Chilli oil

This one is easy.

Remove the stems from dried chillies and split them.

Add them to 500ml olive oil in a saucepan and heat gently until the chillies begin to sizzle. Remove from the heat, cool and bottle.

The oil and chillies can both be used in cooking.

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Chicken Tarka

My poultry adaption of Tarka dahl, the traditional Bengali vegetarian dish of Chana Dahl, gram and cumin.

  • 1 chicken breast, cubed
  • 1 1/2 cups chicken stock
  • 200g chana dhal (yellow dried split peas)
  • Water for cooking the dahl
  • 1 cup canned chickpeas, mashed
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1 onion chopped
  • 2 or 3 red chillies
  • 2 or 3 curry leaves or a bay leaf
  • a thumb of ginger chopped finely
  • 3 cloves of garlic, peeled
  • 3 tbsp peanut oil
  • 2 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp brown mustard seeds
  • 2 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 can chopped tomatoes
  • Salt and black pepper
  • 1 tsp garam masala

Cook the dahl (split peas) in salted water until soft.

Rinse and drain

Fry the onion, garlic, ginger and spices except the garam in oil

add the chicken and fry for a few minutes more

Add the Dahl, mashed chickpeas, stock and tomato

Bring to the boil and simmer gently for 30 mins, or until the mixture has thickened sufficiently, stirring now and again

Taste, add salt and pepper as required then stir in the garam.

Simmer a little more then serve with rice or naan.

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Bubble & Squizza

Bubble & Squizza:

Bubble and squeak (fried mashed potato, leftover vegetables and egg) topped with mozzarella and Parmesan then grilled.

Nothing wrong with adding anchovies, olives, tomatoes etc. Mix in a few herbs too.

Any leftover vegetables are good but my favourites are cauliflower and broccoli.

The technique is simple, simply beat an egg or two into a mixture of mashed potatoes and vegetables, adding whatever herbs or spices you fancy.

Fry in a mixture of butter and oil or bacon fat. Chicken or duck fat is great too.

That’s bubble and squeak.

Now spread it evenly in the pan, add the cheese and toppings and put under the grill (broiler for my American friends).

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Pina colada Trifle

Pinacolada trifle, assembled from rum-soaked sponge cake, chopped fresh pineapple, coconut cream custard, whipped cream and toasted shredded coconut.

No jelly in this one but you could add it if you like.

A large sponge cake, broken up in a large bowl

A few generous tots of rum and some pineapple juice to soak the cake

Chopped pineapple

Coconut cream custard

Whipped cream

Toasted coconut

Coconut cream custard:

1 x 400g can coconut cream

2 cups milk

6 egg yolks

1/2 cup green coconut water

1/3 cup caster sugar

1Tbsp. Cornflour

2tsp vanilla essence.

Combine milk and coconut cream and bring to a boil in a saucepan

Whisk egg yolks, sugar, cornflour and coconut water in a bowl or jug

When the milk is boiling pour the hot liquid into the cold yolk mixture whisking all the while

Return the mixture to the saucepan and bring to a gentle simmer while whisking until the custard thickens

Mix in the vanilla essence.

When it cools pour it over the trifle and top with whipped cream and toasted coconut.

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Lyn’s Ricotta & Spinach Rolls

RICOTTA & SPINACH ROLLS

For the vegetarian gourmet.

Ingredients

  • 1 200g tub Ricotta
  • 250g frozen spinach
  • 50g fetta (I used persian fetta)
  • 1 onion diced
  • 1/2 tsp crushed garlic
  • 1 tsp whole grain mustard
  • 1 cup grated cheese
  • 1 egg lightly beaten
  • salt and pepper to season
  • 2 tblsp pine nuts toasted
  • 1/2 capsicum diced
  • 1/2 cup grated courgettes
  • Breadcrumbs to thicken
  • 3-4 sheets good quality puff pastry (Pampas)
  • Milk to brush
  • Poppyseeds

Method

Defrost spinach and push excess water out.

Heat 2tblsp Avocado or Macdamia oil in frypan.

Add onion mustard and garlic saute until onion is soft.

Add pine nuts to small non stick pan on low heat until toasted.

Combine all other ingredients in bowl and combine.

Add spinach, onion mixture and pine nuts and combine.

Season with salt and pepper.

Thicken with breadcrumbs.

Cut pastry sheet in half. Spread mixture and roll. Cut to size, brush with milk and sprinkle with poppyseeds.

Bake in pre heated oven 180 degrees until golden brown.

Serve hot or cold.

NOTE: other ingredients such as grated carrot, corn etc can be included.

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How to F**k a Duck – and make Really Good Duck Soup.

I was disappointed the other day in the outcome after faithfully following an on-line recipe for slow roasted duck, that promised tender and succulent duck meat.

The recipe was as follows:

How to Roast F**K a Duck: The Basic Technique:

(AKA DISAPPOINTING DUCK – I wont link to the original).

Place a lemon in the cavity of the duck.   Roast it as follows for 4 hours at 145o C. After 4 hours, glaze and blast it at high heat for a short time.   

1. Score the skin, cut off excess fat, and poke it all over
2. Salt and truss
3. Roast at 145o C for 1 hour, breast-side up
4. Poke, flip, roast for 1 hour, breast-side down
5. Poke, flip, roast for 1 hour, breast-side up
6. Poke, flip, roast for 1 hour, breast side down
7. Poke, flip, blast at 200o C for 10 minutes, breast-side up
8. Brush with glaze
9. Finish at 200o C for 5-7 minutes
10. Rest 10-15 minutes, carve & serve

I should have trusted my intuition, which was telling me that even at only 145o C,  four hours plus seemed to be far too long to cook a duck.  If I try this again I shall cook it for only 35-40 minutes per flip and monitor more carefully what is happening.  Mistakes are for learning.   

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Ducked

This is how the duck looked even before the final high temperature blasts – which I did not do.   The scoring and pricking must have been particularly efficient.  I recovered around 400g of duck fat to put aside.  Perhaps my scores were a little deeper than they should have been.  My knives are very sharp.

In any case, most of the meat was dry and overcooked.

Disappointing.  Salvage operation needed.

I stripped the breast, thigh and leg meat from the duck and put it in the refrigerator, except for a slice or two of the tenderest bits with which I made a duck and cranberry sauce sandwich.  The remainder of the carcase and the lemon that had been roasted in its cavity went into the slow cooker with two litres of  water and a teaspoon of salt. Cooked on low overnight.

In the morning I extracted and discarded the bones and the lemon, returning  meat to the stock.

  • Then I diced up the remaining duck meat and added it to the pot along with
  • a diced onion
  • two thinly sliced carrots
  • a sweet potato diced small
  • some diced capsicum
  • finely chopped celery
  • a cup of frozen cooked black beans
  • two bay leaves
  • A tsp of tamarind concentrate
  • a pinch of mace
  • ground black pepper
  • crushed ginger
  • crushed garlic
  • chopped coriander leaves
  • 2 small red chillis

Then cooked on low for a further 6 hours.

It made Really Good Duck Soup.   Full Marks!  

Duck Soup

Really Good Duck Soup

Really really good!

Worth fucking a duck for.

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