by cookbookarabia

Archive for October, 2010|Monthly archive page

Spicy solutions for cold nights

In Catalan kitchen, Spices on October 19, 2010 at 8:44 pm

Image: courtesy Sven Benjamins.

Some months ago we made a delicious. veggie tajine for a huge dinner at the Environmental film festival, here in Amsterdam. And finally it became even a vegan version, without any plan to do so. We just followed our tastebuds! It was a very colourfull dish with beetroot, pumpkin, turnips, carrots, sweet potatoes, artichoke hearts, all golden roasted or stewed with a thick sauce of Turkish paprikapaste, onion and garlic and topped of with generous amounts of a wonderfull spice paste: a blend of roasted almonds, parsley, cuminseeds, fennelseeds, carawayseeds, pimenton, and olive oil, basically a variation on the Catalan picada. Wow, it was just an explosion of taste in our mouth and people were blown away by the dish. We made way to much, so we ended up making doggy bags for everyone, and recently I ran into a girl who was there that evening and told me she had been enjoying the left overs the whole week. Now that’s what we call sustainable! We ourselves loved it so much too we decided to fix it in our weekly culinary column at VIVA magazine…and the recipe was covered as well in the daily newspaper De Volkskrant. And as the weather in this part of the world is getting worse and worse, this is our perfect comfort food.

Here’s the recipe:

Vegetable tagine with picada

2 sweet onions
1 clove of garlic
olive oil
2 ripe tomatoes
2 tbsp Turkish pepper paste
1 small butternut squash
1 large sweet potato
1 large waxy potato
2 large carrots
2 turnips
4 young beets
4 artichoke hearts (fresh or frozen if necessary)

the picada:
200 g almonds
oil for frying
1 bunch of parsley
4 tablespoons fennel seeds
3 tablespoons cumin seeds
2 tablespoons caraway seeds
2 tbsp pimentón
pul biber

Chop onions, garlic and tomatoes. Heat a dash of olive oil in a large tagine or casserole and cook the mixture about 15 minutes, add the paprika paste and some salt. Peel and slice the other vegetables in roughly equal pieces. Add a little water to the onion mixture and simmer for about 30 minutes on low heat. Fry the almonds in a golden brown layer of oil. Drain and cool. Chop the parsley roughly. Roast the spices except the pimentón 1 minutes in a hot dry frying pan. Mix the almonds in a food processor with the parsley, ¾ of the spice mixture, the pimentón to a fine paste and stir vigorously with a little olive oil and season with salt. Spoon the picada generously over the roasted vegetables, sprinkle with pul biber and the rest of the spices.


Our Christmas cooking!

In Lebanese kitchen, Middle Eastern kitchen, Moroccan kitchen, Turkish kitchen on October 7, 2010 at 2:06 pm

Last friday we were already hearing Christmas bells. Our own of course: cooking new Arabia food for this years coming Christmas issue of the Dutch delicious. It was in a great studio in Amsterdam, Studio 13, with lots of light, a big kitchen and many people, ‘cause usually there are two parellel shoots. So when photographer Harold Pereira and stylist Maaike Koorman were busy on the right side of the studio, we were cooking on the left side. And as the building is some sort of a loft (it used to be a tobacco factory) everything is open, and so is the kitchen. We found ourselves  surrounded by the people of the ‘other’ shoot going on, all the time. So guess what: we were explaining how to make couscous and doing some sort of workshop while preparing our dishes. We felt soooo sorry we could not let them taste yet, everything still had to be captured by Harold’s camera. We made a delicious yoghurtsoup with saffron & almonds, the by now famous cauliflower couscous, deliciously warm comfort chickens with cumin, cinnamon and apricots, a crunchy salad of raw thinly sliced veggies like carrots, fennel, orange and tangy fresh herbs like mint, dill with crunchy aromatic toasted fennelseeds and a zingy orange dressing. Sidedish was a delicious pilaf of bulghur with walnuts, paprikapaste and mint. To top it off our delicious pistachecustard in a new version with lemon and candied orange and grapefruit on the side. Of course you all have to wait for the Dutch Christmas delicious. issue to read and cook and get your saliva going for these ones. We’ll publish by then the translated recipes in English here. To get you to going some pics of the shoot to reveal a tiny little bit!