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Posts Tagged ‘Pickled onions’

We are working are way through every recipe we can find that uses black limes, having finally found some without having to resort to mail order. It is all such a hassle now that we’re not all Europeans as some of our sources are in the UK. The sauce is truly delicious and you will need flatbreads for mopping it all up. Some rice would be good too but not essential.

Wine Suggestion: Black limes have such an introverted and complex character you can’t just match it with anything, but do look for wines that have either lime flavours or a savoury, umami texture. Combine this with the pickle and we had a conundrum. We solved it with Pajzos’ Hárslevelu dry Tokaji whose lime-leaf, savoury character plus a little residual sugar (despite the dry finish) came to the rescue.

Black lime tofu with spinach and pink pickled onions – serves 4

  • 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tsp caster sugar
  • 1 small red onion, very thinly sliced into rounds
  • 600ml sunflower oil, for deep-frying
  • 2 blocks of extra-firm tofu (560g), patted dry and cut into 2cm cubes
  • 2 tbsp cornflour
  • 2 onions, roughly chopped
  • 6 cloves of garlic, roughly chopped
  • 60ml olive oil
  • 2 tsp cumin seeds, roughly crushed in a pestle and mortar
  • 2-3 dried black limes, grind to a powder using a spice grinder you need about 2 tbsp (if you don’t have a spice grinder you can whizz in a food processor, then sieve)
  • 2 tbsp tomato purée
  • 20g flatleaf parsley, roughly chopped
  • 250g baby spinach

Make the pink pickled onions first by mixing the vinegar, 1 tsp of sugar, the red onion and tsp of salt in a small bowl. Set aside while you make everything else.

Heat the sunflower oil in a sauté pan or wok. Toss the tofu in a bowl with the cornflour until coated. When the oil is hot, fry the tofu in two batches until crispy and lightly browned, about 6 minutes, then transfer to a paper-lined plate.

Meanwhile, make the sauce. Put the onions and garlic in a food processor and pulse until finely minced but not puréed. Heat the oil in a large sauté pan over a medium-high heat. Add the onion mixture and cook for about 10 minutes, until softened and lightly browned. Add the cumin, black limes and tomato purée and cook for another minute. Add 400ml water, 1tsp of sugar, 1 1/4 tsp of salt and lots of black pepper. Bring to a simmer and cook for 6 minutes, until rich and thick. Add the crispy tofu, parsley and more black pepper and stir. Gradually stir in the spinach until just wilted.

Serve in a shallow dish with the pink pickled onions spooned over.

(Original recipe from Ottolenghi Flavour by Yotam Ottolenghi and Ixta Belfrage, Ebury Press, 2020.)

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This is the ‘succulent lamb stew’ from Jamie Oliver’s latest book – ‘5 Ingredients’ . It takes a little while in the oven but requires virtually no prep and the results are super tasty. Who knew a jar of pickled onions could be such a revelation? We served with buttery mashed potatoes and steamed broccoli.

This is the third recipe we’ve tried from this book and have yet to be disappointed. Go Jamie!

Wine Suggestion: we found that a youthful wine from Jumilla, the Finca Bacara “3015” Monastrell was a great match. It was perfectly ripe but avoided the clumsy tannins of other Monastrell we’ve had in the past despite being young and only spending 2 months in oak to bring it together. Look for juicy fruit, freshness, and bold but supple and unobtrusive tannins in whatever you choose.

Easiest Ever Lamb Stew – serves 6

  • a few good sprigs of rosemary, about 15g, leaves stripped
  • 800g boneless lamb shoulder, cut into 3cm chunks
  • 150g mixed-colour olives
  • 1 x 280g jar of silverskin pickled onions
  • 2 x 400g tins of plum tomatoes

Preheat the oven to 170C/Gas 3.

Heat a 30cm shallow casserole pan over a high heat, add 1 tbsp of olive oil and toss the rosemary leaves around for about a minute to crisp up. Scoop out the rosemary and set aside, then brown the lamb for a couple of minutes in the same pan.

Drain the pickled onions and add to the pan with the olives (remove the stones if necessary first). Stir everything together before adding the tinned tomatoes, breaking them up with a spoon, plus 2 tinfuls of water. Cover and cook in the oven for 2 hours, or until the sauce has thickened and the lamb is meltingly tender. Jamie suggests stirring half-way through and adding a splash of water if needed. After an hour we had loads of liquid left in the dish so cooked for the remaining hour with the lid off. It probably depends on the heat in your oven so do as needed.

Taste the dish and season with salt and black pepper, then sprinkle over the crispy rosemary to serve.

(Original recipe from 5 Ingredients by Jamie Oliver, Penguin, 2017.)

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