So we didn’t learn our lesson after the sweet soup, and yesterday’s meal was not our most popular amongst residents and visitors. However, don’t be fooled, it was still seriously good and we’d recommend making it. Like Marmite, it’s a question of taste; you either love it (like we did), or you don’t (like many of the residents and visitors). What we’ve concluded is (this has been confirmed by Flatmate Mohammed), in general, sweet and salty don’t mix in Arabic cuisine. He’d already vetoed the idea of squash and coconut soup, insisting that coconut was only used in desserts, so who knows why we went ahead anyway and basically made that soup. But to be honest, the “tiny little potatoes”(said in your most British accent) stole the show. Intro Reggs: our new Mexican flatmate and self-proclaimed best friend. She’s super cool and has done mighty impressive things with the UN. We Facebook stalked her and one of her profile pictures is with the Mexican president… And she shamelessly loves Justin Bieber. Here’s a link to her page which she has set up to write about her three months in Athens, and other great diplomatic things. Also, she likes to mimic our accents. All. The. Time. She happened to come into the kitchen while we were deciding between wedges and tiny little potatoes for today’s lunch, hence, “Tiny Little Potatoes” (said in your most British accent).
We might have mentioned before that Ilyas tends to gravitate towards the kitchen when there are potatoes roasting. Today was no exception and when it came to serving lunch, he insisted on dishing up the potatoes; for every tiny little potato served, two somehow ended up in his mouth. His potato-fuelled zeal was so entertaining that we turned a blind eye and let him munch his way through much of the tray. Luckily they were so tiny that everyone got at least one.
Marmite soup (served 30, plus one portion for Ilyas to take home. He likes Marmite)
- 1 huge pumpkin (see photo), chopped into smileys with skin left on
- 4 red onions, quartered
- 1 whole head of garlic, skin left on
- Lots of Ekkie
- Olive oil
- Salt, pepper and cumin
- 3 vegetable stock cubes, lots of water
- 500ml cream
- Hack pumpkin into smileys with two too small knives
- Put in a tray with onions, garlic, Ekkie, salt, pepper and cumin.
- Roast in preheated oven (220c) for 1 hour or until soft enough to…
- Scoop out the flesh, keeping skins aside and put into a pan with everything else in the tray minus garlic skins
- Add stock and water, bring to a boil, and season
- Blitz until smooth, season again, and add cream
- Taste test. Realise it’s too sweet and add more salt.
- For the skins, put them back onto the baking tray, score the backs and sprinkle with salt. Roast in the oven until crisp.
- Ensure everybody knows they are pumpkin skins and not beef fillets (see photo).
- Serve with soup and…
Tiny Little Potatoes (served 30 as a side)
- Half a bag of potatoes
- Olive oil
- Salt, Ekkie
- Wash potatoes
- Wash potatoes again
- Chop into tiny cubes
- Put on baking tray
- Toss with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and Ekkie
- Roast in preheated oven (220c) for 40 minutes, until crisp
P.S. For those keen to follow the progress of the OH kitchen mural…