Of Kneecaps and Niqabs


I’m still in my Middle Eastern groove………..and yes, I fell in love with her eyes. Hence, the niqab reference. Ever since, I’ve been a sucker for a good hummus and sesame cracker. And because it is almost impossible to find these items at an acceptable level of quality I make these at home.
Hummus is a Middle Eastern classic. And mine is not so spun that it is smooth, aerated or fluffy. It is denser. I use dried chick peas, olive oil, tahini, lemon and sea salt. The only other additions are freshly ground toasted cumin seed and roasted garlic.
The sesame crackers earn the right to be called sesame crackers with the addition of dark sesame oil and toasted unhulled sesame seeds. Must be unhulled.


And this is Monkfish once again. This is monkfish on the bone. Restaurant menus might describe it as ‘saddle of monkfish’. If you look closely, you can see the bone protruding. And on either side of the bone are the monkfish loins. Interestingly, it looks reminiscent of veal shanks for Osso Bucco. Even more interesting is that it can be prepared somewhat in the same manner. You just won’t cook the fish quite as long as a dead cow’s rear leg.
All I want to do is make a spicy seafood stew.


I marinated the monkfish in yoghurt with garlic, ginger and Saudi Arabian Kabsa spice blend.
I roasted carrots and turnips together and later added garlic, ginger and Kabsa seasoning, chick peas, capers and honey. I hydrated this mix with the chick pea cooking water and tossed in a bay leave. I seared the marinated monkfish, added the seared fish to the chick pea vegetable braise and finished it in the oven. Then poured olive oil all over the dish to finish it. You’ll be on your knees before you know it. Eat like a peasant.

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