Goan Fish Curry

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Goan Fish Curry

If you have read my blog before you will be well aware that my hubby and I love fish and seafood. However, my other half always maintains that fish has no place being in a curry. When he saw me making this dish the other day he, exclaimed ‘oh thats risky’, indicating that there was a chance that he wasn’t going to enjoy the dish!

I took the recipe from  Lean in 15 by Joe Wicks ; a book full of healthy recipes and fitness ideas, which you can complete in just 15 minutes. I’ve tried out several recipes already but this is definitely one of my favourites. The gentle warmth from the chilli and spices combined with the meaty fish and dash of lime really works and it is an excellent alternative to an Indian Takeaway. Despite his earlier misgivings, my hubby declared that if this dish was available at his local Curry House he would be ordering it every time…high praise indeed!

Goan Fish Curry

Prep 15 mins

Serves 2

Ingredients

3 cloves garlic, chopped
3cm ginger, chopped
1 green chilli, chopped – with seeds if you like it hot, although I removed them in my version and the curry was just right for me and my hubby who likes spicy food.
2 chopped tomatoes
1 tbsp coconut oil or 6-8 squirts or coconut oil spray
1 red onion, diced
1 tbsp garam masala
1 tbsp ground cumin
1 x 400ml tin of full-fat coconut milk
500g haddock fillet, skinned and cut into large chunks (or use 300g and add 8-10 king prawns, as I did in this recipe)
Juice of 1 lime
½ bunch of coriander leaves chopped

Method

  1. In a food processor (I used my mini processor) add the the garlic, ginger, chilli and tomatoes and blitz until smooth, then leave to one side.
  2. Spray coconut oil in the pan and fry the onion under a medium heat for 2 minutes, stir throughout.
  3. Add in the garam masala and cumin and then continue to stir as for 30 seconds.
  4. Add the ingredients you blended earlier and bring to the boil before pouring in the coconut milk. Once added, make sure that the sauce is brought to the boil again. At this stage, I turned off the heat and left the sauce on the hob as I wasn’t ready to cook the fish just yet, but if you are ready, you can simply proceed with the next stage of the recipe.
  5. Add the haddock pieces and the prawns to the curry, and simmer gently. Cook the fish for about 3 minutes, or until it is cooked through.
  6. Season and stir in the lime juice and then taste to ensure you are happy with the flavours and add more lime or seasoning as required.
  7. Serve with a sprinkling of coriander and a wedge of lime.
  8. This recipe freezes well, although I would probably freeze the sauce in batches and add the fish or even chicken when needed.
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Ricotta fritters with tomato sauce & courgette salad

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Ricotta fritters with tomato sauce & courgette salad

This tasty dish went down a treat when my son’s vegetarian girlfriend came to stay and it was also enjoyed by the rest of my carnivorous family. The recipe is taken from Jamie Oliver’s 15 Minute Meals and I would definitely cook it again.  The ricotta fritters were light and delicate and worked well when combined with the spicy tomato sauce and courgette salad. It is relatively easy to make as long as you do not disturb the fritters too much whilst they are cooking. A lovely little supper dish for a summers evening, although I dare say it would be well received whatever the time of year it is.

Ricotta fritters with tomato sauce and courgette salad

Prep 15 mins – although took me nearly 25mins to prep and cook

Serves 4

Ingredients

For the sauce

  • 25 g dried porcini mushrooms
  • 4 anchovy fillets
  • 1 dried red chilli
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 700g passata
  • 8 black olives (stone in)
  • ½ a bunch of fresh basil

For the fritters

  • 1 large free-range egg
  • 400 g ricotta cheese
  • 1 whole nutmeg for grating
  • 1 lemon
  • 40 g Parmesan cheese
  • 1 heaped tablespoon plain flour
  • olive oil
  • balsamic vinegar

For the salad

  • 400 g firm green or yellow baby courgettes
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 fresh red chilli
  • ½ a bunch of fresh mint
  • 1 lemon

Method

1. Cover the porcini with boiling water and leave to soak.
2. In a bow,  mix the ricotta with egg, finely grated 1/4 of nutmeg, lemon zest, parmesan and flour and then beat together.
3.Add a tablespoon of olive oil to a frying pan and then dollop 8 tablespoons of the mixture in to the pan. Turn carefully with a spatula when the bottom is golden and as I mentioned previously try not to move the fritters around too much.
4. Add chilli,  anchovies and garlic to a frying pan with a splash of olive oil. Then add passata and finely chopped porcini with half the soaking water. Season and bring to the boil.
5. Add stoned squashed olives (squashing helps remove the stone) and then add the chopped basil leaves, but don’t forget to keep some to use as garnish later.
6. Using a food processor grate the courgette. Add to a bowl with seasoning, lemon juice and olive oil. Then add finely chopped chilli and some mint from the top half of the bunch. Mix the salad together gently with your hands.

7. Place the fritters in the sauce in a serving dish or if you wish to be more rustic in the pan the sauce was cooked in. Garnish with the rest of the basil leaves, some balsamic and a few lemon wedges on the side.

Sticky Kicking Chicken with a Watermelon, Radish and Noodle Salad

Sticky Kicking Chicken with Watermelon, Radish and Noodle Salad

Sticky Kicking Chicken with Watermelon, Radish and Noodle Salad

I really enjoy cooking Jamie Oliver’s recipes, and with the kids home from university, his recipes offer a youthful approach to family cooking which seems to appeal to their tastes. Dont get me wrong, they still enjoy traditional home cooking, but they also like to try new dishes, just as much as I enjoy experimenting with new flavours, ingredients and techniques. I have used Jamie’s 15 Minute Meals Cookbook several times over the summer break and I am going to post the best three recipes to date, as voted by the family, the first dish being the delicious and extremely attractive Sticky Kicking Chicken. It took longer than 15 minutes the first time I cooked this, but when I made the same dish last weekend it was much quicker, although I have to say I did play around with the order in which I prepared things…apologies Mr Oliver.

Sticky Kicking Chicken with a Watermelon, Radish and Noodle Salad

Prep – 25 mins (unless you have everything ready and close to hand)

Serves 4

Ingredients

Salad

200g thin rice noodles

sesame oil

800g watermelon

2 little gem lettuces

1 handful of radishes

1/2 a bunch of fresh mint

1/2 bunch of fresh coriander

Chicken

8 skinless, boneless chicken thighs

1 tbsp Chinese five-spice

olive oil

2 tbsp sweet chilli sauce

2 tbsp sesame seeds

Dressing

2 tbsp soy sauce

1 tbsp Fish Sauce

1/2 – 1 fresh red chilli

1/2 a thumb sized piece of ginger

2 spring onions

2 limes

1 small clove of garlic

Method

Place the coriander stalks in a small processor or liquidiser along with the soy and fish sauces, peeled ginger, chilli, crushed garlic clove, prepared spring onions, a splash of water, 1 tbsp of sesame oil and the lime juice. Spritz together until the sauce is smooth and then leave to one side until you are ready to dress the salad.

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Use a large sheet of greaseproof paper and sprinkle salt, pepper and the five-spice on to it. Open out the thighs and lay them on top of the paper and sprinkle the upper side of the chicken with seasoning and then fold over the paper on top of the chicken. Using a rolling pin bash the chicken to flatten it until it is 1.5cm thick.

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Using a large frying pan (I used two pans) add a little olive oil before placing the chicken in the pan. Turn each piece of chicken after 3-4 minutes of cooking and keep repeating this process until the chicken looks charred and is cooked through.

Whilst the chicken is cooking, prepare the salad. I used fresh thin rice noodles for this dish so I simply poured over boiling water to heat them through and then drained them. Drizzle the sesame oil onto a serving platter and toss the noodles in the oil. Slice the watermelon and cut into chunks (these do not need to be uniformed pieces) and add to the platter. Cut the lettuce into wedges, halve the radishes, finely chop the mint and most of the leafy coriander, and scatter over the platter.

Once the chicken is ready, remove the pieces and arrange on a platter or board. Pour away any excess fat, put the pan back on the heat then pour in the sweet chilli sauce and toss with some sesame seeds. Pour the dressing made at the start of this recipe over the salad and toss through the salad and noodles gently, until everything is well coated. Pour the chilli sesame sauce over the chicken and sprinkle with coriander leaves.

This dish is a real crowd pleaser, but for those who do not like chilli you can omit this and use honey for a glaze instead, which my chilli phobic daughter prefers.

Crab Crostini

Canapé Recipe - Crab Crostini

Canapé Recipe – Crab Crostini

Over the next few months I aim to post a variety of recipe ideas for canapés, so I’m starting by sharing my favourite nibble. Crab Crostini is one of the quickest and easiest recipes I know and the visual impact is very pleasing. This is primarily because when the green and chilli is added to the crab meat it gives the canapé a jewelled effect. However if the look doesn’t tempt you then I guarantee that the taste will, as the freshness of the flavours makes your taste buds come alive.

This recipes is from Nigella Lawson’s book Nigella Christmas, but the recipe can also be found on numerous sites on the internet.

If anyone wishes to share a canapé recipe idea with me, please send it through and I will give it a whirl and let you know how I get on.

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Pork Pies with Chilli

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Pork Pies with Chilli

During a recent trip to the North of England, my husband and I were fortunate enough to spend a very pleasant day with my in-laws, meandering through the streets of York. It has been many years since my last visit, but we were not disappointed. The famous Shambles provided a fantastic place to stroll and we came across so many interesting shops and eateries. Henshelwoods Delecatessen was a particular treat and I couldn’t resist having a mooch around the shop. Customers were queuing out of the door to order lunch from the deli counter and there must have been over 80 different varieties of cheese on display. I came away with Pop Notch Fancy Salty Caramel Popcorn, Truede Mixed Flavour Turkish Delight and a jar of Rosebud Preserves Wild Rowan Jelly which I plan to use with a pigeon breast recipe. Feeling pleased with my purchases I was greeted by a very excited husband as I exited the shop, because lo and behold he had found a delightful looking hostelry named Pivni. The selection of ales available was huge, but I couldn’t resist opting for a beer from my old childhood stomping ground, so I plumped for a glass of Pennine Pale Ale brewed by the Allendale Brewery in Northumberland. The ale may have been from the wrong end of the Pennines from where I grew up, but boy was it good. It was probably one of the smoothest pale ales I have tasted for many years and the fruity citrus overtones were delicious. By now we were having an attack of the munchies,  so we decided to sample The Pivni Chilli Pork Pie. The pie certainly delivered and it packed a punch with the hint of chilli in the middle, and the crumbly hot water pastry was fantastic. A chilli Pork Pie is a first for me, and so on my return home I was determined to master the art of making hot water pastry and secondly, to make a Pork Pie with a chilli filling.

I didn’t have a recipe but my mother-in-law kindly gave me her well worn Home Recipes Book for Be-Ro flour which contained a family favourite recipe for Pork Pies. I also had a quick look on the internet and found various recipes and methods to make Pork Pies, but I took the lead from the following two recipes.  The Chilli Fennel Seed Pork Pie on Joseph Piper website appealed to me as it did not require the addition of jelly to be poured into the pie after cooking. Mr Vikkis Chilli Jam Pork Pies also caught my eye as I really wanted to ensure the pies had a chilli centre. My final recipe for the pies is therefore based on the pastry recipe from Joseph Piper and the filling from ideas gleaned from Mr Vikki’s recipe. The result was extremely pleasing and received my husbands royal approval. However, as we all know Pork Pies are highly calorific, but a little bit of ‘naughty but nice‘ doesn’t hurt once in a while. Just be sure you have some friends round to eat them with you, with a cold beer or cider on hand, because they are at their best when they are still a little warm, crumbly and extremely moreish.


Pork Pies with Chilli

Prep 30 mins

Cooking 45 mins (Gas mark 6 for 10 mins and then gas mark 4 for 35mins)

(makes 9 – 3″ x 1″depth pies)

Equipment – Muffin Tin, greaseproof paper and food processor

Ingredients

For the Pastry

75g (2.6oz) Unsalted Butter

75g Lard

300g (10.5oz) Plain Flour

135ml of water

1/4 tsp of salt

pinch of cayenne

For the Filling

400g (14.1 oz)  Minced Pork (lean)

150g (5.2oz) smoked lardons or baon

1/2 tsp of cayenne pepper

salt to taste

Chilli jam (1 x tsp per pie) in my recipe I used Veeraswamy Lime Chilli Chutney from Waitrose as I couldn’t find any Chilli jam at the time.

Method

Tip – use a food processor to make the pastry and mix the filling

1. Grease a Muffin tin and just to be sure the pies don not stick line each ring with greaseproof paper.

2. Put the water on to boil and add to it the lard.

3. Mix the flour, cayenne and butter in the food processor. Turn on until the mixture is a consistency of fine bread crumbs.

4. Once the lard has melted turn the heat off under the water and then slowly pour the liquid into the processor and mix with the flour. Do this a little at a time and check that the pastry does not get too sloppy. (I had a little water left over when I made my pies).

5. Once the pastry has come together, remove from the processor and knead gently on a floured surface for just a few seconds and then place in a bowl to once side to rest and to allow th pastry to come to room temperature.

6. Mix the pork mince the lardons, cayenne pepper and seasoning in the food processor and set to one side.

7. Take 2/3 of the pastry and roll out thinly and then cut out approximately 5″ circles from the pastry. Place each circle in a muffin slot in the tin, ensuring that not air is trapped and the pastry over hangs the top edge. If you have to re-roll the pastry to ensure you have enough circles only re-roll the pastry once as it will become too dry and crack.

8. Once the pastry is in position in the muffin tin, spoon a dessert spoon of pork filling into each pie (this should fill the pie up to no more than half way)

9. Add a small teaspoon of Chilli Jam on top of the pork in each pie case, then fill to the top with the rest of the pork filling.

10. Roll the final 1/3 of the pastry and cut out a lid for each pie (make sure the lid is a little wider than the actual width of the pie) and don’t forget to make a couple of slits or a hole in the pastry lid to let the steam out whilst cooking.

11. Brush a little drop of water round the top of the pastry cases and then place on the lid. Squeeze the lid round the edge and decorate by crimping. I simply used a back of a fork.

12. Brush the pies with egg wash before placing them in the oven, 10 mins at gas mark 6 and then turn down to gas mark 4 for 35 minutes.