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Archive for July, 2010

This dish could also be called “How to Make Your Kitchen Smell Totally Drool-worthy”. It also makes your car smell rather appetizing if you have to transport it anywhere. I found this keema recipe on the BBC Good Food website and knew that my search for a truly excellent minced meat curry recipe was over… for now, at least! This is really easy to make and mild enough for anyone to eat while the depth of flavour is truly outstanding. It’s one of those dishes that you just can’t stop eating and find yourself craving after a few days without it. If you’d like to make this spicy then add chopped chillies to your taste along with the tomatoes; for once I actually like this without the extra heat. The cumin-coriander mixture makes around double what you need for the recipe, but make that amount anyway and store the extra as I reckon you’ll want to cook this curry again very quickly. Home made garam masala is tops in this dish if you have some on hand.

Unless you really dig unexpectedly biting into a clove (I am still scarred from a tragic clove-in-baked-apple experience as a child), I strongly recommend removing them before serving. I recently came across a great shortcut for doing this – rather than throwing the whole spices straight into the dish, first put them in one of those ball tea strainers. You’ll still get all the rich, fragrant flavour but at the end you can just fish out the strainer rather than go scavenging for spices. Genius!

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Jamie Oliver is tops in my book. I can’t help but respect and admire anyone who is that passionate about issues that are important to him and puts his money where his mouth is. He goes out on a limb for what he believes in – sometimes that pays off and sometimes it doesn’t, but the important thing is that he doesn’t give up just because something doesn’t work. He’s one of the few celebrity chefs out there who I’d love to meet as a person, not just for the great food he makes. How many young twenty-somethings suddenly achieve huge fame and fortune and promptly start a foundation to help young people in a bad place turn their life around? Big respect.

And have I mentioned his food yet? Simple, good ingredients, recipes that are heavy on the fun and light on the fussing; perfect for a Friday night. This comes from one of his biggest selling books in Australia, Jamie’s Italy. It came together quickly and was so damn yummy! The chilli flakes are my addition and they were just perfect on yet another freezing Melbourne winter night! It’s a simple pasta that’s done in the time it takes to cook the pasta itself; a delicious basil almond pesto lightened with the addition of fresh cherry tomatoes.

Serves 2

200 gm dried spaghetti

salt & cracked black pepper

good pinch of chilli flakes

75 gm almonds

1 clove garlic

2 large handfuls of fresh basil, leaves picked (1 supermarket bunch)

75 gm freshly grated parmesan

good olive oil

1 punnet cherry tomatoes

Put the spaghetti on to cook in plenty of boiling salted water.

Meanwhile, warm the almonds in a dry frying pan and then whack them in a food processor. Process until they are finely chopped. Add the basil, garlic, parmesan, chilli flakes and a good glug of olive oil. Process again until the mixture comes together. Remove to a bowl and add salt and pepper to taste.

Squish the cherry tomatoes with your hands and add them and their juices to the rough pesto; taste again and adjust seasoning as necessary with some extra olive oil to loosen the mixture if needed.

Drain cooked pasta and return to saucepan; toss through the pesto tomato mixture and serve.

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