Sunday, 27 January 2008

Potato, Chickpea & Spinach

This goes very well with the CTM, below.
Cut 4 big potatoes into chunks, and boil them until only just done. Toss them in ginger & garlic paste, salt, and some turmeric.
Heat oil and fry a chopped onion until soft. Add the potato cubes. Fry it and let them go a bit brown and crusty here and there. Then add a tin of drained chickpeas, and cook until they are hot. Add a bag of washed fresh spinach leaves, which you have shredded and chopped.
Cook until it is all done. This is a dry dish, and goes well with a curry with lots of sauce. But you could add tomatoes and/or coconut milk if you wanted.

Chicken Tikka Masala!

Completely superb, a long list of ingredients but simple to do. You need to marinate a load of chunks of chicken first. I made a big potful to feed 6 people, and used 8 or 9 chicken breasts. Then I made a marinade with these ingredients:
300g plain yoghurt
Couple of spoons tomato puree
Big blob garlic puree
Big blob ginger puree
Spoonful of salt
Generous sprinkle of chilli
Couple of spoonfuls tikka powder
Juice of half a lemon
Let the meat sit in this overnight, or all day.
To make the sauce, get a big pan and chop 8 onions. Fry them slowly in oil for about an hour, until they are soft and golden. Then add:
Spoonful of curry paste
Blobs of ginger & garlic puree
Chilli as desired
Stir, and cook a bit more. Then add:
A carton of passata
A tin of coconut milk
About 100g ground almonds
Blitz it all with a stick blender. Add water if it is too thick. Mine was really thick, and it was bubbling and splutters were going about 2 feet into the air, so I had to make it a bit runnier.
Taste, and you will probably need to add salt. I also added a spoonful of sugar. I was considering adding yoghurt and/or cream at this stage but decided these were unnecessary.
It is now time to cook the marinaded meat, like in the picture. Get your oven as hot as you dare. (I had to take my necklace off, because every time I opened the door, it heated the metal up and burned me.. thats how hard and daring I am.) Anyway. Mine was set at 250c. Lay the meat out in a roasting tin. I added some chunks of pepper too. I also added the remains of the marinade to the sauce (which was just ticking over gently with the lid on at this point).
The meat must have roasted for about 15 minutes. I took it out when it started to get charred, as you can see.
Simply transfer the entire contents of the roasting tin into the sauce. You now have Chicken Tikka Masala!

Eat it with rice, onion bhajis, naan bread, a vegetable dish, and some red wine ....

Sunday, 20 January 2008

Pad Thai (sort of)

This was not a serious, planned attempt at Pad Thai, but it did turn out to be bloody lovely. I began with raw king prawns, and I sprinkled them with thai spices from a jar. I stir fried them in oil, and added beansprouts and shredded veg, then a spoonful of peanut butter. Next, in went the noodles, with a shake of soy sauce and then one of those small packages of creamed coconut.
More ginger & garlic would have been superb.
Oh yes! And I put egg in it. There was a great big panful by the end, even though I was aiming to feed two.

Saturday, 12 January 2008

Chocolate Sauce and Chocolate Truffles! Two Uses for Good Chocolate

Just in case you have some choccie made with 70% cocoa hanging around, still.

1) Make chocolate sauce. Melt it down gently and don't overheat. Remove from heat as soon as (or marginally before) it has all melted. Gently stir in some cream. The sauce is done. While still warm, spoon it over ice cream, or sundaes, or any passing good-looking gentlemen.

2) Cool any leftover sauce, and use it the next day to make chocolate truffles! It should have a soft, fudgy texture. Use a teaspoon to carve out nuggets and lumps, then roll them in cocoa powder. The shape really does not matter. Pile onto a small dish or plate. Slightly erotic to eat (melting, velvety stickiness, and licking fingers, etc ..)

Wednesday, 9 January 2008

Chickpea Curry with Paneer

Cooked with paneer cheese I got from Tescos. Curry paste and onion, plenty of tomato, then chickpeas, and cubes of paneer. Cook for a bit, then sprinkle with coriander leaves.

Thursday, 3 January 2008

Winter Afternoon Fodder: Cheese, Chutney and Biscuits

Altogether now:
Biscuit, well, cracker. Cheese (brie). Chutney (spicy onion).
Biscuit (digestive). Cheese (cheddar). Pickle (Branston).
Biscuit. Cheese (potted Stilton). Chutney (mango).

Wednesday, 2 January 2008

Birthday Cake (for a Banoffee Addict)

I put this together at the request of my banoffee-obsessed son. Essentially, it is banana cake, sandwiched with caramel, (tinned caramelized condensed milk, that is) sliced bananas and whipped cream. The banana cake is gorgeous on its own (as its meant to be) and this is the recipe:

You need:

4oz margarine
10oz sugar (I use soft light brown)
2 eggs
10oz peeled banana (about 4 small ones)
few drops vanilla essence
10oz self raising flour

Heat the oven to 325F, 170c, or gas mark 3.

Grease and line a 2lb loaf tin, but I have also made this in a round tin and this time, in two sandwich tins.
Cream and beat together the margarine and sugar. Beat in the eggs, one at a time. Mash the bananas and fold them in. Sprinkle in the vanilla, then fold in the flour. That's pretty much it.

The original recipe says, bake in the centre of the oven until brown, so you'll have to keep an eye on it depending on what tins you are using. For this, the two sandwich layers only took 45 minutes.

Tuesday, 1 January 2008

Mark Owen's Cheese Pastas & Tomato Pastas

Only a true TT fan (who has watched and absorbed the original Take That And Party video) will understand the title and significance of this pasta treat, whipped up quick for a visiting veggie.

Pasta. Cheese. Tomatas. Oven.