Persian New Year seems like a good day to share this delicious recipe, seeing as it is from the beautiful Persiana. I made this recipe for my family on Mother’s Day this year. It went down a storm. I couldn’t find whole preserved lemons anywhere so opted for a jar of preserved lemon paste, which worked beautifully. I am going to make some preserved lemons of my own but they take 3 months. The original recipe calls for olives but I am not much of a fan so I opted for capers.
I made some ‘yellow’ rice, rice cooked with saffron and turmeric and then I stirred some fresh chopped parsley in just before serving. This isn’t made in a tagine (although I am sure it could be) but in a large saucepan on the hob; which, unless your oven is huge, is more practical. This is a great dish for serving large groups of people because the cuts of chicken are very cheap. I found that the chicken just fell off the bone when I was taking it out of the pan, it was delicious.
I mentioned a little while back about cooking a birthday dinner for my friend Jenny, when I shared the dessert recipe ‘Chocolate Heartache Cake‘. Well here is part of the mains, we had grilled meat (steak or chicken) with this spiced winter vegetable cous cous, an Ottolenghi recipe (bound to be delicious) shared by one of my favourite blogs, Orangette. It was so good that I also made it as a side dish to accompany the rhubarb and ginger roast belly pork that I cooked for mother’s day; which I promise to share soon, it would be criminal not to (it was to die for). Don’t be put off by all the ingredients and stages in this recipe, once you’ve cooked it once, you’ll have it down. It isn’t complicated at all, there is just a few spices involved; it is worth it though, trust me.
Around this neck of the woods, paella is in season; my mum, brother and sister all got paella pans for Christmas (from different people) and it got me craving paella. I however, missed the paella pan memo and haven’t got a paella pan but thankfully a good old frying pan does the job too (and it was a new Christmas frying pan, not that we are a family of foodies or anything). I chose to follow this Jamie Oliver recipe but omitted the prawns and parsley but added in a couple of spices for good measure.
I sadly couldn’t get a decent photo of the dish, it really was beautifully colourful, bright yellow rice, delicious red from the chorizo and the green of the vegetables. You’ll just have to take my word for it and make it yourself. It was a perfect winter’s evening meal, warming and comforting and absolutely, ridiculously delicious.
Don’t forget to enter my giveaway! The deadline is Sunday.
This summer, James and I went of a cookery course in London. It was a Christmas gift from my family, what a great idea! The location was stunning, St Katherine’s Dock, and the lesson courtesy of The Smart School of Cookery, run by ex Master Chef contestant Ann Hood. We had a great afternoon; we learnt a great way to finely chop onions and that you can keep ginger, lemon grass, chillies and fruit in the freezer to grate or zest from frozen. Other tips we learnt were to use rape seed oil to fry, as it burns at a much higher temperature than olive oil (a whole 60°C higher!) and that when buying oils, always go for cold pressed and good quality. We cooked three curries; Padang, Vietnamese and Punjab. They were all so tasty but my favourite was the Punjab, probably because it has nectarines in it.
One thing I found really interesting was that all the curries used the same base, to which curry specific additions were added later. You can make large quantities of the base and freeze it in ice cube trays, to add a cube or two to a curry from frozen. A great time saving tip.