So I just thought I’d let you know that you can also read one of my new recipes here at this new and pretty wonderful site for all things gluten free. Check it out!
So I just thought I’d let you know that you can also read one of my new recipes here at this new and pretty wonderful site for all things gluten free. Check it out!
I’ve got 2 Cadbury’s Creme Eggs and a packet of Minstrels in the fridge and I’m feeling guilty so thought I’d knock up a healthy veggie curry for lunch that could double up as one of my weekday packed lunches leaving enough sauce to spare to make something quick and spicy for tea in the week – multi tasking food, you see that? What more do you want? Anyway by my wonderful diet logic if I eat one healthy meal that means I can deffo have eaten at least one of those creme eggs by the end of the day, it’s a simple balanced equation right?
This curry is quick and simple to knock up and is pretty much made with store cupboard ingredients, in fact if you don’t have chickpeas, a tin of beans, some lentils or whatever veggies you have lurking about in your fridge would all make welcome additions to this spicy sauce.
So here we go…
Serves 2 with left over sauce for another meal in the week
Soften the onions in a pot with a tablespoon of oil until translucent, add the ginger and garlic and fry for a minute or two. Add the spices and let them fry for a further minute then add the tomatoes and let it bubble down for about 5 minutes, stirring now and then to prevent it from catching. Add the chutney, salt and coconut milk, then blitz with a hand blender (or in a machine), return to the heat and bring to the simmer. This is where you can now syphon off half the sauce and stash in the fridge or freezer until a later date. Now add the drained and rinsed chick peas to the pot. Simmer the chickpeas for a further couple of minutes until everything is heated through then serve. I served mine with a gluten free pitta for lunch and I’ll be having the other portion for lunch on Monday with a bit of tonight’s left over roast chicken dinner stirred in, I love a bit of leftovers don’t you?
I was going to entitle this drink ‘Hard Lemonade’ because I had drunk one of said drinks at Pitt Cue Co earlier in the week and it was so delicious I’ve been thinking about it ever since. I had a couple of experiments with gin and lemons yesterday and made a pretty decent drink glass by glass but I wanted something I could get ready ahead of time and just pour when the urge took me and so this punch was born. Also after spending most of half term coughing, spluttering and blowing my nose I thought a nice lemon and honey drink was in order as it is medicinal isn’t it?!
It’s a light, refreshing and restorative little tipple that works well chilled over ice. You could easily add gin or vodka to this but when I remembered I had this gingerbread rum leftover from Christmas it seemed to be fate.
Zest and juice 4 lemons into a jug, grate in the ginger and then stir in all the other ingredients and top up with water. Add your glug of rum about 4/6 shots (?). Chill the drink in the fridge for an hour or so and serve over ice.
It’s Autumn, we are approaching Halloween, it’s time, isn’t it? Cue the squash recipe…
Pre-heat the oven to about 220 degrees. Chuck the chopped squash into a baking tray lightly coat in oil and sprinkle with the cumin and coriander, toss to coat then shove in the oven for about 15 min until slightly charred and tender.
Blitz the onion, ginger and garlic in a mini food processor ( or finely chop) then soften in the microwave (in a covered bowl) for a couple of minutes, alternative fry on low until soft and translucent. Transfer onion mix to small sauce pan and begin to fry (add fresh chilli here if you like it hot), add curry powder, fry off for a min then add peanut butter, coconut milk, sweet chilli and stir until combined. Add soy and lime, bring to the bubble, taste and adjust ingredients to suit. Set aside whilst you prep the noodles.
Soak your rice noodles in boiled water until tender (I usually keep changing the water, about 3 times, in between 2 min soaks so that I’m not hanging around too long and the noodles stay hot as well as soft. Once the noodles are ready, drain and toss with the spinach. Boil up sauce and add half to the mix, stir together, mix in half the roasted squash and plate up. Top with the remaining and most beautifully charred squash, maybe a few crushed peanuts and some chopped coriander (miss out the last 2 steps if you are like me and can’t be arsed with faffing around when you are hungry).
Tip: If you don’t have a use for the remaining half a tin of coconut milk, half an onion (aka the awkward leftovers) double up the sauce recipe and freeze some for the next time you feel satay inclined, I’m not actually sure why I didn’t do this, oops…
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.
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.
I was pretty surprised at just how delicious this curry was. I cooked it without any oil, just a little of that spray light and it worked really well, it also means it’s practically fat free and good for the diet (zzzzzz). I think the secret is the grilling of the whole aubergine until charred and smoky and then using the scooped out flesh. I’ve made the flat breads before, they are kind of a mix between socca and dosas in that they utilise the basic concept of the socca recipe, gram flour, water and seasoning, yet I make them like a dosa style pancake.
Oh yeah and I served it up with some cottage cheese, now I know I’m going to sound a little like a diet obsessed freak here but it worked really well, almost like a creamier yoghurt type substitute with a bit more body and the cool, soft cheese provided the perfect partner to this spiced aubergine and made a change from the more traditional yoghurt. In fact I read somewhere someone talking about how cottage cheese was pretty much the same as ricotta and although sadly underrated made a much cheaper alternative. Right enough said, it’s alright you know!
Serves 1 or 2 as a side dish
Turn your grill on. Whack your aubergine under the grill and turn every few minutes until it is charred and saggy. Set aside.
Slice your onion and soften in the microwave with a splash of water, ie put in bowl, splash with water and cover with a plate, I normally put it in on high for about 3 minutes.
Finely chop your garlic and ginger with some salt. Heat a small frying pan and spray with oil. Add your softened onions and ginger and garlic and fry until slightly browned. Add the curry powder and fry for 30 seconds. Add the roughly chopped tomatoes and fry for another min. Scoop out the innards of the aubergine and add to the pan. Stir and season to taste.
Serve with the flat breads, see recipe here, some cottage cheese and maybe a bit of mango chutney. I serve it all separately but it would make a great wrap if you were wanting a fajita vibe.
I’m typing in pain, during the making of this delicious dish I was a complete eejit and managed to burn myself with boiling hot duck fat. Lets just say when draining hot fat out of a pan do not attempt to hold the dish you are pouring into in your hand, particularly if it is glass, as said glass dish could break in your hands sending boiling hot fat everywhere. Lesson learnt. Hand burnt.
I bought duck breasts because I saw them reduced in the local supermarket and thought I might be able to knock up something oriental inspired to make up for the lack of Chinese takeaway deliveries to this flat lately. My finger is still burning and typing seems to be aggravating this so I keep it short.
Prepare all your veg and set to one side. Score the duck skin in a criss cross pattern, and salt. Heat a frying pan. Place duck breasts skin side down in hot, dry pan. Fry for about 5 min on skin side and 3 on other side, depending on size, this should ensure a crispy skin and a pink middle.
Take the breasts out of the pan and rest on a board. Drain off fat bar about a teaspoonful (you can use this for frying potatoes in at another time). See cautionary tale above for tips on how to be a complete butter fingers and burn yourself. Add ginger and garlic to the pan, stir fry for a minute. Add the carrots, spring onions, soy, orange juice and zest. Stir fry for a couple of minutes. Add syrup or sugar and stir letting it bubble up into a sticky coating. Pile a heap of carrots onto each plate, slice duck diagonally and place on top. Serve.
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.
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
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
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)
The sun has come out and I’m feeling all summer-y and that my dear readers means barbecue type foods (even though we don’t have a garden 😦 ) and salads. These drumsticks have got to be my best yet, spiced with five spice, ginger, garlic and other chinese condiments and then glazed with a sweet chilli sauce, these are moreish little numbers that can’t fail to be loved. The remoulade is a classic salad dish using the not so summery vegetables of celeriac and beetroot, but they were there in the green grocers so I wanted to use them.
For the drumsticks:
7 chicken drumsticks (average packet from the supermarket)
A heaped teaspoon of five spice powder
An inch of ginger, grated
2 garlic cloves, grated or crushed
A tablespoon of sesame oil
A good slosh of soy sauce (I used Tamari because it’s gluten free)
Sweet chilli sauce
Slash your chicken drumsticks so that they cook through thoroughly and the marinade penetrates the meat.
Mix all the ingredients together except for the chilli sauce and rub over the chicken. Marinade for as long as you’ve got, the longer the better, mine spent the afternoon in the fridge.
Pre-heat an oven to about 200 degrees. Lay your marinated drumsticks on a tray and cook for 20/25 min. Then
drizzle slather your drumsticks with sweet chilli sauce, return to the oven for 10 more minutes. Serve hot, cold or warm with whatever you like but remoulade below goes very nicely.
Celeriac and Beetroot Remoulade
Serves about 2/3 people
A quarter of a large celeriac
A medium sized beetroot
A heaped tablespoon of mayo
A heaped tablespoon of creme fraiche
Half a teaspoon of Dijon mustard, more if you like it
Salt and pepper
A small handful of parsley, finely chopped
Peel and cut your veg into match stick sized pieces. Make sure you put the celeriac into a bowl of water with lemon juice to keep it white. Drain the celeriac and add beetroot. Mix your mayo and creme fraiche, mustard and seasoning, adjust if necessary. Squeeze in some lemon juice to loosen the sauce. Add the veg to the dressing and mix to coat. Add chopped parsley and stir, you could add chopped gherkins and capers but I didn’t have any. Put in the fridge for an hour or so to let the flavours combine.
Serve with your cooled drumsticks or other cold meats and salads.
I’ve had these rice paper wrappers in my cupboard for ages, when I first realised I was gluten intolerent I thought these might make up for the lack of bread but they’ve been gathering dust for months now and I thought I really must do something with them.
These little spring rolls make a healthier alternative to the deep fried ones, as delicious as they are, and are pretty straightforward to make. I went for a veggie option but I’m sure some shredded pork, duck or chicken would go very well in these.
Makes about 8
8 rice paper wrappers
6 spring onions, shredded
1 carrot, grated
A couple of handfuls of spinach
A teaspoon or two of curry powder
Some soy sauce, I used Tamari
A clove of garlic
About an inch of ginger
A handful of dried vermicelli rice noodles ( the really fine ones)
Some sweet chilli sauce for dipping
Some spray oil
Grate the ginger and garlic into a hot pan, add the carrot and spring onions, fry for a min or so, add curry powder and soy, fry for a min. Then add your spinach, cook quickly until starting to wilt then set aside in a bowl. Soak your vermicelli rice noodles and add to the veg mix.
Preheat your oven to 220 degrees.
Soak your rice paper wrappers one at a time in some warm water for about 10 seconds, I think its easier to do this as you go so they don’t dry out or stick together. Lay out your wrapper and dollop a little of the veg and noodle mix along the centre, roll and wrap, tucking the ends in as you go and lay on a greased baking tray.
Once they are all rolled and on the baking tray, spray genourously with oil, I guess you could brush some oil on if you don’t have any spray oil.
Put into a hot oven for about 20/25 min until crisp. They don’t need to brown, mine did slightly but as long as they are crisp they are done so have a little check after 20 min and then decide.
Serve with some sweet chilli sauce.