Spinach cooked with Onions (Mughlai saag) – Madhur Jaffrey’s Indian Cookery

Spinach cooked with onions

If you want to learn how to cook curry’s Madhur Jaffrey’s Indian Cookery is the only cookbook you actually need.  Whilst I used to use this book quite a lot a few years ago I’ve tended to use curry pastes a lot the last few years as they are just so easy. This recipe is my favourite way to eat spinach and would work well as a side dish for plain grilled meat as well as with a curry. I used a tsp from a jar of minced ginger for this dish which reduced preparation time. We never used to add extra water when we cooked this in the past and having added water this time I won’t be next time.

According to Madhur Jaffrey quantities below serve 4, I halved the quantities and it served 4 as a side dish.

Ingredients

  • 1kg/2 lb spinach, washed and trimmed
  • 1 large onion, peeled
  • 4 tbsp ghee/vegetable oil or butter
  • 1/2 – 1 fresh, hot green chili, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp very finely grated, peeled fresh ginger
  • about 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp sugar
  • 125ml/1/2 cup water (optional)
  • 1/4 tsp garam masala

Instructions

  1. If large spinach leaves cut crosswise into 1/2 inch wide strips, if small leaves you can use whole.
  2. Chop the onion finely.
  3. Heat the ghee in a large saucepan over over a medium-high flame. When hot, put in the onions. Stir fry for 3 minutes.
  4. Now put in the chopped spinach, green chili, ginger, salt and sugar. Stir and cook the spinach for 5 minutes (I needed to add in three lots to get it all in the pa).
  5. Add water and bring to a simmer. Cover tightly, turn heat to low and cook for about 5 – 10 extra minutes.
  6. Uncover and boil away some of the extra liquid. Sprinkle garam masala over the top and mix.

Baked Jerusalem Artichokes, Breadcrumbs Thyme and Lemon – Jamie Oliver The Return of the Naked Chef

Baked Jerusalem artichoke
Jerusalem artichokes are incredibly easy to grow. You just plant out the tubers and keep harvesting them in autumn/winter. Worthwhile throwing some compost on the bed every few years. We have a 1m x 1m bed of them just by the shed and the challenge is to stop them expanding out beyond their bed. They are better steamed, baked or roasted rather than boiled as they turn into a mush when boiled. Jamie Oliver’s recipe below from The Return of the Naked Chef is both easy to make and very tasty. Quantities below serve 6. We froze two portions in tin foil containers for Jon’s aunt as it looked like a dish that would freeze and reheat well.
The only downside of jerusalem artichokes is their tendency to cause wind (flatulence). Unfortunately this affects me more than the rest of the family.
Ingredients
  • 285ml / ½ pint double cream or créme fraiche
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled and finely chopped
  • 1 good handful of fresh Thyme, leaves picked and chopped
  • 3 handfuls of grated Parmesan cheese
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1kg/2lb 3oz Jerusalem artichokes, peeled and sliced as thick as a pencil
  • 2 good handfuls of fresh breadcrumbs
  • Olive oil
Instructions
  1. Preheat your oven to 220°C/425°F/Gas7.
  2. In a bowl mix your cream, lemon juice , garlic half the thyme and most of the Parmesan, and season well to taste.
  3. Throw in the sliced Jerusalem artichokes. Mix well and place everything in an ovenproof baking dish.
  4. Mix the breadcrumbs with the rest of the thyme and Parmesan and some salt and pepper.
  5. Sprinkle all the flavoured breadcrumbs over the artichokes and drizzle with a little olive oil.
  6. Bake in the oven for around 30 minutes until the artichokes are tender and the breadcrumbs golden.

Braised Red Cabbage with Apples – Delia Christmas

Delia Red cabbage

I’m catching up posting some of the recipes I tried over Christmas. I’ve made this red cabbage before but had forgotten how good it is, even cabbage hating teens liked it. The quantities below serve 10-12 since it keeps in the fridge for at least a week and freezes well it’s worth making this sort of quantity. It’s a great veg for Christmas dinner as you can make it in advance and just warm through on the day. It also goes wonderfully with Roast Pork.

Ingredients

  • 1kg (2lb 4oz) red cabbage
  • 450g (1lb) onions, chopped small
  • 450g (1lb) cooking apples, peeled, cored and chopped small
  • 1 clove garlic, chopped very small
  • ¼ whole nutmeg, freshly grated
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
  • 3 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 3 tablespoons wine vinegar
  • 15g (½oz) butter
  • Seasoning

Instructions

  1. First discard the tough outer leaves of the cabbage, cut it into quarters and remove the hard stalk. Then shred the rest of the cabbage finely, either by hand or in the food processor.
  2. Next arrange a layer of shredded cabbage seasoned with salt and pepper in a large casserole, then a layer of chopped onions and apples with a sprinkling of garlic, spices and sugar. Continue with these alternate layers until everything is in. Now pour in the wine vinegar, lastly add dots of butter on the top.
    Delia red cabbage before cooking
  3. Put a tight lid on the casserole and let it cook very slowly in the oven for 2-2½ hours, stirring everything around once or twice during the cooking.

Creamed celeriac – Mary Berry

Creamed celeraic

I don’t recall ever eating celeriac before but the recipe for this caught my eye in an article about Mary Berry’s Christmas day recipes wen she said that this is a perfect dish to be made ahead and reheated. I just tried a little today to check and it is lovely. I have a problem with mashed potatoes and am not keen on many root vegetables but this is lovely. I hope my boys like it because it may well be the answer for me as alternative topping for dishes like shepherds pie.

Ingredients to serve 8

  • 1.8kg (4lb) celeriac
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 200ml (7 fl oz) carton full-fat creme fraiche
  • freshly grated nutmeg

Instructions

  1. Peel the thick skin off the celeriac with a knife and cut the flesh into even-sized pieces of about 2.5cm (1in). Boil in salted water for 20-25 minutes until really soft. Drain well.
  2. Tip the celeriac into a food processor, add the creme fraiche, salt, pepper and grated nutmeg, and blend until really smooth (may need to blend in batches).
  3. Check for seasoning and serve hot.