Easy recipes from Apple Tree

Category: Main courses (Page 1 of 11)

Cheat’s quick veg biryani

OK, true Indian cookery affionados will probably cringe at this, but if you want a tasty meal ready in under 20 minutes and fewer than 100 ingredients you are in the right place. I’m giving the quantities here for one person, you can scale up x2, x3 and x4 but as this is a microwave dish I’m not guaranteeing it will work for larger quantities because I haven’t tested it for more servings. You can adapt it for the Instant Pot then you can go larger.

Here goes, per person. You can chop and change the choice of vegetables. It can be one or two types, or a gathering of anything you have to hand.

  • 70gm basmati rice
  • 140ml vegetable stock
  • 0.5tbs curry paste (any will do)
  • 120gm vegetables – sliced mushroom, chopped beans, peas, chopped pepper, chopped carrot, cauliflower florets, diced potato, diced sweet potato or any combo that takes your fancy. You can use chopped onion but best to saute these first.
  • 25g dried fruit such as sultanta, raisin, chopped dried apricot

Put the whole lot in a microwaveable container such as a pyrex bowl, and cover. Microwave on full power for 12 minutes. If you are scaling up, you may need to cook for slightly longer but only a minute or two. Leave to stand for 5 minutes. Fluff up and add:

  • 25g shopped cashews or flaked almonds
  • 0.5tbs chopped fresh corianer if you have it

Serve with a blob of yoghurt on top and chutney on the side. If you have a few long-life naan breads in the cupboard, heat one in the toaster. If you have grabbed a pack of uncooked popadums you could microwave a couple of those instead. Grab a bottle of lager and away you go.

Sri Lankan Chicken Curry

Thank you Aedy for bringing this one to Arford Books.

Mix

  • 1kg chicken, jointed or pieces preferably bone-in
  • 2.5tsp Sri Lancan roasted curry powder
  • 1tsp cayenne pepper or red chilli powder
  • 0.5tsp turmeric
  • 2tsp salt
  • 1tbs white wine venegar

Marinate for 30 minutes

  • 3tbs oil
  • 1 onion, chopped

Saute until translucent. Add

  • 1tbs minced garlic
  • 1tbs minced ginger

Saute for another two minutes. Add your marinated chicken plus

  • 2 sprigs curry leaves
  • 2 green chillies sliced

Stir and fry for two minutes. Add

  • 1 large roma/beef tomato chopped

Let it cook down. Add

  • 80ml tomato passata/sauce/puree OR 1tbs tomato paste with 2 tbs water
  • 250ml water

Let it come to the boil then cover and simmer for 30 minutes. Add

  • 80ml coconut milk

Simmer uncovered for 10 minutes. Adjust the seasonings and serve with rice, naan or roti.

Rotisserie Chicken

If you have a rotisserie. If not use your grill and keep turning!

Make a rub mix by mixing:

  • 1tsp paprika
  • 1tsp dried thyme
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1tsp onion powder
  • 0.5tsp salt
  • 0.5tsp ground black pepper.

This amount will just cover a medium chicken. If you like plenty of flavour or have a larger chicken, just double it but keep the ratios the same

  • 1 medium chicken
  • 2tbs oil
  • Rub mix

Mount your chicken on the rotisserie skewer. Smear oil over your chicken then spinkle the rub all over. It will stick, if you actually rub the rub it will come off on your hands which is pointless.

Grill for 75 minutes, basting every 20 minutes, then test with a thermometer – it should be 75C in the centre of meat mass, so check breast and thigh. If it’s not, grill a bit longer. When done, let it rest for 15 minutes while you make the sides. Roast sweet potato mash, corn and green beans works well!

Indian Pie

This is like a giant samosa. A bit fusion I guess, but very good. To make a pie for four people:

  • 500g new potatoes

Boil until tender, about 15 minutes

  • 1 onion

Chop the onion and soften in a pan with a dash of oil. Add

  • 1 red chilli, chopped
  • 0.5tbs black mustard seeds
  • 0.5tbs cumin seed
  • 1tbs grated ginger root
  • 2 tbs curry paste (Korma, Masala)

Heat a bit longer to cook the spices. Add

  • 2 large handfuls spinach or chard leaves, washed and still wet.

Cover the pan and wilt the leaves. Add the cooked potatoes plus

  • 3 chopped tomatoes
  • salt and pepper
  • a small bunch of fresh coriander, chopped

Mix and mush the potatoes to break them up but not too much. This is your pie mix.

Now find a springform or loose bottom cake or flan tin about 25cm diameter.

  • 6 sheets filo pastry (usually vegan – check)
  • Melted butter (or vegan equivalent)

Brush the sheets with butter and also the inside and base of the tin. Lay 3-4 sheets across the bottom of the tin and up the sides, leaving plenty loose. Fill the pie with your pie mix. Fold the pastry sides over the top. Add the remaining sheets, scrunch them a bit and tuck around the sides so you have a wavy, untidy top.

Bake in a preheated oven at 190C for 35 minutes. Serve with a side of Josh’s Dhal and some spicy chutney.

Shrimp Gumbo

One from Aedy, she made an ace gumbo.

  • Celery, diced
  • Green pepper, diced
  • White onion, diced 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup okra, sliced
  • Shrimp shells (or any kind of stock if you aren’t making your own)
  • Vegetable oil
  • All purpose flour
  • Paprika
  • Cayenne pepper
  • Andouille sausage (or kielbasa)
  • Bay leaves
  • Shrimp
  • Parsley, chopped
  • White rice (to serve with)

Start by chopping some celery, green peppers, and onions. Then mince six cloves of garlic and slice some okra.

For the Shrimp Stock: Saute the shrimp shells in a little vegetable oil for five minutes and then add five cups of water, letting it simmer for about 20 minutes. Strain it and you should end up with 4 cups of shrimp stock.

For the roux: Start by heating ½ cup of vegetable oil over medium heat until it’s almost smoking, then add ½ cup of all-purpose flour. Stir rigorously and constantly while it goes through the different phases of roux until it becomes a nice dark chocolate color.

Pour the mix of chopped vegetables (celery, green peppers, and onions) into the pot and stir.

After stirring a few times, add the sliced okra and saute everything together until nice and soft before adding the minced garlic and sauteing some more.

Once soft and fragrant, add the 4 cups of shrimp stock. Make sure to add slowly while constantly stirring at first. Once half of the stock has been added, go ahead and pour the rest of the stock in.

Season with some paprika and cayenne pepper.

Add in some andouille sausage (if you can’t find andouille sausage, you can use some smoked kielbasa) with two fresh bay leaves.

Stir and let simmer for 1 solid hour.

Remove the bay leaves and add the raw shrimp to cook for four minutes.

Add some freshly cut parsley and stir it all together and letting it cook for 1 minute.

Turn off the heat and prepare to serve with some white rice.

Ladle the gumbo around and over a mound of rice and garnish with green onions and freshly cut parsley.

Jamaican Pork Curry

This is a variation on the better-know goat curry, but pork is easier to source in the UK. There may seem a lot of spices but it creates a rich, deep curry with some heat but not too much. This makes enough for 6 portions. I have provided Instant Pot and conventional hob versions.

  • 2 onions, finely chopped
  • vegetable oil

Saute the onions gently until translucent.

  • 6 cloves of garlic, sliced

Add to the pan and cook for another minute.

  • 1 to 1.5kg pork shoulder, trimmed of fat and skin, cubed
  • 2 tsp ground allspice
  • 3 tbs curry powder
  • 1 tbs paprika
  • 1 tbs ground coriander
  • 1 tbs celery salt
  • 1 tbs garlic granules
  • 0.5 tsp black pepper
  • 4 spigs thyme, leaves only

Mix all together in the pan and cook briefly. Add

  • 1 can tomatoes
  • 1 Scotch Bonnet chilli, left whole but stabbed with a knife
  • Instant Pot – 1 can water; stove top – 1 litre water

Instant pot: cook on Meat for 45 minutes then depressurise naturally. Cooker: simmer on the lowest ring for 2.5 to 3 hours, checking it hasn’t dried out.

Instant pot – when ready, you may find it is still runny and the fat has rendered. Let it settle for a few mintues and scoop or pour the fat away. Mix 0.5tbs cornflower with a dash of water and stir in. Reheat to thicken. You can do this with the stove version if it hasn’t reduced.

Serve with Rice’n’Beans or just rice.

Best DIY Pizza

This makes four small or three generous pizzas.

  • 7g sachet dried yeast
  • 2 tsp caster sugar
  • 325ml lukewarm water (warm enough to wash in)

Mix together in a jug and leave for a few minutes

  • 400g strong white flour
  • 0.5 tsp salt

Stir to mix then mix in with the yeasty liquid. Either do this in a food processor and run the motor for 60 seconds or knead by hand for ten minutes.

Shape into a ball, smear with oil and place in a large warm bowl. Cover in oiled clingfilm and leave in a warm place like your airing cupboard for an hour or until double in size.

Take out all the shelves from your oven. Heat your oven to as hot as possible, 250degC.

Knock back the dough and break into three or four equal lumps. Dust a work surface with flour and roll/stretch into discs about 0.5cm thick. Take squares of foil, oil them (this is important) and lay the pizzas on them.

  • Top quality passata or homemade tomato sauce

Spread thinly over the pizzas. Add

  • toppings of choice (ham, prawns, anchovies, sliced pepperoni; or if you want vegan stick to sauted mushroom, olives, sliced antipasto artichoke, basil leaves, sliced pepper, sliced onion, etc.)
  • Top with sliced or grated mozzarella cheese or vegan cheese.

Now for the clever bit. Slide the foil carrying your pizza onto the oven shelves. Put the shelves back in the oven and cook for ten minutes. If they look done they are done!



Falafel (reliable recipe!)

I have tried several recipes and not all of them work. This one does! It needs a bit of preparation but it’s well worth it. Here are quantities to make a generous pile to feed four.

  • 225g dried chickpeas

Either soak overnight, or cook for 5 minutes in your Instant Pot and leave for a further hour in the water.

  • Optional – 1 small onion
  • Bunch of parsley leaves
  • 2 garlic loves
  • 1 tbs chickpea/gram flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 0.5tsp ground coriander
  • Pinch cayenne pepper
  • Black pepper

Put these and the drained chickpeas in a food processor with about 50ml water. Process to a coarse paste. Add a spash more water if necessary. Cover and refrigerate for about an hour.

Make little balls 2-3cm in diameter – you will make about 20 with this batch. A small icecream scoop is useful. Heat a pan full of oil to about 160degC and shallow fry the balls in batches. You may need to flip them halfway through cooking if your oil isn’t deep. They are cooked when the outside goes brown and crispy. Drain on kitchen paper and keep warm until ready to serve.

The best seafood chowder

This is even better if you make your own fish stock from the frames of white fish. This recipe is for a substantial soup for four people. We upped the quantities of the solid ingredients and it became a main meal for three. Use a variety of seafood: 350g serves four. We used a salmon fillet, two whiting fillets, a smoked pouting, a handful of prawns, a handful of frozen mussel and a few frozen clams. The inclusion of some smoked fish makes all the difference.

  • 4 rashers of bacon
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1tbs oil

Heat the oil in a deep pan and fry the bacon and onion until the onion is transparent and the bacon looks cooked.

  • 1-2 tbs plain flour

Stir in. Use more if you like a thicker soup, less if not.

  • 600ml fish stock (use a cube if you don’t have your own)
  • 250g new potatoes, quartered

Add to your pan, cover and simmer 15 minutes until the potatoes are cooked.

  • 300ml milk
  • Pinch of ground mace
  • Pinch of cayenne pepper
  • Mixed fish fillets cut into chunks

Bring to the boil and simmer for four minutes.

  • Shellfish, prawns
  • 4 tbs cream

Simmer for another minute. Serve in deep bowls garnished with chopped parsley and with crusty bread on the side. You may need to adjust the seasoning depending on the seasoning in your stock and smoked fish. This was rated 10/10 in a recent family meal.

Beef in Guiness Casserole

This is the Instant Pot version, for six portions.

  • 1 large onion
  • 2 carrots
  • 1 celery stick

Chop the onion roughly. Slice the carrots and celery thickly. Switch the Instant Pot to Saute. Add a tablespoon of oil and fry the vegetables in the pot. You could add a few quartered mushrooms if you wish. When the onion is looking transluscent, add

  • 3 packs (750g) cubed casserole/stewing beef

Continue to fry until the beef colours. Stir it around and add a bit more oil if the meat is very lean. Add

  • 1-2 tablespoons of plain flour

Stir around until it is absorbed. Add

  • 1 can or bottle Guiness (330ml)

Stir about and bit. Add a

  • Bay leaf
  • 1 tsp fresh thyme or a pinch of dried thyme
  • salt, pepper

Turn the Instant Pot to Meat and set for 40 minutes. Put the lid on, turn the pressure valve to Seal and wait. Allow to depressurise naturally at the end of the cooking time (another 15 minutes). Take the lid off and the meat should be nice and tender. If the liquid is too runny or you like a thicker gravy, add a teaspoon or two of cornflour dissolved in a dash of water, stir it in and switch the Instant Pot to Saute again to heat through and thicken the gravy.

« Older posts

© 2020 Arford Cooks

Theme by Anders NorenUp ↑