Saturday, May 19, 2012

Lamb Maharajah

Does it really count as "Indian" food if it is  Nigella Lawson recipe?

Well, this recipe comes from her book, Feast. It certainly is Indian inspired, if nothing else. I've made this quite a few times now, and the recipe has done the email rounds. I had actually thought I'd put this here on repertoire food, but apparently not. The thing is, it isn't the most photogenic of dishes. I'll take some photos of the ingredients to pretty it up.... 

Meanwhile, Food Critic Andrew had a kitchen epiphany this evening while making a pepper sauce. He had some trouble with lumps forming and I suggested he use a whisk. Of course, he declined and threw out the mix. New batch - same problems. I came back  a few minutes later and he was using the whisk - saying "Wow! I should have been using this all along." I had just assumed that he knew what one was for, but he tells me that he hadn't. Bless him.  

As usual, I have moded the recipe to suit my own quantities/purposes. 

Lamb Maharajah - by Nigella Lawson

45g ghee or butter
350g onions, roughly chopped
2.5cm piece ginger
3 cloves garlic
3 small red chillies (can de-seed if less heat is required) – (or use a couple of teaspoons of chili paste like I have before)
1 tsp nigella (kalonji) seeds

3 tsps ground coriander
1 tsp garam masala
1 tsp turmeric
½ tsp black pepper
1kg lamb (neck or casserole type lamb), cut into large cubes (can also use beef)
150ml plain yoghurt
1 tspns salt
2 tblsps ground almonds
1 tblsp lemon juice
2 tblsps fresh coriander

1. Heat half the ghee/butter in a large pan. Place the onions, ginger, garlic and chillies in a processor until finely chopped then tip into the hot pan. 
2. Cook for 5 minutes until softened then remove and set aside in a bowl. 
3. Heat remaining ghee/butter and add the nigella seeds, coriander, garam masala, turmeric and pepper; fry for a minute. 
4. Turn up the heat and add the lamb/beef to brown. 
5. Add  the onion mixture back into the pan along with the yoghurt and 160ml water. 
6. Stir in the salt and bring to the boil, then lower the heat to a simmer, cover and gently cook for 1 to 1 and a half hours until tender. Remove the lid and stir occasionally. You can also put this in a casserole dish, then into the oven to cook slowly at 160 degrees for 1 and a half hours instead of cooking on the stove top - or you can also put this in the slow cooker.  I generally freeze half the mixture at this point for another day. 
7. When the meat is nice and tender, stir through the ground almonds, coriander and lemon juice.
Serve with a dob of yoghurt and basmati rice. I also serve with a roti (flat bread) to mop up the juices.  

Friday, May 18, 2012

Aren't these just the cutest things you've seen all morning?

Update: I actually ended up making these for a work do; in fact we participated in Australia's biggest morning tea which is a fundraising event. They turned out nicely, if a little dense for my liking. I think they might be nice with rice four instead so I will try that. Probably very good for kid's parties, probably. 

I also made some of Donna Hay's macarons which are pretty good for packet stuff! I had them in the cupboard for a while as a backup to some "from scratch" macarons I was making so decided to make these for the fundraiser as well. I don't recommend putting the teaspoon of cold water in step 4 - it made mine too wet and they started to slop all over the place. A second lot went way better without that teaspoon of water. I also made them with chocolate powder which is very forgiving if you have an unevenly heated oven such as mine (some macarons turn out browner than others- the chocolate powder hides this)

Thursday, May 17, 2012

La Zuppa contest! I want to know your favourite soup recipe...

Salmorejo - from Agata's Kitchen blog

The soup-fest continues! We've enjoyed trying all the different soups La Zuppa has to offer and am pleased to announce that the good folks over at La Zuppa are giving away a have sent repertoirefood a prize pack that includes their entire range for a lucky reader. 

All you need to do is to let me know your favourite soup recipe - you can leave it in the comments - or if you've found it on-line let me know the link. I will be picking the best recipe on Saturday 26 May so you have until Midnight Friday (Australian Eastern Standard time) to get your recipe in! The best recipe will be featured here on repertoirefood and the winner will receive a prize pack which includes the entire La Zuppa soup range. 

In conjunction, La Zuppa are also running their own competition at the moment on their facebook page where you can win some cash for submitting your soup ideas so I encourage you to "like" their page and enter your great idea!

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Lots and lots of soup..

So, I've been sent a huge box of soup to review for the lovely folk at La Zuppa. Just in time, too - the weather has turned dreadful down here. They have an amazing range, and I've been given a couple of each to try out and take to work for my colleagues to try. Here's the thing though - soup overload! At first I was all  "hmm, what am I going to try today??" Then the same the next day, then for a couple of days after that....and then I started thinking that maybe a salad was more up my alley...

No seriously. They're pretty great! So far, Food Critic Andrew and I have tried about half of the flavours between us (he works with me, it's OK!). The chicken and corn chowder is a particularly good one since it is tasty and full flavoured. I also like that they are convenient enough to take to work and since they don't need to be cooled, I won't lose then from the communal fridge. I think the only thing they need is a little bit of sour-dough toast on the side, amply buttered of course.

I also made sure that we had a small interdepartmental lunch where we bonded and of course tried some of the lovely soups on offer. They were all pretty popular - especially the Ribbolita Tuscan vegetable. A small criticism was that the Minestrone tasted more like a pumpkin soup with vegetables in it - and unfortunately no pasta in the soup. 

So I thoroughly recommend them. Best of all, they're 99% fat free, and gluten and dairy free if you have allergies.