Tag Archives: dairy-free

Home-style Indian Chicken Curry

Chicken Curry 008aChicken is an economic meal option and is always popular for
curries. This home-style chicken curry has plenty of spicy fragrance from the spices – cumin seeds, fennel seeds, cinnamon, ground
coriander and turmeric – but is a warm rather than a blistering hot
curry.

If you like your curries hot increase the fresh red chillies and ensure you use a hot variety or use more dried chilli flakes.

Fresh chillies are in season now and are readily available. For a great selection of chillies from the mildest to the hottest check out
Orcona’s stand at the Hastings Farmers’ Market each Sunday 8.30am to 12.30pm at the A&P Showgrounds, Kenilworth Rd,
Hastings.

Home-style Indian Chicken Curry
Adding water to the onion when chopping in the food processor ensures an onion paste forms which along with the spices creates an aromatic base to the curry.

Serves 4

1 large onion, roughly chopped
3 large garlic cloves, roughly chopped
2 cm piece ginger, grated
¼ cup vegetable oil plus extra for browning chicken
2 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp fennel seed
5cm cinnamon stick
1 fresh long red chilli or pinch dried chilli flakes (optional)
1 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp turmeric
1 x 400g can chopped tomatoes
4 chicken thighs
1 cup hot chicken stock
fresh coriander leaves
natural yogurt (optional)

1              Place onion and ½ cup water in a food processor and process to make a loose paste.
2              Place garlic and ginger in a pestle and mortar pound to make a paste. Stir in 2 tbsp water.
3              Heat oil in a heavy-based saucepan over a medium heat. Add cumin and fennel seeds and cinnamon stick and cook, stirring for
30 seconds or until fragrant.
4              Add onion paste and cook, stirring occasionally, for 8-10 minutes or until onions are translucent. Stir in garlic/ginger paste and chilli and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes
longer.
5              Stir in coriander and turmeric and cook for 30 seconds, then stir in tomatoes and bring to simmering. Simmer, uncovered for
10-15 minutes or until sauces reduces and thickens.
6              Meanwhile, heat a little vegetable oil in a frying pan and brown chicken thighs. Add to tomato mixture and cook for
5 minutes, then stir in chicken stock, bring to simmering and simmer, uncovered, for 30 minutes or until chicken is cooked and sauce
reduces and thickens.
7              To serve, scatter with coriander and accompany with yogurt, steamed brown rice and a steamed green vegetable of your choice or salad of mixed leaves.

Happy cooking and eating.

Recipe by Rachel Blackmore

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Pasta with Raw Tomato Sauce

Pasta with Raw Tomato Sauce 018aFor a variety of reasons I found myself eating by myself the other night – I love to cook for someone so it is always challenging for me when it is just me. To encourage myself I usually try to cook something I may not cook when cooking for John and pasta is always a good choice as it is something he is not so keen on.

On looking in the pantry I found I had some lovely Pasta Love fusilli pepper pasta and this just seemed to scream tomatoes and big flavours. Further investigation found lovely ripe tomatoes, olives, anchovies and garlic. A raw tomato sauce tossed through hot cooked pasta is a great summer dish – lovely summer flavours and minimal cooking.

Pasta Love artisan pasta is made right here in the Bay and you can purchase it at the Hastings Farmers’ Market or online at their website.

Pasta with Raw Tomato Sauce

This dish relies on the quality of the ingredients so make sure the tomatoes are really ripe and olive oil is good. While this recipe serves one it can easily be multiplied to serve as many as are at your table.

Serves 1

1 large ripe tomato, chopped
3-4 black olives, chopped
1 anchovy fillet in oil, drained and finely sliced
1 tbsp chopped flat-leaf parsley
1 small clove garlic, chopped
extra virgin olive oil
red wine vinegar
100 g pasta of your choice
shaved Parmesan cheese

1              Place tomato, olives, anchovy fillet, parsley and garlic in a serving bowl and toss to
combine. Add a couple of good splashes of olive oil and a splash or two of red wine
vinegar, season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Toss gently.
2              Bring a saucepan of salted water to boil, add pasta and cook according to packet directions (as Pasta Love pasta is freshly made the cooking time is a bit less than for
commercial pasta) or until tender. Drain. Add hot pasta to tomato mixture and toss.
Scatter with Parmesan and serve immediately.

Happy cooking and eating.

Recipe by Rachel Blackmore

Beetroot & Walnut Dip

Beetroot Dip 002aThis bright red dip has a festive appearance so is perfect when entertaining at this time of year – it’s also inexpensive, simple to make and can be made in advance.

Roasting the beetroot does take some time, but once it is in the oven no attention is required, so it can be left to cook while you are doing other things. The beetroot could be cooked in the microwave which is much quicker but roasting gives a more intense flavour to the finished dip, so I think it is worth cooking them this way.

Beetroot are low in kilojoules, a good source of fibre, folate and vitamin B. Their red colour comes from betanin, a phytochemical which is believed to boost immunity. They are however, messy to prepare with their red colour tending to colour anything they come in contact with. To avoid ending up with beetroot coloured stained hands wear disposable gloves and to protect your clothing wear an apron (even if you don’t usually wear an apron this is the one time it is worth getting it out of the drawer and putting it to use!)

Beetroot & Walnut Dip

With its bright red colour this dip fits in perfectly at any festive occasion and will take you right through summer, but best of all it is also healthy. Wrapping the beetroot in foil helps shorten the cooking time as it steams as it roasts.

Makes a medium-sized bowl

2 medium (300-400g each) beetroot
½ cup walnuts
1 large garlic clove, roughly chopped
1 tbsp tahini
1 tsp ground cumin
juice of 1 lemon, or to taste
3-4 tbsp olive oil
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
crackers, to serve

1              Loosely wrap beetroot in foil, place in a baking dish and bake at 180°C for 1½ to 2 hours or until tender – you should be able to easily pierce the beetroot with a skewer.
Remove beetroot from foil and set aside until cool enough to handle.
2              Place walnuts on a baking tray and place in the oven for 5 minutes or until lightly toasted – this can be done while the beetroot are cooking.
3              Once beetroot have cooled a little, remove skin, if they are properly cooked the skin should easily slip off. Cut cooked beetroot into chunks and place in the bowl of a food
processor.
4              Add walnuts, garlic, tahini, cumin, lemon juice and 3 tbsp oil to the food processor bowl and process to make a smooth dip. Season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper – add a little more lemon juice and remaining oil, if necessary. Transfer dip to a serving bowl and accompany with crackers.

Happy cooking and eating.

Recipe by Rachel Blackmore

Pan-fried Gurnard with Garlic & Chilli Dressing

gurnard 30 Nov 2013bThis is my (very slight) adaption of a very simple, but delicious recipe from Claudia Roden’s excellent book The Food of Spain, A Celebration (Penguin/Michael Joseph 2012). This book is packed with straight forward achievable recipes for the home cook.

Gurnard fillets with skin on are often available from Tangaroa Seafoods (Tangaroa St, Ahuriri, Napier), but other fish fillets with skin on such as snapper or groper can also be used. Leaving the skin on fish fillets and cooking in this way results in fish with moist flesh and a wonderful crisp skin – the skin can be eaten and is delicious.

If you have a fisherman (or woman) in the family ask them to leave the skin on the filleted fish – just make sure that the fish is well cleaned (scaled) before filleting. Usually fillets with skin on also have bones, so warn those that you are feeding. The bones can easily be removed using tweezers – special fish tweezers are available, are inexpensive and worth investing in if you do a lot of fish preparation.

In New Zealand much of our fish tends to be sold filleted with skin removed, however, this is not the case in many other countries. In many cultures filleted, skinless fish is seen as a way to disguise fish that is past its best – this is not the case here, but I do find it
disappointing that it seems to be what many New Zealanders expect. Having lived in Sydney for 20 years where we shopped regularly at the Sydney Fish Markets it took me a while to readjust to only been occasionally able to buy un-skinned fish fillets and to not having the range of whole fish available that I was used to.

Pan-fried Gurnard with Garlic & Chilli Dressing

While this recipe is for two, it is so simple that it can easily be scaled up to serve whatever number are at your dinner table.

Serves 2

2 gurnard fillets, skin on
sea salt
olive oil
4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
1 fresh red chilli, seeded (optional), thinly sliced or pinch dried chilli flakes
1 tbsp white wine vinegar
1 tbsp chopped flat-leaf parsley

1          Season fish on both sides with freshly ground salt. Heat a cast-iron frying pan over a high heat, until very hot. Add 1 tbsp olive oil, then add fish skin side down and cook for 2-3 minutes or until skin is brown and crisp. Turn fish over, cover pan with lid slightly askew and cook for 2-3 minutes longer or until fish just starts to flake. Remove fish from pan and place on a warm plate, cover and let rest for 3-4 minutes.
2          Meanwhile, place 3 tbsp olive oil, garlic and chilli in a small saucepan, place over a low heat and heat until garlic is lightly golden – take care not to let the garlic brown or it will be bitter. Remove pan from heat and stir in vinegar and parsley.
3          Pour dressing over hot fish and serve immediately.

The Food of Spain is still in print and should you wish to find out how to get a copy of it contact Beattie & Forbes Booksellers at 70 Tennyson St, Napier or phone (06) 835 8968.

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Spring Salad of Hot Smoked Salmon & Asparagus

hotsmokedsalmonThere are two methods of smoking, hot and cold. Hot smoking is basically cooking food over smoke and is the method used by most home smokers. Cold smoking is a specialised process.

Salmon is available hot or cold smoked, as the title of this recipe indicates hot smoked salmon is used here. Look for hot smoked salmon at Tangaroa Seafoods (Tangaroa St, Ahuriri, Napier); Hawke’s Bay Seafoods (Corner Pandora Rd & Ahuriri Quay, Ahuriri, Napier, Heretaunga St West, Hastings and Hastings Farmers’ Market every Sunday); The Smoke Hut (Napier Urban Food Market every Saturday and Hastings Farmers’ Market every
Sunday); and from supermarkets.

Five Easy Ways to Use Smoked Salmon

  • Scrambled Eggs and Smoked Salmon: My favourite Christmas Day breakfast, I usually use cold smoked salmon but have also used hot smoked salmon – both are delicious, the presentation is just a little different. When using cold smoked salmon drape the slices across the top of the scrambled eggs and when using hot smoked salmon, remove skin and bones, then flake and scatter across the top of the eggs.
  • Creamy Smoked Salmon and Herb Pasta: Toss flaked hot smoked salmon, herbs of your choice – a combination of dill, parsley and chives works well – and cooking cream through hot cooked pasta of your choice.
  • Smoked Salmon Pate: Skin, bone and flake hot smoked salmon, place in a food processor with cream cheese, lemon juice and dill and blend. Transfer to a serving bowl and accompany with crackers.
  • Smoked Salmon Kedgree: Use hot smoked salmon in your favourite kedgree recipe.
  • Smoked Salmon Crostini: Thinly slice a baguette and toast. Spread toasts with a little cream cheese, then top with slices of cold smoked salmon, thin slices of red onion and capers. Serve with lemon wedges for squeezing.

Spring Salad of Hot Smoked Salmon & Asparagus

Substantial enough as a meal in its own right this pretty salad looks and tastes like spring.  

Serves 4

2 medium potatoes, scrubbed
1 bunch asparagus, tough ends broken off
1 bag mixed salad leaves
½ cup flat-leaf parsley leaves
½ cup mint leaves, coarsely shredded
2-3 large radishes, thinly sliced
300g hot smoked salmon, skin and bones removed
4 green onions, chopped
LEMON DRESSING
1 tsp wholegrain mustard
½ cup olive oil
juice 1 lemon

1              To make dressing, place mustard, olive oil and lemon juice in a small bowl and whisk to combine.

2              Place potatoes in a saucepan of cold water, cover and bring to the boil. Remove lid from saucepan, add salt to taste and simmer for 15-20 minutes or until potatoes are just cooked – take care not to overcook. Drain potatoes and set aside to cool.

3              Bring a saucepan of lightly salted water to the boil, add asparagus and cook for 3-4 minutes or until just tender. Drain, refresh under cold running water to stop cooking, drain again and set aside to cool completely.

4              Cut cooled potatoes into large chunks. Place potatoes, salad leaves, parsley leaves, mint and radish slices in a bowl, drizzle with about half the dressing and toss to combine. Place salad mixture on a serving platter and top with asparagus.

5              Break salmon into chunks and scatter over top of salad, then top with spring onions and finally drizzle with remaining dressing. Serve immediately.

For more information about asparagus refer to previous post Asparagus – A Spring Treat.

Happy cooking and eating.

Recipe by Rachel Blackmore

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Aromatic Indian-style Scrambled Eggs

basketofeggsIt’s our wedding anniversary today (hard to believe it’s 26 years) and special days always call for special food so to start the day (and to use up some of the four dozen beautiful free-range eggs I received from Farmers’ Market stallholders at the weekend) it was
scrambled eggs for breakfast – but scrambled eggs with a difference – Aromatic Indian-style Scrambled Eggs.

Sometime ago I came across a recipe for Indian-style scrambled eggs and since then I have found similar recipes in the cuisines of Pakistan, Afghanistan and neighbouring countries – all seem to use onion, tomato, fresh coriander and chilli but vary as to whether garlic and/or ginger is used and which spices are preferred – my recipe uses cumin, but sometimes I use turmeric or a combination of turmeric and cumin.

My interpretation of Indian-style Scrambled Eggs is an easy go-to dish for when you want something a little exotic without a lot of effort and with its layered nutty, chilli and herby flavours makes an excellent brunch dish or a delicious Sunday night tea. Serve with a steamed green vegetable such as spinach or a salad of mixed leaves for a complete meal. If left to cool they also make a delicious filling for sandwiches or rolls.

Aromatic Indian-style Scrambled Eggs

Serves 2-4 as a light meal or brunch

4-5 free-range eggs, depending on size
salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
2 tbsp olive oil
1 small red onion, finely chopped
1 large clove garlic, finely chopped
1 tsp ground cumin
1 medium tomato, finely chopped
2 tbsp chopped coriander
1 small red chilli, thinly sliced – seeds removed (optional)
Sourdough, ciabatta or bread of your choice, toasted, to serve

1             Break eggs into a bowl, add salt and pepper and whisk lightly to combine. Set aside.
2             Heat oil in a non-stick 18-20cm frying pan over a medium heat, add onion and garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes or until onion is soft. Add cumin and cook for 1-2 minutes longer or until mixture is aromatic.
3             Add tomato and cook stirring, until warmed through and soft. Reduce heat to low.
4             Stir coriander and chilli into egg mixture. Pour egg mixture into pan and cook, stirring gently, for 5-7 minutes or until eggs are creamy and scrambled. Serve immediately with toast.

So with breakfast out of the way it’s time to think about lunch and after that hearty breakfast I think it will be a salad – I’m just working on a kumara and rocket salad with feta and walnuts and will let you know how it turns out on another day.  And dinner tonight a beautiful wild venison fillet from The Organic Farm – haven’t decided how I am going to cook that yet – but have got all day to think about that.

Happy cooking and eating

Recipe by Rachel Blackmore