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BUTTER CHICKEN

The Saucy Spice Co.

Tonight is Butter Chicken and rather than ordering a take away I am using a Butter Chicken spice mix from The Saucy Spice Company.

I buy these from my local butcher however, you can buy these online www.saucyspice.com.au there is a variety of dishes available and a recipe is included in every mix.

There is nothing artificial and a number of the mixes are gluten free.  The meal will taste better than a take-away, so easy to prepare and best of all you can adjust the recipe to suit your family.

Serves 4-6

  • 1kg Chicken thigh fillets cubed (I am using 1/2 the chicken and adding 1 tin of Chickpeas and 200g mushrooms
  • 100g butter
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • 1 400g can Pureed Tomatoes
  • 1 tablespoon Tomato Paste
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 300ml Plain Yoghurt or Fresh Cream (I have also used Coconut Cream) If using yoghurt use thick set Greek Style, it doesn’t curdle
Heat butter in wok, when frothy add onion and sauté until just starting to brown. Add contents of Spice Sachet, stir until fragrant, about 30 secs.
Pour in chicken stock and can of tomato puree, add tomato paste, salt and chicken pieces (and chickpeas and mushrooms if using). Simmer covered for 30 minutes.
Add Fenugreek Leaf and Yoghurt, Cream or Coconut Milk, simmer covered for a further 15 minutes until chicken is tender but not overcooked.
Serve with plain rice and a crisp green salad or steamed beans.

 

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STIR-FRIED CHICKEN IN LETTUCE CUPS

Serves 4-6

  • 1 iceberg lettuce
  • 4 chicken or duck breast, about 175g each
  • 1/4 teaspoon Szechuan peppercorns
  • 1/2 teaspoon black peppercorns
  • 1/2-1 teaspoon chinese five spice powder
  • pinch of sea salt
  • olive oil to drizzle
  • 1 cucumber
  • 2 spring onion, trimmed
  • 5-6 tablespoons hoisin sauce (gluten free)
  • 1 tablespoon sesame seeds, to sprinkle

For the lettuce cups, remove the outer layers from the lettuce until you get 4-6 neat whole leaves. Trim around each leaf with scissors to neaten the edges (if you can be bothered) so that they resemble cups. Place one on each serving plate.

Remove the skin and fat from the chicken or duck breasts, then slice the flesh into thin strips. Put the peppercorns, chinese five-spice powder and sea salt into a mortar and grind to a powder. Sprinkle this over the duck or chicken slices, drizzle with a little olive oil and toss to coat evenly.

Halve the cucumber and scoop out the seeds, then cut the flesh into finger-length strips. Slice the spring onions very finely on the diagonal.

Heat a non-stick wide frying pan until hot and you can feel the heat rising above the pan. Add the duck or chicken and stir-fry for 2 minutes.  Add the spring onions and hoisin sauce and toss to coat well. Stir-fry for 2 another minute until the duck is just cooked through. Toss with a handful of cucumber strips.

Divide the stir-fry between the lettuce cups. Sprinkle with the sesame seeds and scatter the remaining cucumber strips around each plate. Serve immediately.

This recipe is from Healthy Appetite by Gordon Ramsay

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CHICKEN CURRY (similar to butter chicken)

Serves 4-6

  • 3 tablespoons Ghee
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 green chilli, finely chopped (as an alternative use 1/2 – 1 teaspoon dried chilli)
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1/2 teaspoon garam masala
  • 1 x 400g tinned tomatoes
  • 1 kg chicken breast, chopped
  • 1 x 440g tin chick peas, drained
  • 300ml tin coconut cream
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons coriander, chopped

Heat the ghee in a heavy based pan and gently fry the onion, garlic and chilli until soft. Add coriander, cumin, tumeric and garam masala and continue to cook for  minutes. Stir in tomatoes and cook until reduced to a thick paste.

Add chicken and cook over a medium heat until coloured. Stir in salt, chick peas and 150mls water and bring to the boil.

Reduce the heat and simmer for 20 minutes or until chicken is tender.

Serve with steamed rice.

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SPICED PUMPKIN AND LENTIL SOUP

Serves 4-6
  • 1.5kg butternut pumpkin, peeled, cut into 3cm cubes
  • 750g tomatoes, quartered
  • 6 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 1 small carrot, chopped
  • 60ml/1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/2-1 teaspoon dried chilli flakes
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons ground coriander
  • 2 teaspoons paprika
  • 1.25 litres (5 cups) vegetable or chicken stock
  • 180g/3/4 cup red lentils

TO SERVE:  Yoghurt, sumac and crusty bread

Preheat the oven to 180C. Put the pumpkin, tomatoes, garlic and carrot into a large flameproof casserole dish, drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with the spices and season with sea salt and ground black pepper. Cover the dish and bake for 11/2 hours, or until the vegetable are soft.

Roughly mash the vegetables with a fork or potato masher and stir in the stock. Put the casserole dish on the stovetop over medium heat and bring the soup to the boil.

Add the lentils, reduce the heat to low and simmer for 15-20 minutes until the lentils are tender. Add a little extra stock or water if the soup becomes too thick. Season and ladle into bowls. Top with a dollop of yoghurt and a sprinkle of sumac and serve with crusty bread.

This recipe is from Bill’s Basics by Bill Granger

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STICKY CHILLI CHICKEN

Home from work and I didn’t feel like cooking, I didn’t have much inspiration – so I turned to Donna Hay and as usual she saved the day.
Tonight we are having Sticky Chilli Chicken – there is only 2 of us tonight which makes it easier.  I have modified it slightly due to lack of ingredients and simplicity.
Serves 2
  • 3 long red chillies, deseeded and finely sliced (I have used 1/4 teaspoon dried chilli)
  • 1 tablespoon finely grated ginger
  • 1 stalk lemongrass, white part only, finely sliced (I omitted this as I didn’t have any)
  • 2 tablespoons fish sauce
  • 1/3 cup (80mls) white wine vinegar
  • 1/3 cup (75g) caster sugar
  • 2 x 200g chicken breast fillets, timmed and halved lengthways ( I chopped mine into bite size pieces)
  • 300g snake or green beans, finely chopped (I used broccoli)
  • steamed rice, mint, basil and coriander leaves and lime to serve (I only had the coriander and lime)

Place the chilli, ginger, lemongrass, fish sauce, vinegar and sugar in a deep frying pan over  high heat and cook for 5 minutes or until the mixture is reduced and thickened slightly.

Add the chicken and cook for 4 minutes. Turn the chicken, add the beans and continue to cook for a further 3-4 minutes. or until the chicken is cooked through.

Serve the chicken and beans with steamed rice, mint, basil and coriander leaves and lime wedges.

Too easy!!!!

This recipe is from Fast, Fresh, Simple by Donna Hay

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PORK CHOPS WITH HONEY AND ROSEMARY

This recipe does seem a bit adventurous with rendering pork back-fat and Mizuna salad, if you look beyond these I think it will be tasty, quick and easy and a gourmet treat.  If you are still not convinced, replace the rendered pork back -fat for olive oil or vegetable oil and serve with your favourite green salad.

I am going to give it a try – I hope you do too.

Serves 4

  • 50gm pork back-fat, finely diced (see notes below) or 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 120gm honey
  • 1 tablespoon rosemary
  • 1 lemon, halved

PARMESAN POLENTA

  • 875g (31/2 cups) chicken stock (gluten free)
  • 60mls (1/4 cup) milk
  • 120gm (3/4 cup) polenta
  • 20gm (1/3 cup) finely grated parmesan

ROCKET, MIZUNA AND WHITE NECTARINE SALAD (if this seems too complicated any green salad will be great).

  • 2 cups (loosely packed) wild rocket
  • 1/2 bunch mizuna, leaves picked (Japanese greens also know as Xiu Cai, Kyona – similar to rocket with a peppery flavour)
  • 1 white nectarine, cut into thin wedges
  • 1 golden shallot, thinly sliced
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tsp champagne vinegar

Preheat oven to 180C. For parmesan polenta, bring stock and milk to the boil to the simmer in a saucepan over medium heat, gradually add polenta, stirring continuously, then stir occasionally until polenta thickens (10-15 minutes). Just before serving, stir in parmesan and season to taste.

Heat fat in an ovenproof frying pan over high heat until rendered (5 minutes). Remove fat pieces with a slotted spoon and discard, (or if using olive oil heat the oil), then add pork chops to pan, season to taste and cook until golden (2 minutes each side). Add honey and rosemary, season to taste, squeeze over lemon and roast until pork is just cooked (5-10 minutes).

Meanwhile, for mizuna and white nectarine salad toss ingredients in a bowl to combine, then serve with parmesan polenta and pork chops drizzled with pan juices.

* For this recipe the lard has been rendered by cooking pork back-fat in the pan before adding the pork chops, you could render a larger batch to have on hand – it enhances the flavour of many meat dishes. We recommend making your own because it has far more flavour than the shop-bought version. Cook diced pork back-fat with 1cm of water in a saucepan over low heat until the fat is melted, then strain, chill, and lift the fat from the excess water and particles in the base of the pan.

This recipe is from the February 2011 issue of Gourmet Traveller.

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ROAST LAMB WITH BOULANGERE POTATOES AND STEAMED BROCOLLI

I have been working all day – this doesn’t stop us from having a tasty meal tonight.  Our local butcher sells lamb loins stuffed with spinach, pine nuts and apricots, if you are not as fortune as us with your local butcher you could use lamb cutlets, fillets or back straps.  The potatoes do take a bit of time to cook if you don’t have time make mashed potatoes.  First prepare the potatoes.

BOULANGERE POTATOES

Preparation: 25 minutes     Cooking: 90 minutes    Serves 6

  • 1kg floury potatoes, such as Maris Piper, Desiree, King Edwards or Idaho
  • 2 onions
  • 25g butter
  • 300mls hot chicken stock or vegetable stock (gluten free)
  • sea salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • a few sprigs of thyme

Heat the oven to 180C/Gas 4.

Peel the potatoes and slice them very finely using a mandolin or a food processor. Slice the onions in the same way.

Butter an ovenproof dish and make layers of the potatoes and onions, with seasoning and the thyme leaves (stripped from the stalks) sprinkled over each. Finish with a layer of potatoes and try to make a neat overlapping pattern with them. Using the flat of your hand, press down the potatoes firmly.

Pour in the hot stock. Cut the remaining butter into little pieces and dot the top with them. Cover with tin foil and cook for 1 hour.

Remove the foil and bake for a further 30 minutes. The potato should be soft al the way through and the top layer golden brown.

This recipe if from The French Kitchen by Joanne Harris and Fran Warde

After you have removed the foil from the potatoes, put the lamb loin in a roasting pan and roast for 25-40 minutes or until cooked through.

Serve with Boulangere Potatoes and steamed brocolli.

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DHAL

Serves 4-6

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 red onion, finely sliced
  • 2.5cm/1 inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled and grated
  • 3 garlic cloves, finely sliced
  • 1 large green chilli, finely sliced
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 250g/1 cup red lentils
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice

TO SERVE

  • Small handful fresh coriander leaves

Heat a heavy-based saucepan over medium heat and add the olive oil. When hot, add the onion, ginger, garlic, chilli, salt and cumin and cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the onion is soft. Add the lentils and 750mls (3 cups) of water and cook, stirring occasionally, for 20 minutes until the lentils have dissolved.

Remove from the heat and stir through the lime juice. Top with the coriander leaves and serve with naan bread

 To make this more of a meal I also added 1 grated carrot and 10 button mushrooms, chopped.

 This recipe is from Simply Bill by Bill Granger

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OVEN-BAKED FISH WITH TOMATO AND PARSLEY

Serves 4 

  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • Small handful parsley, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves very thinly sliced
  • 2 x 400g tins chopped tomatoes
  • Sea salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 x 180g firm white fish fillets, such as ling, snapper, Pollack or organically farmed cod

TO SERVE

  • Mashed potatoes
  • Butterhead lettuce salad

Preheat the oven to 180C/Gas 4. Heat the olive oil in a large ovenproof flameproof dish (with a lid) over a medium heat. Add the onion and parsley, and cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes or until the onion is soft. Add the garlic and cook, stirring for a further 1 minute.

Add the chopped tomatoes, bring to the boil, then reduce the heat to low and simmer for 10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste and remove from the heat.

Add the fish to the dish, pushing the pieces into the tomato mixture. Put the lid on and cook in the oven for 15 minutes. Uncover and return to the oven for a further 10 minutes.  Serve with mashed potatoes and a lettuce salad. 

This recipe is from Feed Me Now by Bill Granger

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WEDDING PAVLOVA

Serves 10-12

  • 8 egg whites
  • pinch salt
  • 500g caster sugar
  • 4 teaspoons cornflour
  • 2 teaspoons white wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon coconut extract

FOR THE TOPPING

  • 2 punnets strawberries
  • 2 boxes blueberries
  • 300mls double cream
  • 300mls raspberry yoghurt

Preheat the oven to 180C/Gas Mark 4. Line a baking sheet with parchment and draw a rough 25cm circle, using a springform of that size as a guide if you have one.

Whisk the egg whites and salt until satiny peaks form. Then beat in the sugar, tablespoons at a time, until the meringue is stiff and shiny. Sprinkle over the cornflour, vinegar and coconut extract, and fold in lightly. Mound on to the baking sheet within the circle. flatten the top and smooth the sides. Put in the oven immediately reduce the heat to 150C/Gas Mark 2 and cook for 11/4 -11/2 hours. It will have risen and cracked on the top and a little around the sides. If it is not dry and crispy on the outside give it a little longer. Then turn off the oven, open the door and leave to cool completely.

When you are ready to assemble the pavlova.  Invert the pavolva on to a plate and peel off the baking parchment and cover the marshmallowy top (ie. the inverted bottom) with the cream, yoghurt and mixed fruit.. If all is too crumbly, don’t bother.

Whip the cream until thickened but still soft and add the raspberry yoghurt, and pile on top of the meringue, spreading to the edges in a rough, swirly fashion. Cut the strawberries in half and arrange them on top of the cream and yoghurt mix and add the bluberries.

This recipe is from Feast by Nigella Lawson – I have changed the topping slightly as the original recipe included peaches, passionfruit and dried coconut for the topping.

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