Chinese Chicken Curry

There is something wonderful about Chinese chicken curry with rice. I suppose it takes me back to my childhood. Of course I suppose there is nothing authentic about it, but that yellowish creamy sauce, with onions and mushrooms makes it my favourite. You can add what you want to make it vegetarian and substitute the stock for water, personally if I want it veggie I just leave out the chicken. This really is made quicker than waiting for the order to arrive, and it is so simple it can be done after the pub! Feeds two.

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Pie and Mash

IMG_1276I am going through a thing at the moment for food I had as a child (and crave right now). It started when I thought about Chinese chicken curry, and turned very easily to pie and mash. There is something wholesome and deeply fulfilling when you are faced with a pie with a crisp top and suet base, filled with mincemeat. Aside that, comes the mash, and poured over the top the parsley liquor (and a generous amount of vinegar). It is isn’t rocket science, and I can manage to eat two pies even in  the summer. This really works.  Feeds four.

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Braised Steak Suet Puddings

pieI have braised ox cheek in the freezer and while there are a number of ways of using it up – it is cheap piece of meat and feeds plenty – one of the best is to use it in individual suet puddings. Yesterday, this was the Sunday lunch. No these should not only be eaten in the Winter, sometimes an unexpected dish like this in a cold spring, late summer or early autumn can be a welcome sight indeed.  The suet pudding, enveloping the long cooked and rich steak, with an additional pour of red wine or other gravy can be just the dish needed at any time of the year. If you are using something other than the braised beef from this site then I will create a pop up on how to cook the beef.

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Lamb Meatballs with Warm Yoghurt

So I have eaten at Ottolenghi but never cooked the food. It always seemed a little too fiddly, too many ingredients and, I thought, would take too much time. Anyway, I apologise and say I am wrong on all counts. This is a lovely novel way to have lamb this weekend, and this is taken from the Nopi cookbook. It has all the flavours of the east, with a delicate sauce over the gently cooked swiss chard (now in season and stocked in good greengrocers).  Most if not all these dry ingredients will be in your store cupboard, and brought together in this recipe produce a highly flavoured and wonderful meal. Serves 6, can be made the day before and reheated (and like most things in that category improves the flavour).

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Spicy Coconut Soup

imageIs it the cold weather? Is it my age? My mind turned back to a soup that we would sit eating in a very cheap but fantastic Malaysian restaurant in Soho. The added entertainment was watching the punters going in and out of the building opposite. Anyway, the restaurant sold the most wonderful ‘Santan Soup’ (which probably means nothing), and it came with a veneer thin layer of chilli oil over the top and was served way above boiling point. This is a variation. It provides a nice basic but spicy coconut soup, and you can then add the variations of chicken, vegetables, fish and even duck to change it out. Cheap, warming and hot – just what the punters want.

Serves 2 as a Main Course.

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Cooking a Turkey.

It is that time of year when perfectly sensible people, who cook Sunday lunch all year round, suddenly begin to panic about cooking a turkey. The idea is that you should shove it in the oven and enjoy your Christmas as much as your guests. So while this isn’t strictly a recipe, it might go some way to helping you get a less stressful Christmas. Usual rules apply, a frozen turkey should be thoroughly defrosted, and check it is fully cooked before serving. I don’t stuff the neck or cavity of the bird, this only adds to cooking time and sometimes better results come from making the stuffing separately. Don’t forget the roast potatoes, cabbage or the red wine sauce, and those quick sausage rolls.

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Cottage Pie

The weather hasn’t entirely turned (yet!) but in my house it doesn’t need to be cold for this dish to arrive on the table. It is one of my all time favourites, and carries with it more memories of family dinner that I could probably completely remember. It is the smooth richness of the meat and sauce, the nod to the vegetables and the deep silk mashed potato on top, browned and crispy just calling out to be eaten. Like lasagne I make a ragu sauce the day before, then put it all together in the dish for the oven. I think it tastes better that way, but you can put it on the hob and cook it down much more quickly. This feeds six.

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