I love big-batch drinks for the holidays because it frees up my time for other tasks like cooking (and eating). This fizzy pomegranate sangria has entered the permanent rotation and best of all, you can prep most of it ahead of time.
2 tablespoons sugar
1/3 cup water
2 (3-inch) cinnamon sticks
Pinch of salt
3 cups 100% pomegranate juice
3/4 cup brandy
1 small green pear, cored and thinly sliced (about 1 1/2 cups)
1 small Fuyu persimmon, thinly sliced (about 1 cup)
1 small orange, cut crosswise into 1/2-inch-thick slices and quartered (about 1 cup)
1 small lime, cut crosswise into 1/4-inch-thick slices
1/2 cup pomegranate arils (optional)
1 (750-ml) bottle lambrusco (or other sparkling red wine)
Combine sugar, water, cinnamon sticks, and salt in a small saucepan and bring to a boil over medium. Boil, stirring occasionally, until cinnamon flavor is infused, about 5 minutes. Remove saucepan from heat, and let mixture steep at room temperature, about 1 hour. Remove and discard cinnamon sticks.
Whisk together pomegranate juice, brandy, and cinnamon syrup in a large pitcher. Stir in pear, persimmon, orange, lime, and pomegranate arils. Chill until flavors combine, 4 to 12 hours.
Gently stir lambrusco into chilled pomegranate juice mixture. Divide sangria with fruit evenly among ice-filled glasses and serve.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: baking bread is not my strong suit. But this recipe? I couldn’t stop eating it. Adapted from my well-worn Baladi cookbook, this Palestinian bread is full of herby za’atar and is perfect dunked in tart, thick labneh. Serve this as a breakfast or even an appetizer. It’s well worth the effort.
2 envelopes of instant yeast (1/4 oz each)
1 cup warm water
1 tablespoon sugar
4 cups flour
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup avocado oil
3/4 cup olive oil
1/2 cup za’atar
labneh, to serve
Mix the yeast with the warm water and sugar until it bubbles, 5-10 minutes. Preheat the oven to 350F degrees.
Sift the flour into a bowl and add the salt. Add the yeast mixture to the flour and slowly drizzle in the vegetable oil and 1/2 cup of the olive oil. Mix the dough until it pulls away from the sides of the bowl, adding a little more water if needed. Knead for 5-7 minutes; it won’t be as bouncy as regular bread dough because of the oil content. Leave to rest for 40 minutes.
Make golf-ball-sized pieces of dough and set aside.
Mix the za’atar with the remaining 1/4 of olive oil and rub each dough ball in the mixture until coated. Arrange the dough balls in a bundt pan, cover with a dish towel, and leave to rise for another 20 minutes. Bake for 20-30 minutes until golden and puffy. Serve with labneh.
I’d never had sujuk, or Palestinian-style spiced beef puffs, until I adapted this recipe from my Baladi cookbook. They reminded me of southern Iranian sambuseh, which, as the name suggests, taste a lot like Ethiopian and Eritrean sambusa and South Asian lamb samosas. Basically what I’m trying to say is (a) I love observing patterns of migration and travel through food and (b) meat encased in puff pastry is always delicious.
1 sheet of store-bought puff pastry
2 eggs, beaten
Handful of sesame seeds, to sprinkle
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon salt
1 garlic clove, minced
1 onion, finely chopped
1 tablespoon pomegranate molasses
1 pound ground beef or lamb
Combine paprika, coriander, cumin, red pepper, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt, garlic, onion, pomegranate molasses, and ground beef in a bowl and set aside.
Lay the pastry flat so that you have one large rectangle, with the long side closest to you. Place some of the meat in a sausage shape along one long edge of the rectangle. Carefully roll the pastry over the sausage, just until the meat is covered. Brush the edge with egg to seal it, brush the top with egg and sprinkle with sesame seeds, the cut the roll away from the rest of the pastry. Place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Continue filling, rolling, sealing, brushing, sprinkling, and cutting until you have used up all of the filling and pastry. You should have 3-4 long longs of pastry-covered meat. Place the logs in the fridge to firm up for 20 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 425F degrees. Remove the logs from the refrigerator and bake them for 25-35 minutes until the meat is cooked and the pastry is golden. Slice into 12-14 pieces and serve.
There’s something about the roasted garlic, bottled Italian dressing (please don’t judge) and lime juice that turns this grilled shrimp into a sublime dish. Call it alchemy. Call it anything you want, just know that it’s absolutely delicious.
For the roasted garlic butter:
1/2 cup avocado oil
1/4 cup peeled garlic cloves
1/2 cup salted butter
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
For the shrimp:
1/2 cup bottled Italian dressing
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup lime juice
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 pounds peeled tail-on large raw shrimp
1/2 cup chopped green onions
2 tablespoons chopped parsley
1 teaspoon paprika
Make the roasted garlic butter: Preheat oven to 350F degrees. Place oil and garlic in a small baking pan, cover with aluminum foil. Roast garlic in oven until soft and light golden brown, about 40 minutes. Let cool 45 minutes. Remove garlic from oil; place garlic in small bowl. (Reserve garlic oil for another use.) Add butter to bowl with garlic and smash with a fork until smooth. Stir in salt. Let butter mixture stand until ready to use.
Make the shrimp: While garlic cools, stir together Italian dressing, mayonnaise, lime juice, and salt. Add shrimp and toss to coat. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.
Heat a grill or grill pan over medium-high. Remove shrimp from marinade and discard marinade. Grill shrimp until cooked through, 2 minutes per side. Transfer shrimp to a large bowl and add roasted garlic butter, tossing until butter is melted and shrimp are coated. Sprinkle with green onions, parsley, and paprika; toss to combine. Transfer to a serving plate.
This is one of my favorite things I made this summer, hands down. Think poke bowl vibes but with the flavor amped up to 1000%. A spicy, garlicy sauce brings everything together, from the bracing perilla leaves to the crunchy tobiko. Don’t let the long ingredient list put you off — this is unequivocally worth it.
For the sauce:
1/3 cup gochujang
1/4 cup white vinegar
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons honey
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 green onions, chopped
2 teaspoons minced peeled ginger
For the mixed rice:
4 cups mixed salad greens
2 green Korean chili peppers (or similar), chopped
10-12 perilla (shiso) leaves, cut into thin strips
1/4 cup thinly sliced onion
2 cups peeled Persian or English cucumber matchsticks
1 cup radish sprouts
1 avocado, peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes
4 cups freshly cooked white rice
1 1/2 pounds sushi grade fish, such as tuna, cut into 1/2-inch cubes and chilled
1/2 cup flying fish roe (tobiko)
Toasted sesame seeds, for serving
2 sheets nori, sliced into thin strips
Toasted sesame oil, for serving
Make the sauce: combine all the sauce ingredients together in a small bowl and set aside.
Assemble the mixed rice: Arrange the greens, chili peppers, perilla leaves, onion, cucumber, sprouts, and avocado in the bottom of a large shallow bowl. Spoon the rice on top. Arrange the fish and roe on top of the rice. Sprinkle with sesame seeds and seaweed. Serve with the sauce and sesame oil on the side.