Category Archives: Rice

Beef stroganoff

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Another week brings another veggie box delivery and this week I had a fair amount of courgette and onion.  I also had frozen some nice cuts of beef and given that I usually have a good supply of cream and creme fraiche in the fridge, this dish came to mind.

I did a quick search and loosely based it on this recipe from Rick Stein:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/food/recipes/beefstroganoffwithma_71568

After a lot of Italian and Chinese cooking, it was good to make a recipe from a different place; Russia 🙂

I didn’t have mushrooms or sour cream but substituted the mushrooms with courgette and the sour cream with a mix of creme fraiche (about 2 tablespoons) and double cream (about 100ml).

I started by gently frying the courgette and onion in melted butter with half a teaspoon of chilli powder (didn’t have paprika either!) for about 5 minutes.  I removed them from the pan before adding the strips of beef and cooked for one minute.  At this point, different from Rick’s recipe, I added the onion and courgettes back in and added the cream/creme fraiche mixture and simmered for just over a minute before adding the lemon juice and fresh parsley and serving with rice (not matchstick potatoes!).

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It is a really simple dish, quite versatile as you can see by the amount of ingredients I changed and really, really tasty!  Another happy Saturday night meal and giving some comfort before watching England lose in the World Cup! 😦

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Filed under Beef, Food, Herbs, Recipes, Rice, Uncategorized, Vegetables

Spinach, spinach and more spinach!

Following the veg box delivery last week, I had a lot of spinach in my fridge so this weekend has been dominated by recipes including this green vegetable!!!

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It started Saturday morning with Eggs and Spinach en cocotte.  I had done a cocotte before:

https://creationsfromlacuineta.wordpress.com/2013/12/21/oeufs-en-cocotte-eggs-in-pots/

They are really tasty, a real treat for a weekend breakfast so a good way to use the spinach.  Again it was really tasty and you can find the recipe I used here:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/food/recipes/eggsandspinachencoco_88059

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Next up was Saturday dinner 🙂  I really fancied a curry, so I did this Chicken and Spinach Balti recipe:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/food/recipes/chickenandspinachbal_86977

Really nice flavours from the yoghurt marinade and the spinach gave it something extra for sure.  I usually don’t have spinach in my curries and I’ve eaten a lot of curries over the course of my life so quite a turning point!

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And now this brings us to Sunday night!  As I’m writing this, I’ve been cooking a Ghanaian Beef and Spinach Stew for about 2 hours by now!

http://www.girlcooksworld.com/2011/03/shoko-ghanaian-beef-and-spinach-stew.html

It comes from a really nice blog which features gluten free recipes.  I didn’t have all the ingredients (serrano peppers for example) but I have suitable substitutes and also was able to add a couple of my organic carrots and some leeks.  You can see what it looks like below!  I just need to add the spinach and it will soon be ready to eat!

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For anyone who has not yet had enough of spinach while reading this post, you can find all the health benefits of spinach here:

http://www.bbcgoodfood.com/howto/guide/ingredient-focus-spinach

I should definitely be feeling stronger and ready to tackle Monday!!!

Thanks to the BBC for providing a lot of inspiration this weekend!

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Filed under Beef, Casserole, Food, Food blogging, French, Healthy, Herbs, Indian, Recipes, Rice, Slow cooking, Stew, Uncategorized, Vegetables, Vegetarian

Chickpea curry

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I’ve been ill for a few weeks now, with this week being particularly bad, so this recipe is an illness busting one!  I hope!  No meat or dairy which should be avoided with a cold and also containing chilli and turmeric which are good spices to help fight cold like symptoms.  I’ve been eating a lot of spicy food these days!

You can see the full chickpea curry recipe in the link below although I supplemented it with mushrooms, used dried ginger powder instead of root ginger and added some fresh coriander (which appears in the picture on the recipe below but not in the ingredients ;-)):

http://www.bbc.co.uk/food/recipes/chickpeacurry_2213

It’s a really simple, fast, straightforward recipe but with a lot of taste!  I’m someone who is reluctant to cook vegetarian food but with the chickpeas in this, it had a good texture so I didn’t miss the meat too much (I did think “ah, this would be great with some chorizo in also” but it is much healthier without it and cheaper too!).

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All in all, I think it took me only 15 mins to cook (mainly because of the rice cooking time) and is a really easy dish to cook when your fridge may be looking sparse!  If you have a jar of chickpeas in your store cupboard then you are pretty much there!

The jury is still out on whether it got rid of the illness though… 😦

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Filed under curry, Food, Healthy, Herbs, Indian, Recipes, Rice, Uncategorized, Vegetables, Vegetarian

Blogging 1 year on! – Razor clams (navajas) with chorizo, Seafood and cava risotto, Arancini and Stewed plums!

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It is hard to believe but one year has passed already that I’ve been blogging!  On average, I’ve stuck to my one blog a month rule but it is true that I was much more productive in the beginning!  However, to celebrate this one year, try to put this right and make the most of the fact I had friends staying who also love cooking, we managed all of the recipes listed in the title over two meals this weekend!  The cava recipe was chosen especially for the one year celebration 🙂

The starter was Rob’s inspiration following a visit to the local market:

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Razor clams (navajas) with chorizo, shallots and red pepper!  When I met Rob he was always quite random with his cooking ingredients, never measuring anything with sometimes amazing results and sometimes not so amazing… I think he will forgive me for mentioning his syrup sponge pudding which was more like a soup (although it still tasted amazing!).  Over the years he has perfected many techniques and is a great cook so now the random recipes are usually great too 😉  which included this one!

I’d never cooked razor clams before and it was quite a new experience as I discovered they were still alive while washing them.  They made some noise and were kind of pulsing a little.  I’ve come a long way with food but still, this gave me the heebie-jeebies!  If in doubt, you can find the definition here:

http://oxforddictionaries.com/definition/english/heebie-jeebies

We grilled them (alive! yes we felt kind of bad for some seconds…) for a couple of minutes until the shells opened and then cleaned them again (removing the dark parts) although I have to say thanks to Kristine and Rob for doing this dirty job!  In the meantime we had chopped up about 10 shallots (after soaking them in boiling water to make the skins come off more easily), roasting a red pepper for 20 mins, removing the skin and chopping and also chopping about 100g of chorizo.  We cooked the shallots, red pepper and chorizo in a bit of oil on the hob for about 5 mins before adding the razor clams for a couple more minutes.  Then we put all the ingredients back in the shells to serve.  We used about about 15 razor clams for 4 people.

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The next course was inspired by my blog entries.  In honour of the anniversary, the guest chefs had to choose one (or two as it turned out!) recipes from my blog from the past year.  They chose risotto and arancini but with a slight variation this time in that it was seafood and cava 🙂  Again we took the inspiration from the market and chose razor clams and shelled and unshelled prawns with Kristine being head of ingredient sourcing!  The remaining ingredients were shallots, asparagus, fish stock, rice and butter.

We snapped the asparagus ends off (using about 15 in total).  This was Rob’s tip for knowing how much to remove from the end;  bend them until their natural point of breaking and then all the “bad” part is removed.  We boiled the ends in about a litre of water for about 30 mins with 2 fish stock cubes to make the stock before blending.

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In the meantime we melted a knob of butter and gently fried the chopped shallots (approx. 10) before adding about 300g of rice and one glass of cava.  Once the rice had absorbed the cava, we started to gently add the stock, one ladle at a time, waiting until the liquid was soaked up before adding another one.  We added the remaining asparagus and continued this process for about 25 mins.

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We added 8 unshelled prawns and cooked for about 4-5 mins before removing and then adding the shelled prawns (approx. 12) and cooking for 2 mins.  We added a little more butter and ground pepper, mixed well and placed the unshelled prawns on top before serving.

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For the next day we decided to use the leftover risotto for arancini.  We used about a quarter of a baguette to make breadcrumbs and added flour to a plate and one beaten egg to a dish.  We rolled the rice mixture into small balls, rolled in the flour, then the egg and finally the breadcrumbs.  We cooked them on an oiled baking tray for 25 mins at 200 degrees.

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The final dish went through various interations due to when we were going to cook it and the remaining time available before their flight home!  So in the end we did stewed plums 🙂  We cut the plums into quarters, removing the stones and added to a pan with 4 tablespoons of water, 6 tablespoons of sugar and 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon.  We stewed in the pan (with the lid on) for about 15 mins until the plums were soft.  Fairly easy but delicious!

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I guess this must be my longest blog ever!  Definitely the most recipes at one time which is fitting for the one year anniversary!  I’ve really enjoyed the blogging experience and over this weekend, it’s been really nice to look back at all the recipes I’ve done and hope that I’ve learnt something along the way.  The best part of this though was to celebrate it with friends, friends who share the love of cooking and eating.  A very special occasion and photographic evidence is provided below demonstrating just quite how small this cuineta is!

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Filed under Desserts, English, Fish, Food, Italian, Recipes, Rice, Uncategorized

Oven ki murghi

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As I said in my last post, my aim was to blog once a month.  I think I am a couple of days late but it could be worse!  I had big plans for this blog being something new, something that I’d not tried before but in the end, I decided to go for an old favourite that I’ve cooked many times but never been disappointed with.

It is based on the following recipe:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/food/recipes/ovenkimurghichickenb_76546

Madhur Jaffrey is a very popular Indian cook in the UK and she was quite influential in bringing Indian food to the UK so a very good person to feature here!

I don’t follow this recipe exactly as I think pretty much any combination you make with it will give you good results.  I was cooking for 2 so I used only one large chicken breast and started by cutting this into four pieces and lightly browning on each side.

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Then I added half a chopped onion and half a chopped yellow pepper.  I think green or red work better in this dish but I had a yellow one in my fridge and was lacking energy to go food shopping!

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I cooked the peppers and onion for about 5 mins with the chicken and then added the ingredients to a glass cooking dish, layering the ingredients with the chicken first and then the onion and pepper.

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Then I added one teaspoon of mustard seeds to the pan (with a little more oil), cooked for about 30 seconds before adding a chopped clove of garlic.  I cooked this for about another 30 seconds before adding 3 tablespoons of tinned tomatoes and approx. 200ml of double cream and 1 tablespoon of dijon mustard.

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For the spices, I chose 1 teaspoon each of cumin, coriander, garam massala and chilli flakes.

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Once these were mixed in and the sauce started to bubble, I poured the sauce over the chicken and cooked in the oven for approx 30 minutes on 180 degrees.

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I served with boiled rice.  In the end I think these ingredients would be enough to serve 4 people as we still have leftovers for tonight!

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So now I have one month to think of my next recipe… I have a borrowed book that I could try one from; Mastering the Art of French Cooking (which is also featured in a great film; Julie and Julia 🙂 ).  I think if I do one from there I definitely need to set aside a good few hours so we will see what time is like over the next few weeks.  Also depends whether I can find the equipment I need from my very small kitchen!  I also think it is a little dangerous to start a book like that.  The assumption is that afterwards I will be a master of french cooking and I think that is a difficult promise to keep!

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Filed under Chicken, curry, Food, Indian, Rice, Uncategorized

Simple homestyle curry

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I haven’t blogged for a long time due to a general lack of time.  I’ve still been cooking and found the time for that but not to write about it as well.  I’ve started new Catalan classes which will be at least 8 hours a week including the homework involved so time will continue to be limited.  However, as we are moving from summer my recipes should be easier to find as I grew up on more of a winter diet coming from the UK.  I hope this is a big enough motivator!

So my reason for this recipe after a few month’s absence…the main reason is that I had some tinned tomatoes in the fridge that I wanted to use up!  Also it is a recipe from a book given by a good friend of mine last Christmas.  We haven’t spoken for a while either so I’m reconnecting with her as well as blogging!  It was also my birthday last week and I got a very nice present; a book to write recipes in so I need to get back into writing!  I can use the best from my blog now and in the future to make a nice book 🙂  I also want to make a note of some of my mum’s best recipes and I’m going home in 2 weeks so perfect timing for that!

This is the basic curry recipe from the book;  50 great curries of India.  It is onion based and a little time consuming as you cook the onions for 25 mins to start the recipe before getting to the other ingredients.

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I changed the recipe slightly from the book with the following ingredients (makes 4 portions):

  • 2 onions
  • 2 chicken breasts
  • 3/4 tin of tomatoes
  • 200ml of water (more if necessary)
  • 4 cloves of garlic
  • Oil
  • A little butter
  • 1 teaspoon of ginger
  • 1.5 teaspoons of coriander
  • 0.5 teaspoons of cumin
  • 0.5 teaspoons of garam masala
  • a pinch of tumeric powder
  • 2 teaspoons of paprika
  • Chopped coriander leaves

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I started off by cooking the onions on a medium heat in the oil for about 15 minutes.  The recipe states that the onions should start to brown and they weren’t so I also added the butter at this point to help and cooked for another 10 minutes.  While they were cooking I also chopped the mushrooms and browned the chicken in a separate pan.

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Once the onions were browner I added the spices and cooked for 2 minutes, stirring regularly.  Then I added the tomatoes and the water and simmered for 10 minutes before adding the partially cooked chicken and the mushrooms.

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I continued cooking this for 15 minutes while also cooking the rice.

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The end result was great!  Not spicy enough for my taste so if you like spicy food I would recommend adding some chilli (unless your paprika is already spicy).  I had strict instructions not to make this too spicy from my ever suffering dining companion!

It was good to get back into cooking and writing about it so now I will aim to blog once a month which should be achievable!

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Filed under Chicken, curry, Food, Indian, Recipes, Rice

First attempt at arancini

Not sure I am doing this reblogging correctly but you can see the original post which was my inspiration below!  Many thanks to Frugalfeeding for the idea (you can also access through the link below – it’s a great site with many mouth watering and inspiring pictures):

http://frugalfeeding.com/2012/04/21/baked-rosemary-and-garlic-arancini/

I’ve wanted to create this for a while and as I had so much leftover risotto, it was the perfect opportunity!  For the ingredients for the risotto base you can see the recipe below or here:

https://creationsfromlacuineta.wordpress.com/2012/05/28/risotto/

I left the risotto in the fridge overnight and then put a bit of plain flour on one plate, 1/4 of a baguette worth of breadcrumbs (!) on another plate and one beaten egg in a bowl.

I made 8 balls of risotto (for size guide see the pictures) and rolled in the flour, then the egg and finally the breadcrumbs.  I put them on an oiled baking tray and cooked in the oven for about 25 minutes on 200 degrees by which time they had a nice golden colour.

The result;  great!  Very tasty and a nice alternative to traditional risotto.  I think they would be great as a starter to a dinner party.  However, I love risotto and for me, it is quite a time investment so I think unless I had a lot of leftovers, I would serve risotto as risotto, plain and simple!

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Filed under Chicken, Food, Herbs, Italian, Recipes, Rice, Starter, Uncategorized