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Having made the Christmas cake yesterday, I was all set to make some mincemeat.

I started by blitzing an orange and a lemon in the food processor, and then pulled opened the baking cupboard to get at all the other ingredients (they’re all kept in a pull out cupboard).  And there, on the top shelf, was a huge jar of mincemeat from last year. And we don’t eat much …

So, what to do with a pair of marmalised citrus fruit? Make a cake!

1 orange
1 lemon
100g butter or marge
120g granulated sugar
2 eggs
140g desiccated coconut
100g plain flour
1.5 tsp baking powder
100ml natural yoghurt

Whizz the citrus fruit first – cut it into chunks, then hurl it in, peel, pith and all.

Then add the other ingredients and whizz some more.

Decant into a 2lb loaf tin (either well greased, or use a liner), bake for about 45 minutes at 180C. I suggest you use the fan setting, rather than the grill – it works better :)

Mirrored from Reactive Cooking.

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I had a yen for a chicken curry at the weekend; we make (and eat) a lot of chicken and coriander, but I wanted something different, dammit. So I trundled up to the Jacksons at the top of t’rerd, and came home with two packs of mixed thighs and drumsticks for a fiver, which Pete manfully deskinned for me; it’s a horrible job, and my arthriticy fingers really don’t enjoy it. We put them on a roasting tray, seasoned, drizzled with a little olive oil, and bunged them in the oven while the pizza was cooking. (Well, browning chicken is a boring task, and the oven was on …)

So, there was lots of skinned and part cooked chicken on Sunday morning. Looking at us. I skimmed through various books, but nothing quite appealed, so we winged it, pretty much.

Into the big slow cooker went, variously:

two tablespoons each of  ground almonds and dessicated coconut,

two onions fried in some groundnut oil until they were just starting to catch

a paste of garlic and ginger, and a little water, fried off, then spices added: cumin, coriander, turmeric, chili, fenugreek, cardamon, black pepper, and a little salt. All fried down into a paste

a can of coconut milk, and about a third? a half? can of water

a bunch of coriander

And then we just left it alone for about 7 hours. It was really, really nice, except it lacked … something. Not sure what. We’re going to have some more tonight, with some saag aloo, to see if that helps.

That fiver’s worth of chicken made 10 portions, by the way. Plus £0.80 for the coriander, and £1.25 for coconut milk, and maybe another couple of quid’s worth of ingredients. Well under £1 per portion.

p.s. we always cook chicken pieces on the bone – the flavour is better, and the meat falls off when it’s cooked anyway.

 

Mirrored from Reactive Cooking.

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We had a cauli in the fridge last week. Now, I like cauli, and we make cauli cheese, or a cauli and lentil curry. Sometimes we even just have it as a side veg. But none of them appealed, so I went rummaging through the books, and came up with Satyamma’s cauliflower curry. I didn’t follow the recipe precisely – they’re guidelines, is all.

We added sweet potato rather than “ordinary”, and adjusted the spices a bit (but not enough – needs about twice as much as the recipe, to my mind), and added a can of chickpeas*; it was absolutely lovely, and I reckoned it at about 190 calories a serving, without rice or whatever. We had roasted peanuts left in from the festive season, and everything else was in the house already, so that was a win too.

I really must go through that book more, because I’m currently in a bit of a rut with cooking.

Also, note to self: take photographs!

*Yes, I know, but I do keep a few tins of pulses in for such occasions; normally I would have soaked and boiled. Mea culpa.

Mirrored from Reactive Cooking.

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limes up close

We went to Staithes (on the North Yorkshire coast) on Saturday, and had a cup of tea and a slice of this delicious cake (or one very like it). It was so delicious that I came home determined to try and make one, and after a bit of googling and adjustment, here’s what I came up with. I actually made two, because it’s hardly worth putting the oven on for just one cake, and have put one in the freezer. It was gorgeous. These ingredients make one.

100g butter or marge
120g caster sugar
2 large eggs
140g desiccated coconut
100g plain flour
1.5 tsp baking powder (or use self-raising flour, but I never keep it in)
70ml natural yoghurt
1 lime, juice and zest
2 tsp grated ginger

Put everything in a food mixer and combine. Yes, really. That’s it.

I baked mine in a loaf tin lined with a greaseproof liner. The recipe I cannibalised said 45 mins at gas 3, which it had, then it had another 5 mins at gas 4, then another 5 mins at gas 5, so I reckon 40-45 minutes at gas 4 would do it.

Should you be minded, you could make a syrup of, say, 100g caster sugar and the juice of another lime, but I didn’t bother. If you do this, make some holes in the cake while it is warm, and drizzle the syrup over it.

The cafe served it with cream, which worked rather well. I think I might try some grated lemongrass next time, for that authentic Thai taste.

Mirrored from Reactive Cooking.

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coconut and banana cakes

We found a kilogram of desiccated coconut in the larder box – no idea why we bought such a huge amount, but it must be used up! There were four small, brown bananas in a box in the fridge  - I read somewhere that they will keep for ages like that, so was experimenting; seems to work!  So I did a bit of  Googling for ideas, and adapted a few recipes, and this is what I did:

4 brown bananas, peeled
2 medium eggs
120g margarine, melted
120g wholemeal flour
75g cane sugar
1.5 tsp. baking powder
125g dessicated coconut

Some dried cranberries as a last minute addition.

(I doubled this lot up to make two cakes. I also added some cream of tartar, but I don’t think it was needed, and it would have benefited from some vanilla extract).

I put the bananas in the food processor and blitzed them up. Then I just bunged in everything else and whizzed that up!

Put the mix in a loaf tin lined with a cake liner (I love these – so easy, no greasing, no sticking!), baked at gas 4 for 1 hour.  They’ve come out lovely – quite a heavy consistency, but none the worse for that. Might try dates in them next time.

And the coconut mountain is very slowly decreasing :)

Edited to add: best estimate of carbs per cake is about 250g, so about 20g per slice. I can live with that on an occasional basis!

Mirrored from Reactive Cooking.

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