‘Fatteh is served around Lebanon where I grew up in various guises but the most classic and recognized version is this one with shredded chicken and crispy pieces of pita bread, layered with spices and yogurt sauce’, explains Salma Hage in her new cookbook The Mezze Cookbook. ‘This chicken fatteh is best assembled at the last minute, as people are gathering at the table, so get everything ready beforehand. If the fatteh sits for too long, the bread will turn from crispy to soggy and one of the best things about this dish is the delightful textures and flavors when it’s enjoyed as soon as it’s ready.’
Roasting beetroot with balsamic vinegar marinates the beetroots as they cook, mellowing the intense, earthy flavor. From The Mezze Cookbook by Salma Hage published by Phaidon.
We spoke to Jemmy McCann of Ard Mhacha Mushrooms who is growing the first shiitake mushrooms in Northern Ireland. Shiitake mushrooms are prized in Asia for their flavour and health properties (their flavour profile becomes more pronounced as they age in or out of your fridge). They are temperamental to grow and you need both experience and patience, qualities that Jemmy and his father Kevin, who has been growing mushrooms for decades, have in droves.
Garlic that is ‘old’ – that’s the garlic you find in supermarkets where garlic is sold as a year-round crop – often has a green germ or sprout in the middle. Some people find it bitter and claim it affects their digestion. So should you remove it or leave it in?
A set of heavy baking sheet pans with good heat conduction qualities are a must in the kitchen. Use them for reheating foods, crisping baked goods, roasting vegetables, baking biscuits and pastry and even serving canapés. They will last a lifetime if you invest well, take care of them and as they age, they’ll develop a patina that will increase their ‘non-stickiness’.
When you have bread left over make our nutty breadcrumbs which you can toss through pasta, use to top a macaroni cheese and sprinkle over vegetables. You can also use panko if you don’t want to use leftover bread. It’s an economical way of making a dish more substantial and adding texture using a food that would otherwise be thrown out.
We’ve discovered how to make the best toasted bread, the kind that you make on an Aga but without having to invest in one. Our method transforms bruschetta where toasted bread is the star of the show and makes that artisan loaf go further as you can toast it when it’s stale.
We show you how to cook a t-bone steak and share our favourite recipes. ‘In the world of the butcher the T-Bone is considered the king of steaks’, says James Kenny of The Brown Pig Butcher in Terenure in Dublin. ‘It has a central T-shaped bone with a strip loin on one side and a fillet on the other and it comes from the back of the animal.’
Sautéing mushrooms can be a bit ‘hit and miss’. You need to cook them first to give up their juices, then turn up the heat to concentrate their flavour. Here are a few tips so you can get the best out of wild and farmed mushrooms. Including recipes for garlic mushroom, a mushroom spread you can keep in the fridge and creamed bacon and mushrooms that you can toss through cooked pasta.
Food writer and James Beard award-winning cookbook author Diana Henry has published her new cookbook How to Eat a Peach. Here she recounts a dinner held for her by another acclaimed food author Joyce Goldstein in San Francisco, the culmination of a journey in food that began in a bookshop in north London on a rainy afternoon in 1985.