I love cooking – it’s what consumes most of my waking hours. But it’s true to say, by the end of the school and working week, I’m ready for a night off. Thursday night (the end of the week in the Middle East) is when ‘wine o’clock’ kicks in and dinner needs to be a relaxed affair, often accompanied by some family TV time.
A takeaway is often the preferred option, but I think I’ve mentioned before how so often, the dream is a cut above the reality.
Last week we struck lucky on the takeaway lottery and tried out a relatively new venture in Dubai called s’wich – creators of delicious, healthy, inventive shawarmas. Not only can you design your own filling, but you can give it a name, save your own recipe for next time and it gets printed on the receipt (exhibit A).
Hella is convinced there is magic at work here. And they do sweet potato fries too. Heaven.
But our success on the wheel of takeaway roulette set me off thinking that the dinner model of a tasty and easy filling, wrapped in some kind of soft, fresh flatbread and served with chips – any kind of chips really – has to be an ‘end of the week TV dinner’ thumbs up. Throw in a cold beer and an episode of whatever floats your boat and this is the BEST.
For these Lamb and Mushroom Flatbreads, I’ve opted for a tasty filling of lamb with a hint of garlic and a touch of chilli warmth. Toss in some juicy mushrooms, a scattering of pomegranate jewels, a few crunchy pine nuts and some salty green olives. Then nestle everything amongst a few leaves of your choice and drizzle with a minty yoghurt dressing. Mmmmmmmmm.
Now roll it up, grab a napkin and devour.
And here’s why you’ll be ditching the takeaway for this TV dinner –
- You can get it all prepared beforehand – and really there’s not much to do anyway. I’ve used the lamb fresh from the pan and I’ve also reheated it. Both work beautifully.
- Choose your favourite bread to make it your own – flatbread (that’s the one for me), pitta bread, arabic bread, tortilla wraps. Have I missed any?
- Cheaper than a takeaway without a doubt and no need to even pick up the phone.
- And if you include a chip or two … well, this is perfection. PS Check out my spin on easy, delicious, healthy chips – you’re gonna love them.
So, change out of your best shirt, grab a drink and embrace the messiness of rolling up your dinner and letting the filling dribble down your chin. It’s all part of the fun.
- 4 tablespoons olive oil
- 200g (7oz) small mushrooms, halved
- 4 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
- 2 medium heat chillies, seeds removed and finely chopped
- 600g (1lb 5oz) minced lamb
- a large handful of mint leaves, finely chopped
- 8 heaped tablespoons plain yoghurt
- salt and pepper
- 4 tablespoons pine nuts
- 6 large flatbreads
- 4 handfuls baby spinach leaves, or similar
- 4 tablespoons pomegranate seeds
- 20 green olives, stoned and roughly chopped
- Warm the oil in a wide, shallow pan and add the mushrooms. Stir them occasionally until they colour.
- Add the garlic and leave to brown for a couple of minutes.
- Add the chillies to the pan and allow to cook for 1 minute.
- Now add the lamb to the pan and cook stirring until it is nicely browned and cooked through.
- Stir the mint into the yoghurt and season to taste.
- Stir the pine nuts into the lamb mixture and taste to adjust the seasoning.
- Warm the flatbreads and place each one on a plate. Divide the spinach leaves between the warm flatbreads and tip over the hot lamb and mushroom mixture.
- Scatter with the pomegranate seeds and the chopped olives, then trickle over the minty yoghurt.
- Roll and devour ...