Friday, 11 March 2016

Jamie Oliver's vegetarian chilli

Last week I made a spaghetti bolognaise with quorn mince in an attempt to cut down on our meat intake. I wasn't impressed, even with all the flavours of the sauce the meal was just edible. I'm not sure if it was the texture or the lack of flavour of the quorn but somehow it didn't hit the spot with any of us. I guess the answer is if you want to eat vegetarian food just use vegetables and this recipe proved that theory right. Forget any preconceptions of a veggie chilli you may have and give this try. It's spicy from the chilli beautifully aromatic with the flavours of the coriander, cumin, cayenne and cinnamon and feels very healthy. Ok, I did have a dollop of Creme fraiche and some tortillas on the side, but even so, I'm sure it's good for you. Jamie Oliver has gone mega healthy all of a sudden, so I believe him when he says it's packed full of good stuff. 

The following day I added some vegetable bouillon stock and broke up some of the larger vegetables and made a delicious soup with the leftovers. 

The link to the recipe is as follows. Jamie's veggie chilli. 

Wednesday, 9 March 2016

Mary Berry's Thai Chicken Curry

The lovely Mary Berry was preparing this Thai chicken curry for a party on her Foolproof cooking programme the other night. I made it for dinner last night, the sauce was rich and creamy with just the right amount of spiciness.  It's a meal that would need planning as the ingredients are not things you would normally have to hand, but I think it's worth the planning. I would think that a green curry paste would work too. 

Serves 8
6 skinless and boneless chicken breasts
3 tbsp Thai red curry paste
3 tbsp sunflower oil
2 onions, sliced
4cm/1½in knob of fresh root ginger peeled and finely grated
1 tbsp plain flour
2 x 400g tins full-fat coconut milk
1 tbsp Thai fish sauce
1 tbsp light muscovado sugar
1 lemon grass stalk, bashed (see tip)
4 Kaffir limes leaves
250g/ sugar snap peas, cut in half lengthways
½ lime zest and juice
1 x 225g tin water chestnuts drained, halved and quartered if large
salt and freshly ground black pepper

Cut the chicken breasts in half and then into long thin slices. Tip into a bowl and add 1 tablespoon of the Thai curry paste, season with salt and freshly ground black pepper and mix.
Heat 1 tablespoon of the sunflower oil in a deep frying pan, add the chicken slices and fry over a high heat for 5 minutes until just cooked through – you may need to do this in batches. Transfer the cooked chicken slices to a plate.
Add the remaining oil to the pan and fry the onions for 3 minutes. Cover with a lid, lower the heat and cook for another 10 minutes to soften.
Increase the heat and add the ginger with the remaining Thai curry paste and fry for a minute. Sprinkle in the flour and blend in the coconut milk with the fish sauce and sugar, adding a little at a time. Stir the mixture and bring to the boil. Add the lemon grass and lime leaves and season with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Return the chicken to the pan, bring back up to the boil and then cover, reduce the heat and simmer for about 5 minutes, or until piping hot.
Meanwhile, cook the sugar snap peas in boiling salted water for 2 minutes, drain and refresh in cold water.
Remove the lemon grass and lime leaves from the curry and discard. Add the lime zest and juice, water chestnuts and sugar snap peas. Bring to the boil, then remove from the heat and serve with rice.