Monday, October 31, 2011

Date Surprise Biscuits

Do you plan your baking schedule, or do you prefer to make on spec what you can from around the house?  Because I am in a number of baking groups, I do have to do some planning, but otherwise, I am more of an "on spec" kind of girl, and like to use what I have around the house.

The genesis of the biscuits in this post was an "on spec" baking session.  I looked at what I had around the house, then picked up my reliable Margaret Fulton Cookbook and had a flick through.  The biscuits that I settled on are called Date Surprises.  They are easy, quick, and don't use many ingredients.  Best of all, if you like dates (like me!), they are super scrumptious, as they comprise whole dates  wrapped in biscuit dough.

To make your own date surprises, you will need:

150g butter
1 cup brown sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla essence
2 cups plain flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
375g pitted dates

Preheat your oven to 180 degrees Celsius.  Beat the butter in a stand mixer until light and creamy, then gradually add the brown sugar and beat until well combined.  Add the egg and vanilla and beat well. 

In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, salt and bicarbonate of soda.  Add the dry ingredients to the butter mixture, and mix in using a wooden spoon or the mixer turned on low speed until just combined.

Break off small pieces of dough and mould around each date in a cocoon shape, and place on baking trays lined with baking paper or a silicone mat.  Place into the oven and bake for 15-20 minutes or until golden.  Remove the cooked biscuits from the oven and allow to cool on their trays.

Enjoy with a cup of tea or coffee.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Eating Out - Trunk, Melbourne

Yesterday, after QI Live, Tim and I went to dinner at Trunk in Melbourne.  Trunk is on the corner of Exhibition and Little Lonsdale Streets, in the "theatre" district, and is named after a 150 year old coral tree in its yard.  It serves modern Italian food, but in the last year, has also had a diner attached for breakfast and lunch.

The restaurant is located in "The Rintel Room", but Trunk also has a number of other spaces, including "the Honey Garden" in honour of the rooftop beehive project supported by the restaurant.

On arrival, we are served the bread at the top of this post, I believe sourdough, with olive oil on the side.

For entree, we ordered char-grilled pork belly with apple, walnut and celery salad to share:

I adore pork belly, and the crunch of the salad contrasted nicely with the softness of the pork belly.  There was some kind of jammy stuff on the plate (perhaps plum sauce) which was gorgeous when mopped up with the bread.

Tim and I each ordered a pizza for the main course.  The pizzas come on thin bases, so although they look large, it is feasible for one person to tackle a pizza by themselves.   

I ordered the Melburnian pizza - tomato, mozzarella, ham, mushrooms, artichoke and eggs:

Tim ordered the Maremma - porcini pesto, pork sausage, pecorino and truffle oil:

I didn't taste Tim's pizza (as I was way too worried about finishing my own), but the Melburnian was delicious - I especially liked the baked egg on top, and the artichoke hearts scattered liberally across it.  There was just the perfect amount of topping so that the pizza was not too overwhelming, and I could finish all but one slice (which was happily consumed by Tim).

As a side dish, we ordered a salad of beetroot, goats cheese, aged balsamic and almonds:

The creamy goats cheese really made this side dish, toning down the bitiness of the pickled beetroot.

We sat at a table near some fun artwork on the wall.  Here is part of that artwork:

Tim and I were lucky - we were in by 6.30 without a booking, but the place filled up rapidly with race day crowds after that.

The service was courteous and efficient - despite the crowds, we were not left sitting for ages wondering when the ext course was coming.

Trunk was a fun dining experience, and I would definitely go back.

275 Exhibition St.
Melbourne 3000
Victoria Australia 
+61 3 9663 7994                      

Saturday, October 29, 2011

The Pink Ribbon Post

Howdy all, hope you are having a good weekend. 

Monday, 24 October was Pink Ribbon Day in Australia, when workplaces around the country held morning teas to raise money for breast cancer research.  We held our Pink Ribbon morning tea two days later on 26 October, and there was lots of yummy food on offer.  I made pink ribbon cupcakes (pictured at the top of this post) as my contribution to the morning tea, complete with pink ribbon cupcake papers and pink ribbon sprinkles from the Cake Deco shop in the Port Phillip Arcade.  The icing was a little more lurid than I had envisaged, but that's what happens with a slip of the hand when using liquid food colouring.

I used The Crabapple Bakery Vanilla Daisy cupcake recipe, which is my favourite basic cupcake recipe.  You can find it online here.  My colleague Linda liked the cupcakes so much that she asked for the recipe - so it is not just me that thinks that this recipe is tops.  The cupcake is moist yet light, and is the perfect blank canvas for whatever you fancy.

Moving right along to a totally different pink topic, it is a big horse racing weekend here in Melbourne.  Today is Derby Day, when all the punters traditionally frock up in black and white.  On Tuesday, it is Melbourne Cup Day (a public holiday in Melbourne), when they run the race that stops the nation.  I can remember at primary school it was a big treat for the year 6 and 7 students to go to the library to watch the running of the Cup.

I have only been to the Cup once, five years ago, and it was a disappointment for me as I arranged to go with a friend, who decided not to get out of bed until around midday, so we only arrived for the Cup itself, missing most of the day.  For me, one of the highlights of the races is going early to see everyone looking gorgeous before  the inevitable rot caused by too much drinking and heavy betting losses sets in.  Some men wear toppers and frock coats, and they all wear suits (other than the novelty dressers), and look so amazing.  With the ladies, it is a mixed bag - some of the younger set wear clubbing dresses, but you have the other end of the spectrum with elegant ladies looking like an exotic perfumed flower garden  gracing the track.

Accordingly, I was so excited when I was invited to go to the Cup in a marquee as a guest of a work colleague's husband when clients pulled out. Hooray! I have never been in a marquee (and am never likely to again!), and we are travelling there by water taxi, which I have also never done before.  I feel a bit like a kid in a candy shop.

In keeping with the pink theme of this post, I thought I would share my dress for Cup Day:

It is dusky pink, despite looking beige in this photo, and was on sale at Jigsaw last weekend.  (I actually bought the dress before I received the invitation to the Cup - very fortuitous!)

I also bought this fascinator to go with the dress:

I hope to look pretty in pink and feel like a lady, at least at the start of the day.

It is a busy weekend for me, as Tim and I are going to QI Live today (gotta love Stephen Fry's soothing voice and Alan Davies who will always be Jonathan Creek to me), then I am going to see Contagion at the movies with E and T tomorrow.   I believe we are eating beforehand!

Have a great weekend!

Friday, October 28, 2011

FFwD - Pumpkin Stuffed with Everything Good

This week's French Fridays with Dorie recipe, Pumpkin Stuffed with Everything Good, caused me some serious issues.  First, I didn't want to make a whole pumpkin, as I have no idea what I'd do with it.  I then tried to buy a small pumpkin for one  - I couldn't find one, which is why you see the far less dramatic half pumpkin that I settled for.  When I went to sccop out the pumpkin, the hollow was only tiny, so I had to remove some extra flesh (not an easy task).  And finally, while I can see that done with a full pumpkin, this would be a dramatic centrepiece at a dinner party for Halloween or Thanksgiving, the taste is not that exciting - I prefer roast pumpkin sprinkled with salt and pepper and herbs, and sprayed with oil before roasting.

That's my whinge out the way - now here is the cut pumpkin:

It tasted OK - I think the cheese makes it, although the filling also includes cubes of bread, cooked bacon, chives, cream and nutmeg.

Go look at some more pumpkins via the FFwD website - anyone who used a whole pumpkin will have prettier results than mine.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Daring Bakers - Povitica

This month's Daring Bakers challenge was one of the most delicious breads ever, which tasted delightful, although it cost me a sore back to make.

The Daring Baker’s October 2011 challenge was Povitica, hosted by Jenni of The Gingered Whisk. Povitica is a traditional Eastern European Dessert Bread that is as lovely to look at as it is to eat!

This bread is made by stretching out the base bread dough and spreading it with filling (in my case, walnut filling as per the challenge recipe), then rolling the dough into a sausage and winding it into a horseshoe shape in a loaf pan.

When baked, the bread is one mass of swirls of filling and bread: 

The filling is quite dense and moist, and tastes fabulous - unlike anything else I have ever tasted.  However, because of the back-breaking process to stretch out the dough, I won't be making it again soon.

To check out what the other Daring Bakers did with this challenge, visit the Daring Kitchen website and watch the slideshow.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Candied blood orange tart

My friend Sandra and I recently attended the Veg Out Farmers Market at St Kilda.  It was a fun event, with my favourite purchases being a chocolate and toffee coated pear on a stick (bliss!), and a basket of blood oranges.

Blood oranges are not available all year round and are harder to get than navel oranges, so I wanted to use my blood oranges for something special that showcased the natural beauty of their ruby red interior.    Haalo of Cook Almost Anything at Least Once had featured a recipe from a Gourmet Traveller Annual Cookbook for candied blood orange tart - and that is the recipe I chose.  You can find it here.

This tart is truly devine - it comprises a buttery, melt-in-the-mouth pasta frolla crust, a semolina cream custard filling, and gorgeously glowing, bitter yet sweet, candied blood orange slices on top.

I could have eaten the entire tart by myself - it was that good.  This is a rare statement for me, but it was seriously one of the best desserts I have ever tasted, whether bought or homemade.  To limit my intake, I took all but two slices of the tart to work to share.

I served the tart with a drizzle of syrup from making the candied oranges.  It is quite a beautiful deep pinky orange colour, and I have saved the rest for icecream topping.

If you love fruit tarts, do yourself a favour and make this one.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

TWD - Fig Cake for Fall - errr, Spring

In the Northern Hemisphere, it is now autumn (fall), so our host this week, Ursula of Cookie Rookie, chose the appropriately named "A Fig Cake for Fall" from Dorie's book, Baking From My Home to Yours.  Unfortunately, because our seasons don't coincide, the availability of fruit in Oz is not the same as in the Northern Hemisphere.  However, I was keen on using figs in this cake - after all, you don't get the cool alliteration if you don't use figs!

Purely by chance, I found some tinned Greek figs in the IGA at St Kilda.  I have never set foot inside that supermarket before, but it was near to where I was getting my hair cut, and as I love nothing better than a stroll through food lined aisles, I went in, and the visit was fruitful (pardon the pun).  Sadly, there were only 5 figs in the can - which cost $6.99! - so I have only a few figs on my cake 

Because my figs came in syrup, I didn't poach them in port  as Dorie suggested for fresh figs.  However, I otherwise followed the recipe, which resulted in a tender, moist, golden cake that you could happily marry with any fruit:

As they say in TWD, This one is a keeper!  Ursula will have the recipe, or buy the book.  And to see a veritable harvest of fig cakes, visit the TWD website's LYL section for this cake.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Attica - Ripponlea, Melbourne

Today is Tim's birthday, so last night, I took him to dinner at Attica, in Ripponlea.  Attica is a "big deal" place to eat - not only is it a fine dining restaurant, but was awarded Restaurant of the Year in the 2012 Age Good Food Guide, and also was awarded three hats by the same publication.  It is also currently ranked 53rd on the San Pellegrino World's Best Restaurants list.  (This explains the four month wait to get a table.) Chef Ben Shewry originally hails from New Zealand, and his dishes are inspired by the natural wonders of his homeland.  Interestingly, Ben forages for edible wild plants to include in his dishes.

On Saturday nights, the only option is the 8 course tasting menu, at $160 per head, or $270 per head if served with matching wines.  We opted to make our own wine selection.

On arrival, after ordering a glass of bubbly each (Oakdene Matilda Blanc de Noirs from Macedon in Victoria), we are served with wattleseed bread, golden house-cured butter, and a smoked olive oil emulsion topped with black sea salt.  The bread is absolutely devine - soft, with a chewy, slightly salty crust, and a slight hint of coffee from the wattle seed, which also adds crunch.  The olive oil emulsion was smooth and creamy, reminiscent of creme fraiche in flavour, and my favourite topping for the bread.

We were then served an amuse bouche of crystal prawn, white radish and mustard seeds.  It was delightfully tingly on the palate and hinted promisingly of things to come.

To accompany our tastings, we selected (with assistance from one of the lovely front of house staff) a half bottle of Valminor Albarino from Rias Baixas, Spain.  It was a fresh, fruity white wine - and no, I do not know how it is pronounced. 

The first dish served from the tasting menu was the Snow Crab.  This dish has been a constant for a number of years, and many others have blogged about it.  However, here is my take on it: 

The snow crab is inspired by the appearance of Mount Taranaki in New Zealand.   A mixture of crab meat, salmon roe, horseradish, barberries, puffed rice and verjuice granita is topped by a fluffy white pile of freeze dried coconut.  The most curious thing about this dish is that it is warm on the outside and cold in the middle - like a mountain warmed by the sun perhaps.  The horseradish added some much needed kick to the other ingredients.  This was our favourite dish of the night.  

The next dish was as pretty as a garden - marron with caramelised leeks, native pepper, broth and cabbage flowers and leaves.  The dish was quite subtly flavoured on the whole, but visually gorgeous and quite delicious.

Next came a dish named "a simple dish of potato cooked in the earth it was grown".  This is another constant on the tasting menu, and there have been mixed reactions among bloggers about it.  However, Tim and I both enjoyed it a great deal.  The dish comprises a potato baked until it is soft, smooth and creamy, served atop a bed of smoked goats curd sprinkled with coffee grounds and dried salt bush leaves.  The tang of the goats curd complemented the silky creaminess of the potato perfectly - a lovely dish, and certainly unlike any other potato I have ever tried.

Our next dish was meat from a pearl oyster (Paspaley pearl oysters nonetheless, we were informed by our waiter), served with pork tail, radish (cut into a flower), broccolini stems and a shitake broth.  Despite being named after the oyster meat, the standout and dominant feature of this dish was the pork tail - the tail had been deboned, compressed into a square patty, and deep fried.  It was superb!

The next dish was a total contrast to what had gone before, and although tasty, was the least impressive dish of the evening for me.  It comprised artichoke shavings, triangles of salt baked celeriac, Pyengana cheddar (perhaps in the cream sauce?), spiced almonds, organic egg yolk and a cream sauce.   The flavours blended well, and the creamy, salty edge of the sauce was pleasant, but it was not as spectacular as the other dishes.

The last of the savoury dishes was beef tongue, vanilla, myrtus and lettuce stems.  The tongue had been shredded and compressed into a tasty, moist beef patty, and perched atop it was a mix of chervil, dill and myrtus.  As well as the lettuce stems, there were baby pickled lettuce hearts, a parsnip puree and dried beef shards.  I particularly enjoyed the concentrated saltiness of the dried beef.

It was then onto my favourite course - dessert!  Our first dessert was entitled Apples and Leaves.  This simple name belies the complexity of the dish, comprised of slices of pink lady apple soaked in granny smith apple juice, atop dollops of cream infused with Turkish apple tea and apple brandy, interspersed by avocado (or was it apple?) jelly, and decorated by dried vine leaves sprinkled with freeze dried apple.  I could not get enough of this dessert - simply devine!  The smooth, sweet jelly contrasted nicely with the crisp tartness of the apple and the crunchiness of the vine leaves.

Finally, we were served a dessert called the Franz Josef.  The  Franz Josef is a glacier in New Zealand, and this dish invoked the glacier in appearance and experience.  An avocado and mint puree served as a base for sweet snowy meringue, out of which jutted rocks of lemon sorbet and the glacial peaks of caramelised kiwi fruit.  The Franz Josef was topped with powdery freeze dried coconut, like snow, and coconut ash (the black stuff).  Just like a glacier, the contrasting textures at one minute soothed and the next took your breathe away like an icy gust of wind.  

To complete our meal, were were provided with a print by Ben Shewry's father, Robert, of pukekos, a native New Zealand bird, accompanied by white chocolate pukeko "eggs" served atop a grass nest.

The association between the pukeko and Attica was explained on the back of the print - like pukekos, Ben Shewry forages in roadside ditches for sustenance, and just like birds building a nest, chefs take on ideas from other cuisines to make their own unique cuisine.  (I am seriously paraphrasing here, so apologies to Ben if this potted summary is not quite what he meant to convey.)

The white chocolate egg shells, complete with brown spots to mimic the appearance of pukeko eggs, are filled with salted caramel - seriously delish!

The service at Attica was friendly and attentive throughout our three hour experience (we did the earlier 6.30pm sitting, although there is a second sitting at 8.30).  The various wait and front of house staff all served us at some stage.  They even dug my umbrella out of the umbrella holder on the way out (it was a shocking night weather-wise), and knew which one was mine was without asking.

Our Attica experience was thoroughly enjoyable, and made the occasion of Tim's birthday what it should be - special.

74 Glen Eira Road
Ripponlea VIC 3185
+61 3 9530 0111

Friday, October 21, 2011

FFwD - Pissaladiere

This week's French Fridays with Dorie dish is something I have never heard of before - the Pissaladiere, the French equivalent of a  pizza, topped with a poignant mix of caramelised onions, anchovies and olives.

The base of the pissaladiere is a thin pizza type dough, and is quick and simple to make.  However, I was not such a fan of the topping - I adore anchovies and olives, but concentrated doses of onion are not for me.  However, this base could be easily used for other toppings.

To check out other views on the pissaladiere, check out the LYL section of the FFwD website.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

The perfect tart au citron (or lemon tart for the rest of us!)

Melbourne has finally had some real spring days - the weather has been warm, fine and sunny, and even the nights have not dropped to frosty levels. 

To celebrate the fabulous weather, and also showcase the lovely homegrown lemons given to me by my friends Christian and Veronica, I made a sunny yellow Lemon Tart by Felicity Cloake from The Guardian, which you can find here.

There is some lively debate in the comments section of Felicity's article as to whether this is a tart au citron at all, or whether it is simply a lemon curd tart.  One school of thought is that a tart au citron must be filled with custard, not curd.  However, Felicity chose this recipe, comprised of a curd and a pate sable, because to her it embodied what a lemon tart should be all about - bright, sharp, lemon flavours, silky smooth filling and a delicate, crumbly crust.  Her filling recipe came from the king of patisserie, Pierre Herme, and the candied lemon decoration was inspired by Jane Grigson's recipe.

Honestly, I don't have any pre-conceived ideas about what a tart au citron should be, and I  enjoyed this one.  It has a heart-attack inducing amount of butter in the filling (300g!), so I probably won't make it again for that reason (there are much healthier alternatives around), but I really enjoyed the smooth silky filling and its tart, unmistakably lemon flavour.  I also recommend going the extra mile to make the candied lemon on top - it is not necessary (as someone wrote in the comments, you don't need lemon on top to know it's a lemon tart), but it is absolutely worth it - the candied lemon tastes delicious and does add to the attractiveness of the tart. I did not blend the filling after adding the butter - I merely cut the butter into small pieces and stirred it into the curd while it was still warm, and it came out perfectly smooth.

The pate sable was the part I had  the most trouble with - I accidentally added the egg white meant for painting the par-cooked crust to the pastry, which probably contributed to the pastry being rather sticky and hard to roll out.  In the end, I was lucky that it was a rather forgiving pastry, as I lined the tart pan as well as I could with the pastry then patched it furiously - and it seemed to work out just fine.

For a special treat, this tart was a delightful dessert.  I took it to dinner with Christian and Veronica so that they could enjoy some of their lemons in action.

I have since found a recipe for Thomas Keller's Lemon Sabayon Tart through the comments on Felicity's post - I might give it a burl next.  What's your favourite lemon tart recipe?

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

TWD - Ginger Jazzed Brownies

Ginger is one of my favourite things.  I love ground ginger, stem ginger, crystallised ginger and chocolate coated ginger.  Ginger ale and ginger beer are the beverages of the Gods.  The only form of ginger that I cannot stand is the pink pickled ginger that is served with sushi rolls.

Accordingly, I was pretty chuffed with Clivia of Bubie's Little Baker's choice of Ginger Jazzed Brownies for Tuesdays with Dorie this week.  These brownies contain ground ginger and fresh minced ginger - or more ground ginger if you like.  Unfortunately, I have hurt my back, so I was not in a position to spend quality time mincing ginger with a knife, and I used 100% ground ginger (which Dorie suggests that you can).

My brownies were not fudgy in the middle - they were definitely like a rich chocolate cake in texture. This was not a bad thing, but I am not sure if this was the intended outcome of the recipe.  A quick Internet search showed results all over the place, so I am still not enlightened on this point - perhaps the  other TWD bakers' results will answer the question.

Thanks to Clivia for this week's chocolate brownies with a ginger zing   she will have the recipe.  And if you, too, are curious about what the texture of these brownies ought to have been, visit the LYL section of the TWD website.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Dulce de leche pionono

Recently, I went for Sunday lunch at E & T's house.  It was a belated birthday celebration for all of us.  T made some delicious vegetarian quiches for us to enjoy, and then there was dessert - my favourite course!

E's mum is Peruvian and makes a dessert cake called dulce de leche pionono.  I had never heard of such a thing, but when E mentioned it, my curiosity was piqued, and a quick Google search revealed a recipe for it here.  Pionono is basically a jelly roll cake without the jelly that can be filled with sweet or savoury fillings.

Be careful when making the cake component - it sticks chronically to everything and gave me quite a few heachaches, even when I used baking paper and icing sugar to try and prevent it from sticking.  Also, be careful when making the dulce de leche to ensure that you don't burn it - I did get small chewy overcooked bits through my dulce de leche, but ultimately it didn't affect the taste. I used reduced fat condensed milk and evaporated milk, which didn't seem to affect the taste of the final product.

E's mum just uses dulce de leche to fill her pionono, but my recipe called for mixing the dulce de leche with whipped cream:

Where I came unstuck is that I did not whip my cream quite enough, so I ended up with a rather flat pionono: 

It tasted delicious though!  The cake was light and fluffy, and the filling satisfyingly sweet. Best of all, I had leftover dulce de leche to eat straight from the pot.

I left off the caramel frosting - I thought too much sweetness would be overwhelming.

E made me a cake too - a vanilla cake swirled with blackberry jam and topped with canned frosting that tasted like white chocolate straight from the fridge: 

What a brilliant afternoon it was - good company, good food, and lots of cake!  And I finally got the chance to satisfy my curiosity by making a pionono (albeit slightly misshapen) - and it was so worth it.

Friday, October 14, 2011

FFwD - Buckwheat Blinis with Smoked Salmon and Creme Fraiche

I love a bit of smoked salmon every now and again, and this week, Dorie aided and abetted my hankering with our French Fridays with Dorie recipe - Buckwheat Blinis with Smoked Salmon and Creme Fraiche.

Dorie's blinis, which are like little pancakes, are made with buckwheat, because Dorie says it gives them a nutty flavour.  However, buckwheat is rather hard to find here - it is a specialty shop item which costs a pretty penny.  Now that I am possessed of buckwheat flour, I will have to find other ways to use it, as it is right up there in price with chestnut flour.

Interestingly, Dorie's blinis are quite large - when you go to a drinks function here, the blinis served are teeny tiny teaspoon sized objects, whereas Dorie's are around the same size as your average pikelet.

The blinis are relatively easy to make, and I thought they tasted good without any topping at all.

However, the recipe was for blinis with  smoked salmon and creme fraiche, so I continued on: 

I rarely buy creme fraiche, it being a relatively exotic item that I first learned about through Jamie Oliver in his jubbly wubbly days (way back in 2001, I was besotted with his lifestyle as portrayed through his TV shows, and was so excited when I got a job in London the next year).

Although I adore smoked salmon, I knew I couldn't eat all of the blinis alone, and I wasn't going to splurge on lots of smoked salmon for my work colleagues, so I made up the remainder of the blinis with halved cherry tomatoes and creme fraiche:

These were pretty good too, although not as decadent as the smoked salmon version.

I enjoyed this week's FFwD - I have never made blinis before, and they are really quite delicious.

To check out what everyone else thought of the buckwheat blinis, visit the LYL section of the FFwD website.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Chicken Cauliflower Curry with Seven Vegetable Cous Cous

It's probably time to mix things up a bit and allow your teeth to recover from all of my sweets.  Today, I am going to share two delicious dishes that I made on the weekend - Chicken Cauliflower Curry and Seven Vegetable Cous Cous.

The recipe for the Chicken Cauliflower Curry can be found here.  My inspiration for making it is - what can I cook using ingredients that I already have in the house?  A quick Google search led me to this delicious curry, which has zing without being too hot, and is relatively healthy too - no cream, coconut milk or buckets of oil.  I made the recipe as is and was worried there wouldn't be enough sauce - never fear, once you have simmered the curry for the prescribed time, there was enough sauce to cover it (though it wasn't "saucy" as such).

I teamed this delicious curry with a colourful Seven Vegetable Cous Cous:

You can find the recipe here.  I skipped the harissa (which some people said overpowered the dish), and replaced the lima beans with tinned cannelini beans.  I also skipped the squash (as I didn't have any), so technically, I made a six vegetable cous cous.  Seven is apparently a magic number in Morocco, hence the origins of the seven vegetables, but you can add and subtract whatever you want from this dish.  You could even add some cooked chicken for an all-in-one meal. 

While the cous cous would make a fabulous main in its own right, I served it as a side dish to the curry: 

Doesn't it make you happy looking at all of those colours on the plate together?

Both dishes contain  raisins, which some people may baulk at, but I love a fruity main course.  You could leave the raisins out without ill effect, or substitute cranberries.