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More Foodie Stuff

Catching up on details...


Back on August 30th, I made a lamb tagine with dates and toasted almonds.  The recipe was from North African Cooking, by Tess Mallos.  The tagine I bought looks like this:


It's not the biggest one they had, but it's good for 6-8 servings.  It looks a little shiny in the photo, but it's not glazed.  Instead it's a lovely polished and sanded surface that keeps food from sticking but can still absorb flavors like a tagine is supposed to do.  I bought it from Tissa's Market in Old Saybrook, CT, which is a great place to shop, full of interesting little jars of imported yummy stuff.  This is the meal as served:

lamb tagine

Accompanying dishes were couscous, mixed tomatoes (from our garden), baba ganoush, and some good bread.

On Sept. 14th, I tried the "bacon baklava" with a filling of bacon, dates, and almonds, and a syrup flavored with maple syrup, bourbon, and orange zest.  It was... interesting.  Smoky.  (I think I overcooked it a bit, but it would still have been smoky.)  With the bacon, it's a novelty I probably won't repeat, but the maple syrup version of the sweetening was great!  I'll try that with another filling sometime.  This is how it looked (notice that people didn't have any problem eating it):

bacon baklava

Sunday, Sept. 21st, I made more plum tortes from the recipe on this page.  (If you don't want to register for the NYT, use this link.)  It's a recipe copied in many places online, with so many accolades that I didn't dare fiddle with it.  But some notes:

(1) They say 9" to 10" springform pan.  I tried an 8-3/4" and a 9-1/2" version.  The smaller one was very good, but had too much batter per plum; the wider was very much better.  The difference between grading the recipe with 3 stars or 5, seriously.
(2) It uses Italian prune plums.  These are smaller than standard eating plums, and less juicy, and often hard to find.  They say it also works with regular plums (I had lots of prune plums so haven't tried) though you might cut them into sections instead of merely in half, or I've also considered trying it with canned (soft) prunes, or apricots.
(3) Yes, they do freeze well.  I didn't believe it, but tested it on the first batch by freezing one for a week and then thawing.  I took it to a gaming session so didn't bother heating it after the thawing, but people still loved it.

Sorry, no picture. But imagine a very flat cinnamon cake dotted with round stewed plums, each holding a syrupy blend of plum juice and cinnamon sugar.