After my lovely time at Moro yesterday talking to Samuel Clark, I was able to enjoy reading Casa Moro on the way home as he’d kindly given me a copy. My collection of Moro books is now complete and I can see this one will become a firm favourite too. I’ll also have to watch for it taking little sorties to my daughter or son’s as they are going to love it as well. We’re a Moro loving family.
The book is beautifully illustrated like the other two books, Moro The Cookbook and Moro East. I like the soft, muted, matte finish of the photos that entirely fits the Moro feel. These are photos that make you want to eat; make you want to cook. Sam pointed out the glorious double-page spread photo of almond trees in blossom with the snow-capped Sierra Nevada mountains as a backdrop. This is near their little Spanish house in a pueblo, village, in the heart of Moorish Andalucia.
As for the recipes, it’s a bit like sitting in Moro looking at the menu and wanting everything. Where to start? How does one choose? Saffron, Tahini and Yogurt Soup? Potato Cakes Stuffed with Minced Lamb and Pine Nuts (the photo will make you hungry)? Ginger and Cardamom Fish? Well, I had to try something straight away but I also had the interview to write up and leftovers to use in the fridge. Jonathan and Lyndsey had come round the night before and we’d had Tagliata di Manzo – a wonderful piece of rump steak from Matt at Food on the Hill and expertly cooked by my son on the griddle: slightly chargrilled on the outside but pink and rare in the centre. There was some meat left over. So, I thought, flatbread. I’d never made flatbread before but there was a recipe for Quick Flatbread in Casa Moro and the Sams’ recipes have never let me down.
It was almost 7 p.m. by the time I got down to the kitchen and I momentarily hesitated: was this a good idea? There must be a easier route to supper. But I was also excited by the prospect of using the book that night and doing some cooking, so out came the strong white flour, the packet of dried yeast, the olive oil; the kettle was put on to boil; I got out my measure to check the diameter of my frying pan (minimum 25 cm required) and I was set to go. And because I was in a Spanish mood a glass of Rioja helped me along the way.
While the dough was rising for 20 minutes, I got my filling together. The slices of beef were sliced slightly thinner; large tomatoes sliced; I mixed some strong horseradish cream with some mayonnaise; and there were salad leaves of slightly bitter radicchio and peppery rocket.
Then it was time to prepare the flatbread. The dough was rolled into a sausage shape and cut into 4 pieces, then rolled out into a circle; the dough very thin. I heated the frying pan and gently transferred the disc of dough to the hot pan. It was quite exciting watching it slowly bubble up; I gently lifted the edge with a spatula and then flipped it over. Wow! It looked good.
Two were cooked for supper (the other two rolled out and laid between greaseproof paper for lunch today). I started filling them: a good smudge of the horseradish mayonnaise across the bottom, salad leaves, then the beef slices. I topped these with slices of tomato then seasoned well with salt and freshly ground black pepper and finished with a nice drizzle of extra virgin olive oil over the top. Mmm. Scrumptious. And, despite my misgivings about time, all done well within a hour.
I’m sure I’ll soon be trying out more recipes from Casa Moro but meanwhile, the book and I have got off to a great start.