tasty nom nom an exception to the daily meal

25Jan/140

Jerusalem

Dear E,

For the holidays this year, my mom and I bought one another the same cookbook, Jerusalem. This cookbook has quite the cult following -- people have been having Jerusalem parties where each person invited brings a different dish from the book and it was the top-selling cookbook in the summer of 2013.

It's not a cult party, but I decided shortly after Christmas that I would make the roasted cauliflower salad and kofta for our next game night. That's just what I did.

roasted cauliflower salad
roasted cauliflower salad

I really liked this roasted cauliflower and hazelnut salad. I roasted the cauliflower and toasted the hazelnuts in the morning, then put the rest of the salad together later.

The salad has a head of cauliflower, roasted. I tossed it with the spices -- cinnamon, allspice, salt and pepper. It is tossed with celery, toasted hazelnuts, a ton of flat parsley, and pomegranate arils. I let this sit for a few hours at room temperature before adding a touch of the dressing -- sherry vinegar, maple syrup, and olive oil. I really liked this salad a lot and think is a great winter salad.

You'll have to let us know how it held up overnight, since you took the leftovers!

Along with the salad, I made kofta. I used half local grass-fed lamb (it was VERY lean) and half local grass-fed beef. I wanted to cook the kofta medium-rare, so I was a little particular about the ground meat I picked up. I probably would have cooked them a little more if G wasn't under the weather at home!

The recipe in Jerusalem is a little different from other kofta recipes we've made. There's no binder but it does include onion, garlic, pine nuts, parsley, a medium-hot chile, and more spices.

Sunflower oil
sunflower oil

I made the meat mixture and formed the kofta in the early afternoon, then set it in the fridge to chill and firm up. I believe this helped them hold their shape without a binder. Then I seared them in sunflower oil, per the recipe. This took a little longer than I expected. I pulled them out of the pan at 120-125°F, then placed them on a platter with tahini sauce, and popped them into the oven, just for a few minutes, taking them to medium-rare without losing their crust.

kofta b'siniyah
kofta b'siniyah

I'd give both recipes a thumbs up. I've made about five or six recipes from Jerusalem now, and there hasn't been a bad one yet. Not bad!

Before dinner, I had wanted us to try Tzolk'in for the first time. But I didn't have enough time to learn the game in advance, so we fell back to the old standby, Settlers of Catan.

three player catan
three player

With just three players, there was so much space on the board. It was like stretching out in a huge hotel bed. I tried to fly under the radar as I picked up grain and ore resources and upgraded my settlements. I managed to pull off the win! Yay me!

Next time up here I hope we can try Tzolk'in (BGG). It looks promising! This video of the gameplay might be worth watching in advance.

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