Wednesday, 28 January 2015
Cooking the Books - Yotam Ottolenghi
Yotam first came to my attention with his The New Vegetarian column in the Guardian. I used to cut out and keep the delicious, exotic sounding recipes. Later he had a series on the television where he travelled around the Mediterranean looking at the local food. I was hooked. In this book he has brought together many of the recipes from the column, they are all vegetarian and reflect his upbringing in Israel, and Sami Tamimi who he described as the other creative force in the company who grew up in Palastine. He is not a vegetarian so his other books include meat and fish.
I have to confess that despite saving the recipes over the years I have never cooked any of them. It is the kind of food I drool over but think, well the bearded one wouldn't eat any of them so is it worth the effort. Setting the goal of 'Cooking the Books' prodded me into action and I chose Leek fritters as I had leeks in my veg box this week. It is a lot of ingredients but I actually had most of them already, and it is a bit of a faff, but not too difficult skill wise. You don't have to make the sauce, a squirt of lemon or lime juice will suffice . Here's the recipe:
3 leeks (450g in total, trimmed weight)
5 shallots finely chopped
150 ml olive oil
1 fresh red chilli, deseeded and sliced
25 g parsley (leaves and fine stalks) finely chopped
3/4 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp ground cumin
1/4 tsp ground turmeric
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1 free-range egg white
120 g self-raising flour ( I used gluten free)
1 tbsp baking powder
1 free-range egg
150 ml milk
55g unsalted butter melted.
100g Greek yoghurt
100g soured cream
2 garlic cloves crushed
2 tbsp lemon juice
3 tbsp olive oil
1/2 tsp salt
20g parsley leaves chopped
30g coriander leaves chopped
Start by making the sauce. Blitz all the ingredients together in a food processor until a uniform green. Set aside for later.
Cut the leeks into 2 cm thick slices, rinse and drain dry. Saute the leeks and shallots in a pan with half the oil on a medium heat for about 15 mins, or until soft. Transfer to a large bowl and add the chilli, parsley, spices, sugar and salt. Allow to cool down.
Whisk the egg white to soft peaks and fold it into the vegetables. In another bowl mix together the flour, baking powder, whole egg, milk and butter to form a batter. Gently mix it into the egg white and vegetable mixture.
Put 2 tablespoons of the remaining oil in a large frying pan and place over a medium heat. Spoon about half of the vegetable mixture into the pan to make four large fritters. Fry them for 2 - 3 mins on each side, or until golden and crisp. Remove to kitchen paper and keep warm. Continue making the fritters, adding more oil as needed. You should end up with about eight large fritters. Serve warm with the sauce on the side or drizzle over.
So were they worth it? Yes! I really enjoyed them, they were very light and tasty and I like the sauce with them, but they would have been fine without. Would I make them again? Yes I would, they would make a really nice supper for friends served with a green salad. I did use an awful lot of dishes though! I am going to freeze the extra fritters to see if they will be as nice re-cooked from frozen.
I went out for a walk this morning before work as part of my walking 10 thousand steps a day challenge. It was pouring with rain and I did look a sight with my waterproofs on, it is good to get moving, sadly it isn't helping me sleep any better.
Have any of you used Greenmetropolis, an on line site where you can sell and buy used books? I have sold and bought many books on there and this morning went on to order a book I had seen on Shrimpton and Perfect blog. I was really saddened to see that it has closed down. Not only was it a good way to recycle books but I also 'met' a lot of lovely people on there.
Welcome to new blogger followers Jackie and Coco Jayne, and new Bloglovin followers Anna and Sally :)