Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Carrot and coriander

  • Buy an onion. I didn't have one, which is illegal in my house, but I had a leek, so I used that. Chop it and fry it gently in butter with two or three heaped teaspoons of ground coriander, a bit of ground cumin and some chopped coriander stalks.
  • After about five or ten, add three peeled, chopped carrots, a chopped pomme de terre and a minced garlic clove.
  • Keep it gently sizzling for five, then add water - not too much, don't quite cover everything. Add a vegetable stock cube. Add black pepper if you so wish.
  • Stir it and keep it simmering until 9.30pm, or until the carrot slips easily off a knife when poked and lifted out. Make sure your potato is on the same wavelength as your carrot.
  • Whiz, then stir in some fresh coriander leaves.
  • Taste, then shake your head in disbelief.

What did it taste like? Really, really good. If I had my own trumpet, I would blow it. This soup is the very destiny of the carrot. It should be eaten at least once a day. The fresh herbs provide a bite here and there, against the warmth of the spices and the sweetness of the carrots.

  1. I didn't use any salt at all. The stock cube I used (which was one of those live ones (i.e. jelly in nature)) was enough. 
  2. You can leave out the cumin, but I wanted a little more depth. I used a small teaspoon of it. 
  3. Grate or slice your garlic if mincing is not your strong point. 
  4. I kept my soup quite chunky, but you can purée it as you please. I needed to add a little water at the end to get the consistency I wanted.
  5. Using coriander stalks is non-negotiable. They have lots of flavour and if you have bought fresh coriander for the soup, you might as well use the whole lot.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Chinese chicken noodle

  • Get some real chicken stock on the stove. Add sliced ginger and garlic, sugarsoy sauce, sesame oil and a teaspoon of chinese five spice. Let it infuse to your heart's content.
  • Add some egg noodles.
  • When they're cooked, pop in some pak choi. Slice each leaf in half longways. Let them just wilt.
  • Serve with roast chicken, spring onion and hot red chili if you like it like that.

What did it taste like? So delicious. I don't know how authentic it was but my tastebuds told me it was Chinese and chicken and delicious. And bloomin' hot.

Tip: To serve, place noodles in the bowl, put the pak choi on one side, the chicken (warm it up in the microwave if it's cold) on the other, add some liquid, then garnish.

Here is a photo, mid-eat:

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Chicken + green olive

  • Boil some batons of peeled potato.
  • Rough slice some onion and fry in a little olive oil.
  • Add roast chicken, sizzle a second, then add proper chicken stock.
  • Season, then add your cooked potato.
  • Finish with your favourite type of sliced/quartered green olives. If you don't know what your favourite are, use my favourite, but please let me know what they are because I don't know.

What did it taste like? Roast chicken. And olives. Simple and delicious.

Tip: Undercook your potatoes so that when they go into the soup they can take a bit more cooking without falling apart.

Roasted aubergine and garlic + lemon and thyme

  • Slice an aubergine longways, then stab it gently. Don't think murder, think friendly knife play.
  • Put it on a baking tray with a few peeled potatoes, a peeled, quartered onion and some smashed garlic cloves.
  • Douse in olive oil, salt and some thyme.
  • Bake at about 200°C for an hour or so until the aubergine is squishy.
  • Heat a saucepan, add olive oil and get your roasted onions and garlic in.
  • Scoop out the aubergine and add. Fry a little, then add your potatoes and some chicken stock.
  • Whiz.
  • Drizzle with lemon and olive oil.

What did it taste like? Beautiful. Earthy and sweet and just like mamma used to make. Except she didn't. But if she did, it would taste like this.

Tip: Easy on the lemon, but don't forego it. Get your guests to squeeze it on, themselves (or on themselves). Use fresh thyme or really good dried stuff. I'm not showing off, but look how lovely mine is.