30/08/2014

Jerk Chicken

I'm all for simplicity ...

I'm all for authenticity ...

I'm of the belief that all these "authentic" recipes are actually simple rustic, low-brow food cooked simply, over simple flame by regular people for regular people.

Recipe lists as long as you arm, methods which read like a Haynes manual, nah ... not for me.

I stumbled over a simple preparation which happens to be quite simply, Jerk Chicken ...

I have a glut of chicken wings, so chopped into mini-drumstick, wing and tip, I simply marinated it in my jerk seasoning for a couple of hours.

Jerk Seasoning

Scotch Bonnet Peppers
Scallions/Spring Onions
Fresh Thyme
Sea Salt
Black Pepper
Allspice

Amounts, I'm unsure, but blend a bunch of spring onions with a couple of Scotch Bonnet peppers, a handful of fresh thyme, then add in the salt, pepper and Allspice.

Done.

Yes, done.

... as in that's all, folks.

Jerk Chicken

So, we have chicken and we have the seasoning, so slop a load of the seasoning into a bowl with the chicken pieces and massage together.

Leave it a couple of hours, then pop into an oven spread out on a tray at, say, 180C and let it go for 30-40 minutes.

Here's fun ...

Leave the tips in for another hour!

The tips will dry out and you can eat them whole, bones and all ... it'll just crunch away. Easy. The rest, of course, you eat after 30-40 minutes.

Yum! I wolfed it down without any thought for you guys, so sorry ... no picture.

17/08/2014

Walnut & Mushroom Curry

After yesterday's lovely breakfast curry, I rather fancied another today ...

So, what do I have in? No meat, no fish. That'll be another vegetable curry, then. I have some mushrooms, some fresh peas in pods, an onion, some spices and a store cupboard can of coconut milk. I have a lovely large plum tomato.

That'll do ...

Walnut & Mushroom Curry
Walnut & Mushroom Curry
If you were after a formal set of ingredients, here's the best I can do:

Ingredients

For two people

For the curry ...

Small Onion
Ghee/Coconut Oil
1 tsp Turmeric Powder
1 tsp Coriander Powder
Half tsp Fenugreek
Half tsp Asafoetida
8-10 Chestnut Mushrooms
Handful Peas
Large Plum Tomato
6 Medium Green Chillies
Bunch Flat Leaf Parsley
1 tsp Poppy Seeds
Sea Salt
Black Pepper

For the sauce ...

Handful Walnuts
Half Can Coconut Milk
Couple Cloves of Garlic
Piece of Ginger

... and garnish:

Boiled Egg
Parsley

Madness

... I mean, Method.

I say Madness, since that was pretty much what it was. I often begin cooking with no real idea how it will turn out. Seeing what happens to the ingredients as I go, feeling my way with where it will go and just going with flashes of insanity when they happen ... that's ancestral cooking.

Take a large skillet and melt your fat - ghee, for me. If one of your vegan friends was round, you could make this vegan with coconut oil and omit the egg at the end. Scatter in the chopped onion and lower the heat so the onion can cook through slowly and caramelise.

I like to pour my spice mix in at this point, so, in with the turmeric, ground coriander, fenugreek and asafoetida.

Now, make up the sauce ...

When I opened the cupboard to get a can of coconut milk, I noticed the half bag of walnuts which really wanted finishing. Mushrooms and walnuts go together. What could go wrong?

So, into a receptacle, put a handful of walnuts, a couple of cloves of garlic and a bit of ginger. Pour in half a can of coconut milk and blend it up - I use a stick blender and found half a can was about right for a thick, but pourable stodge which form the sauce for the curry.

Walnut & Mushroom Curry
Walnut & Coconut Sauce
Back to the curry ...

Drop in the mushrooms, sliced; and a handful of peas, stir through, add some black pepper and some sea salt.

Pour in the sauce, wetting up with a little water.

Scatter in some poppy seeds and a good bunch of parsley, rough chopped. Parsley works better than coriander. Besides, I used my coriander yesterday and I have parsley today. Trust me, parsley works better.

Top and tail the tomato, cutting into a large dice. Add to the curry.

Raise the heat a touch and reduce.

Take your chillies, slit down the side and toss them in whole while the curry reduces. This will release some heat into the dish and cook through for those who like to eat whole chillies. Yum!

Meanwhile, boil an egg and prepare some rice, if that's the way you swing. I do, so I'm happy to do so. Steam off some cauliflower and crush - it makes a presentable and fast Cauliflower Rice.

Ready to eat?

Serve out a mound of rice or Cauliflower Rice, spooning the reduced curry alongside.

Garnish with a sprig of fresh parsley and your boiled egg, cut into segments.

Did it work? Damn straight, it did! What a wonderful curry! Walnuts are good for you, mushrooms are good for you, eggs are good for you, coconut milk is good for you, spice is good for you ... what a great meal!

16/08/2014

Settling Vegetable Curry

While I was out being wined and dined at the very excellent Prashad, Mrs made herself some pancakes ... with regular flour. Nice, I'm sure, but this morning she was paying for it after a bad night and continued stomach pain ...

Time for a healing Curry!

Having enjoyed Britain's absolute finest vegetarian curry myself the previous night, I was very happy to continue. Mrs does not like "Curry" so I presented it jokingly as an Ayurvedic Breakfast ...

Settling Vegetable Curry

Nothing planned, just a case of selecting a few vegetables. Spur of the moment.

I began softening a large onion in ghee, added in some turmeric, sliced garlic, black pepper and a little smoked sea salt. Softened, I continued with some shredded fennel, chillies (shredded) and ginger (minced), finally some sliced courgette.

Splash of water and cook on for a few minutes before adding in chopped tomatoes.

Cook on for a few more minutes, adding in poppy seeds and fresh chopped coriander.

Meanwhile, I made up a little green salad of rocket, avocado oil and cider vinegar, crunched up with some pine nuts.

Served out, the curry alongside the salad and complimented with a couple of avocado segments.

Breakfast served, tummies healed, the day ready to be got on with ...

Champion!