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.
I 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.Continue reading
I 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.
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).
Is 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.
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.
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.
Winter is coming. In our house it comes with braised meats, stews and soups. What is it about braised meats, falling at the gentle push of the fork into their rich and deep gravy that brings out the home lover in us all? The first beauty of this dish is that it is a cheap cut of meat, the second, that it must be slowly braised over time giving an intense flavour so less faffing, and the third that it can be reheated on the day you need so that it gets hot and you don’t have to. You can serve on the day you cook it, but it’s up to you. I love serving this on potato and parsnip puree and with some wilted spinach. If you don’t use it all, then reheat it pull it apart and serve it soft buns as a pulled beef dish.
I have a thing at the moment for making dishes that can be put in the middle of the table and people can help themselves. I suppose it makes for ease of cooking (no fancy plating up) but also means you are there when people are sitting around the table and with (in this case) the wine, salad and garlic bread it’s easier to just enjoy the moment. Anyway, with this weather day before preparation is best; you can stay away from the heat of the kitchen when your friends arrive. Lasagne is a best eaten the day after it is prepared. After re-heating in the oven, place in the middle of the table and let people spoon for themselves. This feeds six.
The thing about parties, at least in my house, is that they are just not the same without a plate of sausage rolls. Warm or cold, these little morsels of meat and pastry delights are the first thing I aim for on the buffet table, and the last thing I want to leave. One problem is that the shop-bought ones can be mean and nasty – an insult to the beauty that is this party treat. The alternative, mixing this and butter flaking pastry that, can be daunting and I am more than happy to cook something that has the homemade flavour without the chef effort. So here it is, the homemade cheat’s sausage roll.