Thursday, October 27, 2011

Pakistani Lamb & Tomato Curry

From Curry Cuisine

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cooking Time: 45-60 minutes

Serves 4 (Ruth’s note: I used 2 lbs/1kg of lamb but kept the rest of the ingredients as the book suggested. This is a mild but flavorful curry and quite different to the Indian curries I’m used to)

¼ cup sunflower oil (I used grapeseed oil)
1 large onion, finely chopped
1 tbsp grated ginger (the book called for 1 tsp ginger paste)
1 large garlic clove, minced (the book called for ½ tsp garlic paste)
1 tin (28oz/546ml) diced fire roasted tomatoes with juice (the book called for 1 ¼ lb/500g of fresh tomatoes, peeled and chopped)
2 tsp red chili powder (I doubled the book’s recommendation and it was still mild)
1 tsp cumin seeds
3 cardamom pods
5 cloves
1 bay leaf
3lb/1 kg lamb shoulder, cut into cubes (Ruth’s note: small cubes mean less cooking time)
1 cup water
¼ cup chopped cilantro leaves
Slivers of fresh ginger root
Chopped green chilies

1. Heat the oil over medium high heat, in a large saucepan (I actually used my Dutch oven), add the onions and fry until slightly browned. Add the ginger and garlic mince/paste and stir for a minute or until the wonderful aromas waft the air. Add the tomatoes, a pinch of salt, chili powder, cumin, cardamom pods, cloves and bay leaf. Stir until the oil separates out (Ruth’s note: I never noticed much separation, but I did cook for about 15 minutes.)

2. Add the lamb and fry, stirring frequently for 5 minutes. (Ruth’s note: I was skeptical that there was no searing, but the end result was very tender, very tasty). Pour in 1 cup of water, stir well and cover. Reduce the heat to medium low and cook for 45-60 minutes or until the lamb is cooked and tender.

3. Remove the lid and keep cooking gently, stirring occasionally until the oil separates out. Stir in the chopped cilantro leaves. Garnish with ginger and green chilies, if you like more heat) and serve.

I served it with Chana Pulao – Chickpea & Rice Pilaf.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Wild sea bass with sprouting broccoli, marinated artichokes and chickpeas

Serves 4

By Skye Gyngell

8 artichokes
3 cloves of garlic, peeled and sliced
A few sprigs of thyme
150ml/5fl oz quality extra-virgin olive oil
150ml/5fl oz white wine or verjus
Sea salt and pepper
Half a lemon
350g/111/2oz cooked chickpeas
400g/13oz sprouting broccoli
1 red chilli
A small handful of flat leaf parsley, chopped
The juice and zest of one lemon
800g/26oz sea bass, cut into four portions
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Heat the oven to 220C/425F/Gas7.

Prepare the artichokes as per the recipe with garlic and thyme. Drain the chickpeas and rinse well under cool running water. Place a large pot of well-salted water on to boil. Trim the broccoli and nip off the base. Cut in half lengthwise if the stems are fat. Plunge the broccoli into the boiling water and cook for a minute or so. Drain and set aside.

Slice the chilli finely, leaving in the seeds. Place the chickpeas in a bowl with the parsley, chilli, a tablespoon of olive oil and lemon zest and juice. Toss so that the chickpeas are well coated. Place a large pan on the stove and add the chickpeas, broccoli and artichokes. Place a lid on top and cook for about five minutes.

Season the fish on both sides. Place a non-stick pan on a high heat and add a tablespoon of olive oil. Once hot, lay the fish in skin side down and cook for three minutes or until the skin is crisp and brown. Remove to the oven pan and cook without turning for a further three minutes, until the flesh is cooked through.

Divide the warm vegetables between four plates, lay the fish on top and serve.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Pot-roasted Gurnard

From River Cottage blog.

Prep time
    •    10 minutes
Cook Time
    •    40 minutes
    •    4
    •    A large knob of unsalted butter
    •    3 tablespoons olive oil
    •    2 medium leeks, white part only, cut into 2cm thick slices
    •    300g celeriac, peeled and cut into 2cm chunks
    •    2 onions, thickly sliced
    •    2 large potatoes, peeled and cut into 2cm chunks
    •    2 large carrots, cut into 2cm chunks
    •    1 large (about 1.5kg) or 2 medium (about 750g) or 4 small (about 400g) gurnard
    •    (or other whole fish), descaled and gutted
    •    A glass of white wine
    •    2 bay leaves
    •    Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Put the butter and olive oil in a large flameproof casserole over a medium-low
heat. Add all the vegetables, season well and toss them in the fat, then sweat
gently for about 10 minutes, until they begin to soften. Don’t let them colour.
Season the gurnard with salt and pepper, then add it to the pan, pushing it down
so it is snuggled in among the aromatic vegetables. Sprinkle over the wine and a
glass of water, tuck in the bay leaves and cover the dish. Bring to a gentle simmer
on the hob.
Now transfer the casserole to an oven preheated to 180°C/Gas Mark 4 and bake
for 30–40 minutes, depending on the size of fish. To check that the fish is ready,
insert the tip of a knife at the thickest part to pull the flesh away from the bone.
It should be opaque all the way through.
If you have one or two larger fish, take the flesh off the bones in big chunks.
Otherwise, simply serve one fish per person, with plenty of the vegetables and
juices alongside.

Sunday, October 09, 2011

Marinated and Slow Roast Pork Shoulder

Marinate: Overnight
Prep time: 1 hour
Cooking time: 2 to 3 hours

4-5 pounds boneless Pork Shoulder

1 tablespoon Fennel Seed, toasted and finely ground
2 teaspoons Black Peppercorns, cracked
2 tablespoons fresh Thyme, lightly chopped
2 tablespoons fresh Rosemary, lightly chopped
4 Garlic Cloves, passed through a press
Extra-virgin Olive Oil

4 Apples
1 Onion
Freshly ground Black Pepper
1 cup dry White wine
Trim sinew and all but p-inch of fat from pork shoulder.

1 In a small bowl mix together the ground fennel seed, cracked peppercorns, thyme and rosemary leaves, pressed garlic, 2 tablespoons salt and 2 tablespoons olive oil. Stir until the mixture is uniform.
2 Rub the mixture evenly over the pork shoulder inside and out. Wrap the pork shoulder tightly in plastic wrap to hold the marinade against the skin and marinate overnight (or up to two days).
3 Peel, halve and core the apples. (A melon baller is a great tool to remove the seeds effortlessly.) Cut each half into 4 equal wedges. Place the wedges in a medium bowl.
4 Peel and trim the onion. Cut in half and cut each half into 12 thin wedges. Mix with the apples.
5 Preheat the oven to 450°.
6 Toss the apples and onions with the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Place in the bottom of a roasting pan or Dutch oven with a cover and put the marinated pork shoulder on top. (You may also use a regular roasting pan with aluminum foil to cover.)
7 Roast uncovered for 30 minutes. Turn the oven heat down to 325° and add the wine. Cover the roasting pan and slow roast for 4-5 hours until the pork shoulder is very tender and pulls apart easily when probed with a fork.
8 Transfer the pork shoulder to a serving plate. If the pan juices are very thick, add enough water to loosen, then mash and strain. If more liquid is desired, add a little water. The apples will be so soft that they will break down.

Check the seasoning and correct to taste. Strain the sauce through a coarse strainer to refine the texture if desired.

Serves 4-6 with leftovers.

Beef Tagine

• 600g Stewing Beef
• Olive Oil
• 1 Onion, chopped
• Bunch of fresh Coriander
• 1 tin of Chickpeas, drained
• 1 tin of Tomatoes
• 800ml vegetable/chicken stock
• Turmeric
• 2 tablespoons flaked Almonds, toasted

For the spice rub
• Sea Salt and freshly ground Black Pepper
• Ground Cumin (dry roast whole seeds and grind)
• Ground Cinnamon (or a whole piece)
• Ground Ginger
• Sweet Paprika
• Ground Coriander seeds

1] Mix all the spice rub ingredients together in a bowl. Add the Beef and massage it with the spice rub. Cover with cling film and put into the fridge for a couple of hours. Ideally overnight.
2] Heat a lug of olive oil in a tagine or casserole– type pan and fry the meat over a medium heat for 5 minutes.
3] Add the Onions and fry for another 5 minutes.
4] Tip in the Chickpeas, Coriander, Turmeric and Tomatoes, then pour in 400ml of stock and stir. Bring to the boil, then put the lid on the pan or cover with foil and reduce to a simmer for 1½hours.
5] Add the rest of the stock. Give everything a gentle stir, then pop the lid back on the pan and continue cooking for another 1½ hours. Keep an eye on it and add a splash of water if it looks too dry.

Once the time is up, take the lid off and check the consistency. If it seems a bit too runny, simmer for 5 to 10 minutes, more with the lid off. The beef should be really tender and flaking apart now, so have a taste and season with a pinch or two of salt. Scatter the coriander leaves over the tagine along with the toasted almonds.

I forgot to get some Chickpeas in, so I used diced Potatoes.
Roasted off a Red Pepper over a naked flame, removed the blackened skin, deseeded it and mixed it into the Couscous which was made with Chicken Stock.

Pork Loin and Apple 'Sandwich'

Pork Filling:
Olive Oil
Onion (Finely diced)
Bacon (Finely diced)
Garlic (As much as you like)
Fresh Rosemary (Cut finely, as small as you can)
1 Apple (Finely diced)

1] Warm a little Olive Oil in a pan and gently soften the Onions. 5 minutes or so.
2] Add the Bacon.
3] Stir in the Garlic so it doesn't burn. Throw in the Rosemary, 30 Seconds! Then take off the heat to cool.
4] Get the Pork Loin on a board, trim it and cut it in, almost, half... (Butterfly it?)
5] Get messy and fill the Pork Sandwich with the half the filling mix.
6] Tie the pork with string and put in the oven on a lightly oiled baking tray. Reduce heat to Gas 4.
7] The Pork is going to take about 20-30 minutes.
8] Fry off the trimmings from the Pork to start off a nice sauce.
9] Splash in some White Wine and let it reduce.
10] Add the rest of your filling mix, stir and reduce while the Pork finishes cooking.
11] Let the Pork rest for 5 minutes on a board before you slice it and plate up.
12] Deglaze the roasting tray with some White Wine and add it to your sauce.