Chilli

Week 77: Smashed-up Chicken with Garlic & Chilli Pasta

I still can’t find baby leeks.  So to console myself I savagely beat some chicken breasts after work.

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Week 68: Mama’s Curry & Spiced Cauliflower

Don’t worry, it’s not my mama (the poisoner).  That would be terrible, and probably contain a lot of bran.  No this mama belongs to a lady called Anjie Mosher in the second Hairy Bikers’ Best-Loved Recipes book, and it’s delicious. Also, this week is a bit of a two-for-one – they’re separate recipes that are delicious by themselves but go together really well. (more…)

Week 63: Daal Curry, Warm Tomato Salad and Naan

I know, I know, I know. It’s December, cook sommat festive you fool. I wish I had actually, cos here’s a thing Mr Oliver didn’t mention: Fenugreek stinks. And lingers. I’m not even being a bit precious for my tiny flat here, it’s been two nights since I made it and it still scrapes at my eyeballs in the style of a chemical attack when my cold and I came back to the flat tonight. And I had a massive dirty three-pan fry-up last night which I thought would’ve got rid of it…

The moral of this pre-christmas story is: if you can’t find fenugreek, don’t start pounding the leafy streets of West London to find a fenugreek tree to harvest; shrug and forget about it – this curry is delicious and probably won’t miss it.

So anyway, to make this for for you will need: an onion, a clove of garlic, a thumb sized piece of ginger, 2 fresh chillies, a red pepper (de-seeded), a bunch of coriander, rapeseed oil (I couldn’t find that so I used sunflower), fresh curry leaves (I used dry), 1 tsp turmeric, 1 tsp fenugreek seeds, 1tsp mustard seeds, 300g dried red lentils, 1 400g tin coconut milk, 200g baby spinach, and 700ml boilingwater.

That’s just for the daal, for the salad you will need: 500g ripe mixed-colour tomatoes, a lemon, 1 tsp chilli powder, 1 tsp mustard seeds, and two cloves of garlic.  Serve with naan bread and some yoghurt.

Somehow I managed to get this done in about 20-25 minutes, mostly by having a sous chef. It all took quite a while in the blender which definitely took me over the 15 minutes, I didn’t cut the bits up small enough.

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Turn on a large casserole pan high and the oven on 130c. Chuck the onion (peeled and cut up a bit), the garlic and ginger, the chillies, pepper, corriander stalks, and after seasoning with some salt and pepper blitz it until it’s all chopped up small.

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When that’s done put a tablespoon of oil into the pan with the curry leaves, turmeric, fenugreek (don’t) and mustard seeds.  Stir it up, add the blitzed veg and fry for a couple of minutes then add the lentils, the tin of coconut milk, and 700ml boiling water. Bring to the boil and stir regularly.

Naans in the oven and put the frying pan on low. Halve all the tomatoes, thinly slice half of the lemon (including the skin), and crush 2 cloves of garlic if you don’t have one of those fancy garlic crushers. Add 1tbs oil, the chopped lemon slithers, 1tsp mustard seeds, the garlic and squeeze the other half of the lemon over the mix. Toss the tomatoes round the pan and serve in a posh bowl.

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The daal should have thickened by now so add the spinach and stir until it’s wilted.  Get yer naans out and plate up your daal.

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I’m not entirely sure if I’d make it again, it was lovely but I hadn’t planned on it doubling as a chemical weapon – which has also given me a vicious pre-christmas cold.  I wouldn’t make the tomatoey bit again, it was OK – good for a different texture, but I wasn’t a fan of the lemony bits.

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So next week is Boxing Day – don’t even think about getting your bubble and squeak on until you’ve read new recipe night!  Merry Christmas!!

 

Jamie’s 15 Minute Meals by Jamie Oliver (Penguin 2012 ISBN: 978-0-718-15780-7)

jamie 15min

Week 56: Chilli Con Carne Meatballs

When I told my lover I was making this recipe a look of horror crossed his face and he said those immortal words “you’re not going to attempt it in 15 minutes are you?”

Yep, that’s right, I’m having another bash at something from Jamie’s 15 Minute Meals. And no, I was not going to attempt it in 15 minutes (but I would still use every single utensil I own, as are the rules).  I’ve been making the bulgur wheat part of this recipe for a while, as an alternative to rice with other chilli; without the lemon though as it makes it taste a bit like a Yankee Candle…

To make this for four you will need: 300g bulgur wheat, a preserved lemon, a cinnamon stick, 400g lean beef mince, garam masala, olive oil, 3 jarred red peppers, 4 spring onions, smoked paprika, 700g passata (I couldn’t find a 700g jar so I think I used 675g or something like that), bunch of coriander, 400g tin of kidney beans, cumin seeds, and fat free yoghurt and a lime to serve.

I won’t write down the meathod as written in the book, because I didn’t follow it and it came out fine. To start get your liquidiser out and add the jarred peppers, three of the spring onions, a heaped teaspoon of smoked paprika, the passata, half the coriander and some salt and pepper and blitz it until it’s a smooth paste.

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Next, wash your hands and squash up the mince, salt, pepper, and a heaped teaspoon of garam masala. Next (and this seems to pie the important bit) wet your hands and divide the meat into 16 balls and rub them round into a ball shape and put them on a plate and put the kettle on.

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Heat a tablespoon of olive oil in a large frying pan and measure out 300g (a mug-full) of the bulgur wheat.  Add 2 mug-fulls of boiling water, a preserved lemon, a cinnamon stick and the the bulgur wheat to a medium pan (medium heat) and put the lid on. This needs to cook for about 15 minutes.

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Add the meatballs to the hot frying pan one or two at a time, and toss-roll the around each time you add them which seems to make them rounder… which is strange… Let them brown for about 5 minutes, rolling quite often to keep them cooking evenly.   Heat another pan and pour in the sauce from the liquidiser (slosh the liquidiser jug around with some water and add this to the sauce).

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Drain and rinse the kidney beans and add them to the frying pan with the meatballs with a pinch of cumin seeds and after a minute or so transfer the meatballs to the pan with the sauce with your trusty kitchen tongues – leave the kidney beans to cook for a bit longer before stirring them into the sauce too.

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By now the bulgur wheat should be done (as in all the water has evaporated and you’re left with wheat, the cinnamon stick and the lemon), remove the cinnamon and then mash the lemon into the wheat.  Plate it up with a dollop of yoghurt, some coriander and the other spring onion chopped up decoratively.

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It was very chilli-ish; the sauce was like a slightly hot tomato sauce – maybe it needed more paprika and longer to simmer. Maybe a bit more garam masala for the meatballs too? But the meatballs were a resounding success for the first time ever they were smooth and rounded and cooked like balls instead of lumps of knobbly meat. I might miss the coriander out next time too… Definitely one to make again, but not in 15 minutes!

Week 49: Picci Pacci

Gosh well there’s a flash name for ‘Chilli, Basil and Almond Sauce’ but if you can’t wave a bit of italian around the kitchen every now and again what can you do?  This recipe is from my beloved Cupboard Love book, and Tom Norrington-Davies thinks Picci Pacci might mean something like ‘this and that’.

The recipe does indeed involve putting a bit of everything in, I saw that it had almonds in and was sold.  I was hoping that it would be a quick after work pasta fest like the fishy pasta (https://newrecipenight.wordpress.com/2013/11/25/week-9-linguine-with-sardines-anchovies-and-parsley/) or the tomato-ey pasta (https://newrecipenight.wordpress.com/2014/06/06/week-35-spaghetti-and-tinned-plum-tomatoes/) but it wasn’t as such.  The actual cooking is instant, but it needs time to steep for a couple of hours.

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For two people you will need: 200g spaghetti/linguine, 50g blanched almonds, 400g tin peeled tomatoes, extra virgin olive oil, 2 cloves of garlic, 2 tablespoons of chopped basil (or parsley, I used parsley), 1 teaspoon red wine vinegar or balsamic vinegar (I used balsamic) half teaspoon salt, pinch of sugar, half a teaspoon dried crushed chilli flakes.

To start drain the tinned tomatoes into a sieve or strainer and squeeze out all the juice, just like on the tomato-ey pasta. Put the pulp into a bowl with 3 tablespoons olive oil, the finely chopped garlic, the basil/parsley, vinegar, salt, sugar, and chilli flakes; stir it all together and leave to steep for an hour or two.

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Heat the oven to a medium heat and toast the almonds for 10 minutes. Allow to cool and then chop them up (50 grams looks a lot for two people, but I found I ate loads of them before they got anywhere near the table.

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Cook the pasta as recommended on the packet (use good quality pasta) then drain it, return it to the pan and stir the sauce in straight away. Plate up and sprinkle the almonds over them.

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While this has a total cooking time of about 20-25 minutes the steeping makes it a bit of an effort for a work night. I’m not sure how the sauce would cope steeping a whole day outside the fridge, and away in the fridge would make it too cold to stir into the pasta with being heated. But it is so delicious I would definitely make it on the weekend, and should you. YUM!

 

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

cupboard love

Week 48: Broccoli Pasta chopped Garden Salad

I do declare that this was the last salad of the summer – I’d planned on cooking something a bit more hearty as the weekend felt a bit back-endish (which is a Nottinghamshire term for autumnal, nothing rude haha) but my lover came in clutching the Jamie Oliver book and insisted.

It’s as if he wanted me to spend hours cleaning the kitchen…

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Apparently he’d had his eye on this recipe for a while, understandably so – it’s got a very pretty picture 🙂 this recipe is for four, but with a chunk of garlic bread or something it’d do 6 I reckon (with dessert).  To make this you will need 320g dried orecchiette (or similar small pasta) a bunch of fresh basil, a 50g tin of anchovy fillets in oil, a lemon, 2 cloves of garlic, a dried red chilli, 30g Parmesan, a large head of broccoli and 50g pine nuts. For the salad you will need  2 carrots, 1 avocado, 3 ripe tomatoes, olive oil, balsamic vinegar  and rocket (Jamie asks for 70g, but I used the whole pack – what else was I going to do with it?)

Now, usually I would type out the method to the letter, but this recipe just doesn’t work well if you try and do it as it is in the book.  Firstly, cut the florets off your broccoli and set them aside for later, then with a box grater grate the stalk and the carrots onto a board (my board got stuck behind the radiator so I used a big serving dish) squeeze and kneed the avocado with your fingers, then squish it out of the skin into the salad (throw away the stone and scrape the skin for any remaining flesh and throw that away too) roughly chop the tomatoes, drizzle with olive oil and balsamic, season with salt and pepper and then toss it all together with the rocket. This is the salad done so pop it on the table out the way.

Next you need to get the liquidiser out, and then turn the kettle on.  Measure out a tablespoon of the oil from the anchovies and tip it in the liquidiser – then drain the rest of the oil and put the anchovies in the liquidiser with the basil and the juice and zest of the lemon. Squash the garlic (Jamie says use a garlic crusher but I don’t have one) and put it in the liquidiser with a splash of boiling water. Then finely grate the Parmesan and add that, and crumble in a dried chilli. I couldn’t find a dried chilli in the whole of Hammersmith, so I kept sprinkling chilli flakes in until it looked like a chilli-worth – it wasn’t the best plan but it was chilli-ish.

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Turn the liquidiser on and keep on going until it’s smooth. While it’s whizzing away pour boiling water into a pasta pan and salt it; then add the pasta and cook as recommended on the packet.

If you’re serving this up at a glamorous party, tip the pesto (which is what you just made by the magic of the liquidiser) into a serving bowl.  Add the broccoli florets to the pasta when it has about 5 minutes to go. Heat up a little frying pan and toast the pine nuts until they’re golden.

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When the pasta and broccoli are cooked, take a cup full of the water from the pan then drain the rest, then tip the pasta into the pesto (if you’re not using a serving dish return the pasta into the pan and tip the pesto in over the top of it) and coat the pasta. Add a bit of the pan water if the pesto needs loosening at all. Sprinkle the pine nuts over the pasta and grate a bit of extra Parmesan over it too. Then serve.

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Doing it in this order takes slightly longer than 15 minutes, but without the panic and total kitchen destruction.

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It was tasty.  It was like a punchier version of the Pasta alla Genovese I made back on week 30 (https://newrecipenight.wordpress.com/2014/05/02/week-30-pasta-alla-genovese/ ) I’d definitely make it again, but not for just the two of us – it’s an impossible recipe to cut in half, so we ended up having it two nights in a row (I put half the pesto and salad into the fridge and did fresh pasta and pine nuts on the second night). It was a bit too much two nights in a row, but it’s definitely one for sharing with friends in the garden on a summer evening with a beer.

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Jamie’s 15 Minute Meals by Jamie Oliver (Penguin 2012 ISBN: 978-0-718-15780-7)

jamie 15min

 

Trying everyone else’s dinner – part 1

A Wednesday post! What’s going on? It’s a shiny new occasional feature for New Recipe Night – it’s got that new feature smell, and this week that smell is peanut.

Don’t you just hate it when you’re out for dinner and someone you’re with leans over and tries something from your plate without asking, and you’re too polite to jab them with your fork… well this is a little like this but I’m using the power of the internet rather than ambushing your dinner off your actual plate.

For a while now I’ve been reading everyone’s food blogs, salivating at the lovely looking meals and book-marked them to try later. And then I didn’t really know what to do next, until the other week when Ngan posted a brilliant post where she cooked food from other peoples blogs (with really cool pictures: check it out http://ngansequitur.com/2014/08/14/cooking-my-way-around-the-web/ ) and it got me thinking – new feature time!

The first recipe I properly tried from someone else’s blog was Dewi’s delicious overnight oats ( http://boycancook.wordpress.com/2014/06/08/blueberry-and-vanilla-overnight-oats/ ) and while it got my lover very excitedly eating oats for the first time ever, he can’t work a camera until well after breakfast time – so not the best contender for a shiny new post – but check out the overnight oats, they’re delicious!

Tonight I had some spare bacon (which never happens) and I had a blog page open (which has been open for a month on my iPad browser thing) and I put two and two together and made dinner 🙂

The recipe I had open is from the brilliant Put Your Cake Pants On blog and is for Spicy Peanut Butter Bacon Cheeseburgers (http://putonyourcakepants.wordpress.com/2014/06/21/spicy-peanut-butter-bacon-cheeseburgers/ ) which have been making me drool a little every time I’ve clicked on that tab.

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I pretty much followed the recipe, but with slightly altered proportions to take into account the size of packs of minced turkey for sale in England (1lb is roughly 450g and everything’s sold in 250 or 500g packs) and then shrank everything to just cook for me and him. Other than not covering my pan when I warmed the cheese, and using pig bacon rather that turkey bacon, I made it exactly as instructed on the blog.

Absolutely delicious! Brilliant alternative to beef for burger night, something I’ve been searching for since my disastrous attempt at vegetable cutlets (https://newrecipenight.wordpress.com/2013/11/26/week-10-vegetable-cutlets/ ) – I’ve been instructed to make it again, but with slightly less peanut butter and slightly more chilli… Sir likes his lips to tingle.

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Another bonus of these burgers is that with one 500g pack of minced turkey I can use half for the burgers, and half for the Keema from week 29 (which I make all the time time https://newrecipenight.wordpress.com/2014/04/25/week-29-korean-keema/ ) – hurrah!

Check out Cakepants blog, and give these burgers a try 🙂

Week 40: South Indian Vegetable Curry

In a moment of vegetable deficiency I walked all the way to the veg stall and bought the world’s biggest cauliflower to make this veg curry I’ve had my eye on in Nigella’s kitchen book.  I’m pretty sure I was mainly attracted to it for the challenge of finding tamarind paste (which was only a challenge because I didn’t look in the bomb-shelter that is Hammersmith Sainsbury’s first).

To make this for four you will need: 2 x tbsp garlic oil, 1 onion, 1 green chilli, 2cm chunk fresh ginger, crushed chilli flakes, turmeric, ground cumin, ground coriander, ground ginger, 1 can of coconut milk, 600ml vegetable stock, 1 tsp sugar, 1 tbsp tamarind paste, 350g cauliflower, 350g broccoli, 100g fine beans, 125g baby corn, and 150g sugar snap peas.  Serve with rice or a warmed naan bread.  Or both…

Firstly,  Break the cauliflower and broccoli into florets, trim and half the beans, half the baby corns, cut the ginger into fine strips, de-seed and finely chop the chilli, and peel and cut the onion into half moons (sort of like orange segments).  While you’re finishing this off start the oil heating in a thick bottomed casserole or a large saucepan.

Fry the onion – sprinkled with a pinch of sea-salt flakes – until the onion starts to soften, then add the chopped green chilli (I used a red one I had left over in the fridge) and the ginger strips.  Nudge it all around the pan for about a minute.

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Add half a teaspoon of chilli flakes, 1 tsp turmeric, 1 tsp ground cumin, 1 tsp ground coriander, and 1 tsp of ground ginger and give it all a good stir to ensure the onion is coated in the spices, and cook for about another minute then pour in the coconut milk, the vegetable stock, a tsp of sugar, and the tamarind paste.  Stir again and bring to the boil.

Nigella says that at this point you can stop cooking to finish off the next day, or portion it up to freeze for another day, and I took half out to put in the freezer – but I had the hob on too high in the next stage and had to add it back to stop it boiling dry.  The flamethrower hob strikes again!

Once the sauce is boiling (either the first time round, or when its been reheated) add the cauliflower and the broccoli and cook for about 10 minutes, then add the beans and baby corns and cook for another 5 minutes.

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Once the vegetables are tender add the sugar snaps and serve when they’re hot.

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Again I’ve tried a new recipe in the summer and decided it’s definitely a winter dish.  It’s delicious, and very cozy, and I’d imagine Ideal for doing something different with the spare un-cooked veg at Christmas – or Thanksgiving if that’s your thing!

 

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

Nigella Kitchen

Week 34: Squash, Coconut, Chilli

I once knew a girl who spent time working at a butternut squash farm, and I’ve never been able to look at them without smirking ever since.  However, I was flicking through the books looking for something simple to cook and found this recipe in Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall’s ‘Three Good Things on a Plate’ on the page after the lentil curry that stank my flat out (https://newrecipenight.wordpress.com/2014/02/21/week-20-lentils-spinach-potato/).

It meant getting over my squash-giggles, but this week I bought my first ever butternut squash.  It’s surprisingly difficult to buy a small one – small being 1kg.  Who knew?

The recipe makes enough curry to serve 4, I would recommend making it in the same quantities as the recipe and freezing half if there’s only two of you (unless you have half a tin of coconut milk handy).  To make this curry you will need: A Squash (800g-1kg, either a Butternut, Kabocha or Crown Prince Squash), Sunflower Oil, 1 Onion, 2 Garlic Cloves, 2-4 Mild or Medium Red Chillies, curry powder/curry paste, Coconut Milk, a Lime or a Lemon, Salt and Pepper.

Since making this I have found out that you can buy prepared chunks of butternut squash, and vegetarians have lots of hacks to make the preparation of them much quicker.  I had no prior Squash-knowledge, and spent ages wrestling the squash into peeled and de-seeded bite-sized chunks with my battered old 50p peeler.  While you’re at it, thinly chop the onion, garlic and chillies, and lay them out on your board as if you’re a Blue Peter presenter (see above).

Heat 2 tablespoons of sunflower oil in a large saucepan, and gently cook the onion over a medium heat for 10 minutes.  Add the garlic and the chillies and after two more minutes stir in a tablespoon (or two) of curry powder/curry paste and cook for a few more minutes.

Toss in the squash, season with salt and pepper and stir it round for a minute or two to make sure the squash is covered in the rest of the mix:

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Pour in the coconut milk, stir, cover, and simmer for 20-25 minutes.  After 15 minutes I tossed in some fine beans like Hugh suggested.  Every so often I gently stirred it, as directed.

When the squash is tender, turn off the heat and stir in the juice of a lemon or a lime; I chose a lime.

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Just as I started cooking the squash my lover came up to me and asked if I thought butternut squashes were like pumpkins, which he is insanely allergic to… but what’s a meal without a spot of peril?

Luckily dinner didn’t kill him, and it has been requested again.  I put 2 chillies in but next time I’m going to put 4 in, or use stronger curry powder, or both.  A delicious curry which makes the flat smell lovely.

Yum!

 

Hugh’s Three Good Things on a Plate by Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall (Bloomsbury 2012, ISBN 9781408828588)

three good things on a plate

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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