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Wednesday, 18 July 2012

Risotto, south indian beef curry and pineapple filo pie.

Hurray, a week where I get to do some cooking and have a few evenings free to write up the recipes on here.

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
Cloves 2
Star Anise 2
Onions 1, sliced
Garlic, 4 cloves sliced
1 Aubergine
Coconut oil 1 tbsp
Salt and pepper

1. Fry the beef in a bit of oil till it starts to brown. Add the onion, chilli, garlic, ginger and all the other spices (don't worry if you've not got all of them, use what you've got!) and cook for another 5 minutes till the onions are starting to soften and the smell of spices fills your house. 
2. Add the coconut milk and some water to cover the meat, bring to a boil and simmer for at least 2 hours.  
Add the aubergine and cook for another 30 to 45 minutes.
3. By now the meat should be tender, the aubergine nicely softened and the sauce slightly thickened.
4. Boil a bit of rice and make some chapati, which is as easy as mixing chapati flour, water and a pinch of salt together, kneading, rolling out and cooking in a dry pan for 2 minutes.
5. Serve and have a glass of larger with it. 

Don't normally do puddings in the week but I had a pineapple that needed using up and a pack of filo pastry in the fridge as well. 

Peel and chop up a small pineapple, roast in the oven with a sprinkling of brown sugar, some rum, a pinch of cinnamon and a little grate of nutmeg for 15 minutes.
Melt some butter and brush the 6 sheets of filo pastry with it. After this sprinkle with a little more brown sugar, some cinnamon and grated nutmeg too.

Put the pastry on top of the cooked pineapple but not neatly at all, it should be a bit all over the place. Put the pie into the oven (gas 6 / 190c ish) for about 20 minutes or the pastry is crispy and golden brown.
Eat it with a good dollop of icecream.

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