The weather is very dank at the moment, rain every day, overcast and cold, hardly like midsummer at all. I made this tonight, using vacuum-packed chestnuts, carrots and celery from the garden, and some cooking chorizo from the freezer.
The recipe is from the Moro cookbook, full of interesting recipes that are generally easy to cook and taste wonderful.
- 4 tbsp olive oil
- 1 large onion, finely chopped
- 1 medium carrot, diced
- 1 stick of celery, finely sliced
- 120g mild cooking chorizo, chopped into 1cm cubes
- 2 cloves of garlic, finely sliced
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 1 tsp dried thyme leaves
- 2 small dried red chillies, crushed
- half a tin of chopped tomatoes
- around 500g cooked peeled chestnuts
- 20 saffron threads, infused in 4 tbsp boiling water
- 1 litre boiling water
- salt and pepper to taste
- Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan over a medium heat, and fry the onion, carrot, celery and chorizo for around 20 minutes, stirring, until the vegetables are caramelised.
- Add the garlic, thyme, cumin and chillies, and stir in well
- Add the tomatoes, stir again and then a couple of minutes later, add the chestnuts, water and saffron water and simmer for around 10 minutes
- Remove from the heat and mash the chestnuts. I used a soup wand, leaving the soup slightly rough and chunky. Add salt and pepper to taste.
I think you could add a glass of dry sherry to this, I’ll try this tomorrow. It freezes well too.
Somewhere along the line, I ordered some chorizo for cooking with, in a huge pack, and then froze it. This weekend, I started trying out recipes that use chorizo. I bought the pork loin from MacLean’s shop in Benbecula, and the spices are mostly purchased online from Seasoned Pioneers. I got the recipe from the Moro cookbook. Most of the other ingredients I found in the co-op. Irritatingly, you can only buy peppers in packs of three in the co-op, so I went to MacLennan’s for the green peppers. The recipe took about 45 minutes to make.
- 7 or more tablespoons of olive oil
- 350g pork fillet or loin, cut into 7mm strips
- 120g cooking chorizo, cut into little pieces
- 2 large onions, finely chopped
- 1 large green pepper, finely chopped
- 4 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
- 250g paella rice
- 2 ñora peppers, or a good pinch of sweet paprika
- 1 tsp smoked sweet paprika
- 900ml hot chicken stock
- 500g spinach
- 1 lemon, cut in wedges
- salt and pepper
- In a large flat pan, such as a paella pan or a very large frying pan, heat the olive oil on a high heat, and then quickly fry and stir the pork strips so that they are just about cooked, it doesn’t take long. Remove the pork from the pan with a slotted spoon. season with salt and pepper and set aside.
- In the same pan, put in the chopped chorizo, stir and add the onion, stir and add the green pepper. Turn the heat down to medium. Make sure you aren’t stingy with the oil. Cook for 20 minutes, stirring to make sure that all of the onion caramelises.
- Add the garlic and continue to cook for another 5 minutes or so.
- Add the rice, and stir so everything is evenly mixed.
- Season with salt and pepper, and add the paprika. If you are using ñora peppers, these should be torn up, seeds and stalks discarded, and soaked in hot water first so that they are soft. Add the hot chicken stock. Simmer for 15 minutes, until the rice has absorbed all of the liquid and is just about cooked through.
- About 5 minutes before the end of the cooking period, put all of the washed spinach in a very large pan, turn up the heat and cook until it is all wilted down.
- When the rice is cooked, add the pork and spinach and push it into the paella, so that the oil soaks in. Cover with a lid and let everything settle for around 5 minutes.
- Serve with lemon wedges. The lemon is absolutely essential for bringing out the best flavour. It needs a lovely fresh salad as well, for example a green salad or a tomato salad. So delicious.
I was excited when this book was published, a collection of recipes from Spain, North Africa and the Levant. The ingredients are simple, and the recipes are easy to follow. The flavours are outstanding.
The story behind Moro, the recipe book is a tale of two people both called Sam, a husband and wife team who own Moro restaurant in London. They were already in love and inspired by Moorish influences on the food of Spain and the Mediterranean, so when they married, they took a camper-van and went on a food adventure, researching techniques, flavours, and the culture that brings the food to the table.
In 1997, they opened their first restaurant in London, and in 2010 they opened their first tapas bar, Morito. They also have a news page on their website that occasionally showcases other recipes. There are other recipe books as well, since this first one: Casa Moro, Moro East and Morito.
I was so excited to visit, can’t remember the year, but I can remember that I had their outstanding Seville Orange Tart. There are several of their recipes on this site from the first book, but you’ll just have to get your own copy.
This is a classic middle eastern dish, found all around the Levant and beyond. I derived this recipe from ‘Moro’ – but I wouldn’t have been able to do it without a really good mincer. I borrowed one as part of a bid to make white pudding, of which, more later. There are some good YouTube videos out there showing the technique, and many many versions. It is easier than it looks at first sight.
- 250g very lean lamb, minced twice, second time on a fine setting
- 1/2 small onion, grated finely
- 125g fine bulgur wheat
- salt and pepper
- 1/2 small onion, finely chopped
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 150g lean lamb, minced once on a medium setting
- 1 heaped teaspoon of Baharat spice mix (or 50/50 cinnamon and allspice, with a pinch of paprika)
- 3 tbsp pine nuts and flaked almonds
- 1 bunch fresh coriander, chopped
- 1 small bunch fresh parsley, chopped
- salt and pepper
- Greek yogurt, flavoured with mint, salt and pepper, crushed garlic, and a drizzle of best olive oil
- Start by making the outer layer. Wash the bulgur wheat with water, and set aside
- Mix the minced lamb with grated onion, salt and pepper.
- ‘Kneed’ the bulgur wheat for around five minutes and then mix well into the minced lamb, to make a stiff paste. Set aside in the fridge.
- Next, make the filling. Toast the nuts in hot olive oil. As soon as they start to brown, scoop them out of the oil and set them aside.
- Fry the chopped onion in the olive oil very slowly for around 15 minutes, until caramelised.
- Add the lamb and Baharat spice mix and turn up the heat a little, to start cooking the lamb. Break up the lamb with a spatula as it cooks. Add a spoonful of cold water to slow the cooking a little, and cook until the pan is dry.
- Add the nuts and the chopped herbs, salt and pepper and remove from the heat.
- To make the kibbeh, take a ball of the casing about the size of a golf ball, and hollow it out, making a thin-walled cup of paste, and then fill this with the fried lamb filling, and seal it shut, making something lemon-shaped. Continue this way until all the mixtures are used up.
- Deep-fry the kibbeh in hot olive oil for around five minutes, turning to ensure they are brown all over.
- ALTERNATIVELY put half of the casing at the bottom of an oiled baking dish, add all of the filling and cover with the rest of the casing. Cook for 15 minutes in a hot oven.
Serve with the yoghurt garnish, fresh flat-breads, and a sharp green herb salad. For a more substantial meal, serve with a vegetable pilau.
I got some free range eggs from Linda, and then Kenny bought me some too – all wonderful, but that was a lot of eggs. So I made this. It is from the Moro cookbook, by Sam and Sam Clark .
- 500g mushrooms (a mixture, could include chanterelles, other wild mushrooms)
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- 1 clove of garlic, finely chopped
- 25 butter
- 6 eggs, broken into a bowl. Do not beat the eggs.
- 3 tbsp milk
- 40g serrano ham, cut into small strips
- 1 tbsp chopped parsley
- salt and pepper
- Clean the mushrooms and slice them roughly.
- In a large frying pan, heat the olive oil over a medium heat. Add the chopped garlic, and fry for only a minute, then add the mushrooms. It will look like you have too many mushrooms, but don’t worry, all will be fine. Fry for around 5 minutes or so, stirring, so that the mushrooms are soft.
- Add the ham, salt and pepper, cook for another minute, and then transfer the mixture to a bowl.
- In the same pan, melt the butter and then add the eggs and mil. Stir the eggs with a fork or wooden spoon so that the eggs break up a bit.
- When they begin to set, return the mushrooms to the pan, along with the chopped parsley, and continue to cook until any eggwhite has set.
Serve with fresh bread.
This is a delicious tart, and a grand way of using the January supply of marmalade oranges. The juice is used to make a delicious orange curd that is baked in a pastry case. The recipe is from the Moro cookbook.
For the pastry shell:
- 140g plain flour
- 30g icing sugar
- 75g chilled butter, chopped small
- 1 egg yolk
For the curd filling:
- 140g caster sugar
- 170ml seville orange juice
- 170g unsalted butter, chopped small
- 4 egg yolks
- 2 whole eggs
- grated zest from one orange
- To make the pastry case, sift the flour and icing sugar together, and then rub the butter into the mixture to fine bread-crumb texture
- Add the egg yolk and mix until the mixture comes together – it will be quite stiff and dry. You may need to add a teaspoon or two of milk or water. Shape the pastry into a ball, wrap and chill in the fridge for at least one hour.
- When you are ready, grate the pastry on a coarse grater, and press it evenly around the edges and base of a tart tin, to a thickness of around 3mm. Prick the base and rest the pastry case in the fridge for 30 minutes. Put the oven to 220C.
- Bake the pastry shell in the top of the oven for 15 minutes – should be light brown. Remove and cool on a rack. Turn the oven up to 240C
- Next, make the curd. Put all the curd ingredients into the top pan of a double boiler, and cook slowly, stirring until thick. The mixture will thicken quite suddenly, after about 15 minutes or more.
- Spread the curd into the tart shell, and bake at 240C for 10 minutes until the surface starts to brown.
- As soon as the tart is baked, remove from the oven and leave to cool before serving.
This is delicious served slightly warm, with something cool and creamy. Try beating 50/50 creme fraiche and mascarpone together.