Spring lamb with apricots & chilli

Posted in: DF, S, SF, WF

Happy Easter! Here’s something savoury to wash down all your chocolate eggs. After much tweaking, I think this tagine has a perfect balance of agrodolce: Tangy, clean lime, coriander and tamarind working wonders against the sweet, sticky apricots and meaty lamb. Don’t be put off by the mega ingredients list, it’s largely comprised of Storehouse items, and one pot recipes always get my vote for being faff free. It’s also a dinner party winner that tastes even better on day two.

Spring lamb with apricots & chilli

Serves 6

INGREDIENTS

500g lamb leg or shoulder, diced to 1 inch pieces, removing the fat.
1 tsp cumin, ground or seeds
2 tsp coriander seeds, ground
3 tsp mustard seeds
4 tsp garam masala from the Larder or shop bought

1 tbsp olive oil
3 red onions, peeled and chopped
2 inch piece ginger, peeled and chopped
4 cloves garlic, crushed
1 chilli, finely chopped (seeds included)
3 tsp tamarind
1 bunch coriander (leaves and stalks), chopped

1 ltr chicken or veg stock (I like Marigold bouillon)
1 x 400g tin quality plum or chopped tomatoes
1/2 tsp turmeric
150g prunes, pitted
100g dried apricots
1 tbsp tamari, soy sauce or good pinch sea salt
2 limes, juice of

METHOD

Marinate the meat in the spices for 2 hrs, or ideally, overnight.

In a large, heavy based pan, heat olive oil till starts to smoke and add meat to brown. Set aside and fry onions and ginger until soft, aprox 5 mins. Add garlic, chilli, tamarind and coriander stalks (keep leaves aside for later) and fry for a further 5 mins.

Add stock, tomatoes and turmeric and bring to the boil. Follow with lamb and apricots, turn down the heat, cover and cook 30 mins.

Stir to unstick, add remaining ingredients and simmer gently with the lid off for 45 mins. Test for seasoning (you want a balance of sweet, salt and tang) and serve.

Best with yellow split peas, polenta mash or brown rice, a dollop of Labneh (from the Larder) and fresh coriander. Bulgar wheat with a drizzle of Lemon oil is a safe bet if the others float your boat.

Tip: It’s important to add turmeric later in the cooking process so as not to burn off its health benefits, of which there are multitudes!

For reasons this is a recipe your insides will love as much as your tastebuds, check out Seasonal Seducer Lamb.

Aubergine, chilli & coriander salsa

Posted in: DF, LF, S, V, WF

I dreamt up this salsa after 4 months of craving raw, crunchy salads in India. There’s nothing I like more than fish and spice but there comes a point when even the most dedicated curry fans need to macerate. So, said recipe materialised on a Middle East stopover at my bother’s, where aubergines are as integral to the local diet as tatties are to the Irish. Once charred or roasted, few ingredients compare to the flavour and ‘meatiness’ of this super berry . For me, this salad’s at it’s best with steak or at a BBQ. You can also pair with chicken, fish or even toasted sourdough for a light lunch or supper.

Aubergine-&-tomato-salsa2

Feeds 6

 

Ingredients

3 aubergines
2 tbsp olive oil
Sea salt
Black pepper, freshly ground
1/2 red onion
150g tomatoes
1 bch / tbsp coriander, chopped
1 lime, juice of

Method

Pre-heat oven to 200°C. Slice aubergine into 1 inch rounds, mix with oil, salt & pepper. Lay flat on baking tray and place in oven for 45 mins, or until browned. Turn each slice every 15 mins – you want a mix of soft, charred and crispy slices for flavour and texture.

Dice tomatoes and red onion and mix with chopped coriander and lime juice.

Chop cooled aubergine into approx. 2cm pieces, mix with salsa and serve.

To salt or not to salt? Originally done to remove bitterness, today’s auberignes rarely suffer from the affliction of their ancestors. Salting can help to reduce the amount of oil absorbed during cooking, however. Once cut, sprinkle with sea salt and place in a colander for ½ hr.

Courgette, prawn & chilli fritters

Posted in: DF, S, SF, WF

Fritters are an easy and healthy alternative to bread, and just as versatile. In this version, the chilli bite is contrasted by cooling mint and clean coriander; hard to beat for breakfast or supper when topped with bacon, avocado and a poached egg. Or you can make minis with a dip for everyone to dig into as a starter or canapé. Try Broad bean & cashew dip or hung yoghurt (labneh) & basil pesto.

fritters,-bacon-&-egg

Makes: 12 fritters. Feeds: 4

INGREDIENTS

150g chickpea flour
½ tsp baking powder
½ tsp salt
½ tsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp ground cumin
½ tsp turmeric (for gut health)
black pepper
2 limes, juice of
½ red Kashmiri chilli, chopped
8 spring onions, chopped
2 tbsp coriander, chopped
1 dsp mint, chopped
1 courgette, grated
200g peeled, raw tiger prawns, chopped ½ inch thick
1 tbsp coconut oil. Or your choice of oil.

METHOD

Sift the flour, baking powder and salt into a bowl. In stages, add 100ml water and the lime juice and stir until you get a thick batter, removing any lumps.

Add the spices, chilli, spring onions and herbs, followed by the courgette and prawns.

making-fritters

Dollop coconut oil into a frying pan and set over a medium heat. When very hot, add your mix (1 heaped dsp per fritter) and flatten to 2cm thick.

Cook for 2 – 3 mins on one side and 1 on the reverse. Or until your fritters are a reddish brown. Coconut oil gives a lovely crispness, and countless health benefits in the process!

Serve hot topped with avocado & cottage cheese or a poached egg.

Pitt Cue Co. Chipotle Ketchup

It would appear the latter’s surprisingly good with Pitt Cue Co’s chipotle ketchup and bacon. An accidental combination (I may have been nursing a hangover) and potentially menu carnage but I like it. Impressive given I don’t do ketchup. The recipe’s widely available on the net, or I’ve included a tweaked version made with agave instead of sugar.

Make the most of seductive courgette’s health benefits while in season. See also skinny Courgette & lemon drizzle cake.

Labneh (a kind of yoghurt cheese)

Posted in: LF, S, SF, V, WF

This Middle Eastern strained yoghurt calls for a little patience; loading the piece of muslin first time can be a faff. But that’s pretty much the extent of this recipe, and once you’ve tried it on curries, salads or even toasted rye bread you’ll see exactly why I always have some in the fridge. And why it’s good enough for Mr Ottolenghi and Baker & Spice.

MakingLabnehWholesomeSeduction

Ingredients

250g natural full fat bio yoghurt
½ tsp sea salt
1 tsp za’atar – optional. You can also swap for black pepper or dried chillies (½ tsp max).

Method

Mix all ingredients together and transfer to bowl lined with muslin. Tie the muslin into a sack and suspend over the bowl (I use a chopstick as a bracket).

The idea is to strain all the excess liquids from the yoghurt, so it’s best to keep the sack from touching the bottom of the bowl if possible. Alternatively, you can strain more recently.

Leave in the fridge for 24 hrs (or longer, depending on how thick you want the labneh to be). Drain the bowl daily.

Store in a jar in the fridge and keep as per the use by date on the yoghurt.

Tip: Za’atar is a Middle Eastern spice mix of thyme, sesame, sumac, cumin, coriander, fennel and salt.