Our latest feast

Tuesday, February 26, 2019

Butter Chicken Rice Pie

Total heaven in a casserole dish this meal was.  I must admit we all love butter chicken in the Murray household so I had a feeling this would definitely be a winner winner chicken dinner!

Now we all know that Indian cooking is all about the spices and the marinating time for many of their meals, butter chicken definitely being one of those dishes.   However this dish was put together in under 30 minutes and in the oven for around the same time.  It definitely could not be any easier to make and the flavours were very authentic.

A rich yet not overly spicy butter chicken, with hints of cinnamon, chilli and garam marsala through the creamy tomato sauce.  In all honestly you would think that it had been marinating for days and slowly cooked.

The rice topping well it made the dish!  The rice laced with Saffron threads and peas provided  a crunchy top yet was still soft underneath drawing up the butter chicken.  It was such a treat instead of having a spoonful on the side.

Needless to say leftovers were quickly packed up in containers and labelled with individual's names for lunches tomorrow.  I'm crossing fingers I get some.

Butter Chicken Rice Pie
(recipe adapted from Taste.com.au)

Serves: 6
SmartPoints per serve: 10

1/2 cup Chobani low fat plain yoghurt
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon mild chilli powder
1 teaspoon garam masala
1 kilogram chicken breast fillets, cut into 4cm pieces
1 1/2 cups basmati rice
Pinch of saffron threads
3/4 cup frozen peas
20 grams butter
1 brown onion, chopped
1 large red capsicum, chopped
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 cup tomato puree
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1/2 cup thickened light cream
cooking spray
fresh coriander leaves, to serve

Preheat oven to 220 degrees Celsius or 200 degrees Celsius fan-forced.

Combine yoghurt, tomato paste, cinnamon, chilli powder and garam masala in a bowl. Mix well.

Add chicken. Toss to coat well. Set aside.

Place rice and 2 cups water in a large heavy-based saucepan over high heat. Stir with a fork. Sprinkle with saffron. Cover. Bring to the boil. Reduce heat to low. Simmer for 10 minutes or until liquid is just absorbed and rice is almost tender. Remove from heat.

Add peas. Season. Stir with fork. Set aside.

Meanwhile, melt butter in a large, deep frying pan over medium-high heat. Add onion. Cook, stirring, for 3 minutes.

Add capsicum. Cook, stirring, for 5 minutes or until onion has softened.

Add garlic. Cook, stirring, for 1 minute or until fragrant.

Add chicken and marinade to pan. Cook, stirring, for 2 minutes or until chicken just starts to change colour.

Add tomato puree and sugar. Cook, stirring until combined. Bring to a simmer. Reduce heat to low. Simmer for 5 minutes.

Stir in cream. Season with salt and pepper.

Spoon chicken mixture into an 8 cup-capacity roasting pan.

Place rice mixture evenly over the top of the chicken.

Spray rice liberally with cooking spray.

Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until top is golden and crunchy.

Top with coriander leaves and serve.

Wednesday, February 13, 2019

Colin Fassnidge's Lamb Bolognese

Well I have a little obsession with My Kitchen Rules (MKR) and MasterChef.  Obviously people that know me would just roll their eyes into the back of their heads reading this.  I especially love watching the celebrity chefs on both shows, saying this one of my favourite chefs is Colin Fassnidge.

I came across this recipe on Delicious.com awhile ago while doing my second favourite pastime - googling! I don't normally cook with lamb mince but intrigue by the complexity of the flavours but the simplicity of the ingredients.  So it went on my "to cook list".

Menu planning this week, which I do every Saturday morning, I decided this would be our dinner one night.  Ironically I chose Monday night.  Whilst preparing dinner and watching MKR here I stood in the kitchen stiring Colin Fassnidge's Lamb Bolognese only to be watching him on the TV!!!  (Insert school girl giggle here!!)

Anyways I wasn't wrong about this dish... it was magical and such a welcome change from the good ol' spag bol my kids have grown to hate (apparently I have gone overboard in the hiding vegetables category in the normal bolognese sauce).  Everyone enjoyed.  The texture of the lamb mince compared to using beef was a change and the use of fresh herbs lifted the sauce to another level.  A surprise ingredient was a fennel bulb which wasn't overpowering and didn't leave an aniseed taste - in fact I would say it added a little sweetness to the sauce. 

The cooking process was quite simple and once the last ingredient was added all that was left was for it to simmer and thicken.  While this was happening the house filled with the combination of the fresh herbs and tomatoes - you know what I mean - it's that welcoming smell of home cooked goodness!

Overall, a magic pasta sauce which will definitely please anyone and will be cooked again.  Thanks Colin xx

Colin Fassnidge's Lamb Bolognese
(Recipe adapted from Delicious.com)

Serves: 6
SP per serve:  9

500 grams lamb mince
2 onions, diced
1 baby fennel, diced
3 carrots, diced
4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
¼ bunch each thyme, leaves picked and chopped
 ¼ bunch rosemary, leaves picked and chopped
¼ bunch sage, leaves picked and chopped
100ml white wine
2 cups sugo (or tomato passata)
2 cups chicken stock
freshly ground black pepper
400 grams tagliatelle normal or Gluten Free
Grated Parmesan to serve, if desired

Place a large heavy-based pan over high heat. Add mince, and cook for 8 minutes or until excess liquid has evaporated, breaking up larger pieces with a spoon. Remove meat with a slotted spoon and set aside.

In the same pan, add onion, fennel and carrot. Cook 7 minutes, stirring regularly. Add garlic and herbs, and cook for 2 minutes or until fragrant. Return mince to the pan and combine.

Add wine and cook for 3 minutes or until slightly reduced. Add sugo and stock.

Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium and simmer 40 minutes or until sauce has thickened.  Season with salt and pepper.

Meanwhile, cook pasta in salted boiling water according to packet instructions. Drain.

When sauce is ready, serve, and top with Parmesan, if desired.