Rogan Josh from Jamie's 30 Minute Meals

Last night I had a go at making one of Jamie's 30 Minute Meals from his latest book.  I made the vegetable Rogan Josh curry, with his Lemon Pickle and Carrot Salad
It can be done or so it seems - as you see Jamie do it on his Channel 4 television series to accompany his book.  However, in my tiny little kitchen, it is impossible.  The only reason I must point out is that I have to clear up as I go, or I'd seriously have no where to move.  An hour and 20 minutes later I was ready to serve!   
The only thing I added to this recipe was a tin of tomatoes and a pinch of dried chilli flakes.  I must say it really was a very tasty curry, but I personally felt it needed the tomatoes and extra chilli.
I think you'll agree it looks delicious.
Recipe taken from Jamie's book: 
Serves 4 to 6
You will need:
for the curry:
2 onions
1 medium butternut squash
1 small cauliflower
1 fresh red chilli (optional)
4 cloves of garlic
A bunch of fresh coriander
½ a 283g jar of Patak's Rogan Josh paste
1 x 400g tin of chickpeas - drained
**I added 1x400g tin of tomatoes and a pinch of dried chilli flakes
100g pre-washed baby spinach
1 x 500g tub of natural yogurt

For the rice:
1 mug of Basmati rice
A few whole cloves
For seasoning: Olive oil
Extra virgin olive oil
Sea salt and black pepper

How to do it:
Get all your ingredients and equipment ready. Fill and boil the kettle.
Curry: Peel and slice the onions and add to a large lidded frying pan with a splash of water and a few good lugs of olive oil. Carefully cut the butternut squash in half across the middle (for speed I’m only using the seedless neck), wrap up the base and put in the fridge for another day. Quarter the neck length-ways, then slice it into 1cm chunks – no need to peel them. Add to the pan. Trim the cauliflower and remove the outer leaves.
Cut it into bite-sized chunks, and throw them into the pan. If you want some extra heat, slice up the chilli and add it now.  Crush in the un-peeled garlic (I peeled mine).  Finely chop the coriander (stalks and all).  Reserve a few leaves for garnish and add the rest to the pan with a couple of generous splashes of boiled water.  Add the Rogan Josh paste and the tin of chickpeas. **At this point I added a tin of tomatoes and a pinch of dried chilli flakes.
Season and stir well, then put a lid on. Cook hard and fast, stirring occasionally.

Rice:  Put the mug of rice into a medium saucepan with a lug of olive oil and a few cloves, then cover with 2 mugs of boiled water (use the same mug you used for the rice). Add a pinch of salt, then put the lid on and boil on a medium heat for 7 minutes. 

Curry:  Check and add a splash of water if it looks a bit dry. Stir, then replace the lid.
Rice:  By now the 7 minutes should be up, so take the rice off the heat and leave it to sit with the lid on for 7 minutes. This will let it steam and will give you beautiful fluffy nutty rice.

Curry:  Take the lid off. Do you need to adjust the consistency at this point?  If so, you can add a generous splash of boiled water, depending on whether you want it drier or wetter.  Or mash up some of the veg for different textures. Taste and add a pinch of salt, if needed, then add the spinach and stir through.

To serve:  Tip half the tub of yogurt into a small bowl.  Drizzle over a little extra virgin olive oil and take to the table.  Transfer the rice and curry into large serving bowls.  Spoon the remaining yogurt over the curry, sprinkle with the rest of the coriander leaves and take both bowls to the table.
 The rice came out perfectly too.  Jamie's 30 Minute Meals really is a book worth buying.

Lemon Pickle from Jamie's 30 Minute Meals

Supper yummy pickle to accompany Jamie's Rogan Josh from his latest book Jamie's 30 Minute Meals.
Of course this will go with any curry and it's well worth giving it a go - it literally takes a minute from start to finish.
Beautiful colours and dead easy to make.

Carrot Salad from Jamie's 30 Minute Meals

Yummy carrot salad to serve with Jamie's Rogan Josh from his latest book Jamie's 30 Minute Meals.  It's a brilliant book and if you haven't got a copy then you must put it on your Christmas list immediately!  
Fantastic looking salad that can be served with whatever you fancy - it doesn't have to be only served with curry.

A sort of Chicken Provencal

I'd defrosted some chicken with the intention of making a chicken Tagine and then realised I couldn't actually be bothered.  So, what to cook, what to cook?
Deciding that as there were olives, a bell pepper and a courgette in the fridge that needed to be used up, I made this up as I went along.  I think the best dinners are made up with what you think goes and what you feel like eating at the time.

Win a Christmas Hamper Full of Gourmet Christmas Food!

 Now, who would like to win a Christmas hamper? 
This ‘Christmas Joy’ hamper has been supplied courtesy of HamperGifts, who provide a wide range of Christmas Hampers, Chocolate Gifts, and Champagne Gifts.
The lucky winner of this prize (worth £46.95) can choose to receive the hamper right away, or they can choose a delivery around Christmas time, or even choose to send it as a gift to someone else!
**Below is an actual picture of the hamper which, as you can see, is so full of things, it was hard to photograph!

Christmas Joy Basket Contents:
Cottage Delight Trout Pate with Chablis 120g
Kathy Chocolaterie Assorted Belgian Chocolates 62g
Traditional Brandy Christmas Pudding 110g
Hand Made Honey & Sesame Biscuits 100g
Alice McPhersons Luxury Scottish Border Pie 400g
Belgian Milk Choc Mousse Pieces 100g
Cottage Delight Strawberry Extra Jam 340g
White Chocolate & Fruit Medley 200g
Scottish Butter Shortbread Selection 400g
The Wooden Spoon Apricot & Cinnamon Compote 340g
Walkers Handmade Buttered Brazils 250g
Rosemary & Thyme Cashews 130g
Entering is so simple – just leave a comment on this post
Before the closing date of Friday 3rd December 2010
 **Please note: 
This competition is open only to UK residents as HamperGifts can only deliver in the UK.   
Full delivery terms can be found here.   
More info on this fantastic prize can be found here.
Good Luck Everyone!

And the winner (as picked at random by the promoter of this competition)
is ......(drum roll please).......Pete Hardcastle!
Congratulations Pete - please email me and let me know where, and to who, you would like your hamper sending!

Good Old Fashioned Gammon with Pease Pudding and Carrots

Good old fashioned food has make a come back - this is Gastropub food!
The public houses in the UK known as pubs, used to years ago, serve pints of beer and a packet of crisps was about their limit in the way of food.  
There was always a man with a stall selling fish - cockles and prawns and stuff.  You hardly ever see this now, I assume because of supermarkets fresh fish is widely available.  Also, due to the low cost we can buy alcohol nowadays they have had to serve food in a big fashion.  Most pubs are now serving a wide variety of top quality food.   
Pease pudding, traditionally produced in England, especially in the industrial North Eastern areas.
It's made from split peas is easy enough to make yourself but I bought mine in a tin!  Produced under the brand name 'Foresight' pease pudding has been going since I was a kid - yes, yes that's quite sometime! 

New Basil Burst from Domino's Pizza - A Review

Domino’s pizza delivery service is brilliant and it's just the thing for when you’ve no time to cook.   
You can either pick up the phone to ring your order though, or of course, you can order online.  Just choose which time you want your pizza to arrive (within a 15 minute time slot) and it does!  As you would expect from Domino's it arrives nice and hot too.
 Last night we decided to try their new addition to the Double Decadence range ‘Basil Burst’. Basil pesto sandwiched between two tasty thin crust bases. 
 Paul (the husband) wanted to try ‘Basil Burst’ and I must admit I was a tiny bit concerned as I’m not a huge fan of pesto.  Now, I was pleasantly surprised to find I loved it! 
Whilst you can definitely taste the basil it didn’t over-power the topping we choose.  If anything I’d say it matched perfectly with the ‘Pepperoni Passion’ pizza we ordered.  Not too much, not too little, just the right amount of pesto in between the two thin crusts.
Pepperoni passion is topped with loads of pepperoni and is made with extra mozzarella cheese – total yum in a box.
 The Basil Burst crust is only available on their medium or large pizzas.  You can pick whichever topping you fancy from their mouth-watering menu. 
Another great thing is you can create your own pizza too!  Pick up to a maximum of nine from the nineteen different toppings available and the nice people at Domino's will create your perfect pizza.  You can even choose from six different pizza bases too.
Don’t forget you don’t have to be a meat lover – a great range of vegetarian options are catered for too.  Basil Burst is vegetarian nut-free pesto.
So, if you haven’t already tried Domino's pizzas why not place your order this evening and try it for yourself.

Apple Crumble - Everyone Loves a Fruit Crumble

So easy to make - apple crumble is at it's best freshly made and still bubbling from the oven. 
Try adding a sprinkling of soft brown sugar over the top - it will go slightly crunchy but will be a bit chewy at the same time.
 Of course it doesn't have to be made with apples, you can use whatever fruit you fancy.


Yum Yum Bento Box - Book Giveaway - Competition to Win a Copy

A great book full of ideas on how to liven up your kids lunch box.
Do you have a child that's a fussy eater? If you do, all you need is a little time on your hands and this book.  
They will soon want to eat their lunch - the only problem is, so will you!!
Well, now you have to chance to win a copy for yourself!
 All you have to do to enter is leave a comment on this post.  *Please note this draw is open to visitors from any country!  
Closing time is next Sunday (31st October 2010) at 4pm (UK time) and I will email the lucky winner.  
This competition will also run on my other site 'Gadgets and Food Reviewed' so to be in for a double chance of winning - just leave a comment on both the competition posts.
Just take a look at this example from the book - remembering this is all edible! 'Goldilocks and the Three Bears' now how lovely is that?
Good luck everyone!
***Competition now closed***
And the winner is..............

Nice and Spicy Beef Curry - Gordon Ramsay

Nice steaming hot beef curry, but it's only going to be good if the beef is so tender that it melts in your mouth.  If you like a bit of heat to your curries then you will love this one.

Having made this I think it would actually work in a slow cooker.  Just follow the recipe up until the lid goes on and it cooks on the stove top for 3 hours or so. Cooked in a slow cooker I would imagine it would have to be on 7 or 8 hours.

Spicy Beef Curry

Once again another bad picture due to the flash having to be used - am not very happy, but what to do?!  If you haven't got a spice grinder I can recommended this one by Krups and you can see my video review here!

Print Recipe

To serve 4 you will need:
1kg good quality braising steak - cut into cubes
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
3 tablespoon garam masala
2 tablespoons natural yogurt - full fat
a couple of glugs of olive oil
2 large onions
2 fat cloves garlic
a knob of fresh root ginger - grated to make about a tablespoon
2 good squirts of tomato puree (paste in the US)
1 tablespoon caster sugar
1 x 400g tin of good quality chopped tomatoes
400ml beef stock - made from a Knorr beef stock cube
small handful of coriander, leaves separated, stalks finely chopped
5 cardamon pods - bashed lightly so they just split
a small handful of dried curry leaves
4 fresh green finger chillies - cut in half

To make the spice mix:
2 teaspoons cumin seeds
2 teaspoons coriander seeds
1 teaspoon fennel seeds
1/2 a teaspoon fenugreek seeds
1 teaspoon of turmeric
1 tablespoon Madras curry powder

Cut the beef into bite-sized cubes and throw it into a bowl and season with salt and pepper. Sprinkle with the garam masala, add the yogurt and a good glug of olive oil.  Season with a little salt and a good amount of black pepper.

Give it a good mix so the beef is coated well.  Cover with cling film and leave to marinate for as long as possible. Over night is good but if not at least an hour.

In a dry frying pan over a high heat, toast the cumin, coriander, fennel and fenugreek seeds keeping them moving so they don't burn.  Just a couple of minutes will do - so they are start to smell nice.
Now put them into a spice grinder and grind to a fine powder. Stir in turmeric and curry powder and mix well - set aside.

Heat a small amount of olive oil in a large cast-iron casserole (of heavy based pan that can go on the stove top).  Add the onions, garlic, ginger and a little seasoning.  Give it a good stir and then cover and cook for about 10 minutes until the onions are soft, giving it a stir a couple of times.

Now, over a medium high heat, stir the sugar, spice mix and tomato puree.  Stir for a minute before adding the tomatoes, stock, chopped coriander stalks, cardamom pods, curry leaves and chillies.
Throw in the beef including it's marinade.  Give it all another good stir, then cover the pan with a lid and simmer very gently, stirring occasionally, for approximately 3 hours or until the beef is really, really tender.

Serve immediately with rice.  Sprinkle the chopped coriander leaves on top.

Recipe from Gordon Ramsay's Book 'Healthy Appetite.'

Pork Chestnut and Madeira Terrine

 With Christmas almost upon us, why not start getting prepared now and have a go at making this terrine.  Full of lovely rich ingredients - Merchant Gourmet Chestnuts, pork, juniper berries and Madeira.  
Impress your guests, it's easy to make and would be an excellent starter for either Christmas or Boxing day, at New Year or of course, at any dinner party.
    This terrine can be made in advance as it will freeze nicely - just double wrap in kitchen foil.


Dark Chocolate and Orange Cheesecake with Grand Marnier Liqueur

Rich, smooth, dark chocolate cheesecake with orangey bits and a hint of Grand Marnier liqueur - I should imagine this is a chocolate lovers dream.
  The orangey bits in the Lindt 'Orange Intense' chocolate used in this recipe really sets it apart from other orange cheesecake recipes.


Bag Roasted Chicken with Garlic, Wine and Lemon

Open the bag and your kitchen will immediately smell delicious.  Garlic, wine, mixed peppercorns and lemon has to equal yum.
Cooking a chicken in a roasting bag isn't a thing I'd normally do.  However, having given it a go the result is one moist, nicely browned chicken that melts in your mouth.
 Of course you can still get the same result without using a roasting bag, but there's something strangely exciting about adding the ingredients and cooking it this way, anyway, whatever, the oven will stay cleaner so there's another plus! 

Jan's Roast Chicken and Gravy Pie

 Jan's deep filled roast chicken and gravy pie made from left over chicken from your Sunday roast. Using roasted chicken gives the pie a lovely rich flavour. 
 Sounds strange but adding just half a seeded red chilli pepper seems to really make this pie.  It doesn't taste hot, it just gives the pie a little heat.

Easy Chilli with Vegetables and Puy Lentils

We went camping last week and I wanted to take something that was easy to heat up that night.  So, the day before we went I made a huge pot of vegetarian chilli.  
I was surrounded with chilli so I froze some and have since discovered it freezes very well.
I wouldn't have posted this seeing as the picture is so bad, but it was so tasty I decided to anyway. 
Since the nights get dark so early here now, my picture doesn't do this dish justice as I had to use the flash.  
And before anyone suggests it, I will not get involved with a buying a day light bulb and all that malarkey just to take a good picture.  When food is ready I want to eat it - no messing about for me, I always too hungry! 


Quick Portuguese Tarts from Jamie Oliver's Latest Book 30 Minute Meals

I've been very kindly sent Jamie Oliver's latest book '30 Minute Meals'.
Packed full of yummy recipes, I didn't know what to make first!
In the end I made his Piri Piri Chicken with these Portuguese tarts to follow.
  These quick Portuguese tarts looked good, but then did so many other things.
Of course I'll be cooking more than just these from the book, but a final decision was made today and here they are.

How to Make Chinese Chicken with Cashews

Now, who can not like Cashew chicken?  The slight crunchiness you get from the onions and peppers mixed with the spicy aroma of the chillies and the delicious sauce made from a few simple things, all goes to make something quite special.  
You certainly don't want any of those jars of ready made sauces they sell in supermarkets, claiming to be 'authentic' recipes.  With a little bit of effort, once you've done it from scratch, you'll be converted.

Chinese Chicken with Cashews

Once you've got a stock of a few basic ingredients there's no end to what you can make.  Even if it's not a true Chinese, Cantonese recipe - who cares as long as it tastes good.

Claypot Chicken Rice with Chinese Sausage - Lap Cheong

A delicious rice and chicken dish with a lovely mixture of flavours.  Once all the preps out of the way, it's all cooked in one pot.

So, yesterday saw me in search of a dried Chinese sausage!

Camembert Baked in the Box with Tiny Bruschetta for Dipping

Sticky gooey Camembert baked and oozing from it's box.  Serve with tiny bruschetta for scooping or dipping, perfect for sharing.

Baked Camembert

Camembert in box 
Perfect for two to share:
250g Camembert in a wooden box
a very tiny amount of olive oil
1 peeled clove garlic
just a half a teaspoon of white wine

How to do it:
Preheat the oven to 200C/400F/Gas 6
Remove the cheese from it's box - take off any wrapping then put the cheese back in the box.
This particular make has a sticker on the bottom of the cheese, so be sure to remove that too.  Make a good amount of tiny holes with a fork all over the top rind of the cheese.

Rub the garlic all over the top of the cheese - the smallest amount of olive oil will help you to rub the garlic over the cheese much easier.

Camembert in wooden box

Drizzle the wine into the holes. Slice a small sliver of garlic and place it on top of the cheese.  Put the lid back on the box loosely and bake in your preheated oven for about 20 to 25 minutes, until hot and bubbling.  Keep an eye on it though as you don't want over cooked or it will be running out everywhere.

Remove the slice of garlic and serve immediately while still lovely and gooey.

Baked Camembert

Tiny bruschetta:
You will need some (as much as you fancy making) day old small baguettes.
Cut into thin slices and drizzle a shallow baking tray with extra virgin olive oil and salt and pepper.
Press each piece of bread into the tray and turn over. Drizzle with a little more olive oil and add a little more salt and pepper.
Bake in a preheated oven 200c/400f or Gas 6 for about 10 to 15 minutes or until golden and crisp.
They emerge from the oven, crispy and crunchy and perfect for dipping.


Fiorelli Pasta Bake

 Saucy, cheesy, meaty goodness, just the thing served with a nice salad and a glass or two of wine (of course).
 Fiorelli pasta can be found (in the UK) in Marks and Spencer.  I'm sure you can buy it elsewhere although I can't say I've seen it.
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