In Search of Israeli Cuisine

In Search of Israeli Cuisine
is a film that highlights the dynamic food scene in Israel. The film's chef/guide is Michael Solomonov, a James Beard Award winning chef and co-owner of acclaimed Zahav in Philadelphia. He is also the author of the cookbook Zahav (one of my most treasured books). The chef was born in Israel and has lived and traveled there frequently. This documentary follows Michael into hot restaurants and home kitchens, wineries and cheese makers, he eats street food and visits markets. All over the country, he discusses traditions, ingredients, the origins, and the future of Israeli Cuisine.

There are four screenings of this film scheduled for the New York area this month and screenings will continue. Check the film's page for more information or to request a screening in your area. I have reached out to the filmmakers asking if a DVD or PPV option will be available and will provide you with that information when I have a response.

I will be updating the calendar this weekend with tour dates for Solomonov who will be promoting his upcoming book Federal Donuts in September. 

Photo courtesy of Florentine Films.

Friday Flashback - Pok Pok

Any lover of Thai food more than likely has Pok Pok: Food and Stories from the Streets, Homes, and Roadside Restaurants of Thailand on their bookshelf. Even those who don't own the book, have heard of Ike's Vietnamese Fish Sauce Wings or as I call them one of the best wings in the world.

Andy Ricker, James Beard Best Chef of the Northwest 2011, is the chef and owner of Pok Pok which opened in Portland in 2005. Since the flagship location, Ricker has spread the his style of Thai cuisine across the country with nine other bars and restaurants. Andy, please come to Denver .....(now the Dave Loggins' song in my head).

Ricker is an expert in northern Thai cuisine having honed his knowledge spending several months every year - for years - studing the food and culture in Thailand. Pok Pok, the cookbook written by Ricker and J. J. Goode, is one of those titles that I always know exactly where it is. I have made the famous wings, the Papaya Salad with Coconut Rice and Sweet Pork, the Spicy, Sweet, Tart Noodles with Pork, Peanuts, and Herbs and a few others - all of them killer good - and now I want to make those dishes again.

The Fall is bringing so many incredible titles including Ricker's second book Pok Pok Drinking Food of Thailand also written along with Goode. This new title brings the same level of authority as the first book, with a more laid-back approach reflecting the spirit of his Whiskey Soda Lounge location. Accessible and detailed recipes like lao saparot (pineapple-infused "whiskey"), kai thawt (Thai-style fried chicken), and thua thawt samun phrai (fried peanuts with kaffir lime, garlic, and chiles) are examples of what we will find in this title.

Ricker's recipes never disappoint and I can tell you right now - I'm ready for October! 

Featured Cookbooks & Recipes

Did you know adding online recipes to your EYB Bookshelf is a really great way to build your personal recipe collection?  You can do this even if you have a free membership! 

Try it out now and see how easy it is. Browse the recipes below, choose one that appeals, click on the link, and add it to your Bookshelf. (Make sure that you are signed in first.)

All the recipes we feature in these weekly round-ups have online links so you can add any of them to your Bookshelf.

Happy cooking and baking everyone!


Member Photo of the Week:

Roasted Root Vegetable and Wheat Berry Salad from David Lebovitz's indexed blog

Photo submitted by eliza. Have you uploaded any of your own photos yet? Learn more!



From magazines:

7 zucchini recipes by Domenica Marchetti from the  August issue of indexed  Better Homes & Gardens Magazine



From UK books:

5 recipes from Spanish Made Simple: Foolproof Spanish Recipes for Every Day by Omar Allibhoy (Now available in the US)

Enter the Spanish Made Simple GIVEAWAY! (US only)


From US books:

18 recipes from  Everyday Seafood: From the Simplest Fish to a Seafood Feast, 100 Recipes for Home Cooking by Nathan Outlaw (First published in the UK with a different cover)

Enter the Everyday Seafood GIVEAWAY! (US only)

7 recipes from Red, White, and 'Que: Farm-Fresh Foods for the American Grill by Karen Adler & Judith Fertig

Enter the Red, White, and 'Que GIVEAWAY! (US only)


9 recipes from No-Bake Desserts: 103 Easy Recipes for No-Bake Cookies, Bars, and Treats by Addie Gundry

Enter the No-Bake Desserts GIVEAWAY! (US only)

Jamie Oliver gets back to basics

 Jamie Oliver

Jamie Oliver's career has been going strong for nearly 20 years. Beginning Monday, August 21, he is adding to his lengthy credentials by returning to the small screen with a new program called 'Jamie's Quick and Easy Food'. The chef recently spoke with Food & Wine to discuss why he chose to get back to basics in his new program

The premise of the show is to create mouth-watering dishes using only five ingredients and taking only 30 minutes to prepare. "It's taken 20 years to make this show," Jamie says. "It just struck me that having a large amount of ingredients is an incredible barrier to people either cooking, or not. I wanted to get as many people as possible to just have a go!"

In addition to talking about the show, Jamie talks about his school lunch initiatives, how his career has changed since he burst onto the scene in 1999 with The Naked Chef, and more. We learn that while the chef likes to get his kids to help in the kitchen, only one of his five children (six-year-old Buddy) has expressed an interest in being a chef like his dad. We may be watching a second generation of Chef Oliver in a few years. 

Neighborhood - Hetty McKinnon - Review, Recipe and Giveaway

Neighborhood: Hearty Salads and Plant-Based Recipes from Home and Abroad by Hetty McKinnon is a must-have collection of show-stopping yet simple vegetable-packed global recipes, delivered against a backdrop of charming stories of food, family, and friendship. Based on the beauty of this book, I had to track down her first title, Community (both are keepers).

Hetty's salads can turn the strictest carnivore's head with recipes like Warm Goat's Cheese Croutons with Roasted Beets, Figs, and Apple-Mustard Dressing (which we are sharing today); Shredded Collard Greens, Baked Sweet Potato, and Pinto Beans with Paprika-Buttermilk Dressing; and Eggplant with Haloumi, Beet Tzatziki, and Yogurt Flatbreads. The Thai Carrot and Peanut Salad was out of this world delicious and her Spicy Peanut Sauce will be my go to from now on.

Hetty started making salads out of her Sydney home on Arthur Street in 2011. Soon she was pedaling her salads around her neighborhood calling her project Arthur Street Kitchen. She states that the "phenomena of sharing salads soon went national, with the release of my first cookbook Community, which told my story of sharing salads in Sydney and featured sixty of my hearty, plant-based salad recipes." Hetty and her family now live in Brooklyn where she continues to make salads. She has an event scheduled in New York on the 20th.

Special thanks to Roost Books and salad maker extraordinaire, Hetty, for sharing the following recipe with our members today. Please be sure to see our giveaway below.

Add this recipe to your Bookshelf (click the blue +Bookshelf button).

A trip to Paris invariably means high salade au chèvre chaud consumption, which is fine by me! In a city where vegetarian food can still be hard to come by, this hot goat's cheese salad has saved me too many times to recall. This is such a beautifully simple salad with the most harmonious flavors. My version includes roasted beets, figs, and a divine apple-mustard dressing. Use whatever salad leaves you have on hand for this.


  • 6 small beets (about 1¾ lb; 800 g), peeled and cut into small wedges
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • ⅓ lb (150 g) baguette, sliced into 1 in (2 cm) thick rounds
  • 7 oz (200 g) goat's cheese log, rind on
  • 5 thyme sprigs, leaves picked
  • 2 teaspoons chopped rosemary leaves
  • 3 cups watercress
  • 3 cups mache (lamb's lettuce)
  • 3 tablespoons chopped chives
  • 4 figs, each cut into 8 segments
  • 1 cup walnuts, toasted and crushed
  • Sea salt and black pepper


  • 3 tablespoons apple juice
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 tablespoon dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon cider vinegar
  • 1 small garlic clove, very finely chopped
  • Sea salt and black pepper


Mache (lamb's lettuce): baby spinach leaves

Watercress: baby arugula leaves

Preheat the oven to 400˚F (200˚C).

Spread the beets on a large baking tray, drizzle with 1 tablespoon of olive oil, season with salt and pepper, and roast for 30-35 minutes until tender.

Preheat the grill to high. Place the baguette slices on a baking tray, drizzle over 1 tablespoon of olive oil, and place under the hot grill for 2 minutes, or until golden. Remove the croutons from the grill.

Slice the goat's cheese into as many rounds as you have croutons. Place a slice of cheese on the un-grilled side of each crouton and top with a few thyme and rosemary leaves. Return to the grill and cook for 3-4 minutes, or until the goat's cheese is soft and golden.

To make the dressing, whisk together all the ingredients and season with salt and pepper to taste.

Toss the salad leaves together with the chives. To serve, arrange the beet slices and figs on top of the leaves, drizzle over the apple-mustard dressing and season with salt and pepper. Top with the goat's cheese croutons and the walnuts.


Roost Books, the publisher, is offering five copies of this book to EYB Members in the US and Canada. One of the entry options is to answer the following question in the comments section of this blog post.

Which recipe in the index would you like to try first?

Please note that you must be logged into the Rafflecopter contest before posting or your entry won't be counted. Please be sure to check your spam filters to make sure you receive our email notifications. Prizes can take up to 6 weeks to arrive from the publishers. If you are not already a Member, you can join at no cost. The contest ends at midnight on September 19th, 2017.

From Neighborhood by Hetty McKinnon © 2016 by Hetty McKinnon. Photography © 2016 by Luisa Brimble. Reprinted in arrangement with Roost Books, an imprint of Shambhala Publications, Inc. Boulder, CO.

Sweet by Ottolenghi

The UK release date of Sweet by Yotam Ottolenghi and Helen Goh is less than a month away! It feels like we have been waiting forever, right?

As the publisher did with Nopi's release, if you preorder Sweet from any online retailer in the UK  you will receive a digital access code with the book. This will enable you to review the recipes and content digitally once the book is published.

If you wish to pre-order, using our BUY BOOK option and choosing Amazon UK or Book Depository UK, will provide EYB with a small affiliate fee which assists in our indexing efforts. For those fans who would like a signed copy, you can order one through the Ottolenghi store.

Fresh, evocative ingredients, exotic spices and complex flavourings - including fig, rose petal, saffron, aniseed, orange blossom, pistachio and cardamom - to indulgent cakes, biscuits, tarts, puddings, cheesecakes and ice cream are the foundation for this title. The recipes range from simple mini-cakes and cookies that parents can make with their children to fancy layer cakes and roulades that will inspire the most accomplished of bakers.

Sweet includes over 110 innovative recipes, from Blackberry and Star Anise Friands, Tahini and Halva Brownies, Persian Love Cakes, Middle Eastern Millionaire's Shortbread, and Saffron, Orange and Honey Madeleines to Flourless Chocolate Layer Cake with Coffee, Walnut and Rosewater and Cinnamon Pavlova with Praline Cream and Fresh Figs.

Any book by Ottolenghi is highly anticipated in the culinary world, but this title has everyone buzzing including those who profess to be non-dessert lovers!

September 7th, we're ready!

Is it time to bring back the bread machine?

 bread machine bread

The Instant Pot may be today's "must-have" small appliance, but 20 years ago that title belonged to the bread machine. In the early 1990s, they consumed copious amounts of precious counter space, providing users a "set and forget" tool for fresh bread. After the turn of the century, their popularity waned and most were relegated to the trash bin or thrift store. Now it seems that bread machines are poised for a comeback.

Blame for the decline in the appliance's popularity can be assigned to multiple events. First, the gluten-free craze drove down interest in carbs. Second, the lackluster performance of many models left bread lovers disappointed. Uneven baking, compromised rise, and other flaws prompted baking purists to disparage the machines. Additionally, the ascendance of the 'hands-off' artisan bread technique meant that the time saved by using a bread machines was not as profound. 

A new generation of machines (not to mention a new generation of cooks!), combined with a growing interest in making specialty breads at home, may signal a comeback for the lowly bread machine. Manufacturers are adding more options, making the appliance less of a one-trick pony. Modern machines can make pasta and pizza dough, beignets, cakes, bagels, and more. Prices have dropped, too, making it more tempting to try one on for size. Have you considered adding a bread machine to your kitchen appliance collection?

Photo of Buttery bread machine loaf from indexed website Serious Eats, recipe and photo by Donna Currie, Cookistry for Serious Eats. 

La Latina - Review, recipe and giveaway

When spunky Grace Ramirez was a guest on The Chew a few months ago promoting her work and cookbook, I had to find out more.

I reached out to Grace about La Latina, her brilliant cookbook published by Random House New Zealand in 2015, and she immediately responded by mailing out a copy to me.

La Latina takes us on a cook's journey of Latin America from Mexico in the north to Argentina in the south, and shares a beautiful array of dishes from almost every country in between. Each country's culinary history and background is nestled in the recipes and gorgeous photographs making this a full immersion into Latin American cuisine.

Grace is a Miami-born chef who was raised in Venezuela and her food style can be described as comforting Latin American soul food mixed with her own culinary chic. When the former Masterchef USA contestant isn't creating dishes, she's a judge on one of New Zealand's highest rated shows: My Kitchen Rules which airs in New Zealand, the UK and Asia. She's also the host of Food Network LATAM: DESTINO CON SABOR, currently airing throughout Mexico and Latin America.

The book is broken down as follows: Grains & Soups; Poultry & Eggs; From the Sea; Meats; Dishes with Fillings; Rice; Salads & Vegetables; Sauces, Condiments & More; Something Sweet; Drinks and Feasts with the country of origin listed at the beginning of the recipe. Dishes include Lomo Saltado (Beef Stir-fry Peruvian-style), Mandocas (Anise, Panela & Cheese Fritters (Venezuela), Llapingachos (Kumara & Cheese Patties with Peanut Sauce) from Ecudaor. and Pupusas Con Curtido (Cheese-filled Corn Pupusas with Curtido Slaw) from El Salvador. 

Special thanks to Grace and Random House New Zealand for sharing the following recipe with our members as well as providing copies of this book for our promotion below.

Add this recipe to your Bookshelf (click the blue +Bookshelf button).

Serves: 4
Time: 10 mins prep, 10 mins cook

4 chorizos or sausages of choice
4 ciabatta pockets
1 tbsp butter
1 cup guasacaca (see below for recipe)


Preheat a grill pan or cast-iron skillet to a medium-high heat.

Grill chorizos or sausages on all sides until fully cooked, about 5-7 minutes depending on size.

Slice open ciabatta pockets, spread with butter and lay on grill to lightly toast for about 1 minute.

To assemble, tuck chorizo or sausage in and top with guasacaca.

Add this recipe to your Bookshelf (click the blue +Bookshelf button).

Makes: 1¼ cups
Time: 10 mins prep

4 large garlic cloves, peeled
1⁄2 cup olive oil
1⁄4 cup finely chopped flat-leaf
parsley with some stems
1⁄4 cup finely chopped coriander
with some stems
1 ripe avocado
1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
2 tbsp white vinegar
1 fresh green chilli, or red chilli flakes to taste (optional)
flaky sea salt


Using a mortar and pestle, crush garlic with a pinch of salt and then muddle it with 2 tablespoons of olive oil. When a paste has formed, add herbs and combine.

Halve avocado, remove stone and scoop out the flesh. Combine with herbs, mashing with a fork. Add lemon juice, vinegar and chilli (if using), and season to taste with flaky sea salt and freshly ground black pepper.

Chef's note: Some people make this in a food processor or blender, but I prefer the chunky, rustic consistency you get from a mortar and pestle.

The publisher in New Zealand is offering one copy to members in New Zealand. The generous author is offering three copies of this title to our EYB Members in the US, UK, Australia and Canada. One of the entry options is to answer the following question in the comments section of this blog post.

Which recipe in the index would you like to try first?

Please note that you must be logged into the Rafflecopter contest before posting or your entry won't be counted. Please be sure to check your spam filters to make sure you receive our email notifications. Prizes can take up to 6 weeks to arrive from the publishers. If you are not already a Member, you can join at no cost. The contest ends at midnight on September 18, 2017.

Recipe excerpt from La Latina published by Random House New Zealand, 2015. Food Photography by Garth Badger.

What is 'nduja?

'nduja and mozzarella toasts

Spreadable salumi might sound like an oxymoron, but it is in fact a product, namely an Italian specialty called 'nduja. Made from pork, chilli peppers, herbs and spices, the fiery spread (pronounced en-doo-yah) comes from the Calabrian region of Italy. As Australian Gourmet Traveller explains, its spicy flavor enhances many dishes, from eggs to pizza and beyond

In addition to its fiery taste, one of the appeals of 'nduja is its supple texture. Bringing the 'nduja to room temperature before you use it allows the fat to soften and the flavor to fully bloom. While not a supermarket staple, 'nduja is available in Italian delicatessens or specialty shops. It is sold in either in its whole form, which is shaped like a football, or in jars or other resealable containers. 

'Nduja's bold flavors can complement a wide variety of dishes. One of its most common uses is as a bruschetta spread, and you will often find it paired with eggs as well. But that's far from all - you can find 'nduja jazzing up roasted vegetables, perking up pasta sauces, and used as part of a marinade or rub. If you're interested in trying 'nduja, the EYB Library contains over 50 online recipes to get you started, including the 'Nduja and mozzarella ciabatta with garlic and thyme oil from Australian Gourmet Traveller Magazine, pictured above. 

Around the World in 120 Salads - Review, recipe and giveaway

Katie and Giancarlo are a dynamic duo that met in 1997. He was a restaurateur and she an artist. He loved her painting, she loved his pasta and now the pair have two restaurants, a cookery school, have written over a dozen cookbooks and have two sons.

One of their newest titles, Around the World in 120 Salads: Fresh, Healthy, Delicious delivers globally influenced salads that are perfect for any time of day and occasion.

The book is divided into the following chapters: Dressings, Rise & Shine, First Things FIrst, Salads From the Farm, Salads From the Sea, Salads from the Garden, Simple Little Sides and On the Sweet Side.

First Things First hits on the basics for making a perfect salad, tips and techniques for textures and serving. Dressings, of course, lists myriad dressings, sauces and more to make our salads more flavorful and exciting. Then we get into the salad chapters with Rise and Shine - yes you can make a salad for breakfast! Doesn't a Spinach, Bacon, Avocado & Tomato Salad with Poached Eggs or a Saffon Peach & Mint Salad with Banana Pancakes & Lemon Crème Fraîche sound like something to make even the sleepiest head jump out of bed?

The middle chapters include recipes with seafood, proteins and produce with Middle Eastern, Greek, and other global flavors. Simple Little Salads is one of my favorite chapters - I love the addition of a fresh element on a plate and there are recipes for small pops of flavor in the form of sides such as Ginger Vichy Carrot Salad, Smashed Cucumber Salad and more.

Of course, any good meal ends with a sweet bite and On the Sweet Side includes recipes for Raspberries & Red Currants with Whipped Ricotta, Lemon Curd & Ginger Crumbs and Roast Black Fruit Salad with Amaretto & Cashew Lime Cream for a healthier alternative to an indulgent dessert. Frankly, those sound as decadent as any other dessert - sign me up.

Special thanks to the publisher for sharing a recipe our members can try now and for providing three copies of this book in our giveaway below.

Pan-fried halloumi & roasted fennel salad with orange dressing
Add this recipe to your Bookshelf (click the blue +Bookshelf button).

serves 4 to 6

Giancarlo learned how to make this punchy orange dressing in Bistrot de Venise restaurant in Venice, and now we use it all the time. Reducing the orange juice makes it zing with color and sweetness. The dressing can be made in advance but cook the halloumi just before serving.

2 fennel bulbs, cut into 1/2-inch thick slices
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
a large handful of watercress, arugula, or lettuce leaves
a handful of seedless green or red grapes, halved
8 ounces halloumi cheese, cut into 1/4-inch slices
a few fronds of wild fennel or dill, stems discarded
salt and freshly ground black pepper for the dressing
1 teaspoon finely grated orange zest
1/2 cup freshly squeezed orange juice (approx. 2 small oranges)
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

Preheat the oven to 350°F.

Bring a medium saucepan of water to a boil. Add the fennel slices and boil for 5 to 10 minutes or until just tender, then drain.

Lay the slices onto a baking sheet, brush with the oil, and season.

Roast for 20 to 30 minutes or until they just start to burn. Little crispy areas are good. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool.

Meanwhile, put the orange zest and juice in a small frying pan over medium heat, and leave it to bubble gently until reduced by about half. Leave to cool. When cool, mix with the oil, salt, and pepper.

Taste and adjust the seasoning as necessary.

Lay the leaves on a large platter, and top with the fennel and grapes.

Dry-fry the halloumi slices, in a nonstick frying pan, on each side for a couple of minutes or until just golden, and add to the salad. Drizzle with the dressing, season with black pepper and scatter the fennel or dill fronds. Serve immediately or the halloumi will harden.

The publisher is offering three copies of this title to our EYB Members in the US. One of the entry options is to answer the following question in the comments section of this blog post.

Which recipe in the index would you like to try first?

Please note that you must be logged into the Rafflecopter contest before posting or your entry won't be counted. Please be sure to check your spam filters to make sure you receive our email notifications. Prizes can take up to 6 weeks to arrive from the publishers. If you are not already a Member, you can join at no cost. The contest ends at midnight on September 18, 2017.

Recipes taken from Around the World in Salads by Katie and Giancarlo Caldesi, published by Kyle Books. Photography by Helen Cathcart.

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