Archive for spring onions

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

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Nigella Lawson’s Broccoli & Stilton Soup

Posted in Food with tags , , , , , , , on April 17, 2010 by Robin Gosnall

Half Hour Meals

3 x 15ml tablespoons garlic oil
6 spring onions, finely chopped 2 teaspoons dried thyme
1kg frozen broccoli 1250ml hot vegetable stock (from concentrate or cube)
200g crumbled or chopped Stilton
freshly ground pepper
1 long red chilli pepper, deseeded and finely chopped (optional)

Put the garlic oil in a large pan over a medium heat, add the chopped spring onions and cook for a couple of minutes.

Add the thyme and the frozen broccoli, and stir in the heat for a minute or so.

Add the hot vegetable stock and the crumbled or chopped Stilton and bring to a bubble, then clamp on the lid and cook for 5 minutes.

Liquidize in a blender (or failing that a processor) – in batches – then pour back in the pan and heat if it’s cooled too much while blending, and add pepper to taste.

Scatter with a Christmas confetti of red chilli dice on serving, if you feel like it.

I use frozen broccoli; actually, frozen organic broccoli, if that makes you feel better. In fact, this is better when made with frozen, and certainly more convenient for an impromptu standby.

Pancakes with spinach, spring onions and soft cheese

Posted in Food with tags , , , , , , on March 13, 2009 by Robin Gosnall

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Although these are often referred to as pancakes in Turkey they are really more of a paper-thin flat bread or pastry. In Istanbul I’ve tasted several versions with great, simple fillings. The pastry is a bit of a pain to make at home but most Turkish, North African or Mediterranean stores sell it in circular shapes or big folded sheets in the chilled cabinet.

500g spinach, stalks removed, washed and dried
4-5 spring onions, sliced
80-100g soft Turkish cheese or ricotta
salt and freshly ground black pepper
a couple of large leaves of Warka pastry (or Brik pastry)
2-3 tbsp olive oil

Heat a tablespoon of olive oil in a large frying pan, add the spinach, season and cook on a medium heat for 2-3 minutes, turning and stirring regularly until the spinach is tender. Drain in a colander and push any excess water out with the back of a spoon. Mix in the spring onions.

Cut the pastry into squares that, when folded into a triangle, fit into your largest frying pan. Lay the pastry on to a sheet of greaseproof paper on the work surface and almost cover one half with the spinach. Then dot around the cheese and fold into a triangle, heat some olive oil in the pan and carefully slide the pancake in and cook for a minute or so until crisp, then turn over with a spatula or fish slice and do the same on the other side. Serve immediately on its own, or with lemon.

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