Mash-Up Monday #5 : Tuesday Edition - Rose Water & Orange Blossoms by Maureen Abood | Release-Day Review & Recipe

Hello & happy Mash-Up Monday - on a Tuesday!
Today I am mashing up a review and recipe from Rose Water & Orange Blossoms by Maureen Abood.

Ladies & Gents, can you believe that I have not done one of these in almost 7 months?! When I was looking back and realized that the last mash-up I did was in September for the Chicken cookbook, well... I was not happy with myself. So, of course, we are remedying this right now.

The first 2 things that caught my attention with Rose Water & Orange Blossoms was (1) the name and (2) the cover. Can we just take a minute to admire the beauty of this cover? And all through the wonderful colors of food. This is a cover well-done!
Maureen Abood is a culinarian food blogger living in Michigan. Her blog is called - you guessed it - Rose Water & Orange Blossoms and is centered on fresh and classic Lebanese recipes. You can check out her blog, here.

The recipes in the book are simple and to the point without losing any flavor or authenticity along the way. I think that Abood did a phenomenal job with creating classic Lebanese recipes that people from any culture or background could follow and enjoy.
Also, we all know how much I love a cookbook overflowing with pictures. Rose Water & Orange Blossoms brings Maureen's dishes to life in the beautifully colorful pictures that are filling up the book. A simple picture is bringing her recipes to life and evoking memories that have been latent in my mind for years of pickling liquid simmering on the stove and fresh baked bread right out of the oven. Again, simple and classic recipes that are - in a way - familiar to all of us.

Basic info. about this book:

Name: Rose Water & Orange Blossoms: Fresh & Classic Recipes from My Lebanese Kitchen
Author: Maureen Abood
Review Source: Provided by publisher in exchange for an honest review
Publishing Company: Perseus Books Group, Running Press
Publication Date: April 14, 2015
Genre: Cookbook
Rating (out of 5): 4

Recommend? Yes

Where it can be purchased: The Book Depository

& now here's the recipe:


Baba Gannouj (Smoky Eggplant Tahini Dip)
Adapted from Rose Water & Orange Blossoms by Maureen Abood

Yield: About 2 cups

Ingredient List:
  • 2 Firm Eggplants (Abood recommends 8x5-inch/20x 12cm sized eggplants; Mine were a bit smaller – since that was what I could find – so I just adjusted the recipe, accordingly) If you can only find smaller eggplants, then just buy 3 or 4 of them instead of two. Once they're cooked and you remove the seeds, there's not much eggplant "meat" left.
  • 3 – 4 Tablespoons Tahini (well-stirred before measuring)
  • 1 teaspoon Kosher Salt
  • I garlic clove, minced
  • Juice of ½ Lemon
  • Few grinds of Black Pepper (or a good pinch will do)
  • Pinch of Crushed Red Pepper Flakes (optional)
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil, for drizzling
  • Handful of Pomegranate Seeds
  • Poke holes in your eggplant. You don't need to poke it all over; just once on each side to prevent the skin from breaking while cooking. I used a fork for mine.
  • Preheat your gas grill, stove or just turn on your gas burner and place a roasting rack on top (like I did in the picture)
    • If you are using a grill (or makeshift one like me), you want to char the eggplants on all sides for a good 15-20 minutes. If you're scared of burning it for whatever reason (we're just peeling the skin off later, anyways) then char it on all sides and place it in the oven on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper for 10-15 minutes. You want it soft to the touch.
    • If you are using your broiler, you want to place your eggplants on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Place them in a preheated broiler for 15-20 minutes, turning them once halfway through.When they are done, they should be soft to the touch.
  • Once the eggplants are cooked, let them cool completely. Then, using your hands you can peel the skin right off of the eggplant. Discard the skin.
  • Slice the eggplants in half, lengthwise, and remove the seeds. My guy and I don't mind the seeds so we discarded the seeds of one and kept the seeds on the other. But feel free to discard all of them. Also, if you purchased eggplants that are smaller, once you discard the seeds you aren't left with much eggplant "meat" leftover. This is why I mentioned buying a third one above in the ingredient list - you're going to need it.
  • Now you can either chop the eggplant (with a knife) or blend it in a food processor or NutriBullet like I did. *If you are using a food processor or other machine to cut up the eggplant, you only need to pulse it 2, maybe 3 times max. You aren't looking for a totally smooth consistency here. A little texture is good.
  • Add the Tahini (mixed well!), salt, garlic*, lemon, black pepper and crushed red pepper flakes (if using) and stir to combine.
  • Transfer to your bowl of choice and make indentations in the mixture to create mini wells for the olive oil.
  • Drizzle the olive oil over the top of the mixture
  • Top with Pomegranate seeds*
  • Eat! I toasted up some of my homemade Olive & Hazelnut Bread but you can use any pita chips you have laying around or bread or even carrots and cucumbers - yum!

*For the garlic, I find it better to simply use a micro-plane because it turns the garlic into a paste that distributes more evenly throughout the dip
*Ever cut open a pomegranate before? Take a look at my pictures! I lightly score the pomegranate into quarters all around and then with my hands, gently pull the quarters apart. This way, you don't cut into any of the seeds and get juice all over the counter/floor/your shirt.

 So, that's it! I hope you enjoyed my mash-up of Rose Water & Orange Blossoms by Maureen Abood as much as I enjoyed reading and eating that delicious Baba Gannouj.

Happy Eating!

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