Saturday, 22 February 2014

Roast cauliflower and chickpea soup


1 cauliflower
1 large onion (or 2 small)
2 400g tins of chickpeas in water (no salt added), undrained
1 400g can of light coconut milk
Approx 200ml water or milk
3-4 garlic cloves, peeled and left whole
Your favourite curry powder, to taste
1 tsp cumin
1 stock cube - I thought I had picked up a vegetable one but I actually used chicken, so either will do.
Optional - couple of tbsp plain Greek yogurt

For the roasting:
Sprinkle of medium curry powder of your choice
1 tsp black onion (nigella/kalonji) seeds
Sprinkle of ground coriander

Start by cranking up the oven to about 200F.

Pour some oil into a roasting tray and add the curry powder, onion seeds and coriander. Then slice you cauliflower up into cm thick pieces and add them and the garlic cloves to the pan, turning them so they are coated with the spicy oil. Put the tray in the oven and let it go golden - you might need to keep an eye on it and keep turning it, so set it for 15 minutes to start with.

Into a big metal saucepan that you can use a stick blender in, slice up your onions and leave them to brown over a gentle heat. You want them golden and soft.

Add the two cans of chickpeas, undrained, into the onions along with the stock cube, coconut milk and spices, and let it all bubble together. When your cauliflower is looking good, add it to the saucepan. Then when you are ready, blend it all together til it is smooth and add it back to a gentle heat while you add any extra fluid (milk, water, yogurt) to get it to your desired consistency. Taste to check seasoning and it is done! 

Sunday, 16 February 2014

Christmas in February: Leftovers Pie

Sometimes you just have a flash of inspiration.  Mine was my mom dropping some turkey in gravy over that she had frozen at Christmas....which made me go running to our own freezer and cupboards...

From the bottom up: 
Cocktail sausages

Leftover turkey in gravy

Cranberry sauce (warmed so it would spread easily)

Stuffing (sage and onion)

Sausagemeat (pressed out into a flattened patty, baked and fat drained off)

Bread sauce

Stuffing balls

Sautéed Brussels sprouts!

Saturday, 25 January 2014

Chicken tortilla soup

Now. I have never made chicken tortilla soup before but I woke up wanting some yesterday and couldn't stop thinking about it, so before I did the grocery shopping this morning I went forth to the magical interwebs and the first recipe I found was this one from Ree Drummond.  It looked exactly what I was after but being in the UK I had to improvise with some of the ingredients, so this is my version of her recipe exactly as I did it; just tweak, I reckon!

3 small or 2 big chicken breasts
Half a red onion, chopped, plus a few spring onions, chopped (left over from making fajitas the other night)
2 small green bell peppers, chopped
2 cartons of chopped tomatoes with peppers and chili
2 400g cans of black beans (from Caribbean section in ASDA); one drained, one not
1large can of unsweetened sweet corn
1litre of chicken stock
About 1/3 jar of  hot salsa (I just got Aldi's own) - maybe two heaped tablespoons worth
2-3 cloves of garlic, crushed
1 big tsp paprika
1 big tsp cumin
Small handful basmati rice (about 60g)

To finish/serve:
Bunch of coriander, chopped
Grated cheese
Soured cream
Tortilla, grilled and cut into strips...whatever you like really (I had tortilla and avocado)

You literally just put it all in a saucepan except for the rice, bring it up to boil and then let it bubble til the chicken is cooked. At that point take the breasts out and shred them with forks, and add them back to the pot.  Stick your rice in then and leave it to cook, covered, til the rice is done.  Add your coriander in, give it a stir and serve. I reckon you could easily do this in the slow cooker (I will try that next time).