Sunday, August 20, 2006
1lb king prawns or meaty white fish
1 medium red capsicum cut into large pieces
1 medium green capsicum cut into small pieces
½lb unpeeled sweet potatoes, cubed
½ pint chicken stock
A handful of semi-sundried tomatoes
2 teasp olive oil
1 medium chopped onion
2 garlic cloves, chopped or minced
2 tablesp curry powder*
½ teasp sugar (optional)
A handful of chopped coriander
*instead of shop-bought curry powder I prefer to use the ingredients below, but either is OK:
1 teasp turmeric
1-2 teasp garam masala
2 cardamom pods
1-2 teasp chilli powder or 1 hot red chilli, chopped
In a medium saucepan, bring red capsicum, sweet potatoes and chicken stock to a boil over a medium-high heat. Reduce heat, cover and simmer until the sweet potatoes are just tender (about 10-15 minutes).
Meanwhile in a large non-stick pan, heat the oil over a medium-high heat. Fry the onion and garlic until lightly browned. Add turmeric, garam masala, chilli, cloves and cardamom pods (or curry powder) and cook for about a minute. Remove from heat.
Reserving the stock, transfer the cooked sweet potatoes and capsicum to a food processor and blend until smooth (or just use a potato masher on it). Add to the onion mixture. Then add the rest of the stock, and ½ teasp sugar if needed, and mix well. Bring back to the boil.
Add the prawns/fish, the green capsicum and the sundried tomatoes, and cook until the prawns/fish are cooked. If you prefer, use your wooden spoon to break up the fish when cooked into bite-sized pieces.
Stir the coriander into the curry and serve with rice or naan bread.
Saturday, August 19, 2006
625g packet of fresh spinach and ricotta tortellini
6 rashers of streaky bacon, rind removed, cut into strips
400g mushrooms sliced
100g semi-dried tomatoes, thinly sliced
½ bunch rocket, ends trimmed
½ cup (firmly packed) continental (flat leaf) parsley leaves
2 garlic cloves
½ cup shredded parmesan
2 tbsp toasted pine nuts
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
Blend first five sauce ingredients till finely chopped
With the blender running add the oil and lemon juice to form a smooth paste
Transfer to a large bowl
Stir in the buttermilk
Cook the tortellini, drain and return to the pan
Cook bacon and mushroom over a medium-high heat for 5-8 minutes until the bacon is crisp
Add the tomatoes and toss through
Combine the pesto, pasta and bacon mixture until well combined
Serve topped with fresh parmesan
Raisins 125g (optional)
Caster sugar 125g
Self raising flour 125g
2 eggs beaten
1 teasp vanilla extract
2 tbsp milk
Pre-heat oven to 190˚C
Beat butter and sugar till fluffy
Add egg a little at a time, whisking as you go
Add raisins (optional)
Beat in the vanilla
Stir in half the flour
Add milk and the rest of the flour
Fold until well combined
Spoon into cups and bake 10-12 minutes or until golden on top
Cool for 10 minutes on a wire rack
Desiccated coconut 200g
Melted butter 60g
Plain flour 475g
Margarine (or baking shortening) ½ tbsp
Baking powder ½ teasp
Salt ½ teasp
1 small egg
Evaporated milk 150ml
Almond essence ½ teasp
Grease the baking tin with the margarine
Pre-heat the oven to 350˚C
Mix the flour, baking powder, sale, coconut, sugar and raisins in a bowl
Add egg, evaporated milk, butter and almond essence and mix to a firm but wet dough
Fill baking tin
Mix 2 tbsp sugar and 1 tbsp hot water and brush on top
Bake in centre of oven for about 1 hour or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean
Cool in the baking dish
2 oz butter
1lb self-raising flour
4 oz caster sugar
4 oz sultanas
½ pint fresh milk
Beaten egg to glaze
Rub four, sugar and butter together
Rub in sultanas
Bind with milk
Knead and roll to 3/4 inch thick
Cut into scones with a glass and glaze with the beaten egg
Bake 20-25 minutes at 200˚C
Cool on a wire rack
1kg ripe red tomatoes
1 tbsp olive oil
1 medium onion finely chopped
1 large clove garlic, chopped
12 large leaves fresh basil
Salt and black pepper
Skin the tomatoes (pour boiling water on, leave one minute, drain and peel when cool).
Keep three tomatoes back.
Cook onion and garlic until soft.
Add chopped tomatoes and 1/3 of the basil.
Add salt and pepper and simmer for 1.5 – 1.75 hours.
Chop and stir in the reserved tomatoes and basil.
225g minced pork
1 dessertsp chopped fresh sage
2 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
75g white bread, no crust, soaked in milk
1 large egg
A little grated nutmeg
Salt and black pepper
Oil for frying
Tomato sauce (jar or fresh)
Mix top ingredients, make into walnut-shaped balls, chill for 30 minutes, then shallow fry 4-5 minutes.
Heat the tomato sauce and simmer the meatballs for 10 minutes.
Serve with spaghetti, parmesan and fresh basil.
Core and half the tomatoes, sprinkle on some chopped garlic, dried thyme, salt and pepper.
Put on a baking sheet and drizzle on some extra virgin olive oil.
Leave in the over after you have finished cooking twice or three times, or alternatively roast slowly at the lowest setting for about 16 hours.
When they are finished they will be about 25% of their raw size.
Store in the fridge in an airtight container.
Friday, August 18, 2006
Aletha is the one who makes the best curried goat in my opinion!
2 lbs goat meat
1 Scotch Bonnet pepper, de-seeded and finely chopped
1 medium onion, finely chopped
Half tsp cayenne pepper
1 spring onion, finely chopped
Half tsp salt
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 bay leaves
3 tblsp curry powder (medium, yellow-coloured curry powder)
2 cups water
2 tbsp desiccated coconut (optional)
Cut the goat meat into bite-sized pieces and place in a large dish.
Mix the seasoning, herbs, garlic and onion together and rub into the meat, then cover with clingfilm and leave to marinate in the fridge overnight.
Boil the water in a large, heavy saucepan, add the seasoned meat and remains of marinade, and mix together.
Cover the pot and cook slowly over a medium heat until the meat browns, adding water if necessary.
Simmer for 1 ½ -2 hours until the meat is tender.
1. Fry one medium-sized diced onion
2. Add 1/2 teaspoon of turmeric and cook in
3. Add a teaspoonful of harissa and one can chopped tomatoes
4. Add one can of chick peas and cook 10 mins
5. Add spinach and cook 5 mins
6. Add 1/2 teaspoon of garam masala
7. If the curry is too sweet from the tomatoes, add 1/2 teaspoon of instant coffee to tone it down
8. Serve with yoghurt, naan or rice
This is one of my favourite Indian dishes and is well worth the effort to make it. If you cannot find genuine vindalho masala in your local Indian grocery, use the ingredients below to make the paste.
1kg/2¼lb boneless pork from the shoulder, cut into 5cm/2in cubes
1½ tsp salt
6tbsp red wine vinegar
For the Spice Paste: (or use vindalho masala)
4-10 dried hot red chillies
1 tbsp bright red paprika
½ tsp cumin seeds
6cm/3in cinnamon stick, broken up into smaller pieces
½ tsp black peppercorns
5-6 cardamom pods
10-12 garlic cloves, peeled
2.5cm/1in piece of fresh ginger, peeled and coarsley chopped
½ tsp ground turmeric
You also need:
3 tbsp vegetable oil
3-4 garlic cloves, peeled and lightly crushed
3 meduim-sized onions (250g/9oz), peeled and finely sliced
2 large tomatoes, chopped
6 fresh hot green chillies, sliced lengthways in half
1 tsp sugar
1. Sprinkle the pork with 1 tsp of the salt. Add 3 tbsp of the vinegar. Rub in well and set aside for 2-3 hours.
2. Make the spice paste: Combine the red chillies, paprika, cumin seeds, cinnamon, cloves, peppercorns and cardamom pods in a clean coffee grinder and grind as finely as possible. Put the 10-12 garlic cloves and the ginger in the container of an electric blender a;long with 2 tbsp of the vinegar and the turmeric. Blend well. Add the dry ground spices to the garlic mixture and blend again to mix. Rub the pork cubes with half of the spice paste, Cover and refrigerate overnight. Cover and refrigerate the remaining spice paste.
3. Heat the 3 tbsp oil in a wide, preferably non-stick pan over meduim-high heat. When hot, put in the 3-4 garlic cloves. Stir and fry until they begin to pick up a little colour. Put in the onions and continue to fry until browned. Now add the tomatoes and 3 of the green chillies. Stir for a minute. Add the remaining spice paste, the sugar and the remaining 1 tbsp vinegar. Stir and fry until the paste begins to marinate the meat and all the spice paste clinging to it. Turn the heat to a meduim-low and cook, stirring, until the pork begins to exclude its own liquid. Add 300ml/10fl oz/1¼ cups water and the remaining salt and bring to the boil. Cover, turn the heat to low and simmer gently until the meat is tender and the sauce has thickened somewhat, about 40 minutes.
4. If necessary, raise the heat to reduce the sauce to a meduim-thick consistency towards the end. Add the remaining 3 green chillies and stir once.
1 lb of sultanas or raisins
1 cup of cold tea
3/4 lb flour
1. Steep fruit in tea for at least one hour (preferably overnight).
2. Add egg and swirl around.
3. Sieve in flour and mix well.
4. Pour into 9 inch square tin.
5. Put in oven in middle shelf at Gas Mark 4 for 45 minutes.
6. Cover with tin foil and cook for a further 45 minutes and Gas Mark 3.
7. Test with a knife to make sure centre is cooked.
In our family food and love are interchangeable. As a result most of what we eat, and who serves it, is laden with symbolism.
The rituals of Christmas included the formal post-mortem of the turkey/ham/Christmas cake/Christmas pudding of other family members: my mother and our Auntie Molly being the two main culprits:
"Maggie, your ham is much nicer than mine. Mine is very salty."
"No, Molly, mine is very dry. Yours is better. And your cake is beautiful."
"Yes but the pudding didn't come out very well."
"Ah, Molly, your pudding is gorgeous. Give us another bit."
Christmas dinners were rushed to make sure we had enough time to sit down again at six o'clock for tea. It wasn't much different the rest of the year, and even when the food being served was more modest than Christmas dinner, there was always the exhortion to "fill up on bread". For the families of post-war children, it was always important to "eat loads".
My mother has served the same dishes for dinner since she got married. Now, 52 years later, I can tell you which she will have for dinner this week:
left-over roast meat from Sunday with a salad
Egg and chips (she used to serve us mince, beans and chips but we didn't notice for years that she didn't eat the meat herself)
Beef stew, except for Lent and summertime when fried fish, mashed potatoes and white sauce is served
Pork chops, gravy, boiled potatoes and turnip
Fish and chips and peas
A mixed grill
Traditional roast dinner - chicken, beef, pork or lamb
Corned beef or boiled bacon, cabbage and boiled potatoes
Over the years, and miles from home now, food still conjures up many emotions and associations.
My mother lists reading restaurant menus as one of her more serious hobbies, and it is always a big highlight to have as many family members around the table for dinner - difficult when we are spread across two continents.
This blog is an attempt to pull together all the recipes from my lifetime, food served to me with love by family, friends and strangers.
Many have a story attached and some speak for themselves.