The food was plentiful and delicious and everyone ate their fill, and then some. There were some tricky moments, which I’ll record in the notes, but otherwise this book was great. The recipes of Moorish: Flavours from Mecca to Marrakech by Greg and Lucy Malouf (again sadly out of print). A combination of food from all over the Middle East and Northern Africa.Greek Leek Croquettes
- 3 medium-sized leeks, white part only, finely sliced
- 1 clove of garlic, finely sliced
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 200ml Chicken Stock
- salt and pepper
- vegetable oil for frying
- 1 litre water
- 250g unsalted butter
- 500g plain flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- pinch of nutmeg
- 10 large eggs
- 250g crumbled goat’s cheese
- 50g grated parmesan
- 1 tablespoon finely chopped dill
- Saute the leek and garlic in the butter for a few minutes until they soften. Pour in the chicken stock and add the bay leaf, salt and pepper. Cut out a circle of greaseproof paper large enough to cover the leek mixture (this stops a skin forming), lower the heat and cook very gently for 25 mins, until the mixture has reduced to a lovely soft mass. Remove the pan from the heat, and allow the mixture to cool. Peel away the paper and tip the leeks into a food processor. Pulse a few times to make a coarse puree. Set aside.
- To make the pastry, put the water and butter in a large saucepan and slowly bring to the boil so that the butter completely dissolves. As the liquid boils, quickly add all the flour at once, and mix well with a wooden spoon to incorporate into the liquid. Continue cooking over a low heat for about 8 minutes, until the mixture is glossy and comes away from the sides of the pan in a smooth ball.
- Tip the pasty into an electric mixer and beat for a few minutes on medium speed. Add the leek puree and then the eggs, one at a time, beating constantly. When all the eggs are incorporated, quickly mix in the cheese and dill. Refrigerate the mixture until it is completely cold.
- Heat the oil in a deep-fryer or saucepan to 180C, or until a cube of bread dropped in sizzles to the surface in about 30 seconds.
- Shape the mixture into mini golfballs and deep-fry until they are golden brown and starting to split. Drain on kitchen paper and serve immediately.
Notes on this recipe:
- Half the amount of everything. At the current measurements, the recipe makes between 30 – 40 balls of incredibly tasty goo, but that’s a stupidly large amount of goo to attempt to use an electric (hand) mixer on. I completely messed up my just cleaned kitchen.
- These are delicious and can be eaten the next day cold with no problems. We stored ours in an airtight container and had the left overs the next day.
- Death in a croquette – but what a way to go.
- 50ml olive oil
- 2 shallots, finely sliced
- 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
- 2 large bunches spinach, stalks removed and leaves shredded
- 150g fetta
- 1/4 teaspoon grated nutmeg
- 1 teaspoon dried mint
- salt and pepper
- 8 sheets prepared filo pastry
- 100g butter, melted
- Heat the olive oil in a heavy-based large pot. Add the shallots and garlic and stir over a medium heat fora few minutes until they soften. Now turn the heat right up and add the spinach. Stir around for a minute or so until the spinach collapses down, then tip everything out into a sieve and sit it over the sink to let the liquid drain away. Press on it firmly to help the process along a bit. When you’ve extracted as much moisture as you can, put the spinach mixture into the fridge to chill.
- Pre-heat the oven to 200C
- Take the spinach mixture out of the fridge and crumble in the fetta. Add the nutmeg and mint and season with a little salt and pepper.
- Lay a sheet of filo pastry out on the work surface and brush lightly with melted butter. Arrange a long thing sausage of spinach filling along one length of the pastry, then roll up fairly loosely. Brush with a little more butter, then start to coil the pastry into a turban shape. Start at the base, and coil inwards and upwards, about 2.5 – 3 circles high. Tuck in the top so it looks neat. Continue with the remaining pastry and filling. You should have enough to make 8 little turbans.
- Place all the little turbans onto a lightly greased baking sheet, brush with melted butter, and cook for 8 – 10 minutes or until they are golden brown.
Notes on this recipe
- I made spirals, I was running short on time and it was easier than fiddling to make turbans.
- 100g of melted butter is going to be WAY more than you need for this recipe, so halving it is probably a great idea.
Eggplant Rice Pilaf
- 2 medium sized eggplants
- 400g long-grain rice
- 100ml olive oil
- 1 onion, finely chopped
- 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
- 1 x 400g tin of chopped tomatoes
- salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 tablespoon roughly chopped mint
- 1 tablespoon roughly chopped parsley
- 500ml stock or water, boiling
- Cut the eggplants into 1 cm dice, put them into a colander and sprinkle lightly with salt. This draws out some of the moisture and reduced the amount of oil absorbed during the cooking. Leave for 20 minutes while you prepare the remaining ingredients.
- Put the rice into a bowl and wash under cold running water until it runs clear – you want to wash away as much of the excess starch as possible.
- Heat two-thirds of the oil in a heavy-based pan and gently saute the eggplant until they are lightly coloured. Remove them from the pan with a slotted spoon and set aside. Add the rest of the oil to the pan, then the onion and garlic, and fry gently until they soften. Return the eggplant to the pan and tip in the tomatoes. Season with salt and pepper, then throw in the mint and parsley and mix well.
- Add the rice to the pan, you don’t want to mix it in, but rather layer it on top of the vegetable stew. This stops the eggplant breaking down into the rice. Carefully pour the boiling water or sock in. Return it to the boil without stirring, cover the pan, reduce the heat and simmer for 18 – 20 minutes.
- When the cooking time is up, turn off the heat and remove the lid. Cover the pan with a tea-towel, replace the lid and leave to stand for 10 minutes to steam. To serve, gently mix the rice and the braised vegetables together, and serve.
Notes on this recipe:
- It’s really tasty, and yes I have made a very similar one before, but it was too tasty to not make again.
Roast Leg of Lamb with Baharat and Root Vegetables
- 2 cloves of garlic, crushed with 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 3 tablespoons Baharat
- 1 lemon
- 1kg leg of lamb
- 80ml olive oil
- 6 shallots, whole
- 12 small potatoes
- 12 baby carrots
- 3 parsnips, halved
- 1/2 small butternut pumpkin, peeled and cut into wedges
- 6 cloves garlic
- a few sprigs of rosemary
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- Preheat the oven to 220C
- Mix the garlic paste with the baharat. Cut the lemon in half and rub it all over the lamb. Use your fingers to massage the spice paste all over the meat, making sure you get into all the cavities.
- Put half the olive oil into a baking dish, add the lamb and cook in the centre of the oven for 20 minutes. Turn the oven down to 180C and cook the lamb for a further 20 minutes. Now take the dish out of the oven and pour the rest of the oil into the base of the pan. Add all the vegetables, garlic and rosemary and spring with a little salt. Shake them around as well as you can to coat with the oil. Put the pan back in the oven and cook for a further 40 minutes. Check from time to time and turn the vegetables around in the pan to make sure they cook evenly.
- The 80 minutes’ cooking time will give a medium-rare result. Allow the meat to stand for a good 10 minutes before carving.
Notes on this recipe:
- We used a 3kg leg of lamb (because that’s what my parents had slaughtered for me), and so doubled the baharat mixture quantity. We also roasted the lamb for 2 hours in total, 30/30/60 minutes.
- Its good, and the spice mix smells amazing as it cooked. The excess spice mix we have will be used to marinate BBQ meat for summer.
Hot Lemon Fritters with Cinnamon Sugar
- 250ml milk
- 70g unsalted butter
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 125g plain flour, sifted
- finely grated zest of 2 lemons
- 3 eggs
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 1 teaspoon orange-blossom water
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 150g caster sugar
- 750ml oil
- To make the fritters, put the milk, butter and olive oil into a saucepan and heat gently until the butter has completely melted. As soon as the liquid froths up, quickly tip in the flour and lemon zest, and beat well with a wooden spoon to incorporate into the liquid. Continue cooking over a low heat for a further 3 – 4 minutes, beating all the while, until the mixture is glossy and comes away from the sides of the pan in a smooth ball.
- Take the pan off the heat and add the eggs, one at a time, while beating the mixture well. Finally, add the honey and orange-blossom water. You will end up with a shiny smooth dough-like batter. Refrigerate the mixture for 2 – 3 hours, allowing it to stiffen and harden.
- Heat the oil in a deep saucepan to 180C
- To make the cinnamon sugar, combine the ingredients in a shallow dish
- Carefully place teaspoon-sized blogs of the batter into the oil, and cook until golden brown and starting to split – this should only take a couple of minutes.
- Remove from the oil and drain on kitchen paper, then roll in the cinnamon sugar mixture. Eat immediately.
Notes on the recipe
- This makes a perfect amount to feed 4 – 6 people, and it’s like deep fried custard – in the most amazing way
- Oh, and the recipe calls for way more cinnamon sugar than you’ll use, so put the remainder in a jar and use it on toast or pancakes.