Sourdough Part IV: The Sourdough Schedule

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It’s Slow Food defined, but worth it. Miriam winds down the sourdough series with a plan. It’s true, sourdough takes time. So do all good things. But once you’ve established your starter, a world of delicious home-made breads opens up to you. And the good news is that sourdough also makes quicker breads like muffins, […]

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RECIPE: Sourdough Bread Part I: Make A Starter

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You can bake a sourdough corn bread like this, too. our 4-part series on baking with sourdough starts here. People have relied on wild yeasts to ferment their bread doughs, beer, and wine for thousands of years. By contrast, commercial yeast has only been around for about 100 years. It only became possible to culture […]

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Bake Your Own Za’atar-Topped Pita Recipe

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The Middle East’s daily bread, easily made at home. In the Middle East, here is always pita. Pita sops up humus and sauces; opens up to enfold falafel or shwarma; serves as a base for all kinds of spreads (like muhamarra). We take this homely bread for granted, but if it were taken away, we’d […]

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RECIPE: Apricot Chutney

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Golden-pink apricots are in season now in the Middle East. Preserve some as chutney for year-round enjoyment. Do you like chutney? Cooking your own seasonal (and preferably organic) fruit, you can enjoy locavore preserves that you won’t find in any supermarket. And you choose the sweetness and chili heat of your chutney according to your […]

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SHAVUOT RECIPE: New York Cheesecake

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This light, creamy cheesecake fits into your green Shavuot, especially if you make it with organic cheese and eggs. It’s also light on sugar. The ancient Romans left a simple cheesecake recipe: ricotta cheese, honey, and eggs.  Pour into a clay saucer. Bake over coals. That still works, but for the Jewish holiday of Shavuot, we […]

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RECIPE: Mulberry Chutney

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Mulberries make delightful jams and chutneys. Miriam shows you how. Wherever you see  several old mulberry trees standing together in the Middle East, you can be sure that they are descendants of trees once cultivated to provide fodder for silkworms. And although the leaves have medicinal properties that humans can also enjoy, we two-legged folks […]

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RECIPE: Moroccan Stuffed Artichoke Hearts

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Do you love artichokes? We do. Here’s a healthy recipe perfect for the Middle East. It’s springtime, and the markets of the Middle East display piles of these artichoke thistles with the succulent hearts. The hot climates of North Africa and the Middle East produce a fantastic variety of vegetables that are easy to stuff […]

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RECIPE: Creamy Eggplant Soup

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Eggplant seems an unlikely soup ingredient. But blended with vegetable stock, herbs, and cream, the shiny purple vegetable makes a creamy soup full of Middle-Eastern flavors. Now is when eggplant is coming into season in the Middle East. In any market there’s a table piled high with long purple-black eggplants, round eggplants, ridged eggplants, purple […]

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RECIPE for Ma’amoul Cookies, a Tender Arabian Pastry Delight

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Ma’moul means “filled” or “stuffed” in Arabic, and these tender, crumbly pastries are stuffed with dates or nuts. Traditionally, they’re made in special wooden molds that imprint the pastry with individual designs – so you know if your ma’amoul is stuffed with walnuts, dates, or pistachios, without having to take a bite. People all over […]

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RECIPE: Almond Blossom Liqueur

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White Almond Blossoms Make A Unique Liqueur All over the Mediterranean and Middle East, wild almond trees in fields and along highways are becoming clouds of pink and white blossom. They’re the first to bloom at winter’s end. Although rain and dark skies may return a few more times, tentative sunshine warms our faces, and […]

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RECIPE: Chicory, Traditional Middle-Eastern Greens

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Will chicory become chic? Chicory, or olesh in Arabic and Hebrew, is a tasty wild edible related to endive. Generations of  Middle Eastern peoples hand-gathered the lance-like, serrated leaves to cook, but you can buy it cultivated now. Unfortunately, this nutritious, inexpensive wild vegetable hasn’t acquired the prestige of, say, artichokes – which are really […]

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RECIPE: Potato Latkehs for Hanukkah

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The Festival of Lights. Traditional songs, spinning tops and chocolate coins, candles in the menorah flickering while we wait for the first platter of hot latkehs, our home-made Hanukkah treat. Latkehs! What is it with latkehs? They’re brown, they’re fried, they’re potatoey and oniony and when you fry them, you have to open all the […]

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