Once again it has been kind of a long gap between posts. I was traveling a bit more and, I admit, I strayed and cooked a few recipes out of a new Indian cookbook, The Indian Slow Cooker, that my boyfriend got me. I love Indian food, but have never been able to cook it as well as in a restaurant, so I set Plenty aside for a bit and have been experimenting (its been going well!).
But now I have returned to the delicious realm of Chef Ottolenghi and the recipe I chose for tonight, Freekeh Pilaf (pg. 241), did not disappoint.
The recipe was straightforward and simple, only taking about 40 minutes from start to finish. The one ingredient I could not find (which Chef warned about) was the freekeh. Freekeh is “charred green grains with a wonderful smoky aroma” that is common throughout the Middle East. However, it is not common here, especially in Alaska where there is not a Middle Eastern grocery shop anywhere close by! So, I substituted bulgar wheat for the freekeh, which Chef recommended. This substitution also cut down the cook time by 10 minutes 😉
I began. Sautee the onions. Check.
Soak and drain the bulgar wheat “freekeh.” Check.
Mix those together with sweet spices and veggie stock and bring to boil. Check.
While the pilaf was cooking, I made the yogurt sauce. I think my garlic cloves were a touch too strong, because boy was my sauce garlicky! A little too garlicky, even for me, someone who loves garlic.
I also toasted the pine nuts and…they DID NOT BURN!!!!! Hooray! I think this was my first successful toasting of nuts without at least some of them getting burnt or very dark brown. Woohoo!
Then I put everything together and got to enjoy the pleasing pilaf. It was slightly sweet from the spices and very garlicky (as I said). On my second helping (yes, I went back for more), I put in less of the yogurt sauce, which made it much better I thought. Overall, this was a hearty, simple dish that I enjoyed. I give it 4 stars – it was good, but comparing it to some of the outstanding 5 star recipes, it just didn’t quite meet the mark. I am, however, looking forward to the next few days of leftovers for lunch!
My finished product (no picture in the cookbook for this one…).