Tuesday, 13 April 2010

Beef and pea curry

This was MUCH nicer than it sounds. I remember my friend Mariane making something a bit like this more years ago than I care to remember when we were at university. I only remember the fact that there was mince, there was peas, it was quite dry in consistency and it was really quite hot, so here's my attempt (and it came out very tasty, if I do say so myself).

You need:

500g good minced beef (we got ours from the butcher)
1 small pack of fresh shelled peas, I guess about a cupful?
2 small courgettes
1 good sized white onion
1 good sized green pepper
Good squeeze of garlic paste
Whopping squeeze of tomato puree
healthy shake of lemon juice
A good pinch of salt
Beef OXO cube (this is optional)

and then the spices. I am HOPELESS at measuring, so this is approximately what went in.
1 tbsp tandoori spice
half tsp cumin
1 tbsp black onion seed
half tsp cinnamon
tsp chili powder
half a tsp dried chili flakes, or one chili, chopped finely (this is optional)
really big pinch of cayenne pepper

Start by thoroughly browning the mince off in the pan. If it looks a bit insipid add a beef Oxo cube but if it's good quality don't bother. Add the cinnamon at this point too.

When it's brown, add the chopped onion to soften and then follow it up with the garlic. Give that a couple of minutes and then sling in the courgettes, pepper, tomato paste and all the rest of the spices. Stick the lid on and go and shuffle about for about 10 minutes or so.

At this point if you're having rice, get the rice going. After about 15 minutes or so it'll all be ready but don't forget the peas about 3 or 4 minutes (at most) before you serve, just to barely cook them.

Serve with yogurt, salad, chutney, rice, whatever you fancy :)

Tuesday, 6 April 2010

Spring vegetable risotto


1 onion
1 courgette
1 green pepper
3 sticks of celery
1 small pack of shelled peas
1 pack of asparagus tips
Squeeeze of garlic
Small bottle of white wine
Slug of chicken bouillon concentrate
1 teaspoon tarragon
half a lemon, cut into four
black pepper
small handful of grated parmesan

then whatever risotto rice you want plus hot water to cover (as the bouillon concentrate's already in there).

So, saute off all the vegetables (including the lemon) except the peas and asparagus. Add the garlic and tarragon and let it simmer gently.

After about ten minutes add the wine, let the alcohol cook off, and then mix in the bouillon concentrate and rice while the kettle boils. Add the water to the pan, stir well and put the lid on.

When the rice is almost cooked and the stock has almost all been absorbed add the peas and asparagus and let the risotto finish with the lid on. Finally stir through the parmesan and serve (we had it with some garlic chicken and salad but whatever is good).