Pita, Tortillas, Hard Cider & New York Restaurants

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Alice Waters' latest book is "Chez Panisse Fruit" published by Harper Collins.

Anchoiade with Figs
Makes 1/2 cup

8 salt-packed anchovies
2 cloves garlic
4 dried figs
2 small branches savory
2 small branches wild fennel
salt and pepper
1/4 cup walnuts
3 or 4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
splash of cognac

Rinse the anchovies of any extra salt and then soak them in cook water for about 10 minutes.- Carefully fillet them with your thumb and fingers, removing the fins, tails and most of the innards.- Don't worry about the tiny bones; they are very soft and will disappear in the pounding. Rinse the fillets well and dry on a paper towel.

Peel the garlic. Cut off and discard the woody part of the fig stems.- Finely chop the figs. Strip off the leaves from the savory and fennel stems. Finely chop the herb leaves.

Pound the garlic, savory and fennel to a fine paste in a mortar with a bit of salt.- Add the walnuts and pound to a paste.- Next add the figs, pounding enthusiastically.- When the figs have been incorporated in the paste, pound in the anchovy fillets, along with a drizzle of olive oil, the Cognac, and a good grinding of black pepper.- Keep pounding and adding olive oil until the mixture is smooth and quite spreadable but still thick.

Fresh figs may be used.- Trim and chop 5 or 6 fresh figs.- Dice 1 shallot and brown it in a little olive oil in a heavy-bottomed pan over medium heat.- Add the figs, season with salt and pepper, add the chopped savory and fennel.- Cook down to a thick paste and add this to the mortar instead of the dried figs.

Peach Shortcake
Serves 6

1 1/2 pounds peaches (about 6 medium)
1/4 cup plus 1 1/2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 cup heavy cream
1/4 tsp vanilla extract
6 baked 2-inch biscuits
powdered sugar for dusting

Peel and slice the peaches; toss with 1/4 cup sugar.- Whip the cream with 1 1/2 tablespoons sugar and the vanilla until it holds soft peaks.- Slice the biscuits in half.

To assemble each shortcake, place the bottom of a biscuit on a plate, cover with a scoop of peaches and a dollop of cream, top with the other half of the biscuit, and dust with powdered sugar.- Serve immediately.

Serves 6

1 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 big pinch salt
4 tsp sugar
2 tsp baking powder
6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) unsalted butter, chilled
11 tablespoons cream

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.- In a medium-size mixing bowl, combine the flour, salt, sugar and baking powder.- Cut the cold butter into the flour mixture with a pastry blender until most of the pieces of butter are pea size or smaller.- Stir in 10 tablespoons cream until the mixture just comes together.- Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and roll 1/2 inch thick.- Cut into six 2-inch round or square biscuits, rerolling the dough scraps, if necessary.

To bake, place the biscuits on a baking sheet and brush the tops with the remaining 1 tablespoon cream.- Bake for 17 minutes, until golden.

Naomi Duguid is the co-author of "Hot Sour Salty Sweet: A Culinary Journey through Southeast Asia" published by Artisan.

Lamb Kebabs
From Flatbreads & Flavors by Naomi Duguid & Jeffrey Alford
Published by Morrow

1 pound onions, peeled
1 tablespoon salt
1/2 cup olive oil
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
3- pounds boneless leg of lamb, trimmed of fat and sinew and cut into 1 inch cubes

Grate or mince the onions in the food processor. Place in a fine-meshed sieve over a bowl, add the salt and stir well. THe onion will shet its juice into the bowl. You should get approximately 1/2 cup onion juice; discard the onions
Transfer the juice to a large shallow bowl. Add the oil, lemon juice, and pepper. Place the meat chunks in the marinade and stir to coat. Cover, refrigerate, an let marinate for 6-8- hours.
About 1 hour before you want to serve the meal, remove the meat from the refrigerator. Prepare a charcoal or gas grill.
Thread the meat onto soaked wooden skewers or metal skewers, so the pieces aren't touching, not tightly squeezed together. Grill the meat on a rack about 5 inches from the heat for 15-20 minutes until only slightly pink inside. Serve hot.

Quick Lamb Kebabs with a Spice Rub
(from the interview on Good Food)

Soak wooden skewers.
Combine black pepper, ground cumin, and salt and rub onto the lamb cubes. Allow to sit for half an hour.
Thread the meat onto soaked wooden skewers or metal skewers, so the pieces aren-t touching, not tightly squeezed together. Grill the meat on a rack about 5 inches from the heat for 10-15 minutes until only slightly pink inside. Sprinkle salt over the meat halfway through cooking. Serve hot.
Ben Watson is the author of "Cider, Hard and Sweet:- History, Traditions and Making Your Own" published by Countryman Press.


Leslie Brenner's new book is "The Fourth Star: Dispatches from Inside Daniel Boulud's Celebrated New York Restaurant" published by Potter.