Thursday, 31 December 2009

New Years Eve Curry Cook Up

Blimey....having  a three month old certainly puts a hold on the creative cooking evenings. Well at least ones where I can also be bothered to photo and blog them. Wouldn't change it for the world though.

Myself and Lou invited ourselves down to the relatives in Worthing for New Year. I great time was had by all....and myself and my cousin did the cooking.

Here's the story...

First - make up a fresh Garam Masalla....definately worth it when you are making this many dishes.

Getting ready for a Sag Gosht

Dried chick peas for the Channa Masalla

Please don't tell anyone how much Ghee goes into these dishes !

Muttar Paneer - a request from Lou

For the pickled aubergines

Two book....two editions...

The butter chicken on it's way

I love Bhindi

The Chana finished. Awesomely pungent

The finished butter chicken. Can you spot the Ghee!?!

Get stuck in. Happy cooking in 2010!

Wednesday, 23 December 2009

Cabbage Stuffed with Oxtail & Foie Gras

So..this was inspired by a meal in Paris a few weeks ago. Most of the food I'm eating whilst working in Paris is fairly boring, but this one stood out. I had no idea what I was ordering, and it turned out it was the speciality of the restaurant. It was certiainly  superb. Thus, when I was in Riddly Road market the other day, the lure of the oxtail proved too much.

Having found a few recipe ideas, I cobbled this together. The restaurant version had Foie Gras, and so I dusted off 'that' tin from the back of the cupboard.....

I braised the oxtail for 3 hours....

....and had to stop myself eating the whole lot then and there. Such a fantastic flavour

Refeshed cabbage leaves

Mixing in the foie gras



With a lovely wine reduction. Fantastic.

Friday, 18 December 2009

Chicken Dopiaza

The first India dish I ever knew the literal translation of was Dopiaza, meaning 'Two Onions'
It either relates to twice the amount of onions to meat, or onions cooked two ways. Either way, I love this dish when it's done well - when the sweetness of stewed onions is a magnificient feature of the taste.

In this recipe (from the awesome Food Of India), I did onions two ways (minced and stewed), and probably had about twice as much as the meat - so a DoPiaza squared ?

The reason for the dish....

Minced onions, garlic and ginger. Cooked slowly this forms the basis of the thick sauce. It's also the basis of a basic curry gravy and can be used for many standard curry dishes

Fried chicken and large chunks of onions.

The final dish....Lovely

I decided on a little lentil side dish. Parridu. This is simply stewed red lentils, cooked in coconut milk.

The secret of the dish....a spicy onion mixture made with black onion seeds and cumin.

...which gets added to the lentils at the last minute

Tuesday, 15 December 2009

Duck Breast with Leeks

Made this one up. Very nice.

From Meals I've cooked at home

Used the little casseroles for a quick potato dish

Plenty of fat being released

A great result

Wednesday, 2 December 2009

Sichuan Hot and Numbing Beef

This extremely authentic Sichuan 'snack' is a right faff to make, but the results are absolutely amazing. Every time I make it - I never do enough (the meat tends to disappear).

This time I cooked it whilst preparing a Roast Chicken for some friends. Yep - it was a strange starter for an English Roast....but they certainly didn't mind and we polished the lot off. It's another one from the awesome Fuscia Dunlops Sichuan Cookbook. Click on the Sichuan or Chinese cuisine links for a few more posts.

As you can see - it's going to be fragrant.

These are the basic marinade ingredients. I can't really se that it makes much difference, especially as they are so whole - but that it is the recipe

The marinaded beef is then deep fried until crispy

And then slowly stewed in a fragrant chinese broth of the marinade ingrediaents, star anise, soy and sesame oil, cinamon and so on....

Until you are left with a glistening sticky mess....

These sichuan peppers are from my trip to China. If you've never experienced their numbing (not hot) effects - then get down to China Town now!

A highly spiced dressing of sichuan pepper, chilli and sesame oil.....

The finished article. Chinese billtong/jerky I suppose....but worth the hassle.

Finished with some fried dried sichuan chillies.

Tuesday, 1 December 2009

Pad Thai

This was tremendous. Cooked from The Food of Thailand, it was probably one of the most authentic dishes I've cooked from any cookbook I own. Often with a noodle dish it ends up being...well noodles in a wok....but this was somehow different. Fantastic layers of flavour and the right balance of ingredients. Certainly helped having the full complement of bits and bobs, including the sparingly used dried shrimps.

Key ingredients are the roasted peanuts and the dried shrimp

I threw in a spare Thai aubergine (as you do!)

I love doing this....

The finished article

The wedge of lime did make a difference