Archive for vegetable oil

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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Chicken and lobster pie

Posted in Food with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 5, 2011 by Robin Gosnall

Shellfish like lobster and prawns really do go well with the delicate flavour of chicken. For slow-cooked chicken dishes it’s better to use thighs rather than breast meat as they stay more moist and succulent.

2 cooked lobsters, about 500g each
500g boned and skinned free-range chicken thighs
1 tbsp chopped parsley
1 tbsp chopped tarragon leaves
350-400g ready-made all-butter puff pastry
plain flour for dusting
1 free-range egg, beaten

For the lobster sauce:

1 tbsp vegetable oil
reserved lobster shells
4 shallots, peeled and roughly chopped
1 garlic clove, peeled and chopped
60g butter
60g plain flour
a good pinch of saffron strands
a few sprigs of tarragon
1 tbsp tomato purée
60ml white wine
500ml hot fish stock
500ml hot chicken stock
400ml double cream
salt and freshly ground black pepper
1-2 tsp cornflour (if needed)

Remove the meat from the lobster tails and claws and cut roughly into 1cm pieces. Reserve one lobster head (if making a large pie). Break the rest of the shells up a bit, using a heavy knife. Cut the chicken thighs in half, or into thirds if large. Cover and refrigerate the lobster and chicken meat.

To make the sauce, heat the oil in a heavy saucepan and fry the lobster shells, garlic and shallots over a medium heat for 5 minutes until they begin to colour lightly. Add the butter and, once melted, stir in the flour. Add the saffron, tarragon and tomato purée, then gradually stir in the white wine and the hot fish and chicken stocks.

Bring to the boil, lower the heat and simmer for about 30 minutes until the sauce has reduced by about half, then add the cream. Season lightly with salt and pepper, bring back to the boil and simmer very gently for about 20 minutes until the sauce has reduced by half again. (A simmer plate or heat-diffuser mat is useful here.)

Strain the sauce through a colander into a clean pan, moving the shells with a spoon to ensure all the sauce goes through.

Tip about one-tenth of the shells into a blender and add about a cupful of the strained sauce. Blend until smooth, then strain through a fine-meshed sieve into the sauce in the pan.

Bring the sauce back to the boil, add the chicken and simmer for 5 minutes. The sauce should be a thick coating consistency by now; if not, simmer a little longer (or dilute a little cornflour in water and stir into the sauce). Leave to cool.

Stir the lobster and chopped parsley and tarragon into the cooled sauce. Adjust the seasoning if necessary. Fill a large pie dish or 4 individual ones with the mixture.

Roll out the pastry on a lightly floured surface to a 5mm thickness. Trim to about 2cm larger all round than the pie dish (or cut discs large enough to cover individual dishes). Brush the edges of the pastry with a little of the beaten egg. Lay the pastry over the filling, pressing the egg-washed sides on to the rim of the dish(es).

If making a large pie, cut a cross in the centre and insert the lobster head, so it sits proud. Cut a small slit in the top of individual pies to allow steam to escape. Leave to rest in a cool place for 30 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 200°C. Brush the pastry lid with beaten egg and bake the pie for 40-50 minutes or until golden brown (allow 10-15 minutes less for individual pies). Let the pie stand for a few minutes before serving.

Toad in the hole with apple and rosemary

Posted in Food with tags , , , , , , , , , on June 15, 2011 by Robin Gosnall

2 tbsp vegetable oil
2 red skinned apples, washed and cored
8 pork and leek sausages
a few springs of fresh rosemary
100g plain flour
pinch of salt
2 large eggs
150ml half-fat milk
150ml water

Preheat the oven to 200°C. Place the oil in a large roasting tin and place in the oven to heat up.

Cut each apple into about 8 wedges.

Remove the hot roasting tin from the oven and add the sausages, apple wedges and rosemary and roast for 10 mins or until beginning to brown.
Whilst the sausages cook, place the flour in a bowl with the salt. Make a well in the centre and break in the eggs. Gradually whisk in the milk and water until the mixture is smooth. Set aside.

Remove the roasting tin from the oven and shake well, pour over the batter then return to the oven and bake for 30-35 mins or until golden and risen. Serve with vegetables and gravy.

Black pudding sandwich

Posted in Food with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 27, 2011 by Robin Gosnall

Half Hour Meals

This is a version of the Fernandez and Wells sandwich that I would scoff for breakfast when I worked near Soho, in London, years ago. The quality of the black pudding is crucial as that cardboard-like stuff with the texture of sawdust just won’t work.

8 baps or rolls or barmcakes or 8 slices of sourdough
softened butter
6 duck eggs, boiled for 5 minutes, then refreshed in cold water and peeled
4-6 tbsp top quality mayonnaise
salt and freshly ground black pepper
400-450g top quality black pudding
vegetable or corn oil for frying

Slice the black pudding into 1cm thick slices if they are the large cylinder types or into 2 or 3 lengthways if they are the Bury-style puddings.

Chop the duck eggs and mix with a good amount of mayonnaise and season well. Pan-fry the black pudding for about 2-3 minutes on each side.

Spread the butter on to the bread then spoon the egg mayonnaise on to one half with the black pudding on top and the other half of the bread on top.

Give the bread a light toasting on each side and serve.

Nigella Lawson’s red cabbage with pomegranate juice

Posted in Food with tags , , , , , , , , , , on December 30, 2010 by Robin Gosnall

Recipe taken from Nigella Christmas by Nigella Lawson (Chatto & Windus, £25)

Nigella Lawson seems very keen on pomegranate juice and even adds it to her Eton Mess.

2 x 15ml tablespoons vegetable oil
1 red onion, peeled and halved
scant 15ml tablespoon Maldon salt or 1 teaspoon table salt
2 red apples
1 head red cabbage
3 x 15ml tablespoons soft dark brown sugar                        
2 teaspoons ground allspice
750ml pomegranate juice

Heat the oil in a large, heavy-based frying saucepan (with a lid) or a flameproof casserole. Finely slice each halved onion into thin half-moons and add to the pan along with the salt. Fry for about 5 minutes until the onion begins to soften but doesn’t burn; the salt will help to prevent it from burning.

While this is going on, quarter the apples (no need to peel), cut away the cores and chop them roughly, and add them to the softening onions and cook, stirring occasionally, for another 5 minutes.

Finely shred the cabbage and add it to the onion-apple mixture in the pan, stirring slowly and patiently to mix. Add the brown sugar and allspice and stir, then pour the pomegranate juice into the pan.

Let the mixture come to a bubble, then give another stir, turn down the heat, put on a lid and cook very gently at the lowest possible heat for 2-3 hours, stirring occasionally. It really won’t get overcooked. Taste for seasoning only when you’re ready to reheat, as the flavours won’t have mellowed and come together properly until then.

To reheat, put the pan back on the stone over a medium to low heat, stirring occasionally, for 15-20 minutes.

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.

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