Portugal Revisted…#porkclams

Delicious dinner tonight …remembering our time in Portugal last year this time Pre-COVID 19. Feel so lucky to have got there. Great people, culture, art, and food!

Portuguese pork and clam stew with roasted red capsicum paste.

Here’s my original recipe

Portuguese pork and clam stew with roasted capsicum sauce

Butter Chicken & Pea Pies #tastypies

This recipe combines 3 delicious things, my version of lite butter chicken curry, peas and puff pastry. My theory goes that skipping cream in the chicken filling recipe makes up for the butter in the puff pastry!

Lovely with just salad on the side and also great picnic food.

Prep time: 40 minutes Cooling: 20 minutes Baking: 20 minutes

Ingredients for 4 pies

  • 400g chicken thigh fillets cut into small pieces
  • 1 onion finely diced
  • 1 teaspoon crushed garlic
  • 1 teaspoon crushed ginger
  • 1 teaspoon cummin seeds
  • 1/2 piece of cinammon bark or quill
  • 1 teaspooon nigella seeds
  • Handful of curry leaves (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon cummin powder
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1/4 teaspoon chilli powder
  • I cup of water
  • 2 teaspoons butter
  • 1/4 cup of plain yoghurt
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup of frozen peas
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup chopped coriander
  • 3 sheets store-bought puff pastry
  • 1 egg beaten for brushing pastry

Method:

A. Begin by turning on oven to preheat to 220 degrees Celsius and take out 3 sheets of puff pastry to allow to thaw.

B Make filling and pies

1. Heat vegetable oil in a heavy based pot over medium heat.

2. Add cummin, seeds, cinnamon stick and curry leaves if using and stir until fragrant. Ensure cummin seeds don’t burn.

3. Add onions and cook gently until transparent and soft. Add ginger and garlic paste and mix through the onions.

4. Add cummin powder, turmeric and chilli powder and stir though onion mixture until just heated through. Take care not to burn the spices.

5. Add chicken, salt, nigella seeds. Stir fry until chicken is sealed, then add water and simmer for 15 minutes.

Nigella seeds add an earthy sweetness.

6. While chicken is cooking line pie tins with baking paper, then cut out circles of puff pastry to fit into bottom of pie tins, prick bottom of pastry with a fork. Line with another layer of baking paper, add pie weights or dried beans and blind bake in oven for 10 minutes until pastry is cooked and just turning golden. remove from oven and set aside.

Blind bake bottom layer of puff pastry to form cases for pies.

6. Add yoghurt and butter to the chicken curry mixture and bring back to a simmer, then add peas and cook for further 5 minutes until peas are just tender. The chicken should be cooked by now and the sauce reduced to create a moist filling without too much extra sauce left.

7. Sprinkle generously with chopped coriander and set aside to cool for 15-20 minutes.

8. When chicken mixture has cooled to lukewarm, remove pie weights/beans and top layer of baking paper from pastry cases but leave them in the pie tins.

9. Heap chicken mixture into pie cases to form small mounds, don’t forget to remove the cinammon stick.

10. Cover tops of pies with a larger circle of puff pastry crimping edge of uncooked pastry onto the pastry cases, prick top or make a small cut in top to allow steam to escape, use the back of a fork to Mark the edges, then brush with egg yolk and place in oven for 10-15 minutes or until tops are golden and puffed. Don’t worry if they are a bit untidy, they look nice and rustic when done.

11. Allow to cool/rest for 5 minutes or so and serve with salad. If packing for a picnic best to allow to cool for at least half an hour before packing.

Fish in Indian Crazy Water #fishbroth #crazywater

This an old recipe of mine which I haven’t made in ages but planning for dinner tonight. I have nice tomatoes and lots of fresh herbs so will wing the flavours to create a delicious broth for the fish to poach in, and I might throw in some potato to bulk it up for a Sydney winter’s evening.

Here’s the link to the original recipe https://freespiritfood.net/2015/11/08/snapper-in-indian-crazy-water-broth/

I’ll post photos of tonight’s version later.

Cauliflower, eggplant and green bean #curry #mixedveg

A nice vegetable curry is delicious just with some dhal and rice or alongside other curries or grilled meat.

The combination of cauliflower, eggplant and green beans with the warmth of mild Indian spices is a tenure winner. I love eggplant and in this recipe I use the long, skinny variety cut in discs.

The onion mixture with dried red chillies, mustard seeds and curry leaves is a classic base for many a South Indian curry and you really can’t go wrong with any vegetable combination you add.

Prep time: 10 minutes Cooking time: 25 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 1 onion finely diced
  • Handful fresh curry leaves (optional)
  • 1/2 piece cinammon bark or quill
  • 1 teaspoon cummin seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon fenugreek seeds (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon black mustard seeds
  • 2 dried chillies
  • 1 tablespoon ginger and garlic pounded to a paste
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1 tomato diced finely
  • 2 Thai long eggplants
  • 1.5 cups cauliflower florets
  • Greens beans, top and tailed chopped into small pieces (about a cup’s worth)
  • 1/2 cup frozen peas
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil

Method:

1. Heat oil in a flat, heavy based pan which has a lid, add cinammon, cummin seeds , fenugreek seeds, dried chillies and curry leaves and heat over medium heat until fragrant.

2. Add onions and simmer gently until onions are transparent then add turmeric, cummin powder, mustard seeds and mix through.

3. Add ginger and garlic paste, tomatoes and mix through, stir fry until tomatoes just start breaking down, add 1/2 cup of water to stop mixture from sticking.

4. Add cauliflower florets and cook for 10 minutes with the lid on.

5. While cauliflower is cooking, cut eggplant into discs and then add with green bean pieces to cauliflower mixture. After 5/minutes, Add in peas and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Add 1/2 cup of water to stop mixture sticking. Simmer for 5 minutes until eggplant is tender and going transparent but not mushy.

6. Taste to see if additional salt required. Garnish with coriander and serve with fluffy white rice or naan, or just as a delicious side dish with other dishes.

#Peas, pea shoots, broccoli and feta #salad

Another easy pea-sy salad that is delicious with grilled lamb cutlets and oven baked sweet potato fries.

Weekday dinners can challenge the imagination but the addition of a yummy salad to basic meat and veg combos can really make the difference.

In this case the addition of some peas and pea shoots, along with cubed feta cubes, a splash of olive oil and a squeeze of lemon makes for a great and very healthy side dish.

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups or so of broccoli florets steamed or just cooked in the microwave
  • 1 cup frozen peas cooked to al dente in the microwave
  • 1.5 cups of pea shoots torn it or pieces
  • 1/2 cup feta cubes
  • 1/2 lemon
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • Salt and cracked Black pepper to taste

Cook vegetables, combine all ingredients and serve.

Red #Kidney Bean #Dhal

I substituted the black beans with a can of red kidney beans and added 1/2 a cup of red lentils about an hour into the cooking, adding extra water to stop it from sticking along the way.

The outcome was delicious and I’d recommend playing around with this recipe with beans and lentils of your choice. can’t go wrong really!!

Here’s the original recipe with black beans.

Black bean Dhal with ginger, chilli, onions and tomato