Friday, May 12, 2017

Recipe : Purple Sprouting Broccoli Salad

A couple of weeks ago, I was at a book launch for Thomasina Miers latest cookbook - "Home Cook", where she served us a lovely sprouting broccoli on sourdough toast.

When we visited Osterley Park, I found some fresh purple sprouting broccoli at the farmers stand and I had to buy them and cook them immediately.

This salad is inspired by Thomasina Miers recipe from her cookbook, with my own twist on it.

1 bunch purple sprouting broccoli (will work with regular broccoli too)
1 handful shelled & halved walnuts
1-6 cloves of garlic finely sliced (depending on how much you like garlic, I used 6)
1/2 tsp olive oil (to fry, not extra virgin)
lemon juice to taste
pomegranate molasses to taste (balsamic vinegar will work as a substitute)
chilli oil to taste (or any other flavoured oil)
cheese to garnish (optional) - goats cheese or anything creamy combines beautifully

Lightly roast the walnuts in a pan and keep aside.
Warm the olive oil in the pan, and add the sliced garlic.
As the garlic begins to brown, add the broccoli.
When cooked to your satisfaction (I like it crunchy without the raw smell), take it off the heat.
Toss with the toasted walnuts.

Put it in a serving bowl.
Drizzle lightly with lemon juice, pomegranate molasses and chilli oil.
Garnish with cheese if you like.

Eat as is or on toasted bread.

If the broccoli isn't tender, halve the mature stems away from the heads and cook those first before adding the broccoli heads, so that everything is evenly cooked.

Thomasina Miers at the Book Discussion:

The Broccoli on Sourdough Bread that she served (pardon the terrible picture, but it was difficult to get a good shot in the crowd)

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Recipe : Indian Style Spicy Scotch Eggs - Nargisi Kofta

Scotch Eggs are a great way of using up leftover mince and they are very yummy too. I don't have any post-frying pictures, as they disappeared so quickly!

These ones were made with leftover low fat pork mince

I made this minced meat recipe of mine without the tomatoes or the peas. But you can use any recipe you like.

Take the leftover mince and potatoes and grind it in the food processor (add water if it isn't grinding & then later slow cook on a low flame to dry it out to the right consistency)

Add fresh coriander leaves and fresh chilli chopped.

You can fry these as it is for cutlets.
Deep fry them as meat balls and use in your favourite pasta sauce or Indian curry.

But to make Nargisi Koftas:

Boil eggs, cool, peel and dry completely before encasing it in the mince.

I sliced the eggs in half before covering with mince, but you can make them whole and slice before serving if you prefer

Dip in beaten egg & coat with rawa/semolina (optional - makes it crispy) and fry on a low flame with a little oil (they can also be deep fried)

I make this with beef, chicken or lean pork mince.

They get gobbled up so quickly.

You can even stuff them in burger buns or pita breads for a more filling meal.

Tuesday, May 02, 2017

Recipe : Chinese Chicken Sweet Corn Soup

Chicken, pork & sweet corn soup kind of day, today.

The basic recipe is from Gousto Cooking, but I added some chillies, extra ginger & garlic, lemon juice and leftover pork stock & some pork pate that was a little too chunky & gamey to use on toast.

The recipe below, builds on Gousto's recipe with the additions that I would use for myself.

For a vegan/vegetarian version, drop the chicken or substitute it with mushrooms/tofu and replace the chicken stock cube with a vegetarian stock cube.

The noodles make this a one pot meal. If you just want a plain light soup without the carbs, drop the noodles

This recipe makes 2 bowls of soup.

1 large chicken breast or 2 thighs - boneless
4 cloves garlic - peel and finely chop (or grate)
15g or 2" ginger - peel and finely chop (or grate)
1 tbsp Shaoxing wine (optional)
1 tbsp soy sauce (2 sachets)
1 chicken stock cube
2 wheat noodle nests
2 tbsp cornflour
1 tin (150g) of sweetcorn or frozen
good squeeze of lemon juice
10g (3.5 tsp) sesame seeds toasted
2 spring onions finely sliced
10g (3-4 stalks + leaves) fresh coriander chopped
2 - 5 green chillies chopped fine
1 tbsp toasted sesame oil 
vegetable oil - sunflower/canola
salt to taste
a kettle on the boil

Dissolve the chicken stock cube in 600ml boiled water – this is your chicken stock

Put the cornflour in a bowl and gradually stir in 100ml boiled water, then whisk to a smooth paste
Tip: the cornflour and water paste will help thicken your soup!

Put the wheat noodle nests with a pinch of salt in a pot and cover them with boiled water until they're fully submerged
Bring to the boil over a high heat and cook for 5-7 min until tender with a slight bite
Once done, drain and return to the pot with a drizzle of vegetable oil (this stops them sticking together)

Heat a large, wide-based pan (preferably non-stick) with a matching lid, with a drizzle of vegetable oil over a high heat

Once hot, add the chicken breast and cook on both sides for 3 min or until lightly browned (don't worry it won't be fully cooked yet!)

Add both the chopped garlic and chopped ginger to the pan, reduce the heat to medium and cook for 1 min

Add the Shaoxing wine, soy sauce and chicken stock, cover with a lid, and cook for 12-15 min until the chicken is cooked

Once done, transfer the cooked chicken from the broth to a clean board and shred it apart, using two forks – this technique is known as ‘pulling’

Drain the sweetcorn

Keep the pan of broth over a high heat and gradually whisk the cornflour paste into the broth until it's silky smooth and thickened

Add the shredded chicken back to the broth along with the sweetcorn and cook for 2 min or until hot – this is your chicken & sweetcorn soup

Divide the drained noodles among large bowls and ladle over the chicken & sweetcorn soup

Give a good squeeze of lemon juice over each bowl

Garnish with the toasted sesame seeds, sliced spring onion, chopped green chillies, coriander leaves and a drizzle of toasted sesame oil


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