As I mentioned in this post about a Sirocco feast, I was pretty excited to be sent the book by the publisher – especially as I had no idea it even existed. I’m planning on cooking more from it this week, but I thought I would make some observations about how things are going so far…
Salads and vegetables:
Carrot, tahini and hazelnuts salad: made for Spit Roast #2; I subbed in almonds and pine nuts. I think next time I might steam the carrots, just a bit – having them raw was a bit surprising and I think it detracted from the flavours.
Prawn, broccoli, feta and almond salad: I accidentally put the dressing ingredients on the prawns – not THAT different from the marinade, I just had to add harissa, but it’s rather a measure of how my brain was going. I’ve also just realised I forgot the dill, so I’m feeling a bit annoyed. Nonetheless it was fine; prawns and broccolini was a bit odd, but not terrible.
Turmeric and spice-marinated cauliflower: it seemed to have heaps of spices on the cauliflower (turmeric, cumin, coriander, ginger, paprika)… and then to have a tomato sauce with it. I didn’t feel like you could taste the spices through the tomato, which made me sad. I liked frying the cauli though.
Crushed new potatoes: also made for Spit Roast #2. I blanched the spring onions too hard (shouldn’t have put the lid on for any of the two minutes), but overall this was excellent – roasted taters, spring onion, peas and and dill.
Chickpea, butternut, preserved lemon and harissa tagine: delish. Even if I did have a cold when I was making it so I may have over-compensated on the harissa, since I couldn’t actually smell it…. I also didn’t add nearly as many dried apricots because my beloved is not a huge fan.
Aubergine, pepper and tomato stew (aka eggplant, capsicum and tomato): whoa this was awesome. Really easy – it’s basically like ratatouille – and it really does get better over time. So easy. So easy to eat for a few days in a row.
Georgian chicken stew: I’ve already made this twice. Chicken thighs are a miracle meat with the way they react to cooking for two hours. Chicken, onion, garlic, tomato and some spices – cover with water, simmer for two hours. Ta dah.
This book is definitely staying with me and being used over and over. Ghayour says she hopes the book “will get covered in oil splatter and food stains and remain close to hand” – I mean I TRY to avoid the splatter, but sometimes it’s just not possible… .