Tuesday, October 30, 2012

{Sarabelles Butter Chicken}

I actually can't believe this recipe isn't already here on my blog, I have been making it for years, ever since I took a cooking class at our local indian restaurant which is a tiny little hole in the wall that belongs to a delightful being called Sarabelle.  

In her tiny kitchen she taught me how to cook this amazing meal along with half a dozen others, afterwards we all sat down and ate together and it was magic, I knew I would be making this for years to come and I was right.  

I've cooked this for all of my friends most recently our pal the seedkeeper it is really mild so even the little people love it.  I strongly recommend making the whole meal, it works so well together it really really is worth it, these three dishes are made for each other, this is enough to feed six of your favourite friends, why not have wee dinner party, its fresh and fragrant enough for anytime of the year.

...the curry
1kg chicken boobs,(about 4 large ones)sliced
100g butter
300ml thick cream
2 star anise
3 large ripe tomatoes, diced
1 tsp salt
1 tbsp turmeric
1 tbsp curry powder (I use Sarabelles blend but any will do)
5 cloves garlic, crushed
2 brown onions, halved and sliced

fresh coriander

Melt the butter in a casserole pot, add the star anise, spices, garlic and onions and saute gently for 10 minutes.  Next add the tomatoes and salt cook for a further 10 minutes until the tomatoes have broken down.

Add the cream plus a small handful of finely chopped coriander, don't put a lid on it from now on or it may split.  Add the chicken and give it a good stir.  Simmer for around 20 to 30 minutes or until chicken is cooked through.  Stir through some extra chopped coriander and serve with the salad and rice.

1 telegraph cucumber, julienned
3 carrots, julienned
1 shallot sliced thinly
1 green chilli sliced thinly
handful of fresh coriander
juice of 1 lemon
1 tsp salt

Combine all together and that's it ...

...tomato turmeric rice
Cook your rice as you normally do just add a teaspoon of turmeric and one chopped ripe tomato to your rice and water, once the rice is ready drizzle over a heaped tablespoon of melted ghee.

Friday, October 19, 2012

{Apple Bars}

Our kids are addicted to fruit bars, you know the ones that look like pillows and have a fruity sort of paste in them. God only knows what that paste is made of, Jack can eat 3 a day and that adds up to a fair bit of mystery fruit flavoured paste.

I've been thinking for a while about making an alternative, this is my first attempt and they are actually really good if I do say so myself, and easy, if I'm going to have to make a batch every week then it also needs to be easy.  

I really didn't fancy having to stew the apples and so grated them which worked beautifully, I might add some oats next time for a bit of extra texture and goodness but I'm pretty happy with these and so are our little men, which is what counts on this occasion since they were my target market, I'll feel much happier popping one of these into their lunchboxs.

...the bars
190g butter, softened
3/4 cup caster sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla essence
2 1/4 cups plain flour
1/2 heaped teaspoon cinnamon
2 apples, grated

In a mixer or by hand beat the butter with the sugar and vanilla until pale and creamy.

Add the flour and cinnamon and mix until it becomes a crumbly dough. Give it a squeeze and see if it holds together if you think it needs it add a splash of water.

Set aside 1 cup of the mixture, tip the rest into a lined slice tin. Press down firmly, grate the two apples over the top.  Crumble the remainder of the mixture over the apple.  Bake 35 - 40 minutes at 180 degrees.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

{Eggplant Parmigiana}

We just had the santa's not real conversation at the park. Oscar the wee cherub who was passing around this little gem of information is five but has older siblings who have clued him up to all the facts.  He also said his babysitter confirmed it.  

I laughed it off, possibly a little bit too hysterically thinking in my head it's too early for this, surely ? As far as I can tell my boys just think Oscar is an idiot and they still believe. That suits me, I want them to have as much magic for as long as possible in their little lives. 

This year we are getting two other very important guests come christmas time, their names are nanna and grandad.  I haven't been this excited about christmas for years.  Menu planning has begun !! Oh and by the way the eggplant parmigiana is really good, its all bubbly and cheesy, what's not to like.

...the bake
4 medium sized eggplants, cut into 1.5cm round
1/2 cup plain flour
2/3 cup olive oil
1 onion, sliced
2 cloves garlic, chopped
700ml passata
1 cup chedder cheese, grated
1 cup parmesan, grated
bunch of basil

Toss eggplant with 1 tbsp of salt and stand for 30 minutes. Rinse and dry with paper towels.

Preheat oven to 200. Dip one quarter of the eggplant pieces in flour and shake off excess. Heat 2 tbs oil in a frying pan over medium heat and cook eggplant for 3 minutes each side or until golden. Drain on paper towel. Repeat with remaining eggplant, flour and oil.

Panfry the sliced onion and garlic in the pan till softened then add it to the passata along with a pinch of sugar and some s+p.

Pop a third of the eggplant in the base of your baking dish. Top with a third of the passata, half the basil, and one third of the combined cheeses. Add half the remaining eggplant, half the remaining passata, remaining basil and half the remaining cheese. Finish with remaining eggplant, passata and cheese.

Bake for 45 minutes or until golden and bubbly. Scatter with extra basil leaves just before serving to make it look pretty and make sure you have it with crusty bread and a green salad.