Monday, 31 January 2011

Coley Korma

I came across an episode of Jamie's Fish Suppers when I was flicking through the TV one night and it was actually really interesting. He did his top ten sustainable fish recipes and this Coley Korma was one of them. This is such a versatile dish, I actually used cod, because I had some in the freezer and used tikka masala paste instead of korma. You could pretty much use any fish and any curry paste to create this dish and it would be delicious and it is so easy.

Coley Korma (from Jamie's Fish Suppers)
(Serves 4)

2 heaped tbsp korma paste
4 coley fillets, skin on, scaled and pin-boned
Olive oil
4 spring onions, trimmed and finely sliced
½ x 400ml tin coconut milk
Few sprigs of fresh coriander, leaves picked, stalks finely chopped
½ - 1 fresh red chilli, finely sliced
1 lemon, cut into wedges

Put a large frying pan on a medium heat. Use the back of a spoon to spread 1 heaped tablespoon of the korma paste all over the flesh side of the fish fillets. Add a lug of olive oil to the hot pan, then add the coley, flesh-side down. Cook for about 10 minutes, turning halfway when you’ve got some colour.

Turn the heat under the fish up to high and throw in the greener half of your sliced spring onions. Stir in the remaining korma paste, coconut milk, coriander stalks and most of the fresh chilli. Let it bubble away for a couple of minutes until the fish is starting to flake apart. Taste your sauce and add a squeeze of lemon juice if it needs it.

Serve with rice and top each portion with a piece of coley. Pour the sauce over the top then scatter over the reserved spring onions, chilli and coriander leaves. Serve with lemon wedges on the side for squeezing over.

Thursday, 27 January 2011

Chicken with Paprika and Sour Cream

My Mum gave me a lots of Waitrose recipe cards that she'd been collecting over the past couple of months and there are quite a few recipes that I am going to make. One of them was this Chicken with Paprika and Soured Cream recipe that I made last week for dinner. It was really tasty and the smokiness of the paprika really came through.

Chicken with Paprika and Sour Cream (from Waitrose Recipe Card)
(Serves 2-3)

1 tbsp vegetable oil
340g pack chicken mini fillets
1 medium onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, crushed
2 tsp smoked paprika
1 tsp sundried tomato paste
300ml chicken stock
250g pack chestnut mushrooms, halved
170ml carton sour cream
chopped parsley to garnish

Heat the oil in a non-stick sauté pan and brown the chicken fillets on all sides. Drain on kitchen paper. Add the onion, garlic and paprika to the pan and cook for 3 minutes until softened. Stir in the tomato paste and stock, then return the chicken pieces to the pan and season.

Bring to the boil, cover and simmer gently for 15 minutes until the chicken is tender and cooked through. Add the mushrooms to the pan and simmer for a further 5 minutes. Stir in the soured cream and sprinkle with the chopped parsley.

Saturday, 22 January 2011

Pappa Al Pomodoro

So with all the chickens I roasted over the Christmas period, I made stock from the bones, most of which I have frozen but I did use some to make this delicious soup. Now Ina Garten annoys me slightly, I can't put my finger on why, she just does, but this recipe is delicious. My sister said it tasted just like Heinz tomato soup and that's definitely a compliment. I have to say that I blitzed the soup up at the end as I don't much like lumpy soups and I used celery instead of fennel, because I could not find fennel anywhere. I also didn't bother with the topping, most of my soups get transported to work for lunch so the topping wouldn't have worked lasted long enough, but this was so good.

Pappa al Pomodoro (from Barefoot Contessa Back to Basics)
(Serves 6)

1/2 cup good olive oil
2 onions, chopped
3 carrots, medium-diced
1 fennel bulb, trimmed, cored, and medium-diced
4 cloves minced garlic
3 cups 1-inch diced ciabatta cubes, crusts removed
2 28-ounce cans good Italian plum tomatoes
4 cups chicken stock, preferably homemade
1/2 cup dry red wine
1 cup chopped fresh basil leaves
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan

For the topping:
3 cups 1-inch diced ciabatta cubes
2 ounces thickly sliced pancetta, chopped
24 to 30 whole fresh basil leaves
3 tablespoons good olive oil, plus more for serving
Salt and pepper

Heat the oil in a large stockpot over medium heat. Add the onions, carrots, fennel, and garlic and cook over medium-low heat for 10 minutes, until tender. Add the ciabatta cubes and cook for 5 more minutes. Place the tomatoes in the bowl of a food processor fitted with the steel blade and process just until coarsely chopped. Add the tomatoes to the pot along with the chicken stock, red wine, basil, 1 tablespoon salt, and 1 1/2 teaspoons pepper. Bring the soup to a boil, lower the heat, and allow to simmer, partially covered, for 45 minutes.

Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 375F

For the topping, place the ciabatta cubes, pancetta, and basil on a sheet pan large enough to hold them in a single layer. Drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and toss well. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 20 to 25 minutes, until all the ingredients are crisp. The basil leaves will turn dark and crisp, which is perfectly fine. Reheat the soup, if necessary, beat with a wire whisk until the bread is broken up. Stir in the Parmesan and taste for seasoning. Serve hot sprinkled with the topping and drizzled with additional olive oil.

Wednesday, 19 January 2011

Panfried Pork with Maple and Mustard Sauce

I have a cold and this is the sort of food that I love when I have a cold, lovely and filling but really easy to make.

Panfried Pork with Maple and Mustard Sauce (from Good Food Magazine May 2007)
(Serves 4)

2 pork tenderloins , about 300g/10oz each
1 tbsp plain flour
2 tbsp olive oil
1 red onion , thinly sliced
200ml vegetable stock
2 tbsp maple syrup
2 tbsp wholegrain mustard
juice 1 lemon
handful parsley sprigs (optional)

Cut the pork into 3cm thick slices, season with salt and pepper, then lightly coat in the flour (the easiest way to do this is to put the flour and seasoning in a large food bag, add the pork and shake well). Heat the oil in a large frying pan, preferably non-stick, then add the pork and quickly fry until it is browned all over. Cook the pork for about 5 mins, then remove to a plate and cover with foil while you make the sauce.

Add the onion to the pan (with a touch more oil if needed), then quickly fry until lightly coloured, add the stock, then bring to the boil. Boil hard for a couple of minutes to reduce the stock a little, stir in the maple syrup, mustard and lemon juice, then bring back to the boil, stirring well.

Return the pork to the pan and gently simmer for a further 3-4 mins until it is cooked through. Sprinkle with parsley, if using.

Friday, 14 January 2011

Daring Cooks January 2011: Cassoulet

Our January 2011 Challenge comes from Jenni of The Gingered Whisk and Lisa from Parsley, Sage, Desserts and Line Drives. They have challenged the Daring Cooks to learn how to make a confit and use it within the traditional French dish of Cassoulet. They have chosen a traditional recipe from Anthony Bourdain and Michael Ruhlman.

I have to say I loved loved loved this challenge. Cassoulet is something I love to eat and that I have wanted to make for ages but just been too lazy to do it, so I'm so glad this challenge finally got me to make it and I got to make confit, something I never thought I'd do. It took us ages to find duck legs, everywhere seemed to be sold out because of Christmas but we finally found some on Christmas Eve. I made the Cassoulet a couple of days after Boxing Day for my family, we had goose on Boxing Day so I used goose fat for the confit and the onion paste. I also couldn't find pork rind anywhere without buying a huge joint so I just used bacon to boil with the pork belly and beans and to line the casserole dish instead. It was so tasty and such a warming dish, a proper winter warmer.

Cassoulet by Anthony Bourdain and Michael Ruhlman (as featured on the Travel Channel’s “No Reservations”)
Serves 4 - 8

Ingredients for Duck Confit

4 whole duck legs (leg and thigh), size does not matter
sea salt, for the overnight (at least 6-8 hours) dry rub (the amount varies depending on the size of your legs, so just know that you need to have enough on hand for a good coating.)
2 cups/480 ml/450 gm/16 oz duck fat
a healthy pinch or grind of black pepper
4 sprigs of fresh thyme
1 sprig of fresh rosemary
1 garlic clove

Day One

1. Rub the duck legs fairly generously with sea salt, place in the shallow dish, cover with plastic and refrigerate overnight. At all times, keep your work area clean and your ingredients free of contamination - meaning don't allow any other food, like bread crumbs or scraps, to get into your duck, duck fat or confit, as they will make an otherwise nearly non-perishable preparation suddenly perishable.

Day Two

1.Preheat the oven to moderately hot 375ºF/190ºC/gas mark 5.

2.Render (melt) the duck fat in the saucepan until clear.

3.After seasoning with the black pepper, place the duck legs in the clean, ovenproof casserole.

4.Nestle the thyme, rosemary and garlic in with the duck legs, and pour the melted duck fat over the legs to just cover.

5. Cover the dish with foil and put in the oven. Cook for about an hour, or until the skin at the "ankle" of each leg pulls away from the "knuckle." The meat should be tender.

6. Allow to cool and then store as is in the refrigerator, sealed under the fat. When you need the confit, you can either warm the whole dish, in which case removing the legs will be easy, or dig them out of the cold fat and scrape off the excess. I highly recommend the former. A nice touch at this point is to twist out the thighbone from the cold confit. Just place one hand on the drumstick, pinioning the leg to the table, and with the other hand, twist out the thighbone, plucking it from the flesh without mangling the thigh meat. Think of someone you hate when you do it.

Ingredients for Cassoulet

5 cups/1200 ml/1100 g/39 oz dried Tarbais beans or white beans such as Great Northern or Cannelini (if you use canned beans be aware that you will need double this amount!)
2 pounds/900 gm fresh pork belly
1 onion, cut into 4 pieces
1 pound/450 gm pork rind
1 bouquet garni (tie together two sprigs parsley, 2 sprigs thyme and one bay leaf)
salt and pepper
1/4 cup/60 ml/55 gm duck fat
6 pork sausages
3 onions, thinly sliced
1 garlic clove, thinly sliced
4 confit duck legs

Day One

1.Place the beans in the large bowl and cover with cold water so that there are at least 2 or 3 inches (50mm or 75mm) of water above the top of the beans. Soak overnight. That was hard, right? (Beans will double in size upon soaking, so use a big bowl!)

Day Two

1. Drain and rinse the beans and place in the large pot.

2. Add the pork belly, the quartered onion, 1/4 pound/115 gm of the pork rind, and the bouquet garni.

3. Cover with water, and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook for about 30 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste and continue to simmer until the beans are tender, about 30 minutes more.

4. Let cool for 20 minutes, then discard the onion and the bouquet garni.

5. Remove the pork belly, cut it into 2-inch/5-cm squares, and set aside. (If you plan to wait another day before finishing the dish, wait to cut the pork belly until then.)

6. Strain the beans and the rind and set aside, reserving the cooking liquid separately.

7. In the sauté pan, heat all but 1 tablespoon/15 ml/15 gm of the duck fat over medium-high heat until it shimmers and becomes transparent.

8. Carefully add the sausages and brown on all sides.

9. Remove sausages and set aside, draining on paper towels.

10. In the same pan, over medium-high heat, brown the sliced onions, the garlic and the reserved squares of pork rind from the beans (not the unused pork rind; you'll need that later).

11. Once browned, remove from the heat and transfer to the blender. Add 1 tablespoon/15 ml/15 gm of the remaining duck fat and purée until smooth. Set aside.

12. Preheat the oven to moderate 350ºF/180ºC/gas mark 4.

13.Place the uncooked pork rind in the bottom of a deep ovenproof non-reactive dish. You're looking to line the inside, almost like a pie crust. Arrange all your ingredients in alternating layers, beginning with a layer of beans, then sausages, then more beans, then pork belly, beans, duck confit and finally more beans, adding a dab of the onion and pork rind purée between each layer.

14. Add enough of the bean cooking liquid to just cover the beans, reserving 1 cup/240 ml in the refrigerator for later use.

15. Cook the cassoulet in the oven for 1 hour, then reduce the heat to very slow 250ºF/130ºC/gas mark ½ and cook for another hour.

16. Remove from the oven and allow to cool. Refrigerate overnight.

Day Three

1. Preheat the oven to moderate 350ºF/180ºC/gas mark 4 again.

2. Cook the cassoulet for an hour.

3. Break the crust on the top with the spoon and add 1/4 cup/60 ml of the reserved cooking liquid. (Don't get fancy. Just pile, dab, stack and pile. It doesn't have to be pretty.)

4. Reduce the heat to very slow 250ºF/130ºC/gas mark ½ and continue cooking another 15 minutes, or until screamingly hot through and through. Then serve.

Wednesday, 12 January 2011

Braised Cod with Butter Beans and Mint

I made this such a long time ago, that I can't really remember anything about it! My Mum brought me back lots of fish from a little shop on the seaside in Northumberland and this was what I made with one of the cod fillets. It includes beans which I'm still trying to eat more of, and it had the most wonderful fragrant broth that I tipped it all into the dish and used extra bread to mop up. I used sourdough bread as the piece underneath as that's what I had and that worked really well too.

Braised Cod with Butter Beans and Mint (adapted from Good Food Magazine April 2007)
(Serves 4)

4 cod fillets, skin on
2 tbsp olive oil
1 bunch spring onions
large pinch saffron strands
2 garlic cloves, chopped
400g can butter beans, rinsed and drained
600ml fresh fish stock
small handful mint leaves, chopped

8 thick slices baguettes, toasted

Heat oven to 180C. Check the cod for bones and remove if necessary. Heat the oil in a flameproof casserole, add the spring onions, saffron and garlic, then cook over a low heat for 1-2 mins until soft.

Add the butter beans and stock, then bring to the boil and season. Nestle the cod, skin-side up, into the butter beans, then cover and cook in the oven for 10 mins, or until the cod is just done. Lift from the oven and check the seasoning. Add the mint just before serving.

To serve, put 2 slices of toasted baguette in a bowl, top with butter beans and cod (pulling away the skin if you want) then spoon the cooking juices around the fish.

Thursday, 6 January 2011

Jamie's Chicken and Mushroom Pasta Bake

In between Christmas and New Year I did lots of cooking to fill up my freezer again after weeks of laziness with cooking in December. I had a really lovely time making pies, soup and pasta and rice dishes in between painting lots of door frames in my hall way. They have now gone from green to white! One of the dishes that I made was Jamie Oliver's Chicken and Mushroom Pasta Bake (spaghetti tetrazzini), it fitted the bill using mushrooms and chicken thighs, both of which I had a lot of. I had the first portion today for lunch and I have to report that its really rather tasty.

I am adding this to this week's Presto Pasta Nights round up, this week hosted by Ruth of Once Upon a Feast. Check out her blog on Friday for the round up.

Jamie's Chicken and Mushroom Pasta Bake (spaghetti tetrazzini) (from Jamie's Italy - Jamie Oliver)
(Serves 4)

20g/a small handful of dried porcini mushrooms
olive oil
4 chicken thighs, boned, skinned and cut into bite-sized pieces
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 cloves of garlic, peeled and finely sliced
350g/2 handfuls of mixed fresh mushrooms, cleaned and torn
200ml oz white wine
455g dried spaghetti
500ml double cream
200g Parmesan cheese, grated
a sprig of fresh basil, leaves picked

Preheat the oven to 200ºC/400ºF/gas 6. Put your porcini mushrooms in a bowl and pour over just enough boiling water to cover them (approx. 150ml/5½fl oz). Put to one side to soak for a few minutes.

Heat a saucepan big enough to hold all the ingredients, and pour in a splash of olive oil. Season the chicken pieces with salt and pepper and brown them gently in the oil.

Strain the porcini, reserving the soaking water, and add them to the pan with the garlic and fresh mushrooms. Add the wine, with the strained porcini soaking water, and turn the heat down. Simmer gently until the chicken pieces are cooked through and the wine has reduced a little.

Meanwhile, cook the spaghetti in plenty of boiling salted water according to the packet instructions and drain well. Add the cream to the pan of chicken, then bring to the boil and turn the heat off. Season well with salt and freshly ground black pepper.

Add the drained spaghetti to the creamy chicken sauce and toss well. Add three-quarters of the Parmesan and all of the basil and stir well. Transfer to an ovenproof baking dish or non-stick pan, sprinkle with half the remaining cheese and bake in the oven until golden brown, bubbling and crisp.

Divide between your plates, drizzle with extra virgin olive oil and sprinkle with the rest of the cheese before serving.