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Posts Tagged ‘Pistachios’

Lamb & saffron tagine

We tend to avoid hot dishes like this in the summer time which is a bit silly really as they eat tagine all year round in Morocco which is usually hotter than Dublin whatever the time of year. Marinate the lamb up to 48 hours in advance, if you can, to maximise the flavour. Serve with herby couscous or bread.

Wine Suggestion: It was a hot day when we made this dish so we took inspiration from Spanish winemakers and chilled a red wine for 30 minutes and were delighted we did. Our choice was Massaya’s le Colombier from the Beqaa Valley in Lebanon, a wine we find naturally pairs with Middle Eastern, North African and Spanish cuisine effortlessly. This is a winery really on the up and we think each new vintage is better than the last.

Lamb & Saffron Tagine – serves 6

  • 1.8kg diced neck or shoulder of lamb
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 2 large onions, chopped
  • 3 cloves of garlic, crushed
  • 2 cm piece of ginger, peeled and grated
  • 800ml passata or tinned chopped tomatoes
  • 750ml chicken stock
  • 2 tsp saffron strands, soaked in 1 tbsp of warm water
  • 200g dried dates, halved
  • 100g golden sultanas
  • 75g chopped pistachios

FOR THE MARINADE:

  • 2 tsp ground black pepper
  • 2 tsp turmeric
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 ½ tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 2 tbsp groundnut oil

Mix the marinade ingredients together in a large bowl, then add the lamb and mix until coated. Cover and leave in the fridge overnight or for up to 48 hours.

Heat the oven to 150C/130C fan/gas 2.

Put a large casserole over a medium heat with 1 tbsp of oil. Sauté the onions for about 10 minutes or until softened but not coloured. Add the garlic and ginger for the last 3-4 minutes.

Meanwhile, heat 1 tbsp of oil in a large frying pan and put over a high heat. Add the lamb and brown all over.

Pour half of the stock into the lamb pan to deglaze then transfer everything to the casserole with the onions.

Add the passata or tomatoes, the rest of the stock, saffron and soaking liquid, dates, sultanas and most of the pistachios. Season with salt and black pepper.

Bring to the boil, cover with a lid and cook in the oven for 2-2½ hours until the meat is very tender and the sauce thickened. Serve sprinkled with chopped mint and the rest of the pistachios.

(Original recipe from ‘Marcus at Home’ by Marcus Wareing, HarperCollins, 2016.)

 

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Spaghettini w. prawns basil parsley and pistachios

We know it’s Sunday and it’s getting colder and the clocks have changed, so we should really be posting a nice roast. However, we figure you probably have dinner sorted for today and you might like something to inspire you later in the week.

Wine Suggestion: the fresh, zesty Staforte Soave from Gaziano Prà would be a great match for this. Made from 100% Garganega it has apricot, peach and apple fruit flavours with touches of camomile and white flowers; followed by a textural finish. We would also try southern Italian Greco di Tufo and Falanghina’s with this dish; try to look for something with crispness, mid-weight and mineral texture and it should work.

Spaghettini with prawns, basil, parsley & pistachios – serves 4

  • 1 clove of garlic
  • ½ tsp sea salt
  • a large handful of basil leaves
  • a large handful of flat-leaf parsley leaves
  • a large handful of mint leaves
  • 75g roasted unsalted pistachio nuts
  • 1 tbsp finely grated parmesan
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 60ml extra virgin olive oil
  • 400g dried spaghettini
  • 500g raw peeled king prawns

Pound the garlic and half the sea salt to a paste with a pestle and mortar. Add the basil, parsley and mint and keep pounding together to make a thick paste. Add half the pistachios and grind them into the paste to get a creamy texture. Roughly chop the rest of the pistachios and stir into the paste with the Parmesan, lemon juice and 2 tbsp of the olive oil. Season with some more salt if needed and black pepper.

Meanwhile, bring a large saucepan of salty water to the boil and cook the pasta until al dente.

Put a heavy-based frying pan over a high heat and add the rest of the olive oil. Fry the prawns for a minutes on each side, then season with the remaining ¼ tsp of sea salt. Remove from the heat.

Drain the pasta and keep a little of the cooking water. Immediately tip the pasta back into the pot, then toss together with the herb paste and cooked prawns. Add a little of the pasta cooking water if necessary to loosen. Serve immediately on warm plates.

(Original recipe from Neil Perry’s Good Cooking, Murdoch Books, 2016.)

 

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Tajik green lentil & rice soup

We made this because we had lentils, onions, celery and carrots lying around and we hate wasting anything. This is  hearty and perfectly adequate as as a stand-alone dish. The herb paste and goat’s cheese make it extra special.  Not at all bad for a leftovers soup!

Wine Suggestion: as this is so hearty and earthy a round, juicy red matches this dish well. The Beelgara Shiraz from the Riverland in Australia, while not particularly complex works well because of the warm bramble and plum flavours, medium body and gentle tannins that don’t dominate but rather sit delightfully alongside the flavours of the lentils, pesto and cheese.

Tajik Green Lentil & Rice Soup – serves 4

  • olive oil
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 1 carrot, finely chopped
  • 4 tomatoes, chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 2 tsp cumin seeds
  • ½ tsp ground allspice
  • 200g green or brown lentils, washed
  • 150g brown rice, washed
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 litre hot vegetable stock
  • 120g crumbly goat’s or sheep’s cheese

For the herb paste:

  • 6 tbsp olive oil
  • a good handful of flat-leaf parsley
  • a good handful of coriander
  • a handful of mint
  • a handful of pistachios
  • a squeeze of lemon juice

Heat a large saucepan over a medium heat and add a good glug of olive oil. Throw in the onion, celery, carrot & tomatoes and cook until softened. Add the garlic, cumin seeds & allspice. Cook for another minute then stir in the lentils, rice & bay leaves.

Pour in the vegetable stock, bring to the boil, then turn down and cover the pan. Cook for 20-30 mintues or until the rice and lentils are tender.

To make the herb paste: put all the ingredients in a small blender with a good pinch of salt and pepper, then whizz to a thick puree.

Thin the soup with a little hot water and taste for seasoning. Serve in bowls with the herb paste & crumbled cheese on top.

(Original recipe from Samarkand by Caroline Eden & Eleanor Ford, Kyle Books, 2016.)

Tajik herb paste

 

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Eastern Mess

Still an Eton Mess really but the rosewater, pistachio, raspberry and basil combination is delicious!

Eastern Mess – serves 6

  • 600ml double cream
  • 3 tbsp icing sugar
  • the seeds scraped from 1 vanilla pod
  • 2 tbsp rosewater
  • 6 ready-made meringue nests, broken into large pieces
  • 450g raspberries
  • handful of basil leaves, torn
  • 75g pistachio nuts, chopped

For the raspberry sauce: 

  • 225g raspberries
  • 1 tbsp icing sugar (or more if your raspberries are very tart)
  • 1 tbsp rosewater
  • squeeze of lemon juice

Whip the double cream, icing sugar, vanilla seeds and rosewater together in a mixing bowl until you have soft peaks (about 3 minutes but watch it carefully).

To make the sauce, mash the raspberries to a purée with the icing sugar, rose water and lemon juice in a bowl until the mixture is totally smooth. Pass through a sieve to remove the seeds.

Layer the cream, meringues and raspberries on a large serving plate, drizzling the sauce and scattering over the basil and pistachios as you go. Decorate the top with a drizzle of sauce, and a final scatter of basil and pistachios. Serve immediately.

(Original recipe from Persiana by Sabrina Ghayour, Mitchell Beazley, 2014.)

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Pistachio & Feta Dip

We have made this dip many times as we, and our friends, keep on devouring the lot before a photo can be taken. Not really problematic as we love it so much. We finally got  a photo 🙂 but will keep on making the dip, which has become a firm favourite and works great as a starter to share with some barbecued flat breads.

Pistachio & Feta Dip – serves 8

  • 100g shelled pistachios
  • 75ml olive oil
  • 300g feta cheese
  • handful of dill, leaves picked and roughly chopped
  • 2 handfuls of coriander, leaves picked and roughly chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 1 long red chilli, seeds removed and roughly chopped
  • 3 large tbsp Greek yogurt
  • finely grated zest of 1 lemon and juice of ½ lemon
  • sea salt if needed

Blitz the pistachio nuts and oil in a food processor for 30 seconds.

Add the feta, herbs, crushed garlic, chilli, yogurt and lemon zest and juice and blitz for about 1 minute, or until the mixture has a rustic texture.

Taste and add salt if needed but bare in mind that feta is already quite salty.

Serve with barbecued flatbreads.

(Original recipe from Persiana by Sabrina Ghayour, Mitchell Beazley, 2014.)

 

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It’s avocado season and we have a big bag of prawns in the freezer. This is one of two prawn and avocado salads we’ve tried in the last few days. The seasoned pistachios make this one a bit special. We loved it.

Avocado and prawn salad (Insalata di avocado e gamberetti)

  • 50g pistachio nuts, shelled and chopped
  • 2 avocados
  • juice of a lemon
  • 200g cooked peeled prawns
  • olive oil
  • salt and white pepper
Mix the pistachios with a pinch of pepper in a bowl.
Peel, half and stone the avocados. Slice them thinly and drizzle with the lemon juice.
Put the avocado in a salad bowl, add the prawns and stir gently.
Sprinkle the pistachios over, season lightly with salt, drizzle with oil and serve.
Wine Suggestion: Try a dry Gasgogny rose (ours was Domaine de Pellehaut from Mitchell & Son on offer for €7.95. Bargain!)
(Original recipe from ‘Recipes from an Italian Summer’ published by Phaidon)

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We’ve been away all weekend, so after 2.5 hours in the car we needed a tasty treat: this delivered the goods really well and was quick and easy. The recipe is from our favourite pasta book, The Silver Spoon: Pasta, which never ever fails.

Conchiglie’s great for creamy sauces as all the cheesey goo gets caught in the shells.

Conchiglie con Gorgonzola e Pistacchi – serves 4 but easily halved

  • 50g pistachios
  • 100g Gorgonzola, diced
  • 2 tbsp double cream
  • 300g conchiglie
  • 40g Parmesan, grated

Put the pistachios into a heatproof bowl and pour boiling water over. Leave to stand for 3 minutes. Drain well and rub the skins off with your fingers – don’t burn yourself! Chop the kernels and set aside.

Cook the conchiglie in plenty of boiling, salted water until al dente.

Meanwhile put the Gorgonzola and the cream into a small saucepan and stir constantly over a low heat until smooth. Set aside until your pasta is done.

Drain the pasta and tip into a warm serving dish. Toss with the melted Gorgonzola, chopped pistachios and Parmesan.

Serve right away and enjoy.

Wine Suggestion: If we’d had one we would have drunk a Greco di Tufo with this – a full-bodied but crisp and minerally white from southern Italy. It also has a nutty character which would compliment the pistachios nicely.

 

 

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