The Greedy Girl

TheGreedyGirl

One girl's greedy adventures

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Mark’s butter chicken

July 31, 2011 1 Comment


When anyone asks me what my last supper would be (and with a bunch of equally greedy friends it’s a topic that comes up rather a lot; along with “if you could only eat one food for the rest of your life what would it be?”*) I never hesitate to say butter chicken.

It is the meal I want to celebrate my birthday, the one I want after running 10k, the one I want when I’m feeling a bit poorly. The one I want just because.

It’s fair to say I love butter chicken. But it’s one I never cook. This is my husband’s specialty, so I get to enjoy eating it, without having to do a thing.

Ingredients

2cm piece ginger, peeled and chopped

3 x garlic cloves

2 x tbsp ground almonds

3 x tbsp tandoori paste

250g Greek yoghurt

2 x tbsp ghee (or oil)

1 x large onion, thinly sliced

8 chicken thighs, halved (don’t be tempted to use breast, it’s just not the same)

125 ml chicken stock

Coriander, a small bunch, chopped

Preparation

Heat the grill to a medium heat and oil a baking dish. Put the ginger, garlic, almonds, yoghurt and tandoori paste into a food processor and blend until smooth.

Heat half the ghee in a large frying pan and cook the onion until soft. Tip the onion into the baking dish. Add 1/2 cup of the tandoori mix to the chicken and coat. Turn up the heat under the pan and add the remaining ghee. Add the chicken and cook for five mins each side. Add the remaining mix and stock and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 10 mins. Stir in the coriander.

Pour into the dish and grill for about 3 mins.

Serve with naan breads and/or basmati rice, as well as some plain yoghurt mixed with mint leaves.

*cheese

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St George’s Island Iced Tea.

July 27, 2011

For the last few weeks I’ve been running again. In 2009 and 2010 I managed to complete the 10k Great Manchester Run in just over an hour, but since then I’ve gotten lazy. And fat.

There is no point denying it anymore. My clothes no longer fit and I feel sluggish. All the time. So I’ve dug out my running shoes and am back on the street with a Rocky training montage accompanying every step. Problem is, as well as indulging in a little exercise, I’m also eating more. It’s fuel right?

So the ‘diet’ starts here. I need to get back to a healthy eating plan and that starts with cutting back on the booze. Sob.

I decided I needed a substitute. Water’s boring, diet drinks just don’t go with food and I loathe squash (both the drink and the game). However I may just have found the perfect booze substitute in Iced Tea. It’s not fizzy, so doesn’t leave you bloated. It’s cheap as chips to make, refreshing and tastes lovely. It also goes rather well with most meals.

Here’s my recipe.

Ingredients

4 pints water

4 Earl Grey teabags

½ cup sugar ( I will be using an artificial sweetner when I pick one up)

1 lemon

Preparation

Bring water to the boil. Remove from the boil. Dunk, swirl and remove the teabags. Repeat for about two minutes (this stops the tea getting bitter). It should be a caramel brown colour. Add the sugar and stir until fully dissolved. Add the juice of one lemon and the rind to the water. Leave to cool and then pour into a jug. Put in fridge and then serve with ice and maybe a spring of mint once cold.

Lovely!

I’d scream for ice cream

July 11, 2011

I’ve been hearing whisperings about Ginger’s Comfort Emporium for some time now. An old fashioned ice cream van with a difference – flavours that are most definitely designed for more grown up tastebuds.

So what better occasion to try Ginger’s ‘ creamy, fruity, nutty, chocolatey, meringuey, spicy, boozy, crunchy, refreshing, comforting iced desserts’ than at the annual Gelato ice cream festival.

The weather was certainly on our side as the hubbie and I took a slow saunter up through Ancoats, a part of Manchester I’ve shamefully neglected thus far. Stopping expectantly at the various ‘peeps’ a series of peep holes offering a glimpse into the former industrial life of the suburb, I was more than a little bit charmed by the time we reached the festival at Insligton Warf.

I was immediately struck by two things; the festival was a bit rubbish, and that there was a long queue for Ginger’s. A really, really long queue.

Rather than head back straight away, we decided to at least make the trip worthwhile by trying a double scoop and joined said queue. We waited, and waited. And waited a bit more. Not that I was counting, but it was at least 30 minutes before we got served so by this point any expectations we had were matched with an equal scoop of ‘this had better be bloody good.’

My first choice (a lime, rum and ginger number) was sold out, so instead I opted for a scoop of ‘marmalade on toast’ and a scoop of ‘honey and tahini’. The husband plumped for ‘this monkey’s gone to heaven’ and ‘chocolate and chilli’. Of course we planned to share.

‘This monkey’s gone to heaven’ was a decadent mix of roasted banana, salted caramel and peanut. Not really a fan of banana ice cream it was too much for me, which pleased the hubbie rather a lot as he wolfed the lot down. Similarly, I’m not that keen on chocolate ice cream, so although I could appreciate the quality of the chocolate chilli (and the lovely spicy after kick) it wasn’t for me. Again hubbie was delighted.

My choices however, were beyond delicious. The honey and tahini was perhaps the best ice cream I have ever tasted. A savoury/sweet combination that I would have queued twice over for. But the marmalade on toast was the real surprise of the day. I’ve quite simply never tasted anything like it. Apart from marmalade on toast. It should be wrong, but it’s not. It’s very, very right. It was tart and crunchy and blooming delicious.

By the time we had finished our ice cream (less than a  minute after being served) the queue was twice as long as it had been when we joined it, but not one person had anything other than a look of surprised joy when actually getting stuck in.

Just wonderful. And if you don’t fancy the wait, Ginger does home deliveries). I’m going to need a bigger freezer.

I’m going to eat you little fishy…

July 2, 2011

Earlier this week the lovely PR people behind Forman & Field sent me some H.Forman & Son (London Cure) smoked salmon to review. Today, with the sun shining, it seemed rude not to enjoy said salmon sitting on the balcony while enjoying the view of the Irwell River. Good times.

H.Forman & Son have a century of expertise when it comes to smoking salmon. Indeed as Britain’s oldest salmon smoker, their produce has been described by famous foodie Tom Parker Bowles as ‘arguably the finest smoked salmon in the world’, and according to Lance Forman – great-grandson of the company’s founder – London Mayor Boris Johnson describes the business as ‘a shrine to smoked salmon’. High praise indeed.

Initially however, I was too enamoured by the Forman & Field catalogue to pay to much attention to the fish.

Sheer. Foodie.Porn.

That is if Jimmy Bogle’s haggis, Pugh’s Suckling pig and Norfolk Rabbit and Cider pie are your thing. They are very much mine.

But I digress, back to the salmon.

London Cure is not the best variety of salmon that H.Forman & Son offers. That accolade, it would seem, goes to the ‘Genuine Wild‘; made with wild salmon (as you would hope) caught by netsmen in Scottish estuaries. At £22.95 for 200g of hand sliced you’d better it hope it tastes great!

London Cure however is a milder variety, farmed and with ingredients that include: Scottish salmon, oak smoke, rock salt. And love.

You can taste it.

The fish is designed to not be overly smokey, Hary Forman, the company founder wanted to be able to taste the fish not the smoke.

Personally I loved it. At £9.95 for 200g hand sliced it was the best packaged salmon I’ve tasted. Fishy and sweet with lovely thick slices that showed not a hint of a brown tinge. Something I’ve found all too common with other packaged smoked salmon.

I served it, with farls, lemon (although the blurb says it’s best without as it disguises the natural flavour of the fish) and creme fraiche mixed with a few teaspoons of capers.

The husband liked it, but wasn’t quite as enamoured as I was. He likes BIG punchy flavours, and conceded that the subtle smokiness may have been a little too delicate for his tastes. The quality however was something that could not be disputed.

Delicious.  And if anyone wants to send me the Genuine Wild to review, I’m sure I’d mange to find the time to try it!