Sunday, 20 June 2010

Coconut Rice

One thing's been conspicously absent from my blog so far: desserts.
That's not because I don't like them - oh noes! I <3 dessert. But truth be told, all my favorite desserts have one thing in common: cream. Clotted cream, whipped cream, cooked cream ... and cream is the thing my tummy reacts most violently to. I tried. I tried with lactate pills. Which make it somewhat better. But somewhat better is still misery. And solitary confinement ... yes, it really is that bad.
Anyhoo, today I finally had it - I had lovely fresh strawberries, and wanted something pud-like to go with them. That's how this coconut rice came to be.

Coconut rice

1 cup of rice - I prefer short grained for this, but you can pretty much use any rice. Brown rice adds a nice nutty flavour, for example.
1 cup of coconut milk
2-3 cups of almond milk
(optional) vanilla pod or essence, almond essence, honey to taste

I use a microwave rice-cooker for this. The rice goes in there, with the coconut milk and one cup of almond milk, as well as vanilla, almond essence and one tablespoon of honey. Then it goes into the microwave, on 100% for 5 minutes. Take it out, open (very carefully!! You don't want to burn yourself with the steam!) and give it a stir. Add one more cup of liquid, back into the microwave, 50% for another 5 minutes. Take out, stir once more, if needed, add some more liquid. Put in for another 5 minutes on 50%. It should be done now, but rice, microwaves and rice-cookers vary, so taste it and if need be, put it back into the microwave for a another few minutes; the rice should have soaked up all liquid and be cooked throughout but not mushy.
Serve with fresh fruit or compote.

Friday, 18 June 2010

Hot and sour soup

I just stumbled about this photo from last week's cooking session. It's a hot and sour soup I made from the leftovers of a roast duck.

Hot and sour soup

Roast duck carcass (chicken or turkey will do fine, too)
Vegetables (I used peas, sweetcorn, mushrooms)
1 chili (or to taste)
2 tablespoons of ketchup
1-2 tablespoons of vinegar (depending on what you use - rice would be authentic, I only had white vine vinegar)
1/2 tablespoon of sugar
1/2 liter of chicken stock
1 egg
corn starch
soy sauce
sesame oil

Pick the left-over meat from the carcass of your roast bird. Bring stock to boil, add meat, chopped chili, ketchup, sugar, soy sauce. Let simmer for a few mins, add vegetables. Beat the egg in a bowl, pour into soup and keep stirring so the egg is well dispersed.
Mix 1 heaped teaspoon of corn starch with cold water, pour in - you might have to use a bit more or less to get the binding right.
Finish off by adding soy sauce to taste and a bit sesame oil.

Thursday, 17 June 2010

Wild times

So I've been a bit lazy with my blogging here. And now I can't even post photos as my camera doesn't like the cheapo batteries from the pound shop, and refuses to let me transfer my pics. Ach, well - I'll post them later. Update: Added picture.

What have I been up to? Well, still struggling with my tummy being unreasonable. Some days are fine, others it seems I only need to look at dairy and feel miserable. And frankly, given some developments in other areas of my life, I don't need more misery. No, Sir, thank you, Ma'am.

Which encourages me to give all sorts of dairy a wide berth. My cookery of late included red lentil soup, roast beef topside with porcini risotto, slow-cooked ribs (I don't know what it is, but I often crave ribs as comfort food), home-made pizza, spinach with pineapple and tomato, and stuff I forgot.

Today's recipe will be the red lentil soup - a great starter or light lunch, easy and quick to make, and a good one if all you've got left is the larder and some sad veggies in you fridge!

Red Lentil Soup

1 cup of red lentils
1 medium potato
1 medium to large carrot
1 tablespoon of tomato puree
1 clove of garlic
1 red chili (or chili powder to taste)
1 pound-sized slice of fresh ginger
1/2 ltr of vegetable stock
salt, pepper, coriander, cumin

Bring the stock to a boil, add diced potatoe and carrot, let simmer for about 5 mins, add the garlic, chili and ginger, add lentils, let simmer till the lentils are cooked. Add tomato puree, puree with stick blender or in blender, add spices to taste. You might have to add some more stock. Serve - naan goes very well with it.

Try cooking lemon grass or lime leaves with the stock - don't forget to remove before blending, though. You can add other veggies, such as leek and celery, or leave out the potatoe, or the carrot ... or you can try other lentils, beans, etc. instead