I have wanted to use a recipe I had for fish kebabs for ages, and decided that one night after a big workout would be the night, however I had not read the whole recipe through, only the fact that it took 25 minutes in total which wasn’t true!

So I had to improvise a little and change them to patties as they might not have held on a kebab… this meant they worked out a little expensive as instead of two dinners and one lunch it only made two dinner but you could easily add some potato or make them smaller to make them last longer or just reduce your quantities of fish and make enough for one dinner.

If you are going to do large ones like this, I recommend halving the recipe and only buying as much fish as you would eat normally, i.e. 1 fillet per person, you could bulk it out with mashed potato if needed.

You need:
500g white fish fillets, skinned
250g salmon fillet, skinned
1 egg white
3 red chillies, finely chopped
4 spring onions, chopped
2 tbsp chopped coriander leaves
1 tbsp chopped mint leaves
2 tsp finely grated ginger
2 cloves garlic, crushed
juice and zest 1 lime
1 tbsp fennel seeds
1 tbsp coriander seeds
1 tsp black peppercorns

1. Remove any bones left in the fish and roughly chop, mash the fish with the egg white together, use a food processor if you need to, then add the chillies, spring onions, coriander leaves, mint, ginger, garlic, lime juice and zest and mix well.

2. Heat the fennel seeds, coriander seeds and peppercorns in a frying pan over a medium heat until fragrant, then grind in a pestle and mortar, before stirring into the fish mix, season with sea salt

3. Mold into patties, whatever size you wish and chill for 30 minutes (if possible, mine worked fine skipping this step)

4. My patties were quite large and I then griddled them for 10-15 minutes, turning frequently.

For a super healthy dinner serve with steamed brown rice (I added spring onions and soy sauce for taste) and a cucumber yogurt dip…

250 ml half fat greek yogurt
1 small cucumber grated
2-3 tbsp roughly chopped mint leaves

Combine all and season with a little salt

 So good, and very healthy if a little expensive!

So my little brother came to visit from Beirut this week, and after reading my blog was expecting a nice dinner so I couldn’t disappoint… and decided to make a curry, quite a rich chicken curry as I think he has been living on hummus!

I got the recipe from Madhur Jaffery’s Ultimate Curry Bible, this book really is a curry bible there are curries from all over the world and the recipes are easy to follow, this is the first one I have tried (it’s the Boy’s Book) and it came out great.

“Singapore’s curries are like no other. This South Indian-style one is a blend of mostly Indian seasonings put together with simplified Malay ease.

Hokkien chefs who cooked these hybrid curries have been replaced with Indian ones, with different sensibilities, but these curries can still be found in small restaurants and in most homes.

I have used chicken legs here but you can use any chicken.”

Serve with rice

2 1/2 tbsp curry power (madras)
4 chicken legs
3 tbsp groundnut oil
6 medium shallots finely chopped (processor)
5cm/2 inch piece fresh ginger peeled and very finely chopped
6 cloves garlic peeled and very finely chopped
15-20 fresh curry leaves
1 medium cinnamon stick
4-5 hot red dried chillies
4 small waxy red potatoes, peeled and halved
1 3/4 tsp salt
350 ml coconut milk
2 tbsp thick tamarind paste
2 medium tomatoes

Rub 1 1/2 tbsp of the curry powder all over the chicken pieces and set aside.
Mix the remaining curry powder with 250ml water and set aside

Pour the oil into a large pref. non-stick lidded saucepan and set over a medium-high heat, when the oil is hot, put in the shallots, half the ginger, half the garlic, the curry leaves, cinnamon stick and red chillies
Stir and fry for 5 minutes or until golden.
Add the curry powder-water mixture and continue to stir ad cook for about 4 minutes.

Now add the chicken, potatoes, salt and 250ml water. Stir and bring to the boil.

Cover, reduce the heat to low and simmer gently for 25 minutes.
Add the coconut milk and tamarind.
Stir and cook, uncovered for another 3-4 minutes.

This dish can be prepared up to this point several hours in advance.
Just before serving, reheat the curry if needed and add the tomatoes and the remaining ginger and garlic.
Stir and cook, uncovered, for 3-4 minutes.

As you can see it’s quite a thin curry and quite messy, so be careful and get some nice bread to mop it with, its delicious!

Jerk!

June 11, 2010

Once a month me and my girl-friends try to get together for dinner and this month it was my turn to host on what was a pretty miserable may evening.

To brighten things up I decided on a Caribbean/Hawaii theme, I made a Rastafarian curry, red coleslaw with a lime vinaigrette , jerk chicken and rice n peas, we all wore flower garlands and I decorated the room with palm trees and flowers.

This is a great idea for a party as I made all of the food during the afternoon and had nothing to do when my friends arrived, I made a big jug of mojitos, put some jungle on and we just ate and drank till we were way past full! I even cut a fresh coconut up for nibbles (as well as to add to the coleslaw)

This is a traditional Jerk recipe and should really be BBQ’d for best results however I cooked it in the oven this time and it was still very very good. This is from Eat Caribbean – Virginia Burke

This book has recipes from all over the Caribbean and South America and is amazing, many ingredients you will not find in normal supermarkets and so you may need to visit (in Bristol) St Paul’s or the Sweet Mart in Easton.

Jerk Chicken
Prep time 10 minutes… makes 2/3 cup

6 spring onions
1-3 scotch bonnets (I used normal red chilli’s this time as the girls are too into burning their lips off so if you’re not into spicy food but want to try I recommend this, or just use 1 scotch bonnet)
It is trial and error when finding out how spicy you lie jerk but I would say less is more when you’re starting out as you can add more afterwards if needed, just dab a little on your tongue when it’s done and add more if you want to.

2 tsp allspice berries or 1 tsp ground allspice
1 1/2 tsp fresh thyme
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp brown sugar
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp black pepper
1/4 cane vinegar / white wine vinegar
1 tsp oil

Mash all together with petal and mortar and marinade your meat, discard any large pieces of spring onion before cooking
Or to be super lazy you can use a blender to make this a thick paste

Some variations of jerk have lots of little added extras, the above is the essential items but you can experiment and add bits if you, some ready-made sauces might have ketchup, mustard, soy sauce, or rum (which I might try next time!)

Even Biggs the Cat wanted some!

Rice n Peas

prep time soaking overnight + 15 minutes plus 21/2 hours cooking
serves 6-8

250g/1 cup dried red peas (red kidney beans or gungo beans) soaked overnight (or cheat and use tinned and skip the cooking part!)
375ml/1 1/2 cup coconut milk
400g/2 cups white rice
3 spring onions
1 fresh thyme sprig
1 scotch bonnet
salt and black pepper

1. Skip this step if using tinned kidney beans (I do this every time works fine)
Drain and rinse the beans, place in a heavy saucepan with a tight-fitting lid and add enough water to cover them.
Bring to the boil and boil rapidly for 10 minutes and then reduce the heat and cook for about 2 hours or until tender, top up the water as needed.

2. Add the coconut milk, spring onions, thyme salt and pepper (to the cooked or drained tinned beans)
Add enough water so there is about 2 1/2 times as much liquid as rice and beans
(a tip from this book says that if you pop your finger into the pan make sure the liquid is 1 finger joint or 1 inch above the rice and beans, do this and the rice is perfect every time!)

3. Drop in the whole pepper and bring to the boil
Immediately cover the pot and turn down the heat down to its lowest point
Allow the rice to steam slowly for about 25-30 minutes, do not open the pot or stir the rice during this process or it will become sticky when finished all the liquid should be absorbed and the rice tender

4. Remove the pepper, spring onions and the thyme sprig fluff the rice and serve


I will post the Rastafarian curry and coleslaw recipes soon because they were also YUM!