Count Broccula's veg-head ramblings

My home experiments with vegetarian cooking. Focused on seasonal produce with some vegan stuff thrown in for good measure. I may include random other food-related stuff as I please.

Monday, September 06, 2010

Wild mushroom pilaf and fresh pitas with halloumi

I decided to embark on a new task. As you know, I rarely cook strictly from recipes, and even when I do, I tend to make substitutions left and right. I decided I'd like to try cooking from a recipe once a week. Sweetie liked the idea, and since today is my free-est day this week, he suggested that I try it tonight. I couldn't think of what to make, so I pulled down a few favorite books, the Vegetarian Times cookbook, Crescent Dragonwagon's Passionate Vegetarian, Jack Bishop's Vegetables All Year, and Faye Levy's Feast from the Mideast. I was having trouble deciding, but Sweetie requested bulgur (after the chile rellenos, he is apparently a fan!). That narrowed it down, and I quickly settled on Wild Mushrooms with Tomatoes, Basil, and Bulgur Wheat from the Levy book, not least because I had all the ingredients on hand.

The title nearly says it all, although it also contains onions and bell pepper. I also added a can of chickpeas, just to bulk it up to make it a good entree for three. It was good, although it wasn't particularly well-seasoned. All it had was salt and pepper. I will happily eat the leftovers, and I would even make it again, although I might alter it by adding some additional seasonings, possibly za'atar or fresh mint. Actually, sumac might liven it up nicely.

I then made pita bread. I have made it before from another recipe, but this time I used one from the Levy book. It was incredibly dry dough, and I added water twice and still wasn't able to incorporate all the flour. Probably won't use that recipe again. Nevertheless, when it got done it was good. I bought some halloumi cheese at Trader Joe's (NB: they call it "frying cheese" on the label at TJ's, but I am pretty sure it's halloumi) and sliced it, then threw it on a hot griddle until it turned brown on both sides. Then I put a little harissa on each pita half, put a slice of the cheese on top, and put on a dollop of tomato jam. That particular flavor combination just popped into my head, but it was a really good one! Try it if you have the stuff (and goodness knows that you don't have to make your own pitas).

So there was my recipe adventure! Stay tuned for more... perhaps I'll actually stick with something!


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