Another Friday Night

Been a tough day at work today for all involved and for those who carried the normal work for us…cheers everyone. However Friday night is curry night so a quickie tonight….

Melt some Ghey (clarified butter, so naughty, so nice)…
Gently fry Onions, Garlic and Ginger (all chopped).
In spice pan dry fry cardamon pods, cumin powder, coridander power, tumeric and skunk ananzie (opps…Star Anise…always get those confused).
2 chopped chillis
Mix well…

Add the meat (I used turkey bits cos they were cheap at Co-Op) and a couple of tablespoons for tandori paste (I cheated I know!)
Allow to cook through then add a pot of creme fraicsh and mix well and continue to cook.

Serve with Pilau Rice, Nann Bread and Lynyrd Skynyrd….Nuthin’ Fancy…

Curry Night!

Evening everyone!

Curry night tonight and my current favourite is a Fish & Prawn Curry. Tonight I did this with Pilau Rice (I cheated on this) and a Courgette and Haloumi Cheese side dish. This was supposed to be a quick meal so I have used packets of fish rather than fresh, I am sure it would be even tastier with fresh fish.

Fish & Prawn Curry

Fish Medley (Cod, Salmon and Smoked Haddock)
2 Onions
3 Garlic cloves
Ground Cumin
Ground Coriander
3/4 Tin of Chopped Tomatoes
1 tin of Coconut Milk
Pinch of salt

Chop the onions and fry (in Ghey if possible, if not Olive oil), when they have soften slightly add the chopped garlic and the chopped Chilli (as much as you like). Fry until the onions has softened well. Add 2 tsp of Ground Cumin, Ground Coriander Tumeric, mix well and fry for a further 2 minutes. Add the tomatoes and the coconut milk and stir well. Add salt to taste. Bring to the boil, reduce the heat and simmer for at least 10 minutes.

Courgette & Haloumi Cheese

1 large Courgette (mine was from the garden picked tonight)
1 small block of Haloumi Cheese chopped into cubes
2 tsp Garam Massalla
1/4 tin tomatoes
1/2 onion
1 garlic clove

Chop and fry the onion, add the garlic after a minute or so and continue to fry until the onion is soft. Add Garam Massala and mix, then the Haloumi Cheese and mix so the spices cover the cheese. Fry for 2-3 minutes then add the Courgette, fry for a further 2-3 minutes then add the tomatoes and mix well. Simmer for 5 minutes stirring regularly.

Pilau Rice

Boil water, add Schwartz Pilau Rice seasoning, add rice and cook as per instructions on the packet…told you I cheated!!!!

Only time for 1 record while cooking this. If you like Porcupine Tree check out Archive, and this time it was ‘Live at the Zenith’

Sausage Making

No cooking of a meal tonight, instead I am making Sausages. Some will be for dinner tomorrow and some I am taking to work at the request of a friend there, so Mr Baynes, if you are reading this and still want to guess what is in them stop now!

No need for an big intro for the first couple of albums, Aerosmith and ‘Pump’ followed by Bon Jovi and ‘Slippery When Wet’

Mr Baynes, if you are still reading and have not yet eaten these Sausages then stop reading now! You are a very naughty boy and I will have to get Mr Curtin to discipline you!

Hot Spicy Sausages

1.5kg Pork Shoulder
200g of Bread Crumbs
2 Red Chillies (I used Razzamataz Chillies)
3 tablespoons Cayenne Pepper
Large pinch of salt
Sausage Stabiliser (optional)
Sausage skins

I bought the a whole boned pork shoulder and then trimmed the fat layer off. No need to trim all the fat out as you need some in the sausage. Then mince the pork. For the bread crumbs I used 4 slices of white bread (which was approx. 200g), blitzed them in a mini blender and then toasted them. Put the bread crumbs in the mixing bowl, add the chillies (chopped, I leave the seeds in but it is up to you how hot you want it), the cayenne pepper and a little salt. If you want you can add sausage stabiliser, it does help hold the sausage together but they are fine without it. Add enough water to help the mixture bind. Mix it all up by hand (these should be clean).

Now stuff the sausage into the skins. You can get these from the internet or your local butcher may be nice enough to let you have them. I have a little hand mincer / sausage machine which when I can find a good link for I will post. Once the sausage is stuffed you need to get the air out. To do this you need to massage the sausage, how can I describe this best…ermmm…while I am thinking here is Pink and ‘U and Your Hand Tonight’

Ah…that explains it.

You then need to tie the sausage by twisting them into the size required. I’m not that good at this yet but with practise you will be able to do evenly sized sausages. Then either fry them or chill them to keep. When cooking make sure they are fully cooked through. I take no responsibility for under cooked sausage.

My final record for tonight is ‘Shiver’ by John Wesley (touring member of Porcupine Tree and others). You can download some of his work for free on his Myspace site,

Roast with a difference

The In-laws came over for Sunday lunch today and the weather was nice so its Roast with a difference.

Haitian roast chicken with two stuffings served with squash rice. This is based on a receipe by Levi Roots from his Caribbean Food Made Easy. To start with this is accompanied by ‘Backlash’ from Bad English, the band formed by John Waite (The Babys), Neal Schon (Journey), Jonathan Cain (The Babys, Journey), Rickey Philips (The Babys) and Deen Castronovo (Journey).

For the roast chicken and gravy
Whole chicken
15g/½oz butter
2 tsp cayenne pepper
350ml/12fl oz chicken stock
4 tbsp rum

For the bread stuffing
50g/1¾oz butter
½ onion, finely chopped
2 spring onions, trimmed, chopped
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
large pinch freshly grated nutmeg
3 slices white bread, crusts removed, made into breadcrumbs
4 sprigs fresh thyme, leaves only
1 lime, zest and juice
2 tbsp rum
2 tsp soft light brown or demerara sugar

For the tomato and banana stuffing
15g/½oz butter
1 banana, peeled and sliced
2 ripe plum tomatoes, cut into quarters
salt and freshly ground black pepper

For the squash rice
550ml/1 pint cold water, vegatable or chicken stock
400g/14oz pumpkin flesh, chopped
3 sprigs fresh thyme
1 tsp salt
450g/1lb basmati rice, rinsed and drained
15g/½oz butter

1. Gently ease the skin around the neck and breast of the chicken away from the meat using your fingers, reaching as far down the legs as possible. Set aside.

2. For the bread stuffing, heat the butter in a frying pan over a medium heat. Add the onion and fry for 2-3 minutes, or until softened.

3. Add the spring onions and garlic and cook for a further 2-3 minutes, or until softened.

4. Add the nutmeg and breadcrumbs and continue to fry until the breadcrumbs are crisp and golden-brown.

5. Drink the Rum, then get some more Rum and it and the thyme leaves, lime zest and juice and sugar and stir well until combined. When the ingredients have warmed through and the sugar has dissolved, remove the pan from the heat and set aside.

6. When the bread stuffing mixture is cool enough to handle, push small handfuls of it under the loosened skin of the chicken, until all of the bread stuffing mixture has been used up. Tuck any loose neck skin into the cavity of the bird. Set aside.

Around here you will probably need to change the music. I went for ‘Chinese Democracy’ from Guns ‘N’ Roses. A controversial record but one I like, although it would have been better released as a solo album and not a Guns one.

7. Preheat the oven to 190C/375F/Gas 5.

8. Meanwhile, for the tomato and banana stuffing, melt the butter in a separate frying pan over a medium heat. Add the banana and fry for 4-5 minutes, or until tender.

9. Add the tomatoes and continue to fry for 4-5 minutes, or until the tomatoes start to break down and the sauce has thickened. Season, to taste, with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
10. Stuff the cavity of the chicken with the tomato and plantain stuffing.

11. For the roast chicken, smear the butter over the skin of the stuffed chicken and sprinkle over the cayenne pepper. Season, to taste, with salt and freshly ground black pepper.

12. Place the chicken into a large roasting tin, then transfer to the oven and roast for 1½-1¾ hours, or until the juices run clear when a skewer is inserted into the chicken where the thigh meets the body. If this hurts you have put the skewer into your own thigh. Get clean one and try again, this time on the chicken.

13. Meanwhile, for the squash rice, bring the water, squash, two sprigs of thyme and salt to the boil in a large, covered pan, then reduce the heat until the mixture is simmering and simmer for 8-10 minutes, or until the squash is tender.

14. Remove and discard the thyme sprigs, then mash the squash and cooking liquid together using a potato masher, until the pumpkin breaks down. (NB: The mixture does not have to be mashed until smooth.)

15. Add the rice to the pan with the squash mixture in it and stir. The liquid should cover the rice by 2-2½cm/1-1¼in, so add more water as necessary.

16. Add the butter and stir until melted, then cover the pan with the lid and return the mixture to the boil. When the mixture is boiling, immediately reduce the heat to a simmer. Cover and simmer on a low heat for 18-20 minutes, without removing the lid, until the bottom of the rice has browned slightly and all of the rice is tender.

17. When the rice is cooked, add the remaining sprig of thyme, then turn off the heat and leave the pan on the residual heat for a further 3-4 minutes.

18. When the chicken has cooked through, transfer it to a warm plate and cover with aluminium foil.

By now it was getting close to the In-laws arriving so I decided the music should be more subtle than Axel and his dubious language and what is more subtle than AC/DC and ‘Black Ice’

19. For the gravy, add a little flour andthe chicken stock to the juices that collected in the roasting tray and bring to the boil, scraping up any browned bits up from the bottom of the tray using a wooden spoon. Simmer the gravy until it has thickened, then sieve, reserving the liquid. Add water or flour as needed to get the consistancy you like and a few drops of dark soya sauce for colouring.

19. Drink the Rum, then get some more Rum and heat it in a frying pan over a high heat, then remove from the heat and set alight using a match. Allow the flames to flare up, then die down. (NB: keep flammable objects away from the flame.) Don’t drink this Rum, it is hot and will hurt (you also burned all the alcohol off anyway). Pour the rum over the roast chicken.

20. To serve, carve the roast chicken and divide it among six serving plates. Place a portion of the tomato and banana stuffing on top of each serving. Spoon the squash rice alongside. Drizzle over the gravy.

For pudding I did another couple of Levi’s receipes, Hot Hot Bananas:

3 tbsp soft light brown sugar
½ tsp ground ginger
¼ tsp finely grated nutmeg
6 medium-sized bananas, skins on
20g/¾oz butter, cut into 12 thin slices
1 large lime, juice only
Vanilla ice cream, to serve

1. Light the barbecue half an hour before you begin cooking.

2. In a bowl, mix together the brown sugar, ground ginger and grated nutmeg until well combined.

By now the guests had arrived so time to soften the music, so to one of my favourite bands Marillion and ‘This Strange Engine’

3. Make a deep incision lengthways down the curved side of each banana, from stalk to base. Gently open the bananas up and sprinkle the sugar and spice mixture underneath the skin of each banana.

4. Place two slices of butter into the incisions made in each banana, then squeeze in the lime juice.

5. Close the skin around the bananas and wrap them in aluminium foil.

6. When the flames from the barbecue have died down and the coals are ash-white, place the foil-wrapped bananas onto the grill and cook for 10-12 minutes, turning them occasionally with tongs, or until the bananas are soft when squeezed with the tongs. Remove the foil-wrapped bananas from the heat and set aside to cool slightly on serving plates.

7. When the foil is cool enough to handle, open the banana parcels and discard the foil. Serve the bananas with a dollop of whipped cream or a scoop of vanilla ice cream.

While the bbq is hot, quarter some oranges and cover the flesh with sugar. Then pop them on the bbq for a few minutes. Serve with the banana.

Everyone enjoyed it which I was pleased with as there were some unusual flavour combinations going on.

Today’s blog has brought to you by the letter J and ‘The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway’ by Genesis.

Spicy Bream, Chips and Beans

Tonights meal…

Spicy Bream, Chips and Beans (serves 4, or 2 if you are greedy…like me).

2 Bream
2 Chopped Onions
4 Garlic Cloves
1 Green Pepper (deseeded and choped)
1 Chilli (Red, Green, Purple, Seeded, Deseed, your choice)
1/2 tsp Tumeric, Curry Powder and Ground Cumin
1 tin of tomatoes
4 tomatoes (chopped up)
75g Pin Nuts (toasted)

Take 2 nice size Bream. Gut them, cut the top fin off and scrap the scales off. Fry the onions and 1/2 the garlic in a little oil. When the onions have soften add the peppers and the chilli. Add the Tumeric, Curry Powder & Ground Cumin. Continue frying for a minute or so, then add the tin of tomatoes and the chopped tomatoes. Fry for another couple of minutes.

Cover the base of a roasting dish with 1/2 the pine nuts then add 1/2 the sauce, put the fish on this, sprinke the rest of the garlic on top, pour on the rest of the sauce and add the remaining pine nuts. Cover in foil and cook for 35 minutes at 180.

Normal potatoes and sweet potatoes

Cut all the potatoes into chips shapes. Soak in water for a while. Drain and cover in oil and a little salt. Put on a baking tray and cook in the oven at 200 for around 40 minutes.

1 Onion
1/4 of a bunch of Celery
3 Garlic Cloves
Tin of tomatoes
Tin of harricot beans
Worcester Sauce
Dark Soya Sauce

Chop and fry the beans, celery and garlic until soft in a saucepan. Add the tomatoes and the beans, a dash of Worcester Sauce and Dark Soya sauce. Cover and simmer for 20 minutes.

The fish was inspired by a recipe in Aldo Zilli’s ‘Fish Cook, From Shrimp To Swordfish’ and the beans from Jamie Olivers’

Tonights music was ’13th Star’ by Fish (seemed appropriate) and ‘Happiness Is The Road’ by Marillion.