Monday evening we went to the Portland Food Adventure’s dinner at Levant. Have you ever gone to one of these? If not, you really should. There’s at least five courses and the chef (in this case, Scott Snyder), will tell you about the food you’re eating, the restaurant, and their favorite places to eat in Portland. And at the end of the night, you get gift cards to those places! It’s a pretty sweet deal.
Here are my main thoughts on this event at Levant: there was a lot of sun, the food was amazing, there were multiple dessert courses. Win! Unlike the equally delicious Gruner meal, everything Monday night was plated separately and while it maybe took a bit longer that way, the plates were just stunning. The menu is listed below and then my photos follow.
I think if I had to pick a favorite course (and I really liked them all), I’d have to go with the cheese and bread course because, well, it’s cheese. And bread.
Passed Canapes and The Phoenician (cocktail).
First Course: Spot Prawn Crudo, Preserved Lemon & Arak Sorbet, Pickled Chili, Mint Oil.
Wine: Getariako Txakolina, Ameztoi, Hondaribbi Zuri 2012.
Second . . . → Read More: Portland Food Adventures: Levant
French Friday’s with Dorie this week was Ispahan Loaf Cake, which is Persian, very time consuming (what with the egg separating, whites beating, raspberry placementing, etc,…) but quite delightful when it was all done. Perhaps it wasn’t the best project for a Thursday night, but we were having tasty, slightly-warm slices of cake by 8pm, so that’s not too bad.
I really didn’t change too much here: I added a pinch of salt and used almond extract for the rosewater extract. However, I was able to find rose syrup at a Middle Eastern market not too far from my house (the one next to Ya Hala), so that worked out. I found that mine took about 1 hour and ten minutes to produce a clean test knife.
An addition: I did take my extra raspberries, some chambord, a little sugar and made a quick raspberry sauce to accompany the cake. As usual, the recipe is in Dorie Greenspan’s cookbook, Around My French Table.
Here’s a link to everyone’s French Friday posts this week and my photos below.
. . . → Read More: FFwD: Ispahan Loaf Cake
French Fridays this week features a tagine, which is a dish that I love. This one has chicken and sweet potatoes, along with prunes or…hmmm, let’s maybe just say figs. That’s what I had already, so that’s what I used for the dish (and these Around my French Table recipes do seem to be fairly forgiving ingredient substitution).
I do look forward to making tagines on account of my super-awesome Emile Henry tagine (the result of a gift card to Sur la Table), so this FFwD was an extra special treat for me.
1. I replaced the 1/2 cup water with wine because, why not?
2. I deglazed the pan that I browned the chicken in with the stock and then added the saffron to that, before adding it to the tagine (for some reason, I think I’ve heard to add saffron to liquids first). Plus, I really didn’t want to waste any flavor from the chicken-browning pan.
3. There was garlic added (duh).
4. We had this with whole wheat couscous.
5. I liked the flavor a lot, but I’ve come to the conclusion that the French are just not . . . → Read More: FFwD: Chicken Tagine with Sweet Potatoes and Prunes (Figs)
Even though it is Summer, chances are you will have at least one day where it is a little cooler and maybe you will even want to cook something on your stovetop for an hour or more. This is the dish for that day.
Pretty much one of the coolest kitchen gadgets I own — my Emile Henry Flame Top Tagine. Why is it so cool? Well, it’s a tagine, so it’s already a neat shape, it’s also red and you can use it on the stovetop (no soaking or anything first), oven, microwave, and dishwasher. Neat-o.
I didn’t have preserved lemons when I made this and although I know they are easy to make, I didn’t have the time to do so. I just used a thinly sliced lemon and I thought that worked well in this dish.
Chicken Tagine with Lemon & Olives
Adapted from a recipe from Williams-Sonoma, serves about 4
4 large bone-in chicken thighs
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp salt
3/4 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground coriander
1/4 tsp cayenne
1/2 tsp ground allspice
1/4 tsp ground cloves
2 bay leaves
4 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
4 garlic cloves, sliced
Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
1 white onion, thinly . . . → Read More: Chicken Tagine with Lemon & Olives
I have made quite a few batches of lentil soup in my time. All of them have been pretty good but this is the first one that I have absolutely, completely loved. I am giving credit for that to two things.
Thing #1 – I used awesome, homemade lamb stock for my soup, made from lamb shanks that had been braised in yummy things likes tomatoes, red wine and cinnamon.
And Thing #2 – I blended the soup, something I haven’t normally done when making lentil soup.
Now, if you have some awesome, homemade lamb stock go ahead and use that (especially if it has a tomatoes/cinnamon/red wine quality to it). If not, feel free to use chicken or vegetable broth for the soup but add half a cinnamon stick while simmering. Or if you don’t have that, I’d add maybe a 1/4 tsp of ground cinnamon along with all the other spices.
Egyptian Red Lentil Soup
Adapted very much from a recipe in Food & Wine Magazine
1 red bell pepper
1 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp ground coriander
1/2 tsp chile powder
1 tbsp tomato paste
1 cup red lentils
4 1/2 cups chicken, . . . → Read More: Egyptian Red Lentil Soup