Roast chicken with Pernod & oranges

tray of roast chicken

Market ingredient: Thirlmere free-range chicken
Difficulty: Such an easy roast
Deliciousness: OOOOO yeah
Did The Beard like it? Almost as good as Mum’s (seems to be a reoccuring theme here?)

You know why I love middle eastern cooking? Actually, there are numerous reasons, from the one-pot-cooking of tagines and stews, to the heady combinations of spices, to the use of fruit in savoury dishes. So many dates, plums, prunes, figs and citrus. And then there’s the use of aniseed flavours. Delicious, delicious aniseed. Fennel, fennel seeds, aniseed tea (try it). And then there is arak. For the uninitiated, arak is an intensely aniseed flavoured liquor that The Beard’s family friends and relos used make. And sweet baby jesus, this stuff is intense. Mental note to self – you’re supposed to drink it watered down. Not as a straight shot. Dad and I learnt the hard way when The Beard rocked up to my parent’s place with a 2L Southern Comfort flagon filled with the stuff. But that’s another story…

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Falafel with tahini sauce

Bowl of falafel

Market ingredient: N/A
Difficulty: Fiddley
Deliciousness: I really liked them
Did The Beard like it? “Not as good as Grandma used to make”*

One of the best things about going to Bathurst for the long weekend is getting to spend time in the kitchen with The Beard’s mum. She’s incredible in the kitchen. Much like my own Mum, Mona is a little bit experimental in the kitchen. She likes to try new things out and to hell with recipes and measurements! When she suggested we make falafel, I was excited but a little worried that I’ve never remember what the recipe was. To be fair, I’m sure there are purists out there that will say “that’s not how you make falafel”. But I love Mona’s philosophy: “If it tastes good, add it”.

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Spiced roast pumpkin soup

pumpkin soup in a bowl with croutons

Market ingredient: Pumpkin
Difficulty: Fairly simple – would be quicker if you didn’t roast the pumpkin
Deliciousness: The opposite of last week – AMAZING
Did The Beard like it? Quote unquote: “beautiful”

It’s POURING like a mo fo outside. I mean absolutely pouring. The Beard and I made the decision to step outside for a quick bolt to the shops and came home looking like we’d just stood under the shower in our clothes. And I was even wearing gumboots and carrying an umbrella. Now if that isn’t the perfect excuse to whip up some warm and comforting pumpkin soup, then I don’t know what is.

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