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Posts Tagged ‘Shelf love’

What a clever idea this cauliflower cheese pie is, and the filo pastry makes it straightforward too. This one is from the clever people at the Ottolenghi Test Kitchen. It takes shape perfectly in the oven and then oozes appropriately when you cut into it. A definite crowd-pleaser.

Wine Suggestion: A rich white was called for, and while we’d have normally gone for a Chardonnay by default we had something different in the glass: Quinta Soalheiro’s Primeiras Vinhas. An old-vine alvarinho partially made in old oak that was velvety, concentrated and powerful. Despite it being bone dry the fruit was sophisticated and effortless. We’d opened this the day before and had to admit it was even better on the second day so a good one for the cellar.

Curried cauliflower cheese pie – serves 4

  • 1 large cauliflower, trimmed and cut into bite-sized florets
  • 2 tsp mild-medium curry powder
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 100g unsalted butter, 50g cut into cubes and 50g melted to brush the pastry with later
  • 75g plain flour
  • 675ml full-fat milk
  • 2 cloves of garlic, crushed
  • 1 ½ tbsp English mustard
  • 150g mature cheddar cheese, roughly grated
  • 6 sheets of filo pastry
  • 1 tbsp roughly chopped parsley
  • 1 ½ tsp lemon zest

Preheat the oven to 180C fan.

Line the bottom and sides of a 23cm springform cake tin with baking parchment.

Line a large baking tray with baking parchment and place the cauliflower florets onto it. Add the curry powder, 1 ½ tbsp of olive oil, ½ tsp of salt and plenty of black pepper. Toss with your hands to coat, then roast for 20 minutes, or until cooked through and lightly browned. Set the cauliflower aside.

Lower the oven temperature to 170C fan.

Meanwhile, make the béchamel sauce. Put the 50g of butter into a medium-sized saucepan and melt over a medium-high heat, then add the flour and stir to combine. Cook for a minute or two, then gradually add the milk stirring constantly and waiting for it all to be incorporated before adding any more. You can use a whisk to do this but we prefer a wooden spoon. When all the milk has been added, continue to cook the sauce for about 7 minutes or until slightly thickened. Keep stirring the whole time until it bubbles, then turn it down and keep giving it regular stirs. Remove from the heat and stir in the garlic, mustard, cheese and ¼ tsp of salt, keep stirring until the cheese has melted.

Get your filo pastry out of the pack and cover it with a damp tea towel to stop it drying out. Combine the melted butter with 1 ½ tbsp of oil. Take one sheet of filo at a time, brush the upper side with the butter mixture and drape into the cake tin, butter side up. Push it down gently to fit into the tin. Continue with the remaining sheets , brushing each with butter and laying in the tin, rotate the tin slightly each time so the pastry hangs over the sides at a different angle.

Spoon half the béchamel into the tin and top with the roasted cauliflower. Spoon over the rest of the sauce, then crimp the overhanging pastry to form a border, leaving the centre of the pie exposed. Brush the top of pastry with the butter mixture, then place onto a baking tray. Bake in the oven for 30 minutes.

Carefully release the outer circle of the baking tin and remove the paper to expose the sides, bake for another 20-25 minutes or until the sides are nicely browned. Leave to rest out of the oven for 15 minutes before serving.

Top with the parsley and the lemon zest and cut into big wedges to serve. Some salad is nice on the side.

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

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This chicken dish is from OTK Shelf Love and is absolutely delicous; your kitchen will smell amazing. We had to try a few shops before we found the berbere spice, but it’s easily found online and worth the hunt. Out of interest this spice is integral to Ethiopian and Eritrean cooking and has a fiery, warm character that we now love. We served with roast Brussels sprouts with hazelnuts but any greens would be good.

Berbere spiced chicken, carrots & chickpeas – serves 4 to 6

  • 1 large onion, roughly chopped
  • 6 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 45g fresh coriander, separate the stocks and leaves and roughtly chop both
  • 2½ tbsp berbere spice
  • 2 tbsp tomato purée
  • 2½ tbsp runny honey
  • 3 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 6 tbsp olive oil
  • 800g carrots, peeled and cut into 4-5cm lengths
  • 2 tins of chickpeas, drained
  • 8 chicken thighs
  • 2-3 oranges, leave one whole and juice the rest to get 100ml

Heat the oven to 200C fan.

Put the onion, garlic, coriander stalks, berbere spice, tomato purée, honey, 1 tbsp of vinegar, 4 tbsp of oil, 1¾ tsp of salt and plenty of black pepper into a food processor and blend until smooth.

Put the mixture into a large roasting tin with the carrots, chickpeas, chicken thighs, orange juice and 150ml of water, then toss to combine.

Arrange the thighs so they are on the surface and skin-side up, then cover the dish tightly with foil. Bake for 30 minutes, then remove the foil and cook for another 40 minutes, turning the dish around half way through. Set aside for 10 minutes before serving.

Meanwhile, peel and segement the whole orange and roughly chop the flesh. Put the orange into a bowl with the coriander leaves, 2 tbsp of vinegar and 2 tbsp of oil. Season with salt and pepper and mix together.

When ready to serve, spoon the dressing over the baking dish and serve.

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

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We’ve made plenty of fish and tahini dishes before but particularly liked this one with the additions of zingy za’atar and fresh spinch.

Wine suggestion: this works brilliantly with a juicy, crisp Verdejo, especially those that come from Rueda in Spain. Crunchy, juicy apples, lemons and grapefuit. In our glass was Dominio la Granadilla which demonstrates a passionate family all working together and speaking of the place they grew up.

Za’atar salmon and tahini – serves 4

  • 4 salmon fillets (about 600g in total), skin on
  • 2 tbsp za’atar
  • 2 tsp sumac, plus and extra ½ tsp for sprinkling at the end
  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • 250g baby spinach
  • 90g tahini
  • 3 cloves of garlic, crushed
  • 3½ tbsp lemon juice
  • 1½ tbsp roughly chopped coriander leaves

Heat the oven to 220C Fan.

Pat the salmon dry with kitchen paper and season.

Mix the za’atar and sumac together in a small bowl, then sprinkle this over the top of the salmon to form a crust.

Put a large ovenproof sauté pan over a medium-high heat and add 1 tbsp of the oil. When the pan is hot, add the spinach with a little seasoning and cook for 2-3 minutes or until just wilted.

Set the salmon fillets on top of the spinach, skin side down, then drizzle the top of the fish with 2 tbsp of oil. Bake in the hot oven for 5 minutes.

Meanwhile, whick the tahini, garlic, 2½ tbsp of lemon juice, a good pinch of salt and 100ml of water together until smooth. It will be quite runny.

Pour the tahini around the salmon (but not over the fish) and bake for another 5 minutes, or until the fish is just cooked through and the sauce is bubbling. Spoon over the rest of the lemon juice and oil and top with the coriander and extra sprinkle of sumac.

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

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Your butcher should be able to get you beef short ribs if you ask, and the trick is slow-cooking. All that fat will ensure they become meltingly tender and the meat will literally fall off the bones. This dish takes a while to cook but there’s not much effort required and the result is worth it.

Wine Suggestion: This dish requires a serious, powerful red with a good structure. Tonight we had a youthful 3 year old Chateau Puygueraud from the Côtes de Francs, Bordeaux. A merlot, cabernet franc, malbec blend it was appropriate but all judged it too young and a little forceful. However a Domaine des Roches Neuves ‘Marginale’, Saumur-Champigny from 2015 brought by our friends proved to be the wine match we were looking for. Cabernet Franc from the Loire this cuvée showed the class of being the best selection of the best vineyards in a powerful, great vintage. All parts integrated but still in it’s infancy. A good match tonight, and we are all sad we don’t have any more in our cellars to see this in 10 years time too.

Braised beef short ribs with butter beans & figs – serves 4

  • 2 onions, roughy chopped
  • 6 cloves of garlic, peeled
  • 4cm piece of ginger, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 2 green chillies, roughly chopped, no need to discard the seeds
  • 6 beef short ribs (about 1.5kg),trim off any big pieces of fat at the edges but don’t worry about being too particular with the rest, it all renders down into the rich sauce
  • 60ml olive oil
  • 4 whole star anise
  • 10 cardamom pods, roughly bashed open with a pestle and mortar
  • 1½ tbsp tomato purée
  • 2 tsp ground allspice
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 5-6 large plum tomatoes, two-thirds roughly chopped and the rest roughly grated and skin discarded
  • 100g soft dried figs, roughly chopped into 1½ cm pieces
  • 700g jar butter beans, drained
  • 30g chives, very finely chopped
  • 1½ tbsp lemon juice
  • 300g regular spinach, discard the stems and roughly tear the leaves

Heat the oven to 165C fan.

Put the onions, garlic, ginger and chillies into a food processor and pulse until finely chopped.

Dry the short ribs with kitchen paper and season with salt and pepper. Put 2 tbsp of oil into a large ovenproof saucepan and turn the heat to medium-high. Fry the ribs in batches until well coloured on all sides, then remove and set aside.

Add the onion mixture to the pan along with the star anise and cardamom, and cook for 5 minutes to soften, stirring now and then. Add the tomato purée, ground spices, chopped tomatoes (don’t add the grated ones yet), 1½ tsp of salt and plenty of black pepper and cook for another 4 minutes or until the tomatoes start to soften.

Add the short ribs and 1.1 litres of water, bring to the boil, then cover and put into the oven for 3 hours, stirring a few times.

Add the figs and cook for another half hour, or until softened. The meat should now be very tender.

Meanwhile, put the butterbeans into a saucepan with a pinch of salt and cover with water. Bring to the boil and simmer for about 15 minutes, then drain. Stir in the chives, 2 tbsp of oil, the lemon juice and plenty of pepper.

When the beef is ready, take the ribs from the pan and pull the meat off the bones. Discard the bones and set the beef aside.

Heat the sauce and stir in the spinach, it should wilt in a few minutes, then add the grated tomato and remove from the heat.

Spoon the sauce over a large platter and top with beans and beef.

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

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This is a rather unconventional method but it does work, and the resulting dish is perfect comfort food for a cold day. The za’atar pesto is a good addition to cut through the richness and the feta provides creamy nuggets. A crazy but good idea from the Ottolenghi Test Kitchen.

Wine Suggestion: A crisp white with body and texture is called for here to help cut through rich layers and stand up to the complex flavours. Domaine Ventenac’s Cassandre waas our choice and a very happy match indeed. Vermentino from Cabardes in the south of France, this comes from vineyards that have cooling breezes and a little altitude to give it depth of flavour as well as a scintillating freshness; finishing with a slight nutty twist that gave the pesto an extra lift.

Middle Eastern mac n cheese with za’atar pesto – serves 4 to 6

  • 300g dried cavatappi or fusilli pasta
  • 600-700ml whole milk
  • 65g unsalted butter, cut into 3cm cubes
  • 3 garlic cloves, crushed
  • tsp ground turmeric
  • 1½ tsp cumin seeds, toasted and roughly crushed
  • 75ml double cream
  • 150g mature cheddar, roughly grated
  • 180g Greek feta, roughly crumbled
  • 45g shop-bought crispy onions or shallots

FOR THE ZA’ATAR PESTO

  • 1 large lemon
  • 3 tbsp za’atar
  • 20g fresh coriander, roughly chopped
  • 1 clove of garlic, roughly chopped
  • 40g pine nuts, lightly toasted
  • 6 tbsp olive oil

Put the pasta, 600ml of milk, 350ml of water, the butter, garlic, turmeric, 1 tsp of salt and plenty of black pepper into a large sauté pan over a medium-high heat. Bring to a simmer, then turn the heat down the heat and cook, stirring now and then, for 8-14 minutes, or until the pasta is al dente and the sauce thickened. You can add the extra 100ml of milk if you need it thinned a bit.

Turn the heat to low and stir in the cumin, cream and cheeses. Stir until the cheddar has melted.

Meanwhile, make the pesto. Finely grate the lemon to get 1½ tsp of zest. Peel the lemon, cut into segments and roughly chop. Put the lemon and zest into a bowl.

Put the za’atar, coriander, garlic, pine nuts, a pinch of salt, plenty of black pepper and 3 tbsp of the oil into a food processor, then pulse a few times to get a coarse paste. Add to the lemon and stir in the remaining 3 tbsp of oil.

Transfer the cheesey pasta to a large serving platter, dot all over with the pesto and top with the crispy onions.

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

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We loved this dish! Bursting with flavour and the perfect wintery side salad. The leftovers were also good the next day. You can use capers instead of anchovies if you prefer.

Wine suggestion: This dish works really well with a good, dry Chenin Blanc. Our current favourite is Bernard Fouquet’s Domaine Aubuissieres Vouvray Silex Sec. Dry and full of yellow apple fruits and layers of texture, while remaining discrete enough to allow the sprouts and parmesan to come through.

Brussels sprout and Parmesan salad with lemon dressing – serves 4

  • 700g small brussels sprouts, trimmed, leave 500g whole and thinly shave the rest
  • 4 tbsp olive oil, plus extra for drizzling
  • 60ml lemon juice
  • 3 cloves of garlic, crushed
  • 1 ½ tbsp wholegrain mustard
  • 2 anchovies in oil, drained and roughly chopped
  • 60g Parmesan, 20g roughly grated and the rest cut into shards – a veg peeler will do this nicely
  • 120g kale leaves, discard the stems and thinly shred the leaves
  • 1 small red onion, halved and thinly sliced
  • 20g basil leaves
  • 70g blanched hazelnuts, well toasted and roughly chopped

Heat the oven to 220C fan.

Line a tray with baking paper and add the whole sprouts, 2 tbsp of oil, ½ tsp of salt and plenty of black pepper, toss to combine. Roast for 18 minutes, stirring halfway, until well browned and cooked through, then leave to cool.

Meanwhile, put the lemon juice, garlic, mustard, anchovies, grated Parmesan, 3 tbsp of oil, ¼ tsp of salt and plenty of black pepper into the small bowl of a food processor and whizz until smooth.

Put the kale, the shaved sprouts, the dressing, ¼ tsp of salt and plenty of black pepper into a large bowl and toss with your hands, massaging the leaves gently. Leave to soften and wilt for about 10 minutes.

Add the onion, basil, chopped hazelnuts, Parmesan shards and roasted sprouts to the bowl and mix to combine. Turn out onto a platter to serve.

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

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