Saturday, 23 October 2010

Lamb Tagine

Very enjoyable and filling (if a bit watery because I didn't have time to thicken the sauce).
For 5:
1 Rolled lamb shoulder
4 small onions
200g dried apricots
2 tins chopped tomatoes
Ground Ginger
2 Lamb Stock cubes (Knorr)
1 Slow-cooker or large pot

1. Chop the onions.
2. Add everything to the slow-cooker or pot and cook for 8-10 hours.

Volumise: Add more onions. Add celery.
Add carbs: Add more tomatoes or apricots.
Add fat: Mix in some almond flour at the start, should make the end product thicker too.
Add protein: Use more lamb. Mix some unflavoured whey (I haven't tried this, this may be a disaster).
Add a bad day: Let the container you have this in open into your bag and fill your laptop and lab-book with tagine.

Thursday, 14 October 2010

Chicken with butternut squash and bacon

I did not come up with this. I've stolen it from my girlfriend, who has stolen it from elsewhere.
For 3:
3 Chicken breasts
125g bacon
1 Medium butternut squash
1 chicken stock cube (OXO)
1 Large saucepan
1 Jug
1 Pair of scissors

1. Skin and cube butternut squash.
2. Heat oil in pan to high heat, then slice bacon with scissors into pan. Break up bacon by stirring it as it cooks.
3. Chop chicken into bite-size (whatever this means to you) pieces. Do not use your teeth to cut raw chicken into bite-size pieces, you can always cut it up later.
4. Add a little more oil to the pan and add the chicken. Cook with occassional stirring until chicken is brown.
5. Boil 200 ml water. Add chicken stock cube and stir to dissolve.
6. Add butternut squash to pan and cook for 2 minutes.
7. Add chicken stock to pan and lower heat (I used heat level three on a hob that goes to six). Put a lid onto the pan.
8. After 25 minutes, the butternut squash should be somewhat mushy, but not falling apart of its own accord. Add rosemary and thyme and stir into food. Cook for five minutes without the lid with frequent stirring.
9. The pan should be devoid of liquid, but the food should still be moist. Serve.

Volumise: Add more butternut squash.
Add carbs: Replace butternut squash with sweet potato (I have not tries this).
Add fat: Add more bacon. Add more oil.
Add protein: Add mroe chicken or bacon.
Add awesome: Have a hob that goes up to 11.

Chicken Curry

I looked through a few online recipes for this and synthesised it from those. It was very nice. One of my most successful experiments (which went much better than what I'm currently doing in the lab).
For 4:
1.8 kg chicken thighs
3 large onions
2 chillis
1 can coconut milk
1 can tomatoes
1 chicken stock cube (OXO)
7 tbls cumin
1 tbls paprika
1 tbls turmeric
1 tbls chilli powder
1 tbls garam massala
1 tbls vanilla flavouring/extract
1 large frying pan or wok
1 slow cooker or large pot

1. Chop the onions into roughly quarters.
2. Finely chop the chillis.
3. Start frying the onions and chillis on a low heat.
4. Remove the skin and bones from the chicken thighs, so you're left with just meat.
5. Once the onions and chillis are soft, add them to a room temperature slow cooker pot or normal pot.
6. Add everything else to the pot. Mix thoroughly.
7. Heat on low heat for 10-12 hours in a slow cooker (or on a hob, stirring occassionally.)

Volumise: I intend to add mushrooms in the next iteration of the curry. Add more onions and chillis.
Add carbs: Add some sugar to the curry. Add some potatoes to the curry. Serve with rice. Add some tomato passata or some more tomatoes.
Add fat: Add some water at the start of cooking and mix in some almond flour about two hours before the curry is cooked. Add more coconut milk. Mix in some olive oil at the start of cooking.
Add protein: Seriously, there's about 250-300g of chicken in each of the four servings. You could add more chicken. You could serve with bits of crisped bacon.
Add three days of soaking to clean the pot: Leave it on high heat instead of low.

Tuesday, 5 October 2010

"Texan" chicken

Very nice chicken stew. Instead of chicken stock cube, I used home-made chicken stock. This lead to a very nice taste, but it was very gloopy and nasty after keeping it in a tub ad re-heating it.
For 3:
3 chicken breasts
3 small onions
3 yellow bell peppers
1 cube chicken stock (OXO)
Ground ginger
Chilli powder
Tomato puree
Peanut butter
1 Saucepan
1 grill/ 1 frying pan
1 jug

1. Chop onions and soften in saucepan over a low heat.
2. Start grilling chicken breasts or butterfly chicken breasts then start frying (singly).
3. Add a big squirt of tomato puree to onions and mix in.
4. Add about 1/2 pint of chicken stock (OXO cube in boiling water) to the onions.
5. Mix about a forkful of peanut butter into the onions+stock (sauce).
6. Mix some ginger, some chilli powder and some turmeric into the sauce.
7. Chop and mix in the yellow peppers.
8. Gently reduce the sauce while the chicken cooks.
9. Once the chicken is cooked:
If it's fried, throw it into the saucepan whole.
If it's grilled, roughly chop or tear it into whatever you consider bitesize
chunks, and mix it into the sauce.
10. Keep the whole thing on a low heat until you think it's thick enough.

Volumise: Add more onions.
Add carbs: Add more peppers. Add some sugar to the sauce.
Add fat: Use almond flour instead of heat to thicken the sauce. Fry the chicken in excess olive oil.
Add protein: Fry up some bacon until it's very crispy and add to the meal just before serving (again, pig bacon for more fat, turkey bacon for less fat).
Add a severely burnt pan: Leave the sauce for too long without stirring. The peanut butter can really mess up a pan.

P.S. I just made it without tomato puree and with okra. I added the okra once the food was nearly done and mixed it in. It worked really well.

Lamb with vodka, cinammon, cayenne onions.

My girlfriend has very little useful veg a lot of the time (no offence), but a spice rack (it's actually a cupboard) that's more expansive than mine. This was a ridiculously simple meal that I'm not massively proud of, but I do like my vodka-cinnamon-cayenne onions.
For two:
2 lamb steak
4 small onions
Ground cayenne pepper
Ground cinnamon
Roughly 3 shots of vodka
1 frying pan
1 saucepan

1. Chop the onions.
2. Add the onions to a hot, oiled saucepan and reduce the heat to the lowest setting.
3. Pour vodka onto onions and break the onions up with a wooden spoon.
4. Sprinkle cayenne and cinnamon over onions.
5. Leave onions to soften slowly in pan and when they're nearly done, oil and heat up a frying pan to max.
6. Fry the lamb steak as you like them.

Volumise: Add some more onions.
Add carbs:
Add fat: Brush the lamb with extra olive oil while it cooks. Add extra oil to the onions as they cook.
Add protein: Seriously? Add more lamb.
Add bright red lips: Use too much cayenne.

Friday, 24 September 2010

Roast beef with roast sweet potato, roast carrots and gravy

I've made this before, but made a small change to cooking the veg, and it made a huge difference.
For two (plus sandwiches) I used:
900g of rolled beef brisket
1 large sweet potato
3 large carrots
2 beef OXO cubes
Tin (aluminium) foil
1 large frying pan
1 large saucepan
1 roasting dish
1 jug
A kettle
A colander

1. Put your frying pan on a high heat with oil, fill and turn on the kettle, turn your oven to 150 degrees C. Put the beef on the frying pan, frying all the sides until brown all over; meanwhile, pour boiling water into jug and mix one OXO cube into the boiling water.
2. Once browned, put the beef into the roasting dish, salt and pepper it, pour the OXO stock over it, and cover the roasting dish with a "tent" of foil. Place in the pre-heated oven.
3. After an hour, turn the meat over. Still tented, return to the oven.
4. Repeat 3.
5. After the beef has been in the oven for about two and a quarter hours, peel your carrots and sweet potato (or not) and chop into large chunks (this is not optional).
6. Boil the sweet potato and carrots in salted water for 4 minutes (i.e. parboil them). Drain them with the colander (or as I did, with the lid of the pan, and a scalding). Return them to the saucepan, put the lid on, and shake them about so they get a bit battered.
7. After the beef has been in the oven for about two and a half hours (or once you're done peeling, slicing and parboiling), put the veg in with it, pour oil and salt over the veg.
8. Clean that saucepan.
9. After a total of three hours, take the roasting dish out of the oven, take out the beef and the veg, and pour the juices into the (clean) saucepan. Return the beef and veg to the roasting dish and into the oven at 170 degrees C.
10. Heat the juices over a medium heat. Put a small amount of boiling water into the jug, mix in an OXO cube, and add that to the saucepan. Put a small amount of cold water into the jug, and mix in some (corn)flour with a fork (or a whisk, if you wanna be posh).
11. After a total of three and a half to four hours in the oven for the beef, take the lot out. Slice up the beef, scrape the blackened, but not burnt, veg off the bottom of the pan and pour the gravy over it.
12. Put off washing that roasting dish until tomorrow - honestly, nothing will move that except an overnight soak (or maybe that stuff that black chef advertises on TV).

Volumise: Add some parsnips, turnips or other root veg (not potatoes) to the veg present. Replace sweet potatoes with these to reduce carbs.
Add carbs: Add some more sweet potatoes or some potatoes.
Add fat: Use almond flour in the gravy. Replace some of the water-based stock with olive oil. Pour more oil over the roasting meat and veg at every possible point. Buy a "self-basting" joint, that is one with a block of fat on top.
Add protein: While you're putting the veg into the pan, wrap the beef in bacon (pig for more fat, turkey for less).
Add a hospitalisation: Don't use oven gloves.

Tuesday, 21 September 2010

Jerked beef, fried broccoli and peanut-mashed cauliflower

The jerked beef and the fried broccoli I'd made and eaten before, it's not a bad combo, but the herby, peanut-buttery mashed cauliflower was a new one, and I think it worked well (would have worked better had I not rushed it and not cooked the cauliflower to fully mashable, but whatever).
For three, I used:
600g of beef steak (it was on offer in the supermarket)
A whole head of cauliflower
A whole head of broccoli
Peanut Butter
Dunn's River Jamaican Jerk Seasoning
2 Frying pans and a saucepan.
1 Colander
1 Masher

1. Put enough water to boil the cauliflower in on the hob to boil.
2. Break up the cauliflower into florets (the larger, the slower they cook), and remove the fibrous stem at the bottom.
3. Place cauliflower in boiling water.
4. Break broccoli into small florets.
5. Heat olive oil to medium heat in smaller frying pan, then add broccoli. Stir every minute or so.
6. Heat olive oil to high heat in larger frying pan, and when hot, add steak and cover in jerk seasoning (to taste). I couldn't fit all my steak in one pan at once, it took me three goes, so it went in as soon as the broccoli did.
7. Once the cauliflower is over-boiled, but not discoloured (when you think you can mash it), strain it in a colander, return it to the pan (which should be on no heat, but on the still-warm hob) and mash. About half-way through mashing add a tablespoon scoop of peanut butter and some mixed herbs (I used thyme, oregano and sage) and continue mashing until its consistency is as close to mashed potato as possible.
8. The broccoli should look a bit brown in places when its cooked (which should be soon) and the beef should be as well done as you like (I always cook to well done because I refrigerate mine). Serve it with the cauliflower in a heap at the bottom, the beef on top of it and the broccoli around the edge so that the cauliflower absorbs the beef juices.

Volumise: It's broccoli and cauliflower. Add more of it and ta-da; it's volumised!
Add carbs: Replace cauliflower with potato. Sprinkle a little sugar on the beef as well as the seasoning. Add a little sugar to the mash.
Add fat: Add more peanut butter in the mash. Replace the broccoli with fried avocado (I haven't tried this, but I will).
Add protein: Um, more beef. Make the beef a leaner cut. If you're desperate, you could try adding a small amount of whey powder paste to the mash, but I would not advise it.
Add anger-management: Tenderise the beef with your fists. Just punch the shit out of it. Trust me, I've done it, it works.