Culinary Anthropologist

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  1. Beetroot crispbreads

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    Add dried spices to the dough for more flavours.  To stay within the flavours of Nordic cuisine, try caraway seeds, dried dill, dried lemon balm or even small pieces of roasted bacon.  Serve these crispbreads with an assortment of cheeses, a fresh herb pesto or with pickled herring, like they do in Sweden.

    IMG_0352.JPGRecipe from Mia Kristensen of CPH Good Food.

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  2. Beetroot & yoghurt dip

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    This is a Syrian recipe, adapted from my friend Laura who adapted it from her friend Matthew, who adapted it from a cookbook by Barry Vera.  Such is the evolution of recipes.  Feel free to adapt it further.  You might prefer different spices, or more tahini.  Tahini does not last forever – it goes rancid and stale – so don’t be tempted to use that half-eaten jar that’s been in the cupboard for six months…  Serve this dish as a dip with warm flatbreads.

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  3. Two pulse tarka dal

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    A good dal has to be one of my all-time favourite foods.  I’ve experimented with various pulses, spices and aromatics and so far this is my favourite recipe.  It is very loosely based on one by Madhur Jaffrey.  It’s quite spicy, so for a milder version cut down a little on all the spices, especially the cayenne, and use less fresh chilli, garlic, ginger and shallot.

    You can also make this with other lentils.  A combination of small red lentils and big green-brown ones, or yellow split peas, works well, as the larger ones keep their shape and the little ones disintegrate into sauce. 

    Smtarkadal0010ab.jpg‘Tarka’ refers to the method of cooking by which piping hot ghee is scented with spices and then thrown into the dish at the end of cooking.  If you don’t have ghee and can’t be bothered to clarify butter, use a mix of unsalted butter and sunflower oil.  If you don’t have asafoetida or curry leaves, just leave them out. 

    This dal is delicious served with rice or flatbreads. If it’s made quite hot and spicy, I like to serve it with a dollop of full-fat plain yoghurt.  You can make the dal in advance then gently reheat it while you make the tarka.  Or go ahead and complete the entire dish including the tarka and keep it chilled until needed.  Reheat gently and simmer for a few minutes, then serve with fresh coriander leaves.

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  4. Chicken liver paté

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    This recipe was inspired by the one I learnt while working briefly at Zibibbo – a fantastic restaurant in Florence.  There they make it with lots of capers, which balance the rich creaminess of the livers, and serve it with toasted brioche and blood orange zest and port syrup.  Yum!

    This recipe makes a fair bit, so if there are just a few mouths to feed you could do a half batch.

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  5. Andalucian pinchitos morunos

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    These spicy kebabs are popular in Andalucia and originate from the era when the Moors occupied Spain.  It works superbly with pork, chicken or lamb.  Marinate the meat as far in advance as possible.  This recipe is adapted from one in the fantastic Moro restaurant cookbook.
     
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  6. Andalucian pinchitos morunos

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    These spicy kebabs are popular in Andalucia and originate from the era when the Moors occupied Spain.  It works superbly with pork, chicken or lamb.  Marinate the meat as far in advance as possible.  This recipe is adapted from one in the fantastic Moro restaurant cookbook.
     
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  7. Herb jam

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    This is a Moroccan recipe, which I first learnt while working as an intern at Alice Waters’ restaurant, Chez Panisse, in California.  ‘Herb jam’ is Paula Wolfert’s name for this delicious, savoury salad-cum-relish.  The recipe here is based on one of hers.
     
    smherbjammaking0003.JPGThe key to success is patience.  You must wash vast quantities of greens and herbs, steam the greens, pound together the herbs and garlic, fry the olives and spices and then cook everything down together slowly in a wide pan until it resembles jam.  It’s a bit of a hassle, so I advise making a double batch (buy way more greens than you think it’s possible to cook) and freezing some.

    smherbjammaking0004.JPG But when you taste it, perhaps on crostini or with warm Moroccan bread, you’ll realise why this is such a special recipe.  If you love greens, olives and lemony flavours, you’ll adore this. Everyone I have cooked it for has found it a revelation.

    smherbjammaking0009.JPGFor the greens, use a mix of whatever you can find – spinach, chard, rocket, kale, sorrel, watercress, mustard greens, celery leaves, purslane…

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  8. Green bean zeytinyağlı

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    I learnt this dish while staying with Zeliha İrez, an amazing cook who runs a guesthouse in Turkey.  Zeliha uses a pressure cooker to speed things up.  If you don’t have one, try to leave the beans gently cooking for five or more hours. 

    Zeytinyağlı foods are a family of vegetable dishes which are cooked in olive oil.  They are common in western Turkey, where olive trees grow.  The beauty of the dish is that everything goes in the pot together and then requires little attention.

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  9. Green bean zeytinyağlı

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    I learnt this dish while staying with Zeliha İrez, an amazing cook who runs a guesthouse in Turkey.  Zeliha uses a pressure cooker to speed things up.  If you don’t have one, try to leave the beans gently cooking for five or more hours. 

    Zeytinyağlı foods are a family of vegetable dishes which are cooked in olive oil.  They are common in western Turkey, where olive trees grow.  The beauty of the dish is that everything goes in the pot together and then requires little attention.

    smbeanzeytinyagli0002.JPG

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