Yesterday (tuesday 17th July 2012) cooking demo for the nhs in Chapeltown market just down the road from me yesterday. Did 3 dishes but the stand out one for me was beetroot and greenbean risotto with goats cheese. Simple delishious meal with an amazing colour. Also been getting into the idea of not having to rely on a piece of meat or fish to base a meal around. Beetroot is a great vegetable that we should eat more of (not the crap pickled stuff you get in a jar though!), its good roasted, turned into crisps, boiled or steamed.
For this risotto you only need about 7 or 8 ingredients. They are onion, garlic, veg stock, white wine (optional), arborio rice (this is a shortgrain rice and costs about a quid for a pack in asda and morrisons et al), cooked beetroot, some blanched green beans and some decent cheese.
Fry the 1/2 an onion and 2 or 3 garlicb cloves (you can add thyme and bayleaf if you want to) till softened then add the rice. Stir the rice (1/2 a pack) so its coated with the oil and garlic then pour in a glug of wine simmer till the wine has absorbed into the rice. Next, gradually add the stock a bit at a time adding more for about 10 mins. Chop the beetroot up and add along with the green beans. Add a little more stock and cook for another 3 or 4 minutes. The rice should be cooked and vegetables hot, add a generous amount of good cheese, some salt and pepper, stirring through the risotto and serve. Risotto shouldn't be stodgy and is a great meal that takes very little time to prepare.
Tonights tea was a take on a South Indian curry called Mamsa Ishtew, which basically means lamb stew with coconut and vegetables. I altered it and used some beef shin as it looked better than the lamb when I was in the shop. It benefits from a long slow cook and is truely delicious, aromatic curry very different from the ones you get from most curry houses in this country. I love asian food more than pretty much any other continent, it is so varied and tasty.
This is the recipe for 2 or 3 portions
350g beef shin, chopped
1 tin of Coconut milk plus a tin full of water.
1 Green Chilli’s, sliced (add a couple more at the end if you like it really spicey)
Ginger, 1 inch of fresh, sliced finely.
Cinnamon 1 stick
pinch of cumin
pinch of fenugreek
Star Anise 2
Onions 1, sliced
Garlic, 4 cloves sliced
Coconut oil 1 tbsp
Salt and pepper