As Autumn sinks itself more and more into our lives I am embracing it like a new lease of life. It is by far my favorite time of year. Memories of picking Hazelnuts, Halloween games played with cousins and crunching on brightly coloured amber leaves on my walk to school each morning come flooding back. I don’t quiet know what it is that Autumn awakens in us but it seems to be a frenzy of excitement about getting cosy and comfort food.
I find at this time of year I am drawn back to my cookbooks to research and find new recipes. One of my most recent cookbooks is ‘Persiana’ by Sabrina Ghayour, the tag line is ‘Recipes from The Middle East and beyond’ and it is all of this and more. It is a wonderful cookbook. For any of you who were like me blown away by ‘Jerusalem’ by Yotam Ottolenghi & Sammi Tamimi this is a must….btw I was blown away when I got to meet Yotam Ottolenghi at Ballymaloe ‘Lit Fest’ earlier this year with some of my other Foodie friends. I was one of the lucky few to have a ticket for his demo with Sammi Tamimi, I had to keep pinching myself!
While her recipes have all the flavour of the Middle East they aren’t as complex as those in ‘Jerusalem’ and I love her unashamed use of Pomegranates and Pomegranate Molasses. One of my favourite dishes is Ras el Hanout Chicken Wraps. This has to be by far one of the easiest and tastiest dishes I’ve cooked in a long time. It was a favourite of ours during the summer when I would have the chicken marinating since early morning and all I would have to do is assemble the accompaniments, strike a match to the BBQ and cook the chicken, the coals giving it a gorgeous flavour and enhancing the spice and warmth of the Ras el Hanout mix, although now that winter is around the corner I will move indoors and cook the chicken on my griddle pan…..a worth wile investment if you don’t have one. I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as my gang did. I place everything in the centre of the table and let everybody fill their own wraps. Over the years I have found this to be a very sociable way to eat and also for children it works well as it makes it interesting and fun, they feel they are getting the choice of what they want rather then having to eat what is on a plate and if they don’t like something they can leave it out while still creating their own.
- 2 heaped tbsp Ras el Hanout
- Olive oil
- 4 large chicken fillets ( I put them between cling film and pound them)
- Sea salt
- Flour Tortillas
- 1 red onion, halved and thinly sliced into half moons
- Pomegranate Molasses
- Rocket leaves and pomegranate seeds to garnish
For the Yoghurt Sauce
- 1 small bunch of mint, leaves picked and finely chopped
- 400g Greek Yoghurt
- 2 tbsp Sumac
- freshly ground pepper
Mix the ras el hanout with about 4-5 tbsp of olive oil to create a paste. Smear this over the chicken breasts ,ensuring they are well coated. Season each chicken breast with a pinch of sea salt, cover and leave to matinate for as long as needed, over night if possible.
To make the yoghurt sauce, put the mint into a bowl along with the yoghurt, sumac, a generous pinch of sea salt and black pepper, mix well until the sumac and mint are evenly incorporated.
Preheat a large frying pan or griddle pan over a medium heat, drizzle in olive oil, add the chicken breasts and cook until cooked through.
Place the chicken on a chopping board and allow it to rest. Slice into strips and put several into each wrap with some onion slices. Dollop with some of the yoghurt on top, drizzle with pommegrante molasses, garnish with rocket leaves and enjoy!