13/11/2005

Easy Chicken Curry

(serves 3-4)

1 tblsp olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, crushed
2 heaped tsp curry powder (or more for a stronger flavour)
1 level tsp ground ginger
juice of 1 small (or 1/2 large) lemon
1 cup water, stock or tomato juice
meat or vegetables (see introduction)
2 tblsp sultanas or raisins (optional)
1 chopped apple (optional)

Method:
Cook the onion and garlic gently in the oil, then stir in the curry powder and ginger, stirring until the onions are fully coated. Add the lemon juice and stir in thoroughly. Gradually add the rest of the liquid, stirring all the time. If you are making separate meat and vegetable curries, transfer an appropriate amount of the sauce to another pan; add meat to one and vegetables to the other.

If you're using fresh chicken, you'll need to cook it gently for about an hour; leftover meat or veggies only need to cook for about 10-15 minutes, so adjust timings appropriately.
When almost ready to serve, add sultanas and/or chopped apple, if you like them, or serve them as extra garnishes over the curry.

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This is a very adaptable meal (albeit not very authentic) which can be made with fresh, cubed chicken, or any sort of leftover meat or even vegetables. I often make it when we have meat left from a roast chicken, or roast lamb.

For a vegetarian meal, an excellent curry can be made using chopped cauliflower and carrots instead of meat. If you have a mixed family of meat-eaters and vegetarians, make the curry sauce in one large pan, then divide appropriately with another pan before adding meat to one and vegetables to the other.

Curry is traditionally served with boiled rice; brown rice is healthier and more nutritious than white rice. You can also serve with naan bread, yoghurt, dried coconut, sunflower seeds, etc, and other vegetables such as green beans.

07/11/2005

Rice Pudding

(Serves about 4)

3 tblsp short grain rice
2 level tblsp sugar
knob of butter
1 tsp nutmeg
1 pint/500ml milk*

Method:
Grease a 1.5 pint ovenproof dish with butter, put in rice (washed if necessary) and sugar. Pour on milk, top with shavings of butter and nutmeg. Bake in the oven at 150C (300F, Gas 2) for about 2 hours, stirring after one hour.

Microwave method:
Use a deep dish with plenty of room as the milk will boil and the rice will expand! Place ingredients in non-metallic bowl as for regular oven, then cook on HIGH for 5 minutes. Stir well. Cover and cook on LOW for 20-25 minutes, or until cooked and beginning to thicken, stirring every 10 minutes. Leave to stand for 5 minutes before serving.

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*Note for people in the USA: a pint in the UK is 20 fluid ounces, which is two-and-a-half US cups.

This is a traditional British dessert, which I used to love as a child. Unfortunately none of my family like it, and we don't tend to eat desserts very often anyway so I haven't made it for about 25 years. But if you like this kind of thing, it's ideal for chilly winter evenings.

06/11/2005

Sausage Bean-Feast

(serves about 3-4)

450g/1lb sausages
450g can baked beans in tomato sauce
2 tblsp tomato ketchup
1 level tblsp soft brown sugar
1 level tsp mustard

Method:
Combine all the ingredients in a casserole or other large deep dish, and bake covered for about 30-40 minutes in a hottish oven (350F/180C).

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Use your favourite type of sausages - meat or vegetarian - in this quick recipe which is particularly popular with some children, and can easily be made by a young child. You could serve it with mashed or potatoes, or fresh crusty bread. A salad served with it would add to the nutritional value.