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Recipes

Oh hi! It’s me, back again.  Long time coming.  No excuses.  Anyway, today’s recipe is the thai green curry that I made last night.  IT WASN’T ALL THAT GREAT.  That’s not to say that it wasn’t tasty, but I think a few amendments would have made it closer to #asianperfection.  Amendments that I have included in the recipe below.

Firstly, you need to make the Thai Green Curry paste. I already had this made from about a delicious meal I was cooked a few weeks ago. One of the charms of this paste is that it can be kept for up to 3 weeks in the fridge, so make a big ole’ batch.  Anyway, this was a t.g.c.p. that I had no involvement in making, but I am told on good authority that it was this recipe  almost exactly.  Although this paste is lovely, it’s more ‘fragrant’ than it is ‘punchy’, and I would throw in a few more chillies and maybe go a little heavier with the cumin, coriander, and fish sauce.  But that’s just me, and I like a spicy t.g.c.

I made my t.g.c with chicken, broccoli and aubergine. Highly unauthentic, highly delicious.

Thai Green Curry with Chicken and Aubergine:

(Serves 3-4)

-t.g.c.p. around half the quantity made above, but add more/less as you wish

-1 Aubergine

-Cumin seeds

-Coriander seeds

-1 Onion

-3 Chicken breasts

-Some kind of green veg.  I used broccoli as it was in the fridge, but bok choi is probably nicer

-1/2 Tin coconut milk

 

To begin with, chop your aubergine into cubes and toss in oil.  When I was cutting my aubergine I was like ‘oh wow, it turns out aubergines totally smell of bananas when you cut them?’ and I thought I would reveal this awesome revelation to you blog readers to much applause.

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Unfortunately I then noticed I was chopping my aubergine next to some bananas. THEORY DISPELLED.

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Anyway, crush some cumin and coriander seeds and season.  (I scattered some coriander leaves on mine, but this was an error as they just became crispy and sad.) Add salt and pepper to taste.  Cover in tin foil and put into an oven on 200 degrees C for around an hour.  Aubergines take bloody ages to cook.  Image

Once your aubz are all soft and delicious, slice your onion and cook off (with a little of the cumin-coriander mix again).  Once they’re softened a little, add the t.g.c.p. to your frying pan and let it sizzle for a bit.  Next add your chicken, cut into cubes which are small enough to eat in one go, but big enough not to make you think of a ready meal. Depending on how crispy you like your green veg, add in at some point after the chicken but before the coconut milk.  Next stir in your already delicious cooked aubz.

Once the chicken is cooked, add in the coconut milk, and I added about a cup full of water. Note I mean a cup in the having-a-cup-next-to-your-hob-and-using-it way not the American official measurement kind of way. Give that a mix and let it get fully hot.

DID I MENTION YOU SHOULD HAVE BEEN MAKING RICE ALL THIS TIME?

Plate up the curry on your rice, and sprinkle with some torn up coriander leaves.  I bought my coriander from Lidl, which meant it was only 59p for a siezeable bag, but also meant that I had a sadness in my heart for several hours afterwards.  It’s pretty grim in there lads.

Anyway, there you have it, Thai green curry with aubergine and chicken and a green veg of your chosing. Enjoy!

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 a.k.a. Ridiculous Meal for one

I left work one night this week having thought about steak pretty much all day.  Since bout 8am my eyes had been pretty much glazed over, as I was thinking about every steak I’d ever known.  I even googled a few steak images (and, in doing so, found this gem of a tattoo.)

However, I realised that it was a night where my house was (unusually) empty.  Usually there are at least 3 of us together at dinnertime.  Not so tonight.  So, as I was rattling around the shops picking up food I was thinking, ‘Just me tonight. Light salad. Probably just have, like, a pitta.’  And then I saw a steak.

What followed was probably the most ludicrous meal for one I have ever cooked, for myself, on a work night, alone.

Small handful cherry tomatoes

Parsley

1 Banana Shallot

½ a Red Chilli

1 Clove Garlic

1 tsp Sugar

First chop the tomatoes into halves or quarters.  Thinly chop the shallot, chilli, garlic, and parsley. Mix together in a bowl with a glug of olive oil and balsamic vinegar.  Season with salt and pepper and a teaspoonful of sugar.  Leave to…I want to say ‘macerate’?

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1 large Maris Piper potato

Few springs of Rosemary

Peel the potato and chop quite evenly into 1cmx1cm squares. Heat olive oil and a few sprigs of rosemary in a frying pan, and add the potatoes.  Cook the potatoes over a medium heat for about 10 minutes, tossing them in the pan every minute or so. The pan should become quite dry, but the potatoes will not stick, but should slowly begin to brown as they cook.

1 Steak

When your potatoes are almost done, season your steak and rub a little oil onto it. Place into a very hot pan for 1-2 minutes each side for a rare steak. I’m not sure how to do other levels of cooking but I assume just leave it in longer.

3 tbsp white wine vinegar

4 black peppercorns

3 egg yolks

225g Butter

Tarragon

When the steak is done, take it out of the pan and leave to rest while you do your Béarnaise.  Boil the vinegar & peppercorns until they reduce by half, then strain into a heatproof bowl, over a pan of gently simmering water. Don’t let the water boil and touch the bowl, come on now.  Then add your eggs and whisk furiously until it becomes light and frothy.  Take off the heat and whisk in the melted butter, salt, pepper, and tarragon.

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ImageServe the steak with a jug of Béarnaise, a good spoonful of tomato salad, your PDTs and a nice glass of Prosecco.  Voilà – a ridiculous meal for one.

P.S. apologies that I didn’t wipe the jug clean properly. I’d never make it in a top kitchen.

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So, the time of year has come again…when everyone is totally disgusting and ill.  Given that basically everyone I know has been struck down with what my dad has always inexplicably called ‘stomach on the chest’ (?!), I felt the time was nigh for some comforting chicken dumpling soup.

Now my initial approach would usually be, chicken soup, drop in some Matzo balls, done. But, I remembered a while ago seeing Rachel Khoo (of The Little Paris Kitchen fame) making chicken quenelles in a broth and so I thought why not give that a go.

Chicken Stock:

Chicken carcass, bashed up a bit (hence this is perfect for a day-after-roast-chicken dinner),  alternatively you could use some wings and drumsticks, and remove them and pick the meat off to whizz up for the quenelles.

2 onions

2 carrots

2 celery sticks

Couple of Bay Leaves, bit of Rosemary & Thyme.

Fry off the veg in a big pot with a glug of oil until they’re just softened.  Season liberally with salt and peppercorns. Add the chicken and herbs, and fill pot with cold water.  Bring to the boil, skimming the gunk off the top as you go.  After 1.5-2 hours, sieve the mixture, leaving a tasty, almost clear chicken broth.

You can use as much of this as needed for the soup, and freeze the rest.

Or…buy some chicken stock and tell no one.

 

Chicken Quenelle Soup (Based on Rachel Khoo’s recipe):

Chicken Stock

2 Carrots (peeled and sliced in rounds)

5 Slices white bread (no crusts)

200g Chicken Breast

1 Egg & 1 Egg Yolk

100ml Double or Single Cream, depending on how heavy you want them

Nutmeg

Handful chopped mushrooms

Heat a large pan full of chicken stock and add the chopped carrots.  Bring this to the boil while you blitz together the bread, chicken, eggs, cream, nutmeg and salt and pepper.  If you’re feeling really decadent you can also add 50g butter to the mix. Make quenelles from this chicken paste by passing it between two spoons, and drop them into the simmering soup base.  They should float, and take only about 5 minutes to cook.  A couple of minutes before they’re done, add your sliced mushrooms.  I like Chestnut or even Shitaake. Serve with an absolute tonne of chopped parsley on top.

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This soup is really comforting on a cold winter’s day, and the quenelles are surprisingly rich and filling.  This will serve 4, but I don’t think it keeps very well so best to use it on the day.  Apologies for the filters on the pics.  I’m not really sure what I was thinking there.  Also, they make red wine look like coke.  Interesting.

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After leaving work surprisingly early on Tuesday, I managed to catch my favourite fishmonger (Ocean Wave on Seven Sisters Road).   I hadn’t planned on buying anything in particular, but a huge white squid caught my fancy.  As Paul (just found out my fishmonger’s name and will of course be using it) lifted the squid I realised it was far bigger than anticipated, but I left with a bag full o’ tentacles and began thinking up a recipe.

Given how disgusting the weather has been this past week, I wanted to make something un-characteristically summery, and a trip to Michael’s (another Sever Sisters Road gem) provided me with these pretty gawjus tomatoes.

This squid is Sicilian only in the sense that it reminds me of some squid I had on a recent break to Sicily, and the tomatoes and mozzarella pulled through the pasta give it a rustic Italian feel.

I also used the remaining pasta the next day (recipe 2), with the addition of tuna and a poached egg, it made a delicious lunch.

Recipe 1 (Serves 2)

Large Squid (Body)

Zest of 1 lemon

Salt & Pepper

2 Cloves of Garlic

Get your fishmonger to prepare the squid because otherwise you have to pull ‘the beak’ out. Don’t even ask. Score the inside of the quid lightly in a criss-cross pattern and cut into smaller pieces. Marinate in the olive oil with the salt, pepper, and finely chopped garlic (see below). Leave for an hour in the fridge.

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During this time prepare the tomatoes and pasta. After this has marinated heat a griddle pan until it is smoking hot. Cook the squid for 1-2 minutes per side.

About 2 handfuls of mixed small tomatoes (cherry, baby vine, yellow…whatever you have)

1 Banana Shallot

1 Red Chilli

2 Cloves of Garlic

Balsamic Vinegar

Olive Oil

Salt &  Pepper

Sugar

1 ball Mozzarella

Handful of Basil Leaves, Roughly Torn

Rigatoni (for 2)

Leave the tomatoes in cold salted water for an hour before using them.  If you don’t have time to do this it is really not the end of the world.  Finely chop the chilli (as much/little as you like), garlic, and shallot. Chop the tomatoes into halves or quarters, and mix these ingredients all together along with the basil, a glug of olive oil and one of balsamic vinegar. Sprinkle a tablespoon of sugar on top, and salt and pepper to taste.  Mix thoroughly, and leave to soak while you prepare the pasta. (NOTE this first part is also a great tomato salad recipe on its own.)  Cook and drain the pasta, and add the tomato mixture.  Tear the mozzarella ball into smaller pieces and mix this in too.   Cook the squid at this stage (it’s super quick) and top with the squid pieces, and a squeeze of lemon.

Recipe 2

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Leftover Pasta mix (if you’re like me, there will be no squid left by this point)

1 Tin Tuna

1 Poached egg

Plenty of  Salt & Pepper

Mix the tuna in to the pasta mixture, poach the egg, pop on top, season to taste.