Sunday, 22 July 2012

Breakfast Frittata (or "how to use up spare egg whites")

I had three egg whites left over from making ricotta gnocci last night, so this morning a frittata for breakfast seemed like a great way to use them up. 

For two people, three egg whites plus two full eggs is about right.

Chop a small bell pepper and slice a purple onion, then throw them in a frying pan with a little oil and get them cooking until nicely softened and sweet.

Meanwhile beat your eggs with salt, pepper, grated parmesan * and torn, fresh basil leaves. When the pepper and onion mix is ready, pour over the egg mix.

Cook until pretty firm and then sling under the grill to finish off - this is not for flipping like a pancake, or at least not first thing in the morning whilst still bleary eyed. Serve hot, in quarter slices with a tomato salad.

* - If you're vegetarian you can buy a cheese very similar to traditional parmesan but which is made without animal rennet. "Twineham Grange" is one brand but I'm sure there are others out there.

Saturday, 21 July 2012

Yoghurt-Sour Chicken Curry & Spicy Fried Okra

Please give this dinner a chance! Yoghurt-sour is a good thing, plus yoghurt helps all the spices to penetrate the chicken meat whilst tenderising it as well. 
The dry fried okra is really delicious and together they beat any greasy takeaway offering hands down, both on the healthy front and on the tasty front. 

This is inspired by a dish in "Indian Food Made Easy" by Anjum Anand and I would totally recommend this book to anyone who thinks they love a takeaway!

So, pop some chicken thighs into a bowl, 1-2 per person, and pour over one of those large pots of natural yoghurt.

Add 7-8 large cloves of garlic, smashed up or minced if you can be bothered to clean the mincer - I never can. Take 2-4 cardamom pods (depending on how much you like them) smash them open, extract the seeds, crush them with the back of your knife and tip them in. 
 Top with a large hunk of ginger chopped up very finely, a heaped tablespoon of ground coriander, a heaped teaspoon of garam masala, a teaspoon of chilli powder, and a generous pinch of cumin

Sprinkle in a good amount of salt, maybe as much as 2 teaspoons, and mix everything together really well - make sure every inch of the chicken is coated. Marinate for as long as possible, in the fridge overnight would be great, but if I'm honest I left it for an hour on the sideboard and it was tasty for just that time.

When you're ready to cook it, upend the whole lot into a pan and put on a reasonably high heat. In a separate pan, cook up a chopped onion and some green chillies. When they are soft, add them to the chicken mixture.

Cook the curry for 20 minutes, then stick a lid on it, turn the heat right down and cook for another 10 minutes. You can add extra water if it dries up. 

While the curry is cooking, slice the okra up vertically and liberally sprinkle gram flour, garam masala, chilli powder and salt over the top. Mix up well, heat up oil in a frying pan and, shaking off excess powder, fry the lot for about ten minutes.
Serve the curry with rice and shedloads of fresh coriander, plus the okra.