Archive for the ‘Middle Eastern / Middle Eastern−Inspired’

5:15 p.m., 70°F in Richmond, Virginia

October 23, 2013
By Holly Jennings

That was day before yesterday. Maybe one of the last possible days to enjoy a pomegranate-ginger smash—a lemony, minty, sweet-tart concoction served over crushed ice—even in Richmond, Virginia. October 21st is way beyond the date of wanting such a thing in Vermont—the place where I lived for seven years before plopping myself down here exactly one month ago.

 

The views. They’re from the balcony off of the second floor bedroom in our new home. Starting from the top: looking out to the left toward the parish house and Father Wayne’s back courtyard; straight ahead to the large magnolia tree in our own courtyard, which will be magnificent next spring; over the tree tops to the stately, prior school building, now condominiums, the next block over (which you could make out better if the top portion of the photograph wasn’t blown out); then over to the right at a slight angle to some of the courtyards of neighboring buildings; and finally, the bottom image, to the far right out beyond our neighbor’s matching Juliet balcony and beyond to nearby rooftops, my favorite view.

 

Views from 2nd floor balcony_smaller

 

The drink. It’s a hold-over from Jerusalem days: the thread being the use of pomegranate molasses. (The recipe is below.) I came up with this cocktail back in mid-August with the plan of photographing it soon after and posting it on the blog—in perfect late (more…)


Stuffed Eggplant with Lamb and Pine Nuts

July 08, 2013
By Holly Jennings

Stuffed eggplant with lamb and pine nuts

 

What do stuffed eggplant with lamb and pine nuts and sloppy joes have in common? Not much, on the face of it. One is an exotic, aromatic dish with Turkish origins found in the cookbook Jerusalem, and the other, a quintessential American school cafeteria food.

 

But on the palate, they’re not that far off, particularly when sloppy joe filling is made from scratch. Both ground meat fillings are (more…)


Prince Pilpelchuma’s Hot Chicken

June 26, 2013
By Holly Jennings

Prince Pilpelchuma's chicken served with bread

 

There is no Prince Pilpelchuma, at least not as far as I know. (Any resemblance to an actual person, living or dead, is entirely coincidental.)

 

Though fictional, Prince Pilpelchuma’s name is taken from two very real foods: a fiery hot condiment called pilpelchuma, a recipe for which can be found in the cookbook Jerusalem by Yotam Ottolenghi and Sami Tamimi; and hot chicken, a type of spicy fried chicken found in  (more…)


Potato and Egg Scramble with Pilpelchuma

June 26, 2013
By Holly Jennings

Potato and Egg Scramble with Pilpelchuma

 

Bulked up with potatoes, this Middle Eastern scramble is hearty and satisfying. I learned to make it from a Palestinian Muslim, sans pilpelchuma. This make sense because pilpelchuma, according to Jerusalem authors Yotam Ottolenghi and Sami Tamimi, is used by Jews from Tripoli. Ottolenghi and Tamimi go on to say that it’s great whisked into eggs when making scrambled eggs. I immediately wondered if a touch of the fiery hot pilpelchuma would be a good addition to the basic potato-and-egg scramble I learned to make years ago. It’s not just good, it’s addictive.

 

Serves 3 with hearty appetites

 

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
2 medium all-purpose potatoes (about 1 pound), peeled and cut into ¼-inch dice
1 tablespoon water, plus more if needed
¾ teaspoon salt, plus more if needed
4 large eggs
½ teaspoon pilpelchuma (recipe in the cookbook Jerusalem)
Chopped flat-leaf parsley, for garnish (optional)
3 pita breads

 

  1. Heat the oil in a large nonstick or seasoned cast-iron skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until translucent, about 3 minutes. Add the diced potatoes, reduce the heat to medium-low and continue to cook for few minutes, stirring frequently. Add the water and ¾ teaspoon of salt and cover. Continue cooking, stirring from time to time, until the potatoes are just tender, about 15 minutes, adding a little more water if necessary to keep the potatoes from sticking to the bottom of the pan.
  2. In a bowl, whisk the eggs and pilpelchuma together. Add the eggs to the skillet, reduce the heat to low, and cook, stirring frequently, to desired doneness. Adjust the seasoning, if needed. Sprinkle with the parsley, if using, and serve with pita bread. To eat, tear off a bite-size piece of pita bread and use it to scoop up the potatoes and eggs.  If you have leftovers, they can be lightly rewarmed and are good served as a sandwich in a pita envelope with salad greens.


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