Tag Archives: spring onions

Sticky Chilli, Ginger, Citrus Salmon

Standard

Oh look, I cooked fish again and oh look I cooked it with fennel. This is mainly a Hairy Dieter’s recipe, with some tweaking.

Serves 5

Ingredients

5 125-150g salmon fillets, skin on
1 fennel bulb
3 spring onions, sliced lengthways

Marinade

2 stem ginger balls, finely chopped
2 tbsp stem ginger syrup
3 tbsp soy sauce
3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
zest and juice of 1 orange
zest and juice of 1 lemon
1 small red chilli, finely chopped
salt and pepper

*I didn’t actually have a chilli so substituted 1 tsp chilli powder

Method

Make up the marinade, ideally in a large rectangular flat dish à la this one. A bowl will work fine (in fact, I used a bowl and am recommending a flat dish in hindsight). Lay the salmon fillets in the dish with the skin side pointing vertically, season with plenty of black pepper (and chilli powder if you like) and leave for a few minutes. Turn skin side down, peppper, leave, turn to the third side, pepper, leave and finally turn once more to skin side up. Cover and put in the fridge for at least half an hour. I made mine up in the morning and left it around 8 hours (!)

When you’re ready to eat, preheat the oven to 220oC/425oF/gas mark 7 tear off a piece of foil large enough to bake the salmon in. Lay out on a large oven tray, I recommend using a deep one in case of leakage. Remove the tough outer fennel leaves and cut off the manky bits (for want of a better word). Halve from top to bottom, lay flat side down then cut into thin (2mm) wedges from outside edge to centre. Put out on the foil with the spring onions then carefully place the salmon fillets on top, skin side down. Not going to lie, hands really are the best way of doing this. Drizzle over about half of the marinade, pull up the sides of the foil and scrunch together to form a seal.

Put in the oven for 15 minutes, bring out and check. My oven is a bit of a cold-burner and mine took a fair while longer. Meanwhile reduce the rest of the marinade on the hob until viscous and sticky. When the salmon is ready, plate up with the fennel, some steamed veg and drizzle over the reduced marinade.

J

sticky salmon

Advertisements

Everything-But-The-Kitchen-Sink Chicken Stir Fry

Standard

As I’m currently on Easter break I am home for a while which means I have access to many more (free) ingredients than I would do normally. Hence this stir fry has got everything I could get my hands on in! It could easily work with a lot fewer ingredients.

Serves 4-5

Ingredients

400g chicken breasts, cut into strips
1 large red onion, thinly sliced
1 large carrot, thinly sliced
½ broccoli, cut into small florets
handful red chard, leaves stripped from stems, stems sliced
½ karela*, cut horizontally into strips
1 red pepper cut into strips
1 cup of peas
handful peanuts
handful cashew nuts

*also known as bitter melon apparently, I picked one up in the supermarket because it looked interesting. This really is pretty bitter, though grated in the marinade it gets cooked through nicely and loses its edge much more than when left in chunks. If I use it again I think I will probably grate it all.

Marinade

6 spring onions, sliced
3 cloves garlic, grated
½ bitter melon, grated
thumb-sized piece of fresh ginger, grated
3 tbsp soy sauce
3 tbsp tomato purée
2 tbsp brown sugar
½ tsp cinnamon
2 tsp chilli powder
3 tsp coriander
1 piece galangal, broken into a few pieces
zest and juice of ½ a lemon
zest and juice of ½ a lime
1 kafir lime leaf
handful fresh basil, torn up
handful fresh coriander, torn up
1 stick lemongrass, slightly crushed
glug sesame oil

Serve with noodles

Method

Usually I would advice cutting everything up first but seeing as your chicken is going to want to marinade for a while it makes sense to do the marinade first. Stick all the marinade ingredients into a large bowl. Give a good mix then add the chicken and smush around until everything is relatively evenly coated. Cover with clingfilm and stick in the fridge. I left mine for an hour or so. Go get cutting!

If possible get a wok, preferably one with a lid. (You could use a frying pan but it would have to be pretty mega). Toast the nuts for a few minutes then set aside. Fetch your marinaded chicken from the fridge. Heat a fairly large glug of oil (sesame if you have it, but this is by no means essential) over a high heat. Add the chicken and fry off for a few minutes, until cooked through. Remove and put to one side.

Put a saucepan onto boil for your noodles. Fry up the onions for 7-8 minutes then add a little water to the wok and throw in the broccoli. Stick the lid on and steam for 5 minutes or so. Remove lid, stir, add carrots and chard stalks, replace lid. After a further five minutes add the peas, chard leaves and re-add the chicken and nuts. Heat everything through while you cook your noodles. Depending on personal preference either add the noodles to the wok or just put them on a plate and add the stir fry on top.

J

what, no kitchen sink?

 

Coconut, Coriander, Chilli & Ginger Flatbread

Standard

The perfect, light airy flatbread to soak up a curry. Taken from the Real Food cookbook, with added coconut and spring onions. This makes one pretty enormous flatbread

Ingredients

400g strong white bread flour
320ml water
1½ tsp fast action yeast
1 tsp salt
3 tbsp dessicated coconut
2.5cm piece fresh root ginger
1 medium red chilli, deseeded & finely chopped
handful fresh coriander, ripped into pieces
2 spring onions, cut into thin rounds
olive oil

Method

Place a sheet of baking parchment on a baking tray and lightly flour a surface ready for your dough.

Sift the flour into a large bowl, add the salt to one side and the yeast to the other. Add half the chilli and coriander, 2 tbsp coconut and and most of the water. Use your hand to mix it all together, adding the remaining water a little at a time until you have a well-mixed, slightly wet dough. Tip out the dough and knead for 10 minutes.

Roll into a ball then squash down into a round – make sure to put more flour down to stop it sticking. Pick up and place on the baking parchment and squash out further until approximately 1cm thick. Dimple the surface with your fingers, add the remaining chilli, coriander, ginger, coconut and spring onions and give a healthy drizzle of olive oil. Cover with cling film and stick in a warm place to prove until doubled in size.

Preheat the oven to 190oC/375oC/gas mark 5. Remove the clingfilm and put the bread on the middle shelf for 25 minutes or until golden brown. Tap to check whether it’s cooked, it will sound hollow if it has, if not stick back in for 5 minutes. Either serve with a soggy curry or drizzle with oil and serve on its own.

J&W

not so flat flatbread

Macaroni(ish) Cheese

Standard

This is the ultimate store cupboard meal, but trust me, it does not disappoint. It keeps well for a couple of days if you want to split it into two small dishes and bake when needed. Just leave off the topping on the second dish to keep it crispy and fresh. This cheese sauce is very versatile and can be used for cauliflower, lasagne…anything! Feel free to adjust the quantity of mustard (I am a huge fan), add bacon, ham, leave out the spring onions, add fried white onion, replace the breadcrumbs with crushed cheese and onion crisps – whatever you fancy!

Serves 2.

Ingredients

40g butter
40g plain flour
300ml semi-skimmed milk
100g strong cheddar cheese
around 200g pasta of your choice (macaroni or similar)
2 tsp mustard
small bunch of spring onions
handful breadcrumbs
sprinkling of basil
salt and pepper

Method

Start by cooking your pasta, standard rules apply – salted water, around 8-10 minutes. Meanwhile preheat the oven to 180*C.

Melt the butter in another pan and throw in the flour. Stir with a wooden spoon constantly to form a stiff ball (a ‘roux’ as they say) and stir for another minute. Take off the heat. Add a little of the milk (around 20mls) to the roux and stir to make a paste. Add a little more of the milk and stir to get rid of any lumps. This bit is very important – make sure you add the milk very slowly and beat out any lumps that appear. As soon as you feel the paste turn to a liquid, you can relax and add the milk a little faster.

When all the milk is incorporated, put back on the heat. Stir constantly until it thickens – it should reach a consistency like custard. Remove from the heat, season well and grate in most of the cheese (leave a bit for the topping).  Mix in the mustard well and ensure all the cheese is melted. Quickly slice the spring onions quite thinly. Fry in a little bit of butter until soft but not too brown. Add to the cheese sauce.

Drain the pasta and mix with the sauce. Make up the topping by grating the rest of the cheese and mix with the breadcrumbs (or crisps) and herbs. Spoon into a dish, sprinkle over the topping and bake until golden brown.

Easy Chinese Prawns, Asparagus & Rice

Standard

So I’m not really a Jamie Oliver fan. Too much olive oil, too much salt, too many annoying cockney-isms. But his food is good and his 30 Minutes Meals book is pretty useful when you want to cook something tasty and new, knowing it’s not going to consume your whole evening. So we basically stole this recipe from there.

Serves 2

Ingredients

200g prawns
1 cup basmati rice
½ cup peas
½ cup sweetcorn
200g asparagus (9-10 fat sticks, 15-16 skinny sticks)
2 handfuls baby spinach
5-6 spring onions, chopped
1 egg, beaten
juice of 1 lemon
1 tbsp soy sauce
glug of sweet chilli sauce (or similar)
handful fresh coriander
1 tsp chinese five spice
1 chilli
2 cloves garlic

Method

Boil water for the rice. Add two cups of water to one cup of rice in a pan and cook to taste. Place the prawns in a sandwich bag, add a glug of olive oil and a glug of chilli oil/sesame oil/any interesting oil you have to hand, the chinese five spice, salt and pepper and give it all a good shake (make sure to close the bag first!). Stick some oil in a frying pan and add the prawns on a medium heat. Squeeze over the juice of ½ the lemon. If you fancy a sticky sauce, add a glug of honey or golden syrup.

Add the asparagus to a hot griddle pan with a sprinkling of salt and cook until “al dente” (approximately 7-8 minutes, we took one off to nibble and check). Wilt the spinach in a saucepan with a knob of butter. Check the rice – if cooked add the spring onions, peas, sweetcorn, egg, soy sauce, chilli sauce and the other half of the lemon juice. Allow time for the rice to steam and the egg to cook. You may have to whack on the heat for a minute or two.

A couple of minutes before you serve add a handful of flaked almonds to the prawns. Once everything is ready, plate up, drizzle with a dash of soy sauce, sprinkle with coriander and eat*!

J&W

*we had ours with the birthday champagne W bought. Lar-di-dar.

Larb Gai Thai Chicken Salad

Standard

So I stumbled across this dish the other day and amalgamated all the online recipes I found into my own. I couldn’t wait to try it out, so when W rang to say she was having a miserable journey home I jumped at the opportunity when she (jokingly…I think) asked me to come over and make her dinner. I’m just that kind of guy.

This is a bit “wetter” than a traditional larb gai, I think. I would call this a medium-hot dish with the spicing suggested, however it is entirely subjective. For example, my sister’s head would probably have exploded had she got her gnashers round it but a hardened curry connoisseur probably wouldn’t bat an eyelid. Or bowl an earlobe. Or catch a nosehair.

Serves 3-4 (or 2 with leftovers for lunch)

Ingredients

400g chicken breast, cut into strips
200ml coconut milk/cream
1 medium red onion, diced
6 spring onions, chopped
2 garlic cloves, chopped or crushed
4 tbsp cashews/peanuts/almonds, crushed
1 tbsp brown sugar
2 tsp soy sauce
Juice of 1 lime
1 tsp coriander
1 tsp turmeric*
½ tsp cayenne pepper
½ tsp dried chilli flakes (or one small fresh chilli, diced)

*I just so happened to have some fresh turmeric (*cough* stolen from home).
I grated a piece approx 3cm x 1cm (length x diameter) into the dish

to serve:
handful green beans/mange tout
handful fresh mint leaves
mixed leaf salad
rice

Method

Put the rice on the boil in a saucepan. Toast the nuts in a frying pan (without oil) until browned, then remove and place somewhere for safe keeping (trying not to eat them while you make the rest of the dish!). Add a little oil and sear the chicken on a high heat until it starts to brown. Chuck in the onion, spring onions, garlic, sugar and spices and give a good stir. Then pour in the coconut cream, soy sauce and squeeze in most of the lime juice – leaving just a little oomph left in your lime. Try saying that ten times quickly.

Drain your rice (once cooked, obviously) and stick back in the saucepan. Reduce the liquid until you’ve got a sauce that’s somewhere between sticky and runny and throw the whole lot in with the rice. Add the nuts back in (if you’ve got any left) – taking them out means they don’t go soft in the liquid as it reduces.

Throw some salad on a plate, then add your chicken and rice mix and top with a few green beans, the mint leaves (casually ripped) and a final squeeze of your now extensively mined lime. In the past year I have discovered a love for uncooked vegetables, which is somewhat embarrassing as I always used to mock my dad for his similar love, hence my beans were raw. Feel free however to chuck them into the mix as the sauce reduces if you prefer your greens less crunchy.

et voilà.

Here are some suggestions of potential additions/substitutions

– Roasted rice powder – I might do this next time. Add dry rice to a frying pan and toast on a high heat until brown, then grind down with a pestle and mortar
– Fish sauce
– Ginger
– Lemongrass
– Cumin

J