I love all food, but I particularly love food that can be shared easily and food using loads of gorgeous spices. I cook a lot of Moroccan and Turkish inspired food, so when I discovered not only Moro the restaurant, but the cookbook, I was hooked. Moro food is a natural, delicious mix of Spanish, North African and East Mediterranean cuisines, and most importantly, it's divine.
Last year for my birthday I went to Moro and was given Moro: The Cookbook. Since then I've used it constantly, especially for supper clubs - it complements perfectly the two Ottolenghi books, my Claudia Roden "Arabesque" book, and a couple of things I picked up at a cooking class in Marrakech.
It's difficult to narrow it down but I'd say
1. Flatbreads - I would have made these at least 20 times over the past year. They are divine. Sprinkled generously with dukkah and sea salt, you can't go wrong. It's almost insulting how much people rave about these at the expense of other food I've cooked that took far longer to prepare!
2. Pistachio sauce - I've served it with cod or salmon, stirred through couscous, with roast lamb, with olive oil crackers on a cheese platter. Oh and I've eaten it straight from the container with a spoon. Need I say more?
3. Aubergine and red pepper salad with caramelised butter and yoghurt. Yes, you read that correctly, CARAMELISED BUTTER. Do you even need to read the rest of this? I've made this plenty of times and it's such a pretty dish, either as part of a feast or simply slathered on flatbreads. Did I mention the caramelised butter?
4. Beetroot dip - this recipe actually comes from the Moro East book. It's such a gorgeously vibrant colour and is truly divine. I served it recently at a brunch supper club with twice baked goats cheese souffles and garlicky white beans (below) - may sound strange, but the beetroot works wonderfully with the goats cheese.
5. Lamb kibbeh cooked in yoghurt - If I were allowed a table heaving with dishes for my last meal, this would be one of them. This is partly because it takes a while to make, but mainly because it's delicious. You have to make lamb meatballs in football shapes and they are then stuffed with a gorgeous lamb filling that has spices and pine nuts and herbs. The lamb footballs then cook in yoghurt. I love them and so have our supper club guests.
6. Walnut, lemon & cardamom cake - I wrote about this here when I made it. It's good. It's really good. Admittedly the people at my work will hoover up anything, but they really did enjoy this cake when I took it in for morning tea.
So, why the gushing post? Well, it's 10 years since the first publication of Moro: The Cookbook. To celebrate, the publishers are re-issuing all three of the books (the other two are Casa Moro and Moro East, which have previously only been available in hard cover) in paperback and with these quite exquisite new covers. Truly, they are gorgeous.
In the upcoming weeks I'll be cooking from Casa Moro and Moro East as these are new to me. I'll of course let you know what further deliciousness I uncover.
The books are available from 4 August here on Amazon (check to make sure you've got the ones with 4.8.2011 publication date), and can be shipped anywhere (yes you can even have them delivered to Sydney!). BUT, it can't have escaped your notice that I now have TWO copies of Moro: The Cookbook. So, as much as it pains me, because this re-issued addition is so lovely, I'd like to share the love a little and give it away. If you'd like to win the special birthday edition of Moro: The Cookbook, leave a comment with your email address and tell me which of my top 6 recipes from the Moro book you'd make first. But do it quickly before I change my mind! I'll pick a winner at random on Monday 1 August and send the book to you, where ever in the world you are.
Good luck and happy birthday to the Moro cookbook!