January 8, 2012

Nursery Spaghetti

Here is what you do.

Cook a packet of spaghetti til it's al dente (I say that to make this seem fancier and more foodie than it is, truth be told, but DO cook your spaghetti nicely)
Then you need
One warmed tin of condensed tomato soup (don't add water! must NOT be salt reduced! if you like a lot of sauce, get the biggest can of soup)
One block of Kraft cheddar cheese, grated (this is the one that is NOT kept in the fridge at the supermarket)

You cook the spaghetti, as we said.
You use the warm non diluted soup as the pasta sauce.
You put a LOT of cheese on top.
You eat it up.

Shame. Shame. Shame. Yum.

Pip's Mexican Style Chicken


This is really easy to make.  I get the chillis I need from Casa Iberica.

1 kilo of chicken thigh fillets, no skin, fat trimmed

To Make The Marinade
2 dried guajillo chillis : seeds removed and snipped into pieces with scissors
1/2 chipotle chilli (I use the chipotle which are tinned in adobo sauce.... and I add a teaspoon of the sauce)
1 tablespoon of ground sweet paprika
1/2 tablespoon of ground cumin
1/2 tablespoon of dried oregano
1 tomato, chopped roughly
1 red onion, chopped roughly
2 cloves of garlic, peeled and chopped
juice of one lemon
2 tablespoons of olive oil
1 tsp of salt
1 tsp white pepper

Put all these ingredients in a food processor and pulse until it's a nice red paste.  You can use a mortar and pestle for this if you like, but I shake all the crockery out of the cabinets if I do.  Don't do that, will you?!  Scoop it all out into a bowl and throw your chicken in for at least 2 or 3 hours to marinate!  

To cook the chicken, heat a slosh of olive oil in a nice, big heavy based pan.  Plonk the chicken in and arrange it neatly  in one layer.  Pop a lid on and simmer over a medium low heat for 20 minutes.  You can turn up the heat at the end if you want a bit more colour on your chicken.  Cut the chicken into pieces while it's still in the pan and toss in the pan juices. 

You can season it with black pepper, coriander and a squeeze of lime to serve!

We have this in tortillas, usually, with lots of fresh salsa, guacamole and crunchy greens!
It's good with spiced rice and corn on the cob too!

Pip's Teriyaki Chicken : uber good

Pip's Uber Famous Teriyaki Chicken
Serves 6

1kg skinless chicken breast fillets (free range if you can!) cut into rough 1" pieces
1/2 cup of potato starch (from Asian grocers and some supermarkets)

1/2 cup of oil (I just used canola oil)

Sauce :: Mix Together
1/4 cup of good quality soy sauce (like Kikkoman)
1/4 cup of mirin
1/4 cup of sake
1/4 cup of raw sugar
1/4 cup of water
2 teaspoons of sesame oil

To serve::
Short grain rice or sushi rice
Chilli sauce if you are into it
Chopped spring onions and any other chopped raw vegies you like 
(I like to use cherry tomatoes and I steam some broccoli to the right side of crunchy to have with it too!)

Let's Make It...
Tip the potato starch into a plastic bag and then dump the chopped up chicken in there.  Twist the bag a few times to seal it and then shake it all up to coat the chicken well.  We want the starch all over every piece.

Heat your oil in a large frying pan or wok over a medium high heat.  Fry the coated chicken in two batches, just until it's sealed and colouring a tiny bit.  We don't need to cook it right through yet.  Drain the sealed chicken on kitchen towel.  Now, tip out the oil leaving just a teensy bit in the pan.  There will be bits of fried stuff stuck to the pan too.  That is just fine.  Leave that in there.

Put the pan with teensy bit of oil and leftover fried bits back on to a medium heat.  Add all of your chicken to the pan.  It will be a bit crowded.  Stir your sauce mixture to distribute the sugar a bit, then tip it over the chicken and toss well.  It will bubble up and start to look pretty impressive and delicious.

Put a lid on for a minute or two to help cook the chicken through properly, shaking the pan every now and then to prevent things burning. Then take the lid off and toss the chicken for another minute or two, until it's lovely and glazed and caramelizing a bit. (If you don't have a lid, just cook for four minutes without the lid, tossing well to keep things cooking evenly.)  That's all you do!

Serve on top of a few spoonfuls of rice.  Top with spring onions and the raw vegies.  I always put a big dollop of chilli sauce atop mine.  

Serve with green tea and marvel at the amazing texture of the chicken!  SO so so so yummy.  Try it. You will be amazed. Honest.

Lazy Risotto A La Oven

Lazy Risotto A La Oven
2 regular size tins of diced tomatoes (or chopped up tinned whole tomatoes)
1 carrot, peeled and grated
2 cups of arborio rice
3 cups of stock or water
1 tablespoon of capers (not rinsed)
1 tablespoon of sweet paprika
2 cloves of garlic, crushed
1 red onion, sliced
1 tablespoon of pesto if you have it
1 tablespoon of red or white wine vinegar
1/2 cup of mozarella cheese, chopped roughly or grated
1/4 cup of other cheese : parmesan or cheddar : again chopped or grated
Fresh herbs : a half a handful of whatever you have on hand (or a teaspoon of dried herbs like basil or an Italian mix)

Fry the onion, carrot and garlic in a good glug of olive oil until soft and aromatic.  Add the tinned tomatoes, paprika, pesto, herbs, vinegar.  Cook for ten minutes, stirring often.  Season with salt and lots of pepper. (I like white pepper, but black pepper is good too)

While that's cooking, slug some olive oil into an oven proof dish/pot with a lid.  I use a cast iron one.  Heat the oil over a medium heat and throw in the rice.  Saute the rice for a minute or so, stirring all the while.  Then tip in the stock.  Excellent.  Next tip in the tomato sauce you just made.  Perfect.  Mix it all up and finally throw in the cheese.  (You can also throw in some chilli and some lemon juice/nutmeg at this point)

Cook in a medium oven for 30 minutes with a lid on. Ta-dah!  Add more salt or pepper as needed and serve with a dollop of chili or more pesto if you like!

(Based on a recipe I found via The Vine)

Pip's Lamb Rolls


Pip's Mayo
2 egg yolks
1 tbsp of Dijon mustard
1 tbsp of Worcestershire Sauce (Lee & Perrins is good!)
1 tbsp of red wine vinegar
juice of half a lemon
a slosh of tabasco
a pinch of salt
a pinch of black pepper
1 cup of good quality oil (I used a mild olive oil, but you can use canola oil if you like!)

I use a food processor to make this, but you could use a regular mixer or do it by hand with a whisk if you are very energetic.  To make the mayo, plonk all the ingredients EXCEPT the oil in the food processor.  Blend or beat until well combined.  Now keep the motor running and slowly, slowly, slowly drizzle the oil in.  The mixture will thicken up nicely as you drizzle and spin.  You must do this slowly, or else the mayo will split and go runny!  Ick. We don't want that.  Slowly, slowly we go.  Once you've added all the oil, add a tablespoon or two of boiling water to lighten the texture and colour a bit.  Voila!  (Makes 1 cup of Pip's Mayo!)

Pip's Lamb Rolls
Serves 4

300g of lamb fillets (I used 'backstraps')
Marinate these whole for at least 15 minutes in :: two tablespoons of olive oil, 1 tsp of dried oregano, 1 diced clove of garlic, 1 tbsp of red wine vinegar, salt and pepper.

Next, sear the lamb fillets in a hot pan, first on one side and then on the other. Once they have lots of colour and smell delicious, put them in a hot oven for five minutes or so to finish them off.  They should still be a bit soft to touch when you take them out, if you are after pinkish lamb.  Cover them with foil for a few minutes so they can rest and relax.

Now we need
4 soft long rolls, split down the middle (but not all the way through!)
1 large tomato, sliced with some basil sprinkled atop it, if you like
1/2 cucumber, sliced
1 handful of baby spinach or rocket (washed and dried!)

Slice your lamb fillets as thinly as you can.  I'm not much good with a knife, but mine were a BIT thin.  Now spread your roll with lots of mayo.  Pop in the lamb next, then the tomato and cucumber.  Finally squoosh in the spinach.  Season with salt and pepper and gobble them up!

Also :: You can add feta, avocado, chili, pesto or capers

Pumpkin and Miso Curry

Pip's Potato Curry

serves six

2kg of potatoes (no need to peel, just cut into 1 inch-ish chunks!)
2 onions, peeled and sliced
2 cloves of garlic, peeled and diced
1 inch piece of ginger, peeled and diced
2 tablespoons of curry powder (I use this one)
1 tablespoon of soy sauce
1 cup of frozen peas
sea salt and freshly ground pepper
To Serve : fresh coriander or mint and some lemon wedges

To Make It
First boil the chopped potatoes until just tender.
While they are boiling, and in a very large fry pan, fry the onion in a tablespoon of good quality oil over a medium heat.  You want the onions to cook for five or ten minutes, until they are soft and golden. Yum.
Then, add the ginger and fry for a minute.  Next add the garlic and cooked potatoes to the onions and toss well.  Let them fry together for 2 or 3 minutes, so they can get to know each other.  
Next sprinkle the curry powder over the top of the whole lot and add 1/2 cup of water and the soy sauce.
Carefully toss and combine, frying for 2 or 3 minutes.
Add the peas and gently mix them through, cooking for another minute or so.
Season with salt and pepper and serve garnished with some fresh mint or coriander and lemon wedges.
The end!

Simple Mexican Potatoes

1 kg of unpeeled roughly chopped potatoes
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon of sweet paprika
1 teaspoon of dried oregano
juice of one lemon
optional : 1 tsp of chipotle powder

Toss all these ingredients together and make sure the potatoes are well coated in the oil and herbs and spices (and lemon juice!)  Tumble onto a heavy based tray and bake in a HOT oven for 35 minutes (until nice and golden and tender and crunchy!) Season with salt and pepper.
Serve with salsa or mayo or yoghurt if you would like that!

Pip's Mee Rebus : Speedy Style

Pip's Mee Rebus
serves 4

A slosh of oil
1 sweet potato, peeled and thinly sliced
1 onion, finely diced
1 clove of garlic, finely diced
1 tablespoon of curry powder : I use this one
a slosh  of soy
1 tsp of white pepper
1 cup or so of coconut milk
1 cup of chicken stock (or vegetable stock)
1 packet of noodles : around 250g  (the fresh, thickish yellow ones) : soaked in boiling water for a few minutes
1 handful of sliced fried tofu
1 handful of baby spinach
1 handful of bean shoots

Fried shallots (from a packet!)

Optional :: sliced fish cake, sliced cooked chicken, sliced cooked potatoes

Slosh the oil into a large fry pan or wok.  When it's nice and hot, add the onions and stir fry for a minute or so.  Next add the garlic and sweet potato.  Toss well and lower the heat (to very low).  Put a lid on the pan (or some foil!) and let it simmer for 15 minutes until the sweet potato is soft. Remove the lid and mash the potato in the pan with the onions and garlic.  Add the curry powder and the soy and white pepper. Add the stock and mix and mash until you have a puree.  Now add the coconut milk and mix well. Then toss in the tofu and any of the optional ingredients.  Cook for a minute and then add the noodles.  Toss well.  Finally add the spinach and bean shoots and toss again.

Spoon into bowls and garnish with coriander, fried shallots and a squeeze of lemon.  You can add some chili too, if you like it spicy!

Simple Spanish-ish Beef

Simple Spanish-ish Beef

1 kilo of diced beef/steak
2 tins of diced tomatoes
2 onions, sliced
2 red peppers, sliced
1 tablespoon of sweet paprika
juice of one small lemon and some rind if you can be bothered
1/2 tablespoon of dried oregano (or a bit more of fresh oregano!)
2 cloves of garlic, crushed
1 good slosh of red wine vinegar
1 good slosh of olive oil

Slosh the oil into a heavy based pan and heat it up.  Now throw in the onions.  Cook them over a medium heat, stirring now and then, until softened and a bit golden.  Now throw in the peppers and cook until softened.  Next throw in the garlic.  Cook for 30 seconds, stirring all the while. Now add your tomatoes, beef, paprika, oregano, lemon and vinegar.  Season well with salt and pepper.  Cook for a couple of hours over a low heat, or until the meat is tender.

I made roast potatoes as a side ::
Peel a kilo or so of potatoes (more if your family are greedy!)  Cook the peeled spuds in boiling water for ten minutes.  Drain and allow to dry in the colander.  Put a healthy slosh of oil in an oven tray.  Throw in your potatoes and toss them well.  Cook for an hour or so in a hot oven, turning frequently.  When nearly done, mix a tablespoon of extra oil, with 1/2 tablespoon of sweet paprika, some sea salt and black pepper and a clove of very well crushed garlic.  Throw this over the potatoes and toss them well.  Put the potatoes back in the oven and cook for another 5 minutes. Yum.

Serve with international condiments like aioli and chipotle in adobo sauce. Yum.  And a crunchy salad too. Yes.