Monday, October 11, 2010

Coconut apricot chicken curry

An easy chicken curry that even my two fussy eaters enjoyed.

Preheat your oven to 180C

1kg chicken pieces (I used 4 legs and 4 thighs)

Place chicken into an ovenproof dish and lightly salt and pepper both sides.

For the curry sauce :

1 1/2 tsp turmeric
400ml coconut cream
1/2 tsp ginger
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp cumin
1 tbsp dried coriander
2 tsp mild and spicy curry powder (the kids were eating so I didn't want to make it too hot)
3 tbsp apricot jam
1/2 - 3/4 cup diced dried apricots
2 bay leaves
1 tsp mustard seeds
1 tsp crushed dried curry leaves
1 1/2 cups diced onion
1 crushed dried lemon leaf

Mix the ingredients for the curry sauce in a bowl then pour over the chicken. Bake covered for about an hour or until the juices of the chicken run clear. Serve with rice, a side salad of diced onion and tomatoes and diced banana.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Having fun with food - an Egg Net

Masterchef Australia started on the Food Channel here last week, the 2009 season. I'm an avid fan and love watching shows like this to get ideas. On one of the episodes, the contestant who won the challange had an opportunity to cook off against a well known top Australian chef to win straight through to the last week of the competition. The recipe that the contestant cooked was an egg net with a Thai pork and prawn filling. Looks easy doesn't it?

This morning, I looked at my eggs, the mushrooms, leeks, shredded spinach and red pepper that I had chopped up to fry for an omelette filling and thought why the hell not?

So I stir fried the veg, added some seasoning, attempted the egg net and voila!

For the egg net, I beat one egg with a few drops of water and using my fingers, drizzled it into a hot pan with melted butter and a bit of olive oil. I took it off the heat to drizzle and put it back on to cook the egg. Slowly, using a spatula, I carefully peeled the fiddly bits off the surface and put it on a plate.
So while it might not look as delicate as lace, I am quite happy with my first attempt.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Friday food porn : stuffed pancakes

Mini pancakes, stuffed with caramel and banana. Pour ideal milk over the two layers, sprinkle with chocolate chips and bake at 180C for about 15 minutes or until the chocolate melts and the ideal milk is all bubbly.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Curry Sauce

A good curry has to have a decent base. Without a base, you don't have anything to layer the taste on.

The Spice Guy at Irene Market keeps me in various shades of red (depending on the curry mix I buy). His masala mixes have all sorts of goodies in them like star anise, cardamum pods, bay leaves....

For this all purpose curry sauce, I used :

3 Tbsp medium masala curry powder mix
1 Tbsp hot masala curry powder mix
About half a tsp of dried chilli flakes
1 Tbsp turmeric
1 tsp ground ginger
1 1/2 tsp crushed peppercorns
4 Tbsp dried parsley
2 Tbsp dried coriander
2 tsp sugar
2 Tsp fennel seeds
2 medium onions, peeled and finely diced (or blitzed in a food processor)
3 cloves garlic, crushed
couple of bay leaves
2 410g tinned tomatoes
olive oil
extra sugar
Mrs Balls chutney

Mix the curry powders, chilli flakes, turmeric, ginger, crushed peppercorns, parsley, coriander and sugar in a bowl. Set aside.

In a large pot, heat up about 4 to 5 tbsp of good quality virgin olive oil. Add the finely diced onion and fennel seeds. Cook on medium heat until the onion starts going golden brown and then add the garlic, cook for a few more minutes. Add the curry mixture, add more oil if necessary, and cook the mixture for about 2 minutes stirring constantly. Add the tinned tomatoes and bay leaves, stir well and cover, then cook on a low heat for about 25 minutes. Stir in about 2 tbsp of Mrs Balls chutney, then cover and cook for a further 5 minutes. At this point, taste your sauce. If it tastes too acidic, add a bit of sugar and cook for a few minutes before tasting again. Once you have a good balance of sweet, acidic and hot, add whatever meat or vegetables you wish. Cook through until the meat and veg is tender, taking care not to let the sauce burn. Add a splash of water if necessary. Serve over basmati rice.

* I made meatballs by combining 800g mince with 1 egg, tsp of crushed garlic, 1 small onion finely diced, about 2 tbsp spice mix for mince (Robertson), salt and pepper and forming meatballs with a heaped tbsp full of mince mixture. Plop them in the sauce to simmer.