If you’ve been keeping a beady eye on the latest fresh food trends, you may notice that fresh turmeric root is starting to become more available. Most of us have grown up with turmeric as that deep yellow powder with an earthy aroma and an ability to stain anything it touches, forever! We all know that there is no substitute for fresh spices, and fresh root turmeric is no different!
It looks like a scrawnier version of ginger, with a darker skin and a bright orange interior. It smells amazing, and has even more power to stain your clothes, so take precautions and wear an apron!
This curry then make the most of my new found access to this wonderful fresh root and matches it with a beautifully fresh fillet of locally caught and landed West Cork Hake. Although this is a well-flavoured curry, it’s mild and aromatic not masking the flavour of the fish. Poaching the hake in the curry sauce also means that the flavour gently infuses and protects ensuring your fish is perfectly soft and flakey!
Ingredients (makes enough curry sauce for 4 portions):
- 1 piece of Hake per person (apx 250g per portion) boned and skin off
- 1 tsp Fenugreek seeds
- 1 tsp dry curry leaves
- ½ tsp black peppercorns
- 1 ½ tsp coriander seed
- 6 banana shallots, finely chopped
- 1 red chilli
- 5cm piece of fresh turmeric
- 1 clove of garlic
- Thumb-sized piece of ginger
- 4 fresh tomatoes
- 1 tbsp of coconut oil
- 1 x 400g can of coconut milk (full fat)
- 1 tbsp of ground almonds
- Handful of fresh coriander, finely chopped
- Sea salt
- Drizzle of chilli oil
- Toasted flaked almonds
- Jasmine rice to serve
- Cook the jasmine rice: 1 cup of rice per person to 1 ½ cups of water. Add salt, cover and cook until all the water is absorbed and the rice is soft. Add more water if needs be.
- While the rice is cooking, take the fenugreek and coriander seeds and black peppercorns and toast gently in a dry pan for just enough time for the oils to activate, but be careful not to burn them. Transfer to a pestle and mortar and crush as fine as you can.
- In a small processor, place the shallots and blitz to a fine chop. Empty out into a bowl and set aside.
- Place the red chilli, garlic, ginger, turmeric and fresh tomatoes in the processor and finely chopped together.
- In a large heavy bottom pot on a low – medium heat, add the coconut oil and melt.
- Add the chopped shallots and cook slowly until softened.
- Add in the ground spices and crush in the curry leaves and combine with the shallots. Cook for a couple of minutes, careful not to burn.
- Add in the tomato mix and stir to combine. Cook out for another couple of minutes.
- Add the coconut milk and ground almonds. Taste for seasoning, add salt to taste. Stir to combine then add the hake.
- Turn up the heat slightly, cover and leave the fish to poach gently in the curry sauce. This will take apx 10 – 15 mins depending on the thickness of the fish.
- When the rice is cooked, mix through most of the fresh chopped coriander.
- Plate up the rice, a portion of the hake and a generous amount of the curry sauce.
- Garnish with the toasted flaked almonds, a light drizzle of chilli oil and a final scattering of fresh coriander.
Pesto. Pesto, pesto, pesto. Be honest…do we really need another pesto recipe in our lives? Probably not, but necessity is the mother of all invention and also having shed loads of Kale growing in the garden will also make the cogs in your mind spin into overdrive as you wonder to yourself what the hell else you can make with it!
And so, we come to pesto. But how to make it a little bit different and what then to serve it up with. Now there’s a challenge, and so I came with the idea of substituting the typical Italian flavours of pesto with asian flavours that are so complimentary with Kale.
Continue reading “Kale Pesto – with a twist!”
As summer approaches, us Irish and Brits are faced with important food dilemmas like: is it too hot outside for a roast dinner or, how rainy does it have to be exactly before you have to abandon the BBQ?!
Well, in relation to the traditional Sunday roast I say to you: it is never too hot outside for a roast chicken dinner! Forget about trying to faff about with making the meat “different” – stick to its brilliant beautiful traditional self; instead take a sideways look at your veg and think about different ways to cook, prepare and serve up your veg sides to bring the roast back on the summery Sunday table.
The other day I roasted a chicken with lemon and tarragon. The sun was out, the dogs were toasting themselves nicely on the hot stones outside and I was most definitely not in the mood for roast veg and gravy. Instead I cooked panfried green beans with smoked salt, oregano and almonds; smashed new potatoes with chilli and garlic and a carrot slaw with cumin and coriander seeds, parsley, sultanas, lemon juice and rapeseed oil. Everything was a definite hit! See below the three very simple receipes and enjoy!
Smashed New Potatoes with Chilli and Garlic:
Steam as many baby new potatoes as you need or dare!
Once cooked through, take off the heat; put a frying pan onto a medium high heat and heat a good glug of olive oil (you’ll need more depending on how many spuds you have, but don’t make it very oily)
Whilst that is heating up, take a normal spoon and using the back of it gently push each of the potatoes to “smash them” – don’t be annihilating them now!
When the oil is hot enough, put the potatoes in the frying pan with half a finely chopped fresh jalapeno chili pepper and two small or one large finely chopped garlic clove.
Toss everything together, mind it until the potatoes start to colour and are warmed through again. Don’t let the chilli and garlic catch.
Place into a warmed serving bowl and set aside.
Fragrant Carrot Slaw
Peel two large carrots, top and tail.
Using a food processor, attached the grater blade. Put both carrots through the processor. Empty the grated carrot into a bowl.
Crush 1/2 teaspoon each of coriander and cumin seed, add that to the bowl along with a handful of sultanas for sweetness, the zest of one whole lemon and the juice of half; a handful of finely chipped parsley.
Season with freshly ground black pepper and a good sprinkly of Maldon sea salt flakes. Drizzle with rapeseed oil. Mix together well and set aside ready for serving.
Smokey Green Beans
Take a pack of fine green beans, top and tail the lot. Place in bowl and drizzle extra virgin olive oil over them along with a generous sprinkle of Maldon smoked sea salt and plenty of freshly ground black pepper.
Heat a pan. Don’t add any oil to the pan. When it is hot enough throw in the green beans complete with the oil and seasoning.
Toss the green beans ensuring they get some colour (don’t worry if they take a little). You want the beans quite al dente. Cook more if you don’t like them super crunchy.
A minute before they are ready, throw in a 1/2 tablespoon of finely chopped oregano and a good sprinkle of flaked almonds.
Toss everything together, finish with the lightest spritz of lemon oil and serve in a warmed bowl.
Bring to the table and serve up with your lovely juicy roast chicken. Serve outside in the sunshine with a well chilled bottle of Chablis; and Enjoy!
All of a sudden the weather has changed and the nights are becoming noticably shorter. It’s not quite woolly jumpers, beef stew and roaring fires kind of weather yet, but there is no doubting that even my tastebuds are noticing the change in weather and veering towards the more comforting flavours of autumn. This is the best time of year to mix the end of the summer with the start of the autumn with your flavours when cooking in gentle preparation for the winter coming. I think that this dish delivers completely on this need.
Continue reading “Harissa Spiced Cannon of Lamb with Fruity Cous Cous and Chargrilled Courgettes”