Now I know, since the Internet, Next Issue and Kindle’s have come into existence; hard copies have experienced the backlash. But there is something about printed media that I cannot give up, call me traditional or old fashioned but I long for the feel of pages under my fingertips, newspaper crosswords on rainy Sundays, dog-eared spots to re-read and recipes books that have specs of sauce, and sometimes sweat and tears that went in to creating something new and exciting.
Cookbooks ensue a sense of nostalgia, an heirloom to pass on and share, something collectable.
We received a shipment into Tanglebank just in time for Mother’s Day, an array of books full of different cooking styles and tastes to try!
My recommendation: ‘Flavors of the Middle East’ pictured above.
“From the aromatic tagines of Morocco to the sweet and sticky pastries that are a legacy of the Ottoman Empire, explore the rich culinary traditions of the Middle East and the Maghreb with these 65 authentic recipes.”
And just to get a “taste” of what you’re in for I will share one of the many mouthwatering adventures in the book.
ROASTED RED PEPPER AND WALNUT DIP
3 red bell peppers
2 fresh red chilies
4-6 garlic cloves
2/3 cup olive oil
1 generous cup shelled walnuts
3 generous tablespoons white breadcrumbs
2 tablespoons pomegranate syrup molasses OR freshly squeezed juice of 1 lemon
2 teaspoons honey
1-2 teaspoons ground cumin
A small bunch of fresh flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
Toasted flatbread, to serve
Preheat the oven to 200 degrees Celsius.
Put the red bell peppers into an ovenproof dish with the chilies and garlic, drizzle with half the olive oil and put them in the preheated oven to roast for about 1 hour. Turn the bell peppers and chilies and garlic from time to time in the oil until the skins are slightly burnt and buckled. Remove the chilies and garlic at this point but leave the peppers for the full hour or longer.
Put the walnuts on a baking sheet; place them in the oven for the last 10 minutes of the cooking time, so that they are lightly toasted and emitting a lovely nutty aroma.
Peel the skins off the peppers, chilies and garlic and remove any seeds. Roughly chop the flesh and put it into a food processor with the walnuts, breadcrumbs, pomegranate syrup/molasses or lemon juice, honey and cumin. Pour in the roasting oil and whiz to a puree.
Drizzle in the rest of the oil whilst whizzing, add most of the parsley and season well with salt.
Tip the mixture into a serving bowl, swirl a little pomegranate syrup/molasses or lemon juice over the top and sprinkle with the rest of parsley. Serve with toasted flatbread.
For extra brownie points: buy your mum the ingredients for one of the recipes in the book or to ensure “favourite child status” make one of the dishes for her!