Monthly Archives: November 2011

quick coconut cookies :)

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Hi everyone!

 

First of all sorry for this long break :/ I’ve been very busy (pre xmas time) and also have been in a car accident! :/ very crappy times, anyway I’ve promissed to add this simple and delicious cookie recipe, so I’m doing it now. Hope you can forgive me for the delay!

 

For this cookie recipe you will need

 

2 cups of flour

1 ½ cups of caster sugar

1 tsp of vanilla

½ cup of milk

¼ cup of vegetable oil

pinch of salt

1 cup of shredded coconut

 

all you do is mix the dry ingredients first, then add the wet ones and mix well until you get a very plastic dough. Let it rest for 10-15 min then wet your hands form little balls and place on baking paper. Bake for about 10-15 min in 180C (I like to flip them on the other side half way through).

 

That’s it, now, wasn’t that easy? 😉 they’re crunchy and carmelized on the outside, they smell lovely of vanilla and coconut, and they’re sort of chewy almost macaroon-like on the inside. They’ll keep fine for about 3-4 days (if they last that long) 😉

 

This amount will make for about 24 cookies. Here’s how they look, enjoy the recipe 😉

 

Indian cooking CAN be easy :)

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Indian curries don’t have to be difficult to make. If they were- I’d probably wouldn’t make them 😉

Today I’m going to show you my take on a traditional chicken madras. It may not be the same as the original, so I apologize for that, but it’s still packed with flavour and it’s quick, delicious and SIMPLE! So let’s get started 😉

 

For 3 people you will need:

 

400g of chicken fillet

300 g of basmati rice

250 g of green beans, cleaned, ends cut off, and cut in half (easier to eat)

200mls of crème  fraiche.

1cm of fresh ginger – minced

1 big clove of garlic- minced

1 tea spoon of chili powder

1 tea spoon of ground cumin

1 tea spoon of ground coriander

1 tea spoon of ground fennel seeds

1 tea spoon of ground bayleaf

1 teaspoon of ground cinammon

1 teaspoon of sweet paprika

1 teaspoon of ground cloves

1 teaspoon of turmeric

salt to taste.

About 200 mls of water.

3tbsp of oil

 

So, as you can see the only slightly complicated part here is remembering all the spices 😉

Feel free to make it as hot or as mild as you want it, if you want it hotter, simply add more chilli.

All those spices can also be replaced by ready to useMadrasseasoning, I know that a brand called Fiddes&Payne has a very good one, everything is ground for you, and sold in a pretty tin.

 

So, here’s hot we make it:

 

1)      Cut the chicken into bite-sized pieces and mix all the spices+oil,minced ginger and minced garlic in a bowl. Throw the chicken in and let it marinate for 5 min.

2)      Our sauce will be made during the time the rice is cooking, so start cooking the rice accordingly to the time frame written on the package. Season the water with some salt.

3)      Heat up your pan and fry off the chicken golden. Add the green beans and let them cook through a bit. Add the water- it’ll help your beans steam. After 5 min or so chicken will be ready, then taste the sauce, season to taste with salt, more chili if you want, more turmeric if you want more colour, it’s all up to you.

4)      Once the rice is boiled, drain it and let it rest in the pot it’s been cooking in with the lid on for about 10 min- then we can finish off our sauce.

5)      Add the crème fraiche to the sauce. Stir through until everything’s combined and smooth, and no white specks are visible. Season to taste at the end if it’s needed.

6)      You can serve it with fresh coriander,but it’s optional 😉

 

The sauce will have rich, yellow colour and it’ll be almost perfumed with spices. Trust me, it’s really easy and delicious. Quick version of an indian classic. Hope you enjoyed my recipe, here’s hot it looked 😉

 

Pumpkin & pancetta risotto

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So I promised you a very autumn-ish risotto, and here it is. Pumpkin and pancetta risotto, for a cold, gloomy autumn evening 😉

 

Ingredients:

 

400g of pumpkin, peeled, diced finely (I used french pumpkin but you can use any pumpkin like acorn squash or butternut squash)

200g or risotto rice (arborio)

250 g of finely diced pancetta (or smoked bacon)

1 large onion

1 glass of white wine of your choice

salt, pepper to taste

about 800-900 ml of stock of your choice (I used chicken stock)

50-60 g of cold butter

handful of parmezan or pecorino cheese ( adjust the amount to taste)

1 big clove of garlic- minced

olive oil to fry on

 

prepare your ingredients first. Have everything diced and ready to go. Why? Because risotto waits for nobody, so we need everything ready as we go 😉

 

1)      fry off the pumpkin on some olive oil, season with salt and pepper. The smaller you dice it, the faster it’ll cook, so it pays off to dice it rather fine. After 3-4 min it should be soft, move it to a bowl and allow to cool a bit.

2)      Use the same oil that’s in the pan and fry your pancetta off. Make sure its golden and crispy. Add the minced garlic and finish it off with some pepper. Then move to a bowl and allow it to cool slightly.

3)      Fry the onion on the bacony-garlicy oil, try to pick up all the carmelised bits from the pan. It’s where all the flavour is. Once the onion is carmelised and softened, deglaze your pan with white wine, picking up all the bits that are stuck to the pan.

4)      Leave your onion in the pan and add the rice to it. Mix it in well so every grain is coated in this lovely mix of onion, bacon and garlic aroma. Toast the rice off for a minute or two, then add the first portion of stock.

5)      Once the first portion of stock is being absorbed, stomp the pumpkin with a fork and pass it through a drum sieve, so you end up with a smooth purée. ( you’ll have about 4-5 heaping table spoons).

6)      Keep adding more stock to your rice, while stirring it. When the rice is cooked al dente (after about 18 min, but check your box for the exact cooking time) add the pumpkin purée and stir through well. Then add the bacon in, leaving a few bits for decoration. Add the butter and cheese, stir through well so everything is combined. Serve immediately with some extra cheese on top.

 

It’s delicious and so season appropriate 😉 sweet pumpkin, carmelised onions, salty bacon.. it all goes together so well! I hope you try it. Here’s how it looked, enjoy 😉

 

 

chilli con carne recipe :)

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Hey everyone!

Sorry for the delay with the chilli con carne recipe, but here I am! I was super busy 😉 now I’m back to give you another portion of kick-ass home made food J

This recipe is so easy to put together and it’s a crowd pleaser for sure, you can feed 4-5 people with it easily, and everyone will be happy J all it needs is some TLC. Let’s get cooking!

Ingredients:

500g of beef mince (I use skinny beef)

2 large onions – diced

2-3 large red peppers – diced roughly (use other colours too if you wish)

1 can (400g ) of red kidney beans- drained

1 large can ( 700 g) of brown beans- drained

1 can (400g ) of sweet corn – drained

3 cloves of garlic, – peeled and minced

1 tsp of cumin powder (or more if you wish)

1 tsp of corriander powder (or more if you wish)

1 tsp of chilli flakes ( do make it as hot ot as mild as you want,I want a bit of spice there)

2 tsp of smoked paprika powder

salt, pepper to taste

4 tsp of tomato purée

about 400 mls of water or stock of your choice.(beef stock would work best).

1 tsp of sugar – just in case the sauce is too sharp from the tomato paste

1 tsp of chopped corriander for garnish

secret ingredient… 1 tbsp of good quality dark cocoa! ..yes cocoa ;P

 

Now, heat up the pan ( I’d use a big pan with high edge, just so it doesn’t spill when you stir like crazy) put the mince and the onion in, and brown it slightly, add the garlic, chilli flakes, cumin,corriander and paprika powder, stir well until all of the onions and meat are coated with the spices. Add salt and pepper. When the meat is browned properly, add the diced peppers and sweat them off with the meat. When they become a tad soft, add tomato paste, turn the heat onto lower and stir that through ( we do that just so the tomato paste doesn’t burn).

When everything is well coated with the tomato paste, add the beans and sweet corn. Combine well and add the water(or stock). It’ll look slightly runny but it’ll reduce when you cook it for further 30-40 min on low heat, so don’t add too much salt in the beginning, you can always add more later. Now after you’ve add the stock/water into the pan, it’s time for the secret ingredient- cocoa. I know it must sound odd,but trust me, it doesn’t taste of chocolate! cocoa just gives it another dimension of bitterness and heat, as it’s not sweet by itself, you won’t taste the cocoa, but it just makes the chilli WAY BETTER, so trust me on this one 😛 stirr it in well,so there are no lumps. (yum!) – it’ll also help thicken up and darken the sauce 🙂

Let it bubble away fro 30-40 min, just so the pepper is nice and soft, mince is cooked and the sauce has reduced slightly. Taste it before serving and then adjust the salt& pepper level, if it needs it- add the sugar.

Serve it in bowls, with a little bit of finely chopped corriander for garnish, I also like to serve sour cream and grated cheese on the side, if someone wants to stir it into his bowl of chilli goodness 😉 tortillas on the side would also be great, just to dip in your sauce.

There it is, no fuss chilli con carne, tasty, easy, comforting 😉 hope you like it, here’s how it looked!