Monday, June 18, 2012

{Spicy Chicken Stew with Coconut Rice}

I started making this in my pj's, sometimes I start dinner before I've even had a shower, is that weird?  Jack's home sick from kinder and so the three of us are slouching around, its nice, its a sunny winters day and we are cozy and comfy, I think I'll have a bath once this gets to its simmer stage, I love a bath.

I want to tell you that this stew is outrageously delicious, it has no oil, and no fat but its so full of flavours it's like fireworks in your mouth, so good.

It's a dumbed down version of a neil perry recipe, I was drawn to making it because its a bit different in that you don't fry off the paste you just blend it up then add it to a pan with a few other ingredients and water, what the?   Anyway I was a bit doubtful at first but it works, very clever indeed. I served it with coconut rice, it was a perfect match, just make your rice as per usual including a 400ml tin of coconut milk as part of your total amount of water.

I can't wait to have the leftovers for lunch.

...the stew
2 tomatoes, cored and quartered
4 sticks cinnamon
3 kaffir lime leaves (doubles)
1 tsp sea salt
500g boneless and skinless chicken thigh, thickly sliced
3 tbsp grated palm sugar
2 tbsp fish sauce
2 tbsp tamarind puree

...spice paste

4 macadamia nuts
4 long red chillies, chopped
3 red shallots, chopped
3 cloves garlic, chopped
4cm knob ginger, peeled and chopped
2 stalks lemongrass, tough outer leaves removed, chopped
1 heaped tsp turmeric

First of all make the spice paste, pound all the ingredients together in a mortar and pestle or if you are a bit lazy like me then process them in a little processor, adding a little water, if necessary.

Pop the spice paste, tomatoes, cinnamon, lime leaves and sea salt in a large heavy-based pot, pour in 1 litre of water and bring to the boil over a medium heat. Reduce heat and simmer very gently for about 90 minutes.

Add the chicken, return the sauce to the boil, then simmer for about 8 minutes until the sauce is reduced and the chicken is cooked.  Lastly stir in the palm sugar, fish sauce and tamarind puree, taste and adjust, if necessary.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

{Gingery Beef & Mushroom Pie}

I really wish you could smell this one cooking, it smells heavenly, the kind of smell that makes you hungry, I'd quite like some company so come on over you can sit in my kitchen and I'll pour you a wine or make you a cuppa, whatever your up for and you can sit, relax and inhale and then why not stay for tea, c'mon theres plenty.

...the pie

2 tablespoons olive oil
500g lean beef mince

3 cloves garlic, chopped
5cm piece ginger (grated)
2 long red chillis, deseeded and sliced
400g assorted mushrooms, I used shitake, oyster and field
150ml beef stock
2 star anise
2 tbsp oyster sauce
2 tbsp soy sauce
1 bunch bok choy or any asian green(roughly chopped)
bunch of fresh coriander (chopped)
puff pastry (thawed)

In a large frypan, heat the oil over a high heat, add the beef mince and brown for a couple of minutes then add the garlic, ginger and chillies and cook for about 5 minutes, stirring often to break up the beef.

Add the sliced mushrooms, stock, star anise, oyster sauce and soy sauce, then cover and simmer 20 minutes.

Remove from heat and stir through the bok choy and coriander. Season to taste and s
et aside to cool.

Once you are ready to eat heat your oven to 200, spoon the filling into a pie dish (or dishes)cover with the puff pastry and bake for 30 minutes or until the pastry is cooked and golden brown.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

{Beef In A Bag}

This is the kind of meal you want to eat in front of an open fire on a cold night, the house will smell of lemon and oregano, you'll have a glass of red and be completely ravenous, its perfect winter comfort food.  

I really love slow cooking, its so satisfying when it reaches its destination and becomes mouthwateringly meltingly tender.  Jay loves this dish, in the winter when I'm at work on a Sunday he'll cook it and I'll come home tired after an early start and a long day to the perfect antidote, food glorious food, not cooked by me!

...the roast
1/4 cup olive oil
1 tbsp dried oregano
1.2 kg beef blade roast
2 lemons juiced

Preheat oven to 140 fan.

Whisk together oil, lemon juice and oregano in a large bowl. Season with salt and pepper. Add beef and turn to coat. Place beef and marinade in an oven bag and use tie to seal tightly. Place in a baking pan and bake for 3 hrs until beef falls apart.

Take out the beef and let it rest under some foil.  Pour marinade juices from oven bag into a small saucepan. Simmer for 8-10mins until slightly reduced. Carve, tear the beef pop on a platter and pour over the sauce.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

{Cauliflower Soup with Chorizo Crumbs}

Sometimes I like to set the boys up with an activity, you know the sort of thing, give them a cardboard box and a couple of pens and they're sorted until they get hungry and come looking for me. I like to make myself a cup of coffee and listen to John Faine.  

So I saw this soup be made on telly, I couldn't wait to give it a crack, its totally delicious and even though my hands were twitching wanting to add something extra to the cauliflower soup because it seemed too simple I didn't and I'm glad because it was perfect. Its also super fast and with the chorizo crumb a little bit fancy pants.

...the soup
half a cauliflower, sliced finely
1 big generous tbsp butter
250ml milk
¾ cup chicken stock
s + p

...the crumbs
2 slices of stale bread, crusts removed
1 small chorizo sausage, removed from its casing
1 tbsp olive oil
s + p

Pop the cauliflower, butter, milk and stock in a saucepan and bring to the boil. Turn down the heat to a simmer for 15 minutes or so until its tender. Blend until smooth and season to taste.

For the crumble, peel and chop up the chorizo a little, add the olive oil to a hot pan and then add the chorizo, fry breaking it up with a wooden spoon till it picks up some colour then crumble the bread in and continue to cook for about 5 minutes or until golden brown and crispy. Season to taste and blitz to a crumb like consistency in a food processor.

To serve dollop some soup into your bowl and sprinkle it with the crumbs.