Thursday, March 22, 2012

Cream of Something Soup

It's a little cooler and raining at Lantanaland and I was feeling like a bit of comfort food. I felt like lasagna and The Wife wanted a bit more veg in it. I do a great slow roasted veg lasagna but it takes a little time to do and the cooking window is a little narrower with Curtis running around.

The next best thing would be soup I reckoned. I always keep some of my awesome pigs trotter stock in the fridge and I felt like some cream of something soup. I make this soup, or versions of it all the time as soon as the temperature drops below 30 degrees.

Take any combination of leeks, garlic, onion and celery and sweat that off in some butter. Add the stock and a diced potato. Sometimes I add some cauliflower, tonight it was a tin of chick peas. Simmer until the potato is soft then blitz it up into a purée. Add milk or cream or sour cream and blitz till the right consistency. I usually fry up a bit of bacon and sprinkle that on top but tonight all I had was some chorizo so that went on top with a bit of grated parmesan.

It's a simple soup but with good stock it becomes something fantastic. Lantanaland's sometime boarder Uncle Ryan thought it was the best soup he'd ever had. I'd hate to think how much I'd make it if it actually got cold.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Beeso Curry

I love it when you are confident enough in the building blocks of cooking that you can go 'off the reservation' and cook something delicious without following any recipe at all. I have a small amount of this knowledge I guess, mostly from Italian or French style cooking that allows me to just throw stuff together along those lines. Asian flavours and ideas though are my kryptonite.

I don't mind Indian food but lack the confidence to do it from scratch, relying on a tinned or bottled sauce on the rare occasion I cook it at home. I'm not a massive fan of premade sauces so we don't have much curry. The other day I felt like one though and had a bash at something completely unauthentic. Normally I would look up a recipe and get a feel for ingredients and rough amounts but I just threw some stuff together.

In the fry pan went cumin seeds, a bit of cardoman seed, coriander seed and bit of cinnamon stick. Once warmed it was bashed up with salt and turmeric. Meanwhile in the blender went three different types of chilli, lemongrass, garlic and ginger and some olive oil. The fact that I had all these ingredients in the kitchen or garden might have influenced the list a little. I pulsed all the fresh stuff up, adding a little oil to loosen then added the spices and one brown onion in chunks. I ended up with a highly aromatic paste.

Into my highly expensive Aldi French oven went some diced lamb and once browned I added the paste and cooked it off. Then I added some tinned tomatoes, coconut cream, diced potatoes and for the hell of it, sultanas. Topped it up with a little water, lid on and in the oven for two hours at a medium low heat.

Served up, with papadums and lots of yoghurt, it turned out to be bloody delicious. The Wife was most appreciative.
"This is good, what is it?"
"Beeso curry"
"Yes I KNOW that, but what type is it supposed to be, korma, rogan josh, what?"
"No, that's what I meant, it's Beeso curry, from Beeso"

Of course I'll never make it that way exactly again, not in a million years, but it was good!