Tag Archives: ginger

Indian-Inspired Kerala Stir-Fried Beef and Rice

Beef Stir-Fry (9069)The other day I posted one of my favourite entries in C&T on my Facebook page. It was an assignment for a Blogging University course (which has now ended) that included a quote. I remember not knowing what quote to choose, but being a creature of habit, and thus feeling like a hobbit most of the time, I decided to go for one from Tolkien’s masterpieces. I got loads of positive feedback for that piece and the recipe I included in it is one that I make again and again. I’m sure you’ll agree that a walnut and banana loaf cake is one of the most comforting bakes around. That and a scrumptious cup of thick hot chocolate.

So you won’t find many recipes on this blog that venture too much out of my comfort zone. C&T started out, and still is I think, a place to share what I cook at home, primarily in a small kitchen, as the ones I had back in the UK. Now I have a somewhat larger room to play in. I am lucky and I like the space, though it wasn’t easy to adjust to it.

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Two Simple Recipes: Vegetable Soup and Garlic and Chilli Kale

Garlic and Chilli Kale with Chunky Vegetable Soup (8631)

It’s still reasonably cold in the Med and I’m still nursing a very bad cold. My neighbour’s kid is having a ball running amuck right above my head, most probably sitting on a desk chair and sprinting across the corridor. Either that or playing boċċi. Who knows? Can’t imagine the grief he’s giving his mum, but I can definitely picture the grief he’s giving me!

So just when my head starts to ache I decide to post two recipes on C&T. Simple stuff but they are just the things I want to eat when I’m inside with quite some time to spend in the kitchen. There will be plenty of chances in the future for chips. That’s exactly what’s keeping me going! *Checking my forehead for fever*

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Easy Noodle Soup

Noodle Soup from Express (7068)

This recipe – or various variations of it – is what I go for when I want something warm and comforting, with a little saltiness and some veggies thrown in, and whenever I’m eating alone in the evenings. I generally prefer to eat my main meal for lunch and keep things very light during dinner, say for example Greek yoghurt with honey and some fruit, porridge (yes, porridge), a salad or simply a warm drink before bed. It’s got nothing to do with strange diets or the likes; it’s just something that works well for me.

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Holiday Hot Cake Revisited

Holiday Hot Cake Revisited (8607)

I hope you have excused my absence but I haven’t been well at all. This year the flu came down with a bang, fever and all. J was not that good either, poor thing. I just couldn’t eat anything substantial during that time – I’m sure you know what I mean. So when the fever finally went away and I was able to get up, this cake is all I wanted. I must stress that this is not something we eat every day. I would so like to, but I like to make this mainly around Easter and of course, during this time of year. It might not look pretty, but it’s good.

Holiday Hot Cake Revisited (8600)

The recipe is an adaptation of the one you will find in Nigella Express; incidentally there’s a similar one using chocolate in her first book How to Eat, but this one is even easier,  making it the one I like best. (You will find another post similar to this with a link to Nigella’s website, but this time I’m also giving you the recipe.) I find Christmas to be very stressful and honestly I am not often filled with seasonal cheer, but this is my pick-me-up. I just love it and it does taste of Christmas if you know what I mean. So for me, it makes sense to kick off the prep with this holiday bake. It will give you 4-6 servings.

Holiday Hot Cake Revisited (8603)

  • 150g plain flour
  • 100g light brown sugar, plus another 150g needed later
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 125ml semi-skimmed milk
  • 60ml vegetable oil
  • 1 large egg
  • 6 teaspoons butter
  • 500ml boiling water

Holiday Hot Cake Revisited (8608)

Holiday Hot Cake Whipped Cream (8605)

Preheat the oven to 220ºC/200ºC fan and place a baking sheet on to the middle shelf. Put the kettle on and boil the water.

In a medium bowl mix the flour, 100g of the brown sugar, 1 teaspoon of the ground ginger, 1 teaspoon of the cinnamon, milk, oil and egg. Be careful not to overmix the batter. If the mixture is lumpy, then so be it; you’ll have a softer spongy base.

Lightly grease a round baking dish, preferably a ceramic or pyrex one, and pour the batter into it.

In a small bowl, tip in the 150g remaining brown sugar, remaining 1 teaspoon of ground ginger and the 1 teaspoon of ground cinnamon. Mix these well together and sprinkle this over the batter in the baking dish.

Take the 6 teaspoons of butter and place each one gently over the sugary mixture. Now slowly pour the boiling water over this. Slowly. Don’t worry, everything will work out fine!

Place the baking dish onto the baking sheet already in the oven, and bake for 30 minutes. You will end up with a lovely cake on top and gorgeous toffee sauce on the bottom layer. Let it stand for around 10 minutes before serving. In the meantime whip up some double cream into soft peaks and serve up. Make sure to give everyone some toffee sauce together with the cake.

Holiday-Hot-Cake-with-Cream-(6611)

Holiday-Hot-Cake-with-Cream-(6612)

Reserved for special occasions, but well worth the wait! Enjoy!

Rob x

(Recipe adapted from Nigella Lawson’s Nigella Express, Chatto & Windus, 2007.)

Fajitas.

Beef-Fajitas-(5418

My idea of a lovely evening would be inviting some friends over for a simple supper, which I can prepare in less than 30 minutes – in less than 10 preferably! I love my kitchen and spend days and days cooking and baking but I do get tired sometimes. So anything that can help me prepare an informal party in no time for and with the people I love spending time the most is always welcome in my book. It takes away the stress and panic, and I think that the simplest meals can be the best meals. These fajitas also take away the assemblage, which in this case is done by others! All you have to do is some prepping – cooking the meat in minutes in a pan and chopping the veggies. Easy stuff.

You can make these fajitas with chicken or beef, or any mixture of veggies you like. If you’re using any kind of meat, the trick is to marinate it well ahead of time to make it moist and tender. Who would want a dry fajita anyway? I had one once and it was stringy and chewy. Not nice. I made this some weeks ago after a very full day when I really didn’t want to spend more time in the kitchen than I had to. There was a little planning beforehand, nothing big – I knew I wanted to cook something quick, simple, and without too much work.

So I bought some rump, cut it into thick strips when I got home and marinated all of it for a couple of hours in the fridge. I then shallow-fried it and left it in the pan till it cooked to medium/rare, keeping an eye on it, as always. You don’t even need any oil if that’s what you prefer, especially if you use a non-stick pan – the marinade has plenty of moisture anyway. But I don’t like burnt meat, so this time I played it safe. All you have to do then is to chop a red pepper, throw in a yellow pepper for luck, dice one or two fresh tomatoes. Place these in individual serving bowls, together with a packet of ready washed rockets leaves and you’re done. Place everything on a corn tortilla, wrap it up and eat. For something extra you can serve it with cornbread for a meze style meal. Perfect for summer. The following is what you need for the marinade:

  • 3 garlic cloves, crushed or very finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 small cubes or crystallized ginger (or ¼ teaspoon ginger powder)
  • 2 teaspoons light brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cold water

Place the meat in a bowl and pour the marinade over it. Mix it well, cover with cling film and put it in the fridge for an hour or two or until needed. Cook and serve on corn tortillas with greens and other vegetables. Easy!

Rob x