Wednesday, 3 August 2011

Fallen Angel bakery, Harborne

I had a business meeting in Harborne this afternoon and on my way back to the car I spied a lovely bakery...I got an Oreo cupcake for my beloved, and a red velvet one for me :)

The spiciest curry I have ever made!

Last night I was lucky enough to visit with my friend Mariane, her daughter Kaenaat and her mom on the first breaking of the fast for Ramadan. We ate aubergine and potato pakora, lamb and cauliflower curry and chicken and turnip curry with roti and rice and it was amazing - thanks to Mariane and her mom! It was actually a bit of a taste of home for me. Mariane and I lived together for some of our time at university (well, strictly speaking I stayed with her for part of the week as it was a terrible commute), and she is responsible I think for my curiosity about food.

Last night, as we waited for the time to come to break the fast, Mariane came into the lounge and ordered me to drive her to the shops to buy an aubergine - and we ended up at Food World on Washwood Heath Road. I wish we had that much of a selection of vegetables and spices nearer to our flat! Anyway, she showed me some different seasoning blends that I have not used before, and I also picked up some methi (which I have also never used before), and tonight I endeavoured to make a keema curry with peas (which she used to make when we were at uni together) and aloo methi, a variation on aloo sag, which I do sometimes make.

Here are the seasoning mixes I used, and this is how to do it. These were very cheap - £1 for both boxes, and each box is one use, just one package of seasoning.

For the keema curry:

1 pack lean beef mince
1 large onion
3-4 green finger chilis
3 fat cloves garlic
Frozen peas
1 pack of seasoning, mixed into a paste with 3tbsp water

For the potato and methi curry:

Potatoes, boiled, cooled and cubed
2 big bunches methi, washed, shaken dry, and I removed the big stalks. Or just use spinach!
1 big onion
3 cloves garlic
2-3 finger chilis (I had a big bag of finger chilis!)
1 can tomatoes
a courgette, diced small
a red bell pepper, diced small
1 pack of seasoning as shown

I served this with brown rice and cottage cheese - plain yogurt would have been better but we didn't have any ;)

So, for the keema: just brown the mince, adding the onion, garlic and chili and allowing to soften. Mix the seasoning with some water, add and allow to cook through and dry up - it shouldn't be liquidy. Finally, when you're nearly ready to serve, add frozen peas and allow them to steam through. Easy!

The potato and methi curry is also easy. Do your potatoes first, just boil and then remove from the pan, allow to cool and dice. Meanwhile, just make a veg curry - soften the onion, garlic, chili and ginger until golden and slippery, then add the courgette and pepper, tomato and seasoning. Pop the lid on and let it all cook through. When you're ready, add the potatoes and the prepared methi (or spinach - it behaves very similarly, you just want it to wilt down) to the pan and allow it all to heat through.

MvF inspired burgers with baby baked potatoes

Oh Adam Richman, you have so much to answer for.

There's not really a recipe here - I made the burgers by mixing a pack of lean ground beef (350g) with half a grated onion, one grated clove of garlic, salt, black pepper, and dried parsley, and then shaped them with my hands (I made four fat ones).

On the toasted buns, I added sliced beef tomato, sweet onion, pickled gherkins, American mustard (French's), crumbled blue cheese (just a bit!) and ketchup. Chris's (pictured) had smoked bacon too.

The baby baked potatoes were just boiled baby potatoes which then went into the oven whole and were baked at a high heat, sprinkled with sea salt and a spray or two of olive oil to stop them sticking.

Jamaican BBQ chicken with ginger and pineapple (and rice with beans)

I made this last week and it was DELICIOUS but it has been a very busy week and I forgot to post it.

For the chicken bit:

Chicken thighs (or breast, whichever you prefer), cut up
A big onion
Chilis (however many you like - I used two Scotch Bonnets)
A big tbsp ginger paste
A cup of chopped pineapple
Bell pepper - I used one red, one green
2 courgettes, diced
1 can tomatoes
Garlic - to your taste, I only put two fat cloves in this one, though
Jamaican BBQ seasoning - 2 tbsp (from Dunn's River)
Jerk seasoning - 1 good tsp (I also used Dunn's River)
Fine green beans, sliced into rounds

For the rice:

Cooked kidney beans (I used canned)
1 can of coconut milk (light)
200ml stock (I used chicken, from a cube)
Cinnamon and thyme to taste

So. Brown the chicken, and add the chili, ginger, garlic and onion. Put the lid on and let everything soften, and then add the pineapple and seasonings. Give it a few minutes, then add all the vegetables and tomatoes, heat up and then turn down to simmer.

In a separate pan, put all the ingredients for the rice and beans. Bring up to the boil, then turn down to a simmer and cover. It will take about 15 minutes (until all the liquid is absorbed) but keep an eye on things!