I figured i would have my inaugural blog post about my favourite cook book “Jerusalem” written by Yotam Ottolenghi and Sami Tamimi. Recommended to me on a job I simply remember the words ‘cardamom donuts’ and ‘lamb shank’ I was sold!
However after my initial flick through I was slightly put off by all these exotic spices,seeds and sauces.However I put myself to the task of resources them, initially at a huge expense however I have recently found the great asian market on Drury St! I’m definitely a picture girl, and this book has pictures to coincide with at least all the recipes, not so good when your dish doesn’t turn out looking like it but it appeals to the visual mind all the same! Be warned after you purchase you will be planning Middle-eastern themed dinner parties just to cook the food!
The recipes do need your full attention they are tedious and are made completely from scratch,However once u make them once they simply get easier and quicker to make ! I can whip up turkey burgers and a saffron chicken salad quicker than a boring mac and cheese!I decided to pick three of my favourites( meat, vegetable & grain dish)that are nice and simple to ease you in!
*Top ingredients you will need za’atar, freekeh, cardamom seeds, cumin seeds,sumac, preserved lemons, turmeric, cinnamon.
Turkey & courgette burgers with spring onion &cumin
- 500g minced turkey
- 1 large courgette coarsely grated
- 40g spring onions, thinly sliced
- 1 medium free range egg
- 2 tbsp chopped mint
- 2 tbsp chopped coriander
- 2 cloves of garlic crushed
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
- 1/2 cayenne
- about 100ml od sunflower oil for searing.
Soured cream & sumac sauce
- 100g soured cream
- 150g greek yogurt
- 1 tsp grated lemon zest
- 1 small garlic clove crushed
- 1 1/2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tbsp sumac
- 1/2 salt
- 1/4 black pepper
- Mix all the ingredients together for the meatballs bar the sunflower oil, once mixed and shape into burgers, should make roughly 18.
- Sear meatballs over medium heat all sides until golden brown…
- Transfer to oven tray lined greaseproof paper for 5-7 minutes, serve warm with sauce spooned over.
* I prefer to place then in the oven without searing, they hold a little better and the outside doesn’t get overly cooked or burnt! great served with homemade sweet potato fries.
* also i have made the sauce without sour cream and it tastes delicious for those trying to be a little healthier!
- 250g green or brown lentils
- 4 medium onions
- 3 tbsp plain flour
- 250 ml sunflower oil
- 2 tsp cumin seeds
- 1 1/2 tbsp coriander seeds
- 200g basmati rice
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1/2 tsp ground turmeric
- 1 1/2 tsp ground allspice
- 1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1 tsp sugar
- 350ml water
- salt and black pepper
- Cook the lentils(place in saucepan, cover with plenty of water bring to boil and cook for 12-15 minutes or until they have softened.
- Peel and slice onions, place in large flat plate sprinkle with flour and tsp of salt and pepper.
- Heat up sunflower oil in medium heavy based saucepan , make sure the oil is very hot before throwing the first section of onion on, to make sure it really sizzles.
- Reduce heat whilst adding last section of onion, and be careful it spits! …fry for 5-7 minutes, stirring occasionally, until golden brown and crispy. Then transfer to plate.
- Clean saucepan and add in cumin and coriander seeds medium heat toast seeds for 2 minutes , you’ll smell the fragrance burst!
- Add in the rice, olive oil, turmeric, all spice and cinnamon ,sugar and 1/ 2 tsp of salt and plenty of black pepper. Stir to coat rice.
- Finally add lentils and water, bring to boil, cover and simmer on low heat for 15 minutes.
- Remove lift lid and cover with tea towel off the heat for 10 minutes.
- Finally add fried onion stir gently. Serve up and top of with rest of onion.
*To make this a little faster I sometimes pre-boil the rice and don’t add water at the end, tastes just as good!
Roasted butternut squash &red onion with tahini & za’atar
- 1 large butternut squash cut into wedges
- 2 red onions cut into 3cm wedges
- 50ml olive oil
- 3 1/2 tbsp light tahini sauce
- 1 1/2 tbsp lemon juice
- 1 small garlic clove crushed
- 30g pine nuts
- 1 tbsp za’atar
- 1 tbsp roughly chopped flat leaf parsley
- Maldon sea salt and black pepper
- Mix butternut squash and onion in oil and place on baking tray lined with salt and pepper. *toss well.
- Cook for 30-40 minutes until vegetables are golden and are cooked through. *onions may cook faster.
- Sauce – Spoon the tahini in a bowl along with lemon juice, 2 tbsp water, the garlic and 1/4 tsp salt, whisk until thick consistency,add more water if necessary.
- Put remaining oil into a small frying pan and place on medium heat, add in pine nuts along with 1/2 tsp of salt and cook for two minutes, stir until nuts golden brown , remove and place in bowl.
- Place vegetables on plate and drizzle with sauce , sprinkle with pine nuts followed by za’atar and parsley.
This book offers lots more of my favourite recipes like their lamb shank ,saffron chicken salad, delicious baba ganoush and many more, it is also on offer at the moment on Easons for 28.99e with free delivery! No excuses not to get it!
Looking for ingredients- Most asian markets,& Fallon & Byrne have a great selection for this type of cooking!