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Monthly Archives: March 2008

  • Orange and pistachio marshmallows

    Try making these for a posh bonfire. It isn’t that simple, though, as it requires boiling sugar to a certain point. You will need a sugar thermometer and a strong free-standing mixer. Note that we don’t roast the pistachios so that they keep their vibrant green colour. Serves about 10 (5 each) Vegetable oil for greasing 300g pistachios nuts, shelled 13g powdered gelatine 1½ tbsp orange blossom water 90ml orange juice 250g sugar 120ml water 2 egg whites Pinch salt You will need a square tray (20cm X 20cm) with at least 2cm high sides. Neatly line this tray with cling film and then brush the film lightly with vegetable oil. Set aside. In your food processor grind the pistachios to a powder and leave aside. Now, place the gelatine and the orange blossom together in a heatproof bowl. Take a small saucepan, pour the orange juice inside and just bring to the boil. Pour the juice over the soaked gelatine whilst stirring until the gelatine has dissolved. Have a sugar thermometer at hand. Place the sugar and water in a heavy based saucepan and slowly bring to the boil. Allow to simmer with the thermometer resting in the sugar until it reaches 125°C. Turn off the heat. Add the orange juice mix to the boiling sugar and stir to combine. Now place the egg whites with the salt in the bowl of an electric mixer and start whisking on full speed. As the whites start turning pale and foamy, slowly drizzle the hot orange mix down the side of the bowl whilst the machine is running. Leave whisking on high speed until the mix has cooled completely and resembles a thick meringue. It will take about 15 minutes. Spoon the meringue into the lined tray with a rubber spatula then use a palette knife to level the mix evenly in the tray. Sprinkle the top with ground pistachios to cover and leave to set at room temperature about 2 hours. Turn the marshmallow over onto another tray and peel off the cling film. Cover this side with more of the ground pistachios and using a very sharp knife, cut into squares.  
  • Cooking classes

    Over the past few years we have been nurturing a close collaboration with Leiths school of food and wine, now based in Chiswick. As well as guest chef classes given by Yotam Ottolenghi to the students at the school, we take on students (and sometimes also teachers) for work experience, some of which end up working with us permanently. As part of this close collaboration, we also offer monthly hands-on cookery classes at Leiths. These sessions, held on Saturday mornings, offer a brilliant opportunity for our customers and fans to come and get a first-hand Ottolenghi cooking experience with our chefs and the highly qualified teachers of Leiths. The Saturday workshops start at 9.30. They are fun and are conducted in a very relaxed manner. You don’t need to know much about cooking and can come on your own or with a friend or a partner. The cooking is done in couples and at the end, around 1pm, tables are laid for everybody to enjoy their creations with a glass of wine. The cost of one class is £115. To book please call Leiths School of Food and Wine (020 7937 3366) or book via their website www.leiths.com Next cookery classes: Moroccan Flavours, February 2nd 2008 – sold out Sweet potato patties with cumin and coriander Crunchy cucumber and red onion salad Chicken tagine with preserved lemon and olives, served with saffron couscous Vegetarian, March 8th – sold out Beetroot, carrot and red cabbage slaw with cranberries and pecans Baked polenta with wild mushrooms, tallegio and thyme French beans with tarragon, sesame and garlic Brunch, April 12th – sold out Own granola with yoghurt and fresh fruit Warm and spicy corn muffins Shakshuka: Tunisian eggs with tomatoes, peppers, saffron and coriander Early Summer Event, June 14th - sold out Chilled pea and sour cream soup with basil and chive Pan-fried sea bass with green and red tomato salsa Bulgar salad with caramelized onion, feta and tarragon
  • Pear and cranberry upside-down cake

    You don’t have to use pears here. Granny Smith apples, firm peaches and even bananas could work well. Whatever you choose will turn this into a delicious seasonal dessert when served with cream or ice-cream.
    Serves 8
    Poached pears 3 ripe but firm pears 750ml water 150g sugar 2 cinnamon sticks 4 whole cloves 2 strips of zest and the juice of 1 lemon Caramel Topping 90g sugar 20g butter 40g dry cranberries or 50g fresh Cake batter 200g butter 200g sugar 3 eggs 1 tsp vanilla essence 200g ground almonds ¼ tsp salt 80g plain flour 1 orange zest 1 lemon zest ¼ tsp ground cinnamon ¼ tsp ground nutmeg ¼ tsp ground star anise Glaze (optional) 60g apricot jam 1 tbsp water
    Peal the pears and cut into 2 lengthways. Scoop out the core. Immediately place in a saucepan containing the water, sugar, cinnamon, cloves, lemon zest and juice. Place a disc of greaseproof directly on the liquid so the pears remain submerged.Bring to the boil and then simmer until the pears are just slightly undercooked. This should take anywhere between 8 and 15 minutes. Check with a sharp knife that they tender outside but firm in the centre. Leave them aside to cool down in their liquids. Heat up the oven to 170°C. Lightly grease a 20cm round cake tin and line its bottom and sides with greaseproof paper. Place the sugar for the caramel in a clean heavy-based saucepan and place on a low heat. Without stirring watch the sugar turn into a rich caramel colour. Make sure to keep your eyes on the sugar at all times as it can easily burn. As soon as you reach the desired colour, remove the pan from the heat quickly but carefully. With your face at a safe distance, throw the butter in in a few chunks. Stir with a wooden spoon and pour onto the base of the cake tin. Carefully tilt it to spread evenly. Drain the pears and cut each half into 3 wedges. If using dry cranberries, soak them in some of the hot cooking juices of the pears. Drain after 10 minutes. Arrange the pears and the cranberries over the caramel. To make the cake, sieve together the flour and the spices. Use the paddle attachment of the mixer to cream the butter and sugar until light and airy. Gradually add the eggs and vanilla. Add the ground almonds and mix just to combine. Repeat with sifted flour, salt and zest. Make sure you don’t over mix. Once the batter is homogeneous and smooth pour it carefully over the pears and cranberries making sure you don’t move them out of their place. Smooth the batter with a palette knife. Bake for 35 minutes. Test with a skewer to make sure the cake is dry inside. Remove from the oven. Whilst the cake is still warm, but not hot, place an upside-down flat plate on top of the tin and briskly turn over. Remove the tin and the paper. To glaze, heat up the jam and the water in a little saucepan. Bring to a light simmer and brush the fruit gently. Let cool before serving.
  • Mushrooms with cinnamon

    This is a gutsy dish. You allow the mushrooms to burn slightly and then absorb lots of lemon juice to create sharp, contrasting flavours. You can serve the mushrooms on a plate of mezzes along side different roasted and marinated vegetables. Serves 2 500g mixed button and chestnut mushrooms 50g roughly chopped parsley, plus extra for garnish 3 tsp chopped thyme 2 cinnamon sticks 4 cloves of garlic, crushed 60ml olive oil 40ml lemon juice 1/8 tsp ground cinnamon ½ lemon, very thinly sliced Salt and pepper Heat up the oil in a large flat pan until smoking. Meanwhile toss together the mushroom, herbs, cinnamon sticks and garlic. Pour into the hot oil and leave on a hot flame 7-9 minutes. Be patient, do not stir or shake. Now stir the mushroom, allowing any left juices to evaporate. Pour in the lemon juice, ground cinnamon and plenty of salt and pepper. Remove from the heat. You can serve this warm or at room temperature. Just make sure you stir in the extra parsley and lemon slices at the last minute. Adjust the seasoning again.
  • French beans with Dijon vinaigrette, capers and garden cress

    In this recipe green beans are livened up by a bold vinaigrette. Serve with something meaty (if you like) and baby potatoes roasted with chilli and fresh oregano. Serves 2 French beans 200g trimmed French beans 1 small red onion, chopped 1 tablespoon capers 1 tablespoon tarragon leaves, chopped 3 tablespoons chopped chervil ¼ cup garden cress Vinaigrette 1 small garlic clove, crushed 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard 1 tablespoon cider vinegar ¼ cup olive oil Salt and pepper To make the vinaigrette, put the mustard, garlic and vinegar in a mixing bowl. Slowly add the olive oil while whisking until you get a thick dressing. Taste and season. Blanch the beans in boiling salted water for 4 minutes. Refresh and drain. Mix the beans with the vinaigrette and the rest of the ingredients, apart from the garden cress. Pile the beans on a serving plate and garnish with cress. When serving warm, mix the vinaigrette with the warm beans and the rest of the ingredients just before serving.
  • Wild rice salad

    We make infinite kinds of rice salads at Ottolenghi, mixing different varieties of rice and many combinations of herbs and vegetables. The secret is getting in enough oil and juices so the rice isn’t dry at all. Serves 4 250g wild rice 60g peeled pistachio 150g soft dried apricot, soaked in hot water for 5 minutes 1 small bunch of mint, leaves picked 1 small bunch of rocket 3 spring onions, roughly chopped Zest and juice of 1 lemon 2 tbsp olive oil 1 large clove of garlic, crushed Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper Place the rice in a large pot and cover with water, bring to the boil then reduce the heat and cook for 30-40 minutes, depending on the variety, or until the rice is cooked aldente. Drain and rinse under cold water. While the rice is cooking, roast the pistachio in a dry pan over a medium heat for 8-10 minutes. Coarsely chop them with a large knife. Drain the apricot and coarsely chop them too. In a bowl mix the rice, apricots and pistachios. Add the rest of the ingredients, toss well and season with salt and pepper to taste.
  • Roast chicken with chilli and basil

    Choose a good quality free-range chicken and keep it in the marinade for as long as you can. Serves 2-4 1 tbsp sunflower oil 2 tbsp sesame oil 1 tbsp Dijon mustard 2 tbsp soy sauce 1 tbsp rice vinegar tsp dried chilli flakes 3 spring onions 2 chicken legs 2 chicken breasts 2-4 mild red chillies 8 basil leaves for garnish Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper In a bowl, whisk the oils, mustard, soy sauce, vinegar and chilli flakes. Season with a little bit of salt and some pepper. Roughly chop the spring onion and add it to the sauce with the chicken and the whole chillies. With your hands, rub the chicken well with the marinade and keep refrigerated for 4 hours or overnight. Preheat the oven to 200°C. Place the chicken in a roasted tray and place in the oven for 35-40 minutes or until cooked through. Arrange the chicken on a serving plate, place the chillies on top and pour the juices on. Garnish with basil.
  • Sauté of chickpea, butternut squash and chard, served with mint yoghurt

    If you forget soaking the chickpeas over night use tinned chickpeas. Instead of chard, spinach will work. Serves Chickpeas 70g dried chickpeas 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda 2 tbsp olive oil 1 medium onion, peeled and finely chopped 1 tsp caraway seeds ½ tsp castor sugar 1½ tsp ground cumin 100g Swiss chard leaves Juice of ½ a lemon 3 tbsp picked coriander leaves for garnish Salt and black pepper Butternut squash 200g butternut squash 2 tbsp olive oil Salt and pepper Yoghurt sauce 80g Greek yoghurt 1 garlic clove, peeled and crushed Juice of 1 lemon 3 tbsp olive oil 1 tsp dried mint Salt and black pepper Soak the chickpeas in enough cold water to cover them twice. Add the bicarbonate soda and leave for at least 12 hours. Drain the chickpeas, put in a large saucepan and cover with plenty of fresh water. Bring to the boil and simmer for at least an hour and sometimes up to 90 minutes. The chickpeas should be totally tender but retain their shape. Occasionally you would need to skim the froth off the surface. When ready, drain the chickpeas into a colander and set aside. Preheat the oven to 200°C. Peel the butternut squash and cut into 2cm cubes. Put them in a baking tray, drizzle the olive oil on and season with salt and pepper, mix well to coat and roast for 25-30 minutes or until soft. While cooking the butternut squash, prepare the chickpea sauce. Heat the olive oil in a large frying pan and add the onion, caraway seeds, sugar and cumin and fry for 10 minutes, while stirring, until golden brown. Stir in the chopped chard, and then add the cooked butternut squash and the chickpeas with about 5 tablespoons water. Mix together and cook for another 5 minutes or until hardly any juices are left. Add the lemon juice, taste and adjust the seasoning. Make the yoghurt sauce by whisking together all of the ingredients. Taste for salt and pepper. To serve, spoon the warm chickpeas on a serving dish, spoon over a bit of the yoghurt sauce and garnish with coriander leaves.
  • Shallot, potato and goat cheese tatin

    If you choose to serve this as a starter at a dinner party, alongside a fresh herb salad, you are guaranteed to impress your partner. It looks more complicated to make than it actually is and it is spectacularly delicious. Serves 2 4 baby potatoes (140g) 4 small shallots (100g) 40g caster sugar 10g butter 2 sprigs of fresh thyme 60g goat cheese, sliced Puff pastry sheet, rolled thinly Olive oil Salt and black pepper Have ready 2 shallow individual tins or pans, roughly 10cm in diameter and 2cm deep, brushed with olive oil. Boil the potatoes in salted water for 25 minutes. Lift them out of the water and let cool. Chop a bit of the top and bottom of each potato. Then cut horizontally into halves. Peel the shallots and cook in the same water for 10 minutes. Remove from the water and allow to cool down. Preheat the oven to 200°C. In a small pan cook the sugar and butter on a high flame, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon. Keep on until you get a semi-dark caramel. Pour the caramel carefully, dividing it into the oiled tins and allow to spread on the bottom. Pick the thyme leaves and scatter on the caramel. Stand the potatoes close together on the bottom of the tin. Gently press shallots between the potatoes. Sprinkle salt and pepper generously. Cover with goat cheese. Cut a puff pastry disc that is 3cm larger in diameter than the tin. Place on the cheese and gently tuck the excess pastry around the potatoes. At this stage you can chill the tarts for up to 24 hours. To bake, place the tarts on a large oven tray and put in the preheated oven for 15 minutes. Continue for another 5 minutes at 180°C. Poke gently inside the pastry to check that it is totally cooked. You might need to leave it there a few minutes longer. Remove the tarts from the oven. Place a reversed plate on top of the tins and carefully but briskly turn over. Remove the tin and serve warm.

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