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4.5 out of 5 stars
Jerusalem: A Cookbook
Format: HardcoverChange
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24 of 25 people found the following review helpful
on November 22, 2012
I love these guys cookbooks. But this one doesnt quite deliver. The pics are wonderful and the herbs and flavours are great. But the instructions don't quite deliver. For instance cod cakes... at the top of the page talks about crispy cod cakes, but says only 4 tabelspoons of oil. IF you do it as stated you will not have a cake but a mess all over the pan. They don't stick together. Then when you put them in the tomato sauce they fall apart. I found it much better to deep fry the cakes in a fry pan... in otherwords just add a lot more oil and do them 2 or 3 at a time to make sure they hold together. Then don't add the all the water they state into the tomato sauce... again they will fall apart. But the recipe is delish once you waste a good deal of your cod figuring it out. This is the same with all of the recipes I have tried so far... i am sure some r just fine but I hsven't found them yet. Disappointing. So a lot of extra time has to be spent figuring things out. This leaves you feeling stressed when trying out something new as you don't know if it will work out.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on January 12, 2013
I am obsessively reading this book - a pleasure that approximates that of tasting the actual dishes. Ottolenghi's descriptions and directions are so mouth-watering that the imagination almost satisfies your hunger. I have made several dishes by now and they all elicited rave revues. One caution: he is very liberal in his use of oi. If, like me, you have learned to cut down on fats and oils, you will adjust accordingly. For instance deep-frying veggies is a no-no for me - roasting tastes just as great. I just made hummus from scratch, its delicious, needed more lemon juice than he suggests but the amount is huge when you're used to buying little tubs from the store! We ground some of the spice mixtures and found others in Toronto's Kensington market.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
TOP 500 REVIEWERon June 26, 2013
Another spectacular offering from Ottolenghi. I have owned Plenty for years and have been eyeing this since it came out. Still, I was able to resist until a trip to London where we had the fortune of eating at Nopi. After that, my cookbook adverse ("why do you need another cookbook?") boyfriend bought this himself.

This book is beautifully illustrated with a guide to background and food of Jerusalem. The pictures and descriptions make me want to try everything in this book (even eggplant which I hate) and each recipe comes with a story. So far the caramelized baked potatoes with prunes have been a favourite - the textures, the flavours, everything works well here!

There are countless recipes I have bookmarked to try, and many more that will inspire me as I adapt them to be vegetarian and gluten-free. Most ingredients are easy to find (all already on hand in my kitchen) although I am still searching for barberries and pomegranate molasses and am waiting eagerly for fresh figs!

Recipes are mixed in time requirements. Many require planning ahead as they are 30mins - 1hr in cook time, but require marinating or soaking the night before. In my opinion, the recipe steps are well laid out. I cook a lot, but I believe the directions are simple enough for most people to be able to follow.

Update: Everything I try in here is just amazing... hunted down some barberries and tried one of the rice dishes. Saffron, pistachios and barberries - what an amazing combination! I love the mix of sweet and sour all at once. This book gets better and better!
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on April 2, 2014
I heard an interview with Yotam Ottolingui and Sami Tamimi on CBC radio and was very intrigued by the book. When I got it, I found it first of all a wonderful book about Jerusalem, full of lovely photos of the place and the people and the food, with entertaining, interesting commentary. So just for that it is a lovely acquisition. Then as I looked more and more at the recipes and their photos, I made a mental list of what I was going to try first. I made the beet, leek and walnut salad - which is as beautiful as it is tasty. I made it again to take to a friend's dinner party. Everyone wanted the recipe. I was "commanded" to make it for our department potluck…. In the meantime I tried other recipes with equal success. But what's more I have already given the book as a gift four times, and the recipients' have also tried and loved the recipes, as well as the photos and info. So, I would say this is a book you can't go wrong with.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on February 14, 2014
Firstly this book is beautiful to look through. Secondly the recipes are simple, straightforward and always delicious. Jerusalem provides the recipe for the best hummus I have ever tasted outside of my favourite Lebanese restaurant in town. It's perfect comfort food with familiar ingredients and easy to follow instructions. A real gem.
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on April 2, 2014
This is a whole lot more than a cookbook - it's a culinary history book as well. It would be the perfect gift for anyone who loves to cook and likes to try new flavour sensations. This was a gift to myself after a friend sent me the recipe for chicken with caramelized onions & cardamom rice which I've made three times already. I've also made turkey & zucchini burgers with green onion & cumin, and baby spinach with dates & almonds - shall make them all again and look forward to trying others which I've earmarked!!
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on July 24, 2013
This book sets out to represent a city that is made up of so many food smells, styles and techniques, you'd think it would be an impossible task, yet it accomplishes just that with ease. The recipes are delicious and supply enough challenges to keep a seasoned cook's interest yet are straight forward enough for anyone to tackle. I made 4 recipes withing 2 weeks of getting this book as a gift and my family was delighted. Some will surely become household staples. I thnk the authors for hours of pleasure.
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on January 15, 2013
Having read the fascinating article in the New Yorker on Yotam Ottolenghi I became very curious to explore his cooking methods in his new book "Jerusalem". So I ordered it and to my great delight I was hooked. The recipes may seem complicated with many ingredients but the end results are excellent. No garbage food here, nothing but the freshest and the best very similar to home cooking you were fortunate to have experienced as a child had you lived in that part of the world.
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on March 4, 2013
We haven’t been to Israel for about 10 years. Prior to retirement we were there several times each year. This book brought it all back. We can taste and smell and feel what Ottolenghi is describing. Not sure if it would be as interesting for someone who has never visited Jerusalem but the book has inspired us to go back next year. We are not Jews, we are not Arabs but we love the country, we love the food and we really appreciate this book.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon April 15, 2014
Got this as a gift and spent the whole weekend just flipping through it. I'll be honest, some of the recipes venture a little outside my personal culinary comfort zone, but this is so much more than just a cookbook. This is about the stories, the photography, the history. A must-have for anyone who loves food, travel, photography, or life in general. You won't be disappointed.
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