Saturday, February 21, 2009

Crazy Water, Pickled Lemons

That is the name of a fantastic cookbook by Diana Henry that I received as a gift recently. It has many tasty-sounding Mediterranean, Middle Eastern and North African recipes, but I had yet to try any of them because they seemed to have so many exotic ingredients. However, I realized that this was mostly because each chapter starts with wonderful descriptions of various unusual ingredients and I had actually sat down and read all of these in depth, leaving me with the impression of all kinds of wonderful exotic places and tastes and smells. But I was determined this week to tackle something in there, and I went through the book and discovered that while there are some recipes with hard-to-find things like rose petals and orange flower water, there are plenty of approachable ones. I picked out a handful and started with Greek Herb Pilaf with Shrimp and Feta. It has a huge amount of herbs in it, so I was curious to see if they overwhelmed the dish — I am happy to say that they do not, but instead lend a unique and surprisingly mild flavor to the whole thing —not to mention the whole apartment smelled unbelievable.

This is only half the herbs, another equal portion is stirred into the cooked rice.

After some sauteeing, the rice is cooked with a towel-wrapped cover over it — I would assume to absorb the moisture.
This photo truly doesn't do it justice, but right as I finished we were interrupted by an unfortunate old dog having an accident incident. Poor dog. Yummy dinner. It's loaded with flavor, with lemon and olives and herbs and tomatoes and shrimp.

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