It’s been quite awhile since the last installment of The Neighborhood Table and it feels like ages since it was my turn. I went with a Middle Eastern theme last week and got completely absorbed in all the wonderful delicacies of the area. I just finished the last of the leftovers (yes, a week’s worth of leftovers), so I figured it was high-time to get this down before I forget everything I did. Recipes coming soon…
A couple of weeks ago I pulled out my favorite Middle Eastern cookbook Spice: Flavors of the Eastern Mediterranean for some ideas. I got completely carried away and read the whole book cover to cover and marked about 30 recipes. I narrowed it down, bounced around ideas, and then of course everything took a drastic turn when I went to the markets and actually saw what was available and fresh and delicious. Here’s what the night looked like…
On the menu for the January installment of the Neighborhood Table:
Olives and almonds roasted with Za’atar
Steamed chard and spinach with roast beets, walnuts, and sheep’s milk tzaziki
Hummus (enough to feed a small army)
Harissa (from my sister’s cafe)
Romaine and cucumbers with yogurt dressing
Whipped Feta with roasted sweet and hot peppers
Slow roasted lamb with pomegranate molasses
Steamed mussels with leeks and smokey paprika
Roast potatoes, cauliflower, and leeks with cumin and paprika
Turkish coffee pot de creme
Pear and cardamom Prosecco
Poached pears in spiced red wine
To prepare the entire menu, I did oh so much ahead of time. Again, I love to cook but I also love to relax. I wanted almost everything to be completely prepared by the time folks started coming over. I’m never hungry while I cook, so I definitely wanted to be able to enjoy the food with everyone too. I’d say with a weekend of preparing, I still had time to relax and enjoy the meal. And leftovers aren’t too bad either.
Deeeeeaaaammn, that sounds good!
That does it. I’m coming over. Just be ready.
Aw shucks guys, let me know when your flights come in and I’ll be sure to whip something up.