Who can imagine a better assignment than discovering Paris’ culinary riches, peering into its Jewish kitchens, and writing about its food? There is no city like Paris for romance, for wandering picturesque streets, and for incredible food. No wonder France’s capital has been such a magnet for dreamers, artists, and even for Jews.
- 1cup dry chickpeas
- 3cups wheat berries
- 1cup vegetable oil
- 2onions, roughly chopped
- ⅓cup raisins (In Alsace and the south of France, prunes or dates are often substituted for the raisins.)
- 2tablespoons sugar
- 2teaspoons sea salt plus more to taste
- ¾teaspoon turmeric
- ½ teaspoon paprika
- ½ teaspoon hot red pepper, such as cayenne pepper
- ½ teaspoon crushed pepper flakes
- 3pounds chuck roast or brisket
- 12small red bliss, Yukon gold, or new potatoes
- ½ teaspoon cumin
- 2cups long grain rice
- 1garlic clove, peeled, plus 1 whole head of garlic
- 2sweet potatoes, peeled and halved
- 4large eggs in the shell
- ½ cup honey
Yield: 8-10 servings
- Step 1
Two days before serving, fill 2 bowls with warm water. Pour the chickpeas into one bowl and the wheat berries into another. The next morning drain both and set aside separately.
- Step 2
Heat 4 tablespoons of the oil in a large ovenproof casserole. Add the chickpeas, onions, raisins, and sugar, sautéing for about 5 minutes.
- Step 3
Make a rub of ¼ teaspoon each of the salt, turmeric, paprika, hot pepper, and pepper flakes and rub on the meat. Put the meat in the casserole and scatter the potatoes around, then fill the pot with enough water to cover and bring to a boil.
- Step 4
In a separate bowl, mix the wheat berries with another 2 tablespoons of the oil, 1 teaspoon salt, and the cumin. Then place the berries in a cheese-cloth and loosely tie it up, keeping in mind that the wheat berries will expand as they cook.
- Step 5
In another bowl, mix the rice with the remaining 2 tablespoons oil, another teaspoon salt, the garlic clove, and the remaining turmeric, paprika, hot pepper, and pepper flakes. Tie the rice up in another piece of cheesecloth as you did for the wheat berries, again leaving room to expand.
- Step 6
Place the sacks in the casserole and add the head of garlic, the sweet potatoes, and the eggs. Bring the stew to a boil and simmer, covered, for an hour and 45 minutes.
- Step 7
Preheat the oven to 250 degrees and remove the cover, drizzle honey over all, and cook in the oven for at least 5 hours or until the vegetables are reddish brown. (You can also cook the adafina in a 200-degree oven overnight.)
- Step 8
To serve, remove the bundles of rice and wheat berries. Spoon the meat and vegetables onto a platter with a slotted spoon, and pile the grains and eggs in their shells around them.