Sunday, 19 September 2010

Something Nice from Inexpensive Lamb

This is Moroccan Slow Cooker Lamb

I found a pack of their 'Basics' Stewing Lamb in Sainsbury's yesterday so I thought I'd give this a bash. It's loosely based on a Moroccan style Chicken Dish I made a little while ago but this time I dispensed with the Harissa Paste.

2 tbsp. Olive Oil
1.2Kg Stewing Lamb (larger pieces are good and bone-in will add to the flavour)
3 large Onions peeled and quartered
3 Peppers of various colours, deseeded and cut to 2.5cm pieces
1 Butternut Squash, peeled deseeded and cut into 15mm pieces
3 salsa strength Chillies sliced thin
3 large cloves of Garlic, crushed and sliced
1 x 250g carton of chopped tomatoes
125g dried apricots, soak just covered in water
1 tbsp. flaked almonds
2 tsp. Ground Coriander
2 tsp. Ground Cumin
1 tsp. Caraway seeds
2 tsp. Cinnamon
1 Lemon, zest and juice
Coriander Leaf, you can never have too much

Prepare your slow cooker: this usually involves reaching in, over or up, to the most out of the way place in the kitchen. It may even require standing on a chair so be careful. Give the lid, outer rim, handles and the cable a good wipe over with kitchen cleaner and a damp cloth. Plug it in and turn it on and set it to low, splash some water into it (a couple of tablespoons) and a teaspoon of bouillon or other powdered stock to warm the beast up.
In a large frying pan add the Olive Oil, Coriander, Cumin, Caraway Seed and Cinnamon. Bring up the heat and cook until it just begins to smoke then lower to minimum and allow the spices to release their flavours into the oil. Meanwhile cover the lamb pieces in flour. Add the lamb to the frying pan and increase the heat again. Cover the lamb in the hot oil and spices turning to ensure all sides are sealed and seasoned. When ready turn the lamb out into the slow cooker and cover.
Into the frying pan put the Chillies and Garlic and turn about for a minute to release their flavour. Add the Onion, Peppers and Butternut Squash and turn over. Allow the edges to darken slightly for flavour but try not to burn the Garlic. Tip the vegetables into the slow cooker and work in around the Lamb. Pour the Chopped Tomatoes into the frying pan to deglaze it and pour them straight in to the slow cooker.
Allow the slow cooker to come up to its working temperature. You'll find the Low setting will give you a very gentle simmer. Now tip in the Apricots and the water they were soaked in into the cooker and halve them. Add the Flaked Almonds, Lemon Zest and Juice and stir in.
Now leave cooking for at least 2 hours and certainly until the Lamb falls apart (be careful, you want it to stay in as few pieces as possible).
When ready to eat chop up a shed load of fresh Coriander, throw ¾ of it into the slow cooker and fold it in. Save the rest to garnish.
Prepare your Couscous, Rice or other accompaniment to taste and place it on a large serving dish as a bed and spoon the contents of the slow cooker over it, garnishing with the rest of the chopped Coriander leaf.
Serve with a Minted Yogurt

Enjoy. As before - any comments? You know what to do.

Thursday, 16 September 2010

Agressive Aetheist and Proud

If any god bothering extremist wants to have a bash they're welcome. I don't give a ****.

To be continued...

Monday, 13 September 2010

...this Cooking Thing!!

It seems that I may have made a poor career choice some years ago. Once I had given up nicotine my taste buds went ape!! My waist line has become a testament to that. The result of course is that I am getting a bigger and bigger kick out of banging together really nice tasty good food.
Anyway here goes with another recipe...
As usually the inspiration for this beast of a curry was the Butternut Squash which I'd bought on a whim and had sat in the fruit and vegetable bowl for a few day.

Nick's Thai Style Red Curry
3 tablespoons Vegetable Oil
1 tablespoon Ghee
3 or 4 Chicken Breasts - Skinned
Corn flour
Black Pepper (Fresh ground)
3 large Onions pealed and cut to 2cm pieces
3 cloves of Garlic
A thumb sized piece of fresh ginger root, peeled and slice thinly across the grain
1 Butternut Squash, peeled deseeded and sliced to 3 or 4mm and cut into 15mm pieces
2 tablespoons Thai Red Curry Paste
3 salsa strength Chillies
3 large Peppers - deseeded and cut to 2cm pieces
1 cup Garden Peas (fresh and shelled or frozen)
10 -12 Cherry Tomatoes
15oz (tin) Coconut Milk
8oz Baby Spinach Leaves
Coriander Leaf
Cut the Chicken Breasts into 2cm cubes and toss in corn flour seasoned with salt and pepper to coat thoroughly.
Preheat a Wok and add the fats. Immediately add the chicken and toss to cover and seal with the hot oil. Allow time for the coating to brown slightly while turning frequently. When done remove from the oil with a slotted spoon and set aside.
Bring the oil back to temperature and add in turn the Onions, Garlic, Ginger and Butternut Squash turning constantly to prevent burning.
Once the squash has begun to soften add the Thai Red Curry Paste, Chillies and Peppers. Stir well to distribute the paste evenly through the vegetables.
Once the Peppers have softened add the Peas, Cherry Tomatoes and Coconut Milk. Bring back to the boil and turn down to a simmer.
When nearly time to serve add the Baby Spinach Leaves. Stir to combine the leaves with the sauce. The spinach will wilt away to nothing very quickly so don't over stir them.
Finally add the Coriander leaf and server at once over Rice or Noodles cooked to your own taste.

If you have any thoughts please don't hesitate to contact me via the Comments link below.

Thursday, 9 September 2010

Tagliatelle 'uddersfield

This little beast was inspired by the left overs in the fridge this morning. I have an epithet of 'short date' by virtue of the fact that I can't resist buying food that has a limited shelf life, which is why I ended up with a pack of Co-Op Fresh Tagliatelle in the fridge this morning. Stashed away at the back with the bacon could also be found a quarter of a Huddersfield Black Pudding. Purist would have you believe that the only good Black Pudding comes from Bury in Lancashire. Not true. I have found that the Black Pudding sold in The Market in Bath is gorgeous and comes from Huddersfield thus: 'Tagliatelle 'uddersfield'.
In a moderate (Gas Mk 5) oven place a tray with quartered half inch slices of a quarter of a Black Pudding ring to crisp, be careful they don't go hard. Take 2 chopped Banana Shallots, a large clove of Garlic, chopped; 2 rashers of Smoked Streaky Bacon cut small and some Sage and Oregano and sweat off in a saute pan with Olive Oil, adding thin sliced White Mushrooms when nearly done. Meanwhile bring a pan of water to boil and cook the Tagliatelle. Once the Tagliatelle is cooked to taste drain and toss into the sauted vegetables to coat with the juices. Beat two Eggs and mix into the pasta and vegetable mix and serve with the pieces of Black Pudding on top. Serves at least one person so adjust for more.
If you rate this let me know. Cheers...