Friday, September 27, 2013

What's cooking in Jerusalem? September luncheon

Cook the Book September (yup! it's nearly the holidaze!) was Jerusalem, co-authored by Yotam Ottolenghi and Sami Tamimi. Angela must have been living under a rock, because this was a cookbook she's never heard about before cook the book. Turns out the hype is for real. Check out this cook book if you want salads with few ingredients but big taste. Plus the amazing full-page pictures are a treat as well. If you're intrigued about what we ate for lunch, read on!

J.K., as usual, made dessert, a semolina, coconut and marmalade cake. This is very different from her usual cakes. No chocolate, to begin with, and not too sweet. No frosting, either. This is more a quickbread than a cake.
A lot of ingredients, though
First, combine the wet ingredients.
Oil, juice, zest, eggs and marmalade.
Mix until the marmalade dissolves. If you don't have a silicone paddle, use a whisk for this step.
Whisk the dry ingredients together.
Don't forget to prepare your pans. J.K. uses cake strips to keep the edges from baking before the middle, so she doesn't get a cracked dome in the middle of her cakes.
Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients, and pour evenly into the prepared pans. The recipe said to use two one-pound loaf pans, so she did, but one would have been enough.

The cakes didn't rise enough for two pans, but they were delicious and had a nice texture nonetheless.
After baking, the cakes get brushed with as much orange syrup as they can hold.

J.K.'s cake rounded out our veggie meal nicely! Angela made three salads from the cookbook (although there were a lot more recipes that inspired her, she used the tried and true cook the book method of sticking with the recipes that grabbed her attention during the first scan of the cookbook.) They were Baby Spinach Salad with Dates and Almonds, Burnt Eggplant salad and Roasted Sweet Potatoes with Fresh Figs.  We loved them all, and they were great to mix and match. They were supplemented by olives, hummus and pita and lots of pomegranate seeds. For our drinks we had a lovely light Sparkling white, provided by an absent friend which Angela gussied up with Brandied Cherries (also made by said friend, thanks G!)
Cook the Book Jerusalem Luncheonthe mystery jar contains soft cheese!
You can make this–simple, beautiful, delicious–here.
This recipe revamped the spinach salad for Angela.
Choose small eggplants to shorten the cooking time for this dish
Angela chose to serve up J.K.'s cake with the suggested orange blossom water flavored Greek yogurt (tip: make sure your "Greek" yogurt is not thickened with cornstarch–or something more ominous!!) roasted figs and more more more pomegranate seeds. It was a light and flavorful ending to the meal.
cake, yes please!
Have you found any favorite cookbooks through friends? Or do you page through them at the bookstore/library? Maybe you just search the internet (Angela found lots of recipes from Jerusalem online, but few blog posts/articles had the amazing photos and historical background provided in the cookbook–unless they were quoting it directly of course.)  J.K. has so many cookbooks (mostly dessert) that she needs to start a cook the book a week club just to make a dent!