Balaboosta is one of my go-to favorite restaurants in NYC. When friends come to town, it’s my first choice for where to take them. I love the bold Mediterranean and Israeli inspired dishes with Chef/Owner Einat Admony’s creative twists.
Fried olives anyone?
Admony’s first and very enticing cookbook, BALABOOSTA, is a personal journey that touches upon her mixed Israeli heritage (Yeminite and Persian), her childhood in Israel, her kids and how they eat in NYC, and the dishes she shares with friends when she entertains at home. Over 140 recipes, including some from her restaurants, Balaboosta and Taim, will expand your thinking about Med inspired dishes and get your juices flowing.
Although this book is not kosher (there are a few adjustments needed to alter a handful of recipes), it is a friendly, easy to follow and inspiring volume. My copy already has numerous post-its popping up from it’s pages. It lives on the bookshelf just steps from my kitchen, with other favorites, when it’s not propped open on my counter.
To enter this cookbook give-away leave a comment, below, telling me what aspect of Israeli or Mediterranean cuisine you would like to know more about. Spices, soups, desserts? You can look forward to seeing more info and recipes in response to your requests!
Enter your comments before December 18 at 9 AM. Winner will be announced on Kosher Like Me’s facebook page and I will e-mail you directly for your mailing address. Be sure to “like” me on facebook if you haven’t already.
The recipe below and both photo images are excerpted from Balaboosta by Einat Admony (Artisan Books). Copyright (c) 2013. Photographs by Quentin Bacon.
If you aren’t the lucky winner, consider buying your own copy and one for a friend by clicking here. Many thanks to Artisan Books, NYC, for sharing this copy for my readers.
Balaboosta: 214 Mulberry St, New York City
These recipes and both photo images are excerpted from Balaboosta by Einat Admony (Artisan Books). Copyright (c) 2013. Photographs by Quentin Bacon.
My mom taught me a lot about cooking, but she also taught me about kitchen responsibility—stuff like how to clean rice so there are no black spots and how to properly rinse fava beans. One job I remember in particular was removing, separating, and collecting pomegranate seeds for her famous preserves. This jam goes wonderfully on bread, but mainly it was for her chicken: she’d mix it with water and let it simmer on the chicken inside the pan. It makes a sweet-and-sour chicken better than anything you’ll find at a Chinese restaurant.
If, for some crazy reason, you manage to live without pomegranate confiture, you can replace it by whisking together 1/2 cup pomegranate molasses, 1/2 cup pomegranate juice, and 1/4 cup honey.
- 2 pounds chicken thighs and drumsticks
- 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
- 2 teaspoons ground cumin
- 2 teaspoons ground turmeric
- 3 tablespoons canola oil
- 1 1/4 cups Pomegranate Confiture (below)
- 3 cups toasted walnuts
- Pinch of saffron threads (optional)
- Place a large pot over medium-high heat for 5 minutes. While the pot is heating, pat the chicken dry and season with the salt, pepper, cumin, and turmeric.
- Add the oil to the pot and add the chicken. Brown the chicken on all sides. Overcrowding the pot will steam the chicken instead of searing it. Add the pomegranate confiture and stir in the walnuts and the saffron.
- Place a lid on the pot and bring to a boil, then lower the heat to simmer for 45 minutes. Uncover and reduce the sauce for another 45 minutes. Remove from the heat and take the pot straight to the table for a family-style meal.
This recipe is Meat
For this recipe you’ll need to learn how to seed a pomegranate. It’s easier than you think. Slice the pomegranate in half and then hold it upside down (i.e., skin side up) in your hand. Then do your best Ringo Starr imitation and bang the living daylights out of it with a spoon, and watch as the seeds rain down into your mixing bowl.
- 6 cups pomegranate seeds (from about 10 pomegranates)
- 6 cups sugar
- 1/4 cup water
- Place the seeds, sugar, and water in a medium saucepan and bring the mixture to a boil. Lower the heat to simmer and cook until thick, like syrup, about 35 minutes. Stir the mixture occasionally to prevent the bottom from burning. Remove from the heat and cool completely.
- Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 1 year. Not only is the confiture great on slices of toast and sandwiches, it does wonders with so many delicious chicken dishes, like Mom’s Chicken with Pomegranate and Walnuts.