Wednesday, 30 September 2009

Vegetarian supper tonight. Every year around this time I like making harissa vegetable stew. Harissa is the delicious spicy red paste from North Africa. This is not an exact recipe and quantities and ingredients can be varied. Sometimes I add chickpeas, sometimes a handful of chopped coriander leaves. 1 teaspoon harissa paste is fairly mild. Lemon juice is another nice addition.

Harissa vegetable stew

1 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
2 large carrots, peeled and diced
8 small potatoes peeled and diced
2 small courgettes cut into small chunks
1tsp harissa paste
1 tsp ground coriander seeds
1 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1 tin tomatoes
2 tbsp tomato puree
handful of green beans cut into short lengths
handful of cooked haricot and kidney beans
feta cheese, cut into dice, or grated parmesan

First soften the onion and garlic in a little olive oil. Put in the harissa paste and spices and stir briefly. Add all the other vegetables except for the green beans. Add the tin of tomatoes and enough water to cover. Bring to the boil and simmer 15 minutes. Add the green beans and the haricot and kidney beans. cook for another 15 minutes. For serving, use soup bowls and scatter the feta on top.

Sunday, 27 September 2009

22 year old son cooked main dish tonight. He had eaten something similar in Costa Rica 3 years ago. He's turning out to be a good cook. The leftovers were very yummy eaten for lunch the next day. The coriander gave the lovely creamy coconut sauce a delicious piquancy.

Chicken thighs in coconut and coriander sauce

6 chicken thighs, skinned
1 onion chopped
2 cloves garlic chopped
knob of ginger, peeled and grated
coriander leaves, small bunch, chopped
coconut milk, 2 tins
juice half a lemon

Heat a little oil. Quickly brown the chicken thighs, then remove them from the pan. Soften the chopped onion and garlic in the same oil. Add the grated ginger, sliced chili pepper to taste, chopped coriander, lemon juice and the coconut milk. Put chicken back in the pan, season, and bring to a boil. Turn down to a simmer. The chicken will take about 40 minutes to cook. Reduce the liquid at the end if necessary.

We ate this with plain rice and:

Green beans with fried onion

First prepare the fried onions. Thinly slice 1 large onion. Sprinkle with salt and leave for 10 minutes then blot with kitchen roll to remove excess moisture. Heat 2" oil in pan. When oil starts to smoke, add the onions. Remove when light brown, draining on kitchen paper.
Cook the green beans in salted`water. Drain, add a little butter and some balsamic vinegar. Mix in the fried onions.

Saturday, 26 September 2009

Shepherds pie, another variation with beef

500g minced beef
1 large chopped onion
1 large carrot, cut into small cubes
2 stalks celery, cut into very thin slices
2 cloves garlic chopped
1 tsp harissa paste
dry cider, 4 tablespoons
1 medium courgette cut into 1/2 " cubes
Worcestershire sauce
soy sauce
mashed potato mixed with cooked broccoli and grated cheddar cheese

First brown the beef in a little oil. Remove from pan with a slotted spoon. Put the liquid in a separate bowl so the excess fat can be removed. Put a little oil back in the clean pan, add the onion, celery. chopped carrot and garlic. Soften for about 10 minutes. Pour in the cider and reduce until pan almost dry. Put in harissa paste, beef, courgettes and the liquid from the earlier browning of the beef. Put in several good shakes each of soy and Worcestershire sauce. Cover the pan and cook for about half an hour. Add more of the 2 sauces if needed.
Meanwhile preheat oven to 180C. Put the cooked meat in a pottery dish, spread the flavoured potato on top, sprinkle a little more cheese on top and put in the oven for about 30 minutes.

This quantity made enough for 6 servings- enough for a main meal for the three of us, and lots of delicious leftovers.

Friday, 25 September 2009

Tonight I prepared lamb chops a new way. They are the delicious tender ones we buy through Somerset Local Food Direct: With them we had mildly spicy potato and carrot wedges.

Spicy lamb chops

4 large lamb chops
2 tsp ground coriander seeds
1 tsp ground cumin seeds
1 tsp salt
1 tsp garam masala
1 tsp turmeric
2 tsp balsamic vinegar
2" cube grated ginger
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 tsp honey
2 tsp oil

Mix all the dry ingredients with the oil, honey, garlic and ginger. Spread the paste over both sides of the chops, and leave for about half an hour-1 hour. Preheat oven to 180C. Lay chops on a rack and cook for about 40 minutes.

Roast potato and carrot wedges

For 3 people I prepared about 4 large potatoes and 2 large carrots. The carrots and the potatoes were peeled, cut into wedges, and blanched in boiling water; 5 minutes for the carrots; 7-8 minutes for the potatoes. After draining they were spread in a roasting tin in hot oil and cooked for about 40 minutes. Before serving I sprinkled them with some paprika, cumin and salt.

Blog Archive