Category Archives: Recipes (Savory)

Going With the Grain Part I: Fig, Walnut & Freekeh Salad

The two F's: figs and freekeh.

The two F’s: figs and freekeh.

 

WTF.

As in what the freekeh?

If you don’t know this ancient grain, summer is the perfect time to give it a try.

It’s a lot like bulgur, except that freekeh is roasted young green whole wheat kernels, while the former is cracked, hulled parboiled whole wheat kernels. As such, bulgur cooks in a flash, while freekeh takes about 20 minutes or so. The tiny grains of both are packed with fiber and protein, and cook up with with a slight chewy texture. I think freekeh tastes just a little toastier.

Grains like these, which are staples of Middle Eastern cuisines, make incredible summer salads or side dishes. You’re probably already familiar with bulgar in tabbouleh salads. Freekeh can be used in the same way.

Enjoy it in this tasty, texture-tantalizing “Fig, Walnut & Freekeh Salad.”

SaffronintheSouks

The recipe is from the new cookbook, “Saffron in the Souks: Vibrant recipes from the heart of Lebanon” (Kyle), of which I received a review copy. It’s by John Gregory-Smith, a food and travel writer who specializes in Middle Eastern and North African cuisine.

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Summer’s Finger-Food: Charred Padron Peppers with Goat Cheese and Sage

A pile of just-seared shishitos gets dressed with lovely goat cheese and sage leaves.

A pile of just-seared shishitos gets dressed with lovely goat cheese and sage leaves.

 

Stone Edge Farm Estate Vineyards and Winery in the Sonoma Valley takes pride in everything it does. It grows its own organic olives and Bordeaux varietal grapes, and makes its own olive oil and wine. It’s even won state awards for its sustainability practices.

Moreover, it has its own culinary team, whose talents are on full display in the new cookbook, “Stone Edge Farm Kitchen Larder Cookbook” (Rizzoli), of which I received a review copy.

The book is by John McReynolds, Mike Emanuel, and Fiorella Butron, who are respectively the culinary director, estate chef, and chef de cuisine for the winery.

The winery boasts a restored 1910 farm house, where tastings can be enjoyed by appointment-only, along with options for food and wine pairings, private cooking demonstrations, and private dining events.

The recipes reflect the bounty of produce the estate raises: “Lacto-Fermented Vegetables,” “Asparagus Tempura with Meyer Lemon Aioli, ”Oak Ember-Grilled Pork Chops with Quince Mostarda” and “Cabarnet Sauvignon Grape and Wine Granita.”

Stone Edge Farm cookbook

I gravitated to “Charred Padron peppers with Goat Cheese and Sage,” which also can be made with shishito peppers instead.

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One-Pan-Wonder: Chicken In Plums and Sweet Spice

Plums and Pluots color this one-pan chicken dish a dazzling color.

Plums and Pluots color this one-pan chicken dish a dazzling color.

 

For the past couple of years, Middle Eastern cuisine has been having a major moment.

And we are all luckier for it.

No longer does the spice mixture of ras el hanout prompt a quizzical look. We now talk knowledgeably about the best brand of tahini. And we think nothing of whipping up our own hummus at home.

The new “Honey & Co. at Home: Middle Eastern recipes from our kitchen” (Pavilion), of which I received a review copy, adds to that narrative by providing a wealth of tempting accessible recipes. The book is by husband and wife chefs, Sarit Packer and Itamar Srulovich, who own the Israeli-influenced cafe, Honey & Co. in London.

Honey&CoBook

As alums of Yotam Ottolenghi’s renowned London restaurants, their recipes spotlight seasonal ingredients, but are even easier to make at home. Try your hand at everything from “Yemeni Lentil Meatballs” and “Cold Yogurt and Pomegranate Soup” to “Lamb Chops with Rocket, Figs and Walnuts” and “Tahini Cake with Lemon and White Chocolate.”

“Chicken in Plums and Sweet Spice” is a Middle Eastern version of a tray bake.

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Celebrate Bourdain Day by Indulging In Iceberg Wedge With Stilton and Pancetta

Dig into Anthony Bourdain's easy and classically wonderful wedge salad on Bourdain Day.

Dig into Anthony Bourdain’s easy and classically wonderful wedge salad on Bourdain Day.

 

I am not normally one to pay much heed to National Fettuccine Alfredo Day, National Onion Rings Day, National Chop Suey Day or any other rather bogus food holiday of the like.

But when esteemed chefs Eric Ripert and Jose Andres declared June 25 to be “Anthony Bourdain Day,” I was all in.

Close friends of the author, chef, television host, cultural pundit, and larger-than-life icon, they wanted to honor Bourdain on what would have been his 63rd birthday. Tragically,  the much-loved Bourdain too his own life last year.

Appetites cookbook

“Bourdain Day” was thus ordained to honor a man who traveled the world to parts unknown, and in the process, introduced us intimately to people and places we never would have seen in quite the same fresh, nuanced way.

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Chicken Adobo Takes To The Grill

Garlicky and tangy chicken adobo -- done on the grill.

Garlicky and tangy chicken adobo — done on the grill.

 

Anyone of Filipino heritage will tell you that everyone has their own rendition of adobo, the classic home-style dish that gets its punchy flavor from copious amounts of garlic, soy sauce, and sharp vinegar.

Now comes Jamie Purviance’s version. And naturally, what makes this one special is that it’s grilled rather than simmered or braised like traditional adobo.

After all, as Weber’s master griller for 20 years, the Northern California-based Purviance can’t resist cooking most anything over gas or charcoal.

“Barbecued Chicken Adobo” is from his new cookbook, “Weber’s Ultimate Grilling: A Step-by-Step Guide to Barbecue Genius” (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt), of which I received a review copy.

Weber's Ultimate Grilling

This barbecue bible features more than 100 recipes. Best yet, each recipe is illustrated clearly with step-by-step instructional photos.

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