Korean Beef stir-fry

What is one to do when left with a gorgeous cut of meat? Well other than eat it as is, would have been delicious given the meat in question was a 300 gm rump of steak with a fabulous chimicurri sauce. But I had other plans for the leftover steak. ( Where did I order this gorgeous steak? It was at CAU in Blackheath where I was invited for an Argentinian Street Food Masterclass where I learnt how to make empanadas and sampled some amazing authentic Argentinian cuisine. CAU group of resturants is raising funds for the charity Action Against Hunger with the launch of #CAUnival a month long celebration of an ‘Friend’s Day’ or Dia do Amigo. Read all about it here )

Argentinian Lomito Steak with Chimichurri

Argentinian Lomito Steak with Chimichurri

The thought of a spicy Korean beef stir fry served with a comforting bowl of rice was very appealing. I wanted to ensure that I made the most of the succulent medium rare cooked beef and gave the vegetables just the right amount of flavour without any flavour overpowering the already moreish chimichurri dressing.

Korean Beef Stir Fry

Korean Beef Stir Fry

Ingredients:

  • 250 gm beef  (in this case I was leftovers from a medium rare cooked steak with a chimichurri sauce)
  • 2 tbsp sesame oil
  • 2 tbsp Chimmichuri dressing
  • 2-3 cloves of garlic
  • 1/2 a red Thai chilli
  • 250 gm of vegetables – carrots sliced into ribbons, green beans, bok choy
  • 2 tbsp light soy sauce
  • Chopped fresh spring onion to garnish
  • 1 tsp red chilli flakes
  • Salt to taste

Method:

  • Slice the beef thinly and set aside soaking in the chimichurri dressing. The chimichurri contains paprika, garlic, parsley, tangy vinegar and oil. Packed with favour this Argentinian steak sauce pairs surprisingly well with the spicy Korean flavours of the stir fry. If you are serving the Korean beef stir fry with steamed rice then leave it to cook before starting on the beef, so that it is ready soon after the beef is done.
  • Remove the skin from the garlic cloves.
  • Heat the sesame oil in a large wok and fry the garlic cloves in the hot oil until it just begins to brown. Sprinkle the dried red chilli flakes into the hot oil.
Garlic,red chilli and dried chilli flakes in sesame oi

Garlic,red chilli and dried chilli flakes in sesame oi

  • Then add the chopped red chilli and add the carrots followed the beans, allow them to cook ensuring the vegetables still have a bite in them. Stir in the soy sauce and season with little salt. (Light soy sauce has less salt content that’s why I generally prefer it over dark soy sauce)
  • Remove the vegetables and set aisde in a bowl with a lid.
  • Then add the sliced beef into the wok and stir fry on heat for under a minute as the beef is already almost cooked.
  • Now reduce the heat to a minimum and add in the vegetables, add the bok choy and drizzle the chimichurri sauce over this. Mix everything well together.
Mixing the vegetables and the stir fried beef

Mixing the vegetables and the stir fried beef

  • Remove from the wok and serve with the steaming hot sticky rice. Garnish with chopped spring onion for a fresh,crunchy garnish.
Korean Beef Stir Fry

Korean Beef Stir Fry

Easy Moroccan Chicken one pot meal

The chill in the air is just right for warming one pot meals. Make them healthy, quick and easy to put together and you have a winner on your hands.Last year at the Cake and Bake show which I attended with a dear friend and fellow blogger ,  I ended up spending a bomb (£££!!!!) on four different sized pots – non – stick being one of their biggest virtues.One of them is a huge wok which I intend to use to make a stir fry over the weekend. The coating is said to last for years and each vessel comes with a glass lid. I can apparently also shove them directly into the oven but haven’t tried that yet. The big and rather saucepan is what I use as my crock pot for making one pot meals in. In fact there is something very comforting watching a warming curry or gorgeously tasty and nutritious one pot meals!

heaven in a saucepan - healthy , happy meals begin here!

Ok so coming back to my one pot recipe. I had a bag of baby spinach leaves in my fridge and was craving a wholesome soupy stew with lots of vegetables. So managed to gather a few things that I think would taste great together and then added in Knorr onion gravy pots and Knorr mixed chilli pot for flavour and the result was so very satisfying.  But the best part was adding in Ras El Hanout a delicious and fiery moroccan and North African fragrant spice mix. The delicate dried rose petals look so pretty , that’s why I decided to name my dish Moroccan Chicken one pot.I also devoured it for lunch today – umm.

 Moroccan Chicken one pot meal

Make this in a large quantity and it will freeze well. Batch cooking is highly recommended as it saves you time and ensures that you do not eat things that you will end up regretting when you are hard pressed for time and simply cannot cook.The freezer is a wonderful boon, use it!

I purchased a beautiful Red Leicester and Pumpkin seed batard to go with my meal – it is soul-satisfying to mop up the thick gravy with the bread while sitting on the couch watching my fav crime show on the telly, feeling all warm and happy.

The best part of this recipe is I haven’t added in potatoes or extra sugar to taste and yet the flavours are so well balanced. (Though both gravy pots do contain sugar) I love stocking up on these tiny Knorr flavour pots they are life-savers!

A recipe with enough spinach to make Popeye jump with joy! Spinach has several health benefits and is known to be a great source of folic acid and several essential vitamins and great levels of iron too. Best part is a big bag of spinach can be consumed in no time as the leaves are high in water content and it reduces in size when cooked.

 Moroccan Chicken one pot meal

Easy Moroccan Chicken one pot

Serves:4  Preparation Time: 10 minutes  Cooking time: approx 25 minutes

Ingredients:

  • Olive oil 2 tbsp
  • 1 large red onion
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • Mixed bag of broccoli, carrot and cauliflower – 270 gm
  • Chicken thighs – 500 gm – appox 3 big pieces
  • Trimmed green beans – 75 gm
  • Chestnut Mushrooms – 4 – 5
  • 1.5 Knorr onion gravy flavour pot
  • 1 Knorr mixed chillies flavour pot
  • 4 handfulls of spinach leaves
  • Red lentils – without skin and halved 3/4th cup
  • 1/2 tsp of Ras El Hanout
  • 1/2 tsp of roasted cumin powder
  • Water

Method:

  • Remove the skin from the chicken thighs after washing thoroughly under running water.
  • Chop the chicken thighs to make strips of the flesh leaving just enough on the bone.
  • Wash and cut the broccoli, carrots,cauliflower, green beans and chestnut mushrooms bits into bite sized pieces.
  • Slice an onion lengthwise into fine strips.
  • Remove the skin from the garlic cloves and chop into tiny bits.
  • In a large saucepan or stock pot heat olive oil on a medium flame, when the oil becomes to heat up add the finely chopped garlic and saute’ until they turn a golden brown then add in the sliced onion.
  • Stirring occasionally allow the onion to sweat and just when it begins to brown add in the chopped vegetables and saute for half a minute.
  • Then add in the chicken thighs and saute for another minute.
  • Then wash and add the red lentils , add enough water to create a thick gravy – enough to allow the lentils to cook and not soak up all the water. Then add in the Knorr flavour pots and mix well.

Big, beautiful pot of healthy goodness - absolutely irresistible!

  • Then add the washed spinach leaves, cumin powder and cover and cook on a medium flame for 15 minutes.

Gorgeous Bowl of goodness with immunity boosting spinach and delicious veggies

  • By now the lentils will have cooked and the chicken will almost be done too.
  • Then taste the soupy water and if it is too spicy add just a very tiny pinch the Ras El Hanout , I added 1/2 a tsp as the taste reminded me of garam masala. Ras El Hanout is a moroccan mixture of fragrant spices with rose petals and gives the stock pot a gorgeous full bodied flavour.
  • Cook for a further 10-15 minutes on a gentle low flame.
  • Serve in large bowls with a big portion of the pumpkin batard bread.

Moroccan Chicken one pot meal recipe

Have linked up my recipe with the #NoWasteFoodChallenge hosted by the lovely Elizabeth who blogs at Elizabeth’s Diary. Find out all about this challenge in her blog post here.

Elizabeth's Kitchen Diary

Smoked Spanish Peppers and Zingy Mushrooms in a creamy sauce

My love for using smoked sweet red peppers is taking over my recipes for now , I made these zingy mushrooms for a friend who popped in for brunch about 2 months ago but I have been very lazy and this recipe is finally seeing daylight. I guess the electric atmosphere of the yellow jersey clad stadium full of Brazil fans and the super tight match going on with Camroon is giving me a much needed rush of happy hormones ,add to that the frenzy of the Wimbledon matches , the air in Wimbledon is heavy with anticipation, huge posters , fluorescent tennis ball props in all windows , the traditional colours of the Wimbledon ribbons and balloons galore, the bus service from the station to the venue with hyperexcited people , everything is screaming tennis here!

Lamuyo Peppers are great for roasting as they are bigger and sweeter than their cousins the hot variety. They are juicy and crunchy and go well with garlic,basil,oregano,taste fab with cheese , think stuffed peppers grilled , just perfect for summer !

The recipe was given to me by P aunty , shes a fab cook as I have mentioned in my past posts too and her recipes are innovative, delicious and easy to make, I love pestering her to keep sending me more recipes everytime we talk 😉 .So I decided to amp up this recipe with some madness my style and use up the handsome red pepper staring at me from my fridge 😉

Ingredients:

  • 1 large pack Chestnut Mushrooms sliced
  • 1 large red Lamuyo sweet pepper
  • 8 cloves Garlic- bash and chop fine
  • 1/2 red onionchopped very fine
  • 2 chillies- (more or less acc to your taste) – chop fine
  • 3 heaped tbs flavoured soft cheese, I love using the herby Philadelphia
  • 2 tbsp  Olive Oil
  • Sea Salt to taste
  • Parsley- a handful -chopped finely

Method:

  • Roast the pepper on gas flame till the skin chars and begins to peel off, I use tongs to hold it by the stem so it can char even at the top.
  • While the pepper cools just enough to allow you to peel and reveal the smoked juicy flesh, you can use the time to wash and slice the chestnut mushrooms
  • While taking off the charred skin off the smoked pepper remember to place a dish below as it will release lots of juice which we don’t want to loose as it is one powerhouse of smoky peppery sweet flavour!
  • Heat oil in a sauce pan and saute the garlic till it turns brown and the familiar aroma of fabulous garlic begins to waft and assault your nostrils.
  • Then add the very finely chopped red onion and cook on a low flame stirring regularly till the onion is thoroughly crispy and reduces in quantity, do not let it burn.
  • Then toss in the mushrooms and the chopped smoked pepper and cook for about 2 minutes on a low flame ,stirring and making sure it does not stick to the pan or overcook
  • Then add the soft cheese ,sea salt and finely chopped parsley,mix well and cook with lid for about 1 to 1 1/2 minute.
  • Serve with garlic bread smothered in butter – eat guilt free;)

What I love about this dish , its creamy , its a bit sweet a bit more zingy and has an underlying deep smoked flavour that is robust without being overpowering ,I’d say its a new comfort food for me , what with all the moorish soft cheese in there!1-IMG_6699 (Copy)

Spicy Chorizo Pasta with loads of veggie goodness!

I often struggle to get the hubster to consume hero veggies like Broccoli and Mushrooms ,both which I quite frankly love .. always have ! So what started off as a veg pasta was met with a grunt and audible grumbling and had to be re-engineered to create something fabulous ! I am therefore grateful for the grumbling  – totally depends on the end result right? 😉 Its also a very good recipe to use all the veggies lying around in your fridge and many some store cupboard excesses to start that spring clean you have been itching to do ( yes I love cleaning – am quite certain I have a mild OCD too)

Preparation Time: 25 minutes Cooking Time:40 minutes Serves: 4

Ingredients:

  • 500 gm Penne
  • 300 gm Chorizo chopped bite size
  • Broccoli a handful
  • Button Mushrooms – half a small packet – std supermarket size-chopped bite size
  • 200 gm Sweet Corn and Red Peppers canned
  • Grated parmesan Cheese – generous amount;)
  • 1/2 of a large Red Onion
  • 4 cloves of garlic finely chopped
  • 2 large tomatoes pureed
  • Sea salt
  • 2 large tablespoons Olive Oil
  • Chilli flakes as per taste
  • 2 large Spring onion finely chopped
  • 1/4th cup low fat cream
  • Dried italian herb mix for pasta 2 teaspoons

Method:

For the creamy sauce

  • In a saucepan heat one and a half large tablespoon of oil and saute the finely chopped garlic and when it begins to brown add 2 cloves of garlic chopped spring onion and saute for about 1 min
  • Then added the finely chopped broccoli
  • Now add the chopped button mushrooms and the sweet corn and red pepper mixture.
  • Add the cream and cook on a low flame for 2 – 3 minutes,season with salt  and then add generous amounts of cheese.
  • This sauce should have a balance between creamy and chewy with the mushrooms on the broccoli can retain a bit of its crunch so if you use a lid it may overcook

Before starting on the spicy sauce boil the past in a large saucepan and add sea salt and olive  a generous splash I use flavoured oil – the bottle had a large sprig of rosemary some crushed garlic and chilli flakes tossed inside to give it a deep rich flavour- so , so good!

For the Spicy Sauce

  • In a saucepan heat half a tablespoon of oil and fry the red onion chopped lengthwise and 2 garlic cloves finely chopped.
  • Then add the bite  sized pieces of Chorizo and reduce the flame to low.
  • Let the chorizo almost start to get crispy and  then added the pureed tomatoes,dried herb mixture,chilli flakes and salt as per taste.

In a clean bowl add a generous portion of the creamy sauce, top it with cooked pasta and then add the spicy chorizo sauce.Sprinkle with as much cheese as you want and watch it melt into the steaming hot pasta.If you want just a bit of guilty pleasure drizzle some chilli olive oil on the pasta before mixing the whole thing together!

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Vangyache Bharit- वांग्याचे भरीत (Baingan ka Bharta) (Smoked Aubergine)

I have noticed that I have become a bit more inclined towards celebrating festivals after coming to London , maybe its out of being homesick during festive times and also to ensure that I remember the traditions involved I guess. ‘Makar Sankrant’ is  a Hindu festival celebrated by my community ”Maharashtrains” with great pomp and enthusiasm as it heralds the season of Harvest. Similar to this festival is Lohri which is celebrated by the Punjabis in the North of India, Pongal in the state of Tamil Nadu , Uttaryan in the state of Gujrat. One festival so many names and so varied ways of celebrating! Its not only in India that this festival is celebrated it’s also welcomed in Nepal, Sri Lanka ,Cambodia and Laos amongst others!

My mother always used to make a smoked aubergine vegetable dish called Vangyache Bharit – written in Marathi as – वांग्याचे भरीत on Makar Sankrant so I decided to make it too for Sankrant this year which was on the 14th of Jan’14. We also exchange small ladoos made of sesame seeds and jaggery called ”Tilache Ladoo” and wish each other by saying ”tilgul ghya god god bola” (तिळगुळ घ्या गोड गोड बोला) It means that we shall forget and forgive any past bitter exchange of words and start afresh with this sweet offering and only speak sweet words of love.

The recipe is modified in various regions of the state of Maharashtra and also the variety of vanga/eggplant/aubergine or brinjal as we know it in urban India, is different in various parts of the state and in various states of India, of course differing due to climate and soil .Aai ( meaning Mother in Marathi language – my mother tongue) always looked for the light green vanga or eggplant with white stripes  on its skin which she rightly said tastes way better than its darker purple skinned cousin.

Aai’s recipe which I will share now is how we have always made this dish at home. There are several variations and styles depending on which part of Maharashtra you hail from and also various sub-cultures and availability of local ingredients and palates.I guess what makes this recipe so special is that it brings back happy memories of childhood, festivity ,celebration and the unmistakable smoky and rich vanga (eggplant/aubergine) taste with the crunchy red onion and a slap of hot spicy green chilli mixed in between ,all balanced so well with the various masalas that go into this bharit ummm!

 bi_makar_08_dec_26_162509

Image Credit click here 

Serves:2 -as a main with chapatya(Marathi for Indian Naan Bread also called chapatis in Hindi)

Preparation Time :15 minutes

Cooking Time:25minutes

Ingredients:

  • 1 large vanga/baingan/eggplant/aubergine
  • 1 large red onion
  • 2-3 green chillies
  • 5-6 large cloves of garlic
  • a few mustard seeds
  • Cumin/Jeera
  • Garam Masala – 2 heaped tsps
  • Salt to taste
  • A pinch of hing/asafoetida
  • Turmeric – 1.5 tsp
  • Red chilli powder – 1.5 tsp
  • Oil – 3-4 large tbsps
  • Coriander/Cilantro to garnish

Method:

  • The beauty of this dish lies in the deep and rich smoky flavour of the eggplant , I would love to use charcoals and do this bit on a open rustic fire but well I make do with my hob.You could use the oven  but it will take much longer but directly on the hob – though a bit messy , it’s quicker! Roast the eggplant completely turning it on the side and moving it up an down so you don’t miss any bits.

IMG_6465 (Copy)

  • Allow this to cool and then charred skin will come off easily.

IMG_6467 (Copy)

  • Mash with your hands in a smooth mass of soft cooked ,smoked eggplant.

IMG_6477 (Copy)

  • While the eggplant is smoking on the hob , finely chop one large red onion.
  • Skin the garlic and use a mortar pestel to smash the green chillies with the garlic
  • In a  dry saucepan ,add the oil and after it is hot , add a pinch of hing/ asafoetida  and mustard seeds , as the mustard seeds begin to pop add the cumin seeds and the garam masala powder and  the finely chopped red onion and stir it often till it turns colour and is still crunchy to taste.

IMG_6472 (Copy)

  • Now add the turmeric and red chilli powder
  • Then stir in the ”thecha”(Marathi for the green chilli and garlic mixture) and saute’ till the raw garlic becomes one with the mixture.Vary the green chillies depending on your personal tolerance of heat
  • Reduce the flame to a low and add the eggplant mash into this mixture and stir well so as to ensure equal distribution of the onion and all other flavours.
  • Cook with lid for under 5 minutes.
  • Garnish with finely chopped coriander/cilantro.
  • Serve with hot chapatya or steamed rice and dal.
  • We also enjoy this cold , cool the dish completely and serve with a generous helping of set curd/yogurt.
  • My aai didn’t add tomatoes to this and at times used some goda masala as well as it has dry grated coconut which can really alter the taste.
  • For Baingan Bharta add one finely chopped tomato as well after the onion has been fried.

IMG_6482 (Copy)

I found some very interesting variations to my recipe here are a few :

  1. For a recipe using Tamarind try this 
  2. For beautiful photos and an open air fire used to smoke the eggplant see this
  3. For a recipe using freshly grated coconut try this

I am adding this recipe into the Made with Love Mondays blog link love started and hosted by the lovely Mark aka Javelin Warrior – very interesting to read how that name came about !

Made with Love Mondays Resized Badge

 

Just linked up to In my Veg box with Onions as the theme for April’2014 hosted by Tina who blogs at The Spicy Pear and created by Nayna who blogs at Simply.Food and CitrusSpice . I wasn’t able to download the logo for April but here’s a general logo that Nayna uses.

 

 

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Egg Curry/Anda Curry/अण्डा कारी from my college days

Egg curry and soft paav or square buns are the most common hostel food that one can make with a saucepan,some eggs and a few basic ingredients.It is hugely popular as a filling,tasty curry and there are as many variations as the imagination, ones budget and availability of ingredients on a particular day will allow 🙂

This version is what I always make and is sort of derivative of what would be made in the North of India.I sometimes like to make it into a coastal flavoured one by adding fresh grated coconut but that’s only if I want to make it posh but that’s very, very rare. After all this is a quick ,save the evening sort of curry!

It’s National Curry Week and it’s wonderful to see how Britain has embraced an Indian food habit and made it, its own over the years, spinning off British Indian versions of popular Indian home cooked curries.

I wanted to start of my posts for National Curry week with this one because of how easy it is to make and a great recipe for students everywhere 🙂

Serves:2

Total Preparation Time :20 Minutes

Ingredients:

  • 4 eggs and use the same proportion of 2 eggs per person to scale up (for very hungry fells the more the merrier 😉
  • 2 medium-sized red onion finely chopped
  • 2 medium-sized tomatoes
  • 2 tsp red chilli powder
  • 2 tsp turmeric
  • 1 heaped tsp garam masala
  • 1 heaped tsp cumin powder
  • 1 heaped tsp coriander powder
  • 2 green chillies
  • 1 tsp ginger paste
  • fresh coriander to garnish
  • 1 clove of garlic finely chopped
  • a pinch of asafoetida
  • salt to taste
  • 2 tbsp olive oil – it’s easier on my conscience , use any oil or butter or ghee in dire straits!

Method:

  1. Boil the eggs in an open saucepan and leave aside to cool
  2. Roast the chopped red onion on a saucepan and spritz it in the mixer with the chopped tomatoes and green chillies.(If you want a coastal touch add 2 tbsp of fresh grated coconut in this mixture and puree it together,ensure to use atleast 3 finely chopped garlic in the pan as they set of the taste of fresh coconut beautifully)
  3. In a saucepan heat the oil and add a pinch of asafoetida,then add the chopped garlic and roast till it’s a light brown ,then add the ginger paste,turmeric,red chilli powder,garam masala,coriander and cumin powders.
  4.  Stir in the onion and tomato puree.
  5. Cook on a low flame for 2 minutes.
  6. Then add some water to make a gravy like consistency and ad the boiled, peeled eggs after cutting them in half, add salt and cook for a further 5 – 6 minutes.
  7. Serve with hot chapartis/naan bread,paav,soft fresh wholemeal bread or with steaming hot boiled white rice – to make the rice taste heavenly drop a blob of butter, the steam trapped in the grains of rice will melt the butter into a golden pool of gooey goodness – pour the egg curry into this and enjoy the best and simple pleasures of curry!

Anda Curry

Looking for a Curry Recipe? You might also like:

Tasty and Quick Pasta for two from ”nothing”

We all have those days when we realise that all those reserves we had stowed away in various places – the fridge, the cupboard are well..not there and you are hungry and it’s too late to step out.

Panic not! There are ALWAYS a few things here and there which can be thrown in to make something superb! I made some very tasty and quick pasta yesterday and it was such a satisfying experience I cannot tell you how pleased I was with the outcome.

Please feel free to throw in stuff that you have, that needs using up.Waste not want not I say!

Ok so here goes.

Ingredients:

  • Pasta – whichever type you have left enough for 2 people – used tagliatelle and generally 2 rolls are good for one very hungry adult 🙂
  • Sea salt (basically just regular salt)
  • olive oil or regular vegetable oil 1 tbsp
  • Tomato puree/ 1 large tomato sliced and diced fine (I scraped off some leftover tomato puree in a can that was at the very back of my fridge  – just in time !
  • Chilli flakes as per taste)
  • Chorizo – again I have a small portion lying around and it packs a punch in the taste department!
  • Spring onion finely chopped, I had a small bit left over from a bunch and it tasted awesome with the chorizo
  • Dried herb mixture – 2 tsp (or use fresh herbs off your kitchen plants – my dried herb mixture is a bit of left over artisan mix from one of the many food fairs I go to 🙂 it has garlic,parsley,chilli,sun dried tomatoes,salt and basil)
  • 2 – 3 cloves garlic sliced very fine and deep fried to give a superbly crunchy deep taste
  • Some cheddar cheese, I had 2 different packs tied with a rubberband and lying quietly in a small corner of my fridge door – ha! perfect find for pasta I say!

Method:

  • Boil the pasta in a saucepan with a sprinkling of sea salt and drizzle some olive oil as it nears the point when it’s cooked completely, this will ensure it does not get sticky and stodgy.
  • As soon as the pasta is on the boil, in another saucepan,heat 1tsp olive oil or sunflower oil and fry the garlic until it is crisp, to get them to crisp slice them superfine,as much as you can manage to without slicing off your fingers;)
  • Then throw in the chorizo slices and as they cook they release a lot of oil and it really can add a lot of flavour and you don’t want to waste that so quickly chuck in the chopped spring onion and the tomato puree,stir and cook this mixture for about 2 minutes on a very low flame.

The oil from the Chorizo adding flavour to the  spring onion

After the Chorizo is cooked it should look like this

  • Drain off the excess water from the pasta ensuring there is just a little bit to allow the pasta to remain smooth.
  • Turn off the heat at this point and mix well.Then add some chilli flakes and the cheese – as much as you have or as much as your waistline and conscience allows 😉
  • The heat trapped inside the pasta and the sauce will melt the cheese and it just disappears into the pasta giving it that perfectly cheesy not over-the-top taste,which is ex-actly what you want folks!The yummy deliciousness that this pasta is makes me want to dive right into the plate and its smoky garlicy flavour with just the right amount of chilli and chorizo which is my absolute personal favourite for pasta dishes,what more could one ask for!?! 🙂
  • I wish I had some smoked ham,fresh basil and some more chorizo – but hey this was so good I am going to make it again and again!
  • I hope you do too and if you do drop me a line here in the comments, I love reading what you have to say!I am most looking forward to those comments where you were in a similar situation and used the ”nothing” from your fridge and made pasta as delicious as mine – just use your imagination!

The best pasta I've ever made!

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  • I am entering this recipe into the ”No Waste Food Challenge” for Jan ’14,hosted by the lovely Elizabeth who blogs at  Elizabeth’s Kitchen Diary and has taken on the baton to host this challenge from Kate over at Turquoise Lemons who initiated this very challenge,couldn’t think of a post more apt for this I say !If you too would like to link but find the details to the post here 

nwfc

 

  • I am entering this frugal recipe for Credit Crunch Much hosted by Helen of Fuss Free Flavours and Camilla of FabFood4all and for Feb’14 hosted by Angela of My Golden Pear. Making use of ingredients which I wouldn’t have otherwise used together and finding things lurking in my fridge which have been salvaged and not chucked into a food bin a few days later, I think this recipe definitely fits the bill for this challenge.

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Pomfret Fish Curry – Flavours of Konkan and a Bengali Bhaja with spring onions and potatoes

When anyone asks me what I would like as my LAST meal,I always say I’d like some fried pomfret so naturally when I go Indian grocery shopping I always check for this fish. Though I must admit, nothing beats the flavours one gets from fresh fish.But well just have to make do with frozen fish as the one I love is a Pomfret local to waters of the Indian Ocean.

This is a relatively simple recipe and does not require much effort but the marination is key as it can really give depth of flavour which is what we need.

I had 3 of these beauties to cook and couldn’t resist getting them to pose for my camera all dressed with the dangerously delicious spices that I rubbed into the fillets.

Pomfret with all the spices that are used in the curry.

Serves: 4 (with rice and a vegetable dish included)

Ingredients:

  • 3 medium sized white pomfret
  • 2 large tbsp coriander and green chilli paste
  • 1 tsp  of ginger garlic paste
  • 1 1/2 tsp Red Chilli powder
  •  1 tsp Turmeric
  • 3 -4 cloves of garlic cloves with skin on
  • 2 tbsp grated coconut
  • a pinch of Asafoetida/Hing to dust into the oil
  • 2 tbsp refined oil
  • Juice of 1/4th of a lime
  • Salt to taste

Method:

Ok it’s relatively easy making fillets after this fish has thawed thoroughly as it has very few bones, I like to remove the bit in the front with the eyes and the tail and also remove the fins then make fillets the size fit for a curry or fry.

  • Wash thoroughly and marinate with red chilli powder, turmeric,salt ,ginger- garlic paste,coriander- green chilli paste and set aside for at least 40 minutes.
  • After the marination is done,heat oil in a saucepan,add asafoetida just a tiny spritz and throw in the crushed garlic cloves with their skins on and as they start to brown add the marinated fish n toss it around for about half a minute.
  • Add enough water to cover the fish and cook on a low flame.
  • As the water begins to boil add in the finely grated fresh coconut and stir in well till the curry is nice and thick.
  • Simmer till the fish is cooked and squeeze the lime into it.
  • Serve with steaming hot rice and allow yourself to enjoy this simple yet classic fish curry, an everyday fare in the houses along the coast of Konkan and a great treat in ours.

These beautiful flowers are on stalks of fresh spring onion!! Unexpected, I know right?!! My ma (in-law) very patiently chopped these stalks, created this cute little spring onion floral display and the whole idea of this photograph with books we are currently reading is hers.

Spring Onion Bouquet

I was so excited to see them and had to buy myself two bunches and look for a Bengali Bhaja or bhaji (Marathi) sabji/sabzee (Hindi).Found a lovely food blog called Hamaree Rasoi and you can read the recipe here.

Peyajkoli Batata bhaja

Spring Onion and Potato Bhaji

Needless to say the meal was supremely satisfying and we all slept with gentle snoring now and then …tmi- oh yes totally 😉

Pomfret curry with steamed rice and pejaykoli bhaja

Spicy Mexican Chicken Wings with Gran Luchito’s New HOT sauce

I was sent this amazing new product from the Gran Luchito Kitchen – their new Salsa sauce and ever since I laid my eyes on it all I wanted to do was make some spicy chicken wings and enjoy them on a summer evening with some chilled beer.

IMG_4260 (Copy)

What I most love about this new HOT sauce from Gran Luchito is that it makes life so easy so if you want to make a quick ,tasty and easy starter dish and really impress your guests or you suddenly decide to take home the entire hungry gang you went for drinks with on a Friday evening(Egad!) this bottle of goodness is a going to be your life saver. It’s very versatile because I can think of so many ways to use this sauce. It’s also a great dip for that bag of tortilla chips which can do the rounds with some chilled beer or wine for your guests, or a lazy brunch on Sunday just make lots of wings to gr around for the family!It’s definitely my new spicy ketchup and will be a perfect pairing with a zillion foods!

Ok, so here’s a quick recipe for the Spicy Mexican Chicken Wings:

Serves: 2 – 3

Cooking Time: 15 minutes marination, on pan 10 – 15 minutes,chopping time 5 minutes.

Ingredients:

  1. Grand Luchito’s HOT Sauce – 5 heaped tbsp
  2. 8 chicken wings
  3. 1/2 medium sized red onion sliced lenghtwise
  4. Half a lemon
  5. Smoked sea salt
  6. 2 large tbsp oil (I used refined sunflower)
  7. Smoked Sea salt
  8. Cumin powder 1 tbsp
  9. An entire garlic with all its pods sliced through.

Method:

If you ask me this is one for the barbecue but since I have no access to one and work off a tiny urban kitchen which is literally a single small platform I love using my pan with grids to get those grid lines on my meat and pretend am in the garden with a nice barbecue going,sighhh, oh yes and my smoked sea salt is my best ally , giving my food that wonderfully smokey aroma -oak smoked it is !

  • Wash the chicken wings and in a bowl and pour about 1/2 a tbsp oil on them,add the smoked sea salt,cumin powder and 2 tbsp of Gran Luchito HOT sauce.Rub well and cover and set aside for about 15 minutes

Marinating the wings in Gran Luchito's HOT sauce

  • On a pan with grids add the oil and allow it to heat till it starts to bubble slightly, add the chopped red onion and saute till it just begins to change colour,carefull to not brown them too much.
  • Now saute two heaped tbsps of the Gran Luchito HOT sauce on the pan.Stir for about a minute and then add the marinated chicken.Place the garlic face down allowing it to turn a delicious brown and release it’s magic kick into the onion and sauce mix and boost the flavour of the chicken.
  • Use tongs to turn when one side is properly browned and juicy but stir the sauce and onion sautee mixture which the chicken is sitting on not allowing it to stick to the pan or burn!
  • It should take about 10 -15 minutes to get to the right crispy and juicy stage for the chicken wings on a medium flame with this pan.(In case you need to do a large batch of chicken wings, scale up the ingredients proportionately and blanch the chicken wings in hot water for 5 – 7 minutes before marinating so that they are semi cooked , this way you can get them in batches on the pan and ready to serve, keep them warm by placing in a baking tray covered in foil – you could even keep bigger batches warm in a pre-heated oven if need be!)

The unique smoky taste of Gran Luchito with the sweetness of pineapple

I hope this product hits the shelves soon!To do this as quickly as possible Gran Luchito has  partnered with Crowd Funding Network We Are The Million to raise some investment and create jobs too.Help Spread the word by reading more about the campaign here.

Spicy Chicken Wings

Jerk Chicken and Coconut Rice

The first time I ate jerk Chick was at a pop up Caribbean food stall near Haymarket Station, it was served with some tasty rice with red kidney beans and the most deliciously sweet plantain. Ever since I have been waiting to experiment and make this spicy chicken at home. Please resist the temptation of using a jerk sauce out of a bottle, it’s almost a crime because in the recipe I used from the BBC Good Food guide,it makes preparing the marinade a thing of joy. Not only will you learn how each ingredient lends its individual flavour but you van learn how to adjust the ”heat” in this amazing marinade. An advance warning, if you have sensitive skin PLEASE use gloves to marinate the chicken as Scotch Bonnet peppers are PACKED with heat. Ensure you THOROUGHLY wash your hands after you handle these ”hot babies” too! Humm now for the recipe, it’s essentially what was in the original but of course I have added my own touches and I think they make quite an impact 🙂 so read on folks. Prep Time: 45 minutes. Plus overnight marination for chicken in marinade Ingredients for Jerk Chicken:

  • 12 chicken thighs with bone
  • 1 big gralic sliced through the middle to go in the oven
  • 2 lemons halved to go in the baking tray
  • 1 pair of clean gloves if you have sensitive skin – to marinate the chicken

For the Jerk marinade:

  • 4 Garlic Cloves de-skinned
  • 1 small red onion
  • 1 bunch fresh spring onion roughly chopped
  • 1 piece ginger size that fits inside your closed fist, washed,skinned and roughly chopped
  • 1 tbsp thyme – I had none so I used 1 tbsp of Mixed Italian herb powder
  • 3 scotch bonnet chillies, de-seeded if you cannot handle very spicy
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp oil – I used sunflower
  • 4 heaped tbsp brown sugar – I used dark muscovado sugar
  • 1 tbsp ground allspice powder
  • Juice of 1 lime

Method

  • Blitz all the ingredients for the marinade in the mixer/food processor/blender and make a thick paste, do not add water as far as possible to ensure a thick puree like grainy paste
  • wash and dekin the chicken thighs and make cuts using a knife
  • Then generously apply the marinade paste all over rubbing into the cuts made to ensure the flavour really seaps into the chicken.
  • Marinate overnight in the fridge.Cover vessel with cling film.
  • Keep about 2 tbsp marinade aside for adding in the baking tray.
  • When you are ready to prepare the chicken pre-heat the oven to 180 – 200 C , I have a fan oven.
  • Prepare the baking tray by greasing with some oil ,place the marinated chicken pieces and surround them with the lime slices and place the garlic halved.
  • Cook in the oven for about 45 minutes or until juices run clear.
  • When the chicken is in the oven start with the rice

Ingredients for the Coconut Rice with Peas:

  • 200g Basmati Rice
  • 400g Coconut Milk can
  • 1 bunch fresh spirng onion finely chopped
  • 2 large sprigs of fresh thyme
  • 2 large cloves of garlic skinned and chopped very fine
  • 1 tbsp ground allspice
  • 200g green peas

Method:

  • Wash the Basmati rice under cold running tap water
  • In a heavy bottomed vessel, add the washed rice and coconut milk, chopped spring onions,thyme,garlic chopped and all spice
  • Add 300ml water ,mix and add salt to season.
  • Cook with lid on a medium flame till water begins to boil
  • Stir with a wooden spatula and then add the green peas
  • Reduce flame and do not cover completely, leave a bit of space for the steam to pass.
  • Cook until done.

Jerk Chicken & Coconut Rice with Peas

All though the recipe I followed uses red kidney beans since I was already using them in my Caribbean Sweet Mini Pepper Salad , I choose green peas for my Coconut Rice. I made my own home made replacement for allspice powder too , it’s very easy and I intend to make it fresh each time I need instead of the store bought one, simply because its so quick and fun to make! Actually allspice is a spice by itself but it tastes similar to a mixture of cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg and pepper. According to an article I found about allspice on About.com: ”Allspice is a spice made from the dried berries of a plant known as Pimenta dioica. A member of the pimento family, allspice is used in Caribbean, Middle Eastern and Latin American cuisines, among others.  The flavor of allspice is similar to . Allspice can be used to flavor desserts as well as savory dishes.  Allspice can be used in ground form or whole. Whole allspice berries are sometimes used in pickling and brining.

Also Known As:

  • Jamaican pepper
  • Newspice ”

My Home made version of all-Spice Powder recipe is as follows:

Ingredients:

  • 1 heaped tbsp Cinnamon powder or if you have a cinnamon stick take one abt the half as tall as your thumb.
  • 1 small tbsp pepper powder
  • 1 heaped tbsp of cloves
  • 1 full nutmeg grated

Method:

  • In a pestle and mortar mix the ingredients and grate the nutmeg into it.
  • Then smash together to makes a grainy powder.
  • Some bits of the clove you may not be able to grind fine, I wouldn’t worry about it unless you want a fine powder then the smallest attachment on your mixer. I have an Indian mixer which I use for my coconut chutneys and it has 3 jars I used the one with 3 blades .Or else just use the pestle and mortar it should work.
  • Store away the remaining home made allspice replacement powder in a tiny air tight container.

A note about the brown sugar vs. dark muscovado sugar

Dark Muscovado sugar is the unrefined form of brown sugar ,its stickier ,heavier,has a longer shelf life than refined sugars and adds a more intense flavour to marinades and since it is stable at high temperatures is great for baking.If you do not have brown sugar its ok to replace it with dark Muscovado sugar. Although as the water content dark muscovado holds is higher one should accordingly taper the use of water in the recipe.

Brown sugar is white sugar and molasses and hence the colour and soft texture. It has the light and dark brown sugar varieties and the lighter it is the milder the flavour.

Muscovado,White & Light Brown Sugar

I am linking this post to the Flavours of the Caribbean event, run by Simply.Food and guest hosted by The Spicy Pear.