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Tag Archives: nonvegetarian

Pork Steaks with Madeira Reduction, Potato Mash and Roasted Carrots

Pork Steaks with Madeira Reduction, Potato Mash and Roasted Carrots - thespiceadventuress.com

My love affair with pork began only after moving to Australia.

Pork was an almost non-existent meat in my childhood, since I lived in the Middle East. And it only made an occasional appearance when I visited India during holidays. There is a myth that pork is not very popular in India but that’s so far from the truth. Agreed, it’s not the most preferred meat due to several cultural and religious reasons but there are communities where pork is revered and is considered a delicacy. And in Kerala, it’s extremely popular among several Christian communities.

When I moved back to India, pork became a more regular meat in our household because my mom absolutely loves it. But I really didn’t enjoy it at all and would just pick at it. I think it must have been the preparation and also the quality of the meat itself that put me off.

After moving to Australia, the fact that prompted me to buy pork is the disappointing ‘vindaloo’ that is served at most Indian restaurants. I was on a mission to learn how to make a good vindaloo (which I did) and pork ofcourse was the meat of choice.

Australian pork was a revelation. The quality of meat is absolutely amazing and I could not help but fall in love with it. I cook with pork a lot these days, not just in curries or stir fries but also a variety of ways and one of my absolute favourite is steak.

Australian pork - food photography - thespiceadventuress.com

I usually cook steaks based on intuition but for pork, I usually follow the 6-2-2 method. You cannot miss the Australian pork ads that run on TV with a catchy tag line like ‘get some pork on your fork’ and that’s where I first got to know about the 6-2-2 cooking method. Basically what it means is cook the steaks for 6 minutes on one side, then 2 minutes on the other and finally rest for another 2 minutes before serving. I have been using this guideline for a while now and it always delivers the best result.

The thickness of the steak is important while using this method. If you like the meat well done, then use 2cm steaks for this method but if you prefer that blush of pink (highly recommended), then get steaks slightly bigger than 2cm.

So here’s the final dish, pork steaks with a simple coriander fennel rub, creamy potato mash, roasted carrots and Madeira reduction. Now let’s get cooking….

Madeira - food photography - thespiceadventuress.com

Pork Steaks with Madeira Reduction, Potato Mash and Roasted Carrots

Recipe for Roasted carrots can be found here.

Ingredients:

For the pork:

  1. 4 pork steaks (approximately 2cm)
  2. 1 tsp coriander seeds
  3. 1 tsp fennel seeds
  4. ½ tsp black peppercorns
  5. Salt, to season
  6. 2-3 tbsp olive oil

For the Madeira reduction:

(adapted from Heston’s Fantastical Feasts)

  1. 85gms shallots; finely chopped
  2. 30gms leek (white and pale parts); sliced
  3. 2 medium garlic cloves; crushed
  4. 1 tsp coriander seeds
  5. 1 dried bay leaf
  6. 375ml Madeira

For the mashed potato:

  1. 500gms potatoes (I used russet but you can use any which lends a creamy texture)
  2. 2 large garlic clove
  3. 5 tbsp unsalted butter
  4. ½ cup milk
  5. 1 tsp dried oregano
  6. Salt, to season
  7. Black pepper, to season
  8. 1 tsp chives; finely chopped
  1. 1 tsp chives; finely chopped

Method:

For the pork:

  1. To prepare the rub, pound the coriander seeds, fennel seeds and black peppercorns using a mortar and pestle.
  2. Add to the pork steaks along with the olive oil and season well with salt. Rub thoroughly on both sides of the steak and keep aside for at least 15 minutes.
  3. Heat a pan to high (you may use a grill) and then reduce to medium high. Place the pork steaks and cook on one side for 6 minutes. Then turn over and cook for another 2 minutes. Remove from pan and rest for another 2 minutes (cover while resting). I do not add more oil to the pan as the steaks are oiled well but you may add if you wish to.

For the Madeira reduction:

Combine all the ingredients in a saucepan and cook on low heat for about 30-40 minutes or till the liquid has almost halved. Strain and keep aside.

For the mashed potato:

  1. Cook the potatoes in salted boiling water till soft.
  2. Add 2 tbsp butter to a small pan along with the garlic; cook on low heat till garlic turns golden. Remove from flame and add the oregano. Keep aside.
  3. In another pan, place the potatoes, milk and remaining butter. Mash and cook on low heat whisking continuously till you get a smooth, creamy mixture.
  4. Season with salt and pepper; remove when desired texture has been achieved. If you want super creamy texture, pass the mashed potatoes through a sieve (I didn’t do this, though).
  5. Add the melted garlic infused butter to the mashed potatoes and stir through; garnish with chopped chives.

Pork Steaks with Madeira Reduction, Potato Mash and Roasted Carrots - thespiceadventuress.com

Pork Steaks with Madeira Reduction, Potato Mash and Roasted Carrots - thespiceadventuress.com

This post has been bought to you in collaboration with Australian Pork and Social Soup. I have been using Australian pork for years so the opinions as well as the recipe are unbiased and entirely mine.

 

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Spiced Kangaroo Triangles

I often get the ‘raised eyebrow’ expression when I say that I occasionally eat kangaroo meat. While a couple of my friends are fascinated that I have experimentative tastebuds, most of them are quick to judge in the negative.

We have become so judgemental these days, even when it comes to food. It is the era of the global palate, yet we have divided and compartmentalized ourselves in so many food groups – non vegetarians, vegetarians, eggetarians, vegans, paleos with each group trying to sound more righteous than the next.

Why can’t food be just what it is meant to be – to nourish our bodies and our souls. Eat what makes you healthy and happy without judging and having an opinion on another’s diet!

Judgements aside, kangaroo meat is both delicious and healthy. While it is easily available in Australia and quite affordable too, it can be difficult and expensive to procure if you live elsewhere. It is important for me to purchase all the meat I consume from a verified, sustainable source and for kangaroo, it is ‘Gourmet Game’, a trademark of Macro Meats.

I have cooked with kangaroo before and it was a delicious experience. This time, I wanted to experiment with the mince and the inspiration for these Spiced Kangaroo Triangles came from the meat samosas that are famous in India.

Spiced Kangaroo Triangles - a delicious party snack with roo mince - thespiceadventuress.com

Though I started out with the idea of samosas, I wanted to simplify the whole process making the snack a little easier and quicker to make. Samosas can be a bit technical if you are not used to making it often. So instead I decided to do a simple stuffed triangle using store bought puff pastry sheets…like I said, making it simple and easy for everyone. Also these triangles are baked so no deep frying involved which is another plus.

Spices and aromatics are the magic ingredients here which transform the kangaroo mince into the most delicious filling. These spiced kangaroo triangles make the easiest party snack. The filling can be prepared ahead of time and all that you need to do on the day is make the triangles, a bit of egg wash and bake.

Spiced Kangaroo Triangles - a delicious party snack with roo mince - thespiceadventuress.com

Spiced Kangaroo Triangles - a delicious party snack with roo mince - thespiceadventuress.com

Use any kind of meat mince that you wish to, lamb, beef, chicken, all make great options. Or a vegetarian one with the classic ricotta and spinach or spiced potatoes. Just try it once and I am sure you will be making it over and over again….believe me, I have been making it a lot.

Ingredients:

Note – Makes about 30 triangles

  1. 1 kg kangaroo mince
  2. 3 medium red onions; finely chopped
  3. 3 garlic cloves; grated
  4. 1 tbsp ginger; grated
  5. 3 green chillies; finely chopped (adjust to heat preferences)
  6. ½ tsp turmeric powder
  7. ¾ tsp red chilli powder
  8. 1 tbsp coriander powder
  9. ½ tsp roasted cumin powder
  10. Salt, to season
  11. 2 tbsp coriander leaves; finely chopped
  12. 1 tbsp mint leaves; finely chopped
  13. 3-4 tbsp vegetable oil
  14. Puff pastry sheets (each pastry sheet makes 4 triangles)
  15. 1 egg beaten; for egg wash
  16. White sesame seeds; for garnish

Method:

  1. In a large pan, dry roast the mince till it has browned well. Brown in batches on high heat if the pan is small so that the mince is dried out and not stewed in its own juices. Remove and keep aside.
  2. Heat oil in the same pan and add the onions; sauté for 2-3 minutes on medium heat and then add the ginger, garlic and green chillies. Sauté till the onions are light brown, reduce heat and add all the spice powders. Season with salt, add the mince and mix well to combine. Finish off with the coriander and mint leaves. Remove and allow to cool completely before stuffing in the triangles.
  3. In the meantime, thaw the frozen pastry sheets.
  4. Preheat the oven to 200°C (fan forced oven) and line an oven proof tray with baking paper.
  5. Cut each pastry sheet into 4 equal squares.
  6. Place about 2 tbsp of the meat mince in the centre of each square. Brush egg wash on all the four sides of the square and fold diagonally to form a triangle. Press lightly at the edges and place on the baking tray. Repeat for all others.
  7. Finally, brush egg wash on the top surface of the triangles and sprinkled with sesame seeds.
  8. Bake for about 12-13 minutes or till the triangles are golden brown on the surface.
  9. Enjoy warm with sweet chilli sauce.

Note – The cooked mince freezes well to be used at a later date. I make it in bulk, freeze in batches and always have a pack of puff pastry sheets in the freezer; very handy for after school hunger pangs and unexpected guests.

Spiced Kangaroo Triangles - a delicious party snack with roo mince - thespiceadventuress.com

Spiced Kangaroo Triangles - a delicious, party snack with roo mince - thespiceadventuress.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

Nalli Gosht (Lamb Shanks simmered in yoghurt and spices)

I sat down to write this post and poof….the mind’s blank!

Words aren’t flowing easily though there are tons of things I would like to share with all of you. On the more positive side, I received a mail from Leon who has created an infographic for rebateszone.com on ‘Top 50 Food Bloggers in Australia’. And ‘The Spice Adventuress’ is right there at No. 30….

Top 50 Food Bloggers In Australia
Getting back to today’s recipe, I am sure most of you would have read the Andhra style egg curry which I had posted a few weeks ago. I wanted to try out another dish from the ‘Indian Kitchen’ and it had to be this rather indulgent Nalli Gosht or lamb shanks simmered in yoghurt and spices.

Nalli Gosht is a traditional and famous Nihari dish.

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Most people confuse the term ‘Nihari’ with a particular recipe. But at a generic level, it actually refers to a particular type of South Asian curry that involves slow cooked lamb or beef cooked on the bones along with the marrow. The term ‘Nihari’ is used as a prefix to denote that the curry is usually served as a meal after the Muslim sunrise (Fajr) prayers which is followed by a long rest before going off to the afternoon (Zhuhr) prayers.

History is a little skewed as to the origins of the Nihari cooking. While some say the practice began during the Mughal times in Old Delhi, others state that these dishes come out of the royal kitchens of Awadh (present day Uttar Pradesh). The latter theory holds more promise and Nalli Gosht is often considered as a Nihari dish from Lucknow.

But over the course of time especially post-independence era, Nihari dishes evolved as an integral part of South Asian Muslim cuisine and today, there are several countries like Bangladesh and Pakistan where these dishes are extremely popular. In fact, the national dish of Pakistan is Nihari Beef.

Nalli Gosht remains an Indian subcontinent favourite. The lamb shanks are slow cooked in an extremely flavourful gravy made from a mélange of spices, aromatics and yoghurt till the meat falls off the bone.

In the olden days, slow cooking was a tedious process especially having to depend on wood or coal fire. To get the temperatures right and prolong the cooking time, special vessels called ‘shab deg’ would be used in which the meat with the spices and stock are left overnight to achieve the right flavour and consistency in time for the morning meal.

Traditionally, the meat is served along with a thin or soup like gravy but I have allowed the gravy to thicken slightly more which is purely a personal preference. Again, adding yoghurt seems to be a matter of much debate. My research has shown that some versions of Nalli Gosht, especially prepared in Lucknow adds yoghurt.

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While in the earlier days, this dish would have been served to the labourers who worked on the massive construction projects of the royals, today it has become an indulgent preparation for special days. The cooking process is never hurried; modern gadgets like the pressure cooker simply do not bring out the flavour enough. Slow cooking is the best way to draw out maximum flavour from the bones and for the yoghurt and spices to transform itself into a rich, deep, dark and flavourful gravy.

Nalli Gosht is well worth the effort and if you eat lamb, this has to be eaten at least once in your lifetime…..

(Recipe adapted from Indian Kitchen)

Ingredients:

1. 2 lamb shanks (around 300 gms)
2. 6 large garlic cloves
3. 1 inch ginger

Find the full recipe here.

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Recipe developed, styled and shot for Supreme Seafood.

Grilled Chicken Drumsticks with Coffee Spice Rub

I have an obsessive and passionate relationship with coffee.

Though our love affair began only in my mid-20s, it has been a whirlwind one right from the start. I fell hook, line and sinker for this rich, dark beverage without which my day just cannot start.

My first ever sip of coffee was at my college café; and the only reason I began to drink it was to keep my eyes open during the long lectures on DNAs, RNAs, cloning, viruses and the like…..But somewhere along the way, the relationship deepened and soon I realized that this affair was going to be a lifelong one.

I have tried different kinds of coffee since, but it’s the cappucino style that I enjoy most. My coffee has to be strong, sweet (the ‘three sugar please’ line always gets me stares here), rich and full bodied. The caffeine has to hit my senses and awaken it!

Unlike many coffee afficinados, I admit that I like my instant coffee granules. While in India, I was the Nescafe gal but now loyalties have shifted to the Moccona camp. But it is also true that the flavour and aroma of freshly ground coffee beans is like none other…..Next, on my shopping list is a French press and I am slowly but surely inching towards my first Nespresso.

So when my husband’s colleague gifted him a packet of Grata Espresso (Farmhouse Artisan Coffee), I was over the moon – yet another coffee to savour. Yes, friends have started gifting us anything and everything pertaining to food – ingredients to homewares to props!

My blogger brain wanted to do something more with this pack of amazing ground espresso strength coffee. That’s when I remembered the coffee spice rubs so famous in barbecue country. So out came my mortar and pestle, the little pots of spices while I set out to create my own version of a coffee spice rub.

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You don’t really have to be a coffee lover to enjoy this spice rub, but you need to be a lover of intense, aromatic, dark and full on spice marinades to enjoy this one. And this one is for the meats; so you can slather it on chicken, ribs, steaks, cutlets…..just about anything meaty and can absorb intense flavour.

I had initially prepared grilled lamb cutlets with this coffee spice rub but then my computer decided it had enough of me and crashed last week and I ended up losing all the photographs I shot. So this week, I made it again with chicken drumsticks which just proved how delicious this spice rub can indeed be.
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There isn’t much to this recipe except for making the coffee spice rub. Make it in bulk and store it away in an airtight container for upto 6 months. And just as I said, there is so much you can do with this one. Next, I am thinking of marinating some boneless chicken pieces to make lunch box wraps for the week. Get the idea?

So let’s get on to this grilled chicken drumsticks flavoured with this intense, rich, sweet and aromatic coffee spice rub.

Ingredients:

1. 7 chicken drumsticks (with skin)
2. 4 ½ tsp coffee spice rub
3. Salt, to season
4. Vegetable oil
5. Lemon wedges, to serve
6. Pickled cucumbers, to serve
7. Alfalfa sprouts, to serve
8. Yoghurt; beaten and spiced mildly with roasted cumin powder

Coffee Spice Rub:

1. 4 tsp ground coffee (espresso strength)
2. 3 tsp salt
3. 3 tsp brown sugar
4. 4 tsp red chilli powder
5. 1 tsp black pepper
6. 1 tsp onion powder
7. 1 tsp garlic powder
8. 1 star anise, powdered
9. ½ tsp cayenne powder
10. ½ tsp turmeric powder
11. 1 tsp coriander powder
12. 1 tsp roasted cumin powder

Method:

1. To prepare the coffee spice rub, mix all the ingredients together and store in an airtight container.
2. Place the chicken drumsticks in a non reactive bowl or ziplock bag, add the spice rub and drizzle with vegetable oil (approx 2 -3 tbsp). Season with salt (remember the spice rub already has salt) and rub it all together and ensure the chicken has been coated well. Marinate for at least 6 hours, overnight is recommended.
3. Allow the chicken to come to room temperature before grilling.
4. Preheat the oven to 200°C fan forced.
5. Place the drumsticks on the grill and cook for 10 minutes at 200°C; then lower the heat to 180°C and cook for another 10 minutes. Turn once and cook for another 5 minutes or till done.
6. Serve hot with lemon wedges, yoghurt, pickled cucumber and sprouts.

Note – Pickled cucumber and the yoghurt lends a tangy flavour which goes beautifully with the rich intense flavour of the chicken.

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Chicken Tinga Tacos with Roasted Poblano Salsa

Any time is taco time!

Yes, I can eat tacos at any given time of the day, right from breakfast to dinner. I find these little parcels an explosion of flavour and texture. Keep it simple or get creative and gourmet, but tacos are delightfully delicious, full of oomph and a food that makes me smile from within.

Today, we have Chicken Tinga Tacos with a Roasted Poblano Salsa.

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Tinga comes from the Mexican state of Puebla and is a simple dish that is famous and common across the country. I have used chicken today but this works well with pork and beef. Tinga is generally prepared as a filling for tacos, empanadas, tlacoyos and also as a topping for tostadas.

The signature ingredient responsible for the flavour profile of the tinga is the chipotle peppers. I used chipotle in adobo sauce but you can use just the peppers too. Chipotle adds not just heat but a complex and rich smoky depth to this chicken tinga.

Extremely simple to make, the tinga is an extremely versatile dish that you could use in so many ways. I even made a lunch box subway with this topped with some pickled jalapenos and mayo…..deliciousness!

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And of course, no taco is complete without a salsa. Couldn’t go past the poblanos at the local market without grabbing a bunch, and these found a way into my salsa. Again, I wanted to add a hint of smokiness along with the heat so roasted the poblanos to complement the freshness of the other ingredients.

So there you have it – my Mexican fiesta with chicken tinga tacos topped with a roasted Poblano salsa, deliciously cocooned in mini corn tortillas.

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Ingredients:

For the chicken tinga:

1. 500 gms chicken; cooked and shredded
2. 2 tbsp vegetable oil
3. 1 medium onion, finely sliced
4. 2 large garlic cloves, finely chopped
5. 2 tbsp fresh parsley, finely chopped
6. 3 large red tomato, finely chopped
7. 2-3 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce (adjust to your heat preferences); chopped
8. Salt, to season
9. Black pepper, to season

Note – Leftover rotisserie chicken works well for a tinga.

For the salsa:

10. 2 poblano peppers
11. 1 large red onion, finely chopped
12. 2 ripe red tomatoes, finely chopped
13. 2 tbsp fresh coriander leaves, finely chopped
14. 1 lemon
15. Salt, to season

Others:

16. 1 packet of mini corn tortillas
17. Lemon wedges

Note – If you can’t find Poblano peppers, use any other type of peppers. Bell peppers/capsicum also work great though this wont’ give any heat.

Method:


For the tinga:

• Cook the chicken with a bit of salt, shred and keep aside.
• In a large pan, heat oil and add the sliced onions. Soften for about 2 minutes and then add the garlic.
• Cook for about 2 minutes or till fragrant and then add the tomatoes and parsley. Lower heat and cook till the tomatoes have begun to release their juices and turn slightly mushy.
• If the tomatoes you use do not release enough juice, add a few tbsps of water.
• Next add the chicken and chipotle peppers; season with salt and pepper. Cook for about 8 to 10 minutes till the sauce has reduced and the mixture comes together.

For the salsa:

• Roast the Poblano peppers till the outside skin has charred well; I did this on a stovetop but you can use the oven too. Cool lightly and remove the skin, pith and seeds. Chop the flesh and add to a bowl.
• To the same bowl, add chopped onions, tomatoes and fresh coriander; mix well to combine.
• Squeeze lemon juice and season with salt.

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Tacos are meant to be a communal meal. Individual plates have no place here; so bring out all the components of the meal to the table and get your family around. Let each one create their own tacos and enjoy amidst plenty of fun and laughter!

Mutton Roganjosh

The best thing about having friends from different regions of the world is that you do not need to rely on Google or random cookbooks especially if you are interested in learning and cooking traditional dishes.

It’s not just about the recipe of a traditional dish, for me….the history is as important as the dish itself. Understanding the reasoning behind a dish, the culture, the practices, the importance of ingredients that go into the dish, the way it is consumed; all of this is what completes the experience of cooking a traditional dish for me.

And that is exactly what I achieved with today’s dish – Mutton Roganjosh.

Roganjosh is a dish that originated in Kashmir, India but it has become a curry that has spread like wildfire across the world. It was also one of the dishes that surprised and disappointed me when I sampled Indian food in Australia.

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I really don’t mind tweaking a recipe to suit individual tastes or incorporate local ingredients but taking away from the real character of a dish and its inherent flavours is not something I approve of especially if it’s a traditional one like mutton roganjosh.

So what do you do? Find yourself a Kashmiri foodie friend who will hunt down the most authentic mutton roganjosh recipe, straight from the roots. A big thanks to you dear, you know who you are.

Now let me come to the ‘disappointed’ bit I was talking about….the variations of roganjosh that I have eaten in the Indian restaurants here are nothing like the real thing. It is as far removed from the original in terms of ingredients, textures and flavours.

Mutton roganjosh is one of the main dishes that forms a part of the Wazwan which is the name given for a traditional multi course meal in Muslim Kashmiri cuisine. This is a meal which is taken very seriously and is a source of pride especially for the waz or the cook (you train for years to become a waz and is most often an occupation that is handed down generations, father to son). It represents the ultimate banquet in the Kashmiri Muslim society and no important occasion is complete without it. And my dear friend has got me this recipe from a waz, himself.

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Kashmiri mutton roganjosh is not a very spicy dish; in fact it has very less heat but plenty of flavour from the clever use of spices and aromatics. Kashmiri chilli powder is used in this and for those who don’t know….the kashmiri chilli powder adds a deep red colour to the dish without much heat when compared to the regular Indian red chilli powder which is less on colour and more on heat. It also has smoky undertones, a bit like paprika.

So if you are a curry fanatic and would like to taste the real roganjosh, let’s get cracking…….

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Ingredients:

1. 1 kg mutton (with bones)
2. 2 cinnamon stick

Read the full recipe here……

Recipe developed, styled and photographed for Supreme Seafood.

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