Sunday, November 24, 2019

Pan-fried Potatoes with Browned Onions and Garam Masala

This week, the theme at I Heart Cooking Clubs is, I Am Thankful For...! Which ingredients that I am most thankful for? Potatoes comes to mind instantly! We love potatoes, cooked in any way! 

I've made Nigel Slater's, Pan-fried Potatoes with Browned Onions and Garam Masala. So easy and simple yet so good. Just 3 ingredients ; potatoes, onion and garam masala. Whole potatoes are cleaned and boil till tender, then drain and peel off the skins. Either break up the potatoes in chunks or slice them, I've cut them up in cubes. Recipe uses 1 small onion, but I've used one big onion. Next time I will use 2, as we love caramelized onions, and the quantity is reduced after cooking.  The onion are thinly sliced and cook in oil until they turn rich brown. Then a teaspoon of garam masala is added, (I've used 3 teaspoons), along with some salt to taste. Stir for a few seconds until fragrant, then add the potatoes. Stir briefly for a minute or two, then serve.

The dish may look dull, but trust me, it is so delicious! As the author says, "Brown onions and garam masala is a most magical combination". We ate this dish with rice as a side dish with egg sambal and stir-fry cabbage. Yum!

Pan-fried Potatoes with Browned Onions and Garam Masala
(Real Cooking, Nigel Slater)
4 medium-sized potatoes
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 small onion, thinly sliced
a teaspoon of garam masala (I use 3 teaspoons)

Bring the potatoes to the boil in enough cold water to cover them. Turn them down to an enthusiastic bubble and leave to cook until tender to the point of a knife - about fifteen minutes, depending on their size. Drain and peel off their skin.
Heat the oil in a pan, then add the sliced onion. Cook over a moderate heat until a rich brown. Perhaps darker than you might normally take. Its flavour will be deeper and more aromatic. Add the garam masala and about a teaspoonful of salt. Warm gently in the pan for a few seconds until it is fragrant. Brown onions and garam masala is a most magical combination. Break the potatoes up into chunks(you can slice them but you will lose the lovely rough, crumbly texture of the dish), then stir them briefly with the spiced onion. Cook for a minute or two. Serve hot.

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Friday, November 22, 2019

Apple Custard Crisp

A delightful dessert which we enjoyed very much, Apple Custard Crisp. Recipe from Dorie Greenspan's book, Everyday Dorie, the current book we are cooking through, at Cook The Book Fridays

To make the streusel, mix flour, sugar, cinnamon, salt and butter together, and toss some vanilla to blend. Keep covered, refrigerated for at least an hour before using.

Cubed apples, tossed with some lemon zest and juice,  are placed on a baking or pie dish. Custard is made by mixing together cream, sugar, spice, egg, rum and vanilla, and pour over the cubed apples in the dish. Scatter the streusel over, bake in a preheated oven for 50 to 60 minutes, until the apples are tender and the streusel is brown. Mine took an extra 15 minutes until the streusel is brown. It was bubbling with the custard, looking very moist and smell so delicious, when I removed it from the oven, but there's almost no custard at all when it was at room temperature. It wasn't dry, it was rather moist, and the apples are tender, but I wish there was more custard. 

Served it with our favourite vanilla ice cream, a David Lebovitz recipe, Philadelphia-Style Vanilla Ice Cream, my go-to vanilla ice cream which I have been making for years. This apple crisp is so delightful served with  the ice cream, and I find that I am not missing the custard, as I thought I would!

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Wednesday, November 13, 2019

Vietnamese Caramelized Ginger Chicken

This week at I Heart Cooking Clubs, the theme is November Cuisine Spotlight : Asian Food! We can cook any Asian food recipe from any of the 19 featured chefs, full list can be found at IHCC.

I've cooked from Diana Henry's cookbook, A Bird In The Hand, Vietnamese Caramelized Ginger Chicken. I've used 3 whole chicken legs, cut to bite-sized pieces. The chicken pieces are marinated with fish sauce, crushed ginger and garlic, sugar and sliced chilli, for at least 4 hours, covered in the fridge. Bring to room temperature before cooking. Fry the chicken in some oil until they are browned all over. Remove and keep aside. Add sliced onion to the pan and cook until they are beginning to brown, remove and add to the chicken. In the same pan, place sugar and water, and let boil until caramelize, then add some chicken stock and lime juice. Let it come to a boil, then add the chicken and onion. Simmer uncovered for 15 minutes or so, until the sauce has reduced and the chicken is cooked through. Stir in sliced chilli, spring onions and coriander. Serve immediately with rice.

A flavourful chicken dish. We had it with rice, along with some stir-fried cos lettuce.

Vietnamese Caramelized Ginger Chicken
(A Bird In The Hand, by Diana Henry)
"It's important here to get the sugar to caramelize, otherwise you miss the depth of flavour this dish is supposed to have and will also end up with a bowlful that is rather too sweet"
Serves 4
6 skin-on bone-in chicken thighs
3 tbsp fish sauce
4 tbsp caster sugar
8 garlic cloves, crushed
50gm root ginger, peeled and grated
2 red chillies, 1 sliced with seeds, the other halved, deseeded and sliced
1 tbsp groundnut or sunflower oil
1 onion, halved and cut into small crescent moon-shaped wedges
400ml chicken stock\
juice of 1-2 limes
2 spring onions, finely sliced on the diagonal
small handful of coriander, roughly chopped
2 tbsp ginger, julienned (my addition)

Remove the excess fat and skin from each thigh and cut each in half, through the bone. Put these in a bowl with the fish sauce, 1 tbsp of the sugar, the garlic, ginger and the sliced whole chili. Turn everything over to make sure the chicken gets coated. Cover with cling film and put in the fridge to marinate. It ideally needs four hours, though overnight is even better. Bring it to room temperature before cooking.
Heat the oil in a saute pan and fry the chicken over a medium heat on all sides to get a good colour (reserve the marinade). Remove the chicken with a slotted spoon and set aside. Add the onion to the pan and fry until it is just beginning to get a good colour. Add it to the chicken.
Drain any excess oil from the pan, but don't clean it. Add the rest of the sugar and 2 tbsp of water and heat until the sugar turns to caramel, you must take it far enough so that the sugar caramelizes (otherwise you will just have a sweet sauce), but no so far that it burns. The colour and smell should tell you wen you get there. Immediately add the stock and the juice of 1 lime. Bring to the boil, then add the chicken, onion and reserved marinade. Reduce the heat and simmer, uncovered, for 15 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through and the juices are nice and glossy round the meat.
Stir in the rest of the chilli, the spring onions, and the coriander (and julienned ginger). Check to see  whether you need more lime. Serve immediately with rice and stir-fried greens.

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Saturday, November 9, 2019

Lightning-Fast Tahini Pork

An easy and quick pork dish, just as it's name, Lightning-Fast Tahini Pork, another nice recipe from Dorie Greenspan's cookbook, Every Day Dorie. This recipe is one of the two selected for this month's cook-along at Cook The Book Fridays

Pork tenderloin, cut to cubes then marinated in a spice mixture ; harissa powder or chile powder, ground ginger, ground cumin, ground turmeric, salt. The pork pieces are then browned on all sides with some olive oil, add some honey, stir for a minute, then stir in vinegar and water. A mixture of tahini and lemon juice, is then added in, and cook for a few minutes until the sauce is smooth and the pork are cooked through. Serve immediately with some sprinkling of toasted sesame seeds. I have however doubled the amount of spices, which I'm glad I did, and a little extra water, simply because I wanted a little more sauce. Dorie says that sauteed spinach is delicious with this pork dish, but I have stir-fried some baby kai lan greens instead. We enjoyed this with white fluffy rice. 

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