Monday, July 24, 2006

Camera phones do not focus, either, apparently. America's Test Kitchen did a "Curry in a Hurry" episode the other week, which made me want to make some shrimp curry. Unfortunately their recipe didn't seem to be in any of the Cook's Illustrateds, yet, so I made a recipe from Mark Bittman's The Best Recipes in the World. I don't think this was actually the best curry in the world- or maybe I just need new curry powder. Actually, I know I need new curry powder. Or to make my own. The stuff I have has lost all flavor so it was more coconut-y than curry. The shrimp came out real nice, though.

Last night we had what may be my favorite meal I've ever prepared. The NYT has been running recipes from Ana Sortun's cookbook, Spice: Flavors of the Eastern Mediterranean, and I had been thinking, hmm, maybe I might buy that book. Oleana was one of my favorite restaurants in Boston, and I may have had an obsession with Sortun that dated back to the scallops from Casablanca in Cambridge. Well, I whipped up some whipped feta with hot and sweet peppers and was licking the food processor. It is so, so, so good. It is like mediterranean pimento cheese. But that wasn't the best part--
The best part was the beet tzatziki. FINALLY, a beet recipe my husband and I both love. (He loves borscht, I think it is gross. I love beets in salads, which he finds repulsive.) Even if you don't like beets in any form, this may change your mind. I could have just eaten this.

But I didn't- we also made Persian Fried Chicken. I had my doubts about frying boneless, skinless thigh meat, but after a soak in saffron yogurt, the yogurt and flour makes a pretty crispy coating. And I am not usually a fan of lemon with my fried chicken, but it was wonderful with this. I was not sure how to eat the walnut pieces, or why you needed them, but I sprinkled them over the chicken anyway.

Anyway, I have gone from thinking I might like this cookbook to "I must buy this cookbook NOW." The recipes I tried were supereasy. The food itself was healthy, flavorful, and (for me) sophisticated and different. What more can you ask for?