Saturday 2 January 2010

Chicken with Peppercorns and Ginger

This is a recipe by Anjum Anand. It's simple to make and is one of the best Chicken recipes I've ever had. Give it a bash and then buy the book...Indian Food Made Easy.

You need:

For the marinade..
9 or 10 cloves of Garlic, peeled
10g fresh Ginger - peeled
1 tsp Garam Masala

Other ingredients..
1 Chicken stock cube, dissolved in 3 tbsp hot water
1kg chicken breasts and thighs, skinned
3 tbsp Vegetable oil
1 small Onion - peeled and finely chopped
2 green Chilli
15g fresh Ginger, peeled and sliced into shreds
1 tbsp Ground Coriander
salt, to taste
200ml water
1 tbsp ground Black Peppercorns
1/2 tsp Garam Masala
2 tsp Lemon juice
2 handfuls of fresh chopped Coriander

Blitz the Garlic, Ginger, Garam Masala and Stock together to make a paste. Then cover the chicken with it and leave in the fridge for at least an hour. 2-3 hours is better! Bring the Chicken back to room temperature before cooking.

Heat the oil in pan and add the Onion and sauté for 6-8 minutes until brown. Add the Chilli, Ginger, Ground Coriander and salt, then leave to cook for about a minute.

Add the chicken to the pan with the marinade and brown all over. Pour in the water and Black Pepper, bring it to the boil then lower the heat, cover and simmer for 20-30 minutes. Check often and add a splash more water if needed.

Turn up the heat and leave for 3-4 minutes to reduce the sauce to just a few tablespoons, then stir in the Garam Masala, Lemon juice and Fresh Coriander just before serving with pickles, rice, indian breads etc....

Feeds 4

Printable version of this recipe

Sunday 20 December 2009

Triple Cheese and Onion Strata

Nigella Lawson you saucy mare,
with your bloody great knockers
and your lovely long hair.
Your sultry, sexy glances are a delightful habit,
your voluptuous body like Jessica Rabbit.
Your saucy minx looks are designed to excite,
they made me nick this recipe from the BBC Food site.
The dish it is perfect, it tastes divine,
the recipe is yours, and the poem is mine.

You Need:
1 Baguette, ends chopped off and discarded, cut into 1cm/½in slices and left to go stale
6 Spring Onions, roughly sliced
150g/5oz Mozzarella, roughly chopped
50g/2oz Parmesan, shaved or grated
100g/3½ Cheddar, broken into pieces
100ml/3½fl oz Soured Cream
6 free-range Eggs
small bunch fresh chives, chopped, to garnish

Arrange the stale baguette slices in a layer in a 25cm/10in square dish.
Place the spring onions, mozzarella, parmesan and cheddar into a food processor. Add the soured cream and eggs, then blend until smooth.

Pour the cheese and egg mixture over the bread in the dish, cover with cling film, and leave in the fridge to soak overnight.

When ready to cook, preheat the oven to 180C/360F/Gas 4.

Take the strata out of the fridge and uncover. Bake for 30 minutes, or until completely cooked through.

Remove from the oven and sprinkle with chives and spoon onto serving plates.

Feeds 4

Sunday 13 December 2009

Spicy Spanish Lentils with Sausages

You can easily make this one for a Vegetarian, just leave out the Sausages and Chorizo. As long as you don't overdo it with the meat, this is quite a healthy meal as well!

You need:

8 x Sausages - use the best quality Pork sausages you can get
250g dried Pardina or Puy Lentils
1 x 410g Tin Chickpeas
6 x Shallots - finely diced
2 x Garlic Cloves - finely sliced
1 x Red Pepper - finely diced
1 x teaspoon Ground Cumin
1 x teaspoon Smoked Paprika
2 x tablespoons Olive Oil
1000ml Vegetable Stock (or Chicken stock if cooking for carnivores)
100g Chorizo - sliced
Salt and Black Pepper
Small handful fresh Coriander - chopped
Small handful fresh Parsley - chopped
150ml Red Wine
2 x teaspoon dried Chilli Flakes

Add the Lentils to a saucepan with the Stock, bring to the boil and simmer for 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, heat 1 tablespoon of the Olive Oil in a pan and gently fry the Sausages until cooked. Add the Chorizo to the same pan for the last 5 minutes. Set the cooked Sausages and Chorizo aside. Now add the Shallots, Red Pepper, Garlic, Chilli, Paprika and Cumin to the pan and fry gently for 3 or 4 minutes until the Shallots and Pepper begin to soften.

Drain the Lentils and add them to the Shallots and Peppers in the pan. Add the drained Chickpeas and 1 tablespoon of Olive Oil. Stir well and then add the Red Wine, the herbs and the Salt and Black Pepper to taste. Let the wine come to the boil and then stir well to combine everything together. Don't cook too long or all the wine will be absorbed. You don't want that, as the dish may turn out too dry. By adding the wine last, it will help provide some sauce for the Lentils

Serve with fresh bread

Feeds 4

Printable version of this recipe

Tuesday 8 December 2009

Turkey Tagine

I've posted this one so you can try it in a couple of weeks when you'll have plenty of leftovers to use up. Makes a change from the usual turkey curry, risotto, stew, sandwiches etc. It's a good slow cooker recipe, but can be done on the hob as well

You need:

450g Turkey meat - diced, shredded, sliced, whatever!
2 tablespoons Plain Flour (if using uncooked turkey)
Salt and Black Pepper
2 tablespoons Olive Oil
1 Large Onion - peeled and cut into wedges
4 Garlic Cloves - thinly sliced
1 teaspoon ground Cumin
1 teaspoon ground Coriander
1 teaspoon Turmeric powder
1 teaspoon Ras Al Hanout powder (leave this out if you can't get it)
1/4 teaspoon ground Cinnamon
2 Carrots - diced
300ml - Chicken Stock
75g Dried Apricots - chopped
3 large (beef) Tomatoes - diced
410g Tin Chickpeas - drained
1 large handful Fresh Coriander - chopped

If using uncooked Turkey meat, toss it in the flour, seasoned with the salt and black pepper. Heat half the Oil in a pan and gently fry the Onion and Garlic for 3 or 4 minutes. be careful not to burn the Onion/Garlic, you just want to soften it. Remove with a slotted spoon and place in the slow cooker.

Add the remaining oil to the pan and add the uncooked Turkey meat. Brown on all sides. (If using cooked turkey meat, add it now) Sprinkle in the spices, along with the Carrots and the Stock. Bring to the boil and add the Apricots and Tomatoes. Reduce the heat and then add to the Onions in the slow cooker. Stir well.

Cook on high for 2 hours, then add the Chickpeas and continue to cook on low for another 2/3 hours. Add the chopped Coriander just before serving

Serve with Cous Cous and fresh flat bread or Naan bread.

Feeds 4

Printable version of this Recipe

Sunday 22 November 2009

Beer Can Chicken

Or as Leo now calls it, Beer up the Bum Chicken - This is an easy way of cooking a Chicken and keeping it moist at the same time. No worries about the breast browning and the bottom sitting in the cooking juices either, this way of cooking ensure that the Chicken is cooked evenly all over. I read somewhere once, that to get a perfectly cooked chicken, you just cook it on full whack for an hour regardless of how big it is...I based the cooking time for this recipe around that principle but feel free to stick to whatever the recommended timings are for your size Chicken.

You need:

1 Chicken
1 Large Can Beer - any brand
4 Tablespoons of Cajun Seasoning - you could use whatever you have around.
2 Tablespoons Olive Oil

Pre-heat oven to 200c. Pour the Oil over the Chicken and rub it all over to coat. Take 3/4 of the Seasoning/Rub and rub it into the Chicken, making sure you coat the breast and legs well.

Drink half the can of beer. Pour the remaining Seasoning/Rub into the beer can. Stick the beer can up the Chickens bum, so it "sits" upright on the can. Make sure the drinking end of the can is inside the chicken :-)

Now carefully place the Chicken into a roasting dish and make sure it's stable and won't fall over. Place in the oven and cook for an hour OR for the recommended time depending on the size of your Chicken - mine was a medium sized bird and an hour was fine.

Remove from the oven and let sit for 10 minutes before removing the can and carving. Serve with all the usual chickenny things.

Feeds 4

Sunday 8 November 2009

Blackberry Liqueur

A little late in the year to make this with fresh berries, but it does work just as well with frozen if you have any stashed away.

You need:

3 cups of fresh (or frozen) Blackberries
3 cups of Vodka - get the best you can afford
1 cup of Caster Sugar
1 cup of Water

Add the Sugar and Water to a pan and heat slowly until all the Sugar has dissolved. Allow to cool to room temerature

Now pour the Vodka into a large, clean glass container or decanter - for info, 3 Cups of Vodka is approx a 75cl bottle, give or take. Add the Sugar syrup and the Blackberries, taking care not to crush the berries. Cover with clingfilm and leave to infuse for at least 2 weeks. You can give it a stir every couple of days, but don't go wild and crush the fruit.

After 2 weeks, strain the drink through a fine muslin or cloth into bottles - 1 large or a couple of small. Resist the temptation to drink it right away, but leave it to sit for another couple of week if you can.

The colour is a really deep purple and it tastes great. This would make an ideal home made Christmas present.

Makes approx 1 litre.

Sunday 25 October 2009

Cheese Scones

Guest blog from my Mum today....

I cooked these for my Son, he was suitably impressed and thought them worthy of a place on his blog.

450g Self Raising Flour
150g Butter
2 Eggs
4 Tablspoons Milk plus extra for brushing over.
1/2 Teaspoon Mustard Powder
1/4 Teaspoon Cayenne Pepper
approx 100g of strong flavoured Cheese - grated

Preheat oven to 200c

Rub butter into flour until like fine breadcrumbs. Add a pinch of salt & pepper, and mustard & cayenne pepper. Then add cheese & mix.

Beat eggs with milk & add to flour mixture until a soft dough is formed. Turn onto floured surface and knead lightly until smooth. Roll or pat until approx 2.5cm thick and cut with 8cm cutter, brush with milk and sprinkle with cheese.

Place on baking tray a few cm apart, brush with milk and bake for approx 15 mins or until golden and risen.

A sprinkle of mixed herbs is also a nice addition if liked, added at the dry stage.

Makes 10-12

Tuesday 20 October 2009

Sausage Meatballs with Macaroni

Not the most attractive dish to look at, but these are probably the tastiest meatballs i've ever had. It's a bit fiddly to make, but well worth the effort if you are wanting to feed a lot of people

You need:

150ml Olive Oil
2 Garlic Cloves - crushed
100g Fresh Breadcrumbs
50ml Milk
Handful of Chopped Parsley
2 Large Onions - finely diced
500g Beef Mince - best you can afford
500g Italian Sausages - approx 8. Squeeze the meat from the skins
200ml Red Wine
2 x 400g Tins Chopped Tomatoes
500g Macaroni
1 Large (family size) Jar of White Pasta Sauce
100g Mature Cheddar or Gruyere - grated
Salt and Black Pepper

Heat the oven to 200c.

Heat the oil in a large frying pan, and then add the Onions, Garlic and a good grind of Black Pepper and Salt. Cook slowly on a low heat until the Onions are softened but not colored. Remove half the Onions with a slotted spoon and place in a large mixing bowl with the Breadcrumbs and Milk. Remove the rest of the Onions from the pan and set aside.

Mix the Beef Mince and the Sausage Meat, the Parsley and plenty of salt and pepper, into the Breadcrumbs/Milk/Onions. Use your hands to mix everything very well! Shape the mixture into meatballs and set aside on a plate

Cook the Macaroni according to packet instructions, drain and set aside. While you do that, heat the oil again and then brown the meatballs in batches until browned all over. When all the meatballs are browned, return the Onions to the pan along with the Wine. Bring to the boil and stir in the Tomatoes and the Meatballs. Simmer for 5 mins.

Tip the cooked Macaroni into the Meatball sauce and mix well. Tip everything into the largest casserole dish you have (or use two!), the pour over the White Sauce. Top with the grated Cheese and then bake for 30-35 minutes until bubbling and golden

Serve with fresh bread to mop up the sauce

Feeds 6 - 8 easily

Saturday 10 October 2009

Beef and Herb Khoresh

This is an Iranian (Persian) dish and i found the recipe in an old cookbook. It says there are Vegetarian versions so if anyone has one, please let me know!

You need:

3 tablespoons Olive Oil
1 Large Onion - chopped
450g Stewing Beef - cubed
2 teaspoons Ground Turmeric
1/2 teaspoon Ground Cinnamon
600ml Cold Water
25g Fresh Parsley - chopped
25g Fresh Chives - chopped
400g tin Red Kidney Beans - drained
juice of 1 Lemon
Salt and Black Pepper

Heat 2 tablespoons of the Oil in a large pan and fry the Onion for 3-4 minutes until lightly coloured. Add the Beef and fry for another 10 minutes until browned on all sides. Add the Turmeric and Cinnamon and cook for another minute, then add the Waterand bring to the boil. Cover and simmer for 45 mins, stirring every now and then.

Heat the remaining Oil in a pan and then fry the Parsley and Chives over a medium heat for 2-3 minutes, stirring all the time.

Add the Kidney beans and the fried Herbs into the Beef, along with the Lemon Juice. Season with Salt and Pepper to taste, then simmer the stew for a further 35 minutes to allow the sauce to reduce and thicken slightly. Once the meat is tender, serve on a bed of rice or cous-cous

Feeds 4

Sunday 27 September 2009

Spiced Kefta with Lemon

Kefta are Lamb meatballs, flavoured with Onions, Herbs and Spices. This is a North African dish and is a good one to try if you have friends round. You can serve the dish in the middle of the table and let everyone dig in.

You need:

450g Minced Lamb
2 Onions - grated or blitzed to a puree
1 teaspoon Ground Cinnamon
1 teaspoon Ground Cumin
1 teaspoon Cayenne Pepper
1 Fresh Chilli - finely chopped
20g Butter
2 tablepoons Olive Oil
25g Fresh Root Ginger - finely chopped
2 tablespoons Fresh Parsley - chopped
25g Fresh Coriander - finely chopped
Juice of 1 Lemon
1 Lemon - quartered
300ml Cold Water
Salt and Black Pepper
Pinch Saffron if available - if not use Turmeric or Paprika for colour

In a large mixing bowl, add half the Onion to the Lamb, along with the Cinnamon, Parsley, Cumin and Cayenne. Season well with Salt and Pepper, then get your hands in there and mix everything well for about 5 minutes. Shape the Lamb into small balls - about the size of a walnut.

Take a heavy based pan (with a lid) and melt the Butter with the Olive Oil. Add the remaining Onion, the Ginger, Chilli and Saffron (or Turmeric/Paprika)if using. Cook gently until the Onions begin to colour, about 10 minutes, then add the Coriander and Lemon juice.

Pour in the water, then bring to the boil and add the Lamb meatballs. Reduce to a simmer and cover the pan. Poach the meatballs gently for about 20 minutes, turning every few minutes. Remove the lid, tuck the Lemon quarters into the pan and then simmer lid off fo a further 10 mins to allow the sauce to reduce.

Serve with fresh bread to mop up the juices, or with Cous Cous or rice.

Feeds 4
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