Friday, 7 May 2010

Other Blogger's Dishes - Halvah Shortbread & Melitzanosalata

It's time for another round of "Other Blogger's Dishes" - the delectable things I cook from around the blogosphere. I can tell you, I have hardly looked at a food magazine since I started food blogging, because there are so many wonderful dishes knocking around.

Peter at Kalofagas is always a source of inspiration - I have heaps of his dishes bookmarked to make at some stage. I actually made two of his dishes on the same day - his melitzanosalata and the pork ladorigani.

I'd intended to cook my aubergine for the melitzanosalata on the barbecue, but the weather didn't play along at all. It was blowing a gale, 10 degrees colder than it had been and pouring with rain. But in the recipe Peter says "I’m let down when I taste that the eggplant was roasted in the oven", and I couldn't bear to disappoint him! So I lined my roasting tin with foil, put a good bed of beech smoking dust down, and put the aubergine on a rack over them. Covered the whole lot in foil and put it on the stove to start smoking, then into the oven to bake. It didn't give as smoky a flavour as doing them directly on charcoal, but it certainly gave a bit of the lovely smoked aubergine aroma that you look for in this sort of salad/dip.

The pork dish was much more straightforward - and absolutely delicious! I cut the skin that I'd removed from the pork belly into chunks and baked them in a hot oven and used the lovely resulting crackling as a garnish for the dish, but followed the rest as written (ish - I used tequila instead of white wine because it was open and sacrificable).

I served the melitzanosalata and pork ladorigani with some (bought) wholemeal pita bread, some courgettes sauteed in olive oil and garlic, finished with a squeeze of lemon juice and some hummus. A really wonderful meal - and definitely enough garlic to keep the vampires at bay. Thank the foody gods that Paul likes garlic just as much as I do!

Of course, when I make hummus I have half a jar of tahini left over. Normally, I just make more hummus. But on this occasion I was keen to try out a dish I saw on Laura's blog Hungry and Frozen - halvah shortbread. Now, I am a sucker for shortbread anyway, but the addition of ground almonds and tahini sounded just wonderful! Unfortunately, my food processor is too small for this quantity, so I just went in with my hands to combine all the ingredients. It is completely delicious! It has the rich sesame flavour of halvah and the wonderful buttery flakiness of shortbread. Because the halvah gives so much flavour, I think this would be a really good recipe to veganise - you really wouldn't miss out on anything by using vegetable shortening instead of butter. I think this would also make a wonderful dessert with some yoghurt and poached figs. Definitely try this one!

20 comments:

Peter M said...

What a wonderful foodie surprise to see the melitzanosalata and pork ladorigani make here! So glad you enjoyed both and when you have better weather, you can place the eggplants over glowing charcoal.

Cheers!

Simona said...

I also have a good number of Peter's recipes bookmarked. You made a very nice meal. I am particularly intrigued by the dessert.

Foodycat said...

Peter - thank you for sharing the recipes!

Simona - the shortbread is really good. I had a piece with thick yoghurt today and it was perfect.

Choclette said...

Thank you for pointing me in the direction of the tahini shortbread - it sounds really good.

Esme said...

I love halvah-never thought of using it as a cookie.

Debinhawaii said...

Gorgeous dishes. The pork in particular has me drooling! ;-)

Foodycat said...

Choclette - it really is very good!

Esme - If you like halvah I think you would love it.

Beatrice said...

I like tahini in cookies -- I bet it is great in shortbread!

Barbara said...

I like Peter's blog as well and have tried a number of things he's posted.
Agree entirely with the wonderful recipes we can find on blogs...I am continually amazed at the talent out there.
Love the tahini shortbread dessert too!

Foodycat said...

Beatrice - it is!

Barbara - it's a wonderful saving on cook books!

kat said...

Yeah Peter's dishes are always fantastic! His pork souvlaki is our go to recipe.

Mary said...

I love the post and the meal you fashioned from the recipes of other bloggers. I hope you are having a great day. Blessings...Mary

P.S. The jelly ca be used with cream cheese and spread on crackers. It can also be used to glaze pork or chicken.

Foodycat said...

Kat - I'll have to try the souvlaki!

Mary - that sounds yum! I will have to try your jelly recipe.

Velva said...

Your dishes rock! No doubt Peter is quite pleased. I enjoy Peter's blog too.

Like you, since starting to blog I have a recipe file that is stacked high and ready to fly with fellow blogger recipes.

Taste of Beirut said...

Yum! I follow Peter's blog as well but so far have only tried a few pastry recipes, all great, of course I made them Lebanese-style! Anyway, this meal that you created sounds fabulous!

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Foodycat said...

Velva - his dishes are very reliable as well as mouthwatering. It's nice to have bloggers you trust!

Taste of Beirut - I have some of the pastry recipes bookmarked too. Making them Lebanese-style sounds delicious!

Neil said...

interesting to hear your way of cooking aubergine in the oven for the smoking flavour...hadn't thought of that....

what I do and was shown by a Lebanese cook was to cook them direct on top of the gas ring - that really blackens them and gives a smokey flavour...in fact it can be too overpowering for my palate and I have temper it down a notch with mixing in plain roasted aubergines.

I like you way of chopping up roughly than you normally see in Middle Eastern recipes as you have more texture...

..agree like you the best method is over charcoal to have best flavour...

azelia
azeliaskitchen.net

Laura @ Hungry and Frozen said...

Glad you liked the shortbread! I seem to be a very bad influence on your food processor though :)

It would definitely be a memorable dessert base too. Will have to make this again sometime - I've just run out of tahini, it's a good excuse to buy another jar...

Foodycat said...

Azelia - I tried doing it over gas once, but it made so much mess!

Laura - hmmm, now I am thinking of a yoghurt cheesecake with the shortbread as a base!

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