Month: April 2014

Week 29: Korean Keema

How terribly West London of me.  Ra Ra Raaa.  Haha.  This is a really quick recipe, but don’t set your heart on making it until you’ve tracked down some Gochujang… which I can spell but can’t say.

gochujang

I found it in my local Thai Supermarket, Nigella says that at a push you could substitute any other chilli paste, and as a last result you could make your own by fermenting red chillies, rice, soybeans and salt in a jar under your house like the Korean’s did in the old days… but who has the time?

This is a brilliantly quick and tasty recipe for 2, but I reckon you could serve 3 slightly smaller portions and not be hungry.  You will need: 150g basmati or sushi rice, 250g turkey mince, 3 fat or 6 thin spring onions (chopped) 125g frozen peas, vegetable oil, rice wine, gochujang, honey, soy sauce, and coriander for scattering everywhere.

Start the rice cooking, following the instructions on the packet, and then boil the kettle.

In a mixing bowl whisk together 2 15ml tablespoons of gochujang, 1 tablespoon honey, 1 tablespoon of rice wine, and 2 tablespoons of soy sauce.  This will make the most brilliant horror-film red sauce.  Tip the turkey mince in to this sauce and stir it.  Leave to steep for about 5 minutes.

keema01

While this is steeping chop up the spring onions and heat the wok.  Put the frozen peas in a sieve and pour the boiling water over them – let all the water drain away.  When the wok is hot add a teaspoon of vegetable oil and then the peas and spring onions.

keema02

Stir-fry the greens for 3 or 4 minutes and then add the turkey and the sauce.  Stir-fry this for another 4 or 5 minutes.  (By this time the rice should be done so you can strain it and get ready to serve up)

Make sure you’ve not washed the mixing bowl yet, pour in 2 tablespoons of rice wine and 4 tablespoons of water (I used it from the kettle because it was close and I’m clumsy) and swill out the saucy-winey residue from the bowl into the wok.  Stir fry for about 30 seconds until piping hot.  Serve immediately.

keema04

I made this two days running because I could only get the turkey mince in a 500g packet, and the second day I remembered to artistically scatter coriander over it – but it doesn’t really add anything to it and tastes just as good without.

This is an ideal recipe to cook after work, it’s quicker to make than read, it’s really filling and tastes delicious.  And the gochujang lasts for ages so fill yer boots!

 

Kitchen, by Nigella Lawson (Chatto & Windus 2010, ISBN 9780701184605)

Nigella Kitchen

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Week 28: New Season’s Lamb with Crushed Peas

I’ve had this book on my shelf for years and I’ve never been able to use it.  Gordon Ramsey’s Fast Food – it’s even written in an angry font…

This year Easter has crept up on me, but I’d had my eye on this recipe for a while; waiting for this season’s lamb.  In New Zealand that season is autumn.

I’ve only ever done lamb twice before, first was lamb shanks, the second time was the lamb lollipops a few weeks ago (https://newrecipenight.wordpress.com/2014/01/31/week-17-lamb-lollipops/) so I was intrigued by the idea of poaching it.  I’d mastered eggs, how hard could a bit of sheep be?

Pretty hard actually.

To cook this for four you will need: 4 rumps of lamb (about 140g each), 800ml chicken stock, thyme, a bay leaf, 1 tablespoon black pepper, 1 tablespoon coriander seeds, 300g fresh peas, olive oil, chopped oregano, salt and pepper.  As usual I was just cooking for me and him so halved the amount of lamb, peas and olive oil; but I used the same quantities for the stock.

First put the lamb in a cooking pot/pan in the stock with the peppercorns, coriander, bay leaf or thyme.  Listen up ‘cos this is where I went wrong.   Bring it just to the boil and turn it immediately down and simmer for 8 minutes.  If you take your eye off it –  like I did, and accidentally let it boil for longer then the meat will turn white and go rubbery.

A big draw to this recipe wasn’t just being able to swear like a trooper, I got to use my whizzy new processor while cussing in the kitchen.  Boon!  Blanch/thaw the peas (blanch the fresh, thaw the frozen) and put them in the blender.  Pulse the peas to crush them slightly, not too much.

Fish the lamb out of the stock and place on a warm plate to rest for 10 minutes.  I need a warmer plate, because mine was pretty much cold by the time I came to eat it, even wrapped in tin foil.

Put the peas in a pan with some olive oil and the chopped oregano and warm it through, then spoon the peas onto the plates.  Gordon suggests spooning them into a ring so you can pretend to be eating somewhere posh… so I whipped out a pastry cutter and gave it a bash:

Chop the lamb, sprinkle with salt, pepper, olive oil, rude words, and more oregano and serve.

Would I make it again? Yes I would, just to see if I could get it right.  I’d have to make it for myself, my lover was put off by the cold, rubbery, white meat and told me I could do the peas again but not the rest.

 

Gordon Ramsey’s Fast Food, by Gordon Ramsey (Quadrille Publishing 2007, ISBN 978 1844004539)

Week 27: Sapori Forti

So I slightly burned this the first time round, so I had another crack at it!

It’s been a couple of months since I tried something new from my trusty Cupboard Love book, and as my lover pointed out: a while since I’ve stirred something different into some pasta.  Sapori Forti translates as Strong Flavours, and I’d been glancing at the recipe in a quizzical fashion ever since Week 9 (http://wp.me/p42Dr4-T) and when this week’s New Recipe Night crept up on me I realised I had everything in the cupboard!

To make Sapori Forti for two you will need: 200g pasta (linguine or spiralli), 1 onion (thinly sliced), 2 garlic cloves, 4 or 5 anchovy fillets, 50g black olives, 1 tbs capers, 50g raisins, 1 tbs pine nuts, 1 tbs chopped mint/oregano and some extra virgin olive oil.

First up, pop the raisins in a bowl in some warm water; while these are plumping up finely chop the onion, chop the garlic, roughly chop the capers and the olives and measure out the tablespoon of pine nuts (because you’ll only forget them later, like I did)

Heat 2tbs of normal olive oil in a fairly wide pan and fry the onion and garlic for about 5 or 10 minutes until really softened (keep stirring, but a bit of browning is OK).   Set your pasta water boiling in a different pan.

When the onion is really soft turn the heat down and add the anchovies, cook until they disintegrate and melt into the onions.  While this is melting, put your pasta into the water and cook as recommended on the packet (if you’re the sort to make your own pasta or buy that posh fresh pasta that cooks really quickly, don’t do this for a few more minutes)

After the anchovies are cooked add the olives, capers, raisins, pine nuts and herbs and remove the pan from the heat.  Give it all a good stir and add the extra virgin olive oil, it sort of loosens up and the oil picks up the combined flavours.

When the pasta is done, drain it and return it to the pan – fold the sauce around the pasta and serve.

So the first time I tried it I somehow blackened it to a crisp – without actually burning it – but it tasted so good I had a second bash at it, with new less charred pictures.  I’m glad I did it’s one of the tastiest things I’ve made!  Open your copy of Cupboard Love to page 28 and have it tonight!

 

Cupboard Love by Tom Norrington-Davies (Hodder & Stoughton 2005 ISBN 0 340 83525 5)

Week 26: Merzuez with Halloumi and Flame-Roasted Peppers

Here is a recipe that takes longer to say the title than it does to prepare.

This is a very simple recipe from Nigella Express, the page before my favourite Curry in a Hurry (from Week 8 http://wp.me/p42Dr4-O). To make this for four you will need 8 Merguez (or spicy sausages 340g-ish) 250g block halloumi cheese, 220g jarred flame-roasted peppers, 1 tablespoon of garlic oil.

I had  bit of a mission trying to find the ingredients; it was Monday and my usual butcher was shut.  Off to the big Sainsbury’s I went like a fool.  Sainsbury’s in Chiswick don’t sell Merguez sausages, but they sold spicy pork sausages.  I picked up a pack and went to the butcher’s counter and asked if they were like Merguez – a simple enough question – and the butcher looked at the pack and said:

“I don’t know sir, I’m not a sausage expert”

Off I went to my back-up butcher (who opens when mine is shut) and they had proper lamb Merguez, although they were quite small so I bought six… can’t have enough sausage haha!  I also had a little trouble finding garlic oil – after coming up blank in Sainsbury’s, I googled how to make my own and up popped Nigella’s website which told me that making your own garlic infused Olive Oil was actually a Botulism risk.  So I used olive oil instead.

Enough waffle!  To make this dish start off by turning your oven on to 220c/gas 7 (alter if you have a fan oven) and dust off your low-sided roasting tin.  Put the sausages in the tin:

Cut up the halloumi into 5mm slices and put them in the pan, then cut up the peppers and throw them in too.

Drizzle with oil (I only put a little on, the peppers are pretty oily) and put it in the oven for 15-20 minutes.

While its cooking I would recommend preparing some sort of rocketty salad, or come cous cous to soak up the oil.  I forgot, but my friend made it with salad and really liked it.

When its done in the oven the halloumi should have coloured in places – my ovens pretty fierce so it burned a little, but I think that added to the flavour!

I like this, and I really liked how simple it was to make, but my lover isn’t keen on halloumi so I’m not allowed to make it again!  Can’t win them all.

 

Nigella Express, by Nigella Lawson (Chatto & Windus 2007 ISBN 9780701181840)