July 7, 2009

'The Brown Owl' :: Mulled Wine for Teetotallers (or Not!)

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Brown Owl Mulled Wine

Makes 3 Litres - enough for 6 people!

1 litre of non alcoholic dark grape juice
1 litre of cranberry juice
1 bottle of red wine*
1/2 cup lemon juice
2 cinnamon sticks
6 cloves
2 star anise
1/2 tsp mixed spice
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 orange, sliced
1 lemon, sliced

Mix all ingredients in a large pot whilst stirring - heat until nearly boiling - but don't boil it! Set aside for a couple of hours for the flavours to develop. Reheat gently until nearly boiling again and serve. Delish! (Be sure to cool it a little if you're giving it to kids!)

*Note - You can make this WAY boozier if you like - or you can omit the alcohol and add another litre of grape juice and the kids can partake too. That's a nice idea, huh?

Pip's Tomato and Fish Curry

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Please note :: you can substitute steamed or roasted pumpkin for the fish if you are not fishy! Or even tofu would be good! ALSO this is a really mild, gentle curry, perfect for everyone in the family - but you can heat it up if you like by adding lots of fresh or dried chilli!

1kg of roughly chopped tomatoes
1kg of trevally fillets - cut into generous bite-size chunks (no bones please!)
200 grams beans, topped and tailed and cut into small pieces and steamed for just a couple of minutes
1 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, finely diced
2 cloves of garlic, crushed and chopped finely
1 inch piece of fresh ginger, chopped finely or grated
1 tsp of mild curry powder
1 tsp of turmeric
1 tsp of mild paprika
1 tsp of mustard seeds
1 tsp ground coriander
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp salt
a slosh of soy sauce
1 cup of coconut milk
1 cup of stock (fish, chicken or vegie is fine)

  1. Heat the oil and fry the onion until golden brown (this takes time!) Meanwhile - make a paste with the rest of the spices, the soy sauce and 1 tbsp of water.
  2. When the onion is nice and golden, throw in the ginger and fry for 30 seconds, then the garlic and mustard seeds and fry for another 30 seconds or so.
  3. Next add the spice paste you just mixed up and fry for a minute or so, stirring as you go.
  4. Add the tomatoes and give it a good stir. Put a lid on the whole schmozzle and cook gently for 5 minutes.
  5. Now blend this tomatoey and spicy base until pureed (use a food processor or a stabby mixer or even a good go with a potato masher). You want to get a nice even sauce - no big lumps allowed. No need to strain it though - rustic is good.
  6. Now back on a gentle heat with the blended curry-tomato base - add the coconut milk - and the stock. Slowly heat the mixture until it's nearly boiling. Do not let it boil though!
  7. Add the fish pieces and the beans, pop on the lid and turn off the heat. Let the curry sit for half an hour or so so the flavours develop - or overnight even in the fridge - and then reheat it gently and serve - the fish really doesn't need much cooking at all - the residual heat and the gentle reheating will do the trick - taste a piece to see!
  8. Serve with rice or roti or naan even! YUM!

Serves 4 - 6 people

xx Pip