Balti Chicken

On 23rd January 2016, This was Dinner

We had a quick lunch in town today and then came home and took Walter for a walk. We picked up a couple of beers on the way back and then made this. Far better for you than a takeaway.

I bought some cashews for this and thought I had hidden them well but it turns out Mr S had “stumbled upon them” and they were no more. I stuck flaked almonds in instead.

To cook, it couldn’t be simpler.

Get set…

  • Thickly slice an onion
  • Finely slice a chilli
  • Prepare some chicken stock
  • Roughly chop some coriander
  • Get chicken breasts, balti paste, chopped tomatoes (tin), rice, flaked almonds, oil & seasoning ready

Throw it together…

Heat some oil in a pan. Brown the onion them remove and pop to one side.

Brown the chicken on each side then add back the onions. Pop the chilli in along with the balti paste and the rice. Stir everything well for a minute or so.

Add the tomatoes and the stock, bring to boil then reduce the heat, cover and simmer for about 25 minutes. Check occasionally and add more water if required.

Check for seasoning and that the chicken is cooked through then add the flaked almonds.

Dish it up…

Serve with a sprinkle of coriander and a cold beer.

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A balti is a ‘type of curry served in a thin, pressed steel wok called a balti bowl’ (source: Wikipedia), the balti in this instance refers to the paste I used (and the online recipe from BBC Good Food that I adapted and can be found here.)

Cod with Almond & Saffron

On 27th January 2015, This was Dinner

I had these pieces of cod in the freezer. Due to the nature of the recipe, most of the other stuff can probably be found in the pantry.

Preparing:

  • Prepare some vegetable stock
  • Chop an onion
  • Finely chop some garlic
  • Quarter some tomatoes
  • Get saffron, ground cumin, ground coriander, half a cinnamon stick, tomato purée, ground almonds, lemon zest, oil & seasoning ready

Making:

Season a the pieces of cod and pop to one side.

Add the saffron strands to the prepared stock.

Heat some oil in a pan and cook the onion and garlic to soften.

Stir in the cumin and coriander, add the cinnamon stick and tomato purée and stir well for a few minutes.

Add tomatoes and cook for a few minutes more.

Sprinkle in ground almonds and lemon zest then add the stock. Season well.

Place the fish in the pan making sure it is covered then cook for about 10 minutes until cooked through.

We served ours with couscous.

TWD_2701_CodGreat flavours, a few prawns in this dish would be a nice addition. The original recipe, a BBC Good Food one, is in the January edition.

I also made a butternut squash lasagne for tomorrow, but that’s another post obviously!

Birthday Meal

Although not technically my birthday until the following week, Mr S chose and made this meal for me.

The starter of Turnip Swede & Horseradish Soup with Crispy Beef can be found in Tom Kerridge’s Proper Pub Food. Sweat a chopped onion in vegetable oil along with a pinch of salt for about 10 minutes. Add chicken stock and finely chopped swede and bring to the boil then simmer for about 15 minutes. Stir in double cream and grated horseradish then blend well. Bring white wine vinegar and caster sugar to the boil then add to the soup. Dust strips of steak in cornflour then fry in oil until crispy. Sprinkle with green chilli and cayenne pepper.

TWD_2308_Soup

The main course of Roasted Sea Bass with Herbs, Mushroom & Potatoes with Salsa Verde can be found in Jamie Oliver’s Return of the Naked Chef. Pop the oven on 200ºc (fan) and line a baking tray with greaseproof paper.

Slice some potatoes and pat dry then coat in olive oil. Mix with finely chopped garlic and season well. Pop them on the baking tray in an even layer. Cook for about 15 minutes.

In a frying pan cook mixed mushrooms along with more chopped garlic and plenty of butter and olive oil. Season. Take off the heat and add plenty of lemon juice. Pop some roughly chopped herbs on then put sea bass fillets on top, skin side up. Roast for another 10-15 minutes until the fish is cooked.

For a salsa verde whizz up garlic, capers, gherkins, anchovies, parsley, basil, mint, dijon, red wine vinegar and seasoning then slowly add olive oil. Serve the potatoes and fish topped with the mushrooms, salsa verde and a squeeze of lemon.

TWD_2308_Seabass

Back to Tom Kerridge for Lemon Posset with Fennel Biscotti. Mix cream and sugar in a pan and bring to the boil to dissolve the sugar. Simmer, add lemon juice and whisk well. Pass through a sieve then leave to cool slightly. Skim off any bubbles then pour into your serving bowls and leave to cool completely. Refrigerate.

Preheat the oven to 160ºc (fan).

Beat together butter and sugar until light and creamy. Add eggs. Sift flour and baking powder together and add this to the butter mixture. Fold in roasted and chopped blanched almonds and fennel seeds. Pop on a baking sheet and bake for 10 minutes. Leave to cool then slice and return to the oven for another 10 minutes.

TWD_2308_Posset

Starter using ONION, CHICKEN STOCK, SWEDE, DOUBLE CREAM, HORSERADISH, WHITE WINE VINEGAR, CASTER SUGAR, STEAK, GREEN CHILLI and CAYENNE PEPPER…

Main using SEA BASS, POTATOES, BUTTER, MIXED MUSHROOMS, LEMONS, GARLIC, CAPERS, GHERKINS, ANCHOVIES, BASIL, MINT, DIJON MUSTARD, RED WINE VINEGAR and OLIVE OIL…

Dessert DOUBLE CREAM, CASTER SUGAR, LEMONS, PLAIN FLOUR, BAKING POWDER, BUTTER, EGGS, BLANCHED ALMONDS, FENNEL SEEDS and ICING SUGAR…

This was dinner…23rd August 2014

Seafood Spaghetti with Pepper & Almond Sauce

I had a bag of mixed seafood in the freezer from before Christmas. This is what I made.

Toast some blanched almonds.

Toast a red pepper until charred, leave to cool in a bowl covered with cling film then peel off the skin.

Pop the chopped red pepper in a processor along with some red wine vinegar, the almonds, some garlic, passata and parsley. Whizz it all up and give it a season. Add a little water if it’s too thick.

Whilst you cook the spaghetti, gently heat the sauce then add the seafood and heat through.

Toss with the spaghetti and some chopped parsley.

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Using BLANCHED ALMONDS, RED PEPPER, RED WINE VINEGAR, GARLIC, PASSATA, PARSLEY, SPAGHETTI & SEAFOOD …

This was dinner…24th January 2014.

Goats Cheese, Pepper & Almond Tart

If there is one thing that makes my blood boil it’s the phrase “I don’t have time to eat healthily” or “I don’t have time to cook” or a thousand other things really but this is a cooking blog so I’ll keep it on track. 😉 I heard the former on the train tonight and with the plethora of cooking shows and cook books and the whole of the world wide web I find this exasperating.

This is a simple, normally meat-free tart that takes about 3 minutes to prepare and 12 minutes to cook. I added the bacon just because it was leftover from the bolognese.

I had a ready rolled piece of puff pastry in the freezer. How long it had been in the freezer is anyone’s guess. The edges had started to go a bit hard so I just cut them off. I’m still here so all is well.

Cut the sheet in half then score each about a centimetre in from the edge all of the way around.

Pop on an oiled baking tray then spread red pesto on the pastry within your scored line. Scatter chopped roasted peppers. If using, chop up your bacon and scatter on top.

Add a couple of rounds of goats cheese then sprinkle with flaked almonds and finish off with some pepper.

Brush the edges with milk then pop in a 200ºc (fan) over for 10-12 minutes.

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Mr S said it was his favourite thing of the week but it could get bumped to second place tomorrow as it’s chicken tacos.

This was dinner… 19th September 2013

Baked Cod with a Chorizo Crumb & Lemon Aïoli

I can’t begin to tell you how delicious this was.

This recipe was in BBC Good Food magazine (Yes, again!) and can be found here. I had most of the ingredients that the magazine served as the side so decided to make that as well.

Toast some blanched almonds and pop to one side.

Make the aïoli by mixing good quality mayo, half a crushed garlic clove and a little lemon juice. Season it and pop it in the fridge until your cod is ready.

Cut some cooking chorizo cut into chunks and fry until crisp. Stick it in a processor with it’s oil and pulse. Add some slightly stale bread(crumbs), the blanched almonds, lemon zest, some seasoning and olive oil. Blitz it until it becomes a crumb.

Brush the cod with oil and heap the crumb onto the cod and pat down. Pop them in the fridge for about 20 minutes.

Put the cod in a 180ºc (fan) oven and cook for about 15-20 minutes, depending on how thick your cod is.

For the beans and spring onions…

Blanch the trimmed beans in boiling water for about 4 minutes, add the trimmed onions for the last 2 minutes. Plunge into iced water then drain.

When almost ready to serve, pop into a heated, oiled pan and warm through. Add some black olives, a squeeze of lemon juice, some chopped tarragon and seasoning.

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This was dinner…25th August 2013.