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Roasted quail, beetroot morani and frying pan yoghurt flatbreads

Eating with your hands and gnawing on bones as if you were in King Henry VIII’s court. Unless you are as skillful with a dinner knife as a surgeon is with a scalpel, the easiest way to eat a small bird such as a quail is with your fingers. It is a messy affair,which means fingers, and little bones, and fiddly, and primal. Hmm, primal.To add to that, mopping up dollops of crimson beetroot borani with chubby home made frying pan yoghurt flatbreads and you have a Moorish Middle Eastern dinner.Its like being transported straight to a Spanish tapas bar.The plate comprises roasted quail desperate to be taken in hand, dusted with Zaàtar and resting proudly on batons of celery.On the side there is a warm crimson borani, the Iranian yoghurt dip, an opulent dish for the senses: delectable, visually stunning and guaranteed to win over the hearts of all those beetroot sceptics out there. A firm old favourite on the Morito menu, back in Blighty.Thick yoghurt mixed with coarsely puréed bettroot, garlic, flor de sal,  and kicked into a sharp finish by some sherry vinegar.  All ready to be mopped up with fluffy flatbread.The colours are violent and the flavours make their own case for themselves,the borani dip adds a punch of garlicky goodness.Grab a flatbread and get dunking.
Roasted  Quail
4 whole plucked quail
Lard, butter or olive oil
2 celery sticks (optional)
Black pepper

Roasting quail is a bedrock skill for any home cook interested in game birds. And while a pretty plucked quail may look like a tiny chicken, they are different enough to warrant their their own recipe. The basic rule for quail is hot and fast. Really hot and really fast. I like about 500°F for about 15 minutes or so. This will cook your little birds nicely, although they will be a little pale — a price to pay for juicy and tender meat. If you really want that pretty brown look, there are two ways to get it. The traditional way is to brown the bird in lots of butter: Butter will brown birds faster than oil and, well, it tastes good.Another way is to blowtorch the bird after it comes out of the oven.

Preheat your oven to 260C, or if it doesn't get that hot, as hot as your oven will go. This will take a little while for most ovens, up to 30 minutes.Coat with butter (your quail will be browner with melted butter) and salt generously. Set aside at room temperature while the oven heats.
When the oven is hot, get a small roasting pan or cast-iron frying pan and set the quail in it. They will want to tip over, so steady them with cut pieces of the celery stick. Try to prevent the quail from touching each other to speed the cooking process.
Roast the quail in the oven for 10 to 18 minutes. The lower end of the spectrum will give you quail that are juicy, succulent and a little pink on the inside -- but pale. The higher end of the spectrum will give you a fully cooked, browner quail, but one that is at the edge of being dry. Your choice.
When you take the quail out of the oven, place on a cutting board and rest for 5 to 10 minutes. 

Beetroot borani
Wash the beetroot but don´t peel it,wrap the beetroot in foil.Bake in a hot oven for about 40 minutes or until tender.the beetroot is ready when a sharp knife goes through easily.When cool, peel the beetroot and blend in a food want some texture in the purée so dont overblend.transfer to a bowl,add the garlic,olive oil and yoghurt.Mix well.
  • 4 medium raw bunched beetroot (about 700g)
  • 1 small garlic clove, crushed to a paste with ½ teaspoon salt
  • 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, plus extra for drizzling
  • 4 tablespoons strained Greek yoghurt

Frying pan yoghurt flatbreads Makes 4 
(adapted from a recipe by Anna Jones)
200g white flour, plus extra for dusting
1 tsp baking powder
200g Greek yoghurt, or 150ml warm water
1 Put all the flatbread ingredients into the bowl of your food processor and pulse until the mixture forms a ball. If you don’t have a food processor, this can be done in a bowl using a fork to begin with, followed by your hands, but it will take a little longer.
2 Tip the dough out on to a clean work surface dusted with flour. Knead for a minute or so, to bring it all together. Put the dough into a flour-dusted bowl and cover with a plate. Put to one side to rise a little for 10–15 minutes. Don’t expect it to rise like normal dough, but it may puff up a tiny bit.
3 Dust a clean work surface and rolling pin with flour, then divide the dough into four equal pieces. Using your hands, pat and flatten out the dough, then use the rolling pin to roll each piece into a disc roughly 20cm in diameter and 2–3mm thick.
4 Warm a frying pan or griddle pan that’s a bit larger than your flatbreads over a medium heat. Once your pan is nicely hot, cook each flatbread for 1–2 minutes on each side, until nicely puffed up, turning with tongs.


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