Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Thai Chicken and Galangal soup

I got this from a slow cooker cook book, but its an easy one to do in a pot.

2x5cm(ish) piece of Galangal, thinly sliced
4 kaffir lime leaves - scored
1 tablespoon finely chopped coriander root (this is literally the root on your coriander bunch)
1 teaspoon finely chopped red chillies
500ml coconut milk
250ml chicken stock
2 tablespoons fish sauce
1.5 tablespoons fresh lime juice
3 teaspoons grated palm sugar or brown sugar
500g sliced chicken breast

In slowcooker or pot, place galangal, 2 of the lime leaves, coriander root, chillies, coconut milk and stock and simmer over low heat or on medium for 1.5 hours. Add chicken, fish sauce, lime juice and sugar and cook for a further 10-15mins or until chicken is cooked through. Stir through remaining lime leaves and serve. I added some thai eggplants as I found them at the supermarket - if you get yoru hands on some, add them after an hour of cooking to ensure they are soft when serving. garnish with coriander leaves.

soooo good!!!

Sunday, July 25, 2010


Ratatouille is a traditional French Proven├žal stewed vegetable dish, originating in Nice. Traditionally the vegetables are sauted and most recipes call for it as such, I prefer to bake it in the oven, fewer recipes instruct this method.

I love Ratatouille, I make it regularly, a large batch to last me a week or so. I made one tonight and put it with my baked turkey breast to last me for lunch for the week. I hope you enjoy !

3 zucchini cut into slices
3 long thin eggplants cut into slices (or you can use a medium size regular one chopped into chunks)
red or yellow capsicum (bell pepper) I used a mix of baby ones, cut into strips or chunky pieces
4 large tomatos (I use organic truss tomatos) chopped into wedges
garlic finely chopped
2 thick slices of red onion chopped finely (I don't like alot of red onion in this dish, but a little is ok)
a sprig of rosemary or herbs de provence if you have some.
sea salt
olive oil

Put the vegetables into a bowl, sprinkle salt, garlic and rosemary on top and pour in about a tablespoon of olive oil, toss well and place in casserole dish and into an oven, preheated to 200c for 45 mins.

I like to pour a little balsamic on before serving. I've also used carrots in this dish before too. v.yummy.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Starting off on a good note... Oxtail ...

I decided to start this blog when a couple of friends of mine kept insisting I save morsels or share my recipes with them. I like to find a recipe, gather ingredients and make a night of it. It can be a meal I've enjoyed, or something someone else made that I tried somewhere or just a recipe that looks good. I cook like this during winter mostly.. and when I'm trying to save money.. makes for cheaper good meals .. reallllly good meals, and an extra bit of satisfaction in them.

tonight was Oxtail and Chorizo Ragu on Black Olive Pappardelle. A blend of recipes I found after fond memories of a meal I had in an Auckland restaurant more than 10 years ago, and the lack of regular pappardelle that made this dish a bit extra than intended.

2kg Oxtail
2 glasses of a robust red wine (something you would drink, not too cheap)
2 sprigs rosemary
1 400g can of crushed tomatos
2 cloves of garlic finely chopped
1 carrot chopped
1 onion chopped
1 stick of celery chopped
1.5 teaspoons of smoked paprika
500ml beef stock
1 chorizo sliced
zest of half an orange
olive oil
pappardelle (any flavour you find, regular is good)
Fresh Parmesan

Soak oxtail in cold salted water for approx. 2 hours.

Pre-heat oven to 170c.

Drain Oxtail and put in large pot of fresh water and boil then simmer for 10-15 mins.. remove any scum that surfaces, drain and pat dry. Place in casserole dish.

In a large skillet over a high heat, pour a generous amount of olive oil and brown the oxtail, remove from pan and put in casserole dish.
Add chopped garlic, onion, chorizo then the carrot and celery. Fry till onion is a little caramelised. Add tomatos, paprika, orange zest, half the wine, stir and pour into casserole dish. Add remaining wine and beef stock. Add to casserole dish and bake in oven for 3 - 4 hours till meat is falling off bones.

Remove oxtail and seperate meat from bone. This is a little messy, unless you have time to cool first. Discard rosemary twigs and bay leaves and bones. Put meat back in sauce, and transfer to saucepan or put your dish onto a hotplate, over medium heat to thicken, add 2 tbsp of cornflour mixed in 2 tbsp cold water to thicken if desired.

Cook pasta in boiling salted water. Drain and toss with some olive oil.

Add sauce to pasta and toss well. Serve with a generous serve of freshly grated parmesan and your favourite red wine. Use a good sourdough bread to mop up remaining sauce if desire - the one in my picture is a spinach/feta sourdough I get from the farmers market near my house.

I try to use as much organic or local produce as possible, I try to be as environmental and sustainable in my cooking as possible.