Tag Archives: tomato

Lamb, Spinach & Potato Curry

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Courtesy of the Hairy Bikers from their dieting book. Not that either of us are dieters. Not that it’s even our book.

Serves 5-6

Ingredients

600g lamb steaks, cut into 3cm cubes
2 large onions, sliced
4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
3 medium potatoes, cut into 3cm cubes
5cm piece fresh root ginger
1 medium red chilli, deseeded & finely chopped
1 tin chopped tomatoes
1 tin spinach*
curry paste**
4 bay leaves
3 large tomatoes, cut into eighths
200ml coconut milk
water
salt and pepper

*I used tinned simply as that’s all we had. If you have fresh (and it will undoubtedly taste better if you do) use 200g of that!
**I haven’t given a quantity here as curry paste varies so much. To put the recipe into context I used 4 teaspoons of Patak’s “extra hot” and I reckon it could have done with at least 1 more

Method

Preheat the oven to 190oC/375oC/gas mark 5 and set aside a bowl. Heat some olive oil in a large casserole dish, brown the lamb with some salt and pepper and place in the bowl. Add the onions to the casserole dish and cook over a medium heat for 7-8 minutes before adding the garlic, chilli, curry paste and grating in the ginger. Cook for a further five minutes before removing from the heat and blitzing to a paste with a hand-blender.

Return the lamb to the paste and return to a medium heat, cooking and stirring for 5 minutes or so until throwing in the chopped tomatoes, coconut milk, potatoes, bay leaves and enough water to cover everything. Season with salt and pepper and add a spoonful of sugar, give a good stir before adding the lid and whacking in the oven.

Cook for 60 minutes, check then stick back in for half an hour. Remove from the oven add the tomatoes, spinach and cook on the hob, for five minutes. Serve with a lovely curry-soaking flatbread.

J

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Rosemary-Skewered Jacket Potato

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Or alternatively The Most Inventive Thing I’ve Ever Done In The Kitchen. And I didn’t use ginger. I didn’t even use chilli…!

Ingredients

1 baking potato
6-8 stalks of fresh rosemary

Tomato Ragu

1 small onion, chopped
1 garlic glove, finely chopped
8 cherry tomatoes, cut in half
1 tbsp tomato purée
balsamic vinegar
salt and pepper

Method

Preheat the oven to 220oC/425oF/Gas Mark 7. With a sharp knife, carefully cut slits all the way through the potato in a semi-regular pattern.

Optional: Spread a little rock salt on a plate, wet the skin of the potato and roll in the salt. Apparently this helps draw moisture out of the skin so it gets super-crispy.

Put the baked potato in the microwave on the highest setting for approximately 5-6 minutes. Remove when the potato gives under a little pressure from your hand – but be careful, it will be hot!

Leave the potato to cool on the side. Fetch your rosemary sticks and use a knife to carefully whittle down the ends to sharper points – this makes for easier insertion…*snigger*. Once your potato is cool enough, poke the rosemary stalks through the pre-cut slits until it comes out the other side. If you have any bit sticking way out of the potato, cut them off and save them or insert them in another slit, otherwise they’ll just crisp up in the oven and be horrid. Once done your potato should look something like this:

unbaked

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Put your potato into the oven for 30-40 minutes, until a nice crispy skin has formed. Be careful, leaving it too long will lead to a dried out interior – I’m sure you all know your ovens best so just cook as you would a normal jacket potato. Meanwhile make up your ragu.

Heat a little olive oil in a saucepan and add the onion and garlic. Sweat for 6 minutes before adding a glug of balsamic vinegar. After a further couple of minutes add your tomatoes, tomato purée, a really good twist of pepper and a good pinch of salt. At this stage I also threw in the “leaves” of rosemary that came from cutting my rosemary stalks. Lower the heat, cover and stir occasionally. If anything starts to stick to the bottom of the pan, add a drop of water, stir and recover. Cook for approximately 15 minutes then remove the lid and reduce sauce to a really thick, sticky, gooey, gloopy, pan of wonderment.

Remove the potato from the oven – remember hot! Tadaa:

baked

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cut open gently – you could remove the rosemary stalks if you want to but I chose to leave mine in and eat around them. Slather your potato with lashing of butter and top with the ragu. Simple yet damn delicious.

J

tasty ragu

Shredded Beef Wraps

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Another “Mighty Spice“-inspired/stolen recipe.

Serves 3-4

Ingredients

Beef

400g braising/casserole/stewing steak
1 onion, quartered and sliced
3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
4 tomatoes, chopped
1 tsp oregano
1 tsp dried thyme
1 small red chilli, finely chopped
2 tbsp white wine vinegar
2 tbsp tomato purée
pinch sugar
salt and pepper
6-8 flatbreads

Garlic Mayo

200g mayonnaise
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
handful fresh coriander
2-3 spring onions, sliced
pepper

Salad

1 small lettuce, shredded
bowl of strong cheddar, grated
a few baby tomatoes, halved
a few gherkins, thinly sliced
1 carrot, cut into matchsticks

Method

Put a large pan of water onto boil. Add the beef, lower to a simmer and cook for approximately 1 hour. Once cooked through remove from the water and leave to cool on the side. In the meantime, why not make your flatbread dough, salad-y item, garlic mayonnaise (just throw all the ingredients into a bowl of mayonnaise, stir and hey presto!) and start on the sauce?

Heat some oil in a separate saucepan and add the onion and garlic, sweating for approximately 8 minutes. Bung in the rest of the “Beef” ingredients (apart from the cooking beef and flatbreads, obviously…!) reduce the heat to as low as possible, cover and cook for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove the lid and really reduce the sauce down to a thick, gorgeous gloop. Yes I just used the word gloop in a good way.

This is where an extra pair of hands comes in useful but if like most of us you are blessed with just the two I would do the following in this order:

1. Flake the beef into the gloop, stir really well and heat through until everything is piping hot. Reduce heat to minimum, cover and move onto step 2.
2. Hey, you made it! Start rolling out and cooking your flatbreads, throwing each cooked one onto a hot plate under a (clean!) tea towel to keep them warm.

Et voilá – all that remains is to serve up. Put the beef into a large bowl so everyone can help themselves (or even just serve in the saucepan if you want to save on washing up). Frisbee out the flatbreads, dollop on the mayo, bang on the beef and fling on the salad. That’s one mighty fine wrap you got right there, I tell ya.

Enjoy!
J

Sausage & Tomato Pasta

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I’ve been having reservations about posting this since making it the other day. You see, our “About Us” clearly states that we are “Two students, bored with student food” and this, for all intensive purposes is student food. Maybe it should read “Two students, bored with average student food” as I feel that statement is more accurate.

I guess it all depends on your definition of student food, but to me it screams: quick, bland, microwaved (*shudder*). This recipe certainly is one of those things, in fact the only one that’s never a bad thing: it’s quick, approx 30 mins from cupboard to table. And I guess this is what persuaded me to finally post it – most people, student or not, are after quick eats quite often and this is a particularly tasty one. So let’s drop the pretensions and get on with cooking some straightforward, yumm-o food.

Yumm-o.

It’s a word. Deal with it.

Serves 4 comfortably

Ingredients

4 good sausages, cut into bite-size chunks
1-2 onions, sliced into quarter rings
1 red pepper, diced
2 garlic cloves, crushed/finely chopped
2 tins chopped tomatoes
250g pasta (use more if you want to bulk it up)
few handfuls frozen green beans
good glug white wine vinegar
good glug balsamic vinegar
good glug golden syrup
couple of good squeezes of tomato purée
1 bay leaf
handful fresh rosemary, oregano & thyme, all chopped

optional extras: chilli flakes/powder, cumin, basil, peas, sweetcorn…etc!

Method

Heat oil in a large saucepan/deep frying pan over a high heat. Add the golden syrup and brown your sausages. After 5 or so minutes add the onion, then after a further 5 minutes lower the heat to medium and add the garlic. Cook for a further couple of minutes.

Pour in the white wine vinegar (say 50ml) and reduce for a few minutes before adding the tinned tomatoes, purée, bay leaf, rosemary, oregano, thyme and a glug of balsamic (say 25ml). Season well. Put the kettle on (3/4 full should be ample) and when boiled add the water to another saucepan before throwing in your pasta. Add plenty of salt and a glug of oil and cook as per instructions on packet. Check hardness every so often – there’s nothing worse than mushy pasta!

Reduce the sauce for 15 minutes, tasting regularly to see if anything needs adjusting. Add the pepper and green beans and continue to cook until both tender (approx. 5 minutes). Drain the pasta and add to the sauce, give a really good stir to coat as much of the pasta as possible. I used fusili (not out of choice, just out of the fact that’s what was in the cupboard – I’m no pasta anorak!) and it works quite well as the thick sauce gets in all the spiral grooves.

Serve, topped with a little cheese, another splash of balsamic and maybe some fresh green herbs of your choosing. Just watch out for that bay leaf!

Tomato & Red Onion Chutney

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When in Bristol for the Jubilee weekend we had afternoon tea at a wonderful little café. It consisted of savoury and sweet scones, with chutney and jam respectively. They were so bloody scrumptious we thought we’d attempt to replicate them. Here is the recipe for our savoury chutney. The corresponding savoury scone recipe is here, the sweet scone here and the jam here. Magic.

Ingredients

Makes 1lb

400g ripe tomatoes
3 cooking apples
200g light muscovado sugar
2g pectin (optional)
300g red onions
200g raisins
1 tsp salt
1 tsp ground ginger
150ml cider vinegar
50ml balsamic vinegar
1 clove of garlic
1 tsp rosemary

Method

Chop up all the vegetables into small chunks. Grate the garlic. Put all the ingredients (except one chopped apple – save this until later) into a large pan and bring to the boil over a medium heat. Keep checking on it and stir regularly, it should take around an hour for the sauce to thicken but this is just a guide. Add the remaining apple when you feel that your chutney is at a suitable consistency and reduce for a further 5 minutes. This will give your chutney a bit of extra bite and as fans of crunch in spreads (chunky pickle and whole nut peanut butter for example) this is good by us. Take it off the heat and spoon it into hot, sterilised jars. Seal the jars and allow to cool. Keep in the fridge and eat within a few months.

*Tip Alert*

Sterilising jars

There are a few ways of doing this, but we find the easiest is to wash them by hand in hot soapy water. Dry them in the oven on a very low setting (around 70°) for around ten minutes. Put the jam into the jars whilst both are still hot. Remember that if you cool glass jars very quickly (put them in cold water whilst still hot) they will probably crack, so don’t do that.

J&W