Welcome to Spooning With Rosie
Nine years ago, aged 23, Rosie Lovell opened Rosie's Deli Café in Brixton Market. It has just had its first refurbishment. Lovell's first book, Spooning With Rosie describes the dishes she learnt from her mother and friends. In 2013 her second book Supper With Rosie was published including recipes for meals she cooked for her family and friends in the deli and at home.
Hot Spanish Squid
For the squid dish, deseed the pepper and cut into chunks. Whiz them up with the peeled garlic and the chillies to make a purée, using a hand-held blender or Magimix. Warm some olive oil in a pan and fry the paprika, cumin and caraway seeds. This is the best way to release the aromas of spices. After a few minutes frying, add the pepper purée. Cook at a very low heat for about half an hour, or until the juices are a little reduced. If it begins to dry out, add a tablespoon of water at a time to loosen and continue breaking down the flavours.
During this time, rinse the squid under a cold running tap and chop into rings 1cm wide. Add this to the pan at the last minute, along with the sugar, lemon juice and parsley, which should be roughly chopped. It will need a minute of two to combine all the flavours and cook the squid, which will go from milky clear to white, but not rubbery please. You may need to add another teaspoon of sugar to balance the flavours, so taste to check.
Moroccan Honey Chicken
Immerse the chickens in a really big pot full of water, with the bay leaves, cloves and peppercorns. I use one of those awesomely deep saucepans. Simmer for an hour and a half or until the birds are fully poached. This poaching makes for wonderfully moist succulent meat. Allow the chicken to cool right down, otherwise you will have blistered fingers from the stripping. This cooling will take a few hours. During this time you can get on with the other two dishes. Stripping is really satisfying if you get your sleeves rolled up and get down and dirty. It took me a long time to get the guts to really go for it. Keep the stock aside from the poaching pan, and use for loosening the tomato sauce and hydrating the couscous. You can also freeze any surplus stock for a rainy risotto day.
For the tomato sauce, warm the olive oil on a low heat, in a really big pan. Peel and finely chop the onions into 5mm pieces or smaller. Add to the pan and gently fry, along with all the ground cloves, cinnamon and finely chopped chillies. After a few minutes peel, crush and add the garlic. While this is sweating away, roughly chop the tomatoes and add to the pan. You are aiming for this to be a very clean and smooth sauce, so it will require long slow cooking for around an hour. It may need a little stock to loosen the sauce. When you are satisfied with the texture, add the honey and the stripped chicken pieces, pepper and salt.