Cauliflower Curry Recipe

This may sound unappetising but trust me, those curry spices get right into the cauliflower, making a bland vegetable into something super tasty.  It serves 2 and is approx 354 calories per serving, so not bad!

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Ingredients:-

Approx half a medium sized cauliflower broken into segments par boiled for about 6 minutes until still slightly firm but starting to cook. Drain off properly.
Olive Oil
1 Large onion chopped
2 Good handfuls of chopped mushrooms
2 Cloves of Garlic chopped
1 Red/Green Pepper chopped
100ml of chicken/vegetable stock
15g of Medium curry powder (or hotter if you wish)
40ml of double light cream (or substitute accordingly)
120g of Wholegrain brown basmati rice.
Salt

Start cooking your rice as per the pack instructions.  Brown rice usually takes longer than white, so its worth getting it on early.

In a large heavy bottomed pan add a good couple of tablespoons of olive oil.  Then add in the onion, mushrooms, pepper and garlic.  Place on a low-medium heat until the onion starts to soften.  Add the curry powder, then the stock and mix well. Place in the drained cauliflower,  and gently turn it into the mixture so that it gets coated in the sauce.  Cook for a few minutes and then add the cream, making sure you are gentle around the cauliflower.  Make sure you add the cream on a low heat otherwise it will split.  Continue gently cooking until the desired consistency with the sauce is reached.  Sometimes you may need a little extra water to loosen, or cook a little longer to thicken.  Test for seasoning.

Serve on brown rice and with mango chutney of you have it.

 

 

 

 

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Dauphinoise Potatoes

If you are on a diet, then you might want to wait with making this until you can enjoy it!  It is that combination of cream, cheese and potato that gets me every time.  Admittedly, I do not make this often and that’s not just because it is calorie laden, but because when you do make it for an occasion, it then seems special.  With all good things, little and not often is the best policy, especially if you like to keep your waistline.

 

dauphinoise potatoes

 

Ingredients

1 Clove garlic, halved
1kg Potatoes, peeled and thinly sliced with a mandoline
600ml Double cream
300g Freshly grated Gruyère cheese
Salt and ground black pepper to taste

Optional: you can add some leaves of fresh thyme, when you add the cheese and cream.  However be careful not to overdo it as thyme is quite a strong tasting herb.

Pre-heat the oven to 180 C / Gas mark 4.

Rub the bottom and sides of the baking dish with the cut side of the garlic.  Spread a layer of potatoes, then a layer of cream, then a layer of grated cheese, then salt and pepper in the baking dish.

Continue with more layers until all ingredients are used, ending with a layer of cream and cheese.

Bake in the preheated oven for 1 hour.

Fondant Potatoes

A great classic side dish, but it is one that I get a few people asking me how to make them.

fondant potato

 

Ingredients

3 Large potatoes, such as Maris Piper
2 Tbsp ground nut oil
Salt and ground black pepper
3 Tbsp butter
4 Sprigs thyme
120 ml Chicken stock (approx a little more may be required)

Pre-heat oven to 220 C

Slice off the two ends of the potatoes, stand them on one end and peel potatoes from top to bottom with a sharp knife to make each potato into a uniform cylinder. Cut each cylinder in half crosswise to make 6 potato cylinders about 5-6cm long.

Place potatoes into a bowl of cold water for about 10 minutes to remove the starch from outside and then dry.

Place a heavy oven-proof pan such as a cast iron pan, over a high stove heat. Pour in vegetable oil, heat it up.  Place the potato cylinders with best ends into the hot oil, lower heat to medium-high and pan-fry potatoes until browned, for around 5 to 6 minutes.

Season with salt and pepper.

Turn the potatoes onto the opposite ends.  Add butter and thyme sprigs to the pan.

Cook until butter foams and foam turns from white to a pale tan colour. Pour the butter over the potatoes using a spoon. Season with a little more salt and pepper.  Pour chicken stock into pan.

Transfer pan to preheated oven and cook until potatoes are tender and creamy inside, for around 30 minutes. If the potatoes are not soft, add a little extra stock an additional 10 minutes, then serve.

Mushroom Curry

Do I miss meat in a curry?  Well, certainly not when I make this one.  The mushrooms seem to take on a meaty taste.  Please feel free to add as much heat with the chilli flakes and curry paste as you wish.  Also experiments with different vegetables such as peppers and butternut squash.  I also like to add chickpeas as well.

On the subject of curry pastes, the one below is one that I picked up from Waitrose a while back.  I have to say, I really like it and its one of my favourites.  Occasionally I make my own but this one comes in useful for when I am too busy to make my own.  I find using 2 teaspoons of this paste is more than enough heat for me.  The rice I have used is a whole grain rice with quinoa, which is very filling!

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Ingredients 

500g Mushrooms – Use a mixture. I slice plain white mushrooms and then I quarter some chestnut mushrooms.
2 Cloves of garlic crushed
5cm Piece of ginger grated
1 Onion Chopped
Pinch of chilli flakes
Olive Oil
2 – 4 tsp of good quality curry paste (depending on how hot you like it. I like a Medium Moglai curry paste for this dish)
4 Tomatoes roughly chopped
1 Tbsp of Mango Chutney
1 x 400ml of Coconut Milk
Splash of double cream (optional)
Salt and Pepper

Preheat oven to 180 degrees.

In a heavy bottomed cast iron pan place in the mushrooms and dry fry them to get some colour for around 5 minutes. They squeak in the pan when dry frying, but this gets them a nice colour. If you put oil at this stage, the mushrooms just absorb it and sort of steam. Then add a tablespoon of olive oil and add the chilli, onion, garlic along with your curry paste. Stir round for 3 minutes and then add the tomatoes, mango chutney and coconut milk. Add some salt and pepper, put the lid on and place in the oven for between 20-30 minutes. Check after 20 minutes that it is not drying out and stir round. You can add a splash of hot kettle water if you feel it needs more liquid. Once cooked transfer to the stove top and taste to check that you are happy with the spice heat and seasoning. I like to add a splash of double cream, but you could eat it without.

Serve with rice and other items such as poppodums.

Asparagus Soup

Roll on the better weather when we can enjoy this fabulous soup when it comes to asparagus season.  There is nothing like the taste of locally grown asparagus which usually appears from April-June.  Although the fickle British climate means you have to keep your eyes peeled for when it does start to emerge, but for an asparagus lover like me it is well worth the wait.    You can use foreign grown stuff, but I try to avoid it where possible and prefer to wait until it comes into season here and support my local farmers and growers.

 

asparagus soup

 

2 Tbsp Olive Oil
Knob of Butter
450g Asparagus, finely chopped
1 Large onion finely chopped
500ml Chicken stock (Hot)
Salt & Pepper
Some double cream to swirl on top

Optional – Croutons

Heat the olive oil and butter in a saucepan over a medium heat. Then add in the onion and fry for four minutes, until transparent. Take the asparagus and add it into the pan and allow to cook for a further 2-3 minutes. Add the stock, bring to the boil and then reduce to a simmer and cook for 7 minutes. Once cooked, take a hand blender and blend until smooth. Check for seasoning and add salt and pepper. As a finishing touch add a swirl of cream, or mix it through the whole soup. You can also add some croutons on top when served into a bowl, which adds a nice texture and crunch.