Sunday, January 17, 2016

The Week of Cooking Dangerously -- Part 3 -- Middle Eastern Dinner

My week of furious cooking ended Saturday night, when we had four of our best friends to a primarily Middle Eastern dinner. These are people whom I don't mind experimenting for (on?).

Hors d'oeuvres were my usual -- cheese gougères, smoked sturgeon and smoked ricotta on pumpernickel -- supplemented by a very creamy simple hummus made from a reciped in Ottolenghi's Jerusalem.

Hummus with olive oil and sumac powder
The starter was a Lebanese tabbouleh salad, as prescribed by Claudia Roden in her New Book of Middle Eastern Food, a definitive classic.

Tabbouleh salad
For the main course, we had Berber couscous with seven vegetables, also from Ms. Roden's book, made with lamb shanks and chicken thighs.

Berber couscous with seven vegetables, lamb and chicken
I made some sloppy but not bad baklava for dessert, but by an amazing coincidence, a friend had sent an assortment of pastries from Lebanon earlier in the day, which served as a fitting post-dessert to a pretty fun meal, if I say so myself.

My baklava
Real Lebanese pastries
Bobby Jay

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