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Wheat Berry Bowl with Merguez and Pomegranate

Wheat Berry Bowl with Merguez and Pomegranate

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If you cooked a big batch of grains on Sunday, you’re halfway to a weeknight dinner. You can use any cooked grain for this recipe, such as freekah, barley, or farro. No merguez? Sub with sweet Italian pork or chicken sausages instead.


  • 4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1 pound merguez sausage, casings removed
  • 1 garlic clove, finely grated
  • ½ cup plain whole-milk Greek yogurt
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice, divided
  • 2 teaspoons za’atar, plus more for serving
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • ¼ cup coarsely chopped mint, plus leaves for serving
  • 4 scallions, thinly sliced, divided
  • 3 Persian cucumbers, thinly sliced into rounds

Special Ingredient

  • Za’atar, a spice blend of herbs, sumac, and sesame seeds, is available at Middle Eastern markets, specialty foods stores, and online.

Recipe Preparation

  • Simmer wheat berries in a large saucepan of salted water until grains are tender and hulls have just started to split open (cook time will vary and can take up to 1 hour). Drain and rinse under cold water, then thoroughly drain again. Transfer to a large bowl.

  • Meanwhile, heat 1 Tbsp. oil in a medium skillet, preferably cast iron, over medium-high. Cook sausage, breaking up with a wooden spoon, until browned and crisp, 8–10 minutes. Transfer to a medium bowl with a slotted spoon.

  • Mix garlic, yogurt, 1 Tbsp. oil, 1 Tbsp. lemon juice, and 2 tsp. za’atar in a medium bowl; season with salt and pepper. Set yogurt sauce aside.

  • Add pomegranate seeds, chopped mint, half of scallions, remaining 2 Tbsp. oil, and remaining 1 Tbsp. lemon juice to bowl with wheat berries and toss to combine. Season with salt and pepper.

  • Divide wheat berry mixture among bowls and top with cucumbers, sausage, and remaining scallions. Drizzle with reserved yogurt sauce, scatter mint leaves over, and sprinkle with more za’atar.

Recipe by Jenny RosenstratchReviews SectionSo surprisingly filling!! I'm a vegetarian so I subbed out the merguez for Beyond sausage (Italian), cooked it to a crisp and it complimented the dish perfectly. Refreshing & packed with flavor - highly recommend!AnonymousLos Angeles, CA06/22/20i don't know why, but i wasn't expecting a lot from this recipe, but it actually turned out AMAZING! the flavors and contrasting textures are amazing (shout out of the cucumbers providing crunch up against the chewiness of the rest of the flavors).in contrast to the other reviewer of this, i used the full two teaspoons of za'atar and loved it.things i did differently: i made my own merguez with a spice mixture and ground lamb cause my local grocery store doesn't carry merguez sausages, i don't think that added too much time to the process. i also used barley instead of wheat berries, because again, that's what i have access to (which i cooked with garlic and chicken stock). i also didn't have a pomegranate, however, i would have loved to have one, and i could see how this dish would pop even more with the pomegranate seeds.i'm in the middle of eating this, and i already am excited for leftovers during lunch tomorrow.hey! frequent bon appetit recipe maker here. First one i've found where i've had multiple gripes, but don't let that deter you from an otherwise delicious and easy recipe.1. first gripe is very big and everyone should definitely pay attention to this. DO NOT, do not put 2 teaspoons of za'atar in a half cup of yogurt. i was skeptical and did it with on teaspoon of za'atar and it was MORE than enough. i recommend using a half teaspoon to a teaspoon depending on how spiced you want it2. this isn't too much of a gripe as it is a matter of process. just make the wheat berries a while before you mix this thing. don't rinse them in cold water. that's so weird and makes them slimy.Anonymousnew york city12/12/18

How to Seed a Pomegranate Because There's Only One Good Way

The other evening on the subway I saw a lady, her Whole Foods shopping bags at her feet, eating pomegranate seeds straight from a plastic container, and I felt a flash of recognition. Until recently, I had no idea how to seed a pomegranate those ruby-red seeds were one of the few ingredients that I always bought ready-to-eat.

There is a myth—and yes, it&aposs just a myth!—that pomegranates are a huge pain to de-seed yourself, that you&aposre not very likely to get all of them out, and that you&aposll make a big stain-inducing mess in the process. But what if we told you it&aposs not actually as hard as you think? And that from now on you can buy full pomegranates for way less of the money than it costs when someone else is doing the work.

Here&aposs how: Cut the pomegranate in half through the equator, then a hold it over a bowl of water, cut side down. With a wooden spoon, smack the skin assertively and repeatedly and watch the seeds hail down. Yep, that&aposs really it.

There are other videos on the internet that use a similar method, though often they use a paring knife to carve the pomegranate into a flower-like shape ahead of time. We think that&aposs unnecessary if you use our patented (not really) water method. While the seeds sink to the bottom, any white membrane bits that come out will float the top. You can scoop those out with a slotted spoon once you&aposre done, then drain the water from the seeds.

Sure, you might still want to a wear an apron to avoid splatter, but now you&aposre well on your way to making wheat berry bowls with merguez and pomegranate, citrus-pomegranate relish, and Moroccan lamb shanks with pomegranate.

Lady from the subway, if you&aposre out there, I hope you&aposre reading this.

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Wheat Berry Greek Salad

  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 2 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1½ tbsp paprika
  • 1½ tbsp ground ginger
  • 1 tbsp turmeric
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1.1kg/2½lb cubed lamb shoulder (5cm/2in chunks)
  • 2 large onions, grated
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp argan oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 570ml/1 pint tomato juice
  • 2 x 400g tinned chopped tomatoes
  • 115g/4oz dried apricots, cut in half
  • 55g/2oz dates, cut in half
  • 55g/2oz sultanas or raisins
  • 85g/3oz flaked almonds
  • 1 tsp saffron stamens, soaked in cold water
  • 600ml/1 pint lamb stock
  • 1 tbsp clear honey
  • 2 tbsp coriander, roughly chopped
  • 2 tbsp flat leaf parsley, roughly chopped

Place the cayenne, black pepper, paprika, ginger, turmeric and cinnamon into a small bowl and mix to combine. Place the lamb in a large bowl and toss together with half of the spice mix. Cover and leave overnight in the fridge.

Preheat the oven to 150C/300F/Gas2.

Heat 1 tbsp olive oil and 1 tbsp of argan (or vegetable) oil in a large casserole dish. Add the grated onion and the remaining spice mix and cook over a gentle heat for 10 minutes so that the onions are soft but not coloured. Add the crushed garlic for the final 3 minutes.

In a separate frying pan, heat the remaining oil and brown the cubes of lamb on all sides then add the browned meat to the casserole dish. De-glaze the frying pan with ¼ pint of tomato juice and add these juices to the pan.

Add the remaining tomato juice, chopped tomatoes, apricots, dates, raisins or sultanas, flaked almonds, saffron, lamb stock and honey to the casserole dish. Bring to the boil, cover with a fitted lid, place in the oven and cook for 2-2½ hours or until the meat is meltingly tender.

Place the lamb in a tagine or large serving dish and sprinkle over the chopped herbs. Serve.

Recipe Tips

Argan oil is a Moroccan oil from the argan tree. You should be able to find it in specialist food shops. It will give you an authentic taste, but you can substitute olive oil instead.

A Region's Tastes Commingle in Israel

IT'S as if some mystical wind from Israel were rustling through the collective unconscious of America's chefs: Terrance Brennan of Picholine, near Lincoln Center, is slipping nuggets of halvah into his coffee ice cream Donna Insalaco, at Fama in Santa Monica, Calif., is offering lamb ragout with cumin and feta cheese, and Andrew Nathan, of Frontiere in SoHo, grinds a batch of incendiary harissa every day to serve with merguez-and-couscous salad.

These chefs, and dozens like them, are experimenting with a big, inclusive style of cooking from the collision of cultures that is Israel. Some call it Med-rim cooking. Others prefer Pan-Mediterranean cuisine. Or Levantine fusion cooking.

This healthful cuisine is not to be confused with the humorously maligned "Jewish" food of Eastern Europe and the Borscht Belt. Nor is it the food that most tourists routinely encounter. This cooking is based loosely on foods of the Bible: wheat, barley, olive oil, figs, honey, pomegranates and wine.

These flavors from Israel are finding a ready reception in the United States for at least two reasons:

First, the food includes hot chilies, cumin, fresh coriander and basil, familiar components of other cuisines that are increasingly popular here, including Southeast Asian cooking and Tex-Mex, which gave Americans their appetite for salsa.

Second, chefs are always looking for new tastes, and after mining France, Italy and Greece, they are moving down the coast of the Mediterranean. With its reliance on olives, sour-salty sumac seasoning, grains and legumes, this olive-oil-enriched cuisine has health benefits that are well documented. The ingredients are becoming much easier to find here, too, because Arab immigrants are creating a demand for their products.

By accident of history and geography, Israel has become the culinary crossroads of the disparate people who hug the Mediterranean coast.

Propelled by constant conflict since the 1940's, Jews living in Arab states of North Africa and the Levant (a term that includes Israel, Greece, Turkey, Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, and Egypt) moved in great numbers to Israel, taking their native cooking with them. Now, diverse recipes from this vast region are concentrated in only a few square miles.

Ehud Yonay, a food importer in Santa Monica, Calif., said the table at his family's olive farm in Israel, between Jewish Haifa and Arab Nazareth, includes peppery Yemenite soups, hearty Moroccan tagines enlivened with harissa, and goat's milk yogurt cheese sprinkled with zaɺtar, an intoxicating spice blend of hyssop, sumac and sesame seeds.

In Israel, Shalom Kadosh, the executive chef of the Sheraton Plaza in Jerusalem, fuses local ingredients with the flavors of his native Morocco. He brings together the disparate elements of the region with loin of lamb in a crust of bulgur and sumac, and white and red varieties of the flat sweet-fleshed St. Peter's fish from the Sea of Galilee served with quail eggs, hand-rolled couscous and confit of onions in pomegranate syrup.

Increasingly, chefs from the United States are borrowing these ingredients. Todd English, the chef and owner of two Boston restaurants whose very names, Olives and Figs, conjure up visions of the Mediterranean, says he is committed to what he calls Pan-Mediterranean influences. At Olives, in Charlestown, wood-grilled lahmejune, an Armenian flat bread, is topped with goat cheese and tomatoes and served with leg of lamb and Syrian cucumber salad. A kind of "fusion tabbouleh" of cracked wheat and fresh tuna has become popular. And inspired by a recent trip to Israel, he plans to add a grand mezze platter (an assemblage of first courses) to the menu at Figs two block away.

At Picholine, Mr. Brennan employs eastern Mediterranean "flavor enhancers."

He uses sumac as a rub for meats, sprinkles licorice powder into savory sauces and splashes orange and rose-flower essence into desserts. He even makes his own pomegranate molasses by cooking down the juice, adds it to vinaigrettes, puts it in sparkling wine for a house aperitif and spoons it into a grain salad tossed with chunks of foie gras.

Joyce Goldstein could be called the mother of Med-rim in the west. At her restaurant, Square One, in San Francisco, she serves lentil-and cracked-wheat pilaf spinach and beets with mint and walnuts, and a brochette marinated in pomegranate, honey and black pepper.

As Med-rim taste catches on, Ms. Goldstein fears that these ingredients may soon wind up in trendy enchiladas, where many a Maine lobster or Norwegian smoked salmon has found a fashionable but incongruous place.

Dr. Liora Givon, an Israeli sociologist concerned with culture and food, said that in Israel, cross-cultural marriages are affecting what people cook at home. "If a Moroccan woman marries a Yemenite man, she begins to cook both cuisines," she said.

A stroll through the Supersol supermarket in a shopping center near Tel Aviv showed this Pan-Mediterranean mix: Turkish salad prepared with tomatoes and peppers fiery red harissa from Tunisia matbucha, a cooked Moroccan salad of tomatoes, red peppers and onions spicy zhug, a Yemenite condiment of tiny hot peppers, coriander and garlic fried eggplant in tahini, and hummus a half-dozen ways. All were prepackaged as convenience foods. Arranged on a single supermarket shelf, they illustrated how Israel can call itself the world's smallest melting pot.

Judging from Israel Food Week ➔, a trade show held in Jerusalem in May, the Israeli trend toward culinary amalgamation is being exported. A number of the Israeli products are being imported into the United States, or will be, by Galilee Cheese Corporation in Tenafly, N.J., including ethnic spice blends like Yemenite khavagage (cumin, cardamom, black pepper, coriander, tumeric and salt) Iraqi baharat (nutmeg, black peppers, coriander, cumin, clove, cinnamon, cardamom, paprika and chilies), and Arab zaɺtar (hyssop, thyme, sumac, sesame seeds).

They smell like a bazaar-in-a-bottle.

Riding the wave of demand for olive-based products in Israel and the United States, Olivia Food Company, an Israeli concern, has developed an olive salt, a condiment that includes powdered olives and garlic shaken onto pasta or chicken, it triggers an intense rush of olive flavor and bouquet. The same company is marketing olive-branch briquettes for barbecuing, the Levant's answer to mesquite. And Zeta Natural Oils, a two-year-old Israeli company, sells sun-dried souri and barnea olives. Like the more familiar sun-dried tomatoes, they come packed in oil.

Just as wars concentrated Middle Eastern Jews in Israel, recent political upheavals from Algeria to Egypt to Iraq have brought about Arab migrations to the United States, thereby creating demand here for these kinds of products and flavors.

The aromas are coming from small ethnic neighborhood restaurants and white-tablecloth establishments around the country.

In one case, in San Francsico, a small kebab house has been reborn as a larger place, called Yaya Cuisine, in the Sunset district. Yahya Salih, the chef and owner, describes his food as Mesopotamia-California, a blend of the varied cuisines of his native Iraq recreated in a fresh, California style.

A master of Med-rim imagination, he fills ravioli with dates dresses grilled eggplant with pomegranate molasses and serves grilled trout with pomegranate aioli.

Don Pintabona, the executive chef of TriBeCa Grill, on Greenwich Street, has an Israeli cook prepare authentic salads and mezze for large parties. Inspired by a culinary expedition to Israel, Mr. Pintabona created a halvah parfait with warm cashew-chocolate cake it is a popular addition to his dessert menu.

And Geoffrey Zakarian at Restaurant 44 at the Royalton Hotel in New York liberally borrows flavors and recipes from his Armenian mother. While the greater Mediterranean area informs his cooking, he prefers to call his food "second-generation French-American."

But he blends his own zaɺtar to season fish dishes and grilled Peking duck. Pita bread is grilled to order, accompanied by baba gannouj. Salmon gets a Med-rim treatment with cucumber, walnut and date salad.

"No matter what you call it," Mr. Zakarian said, "these are the hot flavors for the rest of the century." Do You Speak Med-Rim?

BAGELE Puffy-dough bread that looks like a large oval bagel and is sprinkled with sesame seeds. Sold in the streets of Jerusalem with little packets of zaɺtar wrapped in newspaper. CHELBA Yemenite orange-red hot-pepper sauce. DUKKAH Egyptian spice mixture of toasted and ground hazelnuts, cumin, coriander and sesame seeds. FATTOUSH Bread salad made with tomatoes, cucumber, radishes, toasted pita and sumac. HALVAH Grainy Middle Eastern sweet made from roasted sesame seeds and boiled sugar. HARISSA Fiery red-pepper paste from Tunisia, also used by Moroccans and Algerians. HILBEH Yemenite dip made from fenugreek seeds. HUMMUS Dip or spread of pureed chickpeas, tahini, garlic and lemon juice. HYSSOP A biblical herb, similar to wild marjoram, used fresh in salads and dried in zaɺtar. LABANEH Thick yogurt cheese. MATBUCHA Cooked Moroccan salad of tomatoes, red peppers and onions. "MED-RIM BREAD BASKET" Lafah (Iraqi pita) lachuch (spongy Yemenite bread) Druze bread (soft and parchment thin) malahwach (Yemenite multi-layered fried bread) Lahmejune (Armenian flat bread). POMEGRANATE MOLASSES Thick piquant syrup or concentrate made from reduced pomegranate juice, sugar and lemon, used for salads and in cooked foods. SABRA A sweet desert prickly pear with thorny, thin skin available in summer. SHARON FRUIT Sweet and aromatic tomato-shaped fruit developed in Israel from the persimmon. It is edible even when hard, and its season is from November to January. ST. PETER'S FISH Also called tilapia, and mousht in Arabic. Originally from the Sea of Galilee, now farmed, it is mild and sweet fleshed. SUMAC Dried and ground red berry that imparts a strong salty citrus flavor to salads and cooked foods. TAHINI Seasame-seed paste. The condiment of choice in Israel and used as a dip, spread and sauce for falafel, fish, poutry and meats. TURKISH SALAD Puree of red pepper, tomato and spices. ZAɺTAR Blend of dried hyssop, sumac and sesame seeds. ZHUG Spicy Yemenite condiment of tiny hot peppers, fresh coriander and garlic. Can be green or red. Also spelled zhoug. Sources for Israeli Foods

The following stores carry a good selection of Israeli products, olive oil, Mediterranean spices and condiments. WHOLE FOODS MARKET 2421 Broadway, near 89th Street, (212) 874-4000. LIKITSAKOS 1174 Lexington Avenue, near 80th Street, (212) 535-4300. NATURA 615 Ninth Avenue, near 43d Street, (212) 397-4700. FESTIVAL OF FOOD 41B Main Street, Port Washington, L.I., (516) 883-6037. INTERNATIONAL TASTE 150 Seventh Avenue, Park Slope, Brooklyn, (718) 768-7217. GREATER GALILEE GOURMET INC. Santa Monica, Calif., will ship by mail, (800) 290-1391. The following stores sell Israeli cheeses, sheep's milk camembert, labaneh (yogurt cheese) and goat's milk feta. DEAN & DELUCA 560 Broadway, near Prince Street, (212) 431-1691. SARA'S MARKET 1466 Second Avenue, near 76th Street, (212) 737-3900. ZABAR'S 2245 Broadway, near 80th Street, (212) 787-2000. MILLER'S FAMOUS CHEESES 2192 Broadway, at 78th Street, (212) 496-8855. GALILEE CHEESE CORPORATION Tenafly, N.J., will ship by mail, (201) 569-3175. Recipes From the Levant, With Biblical Ingredients Frontiere's Grouper With Zaɺtar and Tomato Total time: 45 minutes 10 large plum tomatoes 2 tablespoons olive oil 4 large cloves garlic, sliced 1 1/4 cups finely diced onion 1 1/2 tablespoons zaɺtar, a spice mix available at Middle Eastern food shops 1/4 teaspoon salt 1/4 teaspoon black pepper 1 1/2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice 4 6-ounce grouper fillets Salt and pepper to taste 20 asparagus spears, lightly steamed 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice.

1. Cut tomatoes in large pieces.

2. In medium nonstick skillet, heat one tablespoon of the olive oil.

3. Saute garlic and onion until soft. Add tomatoes and cook 10 to 15 minutes, until very soft but still chunky. Stir in zaɺtar, salt, pepper and lemon juice. Cook one minute. Keep warm.

4. Sprinkle fish with salt and pepper. Heat one tablespoon olive oil in large nonstick skillet. Saute fish over high heat for 3 to 4 minutes on each side.

5. To serve, spoon sauce on bottom of 4 plates. Put fish on top. Garnish with asparagus arranged like spokes of a wheel and sprinkle with lemon juice.

Approximate nutritional analysis per serving: 290 calories, 9 grams fat, 60 milligrams cholesterol, 215 milligrams sodium, 35 grams protein, 15 grams carbohydrate. Frontiere's Harissa Total time: 45 minutes 4 to 5 medium dried red chili peppers, stems removed 1/4 cup red-wine vinegar Juice of 1 lemon (3 tablespoons) 1/2 teaspoon grated lemon rind 6 cloves garlic, chopped fine 1/4 cup full-flavored olive oil 1 teaspoon coriander seeds 1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper 1/4 teaspoon allspice 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg 1/2 teaspoon salt 1/3cup tomato paste.

1. Soak chili peppers in vinegar for 30 minutes until soft. Put chilies and vinegar in food processor with lemon juice, grated lemon rind, garlic and olive oil. Process until smooth.

2. Lightly toast coriander and fennel seeds. Pulverize in spice grinder. Add to food processor with pepper, allspice, nutmeg, salt and tomato paste. Process until smooth. If too thick, adjust with olive oil.

Approximate nutritional analysis per tablespoon:: 40 calories, 3grams fat, 0 milligrams cholesterol, 70 milligrams sodium, 0 grams protein, 3 grams carbohydrate. Todd English's Tuna Tabbouleh Total time: 1 hour 1 cup bulgur 8 ounces sushi-grade tuna, ground or minced with a sharp knife 1 small bunch cilantro, chopped 1/4 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley Juice and zest of one lemon 1 tablespoon chopped fresh mint 1 teaspoon chopped fresh ginger 1 cup peeled fresh horseradish, passed through a juicer to make 1/3 cup horseradish juice 1/2 cup full-flavored olive oil Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste 2 teaspoons cumin seeds, toasted 1 large seedless cucumber, peeled and cut into ribbons.

1. In a casserole, boil bulgur in 4 cups water until the wheat is soft but still has some bite.

2. Drain, then spread on flat surface to cool.

3. In a large bowl, mix cooled bulgur, tuna, cilantro and parsley.

4. In another bowl, place lemon juice and zest, mint, ginger, horseradish juice and olive oil. Whisk until well blended.

5. Pour dressing over bulgur-tuna mixture. Add salt and pepper to taste and stir. Top with toasted cumin seeds and surround with cucumber.

Approximate nutritional analysis per serving: 310 calories, 20 grams fat, 15 milligrams cholesterol, 25 milligrams sodium (before salting), 13 grams protein, 25 grams carbohydrate. Tahini Sauce (Adapted from "Popular Food From Israel" by Ruth Sirkis, R. Sirkis Publishers Ltd., 1993) Total time: 20 minutes 1 1/2 cups tahini 1/2 cup fresh lemon juice 2 cloves garlic, pushed through garlic press 1 1/2 teaspoons salt 1/2teaspoon paprika 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper 1/4 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley.

1. If tahini paste has separated, stir.

2. Put tahini in large bowl. Add one cup water in slow stream, stirring constantly with wooden spoon. Add lemon juice and garlic and stir until sauce is smooth.

3. Add salt, paprika and pepper. Stir. Before serving, sprinkle with parsley.

Approximate nutritional analysis per serving: 345 calories, 30 grams fat, 0 milligrams cholesterol, 555 milligrams sodium, 10 grams protein, 15 grams carbohydrate. Med-Rim Bulgur Salad (Adapted from "Middle Eastern Food" by George Lassalle, Kyle Cathie Ltd., 1991) Total time: 45 minutes, plus 2 hours chilling 1 1/2 cups coarse bulgur 3 tablespoon olive oil 1 cup finely diced onion 2/3 cup finely chopped parsley 1/3 cup finely chopped cilantro 6 tablespoons lightly toasted pine nuts 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice 1 1/2 tablespoons pomegranate molasses 1 tablespoons ground cumin 1 1/2 teaspoons Mediterranean oregano 1 1/2 teaspoons ground coriander seeds 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice Salt to taste 2 teaspoons sumac, if desired.

1. Soak bulgur in 4 cups of boiling water for 30 minutes. Squeeze dry. Reserve.

2. Heat oil in medium skillet. Saute onion over low heat until soft but not brown, about 8 minutes. Reserve with oil.

3. Put soaked bulgur in large bowl and add cooked onion with oil. Mix with fork. Add remaining ingredients except sumac, and mix. Chill several hours. Sprinkle with sumac before serving.

Approximate nutritional analysis per serving: 265 calories, 12 grams fat, 0 milligrams cholesterol, 15 milligrams sodium (before salting), 7 grams protein, 35 grams carbohydrate. Halvah Souffle (Adapted from "Taste of Israel: A Mediterranean Feast" by Avi Ganor and Ron Maiberg, Galahad, 1993) Total time: 55 minutes Softened butter and sugar to prepare souffle dish 6 lady fingers 7 ounces halvah 2 tablespoons cornstarch 2 tablespoons sugar Pinch of salt 5 egg yolks 2 tablespoons brandy 1 cup milk 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour 5 egg whites.

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Butter inside of 5-cup souffle dish and sprinkle with sugar. Line bottom with lady fingers.

2. Crumble halvah and mix to smooth paste with a little water. Add cornstarch, one tablespoon sugar, pinch of salt, egg yolks, brandy and mix.

3. Heat milk almost to boiling, then pour into halvah mixture, beating nonstop with fork. Sift in the flour, mix gently and let cool.

4. Beat egg whites to stiff peaks with one tablespoon sugar. Stir a third into halvah mixture, then fold in the rest. Pour into souffle dish and place a round, buttered piece of foil on top. Bake 25 minutes (do not open door until finished). Serve immediately.

Approximate nutritional analysis per serving: 360 calories, 20 grams fat, 225 milligrams cholesterol, 160 milligrams sodium, 11 grams protein, 30 grams carbohydrate.

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With my stock getting low, I made the 2011 batch. The Byzantine murri came out a little lighter this time around since I didn’t brown the toast as much as I had before. My efforts at the rotting barley this summer (2011) failed and turned into a gluey pink rotten mess (it should smell like a forest floor, not like the reek oozing from a NYC garbage truck). The 2 nd batch turned black and had a bit of bitterness to it… completely different from the 2010 version… the jury is still out on that one.


History, alchemy, gastronomy - I think you covered it all with this one! Not sure I'm up to creating my own murri (still working on bread starters) but it looks like a fascinating process.

Hello Deana:
Byzantine Art has such a magically exotic appeal and so has the Murri sauce. We love the idea that alone Murri is rather strange but something wonderful happens when combined with other flavours. Just like the Art which, alone, can for us be rather too gold and glittery, but when placed in a building of tremendous opulence and scale, it suddenly transforms into something much more refined and beautiful.

This is a most enchanting post which we have thoroughly enjoyed reading.

Your post is like a wonderful lecture and has transported me to Istanbul. The murri sauce sounds delicious. I will make note of the recipe.

Thank you for an enlightening post.

This is a really interesting post and I love the pictures that go with it. I don't think I will be making the Murri sauce but it intrigues me. Diane

Beautiful, visual post, Deana! We have a lovely Madonna and Child at our art museum from the 14th century which looks very similar as the one you've shown:

I'd love to try making my own sausage one day - sauce must be amazing.

I've been intrigued by Garum for quite some time now but Murri is new to me. would love to try my hand at making it! What a unique blend of flavors, I bet it tastes unlike anything else. Love that beautiful old Roman bottle!

You know, Deana, it's odd the things that stick in your mind from either your own schooling, or from when you helped your children. Justinian is there, lurking. And I knew about re-writing Roman law. (Did not know they gave his name to the plague though.)
Is that drawing of Constantinople from the book Byzantium? What amazing colors. If that's an example of the other pictures, I'd LOVE to see that book.
You're not a nerd, you're a food historian. :)
Murri is new to me and what interesting ingredients: nuts, seeds and a bit of fruit. I've never heard of nigela looked it up and it was spelled nigella in Wikipedia. and tastes like fennel. Is that right? Why does murri end up salty?
Brilliant post. I'd probably poison myself if I made this.

Been dying to go the Hagia Sophia since I was a boy. I'm convince that if I make your murri and merguez, I can go there via plate. Love merguez but have not tries murri 9or even heard of it before your post). Sounds divine.

Again, what a great READ this morning. I feel as if I am visiting one of my favorite museums as I read this I have these images in my mind of ancient relics, cooking and serving utensils, and also remembering thinking, "What did these people eat?" How brilliant and diligent of you to search for the right ingredients to reproduce something from SOMEONE'S past. WHAT ARE YOU GOING TO SERVE UP FOR THEH HOLIDAYS DEAREST. I want to thank you for your comments, for a year of delicious surprises, and for your kind words that always make me smile. YOU HAVE A ST. BERNARD? YIPEEEEEEEEEEEEE! All we need now is snow to go out and frolic in!! PEACE and bon apétit!! Anita

But where Mam, Do you source your nosebag of hair? And should it have been previously used, for extra flavor?

In many ways these are so much like soy. It's strange that one should disappear while the other is now ubiquitous.

You're not a nerd- you're a genius. Who else would find the fabulous history behind murri?? Great post!

Very interesting post. I am amazed at how sophisticated and highly evolved the Abbasid empire was and would love -need to- order the book translated by Mr, Perry. Murri sounds a bit too complex for me, but i would order a bottle if you decided to commercialized it! Love merguez!

My little guy recently studied the Hagia Sophia in art history, and of course we covered the Byzantine empire in world history about a month back. Your pictures and stories are always a wonder!

This post is absolutely wonderful. I had never heard of murri before and I now so little about Byzantine culture-until now! :)

It is amazing how much we can keep in our refrigerators! But I have never had this! I must try it. Also, I have never considered making my own sausages. I cannot get merguez in my little city and what a great idea to make it. I collect religious icons and other religious art pieces. Love the Byzantine stuff and have visited the Blue Mosque in Istanbul. Great post.

Byzantine murri sounds fascinating, with all the ingredients that go in it. And the sausages look seriously amazing!

Deana, I'm taken by your curiosity and courage to give the ancient recipe of murri such an effort. I would have stopped at mold as my courage has been sanitized by the FDA and other warnings, and yet, I WANT to try murri.

The sausages look amazing. Also, I agree with the quote “the lazy cook prepares everything by boiling.” I should know because this is what I do on my lazy days.

This post is absolutely wonderful. I had never heard of murri before and I now so little about Byzantine culture-until now! :)


The myth has always been that the city was taken unawares by the cataclysm. New evidence suggests this is not the case at least in Herculaneum – there were warnings. Pliny the Younger (61-113 AD) who witnessed the disaster from across the Bay of Naples, reported that earthquakes had shaken the area with considerable force before the volcano erupted, causing many to flee. Many in Pompeii didn’t heed the warning earthquakes and doubled down on sacrifices to angry gods. The gods did not listen – they never do.

Contemporary accounts of the event described a pillar of ash that flew straight up into the sky, rising to 20 miles high. When it hit the tropopause, Pliny the Younger told the historian Tacitus that the pillar’s top then spread out creating a stone pine tree shape at which point it lost cohesion and it began to rain debris and dust.

Some people escaped leaving their valuables behind, probably imagining they could return after the storm had passed. Tragically, others stayed too long with their valuables or thought they could pinch a few juicy items on their way out of town – big mistake.

A hoard of silver, later known as the Morefine Treasure, was found in Herculaneum in a basket stashed in a public bath, perhaps stolen from vacant mansions by a foolish lingerer. The rich hoard did him no good, his roasted bones were found beside his treasure.

Some trusting inhabitants remained in Herculaneum only to be incinerated in the middle of baking bread or plastering a wall but many did get away with their treasures. There weren’t as many bodies as there were in Pompeii. Aside from the warning earthquake, the other reason for this is what fell on the two cities and when.

Pompeii was destroyed by rocks and superheated blasts –– Herculaneum got a warning shot in the form of a dusting of harmless ash before the destructive pyroclastic surges.

Herculaneum, although closer to the volcano, was fortunate in that way –– the super-heated pyroclastic flow actually gently covered the city so that the wood is preserved –– charred of course but still recognizable as tables, doors and screens –– all buried under 60 feet of hardened ash (also why most of the city has yet to be uncovered).

Even delicate screens have survived in the airless world for nearly 2000 years. Unfortunately opening it up has started the disintegration clock ticking again.

Let's not forget color. Rome loved color, especially those heavenly reds. Sometimes spare and elegant, other times lush and richly figured. Art was everywhere even in middle-class houses.

Water was important in Herculaneum, it was a feature of upper-class dining rooms, often flowing into pools or into dancing fountains that would have been an elegant touch at a Roman dinner party –– baths were often located in rooms adjoining the dining room so you could warm up or cool off after a large meal perhaps?

Dining was done pretty much lying down. Romans did not sit at a table to eat, some people sort of half-sit on one arm, or are prone leaning on one arm or lie on their stomachs, propped up on both arms on giant pillows. I would imagine it would get terribly uncomfortable in a short time.

Herculanum had many bakeries (there were 30 bakeries in Pompeii). Dozens of carbonized loaves still exist (80 loaves still in a single baker’s oven). The bread was cut into 8 slices (the ring around the loaf may have been a string baked with the bread to make it easier to carry the loaf). The bread was made from mostly Enmer wheat but could have been spelt or millet or a combination (all of these grains have been found at the bakeries). Wheat bread seems to have been the likely choice for bread as the area was famous for its wheat.

There were classes of bread. The rich ate ’white’ bread without much bran that was ground twice and well sifted, the poorer classes ate pane puero and pane cibarium that was full of bran but hard on the teeth. Inhabitants had bad teeth not just from crunching the bran but also from bits of the millstone that had broken off into the flour. It was not sifted as well as the rich folks bread flour would have been. The same was true in England up through the 19th century. Only now is whole wheat really better for you and not dangerous to eat!

Bakeries didn't just bake the bread, they also ground the grain in some of the bakeries.

A wooden beam would go through the holes in the mill and animals or slaves would walk it around to grind the grain that was poured in the top

Clues to the composition of the local diet have been discovered though seeds and bones that remained inside or beside human remains but the discovery and subsequent investigation of the cities' sewage tunnels have led to a flood of new findings thanks to groundbreaking new techniques and old fashioned painstaking sifting and cataloguing. The diet of Herculaneum was varied and sophisticated with foods from all over the Empire passing through the citizen's digestive tracts.

110 items have been discovered so far by sifting through the sewer's treasures at Herculanum. Egg shells, chicken and mutton bones, fish scales and bones from 46 different species of fish (like sea bream, anchovies, sardines, eels, sea bass, shark, sea urchin, scallops and ray), grapes, apples, pears, peaches, figs, cherries, pomegranates, walnuts, almonds and olives but no citrus. They also found coriander and fennel seeds even in poorer homes as well as black peppercorns that would have been for rich people. Since only 70 of more than 700 bags of sewer treasure have been sifted through, doubtless much more will be learned as more of the bags are opened.

Using a new technique of collagen testing on bones of the citizens, it has been discovered that the people, rich and poor, were nearly complete vegetarians or vegetarian/fish eaters – it seems very little meat was eaten (at least by the people who got stuck in Herculaneum – perhaps the meat eaters escaped?

So, what might a sophisticated Roman in a resort town filled with a lavish array of produce, fish and avian delights want to share at their dinners? I went to Apicius (I’ve written about it HERE) to get a dish that would invoke the spirit of Herculaneum even though the recipes were written long after its destruction (it is believed Apicius was written over generations beginning around the 4th century AD). Something about partridge and berries sounded awfully good (especially when the partridge is D'Artagnan's Wild Scottish Red Partridge). I wish I could get myrtle berries but read that they taste of juniper and rosemary with a bit of pine so I thought I would add a bit of that to the mix. The sauce is just beautiful -- seriously beautiful. The gentle hint of Aftelier's pine essence gives a lyrical quality to the berries that I found magical.

[218] (in perdice is Latin for partridge)


Wheat Berry Bowl with Merguez and Pomegranate - Recipes

Can i make my own self raising flour? If i can, how many tsp/tbsp of baking powder/soda should i add?

I cannot wait to give this a try! my peach cobbler recipe is woefully out of date, it uses Bisquick (scandalous!)

I am wondering, have you ever considered listing your recipes in alphabetical orcer, just as a list or linklist somewhere? (if you have done this I just havent found it, apologies) That way one would not have to scroll through the entire posts in each category when looking for something

Since it is my birthday coming up in the next few days, I am very tempted to try this.

Though, just one question, I wasn't sure about with the video, when you melted the butter and then added the milk/flour mix to it, did you stir that together? For some reason it still looked rather separate.

Please keep up the good work.

Our store probably doesn't have self-rising flour. Can you recommend a substitute and what quantity to use for this recipe.

hi chef John. can you help me devise a version of this that's diabetic friendly, with things like agave or pomegranate molasses and/or honey or grape juice instead of the sugars, and maybe some kind of smelt or other whole flour instead of the white refined flour? or is there a way to just take advantage of the natural sweetness in the peaches? I don't want to use artificial sweeteners, and i guess a little brown sugar is okay (like maybe a table spoon or two) but not cups of it.

Looks delicious. It will be great with vanilla ice-cream on the side.

Hey. I'm a Choux maker! At least since your Gougere recipe.

Hey big guy. do you have a link for the manufacturer of the cast aluminum dutch oven?

going to try the peach cobbler today!

Chef John.
It looks amazing!
I really want to try that out, but can I simply use baking powder? for me here in germany self-rising flour is something hard to get in the moment.

I can't wait to try this! But what do I need to do if I only have regular flour? x

OMG! I must have some! . I guess that means I must make some :-)

If you don't have SR flour, I added the AP flour ingredients to the recipe.

For those of you asking which pot I used, here you go.

I too would like an alphabetical list of your recipes! Cant be too hard now can it?
Congrats on the deal with All Recipes by the way! You deserve it for all the help you've given to the thousands and thousands of kitchen noobs :)

If i want to make my own chinese 5-spice what kind of spices should i use?

Rhulman has a nice blog post on the term shoemaker that you might enjoy:

Chinese 5-spice:

Yes, I commented on that post!

Hi Chef John nice to see you with some traditional recipes again <3 (not a big fan of fusion cuisines sorry!).

Kind of a stupid question: Is it better to use whole milk for desserts or the low fat milk (that I always drink and eat cereals with) does just fine? Does the fat content of the milk make an impact on the peach cobbler's taste at all?

PS: I'm Chinese and I can't believe 5 spiced powder is used on such a Southern dessert lol. When I was in Hong Kong my mother used to marinate chicken wings with it before frying :D

low fat milk is fine for desserts, that's what i use. :-)

One more question. since I don't want to waste fresh peaches on my first attempt.

For ommiting the made from scratch syrup does that mean we include the syrup from the can? Or we just use the canned peaches without the syrup since the peaches are already sweetened

Looks yummy Chef. I would debate your selection of free stone peaches a little. I know varieties have changed but when I was younger the free stone peaches were a convenience for the canneries. The REALLY good eating peaches were the cling stone varieties. But as I said that may have changed with newer varieties.

That may have been true, but these freestone were amazing! :-)

I asked the kid at the market if the peaches were free stone or cling, I got a look that said it all. stoned.

Yeah, drool. Need this in my belly ASAP.

Try using buttermilk instead of milk for the peach cobbler recipe. It's delicious.

Realize this peach cobbler territory but I had a quick question about one of your old recipes back in 2007 and was not sure where to go to ask you about Uncles Bills chicken. The ingredients looked so so great I know you said this was dark meat territory but is there some reason why I could not use boneless chicken breasts.

Any chicken works for that recipe! Enjoy!

It turns out that even this shoemaker can't do it.

I failed this recipe. The dough didn't rise to the top. Only some around the edges. And the dough that stayed in the middle was all mushy. Maybe it was that I didn't use self rising flour. or that my pan/pot was too full. I have no Idea. but it was disappointing. :( I was looking forward to some delicious cobbler. I won't give up though I can always try again.

Yes, it's the flour. That what I heard during my research as I said in the post. there is just something about the SR flour that works so much better.

I made the cobbler tonight. got rave reviews, people were drooling when it came out of the oven. I liked how the crust carmelized on the bottom so nicely.Everyone wanted some of that! I made homemade vanilla ice cream and served that on top. This is a keeper, and will try it with other fruit.

CJ: Thought I would surprise the wife on Sunday morning and cobbler came out great just like the picture, but:

wife: the house smells great.
me: yes dear.
wife: that looks wonderful.
me: yes dear.
wife: boy this is sweet.
me: yes dear.
CJ:How would you un-sweet the recipe a little?

use less sugar in the peaches -)

Sorry Mau Mau, looks like I'm ditching your Peach Cobbler recipe. :)

Also, the "something" about the self rising flour is the baking powder! It's supposed to rise, if it doesn't get air, it's no good!

Also #2, my food wish: How about something with blueberries? I have a few pounds that I've picked over the last few weeks, and I'm itching to make something with them. I've already made a buckle, but I think I need something with that chef John touch. :P

First of all, we know about the baking powder (see post and ingr.)

Secondly, we did a blueberry recipe last week.

Come on! Try and pay closer attention! )

I am definately going to try this. Looks great.

What do you think about using unsalted butter? I have it on hand and use Smart Balance for everything else.

I only use unsalted butter.

Chef, what is the consistency of the batter supposed to look like after baking? I baked mine with SR flour and canned peaches in a cast iron skillet for 1 hour and it still looked gummy under the crust. Should I increase temp? Decrease liquids? Bake on lower rack? Thanks for your help.

chef. i do not have this type of dish and my friend is coming tomorrow, do u think i could use a square tin? i have a pan shaped in this way though with a metal handle, do u think it could do the trick?

Tried this out first with normal flour and baking powder and it didn't turn out very well. Yes, you said it wouldn't but self-rising flour is hard to find in Germany and this recipe sounded to delicous not to try.

Today I found self-rising flour at an asian grocery of all places and tried again. Worked perfectly and the result turned out oh so delicous. I just ended up with a lot of syrup at the bottom of the baking dish. I think next time I'll try halving the amount of syrup. And maybe a little less sugar, too. It is very sweet.

Just to let all you people who are wondering, self rising flour(if your store doesn`t have any) is the following:

1 Cup Flour
1 1/2 tsp or Baking Powder
1 tsp salt

obviously double or whatnot as needed for the recipe

Ok, so I tried this today using the regular flour. Besides the baking powder I added 1 tsp of baking soda and it turned out re-e-e-e-ly good :)

Hi CJ,
Does it matter what type of dish I use? Will any oven safe dish do, like glass casserole dish or a cake tin?

anything that's deep and wide enough will work!

I just made this. It is Delish!! THANKS Chef John!

Can frozen peaches be used for this recipe? If so, do I thaw them first or just bake it longer?

Just found this recipe and made it with some whole peaches I had frozen a couple of months ago -- they were really soft and a little mushy, so I was concerned, but it was pretty good.
Also, I think I need to use a wider pan . couldn't really tell how wide Chef's pan was, but my cake was a little too thick.

Can you sub apples for Peaches with the same ratios / bake time?

I used this recipe and substituted the peaches with apples. I used all purpose flour with baking soda and it worked beautifully! If I do say so myself. But I will try self rising flour some day. Thank you for the recipe, Chef John.

I keep a bag of self-rising flour on hand for two reasons only: Navajo frybread and peach cobbler. DEFINITELY go self-rising for the cobbler. So easy, so good!

Thoughts on the flour science: 1) Maybe the AP flour needs to be well sifted and mixed with the baking powder before the liquid is added. Otherwise, the baking powder will start to react when it hits the liquid and the batter won't be ready to catch the bubbles. 2) If the wet batter sits too long or is mixed too much, the bubbles will escape before baking. (so it's not the gluten we are trying to avoid) 3) Another factor that might affect rising is the type of rising chemicals. Maybe the SR uses double acting baking powder (releases bubbles when mixed with water, then releases more when heated) and people using AP may have single or double acting powder.

Not trying to be a know-it-all :) I just don't have SR and I'm trying to figure out what to do. All in all, I think maybe a little extra baking soda or baking powder might help with the rising.

WOW. Made the peach cobbler today for Sunday Dinner dessert. All I can say is wow. I love crust over. I did a couple things different (I think I am a good cook. lol). I didn't use the Chinese spice I used cinnamon and nutmeg. I used can peaches in heavy syrup I boiled them with a half cup of sugar with the cinnamon and nutmeg in the boil. I used a stick of butter sofftened in the batter and melted one-fourth of a stick in the baking pan. I preheated the oven on 375 degrees and cooked for 55 minutes. I can say again and again delicious. Great base recipe.

I can not wait to try this. I researched for a long while. Even though I am from the south, homemade peach cobbler was not a staple for me. I like that you use chinese 5 spice, as we bought some a while ago and can't find any uses for it. Can't wait.

I added a pinch of cinnamon and nutmeg and had to add my own baking powder because the commissary doesn't carry self-rising flour and it came out great. I did have to sift the flour and baking powder and I cooked it for 45 mins in the middle of the oven then 10 at the top of the oven to get the crust a little more golden. mmm mmm mmmmm. thanks for the recipe!!

I tried the recipe today. I didn't have self-rising flour, the mix of AP flour, baking powder worked just fine. It came out amazing. Thanks chef John! Do you think this would work with a different fruit?

Yes! almost any berry or stone fruit

I've been wanting to make this for the longest time and since I got a hold of some beautiful fresh peaches, I made it! I ran out of self-rising flour so I decided to use the mix of AP flour and baking powder and it came out wonderful

Chef! Do you know where I can find chinese five spices in stores? Albertons,stater brothers, etc?

I've never been in a large grocery store that didn't carry it in the spice sect.

Does it matter if we use a dutch oven or not

I could write a poem about this cobbler.
And yes a dutch oven works just fine, depending on the size though. I use my bare 10 inch lodge deep cast iron skillet.
I'm tempted to try it with buttermilk.
Do you use all the syrup, after boiling, or is it to taste?

I believe I used all the syrup. Thanks!

:O its like in 'Holes' the movie how they found out peaches was the remedy that made the shoes smell good! This must be connected!

Why can't you use margarine?

Can i use frozen peaches in this recipe?

Thank you so much for your time..
Sara :-)

Hai Chef John, thank you for sharing this. I halved the sugar because 2 cups of sugar for this is too much for me. My friends and I have never taste peach cobbler before, but surprisingly we love it. :)

I have never bought a butter stick, can you tell me where I can get it and which brand to is the best? I live in California. I went on to google it but have only got like cocoa butter and butter flavored stick. Please help, I really want to try this recipe. love it!

It's just butter! A "stick" is what the four wrapped pieces in the pound of butter are called. Just buy a pound of unsalted butter.

I live in Denver, a mile high! Has anyone tried this recipe at high altitude? Does that impact the use of self rising flour - do you make any changes to adjust?

I used self-rising flour but the middle of the cobbler was still covered in syrup and some of the peaches stayed at the top and did not sink. What did I do wrong? (Btw, I used canned peaches)

I used the self-rising flour but the middle of my cobbler was not fully covered with crust. The edges had crust though. Some of the syrup and peaches laid on top and never settled to the bottom. What did I do wrong? (Btw I used canned peaches)

Chef John, a peach cobbler newbie here.. So apologize in advanced if my question is too dumb.. When you said "pour sugar-SR flour mixture into melted butter", do we stir them together or let them separate?

Thank you for the recipe! Very excited to try this

Sorry, but I don't understand the question.

at 3:08 (before you pour the peaches), it seems like the melted butter is on top of the batter, doesn't get mixed with the batter. Do we mix them together?

Do not mix! That how it's supposed to be!

Do not mix! That how it's supposed to be!

There IS a difference in the wheat itself between AP flour and self-rising. According to King Arthur Flour's website, " Self-rising flour is milled from softer, lower-protein wheat, making it perfect for tender baked goods."

I bought self-rising flour for this recipe. Some of the flour didn't rise to the top - I had a crust - but I also had doughy bits throughout. I think my problem was the type of baking dish. I will try a different one next time.

Oh, and within a week I wanted to make something else that needed self-rising flour (scones) so it was a worthwhile purchase.

Thanks for a great recipe Chef John :)

Hi Chef John
I have always admired your dry humor, but what are you doing posting at 3:01 A.M. are you an insomniac like me? Oh, by the way, I'm going to try your peach cobbler recipe as soon as I get some SR flour today at the store, although I think I'll use cinnamon instead of the Chinese spice.

Hey Chef, if I used canned peaches, should I open the can first?

I made this for Thanksgiving dinner with family and friends where it was very well received. I used cinnamon and a little nutmeg instead of five spice powder. When I got home, all I could think about was how nice it would be if I had some left to warm up in the microwave and eat with a scoop of ice cream.

Unfortunately, I didn't get to bring any home with me, so rather than deny myself of this delightful pleasure, I was up in the middle of the night making another one! This time around, I used a 29 ounce can of sliced peaches in heavy syrup, and halved the ingredients for the batter. I baked it in a 10" foil pie pan at 375 degrees for about 35 minutes. Waiting for it to cool was impossible so rather than prolong the agony, I decided cooling it in a bowl with vanilla ice cream would be okay. I was right.

Thank You Chef John. Watching your videos and reading your recipes has heightened my culinary experience. I will keep listening to your amazing recipes and create or recreate what knowledge you give me. Thanks again my friend.

The first mention of this dish as a "cobbler" occurred in the mid to late 1800's when the term "cobbler" was also used to describe someone who put things together shabbily.

Of course, good self rising flour is the way to go, but I have used self rising flour that absolutely fell flat on it's face. Perhaps it was stored improperly prior to delivery to the store. If making your own, sift it twice and you will be happy with the results.

I was cooking some fresh cherries to use with this recipe and most sites advised to add water with some corn starch to make sure it thickens. Of course, it then had the "corn starch" taste to it. I was about to give up on the whole thing when I thought of adding some orange zest to see what would happen (hey, it couldn't hurt). The result: absolute heaven! No corn starchy taste, and shiny dark cherries with clear thick juices! Way too good for a cobbler. Changing my plans to a Black Forest Gateau!

Thank you so much for your videos, blog and advice. I am new to this site, and am spreading the word to all!

The reason why self rising flour is better than making your own is in the flour itself. In the South the gold standard (not medal) self rising flour is White Lily brand. It is made with soft white wheat. It is the best flour for any short crust or batter. Most all all purpose flour is made from hard red wheat. Great for building gluten but not for pastry. If you use soft white wheat flour and baking powder and salt you will have an excellent substitute for self rising flour.

I am not unable to cook, but your recipes give me endless trouble. Here is how I get to make them.
Step 1: Watch the recipe. Be amazed.
Step 2: Go to
Step 3: Use google to translate cups of peaches to grams of peaches
Step 4: Google cups of sugar to grams of sugar
Step 5: Google cups of flour to grams of flour
Step 6: Google cup of liquids to mls
Step 7: Translate fahrenheit to celsius
Step 8: Don't translate 50 minutes, that is pretty straightforward, dummie
Step 9: Make the recipe
Step 10: Enjoy!

Just kidding. There might be many steps in deciphering the meaning of your measurements, but they are worth all the trouble. Greetings from Europe!

Translation in normal measurements:
1kg peaches,
120g butter,
200g sugar,
200g flour,
11,5g baking powder,
4g salt,
350 ml milk.
You are welcome, rest of the world. Sorry, I use canned, no syrup.

Couldn't you just purchase US measuring cups and spoons? I see them online for under $5.00

Steve, it would be more than silly to waste space on cups and spoons an whatnot when all you need is a scale.
So, I have tried this with all purpose flower and baking powder and it worked great. Both for canned peaches and fresh apples. Now I am going to try some sour cherries, apples were still too sweet, even with less sugar. I need some tang with the bang! :)

Can i make this but thr savory version, what can i substitute the sugar in the batter with?!
Thanks for this awosme recipe chef john!

Do i put all the liquid/syrup in the dish?

Chef Jon as usual you made me a hero. The five spice was brilliant, it turned out delightful, beautiful and delicious. Thank you so much for once again inspiring me. So many of your recipes are our family favorites.

I made this yesterday, but the batter did not rise to the top. It tasted good. What do you think I did wrong?

I'd love to know how it turned out! Please let me know by leaving a review below. Or snap a photo and share it on Instagram be sure to tag me @onceuponachef.

Made with fragrant spices, roasted nuts, herbs and aromatics, this lamb kofta will take your taste buds on an adventure.


  • 1/4 cup each pine nuts, almonds, and walnuts (total 3/4 cup )
  • 1 small yellow onion, roughly chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
  • 1 small red bell pepper, roughly chopped
  • 1 small jalapeño pepper, seeds and ribs removed, roughly chopped (see note)
  • 1/2 cup cilantro leaves, gently packed (okay to substitute parsley)
  • 2 pounds ground lamb
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground cumin
  • Heaping 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • Heaping 1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • Heaping 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon white pepper
  • Tzatziki and hummus, for serving


  1. Place the nuts in the bowl of a food processor fitted with the steel blade. Pulse until finely chopped but not pasty. Transfer the nuts to a small dry skillet over medium heat cook, stirring frequently, until the nuts are lightly browned and fragrant, 5 to 6 minutes. Pour the nuts into mixing bowl large enough to hold all of the ingredients, and set aside to cool. (Don't leave the nuts in the pan, as the residual heat may cause them to burn.)
  2. Place the onion, garlic, bell pepper, jalapeño pepper, and cilantro in the bowl of the food processor (no need to clean it first). Pulse until the vegetables are finely minced but not puréed. Set a fine sieve over a medium bowl. Transfer the minced vegetables to the sieve and use a rubber spatula to press out as much liquid as possible. Add the strained vegetable mixture to the bowl with the nuts.
  3. To the veggies and nuts, add the lamb, cumin, cinnamon, cardamom, cloves, salt, and white pepper. Using your hands, mash the mixture together until evenly combined.
  4. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil. Form the mixture into patties about 2 inches in diameter and 1/2-inch thick (they will puff up on the grill to look like meatballs). Place on the baking sheet and cover with plastic wrap, then refrigerate until ready to cook.
  5. Preheat the grill to medium-high heat and oil the grates. Place the kofta on the grill and cook, covered, until browned, about 4 minutes per side or until cooked through. Serve with tzatziki and hummus.
  6. Note: If you like your kofta spicy, reserve some of the seeds from the jalapeño pepper and add them with the vegetables. Also, be sure to wash your hands well after handling hot peppers, and do not touch your eyes while working with them.
  7. Make-Ahead: The patties can be made and refrigerated up to two days ahead of time.
  8. Freezer-Friendly Instructions: The uncooked patties can be frozen for up to three months. (Freeze the patties on a baking sheet or plate so their shape sets, then transfer them to a sealable plastic bag for easy storage.) Defrost the burgers overnight in the refrigerator prior to serving and then cook as directed.

Pair with

Nutrition Information

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  • Serving size: 4 meatballs
  • Calories: 438
  • Fat: 36 g
  • Saturated fat: 14 g
  • Carbohydrates: 4 g
  • Sugar: 1 g
  • Fiber: 1 g
  • Protein: 23 g
  • Sodium: 382 mg
  • Cholesterol: 95 mg

This website is written and produced for informational purposes only. I am not a certified nutritionist and the nutritional data on this site has not been evaluated or approved by a nutritionist or the Food and Drug Administration. Nutritional information is offered as a courtesy and should not be construed as a guarantee. The data is calculated through an online nutritional calculator, Although I do my best to provide accurate nutritional information, these figures should be considered estimates only. Varying factors such as product types or brands purchased, natural fluctuations in fresh produce, and the way ingredients are processed change the effective nutritional information in any given recipe. Furthermore, different online calculators provide different results depending on their own nutrition fact sources and algorithms. To obtain the most accurate nutritional information in a given recipe, you should calculate the nutritional information with the actual ingredients used in your recipe, using your preferred nutrition calculator.

Gluten-Free Adaptable Note

To the best of my knowledge, all of the ingredients used in this recipe are gluten-free or widely available in gluten-free versions. There is hidden gluten in many foods if you're following a gluten-free diet or cooking for someone with gluten allergies, always read the labels of your ingredients to verify that they are gluten-free.


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