Tuesday, August 28, 2007

August 30th, 2007

I received this lovely award from Fiona over at The Cottage Smallholder Thanks Fiona!!! And if I could I would award it right back to her for being so Nice!!!!
I guess I have to pass it along too so I would like to pass it along to Cynthia at Tastes Like Home For all the nice comments she leaves me and others.
And also to Patricia at Technicolor Kitchen - English version for being so nice in not doing one blog but two!!! One in English for us that cannot speak Portugese and for being so nice too!!!
If I could I think I would give this award to everyone that visits here as you all have been so nice and leave lovely comments.

Sad isn't it!!!!

With it just being Hubby, myself and the cats, sometimes I get to have my lunch in front of the computer. I opted for a ploughmans on this occasion. Which basically is bread and cheese with a bit of fruit and veg and usually pickled onions and some Branston pickles. I wanted to have it with my own pickles this time. Now for some strange reason pickles don't go overly well with wine. We do eat most of our evening meals down stairs though at the kitchen table. Usually with the telly on and more than not watching a cooking show.

I felt like having a curry.
Sometimes you just get hungry for something and since we have been more or less stuck at home with Brian's shingles we haven't been out for an Indian curry in ages. So I thought I would make one at home.
First rub salt and Paprika all over your chicken. I used three skinned chicken thighs.
Next in a food processor blend together 1/2 cup water, 1 roughly chopped onion, 5 to 6 cloves of garlic,1 inch piece of ginger, roughly chopped, 1 tsp ground tumeric, 2 tablespoons of garam masala, 1 tablespoon groupnd coriander(cilantro), 2 tsp ground cumin, 1/2 tsp chili powder to a smooth paste. Fry your paste in 3 tablespoons of oil for about 10 minutes stirring often.
Add 2 cups of chickenstock and cook for 5 minutes.

Then mix in 3 tablespoons of sour cream and 1/2 cup natural plain yogurt and mix well. Bring just to the boil and then take off the heat. I only used 1/2 the mixture for the chicken the other half I used to make a vegetable curry...... Rub this mix all over the chicken. I also cut three slits into the chicken down to the bone to help it to cook more evenly and to soak up more of the flavour. Cover with foil and bake at 200 C for 20 minutes. Then reduce heat to 180 and bake for a further 15 minutes. Remove the foil and bake for another 10 minutes until the chicken is cooked through and has browned.

To the other 1/2 of mix I started off with some chopped onion in a frying pan and a bit of oil. Fry just till they turn brown. Then add two roughly chopped potatoes and the head of 1 cauliflower broken into florets. Add the reserved 1/2 of curry sauce and 1 pkt of cocoanut cream. To this I added about 6 broken cardamon seeds and bring to a simmer. Cook until the vegetables are tender.... And then add in some frozen peas and bring back to a simmer. (I had to add some mixed veg as I was out of frozen peas). That is what cooking is about sometimes improvising.

I cooked up some basmati rice.... Place in the serving dish.

And top with the vegetable curry and then the chicken thighs.

And there you go a very easy curry for two and then leftovers for breakfast the next day for me!! YUM!!!

Quick British Summer is finally here!!!
Well this past weekend we finally saw a bit of summer!!! And Brian was finally feeling up to having a BBQ. So out comes our little weber grill and the charcoal. I can't remember if it was last year or the year before we discovered the instant light bags of charcoal!! We have had pretty good luck with these. So on the grill goes a bag ready to be lit when I give the word. So we set up the patio table and get out the umbrella and Brian sits with a book and a glass of wine while I whiz around the kitchen preparing for a long awaited summer feast.
First I get the steaks marinating. Two sirloins. You must have fat with your steaks in order to have flavour, you just don't have to eat the extra fat around the steak. Cut it off afterwards and leave it. Anyway take two nice steaks.... Place in a bowl with a good splash of olive oil and red wine. Some chopped up garlic and some chopped dried oregano and thyme. I sometimes add chopped fresh rosemary too. Let them marinade turning ever so often while you prepare the other dishes.

Next was the veggies. Here take a double piece of heavy duty foil and in the centre put a good sloosh of olive oil. Then top with sliced potatoes, chopped onion, sliced and chopped red pepper and some fresh herbs and garlic chopped. Mix together and make sure they are coated in a bit of the oil. Salt and pepper to taste. Then fold up on two sides to make like a pocket. Right before sealing the third side add a sloosh of white wine and seal. Packet ready for the BBQ.

Next was the salad. I took some fresh baby spinach leaves and placed in a bowl, added some chopped red onion, thin slices of red pepper, some sliced strawberries, crumbled feta cheese and some chopped walnut halves. And then made a nice creamy honey mustard vinagrette to go with it.

Told Brian we were ready so he lights the bbq!!

One final preparation is I take some onions and cut into thirds widthwise and drizzle with some olive oil. Brian is keeping a close eye on the barbie for me.

Oh almost forgot I made a bit of a corn salad to go with the bbq too..... Take some sweet corn, chopped onion, chopped red pepper and some chopped parsely, toss with a tarragon vinegrette.
Once your fire is ready put on the packet of veg and cook for a good 1/2 hour turning frequently. Then the steaks go on for about 1 to 3 minutes per side depends on the heat of the fire, the thickness of the steaks and how you like them. Cook the onion slices with the steaks.

Pickles and some beet root to round it all off.

And now feast time!!! Served a nice bourdeux with the meal and a nice cold crisp sauvignon blanc while watching the fire start and the veggies cook.

Brian and I both enjoyed the steaks!!! Jingles did too!!!

Jingles asking for more.
Well a feast isn't complete without a dessert. I had some lovely vanilla ice cream in the freezer and thought I had always wanted to try the grilled bananas I have seen others do on the telly. So here was my chance. Take a piece of foil. I used the outside piece from the veggies(a bit of recycling) and put your banana inside this. Cut a slit in the banana and spread apart and fill with some chocolate chips. Wrap tightly in the foil. And put on the grill for about 10 to 15 minutes turning a few times.

This was gorgeous!!!!!!! The hot custardy bananas went well with the cool vanilla ice cream!!

The next day we had another bbq!! This time with homemade potato salad and bake beans.

Take a large can of bake beans or two small cans place in a baking dish. Add a good slug of ketchup, about a tablespoon of prepared mustard(your choice I used hot dog mustard) 1/2 chopped onion or more, about 1 to 2 tablespoons of dark brown sugar and since I have recently found smoked paprika about 2 teaspoons of this. Mix well and then cover and microwave for about 5 minutes on high. Remove from microwave and place in a 180 C oven uncovered for about 1/2 hour. Can add crisp fried bacon or some chunks of ham if you like and have some around. Great served cold the next day on sandwiches.

Served up with grilled hamburgers, sausages and hot dogs on homemade buns.

And Yes Jingles cleaned his plate again!!!

Patricia over at Technicolor Kitchen in English Cooked up some lovely looking Herb Ricotta Cannelloni the other day. And they just looked sooooooooo yummy I wanted to have a go. So I sorta followed her recipe, but wanted meat in mine. So I took a pack of lamb mince and fried it off with a finely chopped onion, 2 chopped cloves of garlic, about 2 tsp of oregano, a good scraping of fresh nutmeg and salt and pepper to taste. Once that was fried up and drained I added 1/2 packet of fresh baby spinach and fried until it was wilted down. Put this into a bowl and added about 2 tablespoons of bread crumbs and 1 container of riccota cheese, some freshly grated parmesan and about 1/3 cup grated cheddar cheese.

Mixed it all up with about 2 tablespoons of tomato puree.

Take your fresh lasagne sheets and soak in boiling water for 5 minutes. Then on a clean tea towl dry them off on both sides.

And with two spoons put your lamb mixture down one edge like so.

Then roll up like so...

Place into a baking dish that has first been oiled and with a little tomato sauce covering the base.

Until you have as many as you can fit into the dish. Mine made enough for 6 cannelloni.

cover with sauce and bake at 180 C for about 30 to 35 minutes.

Take out of the oven and cover with some freshly grated parmesan cheese and put back in for another 10 miutes until browned.

Thanks Patricia the cannelloni was really delicious and I will definately be making this again. Served with a fresh salad and crusty bread.


Patricia Scarpin said...

Hi, sweetie!
Thank you for all your kind words, it means the world to me!
I'm so glad you nominated me for the award, I really appreciate it.
And for the cannelloni - your version would make my husband lick his plate!! He loves meat. :)

Pat said...

You are very welcomed Patricia. You really do deserve it. And your Cannelloni recipe although slightly modified was gorgeous Thanks!!!!!!

Cynthia said...

Why was I not invited to this feast you made. Everything looks so mouth-watering, Pat.

I want to thank you sincerely for your award, I'll wear it proudly on my blog tomorrow when I post. You will not believe me but this award comes at a time when I really need it. Thank you my friend.

Pat said...

Thanks Cynthia!! Hope things go better for you and you definately deserve the award!

Andreea said...

glad to hvae discovered your blog. i think we wil have curry tonight :)

Pat said...

Thanks Andrea!!! And welcome to my blog. I hope you enjoyed the curry!!!

Amanda at Little Foodies said...

Yummy foods Pat! I don't think I've ever made cannelloni, need to change that.

Pat said...

Thanks Amanda, they are yummy!!! Something the boys might like helping with too. You can make them either with meat or without. Patricia had a lovely vegetarian version on her blog. They are fairly quick and yummy!!!!