Monday, 27 December 2010

Lamb Keema

2tbsp oil
1 onion, finely chopped
1 garlic clove, grated
tin chopped tomatoes
2 1/2 cm piece of ginger, grated
1 red birds eye chilli, finely chopped with seeds
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp turmeric
2 handfuls chopped fresh coriander
750g lamb mince
250g frozen peas
250ml boiling water
juice of half a lime

Heat the oil in a wide saucepan then add the onion and garlic.  Cook over a high heat until they become golden brown.

Turn the heat down and add the tomatoes, ginger, chilli, salt, spices and a handful of the chopped coriander.  Stir until the mixture becomes shiny, then add the mince and break up with a fork in the sauce.

Add the frozen peas and stir everything together for a few minutes then add 250ml boiling water.  Bring the pan to the boil and then turn down to a gentle simmer.

Cook for about 20 - 30 minutes by which time most of the water should have evaporated and the lamb will be tender and the peas cooked through.

Squeeze in some lime juice to taste and sprinkle the remaining coriander.  Serve with rice and naan bread.


Tuesday, 30 November 2010

Spiced Lamb and Feta Burger

400g minced lamb (if pack is 450g just use it all)
100g feta cheese, crumbled 
1 small red onion, grated
1 tbsp harissa
small handful parsley, chopped
4 bread rolls

Put the mince in a bowl with the crumbled feta, red onion, harissa and chopped parsley.  Season well then shape into 4 burgers.  Put on a sheet of greaseproof paper on a baking tray and place in the fridge.

Leave in the fridge for around 30 minutes then to cook grill or griddle for 4 - 5 minutes on each side.  Serve in the buns with rocket and tzatziki.

These burgers were delicious and my partner said it's one of the best things I've ever made.  They weren't very spicy so next time I'll try doubling the harissa paste.  They don't need much salt because of the feta so don't go overboard with salt.  Don't be disappointed if you cut into your burger and the feta seems to have disappeared it seems to melt but leave a really nice feta taste all throughout.

Saturday, 13 November 2010

Sausage, Bean and Olive Casserole

6 tbsp olive oil
350g onions, chopped
2/3 carrots, chopped
400g pancetta, diced
1 kg pork sausages, cut into 3cm thick slices
2 tbsp plain flour
2 glasses red wine
800g tomato puree
400ml beef stock
150g pitted black olives
400g tinned cannellini beans, drained
200g button mushrooms, quartered
5 bay leaves
salt and pepper

Preheat the oven to 200'c/Gas Mark 6.  Heat the oil in a large pan/flameproof casserole dish and fry the onions and carrots over a high heat for 2 minutes, until golden.

Add the pancetta and the sausages and cook for about 3 minutes, stirring with a wooden spoon, mix in the flour and cook for a further minute, stirring continously.

Add in the wine and cook for about 2 minutes to allow the alcohol to evaporate, stir in the tomato puree then add the beef stock, the olives, cannellini beans and the mushrooms.  Add the bay leaves and season with salt and pepper then bring to the boil.  Cover the pan or transfer to a casserole dish and cook in the oven for 30 minutes until the sausages are tender and the sauce has thickened.

Leave the casserole to rest for 10 minutes you don't want to serve it straight from the oven, then serve with crusty bread.

Sizzling Beef with Spring Onions and Black Bean Sauce

sea salt and freshly ground black peper
200g long grain or basmati rice
1 x 230g sirloin or rump steak
a thumb sized piece of fresh ginger
2 cloves garlic
1/2 a red chilli
2 spring onions
a small bunch of coriander
2 tbsp sesame oil
groundnut oil
2 tbsp good quality black bean sauce
2 - 3 tbsp soy sauce
1 lime
1 egg

Bring a pan of salted water to the boil, add the rice and cook according to packet instructions.  Drain the rice and run under a cold tap then allow to dry out in the fridge. 

Trim any excess fat from your steak and slice the meat into finger sized strips.  Peel and finely slice the garlic and ginger then finely slice the chilli.  Cut the ends of the spring onions and finely slice.  Pick the coriander leaves and put to one side then finely chop the stalks.

Get a big bowl and put in the ginger, garlic, chilli, spring onions, coriander stalks and steak strips.  Add the sesame oil and mix everything together.

Preheat a wok or large frying pan on a high heat until very hot then add some groundnut oil and swirl around.  Add the chopped ingredients from the bowl and give the pan a good shake to mix everything quickly.  Stir fry for about 2 minutes but make sure it doesn't burn.  Add the black bean sauce and stir in 1 tbsp of soy sauce and the juice of half a lime, keep tossing.  Taste and season with black pepper and a little more soy sauce.

Remove the pan from the heat then cover with tin foil to keep warm.

Give the pan a quick wipe with kitchen paper and put back on the heat, add some groundnut oil and swirl around.  Crack in the egg and add a tbsp of soy sauce (the egg will cook very quickly so keep stirring.)  Once the egg has scrambled stir in the chilled rice, scraping from the sides and bottom of the pan.  Keep mixing for a few minutes until the rice is steaming hot then taste and season with soy sauce.

Divide the rice between two bowls or plates then spoon over the meat and black bean sauce mix then sprinkle over the fresh coriander leaves.

Tuesday, 5 October 2010

Chicken Braised in Cider and Chorizo

2 tbsp olive oil
4 chicken drumsticks
4 chicken thighs
225g chorizo, dice
6 shallots, peeled and finely chopped
2 tbsp plain flour
600ml dry cider
1 heaped tbsp dijon mustard
salt and freshly ground black pepper
3 tbsp double cream

Preheat the oven to 190'c/Gas Mark 5.  Heat the oil in a large ovenproof frying pan and add all the chicken pieces to the pan.  Cook for 10 - 12 minutes turning frequently until evenly browned, remove with a wooden spoon and set aside.

Add the chorizo and shallots to the pan and fry, stirring frequently for 5 minutes, or until softened and the fat is beginning to run from the chorizo, sprinkle over the flour and stir to coat.

Gradually pour in the cider and stock stirring continously until boiling and thickened slightly.  Stir in the mustard and season well then return the chicken to the frying pan (or transfer the chicken and sauce to a casserole dish.  Cover using either foil or the lid and place in the oven for 30 - 40 minutes or until the chickens juice run clear when pierced with a skewer.

I usually serve this with mash, but serve with whatever you fancy.

Monday, 4 October 2010

Chilli Con Carne

3 tbsp vegetable oil
450g minced beef
1 onion, finely chopped
1 green pepper, finely chopped
2 cloves of garlic, chopped very finely
2 tins chopped tomatoes
1 tin red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp salt
1 tsp sugar
1 - 3 tsp chilli powder
2 tbsp chopped fresh coriander

Heat the oil in a large pan over a medium to high heat.  Add the beef and cook, stirring often until lightly browned.

Turn the heat down to medium to high, add the onions, pepper and garlic.  Cook for 5 minutes or until the onions and peppers have softened.

Stir in the remaining ingredients except for the fresh coriander, bring to the boil over a medium to low heat, stirring frequently for 30 minutes.  Stir in the fresh coriander just before serving.
I had some cherry tomatoes left over in the fridge so I chucked them in when I added the tinned tomatoes I love it when they pop when you stick your fork in them :)  Also this chilli is great if you stick a bit of grated cheese on top, my partner also loves eating Doritos with them Cool Original usually work the best :)

Sunday, 3 October 2010

Baked Spanish Risotto

250g cherry tomatoes
1 red onion, finely chopped
2 tbsp olive oil
300g risotto rice (I use arborio)
4 chicken thigh fillets, halved (or chicken breasts)
200g chorizo, sliced as thick as you like
1 litre hot chicken stock
pinch of saffron strands (optional)
8 large, raw prawns (optional)
salt and freshly ground black pepper

Preheat the oven to 220'c/Gas Mark 7.  Place the cherry tomatoes in a roasting tin and sprinkle over the red onion, garlic and olive oil.  Roast for 20 minutes.

Transfer to a casserole dish and stir in the rice, chicken, chorizo, chicken stock, saffron (if using) and salt and pepper.  Mix well together and return to the oven for 20 minutes.

Stir in the prawns (if using) and return to the oven for a further 20 minutes until the rice is tender and the chicken is cooked through.

I tend to leave the lid off for the last 20 minutes all the stock soaks into the rice and makes it very fluffy.  Make sure you make sure the rice is fully cooked.


Thursday, 30 September 2010

Feta-crusted Lamb with Rich Tomato Sauce

7 or 8 bone rack of lamb, trimmed of fat then cut into 2 racks
a few thyme sprigs, left whole
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, plus extra for frying and drizzling
zest 1/2 lemon
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 tsp dried oregano

For the sauce:
20g pack flat-leaf parsley
1 fat or 2 regular garlic cloves, crushed 
400g can cherry tomatoes

For the crust:
50g feta cheese, finely crumbled
zest 1/2 lemon
pinch dried oregano
1/2 slice white bread (day old if you can) whizzed into crumbs

Marinate the lamb first, put the racks into a non-metallic dish and mix the thyme, oil, zest, garlic and half the oregano in a bowl then rub this all over the lamb.  Leave to marinate for at least 30 minutes or upto 24 hours, take the lamb out in plenty of time so you cook it from room temperature.

For the sauce finely chop the parsley stalks.  Heat a large frying pan then add 1 tbsp olive oil, add the garlic and the stalks then soften for 1 minute.  Add the tomatoes and remaining oregano and simmer for 5 minutes until saucy, popping the cherry tomatoes with your spoon to release all the juices and seeds.  Chop the parsley leaves roughly and add to the pan.  Preheat the oven to 230'c/Gas Mark 8.  Make the crust by mixing the remaining parsley leaves, feta, zest, oregano and breadcrumbs in a bowl.

When you're ready to cook the lamb leave most of the marinade on the meat and season well with salt and pepper.  Then press the crust onto one side of each piece and sit the racks in the sauce with the crust side facing upwards.  Strew the thyme sprigs from the marinade over the lamb and into the sauce, then drizzle everything with a little extra virgin olive oil.  Roast the lamb in the sauce, uncovered for 20 minutes (for pink and juicy meat) until the crust is golden and the sauce is thickened.  Leave to rest for 10 minutes loosely covered so that the crust doesn't go soggy, then carve the lamb between each bone to make cutlets.  Serve the cutlets with spoonfuls of the roasted down tomato sauce and potatoes/rice.

I made this for our anniversay and it was really something special, although I wasn't too keen on the lemony taste so when I made it again I cut down the amount of lemon used.
Toad in the Hole

100g plain flour
1/2 tsp english mustard powder
1 egg
300ml milk
3 thyme sprigs, leaves only
8 plain pork sausages
2 tbsp sunflower oil
2 onions, peeled and sliced
1 tsp soft brown sugar
500ml beef stock

Preheat the oven to 220'c/Gas Mark 7.  Tip the flour into a large mixing bowl and stir in the mustard powder, with a good pinch of salt.  Make a well in the centre and crack in the egg, then pour in a dribble fo milk.  Stir with the wooden spoon, gradually incorporating some of the flour, until you have a smooth batter in the well.  Now add a bit more milk and continue stirring until all the milk and flour have been mixed together.

Snip the links between the sausages and place in a roasting tin add 1 tbsp of the oil, tossing the sausages in it to thoroughly coat the base of the tin, then roast in the oven for 15 minutes.

Take the hot tray from the oven, then quickly pour in the batter, it should sizzle and bubble when it hits the hot fat.  Put it back into the oven and bake for 40 minutes until the batter is cooked through, well risen and crisp.  If you poke a knife into the middle of the batter it should be set and not sticky or runny.

Soften the onions with the remaining oil in a large frying pan, stirring often until they are golden brown.  Sprinkle in the sugar for the final 5 minutes.  Add a spoonful of flour then cook stirring constantly for 2 minutes so it coats the onions and there is no dry flour left.  Gradually pour in he stock, stirring well to make a smooth sauce.  Simmer for 4 - 5 minutes to thicken then season.  

Or if you can't be bothered with the gravy and have a 27 year old fiance who is still addicted to tomato ketchup, skip the gravy and serve without :)

Tuesday, 28 September 2010

Salsa Chicken and Cheese Tortillas

4 tbsp hot salsa
2 large flour tortillas
215g can kidney beans/refried beans, drained and mashed
1 spring onions, chopped
50g chicken shredded 
85g cheddar cheese, grated
10g coriander leaves, chopped (optional)
oil, for brushing

Spread 2 tbsp salsa onto each tortilla then evenly top one of them with the beans, spring onion, chicken and cheese.  Scatter with coriander (if using) then sandwich with the other tortilla and brush with oil.

Heat a large non-stick frying pan then cook the tortilla oil side down for 4 minutes, carefully turn over by turning out onto a plate then sliding back into the pan, then cook for a further 2 minutes until golden.  Cut into wedges and serve. 

It taste a lot better than it looks all the cheese was melty and stingy.  For the chicken I just roasted a chicken breast for 20 minutes in the oven and then shredded with 2 forks :)

Monday, 27 September 2010

Chicken Chow Mein

thumb sized piece of fresh ginger
2 garlic cloves
3 tbsp tomato ketchup
2 tbsp oyster sauce
2 tbsp soy sauce
1 large red pepper
5 spring onions
200g bean sprouts
1/2 chicken breasts
3 nests medium egg noodles
1 tbsp sunflower oil

Remove the skin from the ginger and grate 1 tbsp into a bowl.  Crush the garlic into the bowl then add the ketchup, oyster sauce, soy sauce and 3 tbsp water and stir.

Remove the seeds from the pepper and cut into strips, cut the ends from the spring onions and slice.  Boil a large pan of water and drop in the noodles, simmer for 4 minutes then drain in a colander.

Heat the wok and when hot add the oil and chicken,  fry the chicken for a few minutes then add the pepper and cook for a further minute.  Pour the sauce into the wok and stir well until bubbling.  Ad the noodles, beansprouts and spring onions a handful at a time and toss in the sauce until well coated, stirring constantly until the beansprouts wilt.

Serve in bowls.