However! Now is the time for new beginnings. During the month of November, thousands of people around the world put pen to paper every day for National Novel Writing Month. Now, I have no interest in writing a novel. (Reading novels, on the other hand . . .) But many bloggers use this month as an exercise in regular blogging. And this is my intention: to post here every day during November, and therein to catch up on my recipe backlog.
To start, I will post a recipe out of a cookbook! And not just any recipe; the taste of allspice and fried almonds and tangy yogurt transports me back to Syria, where I first tried it this summer. I love Middle Eastern food of all kinds, but this stuff is just amazing. It sounds weird, but give it a try; you won't regret it.
adapted from A Gourmet's Delight, by Aida Karaoglan
- 1-2 pounds boneless lamb, beef, or chicken thighs, cubed
- 3 medium onions, chopped
- 2 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 tsp freshly ground allspice, or 1-2 tsp purchased ground allspice
- 2 medium heads of cauliflower, separated into florets
- 1 1/2 cups medium grain white rice
- 2 cups water
- fried slivered almonds or pine nuts, for garnish
- plain yogurt, for garnish
- Brown meat and onions in large pot, then add salt and allspice.
- Add cauliflower, rice, and water, and stir to combine.
- Cover and simmer over low heat until rice and cauliflower is tender, about 30-45 minutes. If you wish to unmold the makloubi on a platter, do not stir; otherwise stir occasionally to prevent burning.
- Serve with fried almonds or pine nuts on top and plain yogurt on the side.
Comments & Modifications:
- I've already totally modified this from the original recipe, since it called for an absurd amount of cooking time and dirty pots.
- However, for cheaper cuts of beef the longer cooking time may be useful. I'd simmer the beef alone for a while before adding the sauted onions, spices, and other ingredients to break down the connective tissues.
- Apparently this is quite tasty with eggplant instead of cauliflower. However, the cauliflower was so good I may never get around to trying it with eggplant.
Verdict: Yum. Dan's opinion: "This is going into our regular rotation."