Thursday, 31 May 2012

Balinese Style Stir-fried Curry

This was inspired by a Balinese curry recipe I found in Rick Stein's Far Eastern Odyssey. My dinner didn't end up resembling the original too much, it was pretty tasty though. 

This does involve a fair bit of slicing and dicing, so maybe one for a quiet evening rather than when you're in a rush. It fed two for dinner with enough left over for lunchboxes the next day.

So, step one, thinly slice a purple onion and as much garlic as you like. Step two, dice two large or 4-5 ordinary tomatoes, a fat thumb of ginger and as much fresh chilli as you like. Step three, slice an aubergine into big bitesize peices.

Finally, step four, skin, de-bone and dice a couple of chicken legs (or buy pre-prepared chicken leg meat, or just breasts) and lightly coat with a little cornflour. That's it, all the tough prep work is done!

Get your rice on to cook - I can really recommend getting a ricebot (aka electric ricecooker, preferably with a delay timer function). My favourite rice for steaming is Japanese short grain.

Heat up a large frying pan on the hob with a little sesame or vegetable oil and fry the chicken peices until you can't see any pink on the outside, then add the aubergine and continue to cook until the chicken is cooked through and the aubergine is softened but still has a little bite to it. Take them out of the pan and put to one side.

Reusing the same pan, add a little more oil and stir fry the onion and garlic until softened, then add the tomatoes, ginger and chilli along with a smidge of shrimp paste. Give it a couple of minutes before adding the chicken and aubergine back to the pan, along with a massive pinch of lime leaves, a big squeeze of lemon juice, 2 tbsp of soy sauce, a decent scraping of palm sugar and a splash of water

Five more minutes in the pan at most and it should be ready, mix in a big handful of coriander and serve with a nice mound of steamed rice and, if you like it, some hot chilli sauce.


Wednesday, 30 May 2012

Chinese Roast Duck Noodle Soup

This is super tasty and really very fast to make after a busy day at work, so long as you remember to get the duck breasts in to marinate the night before anyway. This feeds two greedy adults and is an almost direct go at the Ching He Huang recipe from Chinese Food Made Easy, which is well worth a watch or peruse if you like a Chinese dinner now and then.

So, you'll need to start with your two duck breasts and a sealie bag. Stick the following things into the baggie and mush it up a bit: tsp ground five-spice, tbsp sesame oil, 3 tbsp hoisin sauce, 1-2 tbsp soft brown sugar, 3 tbsp water, 1 tbsp dark soy sauce. Add the duck, seal up and bung in a bowl in the fridge until tomorrow dinnertime.

Next day, get the oven on at 200°C and pat down the duck breasts (throw away the marinade). Pan fry them in a dry pan on a high heat for a couple of minutes either side, then put in a baking tray (skin up) and roast for 15 minutes or so.

While they're roasting get a litre of chicken stock on the hob and bring to a simmer. Add a tablespoon each of shaoxing rice wine (or sherry), soy sauce and rice vinegar (or any vinegar).

At the same time put some noodles on to cook, they should only take a few minutes. When they're done drain them and hold them under the cold tap for a bit to stop them going soggy.

Add some shitake mushrooms and sliced spring greens or cabbage to the soup and cook for a few minutes. 

Take the duck breasts out of the oven and rest on a cold plate for at least 5 minutes, before slicing. Add the noodles, some sliced spring onion and chopped coriander to the hot soup, lay the duck slices on the top and garnish with thin slices of green chilli.