Spicy Meatballs in Coconut Curry Sauce!

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Spicy Meatballs in Coconut Curry Sauce!

I need to send out a BIG THANK YOU for this recipe to a good blogger friend, Liz, of My Favourite Pastime – if you have not checked out her blog – do so – at once! This is her recipe and I made it tonight for supper and it was absolutely deliciously delicious with an extra slice of deliciousness on top. It caught my eye because I love meatballs and thought i had tried most versions – but I have never served them like this. Stupendous!

Liz, thank you!

Ok

Ingredients for the meatballs

500 gm beef mince
1 medium onion finely chopped – I whizzed mine in my food processor
1 red chilli – deseeded
and chopped
Thumb size piece of fresh ginger peeled & finely chopped
3 cloves of garlic finely chopped
3 or 4 sprigs of fresh coriander chopped finely
1 tsp garam masala
Pinch of salt
Black pepper
1 slice of white bread whizzed in the food processor into crumbs
1 small egg lightly beaten

Ingredients for the curry sauce

Olive oil
1 medium onion whizzed in the food processor
3 cloves of garlic crushed
Thumb size piece of fresh ginger peeled and finely chopped
3 tbsps of Thai Red Curry paste
2 tsps of curry powder – how hot is up to you!
400 gm can of chopped tomatoes
250 ml of coconut milk
200 ml of chicken stock

Sour cream or plain yoghurt and some chopped coriander for garnish.

You could also garnish with chopped cashew nuts if you wish.

To make the meatballs:

Pop all the ingredients into a bowl and mix well. I left it all for an hour to mingle thoroughly but you do not need to especially.

With damp hands shape the mixture into balls – I made 16 from my mix which is dandy for 4 folk.
Pan fry them in a little olive oil until brown on all sides then remove from the heat and let them rest.

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For the sauce – heat a glug of oil in a wok or large frying pan and gently fry the onions, garlic and ginger for about 5 minutes. Then add the Thai curry paste, stir and fry gently for another minute or two. Then add the curry powder and mix well together.

Add the tin of tomatoes and simmer for 5 minutes stirring now and then. Add the coconut milk and stock and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat and simmer gently for 5 minutes.

Now add the meatballs to the sauce with a slotted spoon, stir carefully to submerge and coat them. Cook over a low heat for 20 minutes – they will be fine for a little longer if you want to have a chat or another glass of wine.

Adjust seasoning – though honestly, mine needed none. I mixed the yoghurt and chopped fresh coriander in a small bowl to serve with it.

I spooned it over plump steaming knolls of saffron basmati rice. And it was the bright side of stunning.

Try this…..soon...please!

Perfect Pork Tenderloin

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Spiced Pork Tenderloin in a Red Pepper Cream Sauce...

Spicy Pork Tenderloin in a Red Pepper Cream Sauce

I love this cut, and you will find other recipes using it on here. I often pan fry it and add cream for a quick dish, but last night I wanted something more mouth fizzingly filling. The result was, I have to say this, forgive me (often when I cook a dish I admit I like it or was happy with it) but this I absolutely adored. I mean, I sat there looking at the empty plate afterwards thinking – wow – that was an experience. I felt fulfilled in every sense. It hit every spot there is to hit. It happens only now and again that I cook a dish and I really, really am pleased with it – this was one. Often, I am left thinking – that was good – but….I could do this, I could have done that. It could be improved.

Last night,however, I felt, unlike Mr Jagger, that I had just got satisfaction – big time. Please have a go at this.

Ingredients for 4

Tablespoon each of cumin seeds, fennel seeds and fenugreek.
A grind of pepper, a pinch of dried crushed red chilli
A pinch of dried thyme
A grind of sea salt
500 gm pork tenderloin cut into half inch or 7mm slices
2 small red onions finely chopped
Olive oil and a knob of butter
30 ml dry white wine
About 30 ml of chicken stock
1 red pepper, deseeded and chopped up into smallish squares
150 ml of single cream
Bunch of fresh coriander chopped

Pop all the ingredients numbered 1-4 in a shallow dish and add the pork slices – with you hands get them all coated as much as possible.
In a small frying pan – add a little oilive oil and a little of the butter and fry the peppers and onions together gently until soft and the onions are starting to caramelise slightly – takes about 20 minutes.

In a sauté pan, add the remaining butter and a good splash of olive oil. Once it is hot add the pork – fry for about 5 minutes each side – then remove from the pan and put on a plate to rest.

Deglaze the pan with the white wine and then add the stock. Let it bubble for a while. Add the pork slices then the onion and pepper mix. Add the cream and leave to warm through for about 10 minutes on a gentle heat.You may want to add a little or less cream depending on your taste.

 It should now be looking simply glorious – like a Picasso or a Van Gogh! Swirls of colour! I served it with saffron basmati rice and at the last moment I add small windfalls of the fresh chopped coriander.

By the way, I use a ceramic rice cooker – it never fails – one of my best buys ever, made by Queensberry Hunt.

I hope if you ever get round to trying this dish you are as bowled over as I was. Go on…give it a go!

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Tikka Lamb Leg for a Lazy Sunday afternoon…

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Tikka Lamb Leg for a Lazy Sunday afternoon...

Well…this was one of those days when..despite me thinking it was all going pear shaped..it all turned out absolutely tickety boo! Mid morning shenanigans centring around trying to ferry my 17 year old daughter to a bus stop to go to London for a concert were time-chewingly annoying as she then realised that she had misread the timetable…no bus on a Sunday.and this all occupied steak-like chunks of my time knowing I had folk round for a late late lunch that I had to get into the oven as soon as…anyway, I ended up driving her and her friends to the station..it’s what Dad’s do…but it also put me slightly…understatement being used here big time – behind time…anyway…all I do here is set the scene…I got back in time to throw the tikka marinade together, slam in the lamb, then grab an hour in the sun, shades on, cricket on the radio…and I almost caught up with myself.

The leg of lamb was from those lovely people at Parsonage Farm..tis lamb like no other, Real lamb. Lamb that fights back.

The recipe is based on an old one of Mr Oliver’s, though I think he uses a shoulder. But I had this monster of a leg..and it was crying out for a summer spice mix. So..here we go.

You need :
2kg leg of lamb
Tikka paste – recipe in a mo..be patient
Red chiili, deseeded and sliced finely
2 garlic cloves finely sliced
I red onion finely sliced

Ok- for the tikka paste – you could use a shop bought jar – but why bother? This is funkier and sexier and far far tastier.

1 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp coriander seeds
2 garlic cloves peeled
Thumb size piece of ginger, peeled
1 tsp smoked paprika
2 tsp garam masala
1/2 tsp salt
3 tsp veg oil or ground nut oil
2 tbsp of tomato sauce
2 red chillies
Small bunch of coriander
2 tsp ground almonds

For the paste – fry cumin and coriander seeds on a medium heat until toasted and smelling good. Add to a food processor with all the other ingredients and whizz until smooth.

Score lightly the fat side of the lamb. Smear it all over with the tikka paste – you will not use it all. Then stab a few holes in the skin and slot in the red chilli slices and garlic slices. It should look like this…

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In an ideal world..I do not live in one but you might….marinate over night…pre heat oven when you are ready to cook it…170c. Lay the red onion slices on the bottom of a roasting tin. Drizzle with oil. Place lamb on top. Pop in the oven , covered with a wet sheet of grease proof paper for 3 and a half hours. Baste every half an hour. The coating will be beautifully wizened as in photo at top of page. Slice chunks off , or pull off with two forks.

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Serve it with this brilliant crunchy Indian Chopped Salad.

Ingredients –

1 tsp fenugreek seeds / 1 tsp mustard seeds / small handful of dry curry leaves, crumbled / 1 tsp of chutney – I use Mrs Balls, but  mango chutney would be okey dokey / 4 poppadoms / 2 carrots peeled and grated / 1/2 cucumber / 1 bunch radishes / 3 spring onions / 2 little gem lettuces / a big handful of cherry tomatoes / 1 red chill deseeded / bunch coriander / bunch of mint / lemon

On a large board add the grated carrot, then chop up finely the cucumber, radishes, lettuce, tomatoes, chilli and the herbs. Add to the board and mix well. In a frying pan, gently fry the fenugreek, mustard seeds and the curry leaves in a glug of oil – I used garlic infused rapeseed oil. When the mustard seeds start to pop and jump – take off heat and add the chutney. Let it cool, then add to the board and mix in with all the other ingredients, plus a little grind of rock salt, and a squeeze of lemon juice. Crumble in the poppadom and stir again.

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This was a corker of a meal – we ate with friends about 5pm, washed down with this……. well lots of this actually……….

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….and then, for a dessert, which we ate at about 7pm on the garden in the late afternoon sun, I pan fried pears, halved in butter and brown sugar. I added sloe gin to each pears centre. Popped a lid on and left for about 25 minutes. I marinated some strawberries in strawberry liqueur for same length of time. I served them together with all the juices and a blob or so of crème fraîche.

IMG_3237IMG_3240Lazy Sunday afternoon luxury..and we ate our dessert in the sun, listening to the dulcet tones of Frank Sinatra himself, crooning his heart out. Perfect…..

Coriander and Chicken Pilaf

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Coriander and Chicken Pilaf

Last night for supper, I wanted to use up some chicken left over from the Khao Man Ghai…and I also had a gorgeous cluster of heavenly coriander sitting staring at me from the kitchen window sill. My kids fancied a risotto…but I had run out of risotto rice – poor planning there.. But I did have my usual large kiln jar full of basmati rice. The sun was still in the sky so I went into pilaf mode! I love pilafs and they are SO easy to make – and so versatile – just like risotto – but less fiddly.

This is for 4 – though I recommend making more as it is it is moorish! Olive oil / 1 onion chopped finely or 4 small shallots/ 1 garlic clove chopped finely / 240 gm basmati rice – though long grain white is just dandy / 400 gm of good chopped tomatoes / pinch of sugar / 600 ml of chicken stock / left over chicken / bunch of coriander, chopped roughly / 2 tsp of pine kernels.

Heat oil in a sauté pan. Add a splash of oil. Pan fry onion and garlic for 5 minutes until softened. Add the rice – no need to rinse first – cook for about 2 or 3 minutes stirring all the time to coat the rice. Add the tomatoes, the sugar, stock , the chicken and coriander plus a little black pepper. Stir once. Bring to boil, then cover the pan with the lid, and simmer for about 15 minutes until the liquid has been absorbed and the rice is tender – do not be tempted to stir! Toast the pine nuts in a dry pan and then add to the mix when the 15 minutes is up. Remove the lid – cover the pan with a clean tea towel – pop the lid back on and leave to one side for 10 minutes. Then lid off, tea towel off and stir lightly with a fork. I served it with lightly pan fried diced red chilli and chestnut mushrooms in butter.

This is a dish you can play about with – experiment with different fresh herbs, meats etc. You can use prawns or salmon too…it all depends on what tickles your fancy….or what’s parked in your fridge!

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Lunch time quick chicken…

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4 free range chicken breasts each cut in to two strips. Pop in a flat dish. Sprinkle with thyme, salt, a little lemon juice, black pepper and fresh coriander. Leave for half an hour or more to marinate. No need to add oil to frying pan – get the pan hot – add the strips and pan fry for about 15 minutes- on a high heat to begin with, then to a medium heat for last 5 minutes or so. Delicious with home made chips, or in a wrap, or on a bed of cous cous.

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