Ottolenghi's restaurants are, as far as I can tell, all in London and all wildly popular. The recipes in this cookbook are from those restaurants. Ottolenghi bases his cooking on vegetables, pulses and grains from his native Israel. Luckily for me, that includes lots of whole grains, healthy proteins and vegetables that we get in our CSA box.
Spicy Sweet Potato is our usual favorite orange soup, but this one is good, too. More gingery than spicy, but I have to say that sweet potatoes and butternut squash taste pretty similar when cooked in chicken broth with onion.
We love meatballs at my house and these are good! More carrots than usual, but that doesn't seem to be a problem. I served them with Nigel's Naked Sauce from Eatwell Farm and our son Gus' Farmstead Cheese, which he made at Louella Hill's Cheesemaking for Kids Class.
Walks like a duck, talks like a duck. I'm going to call this macaroni and cheese and add it to my quest for the perfect recipe. This one calls for 1 cup of "add-ins", like frozen peas or chopped steamed broccoli. Knowing my kids' abhorrence for the peas I add to chicken pot pie, I asked for their input. Surprisingly, my vegetable-averse son asked for steamed cabbage.
Shrimp cook fast. Shrimp are high in protein. Shrimp taste good. I usually only need two good reasons to do something, so that's enough for me! This recipe has the added bonus of using spinach, which is a frequent part of our weekly CSA box. And it makes whole wheat pasta tolerable. That's five reasons to make it for dinner. Five!
I neglected to mention this yesterday, but after dropping last night's Teriyaki Salmon on the grill I re-used its marinade for tonight's flank steak. I just can't let a half cup of soy sauce go to waste. Even my son took note of its long pouring time during preparation.
Lisa Leake's book 100 Days of Real Food does a wonderful job of laying out most of the reasons why I choose to cook the way I do. Delicious food made with real ingredients instead of heavily processed or artificial ones is just better, and she tells us why.
I love a roasted chicken. My entire family will eat it without complaint, there are always leftovers and a crockpot of stock can be made from the bones. Lately I've been investigating how other people roast their chicken, and in this case Marcus Samuelson's adaptation of his Grandmother's traditional recipe was the perfect thing, to celebrate my own children's Grandmother.
I don't usually love bitter greens in my salad, but this one is quite good. It turns the more typical mix of grapefruit and a less disagreeable flavor (like butter lettuce or avocado) on its head, with frisée playing the part of cranky old endive. Orange, fennel and balsamic vinegar join the bowl to sweeten things up. A combination of cara-cara and blood oranges work especially well here.
Usually I make my own pie crust or use one from the freezer, but this time I took the author's advice and bought one pre-made from the store. It's a good thing I did, since prep for this recipe took a while, leaving about two minutes to roll out the dough and assemble the pie before kid-duty commenced.
In his cookbook these are rib eyes on the bone, but I forgot, and bought them off. In typical Marcus Samulesson style the preparation involves an intricate and multi-stepped blending of culturally diverse ingredients that are delicious together, in new and surprising ways. In this case a coffee-chocolate rub, herbs, lemon juice and grilled garlic, jalapenos and scallions.