Moro’s Recipes for Sweet Corn Salsa and Spicy Potted Labneh and Shrimp

The Christmas holidays don’t have to mean pigs in blankets and mince pies. We like to put a twist on classics, like potted shrimp, which we’ve given a Moorish, Christmassy twist by infusing nut butter with spices. This needs to be made well in advance, to give the butter time to set, so it’s super easy for a party: just spread it on hot toast and serve. The salsa, meanwhile, is wonderful for any festive occasion: sweet corn combined with cilantro, sun-dried tomato, garlic, and creamy labneh (strained yogurt), all scooped up with pitta or flatbread.

Labneh with sweet corn, coriander and paprika (pictured above)

Don’t underestimate canned corn. This is also delicious as a side dish of pork or chicken.

Prepare 10 minutes
Cooked 10 minutes
Serve 4

75 g of butter
3 spring onions
trimmed and finely chopped
1 clove of garlicpeeled and finely chopped
1 tbsp coarsely ground coriander seeds
4 dried tomatoes
finely chopped (we use the dehydrated ones and soak them in freshly boiled water until soft)
5 tchopped coriander bsp
½ level t
sp Spicy paprika
250 g of canned corn
150 g of cream cheese
500 g of Greek yogurt
tense
2
-4 buns or pittaswarmed up

Melt the butter in a saucepan over medium heat and cook, stirring, for 3 to 5 minutes, until it begins to caramelize (when the white bits of whey turn golden brown). Add the spring onions, garlic and coriander seeds and cook, stirring, for another three minutes, until soft and sweet.

Stir in the sun-dried tomatoes, fresh coriander and paprika, saute for a further minute, then add the corn and season. Blend a quarter of the mixture, adding a dash of water to loosen if it is very thick, then stir in the rest of the corn.

To make the labneh, combine the cream cheese and yogurt, season with salt to taste, and spread out on a large platter. Pour the hot corn mix over the labneh and serve with hot flatbreads or pittas.

Brown shrimp and spiced brown butter

We all know and love potted shrimp, but adding spices — nutmeg, black pepper, bay leaf and fennel seeds — to the caramelized brown butter makes this classic even more delicious.

Prepare 5 minutes
Cooked 15 minutes
Setting up 2 hours +
Serve 4

150 g of unsalted butter
2 bay leaves
(fresh, ideally)
1 whole nutmegfinely grated
A pinch of cayenne pepper or hot paprika
½ t
sp ground fennel seeds
¼ t
sp ground black pepper
A splash of lemon juice
200 g of peeled brown prawns
Toast or rusksto serve

In a small saucepan, melt the butter with the bay leaves over low heat, the butter will separate, but continue to cook it until the white and milky bits of the whey start to caramelize and turn golden. Add the nutmeg, cayenne, fennel seeds and pepper and cook for another minute or so, stirring occasionally to prevent anything from sticking to the bottom of the pan.

Squeeze some lemon juice over the prawns, then stir them into the hot butter. Season with salt, cook for 30 seconds, then scoop the shrimp out with a slotted spoon and transfer to four small ramekins (or a larger plate). Mash them with the back of the spoon, then pour the warm butter over them and leave to rest in the refrigerator for a couple of hours, until they solidify. This can be done well in advance.

Serve with toast or rusks.

  • Extract from Moro Easy by Sam and Sam Clark, published by Ebury at £30. To order a copy for £26.10, go to guardianbookshop.com

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