Fried brik parcels with apple and clove
For brunch or a serious dessert. Serves six.
90g Greek yoghurt
90g double cream
2 tsp icing sugar
3 bramley apples (500g)
4 granny smith apples (500g)
2 tbsp lemon juice
½ vanilla pod, scraped
5 whole cloves
100g dried sour cherries
70g muscovado sugar
6 30cm-diameter round brik sheets (if you can't find any, use filo)
Sunflower oil, for frying
Put the mascarpone, yoghurt, cream and icing sugar in a bowl, whisk smooth and refrigerate until needed.
Peel the apples, cut into 1.5cm dice and toss in a pan with the lemon juice and three tablespoons of water. Add the vanilla pod and seeds, cloves, cherries and sugar, then sauté on medium heat, stirring, for 12 minutes, until soft. Set aside.
Add oil to a medium pan to come 5cm up the sides and put on medium heat. Remove the cloves and vanilla pod from the apple pan. Take a brik sheet, fold it in half, and put two tablespoons of apple in the centre, with 3cm clear all round. Fold over the long side and rounded side, then fold up the short sides so they overlap in the middle, encasing the apple in a 12cm x 5cm rectangle. Repeat with the remaining brik and filling.
Carefully slide one parcel, folded side down, into the hot oil and fry for two minutes until golden-brown, turning once. Transfer to kitchen paper to drain, and repeat with the rest. Serve hot with the cream.
Vermicelli, beef and chickpea casserole
A super-comforting meal in a pot. Serves four.
4 tbsp olive oil
400g piece stewing beef
Beef bones (or 1 cube beef stock)
15 cloves garlic, peeled
200g vermicelli pasta
1 medium onion, peeled and diced
3 carrots, peeled, cut into 1cm dice
200g celery, cut into 1cm dice
1½ tsp ground cumin
½ tsp ground allspice
10 cardamom pods, lightly crushed
1 tbsp tomato paste
240g cooked chickpeas
Shaved skin of 1 lemon
½ tsp caster sugar
2 tbsp lemon juice
1 green chilli, finely chopped
20g parsley, finely chopped
200g Greek yoghurt
Put a large sauté pan on high heat, add a tablespoon of oil and brown the beef and bones (if using). Add two litres of water, bring to a boil, skim and simmer gently for two hours until the meat is very tender. After an hour and a half, add the garlic; and ensure the meat is always immersed, so add water as needed.
Remove the meat and garlic and measure the liquid: you need 650ml, so discard or add water as necessary; add the stock cube, if using. Cut the meat into bite-size chunks and put back in the pan with the garlic.
Heat the oven to 220C/gas mark 7. Break the pasta into 2-3cm pieces, lay on an oven tray, and bake until toasted (three to five minutes).
Heat the remaining oil in a large pan, add the diced veg and sauté on medium heat for 10 minutes, stirring. Add the spices, tomato paste, chickpeas, lemon skin, sugar and a teaspoon of salt, cook for five minutes, then tip into the beef pan. Add the noodles and lemon juice, stir and bring to a boil. Turn the heat very low, cover with a tight lid, and simmer gently for eight minutes, until the noodles absorb the liquid.
Leave to rest for a few minutes, stir through the chilli and parsley and serve with yoghurt on the side.
• Yotam Ottolenghi is chef/patron of Ottolenghi and Nopi in London. His new book, Jerusalem, co-written with Sami Tamimi, is published by Ebury Press at £27. To order a copy for £16 (inc free UK mainland p&p), go to guardian.co.uk/bookshop, or call 0330 333 6846.