Recipes

Mango Curry

Date night. It used to mean theatres, jazz clubs, bars and walking through town together. Now that we have two wee people and no obligated babysitters it now means a take-away in front of the TV after the kids are in bed. On the rare occasion that we do actually get to leave the house we often spend the time talking about or worrying about the kids anyway so our stay-in date nights feel more secure and cosy in many ways.

We started using a few different take-away places before we settled on our favourites. Our favourite Chinese place does something amazing with deep fried beef and our favourite Indian place does an incredible mango curry that quickly became a firm favourite. That is until the incident.

We’d gotten used to a delivery time of 45-60 minutes but on this night when we were both really really hungry that hour came and went and at 10 minutes past I got a text message to say that there would be a delay of 20 minutes. We were annoyed, but at least we had our own supply of poppadoms and mango chutney so we broke those open expecting to finish our starter and have the main on the table. We waited, and waited. At the 2 hour mark finally our food arrived. By this stage we were hungry enough that we could eat an entire zoo, let alone a horse. The curry tasted great but there was a horrid aftertaste of feeling ripped off. I got online and fired off a message to the company expecting at the very least an apology. Nothing.

And so it was that I decided it was about time that I learnt how to make my own mango curry. A little bit of experimentation has gotten me the following recipe and to be honest, we like it better than the take-away. And even better, if I use the slow cooker I can do the hard work in the morning and we can sit down to eat as soon as the kids are asleep – no more waiting!

Anyway, I do hope you like it. Let me know in the comments if you give this a try.

Serves 4

Ingredients
4-5 chicken breast fillets diced (you can use thigh fillets, or even another meat if you prefer)
2 onions
3 Tb korma paste (milk allergy? Try the Sainsbury’s version which at time of writing is totally dairy free)
2 cans mango
1 can coconut milk
1 sachet of coconut cream
handful of toasted flaked almonds

Directions
Chop one onion into thin wedges. Set aside.
Quarter the other onion and place that into a food processor (or blender).
Brown the chicken in a little oil in a frying pan. Put that into your slow cooker and add the onion wedges to the pan. Cook until the onion softens. Add to the slow cooker with the chicken.
Put the korma paste mango, coconut milk and coconut cream into the food processor with the quartered onion. Whizz it up until it forms a sauce – taste test for the heat levels. Add more korma paste if you prefer a hotter curry.
Put the sauce into the slow cooker and stir.
Cook for 4 hours on high or 8 hours on low.
Serve with rice and sprinkled with the almonds.

Note – if you find the curry too hot, stir a tablespoon of lemon juice into the curry to neutralise the heat a little.

Another note – I’ve not been able to have this dish stick around in a bowl long enough to get a nice picture, but it looks remarkably like the picture I’ve used here!

Recipes

ANZAC Biscuits

ANZACThese iconic biscuits from Australia and New Zealand were made by army wives to send to their troops during the second world war as they travelled well and the ingredients did not spoil so easily. As such they are named ANZAC Biscuits (Australian and New Zealand Army Corps). They are associated Downunder with ANZAC Day and are often used as fundraisers.

Incidentally, the name is protected and as such you cannot call another recipe or another biscuit ANZAC (which means you cannot add things like chocolate chips and still call them ANZACs). You also cannot refer to these as “cookies”.

Ingredients
1 cup rolled oats
1 cup plain flour
1 cup Demerara sugar
3/4 cup shredded or desiccated coconut
140g butter
2 Tb golden syrup
1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1 tsp boiling water

Method

  • Combine oats, flour, sugar and coconut in a large bowl.
  • Combine butter and golden syrup in a small saucepan. Stir over gentle heat until melted.
  • Mix the bicarb with boiling water, add to the butter mixture. Stir into dry ingredients.
  • Place tablespoonfuls of mixture onto lightly greased oven tray – allow room for spreading.
  • Bake at 180C for 10 minutes.
  • Loosen while warm, then cool on racks.

As always I’d love to hear if you make these and what you think.

Happy baking!

Recipes

Lemon Slice

This easy to make no-bake slice is perfect for afternoon tea on a bright spring day.

Please note: I use a 20ml tablespoon and 250ml measuring cup for all of my recipes. If you are using a 15ml tablespoon, you will need to use 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon of lemon juice in the base and 2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons of lemon juice in the icing.

Makes about 18 pieces (each about 4.5cm by 6cm).

Base
80g butter
250g (3/4 cup) sweetened condensed milk
250g Nice biscuits (I use Arnott’s brand when I can get hold of them)
85g (1 cup) desiccated coconut
1 tablespoon (20ml) fresh lemon juice

Lemon Icing
3 cups icing sugar
3 tablespoons (60ml) fresh lemon juice
1 1/2 tablespoons desiccated coconut, for sprinkling on top of slice

Line an 18cm by 28cm slice pan with baking paper, plastic wrap or foil.

Melt the butter and condensed milk together.

Crush biscuits. I use a mortar and pestle so that the pieces are slightly uneven but overall are fine. You could use a blender or food processor.

Mix with coconut together in a large bowl until well combined. Sprinkle with lemon juice.

Add the butter and condensed milk mix and stir until well combined. The mixture will appear quite wet at this stage.

Press mixture into the prepared pan. Scrape over with a fork so that you get ridges, this will help the icing to stick.

Refrigerate while preparing icing (see instructions below).

Spread lemon icing over slice and sprinkle with extra coconut.

Refrigerate slice until cold and firm then remove from the pan and cut into pieces.

Store slice in an airtight container in the refrigerator or freezer.

Lemon Icing
Combine icing sugar and lemon juice in a small bowl. If the mixture is too dry to spread, add a teaspoon of hot water from the kettle. You can keep adding icing sugar, lemon juice and hot water until you get a suitable amount/consistency.

Recipes, Travel

Kaiserschmarrn

On a recent trip to Munich I sampled this traditional Bavarian dish. It’s essentially a smashed up pancake served with stewed apple and it’s very quick and easy to make.

The name isn’t really translatable – Kaiser we know as Emperor, but Schmarrn means something like nonsense, or mishmash or rubbish. The story goes that the Empress Elisabeth of Bavaria (Sisi) was concerned about her waistline and had instructed the chef to only make desserts that were low in fat. The Emperor wasn’t impressed by this as he preferred the usual heavy desserts. Sisi found this dessert too rich for her and so refused it. Emperor Francis Joseph quipped, “Now let me see what “Schmarrn” our chef has cooked up”. He liked it so much that he finished his and even his wife’s serving.

If you’d like something a little heavier you can add rum-soaked raisins to the batter, but since I think raisins are horrible I naturally leave them out.

Ingredients
3 Egg
1 pinch Salt
2 tablespoons Flour (plain), heaped
100ml Milk
25ml sparkling mineral water
2 drop vanilla essence
2 teaspoons caster sugar
3 tablespoons butter for frying
Icing sugar for dusting
Ground cinnamon for dusting
Stewed apple for serving

Method
Whisk the eggs and salt together. Add the flour, essence and sugar, whisk until all lumps are gone. Add the water and milk.
Heat the butter in a large frying pan over medium heat until it starts to bubble.
Add the mixture to the pan, leave to cook until the base is formed and starting to brown.
Flip the pancake and break into chunks, don’t worry about being pretty. Cook for a few seconds until the pancake is cooked through.
Serve with apple and dusted with icing sugar and cinnamon.

Recipes

Pork & Garlic Chives Dumplings

I can across this delicious sounding recipe for Pork and Garlic Chive Dumplings on the food blog A Table For Two and I’ve putting into my must do list! Just thought I’d share….

Ingredients (makes 30 dumplings)
500 gram pork mince
1 bunch garlic chives (chopped)
3 cloves garlic (chopped)
1 packet of dumpling skin (30 skins)
1 tbsp corn flour
Soy Sauce
Sesame Oil
2 tbsp rice wine
Salt & Pepper to taste

Method

  1. Add all ingredients into a large bowl (except the dumpling skins) and mix well together.
  2. Fill a small bowl with water and set aside.
  3. Scoop a tablespoon-ful of the mixture and lay it in the center of a dumpling skin.
  4. Dip your index finger in the water, then run it around the edge of the dumpling skin.
  5. Fold the skin in half from bottom to top, press the skin together and seal the mixture inside.
  6. From the center, overlapping the skin inwards from both sides until it reaches the pointy edges.
  7. Run the edges and press tightly with 2 fingers to make sure the dumpling is properly sealed.

Steamed Dumplings

  1. Inside bamboo steamer baskets, lay some iceberg lettuce and make sure is flat enough to put dumplings on top without falling over.
  2. Arrange 6 to 8 dumplings inside basket without touching each other so they don’t stick together when cooked.
  3. Use a wok and pour 2 cups of water and let it boil in medium heat. Place the steamer basket inside the wok and cover it with a lid. Let it simmer for 10 – 15 mins or until the dumpling skins looks translucent then it is ready.

Fried Dumplings

  1. Heat up a frying pan with a little bit of vegetable oil.
  2. Put some dumplings in the pan and lay flat on one side. Make sure they don’t touch each other to avoid sticking together.
  3. Pour 2 tablespoon of water in the pan, and quickly cover it with a lid.
  4. Few minutes later, flip the dumplings and fry the other side. Again, pour 2 tablespoon of water and cover it with a lid.
  5. Fry the dumplings until crisp and golden brown then it is ready.

The original is here –
Pork & Garlic Chives Dumplings 韭菜饺子.