Yesterday I cooked a 3-course meal for 2 friends, John and Mike to help the charity in Romania.
The starter and main course were spicy (very hot indeed!). The first course was a butternut squash and apple soup. I put 2 whole red chilies and, even if all the men thought it was ok, it was quite spicy, I could just eat it. I started roasting everything in the oven, the butternut squash, apple, onions, garlic and chilli then blended all with vegetable stock and spices. I advise the less adventurous to start with half a chilli. If you can bear spicy food, 2 chillies are ok.
The main course was a Haddock Kedgeree and even though it was supposed to be a dish for breakfast, it suited dinner very well. It was even spicier than the first one and again, I suggest if you are not used to hot food, start with half a chilli, I bet it is plenty. The kedgeree is a quite heavy dish for breakfast in my opinion.
You can find a good Kedgeree recipe at Jamie's site but I will publish it here to cut time, you can find it at the end of this article.
For dessert I made some welsh cakes and served them with whipped cream and fresh fruit, very nice indeed.
Here are last evening's pictures:
|© David Loftus|
methodThis is a traditional British breakfast from colonial India and it’s a lovely little dish, with a nice balance of spicy and smoky flavours. It makes a tasty lunch or supper too – so get stuck in!
Boil the eggs for 10 minutes, then hold under cold running water. Put the fish and bay leaves in a shallow pan with enough water to cover. Bring to the boil, cover and simmer for about 5 minutes, until cooked through. Remove from pan and leave to cool. Remove the skin from fish, flake into chunks and set aside.
Cook the rice in salted water for about 10 minutes and drain. Refresh in cold water, drain again, and leave in the fridge until needed. Melt the butterghee in a pan over a low heat. Add the ginger, onion and garlic. Soften for about 5 minutes, then add the curry powder and mustard seeds. Cook for a further few minutes, then add the chopped tomatoes and lemon juice.
Quarter the eggs. Add the fish and rice to a pan and gently heat through. Add the eggs, most of the coriander and the chilli and stir gently. Place in a warm serving dish. Mix the rest of the coriander into the yoghurt and serve with the kedgeree.
ingredients• 2 large free-range or organic eggs
• 680g undyed smoked haddock fillets, pinboned
• 2 fresh bay leaves
• 170g long grain or basmati rice
• sea salt
• 110 pure butterghee
• a thumb-sized piece of fresh ginger, peeled and grated
• 1 medium onion or 1 bunch of spring onions, finely chopped
• 1 clove of garlic, peeled and finely chopped
• 2 heaped tablespoons curry powder
• 1 tablespoon mustard seeds
• 2 tomatoes, deseeded and chopped
• juice of 2 lemons
• 2 good handfuls of fresh coriander, leaves picked and chopped
• 1 fresh red chilli, finely chopped
• a small pot of natural yoghurt
Jamie Oliver's Wonderful Welsh Cakes
‘I love serving these warm as they are or filled with a spoonful of cream and a few berries.’
MAKES 35 TO 40 WELSH CAKES
For the Welsh cakes
• 500g self-raising flour,
plus extra for dusting
• 75g caster sugar,
plus extra to serve
• 1 heaped teaspoon mixed spice • 250g cold, unsalted butter
• a pinch of sea salt
• 150g mixed raisins and sultanas • 1 large free-range egg
• a couple of splashes of milk
For the filling
• 300ml double cream
• 1 heaped tablespoon caster sugar, plus extra for sprinkling
• 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
• 400g fresh berries, such as raspberries, strawberries, blackberries
• 1 lemon
Sieve the flour into a large mixing bowl and add the sugar and mixed spice.
Cut up the butter and add to the bowl with a pinch of salt. Use your hands to
rub it all together until you get a fine breadcrumb consistency.
- Toss in the dried fruit, then make a well in the centre of the mixture and crack in the egg.
Add a splash of milk and use a fork to beat and mix in the egg.
Once combined, use your clean hands to pat and bring the mixture
together until you have a dough. It should be fairly short, so don’t work it too
Put a large heavy-bottomed non-stick frying pan on a medium heat. While
it’s heating up, dust a clean surface and a rolling pin with flour and roll the
dough out until it’s about 1cm thick.
Use a 5cm pastry cutter to cut out as many rounds as you can. Scrunch the
remaining scraps of dough together, then roll out and cut out a few more.
To test the temperature, cook one Welsh cake in the pan for a few minutes
to act as a thermometer. If the surface is blonde, turn the heat up a little; if
it’s black, turn the heat down – leave for a few minutes for the heat to
correct itself, then try again.
When you’ve got a golden cake after 4 minutes on each side, you’re in a
really good place and you can cook the rest in batches. It’s all about control.
As soon as they come off the pan, put them on a wire rack to cool and
sprinkle them with caster sugar. You can serve them just like this, as they
are. Or, if you want to do what I’ve done, gently cut each cake in half while
turning so you get a top and a bottom.
juice of 1 lemon and a sprinkling of sugar.
Spiced Butternut Squash and Apple Soup
Yield Makes 8 cups
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 onion, chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, chopped
- 1 inch fresh ginger, grated (2 tablespoons)
- 1/2 teaspoons turmeric
- 1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/8 teaspoon cardamom
- Dash ground cloves
- 2 carrots, peeled and chopped
- 1 fresh chilli chopped
- 1 tart apple, peeled, quartered, and chopped
- 4 cups chopped butternut squash
- Coarse salt and pepper
Heat olive oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add
onion and garlic and cook until tender, 6 to 8 minutes. Add ginger,
turmeric, cinnamon, cardamom, and cloves and cook until fragrant, about 1
minute. Add carrots, apple, squash, and 3 cups of vegetable stock. Bring to a boil;
cover partially and reduce to a simmer. Season with salt and pepper.
Cook until vegetables are tender, about 20 minutes. Let cool slightly.
Working in batches, puree until smooth in a blender. Adjust seasoning, if necessary.