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…

Pork and Peanut Rice Noodle Salad

Pork and Peanut Rice Noodle Salad

 
This is inspired by a Nigella Lawson recipe I read a while back, however I’ve tinkered with some of the ingredients to make it gluten free and to encompass  some of the leftover meat from my roast dinner at the weekend.
 
Ingredients: 
 
Flat rice noodles
Red pepper
Left over roast pork
Spring onions
Cucumber
Spinach
 
For the dressing:
 
Peanut butter
Sweet Chilli sauce
Lime juice
Soy sauce
A splash of sesame oil
Vegetable or sunflower oil
 
Method:
 
Soak the rice noodles until soft.  Slice the peppers, cucumber and pork into fine sticks.  Slice the spring onions and roughly chop the spinach. 
 
Mix the dressing ingredients together in a separate bowl, taste it as you go to find the right balance, I  think I used about 2 tablespoons of peanut butter, a tablespoon of sweet chilli, the juice of one lime and then tinkered with the soy and oil to taste.  If your peanut butter is a bit hard, give it a quick blast in the microwave before mixing in with the other ingredients.
 
Mix all the salad ingredients and dressing together and serve.  Some chopped coriander would go really nicely with this if you have some.
 
I made this for dinner this week then packaged some up for lunch the next day , no soggy salad just delicious, fresh peanutty goodness!
 
 
 
 

Sea Bream and Samphire Take 2 – Thai Style

 

I had a fillet of sea bream and a handful of samphire left over from yesterday’s dish so I decided to make a little lunch Thai style.  This is another super simple recipe that was delicious.

Serves 1

Ingredients:

A fillet of sea bream

A handful of samphire

A small handful of dried flat rice noodles

Thai green curry paste (this was a quick lunch, so I used shop bought and tinkered with it)

A teaspoon of palm sugar

A sprinkle of fish sauce

A good squeeze or two of lemon (lime would be better, I didn’t have any)

Half a tin of coconut milk

A little oil for frying

Method:

Soak the noodles and the samphire in boiled water, every noodle is different but I like to do this and then repeat with freshly boiled water after a couple of minutes to ensure the noodles are softened.  Leave these to soak. 

Make the sauce first, fry about 3 teaspoonfuls of green curry paste in a little oil for about a minute, then add coconut milk, simmer gently for a couple of minutes, taste, then add the fish sauce, lemon/lime juice, palm sugar to taste.  (I always find I have to tinker with the shop bought pastes in order to get a brighter more authentic flavour) Set the sauce aside. 

Heat a frying pan until hot.  Coat your fish in oil.  Place fish skin side down in pan and hold for a minute or so to ensure the fish cooks flat and the skin goes crisp.  Fry skin side for 2/3 min then flip for a min or so depending on size of fillet.  Place fish to one side.  Add sauce to pan (you might not need all of it) then add noodles and samphire, simmer briefly so everything is hot and coated in the green curry sauce.  Pour noodle and samphire mix into shallow serving bowl and top with fish.  If you want to be really fancy sprinkle a little chopped coriander on the top and shout ‘da da!’ when you present the finished dish to it’s diner (this may involve talking to yourself).