By Ella Walker
Your summer holiday might be off (sorry), but you can now travel the globe in 75 faff-free, one-tin recipes, courtesy of food writer and stylist, Rukmini Iyer.
The former MasterChef contestant pioneered the “chop and chuck traybake” with her wildly successful Roasting Tin series of cookbooks, single-handedly making it possible for us all to get in late (and hangry), switch the oven on – and swiftly have something not only acceptable and edible to feed people, but something surprising, delicious and practically effortless too.
Book four, The Roasting Tin Around The World, has come at an admittedly difficult moment. But arguably its timing couldn’t be more pertinent, either. When our horizons have been wholly curbed, and our lives tethered to one spot, being able to “travel via your kitchen” is quite a gift.
Iyer has managed to condense into a cookbook the feeling so many of us get on holiday, of eating something amazing, and knowing we will desperately try to recreate it when back home.
Take her North African inspired chermoula roasted tuna steaks, her Russian meatballs with sour cream and, a current lockdown favourite, a peach dulce de leche cake, which is a riff on the Uruguayan cake, chaja, just “executed completely differently”.
And these aren’t pilfered replicas of traditional dishes, manhandled into a tin – for starters, in many of the regions she features, ovens aren’t even widely used. Instead, Iyer considers flavour combinations and uses them to vault into new one-dish recipe realms.
She’s careful to only note down fun dishes (“Things that felt really special, that just make you remember eating things for the first time”), many of which have in turn made their way into The Roasting Tin Around The World.
Chermoula Roasted Tuna with Peppers, Chickpeas and Raisins
To make the chermoula:
45g fresh mint, leaves only
1 1/2tsp ground cumin
1 1/2tsp ground paprika
4 cloves of garlic, peeled
3tbsp olive oil
A pinch of sea salt
1 preserved lemon or 1/2 lemon, zest only, and 1tsp white vinegar
3 colourful pointy peppers, halved
1 medium aubergine, cut into eighths
1 red onion, cut into 1cm slices
300g cherry tomatoes, with their vines
1 x 400g tin of chickpeas, drained
4 nice thick tuna steaks
100ml warm water
A handful of flaked almonds
A handful of fresh mint
Preheat the oven to 180C fan/200C/gas 6.
Tip all the chermoula ingredients into a blender and blitz until combined. Taste and add a little more salt as needed.
Tip the peppers, aubergine, onion, cherry tomatoes with their vines and the chickpeas into a roasting tin large enough to more or less hold the vegetables in one layer. Mix through three-quarters of the chermoula, making sure to coat the vegetables evenly, then transfer to the oven and roast for 40 minutes.
Meanwhile, spread the remaining chermoula all over the tuna steaks, then return them to the fridge to marinate. Don’t wash the blender – tip in the raisins and water, stir and set aside.
Once the vegetables have had 40 minutes, tip in the raisins and liquid. Remove the tomato vines, squash down the tomatoes, then lay the tuna over the vegetables. Scatter over the almonds, then return to the oven for 10-12 minutes, until the tuna is just cooked and the almonds are crisp.
Scatter over the mint and serve.
Peach and Dulce de Leche Cake with Meringues and Cream
225g olive oil
225g dulce de leche (you can use tinned Nestle caramel, sold near the condensed milk)
50g caster sugar
4 free-range eggs
225g self-raising flour
1tsp baking powder
3 under-to just-ripe peaches, thinly sliced
175g dulce de leche (this is the remaining caramel in the tin)
A handful of crushed shop-bought meringues
Creme fraiche or lightly whipped cream
Preheat the oven to 160C fan/180C/gas 4.
In a food processor or by hand, mix the olive oil and dulce de leche together with the sugar until well combined, then beat in the eggs, one at a time. Fold in the flour and baking powder, then pour into a 26cm by 20cm roasting tin or cake dish.
Arrange the sliced peaches over the batter, then transfer to the oven and bake for 25 minutes, until golden brown and a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean. Let the cake cool in the tin for 10 minutes.
Melt the remaining dulce de leche in a pan until smooth and pourable, then drizzle this over the warm cake. Scatter with a handful of crushed meringues, then serve with creme fraiche or lightly whipped cream alongside.
The Roasting Tin Around The World by Rukmini Iyer is available now