Tag Archives: stock

Shepherd’s Pie


Everybody knows about Shepherd’s Pie. I hope. 😉 I really like this dish and when I have first eaten it, I didn’t know what to expect. I discovered a very tasty and homey food. It makes me smile just talking about it. That is why I have made it several times and I would do it again, on a freezing winter day. It goes very well with boiled vegetables and a red wine. And a warm heart. 🙂

Shepherd’s Pie

Serves 4-6

Ingredients:

  • 2 tbsp oil
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 1 carrot, finely chopped
  • 115 g (4 oz) mushrooms, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 500 g (1 1/4 lb) lean chuck steak, minced (ground)
  • 150 ml (1/4 pt) red wine
  • 150 ml (1/4 pt) beef stock (if you don’t want to use wine, just put 300 ml of beef stock  or water)
  • bay leaf
  • 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 2-3 dashes Tabasco sauce
  • 1 tbsp plain flour
  • 1 tbsp tomato purée (paste)
  • 675 g (1 1/2 lb) potatoes, boiled
  • 25 g (1 oz) butter
  • 3 tbsp hot milk
  • 5 medium tomatoes, sliced
  • 3 tbsp chopped fresh tarragon
  • salt
  • pepper

Method:

  • Heat the oil in a saucepan or big pan, add the onion, carrot,mushrooms  and garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, until browned. Stir the beef into the pan and cook, stirring to break up the lumps, until lightly browned.
  • Blend a few spoonfuls of the stock or water with the flour, then stir this mixture into the pan. Stir in the remaining stock or water and wine, and bring to a simmer, stirring. Add the bay leaf, Worcestershire sauce, Tabasco sauce, tomato purée (paste), the cover and cook very gently for 1 hour, stirring occasionally. Uncover the pan towards the end of cooking to allow any excess water to evaporate, if necessary.
  • Preheat the oven to 190 °C, 375 °F, Gas Mark 5.
  • Put the potatoes in a pan with water, to boil, until very tender. Drain then mash with the butter, milk and seasoning.
  • Add the tarragon and seasoning to the mince in the pan, then pour into a pie dish or baking dish.Top with a layer of sliced tomatoes, then an even layer of potato. Mark the top with the prongs of a fork.
  • Bake for about 25 minutes, until golden brown.

Bon appetite!

Chicken Badam Pasanda


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

Serves 4-5

Preparation time: 2 1/2 hours

Cooking time: 30 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 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

Method:

  • 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.

Bon appetite!

Chicken Curry


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

Chicken Curry

Ingredients:

  • 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)

Method:

  • 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.

Bon appetite!

Roast Lamb With a Redcurrant Jelly Glaze


As you have been accustomed already, the recipes I have gathered here come into 2 languages: Romanian and English.  This one is an English recipe for Easter, you already know that and in my opinion it is very tasty, especially the gravy. I simply adore gravy. I would eat anytime with almost anything. To be sure I have it in Romania I even bought a pack of gravy powder from London, though I know I can make it at home, a much healthier and better solution. But sometimes I won’t bother.

Here is this traditional but marvelous recipe to make for a traditional Easter day, taken from Tesco Magazine.

Roast Lamb With a Redcurrant Jelly Glaze

Serves: 6  Takes: 2h 15 mins

Ingredients:

For the roast

  • 2 tbsp redcurrant jelly
  • 2 tsp dry English mustard (if you don’t have it, you can replace it with any mustard you have )
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 approximately  2,3 kg (5 lb) leg of lamb
  • 2 garlic cloves, cut into thin slivers
  • 2 whole rosemary sprigs, torn
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper

For the gravy:

  • 1 tbsp plain flour
  • 1/2 tbsp dry English mustard
  • 450 ml (3/4 pt) lamb or beef stock (well, boiled water will do, or the water boiled with lamb or beef in it)
  • 1 tbsp redcurrant jelly

Method:

  • Preheat oven to Gas 4, 180°C, 350°F. Combine jelly, mustard and olive oil, and rub all over the lamb. Make small 2,5 cm (1 in) deep incisions all over the lamb and stud with the garlic slivers and rosemary. Season well with salt and black pepper.
  • Transfer the lamb to a roasting tin and cook for 40 minutes per 900 g (2 lb). If the lamb begins to brown too much before the end of cooking, cover it with foil or baking paper (aluminium foil is toxic so try replacing it) and continue cooking. Once cooked, transfer to a serving platter and cover loosely with foil (baking paper and a kitchen towel to keep it in place). Allow to rest for 15 minutes before carving.
  • As the lamb rests, make the gravy. Tip excess fat out of the roasting tin, add flour and mustard to the tin, and stir over a low heat for 1 minute. Pour in stock  a little at a time, stirring as you go to remove lumps. Bring to the boil then simmer for 2 minutes. Stir in redcurrant jelly and season to taste. Serve with the lamb.

Cook’s tip: Stud the lamb with chopped, dried apricots and bacon, or sun-dried tomatoes and black olives. In case you don’t have redcurrant jelly go with any wild fruit jelly.

Bon appetite!

Fragrant Coriander Rice


It is Lent.  I usually keep it for 2 weeks and I always end up feeling light and good. Do you know how we Romanian keep Lent? If  you don’t , let me tell you: no meat, eggs, cheese, milk or any other animal products except fish on certain days. But this will not keep me from keeping it. ;))

I have to admit that the recipes that I picked are almost all with some animal product in them. This one is one of the few that is without. So it is perfect for Lent or any other day. I have taken it from the book “Coriander – A Book of Recipes” and is probably Indian or Arabic, let me know the origin, please. Anyway, it is a very perfumed recipe, fresh and light. I have to admit I am not quite taken about it but the persons who have tried it, shesaid it is very good. This is what happens: I make a recipe that I like and end up saying myself how delicious it is and everybody around is saying the same, but when I make a recipe and say I am not into it, I always have a surprise: people are telling me it is so good. Don’t take me too seriously. I am just a fussy eater. ;))

About the recipe, there are some ingredients you might not find in Romania always. But it is ok, you can replace some, you will find them in brackets, and the rice is delicious all the same.

FRAGRANT CORIANDER RICE

Serves 4

Ingredients:

  • 225 g/ 8 oz/ 1 cup brown basmati rice
  • 15 ml/ 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2,5 cm/ 1 in piece of fresh root ginger, peeled and finely chopped
  • 7,5 ml/ 1 1/2 tsp coriander seeds
  • 7,5/ 1 1/2 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 piece of lemon grass, finely chopped
  • grated rind of 2 limes (or lemons)
  • 750 ml/ 1 1/4 pints/ 3 cups vegetable stock (or plain water)
  • 60 ml/ 4 tbsp chopped fresh coriander
  • lime (lemon) wedges, to serve

Method:

  • Put the rice into a large bowl of cold water. Swill the grains around with your hands, then tip out cloudy water (the rice will quickly sink to the bottom). Repeat this action about five times. If there is time , soak the rice for about 5 minutes.
  • Heat the oil in a large saucepan and add the onion, spices, lemon grass and grated lime rind. Cook gently for 2-3 minutes.
  • Add the rice, turning it in the mixture to coat the grains. Cook for 1 minute more, then add the stock and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat to very low and cover the pan. Cook gently for 30 minutes, then check the rice; if it still crunchy, cover the pan again and leave for a further 3-5 minutes. Remove from the heat.
  • Stir in the fresh coriander, fluff up the grains, cover the pan and leave for 10 minutes. Serve at once, with lime wedges.

Cook’s Tip

Other varieties of rice, such as white basmati or long grain can be used for this dish, but you will need to adjust the cooking times accordingly.

Bon appetite!