I feel so relieved! My exams are over. So is my stress. I can continue writing here, without thinking that I have an exam tomorrow or I have to learn for one. So I add today the recipe I put some weeks ago in Romanian. This is the English recipe of mousaka, the Greek type . But this one comes with a twist: it has Gruyère cheese in it. I loved it the moment I put my eyes on it, as it has cheese and aubergines, one of my favorite vegetables. Plus, it is traditional to make with aubergines, not potatoes. I have made mousaka with potatoes some years ago just to see how it tasted, but I didn’t like it. My fave is this one. If you are lucky to have this book: Josceline Dimbley “Marvellous Meals with Mince” – 1982, than you can just skip this.
What I like about this recipe is that it has exotic spices like cinnamon and nutmeg, that add a special flavour and fragrance to the dish.
Mousaka with Gruyère Cheese
- 550-675 g (1 1/4 – 1 1/2 lb) aubergines (approx. 3)
- lemon juice
- 2 onions
- 25 g (1 oz) butter (80-82 unsalted butter, if you find)
- 450 g (1 lb) lamb mince (you can add half lamb and half beef mince if you like)
- 1 tsp (5 ml spoon) ground cinnamon
- 2 tbsp tomato purée
- 6 tbsp water
- a good handful of parsley, chopped
- 200 g (8 oz) Gruyère cheese, sliced thinly (the original recipe states 100 g, but my experience has shown me that it is not enough, plus I love cheese, so there is never enough for me)
- salt and pepper
For the topping:
- 50 g (2 oz) butter
- 50 g (2 oz) plain flour
- 450 ml (3/4 pint) milk
- a little grated nutmeg
- 2 egg yolks
- 2 tbsp single cream
- salt and black pepper
- Peel the aubergines, slice into 1/4 – 1/2 inch (5 mm – 1cm) rounds and immediately smear with lemon juice to prevent discoloration. Then rub all over with salt and leave in a colander in the sink for half an hour, to drain away the bitter juices. I can tell you that there won’t be much or no bitter juices.
- Peel and chop the onions. To do this I have discovered in London the excellent Alligator Onion Cutter. I hate cutting onion so I have purchased one there. I saw it in Selfridge and other stores. It is worth it having one, believe me. Heat the butter in a large frying pan and cook the onion over a gentle heat until softened. Add the minced lamb and fry over a rather higher heat, stirring and breaking up with a wooden spoon until it is separated and sealed. Stir in the ground cinnamon and a good seasoning of salt and pepper. Then stir in the tomato purée and water and bubble until the water is absorbed. Turn of the heat and stir in the chopped parsley.
- Bring a large pan of water to the boil and empty the aubergine slices into it. Cover the pan and boil for 2 minutes. Drain and rinse in cold water.
- In a 2 1/2 – 3 pint (1,4 – 1,7 litre) ovenproof dish (a glass one shows tha layers attractively) make layers of aubergine slices, mince mixture and Gruyère cheese, starting and ending with a layer of aubergine.
- To make the topping, melt the butter in a saucepan, remove from the heat and stir in the flour. Stir in the milk, gradually at first. Bring to the boil, stirring all the time and then bubble gently, still stirring, for about 3 minutes. Season lightly with salt and black pepper add a little grated nutmeg. What a lovely flavour!Remove from the heat.
- Whisk the egg yolks with the cream and gradually add the white sauce, stirring in thoroughly. If the sauce is al all lumpy, whisk until smooth and then pour on tp of the aubergine and meat layers.
- Heat the oven to Gas Mark 4/ 180°C, 350°F and bake in the centre of the oven for 45 minutes, until a rich golden brown on top.
Posted in Beef, Dishes, English, F word, Greek, Lamb
Tagged aubergine, beef mince, black pepper, butter, cinnamon, egg yolk, flour, greek food, greek recipe, Gruyere cheese, Josceline Dimbley, Josceline Dimbley Marvellous Meals with Mince, lamb mince, lemon juice, Marvellous Meals with Mince, milk, minced meat recipe, mousaka, mousaka recipe, Mousaka with Gruyère Cheese recipe, mousaka with Gruyere cheese, nutmeg, onion, parsley, salt, single cream, tomato puree
Have you eaten this food? If not, you either don’t like Indian food, and you lose nothing or you do and lose one of the tastiest chicken recipes you have ever eaten in your life. I know you may not agree with me here, this is only my humble opinion. 🙂
I started writing about Indian recipes for the moment and I thought of some that are worth knowing about. Chicken Badam Pasanda is one of them. I have it from the cookbook “Golden India – Indian Recipes” 1996. I was told that this book has the recipes closer to the original in their native land. I guess that most of the time, the international recipes in cookbooks are adapted to reach more people. And probably, the tastes differ. Not much, but there is a difference.
But no food is worth anything unless you share it with someone. I saw yesterday “Woman on top” and I thought that she was right: “the last and most important ingredient is to share it with someone you love.” All this talk about food and recipes, tastes and flavours, they are just bed-times stories. 🙂 I let you try this wonderfully tasty dish and share it. Share it with all your heart. Sharing is the magic ingredient.
Chicken Badam Pasanda
Chicken Steaks In An Almond Flavoured Sauce
Preparation time: 2 1/2 hours
Cooking time: 30 minutes
- 10 pcs chicken breasts (medium size), cleaned, flattened
- 50 g (1/2 cup) almonds, blanched and sliced
- 340 ml (1 3/4 cups) chicken stock
- 8 – 10 cloves
- 4 tsp coriander, chopped (optional)
- 1 tbsp corn flour (or plain flour if you don’t have corn flour)
- 3 tbsp garlic paste
- 3 tbsp ginger paste
- 5-6 green cardamoms
- 210 ml (1 1/4 cup) oil
- 2 onions (medium-sized), finely chopped
- 1 g saffron, dissolved in 1 tsp milk
- salt to taste
- 1 tsp white pepper powder
- 1 cup yoghurt
- Keep aside 6-7 blanched almonds. Grind the rest into a paste and keep aside.
- Rub ginger and garlic paste into the steaks. Whisk yoghurt and salt together in a bowl and coat the chicken pieces evenly with it. Keep aside for 2 hours. It smells so cover the bowl with plastic foil. I would try to do this in the evening and keep everything for the next day or early in the morning. That way, the chicken breasts marinade better. But you do as you like.
- Heat oil in a pan and fry the steaks till almost done. Remove and keep aside. At this time they smell like heaven. Try not to eat them yet. The best is yet to come.
- In the same oil, sauté onions, cardamoms and cloves. Stir in the almond paste, fry a while, then add white pepper powder, chicken stock and flour. Cook till the gravy is rich, smooth and thick.
- Remove from fire, strain the sauce to remove whole spices and reheat.
- Add the steaks to the gravy and let it simmer for 10 minutes or until the chicken is tender. Add dissolved saffron.
- To serve, garnish with sliced almonds and chopped coriander (optional). Serve hot, accompanied by Naan or Parantha bread. I have it eaten Naan bread, it is soo delicious, but if you don’t have it go with basmati rice. You can never be wrong with this one. Just mix it after boiling, with butter or not.
Posted in Chicken, Dishes, English, F word, Indian
Tagged almond, almond flavoured sauce, basmati rice, cardamom, chicken, Chicken Badam Pasanda, chicken badam pasanda recipe, chicken breasts, chicken steakes, chicken steakes in an almond flavoured sauce, clove, coriander, corn flour, garlic paste, ginger paste, Indian food, indian recipe, Naan bread, onion, Parantha bread, saffron, sauce, stock, yoghurt
I know. You know. Curry is one of the tastier dishes I have ever eaten. I hadn’t heard about Indian food until I went to London. There I discovered the international cuisine. And the tastes behind it. I can’t believe how lucky I am.
I have many favorite recipes and one among them is curry. Any curry. I have cooked and eaten fish, chicken, lamb curry and other Indian recipes that are absolutely delicious. I am only sorry that in Romania I can’t cook them all. For some dishes there are absolutely no spices here and there is no way I can replace them. If I do that it will be no longer an Indian recipe. Too bad. My wish is to make accessible the recipes for those who love cooking in Romania. I know that sometimes is impossible or let’s say it is impossible for the moment. I hope for the best. 🙂
For today I have mixed two curry recipes I have, to try to make an easy one. The taste of India remains. 🙂 So
- 350 g skinless chicken breasts, cut into 2-5 cm (1 in) pieces (or you can try with 2 chicken breasts)
- 30 g butter (or more for more chicken)
- 2 packets of curry powder (this is how you find it here and I have to say I am not at all satisfied about its quality, or about 2 tbsp of really good curry powder)
- 1 large (about 200 g) onion, sliced
- 1 clove garlic, crushed
- 1 tbsp chopped fresh lemon grass
- 1/2 tsp red chili flakes (for a spicier recipe, yummy ;)) )
- 2 tsp chopped fresh coriander
- 2 tsp lime juice (or lemon juice)
- 1/2 tsp cumin seeds
- 1/2 tsp turmeric
- 1/2 tsp fish sauce (optional)
- 1 tsp sugar
- a pinch of pepper
- 2 tsp plain flour
- 300 ml chicken stock
- 1 can coconut milk (you can make it by putting 75-100 g coconut in a bowl, pour over the 300 boiling water and leave to stand for 30 minutes. I have done this and I don’t like it. There is nothing as good as the coconut in the can or if you are reaaaaaaly lucky, the milk from a fresh coconut)
- Heat butter in a pan, add chicken, cook, stirring, until browned and tender; drain on absorbent paper. You can buy the chicken meat ready cooked but you will never beat the taste and smell of a freshly buttered cooked meat.
- Reheat the pan, add onion, garlic, lemon grass, chili, coriander, juice, seeds, turmeric and sauce, curry powder, pepper, cook , stirring, until the onion is soft. Stir in chicken, sugar and flour, then the stock and milk, stir over heat until mixture boils and thickens.
- Serve with the best Indian rice: basmati rice.
Posted in Chicken, Dishes, English, F word, Indian
Tagged basmati rice, butter, chicken, chicken breasts, chicken curry, chicken curry recipe, chili flakes, coconut milk, coriander, cumin, curry, curry powder, fish sauce, flour, garlic, Indian food, indian recipe, lemon, lemon grass, lime, Naan, onion, pepper, stock, turmeric