Saturday, 10 December 2016

Mallow Yellow

NAME: _Chicken Molahia Lasagne

I only made two layers of filling, and yes, it does go that lovely
yellow from the curry. Sorry we'd already devoured half of it... 

250g - 500g chicken pieces, your choice dark white or both
40 - 80 fresh mallow leaves
(optional) similar volume of silver beet leaves
1 medium brown onion
3 cloves garlic
1 potato
1 carrot
1/2 cup grated pecorino
1/2 cup grated parmesan or romano
salt, pepper
1/2 tsp curry powder
1/2 tsp ground cumin
chicken stock cube
plain flour
olive oil
7 corn tortillas

Wash the mallow leaves (and silver beet if using) well and set aside. Slice the chicken to 1cm square x 3cm long approximately. Chop the onion fine, chop the garlic very fine. Set each aside Grate the cheeses into separate bowls. Peel and dice the potato and carrot into 1cm dice and set aside. Chop the mallow leaves and the silverbeet leaves.

In a heavy base large saucepan place about a tablespoon each of butter and olive oil, heat. When hot enough to sizzle, add the onions and fry for about 3 -5 minutes, then add the chicken, fry for another 3 - 5 minutes then add the garlic, potatoes, carrots, cumin, and curry, fry for the same amount of time again. Add the mallow and silverbeet leaves.

Crumble the chicken cube over and add about half a cup to a cup of water, reducing the heat and then let simmer very low for about 30 minutes. You want the vegetable cubes soft but not too soft. (The mallow and silverbeet will be very soft by that stage. Perfect.) Add about two tablespoons of flour made up into a paste, stir through and warm gently until it thickens. Set aside. (You want a fairly stiff consistency to prevent the filling running, but not a floury stodge.)

Prepare an ovenproof dish that's wide enough to lay the tortillas in by brushing lightly with olive oil. Lay down the first layer of tortilla. (I cut two in half and space them round and interleave to make sure and cover all the way to the edge, Maybe cut a square from a spare one if you need to cover a hole in the middle.) Add a layer of the chicken/mallow filling, then lay another layer of tortillas, and so forth, finish with a layer of tortillas.

Melt butter in another saucepan, a splash of olive oil, then add around half a cup to a cup of plain flour, stirring constantly, Add the curry powder and cumin, plus half a teaspoon of salt. Begin adding around a cupful of milk while stirring, then add water to make a very thick roux, add in the grated pecorino cheese and stir until the cheese is all melted.

Pour the mixture over the tortilla layer and bump gently to remove air bubbles, top with parmesan cheese. Bake in a 200C oven for around 45 minutes, turning if your oven has hot spots. (Mine does, so I turn at the 30 minute mark to get all edges more evenly browned.)

Allow to cool and set for a few minutes, then cut and serve.

Very forgiving recipe, I like using chicken but you could use lamb or beef, as long as you trim the fat away. Anyone that's made molahia will recognise the start or the dish as a molahia soup base. That's pretty much what this is, except for adding flour rather than stock or water.

Mallow is a weed. You can find it growing wild, we have some in our garden that we tend to. The better you care for it, the better it grows. Looks like this:

This mallow is our spindly original one. This is about a quarter of the leaves -
just cut the leaf off the stem and wash, then chop into strips for this recipe. 
You can use the seeds and the flowers as well if you want, not in this recipe though. There are other recipes out there online for the seeds / fruits / whatever they are.



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