21 May 2015

Lemongrass Chicken wings

We last posted about chicken wings in October 2012. That time the chief ingredient of the marinade was a tangy tamarind and was inspired by our recent visit to Kota Kinabalu in Borneo. We still love wings and whenever roast chicken is served there is always a tussle for them. So this time Ghaz suggests lemongrass and in order to please everyone why not bake a tray full and serve them as a delicious and succulent starter?



Ingredients

1 Kg chicken wings
3 Sticks fresh lemongrass
2 cm Fresh ginger
6 - 8 Cloves garlic
2 Tbsp Light soy sauce
2 Tbsp Brown sugar
2 Fresh chillies
1 Tbsp Turmeric powder
2 Tbsp Fish sauce
Vegetable oil
Seasoning
White sesame seeds garnish


Method

Blend all the ingredients apart from the wings in a food processor. Place the wings in a large bowl and massage the marinade into them. Cover with cling film and leave for several hours or over night if possible. Heat the oven to 200 C and place the wings on a baking tray covered with tin foil for about 30 minutes. Uncover and place under the grill for about 5 - 10 minutes or so until golden brown. Garnish with toasted sesame seeds and serve with a sweet chilli dip or garlic mayo.

Posted by incredibly fed

11 May 2015

Stout Floats


We've just come back from a wonderful weekend in Ireland where foodie delights included crab claws and a tapas lunch by Skerries harbour, North County Dublin, delicious roast Irish beef with retro prawn cocktail and baked Alaska by Lough Ree on the Shannon and warming Irish coffees in the wonderful eighteenth century Carton demesne where we were staying in Paul and Bryan's idyllic home hidden deep in the beautiful estate woods.

Well what to post to represent the great variety of Irish cuisine. One of our favourites is Irish coffee which we have already posted
(Clouds in my Irish coffee 21/12/12) As making Irish coffees is a delicate business here's a variation which combines not one but two Irish classics and is simply child's play to make.

Ingredients

Tall Sundae glass
Vanilla ice cream
Guinness or Murphy's Stout
Espresso shot

Method

Chill the glass in the fridge for about half an hour. Place several scoops of ice cream in the glass and pour over a shot of espresso. Top with stout!




Posted by incredibly fed

7 May 2015

Croquetas de jamon o champinones

You can't beat this old Spanish favourite which is an absolute must when ordering tapas. We have adapted it very slightly to make it easier to work and abandoned the more typical b├ęchamel sauce filling for a moist mash. This also affords the opportunity to play with flavours so we've added grated parmesan for an extra taste kick! Here we've also suggested the classic chopped ham but you could just as well use fish, mushroom or peas and wasabi and / or mint... Quantities are flexible!



Ingredients

900 g mashed potatoes
Cooked Ham diced
Mushrooms diced
Parmesan grated
1 Egg yolk
1 Tbsp flour
Salt
White Pepper

Coating
Bread crumbs
Plain flour
2 Eggs ( beaten )

Method

Split the mash into two bowls and add the cooked diced ham or mushrooms to one. Mix well add an egg yolk to each and a handful of grated parmesan. If the mix is too moist to work add a table spoon of bread crumbs. Conversely the mix can be let down by adding melted butter or milk. Leave in the fridge for about an hour to cool down which will make the mix easier to work. Shape into either cigars, balls or small patties. Dust in flour then dip in beaten and finally breadcrumbs.  Deep fry or pan fry and keep warm in the oven on kitchen paper until ready to serve. Smoked paprika mayo makes a perfect accompaniment!







Posted by incredibly fed

26 April 2015

Fennel, okra and cherry tomatoes in tamarind

This is a great vegetarian dish which combines the aniseed flavour of fennel with the texture of okra and the citrus tang of tamarind. It takes only minutes to prepare and will be devoured with relish by both  carnivores and non carnivores alike!



Ingredients
3 - 4 Bulbs fennel cut into wedges
Handful of okra ( lady fingers) chopped
Cherry tomatoes
1 Large red onion
4 Cloves garlic chopped
2 cms Ginger chopped
1 Tbsp Corriander powder
1 Tbsp Cumin
1 Tbsp Garram masala
1 Tsp Turmeric
Half tsp Cinnamon powder
2 Tbsps Tamarind paste
4 Tbsp Passata
1 Tbsp Chilli powder
1 Tbso Palm or Castor sugar
Salt and pepper
4 Tbsp Vegetable oil

Method
Fry off onion and garlic in a fairly deep saucepan until translucent. Add ginger and powder spices and sautee for about five minutes. Add the chopped fennel, passata and tamarind and mix and cook for a further five minutes. If the mix is too dry and catches add small amounts of water as you cook. Allow to simmer until the fennel has softened. Finally add the okra, tomatoes and sugar and adjust seasoning to taste. Simmer again for a further ten minutes until the the vegetables are cooked but al dente and the tomatoes are still whole but on the verge of bursting open. Do not over stir as this will break up the vegetables. Serve with steamed rice, couscous, chapati or roti.






Posted by incredibly fed

26 February 2015

Kale and Hearty!

It's funny how fashion trends dictate the ingredients we buy, the menus we create and the things we eat and every so often this process reaches a pinnacle by promoting and incessantly touting a new de rigeur, must have superfood! The observant and the cynical amongst us may smirk and say we've seen it all before. Who doesn't remember for example, the heyday of the kiwi fruit or the popularity of sun dried tomatoes... Where are they now?

The trend, however continues unabated and fashionable ingredients come and go, rising and falling in popularity with monotonous regularity. Currently riding high is the humble kale but it has to be admitted in this case with some justification. Among the properties listed for kale are: it's very high in fibre; it's an anti-oxidant; it is loaded with vitamins especially K, A, and C; it helps prevent the absorption of dietary fats and thereby lowers cholesterol and it even helps retard the growth of cancer cells! Truly a super food! Go ahead and Google it to find out more about the justification for its claim to premier league status.

Similarly there are those foods that fashion demands we eschew and currently receiving a battering, so to speak, is the humble potato crisp. Listening to the radio recently we heard one visitor to these shores recently exclaim that one of the worst things about the UK cuisine was undoubtedly the flavoured crisp! Their negative connotations need hardly be laboured here. Suffice to say they are deep fat fried, laden with salt and totally lack any type of nutrition. Not to mention drenched in the afore mentioned artificial chemical flavour! We would like to make two points here though in defence of the crisp, one is that crisps don't have to be made from potatoes or even root vegetables and two they don't have to be flavoured! So for this post we have combined one of the most hyped ingredients of the day with one of the least admired... kale crisps!

Ingredients

Several stalks of kale
Olive oil
Garlic Salt
Paprika or Cayenne pepper
Salt and Pepper



Method

Cut out the stalks and shred the kale leaves into crisp size pieces. Wash and dry thoroughly in a salad spinner. It is very important the leaves are bone dry. Place on a baking tray leaving some room between the leaves. Drizzle very lightly with olive oil and sprinkle over the spices. ( You can experiment with others if you prefer ) Place the tray in a pre-heated oven at 180 C and leave for in for about 10 minutes toss them about and leave for a further 5 minutes or until the kale is crispy. It will become even more crisp when taken out of the oven and allowed to cool.

Posted by incredibly fed

17 February 2015

Kuih Ketayap - Malaysian pandan pancakes

How come every year at this time, the beginning of Lent the Brazilians get Carnival - one of the noisiest, sexiest and exuberant annual spectacles imaginable on this planet while over here we get..... pancakes!!!??  Only the merest hint of lemon juice and sugar, jam or if we're very lucky chocolate sauce livens up the dull pan fried flat round flour and egg mix. We have to say we definitely don't think we get a good deal on this one and it's really not the best start to forty days of fasting, hunger and misery!!

Still that's the way it's been since medieval times and there's not much we can do about it.. Or is there? Short of boarding a trans-Atlantic flight to Latin America, stripping off, donning a sequent bikini and pom poms, jumping on a parade float and joining in the party what else can be done? Well you could try a more interesting Asian take on the humble pancake with a tasty coconut stuffing! These are generally made in Malaysia or Indonesia as a mid afternoon snack or to impress the aunties when they drop in for afternoon tea.

Don't be intimidated by the use of pandan ( screw pine ) leaves - they are crucial in this particular recipe and lend the wonderful and entirely natural green colour to the dish but we noticed a version in Sri Lanka recently called panipol pancake which drops the leaves altogether and uses only coconut milk and flour. Happily pandan leaves have become widely available in the UK and can be bought in Chinatown or on the internet.

So for a Shrove Tuesday with a difference try these...


Ingredients

( Makes about 10 pancakes)

Batter

12 Pandan (Screw pine) leaves
500 ml cold water
300g Plain flour
2 Eggs - Beaten
120 ml Coconut Milk
Pinch salt

Filling

600g Grated fresh coconut
300g Palm sugar
4 Pandan leaves
200 ml Cold water

Butter

Method

Filling - Cut the palm sugar into chunks and place in a saucepan with water. Tie or knot four pandan leaves together and add. Bring to the boil and simmer gently adding grated coconut and mixing well until almost dry. Put aside and allow to cool.

Pancake - Blend roughly chopped pandan leaves and water and then strain the the water. Put the flour, salt, egg and slowly whisk in the coconut milk and the pandan water until smooth. Ensure there are no lumps. Add more water if necessary. The batter should be runny and should coat the back of a wooden spoon.

Heat a little butter in a non-stick frying pan. Pour a ladle of pancake mix to cover the pan and cook on a low heat for about 2 or 3 minutes until edges curl. If necessary turn over and cook for a further minute. Repeat and store pancakes separated by grease proof paper.

To stuff place a table spoon of filling mix along the centre of each, fold the ends over and roll tightly. To serve cut each pancake diagonally and arrange with ice cream and / or fruit.



Posted by incredibly fed

3 February 2015

Prawn and Tamarind Salad

The lighthouse in Galle ( a world heritage site ) on the south coast of Sri Lanka
Just before Christmas we spent some time on the beautiful island of Sri Lanka visiting Romesh a very old friend of ours. ( We have written about Romesh before - see blog dated 13th July 2012 where he takes us through typical Sri Lankan curry and a number of other accompanying dishes ).

Romesh studied fashion with Ghaz in the eighties and he worked in the UK and in Germany before returning home about eight years ago to look after his ageing mother. He now lives with Tyson his lively boxer dog, in his family's wonderful Art Deco house in the heart of the embassy district of Colombo. Caruna his cook looks after him and his guests with wonderful Sri Lankan meals all served in the dining room. Meals are a formal occasion and are all ( even breakfast ) announced by several strokes on a gong echoing around the house.

Hearty breakfasts typically consist of fresh tropical fruits with buffalo curd and kitul (a sweet palm tree sap which is the Sri Lankan version of honey) A light prawn curry follows accompanied by hard boiled eggs in a spicy coconut milk and rice of course.






Seafood ingredients are very popular and the light prawn curry is served at any time of the day from breakfast onwards. Grilled prawns are also cooked frequently and here below we have adapted a prawn marinade to make a particularly tasty starter...


Ingredients

( Serves two )

6 King / tiger prawns
1 Cucumber cut into ribbons
1 Carrot cut into ribbons
1 Mango julienned
Coriander leaves
Olive oil

Dressing
1 Tbls Fish sauce
1 Tbls Soy sauce
Juice of 1 lime
3 Tbls brown sugar

Marinade
2 Cloves garlic in paste
1 Tsp Fish sauce
1 Tbls Tamarind paste
2 Tbls Sweet chilli sauce
1 Tbls Thin soy sauce

Garnish
Chopped toasted Cashews
Deseeded and sliced chilli
Slices of khaki fruit or star fruit




Method
Peel the prawns leaving head and tail intact and place in marinade for about 20 minutes. While marinating mix dressing ingredients, season and adjust to taste. Heat a little oil in a wok and fry prawns until nicely pink all over (about 3 - 5 minutes). Mix salad ingredients and cashews and toss in the dressing at the last minute. Arrange prawns on top. Garnish and serve.









Posted by incredibly fed

22 January 2015

Jolly Cauli...

"January, sick and  tired, you've been hanging on me...."
Pilot 1975 

Brrrrr... January the longest and most unrelenting winter month and what with Christmas and New Year festivities at one end and for some of us at least massive half yearly tax bills at the other, it can also a be a fiscally challenged one to boot!  So maybe it's time to start thinking about pulling out some low cost winter warmers if you'll pardon the expression!! Try Ghaz's delicious quick and easy spiced cauliflower soup.


Ingredients

1 Large cauliflower head
1 large white onion
1 large cooked potato in chunks
4 Cloves Garlic
4 Bayleaves
1 Litre chicken or vegetable stock
Half litre milk or soy milk
Half Tbsp chilli flakes
Splash Olive oil
Saffron or turmeric
Salt and Pepper

Garnish ( Optional)
Cooked Chorizo and cauliflower slices
Cayenne pepper

Method

Chop onions and garlic, fry onions and add garlic and bay leaves when onion is soft and translucent. Chop cauliflower and add with two pinches of saffron or turmeric. Lower to medium heat and allow to cook for 5 to 10 minutes. Add potato and simmer for a further 15 minutes or until all vegetables are soft. Add the milk and simmer again for 5 minutes. For a creamy texture use a hand blender as required. Season with salt and pepper. Serve with the chorizo, thinly sliced and griddled cauliflower and a sprinkle of cayenne pepper and olive oil drizzle.











Posted by incredibly fed