Wednesday, 19 November 2014

Lush Yellow Vegetable Curry

Hey you guys!!

To continue on my comfort food season, you really gotta try out this beautiful yellow curry I made which is inspired from a few different things...
  1. My new found love of lentils. Lentils are so versatile, you can add them to dishes like curry's, stews, casseroles etc to add substance and bulk them up. Or they can be the star of the show themselves, they are a great alternative to carbs like rice or pasta but are mainly packed with protein and fibre... so they are definitely the healthier choice!!!
  2. My long love affair with butternut squash, it is always one of the first items on my shopping list when I don't have a fresh supply from the garden. (Shopping lists which I make, then normally forget to bring to the shops with me... although a new genius idea is to make the list, take a photo if it on your phone, and that way if you do forget it, you still have it on your phone... if you also forget your phone... just go home to bed!!) But yeah, butternut squash is one of my all time favourite veg, a great meaty alternative to chicken in this dish.
  3. Aroi Asian street food restaurant in Limerick City... possibly one of my all time favourite places to eat... ever!!!

So there you have it, this curry is simple and quick to make for a great family dish, or if you have a Slow Cooker you can have it cooking safely away all day while you are at work.

Lush Yellow Vegetable Curry with Garlic Griddled Slimbos

This is such a simple recipe to make up, you can go to the bother of making your own curry paste if you like but I find that the shop bought jar works just as well here. I always use Pat The Baker "Slimbos" for making up my own garlic bread.

Serves 4:
2 tablespoons of yellow curry paste
2 onions roughly diced
1 medium butternut squash
500ml vegetable stock
200ml light coconut milk
75g red split lentils
2 yellow peppers deseeded and roughly chopped
140g frozen peas
100g bag of baby spinach
4 Slimbos of your choosing
2 fat cloves of garlic


Method:
·         Prepare the butternut squash, you can peel the skin using a good peeler or carefully slice it off with a sharp knife. Cut down lengthways through the centre and using a dessert spoon, scoop out the seeds and stringy membrane, discard. Chop the squash into bite sized cubes and set aside.

·         In a large saucepan heat the curry paste on a medium/high heat, add a little water to stop it catching.
·         Add in the onions after a few mins and cook until softened. Add the butternut squash and cook for a further 5 mins (add a splash of water from time to time if needed).

·         To this add in the stock, coconut milk and lentils and bring to the boil then reduce the heat to a simmer and cook for 15 mins until the lentils are tender. Add the peppers and cook for a further 8 mins.
·         Stir in the peas and add the spinach to the top, cover with a lid and allow the spinach to wilt for about 2 mins, remove the lid and gently stir the wilted spinach leaves into the curry. Take the curry off the heat and allow to stand for a few mins with the lid back on.

·         In the meantime heat a dry griddled pan up to full heat. Drizzle the Slimbos with a little olive oil on the cut side and place them face down on the hot pan, allow them to toast for 2 mins and remove them when toasted and marked with the lines of the pan. Cut a fat clove of garlic in half and run the cut side on the toasted side of the Slimbos.
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·         Once all Slimbos are toasted and flavoured, serve with the curry.


Friday, 14 November 2014

Gorgeous savory bread pudding

To continue on with my Comfort Food Season, here is a short post but a belter of a recipe.
When I think of bread and butter puddings, dessert normally comes to mind but this recipe is great and versatile... a one dish wonder, a great meat dish accompaniment or even a wonderful Christmas dinner side dish idea.



This is a recipe I designed for Pat the Baker as part of National Bread week here in Ireland.

Roasted garlic and leek savory bread and butter pudding
Bread puddings are a fantastic way of using up bread that has gone stale, and let’s face it, that can happen to the best of us. But bread puddings don’t always have to be sweet; here is a great savory recipe for you to try. It can be a side dish to a meat or can be the star of the show all by itself!



6 slices stale whole wheat bread
250ml double cream
125ml milk
2 tablespoons roasted garlic puree
1 tablespoon fresh thyme, minced
1 large leek, rinsed and sliced thin
1/2 onion, minced
2 cloves garlic, sliced
Salt and pepper to taste
4 egg yolks


In a small sauce pan, gently simmer the cream, milk, garlic puree, thyme, leeks, onion, garlic, salt and pepper for about three minutes. Remove from the heat and allow to steep for another few minutes.

Meanwhile, cut up the bread into cubes. Put into a large bowl and add the cream mixture. Mix to coat the bread and let soak for about 10 minutes, and up to a half hour.

Preheat your oven to 190c

After it has soaked, mix the egg yolks in to the bread.

Coat a suitable sized oven dish with (roasted garlic) olive oil, or 6/8 individual ramekins
Pour the bread mixture into the dish, cover with foil, and place on a baking sheet (in case it bubbles over),  bake for 30 minutes. The pudding will have puffed up for sure. Remove the foil and continue to bake until golden brown on top. This will take about another 10 minutes. Keep an eye on it.


When browned, remove the pudding from the oven, let cool slightly and serve.


Wednesday, 5 November 2014

Comfort food-with a twist

Autumn/winter is upon us and I know, personally I love making up some real good comfort food, but remember, comfort food doesn't have to mean fatty foods...

All through the next season I will be putting up recipes that will warm the cockles of your heart but without adding another coat of fat. For me "comfort food" is food that makes you feel good, makes you feel pampered, that doesn't mean it needs to be layered in double cream or full of fatty meats, we can keep it light and based on a natural healthy balanced diet.There will be a few indulgent recipes included too... it cant be all angelic, we need the devilishly good food too:)

To kick start this season of good food I have this wonderfully simplistic fish dish, it is sure to heat up any cold body on a dark miserable night.

Sea Bass Fillets with Zingy Ginger, Chilli and Spring Onion

This simple dish combines wonderful Thai style flavours to really compliment the beautifully delicate flesh of the sea bass with crispy skin.

Serves 4:

4 x sea bass fillets, about 140g each, skin on and scaled
About 3 tbsp sunflower oil
A large knob of ginger, peeled and shredded into matchsticks
3 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
3 fat, fresh red chillies deseeded and thinly shredded
A bunch spring onion, shredded long-ways
1 tbsp soy sauce

Season the fish with salt and pepper, then slash the skin 3 times. Heat a heavy-based frying pan and add 1 tbsp oil. Once hot, fry the fish, skin-side down, for 5 mins or until the skin is very crisp and golden. The fish will be almost cooked through. Turn over, cook for another 30 secs-1 min, then transfer to a serving plate and keep warm. You’ll need to fry the fish in 2 batches
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Heat the remaining oil, then fry the ginger, garlic and chillies for about 2 mins until golden, add a dash of soy sauce. Take off the heat and toss in the spring onions. Spoon the contents of the pan over the fillets.
 


Thursday, 30 October 2014

TV3 Cooking Debut

Tuesday past seen my cooking debut on Late Lunch Live on TV3.
What a really relaxed and fun experience it was. The hosts Martin king and Lucy Kennedy made me feel really at ease as did the background staff and the shows guests. I cooked up my a few new dishes.. Roast Butternut squash Salad along with Chilli-Maple Glazed Pork Medallions.


Roasted Butternut Squash Salad

I just love the versatility of a Butternut squash, I use at least one per week, it is beautiful simply roasted like in this recipe, it can also be a great substitute for meat in a curry and it makes a beautiful soup.
This recipe has a great natural protein base coming from the squash, broccoli and lentils and minimal carbs from the brown rice so is ideal meal for after a training session… it also fills a lunchbox very well for the next day’s smash and grab lunch. It is a great recipe for kids as it is full of wonderful nutrients for growth.

Serves 4:

1 butternut squash, peeled, deseeded and diced (reserve seeds)
2 tsp olive oil
60g wild and brown rice
60g Puy lentils
1 head broccoli, cut into florets
50g dried cranberries
juice 1 lemon

Heat oven to 200c. Clean off the stringy membrane from the seeds, wash them in a sieve and dry using kitchen paper, lightly oil a flat baking sheet and spread the seeds on it. Spread the squash over a large baking tray, drizzle over the oil and bake for 35 mins or until tender. Bake the seeds for about 10 mins until they start to pop.

Meanwhile, cook the rice and lentils in boiling salted water for 20 mins, adding the broccoli for the final 4 mins of cooking. Drain well, then stir in the cranberries and add some seasoning. Add the squash seeds and squeeze over the lemon juice and serve.




Chilli-Maple Glazed Pork Medallions

Pork medallions are so easy and quick to cook… and with this sticky sweet, yet fiery glaze on them, they come alive in our taste buds.

Serves 2:

4 pork medallions
1 teaspoon of chilli powder
Sea salt
2 teaspoons of rapeseed oil
1 tablespoon of cider vinegar
1 tablespoon of maple syrup


·         Pat dry and season both sides of the pork medallions with chilli powder and sea salt
·         Heat a large pan over a medium/high heat, heat the oil and carefully add the seasoned pork, cook until golden, about2 mins either side.

·         Add the cider vinegar and maple syrup to the pan. Move the pork around on both sides in the glaze until sticky and caramelised on the outside and tender on the inside.


You can watch the show on this link (while it remains up)
 http://www.tv3.ie/3player/show/518/86255/1/Late-Lunch-Live


I will be returning to cook live on the show next Thursday 6th November... Stay tuned!!




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