Kirstin: I knew I wanted to make this recipe as soon I opened the book.
Tom: Why’s that then?
Kirstin: I’ve never made anything with za’atar before, even though I have the spice in my cupboard. So I’ve been curious about it for a while.
Tom: And what do you think of this recipe?
Kirstin: I love the flavourings. But the chicken is a little dry.
Tom: I love the little accompaniments you’ve made here too which make it less dry. So what are in these bowls?
Kirstin: One has harissa in it. The other is greek yoghurt with some minced garlic and salt. They do work well with it, don’t they?
Tom: I love harissa.
Kirstin: Ha! I know you too well.
Kirstin: So Miles you helped me make these. What do you think of them?
Miles: Ooooo. I like these!
Ella: What are we eating them in?
Kirstin: Toasted brioche buns. Because they’re all the rage at the moment.
Miles: I love these.
Kirstin: Me too. All those Eastern flavourings. Yum!
Kirstin: So this is the third time I’ve made us avocado mash from one of our cookbooks of the month.
Tom: This is great!
Kirstin: I love the spring onions, chilli and griddled bread with this. All supremely good additions. Also I finally found the tahini after a trawl of our local shops.
Tom: I was worried the tahini would be too much and overpower it all.
Kirstin: But it’s good with the lemon zest, isn’t it? You know when you make food and you get all the ingredients together and you just know they’re going to make you smile when you make the final meal. That’s what happened with this recipe.
Tom: I can see why!
Kirstin: Of course, for the ultimate carbonara recipe, you have to use the one from the Zuni cookbook, which has two kinds of cheese.
Tom: And broad beans.
Kirstin: We used to have it in San Francisco when it was broad bean season and we could buy them from Preston!
Kirstin: Indeed. I’ve never had a bad carbonara. Have you?
Tom: Oh yes you can. It can be swimming in watery cheesey goo. This is a proper sauce. You would stick it to the wall if you threw it.
Ella: Anything you threw at a wall would stick if you threw it hard enough.
Kirstin: And what do you think of this Ella?
Ella: Edible. Kind of nice actually. You know when you eat food and it makes you feel like wow, I ate food and it made me feel full.
Tom: It is quite substantial. And probably very good food for you in the middle of the exams, no?
Ella: Also it’s CARB-onara.
Tom: I like that you add the pasta water a little bit at a time.
Kirstin: Yes, I’ve had thirds. I should make this again. But not too often…
Tom: This is yum! This is like being at Slanted Door.
Kirstin: Ah. So we had Zuni and now Slanted Door.
Tom: All my favourite restaurants in San Francisco.
Kirstin: You know I’ve never been to Slanted Door, but you always tell me about it. One day!
Tom: Well I like going there on a Thursday lunch time and having a cheeky lunch.
Kirstin: But without me!
Tom: Well I wish you were there! And this is yum!
Kirstin: It has all the Vietnamese feels, doesn’t it?
Tom: It’s the fried shallots…
Kirstin: Yes, I’m going to smell of fried shallots all day now. Oooops. Also I couldn’t find palm sugar, sorry Gwyneth. And I still don’t have a spiralizer, so I bought the courgette ready spiralized. And the Armenian cucumber. I have no idea what that was all about. So a bit of a faff, but worth every second.
Tom: This is epic! My favourite lunch for a very long time.
Kirstin: I think we need to go to Vietnam some time. It’s so delicious! Right, let’s going back to listening to The Police.
Ella: This needs to be spicier!
Kirstin: It has a jalepeno in it!
Tom: The broth itself is quite thin.
Kirstin: I imagine the miso broth might be thicker, but these are never going to be as thick and tasty as those at Bone Daddy’s, or any of our other favourite ramen places in town. This broth is made of mushrooms.
Ella: It isn’t spicy enough!
Kirstin: How could I have made these spicier for you?
Ella: Basically, you could have made the prawns spicier…
Kirstin: Perfect hangover food. And it was the usual faff going to the local Asian supermarket where I didn’t recognise anything and it takes me ages to find what I’m looking for.
Ella: I like this because it doesn’t feel like it requires any effort to eat, but it also makes you feel full.
Kirstin: Shall I make it again?
Ella: With chillies!
Kirstin: This really was super easy. Once I had found all the ingredients, that is!
Tom: Yum! What’s in the sauce?
Kirstin: Miso. And some melted butter.
Tom: Well it’s fabulous!
Kirstin: I am soooooo going to make this one again. Total winner! The miso and clams are a perfect combination. Definitely recommended.