Thursday, April 26, 2007

More cooking thoughts

The Roasted Peppers with Chickpeas and Goat Cheese was unexpectedly good. I thought it might be kind of bland and basic, but that was the one starter that everyone ate up.

I'm fond of Zaalouk, especially when accompanied by yogurt and olives, but its no good for people who don't like eggplant.

The Fish Cakes were also very good, but I don't think I used a firm enough fish--they didn't really hold together enough with red snapper. They'd probably work best with halibut or mahi mahi. Also, I poached them in a kind of spicy tomato sauce, which was one of the cookbook's suggestions. I think that this made me feel too much like I was eating meatballs, even though they tasted nothing like meatballs. Next time, I'll use a firmer fish and pan fry them.

The Roast Cod with Potatoes and Tomatoes tasted a lot like the bacalhau that Lija made for Mark and I when we visited her and John Havelda in Porto. But less salty, since I didn't use salted Cod. My potatoes also stuck to the bottom of the pan. Next time I will make this in my cast iron dutch oven.

The chicken was super good. I like how many Arab and middle eastern cuisines pair sweet and savory flavors. I like fruit with meat, and the combination of pears and caramelized shallots wasn't overly sweet.

The Couscous with spring vegetables was also good, though basic. I'm not sure I did a good job with the broth. I didn't have patience for the couscous when I made it.

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