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Old 11-11-2018, 10:13 PM
MaiaMia_53's Avatar
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Join Date: Mar 2017
Location: Midwest, United States
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Together: Our Community Cookbook, foreword HRH Duchess of Sussex

I recently purchased a copy of this cookbook. It's really a nicely produced effort. I've been looking through it, and I think it was put together with a lot of care and love. The photos are great and the recipes are easy to follow.

I'm planning to make xerox copies of the recipes I want to try, so that I don't end up soiling the book itself with food-related stains (which tends to happen to well-used cookbooks).

I already tried out one of the easiest recipes with handy ingredients I already have in the fridge and pantry: Green Omelette on p. 22.

Other recipes I plan to try include: African Beignets (p.24); Kofta Kebabs with Onion & Sumac Pickle (p. 28); Iraqi Lamb Croquettes (p. 32) -- but for the latter two recipes, I would use ground turkey and/or ground chicken, rather than lamb and beef. I'm not vegetarian or vegan but I definitely cut down on eating too much meat, especially beef and pork. There aren't too many heavy meat recipes in the book though. The meat recipes involve mainly lamb and some chicken recipes, with the Kofta Kebabs calling for beef and lamb.

There are some vegetarian-focused recipes I'm interested in trying, including: Spiced Potato Kibbeh (p. 34); Stuffed Peppers (p. 39); Vegetable Samosas (p. 40); Green Chile & Avocado Dip (p. 45); Green Rice (p. 62); Tuna, Olive & Sun-Dried Tomato Cake (p. 78); Ethiopian Spicy Red Lentils & Greens (p. 83); Tabbouleh (p. 96); Rainbow Roasted Vegetables (p. 98); Carrot & Onion Chapatis (p. 102).

And Desserts:
Caramelized Plum Upside-Down Cake (p. 106); Indian Shortbread (p. 108); Sweet Puff Pastries (p. 113); Russian Semolina Cake (p. 114); and Simple Chocolate Cake (p. 119).

Under Breakfasts in the first section, I may at some point try the Shakshouka recipe (p. 16), but I'd likely substitute a pesto sauce with green peppers and maybe green tomatoes, rather than red tomatoes. I cut down on eating too many tomatoes, so I tend to go for pesto sauce or white sauces in my cooking.

The Barley Porridge with Fruit & Nuts (p. 18), especially the figs and pomegranate seeds with blueberries, sounds like a nice change of pace for me. And the Morroccan Pancakes with Honey & Butter (p. 21) really looks interesting, but somewhat involved re allowing the fast-acting yeast to rise and to form bubbles.

In general, I substitute certain ingredients when I try recipes, if I don't have specific ingredients on hand, unless the missing ingredients needed are essential. I appreciate that they highlighted certain unfamiliar ingredients like sumac, bharat, and garam masala. The latter two are easy to make because they are a mix of particular spices already on hand in most kitchens.

They failed to highlight asafoetida (probably an oversight), and another ingredient I can't recall at the moment. But they're easy to look up on the Internet... Asafoetida (aka Hing) is derived from a species of giant fennel, and it is said to be a 'crucial ingredient in Indian vegetarian cooking.

The book does point out that unfamiliar ingredients can be found in East Indian, Arabic, Asian, and African food markets. I'm very familiar with ghee which I use a lot these days instead of butter. And I always have olive oil on hand to cook with.

All-in-all, a very worthy project put together by the Duchess of Sussex. I do enjoy exploring new recipes.

Has anyone else tried any recipes in the book? If so, how did they turn out?
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