Lamb and Carrot Pilau – Midweek Supper

I’m sure I’ve done something similar here before but I wanted to share this simple supper that I made last week.  It’s full of flavour, economical and easy to pimp up with some extra sides and sauces.

lamb pilau x

Serves 2/3

Ingredients:

  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 200g white basmati rice
  • 125g lamb mince
  • 2 carrots, sliced into batons
  • A tablespoon of oil
  • A heaped teaspoon of cumin seeds
  • a heaped teaspoon of medium curry powder
  • Half a veggie stock pot
  • 400ml of boiling water
  • Salt

Method:

Soften the onions until translucent then put to one side.   Fry lamb mince in heavy bottomed pot until browned and crispy, add softened onions, spices and fry for a minute.  Then add rice and carrots and stir well so that the rice is coated in the oil.   Add the water stock  and cover with lid.  Cook for about 14 min, turn the heat off and let it stand for five minutes.  Open the pot and you should be engulfed in a steamy, lightly spiced cloud, mmmm, fluff gently and season to taste.  Serve on its own, with yoghurt, chilli sauce, chutney or as part of a feast.

What are you having for dinner tonight?

 

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Falafel – Gluten Free

Had you been wondering if I did any cooking anymore? Well I have to admit, I’ve been a bit slack, I do still cook, I just been sticking to staples and not really bothering to take pictures and remember recipes.  But here we have a simple little falafel recipe, perfect for summer days as part of a mezze or stuffed in a pitta.

falafel

So for the recipe…

Ingredients (makes 10 small falafel):

  • 1 400g tin of chickpeas
  • 2 cloves of garlic chopped
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 egg
  • 3/4 tablespoons of gram or gluten free flour
  • 1 heaped teaspoon of ground coriander
  • 1 heaped teaspoon of ground cumin
  • a handful of mint
  • salt
  • oil for frying

Method:

First soften the onions and garlic, I do this in a microwave because I find it easy but gently frying in a pan has the same results, you just want them soft and translucent.

Then add all the ingredients bar the flour to a food processor.  Blitz, you may need to scrape down any stray chickpeas or you might want to keep it chunky.  Then depending on the wetness of the mixture I add two to three tablespoons of flour, now my plan was to have chickpea flour (gram/besan) but  mine was out of date so I substituted gf plain flour, if you’re not coeliac then plain regular flour would work too.   You want a thick but not too wet mixture that you can easily manipulate, see picture for clarity there, it’s awful hard to describe!

Once you’ve got the right consistency, scoop out walnut size blobs if you want to emulate mine, but frankly any old size will work, you could make big fat burgers or round footballs or cut them into star shapes should you desire but flat patties was what I was after.

Then chill the patties for a while (time constraints permitting, I’m sure they would be fine fried straight away should you need to).

Shallow fry for about 3/4 minutes each side on a medium heat.  Then serve hot stuffed into a pitta with chilli sauce and yoghurt.

falafel stages

You can freeze these and heat up in the oven at a later date should you need to, I made too many for me and my little dinner guest so I’ve stashed the remainder away for a mid-week dinner.

Ok, so that was the first recipe for a while.  It felt good, what do you think?

 

Adventures in Half Term

So this week, as well as whipping by like lightning, has been blissful. I love holiday times with my little lady and feel very lucky to be able to spend most of these days with her.

Monday began the holidays with Twycross Zoo, just a 40 minute drive from us and a guaranteed fun day out.  Tuesday found us wandering down our local canal, feeding the ducks and muttering about how we really should do this more.  Wednesday with more rain, was spent with a quick trip to the supermarket and a potter round the newly housed local library then an afternoon slobbed out on the sofa watching Tinkerbell (living the dream!).

half term fun
Then today, well today was a special day. We began with a trip to the morning showing of ‘Charlie and Lola’s Extremely New Play’ at the REP theatre in Birmingham, well wow, it was simply magical. I won’t give away too much but I highly recommend this production, the puppetry is amazing and I found myself grinning from ear to ear throughout the whole show. It’s on until Saturday here in Birmingham, see here for details. We have seen this company before in Wimbledon at the Polka Theatre, an awesome children’s theatre in south London so I was so excited to hear they were touring and dropping by on old Brum with their new production.

day out 29th may

The second wonderous event today ( I won’t count the unfortunate trip to Monsoon and the calamitous accidental purchasing of not one, but two, oh ok, three items of beautiful clothing in between, that is to be kept between me and you ok?).  Anyway, if it wasn’t for my stumbling on a few bargains, which may have hampered our chances of being seated immediately at a couple of other restaurants,  we wouldn’t have been forced to try the new burger joint in the Bull Ring shopping centre . So Five Guys, oh my. It. Is. AMAZING. I had thought the delights of such dirty, filthy American burgers would never come to the tropical climes of Birmingham, but they have. AND…drum roll please, they only go and cater for coeliacs. Now don’t go all ape on me dear readers they didn’t go so far as offering gluten free buns, although their website does state you can bring your on should you wish. They do however offer god damn delicious, delectable and down right d__________ (you fill the blank with an appropriate alliterative adjective, go on spoil yourself) bun free burgers with ALL the toppings and frankly fantastic chips, golden brown, skin on, crispy, salty goodness (most importantly for us coeliacs, not cross contaminated by any other frying, just pure glorious potatoes). I’m dribbling salivating just thinking about them.  *Sigh* People of Birmingham, people of anywhere, seek this place out, it’s awesome.

Ok, and onto the third and final, ok maybe less monumental but equally wonderful flavour revelation of the day, and feeling rather virtuous too I might add.  I may be a tad late to the party on this one, but when seeking out a naughty little sweet something before we popped on the train home, we found Yoomoo frozen yoghurt stand in the Food Hall in Selfridges.  I don’t know why I’ve never tried this before but boy is it good, we had a vanilla pot with strawberries, white chocolate buttons and chocolate sauce (good choice lil m) and I have to say me and my little companion were mighty pleased with our choice.

So after another classic game of eye-spy on the train back, we are home, cartoons might be on the telly, we might well be planning to *forget* we have washing to sort and we may have turned a blind eye to the mounting  toy covered carpet in the living room, but who cares, we had an ace day and I hope you didn’t mind me sharing it with you.

What have you been up to this week?

 

Tomato and Chorizo Rice

Oh Hi!

Me? Well I was getting a bit sick of this poor lonesome blog giving me guilt trips so after spending most of my recent spare time watching YouTube constantly (oh my Sprinkle of Glitter
you are truly addictive!) I decided to just jump in and do a vlog, eek, please be gentle, here it is…

I’m attempting to post this from my iPad so not sure how to embed the video from here, I’ll have a tinker on the pooter later.

Anyways, please comment on the video, like (if you like it), and subscribe to my channel and then I’ll have some idea whether you hate it or not.

Be nice x

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Tin Tins Chinese Restaurant AKA I FOUND GLUTEN FREE CHINESE!!!

So it’s been very quiet here lately, I’ve had big changes afoot, moving house, city and job is a stressful business and since settling back in my beloved Brummy home town I’ve quite appreciated the lack of blogging pressures. But I couldn’t resist this one because I’ve finally found a Chinese restaurant that for one responded to my email asking about gluten free options and two, were so lovely and accommodating when I attended said restaurant that I just had to give them a little shout out.

I’ve got no photos of the food or restaurant (bad, bad food blogger I know), I was so busy shovelling the food down my gullet that the thought did not even enter my delirious food obsessed brain. What I can say they is that they are very helpful there and we managed with the help from the awesome Brian, the manager (? I’m not sure but he should be because he’s ace) to eat a delicious birthday feast of steamed seabass with ginger and spring onion (gluten containing sauce on the side for my lucky non coeliac family,) Kung po king prawns, duck with plum sauce (the best in my humble opinion) and chicken with cashew nuts. It was great to finally eat in a Chinese restaurant again and the service was outstanding. So if you happen to be in need of gluten free Chinese food in Birmingham and want to give it a try I totally recommend the wonderful Tin Tins in Brindley Place.

So anyways I might dip my toe a little further back into the blogging water shortly with perhaps some of the pics of food I’ve encountered this summer so watch this space and please comment below.

See you soon lovely readers, I hope to be back again soon life permitting!

Strawberry Cider

I just had to break my radio silence to present what can only be described as heavens nectar in cider form. Basically it tastes like strawberry juice but it’s beautiful still cider. I found this on my return from the frankly awesome Lambeth Country Show, on a little stall outside Herne Hill station (god I’d love to live there, one day lottery gods). Unfortunately like the complete doughnut I am I forgot the name of the stall and sadly my 2 pint carton is not labelled. If anyone knows the brand please let me know in the meantime you will find me next weekend returning to that same spot to stalk that there vendor and purchase some more of his tantalising elixir…

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Oven Baked Chilli Fries

This is a quick and simple recipe I knocked up for lunch, the chilli powder actually combines chilli (duh), cumin, oregano and garlic and gives these fries a spicy, moreish flavour which makes them almost impossible to resist, I thought I was knocking up enough for two but ended up eating  the lot.

Ingredients:

  • However many potatoes you want
  • Chilli powder, I went for a mild one but a hot one would certainly pack a punch
  • Olive oil
  • Salt

Method:

Pre heat your oven to 200 and get out a big tray.  Slice your potatoes (skin on) in to fat match sticks, well you could do wedges, super fine fries or whatever but i think fat match sticks worked well for a good crisp chip.  Chuck the tatties in large roasting tray then slug on a tablespoon or so of oil, mix with your hands then sprinkle liberally with chilli powder and salt then mix some more.

Shove in the oven for about 25 min until hot and crispy then serve with sour cream and sweet chilli.  Oh yeah.