Mrs. Jackson Cooks

Life through food

Cheap and easy: pasta puttanesca

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I’ve already blogged about puttanesca with prawns, as a good diet friendly dish, and it certainly is.  This is a slightly different version.  Cheap, just as easy, because it uses tinned sardines.

The prawn version is here https://mrsjacksoncooks.wordpress.com/2011/03/01/sweet-pepper-and-bacon-pasta-2/

I have used tinned sardines before, but I don’t like the bones in them.  Every recipe I’ve found previously always says, leave them in, they’re small and good for you, you don’t notice them.  I do.  I don’t like them!  This was the first recipe that said take them out, and said how to (although I probably could have figured it out, having something that tells you how, takes the guesswork out of it).  Most puttanesca recipes use anchovies but I’m not a fan of them, so this recipe works much better for me.

It’s a post by Jack Monroe on the Guardian.  I like Jack Monroe.  Her recipes are alwayseasy, and often use stuff that’s in the cupboard.  I met her through working for Oxfam, and like her honesty and grittiness, and of course, the easiness of her recipes.  Her recipe is here http://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2014/apr/16/jack-monroe-spaghetti-alla-puttanesca-recipe 

As always, I’ve adapted it.  I used macaroni because that’s what I had in.  You can use whatever pasta you like.  Spaghetti is good too.  I do normally use capers, however, I had run out this last time, so added in juice of one lemon, which worked well too.

Pasta puttanesca

Serves 2

  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, peeled & crushed
  • 1 chilli, chopped
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1 tin tomatoes
  • 1 tin sardines
  • 150g dried pasta of your choice
  • 1 tbsp capers, chopped, or juice 1 lemon
  • 20 large olives (I used green), pitted and sliced
  • Handful of chopped fresh basil
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • handful of parmesan (optional)
  1. Boil the pasta until al dente.  Remove and drain, and set aside (if the pasta is done much before the sauce, you may want to add some oil to it to stop it sticking)
  2. Meanwhile, put the oil in a pan on a medium heat.
  3. When warmed, add the onion, garlic and chilli and cook until the onion is softened.
  4. Remove the bones from the sardines by slicing down the back and opening and removing easily as they’re all in one piece.  Chop up the sardines.
  5. Add the tomatoes to the pan, breaking them up with the spatula or spoon.  Bring to the boil and then simmer for 5 minutes.
  6. Add the sardines, capers or lemon juice and continue simmering until you have a good saucey consistency.
  7. Then add the olives and basil in.  Taste and add seasoning as needed.
  8. Stir through the pasta until combined.
  9. Turn into bowls and scatter parmesan over the top if using.
  10. Enjoy the healthy, easy goodness
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Show-off brunch: Aubergine and potato middle eastern inspired brunch

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This is a faffy brunch.  It takes a while, there’s lots of different bits to the recipe that are done separately and brought together at the end, and it involves poached eggs, which are the ultimate in egg faffiness.

However, I have made it time and again because it is utterly delicious and a fantastic way to impress people (even if that person is just you).  And also brilliant for hangovers (not so great to make it if you’re feeling really ill though…possibly one for that moment when you feel ok, and you realise you’re still drunk!).  Even thinking about it now is making my mouth water.  It’s that tasty.  So it’s worth the faffiness.  But not one for when you’re in a hurry.  I like to make it when I have an aubergine or two lurking in the fridge.

It’s by Yotam Ottolenghi – the king of faffy cooking, and to be fair, I think I have made this as he says, at least once, but mostly, I adapt it, and it’s still just as good.  I do still follow the recipe because it’s so faffy, it’s hard to remember it all, but I think have now mostly remembered it.  You can find it here:

http://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2014/jan/31/brunch-recipes-eggs-yotam-ottolenghiI

I have to say, I have never been able to find tahini in the shops, so just make my own with sesame seeds.  Which adds to the faffiness.  But a great job to give someone that’s hanging about annoying you in the kitchen.  If you want to make tahini, here’s a recipe:  http://homecooking.about.com/od/condimentrecipes/r/blcon110.htm

And here’s my adapted version:

Middle-eastern inspired Aubergine and potato brunch

Serves 2

  • 1 aubergine cut into 2cm ish cubes (if that’s possible with something round)
  • 2 medium potato, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 2-3 tomatoes (depending on size), diced
  • 1 spring onion, finely sliced
  • 1 tbsp siracha sauce (or use any tomato chilli sauce, not sweet chilli though)
  • 1 tbsp chopped fresh coriander
  • 2 tsp white wine vinegar
  • A lot of oil
  • 40g tahini paste (I make 1/2 the recipe above, which usually works out well)
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 1/2 a lemon, juiced
  • 4 eggs (I also do a couple of slices of bacon and 1 egg per person at times)
  • 1 tsp sumac (optional)
  1. Place the aubergine in a colander, sprinkle with salt and leave to drain in the sink for about 30 minutes
  2. Whilst the aubergine is draining, boil the sliced potatoes for about 5-7 minutes, or until half cooked.  Then drain and refresh under cold water so they stay crunchy
  3. Next mix together the tomato, spring onion, and half the coriander in a small bowl.  Combine with the siracha sauce and white wine vinegar.  Season with salt and pepper and set aside
  4. Mix the tahini paste with the garlic, lemon juice and 2 tbsp of water with some salt and pepper.  Set aside.
  5. Tip the aubergine onto a plate with kitchen towel and dry off.
  6. Pour enough oil (should be sunflower, vegetable, groundnut etc) into a high sided pan to come up about an inch.  Heat on a high flame until bubbles form around a spoon end in the middle of the pan.
  7. Tip in the aubergine and fry until golden brown on all sides.  Then tip out onto fresh kitchen towel using a slotted spoon.
  8. Pour most of the oil, away (I normally save in a jar for later), leaving about 2 tsp in the pan.
  9. Fry the potatoes in the pan until browned and blistered on both sides, takes about 10 minutes.
  10. Meanwhile, boil the water and make the poached eggs (and grill bacon if using)
  11. Split the potatoes between two plates.  Sprinkle over 1/4 of the tahini mix on the potatoes on each plate.  Next take the aubergine and place on top of the potatoes and sprinkle over the remaining tahini mix.
  12. Next take the tomato mix and place on top of the aubergines and potatoes.  Sprinkle over the reserved coriander
  13. Finally top with the eggs and bacon if using.
  14. And enjoy the fruits of your labour and faffing about.  Feel the hangover recede.
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Summer curry: Goan fish curry

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So, since we moved, my weight has been a bit up and down like a yoyo.  It’s all to do with finding a rhythm at the gym now, and also avoiding the biscuits at work.

This week I’m recommitting to the gym and trying to be healthier.  Many people think curries aren’t healthy, but they can be, and this is a good example of one.  Using fish as well, means it’s a lot lighter and good for summer eating.  At 238 calories per serving this is a great healthy dinner.

I do find that fish isn’t the cheapest thing to buy, but you can get good deals.  Our local co-op often has meat discounted towards the end of the day, and the haddock I got was one such example.  I also got prawns as they were reduced too, but you can leave them out as they can be expensive.

You can use any firm white fish for this – pollack or coley would work well and are often a lot cheaper.

This is a delicious curry and really simple to make.  No making pastes, and just use ground spices. I found it on trusty BBC Good Food but from a reader and not the usual chefs.  I served with boiled rice, but naan or chappatis would be good too.

http://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/1121651/goan-fish-curry

Goan Fish Curry

Serves 2

  • 1 tsp sunflower oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 long green chillies, deseeded and thinly sliced
  • 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
  • 4cm piece fresh ginger, peeled and grated
  • 1tsp ground cumin
  • 1tsp ground turmeric
  • 1tsp garam masala
  • 1tsp ground coriander
  • 1 cardamom pods, seeds only
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 4-5 mushrooms, quartered (you can add whatever vegetables you like)
  • 70ml reduced fat coconut milk
  • 400g chopped tomatoes
  • 250g skinless haddock or any firm white fish cut into chunks
  • Juice of half a lime
  • 12 raw prawns (I used cooked king prawns as couldn’t find uncooked)
  • 1tbsp fresh chopped coriander
  1. Heat the oil in a large frying or sauce pan.  Add the onions and cook until browned.
  2. Next add the chilli, garlic, ginger and dried spices, and mushrooms cooking for a further minute, until the spice aromas fill the kitchen.
  3. Add the coconut milk and tomatoes.  You may need to add some water here
  4. Bring to the boil then reduce to a simmer for about 5-10 minutes, or until thickened slightly.
  5. Add the fish chunks and cook for about 10 minutes until cooked through (add the prawns after 5 minutes if they’re raw)
  6. Add the cooked prawns and the coriander, and lime juice and cook through for a couple of minutes.
  7. Serve with boiled rice and enjoy the light fish with spicy flavours

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Living in the big smoke: Moroccan lentil chicken tagine

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So, I’ve decided to start blogging again.  I know, it’s been a while.  More than a year in fact.  And it’s been a tumultuous year.  We moved to London, for my job.  I’m now working for Oxfam and absolutely loving it.  But chatting to the government is aided by being near them, and so we moved.Upped sticks, lock stock and barrel.  Sold our lovely home in Manchester and have now bought a new house in South London.  And it’s very lovely too, remarkably similar in fact.  Just a bit smaller and significantly more expensive!

But as we settle and start to feel comfortable again, making a home and finding comfort in homeliness has come back to us, and hence the blog.  I’ve never stopped cooking and perhaps my cooking has become simpler, quicker and more frugal as I find ways to make money and time stretch further in a city that demands so much and also is so absorbing.

I wonder if too, this blog may also become about eating and drinking in London – whether at home or out and about…we’ll see.

But I start with a very easy and cheap meal and pretty quick meal.  It’s delicious and something you can leave cooking whilst you do other things.  It’s a chicken lentil one pot tagine.  I quickly discovered the joys of Brixton market, including their very good and cheap halal butchers.  But if you’re without a market, then chicken legs are often much cheaper anyway, or get a whole chicken and cut it up.  I used boneless, skinless thighs as the recipe states, but you can use bone in and skin on ones, or thighs and drumsticks, just cook for a bit longer and use less oil when browning the chicken as there’s more fat in the skins which will release when you cook it.

The recipe is here http://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/1860/moroccanstyle-chicken-with-lentils

As always, I adapted it.  I used raisins instead of apricots, but you can leave them out all together if you like, and I added in olives and peppers.  But you can use whatever you have really.  I also cooked it in a tagine pot, but you can use a casserole dish or a heavy bottomed saucepan too.  The advantage of a tagine is it’ll cook it much quicker.

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Serves 2

  • 2 tsp olive oil (or any oil really)
  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken thighs
  • 2 cloves of garlic, crushed
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • 2 tsp coriander seeds, crushed
  • 2 tsp sweet or smoked paprika
  • 1 onion, sliced
  • 1 pepper, sliced
  • 15 large olives
  • 50g red lentils (washed and drained)
  • 1 tin chopped tomatoes
  • 300ml chicken stock (you may need more if not using a tagine)
  • 1 tbsp tomato puree
  • 1 cinnamon stick, broken
  • handful of sultanas or raisins
  • juice of half a lemon
  • handful of chopped fresh coriander or mint
  1. Mix together the dried spices with the oil and rub over the chicken
  2. Heat the tagine on the stove and add the chicken thighs, until browned on all sides.
  3. Remove the chicken and turn down the heat.
  4. Add another tsp of oil and fry the onions until softened
  5. Add the garlic, tomatoes, stock, cinnamon, pepper, lentils, lemon juice and raisins to the tagine
  6. Cook for about 30 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through and the lentils have absorbed the liquid.  You can also put in an oven if preferred at this point, but it’ll need longer to cook.
  7. You may need to add more stock if it becomes too dry, or leave the lid off towards the end if too liquidy
  8. 5 minutes before the end, add the olives.  And check the salt level.  Add some if needed.
  9. Just before serving, stir through the coriander or mint

And voila, easy peasy moroccan chicken that’s healthy, cheap and pretty quick to make.

 

 

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Cheap and healthy meals: lentil and mince enchiladas

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I do like enchiladas and they’re pretty healthy any way you do them, but I also love lentils, so the opportunity to add them to enchiladas couldn’t really be missed (I have made them the standard chicken or beef strips instead in the past). Lentils give you lots of great protein without the calories and make mince beef go further – which is why its cheap, because lentils cost virtually nothing.

I found the original recipe here, but more or less just made this up as I went along. And they were delicious. I think you can add more or less whatever you like to this recipe. Make it with just mince (combine the lentil and mince quantities), add peppers, add tomatoes, add whatever you like, or leave it all out. Use tinned tomatoes instead of passata – but add tomato puree too. Whatever. You can use flour or corn tortillas too. Get creative!

My recipe is 612 calories for 2 tortillas is 612 calories. So it’s still not super low in calories but is fine for dinner if you’ve been good in the day.

http://thirty-quid.blogspot.co.uk/2010/07/beef-and-lentil-enchiladas.html

Lentil and mince enchiladas

Serves 2

  • 50g lentils (I used red as these cook fastest)
  • 1 tbsp oil
  • 1 onion
  • 150g beef mince (I used lean steak)
  • 1/2 tin sweetcorn
  • 200ml passata
  • 75ml beef stock
  • 2 tbsp fajita seasoning (or make your own)
  • 1 tbsp chopped jalapenos (or use fresh chillis instead)
  • 2 tomatoes, chopped
  • salt & pepper
  • 4-5 tortillas (I used corn)
  • 4 tbsp herby soured cream
  • 50g cheddar cheese, grated
  1. Preheat the oven to 200 degrees celsius.
  2. Boil the lentils in water until soft and mushy. Drain and set aside.
  3. Meanwhile, heat the oil in a pan and add the onion. Cook on a medium heat until translucent but not browned.
  4. Add the mince, turning up the heat and frying until browned, breaking lumps up with the spatula.
  5. Add in the jalapenos, sweetcorn, fajita seasoning and tomatoes. Cook out for a couple of minutes.
  6. In a bowl combine the passata and beef stock.
  7. Add 2/3 of the passata mix to the pan, mixing well.
  8. Add in the lentils and 1/3 of the cheese and give it another stir.
  9. Remove from the heat. Take a tortilla and fill the middle with the mix (I find a couple of spoonfuls usually does it).
  10. Roll and place with seam downwards in a rectangular baking tray or dish. Repeat until all the tortillas are filled.
  11. Pour the rest of the passata mix over the rolled tortillas and then dollop the soured cream over. Sprinkle with the remaining cheese.
  12. Place in the oven for about 20 minutes until cooked through and the cheese is melted and golden.
  13. Carefully remove from the pan with a spatula and serve (with a green salad perhaps?)
  14. Enjoy 🙂
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Italian lemon chicken: Pollo alla Cacciatora

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This is utterly delicious. If you don’t cook anything else – cook this. It’s super easy too, and could be done on a week night easily enough. It’s also bikini diet friendly at 475 calories. High in protein, no carbs and fully of zesty flavour. The skin gives it more flavour and keeps it juicy, but if you are really panicking at the sight of your cellulite, then take it off to reduce the calories and fat.

The recipe comes from my Italian Comfort Food cookbook by Julia Della Croce. I’m not sure I actually altered the recipe by much at all – I added in less wine and olive oil than the recipe suggested and used a smaller chicken, but apart from that, it’s pretty much the same. I used a whole chicken as the recipe suggests – this is actually a pretty cheap option considering the price of whole chickens compared to buying thighs or breasts, and I made chicken soup out of the what was left on the carcass – so that’s lunches sorted for a couple of days – bargain!

But if you prefer, you can do this with drumstick and thighs or breasts. You can do a leg and thigh per person or a breast and drumstick per person.

I have capers so I used them and they do add to the tart flavour, but if you don’t have them it doesn’t matter too much, just leave them out. You can also leave out the chilli flakes if you’re wanting a mild flavour – but to be honest they don’t really make it spicy, just add to the overall zesty tartness.

Italian Lemon Chicken

Serves 4

  • 1 small-medium sized chicken (about 1.3 – 1.7kg) or chicken pieces to the same amount
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 5 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • handful of chopped fresh rosemary or 2 tsp dried
  • handful of chopped fresh sage, or 2 tsp dried
  • 60g green olives, drained and sliced
  • 100ml white wine
  • 1.5 tbsp white wine vinegar
  • 1 tbsp capers, finely chopped
  • 2 lemons, 1 finely sliced into rounds, the other pips removed and finely chopped (both with rind on)
  • 1 tsp chilli flakes
  • salt & pepper to taste
  1. Cut the whole chicken up into legs, wings, breasts and anything else you can get off the carcass. Then make chicken stock from the carcass. Heat the oil in a large high sided pan and when its hot add the chicken pieces and fry on both sides until browned.
  2. Remove the chicken and drain on kitchen towel. Pour off all but about 1 tbsp of the oil. Allow to cool (until it stops smoking).
  3. Then on a low heat, add the onion, garlic, rosemary and sage, frying until the onion is translucent but not browned.
  4. Add the chicken pieces back in, along with the olives. Carefully stir to mix.
  5. Next add the wine, vinegar, lemons, and chilli flakes. Bring to the boil, then reduce to a low simmer and partially cover for about 20 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through. Add water if it becomes too dry.
  6. Taste the sauce for seasoning and add as needed.
  7. Serve immediately with new potatoes, mash or hunks of farmhouse bread. Or just have on its own
  8. Enjoy the zesty flavours 🙂
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Chicken Channa Dhal

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I know, it’s been a while. My new job is being quite demanding, as it my social life! I can’t promise more posts in the near future, but I do promise, whatever I do post will be quality.

Mr J and Kaz were both in need of comfort food. It was post a big weekend (what weekend isn’t one of those at the moment?!) and they were feeling delicate. And so I made Chicken Dhal. As far as I’m concerned there’s nothing more comforting than dhal. We had it with naan. It’s also very healthy and low in fat and calories and all those things so great for the bikini diets – maybe have it with chappattis instead of naans. You can, of course, eat it with rice too.

According to my calories in recipes site, theres 352 calories, so with a naan of about 150 calories, you’ve got a perfect dinner meal at 500 calories. Or just leave out the naan if you’re really going for it!

Channa Dhal is really dried yellow split peas rather than strictly lentils but they still come in the same category.

I found the recipe here and more or less followed it, just adding in mushrooms for more vege, and leaving out the leeks, replacing them with onions. I also added garlic and ginger because they’re great for stomachs and no Indian recipe is without them as far as I’m concerned.

http://www.celtnet.org.uk/recipes/miscellaneous/fetch-recipe.php?rid=misc-chicken-chana-dhal

And here’s my version:

Chicken Channa Dhal

Serves 3

  • 100g channa dhal, rinsed
  • 1 tsp coriander seeds
  • 1 tbsp sunflower, vegetable, walnut, peanut oil etc
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • a small piece of fresh ginger, peeled & grated
  • pinch of curry leaves
  • 3 small red chillis, finely chopped (de seed if you don’t want too spicy or replace with 1 large chilli)
  • 1 tsp mustard seeds
  • 2 chicken breasts, chopped into bite size pieces
  • 6-7 closed cup mushrooms, sliced
  • 3 tomatoes, finely chopped
  • 2 tsp amchoor powder (use 1tbsp tamarind puree or lime juice instead if you don’t have)
  • 1 tsp chilli powder
  • salt & pepper
  • handful of chopped fresh coriander
  1. Boil the dhal in plenty of water until cooked through – this takes about 20-25 minutes (channa dhal takes longer – you can tell when its done when the middle goes from opaque to more transparent and they double up in size). Then drain and set aside until needed.
  2. Meanwhile, toast the coriander seeds until they start to pop. Then tip into a pestle and mortar and grind to a rough powder
  3. Heat the oil in a large saucepan or wok. When it’s hot add the onion, garlic, ginger, curry leaves, fresh chillis, coriander seeds and mustard seeds. Fry for a few minutes until the onion starts to brown and the mustard seeds pop.
  4. Then add the chicken and mushrooms and cook until the chicken whitens on the outside.
  5. Add the tomatoes, amchoor powder, salt & pepper to taste and chilli powder.
  6. Reduce the heat and dry fry, stiring constantly until the chicken is cooked through – about 7 minutes.
  7. Add the cooked lentils and the coriander and stir through for a minute.
  8. Serve immediately with naan or chappattis.
  9. Enjoy 🙂
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Tamarind and lime chicken curry

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As you know, I love tamarind. So when I found this recipe for tamarind and lime curry, I had to try it. There was a distinct lack of chilli in it though, so I added some quite generously! And it was absolutely delicious – let the sauce simmer and thicken for quite a while – it’s just delicious and perfect for dipping naan bread in. Plus the longer you cook the chicken the more it just falls off the bone. It’s still very doable as a midweek meal though – I think it would take 40-45 minutes.

This curry doesn’t have much vege (and you know how I love to have vege in everything) so we had a potato and aubergine takari side dish, which was also very delicious and I’ll blog about in a later post. It went with the curry very well. We didn’t bother with rice, we just had some naan with it (which we didn’t really eat much of either – the potatoes being filling enough).

The original recipe is here http://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/1852638/coconut-and-tamarind-chicken-curry

I did vary it somewhat. I didn’t bother to bake it, I just did it all on the hob and bunged the chicken in the sauce to cook. I also didn’t bother with coconut cream – and it really didn’t need it. And I used low fat coconut milk to reduce the calories.

It’s actually a pretty healthy option – the original recipe is 466 calories a serving, without the cream and with reduced fat coconut milk – it’s going to be less – perhaps nearer to 400 calories. With the takari and naan – you’re looking at 6-700 calories max.

You could also replace the chicken with a firm white fish for a fish curry version, or add veges to keep it vegetarian and vegan friendly – or for a lower fat option.

Tamarind and lime chicken curry

Serves 3-4

  • 6-8 skinned chicken leg pieces (thighs and drumsticks) on the bone
  • Juice and zest of 2 limes
  • 2 small green chillis, finely chopped
  • salt & pepper
  • 2 tbsp oil (I used peanut, but sunflower, vegetable etc is also good – not olive or sesame)
  • 1.5 tsp mustard seeds
  • small handful of curry leaves
  • 2 medium onions, finely chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, crushed
  • small piece of ginger, peeled and grated
  • 2 tsp paprika
  • 2 tsp chilli powder
  • 1 can tomatoes plus 200ml passata or 2 cans tomatoes and 1 tbsp tomato puree
  • 1 can reduced fat coconut milk
  • 200 ml chicken stock
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp tamarind pulp
  • 1 tbsp chopped fresh coriander
  • 2 large green chillis, sliced
  1. Put the chicken in a dish enough for it to spread out. Add the lime juice and zest, small green chillis, salt & pepper. Mix well to coat and set aside until needed.
  2. Heat 1 tbsp oil in a large saucepan or flameproof casserole dish (that has a lid). Add the mustard seeds & curry leaves until they start to pop. Then reduce the heat, add the onions and cover. Allow to cook slowly for about 10 minutes, until softened and browned, stirring occasionally.
  3. Whilst the onions are browning, heat the remaining oil in a frying pan. Remove the chicken from the marinade and fry on either side until browned. You may need to do this in batches. Set aside.
  4. Add the garlic and ginger to the onions and turn up the heat again. Cook for about 30 seconds before adding the paprika and chilli powder. Stir well.
  5. Then add the tomatoes and passata or puree, chicken stock and sugar and place the chicken in the pot, covering them with the liquid. Cook on a low heat, covered for about 10-15 minutes.
  6. Then remove the lid and turn up the heat, until the sauce is thickened and reduced.
  7. Then stir through the coconut milk and tamarind. Simmer for a further 5 minutes or until the sauce is a nice deep red in colour and thick.
  8. Add the coriander and chilli slices, stir again and serve immediately with naan or rice.
  9. Enjoy the delicious tart and sweet flavours 🙂
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Chorizo and feta tortilla

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This one is an entirely made up MrsJacksonCooks recipe! Based on the basic tortilla recipe, with my own things thrown in it. This is great for leftover antipasti and marinaded veges. It’s also very simple to do, and quick so it’s perfect for midweek meals.

My mum brought me back some chorizo from Spain, which was the starting point for this recipe, and also the desire to make something quickly. Uncooked chorizo is best, but cooked chorizo is fine, just cook it for less time.

Chorizo and feta tortilla

Serves 3-4

  • 3-4 medium sized potatoes, peeled and cut into cubes
  • 70g chorizo, sliced on the diagonal
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 large red chillis, sliced
  • 1 red pepper sliced, or 4-5 marinaded pepper pieces sliced
  • handful of olives, drained and halved
  • 6 eggs beaten
  • 100g feta cheese, crumbled
  • salt & pepper
  • handful of chopped fresh parsley or basil
  1. Boil the potatoes until cooked, about 15 minutes. Drain and set aside til needed.
  2. Meanwhile preheat the grill on high.
  3. Then heat a large frying pan on a medium heat. Add the chorizo and fry until it starts to release it’s juices. Then add the onion and fry until softened and starting to brown.
  4. Then add the garlic and chilli and fry for another couple of minutes.
  5. Next add the peppers and olives, stirring them through well.
  6. Beat the eggs together with some salt, pepper and the feta cheese. Then stir in the parsley
  7. Add the potatoes stirring well to coat in the chorizo juices.
  8. Spread it all out so it’s evenly spaced around the pan, then pour over the egg mix, ensuring even distribution. Tip the pan to allow it to move around the pan to even it out.
  9. Cook on a medium heat until it’s done underneath. Then pop under the grilled until cooked and golden on top.
  10. Serve immediately with a green salad
  11. Enjoy 🙂
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Stuffed roasted peppers

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This is a super easy midweek recipe. And healthy too. It’s a bit like keema dhal in a pepper. I found the original recipe on BBC good food but because I didn’t have much mince (just some left over in the fridge) I added the lentils as well.

You can easily do with it beef or turkey mince instead, or quorn. It’s very versatile and really great for something different.

Here’s the original recipe http://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/13311/peppers-baked-with-lamb-and-rice

And here’s mine!

Keema dhal stuffed peppers

Serves 2

  • 150g minced lamb
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 80g red or green lentils
  • 50g raw rice (or 100g cooked)
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • ½ tsp cinnamon
  • ½ tsp ground cumin
  • ½ tsp dried oregano
  • a pinch chilli flakes (optional)
  • 1 tbsp tomato purée
  • 100ml chicken stock
  • 1 tbsp flat-leaf parsley , chopped
  • 2 tbsp chopped flaked almonds
  1. Preheat the oven to 200 degrees celsius. Cut the peppers in half, leaving the stalk on, but removing the pith and seeds. Place on a baking tray and drizzle over a little oil and some salt. Put in the oven to cook for about 20 minutes. Drain off any water that collects in the peppers.
  2. Meanwhile, cook the rice as per your usual method, and boil the lentils in salted water until soft. Drain both and set aside.
  3. Heat the remaining oil in a pan and fry the onion and garlic over a medium heat until translucent but not coloured. Add the spices and stir for another minute. Then add the mince and fry until browned, breaking it up with the spatula.
  4. Add the tomato puree, chicken stock, almonds and parsley. Stir well to combine, then reduce the heat to low and allow to bubble off some of the liquid.
  5. Stir the rice and lentils into the mince mixture and remove from the heat.
  6. Remove the peppers from the oven and spoon the mixture into each until its over full.
  7. Return to the oven and cook for a further 20-30 minutes or until crispy on top and the peppers chargrilled.
  8. Serve and eat immediately! 🙂
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