Saturday, January 19, 2013

Chowhound Cookbook of the Month: Jerusalem

So off and on for the past couple of years I have logged on to this cooking site call Chowhound and read about their Cookbook on the month thread.  Each month a moderator allows members to vote on the Cookbook of the month and once decided every cooks from the books and reports back on their stories of cooking, tasting, and sharing.  

Upon the turn of the New Year one cannot help but to reflect on the past and to look forward to change in the future.  I realized that I have not been happy in certain aspects of my life but that I had been really happy in others and had not paid much attention.  I love to cook.  I love to have dinner parties.  I love to sit down to a nice dinner with family and friends.  I love trying new things and finding ways to improve upon things tried.

It hit me that reading the reviews and quips on Chowhound actually made me smile and I had secretly been longing to join in the chatter and to try new books and recipes too.  January on Chowhound was the book Jerusalem by Yotam Ottolenghi and Sami Tamimi.  To be honest I had never heard of it so I went down and checked it out from the library.  Well actually I went to the library and sat and read and flipped through the book before I even got out the door.  The stories, recipes, and pictures drew me in and I knew I would love this cookbook.

My to my middle sister's chagrin, I love eggs.  I mean I could eat them at every meal and sometimes do.    So when I say the picture for a dish called Shakshuka I had to make that my first dish.  After reading the ingredients list I realized that they were everyday staples items and I would not have to buy a jar of some random sauce that would cost $19 and I would most likely only use once.

I scheduled a night and invited the usual recipe review guests.  The house smelled so good while cooking.  I mean making a sauce out of garlic, cumin, tomatoes, peppers, and chili sauce has delicious written all over it.

I set the plates down and we dug in.  I all but licked my plate.  In fact, if I had not invited dinner guest I might have just eaten out of the pan and more than one serving.  I expected the sauce to be spicier but upon further thought I think it was just perfect.  So mild yet rich tasting.  The eggs were cooked in a way I had never really made before.  They were slightly poached in the tomato-pepper sauce and cooked for about 10 minutes on the stove.  They were not runny but the yolk was extremely soft and can I say quite addicting.

Oh, and did I mention this dish is extremely healthy and qualifies as Paleo? It looks like a lot of the recipes in the book would be considered Paleo and super tasty.

I cannot wait to try another recipe but to be honest I am sold on just the Shakshuka itself and am planning on making it for dinner again this week.
(photo credit EveryAugust and me)

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