Five spice peanuts


I got the idea for this from the Wheatsheaf in Combe Hay, which is one of the last remaining country pubs within walking distance of my house. It probably isn’t in any danger of closing, as it’s the only pub I’ve ever been to where customers arrive via helicopter and brag shamelessly about what a down-to-earth chap Eric is (“Clapton, yah, lovely fellow”). The food is tremendously posh, the beer surprisingly cheap, and although it’s packed with restaurant tables inside, you can sit outside and enjoy the view from their lovely garden while getting buffeted by some rich bugger’s chopper.

A couple of weeks ago they had a bowl of peanuts like these on the bar and I was most impressed.
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Giant couscous tabbouleh


I decided to make this tabbouleh with giant couscous, which doesn’t really bear much resemblance to normal couscous. The grains are like little pearls, retaining some bite after cooking, and they’re prepared via braising rather than just pouring boiling water over the top, so they have a lovely toasted flavour. For a more correct tabbouleh, use just bulgur wheat (which is also included here for bulk, as it’s much cheaper and easier to find than giant couscous).
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