A taste of Persia – Kabab Koobideh

Recipe courtesy of Psychologies Magazine and taken from Simply by Sabrina Ghayour.

Makes 5-6 large kebabs or 10-12 small patties

A signature Persian dish, the word kebab – or kabab, as the Persians call it – means ‘to grill’, usually over fire. Serve street food-style with flatbreads or as a satisfying dinner accompanied by grilled vegetables and flavourful saffron rice.

Ingredients :

1 kg minced lamb (30 per cent fat is essential)
2 large onions, minced in a food processor and drained of any liquid or very finely chopped
2 level tbsp ground turmeric
2 level tsp bicarbonate of soda
Maldon sea salt flakes and freshly ground black pepper
6 tomatoes
Flatbreads, to serve

Method :

  1. Put all the main ingredients into a large mixing bowl and, using your hands, work them together well, pummelling the meat mixture for several minutes into a smooth paste.
  2. To make large kebabs, divide the mixture into 5-6 portions and form each portion around a flat sword skewer about 25cm long. Using your thumb and forefinger, pinch the meat widthways from one end of the kebab to the other to create the classic ridges.
  3. Cook the kebabs over a charcoal barbecue that has been burning for about 30 minutes, alongside the whole tomatoes. The trick is to cook them for about 10-15 minutes in total, until the meat is browned and cooked through, while turning them every 2 minutes to help the fat render and prevent the kebabs from burning.
  4. To make small kebabs, preheat your oven to its highest setting (with fan if it has one). Line a large baking tray with baking paper. Divide the mixture into 10-12 portions, form into sausages, then flatten and pinch to create ridges. Place on the baking tray with the tomatoes and bake for 10-12 minutes.
  5. Serve the kebabs and tomatoes immediately on the flatbreads so the bread absorbs the juices.

A taste of Persia – Kidney Bean and Sweet Potato Stew

Recipe courtesy of Psychologies Magazine and taken from Simply by Sabrina Ghayour.

Serves : 4-6

The yoghurt in this veggie stew cools the heat of the mint oil, a traditional addition called nana daagh. Serve with rice or bread.

Ingredients :

Vegetable oil, for frying
1 large onion, diced
4 fat garlic cloves, thinly sliced
2 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground turmeric
1 tsp chilli flakes
690g (1 large jar) passata
500g sweet potato, peeled and cut into 1cm chunks
400g can kidney beans, drained
1 small packet (about 30g) flat-leaf parsley, roughly chopped
1 tbsp dried mint
150g Greek yoghurt
Maldon sea salt flakes and freshly ground black pepper

Method :

  1. Place a large saucepan over a medium heat and pour in enough oil to coat the base of the pan. Add the onion and cook for a few minutes until the onion is translucent, then add the garlic, stirring to ensure it doesn’t burn. Continue cooking until both have softened without browning.
  2. Add the spices to coat the onion and cook, stirring, for a minute. Season with salt and pepper, then stir in the passata. Reduce the heat and simmer gently, uncovered, for 25 minutes.
  3. Stir in the sweet potato and cook for a further 20 minutes or until the potato is tender. Add the beans and most of the parsley to heat through.
  4. Place a separate pan over a medium heat, add the dried mint and 1 tablespoon of oil. Heat the mint for a few minutes, without letting it burn.
  5. Transfer the stew to bowls, add dollops of yoghurt and scatter over the remaining parsley, then pour over the hot mint oil and serve at once.

A taste of Persia – Yoghurt and Spice Roasted Salmon

Recipe courtesy of Psychologies Magazine and taken from Simply written by British-Iranian cook and author Sabrina Ghayour.

Serves : 4

These oven-baked salmon bites are roasted quickly for slight charring on the outside and delicate flesh on the inside. Pop leftovers into your lunch box for the following day.

Ingredients :

500g skinless salmon fillet, cut into 4cm cubes

For the marinade :

4 tbsp Greek yoghurt
1 tbsp garlic granules
1 heaped tbsp rose harissa
1 tsp ground turmeric
1 tsp paprika
Grated zest of 1 lime and its juice
1 tsp olive oil
Maldon sea salt flakes and freshly ground black pepper

To serve :

Tortilla wraps
Sliced tomatoes
Finely sliced onion
Coriander leaves
Greek yoghurt

Method :

  1. Preheat your oven to its highest setting (with fan if it has one). Line a baking tray with baking paper.
  2. Mix all the marinade ingredients together in a bowl. Add the salmon and turn until well coated in the marinade.
  3. Spread the salmon out on the prepared baking tray and roast for 10 minutes until cooked through.
  4. Remove from the oven and serve immediately with tortilla wraps, tomatoes, finely sliced onion, coriander leaves and Greek yoghurt.

Patatas Bravas

Recipe courtesy of an article in Psychologies Magazine (June 2020) and taken from a recipe book called Big Night In: Delicious Themed Menus to Cook & Eat at Home by Ryland, Peters & Small.

This classic Spanish tapas dish worked beautifully with a selection of other little dishes – frittata, salads, olives and dips – or enjoy on its own as a starter.

Patatas BravasServes : 4

Ingredients :
300g waxy potatoes, peeled
2 tblsp olive oil
1 shallot, chopped
1 garlic clove, chopped
1 dried chilli
1 tblsp sherry vinegar
1 x 400g can plum tomatoes
1 tsp hot smoked paprika
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Chopped parsley, to garnish

Bullet logo Boil the potatoes in salted boiling water until just tender. Drain, cool and dice.

Bullet logo Meanwhile, prepare the spicy tomato sauce. Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a small, heavy-bottomed frying pan. Add the shallot and garlic and crumble in the dried chilli. Fry, stirring for 1-2 minutes until fragrant. Add the sherry vinegar and continue to cook for 1 minute until syrupy. Add the canned tomatoes and mix well. Season with salt and pepper and add the smoked paprika.

Bullet logo Turn up the heat and bring to a boil. Cook the sauce, uncovered, stirring often to break down the tomatoes, for 10-15 minutes until reduced.

Philippine Beef Sinigang

Recipe courtesy of Psychologies Magazine (July 2016).

Serves : 4

Beef SinigangIngredients :
700g rib-eye steak
1.2 litres water or bone broth
2 medium onions, diced
6 garlic cloves, diced
5cm piece of fresh root ginger (unpeeled if organic), thinly sliced
20 cherry tomatoes, halved
3 tablespoons tamarind paste (or to taste)
A big pinch of black or white pepper
3-4 tablespoons fish sauce (nam pla)
400g green beans, tops trimmed
400g pak choi, leaves and stalks roughly chopped
2 whole, fresh red chillies
400g spinach

Method :

Bullet logo Cut the meat into 3 cm cubes, retaining the fat, to flavour the stew.  Place in a large saucepan and add the water or broth.  Bring to the boil, cover, quickly reduce the heat and cook at a medium-to-low simmer for 20 minutes.

Bullet logo Add the onions, garlic, ginger and tomatoes with the tamarind paste, pepper and fish sauce.  Bring to a simmer and cook, covered, for 15 minutes.  Taste for seasoning, adding more paste if desired.

Bullet logo Tip in the beans, pak choi and chillies, then bring back up to a simmer and cook, covered, for 5 more minutes.

Bullet logo Add the spinach and remove the pan from the heat, leaving the lid on to allow the spinach to wilt in the residual heat.  Remove the whole chillies and serve immediately.

Feast from the East – Clay Pot Chicken Rice

Recipe courtesy of Psychologies Magazine (February 2017) and taken from “Malaysia : Recipes from a Family Kitchen” written by MasterChef 2014 winner, Ping Coombes.

It’s mesmerizing watching street vendors make this dish with 10 charcoal stoves on the go.  They place the pots with rice on top of the hob, which gives the dish its smokiness.

Claypot chicken

Serves : 2

Ingredients :
3 dried shiitake mushrooms
150g boneless chicken thighs, sliced
1 tblsp vegetable oil
10g fresh root ginger, peeled and finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 Chinese sausage (lap cheong), sliced
4 tblsp sweet soy sauce
1 tblsp light soy sauce
3 tblsp water
200g jasmine rice
Birds-Eye Chilli and Soy Dip and Stir-Fried Lettuce, to serve (Optional)

For the marinade :
1/2 tsp light soy sauce
large pinch of caster sugar
1/2 tblsp cornflour

Step One : Put the dried shiitake mushrooms in a bowl, cover with cold water and set aside to rehydrate for 2 hours.  You can speed up the rehydration by covering them with just-boiled water.  Drain the mushrooms, squeeze them to discard any excess water and cut off and discard the stalks.  Quarter the mushrooms and set aside.

Step Two : Meanwhile, put the chicken in a bowl and add the marinade ingredients.  Stir and leave to marinate for at least 20 minutes at room temperature, or 2 hours (covered) in the fridge.

Step Three : Heat the oil in a frying pan, add the ginger and garlic and fry until fragrant, then add the sliced sausage and fry for a further minute.  Add the marinated chicken and the mushrooms to the pan and continue to fry until the chicken turns opaque.  Add half the sweet soy sauce and all the water.  Continue to fry for 2 minutes more (the chicken needs to be nearly cooked through).  Set aside.

Step Four : Wash the rice in cold water and drain, then repeat twice with fresh cold water.  This will get rid of excess starch.  Transfer the drained rice to the clay pot, then fill it with water, until the water sits about 2.5cm above the rice.  Bring it to the boil over a medium heat, then turn down to a low simmer.

Step Five : For about 10 minutes, once the rice has absorbed nearly all the water, put the chicken mixture on top of the rice and cover the clay pot.  Continue to cook on the hob over a low heat for a further 10-13 minutes.  The rice will form a crust at the bottom of the pot.   If using:  serve with Bird’s Eye Chilli and Soy Dip and the Stir-Fried Lettuce on the side.

Feast from the East – Steamed Hake with Garlic Oil and Oyster Sauce

Recipe courtesy of Psychologies Magazine (February 2017) and taken from “Malaysia : Recipes from a Family Kitchen” written by MasterChef 2014 winner, Ping Coombes.

Steaming fish is a great way to cook it as it stays moist and it locks in all the nutrients. This recipe also works well with seabass and salmon.  Bear in mind, cooking time will vary with different fish.

Steamed HakeServes : 2

Ingredients :
1 spring onion, finely sliced lengthways into strips
small handful of coriander leaves, torn
2 hake fillets (about 150g each), skin on
2 tblsp Garlic oil
2 tblsp oyster sauce

Step One : Place the steamer ring at the bottom of a wok.  Boil some water and pour it into the wok, up to the level of the ring.  Place the wok over a medium heat, and bring it to the boil, then lower the heat a little.

Step Two : Place the spring onion strips in a bowl of ice-cold water with the coriander: this will keep them fresh while the fish steams.

Step Three : Place the hake fillets, skin-side up, in a shallow, heat-proof bowl, making sure they are not overlapping, then add the Garlic oil and oyster sauce.

Step Four : Transfer the bowl to the steam ring, cover the wok and steam for 5 minutes.  Uncover and add three-quarters of the spring onion and coriander leaves to the bowl.  Recover and steam for a further 8 minutes.

Step Five : Carefully remove the bowl from the wok, sprinkle the rest of the spring onion and coriander leaves over the fish and serve immediately.

Feast from the East – Ngau Yuk Fun – Beef Noodles across two borders

Recipe courtesy of Psychologies Magazine (February 2017) and taken from “Malaysia : Recipes from a Family Kitchen” written by MasterChef 2014 winner, Ping Coombes.

This is a wonderfully comforting dish influenced by a delicious food stall in Ping’s home town of Ipoh in Malaysia and one in Thailand.

Makes : 2 bowls

Beef noodlesIngredients :
1.5kg beef bones
5cm cinnamon stick
30g fresh root ginger, cut into thick slices, unpeeled
2 star anise
8 cloves
1.7l water
1 1/2 tblsp chicken stock powder
200g mooli or daikon radish, peeled and cut into chunks (optional)
50g calf’s liver, trimmed, very thinly sliced and covered with cold water until required
100g prime beef fillet, very thinly sliced, at room temperature
Few pinches of sea salt
2 x 100g balls of wonton noodles
Vegetable oil for dressing
1 spring onion, finely chopped
4-5 celery leaves
Bird’s Eye Chilli and Soy Dip or dried red chilli flakes, to serve

Step One : Preheat the oven to 200oC / 400oF / Gas Mark 6.  Place the beef bones in a roasting tin and roast for 20 minutes.

Step Two : Put the roasted beef bones, cinnamon, sliced ginger, star anise, cloves, water and chicken stock powder into a large saucepan and bring to the boil.  Lower the heat and simmer for 1 1/2 hours.  After 15 minutes of simmering, remove the cinnamon from the stock.

Step Three : Add the mooli or daikon radishes, if using, to the pan after the broth has been simmering for approximately 1 1/2 hours.  Simmer for a further 20-30 minutes, until softened.  If you’re not using the radishes, ignore this step and just simmer the broth for approximately 1 3/4 hours.

Step Four : Strain the broth through a fine sieve into a separate pan and set aside, discarding everything left in the sieve, except the mooli or daikon radishes, if using.  Place these back into the broth.

Step Five : Drain the calf’s liver and pat it dry.  Season the beef fillet and calf’s liver with a pinch of salt and put to one side.  Bring the broth to the boil and season with salt to taste.

Step Six : Bring a separate pan of water to the boil, add a pinch of salt and cook the noodles for a few minutes, until al dente.  Drain in a colander.  If the noodles are a little slimy, keep them in the colander and pour over some boiling water to get rid of the excess starch.

Step Seven : Dress the noodles with a little vegetable oil to keep them from sticking together, and divide them between two bowls.

Step Eight : Arrange the slices of beef fillet on top of the cooked noodles.  Place all the slivers of calf’s liver in a large slotted spoon, then lower them into the broth and cook for 10-15 seconds.  Then, lift them out and arrange on top of the noodles.

Step Nine : Take the mooli or daikon, if using, out of the broth and place them around the meat in the bowls.  Make sure the broth is still boiling and ladle it generously over the beef and liver.  Garnish generously with spring onion and celery leaves.

Step Ten : Serve immediately with the Chilli and Soy Dip or a large pinch of dried red chilli flakes.

Happy St Patrick’s Day – Irish Stew

 

saint-patricks-day

Recipe by Gary Rhodes and taken from Sunday Magazine many years ago!  

Serves : 4

Ingredients:

1 ½ lb (750g) middle neck of lamb, cut into cutlets
4 onions
1 lb (450g) potatoes
4oz (100g) unsalted butter
1 garlic clove
1 bouquet garni (1 bay leaf, 1 sprig each of fresh rosemary and thyme tied in a square of muslin) or bouquet garni sachet
2 ½ pints (1.5 litres) chicken stock or water
6oz (175g) carrots
6 celery sticks
8oz (225g) Savoy cabbage
2 tsp freshly chopped parsley

Step One : In a large pan, cover the lamb with cold water and bring to the boil. Drain off the water and refresh the meat in cold water. Drain well. Whichever, cut of lamb you use – for example, neck, scrag end or chops – you should always do this blanching process. It removes any impurities and gives the stock a cleaner, clearer finish.

Step Two : Slice the onions and then peel and dice the potatoes into 1 in (2.5cm) pieces. Melt the butter in a large saucepan and add the onions, half the potatos and the garlic clove.

Step Three : Add the bouquet garni to the pan and fry for 2 mins. Add the lamb cutlets and cover with the chicken stock or water. Bring the liquid to the simmer, cover with a lid and cook for 30 mins. The meat will be half-cooked and the potatoes will have started to puree and thicken the stock.

Step Four : Peel and dice the carrots and add them to the pan. Continue to cook the stew for a further 10 mins. Dice the celery sticks into 1 in (2.5cm) pieces and add to the pan with the remaining potatoes. Cook for 15-20 mins. At this stage, the potatoes shouldn’t be cooked until they’re pureed but until they’re just soft.

Step Five : Shred the cabbage, add to the pan and cook for another 2-3 minutes until the meat and vegetables are tender. Adding the cabbage towards the end of the cooking time ensures that you don’t lose the fresh flavour and that the stew won’t discolour. Season with salt and freshly ground white pepper.

Step Six : Remove the bouquet garni and garnish with the chopped parsley. Serve the stew in individual bowls or from one larg bowl in the middle of the table. You now have a complete meal but even so, I usually serve it with good crusty bread.

Tastes of Ghana – Gari Foto

Recipe courtesy of Psychologies Magazine (June 2017) and taken from Zoe’s Ghana Kitchen by Zoe Adjonyoh.

Gari – fermented, dried and ground cassava – has no real flavour of its own apart from the sourness of fermentation. But it can take on a great deal of flavour and bulk out meagre pickings in the fridge.

IMG_1814

Serves : 6

Ingredients:
120ml (4 fl oz) sustainable palm oil or groundnut oil
2 onions, finely diced
1cm (1/2 – inch) piece fresh root ginger, grated (unpeeled if organic), or 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1 garlic clove, very finely chopped or 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
2 fresh red chillies, deseeded and finely chopped, or 1/4 teaspoon ground hot pepper or cayenne pepper
3 large ripe tomatoes, roughly chopped
1 scant tablespoon tomato puree
250g (9oz) Gari (fermented, dried and ground cassava)
6 free-range eggs
Chopped coriander, to garnish (optional)

Step One : Heat the oil in a frying pan, add the onions and saute over a medium heat for about 3 minutes until translucent.

Step Two : Add the ginger, garlic and chillies, and stir well to evenly coat the onions before adding the chopped tomatoes and tomato puree. Leave the stew to cook over the medium heat for about 25 minutes.

Step Three : As soon as you’ve added the tomatoes, start preparing the gari, which is a bit like making couscous. Place it in a bowl and gradually spinkle with 120ml (4 fl oz) lightly salted warm water to evenly moisten it, mixing it through with a fork as you go. Be careful to add the water a little at a time so that you don’t overdo it, as the mixture should just be damp, not drenched!

Step Four : Cover the bowl with a plate or clean cloth and set aside for 10-15 minutes while you prepare the eggs. At this point, choose how you want to cook your eggs. If it’s the weekend and fancy a treat, you could make poached eggs, but if you feel like something more everyday, just boil or scramble them. It’s up to you.

Step Five : Before adding your choice of cooked eggs to the dish, fold the moistened gari into the stew, which should be cooked by now, and stir through gently but thoroughly – you should get a nice pink colour to the mixture. If you’ve decided to make scrambled eggs, you can also fold them into the gari now to create a sort of gari omelette, or serve them on the side.

Step Six : Remove the pan from the heat and season to taste with sea salt and black pepper. Serve immediately, with the seasoned poached, boiled or scrambled eggs on top, garnished with some chopped coriander.

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