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If you’re on the lookout for recipes to add to your go-to meals repertoire, look no further than these (35-minute prep time!) Tostadas! The recipe is taken  from the hottest cookbook around, Fire and Spiceby John Gregory-Smith.

Taken from Fire and Spice

From John: ‘My tostadas were inspired by the wonderful giant tostadas of the Central Market in the city of Oaxaca in Mexico. They are completely delicious – you taste hot and cold, crunchy and smooth, spicy and mild, salty and sour in every bite…a real midweek lifesaver.’

Serves 4
Ready in 35 minutes

Ingredients
4 duck breasts (about 150g/5½oz each)
4 garlic cloves, crushed
2 tsp smoked paprika
½ tsp chilli powder
4 tbsp olive oil
400g/14oz/2 cups tinned black beans
1½ tsp ground cumin
juice of ½ lime
sea salt and freshly ground
black pepper
1 lettuce, finely sliced, to serve
2 large handfuls of coriander (cilantro) leaves, chopped
4 large tortillas, to serve

For the salsa
1 red onion, peeled and quartered
115g/4oz/heaped ¾ cup drained sun-dried tomatoes in oil
1 tsp smoked paprika juice of ½ lime

Method

1 Preheat the oven to 200°C/400°F/Gas 6. Trim and score the skin on the duck breasts, and put them in a small roasting tin. Add the garlic, smoked paprika, chilli powder, two tablespoons of the oil and a good pinch of salt. Mix well so that the duck is completely coated. Turn the duck skin-side up, then roast for 25–30 minutes until golden on the outside and juicy and pink in the centre.

2 Meanwhile, drain and rinse the beans and tip them into a saucepan over a medium heat. Mash the beans, using a potato masher, until fairly smooth, then add 55ml/1¾fl oz/ scant ¼ cup water, the rest of the olive oil and the cumin. Add the lime juice, season with salt and pepper, and mix well. Bring to the boil, reduce the heat to low and cook for 8–10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until warmed through and thick. Remove from the heat, cover and leave to one side.

3 To make the salsa, put the onion sun-dried tomatoes, smoked paprika and a pinch of salt into a food processor. Add the lime juice, blend until smooth, then pour into a serving bowl.

4 Finely slice the lettuce and coriander (cilantro), then put them on to a serving plate. Put the tortillas on four serving plates and cover each one with the beans. Slice up the duck and put on top of the beans. Serve with the salad and salsa.

Remember to tag us @NourishBooks on Instagram and Twitter if you use our recipes!

In honour of this very #HappyMonday we thought we’d share a special Middle-Eastern inspired recipe taken from Fire and Spice by John Gregory-Smith! Are you ready to bake some Dark Chocolate, Clove & Cinnamon Brownies?

Dark Chocolate, Clove & Cinnamon Brownies

Makes 16

Ready in 40 minutes, plus resting

Ingredients

250g/9oz unsalted butter, plus extra for greasing

300g/10 and a 1⁄2oz chocolate with 70–80% cocoa, plus extra to serve

125g/4 and a 1⁄2oz/heaped 1⁄2 cup caster (superfine) sugar

125g/4 and a 1⁄2oz/2⁄3 cup light muscovado sugar

3 eggs and 1 egg yolk, beaten

100g/3 and a 1⁄2oz/1 cup pecan nuts, crushed

60g/2 and a 1⁄4oz/1⁄2 cup plain (all-purpose) flour

1 tsp baking powder

1 tsp sea salt

60g/2 and a 1⁄4oz/scant 1⁄2 cup cocoa powder, plus extra to serve

1⁄4 tsp ground cloves

1⁄2 tsp ground cinnamon, plus extra to serve

Method

1 Preheat the oven to 180 ̊C/350 ̊F/Gas 4. Grease the bottom and sides of a 23cm/9in square cake tin, then line with baking parchment.

2 Break the chocolate into pieces and melt in a heatproof bowl set over a saucepan of barely simmering water. Make sure the bottom of the bowl doesn’t touch the water. Once completely melted set aside to cool slightly.

3 Put the butter, caster (superfine) sugar and muscovado sugar into a food processor and blend on a high setting for about 5 minutes, or until they form a smooth paste.

4 Slowly add the eggs, a little at a time, to the butter and sugar mixture and blend on a low setting until everything is incorporated. Give the mixture a final blast on a high setting for 30 seconds, then transfer to a large mixing bowl.

5 Slowly fold in the melted chocolate, then add the nuts and sift in the flour, baking powder, salt, cocoa powder, cloves and cinnamon. Fold everything together using a large metal spoon, then scrape the batter into the prepared cake tin. Smooth the top with a palette knife and bake for 20–30 minutes, or until soft and gooey in the middle and just cracking on the top and sides. To test if the brownie is ready, insert a skewer into the centre pushing right to the bottom. It should come out with a little of the yummy, goey brownie clinging but not totally coating it. If the skewer is completely coated, put the brownie back in the oven and test it again every 3 minutes until cooked.

6 Remove from the oven and leave to cool for 30 minutes in the cake tin. Flip the brownie out of the tin onto a chopping board, peel off the baking parchment and cut into squares. Serve hot, warm or cold with a generous sprinkling of cocoa powder and a sprinkling of cinnamon, to taste.

Happy Baking! And don’t forget to tag @NourishBooks on Instagram!

 

This article is an extract from Mighty Spice Cookbook by John Gregory-Smith.

Also called ‘Indian Saffron’, turmeric is a very old spice that is native to India, which is still the major producer of the spice today.
It was first cultivated around 3,000bc by the Harappan civilization in the Indus Valley. The beautiful spice was used in cosmetics, cooking, medicine and as a dye, which all still remains the case today. The wonderful root has been praised in Ayurvedic medicine for centuries as an important anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and vital aid to digestion. And as I discovered during my recent travels to India, often when turmeric is added to a curry, ‘for health’ is pronounced.

Turmeric is part of the ginger family, and if I am going to get technical, like ginger, it is a rhizome: a horizontal mass of the stem of a plant that is found growing underground.

However, the best thing about turmeric is its madly orange colour. If you are ever lucky enough to get hold of the fresh ‘root’, you’re in for a treat. The muddy yellow-coloured root, when broken open, reveals an intensely deep, bright orange-coloured root. It’s so amazing! In South East Asia the root is often used fresh, either grated or simply cut up and pickled. The flavour is very distinct – earthy and slightly bitter – and it provides the colour of a beautiful, deep orange evening sunshine to curries, stir-frys and curry powders. To make the yellow turmeric powder we all know, the root is boiled, dried and ground.

Due to the intensity of colour and flavour, turmeric should be used sparingly. I tend to buy it in small amounts, which can be kept for up to six months. To keep its flavour, store this golden spice in a dry, airtight container out of direct sunlight. If you are using turmeric in a spice rub, I strongly recommend putting on a pair of rubber gloves before you start.

Cha Ca La Vong
Vietnamese Turmeric and Chilli Spiced Cod with Rice Noodles, Peanuts and Herbs

Cha Ca La Vong is a famous restaurant in Hanoi that serves just one dish: ‘Cha Ca’ or fried fish. It is served with spring onions at your table in a frying pan, sizzling on top of a small barbecue.

Ingredients: 50g/1¾oz/1/3 cup unsalted peanuts, chopped •  250g/9oz rice noodles •  6 tbsp vegetable oil •  1 handful dill, chopped •  1 handful coriander leaves, chopped • 1 handful mint leaves, chopped •  1 tbsp turmeric • 4 tbsp plain flour •  4 cod fillets, about 200g/7oz each, skinned and cut into bite-sized pieces •  8–10 spring onions, halved and finely sliced lengthways •  2 tbsp fish sauce juice of ½ lime •  ½ red chilli, deseeded and finely chopped.

Cha Ca La Vong

1 Heat a frying pan over a medium heat. Add the peanuts and gently toast, shaking the pan occasionally, for 2–3 minutes, or until the peanuts are a beautiful golden brown. Transfer the nuts to a plate to cool.
2 Cook the noodles according to the packet instructions, drain and immediately refresh under cold water. Drain well then transfer to a bowl, dress with 2 tablespoons of the oil to stop them sticking and set aside. Put the dill, coriander and mint together into one bowl and the peanuts into another.
3 In a large mixing bowl mix together the turmeric and flour. Dip the cod pieces into the flour, making sure every piece is completely coated.
4 Heat the remaining oil in a large frying pan over a medium heat and fry the cod, turning occassionally, for 2–3 minutes, or until the flesh turns opaque and is flaky to the touch.
5 Add the spring onions, fish sauce and lime juice and gently mix until well combined.
6 Scatter the red chilli over the top and serve with the noodles, herbs and peanuts on the side to mix together as you like.

MightySpice-e1354657844451-300x394

John Gregory-Smith
Mighty Spice Cookbook
£14.99

 

 

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A recipe for Beef Mezze from the Mighty Spice Express

Beef Mezze – spice-encrusted roast beef, a spinach raita, a crunchy salad and warm flatbreads. Just add friends.

 

Try this super-fast beef mezze recipe this weekend. Inspired by the Eastern Mediterranean, it’s a delicious platter of spice-encrusted roast beef, a spinach raita, a crunchy salad and warm flatbreads.

“I always enjoy a mezze – a table laden with wonderful home-made food to pass around to great friends and family, while the conversation and wine flow” explains John Gregory-Smith. “Before roasting, the beef is smothered in a paste of spices, lemon and garlic, which penetrate the meat while it cooks. My vibrant salad of red onions and tomatoes, with loads of fresh coriander and parsley, and doused in lime juice and olive oil, acts as a side-kick to the beef. My twist on a traditional raita uses spinach stir-fried with garlic and mixed into the cooling yogurt, topped with toasted pine nuts. It’s a heavenly combination” enthuses John. “Just make sure you squeeze all the excess moisture out of the cooked spinach first. My favourite way to eat this meal is to stuff a flatbread with beef and salad, drizzle over plenty of raita, roll it all up and go for it!”

 

Beef Mezze Recipe 

 

Serves: 4

Cooking time: 40 Minutes

 

For the roast beef

600g/1lb 5oz beef fillet
4 garlic cloves
2 tsp paprika
2 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground coriander
2 tbsp olive oil
1 lemon
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

 

For the spinach raita

2 garlic cloves
2 tbsp olive oil
30g/1oz/scant ¼ cup pine nuts
200g/7oz baby spinach
225g/8oz/scant 1 cup Greek yogurt
1 lemon

For the onion, tomato and herb salad

2 red onions
1½ limes
2 large tomatoes
2 large handfuls of coriander leaves
2 large handfuls of parsley leaves
2 tbsp olive oil

To serve 4 flatbreads

 

1. Preheat the oven to 200°C/400°F/Gas 6 and take the beef out of the fridge to come to room temperature. Peel the garlic, then chuck it into a mini food processor, and add the paprika, cumin and ground coriander. Add the olive oil and a good pinch of salt and pepper. Squeeze in the juice from the lemon and blend until smooth.

2. Put the beef in a roasting tin, then tip over the paste and rub it all over the beef. Roast for 30–35 minutes until charred on the outside and beautifully tender on the inside.

3. While the beef cooks, peel and slice the garlic for the raita. Heat the oil in a wok over a high heat and add the pine nuts. Stir-fry for 30 seconds until golden, then remove from the pan and leave to one side. Add the garlic to the pan. Stir-fry for 30 seconds until golden, then add the spinach and a pinch of salt. Continue to stir-fry for 2–3 minutes until the spinach has completely wilted. Tip the spinach into a fine sieve and leave to drain.

4. To make the salad, peel and finely slice the red onions, then chuck them into a mixing bowl. Squeeze in the juice from the limes and add a good pinch of salt. Mix together and leave to one side.

5. Using the back of a spoon, squeeze any excess moisture out of the spinach. Tip into a serving bowl and add the yogurt, then squeeze in the juice from the lemon and season with salt and pepper. Mix well, top with the pine nuts, then cover.

6. Cut the tomatoes for the salad in half and squeeze out the seeds, then finely chop the flesh and put it into the bowl with the onions. Finely chop the herbs and add them to the bowl. Pour over the oil and add a pinch of pepper. Mix well.

7. Pop the flatbreads into the oven for 2 minutes to warm through. When the beef is cooked, remove it from the oven and transfer it to a carving board. Slice the beef and serve it with the warm flatbreads, spinach raita and salad. Oh, and a glass or two of red.

‘Spice master’ John Gregory-Smith shows how exciting food – inspired by street stalls all over the world – can be prepared with lightning speed. With inspiration from Asia, South America, North Africa and the Middle East, John has done the thinking for you and created recipes that are full of brilliant time-saving techniques and shortcuts.

 

John Gregory Smith's Mighty Spice Express Cookbook“Fast, fresh and full-on flavours from street foods to the spectacular”

Mighty Spice Express by John Gregory-Smith

224 pages • Illustrated • £20.00

AUS $32.99 NZ $42.00

Buy the book now!