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Tuesday, 23 August 2016

Blackberry Gin (for Christmas!)

This week, I will mostly be making Blackberry Gin. You can substitute the gin for vodka, and the blackberries for damsons*, sloes*, plums* or raspberries. If you have a sweet tooth (I have a gin tooth not a sweet one), use 500g of sugar instead. Don't forget you can always add it later though.

Take a big, clip top (or screw top) jar and fill with the following:

1 litre of gin (not the good stuff)
675g blackberries
375g sugar

Seal jar.
Give it a good shake.
Keep shaking every few days until sugar dissolves.
Keep the jar in a dark place for about 3 months.

Strain the gin from the fruit (save it to make a grown up pudding at Christmas).

Test gin extensively before rebottling to make sure it's sweet enough. If it's not add a bit of sugar.

*If using damsons, sloes or plums, shove them into the freezer overnight before making this recipe to avoid staining your hands and stabbing yourself with a fork (you need to break the skins first).

Wednesday, 1 June 2016

Chickpea and apricot curry

I've tweaked another Jack Monroe recipe to make it healthy eating friendly. My husband saw me with the recipe book out and was pleased to see we'd be having it for dinner, so I hope my version lives up to the original!

1 can chickpeas
5 apricots
1 onion
1 clove garlic
1 carrot
1 tsp dried chilli flakes
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground coriander
1/2 tsp tumeric
1/2 tsp spicy paprika
1 carton passata
1 veg stock cube
Fresh coriander, to serve

Finely chop the carrot, onion and garlic (I actually grated them today as I'd already got the food processor out to make these delicious falafels - just leave out the flour and use a little chickpea water to help bind them).

Fry the onion, garlic, carrot and chilli together until soft along with the spices.

Add the passata, the stock cube and a little extra water if necessary.

Drain the chickpeas (reserve the liquid to try some of these recipes) and add to the pan, leaving to simmer for about 20 minutes.

Just before serving, stir through the apricots.

Serves 2


Thursday, 17 March 2016

0 point Vegetable Curry

I've adapted my pork and aubergine curry to take account of what I had in the fridge, and I've replaced the potatoes in the original recipe with butternut squash (on cheap in Asda).

Both recipes are inspired by Monroe's (or Jonaki's) Baba Gosht.

Ingredients
2 diced onions
4 cloves of garlic
1 tsp dried chilli flakes
350g each of carrot and butternut squash, diced
2 aubergine
1/2 tsp each of ground ginger, cinnamon and tumeric
1 tsp ground cumin
a pinch of salt
1 tin chopped tomatoes
Half a tin of water
8 blocks frozen spinach
fresh coriander

Method
Spray a large frying pan with frylight. Add onion, carrot and squash and fry until softened.

Reduce heat and add spices. Add a splash of water, then add the chilli and garlic.

Add the tomatoes and half a tin of water.

Add the spinach. Bring it back to the boil for a minute, add the chunks of aubergine, cover and simmer for 20min or so until tender.


Serve with fresh coriander if you have any in!

Serves 4-6


Sunday, 28 February 2016

Pork and Aubergine Curry

I'm not one for food fads, but I am a sucker for a good cookbook.  I read them like novels sometimes, and it's a rare thing indeed for me to regularly cook several recipes from one author's books.

My favourite cookery writer at the moment is Jack Monroe, who essentially writes delicious budget conscious recipes that don't use ridiculous ingredients.

I've got some great ideas from Monroe's books and blog. On a very chilly walk home this afternoon, I found two wrinkly aubergines for 35p each. Instead of pork chops for tea, I thought an adaptation of Monroe's (or Jonaki's) Baba Gosht was in order.

This recipe can easily be made vegan by replacing the pork with mushrooms, and the pork can obviously be replaced with any other meat. It would be good for using up leftover roast!

0 point on WW if using chicken/mushrooms instead of pork and if leaving out the potatoes.

Ingredients
2 diced onions
4 cloves of garlic
1 tsp dried chilli flakes
3 pork steaks (about 300g), diced
1 aubergine
1/2 tsp each of ground ginger, cinnamon and tumeric
1 tsp ground cumin
2 bay leaves
a pinch of salt
1 tin chopped tomatoes
1 tin new potatoes (optional - 8 points a tin)
200ml water
fresh coriander

Method
Spray a large frying pan with frylight. Add bay leaves and cook until fragrant.

Reduce heat and add spices. Add a splash of water so it looks like curry paste, then add the onion, chilli and garlic. You may need to add a little more water at this point. Cook on a low heat for 5-10 min and stir now and again.

Add the meat (doesn't have to be pork - anything you have to hand: quorn or chunks of mushroom) and the aubergine. Cook on a low heat until meat is sealed, then pour over the tomatoes and half a tin (200ml) water. Bring it back to the boil for a minute, add the tinned potatoes (sliced) then reduce the heat, cover and simmer for 30min or so.



Serve sprinkled with coriander.

Serves 3