Last Friday I panicked – almost. I am quite deaf in my left ear and have worn an aid for a decade or else I can’t hear birds or any high octave sounds. I won’t go that far into it but it’s a terrible thing to hear one moment and not the next. So this recipe was created in that silence.
But that’s not why I’m calling it what it is. Four of us for dinner that night. No one spoke. Every now and then eyes would meet and we would laugh or shake our heads because… how can anything taste this good, right? Unless you can’t stand the flavours of North Africa or the Mediterranean. But! We forgot to take piccies! You’ll just have to trust me. Besides, when you read the ingredients your psychic smells and tastebuds will do the math.
(for 4 people)
Bamboo skewers, two griddles, sharp knife, helpers (if possible :)), chopping blocks, several bowls, soup ladle, blender, couple large pots, stirring spoons, baking tray.
INGREDIENTS (this requires 4 parts, but it’s ultimately still easy)
1: DIP 1
2 rinds of preserved lemon
1 tsp each of tumeric, chili flakes, ground coriander, ground cumin, smoked and sweet paprika
half a cup olive oil
1 tspoon tahini
quarter lemon (juice)
Preheat oven to 180.
Halve the aubergine and score criss-cross into the pulp (don’t cut the skin)
Discard the pulp in the preserves lemon and finely chop the rind, pop it into one of the bowls
Finely dice the shallots and add to the bowl along with the tumeric, chili, coriander, cumin and both paprikas
Add the olive oil and mix all up
Dash of olive oil onto the baking tray
Massage the mix into the top side of each half aubergine and pop onto the baking tray, skin side down, and into the oven for 40 to 60 minutes (or until the flesh is goopy)
When cooked, allow to cool then scoop pulp into a bowl (discard skin)
Add a teaspoon of tahini and a sprinkle of dukkah (salt if you need it) and the squeeze of lemon
Put into the middle of the table and cover it in case the cat decides it like weird un-cat stuff like this.
Just a full bowl of sheep’s yogurt (Meredith Vale here in Melbourne is the best). Put in the centre of the table
About now also grab a large bowl per person, soup spoon, a bamboo skewer for each, salt(Himalayan pink) and fresh ground pepper and plop them all in the middle of the table.
med/large organic butternut squash or local pumpkin
half handful of rosemary and a few springs of thyme
4 cloves garlic
tblspoon Ras el Hanout
Peel, de-seed and cube the squash (pumpkin)
Pop into a pot and just cover with water
Boil till soft
Finely chop the rosemary and thyme
Crush the garlic
Once the squash is ready empty just a little of the water
Add the herbs and the Ras el Hanout to the blender and scoop in in half a blender full of squash with some of the water
Whip it up and pour into a large bowl
Continue to blend the remainder of the squash and add to the rest
Put it all back in the pot now and over a very low heat with the lid on (it’s going to plop vigorously, warning!)
Handful each coriander, parsley, mint
A dozen pitted and chopped green olives
2 or 3 cherry tomatoes
2 spring onions finely chopped
Quarter cup each of pistachios, slivered almonds, pine nuts
6 or 8 macadamia nuts
Juice of half a lime
Organic olive oil
Dry fry the almonds and pine nuts till golden, put aside
Into the mortar and pestle go the maccas and pistachios and pound till crumbly
Finely chop all other ingredients and add to the salad bowl along with the nuts
Give the almonds and pine nuts a light grind and add them as well
Splosh in the olive oil and mix it all about
Put into the middle of the table.
4. LAMB (or chicken… whatever, not a heavy meat like kangaroo, or fall-apart fish)
500 grams diced lamb
4 red chilies
goodly splosh of olive oil, tsp each sumac, ground cumin and coriander, dukkah
Mix lamb (or chicken or whatever) and marinade in a bowl, put aside
Split the chilies with a small slit to stop them exploding
Oh, for goodness sake turn off the heat under the soup!
I use both my enamel pan and my cast iron griddle so get em both good and hot
Chuck on the chilies because they take the longest (you want them charred)
Now chuck on the meat. Toss it, turn it. It’s only going to take a minute cause you don’t want it tough.
Get everyone seated.
Ladle a goodly bowl of soup each complete with a dollop of yogurt. Share around.
Take the chilies off the griddle, deseed and warn people they are hot, hot, hot.
Turn off the heat and pour the meat into a large bowl, place in the middle of the table.
Now to eat this you’ll place some salad in the soup, a large dollop of the aubergine and skewer meat. Dip the meat iin the soup and keep adding everything till no one can eat any more.
Bon apetit! x