Sunday, 22 November 2009

Steak, blue cheese sauce and shitake mushrooms

Decided on a steak....and somehow got the idea of a blue cheese sauce. Realised I didn't have a clue how to make one. Turns out it's easy....beat together some mature blue cheese with a load of butter and 'Robert is Your Fathers Brother' !



A heart attack in a small chinese bowl...



Grilled cooking rocks



Fresh shitake - can't beat 'em



Lovely


Thursday, 12 November 2009

Sausage Meat Pasta Bake

For some reason I'd got an idea for a pasta bake inside my head...

Had a decent set of ingredients ready to go in the fridge





Made a fresh tomato sauce and used up the Thai basil....seemed to work OK!



Nice and crispy



Also added some cabbage. This also worked very well. It was a bit of a left overs meal - but it was great



The secret of any good pasta meal - bags of cheese.



The finished article. Very good indeed.



And a small homage to the baking dish. How cool/old skool is that !

Sunday, 8 November 2009

Thai Green Chicken Curry

I can think of nothing more relaxing than cooking a curry from scratch. This was fairly extreme even for me- down to the real coconut cream! Followed the recipe from the Food Of Thailand - and it was superb.

It was all inspired by a trip to China Town where I saw this fantastic bunch of Thai Sweet Basil



The ingredients for a proper green curry paste




One of my fav kitchen gadgets - the mini blender



I've learnt to only use the soft middle layers - so no more picking woody bits from my teeth!



The finished paste - with enough in the pot for the freezer!



And so to the fresh coconut cream





If you ever cook Thai - then invest in some Palm Sugar. Seems to keep for ages and adds a lovely depth to the sweetness



Thai Eggplants - ooops - I mean aubergines



Once all the above is made- the rest is straightforward




Friday, 6 November 2009

Claypot Tofu with Mushrooms

Another one from the fantastic Rasa Malaysia blog. It was Friday evening, and I'd not cooked much this week - my three week old son has other ideas :o)
As I work close to China Town I decided to pop in on the way back. I settled on this one as I'd always wanted to get a proper Chinese Clay Pot (after a particularly awesome meal in Malaysia once - a Claypot chicken in a massive street food restaurant in the shadow of the Petronas Towers). However, I was very disappointed as the China Town supermarkets only had a few cheap looking very expensive options. No opportunity for a new cooking toy......Le Crueset it is then!

Tofu again...I really have got into this amazing ingredient. Only fresh though!



Lightly fried until golden (I remembered to get Firm not Silken this time !)



Decided on a few Sichuan Peppercorns. I love that tingle



Reconstituted dried mushrooms



Before braising (with a liberal amount of white pepper)



A small side of Bok Choi with Oyster and Garlic



Chinese in Indian (fusion!!??!!)



Post braising...in my "Le Crueset Clay Pot"



Lovely. Thanks Rasa Malaysia.

Sunday, 1 November 2009

Chicken and Date Tagine

I really don't like AWT. Never have. It was compounded one day whilst watching one of his shows with the phrase "I'm going to cook a Tagine, but we can simply do it in a saucepan. No need for the fancy cookware".

Hmm....What laziness. The whole point of a Tagine is that it is cooked in the conical shape dish that allows the steam from the cooking process to flow up to the point of the cone, where is condences (as it's colder), and falls back down into the middle of the dish. It forms a fantastic 'self-basting' type effect that keeps all dishes amazingly moist (infact - most of mine somehow seem to add water and end up spilling over the side. Why could AWT not be bothered to mention this before cooking it in a saucepan. Ho Hum!

This is from Food of Morocco. A recent addition to the excellent Food Of series.

Normally not a fan of fruit in cooking - but the middle eastern / north african dishes are an exception, where they seem to be core to the dish, rather than a fancy addition.



These dates are soooo moorish (joke?)



Colour the chicken with onions, cinammon & powdered garlic



Adding the saffron and dates. Does 'Sainsbury's saffron really make a difference???



And that's why it's important to do it properly. Imagine the juices flowing to the top of the conical lid, and condencing as it's colder, to drop right back into the middle of the dish. A perfect design.



Where did that liquid come from???



Fantastic. Juicy sweet chicken and a homemade spicy Cous Cous