Maureen: I noticed the other day that they had this book on display at Waterstones. Maybe they read, “A Cookbook a Month!”
Kirstin: They should read us, if they don’t. But even if they don’t, this is a really good book. A classic.
Maureen: I thought it was interesting that you could see how much food has evoloved since it was first published in 2003.
Kirstin: Totally. They had explanations of all the mad ingredients, like tahini, but people know what that is now.
Maureen: Stuff then that seemed really exotic, then you can now find anywhere.
Kirstin: You used to have to hunt for some of those things, but now you don’t have to.
Maureen: Did you have any successes?
Kirstin: Well, I only posted one thing, which was the lamb, but we love it. The cookbook is worth keeping just for that recipe. I LOVE that lamb.
Maureen: It had so many good recipes for fish, so i’m going to keep it just for that. We had an excellent run of Fish Fridays. It was great.
“The Moro Cookbook”
Overall Grade (A- F): Kirstin A. Maureen: A
Best recipes: Kirstin: Roast shoulder of lamb stuffed with saffron rice Maureen: Any of the fish recipes. All fantastic.
Grade for Photography (A-F): B. (It looked a bit dated, but that’s to be expected for a cookbook that’s 12 years old.)
Any disasters? None.
Bookshelf or Charity Shop Donation? Bookshelf for both of us. Indeed, it has been on Kirstin’s bookshelf since 2003.
Or, in the Spanish, “Merluza en salsa verde”
Maureen: I have to say that I was a bit dubious about the inclusion of the clams, but I went with them anyway. The recipe said “optional” but I thought I should give them a chance.
Tim: Why dubious?
Maureen: I suspect that I had a bad experience with them when I was younger. I’ve never been a fan of clams, but saying that, I haven’t eaten them in decades. I have to say that I’m enjoying these immensely.
Tim: I knew they would be good.
Maureen: What do you think, boys?
Andrew (15): Look at my plate. That tells you everything you need to know. (The plate is clean.)
Nicholas (11): Yum.
Maureen: What would you rate it?
Tim: Nine out of 10. Would eat again.
Maureen: Why not 10 out of 10?
Tim: I need to give you something to shoot for.
Maureen: Moro has been great for Fish Friday. We haven’t had a terrible meal yet.
Maureen: Fish tagine tonight, boys. What do you think?
Nicholas (11): This is good!
Andrew (15): (unenthusiastically) It’s alright.
Tim: I think it’s good. I’d give it 7/10: would eat again.
Maureen: Why such a low score? I think this is nice.
Tim: I’d prefer fish that’s been grilled, or pan fried, so it had a bit of crunch it in. Since this was steamed, there’s no crunch.
Maureen: Funny. That doesn’t bother me. I just think it’s good.
Nicholas: I’d give it a 9/10! I think it’s great.
Andrew: I’m not feeling it.
Maureen: The only problem with this was grilling the peppers was a bit of a faff.
Tim: The next time you make it, you should just use peppers that are already grilled and skinned. That would save you time.
Maureen: You’re right. I’ll do that next time. I also wouldn’t mind one of those fancy Le Crueset tagines to cook it in, but a girl has got to dream…
Maureen: Meat Free Monday and its triumphant return.
Tim: We had a few weeks off, didn’t we.
Maureen: A few, but that was really down to it being Christmas and the endless parade of guests we had in December.
Tim: So what’s this? It smells good.
Maureen: It’s a courgette omelette.
Tim: It smells good.
Maureen: I think the lovely Ottolenghi has a lot to answer for. This book is old– it was first published 14 years ago– but when you read through it now, they give loads of explanations for ingredients that now are commonplace, which I think is mostly down to Ottolenghi.
Tim: Like what?
Maureen: Sumac is a perfect example. We have a full supply of sumac on our spice shelf, thanks to Ottolenghi. But in this book, they feel compelled to provide an entire paragraph and illustration about it. Do you like it, though?
Tim: I do.
Maureen: Me too. I will make this again.
Or, if you’d like it in the Spanish, “Lomo con Leche” and “Patatas a lo Pobre”
Maureen: So what do you think?
Tim: I like the potatoes.
Maureen: You should. You asked for them and they were a total faff to make. What about the pork?
Nicholas (11): A big thumbs up for me.
Maureen: I think you would say that of any roast pork, frankly, since you ask for porcetta every Sunday.
Nicholas: That might be true.
Andrew (15): Me gusta!
Maureen: I’m glad you approve. I think it’s fine, but it’s not my favourite roast pork.
Tim: It’s sort of bland.
Maureen: I know! Which as a total surprise because it smelled absolutely delicious when I was making it. I was completely intrigued by the method– cooking the pork in milk rather than roasting it– but Mike from Dring’s assured me this method, while strange, really did work. The method worked, but the taste is a bit disappointing.
Tim: Would you make it again?
Maureen: The potatoes I’d make again, definitely. The pork I probably wouldn’t. While I can appreciate the novelty factor of the way I cooked it, I just don’t think it’s as good as some of the other roast pork that I make.
If you’re curious about the pork cooked in milk and want to give it a try, the Demon Cook reposted it on her blog. You can find it by clicking through these sentences.
Kirstin: Cooking these two recipes is like meeting up with an old friend. I’ve cooked them so many times and they are always good.
Tom: I know what you mean. I can remember when you cooked this for Easter and at other various gatherings for friends and family.
Kirstin: They are both a little fiddly but so very worth the effort. I had trouble finding the barberries this time around and have probably managed to get myself a bus lane ticket in the process.
Tom: But amazon came through for you in the end!
Kirstin: Totally! This was an epic first big meal of the year!
Or to make it easier on you if you’ve never studied Spanish, Rice with Pork, Chorizo and Spinach
Maureen: I think you’re all going to love this. Rice with pork products. What’s not to love?
Tim: That’s not really the name, is it.
Maureen: Well, no. But it cuts right to the heart of the matter. It’s a Spanish paella with chorizo, pork and spinach, from this month’s cookbook. What do you think?
NIcholas (11): As noted on previous occasions, I am not a fan of spinach.
Maureen: Yes, I know. This is why I didn’t give you any spinach in your portion.
Andrew (15): Well, I like it.
Tim: So do I.
Maureen: Me too. I’m not sure it’s a massive improvement on the sausage and rice dish I make from Gordon Ramsay that we all like, but this is good time.
Nicholas: I think this is too spicy.
Maureen: Three out of four isn’t bad. I’ll take it.
Want to make this yourself? Click through this sentence to find the recipe from the Guardian, when the book was first published in 2001.