Mung Beans with Potatoes

Food Blogs and Recipes

Mung Beans with Potatoes
‘Basket of Potatoes’ by Vincent Van Gogh

Undoubtedly one of my own personal favourites, this delicious combination of soft tender potatoes, with sweet tomato coated mung beans, never fails to satisfy when I make it, and I’m supremely confident that if you give it a try yourself, you’ll quickly become another fan of this truly ‘moreish’ meal.

Ingredients (Serves 4)
Slug of Olive Oil
175g Mung Beans
2 Medium Potatoes (Peeled and Cut into Small Dice)
Garlic Clove (Peeled and Grated)
1” Fresh Ginger (Peeled and Grated)
400g Tin of Chopped Tomatoes
Tbsp Tomato Purée
0.5 Tsp Cumin Seeds
0.5 Tsp Brown Sugar
6 Curry Leaves (Fresh or Dried)
0.5 Tsp Ground Turmeric
Medium Red or Green Chilli (Seeded and Finely Chopped)
Salt and Freshly Ground Pepper to Taste
750ml Water

How to Cook

1. Add the mung beans to the water and simmer in a small pan for around 30 minutes, draining away any excess liquid when finished.

2. Par-boil the diced potatoes in another small pan for around 9 minutes, draining away any excess liquid when finished.

3. Meanwhile heat the oil in a non-stick chef pan (or similar), add the cumin seeds, shortly followed by the garlic, chilli and ginger, before stir-frying until the garlic is soft but not browned.

4. Add the turmeric, salt and pepper, and sugar, and mix well before stir-frying for a further 1-2 minutes

5. Add the chopped tomatoes and tomato purée, and bring them to the boil before simmering covered for 6-8 minutes, or until the sauce has thickened.

6. Finally add the mung beans and potatoes and gently mix everything together before serving as required.

Comments
This awesome vegetarian dish goes brilliantly with warm chapatis, but is equally delightful with a simple plain basmati rice if preferred.

Haddock with Creamed Leeks, Beans and Parsley

Food Blogs and Recipes

Haddock with Creamed Leek, Beans and Parsley

Haddock is a great alternative to cod, and so this simple and yet nourishing dish ought to please most fish lovers, while its composition also proves that simplicity is always the key when cooking, as I am confident you will agree when you eventually get around to trying this recipe for yourself.

Ingredients (Serves 4)
Large Slug of Olive Oil
2 Leeks (Trimmed, Split and Finely Sliced)
4 Decent Sized Fresh Haddock Fillets (Un-skinned)
50g Green Beans (Trimmed and Chopped)
200ml Double Cream
Tsp English Mustard
Handful of Fresh Flat Leaf Parsley
Salt and Freshly Ground Pepper to taste

How to Cook

1. Place the haddock fillets on a plate, brush with a little olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper, before setting aside.

2. Heat the oil in a non-stick sauce pan (or similar), add the leeks and beans, and gently fry until soft and tender, straining off any residual liquid that appears.

3. Add the cream, salt and pepper, mustard and gently simmer in the cream until suitably thickened.

4. Add some oil to a non-stick frying pan, and gently fry the haddock fillets until browned underneath.

5. Place the partially cooked fillets on a non-stick roasting tray in the centre of an oven, (preheated to 170°) and continue to cook them for another 3-4 minutes.

6. Remove the fillets, place the cooked vegetables in the center of four plates, gently resting each haddock fillet on top, and then carefully spoon the sauce over the top before serving.

Comments
This particular meal is perfect with a nice side of mashed or roast potatoes, and goes equally well with a crisp leaf salad and chilled white wine, if preferred.

Cumberland Sausage and Split Pea Casserole

Food Blogs and Recipes

Cumberland Sausage & Split Pea Casserole

This is a deliciously simple, and yet comforting dish that can be prepared and cooked with minimum fuss, and is also perfect for this time of year. If you want to jazz the taste up a little, then by all means use pork sausages with chilli seasoning, or even paprika if you can buy them in your local supermarket, either way it will still go down well.

Ingredients (Serves 4)
A Large Slug of Olive Oil
30g Butter
8 Cumberland Sausages
Medium Onion (Finely Sliced)
2 Garlic Cloves (Peeled and Grated)
200g Split Peas
Small Bottle Red Wine
2 Sprigs of Whole Fresh Thyme (or 2 tsps Dried Thyme)
500ml Chicken Stock
6 Tbsps Crème Fraîche 
Tbsp Dijon Mustard
Salt and Freshly Ground Pepper to taste

How to Cook

1. Heat the oil in a non-stick chef pan (or similar) and gently stir-fry the sausages until golden brown, and then remove them and set aside on kitchen paper to soak up any excess fat.

2. Add the butter to the pan, and stir-fry the onions and garlic until the onions are lightly golden and soft.

3. Add the split peas and  red wine, and then simmer to reduce the wine by half, before adding the stock and seasoning, along with salt and freshly ground pepper to taste.

4. Cover the pan and then simmer everything gently for 1 hour, or until the split peas are tender to touch.

5. Meanwhile combine the crème fraîche and mustard in a small bowl.

6. Once cooled, slice the sausages into 1″ thick slices, and add them to the pan, before simmering everything again for a further 5 minutes in order to heat the sliced sausages through.

7. Serve equally into bowls and then add a hearty dollop of the crème fraîche and mustard mix on top before serving.

Comments
This dish would go well with either buttered mashed potatoes, or even a nice fluffy basmati rice if preferred, or simply with a buttered crusty bread of your choice.

Keema with Browned Onions

Food Blogs and Recipes

Keema with Browned Onions
‘Two Onions’ by Julian Merrow-Smith

This is a great example of east meets west, and while based on the traditional Indian ‘keema’ dish, this was adapted by us over years of getting it to suit our need for depth of flavour, as opposed to what was previously a somewhat bland and ‘safe’ recipe for undeveloped English palettes.

While this is already a highly adaptable meal in itself, it can also be used with a variety of ingredients and accompaniments, which means that it’s perfect for introducing guests to the diverse world of Indian cuisine, particularly those reluctant to try ‘spicy’ food, and where suitable, you can always use minced beef instead of lamb.

Ingredients (Serves 4)
400g of Minced Lamb (or beef)
6 Tbsps of Olive or Sunflower Oil
3 Onions (Two Chopped and One Finely Sliced)
4 Garlic Cloves (Peeled and Grated)
1” of Peeled Fresh Ginger (Grated)
2 Tsps of Ground Cumin
2 Tsps of Ground Coriander
2 Tsps Ground Turmeric
2 Tbsps Natural Yoghurt
Whole Cinnamon Stick
Bay Leaf
3 Whole Cloves
0.25 Tsp Ground Mace
0.25 Tsp Ground Nutmeg
Whole Tomato (Finely Chopped)
Tsp Salt
Tsp Ground Black Pepper
100ml Water

How to Cook

1. Heat the oil in a non-stick chef pan (or similar) and then gently fry the sliced onion until browned but not burnt, and then remove with a slotted spoon to a plate covered with kitchen towel to absorb the excess oil.

2. Add the cloves, cinnamon and bay leaf to the remaining oil and gently fry, before adding the chopped onions, garlic and ginger, stir-frying further until the onions are slightly browned.

3. Add the coriander, cumin, turmeric and stir well, before adding the yoghurt, stirring again as the yoghurt is absorbed into the onions.

4. Add the minced lamb, and stir-fry over a medium heat while stirring occasionally, and breaking down the mince with a spoon.

5. Add all the mace, nutmeg, salt, and pepper to taste, and continue stir-frying for 1-2 minutes, before adding the water.

6. Mix well and simmer covered for 1.5 hours, while the sauce thickens and to allow for more intensity of flavour.

7. Gently stir in the fried sliced onions and serve.

Comments
This wonderful meal can be served with plain basmati rice, noodles, spaghetti and most pasta shapes, and as mentioned above, can be adjusted to suit spice tolerances, while any leftovers can be readily frozen and used again for children’s meals, or served with warm chapatis alongside a simple Indian salad.

Southern-fried Chicken

Food Blogs and Recipes

Southern Fried Chicken
‘Kentucky Fried Chicken Bucket’ by Suhita Shirodkar

Enjoyed by millions of people all around the world, this is a simple recipe that we use when on the odd occasion, we decide to make a huge mess in the kitchen and eat with our fingers. As a word of caution please be extra careful when using hot oil, and ensure that you have plenty of space around you when frying to avoid any nasty spills.

Chicken Marinade (Serves 4)
4-6 Skinless Chicken Breasts (Halved Across the Breast and Lightly Scored)
600ml Buttermilk
Medium Onion (Finely Chopped)
5 Garlic Cloves (Peeled and Grated)
25g Pack of Fresh Coriander (Finely Chopped)
0.5 Tsp Dried Chilli Flakes
Tsp Salt

Chicken Coating 
10 Tbsps Plain Flour
Tsp Celery Salt
2 Tsps Ground Cayenne
Tsp Ground Black Pepper
3 Tsps Paprika
Tsp Dried Thyme
3 Tbsps Chicken Seasoning
2 Tbsps All Purpose Seasoning

How to Cook

1. Combine the halved chicken breasts with the marinade ingredients, mix well and refrigerate for at least 24hrs.

2. Combine the chicken coating mix in a bowl and set aside.

3. Remove the chicken breasts from the marinade and roll in the coating mix until well covered, before refrigerating them again for another 45 minutes to help the coating stick and set.

4. Heat 1-2 litres of vegetable or sunflower oil in a very large pan for about 10 minutes, or until a dropped in breadcrumb turns golden brown in seconds.

5. Pre-heat an oven to 175°C

6. Remove the coated chicken pieces from the fridge and then gently add introduce them to the oil one by one, allowing them to fry until a lovely golden brown before carefully removing each one with a slotted spoon and placing them on a baking tray.

7. Place the tray into the oven and cook the chicken on the middle shelf for at least 20 minutes before serving.

Comments
There’s little need to mention how best to serve what is already a staple fast-food meal for many, however you really can’t go wrong with a nice potato salad, corn cobs and some good quality coleslaw if you like it, and be sure to remember napkins for those greasy fingers too!

Smothered Lamb Curry

Food Blogs and Recipes

Smothered Lamb Curry
‘Tamil Girl Cooking’ by S Elayraja

As with any meal worthy of repeated eating, this curry proves itself time and time again when left to simmer gently over a period of hours, rather than minutes (which is an excellent rule of thumb when cooking any meats). And while confidently spicy, it avoids falling victim to an overabundance of chillies, relying instead upon the effective blend of spices, minimal preparation and a long cooking time to intensify the final dish. Try it out for yourself, and I guarantee that you’ll love it almost as much as I do.

Ingredients (Serves 4)
400g of Lamb Shoulder Steaks (Diced)
4 Tbsps of Olive or Sunflower Oil
Medium Onion (Finely Chopped)
4 Garlic Cloves (Peeled and Grated)
1” of Fresh Ginger (Peeled and Grated)
400g Tin of Chopped Tomatoes
Tbsp Tomato Purée
Tbsp Garam Masala
Tsp Ground Cumin
0.5 Tsp Ground Turmeric
100ml Natural Yoghurt
Fresh Chilli Pepper (Seeded and Finely Chopped)
25g Pack of Fresh Coriander (Finely Chopped)
Tsp Salt
350ml Water

How to Cook

1. Heat the oil in a non-stick chef pan (or similar) and then gently fry the chopped onion and garlic, stir-frying until the onions are lightly browned.

2. Add the ginger, ground cumin, turmeric and chopped chili, stir-frying for 1-2 minutes before adding the diced lamb, yoghurt, tomato purée and salt.

3. Mix well, add the chopped tomatoes and water, and gently simmer covered for 1 hour before adding the freshly chopped coriander.

4. Mix everything well, and simmer uncovered for a further 15-20 minutes, while the sauce thickens and reduces, and the lamb becomes soft and tender to the touch.

Comments
If you find that you’re not a huge fan of lamb, then this recipe works equally well with diced pork or beef, and is best served with natural yoghurt and steaming plain basmati rice, or even stuffed inside warm buttered chapatis with a topping of Indian salad.

Yellow Curried Chicken

Food Blogs and Recipes

Yellow Curried Chicken
‘Sunrise’ by Sudrak Khongpuang

Another Thai classic, this is a wonderfully pungent and yet feisty dish that is so simple to make, and yet never fails to impress with those who love their curries with less heat and more sweetness.

Ingredients (Serves 4)
5-6 Tbsps of Vegetable or Sunflower Oil
3-4 Chicken Breasts (Diced)
2-3 Shallots (Finely Sliced)
4 Tbsps Yellow Curry Paste
Tsp Curry Powder
400ml Tin of Coconut Milk
3 Tsps Fish Sauce
Tsp Tamarind Paste
Tsp Brown Sugar
200ml Water

How to Cook

  1. Heat half of the oil in a non-stick chef pan (or similar), add the chopped shallots and gently fry them until they are crisp and golden, after which you can remove the shallots with a slotted spoon and set them aside on one or two paper towels.
  1. Pour half of the coconut milk into the pan, along with the curry paste and remaining oil, and simmer on a low heat while stirring.
  1. Add the diced chicken, fish sauce tamarind paste, sugar and the water, before  simmering while stirring continuously for 2-3 minutes.
  1. Add the remaining coconut milk, cover and simmer for a further 30-45 minutes before serving with the crispy shallots on top of the chicken and sauce.

Comments
As with any Thai curry, this is best served with a plain basmati rice, and it goes very well with a crisp, cold beer to offset against the sweet and delicious sauce (which tastes even better when you combine it with the warm fluffy rice). Simply gorgeous.