Wednesday 24 April 2013

Delicious April 2013 - Warm Moroccan Carrot Salad

So, I really struggled to find something to make from this issue. There really wasn't anything that jumped out and grabbed me. No, that isn't exactly true, there just wasn't a lot that grabbed me enough to insisted that I make it immediately.

The chocolate & halva tiramisu on the cover looks really good but I don't have anywhere to buy halva. I know that I could probably make it but since I am trying to avoid too much in the way of sweets I decided that it wasn't really worth it. Plus I find it difficult to scale down tiramisu recipes much for some reason. 

I also marked the Fish kofta with eggplant salad as a possibility. It sounded like something different and a bit unusual. The eggplant was roasted and combined with tomato, red onion, herbs, a lemon & olive oil dressing plus pomegranate seeds and pomegranate molasses. I love roasted eggplant. I don't have a gas cook top so cannot blacken the skin over that but I recently purchased a weber bbq so could definitely do it on that and get that smoky flavour to it. The salad has fresh coriander, parsley and mint. If you have been reading for a while you will know how I feel about coriander. I have used small amounts recently and I would probably put a small amount in this and increase the parsley to compensate. Again if you have been reading for a while you will know how I feel about fish too. I am on a bit of a mission to get more into my diet since it is so very good for you. I do like salmon and it is full of the omega 3's that are good for you but it would be nice to increase the repertoire a bit. I will get around to making this but I need to wait for a time when I can get some good fish. 

I really wanted to make Jamie Oliver's Pork Belly Buns however it was part of his "Party Pleasers" feature which meant that the recipe serves 20. That is a massive amount of servings. When you have a recipe like that scaling it back too far just doesn't work. I did think about just halving it and freezing any leftovers for later use but sometimes I have a tendency to forget about leftovers in the freezer until they get to a point of not being edible any more. So unless I have friends over then this recipe will just have to remain unmade. 

I did have a recipe for Jerk Chicken with Red Onion Flatbread marked to make. I did in fact make the jerk chicken but I was too lazy to make the flatbread. The recipe did suggest that if you didn't want to make the flatbread you could just use bought naan but I didn't get to the supermarket to buy that either. The chicken was good, although I did find the actual flavours rather overwhelming. However that could have been my fault since the recipe recommends marinading for 4 hours or overnight and, through circumstances, mine ended up marinading for 2 nights. So I am sure that would have had an effect on the intensity of the flavour. I am sure that if I had cooked it after the first night it wouldn't have been so strong. I had previously made Jamie Oliver's jerk pork belly that I loved and it was nowhere near as strong so perhaps I will give the chicken another try at some stage. 

I ended up making the Warm Moroccan Carrot Salad from Kepos Street Kitchen. I did make a few alterations to the recipe though. The original recipe called for 2 bunches of dutch carrots. I didn't have them. Purchasing at the supermarket is not an option as they are always soft and floppy, clearly beyond their best. I have never found them at our local markets either. I haven't grown any carrots for a while now so perhaps I will get some in the garden this year. So instead I used a couple of regular carrots and added some zucchini as well. I didn't have any fresh green chillis nor did I have any fresh red chillis so I used a bit of chilli paste. I didn't have, and don't really like, goat's cheese so I used feta cheese instead. I really enjoyed this a lot. It was so full of flavour and it went really well with the bbq Moroccan lamb flaps (belly/ribs) that I made that night. Well, I say made but I really should say cooked the pre-rubbed flaps that I got from my local butcher but so much flavour that I will definitely get them again. 

Warm Moroccan Carrot & Zucchini Salad

2 carrots, peeled (if needed) and cut into batons, 
2 zucchini, cut into batons 
olive oil 
1 tsp chilli paste (or to taste) 
2 garlic cloves, crushed
2 tbsp honey (I just poured some in) 
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp sumac (I don't have a very good one at the moment so used more) 
crumbed feta

Blanch carrots and zucchini until just starting to soften. Heat oil in pan and add carrots and zucchini and toss until coated. Add chilli paste and garlic and toss until fragrant. Add honey and cook until starting to caramelise and then season. Cool slightly and serve topped with crumbled feta. 

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