“Slow-Cooked Lamb Shoulder with Mint and Cumin” from “Ottolenghi Simple”

The important thing to bear in mind if you want to make this recipe is the word SLOW in the title. The lamb shoulder needs to sit in the marinade overnight and then roast in the oven for 6 1/2 hours before it’s ready to eat. So you need to be very much on top of things to make this, and plan ahead. For that reason, it’s perfect for a Sunday lunch.

I know the picture above doesn’t look that appetizing. I suspect that Ottolenghi had the same problem since there’s no picture of this dish in the cookbook either. But what it lacks in looks, it makes up for in taste. It also made the whole house smell amazing, which made us all hungry.

If you do decide to make this, though, my top tip is to fill the roasting tin with carrots and other vegetables. I filled mine up with the required amount– though I didn’t add celeriac because I forgot to get it– and they ended up completely “carmelised” (Read: Burned) and inedible. So the next time I make it, I’ll add more vegetables and also be more assiduous in basting both the veg and the lamb while it roasts.

Was it easy? It was, actually. The only slight problem I came across is that I didn’t have fenugreek seeds in my spice cabinet, and when I went to source them in the usual spots the only fenugreek I could find was ground. So I subbed that in, but I don’t know if that made a difference. It still was quite delicious.

The cookbook includes a shorthand guide for all the recipes: S for “Short on Time”, I for “10 Ingredients or Less”, M for “Make Ahead”, P for “Pantry” and L for “Lazy” and E for “Easier than you Think.” This one was labelled I-M-L-E, and I would definitely agree with all of those, especially, “Easier than you Think.”

If you’d like to make this yourself, Ottolenghi included the recipe in his 2018 Easter recipe roundup for the Guardian. Click through here to see it.

“Slow-Cooked Lamb Shoulder with Mint and Cumin” from “Ottolenghi Simple”

“Bridget Jones’s pan-fried salmon with pine nut salsa” from “Simple”

Kirstin: YES, YES, YES! This was simple, yummy and all the Middle Eastern vibes. The salsa included celery, capers, olives, lemon zest, saffron and pine nuts. A truly wonderful combination of yum with the perfect amount of crunchiness. I did NOT include the currants, because they are just evil.

Bring it on, Ottolenghi. I knew you could do Simple food. I KNEW it.

“Bridget Jones’s pan-fried salmon with pine nut salsa” from “Simple”

“Mustardy Cauliflower Cheese” from “Ottolenghi Simple”

It’s autumn: the days are shorter, the nights are closing in more rapidly, the trees are turning, all of which means it’s time to return to our most favourite food group: CHEESY COMFORT FOOD.

Of course, comfort food comes in all types of guises, and frankly, cheesy comfort food is good all year round. But there’s something about digging into a bowlful of cheese and other delights when the air is chilly that soothes the soul.

Cauliflower cheese, a British delicacy if there ever was one, is definitely one of my comfort foods because it involves two of my favourite ingredients: cauliflower and cheese– just like it says on the tin. I would rename this version Coronation Cauliflower Cheese, because that’s exactly what it tasted like– a coronation chicken sandwich but in cauliflower cheese form. The use of black mustard seeds, green chillies, mustard powder, curry powder and cumin seeds gave it an Indian vibe, and very much in a good way.

My only regret was not doubling the sauce because I used it to swirl my plain-tasting roast chicken into it. Yum. I could have done that all day.

This was a very clever take on cauliflower cheese. Highly recommended.

 

“Mustardy Cauliflower Cheese” from “Ottolenghi Simple”

Cookbook of the month, October 2018: Ottolenghi Simple

Maureen: Ottolenghi Simple? HA. We don’t call him Faff-Olenghi for nothing.

Kirstin: Let’s give it a go. will he actually do simple food?

Maureen: He said in the intro that he LIMITED himself to 10 ingredients. It’s going to be simple. He says so himself!

Kirstin: [SIGH.]

Kirstin: But you really have to read through his recipes because he has an odd way of doing things sometimes.

Maureen: Maybe it really will be simple! Only 10 ingredients!

Kirstin: There’s only one way to find out, Maureen.  Have you accepted my challenge?

Maureen: Yes. We’ll see how simple “Simple” is.

Cookbook of the month, October 2018: Ottolenghi Simple