Easy Does It! Roasting Tin Recipes from Around the World – This weekend was Halloween, and next weekend we have Bonfire Night. Both events have, unfortunately, been superseded this year by Covid-19, so we will be tucked away in our own homes for any ‘Trick or Treating’ and fireworks. How timely then, is this fabulous book from the Roasting Tin Series by best-selling cookbook author Rukmini Iyer!
Her latest book – The Roasting Tin Around the World – is the culmination of years of travel and a passion for collecting recipe ideas – from Sri Lanka, Indonesia, Vietnam, Singapore, Russia, and India to the USA. A recipe writer, food stylist and formerly a lawyer, Rukmini loves creating delicious, easy recipes with minimum fuss and maximum flavour. Her aim is to transform Britain’s midweek meals, one roasting tin dinner at a time, whether you’re a meat-eater or vegan, a family or cooking for two. Her flair for fool-proof, no-fuss, flavour-packed dishes shows readers that by letting the oven do all the hard work, you don’t have to spend hours at the stove… that certainly suits me!
With Halloween shenanigans and Bonfire night in mind, I have chosen a couple of recipes for you from the book that I think are perfect. (Recipes extracted from The Roasting Tin Around the World – Global One-Dish Dinners by Rukmini Iyer (Square Peg) and photography by David Loftus.)
The Rocky Road can be bagged up and given to neighbours to share, and the Slow Roasted Peppers can be served on toast as suggested. Or, perhaps in mugs to enjoy around a small bonfire, or used as a filling for jacket potatoes…and/or served with sausages? Yum!
S’mores Rocky Road with Peanuts, Marshmallows & Chocolate
(USA & The Caribbean)
‘This is possibly my proudest creation: chocolate refrigerator cake, or tiffin, crossed with rocky road, crossed with s’mores – the American campfire classic of Graham crackers and marshmallows sandwiched with a piece of chocolate, and toasted over a fire. In this version, the marshmallows just start to catch and caramelise under a hot oven. Perfect to take over to friends’ houses, as it is rich and generously proportioned.’
Serves: many, many people
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 10 minutes, plus 1 hour chilling
200g unsalted butter
300g dark chocolate (minimum 70% cocoa solids, broken up
250g digestive biscuits or Graham crackers
150g mini vegetarian marshmallows (I like pink and white)
75g salted peanuts, roughly chopped
Preheat the oven to 180°C fan/200°C/gas 6.
Tip the butter and chocolate into a saucepan over a low heat and stir until both have fully melted.
Break up all but 4 of the digestive biscuits or Graham crackers and stir them into the chocolate butter, then stir in 100g of the marshmallows. Spread the mixture in a lined shallow roasting tin, then scatter with the remaining digestive biscuits, broken into larger pieces, the marshmallows and the peanuts.
Transfer the tin to the oven and bake for 5–10 minutes, until the marshmallows have just started to catch and turn golden brown.
Let the tin cool on the side before cutting the cake into squares. (I rather like a square or two while it’s still warm out of the oven, but for a proper refrigerator cake, you’ll need to pop it into the fridge to chill for a few hours before serving, so it sets properly.)
Slow Roasted Peppers with Chilli, Lemon & Garlic Beans
(Europe & North Asia)
‘My favourite dish when working in a restaurant kitchen was peperonata – red and yellow peppers softened down slowly in a frying pan along with oil, garlic and onions until they almost melted. It was, as many good things are, time-consuming to make, so I wondered if one might achieve a similar result with oven cooking – and the answer is yes. With garlicky beans, this dish is perfect piled on to rounds of thickly sliced toasted bread.’
1 x 400g tin of cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
1⁄2 lemon, zest only
Rounds of thickly sliced, toasted bread
Preheat the oven to 180°C fan/200°C/gas 6.
Tip the tomatoes, peppers, oil, herbs, salt and pepper into a roasting tin large enough to hold everything in one layer, mix well, then transfer to the oven and roast for 50 minutes. If after half an hour it looks as though the peppers are catching a bit too quickly, turn the heat down a fraction.
Meanwhile, stir the extra virgin olive oil, garlic, chilli flakes, salt, cannellini beans and lemon zest together in a bowl and set aside.
Once the peppers have had 50 minutes, stir through the beans, then turn the oven down to 160°C fan/180°C/gas 4 and cook for a further 10 minutes.
Taste and adjust the salt and pepper as needed, adding a little more olive oil if you wish, then remove the bay leaves and rosemary sprigs and serve piled on to toasted bread. This tastes even better the next day, so it’s well worth making in advance and reheating.
A Sizzlingly Good Drink to Warm You Up
I’ve always loved ginger drinks, and a Whisky Mac is, to me, ‘Christmas in a glass’. I’ve recently discovered a really delicious, new, sizzling, ginger liqueur called Pakata (meaning Firecracker in Punjabi). It’s just perfect for the adults on Bonfire night – or any cold winter evening for that matter, especially if entertaining outdoors! Enjoy it neat or try it in cocktails. Made with 100% Fairtrade sugar and spices, it’s the only ginger liqueur made with fresh Fairtrade ginger root, resulting in a fresh and fiery tipple with excellent length in the mouth. Priced at £24 a bottle, it’s available online from Master of Malt, The Whiskey Exchange or The Drink Supermarket