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?

 

Quick Chickpea Curry

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

Ingredients:

  • 2 onions, finely chopped
  • 1 tin of chopped tomatoes
  • 2 heaped teaspoons of medium curry powder
  • 1 heaped teaspoon of garam masala
  • 3 fat cloves of garlic, finely chopped
  • a thumb sized piece of ginger, finely chopped
  • A dessert spoonful of mango chutney
  • 1 tin of coconut milk (I used half fat – cus this is like diet food innit)
  • 1 tin of chickpeas

Method:

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?

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…

Scallion Soda Bread (Gluten Free)

Happy St Patrick’s Day! or ‘Lá Fhéile Pádraig Sona Daoibh!’

So a traditional Irish recipe is in order I think.  This soda bread is gluten free (of course) and flavoured with spring onions, or scallions as I keep being corrected. I didn’t have any buttermilk for this recipe so I’ve made my own version combining yoghurt and milk which works just as well and may even be a bit thriftier.

If you are looking for other Irish food inspiration then you could try these delicious gluten free potato farls here, otherwise…

Ingredients:

  • 1lb of Doves Gluten Free White Bread Flour
  • 2 eggs, topped up to 12fl oz with half yoghurt and half whole milk
  • 6 spring onions scallion, sliced finely
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • 1/2 oz of sugar
  •  1 oz of bicarbonate soda
  • 2 oz of butter

Method:

Pre-heat the oven to 200 degrees (fan) and oil a baking tray.

Mix all the dry ingredients in a large bowl and rub in the butter. Add the spring onions and mix.   Whisk up the egg, yoghurt and milk mixture then stir into the dry ingredients.  Turn out the dough onto a well floured board, the mix will be quite sticky so be generous with your dusting.  Knead the mix for a couple of minutes then form in to a large ball and plop onto the oiled tray.  Cut a deep (over half way) cross through the centre, brush with milk and dust with flour.

Bake in the oven for about 30/40 minutes, until golden and hollow sounding when you knock its bottom.

Serve with butter, cheese and chutney for tea or toasted the next day for breakfast.

‘Tabhair dom an rud céanna mar atá ag an fhear ar an t-úrlar!’ – translations sourced here.

Salt and Spice Toffee Popcorn (Pop!)

Pop!

I’ve been meaning to make popcorn for sometime.  My little lady and I have got into a rainy day afternoon ritual at the weekend of downloading an animated film and kicking back and relaxing with it as the rain pours outside.  Yesterday we watched Lady and the Tramp, what a beautiful film ‘and they call it bella notte’, anyway, enough singing in a bad Italian accent. So, this afternoon on cue, the rain tumbled down and in preparation for the film screening of the afternoon, I’ve made popcorn.  This is a twist on the traditional flavours, I love sweet popcorn, I’m not a salted fan but I do love the savoury/sweet combination of salted caramel so I decided to put a bit of punch into my toffee and add some paprika and salt.  Now this stuff comes with a warning, it’s addictive, could cause tooth decay and will not last longer than an afternoon (you’ll have eaten it before tea time anyway).  So here is the recipe:

Makes a bowl big enough for an indulgent afternoon for one or sharing between one adult and a small child (there is a ratio here and it is height and size appropriate)

Ingredients:

  • Popcorn – (I used a ramekin full)
  • A drizzle of oil (enough to coat a the pop corn pan, you can use butter but I’d already made the sauce and was feeling guilty)

For the Salt and Spice Toffee Sauce:

  • 3 heaped dessert spoonfuls of Demerara sugar
  • 1 desert spoonful of agave syrup (sub golden if no agave, let’s face it there is no point pretending to be healthy with this stuff,  although I might just point out that pop corn is a vegetable and as one should clearly be counted as one of your five a day –  same rule goes for chips in case you were wondering)
  • 2 tablespoons of water
  • 2 teaspoons of smoked paprika
  • a good shake of salt
  • about 50g of salted butter

Method:

Melt all the sauce ingredients together in a pan, leave the paprika until towards the end to make sure it doesn’t burn.  Bubble the sauce together until the sugar has dissolved and you have a toffee brown coloured sauce.  See picture for info.

salt and spice toffee sauce

Heat a large saucepan, coat the bottom with a drizzle of oil or some melted butter.  Pour in your pop corn kernels put the heat on low to medium, place on lid and wait for the pop….pop…pop….shake your pan with the lid on to encourage popping and discourage burning.  Take a peek and when most kernels have popped turn the heat off and coat in your sticky spiced toffee sauce.  Turn out your popcorn onto a tray to cool then pop into a bowl, stick on your favourite film and sit back and relax.

Salt and Spice Toffee Popcorn

So in light of the weather forecast for the week, what animated films do you recommend?