Gluten free

South Indian inspired breakfast savoury oats

I’ve been playing with making savoury oats recently.

I’ve never really been a big fan of oats/porridge - but I’m currently studying anti-ageing beauty nutrition and have learned what a real superfood oats are for beautiful skin.

When I learned how incredibly good they are, well, that was it, I had to see what I could experiment with and what I could do with them.

And so far, I’ve come up with two dishes that I think are delicious - a kind of Thai congee and this South Indian-inspired savoury breakfast. These are both really satisfying and filling as well as being so good for us.

What you’ll need to make enough for one person:

1 teaspoon coconut or olive oil

1/2 teaspoon black mustard seeds

1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds

1 small piece of ginger, peeled and grated - perhaps a teaspoon

1 garlic clove, peeled and minced

1/2-1 green chilli, chopped very finely (use enough for your own taste)

250 ml stock (boiling water and a small piece, perhaps 1/3, of a Knorr vegetable or chicken stock cube)

a mixture of vegetables, sliced or chopped into small pieces - carrot, peppers, mushroom, broccoli florets, spring onions … whatever you have and like

a tablespoon or two of cooked green lentils - entirely optional but I had some one day so decided to include them

oats (I use two scoops of this coffee scoop which says 7g on it) plus 1/2 teaspoon turmeric

chopped fresh coriander leaves to serve, if liked

Rachel Redlaw South Indian style breakfast savoury oats
Rachel Redlaw South Indian-inspired savoury oats

Prepare everything so it’s ready to go as this cooks beautifully fast.

Add the oil to a saucepan and when it’s warmed add the mustard and cumin seeds and stir, cooking for maybe 20-30 seconds until it all starts to sizzle. Then add the ginger, garlic and chilli, stir and add a splash of the stock to keep it all moving and make sure it doesn’t stick.

After another 30 seconds tip in the rest of the stock, the vegetables and the lentils if using and bring to the boil.

Simmer with a lid on - or mostly on - to retain the water and steam - for three-four minutes (I did four minutes because I had broccoli which takes longer to cook, but without broccoli I’d have given it three minutes).

Add the oats and turmeric and simmer on a low heat for four minutes, stirring regularly - and of course add another splash of water if it needs it.

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And that’s it!

Top with some chopped fresh coriander if liked.

I found this such a gentle yet satisfying dish, I really hope you like it too.

A spoonful of mango chutney on top would have been delicious - but I devoured it before I thought of it!

Next time …



Chilli, lime + coconut chicken (or mushroom)

This one came about by accident ... on an evening when I'd been planning to make my quick beef rendang, but then realised I was missing several ingredients including, pretty crucially, the steak.

Also, I didn't have any lemongrass, but did have lime leave so decided to play up the lime flavour and see what I could make.

It's now a favourite, made for itself.

I think it would work well with mushrooms in place of the chicken for a vegetarian version.

Cook some rice while you prepare the ingredients, and it can then sit and steam while you cook the curry.

I made this just for me, so portions are for one, but it's easy to scale up and not an exact science anyway really, more about what you've got in, how hungry you are, and what tastes good!

But I used:

a small piece of ginger, peeled and grated

1/2 a teaspoon turmeric powder (when I first made this, I didn't have any, so just leave it out if you don't either)

a couple of lime leaves, torn from the stalks and chopped into very small pieces (if you don't have lime leaves try the zest of a lime)

1 clove garlic, peeled and minced

1-2 red birds eye chillies (depending on your taste - I like it spicy!), finely sliced

1 teaspoon ground coriander

1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

2 whole cloves, or 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves

1/2 onion, peeled and sliced

1 small chicken breast

2 teaspoons cooking oil or use a spray oil

1/2 tin coconut milk (or like me, find a cute mini-tin!)

1 stick of cinnamon, or 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 - 1 juicy lime (to your taste - I like lots of lime)

1 teaspoon sugar

1/2 teaspoon salt

a few cherry tomatoes, halved

Thai sweet basil, if you have it, or if not perhaps a small handful of baby spinach leaves (or just leave this out)

Put the ginger, turmeric, lime leaves, garlic, chillies, coriander, cumin and cloves into a mortar, add a splash of water and use a pestle or rolling pin to pound into a beautiful paste.

Slice the onion and the chicken so they're ready to go.

Add the oil to a non-stick pan and when hot tip in the spice mixture so it sizzles.

Stir for maybe 30 seconds to a minute - until it releases that beautiful fragrance - and add another little splash of water if you think it needs it.

Rachel Redlaw chilli lime coconut chicken
Rachel Redlaw chilli lime coconut chicken

Then add the onions and chicken - and another splash of water - and cook, stirring often, until the chicken has sealed  - about three minutes.

Tip in the coconut milk then add the cinnamon, lime juice, sugar and salt.

Rachel Redlaw chilli lime coconut chicken
Rachel Redlaw chilli lime coconut chicken

Stir to mix and then simmer for ten minutes, stirring regularly, then add the tomatoes and cook for another five minutes.

Throw in the Thai basil or spinach, if using, remove from the heat and stir in to wilt.

Rachel Redlaw chilli lime coconut chicken
Rachel Redlaw chilli lime coconut chicken

Serve with rice and a couple of slices of a milder red chilli - I just do this because it looks nice and because I love chilli, so don't add it if you don't want to!

If I don't have the Thai basil or spinach, I might also top with some fresh chopped coriander leaves, but I know a lot of people don't like coriander, so this is only if you like it of course!

Rachel Redlaw chilli lime coconut chicken
Rachel Redlaw chilli lime coconut chicken

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Thai green mango salad / som tam mamuang

I love som tam, the traditional spicy sour Thai salad made with green papaya ... and I often make my version using courgette in place of green papaya.

But this one, made with green mango ...

I'm sorry as I always like to give a substitute and try to avoid specialist ingredients as much as possible, but for this one it's green mango or bust.

I don't make this very often, but when I do I take some care over it - there's something very special to me about a green mango salad.

WhenI lived in Thailand, we had a huge mango tree, with it's branches spread above the decking by the pool.

We had a non-stop supply of sour green mangoes which were dipped into a sauce so fiery, sour, salty .... with fermented fish heads, crabs legs, all sorts of things.

And it was so good!

When the mangoes were ripe, there were fruit flies, we wanted to get rid of the fruit ... and every person who visited left with a carrier bag full of ripe mangoes - imagine, that many mangoes we had to give them away by the bag-load. 

But now, it's a little more special for me to make green mango salad and there's also something I find very elegant about it too.

It's the sweet, sour flavours I think, and that it just works best with prawns or other seafood, so as I said ... I just take that little bit more care than I sometimes do when cooking. 

I don't find it a chore, but actively enjoy each little step, from toasting the almonds (that I prefer in place of traditional peanuts as peanuts aren't nuts but actually legumes, and have more calories than nuts and don't have the good fats either), to blanching the green beans.

I want every single element here to be perfect.

And I also create the salad vegetables together with the dressing - it saves time, washing up, and also - so I believe - blends everything so perfectly that the whole dish comes together as one, all those elements combined into one perfect salad.

Green mango salad for two (perhaps served with rice) or for one greedy one (probably without the added rice) ....

LET'S GO!


1 tablespoon (3 teaspoons) demerara sugar

4 tablespoons water

flaked almonds

green beans, ends removed 

a few small tomatoes, quartered

2 or 3 spring onions, sliced

1 medium green mango

some raw prawns, defrosted if frozen, and a whole squid tube, defrosted if frozen

1 garlic clove

1-2 birds eye red chillies

1 tablespoon fish sauce

the juice of one juicy lime


Put the sugar and water into a little pan, bring to the boil slowly and when boiling stir to dissolve the sugar and then remove from heat and cool.

Put a non-stick frying pan over a medium heat, add a handful of flaked almonds and toast for a few seconds, shaking all the time - it'll take maybe 30 seconds - then remove from heat.

Get the vegetables ready: slice the ends from the green beans and cut into inch-long pieces; quarter the cherry tomatoes; slice the spring onions.

Peel the mango and then chop into long thin slices - the easiest way is with a julienne peeler - and put to one side.

Rachel Redlaw som tam mamuang Thai mango salad
Rachel Redlaw som tam mamuang Thai mango salad
Rachel Redlaw som tam mamuang Thai mango salad

Put a saucepan of water on and when boiling add the prawns for a minute or so until almost done, then add the green beans for a minute to blanch, then remove from heat, and cover with cold water to prevent them from cooking further.

Rachel Redlaw som tam mamuang Thai mango salad

If adding squid, cut the tubes, score on both sides, and cook on a hot griddle pan for a minute or so each side. I love how the tubes roll up! 

Using a pestle and mortar, pound the garlic and chilli into a rough paste but not a pulp.

Then what I like to do is make the salad veg and dressing all as one - so add the green beans, tomatoes and spring onion and pound again.

Tip in the sugar syrup, the fish sauce and the lime juice and stir and pound again, to meld it all together.

Rachel Redlaw som tam mamuang Thai mango salad
Rachel Redlaw som tam mamuang Thai mango salad
Rachel Redlaw som tam mamuang Thai mango salad

And then it's just all about putting it together! Add the salad veg/dressing to the green mango and toss with (clean) hands.

Rachel Redlaw som tam mamuang Thai mango salad

Pour it all into your serving bowl or plate and place the prawns and squid on top, and then lastly the toasted almonds.

Elegant, delicious, delicate at the same time somehow as having those huge hot and sour flavours ... this is a special one.



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Red curry with crispy pork belly + noodles

I love pork belly and have it often in a really spicy sour salad, or in this lovely soft noodle dish.

And today I thought I'd make a red curry with it ... I didn't actually mean to have this with noodles, but I'd somehow - outrageously somehow - run out of rice!

I didn't even know that was a THING, to not have rice just always there in the cupboard!

ANYWAY.

Cook the pork belly first (as much as you like - I had two slices per person) as that will take longest.

I drizzle my pork belly slices with a little light soy sauce and then cook until crispy and gorgeous - it usually takes longer than I think, anywhere from 40 - 60 minutes - and I turn them every 15 minutes or so. 

Once cooked, remove from heat and cut into chunks. I also remove some of the fat at this point as I just don't want it all, but that's just personal preference and entirely up to you. 

For a crispy pork belly Thai red curry for two, you'll also need:

rice or noodles, so cook the rice so it's ready to go, or prepare the noodles according to pack instructions

cooking oil (I use a spray oil)

a good dessertspoon of good red curry paste

1/2 - 1 tin coconut milk (I really do think full fat is better than 'light' versions)

whatever vegetables you choose, or happen to have! I had broccoli and asparagus - and I do like adding a few halved cherry tomatoes to this too

1 tsp sugar

a slosh of fish sauce

the juice of a lime

Thai sweet basil leaves if you can get them (don't use Mediterranean basil, it's totally different)

a few slices of red chilli to garnish, if liked

Rachel Redlaw crispy pork belly Thai red curry
Rachel Redlaw crispy pork belly Thai red curry
Rachel Redlaw crispy pork belly Thai red curry

OK, so we've got our pork belly cooked and chopped, and our rice keeping warm in a pan with a lid on it, or - like me - soaked noodles ready to add at the end.

Next, just put a non-stick frying pan over a heat, add a few sprays of cooking oil, and then go in with the red curry paste.

Stir this just for a few seconds really, enough to start releasing the fragrance, and then pour in the coconut milk (how much is how thin or creamy you like the consistency - personally I go for half a tin for two).

When it comes to a simmer, throw in the vegetables and simmer for five or six minutes.

Rachel Redlaw crispy pork belly Thai red curry
Rachel Redlaw crispy pork belly Thai red curry
Rachel Redlaw crispy pork belly Thai red curry

Then add the pork belly pieces and the noodles (if using), stir to combine well and add the sugar, a good slosh of fish sauce and squeeze in the lime juice.

Cook for another minute and then remove from heat, stirring in the Thai basil if you have it.

Rachel Redlaw crispy pork belly Thai red curry
Rachel Redlaw crispy pork belly Thai red curry
Rachel Redlaw crispy pork belly Thai red curry

It would have looked nicer with the green basil, so I tried to pretty mine up a bit with a couple of slices of red chilli.

That didn't really work but what this lacks in prettiness it certainly makes up for in the most comforting deliciousness and combination of textures and flavours!



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Salmon with a very good hot, sweet, sour sauce

Salmon's not my favourite fish, I have to say; I often find it too bland.  But is is good for us, being an oily fish, and  I'm experimenting beyond my staples of white fish and - more often - seafood.

And this is a fantastic dinner - full of flavour and goodness, easy to make and, importantly, quick. 

All you need to serve two is a couple of skinless, boneless, salmon fillets, whatever you want to serve with it in way of rice or noodles and vegetables, plus the ingredients for the sauce.

If you have any sauce left over, it'll keep in the fridge in a jar for at least a week so you might like to double the quantities and eat this again soon.

Make this simple sauce by combining: 

1 clove of garlic, chopped finely

1 birds eye red chilli, chopped very finely

a small piece of fresh ginger, peeled and minced or grated

2 tablespoons fish sauce

1.5 teaspoons sugar

1 tablespoon lime juice (probably half a good juicy lime)

1 tablespoon water

Just stir it all together to dissolve the sugar, then set aside.

And cook your rice, if you're having it, so that it's ready to go as the fish cooks quickly.

I'm making some vegetables cooked on the griddle - strips of courgette, some broccoli and asparagus. I just drizzled these with a very little oil and a tiny amount of toasted sesame oil and cooked on a hot griddle for three minutes each side. I also added a grind of salt and a big squeeze of fresh lime juice while they were cooking.

This means that the griddle pan is really hot when I came to cook the fish and I cooked the salmon for four minutes one side and two the other.  I love watching the fish change colour as it cooks through!

Timings will vary a big depending on the size of the salmon pieces, your frying pan or griddle and how you like your salmon cooked!

I sometimes like it a bit more pink in the middle than I made it today and to get it like that I use a non-stick frying pan with a few sprays of oil and cook it four minutes one side then turn and cook a minute more on the other ... but today I felt like having it cooked through and also wanted those lovely charred lines from cooking on the griddle.

Serve with your rice and / or vegetables and just spoon the lovely sauce over it all.

Rachel Redlaw salmon with a good hot sweet sour sauce
Rachel Redlaw salmon with a good hot sweet sour sauce
IMG_7671.JPGRachel Redlaw salmon with a good hot sweet sour sauce


LIKE THIS? YOU MIGHT WANT TO TRY THESE ...

Eating for overwhelm // white fish with ginger + onions

A lovely soothing dinner to ease a stressful day.

Working under stress, at a fast pace, can mean feeling nauseous and dizzy - and here's where ginger can help.

Onions are good for the heart and reducing high blood pressure, but my belief is also that eating for your heart also nurtures the heart emotion, that overwhelm that can come with stress.

And white fish is soothing on the digestive tract, soft and soothing to eat too.

Serve with a little white rice (which is easier to digest than brown) and with a green vegetable stir-fry, with a little chilli and soy sauce, to give hope and vibrancy  ...

This is a good choice for a dinner to wind down, take some time, allow yourself to relax, let all that jumpiness and tightness unwind a little.

I use my beloved remoska electric cooker for this, but you could put the fish into foil parcels on a baking tray or just straight into an ovenproof dish with a lid - and cook in a medium heat oven.

Here's what you'll need for two:

2 white fish fillets (cod, hake, haddock - up to you)

cooking oil

2 tablespoons ginger, peeled and grated

2 garlic cloves, peeled and finely chopped

1 tablespoon light brown demerera sugar

4 teaspoons fish sauce

the zest and juice of a lime

1 onion, peeled and finely sliced

coriander leaves to garnish, if liked

Put the fish into the remoska, foil or oven-dish and add a few sprays (or a couple of teaspoons) of oil, then the ginger, garlic, sugar, fish sauce, lime zest and juice and a splash of water and cook in a medium oven for 20 minutes or so - check that it's cooked through.

Rachel Redlaw the food healer fish with ginger and onions
Rachel Redlaw the food healer fish with ginger and onions

Cook your rice and any vegetables you'e serving with this ready for when the fish has cooked.

Five minutes before the end of the fish cooking time add a few sprays or a little oil to a non-stick frying pan and cook the sliced onion until soft and golden.

Serve the fish with rice and vegetables and topped with the fried onion and coriander leaves.

Rachel Redlaw the food healer fish with ginger and onions
Rachel Redlaw the food healer fish with ginger and onions


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Pork belly + noodles

Sticky, crispy pork belly, with soft noodles and lovely warm flavours - this is my favourite comfort food of the moment.

Really simple to make, and really good.

Quantities are kind of flexible so it's up to you if you want more of the pork belly or more of the noodles, or to make the sauce more of a soupier texture. Or just more of all of it of course!

I'd say maybe 2 pork belly slices per person and we want these good and dark and sticky and crispy, so add a couple of tablespoons of light soy sauce and another couple of runny honey. 

Mix it all together and then cook on a baking tray a medium oven (or in a remoska, like me), turning a few times, for 45-60 minutes. You can finish under the grill if you really want it crisped up more.

Rachel Redlaw pork belly and noodles
Rachel Redlaw pork belly and noodles

While the pork is cooking, prepare some dried rice noodles according to the pack instructions so they're ready to stir fry.  

I like these vermicelli rice noodles for this dish and mine took longer to soak than the packet said - I like them very soft in this dish anyway, so soaked mine in a pan of boiling water (taken off the heat the minute it comes to the boil and the noodles thrown in) for about ten minutes, then drain and rinse in cold water to stop them cooking further.

They can then just wait until the pork's done.

Also prepare the other ingredients:

1/2 onion, thinly sliced

1 garlic clove, minced

1/2 - 1 red chilli depending on your taste and how you feel 

2 or 3 tablespoons - maybe a little more - water

1/3 Knorr chicken stock cube

1 tablespoon fish sauce

2 finely sliced spring onions

fresh coriander leaves, chopped

When the pork is cooked, remove it from the baking dish and slice into bite-sized chunks - I also remove some of the fat if it's very fatty but that's just personal choice, so do whatever's going to taste best for you.

Rachel Redlaw pork belly and noodles
Rachel Redlaw pork belly and noodles
Rachel Redlaw pork belly and noodles

Then put a non-stick frying pan on the heat, add the tiniest amount of oil - I use a few sprays of a spray oil - and add the onion, garlic and chilli, stir frying for a couple of minutes.  Add a splash of water if it looks like it might be sticking - garlic burns really easily so keep it moving and add that splash of water if you need to.

Then add a good slosh of water, crumble in the piece of stock cube, add fish sauce and bring it all to the boil, reduce the heat and simmer for five minutes or so until the onions are soft.

Rachel Redlaw pork belly and noodles
Rachel Redlaw pork belly and noodles

It's entirely up to you if you want to add more or less water, to make more of a sauce or more of a dry dish.

When the onions are softening, add the noodles, and stir fry for another few minutes - again add water if you need or want to - until the noodles are hot through.

Then add the pork pieces and stir - cook for another minute or so, then add the spring onions and coriander, stir through, remove from heat and serve.

Rachel Redlaw pork belly and noodles
Rachel Redlaw pork belly and noodles

Finish with a sprinkling of freshly ground black pepper and - that's it!

finished.JPG

Yes it takes a little time for the pork belly to cook, but then the rest of it is just combining a few ingredients really.

Eat and enjoy .... 



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Immune-boosting, health-giving, soul-food roast chicken

In the darkest of January days, the sleet falling outside, we need to nurture ourselves - mind, body, spirit, and of course what we choose to cook - for ourselves and for others - can also nurture that feeling.

Making something good, healthful.

Something that soothes but also that adds so much natural immune-boosting, digestion-friendly, anti-oxidents in one meal ... today, it's this roast chicken.

Roast chicken is a soul-food, a nourishing, soothing, happiness-inducing food.

There's also something about the time it takes to cook that feels right, in these slower times of year, where we hunker down a little and take a little time to cook something good.

It goes without saying but I'll say it anyway - you can't have soul food from an unhappy hen, so choose organic, free range chicken, with a happy life. A chicken's life needs to be honoured too so use every scrap - make stock when you've finished with the meat.

Using all of our ingredients - meat, fish or vegetable - and avoiding food waste is a key part of our overall health and wellness.

So, organic roast chicken for the soul. 

Every ingredient in this plays a part in providing these health benefits:

boosts the immune system

promotes heart health

anti-inflammatory (great for the joints in these winter months)

aids digestion

can help to reduce blood pressure

Every ingredient is chosen for their health benefits, and also taste benefits - which of course then also aids overall health by the pure enjoyment of our food too.

For this marinade you just need the following (super-immune-boosting) ingredients:

a thumb sized piece of ginger, grated

another thumb-sized piece of turmeric root, grated (if you can't find it, just add 2 teaspoons of turmeric powder)

a good big garlic clove, squashed and minced, and one garlic clove squashed and put inside the cavity of the chicken

1 lemon, half squeezed into the marinade and the other half cut into two quarters and put into the cavity

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1 teaspoon cayenne pepper

a small pot of natural yogurt, about half a cup

2 teaspoons olive oil

Mix all the marinade ingredients together and massage into the chicken - and do this with love!

We need love in our cooking and taking a couple of minutes to honour the chicken, massage in the added health-boosting marinade, will all make for something extra special.

Leave the chicken to marinade for a couple of hours or overnight and then roast.

I use my beloved remoska - it's a small electric oven - but on this occasion so small it burnt the edges of the chicken.

Rachel Redlaw The Food Healer Roast Chicken
Rachel Redlaw The Food Healer Roast Chicken

But hey - it still reduces waste in electricity heating a huge cavernous oven for one chicken - AND that small space means it steams and cooks and remains beautifully moist.

It takes an hour and a half in the remoska, so probably similar in your oven - just make sure to test it's done and cooked through completely - the easiest way is by putting a knife into the leg and checking the juices run clear.

Rachel Redlaw The Food Healer Roast Chicken
Rachel Redlaw The Food Healer Roast Chicken

(Note on the remoska: do look it up HERE. It's not a slow cooker, it's just a tiny, economical electric oven. The initial outlay is quite a lot, yes, but I've used mine several times a week for over 15 years now, so it does end up in cost-per-use - ha, I nearly put cost-per-wear - very economical, without even factoring in the lower electricity/gas costs).

And then just enjoy your soul-food, health-providing roast ... I like it with a rice salad full of herbs and lemon, or with traditional roast vegetables.

Use the leftovers in all the creative ways you can - HERE's some of my favourites.

Rachel Redlaw The Food Healer Roast Chicken

Make stock from the leftovers and bones.

Make the whole experience one of nurture, thoughtfulness, love, sensuality. 

Yes I do find the act of cooking healthful food for my loved ones, beautifully, mindfully ... sensual - it indulges so many senses to choose to do this.

And this is a power-punch of immune-boosting ingredients to stave off all the winter colds too.

 



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Another green soup

Yeah I know .. it IS a bit weird! 

Just a couple of weeks ago I made my first ever, well first actually called by that name, GREEN SOUP - and it was so, so good.

And then I visited my mum that weekend and was looking through her recipe book - as I often do - as it has so many good recipes from such a long time ago, hand written and some torn from old newspapers ... and I found a recipe for 'green soup'.

It was just one of those coincidences where you can't NOT see where it goes - and so today I made her green soup recipe too.

In all honesty, I preferred the first green soup I made, but this one is a very good soup too.

I think it probably shows its age - there are of course fashions in flavours and trends in textures.

That's intriguing too .. yes it's a more filling soup as it includes potatoes and peas .. but it also has flavours and ingredients that were more unusual back then - it has ground coriander and cumin, a little fresh green chilli and roasted cumin seeds (I just dry toasted in a pan and then ground).

But hey, I'll DEFINITELY be making it again - a super-simple, nourishing, good, simple and filling soup ... er, YES.

Here's what you need for maybe four smaller bowls or two greedy people - or by greedy I mean a huge bowl each for a main course and no need for bread with it either (cos it's already got potato in the soup)!


1 medium-large potato, peeled and diced

1 medium onion, peeled and diced

Rachel Redlaw green pea and potato soup

1.25 litres chicken - or vegetable stock - to be honest I just throw the stock cube in and add the water separately but you can make up the stock first if you prefer

a nice cube of fresh ginger, peeled 

1 teaspoon ground coriander 

2 teaspoons ground cumin

a good handful fresh coriander leaves, chopped

1 fresh green chilli, diced

1/2 teaspoon salt

approx 400g fresh or frozen peas

the juice of half a lemon

1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds, roasted and ground

small pot of natural yogurt


Into a big saucepan put the potato, onion, stock, ginger and spices and bring to the boil then simmer for 30 minutes.

Fish out that piece of ginger and discard.

Add the fresh coriander, chilli, salt, peas, lemon juice and roasted cumin powder.

Bring back to the boil and simmer for three minutes until the peas are soft.

potatoes in.JPG
Rachel Redlaw green pea and potato soup

Pour it all into a blender or food processor and blend until smooth.

Tip back into the saucepan, season with salt and pepper to taste, tip in the pot of yogurt and bring back to a simmer.

Once at a simmer, remove from heat and serve - you could add a swirl of yogurt, some extra black pepper or fresh coriander to garnish if liked.

yogurt in.JPG
Rachel Redlaw green pea and potato soup

Green soup

Yep, like a green smoothie but for winter!

Possibly the most healthful, nourishing, restorative thing you can make - and delicious too. 

I found this recipe on Adriene Mishler's site - she of Yoga with Adriene that I love so much and can't stop going on about - I love my almost-daily yoga practice and how it makes me feel.

Her 31-day yoga challenge is a great place to start if you want to try making yoga a part of your life too.

But enough yoga, and back to the soup.

I simplified the recipe slightly and added a spoon of creamy Greek yogurt - but you could just leave this out of course.

This is a seriously good soup - it sounded just what I needed when I woke up with swollen glands and a sore throat - and it was ... but I wasn't expecting it to be so utterly delicious too. 

Definitely a new favourite for me!

As you'll need a food processor (or blender) to blend the soup at the end, you might as well use it to chop everything and make this super-fast to prepare too.

No need to wash it in between chopping the onion and the vegetables, and then I just gave it a quick rinse in cold water before using to blend the finished soup.

Here's the ingredients for a good big pan of soup ... 

1 onion

a teaspoon of light olive oil or other cooking oil

2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped

1 large courgette

3 stalks of celery

Water, freshly boiled from the kettle

1 vegetable stock cube

1-1.5 teaspoons white pepper (I love white pepper!)

a good handful of broccoli - and another of asparagus

2 big handfuls of spinach leaves or kale, something dark green and leafy anyway

Salt, to taste


Put the kettle on to boil and get all the ingredients ready.

Whizz the onion in the food processor then put straight into a large saucepan with the cooking oil and garlic and cook over a low heat until it's softened - add a splash of water too and make sure it doesn't stick.

This will take probably between 5-10 minutes, so while it's cooking, chop the courgette and celery together in the food processor and then add to the softened onion and garlic mixture, and stir together.

Rachel Redlaw green soup
onion.JPG
Rachel Redlaw green soup

Add a ladleful of water and crumble in the stock cube and the white pepper and mix it all in.

Then whizz up the broccoli and asparagus and add this too and cook for a minute.

Rachel Redlaw green soup
Rachel Redlaw green soup
Rachel Redlaw green soup

Throw in the spinach leaves and stir until wilted, then add as much water as you want to make your soup plus a tablespoon of natural or Greek yogurt (if using).

Simmer for ten minutes then remove from heat and cool slightly before blending very smooth.

Rachel Redlaw green soup
Rachel Redlaw green soup
Rachel Redlaw green soup

Return to the pan to re-heat gently and add salt to taste (I also added a little more yogurt, since the pot was open!).

Serve with another dollop of yogurt if liked, and with a chunk of good crusty bread, or with a salad - as you choose.

Rachel Redlaw green soup
Rachel Redlaw green soup
Rachel Redlaw green soup


YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE ...

Yum talay (Thai seafood salad)

Sometimes I don't think what I do is really 'cooking'. Not 'proper cooking'!

I don't really weigh things out, it's never very precise, and you HAVE to taste and taste and see what tastes good to you. 

I see it as less 'cooking' and more 'faffing about playing with food'.

It's ALL about having fun and really ENJOYING making something good to eat - that's usually simple and quick too.

This recipe is a perfect example ... lots of playing and very little actual cooking. 

And it tastes really good.

I love seafood and I love hot and sour flavours - and the lemongrass and lime leaf makes this just really delicious - so full of flavour.

Thai seafood salad - let's get started.

I made a big bowl just for me - so adjust the quantities of course depending on how much you're making.


Here's a list of the ingredients I used, but read through the whole recipe and see where you might adapt or change according to what you've got and what you like.

frozen prawns and squid, defrosted

1 tablespoon demerera sugar plus 3 tablespoons cold water

1-2 birds eye chillies

1 tablespoon fish sauce

1-2 limes

1 carrot, peeled and julienned

a few slices of white onion

2 spring onions, chopped

1 tomato, chopped

1 stick of celery, chopped

1 stalk of lemongrass

1 lime leaf, torn to remove the stalk

extra wedges of lime, to serve


You can use any fish or seafood you like (or happen to have).  I always like to have prawns and squid in the freezer as it's just so easy then to make something to eat - and generally I have scallops too but not today. Defrost before using - seafood defrosts quickly in a bowl of cold water - then rinse with fresh cold water and pat dry on kitchen paper.

You need to cook the fish first before adding it to the salad - do this any way you like.

The quickest way for my prawns and squid to cook would be to drop them quickly into a pan of boiling water and cook for only about a minute or less ... I did do the prawns like this - they're ready when they've gone from raw grey to completely pink!

Rachel Redlaw yum talay
Rachel Redlaw yum talay
Rachel Redlaw yum talay

But I wanted my squid to have a bit more texture too it and I just like cooking it on the griddle and watching it roll up! (Yep, 'faffing about playing with food').

So I scored my squid tubes, opened them out and cooked them on a very hot griddle and squeezed lime juice over them as they cooked.

Once the fish and seafood is cooked, just leave to one side to add at the end.

The next part of playing with food is to make the dressing - I added one tablespoon of demerera sugar to three tablespoons of water in a little saucepan and brought it slowly to the boil, stirred to dissolve the sugar and removed from the heat to cool. You could stand the saucepan in some cold water in the sink if you want to cool it more quickly.

I pounded up two birds eye chillies (use 1-2 depending on your taste) then added a tablespoon of fish sauce and the juice of a really juicy lime, then the sugar/water mixture.

Rachel Redlaw yum talay
Rachel Redlaw yum talay
Rachel Redlaw yum talay

Stir it all together and taste - see if you need to add anything else. It might need a little more lime juice depending on how juicy your lime was! 

Do make this dressing to YOUR taste. I like it very spicy and very sour so use lots of chilli and lime, but you might prefer a sweeter dressing, so just taste and play and experiment.

Next - the salad.

Use what you like really!

I had carrot, some white onion, a couple of spring onions, a tomato and some celery - but you could use anything you like.

Very finely slice just the bottom third of a lemongrass stalk (having removed the tough outer layers) and also finely slice a lime leaf and add to the salad. 

If you can't get these then do make it anyway, but the lemongrass and lime leaf are SO GOOD do get them if you can! I'm lucky that my local supermarket sells them so hopefully yours does too.

Add the dressing to the salad, mix well, and tip out onto a plate or bowl and add the seafood

Serve with extra lime wedges to squeeze over.

Rachel Redlaw yum talay
Rachel Redlaw yum talay
Rachel Redlaw yum talay

And that's it!

One delicious, authentic, Thai seafood salad - easy and fun to make and very little actual cooking!



YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE ...

Happiness soup

Looking through her old recipe book last weekend for my mum's original lentil soup recipe (couldn't find it!), I found a recipe for Savoury Slice, something forgotten from my childhood and from my packed lunches, which I couldn't resist making again.

I also found a recipe for this 'Happiness Soup' written into the book in one of my sister's handwriting - none of us, including my mum, have ever made this as far as I know!

But how can I resist a recipe for 'Happiness Soup'? 

So I made it yesterday for lunch for my dad, my step-mum and me - and it was really good.

(There was also leftover pumpkin soup that my dad had made the day before - which I tried and, having claimed to hate pumpkin soup - well, I was wrong! I'll be sharing his pumpkin soup recipe soon too!).

Happiness soup is simple and tasty and perfect for lunch - it has rice in it so you won't need to fill up on bread either.

Here's what you mean to make enough for four people, but of course adapt according to the size of the courgettes, etc that you have! It doesn't need specific measures so don't be worried to change the measurements a bit.

3 medium - large courgettes

zest and juice of 1.5 lemons

3 tablespoons light olive oil (or other cooking oil)

1.5 teaspoon turmeric

1.2 teaspoon chilli powder

1.5 litre chicken (or vegetable) stock

120g basmati (or long grain) rice

salt and pepper to season

sliced chilli or fresh herbs to garnish (if liked)

Rachel Redlaw happiness soup
Rachel Redlaw happiness soup

Peel and finely dice the courgettes and put into a big saucepan with the lemon zest and oil.

Fry gently until softened, stirring often, which will take probably around eight minutes or so.

Rachel Redlaw happiness soup
Rachel Redlaw happiness soup

Add the lemon juice, stock, turmeric, chilli powder and rice and simmer for 15 minutes, partially covered.

Rachel Redlaw happiness soup
Rachel Redlaw happiness soup

Remove the lid, season and simmer again for another five minutes.

Check that it's all cooked through - cook a little longer if you want the rice softer etc of course.

Serve warm with slices of chilli or perhaps some fresh herbs to garnish.

Rachel Redlaw happiness soup
Rachel Redlaw happiness soup

Such a lovely autumnal colour and so healthy and nourishing too. 

A really good, happy soup indeed.



YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE ...

Spicy mango chutney

What better way to feel at one with this season than by using all the abundance of fruit and vegetables and pickling, preserving, making jam, my favourite brown (plum) sauce, or chutneys.

OK, so these mangoes weren't exactly grown locally, but I use and love mango chutney more than any other - so that's what I'm making.

And the apples at least were straight from my parents' orchard, so I'm not entirely missing the point of seasonal eating!

This recipe is very much based on that of one of my very favourite food writers, Diana Henry, and taken from her wonderful book, Salt Sugar Smoke .... I just simplified (to me) the quantities as I don't like weighing things and changed the spices a bit - just due to personal preference!

So, to make approximately 3 jars of delicious and easy spicy mango chutney, I used:

2 medium-sized onions, finely chopped

400ml white malt vinegar

2 red birds eye chillies, very finely chopped - I keep the seeds in (you can use more or less chillies of course to suit your taste)

1 green chilli, very finely chopped

2 tsp black mustard seeds

3 mangoes (around 1lb each), peeled and the flesh diced (I can't stone mangoes so just slice around the stone and then cut the pieces of mango into smaller pieces)

2 smallish (or 1 large) apple, peeled, cored and chopped into small pieces (a tart cooking apple would be good, but I used eating apples)

1 lb granulated sugar

Fresh ginger, grated, approx 2 teaspoons

1 teaspoon ground coriander

1 teaspoon ground cumin

grated zest and juice of 1 juicy lime (or 2 less juicy of course)

Rachel Redlaw mango chutney
Rachel Redlaw mango chutney
Rachel Redlaw mango chutney

Into a large pan go the onions, vinegar and chillies - bring to the boil and then simmer for 10 minutes, when the onions will have started to soften.

Toast the mustard seeds - just put them into a dry frying pan and as soon as they start to pop remove them from the heat.

Add the mangoes, apples and mustard seeds to the pan and simmer for another 10 minutes when the fruit will have started to soften.

Rachel Redlaw mango chutney
Rachel Redlaw mango chutney
Rachel Redlaw mango chutney

Tip in the ginger, coriander, cumim and lime zest and then slowly bring it all to the boil, stirring to help the sugar dissolve.

Reduce the heat if need be to a simmer and cook until it's yummy and thick and jammy.  

It'll take 30-45 minutes and do keep stirring regularly as it'll stick to the bottom if not!

Rachel Redlaw mango chutney
Rachel Redlaw mango chutney

When it's done, squeeze in the lime juice, stir and remove from heat.

While it's still hot put the chutney into warm, dry, sterilised jars, cover with waxed paper discs (confession - I don't have any so I don't do this - also it never hangs around long enough in this house!) and seal with a lid.

It'll keep for AGES too - up to a year - but, as I  said - not in this house it doesn't! 

We tried it immediately for dinner the same night as it was made - with chicken jalfrezi and some carrot salad in place of rice (shredded carrot with a big squeeze of fresh lemon and topped with toasted flaked almonds).

And you can also use it in this recipe for sardine or mushroom mango chutney curry.

Rachel Redlaw mango chutney
Rachel Redlaw mango chutney


YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE ...

 

 

Totally yummy (despite the not very appealing name) egg + bean curry

This is so simple and so good, it's already (and I've only made it once hehe) a new lunch go-to.

My friend Pam shared the recipe and I just knew I was going to love it.

I love eggs and I love curry, so I love dishes like eggs in coconut masala or these great Thai classic 'son-in-law' eggs.

But this is easier than easy and just perfect for a quick lunch.

Here's what you need to make 'egg + bean curry' for one:

Cooking oil

1/2 onion, diced

1/2 - 1 chilli (depending on taste), chopped

1 garlic clove, finely chopped

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1 tomato, diced

2 eggs, beaten

1 small tin baked beans, rinsed of all sauce (or the same quantity of cooked haricot beans)

salt and pepper to season

chopped fresh coriander leaves to serve (if liked)

Rachel Redlaw egg and bean curry
Rachel Redlaw egg and bean curry

Heat a frying pan or wok and add some cooking oil (I use a spray oil then a splash of water if it looks like sticking) then the onion, chilli, garlic and cumin and cook over a very low heat for two or three minutes, adding a little water if it's sticking. You don't want it to burn!

Then add the tomatoes and cook until it's all softened, probably another five or six minutes.

Add the eggs and beans and cook, stirring all the time, for a few minutes to scramble the beans and get everything hot and yummy.

Rachel Redlaw egg and bean curry
Rachel Redlaw egg and bean curry
Rachel Redlaw egg and bean curry

Season to taste, check you're happy with the consistency and turn out on to a plate or a bowl and garnish with fresh coriander leaves, if liked.

Rachel Redlaw egg and bean curry

I started eating straightaway and forgot to take a photo until I was two thirds of the way in!

So when I make this again (which I definitely will be, and soon) I'll take a photo of the finished dish.

This is really good and simple and tasty - just the sort of lunch I love! 


Coconut cauliflower chicken/mushroom soup

Simple, quick and delicious - my favourite sort of recipe!

And especially on a rainy grey day, I love the sort of soothing-ness that comes from creamy coconut matched with a little spice, and the cauliflower is the perfect texture - soft but with a little bite.

I used chicken stock and some cooked chicken, but it's a lovely vegetarian/vegan recipe made with vegetable stock and mushrooms instead.


For two bowls, you'll need

1 small head of cauliflower, chopped into florets

a big handful of mushrooms, cleaned and sliced and/or some cooked chicken, cut into small pieces

300ml stock - I used half a Knorr chicken stock cube, but vegetable is good too 

200ml (half a tin) coconut milk

1 garlic clove, squashed and finely chopped (you can leave this out though, I think I might try it without next time I make it)

1 couple of lime leaves, crumpled and torn to release the scent would be perfect - but I didn't have any so used the zest of one lime

a piece of ginger, probably an inch or so, peeled and grated

If you have a stalk of lemongrass (I didn't), add it! Just remove the outer tough layers, give it a bash with a rolling pin and throw it in 

2 tablespoons light soy sauce

1/2 teaspoon sugar

1-2 red bird eye chillies, quantity to your own taste, sliced

the juice of half a lime

coriander leaves to serve (if liked)


Prepare the vegetables and chicken (if using) so they're ready to add later.

Then put the stock, coconut milk, garlic (if using), lime leaves or lime zest, ginger, lemongrass (if using), soy sauce and sugar plus the cauliflower, mushrooms and/or chicken into a saucepan and gently heat to bring to the boil.

Rachel Redlaw coconut cauliflower soup
Rachel Redlaw coconut cauliflower soup

Simmer for 5-10 minutes until the cauliflower is soft but a little al dente (definitely not mush!) and remove from heat.

Stir in the chillies and lime juice and serve with coriander, if liked - I wish I'd had some as think it would have looked prettier with some greenery on there!

Rachel Redlaw coconut cauliflower soup

Oh, you could remove any lime leaves and lemongrass before serving if you want - or just take them out when you come to them in the bowl ...

So simple and so good.



YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE ...

Thai-inspired salmon tray-bake

So tray bakes ...

Well, first ... I was at my sister's in Cornwall the last few days, walking on this beach ... 

Spending time with my family, laughing and playing, and also lots of time creating, writing and cooking.

It's very different cooking for a family than for one or two adults (usually) and it made a really lovely change.

I especially liked the simple and delicious tray bake we made last night - just putting chicken thighs into a dish with cherry tomatoes on the vine, a couple of chopped rashers of bacon,, a garlic clove, minced, and new potatoes - served with steamed tenderstem broccoli.


And all the way home, five hours on the train, I was half thinking, half brewing, what I could do for a Thai-inspired version of an easy one-pot tray-bake.

I had a friend coming for dinner tonight, so she was going to be my guinea pig!

I wasn't sure to be honest that it would work.

BUT we LOVED it!

And I'm SO utterly thrilled it was so good, and so simple too!

Current favourite easy dinner!


OK, what you need for two people:

Some new potatoes, however many you want to eat! (I think I allowed 5-6 each)

Approx 150 ml coconut milk (I had this cute 165ml tin so used that)

150 ml stock made with chicken or veg stock cube

1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil

2 garlic cloves, minced (put half aside)

a small (maybe a thumb sized) piece of ginger, minced (put half aside)

zest and juice of one lime

I red birds eye chilli, finely chopped

2 fillets of salmon, boneless and remove the skin if you can

some green veg - I had broccoli, asparagus and a couple of sliced spring onions

coriander leaves, chopped, to serve - if liked


I used my trusty remoska to make this, but you can just use a glass/pyrex dish or roasting dish - and pre-heat the oven first to a medium heat.

Slice the potatoes quite thickly and arrange in a layer over the bottom of the remoska or dish.

Mix the coconut milk, stock, sesame oil,  1/2  the garlic and 1/2 the ginger and pour over the potatoes.

Then add the zest and juice of a lime, and the chopped red chilli.

Rachel Redlaw Thai tray bake
Rachel Redlaw Thai tray bake
Rachel Redlaw Thai tray bake
Rachel Redlaw Thai tray bake

Stir and cook for around 20 minutes. 

You will need to make a decision here as to the right time to add the fish and vegetables based on how cooked your potatoes are.

Mine needed 30 minutes cooking plus another ten for the fish and veg, but I think if you're using a pre-heated oven you'll only need 15-20 for the first part, so do check and use your own intuition (and knowledge of your own oven).

When the potatoes are 5-10 mins away from being done, add the salmon, the vegetables and then the remaining garlic and ginger.

Cook for another ten minutes of so until done.

Remove from heat and add a handful of chopped coriander leaves, if liked.

Rachel Redlaw Thai tray bake
Rachel Redlaw Thai tray bake

Serve either in the dish it's been cooked in, or if you're using a (kind ugly but the BEST) remoska like me, then serve in a bowl, maybe with extra lime wedges on the side.

We really loved this!

I hope you do too.



YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE ... 

Green beans, onions, tomatoes + feta

This is a really lovely dish from Rachel Roddy writing in the Weekend Guardian recently - an Italian warm vegetable sort of salad/stew with soft flavours of braised runner beans, tomatoes, olive oil, salt - all warm and beautiful on a summer's day served with some good bread.

I couldn't resist trying it immediately (nope, patience has never been a strong point of mine!) so I ended up making it slightly differently with the ingredients I had.

I still loved it and I'll be making it again, both the way I made it, and going back to try the original.

It's pretty much perfect in its simplicity just as it is, although would make a great accompaniment to any grilled / barbecued meats of fish too.

You'll find the original recipe HERE.

And because my local shop didn't have any fresh basil the day that I made it, and because I had fine beans rather than runner beans, I made some tiny changes to the flavours - without the basil it would need something so I also used a few slices of chilli pepper and some ground cumin.

If you have fresh basil, then omit the chilli and the cumin.

Note that you leave the dish to sit for an hour or two after cooking to be served warm, so factor that into your timings!

Or just eat it hot of course.

Or make it the day before you want it and reheat very gently to serve - I imagine the flavours will only get better when left overnight.

Here's how I made a big pot, enough for two.

You'll need: 

1 medium white onion, very finely sliced

salt

1/2-1 small red chilli, very finely diced

a couple of tablespoons olive oil (I used 20 sprays of my spray cooking oil and a splash of water when it needed it) 

equal quantities of green beans or runner beans, and ripe tomatoes - I think I used 200-300g of each (and use the very best tomatoes you can get hold of - ones with lots of flavour)

1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

a good chunk of Feta cheese to serve

Get the ingredients together

Get the ingredients together

Top and tail the beans and cut into small pieces

Top and tail the beans and cut into small pieces

Remove tough cores from the tomatoes and dice

Remove tough cores from the tomatoes and dice

Put the oil in a pan and when warmed, add the finely sliced onion and a small pinch of salt, and the chilli (if using) and cook gently over a low-medium heat until the onion is soft - if you use a spray oil like me, you'll need to add a splash of water or two as it cooks to prevent the onion burning. Cooking onions until soft always takes longer than I think it will - probably around 10 minutes.

Add the beans to the pan, stir well to combine with the onion, then cook - still stirring - for a 3-4 minutes.

Rachel Redlaw green beans, onions, tomatoes + feta
Rachel Redlaw green beans, onions, tomatoes + feta

Add the tomatoes, another small pinch of salt and 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin (if using) then cover the pan and leave for a couple of minutes. Uncover the pan and stir, then cover for another 4-5 minutes (have a look and stir if you like - and if you need a little splash of water add it - although the juice from the tomatoes should be coming out now as it has time to cook with the lid on).

Once the tomatoes are releasing their juice, uncover the pan and cook uncovered on a low heat, simmering gently, for 30-40 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Rachel Redlaw green beans, onions, tomatoes + feta
Rachel Redlaw green beans, onions, tomatoes + feta
Rachel Redlaw green beans, onions, tomatoes + feta

The beans will be really tender and the sauce lovely and thick.

If you have fresh basil add a handful of torn basil leaves now for a couple of minutes. 

Taste and see if it needs any seasoning, then remove from heat and allow to sit for an hour or two before serving warm with the piece of feta crumbled over and served with bread, if liked. 

 
Rachel Redlaw green beans, onions, tomatoes + feta
 


YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE ...

Tom yum noodles

I couldn't decide.

I wanted tom yum goong, and I also wanted something with lovely slippery rice noodles.

And what I really didn't want to do was make a wrong decision - I hate making wrong food decisions! 

So I thought I'd make a tom yum noodles ... and it was exactly what I wanted.

A few things to note ...

1. the ingredients weren't hard to find so hopefully you won't find them so either. Galangal (although I used ginger here as that's what i had), lime leaves an lemongrass are all available at my local Sainsbury's although it is a really big one. M&S and Waitrose are a good bet otherwise, even smaller stores.

2. t's a bit of a faff picking the bits of ginger, lime leaf, lemongrass and chillies out of the pan, so I've just ordered some of those little muslin bags you use for spices or bouquet garni and when they arrive will be trying it using one to keep those ingredients separate and easy to remove.

3. you'll need some chilli paste in oil, nam prik pao - it's easy to make and keeps in the fridge for ages but you will need to make this in advance - here's the recipe.

So for a good big bowl of tom yum noodles, you'll need

rice noodles, soaked first or prepared as per pack instructions, ready to stir fry

1/2 cup water

a piece - around 1/3 - of a Knorr chicken stock cube

a piece of galangal or ginger, skin removed and cut into slices (make them quite large so they're easier to pick out later)

1 stalk lemongrass, tough outer removed, cut into two or three pieces and bashed with a rolling pin

a few kaffir lime leaves, leaves torn from the stalks and stalks discarded (this smells AMAZING by the way))

2 or 3 birds eye chillies (don't worry, you don't actually eat the chillies), stalks removed and given a bash with the rolling pin

one shallot or a small piece of white onion, sliced

a big heaped teaspoon of chilli paste in oil nam prik pao

a couple of mushrooms, or one large one, sliced

one tomato, cut into quarters or sliced - or a few cherry tomatoes, halved

some prawns - I had 7 or 8 raw ones

1 tablespoon fish sauce

1-2 limes depending on how juicy they are and your taste

small handful of coriander leaves, chopped (optional)

Rachel Redlaw tom yum goong noodle
Rachel Redlaw tom yum goong noodle
Rachel Redlaw tom yum goong noodle

Add some water, probably half a cup or so (you can always add more) to a wok, deep frying pan or saucepan, turn on the heat and when it starts to simmer, crumble in approx 1/3 of a stock cube and stir.

Rachel Redlaw tom yum goong noodle
Rachel Redlaw tom yum goong noodles

Add the ginger, lemongrass, lime leaves and chillies and simmer for two minutes, stirring and add a splash more water if needed. 

Then add the vegetables and a good teaspoon of chilli paste in oil and simmer again for a couple of minutes.

Rachel Redlaw tom yum goong noodle
Rachel Redlaw tom yum goong noodles

Add the prawns and cook for a minute or so, stirring, until they have JUST turned pink - don't worry you'll cook them a bit more later and it's easy to over-cook them.

Remove pan from heat and pick out the bits of ginger, lemongrass, lime leaves and chillies.

Rachel Redlaw tom yum goong noodles
Rachel Redlaw tom yum goong noodles

Return pan to heat and add the fish sauce, lime juice (stir and taste to see if you need more) then add the noodles.

Cook, stirring, for another minute of so until everything is cooked and hot.

Throw in the coriander leaves, if using, stir again, removed from heat and serve,

Rachel Redlaw tom yum goong noodles
Rachel Redlaw tom yum goong noodles

I absolutely love this - I love the flavours of tom yum and I love the softness of rice noodles - and hope you do too.



Jamie's hot + sour rhubarb and crispy pork with noodles

This is a Jamie Oliver recipe, recommended to me some years ago by one of my sisters and one that I only got round to making a week ago.

Well! Do I wish I'd tried it sooner?! (The answer's YES).

I've made it three times this week, twice just for me, and once for me and my (other) sister last night.  And she loved it as much I as I do!

I've adapted it a bit, mainly due to me not having cresses or Chinese Five Spice (where on earth did I leave it? I remember taking it somewhere ... ).

Oh, and not having six people to feed! And of course, I used rice noodles in place of egg noodles.

The original recipe is HERE if you'd like it.

And here's what I used to make this utterly delicious dish for two.

For the marinade

4 smallish sticks of rhubarb, ends cut off, and chopped into a few large pieces

2 tablespoons light soy sauce

2 cloves of garlic, peeled and roughly chopped

1-2 (depending on your taste) bird eye chillies, roughly chopped

A chunk of ginger, roughly thumb-sized, roughly chopped

1 teaspoon sugar

1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds *

1 star anise *

2 whole cloves *

1/2 teaspoon black pepper *

(all marked with a * you could replace with a scant teaspoon of Chinese 5-Spice but I haven't tried it!).

a wineglass of water

And the rest of the ingredients

4 pork belly strips, cut into chunks

2 spring onions

coriander leaves

1 red chilli

cooking oil

2 layers rice noodles, prepared according to packet instructions

2 halves of a lime, to serve


OK, first the marinade. Put all the marinade ingredients into a blender - and blend until all blended and smooth.

Rachel Redlaw Jamie Oliver rhubarb, pork and noodles
Rachel Redlaw Jamie Oliver rhubarb pork and noodles

Put the pork cubes into a roasting tray or dish and pour over the sauce and cover with foil, or - as I'm doing - put it all into my trusted, beloved remoska. Jamie's recipe said to cook for 90 minutes, but mine was done after 60 minutes, so do check.

pork.JPG
Rachel Redlaw Jamie Oliver rhubarb pork and noodles

(UPDATE! I MADE THIS AGAIN THE OTHER NIGHT AND IT WAS JUST TOO HARD TO CUT THE SLICES INTO CUBES, SO I JUST COOKED THE SLICES AS THEY WERE AND CUT THEM WHEN COOKED - MUCH EASIER!)

The original recipe says 180°C/350°F/gas 4 so it might take longer.

There are no temperature options with a remoska - as with an AGA - and I love cooking using both. I've had my remoska for over a decade and highly, highly recommend it.

Yes it's a bit of an initial outlay but you'll rarely ever need to use your oven again - this is so much easier and more efficient.

Anyway, however you're leaving that gorgeous sauce and beautiful pork to cook, leave it to cook and prepare the rest!

Rachel Redlaw Jamie Oliver rhubarb pork and noodles
Rachel Redlaw Jamie Oliver rhubarb pork and noodles

Slice a couple of spring onions, chop a small handful of coriander leaves and slice a red chilli (as much as you like - if I'd had a bigger mild chilli it would have been a whole one, but I only had bird eye chillies so used about 1/3) - ready to add all of them right at the end.

Towards the end of the pork cooking time, cook the rice noodles according to pack instructions so they're ready to go - drain and put a lid on to keep them hot.

Remove the pork pieces from the sauce.  Heat a wok or frying pan, add a little oil and cook for a few minutes 'until crisp'.  I have to say mine didn't actually go 'crisp' but very good it was anyway - I just cooked them a few minutes and drained on kitchen paper.


I left my rhubarb sauce cooking while I fried the pork to thicken it a little more - but look at the sauce and decide if you want to stop the cooking when the pork comes out or give it a little longer if it looks a bit thinner than you were expecting.

Put the noodles into bowls, ladle over the utterly delicious sauce and top with the incredible pork belly pieces. 

Rachel Redlaw Jamie's pork rhubarb noodles

Add a good sprinkling of spring onions, coriander and chilli - and serve with a wedge of lime to squeeze over.

I'm just glad rhubarb season goes on until about June - as I just want to make this again! Yes, despite having had it three times in one week!



 

 

Steak, mango and avocado salad

This recipe first appeared in The Guardian newspaper in February 2010 and it's from Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall.

One of my sisters saw it and tore it out - we made it and it was delicious.

Several years later when I was with her, I remembered it, and took a photo of the page - and a few times I've made it, zooming in on the photo to enlarge it enough to see the detail of the recipe.

Seven years later, thought it was about time I just shared it, so I'll have it right here whenever I need it.

Oh! And - of course - so that you can have it too.

This is simple and elegant and delicious and full of flavour. Easy enough for a normal supper, and lovely enough for a dinner party, or lunch - we had it today for Sunday lunch and it was perfect.

I've changed the recipe just a little, so this is my version I'm giving you.

The mango, avocado, steak and spicy dressing isn't a combination I'd have thought of - but it works supremely well.

So for two people, this is how you do it!

Rachel Redlaw steak avocado mango salad

The marinade: 1 clove of garlic, peeled and finely minced; 1 tablespoon oyster sauce; 1 tablespoon dry sherry (optional - I didn't have any); 1 teaspoon soy sauce; 1/2 teaspoon sugar; some grated fresh ginger; a little black pepper.

 

 

 

 


Rachel Redlaw steak mango avocado salad

1-2 steaks depending on their size and your hunger.  Rump or sirloin will work best.

Rub in the marinade and leave to marinate for 30-60 minutes.

 

 

 

 


Rachel Redlaw steak mango avocado salad

Make the dressing: 1 tablespoon fish sauce; 1.5 teaspoons toasted sesame oil; juice of 1/2-1 limes; 1.5 teaspoons light soy sauce; 1/2 teaspoon sugar; 1/2-1 birds eye red chilli, finally chopped; 1 very small or half a clove of garlic, finely minced.

 

 

 


When the steak's almost done marinating, prepare the rest of the salad: peel and slice half a mango (or as much as you like); same with a ripe avocado (I used half a large avocado). Put rocket on plates with the mango and avocado arranged on top.

Rachel Redlaw steak avocado mango salad
Rachel Redlaw steak avocado mango salad
Rachel Redlaw steak mango avocado salad

Heat a griddle pan until very hot, add the steak and sear for 2-4 minutes each side - depending on thickness of the steak - you want it lovely and browned on the outside and pink in the middle.

Leave the steak to rest on a board or plate for 3-4 minutes before slicing thinly.


Rachel Redlaw steak mango avocado salad

Add the steak to the plates of salad, drizzle over the dressing, scatter over some coriander leaves and serve immediately.

 

 

 

 

 


SUCH a great dish. Hope you love it too!



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