Kirk Kirkham

Sabrina Ghayour’s Feasts

When Sabrina Ghayour launched her debut book Persiana back in 2014 it quickly became one of our favourite go-tos for its spiced, flavoursome but never fussy food. Now Ghayour is back with her third outing, Feasts, and just as you’d expect this colourful book is packed with things you want to cook right away. The book is cleverly divided into the way most of us now take the time to cook – indulgent breakfasts, quick suppers and comfort food and then more expansive feasts for the weekends or for entertaining. There are lots of great ideas to transform the mundane into something far more interesting – like fried halloumi coated in breadcrumbs and za’atar or Savoy cabbage spiced up with nigella, cumin and chilli and slathered in yoghurt. Some of our favorite recipes from Persiana (that we’ve been cooking regularly over the past three years) are ridiculously easy so we were also excited about the quick fix suppers here too, which include the simple but utterly delicious cod loins with wild thyme and pul biber – those same aromatic pepper flakes are also used for the equally straight-forward eastern prawn linguine with Greek basil and feta. It’s already clear that we’ll be adding lots more of Ghayour’s ideas to our repertoire. In the meantime here’s another one of our favorites that you can try for yourself.

 

 

SPICY BEEF NOODLES

with green beans

 

SERVES 6–8

500g minced beef (15 per cent fat)

200g salted peanuts

400g flat rice noodles (about 1cm wide)

vegetable oil

1 large head of garlic, cloves bashed and

thinly sliced

2 teaspoons ground cumin

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

400g trimmed green beans,

cut into 2.5cm pieces

4 tablespoons light tahini

2–3 tablespoons rose harissa

1 bunch of spring onions, thinly sliced from

root to tip

1 small bunch (about 30g) of fresh coriander,

finely chopped

Maldon sea salt flakes and freshly ground

black pepper

 

Remove the mince from the refrigerator and leave to come up to room temperature.  Heat a large frying pan over a medium-high heat. When hot, add the peanuts and dry-toast for 5–6 minutes, or until they start to blacken in parts but not all over. Transfer to a bowl and set aside. Rinse the noodles under cold running water – I find this prevents them from sticking together during cooking. Drain in a colander. Put the noodles into a large saucepan set over a high heat and add enough boiling water to generously cover the noodles. Cook according to the packet instructions or to your preference. Reserve 2 large cupfuls of the cooking liquid for making the sauce, then rinse the noodles under cold running water. Drain, then return the noodles to the pan and set aside. Meanwhile, pour just enough oil into the frying pan you used to toast the peanuts to coat the base of the pan. Heat the oil over a medium heat, then add the mince and break it down with a wooden spoon as quickly as possible to avoid clumping. Add the garlic, cumin and cinnamon and stir-fry until the beef turns brown and is starting to crisp on the edges. Stir in the green beans and fry for a further 5 minutes. Lastly, add the tahini and rose harissa, season with a generous amount of salt and pepper and stir in a little cold water to thin out and loosen the mixture, if needed, to prevent the tahini from thickening. Tip the beef mixture into the pan containing the noodles. Add a cup of the reserved noodle-cooking liquid and mix well until incorporated. If, like me, you like a brothy dish you can add the second cup of cooking water. Check the seasoning. Mix in the spring onions and coriander and serve, garnished with the charred peanuts.

 

Feasts by Sabrina Ghayour is published by Mitchell Beazley, £20 is available at Octopus Books

What:
Sabrina Ghayour's Feasts
— Clare
20th September 2017