My oh my, we are in love with this dessert. This yogurt-based pudding, much like a panna cotta, makes an elegant presentation, and its tart-and-sweet complexity makes it all the more interesting. Vanilla and orange zest give it intense flavors, while cream, milk, and yogurt combine for a silky-smooth creaminess. The recipe, from the amazing Jerusalem cookbook, calls for fresh peaches, but I improvised some and used frozen cherries instead, and they were a wonderful complement to the vanilla, ouzo, and lemon flavors in the sauce. Delicious! I’m looking forward to making this with summer-ripe peaches too.
My new Jerusalem cookbook by Yotam Ottolenghi and Sami Tamimi enchants and entices me on every page. Somehow the authors manage to transform traditional and familiar dishes from Middle Eastern and Mediterranean cuisine into even more delicious, vibrant, and novel flavor combinations. We had the roasted chicken with clementines last night (substituting ouzo for arak), and it was sensational! The recipe heaps on intense anise seasonings from fennel, fennel seed, and the anise-scented liquor, but in the roasting process, it imparts just a subtle anise note with an enormous punch of wowing flavor. My tastebuds were dancing at each bite of tender and delicious chicken — slightly charred but moist — the softened fennel, the hints of thyme, and the delightfully bittersweet slices of clementines, peel and all.