- Sugar and Spice Almonds
- Lamb Shawarma with Spiced Yoghurt
- Koshari (Rice Pilaff)
- and of course, Champagne, which is so very Miss Fisher
SUGAR AND SPICE ALMONDS (Thank you Karen Martini)
40g unsalted butter
60mls extra virgin olive oil
400g blanched almonds
3 large cloves of garlic, peel left on and bruised
4 tblspns sea salt
2 tspns caster sugar
2 tspns ground cumin
1 tspn smoked paprika
1 tspn sweet paprika
pinch of cayenne pepper
In a large fry pan, heat butter and olive oil on medium heat. Add almonds and whole garlic and stir for 4-5 minutes until golden brown. Drain on paper towels, discard garlic and place almonds in a bowl.
Place salt in a mortar and pestle and grind to a powder. Add sugar and spices and mix well. Add spice mixture to hot almonds and toss together. Spread on a tray to cool before serving.
These nuts crisp up as they cool and can be stored in an airtight jar for 1-2 days.
LAMB SHAWARMA (Lamb Cutlets with Spiced Yoghurt)
6 meaty lamb cutlets
1.5 cups natural yoghurt
3 tblspns lemon juice
2 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
2 tspns ground cumin
1 tspn ground turmeric
Big pinch of ground allspice
1 tspn ground coriander
Combine yoghurt, lemon juice and garlic and season with salt and pepper. Set aside half of this mixture to use as a serving sauce. With the remaining half, add spices and mix well.
Lay out lamb cutlets on a large plate and firstly season with salt and pepper. Now coat the cutlets with the spiced yoghurt, leaving bones clean. Cover and marinate in fridge for up to 12 hours. This process not only allows flavours to immerse, but also tenderises the meat.
Heat bbq grill or grill pan on med high heat. Wipe off excess marinade from cutlets and discard. Cook cutlets for 3-4 minutes on each side (for medium) or until desired doneness.
Spike a skewer through the cutlets to stack them in a tall pile. Arrange on a platter with lettuce leaves, pita bread and the reserved yoghurt.
KOSHARI (My version of a popular Egyptian street food)
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 small red onion, peeled and diced
3 cloves of garlic, peeled and minced
1 small green capsicum, deseeded and diced
1/2 tspn ground cardamon
1/2 tspn chilli powder (optional)
1 tspn ground cinnamon
1 cup long grain rice, washed and drained
2 cups chicken stock
1/3 cup currants
1/2 cup flaked almonds
2 tblspns each of chopped parsley and coriander leaves
1/4 cup pomegranate seeds/anvils (optional)
2 eschallots or small onions, peeled and thinly sliced as rings
Heat oil in a medium sized fry pan on medium heat. When hot, add almonds and cook until golden brown, stirring constantly. Quickly remove from oil and drain on paper towels.
Add currants to the pan and cook for 1- 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Remove from oil and drain on paper towels.
Add onion rings to the pan and cook until deep golden brown. Remove from oil and drain on paper towels.
In the remaining oil, add diced onion and cook, stirring until soft. Add capscium and continue to cook for 3-4 minutes until soft. Season with salt and pepper and stir in the cardamon, chilli powder and cinnamon.
Add rice and stir for flavours to combine. Turn up heat to high and add 1 cup of chicken stock. (The level of stock should be a fingers width above the rice mix so add extra if necessary.) Once stock is boiling, turn heat down to medium low and continue to cook, uncovered, for 10-15 minutes until liquid has been absorbed. Do not stir through this process. (After 15 minutes, the rice should be cooked through. If not, add a little extra hot stock and cook for another couple of minutes).
Once the rice is cooked through and all liquid absorbed, continue to cook on medium high heat to allow a little browning on the bottom of the pan. Scrape rice mix into a large bowl and add currants, almonds (retain some for garnish) , parsley, coriander and pomegranate. Toss together and season to taste.
Arrange on a plate, piled to a centre peak like a pyramid. Garnish with the fried onion rings and reserved almonds.