Tuesday, 22 November 2011

52 Recipe Challenge - Week 20.

For the last few weeks I have been quite bad and have neglected making new recipes in favour of working on my novel for National Novel Writing Month aka -NaNoWriMo. I've gone from 0 to 27,188 words in 21 days! Not bad for a lapsed fiction writer.... Unfortunately I'm not the fastest writer so something had to give and it's been the new recipes.

Despite not posting I have been thinking about future posts for the blog and have plans for when my novel writing frenzy has cooled off a little more.  Tonight I made the Thai-Style Chicken Burger from Sam Stern's Real Food Real Fast, the original recipe can be found here.

To make this I used:

2 chicken breasts

1 crust of bread

1 teaspoon of lazy chopped garlic

1 onion

1 little red chilli and 3 more dried red chilli's

A sprinkle of coriander

A dash of lime juice

A few drops of soy sauce

2 bread rolls

A few teaspoons of sour cream

A dash of chilli sauce

Potatoes for wedges

 Some Oil

A sprinkle of chill, paprika, salt and pepper

To start I turned the oven on to 200c/ gas mark 6 to preheat, then I put some oil in a pan and then put it in the oven to heat up whilst I washed and chopped up some potatoes.

When all the potatoes were chopped into wedges I put them in the pan in the oven.

Then I chopped my onion up.
After chopping th onion up I put it in the food processor along with a teaspoon of my lazy garlic which is about the same as 2 cloves of garlic and the piece of bread chopped up.

Guess what I did next? I blitzed the lot up!

When this was combined I turned off the food processor and chopped up my chilli.

After which I washed and chopped up my chicken breasts.

Before chucking the chicken, chilli and a sprinkle of coriander into the food processor.

After putting the chicken, chilli and coriander in the food processor I whizzed them together, then stirred in the lime juice and soy sauce.  Once this was done I heated some oil in a frying pan as I moulded the mix into four burgers in my hands and then put them in the pan to cook.

Whilst these were cooking I took the wedges out of the oven, turned them over and seasoned them before putting them back in the oven.

I cooked the burgers and wedges for another ten to fifteen minutes until both were done.  Then I cut open the bread rolls I had and buttered them and put one of the burgers on each of the bread rolls and another next to each of them and took the wedges out of the oven.  My boyfriend dished the wedges up and we enjoyed our burgers with sour cream and chilli sauce.

This recipe was actually a big hit and I think it will end up on the menu again.

Monday, 7 November 2011

52 Recipe Challenge - Week 18.

This week has been a bit of a nippy one so instead of making a sweet recipe I decided to make a savoury one, a nice warming curry!

As well as cooking this week I have been marvelling at the fireworks going off on the building up to bonfire night and on November 5th.

I have also decided to start a new challenge and have a go at NaNoWriMo the novel/ 50,000 words in a month challenge. I used to write a lot and even did a creative writing element to my degree at university but since then I've hardly written and seemed to have fallen out of the habit. So this is my attempt to see if I could write a novel and to kick myself back into the fiction writing habit. Although this will take a chunk of my time up I'm still planning to keep up my blogging at the same time!

So this week I decided to try the Channa Masala recipe that Carly Mountain had published in the same edition of Now Then Magazine my curry recipe was featured in as it looked tasty.

To make this recipe you will need:

1 Onion
A handful of cherry tomatoes
4 Cloves of Garlic
10g Ginger or a few teaspoons of ginger powder
1/2 easpoon Turmeric powder
1/4 teaspoon Chilli powder
8 teaspoons Coriander powder
1/4 Garam Masala
1 Mug of water
1 tin of Chickpeas
1 tin of chopped Tomatoes
2 Sprinkles of curry leaves
1 Tablespoon of oil
1 Sprinkle of Salt

To start this I got out the ingredients I thought I needed and sliced the onion.

Once I had sliced the onion I put that, my garlic and some ginger powder into the food processor to try to make it form a paste.

When I was happy it was paste like I heated some oil in my wok then added the paste and started cooking it.

Before glancing back at the recipe and realising I'd forgotten to add tomatoes. So I turned the heat off the wok and moved the existing paste to once side, chopped some cherry tomatoes in half and threw them in my food processor for a few seconds.  Once they were blitzed up a bit I added the existing paste and mixed them with the tomatoes.

Then I poured it all back into the wok and started to cook it again.
I cooked it over a low heat and added the spices, stirring them in, then slowly added the water.
After the sauce had cooked a little longer I decided to add a tin of chopped tomatoes to it instead of sauteing some tomatoes in another pan them and then adding the gravy to them.  After a few minutes I decided to add the curry leaves, the tin of chick peas and a sprinkle of salt.

As there was a lot of liquid I turned the heat up to reduce the mix a bit, I also changed it by deciding it tasted a bit bitter so I added a sprinkle of sugar to the sauce near the end.  (I didn't add this to the ingredient list as I thought this was a matter of personal taste.)

After about ten fifteen minutes the curry had reduced a bit and we dished it up and served it with onion bahjis and naan breads.

It tasted lovely in the end despite all my fretting about tweeking the recipe but it made loads so we ended up having the other half as part of our lunch the next day!

Friday, 4 November 2011

Friday Favourite: Pizza!

I've decided that it might be nice to share a few of my tried and tested favourite recipes on selected Fridays...

This recipe is one we make most weeks and is a barometer against which I measure all other pizzas. (My boyfriend thinks this maybe slightly unfair to the other pizzas....) This is a great recipe for a treat or a cold day.

To Make this you will need:

For the Dough
125g Strong White Flour
A sprinkle of salt
A sprinkle of sugar
One 7g sachet of dried yeast
A sprinkle of oregano
150ml warm water
2 tablespoons olive oil

For the Sauce
One tin of chopped tomatoes
A pinch of salt
A pinch of sugar
A sprinkle of chilli powder
A sprinkle of paprika
A sprinkle of oregano
A few drops of lemon or lime juice
A squirt of tomato puree

or the Toppings
1 Ball of Mozzeralla
Half a block of Feta Cheese
A Quarter of a pepper
Some Onion
A few jalepeno peppers
Peppadew peppers if they are available.

Measure out the flour and sift it into a bowl, then add the sugar, salt, oregano & yeast.

Next run hot tap until it’s lukewarm and then measure your water, pour your water and oil into the rest of the dough mix. Mix the dough together with your fingers until it forms a ball then knead it for another five to ten minutes by pulling it and squishing it back together and punching it to get some air in it. My recipe says to do this until it feels soft and elastic but I normally do this until I feel tired.

Once you have kneaded the dough cover the bowl with either clingfilm or a clean plastic bag and put in a warm place for half an hour to an hour, it’s done when it’s doubled in size.

Whilst waiting for the pizza dough to rise I normally start working on the sauce and toppings, for the sauce I empty a tin of chopped tomatoes into a bowl and add the herbs, spices, lemon/lime juice and tomato puree. I mix the lot  together and then microwave it for a minute and a half and then taste it and adjust the seasonings to my tastes.  If it is a bit runny I will microwave it for a few more minutes to reduce it down and then put it to one side until I need to top the pizza.

Once the sauce is done I start to chop up my toppings and normally start with the onions and peppers.

I then preheat the oven to 230c/ gas mark 6 check on my dough and if it has risen enough I will roll it out with my rolling pin and put it on the pizza tray. (If I threw it in the air it’d most likely land on my floor/ head/ a cat and be ruined...)

When I’ve rolled out the dough and put it on the pizza tray, I put the tomato sauce on top, then I drain the mozzeralla and rip it into pieces on top of the pizza. After that I chop the feta as well as any jalepeno peppers or peppadews we have in the fridge. After I’ve covered the pizza with mozzeralla and chopped up all the toppings I pop the rest of the toppings on the pizza and put it into the oven for about twenty minutes.

Once it’s done I cut it up and then wolf it down like someone who hasn’t eaten in a week just incase someone tries to steal it. (It’s that good!)

My last tip is if you double the dough mix you can make your own garlic bread by rolling it out like a pizza and instead of topping with tomato and cheese cooking it for five to ten minutes then removing from the oven and putting garlic butter on top. (To make the garlic butter we just chop up garlic and mix it in a mug with butter then smear on to the garlic bread base.) Once you've done this return to to the oven with the pizza for another ten minutes.