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Monthly Archives: December 2008

  • Our christmas

    All the Ottolenghi's were this year, as usual, victims of Christmas madness - customer orders, last minute rush, wrapping up for the a 2 day break... No matter how much we prepare for it, we always seem to be running frantic: ticking off orders, checking serving instructions, making more gravy (why is there never enough gravy?), running out of mince pies. The head chefs and shop managers were, by the end of it all, a little bit like zombies in a horror film: slow , dark eyed and running round in circles. Still, they all did an incredible job. Here's just a few images:
  • Wow

    Take a look at this blog. We couldn't have asked for more. Thanks Keiko
  • Couscous and mograbiah with oven-dried tomatoes

    Richard Learoyd, the amazing talent that took the pictures in our cookbook, has given us all the images to keep. Here's one that didn't make it to the book, plus the recipe that did. Serves 6-8 16 large ripe plum tomatoes 2 tbsp muscovado sugar 150ml olive oil 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar Coarse sea salt and black pepper 2 onions, peeled and sliced thinly 250g mograbiah (or couscous instead) 250g couscous 400ml chicken or vegetable stock Pinch of saffron Salt and pepper 1 tbsp chopped tarragon 1 tbsp nigella seeds 100g of labneh (or a thick yoghurt) Preheat the oven to 150ºC. Quarter the tomatoes lengthways and arrange on a baking tray, skin side down. Sprinkle with sugar, 2 tablespoons olive oil, balsamic vinegar and some salt and pepper. Place in the oven for 2 hours or until the tomatoes have lost most of their moisture. Put the onion with 4 tablespoons of olive oil in a large pan. Sauté on high heat for 10-12 minutes, stirring occasionally, until you get a dark golden colour. Throw the mograbiah into plenty of salted boiling water, same as with pasta. Simmer for 15 minutes, drain and rinse under cold water. Some varieties might take less, so check the cooking instructions. In any case, make sure you don’t cook it too long (it must be soft but retain a bite), or it will go mushy. In a separate pot bring the stock to the boil together with the saffron and a little salt. Place the couscous in a large bowl and add 3 tablespoons of olive oil and the boiling stock. Cover with cling-film and leave for 10 minutes. Once ready, mix the couscous with a fork or a whisk to get rid on any lumps and to fluff it up. Add the cooked mograbiah, tomatoes and juices, onions and oils, tarragon and half the nigella seeds. Taste and adjust seasoning and oil. It is likely that it will need a fair amount of salt. Allow the dish to come to room temperature. To serve, layer gently on a serving plate, place some labneh on top (balls or spoon-fulls), drizzle with oil and finish with the rest of the nigella seeds.

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