cooked a new recipe today.

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Re: cooked a new recipe today.

Postby EmWilk » March 3rd, 2014, 5:08 pm

Ooooh CinSal, I remember once, years ago, I saw Thomasina Myers cook 'fideos' on a TV show and vowed to try it - still haven't! That must've been a good 7 years ago :o ! I guess this is the same/similar.

You've inspired my to dig out that recipe if nothing else!!
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Re: cooked a new recipe today.

Postby Annie » March 3rd, 2014, 9:08 pm

made Saag in an Asian cooking class a couple of weeks ago and loved it on it's own. In the local Asian supermarket they had big bunches of spinach on offer at 3 bunches for £1.

Guess what I made for dinner tonight. Made some more chilli garlic bread to have with it. A nice dollop of yoghurt to go with it all :chops:
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Re: cooked a new recipe today.

Postby Cinnamon Sally » March 4th, 2014, 9:27 am

Hi Em, Yes, I've seen the dish called Fideua/Fideo/Fideos. The packet (Gallo brand) of noodles that I bought to make it did actually say Fideo.

Strangely, despite all the pasta, I didn't find the dish as filling as a rice-based paella. I suppose that can be both a good and bad thing :lol: Definitely recommend making it and look forward to hearing your thoughts.

ETA: Just found the Tommi Myers recipe online - it is obviously a Mexican variant of the dish and very different to the one I made and what I have seen and previously eaten around Spain. Looks great though and I'd be really tempted to try this and compare the two.
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Re: cooked a new recipe today.

Postby EmWilk » March 4th, 2014, 9:46 am

Thanks for that CinSal, knew I hadn't dreamt it! Yes, the one I'd seen definitely had a Mexican flare and had no meat of fish in it I don't think. I might just give it a try and see how it goes!
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Re: cooked a new recipe today.

Postby StokeySue » March 4th, 2014, 9:47 am

Cinnamon Sally wrote:ETA: Just found the Tommi Myers recipe online - it is obviously a Mexican variant of the dish and very different to the one I made and what I have seen and previously eaten around Spain. Looks great though and I'd be really tempted to try this and compare the two.


Link please?
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Re: cooked a new recipe today.

Postby ianinfrance » March 4th, 2014, 12:01 pm

Hi,
Two new dishes on the cards today. Both low calorie as it's one of our fast days. Will write them up on the 5:2 pages, but it's a low calorie version of Huevos Rancheros for lunch and then for supper,Rich Paprika Seafood bowl from the Beeb's Good Food recipes.
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Re: cooked a new recipe today.

Postby Cinnamon Sally » March 4th, 2014, 1:30 pm

StokeySue wrote:
Cinnamon Sally wrote:ETA: Just found the Tommi Myers recipe online - it is obviously a Mexican variant of the dish and very different to the one I made and what I have seen and previously eaten around Spain. Looks great though and I'd be really tempted to try this and compare the two.


Link please?


Oops - thought I had done that: http://uktv.co.uk/food/recipe/aid/598141

The Catalan-style Fideua I made was a combination of this http://books.google.co.uk/books?id=WTvWt3kzRIgC&pg=PT198&lpg=PT198&dq=fideua+rick+stein&source=bl&ots=qcFfjMIGkT&sig=Py63h2h1-sIzyQIQDosXgKNcFS4&hl=en&sa=X&ei=etQVU57OBcmUhQeQg4CACg&ved=0CE8Q6AEwBQ#v=onepage&q=fideua%20rick%20stein&f=false, this http://www.foodsfromspain.com/icex/cda/controller/pageSGT/0,9459,35868_6908153_6910167_4459143_0,00.html and this http://www.gourmettraveller.com.au/recipes/recipe-search/fast/2007/10/mussel-and-chorizo-fideu%C3%A1/
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Re: cooked a new recipe today.

Postby StokeySue » March 4th, 2014, 2:50 pm

Thanks CinnSal

Thinking abou tit I saw a repeat of the Rick Stein one quite recently, the "stock" was more of a thin fish soup I think

I may have a go sometime, but I'd have to buy yet another form of noodles to do it!
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Re: cooked a new recipe today.

Postby Cinnamon Sally » March 4th, 2014, 4:05 pm

Yes - definitely a thin soup rather than a traditional clear stock although it is somewhat similar to the mixture Simon Hopkinson uses as a base for paella and which I can also highly recommend. I was sceptical about SH's method to begin with as I had never seen that kind of thing in Spain but tried it and was bowled over by the flavour in the finished dish. I therefore had no qualms about RS's similar method although his is much more voluminous and the principal source of liquid in the dish in contrast to SH who uses the tomato mixture as a base only and then adds stock in the traditional method

http://www.simonhopkinson.tv/recipe/30/paella.aspx
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Re: cooked a new recipe today.

Postby StokeySue » March 9th, 2014, 5:35 pm

last night I cooked Malay Fish Curry with Tomato and Okra from Rick Stein's Far Eastern Odyssey

Basically you make a fairly runny veg curry and braise fish (or fish heads) in it

I used mackerel

Very nice with some jasmine rice
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Re: cooked a new recipe today.

Postby spotteddick » March 10th, 2014, 12:40 am

I have been collecting recipes from all over the areas that I have visited, it is interesting, though of course quite natural how different even the basic recipes differ from area to are in a country. I hope to be putting them all together under a single heading on my blog later. Many are of course variations on a theme (there must be thousand of Pad Thai recipes as there are green mango salads, or Vietnamese orange duck), but some vary quite a bit, what is Amok in Siem Reap was totally different to the one that I cooked in Phnom Penh, the first being cooked in a coconut sauce, the later having the coconut milk reduced to a cream and then added to the top about 10 minutes before the end.
I am looking forward to sharing my cooking experiences with you all.
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Re: cooked a new recipe today.

Postby Herbidacious » March 10th, 2014, 8:24 am

No terribly adventurous, but I have been craving cauliflower lately, and this in the Guardian on Saturday.

Maple syrup roasted cauliflower cheese made with creme fraiche instead of bechamel. It was not a fool proof recipe. There seemed to be more sauce than was needed (but that didn't matter!) and the maple syrup started to boil at the temperature suggested but it turned out ok.

I didn't stick to the recipe exactly. No gruyere, so used generic extra mature cheddar. I used Dusseldorf mustard instead of Dijon, because I love it (!) I used half fat crème fraiche - it didn't specify which sort. I think it would have been two rich (and daunting) with full fat. I also used less than it specified because I only had one tub. (See above comment on sauce though.)

Here's the recipe: http://www.lcsun-news.com/ci_25296493/how-cook-veggies-an-edge

I used Clark's no 2 Maple/amber grade syrup which was lovely. It had a slight bitter edge to it. I haven't really used maple syrup before but I have become an instant convert with this.

Apologies for lack of accents etc. on letters!
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Re: cooked a new recipe today.

Postby StokeySue » March 10th, 2014, 8:36 am

Interesting Herbidacious but I hope the Guardian didn't pay Henry Dimbleby much for that, one has to assume he didn't test the recipe, as he couldn't be bothered to add the conversion from US cup measures, or more importantly from US oven temperatures to UK one

Incidentally Aldi have very nice maple syrup at a reasonable price, I bought some as I like it on porridge, but I won’t pay a fortune for that use, so don’t pay the huge amounts whole food shops want!
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Re: cooked a new recipe today.

Postby Herbidacious » March 10th, 2014, 9:36 am

ah the actually Guardian one was in metric. Although I was slightly annoyed that the measurement fro the creme fraiche was in weight! So slightly sloppily translated. Actually I would have been better using the US version as I have a set of American cups.

They could have just gone a Nigel Slater route and floated maple syrup roasted cauliflower in a creme fraiche cheese and mustard sauce as an idea!
The syrup came from Waitrose. I don't have an Aldi really, but will check out Lidl. I have bought it from Sainsbury's in the past, but it just tasted sweet. This had a more complex flavour.
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Re: cooked a new recipe today.

Postby ianinfrance » March 30th, 2014, 10:00 pm

Ever since Kavey talked about this, I've had a yen to try it. Mamta's Lamb biryani with a green chilli curry. Only one word. Delicious.

biryani.jpg
A smashing plate of food!
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Re: cooked a new recipe today.

Postby Mamta » March 31st, 2014, 7:35 am

Looks great Ian :tu: , thanks for posting the picture.
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Re: cooked a new recipe today.

Postby ianinfrance » March 31st, 2014, 7:49 am

Mamta wrote:Looks great Ian :tu: , thanks for posting the picture.
It was a pleasure. Mind you, maybe our stomachs are shrinking, but there's no way in the WORLD we could eat 125 g of rice in a meal. (1 kg for 8) As Kavey did, we made enough for 4 and ate a third last night.

Really delicious, though we will follow your suggestion (more or less) and cut back slightly on the ground chillies in the meat next time. It was a little hotter than we expected. What did surprise me in the recipe was just how the use of the lime transformed the dish. gave it a really lovely freshness. That was a real discovery for me.
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Re: cooked a new recipe today.

Postby StokeySue » March 31st, 2014, 8:40 am

I followed Felicity Cloake's recipe for The Perfect Spanish Omelette on Thursday

http://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/wordofmouth/2010/jul/29/how-to-cook-spanish-omelette?commentpage=2

Very good but 6 medium eggs to 600 g spud it too eggy, i used 4 large (which was plenty) and even a tad less would have been fine

I've made all sorts of tortilla/frittatas of course but never quite using this method of cooking the potatoes in a lot of oil; I sliced both onion & potato on the 2 mm blade of the Magimix & used Maris Peer, which had a good texture; these hold together when boiled though they aren't properly new potatoes

Another time I may add other ingredients too

It's one of those dishes where the oil returns - as you are cooking the potatoes it all looks quite dry until suddenly the oil floods back and you have finished.
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Re: cooked a new recipe today.

Postby Mamta » March 31st, 2014, 9:17 am

Mind you, maybe our stomachs are shrinking, but there's no way in the WORLD we could eat 125 g of rice in a meal. (1 kg for 8) As Kavey did, we made enough for 4 and ate a third last night.

I guess that amount is for when Biryani and mirchi ka saalan are the only things on the menu, nothing else. You are right, as we get older, the amount we eat goes down. I would normally make 70-75 gm. rice per person, biryani somehow always disappears faster than other pilafs! Chillies vary so much, you have to adjust the amount always, to your taste.
I followed Felicity Cloake's recipe for The Perfect Spanish Omelette on Thursday

I Love Spanish omelette, but don't remember to make it often enough. I was told how to make it verbally by the guide and chef of the hotel where I stayed in lanzarote on a birdwatching trip, it is quite easy and tasty, isn't it? I fry my potatoes with other vegetables, then add them to the beaten egg.
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Re: cooked a new recipe today.

Postby Kavey » March 31st, 2014, 9:23 am

Ian, I missed this as I don't usually read this thread. So pleased you made mum's recipe and enjoyed it.

Any chance you might post a comment on my blog post, and perhaps a link to the photo? You can't embed photos in the comments, but links usually work ok!

And yes I loved the addition of the lemon/ lime in the curry part of the biryani too!
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Re: cooked a new recipe today.

Postby ianinfrance » March 31st, 2014, 1:27 pm

Kavey wrote:Ian, I missed this as I don't usually read this thread. So pleased you made mum's recipe and enjoyed it.

Any chance you might post a comment on my blog post, and perhaps a link to the photo? You can't embed photos in the comments, but links usually work ok!

And yes I loved the addition of the lemon/ lime in the curry part of the biryani too!
It will be a pleasure. I was a bit busy this morning and so I wanted to quickly upload this before logging off again. I'll also be posting a comment on the "what did you eat today" thread.

@Mamta. I agree about the chilli quantities, but as I'm sure I've said, I always follow a recipe as written (well I went light on the coriander for Jacquie's sake and made a couple of minor mistakes, which we won't talk about) the first time and then make notes for later reference. For this recipe, the notes will be "don't forget the herbs in the rice cooking water" and "don't forget what you bought the cashews for". As for quantities. ALL we had was the biryani and the chilli curry/relish. we normally eat around 50g dry weight per head for the two of us except when rice IS the meal (fried rice in chinese for example) when we use nearer 75g as you say. But I was half expecting there to be some left over from two meals, so we've divided what was left in half and will have one of the batches tomorrow and the other is frozen for Saturday.
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Re: cooked a new recipe today.

Postby Mamta » March 31st, 2014, 1:32 pm

For this recipe, the notes will be "don't forget the herbs in the rice cooking water" and "don't forget what you bought the cashews for".

:D Glad to see that others make such mistakes too!
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Re: cooked a new recipe today.

Postby Kavey » March 31st, 2014, 2:08 pm

We had the biryani on it's own and had pretty much exactly half between us the first day and the other half the next day. They were greedy portions, but it was so darn tasty, we couldn't help ourselves!

The quantities in my blog post version could certainly feed 6 with a few small side dishes...
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Re: cooked a new recipe today.

Postby suffolk » April 6th, 2014, 8:24 pm

I made this today http://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/1977 ... f-puddings - I didn't have immediate access to a plain Madeira cake, but I did have an Orange loaf cake from the farm shop, so I reasoned that rhubarb and orange go well together, as do orange and ginger, so that's what I used - and I left out the nutmeg as I thought that was probably one flavour too far as we had already added the orange.

It was very delicious, and OH keeps going into the kitchen and helping himself to another spoonful, on the pretence of making me a :mug: :lol:
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Re: cooked a new recipe today.

Postby Cinnamon Sally » April 7th, 2014, 1:49 pm

I made two new dishes over the weekend. Friday night saw Gnocchi with wild mushroom and rosemary ragu from Simon Rimmer's The Accidental Vegetarian; a really lovely comforting dish. The sauce had all the rich flavours of a traditional bolognaise or meat-based ragu but is, IMO, a better option than simply substituting meat for quorn or similar. Will definitely make this if we have veggie friends for supper.

On Saturday I made Beef in White Wine Oviedo Style, from Rick Stein's Spain. This recipe has intrigued me for a long time and although I was pleased with the final result, I don't think the white wine really added anything to the dish - not even a lightness or freshness for which I had hoped from the recipe. The onion, garlic and pepper dominated the dish, not in a bad way but it really wasn't special enough to justify the long cooking time.
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Re: cooked a new recipe today.

Postby Seatallan » April 7th, 2014, 4:07 pm

I've been toying with trying the Rick Stein dish Sally, but may not bother after your experience.

By the way, I made the chickpea, chorizio and pollack recipe a couple of weekends ago and it was lovely. Really liked the thing with the saffron on the fish. Have frozen half of the stew part for another time (and will add more fish).
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Re: cooked a new recipe today.

Postby Cinnamon Sally » April 7th, 2014, 4:39 pm

Glad you enjoyed the Pollack dish. Funnily enough OH just asked last night when we would be having that one again :D I also froze some of the stew at the time but just ended up having it for lunch one day with some crusty bread :chops:

As I said, there was nothing wrong with the beef dish. It was pleasant but had no wow factor for me. The meat was tender though. Also it was a little insipid looking on the plate which may have put me off.
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Re: cooked a new recipe today.

Postby Seatallan » April 7th, 2014, 5:02 pm

I may give it a bash anyway. OH likes just about anything involving beef. :D
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Re: cooked a new recipe today.

Postby Cinnamon Sally » April 16th, 2014, 9:59 am

Last night I made part of this JO dish from 15 minute meals http://www.jamieoliver.com/recipes/chicken-recipes/thai-chicken-laksa-mildly-spiced-noodle-squash-broth

I made the squash and noodle soup, which was absolutely delicious and was easily done in the 15 minutes! Rather than have the chicken alongside, I made use of some lovely king prawns which I marinated in chilli, ginger and lime and then griddled.

Made far too much broth through so have more of that, minus the noodles and asparagus, for lunch today.
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Re: cooked a new recipe today.

Postby Mamta » April 17th, 2014, 8:33 am

Not so new for me, but perhaps for many of you;
Aloe Vera Stir-fry
Aloe 6.jpg

Aloe 11.jpg


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Re: cooked a new recipe today.

Postby Cinnamon Sally » April 22nd, 2014, 8:37 am

Two new recipes cooked in the last two days. Our Easter Sunday dinner was Tom Kerridge's Slow Roasted Lamb Shoulder with Boulangere Potatoes. I've made many similar lamb dishes before, although usually with leg rather than shoulder. This was an exceptionally simple recipe with only a handful of ingredients, letting the quality of the ingredients speak for themselves. The lamb was soft, tender and very garlicky :tu: :tu: :tu: Definitely recommended!

Yesterday I made Yottam Ottolenghi's honeyed sweet potatoes with chickpeas and spinach which was a gorgeous dish full of all my favourite flavours. I actually shredded a little of the leftover lamb into the chickpea mix which worked well but would easily be just as good in its originally intentioned veggie state. Really can't recommend this one highly enough. Interestingly, OH loved the yoghurt sauce spooned over the top, although he normally detests tzatziki and raita. I've found a blog about the recipe here http://oxfordfood.wordpress.com/2010/04/15/chickpeas-and-spinach-with-honeyed-sweet-potato/ and would agree with some of the suggestions, namely there being a little too much water for the potatoes but it is useful to spoon into the tomato sauce to loosen it up and the amount of olive oil in the yoghurt sauce seemed a bit excessive. I stopped after the first spoonful and thought the taste and texture were perfect.
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Re: cooked a new recipe today.

Postby Mamta » April 22nd, 2014, 9:33 am

For this recipe, the notes will be "don't forget the herbs in the rice cooking water" and "don't forget what you bought the cashews for".

I have now added it to the recipe!
I love sweet potatoes (my grandma cooked and ate them at least once a week), but I would probably just oven-bake them, with a tiny amount of butter, no honey. They don't require sweetening any more I think. The picture on his recipe looks good :tu: , but I will serve the chickpeas and sweet potatoes separately, not on top of each other.
Sweet potatoes in oven, with ghee, 200c for 40 minutes 1.jpg
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Re: cooked a new recipe today.

Postby StokeySue » April 22nd, 2014, 12:14 pm

I saw sweet potato plants on sale in Chingford B&Q yesterday, the label said it was a variety that would grow in an English summer

Never seen that before
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Re: cooked a new recipe today.

Postby Mamta » April 22nd, 2014, 2:13 pm

Sue I grew one a couple of years ago. I got the plant, but nothing much by way of rhizome!
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Re: cooked a new recipe today.

Postby StokeySue » April 22nd, 2014, 2:31 pm

Not a full on recipe but I've been meaning to try the cauliflower rice, and I did yesterday

Wow, really liked it, might even do it in preference to "real" rice with some things

Shame about the sweet potatoes Mamta, If I had space I'd be tempted to try one anyway, as I understand the plant itself is attractive
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Re: cooked a new recipe today.

Postby Mamta » April 22nd, 2014, 3:46 pm

Yes. the plant is good. Actually, i might try it again this year. I will just stick one root from Sainsbury's into a pot or underground. It is going on my shopping list now.
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Re: cooked a new recipe today.

Postby ianinfrance » April 22nd, 2014, 5:27 pm

Mamta wrote:I have now added it to the recipe!
LOL!!! Thanks very much, though really, my forgetfulness doesn't need to be pandered to in that way. I doubt anyone else would be so loony. :lol: :lol:
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Re: cooked a new recipe today.

Postby Annie » April 22nd, 2014, 7:31 pm

StokeySue wrote:Not a full on recipe but I've been meaning to try the cauliflower rice, and I did yesterday

Wow, really liked it, might even do it in preference to "real" rice with some things

not me that made this but my daughter, she made a pizza with cauliflower.
grated cauliflower, egg and mozzarella cheese as the base, said it was great. I wondered about what was what in the recipe to make it effective and she said the cheese was a flavouring and it was the cauliflower and egg that really formed the base. I intend to get the recipe off her (after all it is in one of my books she has 'borrowed').
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Re: cooked a new recipe today.

Postby Mamta » April 22nd, 2014, 8:03 pm

Thanks very much, though really, my forgetfulness doesn't need to be pandered to in that way. I doubt anyone else would be so loony.

Ahem...you are looking at one. I have done it before this, so a reminder is a good idea LOL! It does make a difference to the flavour!
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Re: cooked a new recipe today.

Postby Cinnamon Sally » April 29th, 2014, 8:42 pm

As well as trying steak chimichurri on Sunday as detailed in my "around the world" thread; yesterday I made Thomasina Meirs' Mexican Fideos as detailed by EmWilk earlier on this thread. I made it with chicken rather than pigeon stock and was very pleased with the result. Quite a nice easy but tasty supper dish!
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Re: cooked a new recipe today.

Postby Cinnamon Sally » May 5th, 2014, 2:21 pm

Made Fennel and Tomato Crumble Gratin from Ottolenghi last night. I scaled the recipe down and made small individual portions to accompany roast chicken with asparagus and one or two jersey royals - proper springtime roast! The gratin was lovely - creamy and moreish - the best type of comfort food, and worked really well with the chicken. Definitely worth keeping in mind as part of a larger feast or vegetarian main course with some nice bread.
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Re: cooked a new recipe today.

Postby Swan » May 31st, 2014, 12:14 pm

I'm really pleased to see so many recipes from Fuchsia Dunlop's EGOR featuring here :) I've tried quite a few, all of them successful & the latest is the Sour and Hot Silken Tofu on page 90.

It was absolutely delicious, a feast of wonderful flavours & textures, so good, that if I hadn't run out of tofu I'd have been really greedy & made myself another bowlful :oops:.
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Re: cooked a new recipe today.

Postby Swan » June 4th, 2014, 5:55 pm

I'm not sure if this really counts as a new recipe as such, but ...

After a day helping my daughter move house yesterday no one felt like cooking, so we had one of our very rare takeaways. Today there was almost a full portion of leftover plain chow mein, my choice originally as I'm not keen on Chinese takeaway, but in my defence I was seduced by the super crispy chips the others had & I stole/ate too many of them :oops: :mrgreen:

So inspired by EGOR I doctored it with a Tablespoon of the home made chilli oil, a Tablespoon or so of chopped Sichuan preserved vegetable, a big splash of Chinkiang vinegar & some spring onion tops. The result was a totally transformed bog standard chow mein :hungry: am I obsessed by EGOR? definitely :D

My only regret? forgetting to give it a sprinkle of Mala powder before eating, however it's inspiration for a totally home made version next time.
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Re: cooked a new recipe today.

Postby StokeySue » June 5th, 2014, 8:24 am

I haven't really cooked many new recipes recently, just tweaked some

Inspired by Ian's review of Kate Harrison's %:2 recipe book I decided ot try her recipe for a low-cal chicken, lemon an green olive tagien

Only I ended up following the idea not the recipe

Worked really well

My low-cal chicken, olive & fennel tagine
Ingredient s
Two chicken breast fillets 200g 220
Chermoula spice mix 2 tsp 10
Onion, 1 med 160g 61
1 cal spray` 5 shots 5
Fennel, (bulb, 2 avg) 400g 120
Leek, 2 small 120g 30
Preserved lemons 2 pieces 15
Olives stuffed with garlic 60g 90
Chicken stock (half a cube) 300 ml 15
566 calories totat
283 calories per serving
The method was simplicity itself

I soften the finely sliced onion in a non-stick pan sprayed with the oil, together with the chermoula spice
I added the chicken (whole pieces), the fennel cut in small wedges, the leeks cut in short sections (perhaps 3 cm), the sliced olives (I meant to use ordinary green olives and add some fresh garlic, but when I looked at the jar, mine were stuffed with garlic), and the stocke.
Covered and simmered gently for about 20 minutes
Served in a bowl

Delicious and very filling (you could actually get away with a bit less fennel, but I wanted to use the whole bulbs)
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Re: cooked a new recipe today.

Postby patpoyntz » June 5th, 2014, 8:44 am

That sounds delish Sue, and I will be making it next week. I had used up all my homemade preserved lemons, and eventually found some in a garden centre! There are no ethnic shops up here in the north, and Tesco doesn't seem to sell 'exotic' foods!
My new recipe this week was from EGOR, braised pork with potatoes, it sounds very plain, but is really very good, and very handy if you want to leave something cooking, rather that a stir fry.
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Re: cooked a new recipe today.

Postby ianinfrance » June 5th, 2014, 4:23 pm

patpoyntz wrote:My new recipe this week was from EGOR, braised pork with potatoes, it sounds very plain, but is really very good, and very handy if you want to leave something cooking, rather that a stir fry.

I find that one to be delicious too. If you liked it,. the red braised beef with Dry Tofu should please you too.

Glad you were able to get some inspiration from that cookbook, Sue. We've done a couple of recipes from it now and liked both very much. I've not been good about writing up new recipes here, I'm afraid.
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Re: cooked a new recipe today.

Postby patpoyntz » June 6th, 2014, 5:27 pm

Thanks Ian, will put it on the list for next week.
New recipe tonight is counterfeit duck confit from David Lebovovitz new book. It is in the oven and smells amazing......don't suppose you would approve Ian!
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Re: cooked a new recipe today.

Postby ianinfrance » June 6th, 2014, 8:05 pm

patpoyntz wrote:don't suppose you would approve Ian!
As long as it retains the word "counterfeit" I've honestly no problems with doing it.

The thing about a (real) confit is that the salting process was originally designed to preserve the duck in the same way as salting pork belly is designed to preserve that. In both, the salting process - when it is given time - dramatically changes the flavour of the meat. We've all eaten enough bacon, gammon and ham to know that good though a leg or shoulder or belly of pork are, they aren't anything like ham, gammon or bacon. Neither is necessarily better or worse, but they are completely different.

So it is with a "real" confit. The leg of duck or goose is rubbed with salt (though I confess to cheating and brine them in seasoned brine) with flavourings, and left for around 12 to 24 hours. That salt draws moisture out of the meat and salts the outer layers very strongly. They are then brushed off and put to cook under duck fat a slowly rising temperature until well tender. Ideally the final temperature should be barely simmering. The fat impregnates the meat, and seals it from oxidation. When the joints are then put into pots and covered with a good layer of fat, this prevents bacteria getting in. Actually, there is so much salt at first that they wouldn't survive anyway. As the confit ages, the salt migrates into the depths of the joint and the whole thing evens out, much less salty than the outer layer started out.

So, just as for the best ham, the ageing process not only changes the flavour dramatically, but IMO greatly improves it too. There is also a question of texture too. Rapid pseudo confits especially when canned, have a slightly mushy texture that a real one doesn't have. The problem of impregnating fat and of excessive salt are both solved if you follow André Daguin's advice and steam the legs for a good 15 minutes before using or finishing them any other way. This warms them, defats them and desalts them.

I'm lucky to be able to get legs from proper fatted ducks for very little money indeed (under 2 € each for craftsman fed animals) and of course a regular supplier will throw in the fat for nothing. I do mine in brine as I said and cook them for many hours (18 usually) sous vide at low temperature to end up with perfect confit legs which keep brilliantly, because they have been well pasteurised. They are remarkably little trouble too.

However, I guess I'd prefer to eat "counterfeit" confit than industrially tinned ones.
Last edited by ianinfrance on June 6th, 2014, 9:49 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: cooked a new recipe today.

Postby Zosherooney » June 6th, 2014, 9:39 pm

Ian, having read this, twice ! I am terribly humbled by your intense knowledge in this and very many other areas of the kitchen evolution. You have my enviable something, but I can't think of the word, I am a bit tired tonight. It's been a long day..... :) :chef:

Sleep well. :luv:
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Re: cooked a new recipe today.

Postby patpoyntz » June 8th, 2014, 11:18 am

Super reply Ian, thanks for the whys and wherefores! The duck turned out very well, though not as succulent as a 'proper' confit. I think maybe our British ducks are not as plump and fatty as French ones.
Anyway, the duck was rubbed with a mix of gin, salt, nutmeg, allspice and left in fridge overnight with garlic and bay, it was wiped then into a cold oven. It was cooked on quite a low heat for 2 hours, then crisped up. It made quite a lot of fat, which I left in the cooking pan, to try to compensate for not cooking from the beginning in duck fat.
I think I would do it again.
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