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?

 

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the mixture I add two to three tablespoons of flour, now my plan was to have chickpea flour (gram/besan) but  mine was out of date so I substituted gf plain flour, if you’re not coeliac then plain regular flour would work too.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?

 

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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Vlog!

So here it is, my first attempt at a video blog, I’ve been wanting to do one of these for a long time and finally realised I could just set up my laptop and use the webcam to film it – no this isn’t going to be nominated for a best filmography award, but it is a start.  It has taken a lot to get this far, every time I watch it I cringe and am truly  crushed by the often starring role of my big fat double chin!!!  ARGGHHH!!  But anyway, I’m 30 now and have to accept that I’m far from perfect and that my bum does look big in pretty much everything I wear (breaks into chorus of ‘I like big butts and I can not lie’).

So I hope you like it, please let me know, I’d love to hear what you think.  The recipe included is for a gram flour flat bread featured here and here with a dry potato and pea curry, very similar to the written recipes I’ve linked to.

Right so here we go (closes eyes, covers face and tries not to peek):

Thanks for watching and  let me know what you think by making a comment…

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.

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.

Spiced Squash and Satay Noodles

It’s Autumn, we are approaching Halloween, it’s time, isn’t it? Cue the squash recipe…

Serves 2

Ingredients:

  • Half a large butternut squash, peeled and chopped into 1 and 1/2 cm dice
  • 1/2 teaspoon each of ground coriander and ground cumin
  • oil
  • half an onion
  • 2 inches of ginger
  • 2 fat cloves of garlic
  • 1/2 a can of coconut milk
  • A heaped tablespoon of crunchy peanut butter
  • A tablespoon and a half of sweet chilli sauce
  • Soy sauce
  • Juice from half a lime
  • Salt and pepper
  • Flat rice noodles
  • A handful of spinach

Method:

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…