Sunday, September 28, 2008

Tonight's dinner - courtesy of Moro East

Moro East - Sam and Sam Clark

I originally saw this fabulous cookbook in a newspaper review earlier this year, and I'm glad I didn't rush out and buy it on the spot. My hardback copy was recently purchased from the local discount bookstore for $30 (RRP AUD 59.00). So there.

I'm not much of a cook because I'm lazy and rarely buy cookbooks, but the story behind Moro East is interesting. In East End London, there used to be a communal gardening area called Manor Garden where local residents could grow their own fruits and vegetables (Seems to be like Melbourne's own allotment gardens in CERES. Incidentally the photo of the river beside the Manor Garden sheds could even pass for Merri Creek, which runs behind CERES).

When the Clarks moved into one of the allotments, they discovered a multicultural community with its own unique methods of gardening and cooking. The recipes in Moro East incorporate the produce that was grown in Manor Garden and are easy to follow. Several are based on what the Clarks learnt from the other residents, as well as what they experienced in their travels around Europe.

Unfortunately Manor Garden was demolished last year in preparation for the 2012 Olympics and the gardeners were moved onto another allotment.

Tonight I'm going to try the braised celery with tomato, olives and coriander. I didn't have green olives, so I used Spanish black ones instead.

In preparation for future recipes I also stocked up on ingredients such as harissa paste, preserved lemons, red wine vinegar and various herbs and spices commonly used in North African and Middle Eastern cooking.

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