Wednesday, 27 August 2008

Samosas (sort of)

I based my recipe for these on instructions I found at .. ingredients as follows:
2 potatoes, diced
2 carrots, grated or diced
2 onions, diced
2 cups peas
2 spoons curry paste (I used Pataks madras and it turned out really spicy!)
1 spoon sundried tomato paste
200ml stock
At the end - a generous squeeze of lemon, and plenty of salt.
I also added a sprinkle of fennel seeds and some mustard seeds too.
Soften the veg in a pan with 2 tbsp oil. Fry gently for a bit then add the curry paste, tomato paste and stock. Put the lid on and simmer it all until the veg is all cooked, and there is no excess liquid left.
Take a sheet of ready made puff pastry and divide it into 12 squares. Roll each one out until it is large enough to cut out a circle (I used a 4" diameter bowl to cut round). In goes a spoon of curry, fold it over and seal the edges. Place your little pasties onto a baking sheet - don't forget to grease it!! Bake at 220c for 15-20 minutes.

Wednesday, 20 August 2008

Banana Bread by Tamasin Day Lewis

More adventures in the summer holiday baking extravaganza..

Monday, 18 August 2008

Millionaire Shortbread

From Nigella's Domestic Goddess book.

Butter, sugar, butter, flour, butter, sweetened condensed milk, butter, syrup, butter and .. chocolate.

Don't forget the butter.

Stuffed Tomatoes & Peppers Like You Get in a Greek Taverna

Rainy summer holiday cheer yourself up food.

Hollow out some giant tomatoes & peppers, stand them in a roasting dish and sprinkle with some salt & pep.

Brown a chopped onion, some garlic and add 500g minced lamb. Add cinnamon, sundried tomato paste, and a can of chopped tomatoes. (Some dill or mint would also be good but I didn't have any). Then add 250g rice, some stock and simmer away until the rice is almost cooked. The mixture should then be thick and easy to spoon into the peppers & tomatoes. Pour a little olive oil over, put the lids on and cook in a low oven for an hour and a half.

Friday, 15 August 2008

Thai Green Curry

Based on (ie. nearly the same but not quite .. pea aubergines??) as Tana Ramsay's green curry, cooked on the telly. Recipe from the UKTV Food website!

2 tbsp vegetable oil
1-2 tbsp green curry paste
1 tbsp dark brown sugar
1 garlic clove
1 red pepper, diced
1 stalk Lemon grass, roughly chopped into large chunks
2 cm piece Ginger, roughly chopped
800g boneless, skinless chicken thighs, roughly chopped
400ml coconut milk
8 kaffir lime leaves
1 tsp nam pla (Thai fish sauce)
1 tsp dark Soy sauce
1 handful Coriander, chopped, plus extra for garnish
1 handful baby pea aubergines
1 lime, juice only
Basmati rice, to serve

1. Heat the oil in a wok and add the curry paste and sugar. Cook over a medium heat, stirring constantly until the sugar has dissolved. Add the garlic, red pepper, lemon grass and ginger. 2. Brown the chicken thighs in the wok, then stir in the coconut milk, lime leaves, fish sauce, soy sauce and coriander. Place the lid on and allow to simmer under a low heat for 25-30 minutes. 3. Stir in the pea aubergines and cook for 5-6 minutes, until tender. Squeeze in the lime juice to taste. 4. Serve the curry with basmati rice and a sprinkling of chopped coriander.

Monday, 11 August 2008

Creamy Rice Pudding with Apricots

Inspired by Nigella's Stovetop Rice Pudding for Emergencies (from Nigella Bites) this is made with risotto rice in a saucepan. I melted butter, added a sprinkle of nutmeg and a few drops of vanilla essence. In with the rice, then keep adding full cream milk, a little sugar, and a couple of splodges of double cream here and there. Cook it slowly and stir very frequently. We ate it with apricots, vanilla ice cream and more cream poured over! (Inset picture - with Nutella)

Sunday, 10 August 2008

Stew and lots of Big Fluffy Dumplings

Cheap, old fashioned, British, peasant skippers food. I genuinely believe this has medicinal qualities! Its very plain and homely, and warming and comforting ..

You really can make stew however you like but I like to use proper stewing beef, and lots of root vegetables. This stew is meant to be plain and just taste of the meat and the veg - you could of course make this with garlic, and herbs, and wine, but that would be a different kind of dish altogether. So just go with me on this one!

Over quite a strong flame, heat some oil and fry onion and/or leek, then add the meat and brown it. Add a big spoonful of flour, and stir that in. Let it go brown and start to stick to the pan. Then add a bit of stock, stir well to dislodge all the brown crusty bits. Add chunks of carrots, swede, parsnips and turnip. If you like, a handful of pearl barley. Then pour in some good beef stock, bring up to a simmer and stick it in a gentle oven for four hours.

At the end, taste it to see if you want to add salt or a few gravy granules, which will also thicken it a bit more, and make it nice and brown. Add a handful of peas and then make your dumplings. I used perhaps 2 cups of flour and would normally add about a cup of suet to that - although (shh) funnily enough, today I forgot to put the suet in and they were still great! Add a heaped teaspoon of baking powder, even if you used self raising flour. This is how you get them fluffy and light. Season with salt and pepper, and perhaps some dry mustard powder too. Add water until a soft dough is formed. Drop balls of the dough into the bubbling stew and let it all simmer with the lid on for about 15 minutes. They will puff up like clouds, floating on top.

Serve in big bowls, perhaps with some mash and a little blob of horseradish, and eat with a spoon. Mmmm.

Sunday, 3 August 2008

Yet Another Sundae .. Yet More Banoffee

Madeira cake, bananas, condensed evaporated milk fudgy stuff from a tin, lots of caramel fudge ice cream, thick cream, and flake ..

Saturday, 2 August 2008

Paella (well, my take ..)

Bit like paella, bit like risotto .. I had to put parmesan cheese on mine! Don't moan at me for not being authentic, but here is what I did, if you are interested. Because it was gorgeous.
Soften a small chopped onion, a pepper, and some crushed garlic in olive oil. After a few minutes, add bits of spicy sausage, (any you like at all, I used sweet chilli ones) and chicken. When that is all cooked on the outside, add about half a tin of chopped tomatoes, and mix them in. Then add paella rice, and mix in.
Put the kettle on, and get a jug. Into the jug, lob a spoonful of turmeric (unless of course you do have saffron), a dollop of sundried tomato paste, and marigold stock powder. Add the boiling water and you have a very delicious stock - add it to the pan. I used a whole 500g bag of rice and it took about 2.5 pints of water, but just keep tasting and testing as you go along. When it looked like there were about 5 minutes to go, I added raw prawns. That was it.
This really is optional, but when it's on the plate, squeeze some lemon over it, and drizzle with olive oil. Finally, grate over fresh parmesan (I apologise to any passing frowning Spanish people), a grind of black pepper, and jump in.