Butter chicken

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This is the best homemade curry I have ever made and my boyfriend agrees.

Serves 2

2 chicken breasts, cut into three bits

First marinade:

  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 1/2 tsp chilli powder

Second marinade:

  • 25ml yougurt
  • 25ml double cream
  • 2 tsp finely chopped garlic
  • 2 tsp finely chopped ginger
  • 1/2 tsp garam masala
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin

Sauce:

  • 20g butter
  • 3 tsp finely chopped garlic
  • 3 tsp finely chopped ginger
  • 200g tomato passata
  • 1/4 tsp chilli powder
  • 1/4 tsp ground coriander
  • 1/4 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp garam masala
  • 1/2 tsp desiccated coconut
  • 1 tbsp peanut butter
  • 1/4 tsp caster sugar
  • 20ml double cream

Mix the lime juice, chilli powder and 1/2 tsp salt for the first marinade. Add the chicken pieces, then cover and transfer to the fridge to marinate for 1 hour.

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Mix all the ingredients for the second marinade and coat the chicken. Leave in the fridge overnight.

Preheat oven to 240C. Thread the chicken onto metal skewers and suspend on a roasting tin. Roast for 20 minutes.

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While the chicken is cooking, melt the butter in a large saucepan. Add the garlic and ginger and fry for 1 minute. Stir in the passata and bring to a simmer for 5 minutes. Add all the spices, coconut, 1/2 tsp salt and 50ml water. Simmer for 10 minutes.

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Stir in the peanut butter followed by the chicken and 50ml water. Simmer for 10 minutes. Stir in the sugar and cream and cook for a further 2 minutes. Serve with rice.

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Lamb curry

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This takes around 3 1/2 hours to cook but will make the lamb deliciously tender. Perfect served with rice.

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Serves 2

  • 2tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp chopped ginger
  • 1 red chilli, finely chopped
  • 6 bay leaves
  • 2 tbsp curry powder
  • 250g lamb joint, cut into chunks
  • 200g chopped tomatoes
  • 1 tbsp coriander

Heat the oil in a large pan and fry the onion, garlic, ginger and chillies until soft. Add the bay leaves and curry powder and fry for one more minute.

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Add the lamb and cook for 15 minutes until browned on each side. Add the chopped tomatoes, 150ml water and coriander and bring to a simmer. Reduce the heat, cover and leave to simmer for 3 hours. Serve.

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Tortilla pie

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Here’s an easy recipe. It’s a bit like a cottage pie. You still have the beef mince and vegetables but instead of mashed potato use nachos and cheese.

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Serves 2

  • Oil
  • 250g beef mince
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 carrot, peeled and diced
  • 1 celery stick, diced
  • 1 chilli, sliced
  • 1 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 200g red kidney beans
  • 300ml Beef stock
  • Thyme, chopped
  • Seasoning
  • Tortilla chips and grated cheese to cover

Preheat the oven to 180C. Put a tablespoon of oil in a saucepan and brown the mince. Remove and keep to one side. Add the onion, carrot, celery, chilli and garlic and fry for 10 minutes until soft. Then add the mince along with the red kidney beans, beef stock and thyme. Simmer uncovered for 15 minutes.

Put the mixture in a baking dish and then cover with tortilla chips and scatter over the grated cheese. Cook for 20 minutes and the make sure the cheese is all melted.

 

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Grilled salsa chicken

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With all this stodgy food you have to remember to eat your greens. This may not be a winter recipe but it was a refreshing and healthy change to all the roasts and soups.

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Serves 2

  • 2 chicken breasts
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • Seasoning

For the salsa:

  • 1/2 red onion, finely chopped
  • 1 tomato, deseeded and diced
  • 1/2 cucumber, chopped
  • 1 red chilli, deseeded and finely chopped
  • 1 tsp dried coriander
  • Juice of 1/2 lime

Cut each breast in half lengthways but not all the way through. Open each out flat and lay on a grill. Brush with oil and season. Cook under a preheated grilled for 5 minutes on each side.

Meanwhile make the salsa. Combine all the salsa ingredients in a bowl. Mix well and season.

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Serve the chicken hot with the salsa spooned over and around.

 

 

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Chilli harvest

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It’s November and I’m still getting a good amount of cayenne, jalapeños and Scotch Bonnets off my plants.

How’s your chilli harvest going?

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Review: Tropical Pepper Company Ghost Pepper sauce

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Ghost pepper sauce is made from the hottest peppers in the world – Ghost Pepper Naga Jolokia.

My boyfriend recently came back from America where he picked up a bottle of ghost pepper sauce for me to try. It comes in at a whooping 500,000 Scoville Units (Tabasco Habanero sauce comes in at over 7,000) however the Naga Bhut Jolokia is typically rated at over 1,000,000 Scoville Units and there are hotter sauces out there of this kind. I’m working my way up.

This sauce made my mouth burn and I got the chilli-sweats but it did have an enjoyable flavour as well which made it quite morish.

The bottle reads “More than one drop is suicide” and “This sauce will haunt your dreams!”. This is the kind of sauce used to test a real chilli-head.

It is available on Amazon for $8.99 for you to try for yourself.

 

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Moroccan grilled mackerel

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Serves 2

  • 2 mackerel fillets
  • 1 tbsp harissa
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • Juice of half a lemon
  • Lemon wedges to serve

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Heat the grill and make deep slashes in the fillet with a knife on both sides. Mix the harissa with oil and lemon juice in a bowl. Use a brush to coat the mackerel fillets with the paste. Grill for 5 minutes on each side. Season to taste and serve with lemon wedges.

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