Wednesday, June 1, 2022

A Somewhat Exotic Meal

My friend Nancy asked if she could cook with me sometime, and last night we finally did it.

We were only four, so I tried not to go crazy. Just some spreads, soup, a main and dessert.

I love to share the method and quasi-recipe for my ricotta, sun-dried tomato and lemon zest spread, so that was one of the hors d'oeuvres. The other was more exotic, muhammara, a walnut and roasted pepper dip from Claudia Roden's Mediterranean. Both easy and delicious, served on crispy chips that I make from soft wheat tortillas.

Ricotta and sun-dried tomato spread; muhammara

Dinner started with tanabour, an Armenian barley and yogurt soup, using the recipe from Cook's Illustrated, September-October 2021. Tartness supplied by the yogurt and chewiness from the pearled barley, a nice combination.

Tanabour yogurt and barley soup

For the main, I made the same Palestinian upside down chicken, from the Milk Street Cookbook, that I made at Passover (see earlier post). A wonderful confection of chicken thighs, cauliflower florets, eggplant and abundant middle-eastern spices.

Palestinian upside-down chicken

For dessert I made my blueberry (and raspberry) tart from Food52 Genius, but since Nance was interested in working with puff pastry, I made a puff pastry crust rather than the ususal pâte sucrée. It came out great this way, and is even easier to make.

Blueberry and raspberry tart with puff pastry shell

It's fun to cook with friends

Bobby Jay

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