Archive for garlic

Potato and cauliflower curry

Posted in Food with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 19, 2011 by Robin Gosnall

Serve this simple and quick curry alongside a little chutney and some steamed basmati rice.

a tbsp vegetable oil
1 medium yellow onion, finely sliced
2 green chillis, deseeded and finely chopped
1 bunch of coriander, stalks finely chopped, leaves reserved for garnish
a tsp coriander seeds
a tsp fennel seeds
a tsp mustard seeds
6 cardamom pods, roasted and ground
2 medium-sized waxy potatoes, peeled and cut into generous-sized chunks
1 thumb of ginger, finely chopped
2 cloves of garlic, crushed
a tbsp fish sauce (you can use a light soya sauce if you prefer)
a tbsp tamarind paste
a tbsp palm sugar
1kg ripe tomatoes, chopped
1 tin coconut milk
1 head of cauliflower, broken into 1-inch florets

Place a large, heavy-based saucepan over a medium heat on top of the stove and add the oil.

Once the oil is warm, add the onion, chilli, coriander and crushed spices. Cook for 10 minutes until the onions are soft and translucent.

Add the potatoes and cook for a further 5 minutes. Add the ginger and garlic, fish sauce, tamarind and palm sugar.

Stir once or twice, allowing the palm sugar to dissolve as you do so. Then add the chopped tomatoes and coconut milk and cook for 20 minutes, by which time the potatoes should be tender but not falling apart.

Add the cauliflower and cook for a final 5-10 minutes – I like the cauliflower when it still has a little crunch.

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Bacon toad in the hole

Posted in Food with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 14, 2011 by Robin Gosnall

2 large eggs
125g plain flour
250ml semi-skimmed milk
good pinch of sea salt
2 tbsp sunflower oil
8 thick, good quality pork sausages
8 rashers rindless smoked back bacon
1 medium onion, finely sliced
2 garlic cloves, finely sliced
220g cherry tomatoes
300g green beans, trimmed

Preheat the oven to 220°C. To make the batter, put the eggs, flour, milk and salt into a food processor and blitz until smooth. Set aside.

Heat 1 tsp of oil in a large pan and cook the sausages for 5 minutes over a medium-high heat until browned all over, but not cooked through. Transfer to a plate and let cool. Wipe out the cooled pan with kitchen paper.

On a board, use the back of a knife to stretch out the bacon rashers and then wrap one around each sausage. Put the sausages into an ovenproof dish, drizzle over 2 tsp of oil and bake for 5 minutes. Remove the dish from oven and pour the batter around the sausages. Bake for a further 25-30 minutes, until the batter is well risen and golden.

Meanwhile, heat the remaining 1 tbsp of oil in the pan and cook the tomatoes until soft. Place in a jug and blitz using a stick blender. Gently fry the onion and garlic until softened and lightly browned. Pour the blitzed tomatoes into the pan with the onion and garlic, stirring well.

Ten minutes before the end of the toad in the hole cooking time, bring a pan of water to the boil, add the beans and cook for 3-4 minutes or until tender. Drain, and tip into the pan with the tomato sauce. Season and let simmer for a few seconds, stirring.

Cut the toad in the hole into wedges and serve with the green beans in tomato sauce.

Grilled tuna with roast tomatoes

Posted in Food with tags , , , , , , , , , , on May 25, 2011 by Robin Gosnall

Half Hour Meals

16 cherry tomatoes
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 oregano or marjoram sprigs, leaves stripped
1 tablespoon capers
26 Spanish black olives, pitted
4 tuna steaks

Preheat the oven to 150°C.

Mix the cherry tomatoes, garlic, 5 tablespoons of the oil and oregano (or marjoram) in a bowl before pouring everything onto a baking tray. Roast for around 15 to 20 minutes, until the tomatoes look as though they are about to collapse and their skins are crinkled. Remove from the oven and leave to cool.

Once they’ve cooled, add the tomatoes to a salad bowl, scraping in the delicious juices from the baking tray, then stir through the capers and olives.

Ideally, for the next stage you should use a ridged griddle pan. If you don’t have one of these, use a heavy-duty cast-iron frying pan instead. Heat the griddle pan until it’s very hot before adding the remaining oil. Season the tuna steaks and add them to the pan – don’t overcrowd the pan – if you’ve got a large grill or barbecue, then of course they can be cooked all at the same time. I love rare tuna, which means that the steaks need only a minute or so on each side, but grill the tuna according to how well cooked you like them.

Place the tuna steaks on plates and put the tomatoes on top and around the sides of the steaks. Eat immediately.

Chicken and plantain moqueca

Posted in Food with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 29, 2011 by Robin Gosnall

1 whole chicken, about 1.6kg, cut into 8 pieces with the skin on
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 tablespoons dende (palm oil)
1 medium onion, thinly sliced
2 spring onions, sliced on the diagonal
half a green pepper, thinly sliced
125ml white wine
4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 small piece of fresh root ginger, peeled and finely grated
700ml chicken stock
350ml coconut milk
3 tablespoons tomato purée
2 bay leaves
450g ripe plantains (look for yellow and black-speckled skin)
3 plum tomatoes, peeled, deseeded and sliced
4 tablespoons chopped fresh coriander

This is a version of the traditional seafood moqueca. The plantain, which Brazilians prefer ripe or semi-ripe, brings a soft sweetness and plenty of starch to the stew.

Place the chicken pieces in a medium bowl. Season with salt, pepper, and 2 tablespoons of the dende oil. Rub the chicken all over with the oil. Cover the bowl with cling-film and marinate at room temperature for 15 to 30 minutes.

Pour the remaining dende oil into a large flameproof casserole and swirl around so the entire base is covered. Add the chicken pieces, skin side down, and brown them lightly over a medium heat, for 3 minutes per side. Transfer them to a bowl and cover with foil, making sure no steam can escape.

Add the onion, spring onions, and pepper to the pan and cook them in the left-over dende oil, stirring often, until they become soft, about 4 minutes. Add the white wine and reduce by half, while using a wooden spoon to scrape the brown bits that remain in the pan. Add the garlic and ginger and cook, stirring, for another minute. Add the chicken stock, coconut milk, tomato puree, and bay leaves and bring to a boil.

Reduce the heat to the lowest setting. Add the chicken and any remaining juices that accumulated in the bowl. Season lightly with salt and pepper. Simmer, covered, until the chicken starts to get tender, about 1 hour.

Meanwhile, trim the ends off the plantains and cut 3-4 vertical slits in the skin, making sure not to cut deep into the fruit. Peel and cut the plantains into 2.5cm chunks.

Add the plantains to the moqueca after it has been simmering for an hour. Cover and continue to simmer until the plantains become soft but not mushy, about 10 to 15 minutes. If the liquid seems too runny, uncover the pan and continue to simmer, allowing the steam to evaporate and thicken the stew. Season with salt and pepper.

Just a few minutes before serving, add the tomatoes. Garnish with the fresh coriander and serve over white rice or farofa.

From Cook Brazilian by Leticia Moreinos Schwartz

Meatballs with yellow polenta

Posted in Food with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 15, 2010 by Robin Gosnall

1kg minced pork
1kg minced veal
75g soft white breadcrumbs
1 dried red chilli, crumbled
2 cloves of garlic, peeled and finely chopped
small bunch of thyme, leaves only
75g freshly grated Parmesan
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

For the sauce:

3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 red onion, peeled and finely chopped
1 dried red chilli, crumbled
3 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
3 fresh bay leaves
1 bunch of sage
200ml full-bodied red wine
2 jars of good quality Italian tomatoes
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Place the meatball ingredients together in a large bowl and mix very well. The easiest and most thorough way of doing this is with your hands. Once the mixture is well combined, roll into 18 generous-sized balls and set aside while you make the sauce.

Place a large, heavy-based pan on top of the stove, turn the heat to medium and add the olive oil. Once the oil is warm, add the onion, chilli and garlic, turn the heat down slightly and cook for 10 minutes; the onion should be soft and translucent.

Add the bay leaves, sage and a good pinch of salt and cook for a further five minutes, then add the wine and return the heat to medium.

Allow the wine to bubble for a minute, then add the tomatoes, place a lid on the pan and cook for half an hour, by which time the sauce should have reduced a little to be rich and dark.

Season with a good pinch of salt and a little black pepper and add the meatballs. Return the lid and cook for 20 minutes, then serve.

Grouse broth

Posted in Food with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 12, 2010 by Robin Gosnall

It’s such a shame to scrape grouse bones into the bin when there is still so much flavour left – a couple of grouse carcasses will make plenty of soup for four people.

For the stock:

carcasses of 2 grouse, chopped into 4 or 5 pieces
1 small onion, peeled, halved and roughly chopped
1 medium carrot, peeled, roughly chopped
2 cloves of garlic, peeled and crushed
a couple of sprigs of thyme
4 juniper berries
1 tbsp vegetable oil
a good knob of butter
1 tbsp flour
1 tsp tomato purée
2l chicken stock
salt and freshly ground black pepper

To garnish:

2 sticks of celery, peeled if necessary and cut into rough 1cm squares
1 small leek, trimmed, cut into rough 1cm squares and washed
1 medium carrot, peeled and cut into rough 1cm squares
a couple of leaves of green cabbage, cut into rough 1cm squares

Heat the vegetable oil in a heavy-based saucepan and fry the grouse carcasses, onion, carrot, garlic and herbs on a medium heat for 3-4 minutes, stirring every so often until lightly coloured. Add the tomato purée and chicken stock, bring to the boil, season and simmer gently for an hour.

Strain the soup through a fine-meshed sieve into a clean saucepan, reserving the bits of carcass. Add the celery, leek and carrot and simmer for about 15 minutes or until they are tender, then add the cabbage and simmer for another 5-6 minutes. Meanwhile, remove as many bits of meat from the grouse carcass as possible and add to the soup and simmer for a few minutes, re-season if necessary and serve.

Autumn squash soup with walnut pesto

Posted in Food with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 15, 2010 by Robin Gosnall

There is an abundance of squashes and pumpkins on the market at the moment; the deep orange-fleshed varieties offer the best flavour and colour.

a good knob of butter
1 small leek, roughly chopped and washed
1 small onion, peeled and roughly chopped
1kg ripe, orange-fleshed squash or pumpkin, peeled, seeded and roughly chopped
1.5 litres vegetable stock
salt and freshly ground black pepper

For the pesto:

40g good-quality walnuts, lightly toasted
50g fresh basil leaves and any soft stalks
1 clove of garlic, peeled and crushed
a good pinch of sea salt
4 tbsp freshly grated Parmesan
2 tbsp freshly grated mature Pecorino (or use 6 tbsp Parmesan)
100-120ml extra virgin olive oil (preferably a sweeter variety)

To make the the pesto, put the walnuts, basil, garlic and salt in a liquidiser and coarsely blend. Add the cheese and blend again briefly, then transfer to a bowl.

Gently cook the leek and onion in the butter in a thick-bottomed saucepan until soft. Add the squash and vegetable stock, bring to the boil, season with salt and pepper then simmer for 20 minutes.

Blend in a liquidiser until smooth, then strain through a fine-meshed sieve. Re-heat the soup and adjust the consistency with a little vegetable stock or water if necessary and re-season with salt and pepper. Serve with a spoonful of the pesto on top.

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