Folks in America may not be too familiar with Moro, unless they've made it a point to visit this well-loved Moorish restaurant while in London or have browsed one of their stunningly beautiful cookbooks, which are available here. Luckily for us, The Guardian has made a wonderful set of videos with Moro's co-owner Sam Cook where he demonstrates how to make Moro-style food at home.
Moro features the food of the Southern Mediterranean: Spain, North Africa, the Middle East. While the name references the Moors, the primarily Muslim conquerors and settlers of the Iberian Peninsula, the restaurant and books take a wider approach to the cuisines of the area and feature recipes that contain pork and alcohol.
This series of five videos is a wonderful exploration of how simply and spontaneously a meal can come together, with the exception of maybe the bread which needs an overnight proofing. Mr. Clark is a dapper cook in his blue vest, with glasses pushed up on his head and a natural ease in the kitchen. He has a very brusk and no-nonsense chopping style and does an excellent job of explaining his dishes as he works his way through them. I found him very informative and a delight to listen to. I especially appreciated his carbon steal knife and big, beautiful mortar and pestle, both which look well-used and lovingly cared for.
There are five short films in all: bread, chopped salad, barbecued steak, barbecued bream and barbecued pheasant. I found a lot of new and inspiring information in these videos, a delightful glimpses into Moro-style cooking at home. Here are a few highlights:
• You can use everyday ('cheap and cheerful') baskets to form your bread.
• A bread rack can be fashioned from two dowels sticking out from the wall and a chopping block from a cross section of a tree.
• Onions have a season and it's best to use late summer/early fall onions in a salad.
• Squeeze lemons using your hands so a bit of the oil from the skin also gets into the dish.
• Use an old enamel tea pot for olive oil 'just because they're very good for pouring.'
• Toss small handfuls of fresh cilantro (coriander in the UK) on top of the grill to protect and add a little flavor when grilling fish.
• Tomatoes can be added as the acid element in a marinade for beef.
• Consider beef to be an occasional 'treat meat.'
• Warm your serving plates up on a cooler section of the grill.
To watch all five of these videos, follow this link.
Get the books:
• The Moro Cookbook, $18.15 from Amazon
• Moro East, $28.45 from Amazon
• Casa Moro, $23.10 from Amazon.
Related: Why We Love This Cooking Video
(Image: The Guardian)