Sirocco Sensation

We were pleased to be cooking from Sabrina Ghayour’s new book, Sirocco, this weekend. Sabrina is a fellow supperclub host done good. Her clever recipes are Manor favourites because they are simple to follow, use accessible ingredients and always super tasty, she’s a genius! We served up a hearty Autumn lunch to add a little Middle Eastern colour and spice to what was otherwise a dreary, wet November day.

nov2016

Our welcome cocktail was a preserved lemon gin martini. We went one step further than Sabrina by adding the brine from the lemons into the gin, a bit like a dirty martini. This was slightly salty, sweet from honey and sour from lemon juice. Probably not everyone’s cup of tea but a very decent take on a dirty  martini we felt!

Canapés included fennel and lamb “lollipops” – little lamb koftas flavoured with lots of fennel, apricot and spices, served with yoghurt and tamarind. a lovely combination of sweet and savoury. Also on offer were little potato and chickpea latkes. These crunchy little morsels were full of flavour from cumin and coriander seed and came atop a spicy tomato and coriander salsa.

We love a slider at the Manor and we combined a number of Sabrina’s recipes to create a Persian duck version. A whole duck was slow roasted with Persian spices and then shredded. This was drenched in honey and pomegranate molasses and then served in a little milk bun with a crunchy carrot, pomegranate and tahini slaw. This was swiftly followed by spiced orange and thyme skewers and freekeh salad. Chicken thighs were marinated overnight in orange, marmalade, thyme and and array of spiced and grilled till charred. The freekeh was spiked with sweet and sour flavours such as pomegranate and dried cranberries then freshened up dill and coriander.

We couldn’t do a Middle Eastern event without some form of tagine. To cut through all the meat this came in the form of a pumpkin, harissa, apricot and preserved lemon tagine. This was a lovely balance of spice, sweetness and savouriness. Sabrina serves hers with a soft boiled egg atop, so who are we to argue?!

Our last small plate was seared steak with roasted vegetables served with two dressings, red pepper and a lemon yogurt. The vegetables are roasted until charred then tossed with, drizzled with the sauces then topped off with pink seared beef. A striking, tasty dish indeed.

Dessert was a delicious blackberry and pistachio frangipane tart. The sweet pistachio paired up well with the tart blackberries. Alongside this was a very decadent cardamom and rose ice cream and some rose macerated blackberries. Sweet and satisfying.

And finally our petit four were lovely little sumac and orange shortbreads. Not a technically a Sabrina recipe but celebrating the best of Persian flavours nonetheless!

That’s it for this year. We’ve had a fab time cooking up some lovely things. We’ll be back in the new year cooking up some more treats from Rick Stein and Ottolenghi, yippee!

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