml water, bring to a gentle simmer, then cover and leave to cook for 20 minutes, or until the potato is soft but still holds its shape.

Turn off the heat, stir in the lemon juice and chard leaves, and leave to cook in the residual heat for two or three minutes, until wilted. Divide between four bowls, drizzle over the remaining two tablespoons of oil, garnish with the coriander and spring onion, and serve hot.

Notes/Results: I really like this soup. The lemon (my three lemons gave me closer to 1/2 cup of juice and I used it all.) brightens up the lentils and chard, and the potatoes give it a stew-like feel. It also made me realize that I need to cook more Swiss Chard--the stems are like flavorful celery and the leaves are not as bitter as some other greens. I did almost double the broth in this one as the lentils will soak it up as it sits. I served the soup with rice, but it is hearty enough to enjoy on its own. I would happily make it again. 


Linking up to I Heart Cooking Clubs where it is Potluck week--any recipe from any of our IHCC chefs.

And for Souper Sundays...


Elizabeth of Literature and Limes shared Crock Pot Beef Stew inspired by a recent read Educated by Tara Westover and said, "I decided to make a slow-cooked stew for this book. After the death of Tara’s paternal grandmother, Tara’s mom comes home to make stew for the family. The stew just has this homey feeling, which I feel like was likely a lot of what Tara had to eat growing up – homey food."


Here at Kahakai Kitchen, I made a book-inspired Avocado Caprese Salad that was a tasty weeknight meal with the fresh mozzarella, grape tomatoes, fresh basil and avocado. I am lucky enough to get these ingredients year-round, if you aren't , definitely make this dish in the summer. I will be making it again and again. 


Thanks to Elizabeth for joining me this week!  

About Souper Sundays:

Souper Sundays (going since 2008) now has a format of a picture link each week where anyone interested can post their soups, salads, or sandwiches at any time during the week and I post a recap of the entries the following week.

(If you aren't familiar with Souper Sundays, you can read about of the origins of it here.
 
If you would like to join in Souper (Soup, Salad, and Sammie) Sundays, I would love to have you! Here's how...


To join in this week's Souper Sunday's linkup with your soup, salad or sandwich:
  • Link up your soup (stew, chili, soupy curries, etc. are fine), salad, or sandwich dish, (preferably one from the current week or month--but we'll take older posts too) on the picture link below and leave a comment on this post so I am sure not to miss you. Also please see below for what to do on your blog post that you link up to Souper Sundays in order to be included in the weekly round-up.
and 

On your entry post (on your blog):
  • Mention Souper (Soup, Salad & Sammies) Sundays at Kahakai Kitchen and link back to this post. (Not to be a pain but it's polite and only fair to link back to events you link up at--so if you link a post up here without linking back to it on your post, it will be removed.)
  • You are welcome to add the Souper Sundays logo to your post and/or blog (completely optional).



Have a happy, healthy week!
 

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

The Book Tour Stops Here: A Review of "I'll Have What She's Having" by Erin Carlson, Served up with Tiramisu Cream Clouds (And a Book Giveaway!)

Happy Tuesday! I am a sucker for a good romantic comedy and three favorite films on my Top Ten Romcom List are Sleepless in Seattle, You've Got Mail, and When Harry Met Sally. All are Nora Ephron films, so I am beyond excited and happy to be a stop on the TLC Book Tour for "I'll Have What She's Having: How Nora Ephron's Three Iconic Films Saved the Romantic Comedy by Erin Carlson. (It publishes today!) Along with my review, I have a recipe for some Sleepless in Seattle-inspired Tiramisu Cream Clouds and if that isn't sweet enough, there's a giveaway for a chance to win a copy of the book at the bottom of the post. 


Publisher's Blurb:

A backstage look at the making of Nora Ephron’s revered trilogy–When Harry Met Sally, You’ve Got Mail, and Sleepless in Seattle–which brought romantic comedies back to the fore, and an intimate portrait of the beloved writer/director who inspired a generation of Hollywood women, from Mindy Kaling to Lena Dunham.

In I’ll Have What She’s Having entertainment journalist Erin Carlson tells the story of the real Nora Ephron and how she reinvented the romcom through her trio of instant classics. With a cast of famous faces including Reiner, Hanks, Ryan, and Crystal, Carlson takes readers on a rollicking, revelatory trip to Ephron’s New York City, where reality took a backseat to romance and Ephron–who always knew what she wanted and how she wanted it–ruled the set with an attention to detail that made her actors feel safe but sometimes exasperated crew members.

Along the way, Carlson examines how Ephron explored in the cinema answers to the questions that plagued her own romantic life and how she regained faith in love after one broken engagement and two failed marriages. Carlson also explores countless other questions Ephron’s fans have wondered about: What sparked Reiner to snap out of his bachelor blues during the making of When Harry Met Sally? Why was Ryan, a gifted comedian trapped in the body of a fairytale princess, not the first choice for the role? 

After she and Hanks each separately balked at playing Mail’s Kathleen Kelly and Sleepless‘ Sam Baldwin, what changed their minds? And perhaps most importantly: What was Dave Chappelle doing … in a turtleneck? An intimate portrait of a one of America’s most iconic filmmakers and a look behind the scenes of her crowning achievements, I’ll Have What She’s Having is a vivid account of the days and nights when Ephron, along with assorted cynical collaborators, learned to show her heart on the screen.

Hardcover: 352 pages
Publisher: Hachette Books (August 29, 2017)

My Review:

As mentioned in the intro, I love the three movies this book is focused on, romcoms, and movies in general. I am also an entertainment trivia junkie. It's not so much the gossip that I am interested in, it's more the behind-the-scenes glimpses of my favorite movies and television shows, such as who were the top contenders for the roles, how did lines end up in making it in, what scenes were cut and why, and who got along and who didn't. (OK, maybe there is a little bit of gossip girl in me!) I was convinced from the description that I would enjoy this book and it didn't disappoint me at all. 

Erin Carlson is an entertainment journalist and she writes in an engaging way that made me feel like I was on each set, watching the films being made. She gives us the background of Nora Ephron--interesting in its own right. Besides being a fan of her movies, I enjoy Ephron's writing having read Heartburn a few years ago and delving into I Feel Bad About My Neck more recently--so although I knew something about her background, it was interesting to learn more. But, at the end of the day, I was in it for the movies and there are plenty of interesting facts, details, and juicy bits to enjoy. I wanted to re-watch the three films as I read about them, but time was tight for me this month and I only managed You've Got Mail last weekend. It was fun to watch and look through the different scenes with this book in hand and I intend to repeat it with Sleepless in Seattle and When Harry Met Sally very soon. 

I think anyone who loves movies, especially romantic comedies, and who admires and appreciates the amazing talent that Nora Ephron was, couldn't help but enjoy this book. It's a tribute to Ephron, but it doesn't sugar-coat her cynical and sometimes difficult sides, or those of the actors and other notables that she chose to work with. The details and trivia are absorbing and entertaining and it's a fun and fascinating read--one of my favorites for August. If you'd like a chance to win a copy for yourself, don't forget to enter the Rafflecopter giveaway (open to U.S. and Canada readers of this blog) at the end of this post.

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Author Notes: Erin Carlson has covered the entertainment industry for The Hollywood Reporter and AP. Her work has appeared in Glamour, Fortune, and the LA Times. She compiled and wrote an oral history of You’ve Got Mail for Vanity Fair. She holds a masters in magazine journalism from Northwestern, and has been profiled in the New York Times.
 
Follow Erin on Twitter.

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Food Inspiration:

There were several food mentions scattered throughout the book--mostly from the movies and the movie sets, although I was pretty clear from the start that I would have to make something tiramisu-related from the well-known scene in Sleepless in Seattle where Sam (Tom Hanks) wants to know what tiramisu is from his friend Jay (Rob Reiner):

Jay: "Tiramisu," 
Sam: "What is 'tiramisu'?"
Jay: "You'll find out."
Sam: "Well, what is it?"
Jay: "You'll see!"
Sam: "Some woman is gonna want me to do it to her and I'm not gonna know what it is!"
Jay: "You'll love it!"


The book says, "Sleepless is the second in a trilogy of Ephron-scripted romantic comedies that combined old-fashioned romance with hilarious truths about contemporary relationships (one word: tiramisu) to shape ideas and expectations about love, however pie-in-the-sky."


So I have made Tiramisu before--both before the blog and once for it--Donna Hay's Deconstructed Tiramisu--which I love because honestly, I don't like the cookies or cake soaked with the coffee liqueur all that much. I find them a bit soggy--plus the lady finger biscuits can be both difficult to find and expensive. 

 
What I do really like is puffy clouds of mousse-like desserts and one of my favorites puffs of creamy mascarpone goodness is in Yotam Ottolenghi's Fruit Cream Crumble

 
I decided to take his mix of mascarpone, whipped cream and Greek yogurt and flavor it with dark coffee and coffee liqueur and layer it with chocolate shavings and make a pillowy tiramisu-flavored dessert--these Tiramisu Cream Clouds.


Tiramisu Cream Clouds
By Deb, Kahakai Kitchen, Inspired by Yotam Ottolenghi's Fruit Crumble Cream
(Serves 4)

1  cup / heavy cream
1/2 cup thick plain Greek yogurt
1/2 cup mascarpone cheese (or substitute cream cheese)
1/4 cup strong black coffee or espresso (I used Starbucks Via Italian--one pack with 1/4 cup hot water
1 oz coffee liqueur 
2 Tbsp super-fine sugar, or to taste
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
about 3 oz grated/shaved dark chocolate flakes and/or unsweetened cocoa powder (I used a mix of both in my layers.)

Place all ingredients through vanilla extract in a large mixing bowl and whisk to soft peaks and a pillowy texture (taking care not to over-whip). Allow mixture to chill and firm for an hour or so before assembling.

To assemble: spoon a layer of the cream into each of four dessert cups or glasses and sprinkle lightly with the grated dark chocolate and/or cocoa powder. Repeat layers of cream and chocolate shavings until you reach the top of the glass. Sprinkle a later of the shaved chocolate on top. Chill for at least another hour before serving. 

You can serve with a favorite cookie and extra whip cream if desired. 


Notes/Results: I love coffee, chocolate, coffee liqueur, and anything mousse-like, so this was a winner for me. I purposefully keep it less sweet, but you could adjust it to have more sugar and more or less coffee flavor, depending on what you like. I like the little pop of the coffee liqueur, but you could leave it out if you want an alcohol-free version. It's nice to have something crisp to dunk in the soft pillows of cream, so if you find lady fingers, you can use those, or any crispy cookie you like. I used the Frappuccino cookie straws from Starbucks--the book notes that Starbucks flowed liberally on the Sleepless set and of course you get some glimpses in the movie. I was very happy with this dessert and would make it again.


I'm linking this post up to the Weekend Cooking event at Beth Fish Reads, a weekly event that is open to anyone who has any kind of food-related post to share. For more information, see the welcome post.


Note: A review copy of "I'll Have What She's Having" was provided to me by the author and the publisher via TLC Book Tours. I was not compensated for this review and as always, my thoughts and opinions are my own.

You can see the stops for the rest of this TLC Book Tour and what other reviewers thought about the book here.


***Book Giveaway***
  
The publisher is generously providing a copy of I'll Have What She's Having to give away (U.S. & Canada addresses only, sorry) here at Kahakai Kitchen.

To enter the Rafflecopter Giveaway below, leave a comment (Because I like to read them!) ;-) telling me your favorite romantic comedy and/or why you'd like to win a copy of "I'll Have What She's Having."


There are a couple of other optional ways to get more entries to win: 1) Tweet about this giveaway or 2) follow me on Twitter (@DebinHawaii) and/or Author Erin Carlson (@ErinLCarlson)
(Note: You can still get extra entries even if you already follow me and the author on Twitter.)

Deadline for entry is midnight (EST) on Friday, Sept. 8th.

 
a Rafflecopter giveaway
Good Luck! 
 

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

The Book Tour Stops Here: A review of "My Sister's Bones" by Nuala Ellwood, Served with a Recipe for Muhammara (Spicy Red Pepper Dip)

Today I'm happy to be on the TLC Book Tour for My Sister's Bones, a compelling and suspenseful psychological thriller by Nuala Ellwood. I love a good thriller and this one hits all my buttons. Along with my review, I am serving it up with a recipe inspired by my reading: Muhammara, a spicy red pepper dip that originated in Aleppo, Syria. 


Publisher's Blurb:

In the vein of Fiona Barton’s The Widow and Renée Knight’s Disclaimer, a psychological thriller about a war reporter who returns to her childhood home after her mother’s death but becomes convinced that all is not well in the house next door—but is what she’s seeing real or a symptom of the trauma she suffered in Syria?

The One Person You Should Trust Is Lying to You…

Kate has spent fifteen years bringing global injustice home: as a decorated war reporter, she’s always in a place of conflict, writing about ordinary people in unimaginable situations. When her mother dies, Kate returns home from Syria for the funeral. But an incident with a young Syrian boy haunts her dreams, and when Kate sees a boy in the garden of the house next door—a house inhabited by an Iraqi refugee who claims her husband is away and she has no children—Kate becomes convinced that something is very wrong.

As she struggles to separate her memories of Syria from the quiet town in which she grew up—and also to reconcile her memories of a traumatic childhood with her sister’s insistence that all was not as Kate remembers—she begins to wonder what is actually true…and what is just in her mind.

In this gripping, timely debut, Nuala Ellwood brings us an unforgettable damaged character, a haunting , humanizing look at the Syrian conflict, and a deeply harrowing psychological thriller that readers won’t be able to put down.

Paperback: 416 pages
Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks (July 11, 2017)

My Review:

The unreliable female narrator is a common thing in novels the last few years and some books do it much better than others; My Sister's Bones is one of those books. Kate Rafter has been a decorated journalist and war reporter for the past fifteen years, covering war-torn Syria and suffering from PSTD from an incident involving a Syrian boy, that we slowly learn more about throughout the book. She has come home to Herne Bay, a seaside town in Kent, England to finalize her mother's affairs after her death. Kate was not informed in time to make the funeral, something she blames on her estranged and alcoholic sister, Sally. While staying at her mother's house, Kate hears and sees a little boy in the yard of the house next door who looks like he is in trouble or being abused. The woman next door, an refugee from Iraq, says she has no children and no one, especially the police, and since Kate has hallucinations and flashbacks, we are not sure if we believe her--in fact she doubts herself. 

I really enjoyed this book--the pacing and twists and turns. I had my suspicions of some of what was happening midway through but the author had me guessing my theories all the way along and there were still surprises at the end. Kate was great character, flawed for sure but someone to root for even with her issues. In addition to the psychological scars from her work, Kate had a rough childhood with an alcoholic and abusive father. It is their childhood that initially drew Kate and Sally apart as they each had different relationships and experiences with their father and mother. Sally is a tough character to like, her alcoholism has cost her in many ways, not the least, her relationship with her teenage daughter, who left home and is out of contact with her. There are some triggers here for abuse, domestic violence, the terrors of war, etc. but nothing is glorified and it is handled well. Author Nuala Ellwod is the daughter of an award-winning journalist and it is his and other journalists' experiences with PSTD that inspired her to make it the theme of her book. The 400-ish pages flew by and I finished the book in a couple of sittings--not wanting to put it down until the mystery was solved. This book runs deeper than other suspense and psychological thriller with it's content and skillful writing. I'm amazed that it's a debut book and look forward to reading more from this talented author.


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Author Notes: Nuala Ellwood is the daughter of an award-winning journalist. Inspired by her father’s and other journalists’ experiences with post-traumatic stress disorder, she gained Arts Council Funding for her research into the topic and ultimately made it the main theme of My Sister’s Bones, her debut psychological thriller.
 
Find out more about Nuala at her website, and connect with her on Twitter.
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Food Inspiration:

There is not a lot of food inspiration to be found in the book but there are some mentions like, milk, butter, eggs and bacon, wine, beer, cake with lemon icing and buttercream filling, fish and chips, jammy doughnuts, coked chicken, salad leaves, cherry tomatoes, and dressing ingredients, seeded bread, coffee and a sandwich filled with orange stringy cheese, vegetable soup, hot tea, sandwiches and shortbread, tea and biscuits, cocoa, toast, lasagna, and egg and chips.

Since most of the food did not associate with happy memories, I had a bit of trouble deciding on a book-inspired dish. I ended up thinking about Syrian food since Kate spent so much time there and wanted people to understand the people and the conditions. I think food is a gateway to learning about people, customs and places that may be different from what we are used to. I was happy to find muhammara, a spicy red pepper dip that I enjoy and that originated in Syria and uses Aleppo peeper since I recently found it locally and bought a bottle.


I chose a Yotam Ottolenghi recipe from his website and took some liberties with the preparation, mainly making it faster and easier to make for a busy weeknight. My changes to the recipe are in red below.


Ottolenghi says, "This classic Levantine dip can be made in a food processor, but it will lose some of its lovely texture; I'd use a pestle and mortar, if you can. Muhammara keeps well and even improves after a day in the fridge; just don't serve it fridge-cold. Serves four as a dip."

Muhammara
Slightly Adapted from Yotam Ottolenghi at Ottolenghi.co.uk
(Makes about 2 Cups)

3 red bell peppers (I used fire-roasted peppers from the deli case)
2 oz fresh breadcrumbs
1/2 Tbsp lemon juice
1 Tbsp pomegranate molasses
1 1/2 tsp ground cumin
1 Tbsp dried Aleppo chili flakes (I used about 3/4 Tbsp)
1 small garlic clove, peeled and crushed
2 oz walnuts, finely chopped by hand
2 Tbsp olive oil, plus extra to finish
salt


To Prepare Peppers: Heat the oven to 400 F. Put the peppers on a tray and roast for 30-35 minutes, turning occasionally, until they are cooked and the skin is blackened--or roast them over the flame on a gas stove. Put the peppers in a bowl, cover with cling-film and, once cool enough to handle, peel and discard the skin and seeds.

Pat the peppers dry, and place in a mortar. Add the breadcrumbs, lemon juice, molasses, cumin, chili and garlic. Work this with a pestle until well combined, but not so much that the peppers no longer have a noticeable texture. Stir through the walnuts, a quarter-teaspoon of salt and the olive oil. Add more pomegranate molasses and salt to taste – you want the flavors to be pretty intense. (Deb says, "I was lazy and used the food processor. I put the bread crumbs, walnuts and garlic in and processed until walnuts were finely chopped and bread finely crumbed, then added the roasted red peppers and other ingredients and pulsed until not to smooth--leaving some pepper pieces.)


Spoon the dip into a shallow bowl, using the back of a spoon to give it a wavy texture, and drizzle with a little olive oil. Serve at room temperature.


Notes/Results: I've had muhammara before, I've made it too, although apparently I've never posted it since I couldn't find it ;-) but, this one from Ottolenghi was extra tasty--even though I did the cheat's version of buying roasted red pepper from the deli and using the food processor, instead of the recommended mortar and pestle. (There are days for that and there are days to do it the easy way and today was definitely a need-to-do-it-easy kind of day.) I attribute it to the Aleppo pepper which has a sweet and almost tangy heat to it. You feel the warmth at the back of your throat at the end. The pomegranate molasses also adds good flavor. I toasted a whole wheat naan bread as the store didn't have good pita, but this dip would also be good with baguette slices, vegetables, or crackers. It would also make a nice sandwich spread. I will happily make it again.


I am linking this Ottolenghi recipe up to I Heart Cooking Clubs where this week is Potluck week--our chance to make any recipe from our current IHCC chef or any of the past IHCC featured chefs.  


I'm also linking it up to the Weekend Cooking event at Beth Fish Reads, a weekly event that is open to anyone who has any kind of food-related post to share. For more information, see the welcome post.


Note: A review copy of "My Sister's Bones" was provided to me by the publisher Harper Collins and TLC Book Tours. I was not compensated for this review and as always, my thoughts and opinions are my own.

You can see the stops for the rest of this TLC Book Tour and what other reviewers thought about the book here.