Even more from Bon Appetit
Like I mentioned in my last post, I think the August 2014 issue of Bon Appetit is the best of the year. I’ve been working my way through even more of the recipes in the last week. I focused on two more recipes from the same article that featured the cover recipe of Tomato, Onion, and Roasted Lemon Salad. The recipes each have parts of them that can be made a day ahead but the actual cooking of them takes a little longer so they might not be weeknight friendly (but they are good for the weekends).
This is a recipe from a chef named Yotam Ottolenghi who runs a number of restaurants in London that focus on Eastern Mediterranean flavors. It is a close second for my favorite recipe of this issue right behind the Tomato, Onion, and Roasted Lemon Salad. Most of the recipe is simple to make with herb oil that can be made in a food processor, simple yogurt sauce that gets mixed up, and then a few vegetables to cut up. The challenging part of the recipe is frying the eggplant.
You need to be careful around the oil so you don’t accidentally burn your fingers or hands. When you add the eggplant to the hot oil, carefully lower it in ideally on a slotted spoon to avoid the splattering and potential burns. Also make sure you are not putting too many pieces of the eggplant into the oil at once or it will be hard to flip them over to get them browned on all sides and the temperature if the oil will drop. Once the eggplant is cooked make sure you cool it on a paper towel to get any excess oil out of it before combining it with the rest of the ingredients.
Once the salad is arranged on a platter it is beautiful to look at and delicious to eat. The contrast of the crunchy cucumber, soft eggplant and tomatoes, and the mixing of the herb oil and yogurt into a yummy sauce make it a great addition to the Za’atat Roast Chicken recipe (below).
This is another recipe from Yotam Ottolenghi. I’ve made sauces with tahini before and since I had some in my refrigerator I thought I’d try this recipe. The sauce was simple to make but beware you also need a ½ cup of water that is not listed as an ingredient but is spelled out in the directions. I made the sauce at the same time as the marinade for the chicken so all I had to do at dinnertime was cook the chicken.
I used two large skin on, bone in chicken breasts for the recipe since I was just cooking for 3 people. It was pretty hot the day I was making the chicken so instead of roasting this in my over, I decided to cook it in the barbecue. I am lucky enough to have a barbecue that has a temperature gauge on it and is large enough to fit a rimmed baking sheet on the grates. I prepared everything on a baking sheet like it was going in the oven, preheated the grill, put the baking sheet on the grates when it was 400 degrees and closed the barbeque lid. I went back out to check on every so often to make sure that the temperature was still at 400 and then after about 30 minutes I decided to open the barbecue top where I was greeted by the burned out mess of the extra marinade, onion and lemon. I was surprised to see the charred mess however the chicken was just fine so I let it cook for another 10 minutes. I went ahead and carved the chicken into slices to be served with the tahini sauce. The chicken was very good and the tahini sauce was a nice change to a Tzatziki or other yogurt sauces that I serve a lot of the time with grilled chicken. I think that if I made the chicken again I would make it in the oven and in a smaller pan or baking dish to keep the more of the marinade around the chicken.