Our Cookbook Club has been cooking through Ottolenghi’s books in June, and having multiple books to choose from has made for an eclectic and educational month (and a delicious one, too, of course).
Club members say Ottolenghi’s recipes have introduced them to new ingredients and cooking techniques, like Debora Sheldon Buffinton, who says:
This month’s books, including Nopi, have stretched me out of my comfort zone to try new ingredients and new sources. There were so many ingredients in the chili jam recipe that I have never cooked with before, including: Thai shallots, galangal, dried shrimp, palm sugar, and tamarind pulp water.”
While tackling new recipes, the Cookbook Club has become a wonderful source for troubleshooting and tips. When cooking a new recipe, it’s easy to search within the Facebook Group to see if others in the Club have cooked the dish you are planning to make, and learn from what they've done.
For instance, to get crispy skin on the Chicken with Caramelized Onion and Cardamom Rice from Jerusalem, Laura O. Ratliff says:
I'd certainly consider making it for company, either using skinless thighs or perhaps removing the chicken and crisping it under the broiler before serving.
At first, the Turkey and Zucchini Burgers with Green Onions and Cumin from Jerusalem were giving members trouble by falling apart in the pan. Luckily, other members cracked the code and offered helpful advice including Katherine Wai, who says:
I’ve made [this recipe] twice—once, the burgers were too wet like yours and sort of "steamed" in the pan. The other time, I salted the zucchini after grating and left it to drain for about 30 minutes. Then I squeezed the heck out of it with paper towels.”
Many recipes from Jerusalem have been critically acclaimed as favorites of the group including Chocolate Krantz Cakes, Kofta B’siniyah, and Conchiglie with Yogurt, Peas, and Chile. Another favorite recipe for picnics and barbecues this past weekend was the Caramelized Garlic Tart from Plenty, which reportedly made many dads happy on Father’s Day!
Jessica Brand Alves had a great idea–she threw a party that featured an impressive 30 different recipes from Jerusalem. Guests voted on their favorite recipes and should you want to add the winners to your to-make list, the top recipes (with a tie for third place), in order, were the Herb Pie, Chocolate Krantz Cakes, Puréed Beets with Yogurt & Za’atar, and Burnt Eggplant and Mograbieh Soup.
There’s still time left in the month for you to participate, too! Here are a few places to start:
If you’re looking for some weekend projects you may want to try a drink recipe from Nopi, like the Sumac Martini, the Lemon and Goat Cheese Ravioli from Plenty, or the Caramel and Macadamia Cheesecake from Ottolenghi. And if you loved the popular yet divisive Olive Oil-Fried Eggs with Yogurt and Lemon from Small Victories, you may want to try the Baked Eggs with Yogurt and Chile from Plenty.
You can join in our cooking adventures with the Cookbook Club on Facebook, and remember to tag your photos on Instagram with #f52cookbookclub so you can be featured in a future cookbook club post. Happy cooking!