I decided to do some proper menu planning this week, mostly because I feel I have been neglecting my beloved Ottolenghi books. His recipes never fail to deliver on taste and creativity and in many ways his recipes helped shape my cooking style (and certainly the contents of my pantry). Whenever I feel a food rut coming on I clear my schedule (his recipes can be quite labour intensive) and get to work. I also find his recipes are great for entertaining because usually you feel more ambitious when having company, and despite the long list of ingredients the food is pretty foolproof and OH SO crowd pleasing.
This week I chose a few meat dishes from Jerusalem and some salads from Plenty More (stay tuned for my versions!).
Once again Ottolenghi did not disappoint and this lamb dish was fantastic: Lamb seasoned with rich and spicy flavours, eggs perfectly runny, creamy and cooling tahini yogurt sauce, and the Zhoug is just a party in your mouth. Lots of layers… and all beautifully married together. I would eat this for brunch or dinner, and I have just enough for our lunches tomorrow.
I considered omitting this recipe because I didn’t want to saturate my blog with poached egg posts, and also the ingredients were a little out there… But it was really good and Graham took some stunning photos so I had to throw it in!
Disclaimer: This recipe is full of obscure ingredients from the Brickworks farmers market but many delicious substitutions would be possible. So basically if you can’t get your hands on lamb bacon (yup that’s what that is) or stinging nettle goat cheese (not much sting but LOTS of flavour) or pear garlic preserves (just yup), I have also suggested some alternatives. If you do come across these items they were all really good and as a rule I encourage everyone to experiment with preserves and condiments whenever possible. These are flavours you simply can’t develop in 10 minutes when you are hungover and desperate for brunch!
I used to be one of those of those people who went out for brunch every weekend but Graham and my weekend ritual has evolved into hunting around Rosedale for the finest breakfast ingredients. We start at Patachou where we grab cheese croissants (sadly Patachou is now closed!!) and then we bop over to the five thieves (purveyors of high quality comestibles, fondly named for their price gauging and monopoly on groceries in the neighbourhood). Here we grab other outstanding items such as avocados, pancetta and whatever else catches our eye.
I cannot count how many variations Graham and I have made on this croissant benedict. Once you have the fundamentals down (see Perfectly Poached Eggs), you can have a lot of fun with this recipe. What follows is a most wonderful routine (and believe me it will become a routine) of inspiring ingredients, poaching, and assembly.
If you don’t already know, the ultimate restoration from a petite hangover is through fat and sauce.
This version is Graham’s favourite.