Lizzie's Recipes

A collection of easy to make recipes

Archive for the month “November, 2013”

Fragrant Thai Red Chicken Curry

This recipe for Thai Red Curry is very easy and it freezes well so I always make a large pot.  The brand of paste is called Five Tastes which isn’t too hot.  I find I can always crank up the heat but some pastes are just a little too strong which spoils the lovely fragrant taste.

Five Tastes Red Curry PasteYou can add just about any vegetable you like to this dish including spinach, potatoes or sweet potato.  Adding chopped pineapple also gives it a lovely extra sweetness.

Red Curry 1

Ingredients:

1.5 kg chicken thighs

Olive oil

1 jar Red Curry Paste (I use Five Tastes brand – it’s not too hot)

1 large tin of coconut cream

2 tablespoons fish sauce

1 tablespoon of sugar

1 red capsicum, chopped

2 zucchini, chopped

Large handful of fresh green beans, chopped into pieces

A handful of Thai basil, finely chopped, plus some for decoration

Method:

Heat some olive oil in a heavy based pan

Chop each chicken thigh into approx. 4 pieces depending on how large they are

Sear the chicken until evenly coloured

Throw in the vegetables and cook for a couple of minutes

Add the curry paste and coconut cream and stir to combine

Add in the fish sauce and sugar

Simmer gently until the chicken and the vegetables are cooked and the sauce has cooked down – about an hour

Check seasoning and add extra fish sauce or sugar if necessary to taste

Serve on a bed of steamed rice topped with a sprinkling of chopped Thai basil

*** I used up the leftover curry and turned them into pies – nothing nicer than a lovely puff pastry pie sliced open to reveal the lovely curried chicken hiding inside…  It’s a meal on it’s own… Yum!

Red Curry Pie

Bon Appetit 🙂

Balkan Spaghetti

What’s for dinner?    I don’t know…   What have we got?     I’ll make something up…

This is a common conversation in households everywhere.  My husband loves it when I have no idea what to make because I usually come up with something different and on this particular night I decided to use up some leftover Cevapi I had cooked previously and popped in the freezer.  These delicious little skinless sausages are commonly available everywhere these days.  I have a Macedonian friend who used to source really authentic spicy ones for me as Cevapi are the sausage of choice for Eastern Europeans.  Partnered with the wonderful Avjar (my friends Mother made the best I’ve ever tasted) there is nothing more delicious on this planet…

Avjar is a relish made from red capsicums and garlic.  Some versions have eggplant in there as well.  It is beautiful as an accompaniment to any grilled meats, as a spread on sandwiches and now as the base for a spaghetti sauce.  I always try to buy a home-made type as the commercially sold jars can sometimes be a little bitter.  A good deli is your best friend for finding quality Avjar.

Persian Feta is a wonderfully soft and creamy cows milk cheese which is marinated in olive oil and infused with herbs and spices.  A must have in our fridge, we use it for salads and wraps and as a topping for roasted vegetables as well…

I must say the combination of these ingredients resulted in a fantastic pasta – I will definitely make this again…

Balkan Pasta

Ingredients:

Olive oil

6 Cooked Cevapi skinless sausages thickly sliced

10 cherry tomatoes, halved

1 clove garlic, grated

1 long green chilli, finely chopped – include seeds for some heat

½ jar Avjar Paste

Salt & pepper to season

Spaghetti for two

Crumbled Persian feta for topping

Method:

Heat a good lug of olive oil in a frypan and fry the garlic and chilli for a few minutes

Add the sliced Cevapi browning the slices on both sides

Throw in the tomatoes and fry for a few minutes until softened

Add the Avjar paste and simmer for around 10 minutes

In the meantime cook the spaghetti until al dente

Add a couple of tablespoons of the cooking water to the Avjar sauce if it looks too thick.

It should be saucy and glossy

Season the sauce if necessary

Drain the spaghetti and toss though the sauce

Divide between two bowls and top with crumbled Persian feta cheese and a little drizzle of olive oil

Bon Appetit! 🙂

Southern Style Chicken, Black Bean and Rice Bake

I bought a can of black beans for the first time a few weeks ago and vowed to try and create a Southern USA style dish using beans, chicken and rice…   Chipotle Salsa, black beans, rice, chillies, chicken, tomatoes  – these ingredients just merge together into one big pot of deliciousness and it’s so easy to put together and is true comfort food.

You can be very relaxed about the ingredients – some recipes include corn and cheese, some put sour cream on the top to serve – the possibilites are endless.

Oh – and it’s even better the next day!

Chicken beans rice

Ingredients:

1 kg Chicken thighs

1 clove garlic, grated

1 long red chilli, finely chopped – leave in the seeds if you want more heat

6 spring onions, chopped

Olive oil

1 410g can chopped tomatoes

1 439g can of black beans, drained – I use Latin Deli brand

1 jar of salsa – I use Mission brand Black Bean & Chipotle

1 cup chicken stock

1 cup of uncooked white rice

2 tablespoons Balsamic Vinegar

½ cup fresh coriander, chopped – and extra for garnish

Salt & pepper to taste

A little sugar to taste

Method:

Cut each chicken thighs into 4 pieces

Pour a good lug of olive oil into a heavy cast iron casserole dish on the stovetop

When hot throw in the chicken in batches to sear the meat

Remove the chicken when a bit browned and set aside

Add some more olive oil and fry the spring onions, garlic and chillies for a few minutes

Throw in the tinned tomatoes, the drained black beans and the salsa

Mix together and add in the chicken pieces and the chicken stock

Sprinkle over the rice

Add in the balsamic vinegar and chopped coriander

Season to taste with a little salt and pepper

Bring back to the boil

Cover with a tight fitting lid and bake in the oven for around 40-50 minutes on 160c – stirring about hald way through the cooking time to make sure the rice isn’t sticking to the bottom

The rice will absorb a lot of the moisture and it will resemble a risotto

Season again to taste – a little sugar takes away the acidity in any dish containing tomatoes

Serve topped with a sprinkling of fresh coriander

Bon Appetit!  🙂

Honey-Roasted Pumpkin Soup

Who doesn’t love a steaming bowl of thick, rich Pumpkin Soup?  This is my version in which the pumpkin is drizzled with a little oil and honey and roasted instead of just boiling up chunks in a pot.

Roasting it gives a more intense flavour and the honey gives a lovely sweetness to the soup.  You can use vegetable stock for this as well if you prefer…

Roasted Honey Roasted Pumpkin Soup

Ingredients:

I whole Butternut pumpkin

Olive oil

1 tablespoon Honey

½ teaspoon nutmeg

1 large onion, diced

I large leek, finely sliced

3 cloves of garlic, grated

1 litre chicken stock

Salt & pepper to season

Cream for decoration

Finely sliced spring onions for decoration

Method:

Take the skin off the pumpkin and chop into large pieces (as you would for a roast)

In a roasting pan, add a lug of olive oil

Add the chopped pumpkin and drizzle with the honey

Grate some nutmeg over the top with some salt & pepper to season.

Toss well to ensure all the pieces are covered with oil

Roast in 180c fan-forced oven for around 40 minutes or until cooked through and golden

In the meantime, in a large soup pot sauté the onion, leek and garlic in a small amount of olive oil until soft and translucent taking care to not burn it

When the pumpkin is cooked, tip into the pot along with the chicken stock and bring to the boil

Simmer for a few minutes or so

With a stick blender, puree the mixture until smooth

Season to taste with salt and pepper if necessary

Serve piping hot with a drizzle of fresh cream or sour cream

Top with finely sliced spring onions

Bon Appetit! 🙂

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