Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Uneven Start

Remember when I said I wasn't going to "do" Weight Watchers? Nix that. haha. I signed up for the online plan. We'll see how it goes. I don't intend to talk about it much. However, I do think it's interesting (though annoyingly time-consuming) to figure out the points of real-world recipes that I want to be cooking. Should anyone care, I'll mention the point value of what I'm cooking, best I can figure it out, just in case it would spare someone else the aggravation of "the Recipe Builder."

I received another gift-pile of fava from my landlord's uncle last week. Instead of once again making Marcella Hazan's crazy-delicious Roman Style fava been recipe, I decided to try Fava Bean Kuku (pg 39 of Jerusalem. Wasn't adhering to WW yet, so don't have points for you.) I was undeterred by the weirdness of the recipe, but perhaps I should have been. It's basically a frittata with fava beans, sugar, dried cherries (substituted for barberries, per the instructions), onion, garlic, saffron, and fresh mint. It's also supposed to have a full cup of dill, but I can't find dill here. I bought a seed packet and will try to grow my own, but that didn't help me now. I used some dried dill, instead.
Get out of my eggs, cherries.
This thing was really weird and unpleasant. For starters, it was very salty. The second major problem has to do with instructions. The chopped dried cherries, being the heaviest item in the bowl, sank to the bottom and dumped into the pre-heated pan unevenly. I didn't notice this problem as it happened, but I can't imagine I'm the first person it happened for. A quick instruction to stir the mixture one in the pan would have helped matters. As it was, my first slice of kuku had no cherries. My second had a thick layer that was so discordant with the other flavors that I have a visceral revulsion to the memory of it.

Conclusion: Disliked. The first, cherry-less slice wasn't terrible, but I can't get past how awful my second slice was.

This initiation into Jerusalem left me rattled. Would I be the only person who doesn't love this book?

Never fear.

Baby Spinach Salad with Dates and Almonds (pg 30, 9 WW points) is one of the best things I've ever eaten, and sumac is my new favorite spice. How have I never come across it before? Why did my friend have to go all the way to Morocco to secure some for me? It smells like it belongs in the cinnamon/nutmeg/clove family, but the flavor packs some heat. Yum. I kinda want to throw some in gingerbread, just to see what happens.

So, the salad was easy enough. Soak dates and red onion in white wine vinegar. Toast torn up pita and chopped almonds in butter and oil, then mix with sumac, chile flakes, and salt. Mix the whole lot with spinach, lemon juice, and salt. I also added a shredded turkey cutlet.
Mmmm. I want more RIGHT NOW.
This is a diet worth starving all day for. (Sorry. I'm a dramatic dieter.)

Matt's response after one bite: "That was one amazing mouthful of food. I don't think I've ever said that about a salad before." I must agree.

Conclusion: Loved it. I want to hug this salad. Spicy, sweet, chewy, and crunchy. This one needs to become a regular. Until I run out of sumac, that is.

1 comment:

  1. I must tell you that I made Baby Spinach Salad with Dates & Almonds today and you are right. It is delicious. I also told a friend (i gifted her with the book for her birthday) about your recommendation and she is making it for a dinner party tonight. Thank you. Thank you. I will keep checking with you to see what else you like and don't like.