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?

 

My Instagram Feast

Clockwise from top left: the ever amazing cress (sewn by my even more amazing 3 yo on cotton wool, can’t beat it), a griddled courgette, aubergine, mozarella and tomato salad; good old strawberries and ice cream; pesto and spinach potato salad with carrot, tomatoes and fruit salad for al fresco eating on the grass outside our flat, more potato salad with yummy smoked salmon; home made ice pops – a daily habit at the mo; feta, cucumber, spinach and mint salad with the new Genius tomato and basil pittas – approved, very scrummy cheese and potato pie from Clives at the Allergy and Free From show; and my lazy dinner du jour of pasta, pesto and sugar snap peas – I know I’m a real gourmet!

Two Sausage Stew

This was a quick casserole type dish I knocked up in the week and have had subsequently for lunch and tonight’s dinner, it’s pretty straightforward to make and consists of mainly storecupboard and standard fridge contents.  The chorizo permeates through the whole dish and makes this a very moreish bowl of supper.

Serves 4

Ingredients:

  • 6 gluten free sausages (I used those ones by that Irish guy Rankin but throw in your favourites), each chopped into six bitesize pieces
  • About quarter of a ring of chorizo, chopped into small chunks
  • 2/3 large handfuls of green lentils (I didn’t measure so think about the amount of people you are trying to feed and wing it)
  • 2 onions, chopped
  • 1 large carrot, quartered lengthways and chopped into fine chunks
  • 1 stick of celery, split and chopped
  • 1 tin of chopped tomatoes
  • 1 clove of garlic, chopped
  • A glass of red wine
  • A big squirt of ketchup
  • lots of fresh ground pepper

Method:

Fry off the sausages and chorizo in the bottom of a heavy pot until browned.  Soften the onions, celery and carrots in a bowl in the microwave then add with the garlic to the pot.  Fry for a minute or so then splosh in the red wine, let it reduce for a moment or so then add the tomatoes, ketchup and pepper.  Wash and then add the lentils and top up with about half to a can full of water.  Top with a lid and simmer for about 25 min or until lentils are tender.  Adjust the seasoning if necessary, I didn’t need to add any salt to this because the chorizo and sausages seemed to salt it enough so give it a taste and see.  Serve alone in a bowl or with crusty bread.

Roasted Carrot and Cauliflower with Spiced Minced Lamb

I’ve been stockpiling carrots recently, I do love a carrot, it might well be my favourite vegetable.  Anyway it would seem I’m not really using the quantity I’m buying at the moment so my little orange friend must come to forefront for once and start starring in a dish or two.

This is a very moreish warm salad type affair that mixes the sweet earthy carrots, almost crunchy cauliflower with the spiced, crispy minced lamb

Serves 2 with a couple of toasted pittas on the side

Ingredients:

  • 4/5 carrots halved or quartered lengthways
  • half a large cauliflower, broken in to small florets
  • 100g minced lamb
  • 1 onion
  • 2 teaspoons of garam masala
  • 1 teaspoon of ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon of ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon of honey
  • 1 tablespoon of oil
  • A handful of mint
  • a large tablespoon of yoghurt
  • a heaped teaspoon of sweet chilli sauce
  • water
  • salt and pepper

Method:

Pre heat your oven to 200 degrees.  Mix 1 teaspoon of garam masala with the cumin, coriander, honey and oil.  Throw your veg into a baking tray and pour spiced dressing over, tossing until all the veg are covered. Roast the veg in the oven for about 35 min or until tender and slightly charred.

Whilst your veg is roasting get on with the lamb and dressing. Chop the mint, put half in a bowl and leave half for garnishing later.  Add the yoghurt and sweet chilli to the mint and let down with water until you have a runny dressing the consistency of double cream.

Soften a chopped onion in the a pan  (or microwave) then set aside.  Fry the minced lamb in a dry pan until golden, add the onion and continue to fry until browned, add the other teaspoon of garam masala and toast for a further minute or so then turn the heat off until the veg are ready.

When the veg is ready, season generously with salt and pepper and pile up on plates.  Top with the crispy minced lamb and onion mix and drizzle over the yoghurt dressing.  Finish with a scatter of the remaining shredded mint and serve with toasted pitta or flat breads.

Carrot, Apple and Ginger Loaf (gluten free)

Well hello there.  No more apologies, I’m just slack ok? ...and, well, I do have a quite demanding day job too, so yeah… let’s just leave it there.

This is the perfect cake for cool, blustery, drizzly days, it warms you, settles you and is practically a health food (ok it is a cake).  I was a bit poorly yesterday and was researching looking up all things ginger on the internet in search of something to settle my stomach.  However I was a bit too sick to actually get up off my arse and cook something so, today, feeling better, having done some work (got to get that in there!), I felt it was time to experiment a little in the kitchen again. I’m a big fan of this combination of flavours in a juice, but after ordering one of those juicing contraptions a couple of  years ago (well, actually I bought one twice, once when I was a teenager, insisting it would be used every day and I would clean it meticulously, in fact I think it’s still in my parent’s cupboard, coated in dried up vegetable mush) I hastily sent the second one back after switching it on and realising it sounded like a Mitsubishi motorbike revving in our kitchen, not necessarily what you want as your invigorating wake up call of a morning.  Anyways cake is much better isn’t it, juice is for namby pamby health freaks, cake however is a health food of the more sophisticated mind, you have to think about it a bit harder, but yes, it is good for you in so many other ways.

Right enough of this clap trap, onto the cake.

Ingredients:

  • 3 small apples, grated
  • 2 carrots, grated
  • 3 nuggets of stem ginger, finely chopped
  • 6oz of gf self raising flour
  • 6oz of butter
  • 6oz of caster sugar
  • 1 rounded teaspoon of ground ginger
  • 3 eggs

Method:

Pre-heat the oven to 180 degree (fan) or 200.  Grease and line a loaf tin.

Cream the butter and sugar until pale and fluffy (nuke a little if solid from the fridge).  Add the eggs, one by one, and beat in.  Add flour, stir.  Add ground ginger, apples, carrots and chopped up stem ginger and mix (try to sprinkle the stem ginger around the bowl a bit to stop it clumping together).  Turn mix into loaf tin and bake for about an hour (or until a knife comes out clean). Serve however you bloody fancy, I’ve already tucked into mine warm from the oven – it’s good.

Escabeche Sea Bream with Crispy Smashed Potatoes

Escabeche Sea Bream with Crispy Smashed Potatoes

I made this two weeks ago but forgot to post about it.  Escabeche is a great sweet and sour type sauce to serve with and cook fish in.  To be honest I can’t remember the quantities I used so I’ll just be crap and say it involved white wine vinegar, sugar, water, celery, onion and carrots and the fish.  I sliced the veg very thinly and cooked them in the vinegar and sugar mixture then poached/steamed the fish  on top of it.  The end result should be light and fresh with the veg still crunchy and the fish delicate and soft.  I believe I scattered this with some basil at the end to lift it slightly.  And that’s about that folks, less a recipe more of a vague memory but give it a go, it’s good to experiment now and again!

Oh, yeah, the smashed potatoes, these are gorgeous and make a brilliant accompaniment to many a dish, boil your new potatoes until just cooked through.  Pre heat the oven then plop the potatoes into a baking a tray, break or smash with a fork, drizzle with oil, season with salt and pepper (or you could add spices or herbs) and whack in the oven at 220 degrees until golden and crispy. Bang! Spud heaven!

Beetroot, Feta, Sweet Potato and Spinach Salad

I’ve gone a bit mad for this salad over the past few days, knocking up versions of it for sides on a bbq or as a quick healthy lunch.  I’ve always been a bit funny about beetroot, I didn’t like it, I still grimace a little when I see it pickled or rather smell the pickling liquor.  My mum and dad seemed to religiously eat this in cheese salad sandwiches on a Saturday lunchtime and I used to hover round my dad as he made sandwiches making sure mine went no where near the stuff.  My partner loves the stuff too, gobbling up the pickled stuff straight from the jar as a midnight snack, bleurghhh.  Anyway my tastes have matured and as I often see the stuff finely shredded in salads you can buy in the shops and rather enjoying said salads I thought it was high time I got over my fear and grated this heavenly super food into my salads.  It’s a bit of a revelation of taste, it’s sweet  and crunchy and that purpley pink dye is rather charming when mingled with other salad veg and the salty, fresh feta.

So here it goes…

mmm beetroot...

Serves 2 as a lunch

Ingredients:

  • 1 sweet potato, washed and unpeeled, cut into square dice (about 1 and 1/2 cm)
  • 1 beetroot, grated
  • 1 carrot, grated
  • 2 spring onions, finely chopped
  • A large handful of baby spinach
  • a 3rd of a bar of Feta

For the dressing:

  • 1 tablespoon of sherry vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil
  • half a teaspoon of agave syrup or honey or sugar
  • salt and pepper

Method:

Heat an oven to about 220 degrees.  Chuck your sweet potato chinks in a tray, drizzle with oil, season generously and toss together to coat.  Cook your sweet potatoes for about 20 min until tender and slightly browned.  Set aside.

Combine your grated veg, spring onions, spinach.  Add warm sweet potatoes. Mix dressing and pour over and toss.  Crumble in feta.  Toss lightly.  Serve.

This is so delicious, I had it again today with out the sweet potato and was thinking about mixing in some fried chorizo chinks for a more meaty treat another time.  If you are afraid of beetroot, try this, it’s really not half as bad as you think, promise.