Monday, 20 March 2017

Hello Spring!

It's the Vernal Equinox
my favourite time of the year
from today onward, daylight will gradually becomes longer
and winter is officially banished for the year

The garden is still quite bare
As usual, spring comes a little late to OakenShield
about two weeks late
Anyhow, there's still lots of work to do
and before you know it, I'll be surrounded by colours again

Friday, 17 March 2017

Savoury Potato Pancake

A super-easy savoury brunch idea

All you need to do is grate some potatoes; about 2 potatoes for each person
Squeeze out the moisture from the grated potatoes 
as much as you can using a clean kitchen towel.
Season the potatoes with some salt and pepper
Heat 2 tbsp of vegetable oil in a skillet.
Place a ladle-ful of grated potatoes into the skillet.
Flatten the potatoes into a thin pancake
Fry over medium heat for about 4-5 minutes per side, or until golden brown
Place on paper towel.
Serve hot with fried eggs and/or sausages.


Wednesday, 15 March 2017

OakenShield is Four

I just can't believe it...
It was four years ago to the day that we made the commitment
to buy this bit of land to call our own.

There's been a lot of hard work and a lot of hard graft, 
but not too much planning - I'm a live for the day sort of person.
It's been fun and will continue to be...
No regrets 

Tuesday, 14 March 2017

Goan Chicken Curry

A deliciously creamy and nutty dish.
It deserves a try!

Goan Chicken Curry 
recipe adapted from Anjum Anand

1 tbsp vegetable oil
4 large chicken breasts, cubed (approx. 1 kg)
1 large shallot, sliced
250ml coconut milk
2 tsp tamarind paste
1 tsp sugar
50g coconut cream
salt, to taste
For the paste:
 2 tbsp kerisek *
3 fresh red chilies (or you may use 1 tbsp sambal oelek)
1 tsp ginger paste
2 tsp garlic paste
2 tsp ground cumin 
3 tsp ground coriander
2 tsp white poppy seeds

If using fresh chilies, grind them into a fine paste along with poppy seeds.
Mix them with the rest of ingredients with a little water.

Heat the oil in a large saucepan.
Add onion and fry until golden brown.
Add the paste and a little salt and fry until all the excess moisture has dried off 
and the paste has cooked through.

Add the chicken pieces and cook in the paste for 5 minutes.
Then, stir in the coconut milk, reduce the heat to low and let it simmer for about 30 minutes.

Stir in the tamarind paste, sugar and coconut cream.
Adjust the seasoning, if necessary.
Cook for a few minutes, or until the gravy is creamy.

* to make kerisek  
Dry roast freshly grated coconut in a pan over medium heat until golden brown.
Whilst the coconut is still warm, using pestle and mortar or food processor, 
grind it into a fine paste.

Thursday, 9 March 2017

Creamy Apple and Chicken Salad

My take on the famous
Waldorf Salad

A simplified version but still big on flavour!

Creamy Apple and Chicken Salad

1 roasted chicken breast, sliced
1 Granny Smith apples, cored and sliced
a bunch of seedless green grapes, halved
walnuts, chopped

For the dressing:
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 tbsp Dijon mustard
2 tbsp maple syrup
salt and black pepper (optional)

In a medium sized bowl, whisk together the ingredients. 
Adjust seasoning, if necessary.

Stir in the chicken, apple, grapes, raisins and walnuts.

Monday, 6 March 2017

Sloppy Joe Bagel

Sloppy Joe Bagel

 500g minced beef
1 carrot, minced
1 medium onion, finely chopped
2 celery stalks, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced

1 tsp dried chili flake
1/4 cup tomato ketchup
1/4 cup tinned stewed tomatoes
1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1 tbsp brown sugar
1/2 tsp dried thyme
salt and freshly ground black pepper

cheese slices
bagel buns

Start by browning the ground beef in a large pot over medium-high heat.
Add in the carrot, onion and celery.
Add 1/2 cup water and then add  garlic.
Stir it around to combine, and then add the chili flakes, tomato ketchup, stewed tomatoes,
Worcestershire, brown sugar, thyme and salt and pepper to taste.
Stir to combine, and then cover and simmer over medium-low heat, about 30 minutes. 

To serve, spread the bagels with butter and brown them on a griddle or in a skillet.
Spoon a good amount of the meat mixture onto the bottom part of bagel,
and then top with cheese.
Put under the griddle until the cheese starts to melt.
Top with the other half of the bagel.