Archive | January, 2015

Prawn and tamarind curry (Chemmeen vevichathu)

27 Jan

Prawn and tamarind curryimage
Watching Saturday kitchen last weekend, Indian Michelen stared chef Atul Kochhar served up his prawn and tamarind curry that comes from the Keralan area of India.
I just had to make and share. when I make a curry it has to be from scratch, none of those pre made pastes that can be bought, making your own releases amazing heady aromas that fill float around the kitchen.

Serves 4 image

For the curry
1 seedless dried tamarind (about the size of a walnut)
1 tbsp rapeseed oil
1 tsp black mustard seeds
1 tsp fenugreek seeds
2 shallots, chopped
2 green chillies, finely chopped
1 tbsp chopped fresh ginger, peeled
15–20 curry leaves
20–24 medium prawns, head and shell removed, deveined
½ tsp palm sugar (optional), also known as jaggery
100ml/3½fl oz warm fish stock or water (optional)

For the spice paste
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1 cinnamon stick (approximately 5cm/2in)
2 cloves
½ tsp fennel seeds
1 small dried red chilli
2 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp ground turmeric
¼ tsp black pepperimage
To serve
Cooked basmati rice

Preparation method
Soak the tamarind in 200ml/7fl oz water for 15-20 minutes.
For the spice paste, put all of the ingredients in a blender with 4-5 tablespoons of water. Blend to a paste.
For the curry, heat the oil in a large pan over a medium heat. Add the mustard seeds and cook until you hear them pop, then add the fenugreek seeds and shallots. Cook until the shallots are light brown in colour.
Add the green chillies, ginger and curry leaves. Season with salt. Cook over a medium heat for 3–5 minutes.image
Mix in the spice paste, cook for 5 minutes or until light brown in colour. Stir in the prawns and palm sugar.
Add the tamarind and its soaking liquid. Cook for 10–12 minutes, or until the prawns are cooked. If the sauce is too thick for your liking, stir in 100ml/3½fl oz fish stock or hot water.
Spoon the curry into bowls and serve with the rice alongsideimage
For more info call or mail: 0031 (0)642297107 simon.bingham@simons-sauces.comimage

Pollo alla Cacciatora servito con erbe e parmigiano polenta, hunters chicken served with a herb and parmesan polenta

18 Jan

Pollo alla Cacciatora servito con erbe e parmigiano polenta, hunters chicken served with a herb and parmesan polenta
Pollo alla Cacciatori (Hunter’s Chicken) is found across Northern Italy, with many variations. My version uses meaty bone-in chicken thighs, drumsticks and is full of onions, olives, garlic and tomatoes.
Serves 4

4 x free range chicken thighs and 4 x drumsticks skin on
sea salt
freshly ground black pepper
8 bay leaves
2 sprigs fresh rosemary
1 large onion
6 cloves garlic, peeled (3crushed, 3sliced)
500 ml red wine
flour, for dustingimage
extra virgin olive oil
6 anchovy fillets
1 tbsp capers
I handful of chopped flat leaf parsley
1 handful green or black olives, stoned
1 x 400 g good-quality tinned plum tomatoes.


1. Season the chicken pieces with salt and freshly ground black pepper and put them into a bowl. Add the bay leaves and rosemary sprigs and the crushed cloves of garlic and cover with the wine. Leave to marinate for at least an hour, but preferably overnight in the fridge.

2. Preheat your oven to 180ºC/350ºF/gas 4. Drain the chicken, reserving the marinade, and pat dry with kitchen paper.
3. Dust the chicken pieces with flour and shake off any excess. Heat an ovenproof pan, add a splash of olive oil, fry the chicken pieces until browned lightly all over and put to one side.

4. Place the pan back on the heat and add the sliced garlic and onions. Fry gently until golden brown, then add the anchovies, olives, capers, tomatoes (broken up with a wooden spoon) and the chicken pieces with their reserved marinade. Bring to the boil, cover with a lid and bake in the preheated oven for 1½ hours.

When cooked taste and add the chopped parsley and little salt and pepper if necessary, and serve with a salad, pasta, some cannellini beans or as I do with creamy herb and parmesan polenta , garnish with chopped parsley

Polenta image
An Italian storecupboard staple, polenta has its roots in the peasant cuisine of northern Italy. Where once it was just a humble peasant food, polenta has emerged as a versatile, fine-dining-style. It’s made by grinding corn into flour, or meal. It has a rich yellow, yolk-like colour, and has a slightly sweet flavourPolenta can be cooked to be creamy and thick, or allowed to set and then sliced. Serve it instead of pasta, rice or potatoes. Use in place of breadcrumbs to coat chicken or fish when frying.


Serves 4
150ml milk
½ tsp salt
150g coarse cornmeal
50g butter
25g grated parmesan (optional)
1tsp chopped flat leaf parsleyimage

1. Put the milk in a large, heavy-based pan along with 600ml water and the salt, and bring to the boil. Meanwhile, measure out the cornmeal and put it near the hob.

2. When the pan comes to the boil, add the cornmeal, letting it run in thin streams through your fingers, whisking continuously. Stir for a minute or two until it thickens.

3. Turn the heat right down and stir well, roughly every 4-5 minutes to prevent it sticking, for about 35-45 minutes, until the polenta begins to come away from the sides of the pan. Stir in the butter, parsley and cheese, if using, then put on a hot serving dish.
For more info don’t hesitate to mail or call
: 0031 (0)642297107

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