Friday, 22 April 2016

No Name Chicken

If you've ever been to Koh Samui, Koh Phangan or Koh Tao in Thailand, you may have come across these delicious deep fried snacks. The recipe appears to be a bit of a secret, but I have finally managed to uncover it.
I am tempted to keep it a secret, just for the fun of it, but hey. It isn't really that difficult to figure out. 

Ingredients: (makes about 18 No Names)

150g tempura batter mix (you can make your own of course)
1 egg
150ml sparkling water
A selection of vegetables, peanuts and chicken all diced up quite small.
I used onion, bok choy, peppers and soy beans. But any soft vegetables are good.
Use as much as it takes to fill the batter with goodies. 

Heat oil for deep frying in a suitable pan. Drop a tiny bit of batter in the oil, to see if it starts frying. Once it does drop spoonfuls carefully into the oil. Don't overcrowd the pan. The fritters will fry away happily and turn them self around as they cook, if they have enough room to move. However you can give them a little hand if they don't. 
Once they have an appetising golden brown colour they are ready to be fished out with a slotted spoon and placed on kitchen roll to drain any excess oil.
They must be served with sweet chilli sauce. 
Careful! Leave them to cool a little before you take your fist desperate bite ;)

Tuesday, 15 March 2016

Cod & Clams

This dish is very loosely inspired by Bacalao en salsa verde. It is more light and fresh and almost like Moules Mariniere. I think it's very delicious and I want to share it with you. 

1 piece of fresh cod filet about 350g
500g frozen or fresh small clams
1 small bunch of parsley
1mug of frozen peas
5 garlic cloves, sliced
100ml white wine
50ml olive oil
1tbs Plain flour 
Salt and pepper

Add the flour with a good seasoning of salt and pepper to a bowl. Cut the cod into 1inch chunks and toss it in the flour until coated all over. 
Heat the oil in a large pan and fry the cod prices carefully for a couple of minutes. Turn them once (carefully not to break them) then fry for another 2 minutes. 
Now take the pan of the heat and take the cod out and place on a plate, waiting to join the pan again later.
Now add the garlic to the oil in the pan. Heat until it sizzles but don't let it brown. Add the white wine and bring to a simmer. Now add the peas and bring back to a simmer. Next add the parsley and let it come back to a simmer.
Then the clams can go in. They will literally open instantly. Once open, add the cod back in and cover with a lid to let the heat and flavour mingle for just a couple of minutes. 

As soon as everything is nice and hot, ladle into warm bowls and serve with some crusty bread to soak up all the wonderful juices. 

Bon Apetit! Enjoy this one!

Monday, 14 March 2016

Mentaiko pasta (Spicy Cod Roe)

Mentaiko is a Japanese spicy cod roe. Obviously not easily available in other countries, but that's not going to deter me! In Britain's supermarkets cod roe can be found in perfectly sized 200g tins. Great for making Taramasalata, but today I'm using it for a little Italian- Japanese fusion. This pasta is creamy and spicy and mildly seafoody. It's one of those dishes where the pasta shines through, so using a good quality brand does make a difference. 

Ingredients: serves 2

1 200g tin Cod Roe
200g dry linguine or spaghetti
A big glug of mild olive oil
1minced garlic clove
1tbs minced chilli
1/2 a lemons juice
a few sprinkles of mustard cress
Nori leaf snipped into strips for garnish

Cook the pasta following packet instruction.
Into a big bowl add the cod roe, garlic, lemon juice, chilli, cress and olive oil. Stir together and that's the sauce made.
When the pasta is perfectly cooked add it straight to the sauce in the bowl. Stir everything together and adjust the sauciness with some of the pasta water.
Serve straight away in warm bowl and garnish with the nori strips. 

Eat! Slurp! Oiishi!

Friday, 11 March 2016

Sayur Lodeh, Spicy Vegetable Curry

This is my version of a beautiful Southeast Asian vegetable curry. I'm calling it Sayor Lodeh, after the Malaysian Curry from which I have been inspired, but it is not an authentic recipe. It is also not strictly vegetarian, but if you want it to be, then the non veg ingredients can easily be substituted.
The most important part of this dish is the cabbage. You will be surprised how wonderfully sweet it becomes in the spicy curry, and the texture is just lovely, soft and springy. 
My version is very spicy, but that's important. A vegetable curry can easily become bland and boring in my opinion. So the fruity spiciness makes it really interesting and will leave you craving for more.

These go together into a blender:
1 mug of coconut cream
1 mug of chicken stock
1 tbs Thai yellow curry paste
1 tsp chilli sambal
A few shakes of Thai fish sauce
1 whole scotch bonnet pepper
1 tbs palm sugar 
1 tsp shrimp paste
About 7 macadamia nuts

Whizz this lot into a smooth soup. Sometimes the macadamia nuts don't blend completely, but that makes it a nice surprise when you come across one in the finished dish.
Pour this into a large pot and add your choice of vegetables.
I sometimes add some fried tofu and sometimes prawns or even some chicken, but the main ingredients are the vegetables and more importantly the cabbage.
I'm going to give a few examples of vegetables that I would include. The more variety the merrier!

White Cabbage
Butternut squash
Green beans
Mange tout
Sugar snap peas
Pea aubergine 
Baby sweetcorn
Butter beans
And the list could go on, but that's my favourites.

Cut the vegetables into suitable chunks. Add the ones that need longer cooking first, then follow with the delicate ones towards the end of cooking. Simply bring the curry to a simmer and cook with a lid on for about 20 minutes.
The result should be a fairly soupy curry with hearty and spicy depth of flavour. It eats well with just steamed rice, but I also like to ladle it over noodles for a lovely curry noodle soup.

Eat, be happy and Bon Apetit!

Wednesday, 9 March 2016

Rice & Peas

Classic Caribbean dish. Easy to make by not many people actually know how exactly it's made. Of course there are many ways to cook rice and everyone has a favourite. Here's mine.

1 mug of long grain rice (not the parboiled stuff)
1 mug of chicken stock
1 tin of beans (I used Borlotti Beans, but Kidney beans or even Black beans are good)
1tbs Coconut powder
A few stalks of fresh thyme, leafs only
A pinch of allspice
1large pinch of sea salt
1scotch bonnet pepper

Place your rinsed beans and rice into a pot. Mix the chicken stock with the coconut powder and add to the pot. Add the seasonings and place the whole scotch bonnet on top.
Bring to a simmer. Once simmering stir once carefully with a fork, then put a lid on. Turn the heat to very low and cook for 15 minutes. Do not take the lid off! Leave to rest for a further 15 minutes. Now it's ready. Fork through the rice gently before serving.

Eat! Feel good! Do a little twerk.
Bon Apetit!

Tuesday, 8 March 2016

Lemon Sole En Papillote

1 Lemon Sole
A few cooked new potatoes
A medley of peas, green beans and mange tout, cut into bite sized pieces
A knob of butter
A glug of olive oil
A few pieces of diced bacon
A seasoning of sea salt, pepper and some fresh parsley. 
Half a lemon to serve

Mix the ingredients together (apart from the fish). Place the fish on a large piece of  grease proof paper. Top with the mixed ingredients and crimp the paper tightly together at the top, but leaving room inside for the air to circulate.
Place the parcel onto a baking tray and into a hot oven (200C or gas 8) for 20 minutes. 

Serve with the lemon. Eat. Enjoy! Be careful of the bones! 
Bon Apetit!

Clam & Chorizo Linguine with Courgetti

This light yet so tasty dish satisfies many cravings. 
You want to eat some slurpy pasta? But it's not really healthy and way to filling... Try this mixture of pasta and Courgetti.

50g dry linguine (or fresh is good too)
2 courgettes, spiralised
2small green chillies, chopped
2garlic cloves, chopped
500g clams in their shell (mine came frozen)
120g Diced chorizo
1small bunch of Parsley, chopped
1/2 lemon
A splash of white wine
A big glug of olive oil

Start by putting the pasta on to cook. Read the packet instruction and cook the linguine for 1minutes less. It will finish cooking in the sauce.

Next heat the chorizo in the olive oil. Add the garlic and chilli, stir for a minute then add the splash of wine. Now for the clams. Add them to the pan, let them open, then use a slotted spoon to take then out. They can go into the bowl with the Courgetti for now.
Sprinkle in half of the parsley and once the pasta is ready add it straight to the pan.
Toss everything and stir around until the pasta has absorbed some of the liquid and looks perfectly cooked. The clams will have released some juice also, so there should be plenty, but if it's not enough, add some of the pasta cooking water.

Lastly add the Courgetti, clams and the remaining parsley to the pan and mix everything together well. Serve straight away. (The Courgetti does not need cooking at all)

Eat. Feel good.
Bon Apetit! 

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