Curried Veggies with Paneer

We’re off on holiday to France on Saturday so this week is a week of using up the odds and sods in the fridge.

I had a few pints of milk in the fridge so last night I made fresh paneer.

Here you go:

  • 4 red onions (sliced)
  • 4 mushrooms (rough chopped)
  • 12 cherry tomatoes (halved)
  • 1tsp chopped garlic
  • 1tsp chopped ginger

All of the above are cooked together for about 10 mins.

  • 1tsp chilli powder
  • 1/2tsp turmeric
  • 1/2tsp ground coriander
  • 250g cubed paneer

Add the spices and cook for a minute.


Then add the cheese.

  • Spinach
  • 1/4tsp garam masala
  • 1/4tsp ground fenugreek
  • 150ml double cream

Add the above and pop a lid on until the spinach has wilted. The spinach puts a fair bit of liquid into the sauce so you may want to cook it separately and add it in at the end.


Served with brown rice steamed in lime juice. Also great in a pitta/flatbread with fresh coriander and yoghurt.

Chickeny Tomatoey Thingummy

Not really sure what dish this is but it’s damn tasty. At the weekend the freezer went on the fritz so I was left with a load of chicken thighs that needed cooking. Grabbing what was to hand I had the following:

  • 6 boned and skinned chicken thighs 
  • An onion
  • A red pepper
  • 4 plum tomatoes
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1tsp dried tarragon
  • Oil

The onion and garlic were chopped and fried until soft. I added the diced pepper and the chicken and put a lid on the pan. After about 20mins I added the chopped tomatoes and the tarragon, replaced the lid and cooked the ‘stew’ for about 10 mins then took the lid off to evaporate some of the liquid. 

Before serving I added a tablespoon of butter to thicken the sauce and added a few twists of salt and pepper to taste. The tomatoey chicken was served with roast potatoes 

Flemish Fromage

Chicory, or endive, why did I buy it? Oh yeah, it was reduced because it was close to it’s ‘Best Before’ date. That was 2 weeks ago. I found 4 stems in the salad drawer in the bottom of the fridge. After a few discarded outer leaves and 10 mins in iced water, they were fine.

Serves 2, generously
  • 4 chicory (endive) heads
  • 2 red onions
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • small bunch of fresh thyme
  • 1 pint chicken stock
  • 150g cream cheese
  • 150ml fromage frais
  • 150g grated cheese

I quartered the chicory lengthways and sat them in two dishes on sliced red onions, garlic and fresh thyme. I poured over half a pint of chicken stock and put a tight fitting foil lid on. They were braised for about 40 mins at 190C. After draining and patting dry they were put back into the dishes with the onions and garlic, covered with ham and blanketed in a cheese sauce. The sauce was 150g of cream cheese, 150ml of fromage frais and a splash of milk beaten to a smooth consistency. 150g of grated cheddar and gouda was sprinkled on top and they were both grilled for about 15mins until golden and bubbling. Served up with crusty bread. Next time I’ll try with Little Gem lettuce

Aromatic Yoghurt and Chicken

I wasn’t sure what to have for dinner tonight so last night I cobbled a marinade together and left it to develop overnight whilst some chicken thighs were defrosting.

To make the marinade I took 2tsp coriander seeds, 2tsp fennel seeds, 2tsp cumin seeds and 2tsp black peppercorns. I toasted them in a dry pan before grinding them to a fine powder with a pestle and mortar. Then I took a green chilli snd a couple of garlic cloves and a good pinch of salt. These were puréed in the mortar and added to the ground spices. This mix was storred into sbout 250ml of plain yoghurt and left overnight in yhe fridge.

This morning I added the chicken thighs and left them in the fridge all day.

This evening I put 2 onions, sliced thickly, and about s dozen cherry tomatoes in a casserole. The yoghurty chicken was put on top, the lid put on and placed into an oven at 180C for about an hour.

Whilst it was in the oven I boiled some Basmati rice and fried a bunch of spring onions to use as a garnish. I also roasted a squash and a red and a yellow pepper to have as a side vegetable.

+++ UPDATE +++

Although the finished plate of food tasted delicious, it needed something else. Something green. Spinach perhaps.

Leftovers and Samosas

We don’t often have much in the way of leftovers in our house but last night I went to the fridge to see what we had to make dinner and I found some left over bits from the night before.

There was some plain basmati rice and cooked chicken. In the freezer I had some  samosas that I’d made a few weeks ago and frozen before cooking. I say samosas but they were more like puff pasty pillows.

To make the samoseas I used Meera Sohda’s excellent Made in India cook book. If you don’y have a copy, get one. In the mean time, the recipe can be found here.

I put the samosas in the oven for about 20 mins at 200C. Whilst they were baking I made the rice salad. I took 4 spring onions, 2 radishes, 2 mushrooms, 2 chicken thighs, a yellow pepper, a red chilli pepper and chopped them all up. I cooked the mushrooms in butter and added the whole lot to the rice, mixed it well and added about 2 tbsps of olive oil

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When the samosas were done I bunged the lot on a plate and even though I say so myself, for leftovers, they were fantastic

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Baked Langoustines

I made these some time ago and they were deeelish, especially with some warm crusty bread. I’ve also discovered how to do lists and that so here goes…

For two generous portions you will need:

  • 12-18 langoustines depending on size
  • 4 cloves of garlic
  • 2 sprigs rosemary
  • 50g of flaked almonds
  • 2 lemons
  • Olive oil

Heat oven to 200C. Slice lemons and arrange half in a single layer in a roasting tin. Wash langoustines in cold water, pat dry and arrange in single layer on top of lemons. Thinly slice the garlic, remove leaves from rosemary and add to almond slices in a bowl. Add oil until you get a good coating on everything. Scatter over the langoustines and drizzle the remaining oil over.

Chop the remaining slices of lemon and dot around the tray. Place in a hot oven for about 10-15 mins. Enjoy!


Keep the shells for a seafood bisque and the heads and claws for stock

Daily bread

A few weeks ago I was mooching around my local shop when I stumbled across the ‘buy this stuff cheap’ shelf. On it was a loaf of chilli bread that was use by that day. I bought it. It was 10p.

When I got it home I chopped it up and dried it out in a low oven (140C) for abot 30mins. Croutons! Most went into the freezer and some into an airtight jar. I’ve just re-toasted them with some cheese and had them atop the cauliflowerish soup.

Leftover Easter egg cheesecake

If you have kids you will probably have leftover Easter eggs. I’ve found a tasty way of using them up (ok a bit of one up).

I also have about 200g of strawberries that are on the turn so I’ve used them, and some chocolate to make a half and half cheesecake


To make the base, I blitzed 8 digestive biscuits with 2tsp of cocoa powder and added about 3tbsp of melted butter. This was pressed into half the tin (a 23cm flan tin with removable base). This is for the chocolate cheesecake. 8 shortbread fingers were blitzed with 3tbsps of melted butter and pressed into the other half of the tin.


To make the cheesecake take 200g of mascarpone, 400g of cream cheese, 100g of caster suger and 3 tbsps milk. Mix to a smooth paste.

Whisk about 180ml of double cream until it is like thick custard. Fold into the cheese mix and divide in two.

Chop the strawberries and put in the bowl of a food processor. Add the juice of a lemon and about 100g of caster sugar. Blitz the mix to a smoothish paste and pour into a seive over a bowl. After about 2 hours you should have a nice strawberry juice syrup and a seive full of pulp. The pulp is great in a smoothie or frozen as a lolly.

Melt the chocolate in a bowl over a pan of simmering water.

Add the strawberry juice to half the mix (you might not need all of it). Do the same with the chocolate.

Take the base out of the fridge and pour/spread the mixes into their respective halves of the tin.


Put the cheesecake in the fridge ovvernight to firm up.

Cauliflowerish Soup

Just the thing on a rainy and cold May Day bank holiday.

I had some leftover veg and some bits that were rapidly approaching the bin so I thought I’d try and turn them into a tasty soup. It worked.

I took a red pepper, some wilty rosemary and chives and a half corn cob left over from dinner yesterday. 5 mins in butter and oil then added a medium cauliflower, chopped, one medium potato, cubed, a small bundle of chopped french beans and a pint of milk. I brought it up to the boil then left to simmer for 30mins until potato and cauliflower were soft.


Blitz in a food processor/mash/stick blend until smooth. Season and serve with fresh bread


Cor.

Slow Roast Lamb

I thought I’d kick off this thing with today’s dinner.

I started off with a whole leg of lamb, about 2kg. The meat was scored with a sharp knife in a diamond pattern to the depth of about half an inch. Into this was rubbed a cheesey herb mix which comprised: 3 sprigs fresh rosemary, 3 sprigs fresh thyme, 2tsps garlic (about 6 medium cloves), about 15g finely grated Parmesan and the same of pine nuts. This was blitzed in a mini chopper until it was finely chopped and thoroughly mixed. The mix was then transferred to a bowl and a good glug of olive oil added along with black pepper, and mixed to form a thick paste.

Once this paste has been rubbed into the meat, the leg was placed in a roasting tin surrounded by 250ml of water and tightly wrapped in foil and left overnight to infuse.

lamb_rawAbout 5 hours before you wish to eat, preheat the oven to 160C (320F) then place lamb in oven for 3 hours min (until tender). After that, uncover meat and drain, keeping the juices. Return the lamb to the oven for 10-15 mins to brown and crisp. Take out of the oven and allow to rest for at least 15 mins. In the meantime, skim off any fat from the juices, bring to boil and thicken with cornflour (about 1tsp dissolved in cold water). Carve lamb (or pull apart, which is more likely) and serve with whatever veg/spuds you fancy. Mash with caremelised onions is good.