Wednesday, 28 July 2010

The First and the Last

Tonight's supper contained the last of last year's crop and the first of this year's. I made a chilli with last year's dried borlotti beans followed with a bowl of plums, nectarines and the first of this year's blackberries. Yum.

Saturday, 24 July 2010

Thai Style Meatballs in Coconut Broth

A post D&D treat for the DM and players! Serves 3-4 hungry orcs.

For the meatballs:
500g pork mince
2 spring onions finely chopped
1 small red chilli finely chopped
1 tablespoon finely chopped coriander
1 tablespoon cornflour
1 tablespoon fish sauce
1 clove garlic minced

For the broth:
1/2 small onion finely diced
1 clove garlic
200g sliced shittake mushrooms
1/2 yellow pepper
1 courgette
Small bunch of coriander chopped
1 green chilli finely chopped
1 can coconut milk
Juice of 1 lime
2 tablespoons fish sauce
2 lime leaves

Mix all the ingredients for the meatballs and form into balls about the size of a  large walnut. Cover and put in the fridge for at least 1/2 and hour.

Fry the onion and the garlic in a little oil in a saucepan. Add the chilli, pepper, mushrooms, lime leaves and courgette and fry for a couple of minutes. Add the coconut milk and a little extra water. Bring to the boil then lower to a simmer.

Heat a little oil in a frying pan and cook the meatballs for 15-20 minutes depending on the size, turning wen they have taken a  good colour.

Add the coriander and lime juice to the broth a few minutes before serving.

Serve the broth over rice or noodles and place the meatballs on top.

Sunday, 18 July 2010

Chicken, Potato and Spinach Curry

Too many potatoes and too much spinach in my veg box so I came up with this recipe. Ingredient proportions are flexible depending on what you have! For a vegetarian option you could replace the chicken with chickpeas or lentils. You could easily do a fish version using a firm fish like monk-fish or cod but add the fish much later, after adding the spinach and cook the dish until the fish is done.

Serves 4

1 bag of baby spinach
2 Chicken Breasts or 4 chicken thighs, diced
2 medium onions finely sliced
2 carrots, grated.
2 ripe tomatoes, coarsely chopped
2 cloves of garlic, crushed.
2 medium or the equivalent amount in small potatoes, diced. Peal them or not - it's up to you. Waxy ones are best.
Spices: 1 tsp of each of Cumin, Coriander, Turmeric, Fenugreek, 4 Cardamom pods, 2 cloves (ground), 1/4 teaspoon pepper, 1 dried chilli (optional).
 Small bunch fresh coriander

Fry the onions in a tablespoon of oil in a large pan or a casserole - you need a big pan to fit the spinach in later - then add the chicken and fry until coloured. Add the potatoes, tomatoes, carrots and spices. Fry for a few minutes then add a cup or so of hot water or stock. Stir then cover and cook over a low heat until the chicken and potatoes are cooked through. Add more water or stock if the curry dries out too much, it should be fairly dry but should have some sauce.Wash and add the spinach and gently stir in. Cover and cook for a few minutes until the spinach has wilted. Add the chopped coriander and a teaspoon of garum massala, stir and serve with plain boiled rice and a yoghurt raita.

Smoked Haddock Quiche

Made this as part of the menu for a Summer Games evening but with al the other food on offer had it the following day for lunch instead! I like adding a teaspoon of English mustard flour to the pastry to give it a bit of a bite.

6oz Shortcrust Pastry (yes I know it's in Imperial but for some reason I find it easier to do pastry this way!)
For the filling:
3 Eggs
1 large fillet of smoked haddock
2 medium onions finely sliced
large knob of butter
milk (enough to cover the fish for poaching)
1 bayleaf
a few peppercorns
small bunch of parsley
Large handful of cheddar cheese

Line a 23cm / 9in quiche dish and blind bake the pastry for 10 minutes

Put the fish in a pan with the milk, bay leaf, peppercorns and parsley stalks. Bring the milk to a boil then turn off the heat, cover and leave to stand for 10-15 minutes.

Fry he onions in the butter until soft. Drain and flake the fish, mix with the onions and add the chopped parsley. Beat the eggs and add some of the strained poaching liquid. Put the fish and onion mixture into the pastry shell then pour in the egg and milk mixture.

Sprinkle the cheese over the top and bake in a oven at 190C for about 30 minutes or until cooked.

Serve warm or cold with a crisp watercress salad or with chips.