British-Israeli chef Yotam Ottolenghi has become a culinary superstar over the past twenty years. Ottolenghi’s Test Kitchen: Extra Tasty is now his tenth book. We can share three recipes.
Parmigiana pie with tomato sauce
The much-loved Italian-American eggplant parm (eggplant parmesan) provides the inspiration for this dish, which consists of layers of breaded eggplant, tomato sauce and cheese, but this is a slightly different variation. If you can’t find kataifi dough for the top, you can use really good phyllo dough instead and cut it into julienne strips with scissors. Preparing this cake takes some love, but this impressive spectacle without meat is more than worth the effort.
Prep: 35 minutes
Ingredients (for 4 people)
1 kg aubergines, ends removed and sliced lengthwise 1 to 1.5 cm thick (approx. 4 to 5 per eggplant)
70 g of flour
2 large eggs, plus 3 large yolks
2 tbsp milk or water
225 g finely dried breadcrumbs (we use panko),
105ml olive oil
40 g kataifi dough, thawed and cut into pieces of approx. 2 to 3 cm
75 g pecorino romano (or parmesan), finely grated
300 g buffalo mozzarella, well drained and thinly sliced
salt and black pepper
The tomato sauce
120ml olive oil
2 onions, peeled and finely chopped (180 g)
8 garlic cloves, peeled and finely chopped
2 tsp aleppo chili flakes
2 tsp cinnamon powder
1 tbsp ground cumin seeds
2 cans of Roma tomatoes (800 g), crushed by hand
2 tsp fine granulated sugar
30 g fresh coriander, coarsely chopped
1. Heat the oven to 200°C. Line two large baking trays with parchment paper.
2. Toss the eggplants with ¾ teaspoon of salt and a generous twist of pepper in a large bowl.
3. Place the flour in a shallow dish. Put the eggs and yolks in another bowl with the 2 tablespoons of milk or water and beat everything together well. Place the breadcrumbs in a third bowl with 1¼ teaspoon of salt and mix well.
4. Work one slice at a time: roll an eggplant slice in the flour, shake off the excess, then dip it in the egg mixture and finally in the breadcrumbs. Place the breaded eggplant slices on the lined baking trays. Drizzle with 2 tablespoons of oil per baking tray and bake in the oven for 15 minutes. Turn the baking trays over and bake the eggplants for another 15 minutes until golden brown. Remove them from the oven and turn the oven temperature back to 180°C.
5. Meanwhile, make the tomato sauce. Pour the oil into a large pan over medium to high heat. When hot, add the onions and cook, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes until cooked through and lightly coloured. Add the garlic and spices and stir for 1 minute. Add the canned tomatoes, sugar, 400 ml water, 1¾ teaspoon salt and a good grind of pepper. Bring everything to a boil, reduce the heat to medium and simmer for 25 minutes, stirring occasionally until the sauce has reduced slightly. Stir in the coriander, measure out 700 ml of the sauce (you use it to build the cake). Keep the rest in the pan to reheat before serving.
6. In a bowl, mix the kataifi (or phyllo dough) with half the pecorino and the remaining 3 tablespoons of oil.
7. Make the cake. Line a 23 cm springform tin with a sheet of parchment paper large enough to cover the bottom and sides. Cover the bottom with a third of the eggplant slices (trim to fit if necessary). Spoon over a third of the measured 700 ml sauce, a third of the mozzarella and a third of the remaining pecorino. Continue with the remaining eggplant, sauce and cheeses. Cover the top with the kataifi mixture and bake the pie in the oven for 35 minutes. Raise the oven temperature to 200°C and bake for a further 15-20 minutes, or until the top is golden brown. Remove from the oven and let set for about 30 minutes.
8. Remove the ring from the mold and lift the cake with the baking paper onto a board. Heat the extra sauce and serve the pie warm or at room temperature with the extra sauce on the side.
Shrimp in coconut broth with fried seasonings
Inspired by Southeast Asian flavours, this dish is all about building a full, deep flavour, with shrimp shells providing a rich, spicy broth. Feel free to use other shellfish or fish and cook them directly in the broth. Serve this dish with the fragrant coconut rice (page 196) or simply jasmine or brown rice.
Prep: 25 minutes
Preparation: 45 minutes For 4 people
Ingredients (for four people)
2 tbsp. tomato paste
6 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed with the flat side of a knife
40 g fresh ginger root, peeled, thinly sliced
50 g lemongrass stalks (approx. 4 pieces), coarsely chopped
8 large fresh kaffir lime leaves
3 red chillies, seeded and already cut into coarse rings (45 g)
1 can of full-fat coconut milk (400 g)
60 ml heavy cream, plus 2 tbsp. extra for that
250 g datterini or cherry tomatoes
1 lime, in 4 wedges
105ml olive oil
6 garlic cloves, peeled and thinly sliced
2 red chili peppers, with seeds and already in slanting thin rings
30 g fresh ginger root, peeled and julienne
15 g coconut flakes (or coconut chips)
15 g basil leaves
1. Peel the prawns – remove the heads and shells and set aside. Remove the black gut thread from the peeled shrimp and refrigerate until ready to use.
2. Heat the oil in a large sauté pan with a fitting lid over medium to high heat. Add the tomato puree and shrimp heads and shells and cook, stirring occasionally, for 3 minutes until dark red. Add the garlic, ginger, lemongrass, kaffir lime leaves and chillies and cook for a further 1 minute until fragrant. Add the coconut milk, cream, 450 ml water and 1 teaspoon salt to the pan and bring everything to the boil, reduce the heat to medium to low, put the lid on and let it simmer for 25 minutes. Pour the stock into a sieve over a large bowl and press the contents of the sieve to extract as much flavor as possible (discard the contents of the sieve or save it for something else). Rinse the sauté pan, you will need it later.
3. Meanwhile, prepare the baked seasonings. Place the oil, garlic, chillies and ginger in a large frying pan and place over a medium heat. Cook for 8 minutes, stirring occasionally, then add the coconut flakes and a pinch of salt and cook for a further 4 minutes or until the garlic and coconut are golden brown and the chillies are translucent. Using a slotted spoon, scoop all the solid ingredients onto a plate lined with kitchen paper. Add the basil leaves to the skillet and cook for 2-3 minutes to turn dark green and translucent. Pour them into a sieve over a bowl and collect the aromatic oil. Wipe the skillet clean, you will need it for the shrimp.
4. Add a tablespoon of aromatic oil to the large sauté pan and place over a medium to high heat. When the oil is hot, add the tomatoes and cook for 6-7 minutes or until blackened and almost bursting. Add the strained stock and heat until gently bubbling. Let it cook for another 3 minutes and put it on a low heat while you fry the shrimps.
5. Finally, place the large skillet over medium to high heat. Toss the shrimp with ⅓ teaspoon of salt and 2½ tablespoons of aromatic oil. When the pan is very hot, fry the prawns for 60-90 seconds per side (toss them to give them a nice colour). Do that if the pan gets too full in two batches.
6. Divide the broth between four shallow bowls and place the fried shrimp in it. Squeeze a wedge of lime over each bowl and drizzle ½ tablespoon of extra cream and 1 teaspoon of aromatic oil over each bowl. Garnish with the baked seasonings. 750 g large tiger prawns, with head and shell 2½ tbsp. olive oil
Charred chicken with caramel clementine dressing
Don’t be afraid to sear the chicken thighs (just make sure the kitchen is well-ventilated) – this will add intense flavor to the already sparkling dressing and make for a very spicy dining experience. That being said, you can also grill the chicken thighs in the oven, or substitute chicken breast for them if you prefer. Use kitchen shears to make it easier to remove the bones from the thighs, or ask the butcher to do this for you, making sure that the skin remains intact. You can also replace the clementines with orange segments without any problem; the dish is just as tasty.
Prep: 25 minutes
Preparation: 40 minutes
Marinate: 1 hour or overnight
Ingredients (for four people)
6 large chicken thighs (1 kg), boned and with skin (850 g)
1½ tsp. turmeric powder
1 tsp. chili flakes
1 tbsp. fish sauce
2 tbsp. olive oil
12 spring onions, cleaned, washed and dried well (180 g)
CARAMEL CLEMENTINE DRESSING
85 g of fine granulated sugar
30 g fresh ginger root, peeled and julienne
2 red chillies, seeded, halved crosswise and julienne (20 g)
3 tbsp. Rice wine vinegar
3-4 limes: 1 halved, for serving, and the rest squeezed into 3 tbsp. juice
2 tbsp. fish sauce
2-3 clementines (200 g), peeled (140 g)
5 g fresh coriander, coarsely chopped, to serve
1. Place the chicken thighs, turmeric powder, chilli flakes, fish sauce, oil and 1 teaspoon salt in a large bowl and mix well. Let the chicken marinate for an hour, or leave it covered for a little longer (until the next day). In the latter case, take it out of the fridge 45 minutes before preparing it.
2. Place a large cast iron sauté pan over a medium to high heat and ventilate the kitchen well. When the pan is hot, place half of the chicken thighs skin side down in the pan. Weight the thighs with a large pan of about the same size, so that they are well pressed into the pan. Bake for 6-8 minutes, or until the skin is toasted and charred. Remove the top pan and set the chicken thighs aside. Treat the remaining thighs in the same way. The second batch will burn more quickly, so check them after 5 minutes. Remove all the chicken from the pan, set aside and let the pan cool for 5-10 minutes.
3. Drain all but 1½ tablespoons of fat from the pan and return to medium to high heat. Add the spring onions and turn them with tongs in the fat, then put the chicken thighs back in with the skin side up and some of the fat, nestle them between the spring onions and add 90ml water. Simmer for 8 minutes or until chicken is tender and cooked through. Transfer the chicken thighs to a cutting board and let rest for 5 minutes before cutting each thigh into 2 cm wide strips.
4. While the chicken is cooking, make the caramel clementine dressing. Heat a medium saucepan over medium to high heat. When hot, reduce the heat to medium-high and sprinkle in the sugar until the bottom is coated – it should immediately start to melt and color around the edges. Swirl the pan without stirring, so that all the sugar melts and turns a deep golden brown in about 1½-2 minutes. Add the ginger and chilli and stir for 45 seconds to take some of the heat off. Quickly add the vinegar, lime juice and fish sauce and stir to combine. Cook for another 30 seconds and remove the pan from the heat. Let the dressing cool for 10 minutes.
5. Using a small serrated knife, cut the clementines into round slices 1 cm thick and very carefully pull them in half (it’s okay if they tear a little more). Stir them into the cooled sauce.
6. Before serving, divide the spring onions over a large dish and arrange the chicken on top with any liquid from the pan. Use a spatula to hold the meat of each chicken thigh together. Pour the dressing over and sprinkle with the coriander. Finally, squeeze the lime halves over it.
7. Before serving, spoon the remaining cream over the length of the roll. Garnish very artistically with the bay leaves, half vanilla pods and the cinnamon stick. Drizzle with the remaining browned honey syrup and sprinkle with the extra orange zest.
Caramel clementine dressing
–– Store the dressing in a tightly closed container for up to 3 days
–– Pour the dressing over a roast chicken, pan-fried salmon or tofu.