Sunday, 12 April 2015

Recipe Review: Lamb Kebabs with Fried Chickpeas, Butternut & Tahini

From Morito by Sam & Sam Clarke

Lamb Kebabs, roasted squash, fried chickpeas. Perfect sunshine snacking

by: Mr Robot

I deeply love our Riverford vegbox but being seasonal you do tend to get things in gluts. While that can be a burden it's also a great trigger to try something a bit different with the old familiar - always assuming one can be bothered.

Today I could be bothered so I used the third (or perhaps fourth) butternut on the bounce, along with some lamb rump found in the freezer, as an excuse to head in the direction of Southern Spain / North Africa and of course Morito came up with the goods.

Actually two separate recipes (turn to pages 110 and 222 in your copies, please class) I thought they'd go really well together, and how right I was.

It's also - unusually for me - extremely simple and pretty quick.

First up the lamb is marinaded in garlic, paprika, cumin and cinnamon, with a little olive oil and lemon juice to lubricate. 

Give it an hour or so and then just grill / griddle / barbecue / flash fry for a few minutes. 

Gratuitous griddle shot

The book suggests serving in flatbreads with a salad, but I had other fish - or rather pulses - to fry.

So the butternut is diced small and tossed in oil and cinnamon, then roasted for half an hour or so, until soft and slightly coloured.

The chickpeas are drained, dried and deep fried for a few minutes until puffy and golden then seasoned with ground coriander, cumin and (more) cinnamon. This is then tossed with the butternut, some sliced red onion and fresh coriander, with a mix of greek yoghurt and tahini poured on top.

I just piled it all in a nice dish with the kebabs on top and grabbed a bottle of very acceptable Verdejo, then headed for the sunshine.

To hell with elegant plating - this is a pile up and fight for it dish

Unforgivably we were out of fresh coriander (I've long-since learned there's no good substitute, though mint would have gone well here) so we missed that fresh, fragrant element. Even so it was real delight. 

The spicing on the lamb was quite subtle - a background tone to the meat rather than the main theme - and though there's a lot of cinnamon running through the dish it wasn't overpowering. Instead brought a lovely harmony to everything.

Fire up the fryer - it's chickpea o'clock
Fried chickpeas were a revelation and I can't believe I've never come across it before. Crunchy outside and soft in the middle they're like tiny chip-nuggets with the same affection for plenty of seasoning. They worked brilliantly alongside with the soft sweetness of the squash and tender lamb. It would make an outstanding bar snack.

Personally I had mixed feelings about the tahini yoghurt - it was little strong for me and while I can see the benefit of having something sharp and runny going on, I think it would have been fine without. 

Mrs Robot disagreed violently though, stuffing it down by the spoonful, so next time I'd be minded to serve it separately on the side. 

Specifically, her side.

This would (will) make a splendid after-work dinner. The most time consuming element is marinading the lamb but of course you can always do that the day before, or more likely, up the quantities for about 15 minutes. 

Otherwise all the work is done while the squash is roasting and flung together at the last minute. It's a delicious, light meal, very different to what we've been eating lately, and one I'm already looking forward to having again.

"Finished" is the saddest work in cookery

As ever, we're not in the business of giving away other people's recipes so if you want the full details I urge you to buy the book either direct from Morito or the retailer of your choice.

All images (c) PP GETTINS

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