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Posts Tagged ‘Honey & Co.’

Badargani

Honey & co strikes again with a great veggie Sunday supper and fab left-overs for lunch-boxes on Monday. They suggest serving with yoghurt and green salad – we had some steamed rice too.

Wine Suggestion: a conundrum in matching this with the slight bitterness from the walnuts, the earthy, smoky, velvety aubergine and the sweet-sour-crunchy pomegranates. In the end we went with the Chapelle en Rosé from Chateau St. Jacques d’Albas in Minervois which was red-fruited, sappy and minerally dry. If you can’t find this then open a dry rosé made in the style of Provence.

Badargani – Aubergine rolls filled with walnuts & pomegranate – serves 4

  • 4 large aubergines, trimmed
  • olive oil

FOR THE FILLING:

  • 1 large red onion, diced finely
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 100g toasted walnuts, roughly chopped (keep 2 tbsp for garnish)
  • 2 tbsp pomegranate molasses
  • ½ tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 5 cm piece of fresh ginger, peeled & grated
  • 15-20g parsley, chopped
  • 100g fresh pomegranate seeds (keep 2 tbsp for garnish)
  • a pinch of cayenne pepper

Heat the oven to 220C/200C Fan/Gas Mark 7.

Slice each aubergine into 5 or 6 slices lengthways. Keep the outside slices for the filling and the long inner slices for the rolls. Brush a couple of baking trays with oil and lay the inside aubergines slices flat on them. Drizzle with more oil and season with salt and black pepper. Roast for 20-25 minutes or until golden and soft, turn the trays around mid-way to make sure they cook evenly. Set aside to cool.

Cut the aubergine trimmings into small dice (similar to the onion). Fry the onion in the olive oil over a medium heat until starting to soften, then add the diced aubergine and salt. Cook until the aubergine goes very soft. Take the pan off the heat and add the rest of the ingredients. Mix well and season again if needed.

Put a large spoon of filling at the end of each aubergine slice and roll into thick sausages. Put the filled rolls into an ovenproof serving dish. Spoon any leftover filling around the edges. Put into the oven for 5 minutes to warm through before serving.

Sprinkle the rolls with the reserved walnuts and pomegranate seeds. Serve about 3 rolls per person with a dressed green salad, some yoghurt and steamed rice.

(Original recipe from ‘Honey & Co. Food from the Middle East’ by Sarit Packer & Itamer Srulovich, Saltyard Books, 2014.)

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Makshi, stuffed peppers with beef & rice

This is delicious. You will need a very big pot and small peppers to fit them all in. Yet again Honey & Co have not let us down with this fab recipe.

Wine Suggestion: try not to drink too heavy a wine with this as it might fight with the spices and red pepper flavours. We found a northern Italian Pinot Nero from Alto Adige / Südtirol made by Cantina Colterenzio was a good match. It provided a delightful play of cherry fruit and earthiness while balancing the freshness with youthful acidity.

Makshi – stuffed peppers with beef & rice – serves 4

  • 8 small red peppers
  • 1 lemon, sliced
  • 1 tomato, sliced

FOR THE FILLING:

  • 1 large onion, finely diced
  • 4 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 250g beef mince
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp ground allspice
  • 2 tsp paprika
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • ½ tsp cayenne pepper
  • 90g basmati rice
  • 2 tomatoes, diced (about 200g)
  • 1 small bunch of parsley, chop the leaves and reserve the stalks

FOR THE COOKING LIQUOR:

  • 70g tomato purée
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 4 garlic cloves, peeled

Cut around the top of each pepper, about 1 cam below the stalk, and take the top section off but don’t throw it away. Remove the seeds and white membrane from the inside of the peppers.

Arrange the peppers upright in a pan that can hold them snugly so they don’t topple over. Push the lemon and tomato wedges in around them to hold them in place. Also add the reserved parsley stalks.

Fry the onion and garlic in the oil over a medium heat until softened, then add the beef mince, breaking it up with a wooden spoon until it has lost any pinkness and has gone crumbly. Add the salt and spices and mix well, then tip in the rice and fry for a minute. Add the diced tomato & chopped parsley. Take off the heat and mix well. Spoon this mixture into the peppers but don’t press it down too much as the rice will expand as it cooks.

Put the cooking liquor ingredients into a saucepan with 1 litre of water and bring to the boil. Pour the hot liquid over the pepper filled peppers, making sure some liquid gets into each one (we used a plastic funnel to do this). Put the pot containing the peppers over a high heat and bring to the boil, then immediately reduce the heat and cook for 30 minutes at a gentle simmer.

Check how much liquid is left in the pan (it should be about three-quarters full – if not top it up with more water). Baste the peppers with the cooking liquid and put the lid back on. Simmer for a further 20 minutes, then serve or keep for the following day (when they will taste even better). They reheat well in the microwave.

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Stuffed Courgettes with currants

Another delicious Middle-Eastern dish from Honey & Co. This is really unusual and tastes delicious. It serves 4 as a main course but you could also serve smaller portions as a side with lamb.

Wine suggestion: perfect with a lighter, fruity red from Spain or Italy. Our choice was the Rocca delle Macie Chianti Vernaiolo which is a very youthful, easy-drinking Sangiovese with less extraction (tannins and colour) than a full-blown Chianti Classico or other Tuscan greats. By being lighter it was charming with the courgettes and the low tannins didn’t fight the spices. If you were having them as a side alongside lamb we would have stepped up to a richer Primitivo from Puglia, a Nero d’Avola from Sicily or maybe a good Lebanese red like Ch Musar or Massaya.

Medias – courgettes filled with lemon rice & currants – serves 4

  • 4 even-sized courgettes
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion, peeled and finely diced
  • ½ cinnamon stick
  • salt
  • ½ tsp ground turmeric
  • ½ tsp allspice
  • pinch of cayenne pepper
  • 125g risotto rice
  • 40g dried currants
  • 2tbsp lemon juice
  • 375ml water
  • 4-5 cherry tomatoes
  • 15-20g parsley, picked and chopped
  • 1 tbsp dill

Halve the courgettes lengthways and remove the seeds with a teaspoon. Lay the scooped out halves in a  baking tray with sides that come up a bit higher than the courgettes.

Preheat the oven to 200°C/180°C fan/gas mark 6.

Heat the oil in a frying pan over a medium heat, then gently fry the onion, cinnamon stick and ½ tsp salt to soften the onion without colouring. Then mix in the turmeric, allspice and cayenne. Cook for 30 seconds before adding the risotto rice and stir to coat. Add another ½ tsp salt and the currants and pour over the lemon juice and water. Bring to the boil and allow to boil for 1 minute, then drain through a colander over a bowl to catch the liquid.

Cut the tomatoes into thin slices and stir into the rice along with the chopped parsley and dill (reserve a little parsley to garnish). Divide the rice mixture between the courgettes – don’t overfill as the rice will swell as it cooks. Pour the reserved liquid into the tray so the courgettes are half-submerged (top up with a bit of water if needed).

Put a sheet of greaseproof paper directly on top of the courgettes and cover the tin with tinfoil to entirely seal.

Cook in the centre of the oven for 30 minutes, then open and baste the courgettes with the liquid. Recover and return to the oven for another 30 minutes. Pierce the courgettes with a small knife to check they are very soft.

Baste again and sprinkle with the reserved parsley and another pinch of cayenne pepper.

Serve with a green salad and some fresh goats’ yogurt if you like.

(Original recipe from Honey & Co.: Food from the Middle East by Sarit Packer & Itamar Srulovich, Saltyard Books, 2014.)

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Aubergine & Lamb Stew

This is not the best looking dish but who cares when it tastes this good. To quote Itamar Srulovich (of Honey & Co. and the author of this recipe):

“Do not cook it to impress. Cook it for the ones you love the most, or just for you; it is that good.”

We concur Itamar!!

Wine Suggestion: Try a Mediterranean-style wine, a Primitivo or something similarly juicy from the south of Italy. We paired this with a lovely organic wine by Michele Biancardi, his Uno Piu Uno which is a cracking blend of Primitive and Nero di Troia. Only 12.5% abv but juicy and delicious so it didn’t overwhelm the lamb and aubergine and had enough depth to compliment it perfectly.

Patlican – Lamb & aubergine stew – serves 2

  • 450g lamb neck, cut into large dice
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 aubergine, cut into large cubes (about 350g)
  • 1 large tomato, cut into large cubes
  • 1 small red onion, peeled and cut into wedges
  • 6 whole cloves of garlic, peeled
  • ½ small red chilli, thinly sliced
  • 3 sprigs of fresh thyme
  • 150ml water
  • 1 tbsp pomegranate molasses

Season the lamb cubes with the salt and pepper.

Heat a large pan over a medium-high heat, add the oil and the diced lamb, and sear the meat all over. When the meat has browned (about 5-6 minutes), add the aubergine, tomato, onion & garlic. Cover and leave to steam for 5 minutes, then remove the lid and stir in the chilli and thyme. Reduce the heat to low and cook slowly for about 15 minutes, then pour in the water and pomegranate molasses.

Keep cooking on a low heat for 50-60 minutes or until the veg have broken down and the meat is soft enough to tear with a fork.

Serve with bread so you waste no sauce!

(Original recipe from Honey & Co.: Food From the Middle East by Sarit Packer & Itamar Srulovich, Saltyard Books, 2014.)

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