Mock Duck Noodle Soup (v)

There was a bit of a shopping fail this week, as I’d planned to make fake chicken noodle soup for lunch on Sunday but upon opening the freezer realised that we had no quorn chunks left, d’oh. I did however remember that there was a tin of mock duck languishing in the cupboard where it had lain for months. It made for an excellent and very tasty soup. So now I need to buy another tin to replace the one I used!

For three portions you need
1 tin mock duck (available from larger supermarkets or Asian/Chinese grocers), gluten sliced into bite sized pieces
3 nests noodles
1 litre vegetable stock plus the sauce/liquid from the mock duck tin
1 onion, halved and then sliced
2 carrots, peeled and sliced
1 red pepper, deseeded and cut into thin strips
125g closed cup mushrooms, cut into quarters
1 cup frozen sweetcorn
1 inch ginger, grated
3 cloves garlic, peeled and sliced
1/2 tsp chinese five spice powder
1 tbsp soya sauce

To garnish
3 tbsp fresh coriander, roughly chopped
chilli flakes, tabasco sauce and soya sauce to serve

Place the stock into a large pan and add the noodles, onion, garlic and ginger. Season with soya sauce and the chinese five spice powder. Add all the other ingredients, apart from the pepper and mushrooms, and cook for 3-5 minutes until the noodles are done. Add the mushrooms and pepper and heat through for a further two minutes. Serve in large bowls garnished with the coriander and chillies to taste. Delicious.

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Macerated Strawberries with Black Pepper and Balsamic Vinegar (v)

Last time Abel and Cole delivered us strawberries, they went mouldy as soon as the box was opened. I didn’t want that to happen to this batch, so I macerated them to help preserve them. Not that I needed to worry about them hanging about, Lex couldn’t get enough of them!

For one punnet of strawberries you need
1 tsp sugar
Few twists of black pepper
1 tsp balsamic vinegar

De-hull the strawberries and slice into thirds. Sprinkle over the sugar, vinegar and pepper and leave to macerate for 30 mins or so. A lovely syrupy sauce will form from the strawberry juice. Serve as you wish, I like mine with good quality ice cream. Bring on Wimbledon!

‘Suprise’ Lemon and Orange Pudding

I think this is the perfect Sunday dinner pudding. It’s light, airy, tangy and delicious. And it’s also a doddle to make, using ingredients from the cupboard. As it cooks, a sponge lighter than a cloud develops on the top, with a tangy, creamy almost lemon curd like sauce forming underneath. A friend (hello Kim!) has suggested adding fresh blackberries to it just before baking which I think is a genius idea and will be trying that next time I make it.

For 3-4 portions you need
25g soft butter/vitalite
100g caster sugar
150ml milk
zest of one orange
juice and zest of one lemon
25g plain flour
2 eggs, separated

Begin by whisking the egg whites to stiff peaks in one bowl using a handheld mixer. Then cream the butter and 25g of sugar in another bowl using the same mixer (doing it this way saves washing up 😉

Add everything else to the creamed butter and sugar mix and mix thoroughly. Finally fold in the egg whites and gently turn into a souffle or similar oven proof dish.

Place in a bain marie and bake in a moderate (180 degree) oven for about 30 mins until the sponge is risen and lightly golden and there is a delicious layer of sauce underneath. To bake this in individual ramekins, reduce the cooking time to about 15-20 mins.

Laab

Lip tingling, tongue searing, tastebud rocketing yumminess! This salad is so simple to make but it sings off the plate. Beware, it is VERY hot! I serve with sticky rice to help calm the chilli burn, but sometimes you need to numb your lips with spice! My sister gave me a packet of laab mix
which is what I used tonight and it was the most authentic tasting one I have made to date. I just cannot get enough of thai food right now!

For two people you need
300g pork mince (use quorn mince if you’re veggie or crumbled tofu)
1 packet laab seasoning
1/4 cup water
fresh mint and coriander to serve
as many thai chillies as you want, thinly sliced as a garnish (I used two!)
a thinly sliced shallot or red onion
2 spring onions, thinly sliced
1-2 tbsp fish sauce or mushroom soy sauce if veggie/vegan
Thai sticky rice to serve

Heat a wok and stir fry the protein in the water until completely cooked and hot. Add the packet of laab seasoning and mix well. Turn out onto a serving dish and garnish with the shallot/onion, spring onions, chillies, coriander and mint. Serve with the rice and prepare for a taste sensation!

Thai Dipping Sauce (Nam Pla Prik)

This is the most versatile thai condiment that you will find. It works so well with anything you want to dip into it, and it also tastes fabulous on other things like boiled potatoes, omelettes etc. It’s also highly addictive from all the chillies! Beware of numb lip syndrome when you eat it tho, those chillies are f-i-e-r-c-e!! My sister will quite rightly point out that the variation of this I made to accompany the pork toasts is not authentic as it contains soy sauce and coriander. But I like the added tang of the coriander, and the soy enriches the sauce and takes away some of the OMFG fish sauce sting!

You will need
4 tbsp fish sauce
2 tbsp soy sauce
1 tsp sugar
4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
8 thai chillies, chopped
2 tbsp fresh coriander, chopped

Mix everything together and serve. Yum!

Thai Pork Toasts (Kanom Punk Na Moo)

My sister made these for us as a thank you for helping her to move some stuff about in her house. I was amazed at how simple yet delicious they were. This recipe is more intricate as the pork mince is flavoured, but they’re still a doddle to make and taste fantastic. The original recipe can be found on Supatra’s website.

For four people you need
500g pork mince
2 tbsp finely chopped coriander
1 tbsp crushed garlic
2 spring onions, finely sliced
1/2 tsp black pepper
1 tbsp cornflour
4 tbsp mushroom soy sauce
1 egg
8 slices white bread, crusts removed and cut into four squares
vegetable oil for deep-frying

Mix all the ingredients, apart from the bread and oil, together till thoroughly combined.

Divide into 24 balls and press each onto a square of bread.

Heat the oil until a cub of bread sizzles immediately upon contact and turns golden brown in about 30 seconds. Fry the toasts in batches, flipping over half way through to ensure the pork is throughly cooked.

Drain on kitchen roll and serve with a dipping sauce. We had one made from fish sauce, soy sauce, chillies, garlic and coriander but anything you fancy will do! Enjoy 🙂

Chickpea and Red Lentil Vindaloo with Vegetables (v)

This was a vindaloo simply because that was the only curry paste I had left in the cupboard. Despite the name, it wasn’t too hot! Use any combination of vegetables and pulses that you like, this is simply what we needed to use up 🙂

For 4-6 portions you need
1 large onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, crushed
2 tbsp curry paste
1 tbsp oil
2 tins chopped tomatoes
1 tin chickpeas, drained
1/2 cup red lentils
200ml water
2 tsp vegetable stock powder
1/2 cup frozen sweetcorn
2 carrots, peeled and sliced
1 tsp sugar

Begin by sauteeing the onion and garlic in the oil. Once soft, add the curry paste and cook out for a few mins. Add everything else and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat and cook for 20 mins or so until the red lentils are done. Check the taste and adjust salt, sugar or chilli according to taste. Serve with rice, pickles and indian salad!

Indian Salad (v)

I’m sure I have blogged this before, but blogger and google are coming up blanks for it, so in case I haven’t, here it is… This is the perfect accompaniment to a fiesty curry. It’s tasty, cooling and delicious. Thanks to my mum for the recipe! (the salad is in the top right of the very full plate!! The other recipes are aloo curry and chickpea, red lentil and vegetable vindaloo. And Geetas lime pickle and mango chutney cos a curry isn’t a curry without those!).

For 3-4 portions you need
1 red onion, finely sliced
1/2 cucumber, finely sliced
large handful fresh coriander, roughly chopped
2-3 tomatoes, chopped (no need to skin and deseed)
juice of half a lemon
2 tsp dried mint
pinch salt

Place everything in a bowl and mix. That’s it!

Aloo (Potato) Curry (v)

It was a friends 40th at the weekend and we went out for a curry to celebrate, but I wasn’t hungry enough to truly appreciate the food so recreated curry night last night to satisfy a craving. I love the flavours of curry with potatoes but have never had much success making this type of side dish before. The potatoes either didn’t cook properly, or they stuck to the bottom of the pan, or I’d burnt the spices and they tasted bitter, but thankfully the curry gods were smiling last night as this was DELICIOUS!

For 4 portions you need
3-4 cups peeled and diced potatoes. I’d suggest a 1cm dice but don’t worry about making them mathematically perfect…
2 tbsp vegetable oil
1 tsp each black mustard seeds, yellow mustard seeds, dried red chill flakes, garam masala, tumeric, ground coriander, ground cumin, coriander seed.
1 inch fresh ginger, grated
150ml boiling water

Place the oil in a heavy based pan and heat. Add the curry spices and ginger to it and cook for 2-3 mins until the seeds pop and it’s come together into a paste. Add the potatoes and water and bring to the boil. Cover with a lid and simmer for 15 mins or so. Stir often to ensure the potatoes don’t stick to the bottom of the pan. Add a little more water if necessary but the aim is to steam the potatoes, not boil them.

Serve on their own or as a side dish for a curry.