Roasted red pepper & aubergine dip

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Dips are possibly the easiest starter to knock up when you have guests and this is no exception. Very scrummy and well received, this creation will continue being made.

Ingredients:
Aubergine (peeled and cut into 16)
3 red peppers (chopped in half and deseeded)
Large or two small red onions (peeled, left whole)
Large or two small cloves of garlic
Red chili (deseeded)
Tbsp sesame oil
Tsp tamari
Tbsp tahini
Juice of half a lime
2 tbsp cooking juices or stock*

Method:
– preheat the oven to 180 degrees

– place all the veggies in a bowl and coat well in the sesame oil and tamari

– place on the baking tray and cook for 30 mins

– allow to cool down, then whiz together with the lime, tahini and cooking juices/stock until smooth

– serve with carrot batons and cucumber discs

*I was cooking a roast pork, so used some of the juices from the bottom of the pan. The juice from any roast would work in this, alternatively you could use veg or meat stock

 

Baba Ganoush

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I usually make some kind of dip when we’re entertaining or packing lunch for a picnic – they’re quick & simple to make and easy to eat with fingers. This fab middle eastern classic is one we shall be having a lot of this summer.

Ingredients:
Large aubergine
Small red onion or half a large one
2 tsp sesame oil
2 tsp tamari
3 minced garlic cloves
3 tbsp tahini
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
Tbsp fresh lemon zest
Tbsp fresh lemon juice
Tbsp fresh coriander
1/4 tsp ground cumin

Method:
– preheat the oven to 180 degrees

– top, tail and peel the aubergine and cut into 16. Along with the peeled onion, place on a non stick baking sheet and coat with the oil and tamari. Roast for 30 mins

– allow to cool, then put the aubergine and onion into your blender with all the other ingredients and whizz until smooth

 

Three ways with lamb shoulder

We often buy a whole shoulder of lamb for roasting purposes then eat the leftovers during the following week, ensuring that one piece of meat goes a long way. Here’s what we had this week…

WHOLE ROASTED LAMB SHOULDER:

Ingredients:
1.5kg lamb shoulder
3 red onions (peeled and quartered)
10 cloves of garlic (peeled, left whole)
3 large sprigs of fresh rosemary (leaves removed from the stalk)
50ml balsamic vinegar
Large knob of butter (chopped into 8 squares)
Tbsp anchovy paste

Method:
– preheat the oven to 200 degrees

– coat the skin of the lamb with the anchovy paste

– scatter the butter, onions, garlic and rosemary on the bottom of a sturdy casserole pot and drizzle over the balsamic vinegar, then place the coated lamb on top of the veg

– cook for half an hour then turn the oven down to 160, put the lid of the casserole on the dish and cook for a further two hours

– let the meat rest for 20-30 mins before serving with green veg and half the balsamicy onions & garlic

LEFTOVER LAMB with AUBERGINE, RED PEPPERS & BROCCOLI:

Ingredients:
Half the leftover lamb from the shoulder recipe above (chopped into 1 inch chunks)
The rest of the balsamicy onions & garlic from above (there will also be some hardened lamb fat in the pot)
2 red peppers (de-seeded and quartered)
Large aubergine (cut into 16)
200g broccoli (purple sprouting if you’re lucky enough to get hold of it, regular if not, chopped into bite sized pieces)
Tbsp tamari
Tbsp sesame oil

Method
– preheat the oven to 180 degrees

– coat the aubergine and peppers in the sesame oil and tamari, place on a roasting tray and bake for half an hour

– when the above is five minutes from being done heat the onions and garlic in a large pan over a med heat

– once the fat has melted, add the leftover lamb and broccoli and cook with the lid on. You may need to add a little drop of water to the pan at this stage

– once cooked stir in the roasted aubergine and peppers and serve immediately

THAI STYLE LEFTOVER LAMB:

Ingredients:
Other half of the leftover lamb from the shoulder recipe above (chopped into 1 inch chunks)
3 courgettes (top & tailed and peeled)
Large carrot (top & tailed and peeled)
Small red onion (peeled and sliced thin)
4 cloves of garlic (crushed)
Small red chili (de-seeded and chopped very small)
Tbsp fresh ginger (grated or chopped very small as per chili)
2 tbsp Thai fish sauce
Juice of half a lime
Tbsp sesame oil
Tbsp almond butter
Tbsp tamari
Tbsp honey
Tbsp fresh coriander

Method:
– mix together the chili, lime, fish sauce, tamari, honey, ginger and almond butter in a bowl and use it to coat the meat – leave to marinade while you prep everything else

– use a speed peeler to make very thin strips out of your carrot and courgette

– heat the sesame oil in a wok over a med-high heat and sautée the onion for a few mins until soft, then add the garlic and cook for another minute

– add the meat and all the juice, then the carrot and courgette

– cook with a lid on for about three minutes until the meat is cooked through and the veg is soft

– sprinkle with fresh coriander and serve immediately

Goan style vegan curry

I’ve always been a huge fan of Indian food, and was delighted to discover I could make curries from scratch without it being too difficult or needing too many additional ingredients to the ones I usually have in my fridge or cupboards. This Goan style curry is exceptionally speedy, in fact you could probably make it quicker than the local curry house could deliver!

Ingredients (to serve two):
Med sized sweet potato, peeled & diced into 1cm cubes
Med sized aubergine, peeled & diced into 1inch cubes
Small red onion, finely diced
2 cloves of garlic, crushed
1inch piece of ginger, finely grated
1/2 fresh red chilli, finely diced (or a whole one if you want it really hot)
400ml coconut milk
1 tsp tamarind paste
2 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp ground turmeric

Method:
– sweat the onions and garlic in a little oil over a med heat
– add the spices, ginger, chilli and tamarind and stir well
– add the aubergine and sweet potato ensuring you coat them thoroughly
– pour over the coconut milk a little at a time
– bring to the boil then turn down to a simmer, and cook on a very low heat with the lid on for for 20-30 mins
– serve with rice & naan bread