A Venison Chilli Con Carne

Venison chilli con carne

Ingredients:

  • 500g diced venison
  • 200g pancetta cubes
  • 2 medium onions
  • 6-7 cloves of garlic
  • 1 tin of black eyed beans
  • 1 medium carrot
  • 1 stick of celery
  • 1 Romano red pepper
  • 1 courgette (zucchini)
  • 1 scotch bonnet chilli
  • 1/2 bottle red wine
  • 3 ripe fresh tomatoes
  • 1 tin chopped tomatoes
  • 1 tblsp tomato purée
  • 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1/2 tsp ground coriander
  • 1/4 tsp ground allspice
  • 1 stick of cinnamon
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 5-10 whole peppercorns
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 1/2 pint beef stock
  • 1 bunch fresh coriander

Method:
Fry the pancetta for 5 mins and remove from the pan.
Fry the chopped onion, garlic, carrot and celery till soft along with 1/2 the bunch of fresh coriander.
Add the venison and pancetta.
When venison is browned add the chilli, ground coriander, allspice and paprika.
Add the red wine and bring to a brisk simmer.
Add the chopped courgette, red pepper, fresh and tinned tomatoes, and tomato paste.
Add the cinnamon, bay leaves, peppercorns and thyme.
Add the beef stock and black eyes beans and simmer on low for 3 – 4 hours.
Garnish with fresh coriander and serve.

Venison chilli con carne

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A Chicken and Chorizo Bake

Chicken and chorizo bake

Ingredients:

  • 1 whole chicken jointed, or equivalent chicken pieces
  • 1 tblsp plain flour
  • 1 chorizo sausage
  • 1 large onion
  • 1 medium carrot
  • 1 stick of celery
  • 1 small parsnip
  • 1 yellow pepper
  • 5 cloves of garlic
  • 1/2 tsp ground coriander
  • 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 stick of cinnamon
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 5-8 whole pepper corns
  • 1 tsp herb do Provence 
  • 1/2 tblsps tomato purée
  • 1 glass white wine
  • 1 cup chicken stock

Method:

Dust the chicken in flour and fry in olive oil in the casserole dish until golden brown.
Remove the chicken and set aside.
Fry the chopped onion, carrot, celery and garlic until soft.
Add the chorizo.
Add the ground coriander and paprika and fry for a couple of mins.
Add the white wine and bring to a simmer.
Add the chopped yellow pepper and parsnip, along with the cinnamon, peppercorns and herbs du Provence.
Add the tomato purée and chicken stock.
Add the chicken back to the pan.
Cook in a low/medium oven for 90 mins to 2 hours.
Serve with mash potato.

Chicken and chorizo bake

Sea Bream stuffed with a Charmoula (a North African influenced herb & spice paste) baked on a bed of vegetables and oranges.

Sea Bream stuffed with Charmoula baked on a bed of vegetables and orange

Ingredients:

  • 2-3 whole sea bream (or other whole fish such as sea bass or mackerel) gutted and scaled
  • 2 medium potatoes
  • 1 courgette
  • 1 medium beetroot
  • 1 red pepper
  • 1 orange
  • 2-3 sticks of cinnamon
  • 2-3 bay leaves
  • Pomegranate mollasses
  • Salt and pepper
    For the Charmoula:
  • 1 handful of each of the following fresh herbs:
  • coriander
  • parsley
  • mint
  • chives
  • dill
  • 5 cloves of garlic
  • 1 inch piece of ginger
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp ground coriander
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1 tblsp of olive oil
  • juice of 1/2 orange

Method:

Preheat the oven to 190° c conventional (or 170° fan).
Make 3-4 slices in the side of each fish.
Slice and parboil the potatoes for 6-7 mins.
Slice the other vegetables and 1/2 the orange and arrange in a baking dish with the potatoes, the cinnamon, bay leaves and a good glug of olive oil.
Place all the ingredients for the charmoula into a blender and blend into a smooth paste.
Stuff the fish with charmoula and rub the rest liberally into the slices on their sides.
Place the fish on the vegetables and drizzle the molasses and more olive oil across the top.
Season with salt and pepper and add 1-2 tablespoons of water.
Cover with foil and bake for 45-55 mins or until fish is cooked.

Chicken Curry with Beetroot and Tamarind

Chicken Curry with Tamarind and Beetroot

Ingredients:

  • 2 medium onions (approx 200g)
  • 8 cloves garlic (approx 30g)
  • Thumb size piece of ginger (approx 30g)
  • 5 Chicken drumsticks (approx 500g)
  • Cubed fresh Beetroot (approx 250g)
  • 4 cardamon pods
  • 3 one inch pieces cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp fenugreek seeds
  • 3 tsp coriander
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp tumeric
  • 1/2 tsp mustard powder
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper powder
  • 3 red Kashmiri chillies or 2 green chillies
  • 1 tsp tamarind paste
  • 400 ml chicken stock
  • Fresh coriander to garnish

Method:
Fry the whole spices (cardamon, cinnamon and fenugreek) for a couple of minutes in hot oil until they release their aromas.
Add the onion, ginger and garlic and fry until soft (low-medium heat).
Add the rest of the spices and chillies and fry for about a minute (being careful they don’t stick).
Add the chicken and fry in the spices for a few minutes.
Add the chicken stock and the beetroot and tamarind, and simmer partially covered on low for minimum 45 mins until sauce has reached desired consistency .
Garnish with fresh coriander and serve.

Chicken Curry with Beetroot and Tamarind

Gourmet Gorman on location with special guest John Themis: Greek Kleftico

Gourmet Gorman goes on location to the kitchen of Greek chef/musician extraordinaire John Themis

You Can’t Fake The Hake: A Sri Lankan Style Fish Curry…

Sri Lankan style Hake curry

Hake has to be my favourite fish of all. I think this has something to do with having been on tour so much in Spain, and eating various Catalan Hake dishes outdoors with the heat of the sun offset by an enormous flower pot size jug of ice cold beer, while mopping up the savoury fish juices with the garlicky tomato bread that they serve in that part of the world.
The fish, to me, always has the perfect balance between subtlety of  flavour and firmness of texture, which places it just outside the “delicate white fish” category in my estimation.

So when I saw some nice, firm, fresh looking hake steaks in my local supermarket (a rare event, let me assure you) I snapped it up. As I’d already decided on cooking some sort of Sri Lankan curry that evening, the Hake fitted perfectly into my plans.

Here’s the lowdown:

Serves 2

Ingredients:

  • 4 Hake steaks
  • 1 medium onion
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 3/4 inch pce of ginger
  • 1 stick of lemon grass
  • 2 greeen chillies
  • 1/2 tsp black mustard seeds
  • 10 curry leaves
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp tumeric
  • 1 tblsp fish sauce
  • 1 tin of coconut milk
  • 1 small bunch fresh coriander
  • 3 -4 cherry tomatoes
  • 1/2 fresh lemon

Method:

Assemble the onion, ginger, garlic, chilli, lemon grass, mustard seeds and spices. Chop as required:

Assemble the ingredients

Heat some oil in a wok. When hot, toss in the mustard seeds. They should spit and splutter.

Toss in the mustard seeds

Next add the curry leaves and lemon grass (which has been bashed and cut in 2 to help release the juices)

Add the curry leaves and lemon grass

Next, add the onions, ginger, garlic and green chillies and stir fry vigorously for a couple of minutes.

Add the onions, ginger, garlic and green chillies

When the onions etc are softened, throw in the powdered spices, fry for 30 secs approx, then add the fish sauce:

Add the spices and fish sauce

When the fish sauce has sizzled for a few seconds, add the coconut milk and bring to a gently simmer:

Add the coconut milk

At this stage it would be good to put the rice on:

Put the rice on

Also at this stage, chop the fresh coriander, tomatoes and ready the lemon. Have your fish prepared as well:

Chop tomatoes, coriander, lemon

Fish at the ready

Place the fish gently into the sauce:

Place the fish into the sauce

Simmer gently for about 10-15 mins until fish is cooked:

Simmer until fish is cooked

At this point add the garnish: Tomatoes, fresh coriander and squeeze in the lemon:

Add the garnish

Now the curry should be ready to serve, with the fish cooked, but still firm:

Fish should be cooked but still firm

Serve with the previously prepared steamed rice:

Serve

Empty trolley+empty head+empty stomach=Moroccan Style Lamb Meatballs

 Moroccan style meatballs served with cous cous stir fried with courgette, apple and sweetcorn

This dish was the result of one of those strolls around a supermarket with an empty trolley, an empty head and an empty stomach.
Didn’t really know what I fancied to eat at all. Maybe wanted something a bit spicy, but not Indian (yes, I know that’s very unlike me. I did consider taking my temperature to ascertain whether or not I was coming down with something).
Also, I’d been eating rather a lot of rice, so something similar to rice, but not…. if you know what I mean, was required. Which led me to think of cous cous, which led me to think of lamb and tomatoes, which led me to think of something sweetish for the cous cous, which then decided my entire movement pattern through the supermarket.
It’s funny how one negative thought (ie. I don’t really feel like Indian again) in this instance led to a kind of chain reaction domino effect, which meant within seconds I knew exactly what I wanted to cook and what I wanted to put in it.
Hmmmmmmm…… If only I could transplant that process to writing music….

Anyway, enough twaddle, on with the recipe:

Ingredients:

For the meatballs:

  • 500g lamb mince
  • 1 onion
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1/2 tsp ground coriander
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp dried mint
  • 1/2 small bunch coriander leaves
  • 1/2 tsp salt (or to taste)
  • 1 egg (beaten)

For the sauce:

  • 1 onion
  • 1 carrot
  • 1 stick celery
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1/2 tsp ground coriander
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tin of tomatoes
  • 1 tblsp tomato puree
  • 2 red chillies
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 lemon
  • 1/2 tsp salt (or to taste)

For the cous cous:

  • enough cous cous for 2 people
  • 1 small tin sweetcorn
  • 1 courgette
  • 1 bramley apple
  • 1 small glass of red wine

Method:

First job is to make the meatballs.

Chop the onion, garlic and coriander as fine as you can possibly get them, then put them in a bowl with the mince and the rest of the meatballs ingredients. Get stuck in with your hands and mix well, then roll the meaballs in a circular motion between the palms of your hands.
You should eventually end up with something resembling this:

Meatballs rolled - as you can see, I could have done a better job chopping the onion

The next step is to make the sauce.
Chop the onion, carrot, celery and garlic and soften in a little olive oil, add the spices and chillies, fry briefly, then add the tomatoes, tomato puree, plus a little hot water, and the bay leaves and salt.
Bring to a gentle simmer then squeeze in the lemon:

Add the lemon to the simmering sauce

Now that the sauce is simmering away gently, it’s time to brown the meatballs.
Heat a little olive oil in a frypan and gently place the meatballs in, taking care not to overcrowd:

Fry the meatballs

When the meatballs are suitably browned, you can start adding them to the sauce.
Take extra care not to break them up or handle them to roughly:

Add the meatballs to the sauce. Be gentle

Eventually all the meatballs should fit neatly into the sauce pan. Leave to simmer gently with the lid on, while you cook the cous cous:

Meatballs in sauce

To make the cous cous, first prepare the cous cous with the appropriate amount of hot water as per the instructions on the packet.
Meanwhile chop the courgette and apple (cored and peeled) into small cubes.
Place the lamb frypan over the heat and deglaze with a glass of red wine (you can drink some as well if you wish).
Then add the courgette, apple and sweetcorn to the pan, fry round for a minute or two, and add the cous cous, which should now be ready (fork it into the pan though to fluff up).
Add some chopped coriander on top:

Cous cous

While you’ve been doing that, the meatballs should have been simmering away in the sauce, it’s flavour permeating them and itself being infused by their meaty sapidity.

The meatballs, having been simmered in the sauce and garnished with coriander

Everything is now ready to serve.

Not bad for a flash of inspiration in the cheese/yoghurts aisle I’d say.

If only everything was so simple…..

Served out