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Friday, 30 August 2013

Sugar and Spice............and all Things Nice


Sugar and Spice ~ Simple Food

Sugar and Spice............and all Things Nice

                                                                                                                                                               
I love cooking with herbs and spices, they are essential if you want to produce good tasting food from scratch.
Whether it’s strong tasting spicy food like curries and chillies or gentle sauces to compliment mild dishes such as fish or vegetables, herbs and spices are essential.
Fresh herbs are wonderful especially for garnishing but dried herbs are just as good to add flavour, and if you get the blend right will bring any dish to life.

If you experiment you will find there are certain flavours that are simply made for each other, I’ll give you a couple of examples;

Last night I was searching the fridge for something to have for dinner; I had some leftover basmati rice and a chicken leg. I decided to make a variation of my Romanian Stew so I thought just to make it different and to marry up with the basmati rice, I would use HOT paprika and sweeten it up a little with a couple of teaspoons of soft brown sugar.
I was amazed how wonderfully the hot sweet sauce went so well with the basmati rice.

The fennel and garlic sauce that I use with fish in the post Smoked River Cobbler in Fennel and Garlic Sauce is still one of my all time favourite meals, Fennel and garlic go so well together with a little dried parsley.

Cooking Indian and Thai food is a great way to experiment with herbs and spices, whether it be pastes or masala’s. My Thai Green Curry Paste is a particular favourite of mine; masala is a South Asian term for a mixture of spices and 2 very popular ones are garum and tandoori.

You can buy these readymade but it’s a far better taste experience if you make them yourself.

Here’s how I make them;

Garum Masala

This will make around 250 Gm
Sugar and Spice ~ Simple Food
60 Gm – Coriander Seeds
50 Gm – Cumin Seeds
40 Gm – Fennel Seeds
25 Gm Black Pepper Corns
15 Gm – Cloves
15 Gm – Brown Cardamoms
5 Gm – Ground Ginger


Put all the spices except the ground ginger into a wok or pan and dry fry on a medium heat stirring all the time. Keep stirring as they fry so that they don’t burn this is known as roasting, after a minute or so they should start to steam. When they steam it is the oils being released from the spices let them do this for a few seconds and then take them off the heat.

Let them go completely cold and then grind them to a powder with a pestle and mortar or spice grinder. Now mix in the ground ginger and you have a quality Garum Masala.

Tandoori Masala

For 250 Gm you will need (all ground);

Sugar and Spice ~ Simple Food40 Gm – Coriander
30 Gm – Cumin
40 Gm – Garlic Powder
40 Gm – Paprika
20 Gm – Ginger
20 Gm – Dried Mint
10 Gm Chilli Powder


Just mix them all together well, you can also make a paste by adding a little water.


Sugar and Spice ~ Simple Food


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The Artist Tony Rose

Wednesday, 28 August 2013

Thai Green Chicken Curry

Thai Green Chicken Curry ~ Simple Food


Thai Green Chicken Curry

Hi everyone, hope you had a chance to make the Thai Green Curry Paste I posted a couple of days ago because here is the curry.

It’s so simple to make because you done most of the work when you made the paste.

For 2 Gorgeous servings you will need;

Thai Green Chicken Curry ~ Simple Food15 Ml – Groundnut oil
2 teaspoons – Soft Brown Sugar
2 – Chicken breasts (skinned and cut into strips)
150 Ml - Coconut Milk
100 Ml – Chicken Stock
2 teaspoons – Thai Fish Sauce
2 teaspoons – Fresh Coriander (finely chopped)

Heat the oil in a wok or pan and add the chicken, cook on a medium heat for 3 or 4 minutes then remove the chicken with a slotted spoon and set aside.

Thai Green Chicken Curry ~ Simple Food

Thai Green Chicken Curry ~ Simple Food







Add the sugar and half the Thai Green Curry Paste and cook for 1 minute.

Thai Green Chicken Curry ~ Simple Food

Now put back the chicken and stir to coat with the paste.

Thai Green Chicken Curry ~ Simple Food
                                                                                                                                                              
Pour in the coconut milk, chicken stock and fish sauce and simmer for 30 minutes.

Thai Green Chicken Curry ~ Simple Food


Thai Green Chicken Curry ~ Simple Food







After about 20 minutes taste and add more Thai Green Curry Paste if  needed, then stir in the coriander, when the 30 minutes is up you are done.
Allow to cool a little, then serve with a rice of your choice.

Thai Green Chicken Curry ~ Simple Food


Tuesday, 27 August 2013

Chilli Beef Strips

Chilli Beef Strips ~ Simple Food


Chilli Beef Strips

This is a recipe that I developed some years ago, it makes really good party food and is delicious hot or cold.
                                                                                                                                                               
It’s so quick and easy to make all you will need is;
Chilli Beef Strips ~ Simple Food 
200 Gm – Beef Rump
1 teaspoon – Dried Chilli Flakes
1 clove – Garlic (crushed or finely chopped)
1 teaspoon – Soy Sauce
1 teaspoon –Fresh Coriander (finely chopped)
50 Ml – Tomato ketchup
A little Olive Oil

Cut the beef into thin strips, heat a little olive oil in a pan or wok and brown the meat off on a high heat for 4 or 5 minutes.

Chilli Beef Strips ~ Simple Food

Chilli Beef Strips ~ Simple Food







Remove the meat from the pan and set aside, turn the heat to medium and add the chilli flakes and garlic to the pan.
Chilli Beef Strips ~ Simple Food

After 2 minutes add the rest of the ingredients and make a thin paste.

Chilli Beef Strips ~ Simple Food

Now add the beef back to the pan and stir, making sure that it gets completely coated.

Chilli Beef Strips ~ Simple Food


Chilli Beef Strips ~ Simple Food







Turn the heat up to high and cook until it becomes caramelised and sticky and that’s it your done.

Chilli Beef Strips ~ Simple Food
Great Party Food

Monday, 26 August 2013

Thai Green Curry Paste

Thai Green Curry Paste ~ Simple Food


Thai Green Curry Paste

Here is another one of my Curry pastes. In a few days time I will be making a Thai curry with it, so if you subscribe to this blog you will be notified when I post it.

For 100 Gm of this paste you will need;

4 – Green Chillies (finely chopped and deseeded)
Thai Green Curry Paste ~ Simple Food½ - an Onion (finely chopped)
2 cloves - Garlic
1 – Thumb Sized Piece of Fresh Ginger (finely chopped)
1 teaspoon – Fresh Coriander (finely chopped)
1 stalk – Lemon Grass (finely chopped)
The zest and Juice of 1 Lime
1 teaspoon – Coriander Seeds
1 teaspoon – Cumin Seeds
1 teaspoon – Black Peppercorns
1 teaspoon – Thai Fish Sauce
25 Ml – Olive Oil

Dry fry the coriander seeds, cumin seeds and black peppercorns for 2 or 3 minutes to bring out the flavour, let them cool and then grind them up in a pestle and mortar.

Thai Green Curry Paste ~ Simple Food

Now put everything in a liquidizer and blend well.

Thai Green Curry Paste ~ Simple Food


It’s as easy as that, you can keep it in the fridge for a week or so or you can freeze it until you next make a curry

Thai Green Curry Paste ~ Simple Food


Friday, 23 August 2013

Pork Loin with Apple and Beetroot Pepper Sauce

Pork Loin with Apple & Beetroot Pepper Sauce ~ Simple Food


Pork Loin with Apple and Beetroot Pepper Sauce

This is an alternative to the standard apple sauce that you might have with pork. The earthy taste of the beetroot fights against the sharpness of the apple, the honey sweetens it a little and the pepper makes it a great alternative to steak and pepper sauce.  

I normally make my sauces with the juices of the meat, but this one I have done completely separate so that it is a complete contrast.

For two servings you will need;
Pork Loin with Apple & Beetroot Pepper Sauce ~ Simple Food
2- Pork loins
1 – Bramley cooking apple
1 – Medium sized Beetroot (uncooked)
300 Ml – Water
2 teaspoons – Honey
50 Ml – Red Wine
¼ teaspoon – Freshly Ground Black Pepper

Put the apple and beetroot in a pan and pour over the water. Bring to the boil and boil for 5 minutes, then turn down the heat and simmer for 20 minutes.
Pork Loin with Apple & Beetroot Pepper Sauce ~ Simple Food
Pork Loin with Apple & Beetroot Pepper Sauce ~ Simple Food







You will now find the apple is really soft but the beetroot is not, this isn’t a problem now blend to a paste with a hand blender.
Pork Loin with Apple & Beetroot Pepper Sauce ~ Simple Food

Add the wine and black pepper and simmer for another 10 minutes to cook out the wine.
Pork Loin with Apple & Beetroot Pepper Sauce ~ Simple Food

Cook your pork loins as you would normally to your taste, I griddled mine so they were white all the way through and char grilled on the outside.


Then put some hot sauce on the pork, this is best served with sauté potatoes and vegetables of your choice.

Pork Loin with Apple & Beetroot Pepper Sauce ~ Simple Food


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The Artist Tony Rose


Thursday, 22 August 2013

Pan Fried River Cobbler in White Wine Fish Sauce

River Cobbler in White Wine Fish Sauce ~ Simple Food


Pan Fried River Cobbler in White Wine Fish Sauce

I've used a matured fish sauce in this recipe which is normally used in Thai cooking, it’s available in most supermarkets but you only need a little because it is very salty.   

The sauce is quite mild so as to let the flavour of the fish come through   

I've also served it up with a carrot and potato mash.                      

For 2 servings
You will need;
River Cobbler in White Wine Fish Sauce ~ Simple Food 
2 – River Cobbler Fillets (or a white fish of your choice)
50 Gm - Butter
dessertspoon – Plain Flour
½ teaspoon – Fish Sauce
2 cloves – Garlic
50 Ml – White Wine
100 Ml water
50 Ml – Cream
Freshly Ground Black Pepper

Melt the butter in a pan and add the fish, cook on a medium heat for about 5 minutes each side. Removed the fish and set aside, now add the plain flour and mix into a paste then add the white wine, fish sauce and garlic then mix to a paste again.

River Cobbler in White Wine Fish Sauce ~ Simple Food

River Cobbler in White Wine Fish Sauce ~ Simple Food







Now add the water, mix well and simmer for about 10 minutes to cook out the wine.

River Cobbler in White Wine Fish Sauce ~ Simple Food



Now add the cream and black pepper to taste and re introduce the fish, simmer for another 5 minutes and you’re done.

River Cobbler in White Wine Fish Sauce ~ Simple Food




Sunday, 18 August 2013

Chicken Madras

Chicken Madras ~ Simple Food


Chicken Madras

I hope you saw my post How to Make Madras Curry Paste because it is one of the ingredients for this wonderful curry. You don’t have to use it of course, you can use shop bought paste if you prefer.

Chicken Madras ~ Simple FoodFor two servings you will need;

2 – Chicken Breasts (skinned and cut into bite sized pieces)
200 Ml – Chicken Stock
100 Gm – Madras Curry Paste
A little Olive Oil
1 – Onion (finely chopped)
3 desert spoons – Plain Flour
3 teaspoons – Ketchup

Put the chicken stock and Madras Curry Paste into 
a pan on a low heat and mix well.
Chicken Madras ~ Simple Food


Allow to cool a little then pour over the chicken and leave to marinate for at least 30 minutes.
Chicken Madras ~ Simple Food

Put the onions in a pan and cook for about 3 minutes on a medium heat until soft, add the flour and stir well.

Chicken Madras ~ Simple Food

Chicken Madras ~ Simple Food







Now add the chicken mixture and ketchup and simmer for 15 – 20 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through.

Chicken Madras ~ Simple Food


Serve immediately with a rice of your choice.

How to Make Madras Curry Paste

Madras Curry Paste ~ Simple Food


Madras Curry Paste
The thing to bear in mind when you are making your own curry paste is that it is concentrate, so therefore it should taste a lot stronger than the actual curry that you are going to make with it. In other words you control the flavour of your curry by the amount of paste that you put in.

Madras curry is so named after the Indian city of Madras, although they don’t call this dish madras in India the name originates from UK restaurants.
For 100 Gm of paste you will need;
1 teaspoon – Hot Chilli Powder
Madras Curry Paste ~ Simple Food1 teaspoon – Paprika
1 teaspoon – Turmeric
3 teaspoon – Tomato Paste
3 cloves – Garlic (finely chopped)
1 teaspoon – Coriander Seeds
1 teaspoon – Cumin Seeds
1 teaspoon – Mustard Seeds
½ teaspoon – Black Pepper Corns
25 Ml – Groundnut Oil
25 Ml – White Wine Vinegar

Dry fry the coriander seeds, cumin seeds, mustard seeds and black pepper corns for 2 or 3 minutes until the mustard seeds start to pop, let them cool a little and then grind them up using a pestle and mortar.

Madras Curry Paste ~ Simple Food

Now put all the ingredients in a liquidiser and mix to a paste and you’re done.

Madras Curry Paste ~ Simple Food


You can use this past straight away, keep in the fridge for a few days or freeze it.

Madras Curry Paste ~ Simple Food
Now you can make this wonderful Chicken Madras