Blog has moved, searching new blog...

Tuesday, 29 November 2011

Recipe of the week - 29th November

Spicy Beef Stew

This makes a great alternative to a traditional beef and ale stew (as delicious as this undoubtably is) and is very easy to put together, simply let the oven do the work for you.

Serves 4
1 kg stewing beef, diced
2 onions, chopped
3 cloves of garlic, crushed
1 large tin butter beans
1 tbsp black treacle
2 tsp cumin
1 tsp hot chilli powder
2 tbsp flour
500 ml chicken stock
Salt and pepper

1. Begin by browning off the meat. To do this quickly, simply add the beef to a large casserole dish together with the seasoned flour. Stir to coat the beef.
2. Place in the oven for 20 minutes at 220 degrees celsius to brown.
3. Simply add the rest of the ingredients to the dish, reduce the temperature to 180 degrees and cook for three hours or until the meat shreds apart.

And that's it, ridiculously simple and extremely tasty.

Monday, 28 November 2011

River Cottage Veg

I love Hugh. I think his ability to make foods which I staunchly hate (think: mushrooms, capers, anchovies, tarragon etc) look appetising is a skill not to be sniffed at. However, I was totally unconvinced when I heard about the idea for his latest show 'river cottage veg'. I thought that a series based entirely on vegetables, would be wearing a little thin by the end of the second episode. However, having watched the final episode last night, I am pleased to report that I was completely wrong.

I am huge advocate of vegetables; they're a great way of gaining those all-important nutrients for relative inexpense compared with the meat and fish alternatives. However, I've never quite understood vegetarianism and veganism. Part of this shakey, and controversial opinion, is spawned from my love of eating out. I do not wish to generalise hugely, but at the many restaurants I have eaten at, the vegetarian options form the overwhelming minority of dishes proferred, and more often than not, consist of risottos. Risotto, when cooked properly, is a delicious meal, but really how many risottos can a discerning vegetarian foodie, or for that matter non-foodie, cope with? I think risottos run the risk of becoming the now, omnipresent, nut/seed/bird-feed roast on offer on far too many tables on December 25th.

Back to the point in hand, Hugh did a fabulous job of opening my eyes to the huge range of dishes it is possible to cook with no fish or meat in sight. I am desperate to hunt out the veggie food van detailed in the first episode, complete with its supermix of seeds offered as a flamboyant end garnish. Last night's UNCOOKED vegan feast also opened up my eyes. Yes, we've all tried the now ever-present beetroot brownie, but really, avocado forming the main ingredient in a chocolate tart? Wow. Aside from such amazing revelations, I think my favourite part of last night's show was the pretty, delicate blond citing that eating cooked vegetables at Hugh's end of series feast was pretty much the blow out of her year. I think it's her equivalent of us mere non-vegan mortals eating a 1kg Galaxy in one sitting.

My guilt at not meeting her amazing levels of self-control with regards to food, may well have proven pivotal in my decision to buy Davina MaCall's latest fitness DVD. I eagerly await it's arrival from Amazon. Next job: working out how to close the living room blinds...

Ginger Pig Lunch Time Soup Recipe

I've been busy creating soup recipes to feed hungry Marylebone office workers. The favourite so far is a Thai chicken noodle soup. It's so quick to make and the flavour you get is so coconut creamy and comforting. Feel free to increase the heat by bumping up the chilli content.

Serves 4

200g rice noodles - my favourite are Thai Taste Noodles Gueyteow
4 leeks
1 tin of sweetcorn
1 chilli, deseeded and finely chopped
1 handful of bean sprouts
1L chicken Stock
1 tin of coconut milk
500g cooked chicken meat
2 handfuls of fresh spinach.

To finish: a handful of chopped fresh coriander and roasted peanuts

1. Cook the noodles according to the packet instructions.
2. Sweat the leeks in a little oil, until they are soft but not at all coloured. This should take a couple of minutes.
3. Add the chicken stock, coconut milk, bean sprouts, chilli, chicken and sweet corn and cook on a medium heat for 10 minutes.
4. Add the noodles and spinach and cook for just 3 more minutes.
5. Serve with a sprinkling of peanuts and freshly chopped coriander.