Cheese and Sweetcorn Cornbread

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Cheese and Sweetcorn Cornbread

25g melted butter
140g plain flour
130g polenta
1/2tsp bicarbonate of soda
2tsp baking powder
1tsp salt
1tbs sugar
large or small pinch of chilli flakes, you choose!
80g grated cheddar
2 eggs beaten
300ml milk or better still buttermilk
150g sweetcorn kernals

Melt the butter, mix the milk/buttermilk with the beaten eggs and add the melted butter. Mix all the other ingredients, except the sweetcorn kernals, together in a bowl and make a well in the centre. Slowly pour and stir in the liquid, finally mix in the sweetcorn. This quantity will nicely fit a 2lb loaf tin which should already be buttered. Bake at 200C for 30-40 minutes. The pictured cornbread was made with half quantities of everything, gathered into a ‘lump’ and baked in a smaller ceramic dish.

Prawn Chilli Fry and Channa Dal

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Prawn Chilli Fry, Channa Dal and Rice

I love this combination of sweet onions and prawns together with earthy dal. It must qualify as a marriage made in heaven.

Prawn Chilli Fry Ingredients
3 large onions
2 green chillies chopped
1″ piece fresh ginger finely chopped
chilli powder
1/2tsp turmeric
225g cooked prawns defrosted

Heat 3tbs of oil in a frying pan and fry on a very low heat for maybe an hour or even more. The onions must not burn but go a dark golden colour and shrink considerably. Add the chillies, ginger, turmeric, salt and chilli powder to taste. Fry for 2 minutes. Add the prawns and cook for 2 or 3 minutes until any moisture from the prawns has evaporated.

Channa Dal Ingredients
250g channa dal
2 slices fresh ginger
1/2tsp turmeric
2 tbs cooking oil
1tsp cumin seeds
1 chopped clove of garlic
chilli powder
900ml water

Put the channa dal and water in a lidded saucepan and bring to the boil. Skim off the scum, add the fresh ginger and turmeric, give it a stir and keep on a low simmer for one hour. During the next 30 minutes stir from time to time until everything is of the right consistency then season with salt. Heat 2 tbs of cooking oil in a frying pan and toss in the cumin seeds followed by the garlic and a pinch of chilli powder. Mix together and then pour the contents of the frying pan over the dal. Serve as soon as the spluttering stops!

Penne with Raw Tomato

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Penne with Raw Tomatoes

A wonderful summer pasta dinner based on a River Cottage recipe. The ingredients listed here are for 2 portions, scale up or down as you will.

375g ripe tomatoes
1/2 garlic clove, finely chopped
a pinch of dried chilli flakes
2tsp capers (I prefer those in preserved in salt rather than brine)
oregano leaves
2tbs of extra virgin olive oil
200g pasta
salt and pepper

Plunge the tomatoes into boiling water for a minute or so. Peel, quarter and remove the pips and pulp. Chop the flesh roughly. The skin, pips and pulp should then be pushed hard into a seive to extract the juice which is added to the chopped flesh. Mix in the olive oil, rinsed capers, oregano leaves, chilli flakes, garlic and season. Set aside for an hour or so for the flavour to develop.

Cook and drain the pasta before spooning the tomato over the top.

Lamb Burgers and Mango Salsa

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Lamb Burger and Mango Salsa

500g minced lamb
3 spring onions
bunch of coriander
1 ripe mango
1 green pepper
1 lime
1tsp sugar
pitta breads

Make the burgers by combining the finely chopped white part of the spring onions, the minced lamb, some chopped coriander and seasoning. Form into burger patties.

To make the salsa combine the diced flesh of the mango, the diced green pepper, the finely chopped green part of the spring onions, the sugar and the juice and zest of the lime.

I BBQ the Lamb Burgers but if you like they could be fried or grilled. Cut the Pitta Breads to form a pocket and warm on the BBQ or under the grill. Stuff a burger into the Pitta pocket and serve with the Mango Salsa.