A culinary tour through the Middle East via Jerusalem: A Cookbook. And beyond. #TastingJrslm
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Beth Lee
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So who bakes baklava out there? Pistachios? Walnuts? Both? Favorite recipes? Felicity Cloake and the The Guardian weigh in in this 2015 article:

https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/wordofmouth/2015/feb/26/how-to-make-perfect-baklava-felicity-cloake
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Beth Lee
owner

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My first attempt at Muhammara - the red pepper and walnut spread - used inspiration from Maureen Abood 's recipe and Ottolenghi 's. Who has made this and has recipe tips to share? My tasters last night thought it was authentic (they are from Israel). I loved the depth of flavor from the pom molasses and Aleppo pepper.
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+Michael Ellis these flavors would be brilliant with chicken!!

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Beth Lee
owner

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Cook it Eat it Blog it Brum (+Jay and Dee) show us how to use fenugreek seeds in a savory and sweet way -- both recipes from the The Jerusalem Cookbook: Shawarma and the Helbeh (Fenugreek) Cake. Really great write-up - head over and learn about fenugreek!

http://cookiteatitblogitbrum.blogspot.co.uk/2016/07/tasting-jerusalem-38-fenugreek.html
Dee – It’s been a while since we last cooked anything from the Jerusalem cook book; A quick check of the blog revealed it to be April 2016, so with the announcement of July 2016’s featured ingredient, Fenugreek, we decided to...
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Beth Lee
owner

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Announcing our July ingredient: Fenugreek! And this month there's a bonus because we're also exploring a dish it's used in: Hilbeh, a traditional spiced dip from Yemen. Here's Sarene's Hilbeh (with fenugreek on the wood.) Here's the recipe:

http://www.food.com/recipe/hilbeh-traditional-spiced-fenugreek-dip-from-yemen-385725
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from +Sarene Wallace "I didn't love this dip--I just think I'm not a fan of fenugreek. Hubby loved it, though, for it's exotic flavor familiar from Indian cookery."
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Beth Lee
owner

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Sarene here: Finally took Ottolenghi's suggestion to add urfa biber peppers to scrambled eggs. (Added the urfa to the melted butter in the pan.) I'm a fan. Next time I'll add some chopped tomatoes and spinach to the mix.
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Beth Lee
owner

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The secret to making Urfa peppers is that they dry them in the sun during the day but cover them at night to preserve some of the natural oils:

http://www.foodandwine.com/blogs/2015/06/11/everything-you-need-know-about-urfa-biber-miracle-spice-youre-missing-out
Urfa Biber (commonly referred to as Urfa pepper) is a Turkish chile pepper that's distinctive for its dark burgundy color, irregularly sized flakes an...
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Jay and Dee

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It's been too long since we last put a Tasting Jerusalem blog post up, so here is an account of our sampling of May's featured ingredient; #Matbucha  
Dee –March’s Tasting Jerusalem theme was extended into April, during which time I was struck by an attack of the dreaded writer’s block, so this is the first update in a while. Matbucha was announced as May 2016’s featured...
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Beth Lee
owner

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A perfect Sunday afternoon activity - making matbucha - the secret according to the blog Charlotte au Chocolat is to let it simmer for a long time and enjoy the fragrance as it does!

https://charlotteauchocolat.com/2011/10/27/perfect-matbucha/
So, you know all of those salads I told you cover the table at my Moroccan in-laws on Friday nights? Well, my husband loves them. Sometimes in an effort to embody that ever-elusive idea of the perf…
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Beth Lee
owner

Discussion  - 
 
Cheryl Sternman Rule our yogurt month guest last spring is still busy writing about yogurt for her community Team Yogurt. Here is a profile on Chef Ana Sortun - from Sofra, Oleana, and Sarma in the Boston area. Ana's food is heavily influenced by the time she spent in Turkey, where she learned just how complex and versatile yogurt can be.

http://www.teamyogurt.com/posts/2016/5/2/chef-ana-sortun-biography-profile-yogurt
If you’re a Bostonian who likes to eat out, you’ve probably heard of Ana Sortun. At age 19, this Seattle-born chef left the Pacific Northwest for Paris, where she earned her Grand Diplôme from the fabled La Varenne Ecole de Cuisine. Upon returning to the States in the early 90s, she began laying deep culinary roots in Massachusetts, and diners and critics alike took notice. Today, with three restaurants, two cookbooks (the second...
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Beth Lee
owner

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The Daily Pulse: How about lentil burgers w lemon tahini sauce? Via HeartBeet Kitchen

https://instagram.com/p/BEZKS1npqGb/
See this Instagram photo by @soomfoods • 42 likes
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About this community

Tasting Jerusalem is a virtual cooking community learning about Middle Eastern cuisine through the lens of "Jerusalem: A Cookbook" by Ottolenghi and Tamimi, published by Ten Speed Press. We pick a topic monthly, then cook and share on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter, OMG! Yummy blog, and now Google Plus! Community is run by +Beth Lee and +Sarene Wallace.

Beth Lee
owner

Monthly topics  - 
 
Last night I made these lamb meatballs using toasted pistachios in the mix but I think walnuts would have worked really well also. What are your favorite uses for nuts in Middle Eastern cooking?
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Beth Lee
owner

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Walnuts - so ubiquitous in cooking - are our August featured ingredient! Did you know how central they are to Middle Eastern cuisine? It is the oldest fruit tree and in Syria, they are known as the "nuts of Aleppo" because of where they are grown in abundance (myhalalkitchen.com). What is your favorite way to use walnuts in Middle Eastern cooking?
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Jay and Dee

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New on the Blog: Tasting Jerusalem #38:  Fenugreek, featuring Lamb Shawarma and a sweet Fenugreek Cake:
http://cookiteatitblogitbrum.blogspot.co.uk/2016/07/tasting-jerusalem-38-fenugreek.html #fenugreek  
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Beth Lee
owner

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While Sarene and I get ready to announce a great topic for July, check out Alon Shaya's hummus recipe w lamb ragu! Wow!

https://www.jamesbeard.org/blog/recipe-hummus-with-lamb-ragu-and-harissa
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Beth Lee
owner

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Chef Yotam Ottolenghi dishes on the flavoring agents he can't live without. On the list: Urfa chili flakes! See how he uses them in the article linked below.

http://dujour.com/lifestyle/yotam-ottolenghi-best-spices-ingredients-for-cooking-recipe/
The world-famous chef and author of 'Plenty More' on the ingredients he can’t live without
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Jay and Dee

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+Beth Lee Thanks, the Feta in Vine Leaves is a classic. It's a simple recipe with one really difficult aspect: trying to remove the vine leaves from the jar and flatten them out without ripping them 😄
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Beth Lee
owner

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Spicy, smoky, fruity, salty, sweet ... We're exploring peppers from the Middle East this month including Aleppo, Urfa, Marash, and Antebi. Aleppo may be hard to find these days but Urfa, Marash, and Antebi have many similar qualities. Some great info in this L.A. Times Food Amy Scattergood article:

http://www.latimes.com/food/dailydish/la-dd-cant-find-aleppo-pepper-heres-why-and-what-to-substitute-20141216-story.html
If you, like many of us, are somewhat addicted to fruity, spicy Aleppo pepper, you've probably also noticed that you can't find it anymore. Why? Quick geography quiz: Where's Aleppo? Right, Aleppo is in Syria, which is currently in the middle of a massive, catastrophic civil war.
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Beth Lee
owner

Discussion  - 
 
Alon Shaya, winner of James Beard award for best new restaurant to pen a new cookbook - "My Journey back to Israel"

http://www.jpost.com/Israel-News/Culture/Award-winning-US-chef-to-pen-Israeli-cookbook-454689
Alon Shaya was born in Israel and grew up in Philadelphia, making his name in the US culinary world with his restaurant, Shaya, which offers his take on modern Israeli cuisine.
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Beth Lee
owner

Monthly topics  - 
 
We are talking about matbucha (matboucha) on TJ this month - that's the tomato pepper base for the wildly popular egg dish shakshouka but it's also used on its own as an appetizer or side dish - possibilities are endless. Here's one version from Amelia Saltsman's Seasonal Jewish Kitchen via the Nourish Evolution blog

http://cook.nourishevolution.com/2015/08/24/israeli-tomato-jam/
This Israeli-style tomato jam, known as matbucha, from "The Seasonal Jewish Kitchen" by Amelia Saltsman, is a tasty condiment you'll want to keep on hand.
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Beth Lee
owner

Discussion  - 
 
Wow - NOPI won a James Beard Award for Cooking from a Professional Point of View and Zahav won International Cookbook of the Year!
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