Home Food and Beverage trends news Yotam Ottolenghi’s recipes for 30-minute meals

Yotam Ottolenghi’s recipes for 30-minute meals

0
Yotam Ottolenghi’s recipes for 30-minute meals


The words “30-minute meals” can sound like a huge time commitment or a super-speedy way of getting dinner on the table. For me, it can be either, or both, depending on the day – what I do know for sure, though, is how much can be achieved just in half an hour, not least in terms of flavour twists and other next-level elements. The results feel simple and quick, yet at the same time deliciously over-deliver on the relatively short time invested.

Green stir-fry with fluffy eggs and spring onion daqa (pictured above)

My test kitchen colleague Chaya is from Mauritius, where stir-fries are often eaten with a garlic relish that’s quite similar to daqa, an Egyptian condiment. Here we merge the two to bring an acidic lift to vegetables. Serve just as it is, or with boiled rice or noodles.

Prep 10 min
Cook 20 min
Serves 2

120g green beans, trimmed and cut in half
1 green pepper (130g), stem, seeds and pith discarded, flesh cut lengthways into 1½cm-wide slices
2 green chillies (40g), stem, seeds and pith discarded, flesh cut lengthways into 1cm-thick slices
4 eggs
2 tbsp Shaoxing wine, or rice-wine vinegar
¼ tsp turmeric
Fine sea salt and black pepper
2 tbsp sunflower oil
1 tbsp soy sauce
¼ tsp soft brown
sugar
2 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
¾ tsp cumin seeds
3 spring onions
(60g), trimmed and cut at an angle into 5cm lengths
20g pine nuts, toasted

For the daqa
1-2 spring onions (20g), trimmed and roughly chopped
1 green chilli (20g), stem, seeds and pith discarded, flesh roughly chopped
¼ tsp soft brown sugar
1 tbsp fresh lime juice

Put a large saute pan on a high heat and, once it’s smoking, add half the beans, half the green pepper and half the green chillies and dry-fry, shaking the pan occasionally, for two and a half minutes, until blistered in places. Tip into a medium bowl and repeat with the remaining beans, pepper and chillies.

Next, make the daqa. Put the spring onion, green chilli, a quarter-teaspoon of salt and a tablespoon of cold water in the bowl of a small food processor and pulse until almost smooth. Transfer to a small bowl and stir in the sugar and lime juice.

Put the eggs in a bowl with half the Shaoxing wine (or vinegar), all the turmeric and a quarter-teaspoon each of salt and cracked black pepper, and whisk to combine.

Put the same saute pan on a medium-high heat and, when it’s smoking, add a tablespoon of oil. Pour in the eggs, cook for 30 seconds, until golden and set underneath but runny on top, then use a spatula to break them up into large pieces. Return the eggs to the same bowl in which you whisked them. Keep the pan on the heat.

In a small bowl, mix the remaining tablespoon of Shaoxing wine with the soy sauce, sugar and an eighth of a teaspoon of salt.

Pour another tablespoon of oil into the hot pan, stir in the garlic and cumin, and cook for a minute, until fragrant but not coloured. Pour in the soy mix , return the blistered beans, pepper and chillies to the pan, add the spring onions and cook, stirring, for a minute or two, until the soy mixture coats the vegetables. Tip the eggs back into the pan and stir them in gently, breaking them up a little more, but keeping the eggs in large-ish pieces. Transfer to a plate, scatter the pine nuts on top, spoon over half the daqa and serve with the rest on the side.

Charred pak choi with sambal tofu and quick pickled cucumbers

Yotam Ottolenghi’s charred pak choi with sambal tofu and quick pickled cucumbers.

Once you’ve made this really versatile dish a couple of times, experiment with the ingredients: choy sum works as well as the pak choi, for instance, as do radishes for the cucumber; cooked chickpeas or chunks of leftover roast chicken also work here instead of the tofu. Serve with boiled rice or noodles.

Prep 10 min
Cook 20 min
Serves 2

3½ tbsp olive oil, plus 1 tsp extra
Fine sea salt
6 baby pak choi
(180g), trimmed and cut in half
20ml oyster sauce
15g shop-bought fried onions

For the sambal tofu
2 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
1 tbsp tomato paste
15g aleppo chilli
, or 7½ g regular chilli flakes
1½ tsp maple syrup
150g firm tofu
, roughly crumbled

For the pickled cucumbers
1 small baby cucumber (50g), cut lengthways in half, then sliced into ½cm-thick half-moons
½ red chilli (10g), thinly sliced
1 lime, cut in half – one half juiced, to get 2 tsp, the other half for serving

Put a large frying pan on a high heat. Once it’s smoking hot, rub a teaspoon of oil and a quarter-teaspoon of salt all over the pak choi halves, then lay them cut side down in the hot pan and leave to grill for two to three minutes, until charred but still with mostly green leaves. Transfer to a tray and leave the pan to cool down.

In the same pan, this time on a medium-high heat, put two and a half tablespoons of olive oil, the garlic, tomato paste, aleppo chilli, a teaspoon of maple syrup and a quarter-teaspoon of salt, stir well and cook for five to seven minutes. Add the tofu and cook, stirring, for two to three minutes more, until the tofu absorbs all the tomato mixture.

Meanwhile, put the cucumbers, chilli, a teaspoon of lime juice and a pinch of salt in a bowl, stir to coat, then leave to pickle.

Arrange the pak choi on a platter. Mix the oyster sauce, remaining teaspoon of lime juice, the remaining tablespoon and a half of olive oil and remaining half-teaspoon of maple syrup in a bowl, then drizzle this mixture all over the pak choi. Spoon the sambal tofu on top, followed by the cucumber pickle, then scatter on the fried onions and serve.

Smoked mackerel couscous with horseradish yoghurt

Yotam Ottolenghi’s smoked mackerel couscous with horseradish yoghurt.
Yotam Ottolenghi’s smoked mackerel couscous with horseradish yoghurt.

Couscous always feels to me like a bit of a magic ingredient, especially when it comes to near-instant meals. Boiling water plus five minutes’ waiting, and that’s it! Quinoa also works well here, should you prefer a gluten-free option.

Prep 10 min
Cook 20 min
Serves 2

40g wholewheat instant couscous
Fine sea salt and black pepper
10g dill
, finely chopped
10g parsley, finely chopped
50g sugar snaps, cut at an angle into 2mm-thick strips
2 spring onions, trimmed and finely sliced
1 lemon, cut in half – one half juiced, to get 4 tsp, the other half cut into 4 wedges to serve
60g Greek-style yoghurt
2 tsp horseradish sauce
1 small garlic clove
, peeled and crushed
1 tbsp olive oil
2 smoked mackerel fillets
, cut in half widthways (150g)
¾ tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp aleppo chilli

Put the couscous in a bowl with an eighth of a teaspoon of salt, pour over 80ml just-boiled water, cover the bowl with a plate or reusable kitchen wrap, and set aside for five minutes , until all the water has been absorbed. Remove the plate, fluff up the couscous with a fork and leave to cool. Once cool, mix in the chopped herbs and spoon the couscous on to a medium platter.

Meanwhile, in a small bowl, mix the sugar snaps and spring onions with a tablespoon of lemon juice and an eighth of a teaspoon of salt, then put to one side.

In another bowl, mix the yoghurt, horseradish and garlic with the remaining teaspoon of lemon juice, an eighth of a teaspoon of salt and a good grind of pepper.

Put the oil in a medium frying pan on a medium-high heat and, once it’s hot, lay in the smoked mackerel fillets skin side down. Leave to fry for two minutes, until the skin is golden and crisp, then flip over and fry for another two minutes on the other side, until the flesh, too, is golden and crisp. Arrange the mackerel skin side up on top of the couscous, and turn the heat under the pan to medium-low.

Add the cumin seeds to the hot oil left in the pan, fry for 30 seconds, until fragrant, then stir in the aleppo chilli, cook for another 30 seconds, then take off the heat.

Dollop the yoghurt into the gaps between the pieces of mackerel, spoon the spiced oil all over the top and serve with the lemon wedges on the side.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here