Posts tagged ‘Cookbooks’

May 8, 2013

Grilled Potato & Goat Cheese Napoleon

Grilled Potato & Goat Cheese Napolean

We’ve had a number of beautiful spring days over the past week, and it motivated me to clean our outdoor grill. I’m fortunate to have an indoor grill in my range-top, allowing me to grill year-round. However, I’m limited to lean meats and vegetables inside. Big meat causes big smoke, not pleasant. I know you grill masters out there don’t think twice about BBQ’ing in the snow. Not me, I wait until spring. So after giving the BBQ a good scrub, I dusted off some of my favorite grilling cookbooks and decided to leaf through this book from Bobby Flay to find a new side dish.

Bobby Flay's Grill It!

Bobby’s recipes are always flavorful and exciting. Lots of fresh herbs and char make for a good meal. His recipes can seem complicated at times. Many sauces and relishes, using blenders and food processors… but I say attack these recipes with enthusiasm and determination. Everything I’ve made of Bobby’s has proven well worth the extra dishes and time. Nothing complicated with these potatoes, just lots of steps needed to get them on the dinner table. Now that I made them once, the next time they will seem much less laborious. And I should emphasize I will definitely be making this again. These are some kick ass potatoes that I promise everyone will flip over.

Grilled Potato & Goat Cheese Napolean


  • 5 large red potatoes, scrubbed under cold water
  • 1/4 cup balsamic dressing
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 2 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil
  • 1/2 cup olive oil, plus a little to brush on the potatoes
  • Kosher salt & pepper (for the dressing & potatoes)
  • About 6oz plain goat cheese (a small package), thinly sliced
  • Fresh chives, chopped

Place the potatoes in a pot of cold water and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for about 15 minutes until fork tender, but still a bit firm. Timing will depend on the size of your potatoes. Drain the potatoes and set aside to cool.

Place the vinegar, garlic, mustard, basil and olive oil in a food processor to make the dressing. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Set aside.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Set your grill to medium-high heat. Slice the potatoes into 1/2 inch thick slices. You can discard the end slices. Brush each side of the potatoes with a little olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Carefully grill the potatoes until slightly charred and golden, about 3-4 minutes per side. Bobby said 2 minutes per side, it took a bit longer for mine. Keep a close eye on them.

Remove the potatoes from the grill onto a sheet pan. To make the Napoleons, stack the potato slices and the sliced goat cheese. My stacks included three potatoes slices and 2 cheese layers (see pictures). Place the stacks back on the sheet pan or onto an oven safe platter. Place in the preheated oven for just a couple of minutes until the cheese is soft and melty.

Remove from the oven and drizzle with a little dressing over each stack and a sprinkle of chopped chives. Voila! Seriously the best potatoes I’ve had in a long time.


* Keep your goat cheese log in the refrigerator until you’re ready to use it. To make even slices without crumbling the cheese, use unflavored, unwaxed dental floss. It slices the cheese perfectly. 

January 30, 2013

Jerusalem, A Cookbook


I’ve been meaning to feature this new cookbook since before the holidays. Time has gotten away from me. Jerusalem by Yotam Ottolenghi and Sami Tamimi may be the best book of 2012. As with most of my cookbook purchases, I spent the first couple of days reading Jerusalem like a novel. Filled with the culinary history of the city, this book illustrates the melting pot of cuisines that make up the food of Jerusalem.

Jerusalem turkey burgers

My appetite for eggplant and za’atar is more than satisfied with this collection of recipes. I made the Turkey & Zucchini burgers with green onion & cumin. Served with a sour cream sumac sauce and warm pita, these seemed more like kofta than burgers to me. A little grilled eggplant on the side, a few pomegranate seeds, and a refreshing Israeli chopped salad made for a delicious dinner.

The basmati & wild rice with chickpeas, currants and herbs was another perfect side dish I loved from the book. The cumin seeds, curry power, sweet currants and fresh herbs are super flavorful. If you love hummus, falafel, lamb shawarma, challah, chocolate babbka… get this book! There are so many recipes using beans, grains and vegetables, I think this book will work well for vegetarians.

This simple chopped salad is a cinch to prepare and truly represents the tapestry of cuisines found throughout Jerusalem. “Everybody, absolutely everybody uses chopped cucumber and tomatoes to create an Arab or an Israeli salad, depending on point of view.”

Jerusalem chopped salad

All recipes adapted from Jerusalem


  • 2 good-sized ripe tomatoes, diced (or use cherry/grape tomatoes if you can’t find good quality large tomatoes)
  • 1 medium cucumber, partially peeled and diced
  • 2 green onions, chopped
  • 1 1/2 tbsp chopped parsley
  • 2 tsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 1/2 tbsp olive oil

Simply place all the ingredients in a bowl and toss together. I don’t know that you even need specific quantities of each ingredient to make this. You certainly can’t mess this one up.

Jersusalem turkey burgers 2

These little meatball-like, burger scrumptious kofta type treats are fantastic. I’ve made them a few times and always serve them with warm whole wheat pita and simple grilled eggplant slices. The combination of the spiced turkey meat with creamy sauce, smushed in a pita with the eggplant and chopped salad, is over-the-moon good. You’re probably not supposed to eat it all smashed together, but that’s how we do it here and it’s awesome.


  • 1 pound ground turkey
  • 1 large zucchini, coarsely grated
  • 3 scallions, chopped
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 2 tbsp fresh mint, chopped
  • 2 tbsp fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • Kosher salt and pepper
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
  • Grapeseed oil or other neutral frying oil

Preheat your oven to 425 degrees.

Combine all the ingredients in a bowl (except the oil). I use my hands because it’s the best way to make sure it’s properly combined. Make small patties. You should get about 15-18 mini burgers out of the recipe.

Preheat a large frypan over medium-high heat. Add a little oil to the pan and sear the burgers in batches until they are golden and crispy on the outside, about 4-5 minutes total. Remove and place on a sheet pan. Repeat with the remaining batches of burgers, add additional oil as needed. When you’ve seared all the burgers, place the sheet pan in the oven for an additional few minutes, until they are perfectly cooked through. Serve warm with the sour cream sauce below.

  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 2/3 cup plain greek yogurt (I use non-fat)
  • 1 tsp grated lemon zest
  • 1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1 garlic clove, minced finely
  • 1 1/2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp sumac
  • Kosher salt & pepper

Mix everything together in a small bowl and serve with the turkey and zucchini burgers. This is also a perfect sauce to serve on grilled vegetables or other grilled meats.

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