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.

 

 

Advertisements

Chilli with Gluten Free Corn Tortillas

I’ve been dreaming about gluten-free tortillas or wraps since I stopped eating gluten, they are somewhat the holy grail of gluten-free finds and until recently I didn’t think anyone manufactured any good ones.  However, it seems there is a saviour, Saara at The Gluten Free Student Cookbook has found some at the Mex Grocer and she also had a go at making some here.  These looked great and I shall be certainly ordering some of the Mex Grocer ones for my freezer but after reading Thomasina Miers’ Mexican Food Made Simple over the last week I had ambitions to go authentic and cook some from scratch.  Now you’ll need to source some ‘Masa Harina’ flour first, not too difficult it would seem, it’s of course readily available online but also stocked at major supermarkets (I found mine in Sainsburys).  It’s a pretty simple recipe, I followed the one on the back of the packet which just involves adding hot water, Thomasina adds some oil to hers  and in hindsight I would recommend a glug into the mix to improve the flexibility of the finished tortilla.  The ones I made were not something you could easily use for a fajita or wrap but made a great flat bread type accompaniment to a chilli and certainly would work well in wedges, refried and served with guacamole, salsa, sour cream and cheese.

The chilli was mostly my own invention, whilst I nicked the idea for  the admission of chorizo from Thomasina the rest was a bit of this and bit of that from my imagination (oh yeah and a quick consultary call to my Dad).

Ingredients:

For the chilli:

  • 250g of lean beef mince
  • 250g of pork mince
  • a third of a ring of chorizo, chopped into small chunks
  • 2 medium onions, finely chopped
  • 1 stick of celery, finely chopped
  • 1 tin of chopped tomatoes
  • 200g carton of passata
  • 1 tin of kidney beans
  • 1 heaped teaspoon of mild chilli powder (crank up the heat on this if you can take it, I regretted the lack of spice but I was catering for a 3 year old too so added extra fresh chilli to mine at the end)
  • 1 rounded teaspoon of sweet smoked paprika
  • 1 tablespoon of sherry vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons of ketchup
  • 1/2 a tablespoon of agave syrup
  • 2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
  • 2/3 squares of dark chocolate
  • salt and pepper

For the tortillas (makes about 4, double, or triple for more):

  • 125g Masa Harina flour
  • 160ml of hot water
  • salt and pepper
  • a tablespoon of oil

Method:

Brown the mince and chorizo in a large pot.  Add the onion, celery and garlic and fry gently for a few minutes until tender.  Add the chilli powder and paprika and fry for a minute or so then add the tomatoes and passata and top with half a can of water.  Bring up to the simmer and add the vinegar, ketchup, syrup and salt and pepper.  Simmer with the lid on for about 30 min then add the kidney beans and cook on a low heat for a further 15 min.  Chuck in the chocolate, stir, then set aside until your tortillas are ready.

Mix the corn flour, salt, pepper, oil and hand hot water in a large bowl and bring together into a soft, clay like ball.  Cover and leave to rest for 15-30 min.  Take a golf ball sized chunk and roll in to a ball in your hands then place between the layers of a plastic sandwich bag.  Now this is where in an ideal world you would be a good Mexican cook and have a tortilla press to make fine looking circles with no cracks, however I’m not Mexican and I’m not very good either so instead I used a good old fashioned British rolling pin and made round (ish), cracked rustic circles, and when I say circles you can use your imagination there as well.  You want to aim for about 2mm thick but I say experimentation is the best way forward and find your way through trial and error, the odd snack or test case whilst cooking never did anyone any harm.  Heat a dry pan and cook your tortillas on a high heat for a couple of minutes each side until slightly puffed and charred. Keep your tortillas warm in a tea towel in a low oven whilst you assemble the rest of the meal.

I served my chilli in a bowl topped with a rough guacamole (chopped avocado, chilli and lime), sour cream, and grated cheese with the tortillas on the side to dip, wrap, mop up and devour.

Tandoori Chicken and Potatoes with a Cucumber and Mint Raita

I love Tandoori Chicken, brick red and charred from the tandoor, nothing quite beats that authentic cooking. However I’ve found a way to recreate it at home, ok you can’t necessarily replace the tandoor oven but you can get a good replica of the spicing by using a packet! (and a few other key ingredients)  I’d never thought of making it myself until I saw this seasoning in the supermarket and thought why not?  A little piece of advice though, don’t buy the teeny pots for about £2/3 browse around and look out for the massive bags of the stuff for less than £2 in the Asian food aisle or in more specialist shops.  I bought Natco’s Tandoori Masala which worked a treat but I’m sure there are other reputable brands around. It’s really easy to make and after you’ve bought a big bag of the stuff you’ll be wanting to tandoori everything in sight.  I even sprinkled it on my potatoes before I roasted them and what a treat they were, do try them.

Serves 2/3

Ingredients:

  • A packet of chicken thighs and drumsticks, there were about 3 of each in my pack

For the marinade:

  • A small tub of yoghurt (I used that greek fat free stuff)
  • A heaped dessert spoon of Tandoori Masala powder
  • 3/4 cloves of garlic, grated or crushed
  • 2 inches of ginger, grated
  • Juice of half a lemon 

For the tandoori potatoes:

  • 12 or more baby new potatoes, washed
  • A drizzle of oil
  • 2 teaspoons of  Tandoori Masala powder

For the raita:

  • 1/2 Cucumber, cored and sliced
  • Small tub of  plain yoghurt
  • A large handful of mint, chopped
  • A dessert spoonful of sweet chilli sauce

Method:

Slash your thighs and drumsticks down to the bone.  Mix the marinade and coat the chicken.  Leave to marinade for as long as possible, mine were in for a few hours, over night would be plenty.

Heat an oven to 250 degrees.  Put your potatoes in a pan and drizzle with a little oil, sprinkle on your Tandoori Masala powder and toss together until evenly coated. 

Shake off excess marinade from the chicken and lay on a baking tray.  Put the potatoes and the chicken in the same oven for 20/25 min.  I’d put the chicken on the top shelf as that needs more heat. 

Whilst the chicken and potatoes are cooking make your raita.  Core and slice the cucumber, mix with the chopped mint, yoghurt and sweet chilli, if you want extra heat add some freshly chopped chilli to the mix as well. 

After 20/25 min check the chicken is cooked through and is slightly charred (slightly!!).  Serve together with the potatoes and raita then rave about how you made your own Tandoori Chicken! 

You could make this more authentic and healthier by taking the skin off the chicken pieces, I forgot, but lets forget health for a while and indulge in crispy, spiced Tandoori Masala chicken skin, mmmm, oh boy that skin was delicious. 

Crispy Shredded Chicken

I’m a bit obsessed with crispy things. Some of my old uni mates have a video of me raging round their kitchen ranting about crispy bacon as the antidote to all excesses, I think my words were ‘crispy, crispy bacon’ repeated over and over in a slightly dramatic but slurred fashion.

Crispy duck, crispy chips, crispy skin, crispy, crunchy, FRIED! It makes you hungry doesn’t it?

This is a dish I’ve wanted to do for some time but I can’t deal with deep frying in my flat, it’s too smelly and too risky with a toddler running around. Incidentally, I’m very good at persuading others to invest in a good old deep fat fryer though. On my last trip to see my parents, after years of my dad wanting one and my mum saying no way, Daddio and I went on a little shopping trip and what popped into his basket? But of course, a fryer, whoot whoot! Twice fried chips and onion rings a plenty when I visit. My plan worked!

Anyway, I’ve found an alternative to the traditional deep fry and corn flour batter option. It’s so fantastic I had it twice this week. You can find fine cornmeal in the supermarket usually in the Caribbean section, look for Island Sun.

Serves 2

Ingredients:

2 chicken thigh fillets, boned
1 carrot, cut into fine strips
4 spring onions, shredded
A thumb sized piece of ginger, cut into fine strips
2 cloves of garlic, chopped
1/2 a long red chilli, finely chopped
A heaped dessertspoon of fine cornmeal
A level teaspoon of five spice powder
3/4 tablespoons of vegetable or sunflower oil
Salt
For the sauce:

2/3 tablespoons of red wine vinegar
1 heaped teaspoon of ketchup
1 tablespoon of sugar
1/2 cup of water
1 teaspoon of corn flour or arrowroot
A splash of soy sauce

Method

Prepare all the vegetables and set to one side.
Slice the chicken into fine shreds, about half a cm wide.
Mix the cornmeal with five spice and a pinch of salt.
Toss the chicken shreds in the cornmeal mix until lightly coated.
Heat wok or frying pan and add oil.
Fry the chicken on high until golden brown and crispy. Drain on kitchen paper and set to one side.
Fry the garlic and ginger for a minute then add the rest of the vegetables and chilli with a splash of soy sauce and stir fry for a minute or two.
Put the veg to one side and add the vinegar, water, ketchup, soy and sugar to the pan.
Bubble up the sweet and sour sauce and mix the corn flour or arrowroot with a little more water and add to sauce. Let it thicken and taste, adjust the vinegar/sugar ratio if necessary.
Return the veg and chicken to the pan with the sauce and heat through.
Serve with boiled rice and a few prawn crackers, and rip up that take away menu! (or at least hide it until Friday)

Thai Style Turkey Patties

I had been thinking of making something like these for quite a while now so after my mammouth food shop this morning I set to work to make these for lunch.  They are super easy to make and have only 4 maybe 5 ingredients so go on have a go, they are very yummy…

Makes 8 chubby little patties, or more smaller ones.

Ingredients:

300g Turkey Mince

4 heaped teaspoons of Thai Green Curry Paste

5 Spring Onions, sliced fairly finely

Pinch of salt

1/2 a red or green chilli, finely chopped (optiona, I wimped out on this one and wish I hadn’t now)

Sweet Chilli Sauce to serve

Method:

Mix the mince, curry paste, spring onions, chilli and salt together. Get your hands in so that the paste is really incorporated.  Shape into smallish patty shapes and fry for 2/3 min each side. 

Serve with a green salad and some dipping sauce.

I had 5 of these for lunch and was stuffed.  However they would make a lovely little starter, or if you were having a party you could make these a little smaller and serve as canapes.

Saudi Asian Kheema – What Reshma Ate…

This dish is easy to prepare and popular because it contains basic ingredients thay can be found in a kitchen cupboard!

Saudi-Asian Beef Kheema With Mushrooms & Red Kidney Beans.

Serves 4.

You need:-

3-4 tbs vegetable oil.

1\2 kilo minced beef (lamb ok but beef is best).

2-3 large tbs garlic and ginger paste.

1 large onion chopped finely.

2 green chillies finely chopped.

3-4 curry leaves.

1 tbs fresh thyme (or to taste).

1 can red kidney beans, washed and drained.

I can of tinned tomatoes (puree it and keep aside).

1 box of mushrooms, sliced.

Salt, white pepper and black pepper to taste.

I bunch of fresh green coriander, chopped finely.

1 cup of water.

Optional- 2 large hard bolied eggs-sliced.

Method:-

1. Fry chopped onion until nearly golden.

2. Add chopped chillies, thyme and curry leaves and let fry for a couple of mins.

3. Add minced beef and fry well. Add the garlic & ginger paste, salt and pepper to taste.

4. Add sliced mushrooms and fry. Give it a stir now and again.

5. Add pureed tomatoes. Let cook until oil appears on the surface. Give it an occassional stir. Once the oil appears, add one glass of water, mix and let cook for a further 10 mins.

6. Add kidney beans, mix and let cook for about ten mins. Taste it and see if you require more salt and pepper.

7. Garnish with freshly chopped coriander and sliced hard boiled eggs (optional).

Best served with a French baguette and a green salad.

Love,

Reshma