dinner

Moroccan Filo Rolls with Fattoush Salad – Dinner sorted

Moroccan lamb filo 

Prep Time:  30 minutes    Cook Time:  40 minutes   

Ingredients

1 tbsp olive oil

1/2 brown onion finely chopped

500g lamb mince

3 garlic cloves crushed

1 carrot grated

6 dates chopped

1 tbsp Moroccan spice mix

200g baby spinach leaves

2 tbsp lemon juice

1/4 cup plain yoghurt

1/8 cup bread crumbs

2 tbsp parsley chopped

2tbp mint chopped

1 box filo pastry

Method

  1. Heat oil in a frying pan over high heat
  2. Add onion to pan and cook until softened and golden, add garlic to pan and cook
  3. Add mince and brown
  4. Add spices and cook, add vegetables and cook until softened
  5. Stir through yoghurt, bread crumbs and herbs
  6. Place into a bowl and allow to cool
  7. Preheat oven to 180 degrees – line a baking tray with baking paper
  8. Place one sheet filo onto paper, brush with butter, Top with another sheet and repeat with five more sheets to create a stack
  9. Spoon mince mixture along the long side, roll up to enclose the mince mix
  10. Brush the top with melted butter and sprinkle with sesame seeds
  11. Repeat with remaining sheets and mince mix until finished
  12. Cut each roll into four. Back for 20-25 minutes until golden

Lebanese Fattoush Salad

Ingredients

Salad

1 large pita bread cut into triangles

3 tablespoon olive oil

 salt to taste

Freshly cracked pepper to taste

1 large head of cos lettuce chopped

1 large vine-ripe tomato diced

1 cucumber quartered and chopped

1/2 a large green capsicum diced

5 radishes diced

2 green onions chopped

1/4 cup fresh chopped parsley

Dressing

3 tablespoon olive oil

2 tablespoon lemon juice

2 garlic cloves pressed or grated

1 teaspoon sumac – substitute grated lemon zest

1 teaspoon pomegranate molasses substitute balsamic glaze

1/2 teaspoon mint fresh or dried

1/2 teaspoon salt

Fresh cracked black pepper to taste

Instructions

In a large pan, heat 3 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil on medium heat. Add the pita bread and season with salt and freshly cracker pepper

Fry the pita for 5-7 minutes until the pieces are crispy and golden in colour. (Alternatively, bake the pita bread at 200° for 5-10 minutes.) Set the fried bread aside.

In a large bowl, add the salad dressing ingredients: olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, sumac, pomegranate molasses, mint, salt and pepper. Whisk together until the dressing is emulsified and well blended.

Add the remaining ingredients to the bowl and toss.

Add the fried pita bread to the salad immediately before serving and gently toss again.

Serve chilled or at room temperature

Match Made in Heaven – Salmon, Orange and Fennel

As a chef you learn food matches that are just meant to be – and some that are not. These flavours compliment in their contrast or their compatibility. There is of course science behind this and the plant families etc etc which you can look into if you are so inclined but this is more about the classics that we just learn and know. The trick is to take flavours you know work and make the styling or preparation your own. That’s where your personality comes into your cooking and makes it fun and enjoyable for you. As always, rules are meant to be broken so if you’re a fan of salami and pickle sandwhiches like I am, ignore the naysayers and crack open that jar in the fridge…

Now, to some classic combos:

– orange and fennel

– chocolate and pear (or chocolate and me!)

– garlic and onion

– basil and tomato

– oregano and lemon

– chilli and lime

– lamb and rosemary

– mint and peas

– salt and pepper (jokes)

There are of course a myriad of different combinations that are pleasing these are just an indication. I used fennel and orange as both are in season, the tartness of the orange is great with fatty fish like salmon and watercress has a peppery taste that lifts it all. The sauce was a thin tzatziki for a garlicy creamy punch. Let’s just say Monday night dinner got a little bit fancy.

There’s not a lot to explain with this dish as it was simple and straightforward. Just how we like dinner to be!

IMOK_salmon dinner

Ingredients:

– 6 kipfler potatoes

– 1 baby fennel

– bunch of large watercress

– 2 oranges

– 1/2 cucumber

– 1 clove garlic

– 1/2 cup natural yoghurt

– juice of half a lemon

Method:

Bring the potatoes to the boil whole in a pan with salted water, cook until tender

IMOK_kipfler

Slice the fennel on a mandolin (v slicer for some – available in most kitchen stores or shaving with a knife if you’re able will also do) and place in bowl on top of cut and washed watercress

Segment orange and sprinkle over

IMOK_salad

To make tzatziki grate the cucumber and garlic, add to bowl with yoghurt and mix. Season with salt and pepper and lemon juice. The lemon juice will thin the mixture along with the cucumber juice. If you’d like a thicker dip, squeeze the cucumber in a clean chux or muslin cloth and add to yoghurt adding juice until desired consistency.

IMOK_tzatziki

Slice the kipler into rounds and pan-fry until golden,  pan fry your salmon skin side down (if you like skin on) until skin is crispy, flip to finish and seal flesh side and serve.

I tossed the salad with some olive oil, placed the potatoes down first, then piled the salad up, salmon on top with the tzatziki spooned over as sauce. Yum yum!

A few hints for cooking salmon or any fish really

– cook it flesh side down first if there is no skin on – how do you tell which is the flesh side? the fillet will have a side with almost a silver marking on it, this was the skin side. The flesh side tends to have a plumper appearance – this is the presentation side as such so pan fry this side first for a nice golden colour then flip to the skin side to finish.

– if the skin is on, have a moderate heat to stop the skin sticking and make sure the oil is hot – this applies to cooking in general but it will help stop the skin sticking  – remember it colours quickly so if you blast it with a high heat it may burn, moderate even heat creates the best results

Enjoy!