Curry Trio: Basa Satay, Hummus Dahl, Saag Aloo.

Quick, tasty, go well together for an impressive meal.

Basa Satay.

Ingredients:

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  • 500g basa filets
  • 200g coconut milk
  • 200g peanut butter
  • 1 red onion, roughly chopped
  • 5 cloves of garlic, thinly sliced
  • 2tbsp soy sauce
  • 1tbsp worcestershire sauce
  • 1tbsp lemon juice
  • 1tbsp chopped cilantro
  • 1tsp turmeric
  • 1tsp ginger
  • 1/2tsp smoked paprika

Utensils:

  • chopping board and knife
  • poultry shears
  • large pan with a bit of butter or oil in the base

Recipe:

  1. Chop the onions and garlic.
  2. Place all the ingredients except the fish into the pan.
  3. Heat slowly and stir until everything is combined.
  4. Cook on a low heat until the onion is clear.
  5. Chop thebasa with the shears and add to the sauce.
  6. Simmer until cooked through.

Saag Aloo.

Ingredients:

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  • 400g potatoes
  • 2 cups spinach
  • 2 red onions
  • 2 heads of garlic
  • 100g butter
  • 1tsp coriander
  • 1tsp turmeric
  • 1tsp powdered ginger
  • 1tsp chopped ginger
  • 1/2tsp smoked paprika
  • 1/2tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1/2tsp salt
  • 1/2tsp mustard grain or whole grain mustard

Utensils:

  • chopping board and knife
  • small pot
  • frying pan

Recipe:

  1. Chop the onions and garlic finely. Combine with everything except the potatoes and spinach.
  2. Chop the potatoes 1cm thick and boil until just tender, but not cooked through.
  3. Heat the onion mix until the onions are clear. Add the potatoes and stir in thoroughly.
  4. Cook on a high heat until the potatoes are cooked through.
  5. Wilt in the spinach.

Hummus Dahl.

Ingredients:

  • 200g dried lentils
  • 1tbsp tahini
  • 1tbsp soy sauce

Utensils:

  • a small pot

Recipe:

  1. Put the lentils in boiling water that hardly covers them with the soy.
  2. Boil until the lentils absorb all the water. If they are not very soft, add a bit more boiling water and continue cooking.
  3. Once cooked, put to one side to cool down.
  4. Once warm, stir in the tahini.

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Yum!

TTFN and Happy Hunting!

 

For help starting out homemaking, check out The ESSENTIAL Beginner Homemaker’s Guide. For help budgeting all your everday and not-so-everyday essentials, from food to transport to clothes, check out On A Budget: The good homemaker’s guide to economizing.
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The Best Lamb Burgers.

Made these for Jon on Valentine’s day, complete with an array of heart-shaped veggies and colourful Sweet Hearts.

The Best Lamb Burger Recipe

Not the most complicated recipe by far, but delicious!

Ingredients:

(Makes four burgers.)

  • 500g lamb mince (20% fat)
  • 2/3 cup of plain flour
  • 2 eggs
  • 3tsp garlic puree
  • 2tsp mint
  • 2tsp pepper
  • 2tsp soy sauce
  • 1tsp onion granules
  • 1tsp cayenne pepper
  • a dash of butter

Utensils:

  • mixing bowl
  • frying pan
  • (optional) shapers

Recipe:

  1. Mix all the ingredients except the butter together.
  2. Leave in the fridge to deeper flavour overnight.
  3. Shape the lamb burgers.
  4. Fry in butter on a medium heat.
  5. Serve with vegetables.

 

For help starting out homemaking, check out The ESSENTIAL Beginner Homemaker’s Guide. For help budgeting all your everday and not-so-everyday essentials, from food to transport to clothes, check out On A Budget: The good homemaker’s guide to economizing.

WWW. Spring Lamb, Nutty Bread, Ice-Cream.

Apologies for not being around as much! Due to exam-panic among GCSE students, I’ve been very busy so non-scheduled posts and comments sat on the back burner for a while.

I have now scheduled Wednesday and Friday afternoons as blog time, for working on the Wok, FitFriday, processing comments and working out next week’s posts.

This week, making the most of the good weather, the best meals were a light lamb stir-fry with fresh spring veggies, some nutty bread I made for Jon to have burgers in and apple and rhubarb ice-cream! Bonus recipe: Summer Fruit Punch.

Recipe 1. Apple and Rhubarb Ice-Cream.

Ice Cream-Apple And Rhubarb, Peach, Elderberry

Ingredients:

(Makes 1L.)

-500ml double cream

-1 large cooking apple

-1 small sweet apple

-2 cups rhubarb stems

-2 cups sugar

Utensils:

-chopping board and knife

-large pot and spoon

-heat-resistant and freezer-safe mold

Apple and Rhubarb Ice Cream Recipe2

Recipe:

1: Finely chop the apple flesh, removing the core and stem.

2: Peel the rhubarb.

3: Finely chop the rhubarb, careful to remove the leaves and, where no leaf is visible, the top of the stem.

4: Place in a pot without water at a low heat until they secrete fluid. Turn the heat up to medium.

5: Once the fruit is soft and losing shape, add the sugar. Stir continually from now.

Apple and Rhubarb Ice Cream Recipe

6: Cook until the fruit is a paste like applesauce.

7: Pour the mix into the mold. Add the cream and stir until combined. Freeze.

Recipe 2. Nutty Burger Buns.

Walnut Burger Bun Recipe

Ingredients:

(Makes 4.)

-300g flour and raising agents

-1 cup sunflower seeds, flax seeds and walnuts

-warm water

-1tsp salt

-1tsp pepper

Utensils:

-mixing bowl and spoon

-baking tray

Recipe:

1: Mix the dry ingredients well.

2: Slowly incorporate the water until the mix feels a bit too dry. Look for a single mass with some flour falling off and slight crustiness.

3: Work the dough until it feels smooth and elastic.

4: Form 4 flat, 1″ high discs. Leave to rise on the baking tray.

5: Bake at 140C until they bounce back when you poke them.

6: Turn upside down to cool.

Recipe 3. Spring Lamb Stir-Fry.

Spring Lamb Stir-Fry Recipe

Ingredients:

(Serves 3-5.)

-500g lamb mince

-2 cups cauliflower leaves

-1 yellow or red bell pepper

-400g bean sprouts

-200g cannelini beans

Utensils:

-chopping board and knife

-frying pan or wok and spatula

Recipe:

1: Pan-fry the lamb until browned. Its own fat should suffice.

2: Chop the peppers and leaves. Add, alongside the bean sprouts.

3: When the leaves start to wilt, add the beans and heat through.

Recipe 4. Summer Fruit Punch.

Ingredients:

-double shot of gin or brandy

-frozen fruit (do not defrost)

-lemonade

Recipe:

1: Place everything in the glass. The lemonade and alcohol will bring out the berry taste and the frozen berries will chill the drink.

2: Enjoy.

And those are our favourite recipes of the week!

What’s been cooking at your place?

WWW. Lamb MeatFeast and what to do with the leftovers.

This week’s meatfeast was a touch more modest than they’ve been before. It did, however make a perfect lamb roast and the recipe is simple and just in time for Easter. Still, it was awesome and we ate well. So well I forgot to take photographs, so just trust me when I say it was quick, easy and delicious!

The lamb roast.

To make this dinner edible to our guests and usable in future cooking, we needed to avoid alliums, mint and bell peppers, as well as anything strong and distinct, like cloves or cardamom. A bit of a challenge, but here’s what we did.

Ingredients:

-1 whole leg of lamb

-800g/1lb beetroot and pumpkin, any combination

-2 small sweet potatoes

-1 large parsnip

-3tbsp salt

-3tbsp smoked paprika

Utensils:

-chopping board and knife

-large, deep baking pan

Recipe:

1: Lay the lamb horizontally across the pan.

2: Wash, peel and chop the beet, parsnip and pumpkin. Roughly even sizes.

3: Place the sweet potatoes around the lamb. Pack in with the other vegetables.

4: Dust everything with salt and paprika.

5: Roast at a medium temperature (around 160C) for an hour and a half.

6: Finish at 200C for 20 minutes.

7: Serve in the tray.

The crumble of rhubarb, apple and pear.

Funny and crude acronym intentional.

Wanted to make another apple and rhubarb crumble. Had some frozen pears to use up. It sounded funny so we went with it. Turned out delicious. Jon only regrets the lack of my raw custard on it!

Ingredients:

-2 pink lady apples

-2 small pears

-200g/7oz rhubarb

-300g/10.5oz flour

-200g/7oz unsalted butter

-100g/3.5oz lard

-50g/1.7oz soft sugar such as palm sugar/coconut sugar/brown cane sugar/molasses

-5tbsp granulated sugar

Utensils:

-chopping board and knife

-mixing bowl

-baking tray

Recipe:

1: Chop the apple, pear and rhubarb into roughly even sizes. Place in the tray.

2: In the bowl, combine the soft sugar, butter, lard and flour. Mix until crumbed.

3: Pour the crumbs on top. Spread out. Sprinkle granulated sugar on top.

4: Bake at 160C for 1 and a half to 2 hours.

The leftovers.

There were obviously no pudding leftovers. But there was quite a lot of lamb on the bone and some vegetables left, so I made it into a rough dahl-stew mix. Jon loves it and wants the recipe on here. 🙂

Ingredients:

-bone of lamb with plenty of meat

-some roast vegetables

-a head of broccoli

-600g soaked lentils (around 150g dry, but soak first!)

-1 green pepper

-salt, pepper, onion powder

Utensils:

-chopping board and knife

-large pot

Recipe:

1: Chop the lamb off the bone. Place the lamb and lentils, including the lamb bone, in the pot with some very hot water.

2: Add the vegetables on top so the water doesn’t cover them.

3: Boil until the lamb and lentils are combined. Stir in the now steamed vegetables.

4: Stir in the seasonings and serve.

And that was what we had for MeatFeast!

What was the best thing you had this week? What if your plan for Easter Sunday dinner? Would love to hear about it!

TTFN and Happy Hunting!

WWW. Fish Pie, Chocolate Cheese Pudding.

The best recipes this week were the fish pie I made on Thursday and a pudding that I and my brilliant cousin made together on Saturday night.

Sadly there are no photos of the pudding, but take my word that it was delicious and she did an amazing job of the presentation!

Fish Pie.

fish2

Ingredients:

-400g fish pie mix (ours had cod, haddock, smoked mackerel and smoked salmon, shellfish are also good)

-2 filets fresh salmon

-2 filets fresh pollock or basa

-500g potatoes

-5 spring onions

-1 red onion

-100g butter

-50ml olive oil

-salt

-pepper

-onion granules

-herbes de provence

Utensils:

-chopping board, peeler and knife

-masher

-small pot

-baking tray

Recipe:

1: Cube all the fish so it’s the same size. Place in the tray. Season with salt and pepper and rest.

2: Peel any uneven, dirty or thick skin off the potatoes. Cube and place in the pot to boil.

3: Finely dice the spring onions and red onion. Add to the fish.

The innards of the pie.

The innards of the pie.

4: Once tender, drain the potatoes and mash with 50g of butter and the oil.

5: Dust the fish with herbs and add the butter before spooning the potatoes on top.

6: Bake at 160C for 2h.

Chocolate Cheese Pudding.

Ingredients:

-300-400g cream cheese

-300g greek yoghurt

-5tbsp cocoa powder

-3tbsp plain sugar

-3tbsp icing sugar

-2tsp honey

-1tsp orange flavouring

-crushed chocolate for decoration (optional)

Utensils:

-bowl

-blender

Recipe:

1: Mash together the cheese, yoghurt and cocoa powder.

2: Blend whilst adding the sugars and honey.

3: Continue to blend. Make sure to slowly raise and lower the blender if it is hand-held, to get some air in.

4: Adjust by adding either more cocoa or more sugar, as you see fit.

5: Fold in the orange.

6: Quickly serve whilst still light. Sprinkle crushed chocolate, toblerone, terry’s chocolate orange or similar on top for decoration.

And those were the best main course and pudding we had this week.

TTFN and Happy Hunting!

What have you been cooking? Got any recipes or anecdotes to share?

How Our Solstice Celebrations Went.

Seeing as I am happy to read all religious texts and can see a lot of spiritual and social truths in all of them, many people may be unaware I am not actually as religious as I am spiritual. I believe in a God. Especially the earliest version of the Abrahamic God concept, or that of Eastern Nirvana, where God is not one person or one identity, but the very life and energy that composes the entire universe, a living consciousness that is both the creator of the universe and the universe itself. However my own spiritual experiences have led me to doubt anything men say about God, about higher, lower or simply different beings, about alternate dimensions, split dimensions, parallel dimensions and the space-time continuum. Humans may be a small, cell-like unit of the universe. But that doesn’t mean we know anything about it. That doesn’t mean we can understand what anything else in it may be wanting to tell us, let alone what the entire universe may or may not be saying. And I’d rather experience existence than fret about what one man tells me to do and another tells me not to do. Philosophical debate aside, I’m pretty certain we won’t know about death until we die, about existence until we transcend it (if ever) about God until (if ever) we meet It.

That said, I celebrate the Solstice, Christmas, New Year, Epiphany and Imbolc. Festivals of birth, rebirth  and renewal are always welcome. However the Solstice is of particular importance because it follows the pulse of life in our little corner of the universe. Every year it’s held on the longest night of the year, almost as though everything stops for a little bit longer in the middle of the night before the gears start turning and everything begins to rewind.

But, without getting too poetic and frilly about it: the longest night of the year is often seen as a bridge between spiritual worlds and our world, or between dimensions, a time when the dark reigns for a short while and gives us a chance to wonder about everything. Whether, the wonder is at a specific God, at the universe itself, at science, at the spirits and life and energy in everything, there’s something quite eerie and beautiful about the Winter Solstice, the time when the light is reborn.

We were planning to spend the Solstice with a few friends, but sadly they couldn’t make it. Instead, we focused on enjoying the day and the night.

The food we prepared.

Just for eating, well, feasting.

Unshockingly, whilst all meat, eggs and greens makes me look awesome, adding overt carbs back in causes water retention and general lethargy. I look so much fatter for potatoes and fruit than I did on steak and salad. But for a day it won’t kill.

Elderberry and Brandy Pudding.

Ingredients:

-250g flour

-300g elderberry jam

-100g sugar

-300g dried fruit

-100ml brandy

-cold water as needed

Utensils:

-mixing bowl and fork

-greased loaf tin

Recipe:

1: Mix the dry ingredients.

2: Incorporate the jam.

3: Mix the brandy in.

4: Add water as needed.

5: Bake at 160C until spongy, but crisp on top.

6: Serve with custard or cream.

Quick Raw Custard.

Ingredients:

-5 egg yolks

-1/4-1/2 cup sugar

-200-300ml double cream

Utensils:

-jug

-fork/whisk/blender

Recipe:

1: Whisk the yolks and sugar together.

2: Stir in the cream.

3: Stir before pouring.

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BBQ Pulled Chicken.

Ingredients:

-1 roast chicken

-chicken fat

-browned onions and potatoes

-softened brussels sprouts and courgette

-4tbsp ketchup

-bbq mix

-chili powder

-salt

Utensils:

-fork

-scissors

-frying pan

Recipe:

1: Shred the chicken. Cut the skin up with the scissors.

2: Place in a pan with the vegetables and cook until the fat and water has been reduced.

3: Add the seasonings.

4: Fry until crisp.

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Curry.

Ingredients:

-brussels sprouts leaves

-cabbage leaves

-1 small courgette

-small handful chopped pumpkin

-200g chicken

-3tbsp curry mix

Utensils:

-chopping board and knife.

-pot

Recipe:

1: Chop all veg and chicken.

2: Roll in curry.

3: Seal in bottom of pot.

4: Add water and remaining curry. Boil until cooked.

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And we also had a roast chicken and veg from our garden.

Spiritual elements.

Things that help me reflect on the meanings and meaninglessness of existence.

I prepared basic cinnamon sugar cookies to leave out for the ancestors/spirits. Just sugar, flour, eggs and cinnamon. I hung them as garlands about the house.

The fire was lit around 7pm. It was a large fire in the hearth, involving two large split halves of a log as our Yuletide log. It was still hot in the morning when the sun came up.

We offered some red wine to the gear spirits of Jon’s Renault 5. We concluded it had to have spirits as that hunk-o-rust go-kart can’t possibly be running mechanically and, therefore, must be kept alive by either Jon’s or its own willpower.

Dreams were intense as usual, even though we only slept from 1am to 6.30am.

Gifts.

Jon got me new pajamas which I needed and really liked. He was under no obligation to get me anything (although he didn’t want anything for his birthday, for mine he got me a brilliant genuine Bandai post-timeskip Zoro figurine, or, for you non-animetards, a nice dolly of my favourite cartoon character in his latest getup), but he felt he had to get me something else once he heard I was getting him a surprise on top of the backpack I’m making him for his security work.

And the surprise? I prepared Jon a traditional Christmas stocking, which he’d never had before.

 

Hand-made the stocking, too!

Hand-made the stocking, too!

This is how I decided to fill it.

Things he likes to eat. Treats and snacks he really enjoys. Winter is a time of cold and scarcity. That’s why feasts were so important to our forefathers. Therefore, giving him a small supply of treats to last him through the cold nights was important.

-10 Rocky bars. A favourite of his from his childhood.

-4 Nakd bars from my stash. His stash is oat-bars, which I can’t eat. This usually means he only eats the oat bars and leaves me with my Paleo-approved raw fruit and nut bars. It’s only fair to give him some of his own.

-Chocolate orange segments. When we lived apart, he used to love snacking on orange-flavoured chocolate in the car on his way from my place. Sometimes he would be collecting me and we’d have them together, sometimes he would be returning from a weekend together.

-White chocolate bar. Used to be his favourite sort of chocolate.

-Leibniz biscuits. Another childhood favourite.

-Relentless cherry drink. We used to get through so many of these together. Now, due to cleaner eating and cutting back on costs, he usually has one or two a week. But I know he still loves them, especially the cherry flavoured ones, which are lower in sugar and make a difference from the plain ones.

Things he could use for his security work. Rebirth, new move, new identity. It felt relevant to celebrate the changes in Jon as the Seasons changed.

-Hand-held crystal heat water bottle. You break it, get 30 minutes of intense heat and then need to boil it to dissolve the crystals. But he has damaged nerve endings in his fingers and sometimes needs something to kick-start blood flow when they get so cold they go white, as they may do when he’s out in the cold.

-Thermal gripper socks. Again, poor blood flow. Not as bad as in his hands, but having thermal socks that stick to the soles of his work boots may be welcome.

-Quality tie. For non-uniformed work and interviews. Solid, heavy silk.

-High-viz leg and arm bands. For situations where being invisible may be dangerous.

-Under-clothes belt. To keep his emergency money, his phone and other personals in.

– 2015 agenda. For notes on jobs, incidents, tax returns, interviews, etc.

Assorted things he would appreciate. Things that make life that little bit nicer, that you don’t just eat or use up, that may continue to bring him happiness until they are completely destroyed from use.

-Sticker for his laptop. It has a snake-print pattern and he loves snakes.

-Scented aftershave for delicate skin. For a nice finish after his hot-lather shaves.

-South Park videos. We have a video playing TV now, so I’m starting to buy us any fun videos we may want to watch.

-A little book of quotes. Hand-written poems, song lyrics, excerpts and quotes he would enjoy in a nicely designed notebook.

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The day in general went well. We rose late having exchanged gifts at midnight the night before, had a nice big lunch at Jon’s mother’s house, got home, had some hot drinks and relaxed. At sundown we feasted some more and at 7pm I lit the fire. Jon was away with his security work, so we’re making up for the loss of drinking and cake a little tonight.

Preparing and Hosting MeatFeast V.

Seeing as we hadn’t seen C___ for a while, we decided it was time to invite him round for a MeatFeast before we were all busy with work, festivities and the likes.

1: The food.

The spread minus the pork and lemon chicken.

The spread minus the pork and lemon chicken.

The night before the MeatFeast I cut some ox heart off the main piece, defrosted some chicken limbs and a pork shoulder roll. I scored the pork fat and rubbed it with A1 Steak Sauce. I rolled the chicken quarters in honey, cinnamon, lemon and salt, then placing them in a bag and filling it with more salt, lemon and water to marinade. I placed the heart in a bag of water with salt, pepper and chili to marinade. I find that sandwich bags are more than sufficient for small marinades. I also scrubbed some potatoes.

The next morning, whilst the ox heart was simmering in pepper and cream, I started work on the tart.

Plum, Peach and Cream Tart.

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Ingredients:

-1 can peaches (or fresh peaches and juice, if you’re not feeling lazy)

-300g plum jam

-200g flour

-50g butter

Utensils:

-mixing bowl

-greased or nonstick baking tray

Recipe:

1: Mash the juice and butter together with the flour, leave to cool in the fridge.

2: Once cool, roll it out, fit it into the pan and bake in the oven at 200C until firm but not solid.

3: Spread the jam and layer the peaches.

4: Bake at 160C until the crust is solid.

I also prepared a batter for the potatoes and some chicken wings.

Batter.

Ingredients:

-3 eggs

-200g goose fat

-flour, salt and peppered as desired

Utensils:

-2 bowls

-blender

Recipe:

1: Blend the fat and eggs together.

2: Roll the dry potatoes and wings first in the fat, next in the flour.

3: Place in the oven or deep fat frier until cooked-through and crisp.

Meanwhile, a whole chicken, some lemony chicken quarters and a small pork joint were roasting nicely in the oven. At the very end I sauteed brussels sprouts in chicken grease.

About half the chicken, 1/3 of the pork, all the wings, half the heart, half the potatoes, 2/3 the sprouts and 3/4 of the pie was gone by the end.

2: The drinks.

It was early in the afternoon, C___ is not currently able to drink much and Jon was driving C___ home, so there wasn’t much drinking going off, at least not by our standards. We had some beer and energy drinks for C___ and some wine for Jon and beer for me to enjoy later.

Jon's modest glass of wine.

Jon’s modest glass of wine. Mug for scale.

3: The entertainment.

Again, due to the time shortage we didn’t do much. Watched a few of the Bouncer Channel videos and generally just chatted.

4: The setting.

Decorations were up, the house was warm and the food was kept on the coffee table in the middle of the room, away from the mess in the kitchen. Nothing more in particular.