When life hands you lemons… why not convince your 5-star Chef mate into making a cooking show, he’ll know what to do with them lemons!
My long time friend Chef Arnie is a bit of a gypsy who’s been traveling around the world working at some amazing restaurants and events. From Quay, Cumulus and Golden Fields in Australia, he recently returned from Zurich Switzerland running a restaurant called the Artisan a Urban Garden, with a predominately plant-based menu. He’s also single and ready to mingle after Iso, ladies!
Chef Arnie came up with a menu, meeting my brief of something that was healthy, tasty and easy to make with ingredients you can find during Iso. So on today’s menu is:
Pan fried Mackerel fillets, Moussaka with Middle Eastern flavours, chunky tzatziki and garden salad.
Part One: Plant-based Middle Eastern Inspired Moussaka
- 2 med eggplants sliced
- 1 large sweet potato thinly sliced
- 1 small red onion sliced
- 3 garlic cloves chopped
- 600ml tomato puree
- 1 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1 tin chickpeas
- 1 tin white beans
- 3 tablespoons Lebanese 7 spice or cumin powder
- 1.5 tablespoon gram marsala or curry powder
- Rosemary sprig
- 200ml water
- Season eggplant with salt and let sit for 10mins
- Cook onions and garlic till soft add spices and cook for 2 mins don’t burn
- Add tomato paste and cook for another two mins
- Add tomato puree and use water to rinse of remaining tomato puree from bottle
- Bring to boil and take off
- Wash off salt on eggplants
- Cook eggplant on hot pan till colour but not soft
- Add cooked eggplants, sweet potato, beans, chickpeas and rosemary
- Season with salt and pepper
- Add sauce and mix gently
- Layer in baking tray. When layering try and keep beans and chickpeas in the middle of the layers so it doesn’t burn on top when baking
- Bake for 25-35 mins @180c
- If you are using a deeper baking tray and it’s start to brown to quickly just cover with foil.
- To check if it’s cooked poke sweet potato with skewer or knife it should be soft.
- Cover with foil when ready
- Leave in oven turned off if eating straight away
Part Two: Pan fried Mackerel & the side dishes.
Iso, is also perfect time to learn new skills, like cooking and boning a fish! This time boning & Pan frying Mackerel fillets (you could substitute for another fish if need be). And making our side pieces.
- 1 Lebanese cucumber or continental cucumber cut into large dice
- 250g Greek yoghurt or vegan yoghurt
- 1/2 tablespoons of dried mint or a good handful of chopped fresh mint
- 1/4 wedge lemon juice
- Salt and pepper to taste
Add everything together and season to taste
- 2 baby cos cut into wedges
- 4 radish sliced
- red onion sliced
- A handful Chopped dill
- Squeezed lemon half
- Olive oil
- Salt and pepper
Put everything together in a bowl, add lemon, and olive oil just before serving
- 8 medium or 4 large mackerel fillets
When every component is ready fry off mackerel fillets finish cooking with abit of butter if desired.
Arrange all components on a plate like you are cooking first time for someone you like and enjoy.
Give this recipe a try and feel free to share with friends, have yourself a virtual dinner party. If you would like Chef Arnie’s 7 Spice Recipe, get in touch.