IT MAY COME as no surprise that I receive cookbooks for holiday gifts.
This year was no exception.
From my mother-in-law I received “Jerusalem: A Cookbook,” by Sami Tamimi and Yotam Ottolenghi. It’s a collaboration between two chefs, one Israeli and the other Palestinian.
Aside from being a tribute to cross-cultural peacemaking, this book has the best recipe for roasted eggplant I have ever had.
From my husband I received “Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat: Mastering the Elements of Good Cooking,” a comprehensive how-to cooking manual written by star of her own Netflix series Samin Nosrat.
And finally I received “The Noma Guide to Fermentation” by David Zilber and René Redzepi, a rather esoteric book from a Danish restaurant, famed for fermenting everything from asparagus pickles to elderberry vinegar.
As you might imagine, the past month has taken us on a worldwide tour of technique and cuisine.
I fully expected to use a recipe from one of the new books for this column.
On Friday night with a Monday morning deadline approaching, I checked the freezer to see what ingredients were on hand. (I will do anything to avoid the grocery store.)
Hiding amid last year’s frozen raspberries and a loaf of bread was a pound of Nash’s Organic Ground Pork.
“OK,” I thought, “I probably won’t find a pork recipe in the Israeli Palestinian collaboration.”
Fermentation? No thank you.
“Salt, Fat, Acid has a recipe using ground pork.
A slow simmering Ragu with lemon and orange served over Penne pasta sounded interesting.
As I checked the pantry for the rest of the Ragu ingredients, my husband pulled up a random YouTube video by searching ground pork.
On his screen there was a fellow speaking a language I did not recognize. (To watch the video, go to tinyurl.com/PDN-Omelet.)
It turned out to be a Filipino omelet and fortunately there was an ingredient list in English. He looked so happy we had to try it.
Because we had the whole weekend ahead, we decided to do a comparison and make both recipes.
As I wrote this last Sunday and the sun set on a beautiful January weekend, we had a fridge full of leftovers and a new favorite.
The Ragu was good but quite time consuming.
The Filipino omelet turned out to be both delicious and quick.
The winner is clear.
Betsy Wharton is the proprietor of the Clallam Canning Co., a local purveyor of artisan pickles and other farm to jar goods. You can find her and her products at the Sprouting Hope Greenhouse at 826 E. First St. in Port Angeles. Or contact her at [email protected] canningcompany.com.