Sunday, 17 August 2014

Recipe - Chermoula Roasted Aubergine, Chicken Marbella

So, why haven't I written a blog in a month? I could've written something about visiting Bangladesh again and taking the infantilisation I experienced in good grace. I could've written about how the Explorer's away which means I have to make a much bigger effort to be social and that it's good that I still get bored of his absence even after two years. I could have talked about my very first visit to Leeds (we need to invest more in not-London) and how the station has all three of the major fast food chains represented. But I haven't had time! I'm actually actually busy doing something I both understand and enjoy! This hasn't been rconducive to cooking very much. And the eating out has been limited to dinky sandwiches on trains (first class!) and dinners at places I didn't choose (I'm not bitter). I've got my bus time and I've got my free weekend time but suddenly, I don't feel compelled to fill every waking moment doing admin or better myself. I just want to BE. And don't get bored just being! This is very new for me. Do I sound like a hippy? Maybe this is what inner peace feels like.
Chicken marbella
8 chicken thighs
5 garlic cloves, crushed
Handful of dill, finely chopped
2 tbsp red wine vinegar
50g green olives, halved
2 tbsp capers with their juices
50g dates, chopped
2 bay leaves

Marinade the chicken thighs in the ingredients lifted above in a bowl. I did this from a day and a half in advance, stirring about 4 or 5 times in the time.

1 cup white wine
1 tbsp grape molasses

Mix together the wine and molasses. Place the chicken in a single layer on a baking tray. Preheat the oven to 200 degrees Celsius. Drizzle over the syrup that you've just made and place in the oven for around 35 minutes, until chicken is cooked through.

Bulgar pilaf

2 onions, finely sliced
1 carrot, diced
2 tsp ras-el hanout
200g bulgar wheat
About 400ml veg stock
Handful of parsley, finely chopped
Handful of coriander, finely chopped
Half a lemon

In about a tablespoon of olive oil, fry the onions over a low heat for around 15 minutes until very soft and brown.
Add the carrot and ras-el hanout spice mix.
Stir in the bulgar wheat.
Add the vegetable stock, salt, pepper and bring to the boil over a medium heat. 
Cover and simmer for around 15 mins until the bulgar is cooked.
Stir in the parsley and coriander and squeeze over the lemon.

Roasted broccoli
2 heads broccoli, washed and chopped
Sesame seeds
1 tbsp olive oil
Salt, pepper
1 tsp cumin seeds

Place the broccoli in a bowl with the remaining ingredients and toss.
Place in a single layer on a baking tray - roast for 15 minutes until soft and smoky.

Chermoula marinated aubergine
2 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
2 tsp ground cumin
2 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp chilli flakes
1 tsp sweet paprika

1 tbsp olive oil

To make the chermoula, pound together a pestle and mortar in the above.

1 lemon, sliced
3 aubergines, halved with flesh side scored

In a dry frying pan over a medium heat, place the lemon and allow to caramelise.
Add the chermoula into the scores you've made in the aubergines.
Place the caramelised lemons on top.
Roast for 40 minutes at 180 degrees Celsius until the aubergines are soft and charred.
I served this with a bulgar pilaf similar to the recipe above but with sultanas and nuts in it too and a green lentil and pumpkin tagine.

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