Top Food Blogs

Thursday, 19 September 2013

Chicken Masala

After my last post of the yellow rice, I then had to make a curry to go with it . I already had the chicken thighs, or you could use breast fillets if you prefer. The thighs are moister, so if using fillets don't over cook them. This is an exceptionally easy curry, maybe not as easy as one from a jar but much tastier I think. The Indians would throw their hands up in horror because I don't use ghee or peanut oil. I just use the Rylstone all the time and it works for me. I know the chefs love the Organic but for me it's the Crooked River for everyday use.

1 kilo thigh fillets, chopped keeping pieces fairly large
Rylstone Olive Oil
1 chopped onion
2 teaspoons crushed garlic
2 teaspoons crushed ginger
1 teaspoon brown mustard seeds
2 teaspoons garam masala
1 teaspoon chilli powder ( if you like it hotter add more )
1 tin crushed tomatoes
3/4 cup cream
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup roughly of chopped coriander
1/4 cup roughly of chopped mint

I used a wok for my curry, but a saucepan or frypan is fine too
Half cook the chicken in the oil and remove and set aside. Next fry the ginger, garlic and onion in the oil. Add the mustard seeds, chilli and garam masala and stir through the herbs.
Add the tomatoes next stir until combined and then add the cream and stir through.
Return the chicken to the pan and cook stirring occasionally. Add the chopped herbs in the last few minutes of cooking.

Thursday, 12 September 2013

Festive Yellow Sri Lankan Rice

Everyone seems to be a little scared of cooking rice. If we do it the old fashioned way in a pot of boiling water, it must be watched. Overcooked rice is really not good. I have many memories of soggy rice from my childhood. Of course now lots of people have rice cookers and microwave rice cookers.
I personally don't have either, but always do it in the microwave, in a casserole dish that can go to the table. A never fail method and if you get distracted it doesn't matter cause it turns itself off.
The water must only come to the joint of your thumb over the rice. This usually means if you have a cup of rice its a cup and half of water, 2 cups of rice 2 and half cups of water.
Place into the microwave for 10 minutes on high, beautiful rice very time. Give it a go.
The other method is the absorption method which many people swear by and its pretty good too.
This is how I cooked this rice, a delicious delicately spiced alternative to plain rice when serving curries. You could add some chopped chicken into it whilst cooking for a complete meal, and toss through some sultanas and toasted almonds at the end just before serving. Serve it with some lamb cutlets or sausages with a salsa for a family meal.
This is probably not the exact method all Sri Lankans use but like all cooks everyone has their own slant on it.

2 cups basmati rice washed and drained thoroughly
Rylstone Olive Oil
1 onion finely sliced
6 cardamon pods
6  black peppercorns
2 cloves
1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
1/2 teaspoon brown mustard seeds
1 1/2 teaspoons turmeric
2 curry leaves
2 teaspoons salt
375 ml  Carnation light and creamy coconut flavoured evaporated milk which has 92% less saturated fat. Alternatively you can use coconut milk.
1 1/2 cups water

In a large pot with a tight fitting lid, cook the sliced onions in a good splash of olive oil. Cook them until they change colour slightly. Then add cardamon pods, peppercorns, cloves, mustard seeds, cumin seeds and fry for a minute mixing through the onion.
Add some more oil at this stage if your pot is too dry. Add the rice, turmeric salt and curry leaves and fry in the oil coating the rice and spices. Finally add the coconut milk and water and bring to the boil.
Then turn it down to very low and put the lid on tightly. If you feel the lid isn't as tight a it should be put some foil over the top and press down at the sides to stop any air escaping.
Cook for 15 minutes use a timer and don't peek, no lid lifting required !
Take off heat immediately cooked and fork through. Beautiful fluffy spiced rice.

Monday, 2 September 2013

Fettuccine with Chicken Mustard Cream and Macadamia Nuts

Do not have a fit about the cream in this recipe. There isn't a lot !
Monday night, not much in the fridge, everyone eating at different times, what to cook ?.
I happened to have the remains of a cooked chicken and some macadamia nuts and a meagre lot of vegetables.I always have a bottle of wine and parmesan on hand so I set about making this dish.
Very light and very tasty. You could use any type of pasta, a short penne or fusilli, if you prefer.

Rylstone Olive Oil
2 shallots chopped
2 cloves chopped garlic
1 small onion chopped
200 ml white wine
300 ml chicken stock
1 small capsicum chopped
1 tablespoon grain mustard
4 tablespoons chopped macadamia nuts
150 ml cream
1 teaspoon dried tarragon
300 grams chopped cooked chicken 
200 grams grated parmesan
500 grams fettucine

Cook the macadamia nuts in a little oil to brown and set aside.
Put a large pasta pot on to boil. Cook the pasta according to instructions ie dried or fresh.
Chop shallots, onion and garlic and fry gently on olive oil in a pan on top of stove.
Add the white wine and reduce by half.
Add the stock and chicken pieces. You can use cooked or uncooked chicken. Of course if using uncooked you must insure it gets adequate cooking time. Simmer gently until stock is reduced by half.
Add the cream, chopped capsicum, tarragon and grain mustard. Stir gently and the sauce will thicken slightly. Check seasoning and adjust if needed. Toss the toasted nuts through just before serving.
Serve with  grated parmesan .
If you find there isn't enough of the sauce for you add extra stock and cream. Depending on your pasta
it really soaks up the sauce.
Also use pine nuts if you prefer.