Tater tots and blueberry and cream cheese pie: Yotam Ottolenghi's fourth of July recipes | Food (2024)

Yotam Ottolenghi recipes

A celebratory American spread gets the full Ottolenghi treatment: a side of tater tots, TexMex lamb enchiladas, and a blueberry pie-cheesecake mashup to finish

Yotam Ottolenghi

Sat 4 Jul 2020 09.30 BST

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It is the fourth of July, a date that this year has taken on extra layers of complexity and importance. Today is the day that here, in England at least, we can finally reopen our restaurants after many months of lockdown. The level of excitement is high, particularly for those of us who love our industry as much as we love our own families, but there is also a deep fear for its future and the livelihood of those who work in it. Across the ocean, some will be celebrating American Independence Day, while others will be asking for a much-needed, soul-searching conversation about broken race relations. In such times, it is hard to talk about just food, but I think it is also vital to focus on the power food has to fix things that are broken and, eventually, to unite.

Cumin and lime tater tots with feta yoghurt

Tater tots are deep-fried cylinders of grated potatoes served in diners and cafeterias across the US. This version is baked, rather than fried, and served with tangy feta yoghurt and coriander oil. Serve as a nibble or a side.

Prep 15 min
Cook 1 hr 15 min
Serves 4-6

1kg baking potatoes (ie, 3-4)
Salt and black pepper
1¼ tsp cumin seeds
, lightly toasted and roughly crushed in a mortar
2½ tsp cornflour
3 limes
– 1 zested, to get 4 tsp, 2 juiced, to get 1 tbsp, and 1 cut in half
2 tbsp olive oil, plus extra for shaping

For the feta yoghurt
80g Greek feta, finely crumbled
80g Greek-style yoghurt

For the coriander oil
4 tbsp coriander leaves, roughly chopped
3 tbsp olive oil
1 garlic clove
, peeled and roughly chopped

Peel the potatoes, put them in a medium saucepan for which you have a lid, and fill with enough cold water to cover by about 3cm. Season the water with two teaspoons of salt and bring to a boil on a medium-high heat. Turn down the heat to medium, cover and leave to simmer for 10 minutes, or until a knife can slide into the centre of the potatoes but still meets with some resistance (the potatoes shouldn’t be completely cooked through). Drain, run under cold water to stop them cooking further, then pat dry with a tea towel. Use a box grater roughly to grate the potatoes into a large bowl (they will be a little sticky). Add a teaspoon of cumin seeds, all the cornflour, a tablespoon of lime zest, three-quarters of a teaspoon of salt and a good grind of black pepper, then, using well-oiled hands, mix everything together to combine.

Heat the oven to 220C (200C fan)/425F/gas 7. Put a small bowl of oil next to your work surface, and start shaping the tater tots. Use a spoon to scoop up about a tablespoon (20g) of the potato mixture, and, again using well-oiled hands, roll it into a compact ball. Shape the ball into a cylinder – don’t worry if it’s not uniform and perfect, but do try to make it as tight and compact as possible. Transfer to a large oven tray (or two smaller ones) lined with greaseproof paper, and repeat with the rest of the potato mix, spacing them slightly apart – you should end up with about 42 tater tots in total. Drizzle the tater tots all over with two tablespoons of oil, then transfer to the oven and bake for 25-30 minutes, turning them all once halfway, until nicely golden on both sides.

Meanwhile, make the feta yoghurt by whisking the feta, yoghurt, tablespoon of lime juice and an eighth of a teaspoon of salt in a bowl until smooth.

Now for the oil: put the coriander, oil, garlic, an eighth of a teaspoon of salt and a good grind of pepper in the small bowl of a food processor and blitz smooth.

To serve, spread the feta mix on one side of a serving platter and drizzle some coriander oil on top. Pile the tater tots alongside, sprinkle with the remaining quarter-teaspoon of cumin seeds and a teaspoon of lime zest, squeeze the lime halves over the top and serve warm.

Spicy lamb and potato enchiladas (pictured top)

These enchiladas are a Tex-Mex favourite, and with good reason. The chilli paste is a fantastic condiment in its own right – you could just make that alone, if you like, and keep it in a jar in the fridge, ready to add to sandwiches, sauces and stews.

Prep 25 min
Cook 1 hr 20 min
Makes 6, to serve 2

350g cherry tomatoes, roughly chopped
300g roasting potatoes, skin on, cut into 1cm cubes
450g lamb mince
6 corn tortillas (choose ones about 15cm in diameter)
80g soured cream
2 spring onions
, trimmed and cut into julienne strips
1 avocado, stoned, peeled and cut into 2cm cubes
3 jalapeño chillies, finely sliced into rounds
2 limes, cut into wedges, to serve

For the chilli paste
2 tsp chipotle flakes
2 red chillies
, roughly chopped
¾ tsp ground cumin
1 tsp chilli flakes
110g tomato paste
5 garlic cloves
, peeled and roughly chopped
½ onion, peeled and roughly chopped
75ml olive oil, plus extra for brushing

Heat the oven to 240C (220C fan)/475F/gas 9.

Put all the chilli sauce ingredients in a spice grinder or the small bowl of a food processor with two and three-quarter teaspoons of salt and blitz to a smooth paste, scraping down the sides a couple of times as you go. Transfer half the paste to a 30cm x 20cm oven tray, add the tomatoes to the rest and blitz again to a smooth salsa, to make the salsa roja.

Add the potatoes and lamb mince to the chilli paste tray and toss with your (gloved) hands until everything is well coated, breaking apart the mince into small chunks as you go. Transfer to the oven and bake for 35 minutes, stirring once halfway through and breaking the mince apart again, this time with a fork. Scrape the lamb and potato mix into a medium bowl and keep the tray unwashed, because you’ll be using it again later.

Turn down the oven to 210C (190C fan)/410F/gas 6½. Pile up the tortillas on a piece of foil, wrap them up and put in the oven for six minutes, just to warm through and to make them easier to roll.

To build the enchiladas, put a sixth of the lamb mix in the middle of each warm tortilla, then roll up tightly and place seam side down on the reserved tray. Brush the tortillas with a little oil, then spoon the salsa roja on top and bake for 25 minutes.

Spoon the soured cream over the enchiladas, drizzle with some more oil, then top with the spring onions, avocado and jalapeños, and serve with the lime wedges to squeeze on top.

Blueberry and cream cheese crostata

Cheesecakes and blueberries pies are as American as puddings get. Here, I’ve combined them into one dish. This crostata isn’t overly sweet, which makes it perfect for a brunch spread or an afternoon treat.

Prep 10 min
Cook 2 hr
Serves 6

For the pastry
100g plain flour
50g wholemeal flour
30g icing sugar
¼ tsp salt
145g fridge-cold unsalted butter
, cut into 1½cm cubes
65ml ice-cold water
1 egg yolk, beaten

For the cream cheese filling
200g full-fat cream cheese, softened at room temperature
50g icing sugar
2 tsp cornflour
3-4 limes
– zest grated to get 4 tsp, and juiced, to get 1 tbsp
½ tsp vanilla bean paste, or vanilla extract

For the blueberries
200g blueberries, fresh, or frozen and defrosted
20g icing sugar, plus 1 tsp extra, to serve

First make the pastry. In a large bowl, whisk both flours, the sugar and salt to combine, then add the butter cubes and incorporate them into the flour by squashing each one between your fingers: don’t overwork it though – you want chunks of butter throughout the dough – so just a light squish will do. Add the water and use your hands to gather together the dough into a shaggy mess.

Transfer the dough to a well-floured work surface and use a well-floured rolling pin to roll it out into a roughly 30cm x 20cm rectangle. Fold the longer ends in towards each other, so they meet in the centre, then roll over once with a rolling pin. Fold in the shorter ends in the same way as before, roll out again, then fold in half, and then in half again, so you’re left with a square. Wrap in clingfilm and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, make the base. In a medium bowl, whisk the cream cheese, icing sugar, cornflour, a tablespoon of the lime zest, all the lime juice and the vanilla until smooth and with no lumps.

In a separate bowl, combine the blueberries and icing sugar, and use a fork or whisk roughly to crush the berries until some are mashed and some are whole.

Line a large oven tray with baking paper. On a well-floured work surface, use a floured rolling pin to roll out the chilled dough into a rough, 32cm-diameter circle (it doesn’t have to be perfect). Carefully lift the circle on to the lined tray, spread all over with the cream cheese mixture, leaving a 1cm border all around the edge, then use the back of a spoon to spread it out evenly. Next, dot with half of the crushed blueberry mixture, so there are still some white bits exposed.

Use a knife to make small, 2cm cuts about 8cm apart all around the outside of the galette. Take one of the resulting dough strips and fold it inwards towards the centre. Repeat with the next strip, pulling gently so it overlaps slightly with the previous one and seals the previous fold. Repeat with all the strips all around the edge of the galette, then refrigerate on the tray for 30 minutes.

Heat the oven to 230C (210C fan)/450F/gas 8. Brush the exposed pastry edges with the egg yolk, transfer the tray to the oven and bake for 10 minutes. Turn down the oven to 180C (160C fan)/wgas 4 and bake for another 25 minutes, until golden and cooked through. While the crostata is still warm, gently lift it on the baking paper lining to a cooling rack (this will help prevent it getting a soggy bottom), and leave to cool for at least 30 minutes.

Lightly dust the crostata with the remaining teaspoon of icing sugar, sprinkle over the last teaspoon of lime zest, and serve with the remaining crushed blueberries in a bowl alongside.


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Tater tots and blueberry and cream cheese pie: Yotam Ottolenghi's fourth of July recipes | Food (2024)
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