Sunday, 12 June 2011

Don't call me fattee

Fattee is a word often bandied around our house. Mostly because Pete eats absolute shedloads for his slight physique (keen cyclist) and I feel the need to match his appetite (also a cyclist, but I do about 20% of the miles he does).

Fattee is also a favourite leftover and larder meal that usually gets made on day 3 of roast chicken leftovers. The original recipe was from the first Moro cookbook and involves some slightly more lengthy and complicated processes. So this is my lazy cheat's interpretation for when you want to make something nice but don't have time to burn.

What you need (for two portions):
1 tin tomatoes
3 cloves garlic
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp chilli flakes
1 medium size aubergine
100g long grain or basmati rice
small bunch of flat leaf parsley
2 pita bread
2 tsp pine nuts
150ml greek yoghurt
2 portions leftover roast chicken

You need to do a few things at the same time:
- make the tomato sauce - sizzle 2 finely chopped cloves of garlic and the chilli flakes in olive oil until slightly golden. Add the tin of tomatoes and the cinnamon. Allow to bubble away and thicken up.
- cook the rice, simples.
- cut the aubergine into 1 cm slices, and then in half again. Ideally you'd charr these on a girddle, but frying is fine too.
- toast the pita, then cut into strips
- toast the pine nuts lightly in a dry frying pan
- chop the flat leaf parsley
- mix the yoghurt with a crushed clove of garlic, maybe a little milk to thin, and some salt and pepper

Once those are all ready it's a layering job and you can decide whether you want to layer plates up individually or as a presentation plate. But you start with the scattering the pita bread at the bottom, then top with rice, spreading it out. Then add the chicken and the aubergine, spreading evenly. Then add the tomato sauce and top that with the yoghurt. Finally sprinkle the flat leaf parsley and toasted pine nuts. Then tuck in!

It might seem a little bit of a fiddly recipe, but all the stages are very easy and you can do multiple things all at the same time. The flavours work well - I always love tomato and yoghurt combinations, and there are some nice smoky notes from the toast, pine nuts and the chargrilled aubergine. It's an immensely satisfying dish and still impressive enough for visitors.

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