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Pork, chorizo & spinach paella

A delicious paella recipe by Tamazin Day-Lewis (inspired by Sam & Sam Clark of Moro). This is easy to cook and uses relatively cheap ingredients. It has already appeared on our table a few times since this picture was taken.

Wine Suggestion: This dish is full of flavour so you will need a similarly flavoursome wine. A Spanish red from Ribera del Duero would make a great match.

Paella with Pork, Chorizo and Spinach – serves 4 

  • 7 tbsp olive oil
  • 340g pork fillet, halved lengthways and sliced into strips
  • 110g mild chorizo, cut into small pieces
  • 2 large onions, finely chopped
  • 1 large green pepper, finely chopped
  • 4 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
  • 225g calasparra rice
  • 1 tsp smoked Spanish paprika
  • 4 piquillo peppers (we like the tinned Spanish ones)
  • 850ml hot chicken stock
  • 500g spinach, washed and drained
  • 1 lemon, cut into wedges

Heat the oil over a high heat in a paella or large frying pan, then stir-fry the pork strips for a few seconds so they are still undercooked. Season with salt and pepper, then remove from the pan with a slotted spoon.

Lower the heat and fry the chorizo for a minute. Add the onion and green pepper and cook for 20 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for a further 5 minutes. Stir the rice into the pan and toss for about a minute until coated with oil. Season with salt and pepper, then add the paprika and peppers followed by the hot stock. Simmer for 15 minutes or until there is just a thin layer of liquid around the rice.

Meanwhile, wilt the spinach briefly in a pan, then drain and remove it. Scatter the pork over the rice followed by the spinach and gently push them partly into the oily liquid using the back of a spoon. Turn the heat off, then cover the pan tightly with foil and let sit for 5 minutes. Serve with the lemon wedges.

(Original recipe from Tamasin’s Kitchen Bible by Tamasin Day-Lewis, Weidenfeld & Nicolson, 2005.)

Moong dal

Moong dal

This is Madhur Jaffrey’s “everyday moong dal”, the one she serves regularly to her family and friends alike. It is quite a wet style which we really liked. Serve alongside your favourite curry; it was particularly good with the pea & cauliflower one below.

Moong dal – serves 4-6

  • 200g moong dal (skinned and split mung beans), washed and drained
  • ¼ tsp ground turmeric
  • ¾ tsp salt
  • 2 tbsp olive oil or ghee
  • 1/8 tsp ground asafoetida
  • ½ tsp whole cumin seeds
  • 1-2 whole hot, dried red chillies (we used 1 tsp dried chilli flakes)
  • 1 medium shallot, peeled and cut into fine slivers

Put the moong dal in a medium saucepan, add 800ml water and bring to the boil.

Skim off the white froth and stir in the turmeric.

Cover partially, reduce to a gentle simmer and cook for 45 minutes. Stir in the salt, then turn off the heat.

Heat the oil in a small frying pan over a medium-high heat, then quickly add the asafoetida, cumin seeds and chillies in that order. As soon as the chillies start to darken (a few seconds), quickly pour the contents of the pan over the cooked dal. Stir to mix through.

(Original recipe from Madhur Jaffrey’s Curry Easy, Ebury Press, 2010.)

Potato cakes

We sorely miss potato farls which you can buy in every bakery in Belfast and are so delicious with bacon for breakfast or brunch. It was a delight to find such a good and easy recipe. You have to make these with hot potato so it’s fine to use leftover mash but make sure you re-heat it.

Potato cakes 

  • 450g potatoes, steamed and put through a mouli-légumes or potato ricer
  • 110-140g four sieved with a tsp of sea salt
  • 45g unsalted butter

Work the ingredients together with your fingers, then roll out the dough lightly into thin circles with a very well floured rolling pin. Cut with a scone cutter into circles and fry in a little butter until browned.

Serve hot with more butter and some crispy bacon.

(Original recipe from Tamasin’s Kitchen Bible by Tamasin Day-Lewis, Weidenfeld & Nicolson, 2005.)

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We got the Indian vegetarian cookbook, Prashad, some time ago but haven’t used it much, something that needs to be remedied as the recipes are delicious. The balance of spices has a real depth but be careful with the asafetida as it can easily overwhelm the dish. We served this with a home-made dhal and naan breads from the Indian takeaway.

Pea & Cauliflower Curry – serves 4

  • 100ml sunflower oil
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp brown mustard seeds
  • ½ tsp asafetida
  • 1 medium cauliflower, cut into small pieces
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tbsp ground coriander
  • 1½ tsp salt
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 400g frozen petits pois
  • 1 medium tomato, finely chopped
  • 1 large handful of fresh coriander, roughly chopped
  • 3-6 fresh green chillies, seeds in
  • 5cm root ginger, peeled and roughly chopped

Crush the chillies and ginger together with a pinch of salt in a pestle and mortar (or a blender) to make a fine masala paste.

Heat the oil in a large heavy-based frying pan over a medium heat, then add the cumin and mustard seeds. When the seeds start to pop, turn the heat to low and stir in the asafetida.

Add the cauliflower, then turn the heat back to medium and stir in the masala paste, turmeric, ground coriander, salt and sugar. Cover and leave to cook for 8-10 minutes, stirring every few minutes. Stir in the peas and tomato, cover the pan again and cook for another 3-5 minutes. Remove from the heat and sprinkle with the chopped coriander, then leave to rest, covered, for 5 minutes before serving.

(Original recipe from Prashad: Indian Vegetarian Cooking by Kaushy Patel, Saltyard Books, 2012.)

Chicken & Mushroom Pie

This is a lovely pie for a frosty day. Serve with lots of mashed potato and peas.

Wine Suggestion: this dish needs a white wine with a medium body as there is some subtlety at play with the flavours and weight. Classically we’d pair a sensitively oaked chardonnay with an earthiness and minerality so a better Maçon or Côte Chalonnais would be great. To step outside the box though look to a Vin Jaune from the Jura which adds a layer of nutty, yeasty characters, a lovely freshness of acidity and a rustic earthiness. Don’t go too sophisticated as this is a wholesome, honest pie.

Chicken & Mushroom Pie – serves 4-6

  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 8 skinless boneless chicken thighs
  • 8 rashers streaky bacon, cut into large pieces
  • 1 onion, sliced
  • 250g baby button mushrooms
  • handful thyme sprigs
  • 2 tbsp plain flour
  • 400ml chicken stock
  • 200ml milk
  • 500g pack puff pastry
  • 1 egg, beaten

Heat the oil in a large, non-stick frying pan.

Season the chicken and fry in batches until golden brown.

Remove the chicken from the pan and add the bacon. Fry for about 5 minutes or until crisp.

Add the onions, mushrooms and thyme, then fry on a high heat for about 3 minutes or until the onions start to colour.

Add the flour to the pan and cook, stirring, for 1 minute.

Take the pan off the heat and gradually whisk in the stock, followed by the milk, then return the chicken to the pan. Bring to the boil and simmer for 30 minutes.

Spoon the filling into a large pie or baking dish (approx. 20 x 30 cm) with a lip and leave to cool.

Heat the oven to 220C/fan 200C/gas 7.

Roll the pastry out onto a floured surface. Cut a long strip as wide as the rim of the dish and, using a little of the egg, fix to the edge of the pie dish. Brush with egg, then lift the rest of the pastry onto the pie. Press the edges together with your fingers and  trim with a sharp knife. Brush lightly with egg to glaze and bake for 30 minutes or until risen and golden brown.

Serve with mashed potatoes and peas.

(Original recipe from BBC Good Food)

Hot & sour fish soup

This is a quick and very low-calorie but very tasty soup. Buy some really fresh fish – we used hake. Hot & Sour Fish Soup – Serves 2

  • 2tbsp grated ginger
  • 1 dried red chilli (or use a small tsp of chilli flakes)
  • 2 scallions, thinly sliced
  • 1 stem lemongrass, lightly bashed
  • 700ml chicken or fish stock
  • 3 tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp rice vinegar
  • 400g skinless white fish fillets, cut into big chunks
  • 2 handfuls baby spinach
  • 2 tsp fish sauce
  • cooked noodles

Put the ginger, chilli, scallions, lemongrass and stock in a saucepan and bring to a simmer. Cook for 5 minutes, then add the soy sauce, vinegar and fish, and simmer for a couple of minutes. Stir in the spinach and season with the fish sauce. Adjust the vinegar and soy sauce to your own taste. Put the cooked noodles into soup bowls, discard the lemongrass and dried chilli from the soup, then pour over the noodles and serve. (Original recipe by Lulu Grimes and Janine Ratcliffe in BBC Olive February 2015.)

Prawn & clam linguine

 

We recently got a new cookbook by Lorraine Pascale and have been impressed by the recipes so far. This one we made for Valentines Day, just the two of us with a bottle of vintage Champagne from the cellar. A very nice evening.

Linguine with prawns, clams, garlic & chilli – serves 4

  • 350g dried linguine
  • 3tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 large banana shallots, finely diced
  • 3 garlic cloves, very finely chopped
  • 2 red chillies, finely chopped
  • 400g raw peeled tiger prawns, de-veined
  • 400g clams, washed (soak in cold water for an hour to get rid of any sand then discard any that stay open when sharply tapped)
  • 150-200ml white wine
  • 3 tbsp roughly chopped parsley
  • 70g rocket
  • 1 small lemon, cut into wedges

Cook the pasta according to the packet until al dente.

Meanwhile, heat the oil in a large saucepan, with a tight-fitting lid, over a medium heat. Add the shallots and sweat for about 10 minutes or until softened. Add the garlic and chilli and cook for another couple of minutes.

Add the prawns and cook for 1 minutes, stirring. Then add the clams and white wine, bring to the boil and cover with the lid. Cook for 4-5 minutes or until all the clam shells have opened (discard any that don’t) and the prawns have turned pink.

Drain the pasta well and tip onto the cooked shellfish and toss together. Add the chopped parsley and season.

Pile into bowls, drizzle with your best extra-virgin olive oil, scatter with rocket and serve with a lemon wedge.

(Original recipe from How to be a Better Cook by Lorraine Pascale, HarperCollins, 2014.)

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