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Posts Tagged ‘Cinnamon’

This vegan dish is a must for mushroom lovers and the leftovers make great lunchboxes. Full of flavours that we wouldn’t usually put together, that’s the joy of recipes from the Ottolenghi Test Kitchen.

Wine Suggestion: We’re suckers for matching mushrooms with either Pinot Noir, or, like here, with Nebbiolo. Luigi Pira’s Langhe Nebbiolo was our choice as it is so authentically nebbiolo without breaking the bank and opening a Barolo, or Barbaresco. Cherries, rose petals and rich iron with an earthy, mushroomy aroma carrying it through; elegance and power all at once.

Mushroom & rice pilaf – serves 4 as a main or 6 as a side

  • 1-2 dried ancho chillies, stems removed – we used dried chipotle chillies as that’s what we had in the cupboard
  • 30g dried porcini mushroom
  • 500ml vegetable stock (or chicken stock if you prefer)
  • 500g oyster mushrooms
  • 500g large portobello mushrooms, stems discarded, and roughly broken by hand into 6 pieces
  • 1 large onion, halved and cut into ½ cm thick slices
  • 10 cloves of garlic, peeled
  • 3 cinnamon sticks
  • 4 whole star anise
  • 150g soft dried apricots, quartered
  • 150ml olive oil
  • 350g basmati rice, washed until the water runs clear and drained well
  • 3 scallions, thinly sliced at a angle
  • 5g picked parsley leaves

Preheat the oven to 220C fan.

Put the dried chillies into a small bowl and cover with boiling water. Leave for 20 minutes, then drain and roughly chop the chillies, including the seeds.

Meanwhile, put the dried mushrooms, stock, 350ml of water, 1¼ tsp of salt and a good grind of pepper into a medium saucepan over a medium heat. Bring to a simmer, then set aside.

Put the oyster mushrooms and portobello mushrooms, onion, garlic, chopped chillies, whole spices, apricots, 120ml of oil, 1 tsp of salt and a good grind of black pepper into a large roasting tin. Stir it all together, then bake for 40 minutes, stirring halfway through.

Remove from the oven and transfer half the mixture to a medium bowl. Stir the rice into the remaining mixture in the tin.

Bring the porcini and stock mixture back to a simmer, then pour over the rice and without stirring, cover the tin tightly with foil. Bake for 25 minutes, then leave to sit, covered, for 10 minutes. Remove the foil and mix gently.

Add the scallions, parsley and final 2 tbsp of olive oil to the reserved mushroom mixture and stir together. Sppon over the rice and serve.

(Original recipe from Ottolenghi Test Kitchen Shelf Love by Noor Murad & Yotam Ottolenghi, Ebury Press, 2021.)

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Roast Chicken with a green peppercorn and cinnamon butter

With Julie not being a massive fan of cinnamon, we were a bit hesitant about trying this recipe, but fear not –  the green pepper and cinnamon butter is fabulous and a great way to jazz up roast chicken. The spice and pepper adds depth and personality but does not dominate in the slightest, rather allowing the succulent chicken to shine. If you’re really not convinced by cinnamon you can replace it with ground coriander, cumin or ginger.

Wine Suggestion: We drank an highly unusual white, Foradori’s Manzoni Bianco, and were blown away by both the delicious taste of the wine and the good match with the chicken. The Manzoni grape is a rare and unusual hybrid of Riesling and Pinot Bianco grown in the North East of Italy. There has been an obvious attention to detail in the vineyards and winery with a very complex yellow fruit flavour with layers of spice, flowers, smoke and an exotic hint of incense. This may sound heavy and cloying but the wine is fresh as a daisy and refreshing.

Chicken Baked with Green Pepper & Cinnamon Butter – to serve 4

  • 1 chicken
  • a few bay leaves
  • 2 tsp green peppercorns
  • a small sliver of garlic
  • ½ tsp ground cinnamon
  • 45g soft butter
  • salt
  • lemon quarters and watercress, to serve

To make the butter:

Crush the green peppercorns with the garlic and cinnamon in a pestle and mortar. Thoroughly combine the spice paste with the butter, then add 1 tsp of salt.

Lift the skin of the chicken and rub with salt and then some spiced butter. Slash the drumsticks and thick part of the legs before spreading with the butter. Save a little bit of butter and put it inside the chicken. If you have time you can leave the chicken for a couple of hours before cooking.

Preheat the oven to 180°C/Gas 4.

Put the chicken and bay leaves into a shallow baking dish into which it fits neatly. Cook, uncovered, on the middle shelf, allowing 20 minutes on each side. Continue to cook breast upwards until the juices run clear and the skin is golden and crisp.

Serve with the lemon quarters, watercress and the buttery juices.

(Original recipe from At Elizabeth David’s Table: Her very best everyday recipes, Penguin, 2010.)

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