Tuesday, 13 April 2010

Chump Chop Curry

NAME: _Chump Chop Curry

4 to 6 lamb chump chops
3 or 4 medium white potatoes
3 or 4 medium brown onions
1 cup chickpeas
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp curry powder (mild or hot depending on your preference)
1 tbsp baharat (www.recipezaar.com/recipe/Baharat-Spice-Blend-224763)
1 tsp salt per preference
1 tsp cayenne pepper per preference
1 tbsp flour
1 litre water

Cut onions into lengthways crescents, trim fat from chump chops.  Put oil into a large saucepan and bring to a gentle heat, add the onions in a layer, then place the chops atop the onions.  Sprinkle half the spices over the chops and onions, leave to braise.

After about ten minutes turn the mixture over so the chops are on the bottom, sprinkle remaining spices over. Leave for another ten to fifteen minutes.

Add enough water to cover, and if your chickpeas are dry and have not been cooked, add them at this point as well, so they will soften in time.  Allow to simmer gently for 45 minutes.  Resist the urge to eat it now!

Peel and dice the potatoes in about 2cm cubes, add to the pot and add enough water to make the sauce liquid again and cover about 3/4.  Add chickpeas at this stage if they are precooked.  Allow to simmer for another half hour.

Adjust seasoning at this point, and mix the flour with a few tablespoons of water.  Drizzle the flour/water into the pot, stirring all the time, and waiting to see how much the sauce thickens.  Adjust to preference.

Serve over a bed of Basmati rice, with a garlic and chilli type pickle/relish on the side.  (These are usually reddish-orange coloured, spicy hot, with a nice fermented taste, available at Asian and Indian specialty stores.)

The herbs in the curry and baharat penetrate the meat during the simmering, and produce the trademark "falls off the bones" tenderness of the meat.  It should have a curry bite without being scorching.

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Bullets For My Chicken

NAME: _Bullets For My Chicken


100g - 200g chicken or turkey mince
1 tbsp polenta fine
1 tbsp bourghal fine
1 tbsp psyllum husk
1/2 tsp ground coriander seed
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp ground fenugreek
1/2 tsp chilli flakes
1 tsp chicken stock powder (or replace water, below, with strong chicken stock)
1 tsp salt (more or less, season to taste)
1 egg
2 tbsp water (roughly - adjust to make mixture slightly soft to begin with)
Rice bran oil or grapeseed oil to fry.

If crumbing as well:
1 egg
flour (wheat or corn meal flour)

Mix everything except the water in a bowl, really well.  Add water (or chicken stock) bit by bit until you get a stiff paste. Mix really well to develop some stickiness and set aside for a while.  An hour at least.  That allows the grains of polenta and bourghal to absorb moisture and become softened.

Roll out in long cylinders about the thickness of a Sharpie (5mm - 10mm) and cut into 2cm lengths.  If you're crumbing them, do it now, roll in flour, egg, and then crumbs.

Your choice of deep or shallow frying - just make sure they get golden to brown in colour.

These are just part of a meal, you can try them in a variety of ways:
- Crumbed, with a side of vegies in a creamy sauce, served immediately.
- Tossed with pasta and Italian red sauce.
- On a bed of rice drizzled with a sweet and spicy sauce.
- Cold, in a salad or as a finger food snack

You can replace the polenta and bourghal with plain bread crumbs if you don't have them, use a touch less water/stock if you do.

Also crushed cheese crackers will work.  (It's just to break up the tight meat texture, and I often use cheese Jatz, some finely grated cheese, and crumb them with more cheese Jatz crumbs instead of breadcrumbs to makeTed's Famous Fowl Cheesy Balls.) Psyllum husk is dietary fibre, and also helps bind the mixture.

Why I use RBO or GSO to fry rather than olive oil is simple - olive oil is not a high temperature oil.  It's mainly for salads and for adding to cooking at a later, lower temperature, stage. I also prefer to shallow fry and control how much oil I end up eating.  (Although, these bullets don't soak up much oil thanks to the psyllum husk, anyway.)

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