Aubergine Curry

27 Oct

Ingredients

2 aubergines

A handful of Thai basil

6 tbsp veg oil

3 lime leaves

20g fine green beans

2 salad onions

50 ml light soy sauce

80 ml coconut cream

Paste

2 tbsp coriander seeds

Punch of cumin seeds, toasted

4 lemon grass

5 garlic cloves

1 red chilli

1/2 shallot

18g galangal paste

1/2 tsp ground white pepper

2 tsp coarse Sea salt

2 tsp dried chilli

Crab Pasta

23 Oct

One of my go-to dishes (again), that I absolutely love. It’s as simple as it gets, but amazingly good.

Through my food journey I have discovered that crab is (probably) my favorite shellfish. I’m not very good at breaking down a crab without leaving lots of little crab shells in the mix, so I tend to buy the clean WHITE crab meat (brown is too fishy for me). Anyway, here’s a dead cert for you.  Crab is great for pasta as it coats it nicely and you feel you have more crab than you actually do.

Ingredients

  • Olive oil
  • 1 pack of crab white crab meat (Waitrose has a good one, but you can get from local fish mongers too)
  • Chives or garlic chives
  • Garlic
  • cherry tomatoes (mixed colour if you can find them, quartered)
  • White wine
  • Seasoning
  • Lemon (rind to cook with the ingredients – the lemon juice to add to the dish once serving)
  • Optional 1: One red chilli – seeds removed
  • Optional 2: Samphire (I add it when I can as it’s a nice crunch and salt experience). The asparagus of the sea, apparently! It is quite salty, so keep that in mind!

That’s it. That’s how easy it is. Fry all of the ingredients in some olive oil (except the crab) During this time, cook the pasta to an al dente stage. Stir the drained pasta into the crab mix, ensuring it is coated evenly. Eat immediately.

The important thing is not to over cook anything. The crab literally needs less than a minute. Cook a bit longer and it becomes a bit like the tuna can. You will want the fresh crab meat.

Chris’s Squash Curry (v)

21 Oct

Ingredients

  • 2 onions
  • 2 chillies
  • 2 garlic
  • 2 tablespoons curry powder
  • 1 teaspoon mild chilli
  • 2 vegetable stock
  • Several ripe tomatoes – 5 or so
  • 1 Squash (chipped into 1.5 cm squares)
  • French Beans halved
  1. Gently fry onions. Add in chilli and garlic.
  2. Gently fry
  3. Add chopped tomatoes
  4. Simmer a bit
  5. Add in the stock
  6. Ad in the squash and simmer for a while
  7. Add in the beans

Check taste, and balance. Once squash is cooked (about 30 mins), serve with rice.

Tip! We tried adding white fish to it (cod) and it worked really well as a fish curry too!

Confit Chicken Legs

21 Oct

Ingredients 

  • 4 chicken legs
  • 4 thyme sprigs and thyme leaves
  • 50g sea salt
  • 1 lemon zest
  • 1 lemon cut in squares
  • 2 shallots, split in half
  • 3 semi-crushed garlic cloves
  • 1 tarragon spring
  • 1 l olive oil

Method

Mix the thyme leaves with the salt and lemon zest. Rub over the chicken legs, then chill for 1 hr. Heat oven to 140C/120C fan/gas 1.

Pat the chicken dry with kitchen paper. Place in a small roasting tin with the remaining confit ingredients. Bake in the oven for 2-2 1 / 2 hrs until tender. You can prepare the meal up until this point. It stays fine for days in the oil as long as it’s completely covered in oil.

When you’re ready to finally eat the chicken, get the legs out of the oil and wipe off the worst of the fat. Put the legs in a hot oven and let the skin get brown, nice and crispy and the inside will have reheated by then. Now it’s ready to eat. The meat will just fall off the bone. The skin is crispier than any roast chicken you could think of.

Serve with salad, potatoes of any variety or whatever else you prefer as a side dish to chicken.
P.S. Reserve and strain the oil – this is great for roasting veg or making more confit. Reserve the shallot and garlic.

Lotta’s Fish Soup

21 Oct

This is a soup my oldest friend in the world (known her since I was three!) welcomed us with in her home in the very North of Sweden (Luleå). It is one of the best soups I’ve ever had. My hubby – who – doesn’t – trust – fish dishes ended up loving it just as much. In fact, it’s almost always him making it for us nowadays. The broth alone is to die for, so make sure you make loads of that!

 

Ingredients

  • Saffron (to taste)
  • Olive oil
  • 1 red onion (chopped)
  • 1 fennel (sliced)
  • 3 cloves of garlic (crushed)
  • 2 cans of crushed tomatoes
  • 30ml dry white wine
  • 1l fish (or chicken) stock
  • 350 grams of potatoes (cut into dice sized squares)
  • 750 grams of white fish cut into smaller sizes (cod, haddock or something similar)
  • 1 pack of cooked prawns (I like the very small ones)
  • Optional: 1 fresh red chilli

Method

Saute onion and fennel in some olive oil and saffron (+ chilli if used).

Add garlic, tomatoes and wine. Let simmer until the sauce thickens.

Add stock and potatoes. Leave it simmering until potatoes are almost cooked.

Add fish and let it cook for three more minutes.

Throw in the prawns to quickly heat through before serving with fresh crusty bread and aioli.

Chickpea and Butternut Squash Tagine (v)

12 Nov

IngredientsChickpea and Butternut Squash Tagine

1 tbsp olive oil

1 red onion, finely chopped

2 garlic cloves, crushed

1 tsp grated ginger

½ tsp ground cumin

1 tsp ground coriander

1 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp mild chilli powder

500g bag frozen butternut squash chunks

2 carrots , cut into small dice

1 courgette , cut into small dice

2 x 400g cans chopped tomatoes

2 x 400g can chickpeas, drained

Other veg that needs eating up e. g. French Beans, Aubergine etc

Fresh Coriander

Serve with couscous or plain rice

Method
Heat the oil in a heavy-based pan, then slowly cook the onions for around 10 mins until starting to caramelise. Stir in the garlic, ginger and spices and cook for a further 2 mins. Add the vegetables and canned tomatoes and bring to a simmer. Put the lid on and simmer for around 15 mins or until all the veg are tender. Stir in the chickpeas, heat through and serve with couscous or rice.

 

(A slight variation of BBC Good Food’s recipe)

Sweet Potato Groundnut Stew (v)

6 Nov

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We’re trialling Veggie November. Here’s a recipe my hubby tried out last night (Thanks Brie!). Served with plain rice.

Ingredients:

2 onions, chopped
3 cloves chopped garlic
3 cm root ginger, minced
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1 heaped tbsp curry paste or 1 tsp each cumin, coriander, turmeric & mustard seeds
500g sweet potatoes , cubed
450ml passata
450ml vegetable stock
300mg button mushrooms
300g fresh spinach or chard (or several blocks of frozen)
6 tbsp peanut butter
2 tbsp fresh coriander
salt & pepper

(I don’t stress about having all the ingredients – I rarely do it with fresh coriander, and often don’t have mushrooms around, so I just make it with what I have…)

Instructions:
1. Heat 1-2 tbsp oil & cook onion, garlic and ginger for 5 minutes. Add cayenne & curry paste/spices and fry for a few more minutes
2. Add sweet potatoes & stir through, coating in spices, then add passata and stock. Bring to the boil, then cover and simmer 15-20 mins
3. Rinse & halve the mushrooms if they’re large, and wash/shred spinach. In a separate pan, heat a tbsp of oil and sautee the mushrooms for 5 mins. Add to cooked potatoes along with spinach, and cook for 5 mins
4. Soften the peanut butter with a bit of the juice from the stew, then stir it in until dissolved. Season to taste and serve garnished with the fresh chopped coriander

Fish Curry

17 Jan

fish curry

I admit, I tend to prefer chicken to any other protein in almost all the cooking I do, but a pescetarian friend was coming over for dinner the other night so decided to give this one a go.

This is a basic korma recipe but with a bit more of a bite of chilli and with lime which gives a nod to the south east Asian cuisine as well. I replaced the chicken with some firm white fish. I used river cobbler, but any white fish would do.Prawns could work as well. This one serves 2-3 people.

Ingredients:

400g white fish, cut into cubes.
1 onion finely sliced
1 tbsp ground coriander
1/2 tsp black pepper
1 tsp garam masala
1 tsp turmeric
1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp cinnamon (or use a cinnamon stick)
Curry leaves  or a bay leaf (optional)
1 can coconut milk
Salt
Juice of 1/2 lime (or lemon)
A pinch of sugar (if needed)
Fresh coriander

Marinade:

150g natural yogurt
1 inch ginger, peeled and grated

Puree:
1 shallot
1 red chilli
2 garlic cloves

Method:

  1. Marinade the cubed fish in the yogurt and the grated ginger for a couple of hours.
  2. Make a puree of one peeled shallot, 1 deseeded red chilli and 2 garlic cloves in a blender/food mixer.
  3. Gently sautee the sliced onions in a sautee or frying pan with high edges.
  4. Add the puree mix to the pan with the coconut milk and all the spices. Let it simmer for about half an hour on low heat to allow the spices to blend and mature.
  5. Add the fish mixture (including the marinade) into the pan for the last five minutes of the cooking time.
  6. Taste and adjust flavour by adding lime and sugar. Should you wish to have more heat, just add some more chilli
  7. Add some fresh coriander into the mix just before serving.
  8. Serve with rice and naan bread.

Chicken Dhansak (Murgh Dhansak)

27 Jul

One of my favorite Indian dishes in any curry house as I’m a die hard fan of lentils. This particular one is extremely low fat and very tasty!

Ingredients:

Sauce:

  • 60g yellow split peas
  • 250g butternut squash (peeled and roughly chopped)
  • 1 large carrot
  • 3 cauliflower florets
  • 3 table spoon of oil
  • 4 garlic cloves (crushed)
  • 4cm piece of ginger, finely chopped
  • 1 large onion
  • 500g of skinless chicken breast fillets (cubed)
  • 1 large tomato finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon of tomato paste
  • 3 tablespoons of finely chopped fresh coriander
  • 2 red or green chillies (chopped)

Spice mix:

Whole spices:

  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 2 cloves (ground)
  • 4 cm cinnamon stick
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 3-4 fresh or dried curry leaves

Ground spices:

  • 1/2 teaspoon of fennel
  • 1/4 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon coriander
  • 1/2 teaspoon ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon garam masala
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric

 

Method

1. Mix all the ingredients for the sauce and boil in some water until all the vegetables are soft. Puree it all into a paste like sauce. Add more water if needed.

2. Fry off the whole spices for 30 seconds

3. Fry the chicken until lightly brown all over.

4. Add puree and add all the spices and the vegetable paste and let cook for 2-25 minutes. Add more water if needed.

5. Serve with rice or home made chapati flatbread.

Yummy Pineapple Pie

28 Jun

AnanaspajThis yummy dessert has the look and feel of a cheesecake but not as heavy. It’s absolutely delicious and extremely easy to do. My friends adore it and are visibly disappointed if it’s not part of my dinner party menu. I sometimes vary the fruit with fresh strawberries (when in season), but reduce the amount of sugar in the filling as strawberries have a natural sweetness.

 

Ingredients:

Pie crust

  • 150g butter
  • 300 ml flour
  • 100 ml sugar
  • 1 tsp baking powder

Filling

  • 1 can crushed pineapple (400ml) – all liquid thoroughly drained through a sieve prior to adding to mix
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 200ml crème fraiche
  • 1 tbsp vanilla sugar
  • 1 egg

Method

1. Put all the ingredients for the crust in a sauce pan on very low heat until the butter has just melted enough to be easy to work. Press the filling into a pie tin and shape along the bottom and the edges. A tin with removable sides is recommended. Leave to cool.

2. Mix all the ingredients for the filling in a bowl and stir until evenly mixed. Pour the filling into the pie tin and place it in the oven at 175 degrees/gas mark 4 for approx 25-30 minutes. Check it from time to time by giving it a bit of a shake. If the filling seems a bit too runny, leave it a bit longer. It should have just set when you take it out.

Serve it warm with a bit of vanilla ice cream on the side. Yum!