Wednesday, March 27, 2013

{So Not Daggy Chicken Satay}

So lets talk about peanut satay, is it daggy now? a bit like shrimp cocktail? I'm not sure, I'm also not terribly cutting edge cool so I still like to eat both. I have made a few satay sauces in my time, many with the addition of peanut butter but I've never been happy with that arrangement, it always felt a bit like cheating.

Think of this as an introduction by me to you and my perfect satay sauce, think of it as a bit of a blind date, nothing kinky, I can just see the two of you sitting at a candlelit table, easy conversation, zesty little satay picking you up after a rough day.  A pretty good first date, maybe even your perfect match, you can thank me later when you tie the knot.

...the satay
600g chicken breast fillets
1 lemongrass stalk, white part only, finely chopped
2 tsp finely grated ginger
1 tbsp soy sauce
1 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp ground cumin
½ tsp ground turmeric
2 tbsp brown sugar
½ cup (80g) toasted peanuts, skins off, finely chopped
1 x 270ml tin coconut milk
1 tbsp lime juice
1 tbsp fish sauce
2 Lebanese cucumbers, thinly sliced into ribbons
2 red radishes, trimmed, very thinly sliced
½ cup mint leaves
½ cup coriander leaves
limes to serve
rice to serve

You will need to soak 12 bamboo skewers in water for about 15 minutes before you cook.

Chop the chicken breasts into cubes suitable for stabbing onto a satay stick, keep them all a similar size.

Combine the lemongrass, ginger, soy sauce, coriander, cumin, turmeric and 2 teaspoons of the sugar in a small bowl. Add half the paste to the chicken to marinate. Set aside for at least 15 minutes(you can also leave this all day or overnight in the fridge).

Meanwhile, pop the remaining spice paste, the chopped peanuts and coconut milk in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Simmer, stirring, for 5 minutes or until sauce begins to thicken and is heated through. Add the lime juice, fish sauce and remaining sugar and stir to combine. Turn off the heat and taste you can adjust further with extra lime juice, fish sauce or sugar, if desired.

Heat your barbecue or frypan to medium. Thread the chicken evenly amongst the pre-soaked skewers. Cook on for 2-3 minutes each side or until golden brown and cooked through.

For the salad combine the cucumber, radish, mint and coriander in a bowl and add a squeeze of lime. Serve with or without rice but definitely with a wedge of lime.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

{Beef + Lentil Korma Curry}

First up I'd like to give a big high five to Jamie, you know Jamie right? of course you do, well this is one of his 15 minute meals recipes.  I don't know if it actually took me 15 minutes I pottered around a fair bit and I didn't do his fancy rice but it was quick and also I didn't throw food all over the benches like he does so quite possibly it took a bit longer to cook and a bit less time to clean up. 

...the curry
1 x 400g tin of lentils, rinsed and drained
1 heaped teaspoon garam masala
400g quality lean beef mince 
olive oil
3 ripe tomatoes
1 thumb-sized piece of ginger
2 spring onions
1 red chilli
1 bunch fresh coriander
1 teaspoon turmeric
1 teaspoon runny honey
2 heaped teaspoons Patak's rogan josh curry paste
270g tin of light coconut milk
greek yoghurt, to serve
1 lemon

Put the lentils into a big bowl with salt, pepper, garam masala and mince, combine with clean hands, divide the mixture in half, then with wet hands quickly squeeze and mould each half into 6 fat fingers. Pop them into the frying pan with 1 tablespoon of oil, cook turning when golden.

Roughly chop tomatoes and throw into a blender, add the peeled sliced ginger, trimmed spring onions, half the chilli, the coriander stalks, turmeric, honey, curry paste and coconut milk, then blitz until combined.  Pour into the pan with the golden koftas, bring to the boil, then simmer for around 10 minutes and season to taste.

Finely slice the remaining chilli along with the coriander leaves and scatter them over the curry, dollop with yoghurt, then serve with lemon wedges, poppadoms and the rice (I added a handful or two of peas to my rice).

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

{Passata for Jazz}

My girlfriend Jazz handing me a massive bowl of home grown tomatoes and a bag clinking with sauce bottles, she didn't say a word, she didn't need to. This is the recipe I came up with, its really quite delicious, that could be down to the quality of the tomatoes but the kids loved it (hers and mine) and it made the best spag bol to ever come out of my humble kitchen. She asked for the recipe so I thought you might like it too. x

The next bag she delivered was full of green apples ...

...passata for Jazz
1 tablespoon olive oil
3 large brown onions, finely chopped
4 garlic cloves, crushed

4kg ripe tomatoes, peeled, cored, chopped
2 tablespoons brown sugar
handful thyme or rosemary (whole stalks)
couple of bayleaves
1/2 cup fresh basil leaves

To peel tomatoes score a big criss cross thru skin at base and submerge in boiling hot water for 30 seconds to a minute. Remove tomatoes, peel skins off and use a small knife to core the top, then just chop up into big bits.

Heat oil in a large, heavy-based saucepan over medium heat. Add onion. Cook, stirring, for 6 to 8 minutes or until onion has softened but not coloured. Add garlic, cook stirring for 2 more minutes or until fragrant.

Add tomatoes, rosemary or thyme, bayleaves and sugar. Bring to a boil then reduce heat to low. Simmer, lid off stirring occasionally, for 2 hours or until slightly thickened. Remove from heat. Stir in basil and season with salt and pepper. Bottle.