Friday, August 31, 2012

20120831 Egg and Lentil Curry

(SOURCE: Delia Smith's Egg and Lentil Curry with Coconut and Pickled Lime)

This dish is easy to make and you can easily find all the ingredients in your cupboard. As I love my lentils all mushy, I will soak the lentils for about 2-3 hours later before cooking. I served the lentils with some plain basmati rice, but I think it would go much better with some plain naan bread.

2 large hard/soft boiled eggs, halved
75g green lentils, soaked in warm water for an hour and then drained
75g creamed coconut
1 large onion, finely chopped
2 fat garlic cloves, pressed
2.5cm piece root ginger, grated
3 cardamom pods, crushed
1 tsp cumin seeds
1tsp fennel seeds
1tsp coriander seeds
1tsp turmeric powder
1tsp fenugreek powder
dash of chilli powder
2 tbsp olive oil
salt and pepper

1. Dissolve the creamed coconut in a jug with 1 pint of boiling water.
2. Toss the whole spices in a frying pan over medium heat for 2-3 minutes, or until they start to jump. Tip them into a mortar and crush.
3. Heat the oil in the pan over high heat, and brown the onions until they are dark at the edges. Lower the heat to medium and add chilli, ginger, garlic, turmeric, fenugreek, and the finely crushed roasted spices. Stir everything together.
4. Stir in the drained lentils and add the coconut liquid. Bring to the boil, put the lid on, and lower the heat to simmer for about an hour. Stir occasionally. Season with salt and pepper shortly before removing the pan from heat.
5. Spoon the lentils over some plain rice, and lay the halved eggs on top of the curry.

Friday, August 24, 2012

20120824 Pan-fried Chicken Wings

When my mom was here, she made pan fried chicken wings a couple of times and my hubby was hooked. My mom makes the best pan fried chicken wings - they are crispy on the outside and juicy in the inside. So when I asked her for the secret recipe, she simply said "Patience". Huh? I didn't understand what she meant until now. My first batch of chicken wings was a bit burned as I was tired of flipping the wings and decided to turn the heat up to speed up the process - big mistake! So I threw in an extra dose of patience for my second and third batches, and they were simply brilliant. It is a great way of meditation as you can simply let your mind wander while flipping the chicken wings.

900g chicken wings, drained and wiped dry
1 tbsp dried thyme, bruised
freshly grounded black pepper
olive oil

1. Marinate the chicken wings with thyme and salt and pepper for at least an hour.
2. Heat some olive oil in a non stick pan and fry the chicken wings in batches over medium high heat. Cook the chicken wings for about 15 minutes, and remember to turn them every 2-3 minutes. Sprinkle some salt over the wings halfway through for extra crispness.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

20120822 Chicken Pasta Salad

The Netherlands has a "tropical summer" this year as it has been 30+ degree C for the last couple of weeks. So I am too lazy to cook, and have made this easy pasta salad several times already. It's easy and yummy, so why not?

250g cooked pasta
3 hard boiled eggs, cut into small cubes
1 small can of sweet corn, drained
1/3 cup diced pickles
1 cup chicken, cooked and shredded
dried dille
freshly grounded four-season pepper
2-3 tbsp mayonnaise

1. In a large bowl, mix the first five ingredients. Mix in as little/much mayo as you like. Season with dille and pepper. Voila!

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

20120808 Meatloaf

I need to get rid of the pack of ground beef in the freezer. What should I make? Meatloaf, of course! I have several sad looking celery sticks sitting in the fridge, so I chopped them up and threw them in too. The first time I made a meatloaf, I followed a recipe I found on the internet and measured everything precisely. But now? I simply throw in whatever feels right. And the meatloaf tasted pretty juicy and yummy. The joy of cooking!

2 small onions, finely chopped
2 sticks of celery, finely chopped
1 small carrot, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
500g ground beef
1 tbsp dried parsley
1/2 cup bread crumbs
1/3 cup ketchup (Plus more to smear on top of the loaf)
2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
2 eggs
olive oil
salt and freshly grounded black pepper

1. Heat oven to 175 degree C.
2. Heat some olive oil in a pan and cook the onion, celery, carrots, and garlic for about 5 minutes.
3. In a large bowl, mix the cooked vegetables and the rest of the ingredients together. Put into a loaf pan and cover the loaf with a thick layer of ketchup. Cook in the oven for an hour.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

20120805 Chicken Enchiladas

Enchiladas are easy to make and very yummy, so they are perfect for weekend dinner. I usually made this with chicken and onions only, but as I have a red bell pepper sitting quietly in the fridge, I thought I would add it to the dish too. Who knows, it actually gives the enchiladas more flavor and texture - thumbs up!

2 cups cooked and shredded chicken
1 onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 red bell pepper, finely chopped
1 cup, freshly chopped coriander leaves
8 soft tortilla wraps
1 cup creme fraiche
1 cup taco sauce
grated cheese
olive oil
salt and freshly grounded black pepper

1. Heat the oven to 175 degree C.
2. In a bowl, mix the creme fraiche and taco sauce together. Spread 1/3 of the cream and taco sauce mixture in a baking dish.
3. Heat some olive oil in a pan and fry the garlic and onion until fragrant. Add the chicken and pepper and cook until pepper turns soft. Lastly add coriander leaves and mix well. Remove pan from heat.
4. Spoon the chicken mixture into a tortilla, top with 1 tbsp of cheese, roll up. Place the enchilada seem side down into the baking dish. Repeat and make 8 enchiladas.
5. Pour the remaining cream and taco sauce over the enchiladas. Cover the dish with foil and cook in the oven for 20 minutes.
6. Generously sprinkle cheese over the enchiladas and cook in the oven (uncovered) for a furtther 10 minutes, or until the cheese turns nice and golden.

Saturday, August 4, 2012

20120804 Parmesan Fish

I love the cheesy, crumbly top that reminds me of McDonald's fish-o-filet - a fancier version of it anyways. But the best thing about this dish is the lemony butter. It just gives the fish a lovely refreshing twist. My husband said (I quote), "It tastes buttery but not too greasy because of the citrusy flavor. I like it!". And my husband usually dislikes seafood, by the way.

4 thick fish filets
3 tbsp freshly chopped parsley
50g freshly grated parmesan cheese
1/2 cup bread crumbs
juice and zest of 1 lemon
olive oil
50g butter, cut into small cubes
salt and freshly grated white pepper

1. Grease a baking dish. In a small bowl, mix together the bread crumbs, lemon zest, parmesan cheese, and parsley.
2. Season the fish filets with salt and white pepper. Heat some olive oil in a pan and cook the filets for about 2-3 minutes on each side.
3. Transfer the filets to the baking dish, and cover the filets with the parmesan mixture. Put the butter cubes around the filets and sprinkle lemon juice all over the dish.
4. Cook the filets under a hot grill for 5-10 minutes, or until the top is golden brown.