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Fri Feb 1, 2013, 02:41 AM

A Time Before Tabbouleh by Bittman

I had been cooking for only a few years when, in 1972, a friend gave me “A Book of Middle Eastern Food,” by a woman named Claudia Roden. In my cooking life, there was no more important influence than that book. . .

We started with lentils with noodles and caramelized onions. I remembered the first time I made this dish and how thrilled I was at the combination of legume and pasta (not rice!) and the sweetness of the nearly burned onions. We moved on to a slow-roasted shoulder of lamb, cooked with couscous and dates, a delicious combination of sweet and savory whose aroma is almost unbelievably enticing. And we finished with what she calls knafeh à la crème, a beautiful pie of kadayif (essentially shredded phyllo, which goes under a variety of similar-sounding names) filled with a cream thickened with rice flour and scented with orange-flower water, a dish that is as exotic now as Roden’s first round of recipes was to me 40 years ago.


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Reply A Time Before Tabbouleh by Bittman (Original post)
elleng Feb 2013 OP
Warpy Feb 2013 #1
elleng Feb 2013 #2

Response to elleng (Original post)

Fri Feb 1, 2013, 04:49 AM

1. Great minds think alike

I had that cookbook in the 70s and loved it, too. The seasoning was far away from a white suburban cracker had ever been exposed to and a lot of the stuff exploded with flavor in my mouth. If you can find a copy of it and love Middle Eastern food, pick it up. You won't be sorry.

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Response to Warpy (Reply #1)

Fri Feb 1, 2013, 04:55 AM

2. May do,

but may not need. Good friend, who does most of the cooking, is Pakistani, so have probably had many similar flavors.

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