Friday 9 December 2016

Neven Maguire's Creamy Chicken Korma- perfect for autumn family dinners

Published 10/10/2016 | 11:13

Creamy chicken korma from Neven Maguire's Complete Family Cookbook
Creamy chicken korma from Neven Maguire's Complete Family Cookbook
Confetti rice and bean salad from Neven Maguire's Complete Family Cookbook

From monkey bread to salads, lamb ragù to chocolate cake, these first-look recipes from Neven Maguire’s new cookbook are sure to satisfy the whole family

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CREAMY CHICKEN KORMA

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Everyone loves a good curry and I’m no different. We tend to cook one at home most weeks and this has got to be my favourite. It was a great way to introduce the twins to gentle spicing and they still absolutely love it. I find it’s best to make it earlier in the day, as the flavour only improves with time. Any leftovers are lovely put into wraps with some salad for lunch. I often add a tin of chickpeas and/or a couple of diced sweet potatoes to bulk it out.

Serves 4

Ingredients

2 tbsp rapeseed oil

2 onions, finely chopped

2 garlic cloves, crushed

1 green chilli, deseeded and finely chopped (optional)

2 tsp finely grated root ginger

1 tsp garam masala

1 tsp ground turmeric

¼ tsp chilli powder

1 x 400g (14oz) tin of chopped tomatoes

2 tbsp mango chutney, plus extra to serve

1 tsp tomato purée

1 x 400g (14oz) tin of coconut milk

750g (1lb 10oz) boneless, skinless chicken (preferably thighs, although breast works too), cut into 2.5cm cubes

Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Steamed rice, to serve

Handful of fresh coriander sprigs, to garnish

Warmed naan bread, to serve

Method

1 Heat the oil in a large pan set over a medium heat and stir-fry the onions and garlic for 6–8 minutes, until golden brown. Add the green chilli, if using, and the ginger and cook for 1 minute, stirring.

2 Add the garam masala to the pan with the turmeric, chilli powder and a pinch of salt and cook for another minute, stirring. Add the tomatoes, chutney, tomato purée and 4 tablespoons of water. Stir well to combine, then bring to a fast simmer for 5 minutes, until the sauce is so well reduced that it’s almost sticking to the bottom of the pan, stirring occasionally.

3 Stir the coconut milk into the pan, then stir in the chicken. Slowly bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer gently for 10–15 minutes, until the chicken is cooked through and completely tender. Season to taste.

4 To serve, arrange the fragrant steamed rice and chicken korma on warmed plates and scatter over the coriander sprigs to garnish. Place the naan breads in a separate dish to pass around at the table along with the mango chutney.

CONFETTI RICE AND BEAN SALAD

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This is a great salad to make when you’ve got a bit of time, as it will last very well in the fridge for 3–4 days. I just leave out the herbs if I’m planning on using it over a couple of days. I’ve used regular basmati rice, but a blend of brown and wild rice would also be delicious.

This is a great salad to make when you’ve got a bit of time, as it will last very well in the fridge for 3–4 days. I just leave out the herbs if I’m planning on using it over a couple of days. I’ve used regular basmati rice, but a blend of brown and wild rice would also be delicious.

Serves 6

Ingredients

2 large red peppers

225g (8oz) basmati rice, well rinsed

225g (8oz) podded broad beans or peas (fresh or frozen)

1 x 400g (14oz) tin of black-eyed beans, drained and rinsed

1 x 400g (14oz) tin of kidney beans, drained and rinsed

1 x 175g (6oz) tin of sweetcorn (preferably with no added salt or sugar), drained and rinsed

1 small red onion, finely chopped

1 bunch of flat-leaf parsley, leaves removed and roughly chopped

2 tbsp shredded fresh basil

For the dressing:

3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

1 tbsp balsamic vinegar

1 small garlic clove, crushed (optional)

Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Method

1 Preheat the grill to medium. Arrange the red peppers on a grill rack and cook for 20–30 minutes, until well charred and blistered, turning regularly. Transfer to a large bowl and cover with cling film. Leave the peppers to cool completely, then peel, using a bowl underneath to catch all the juices. Slice the flesh into 1cm (ƒin) dice, discarding the seeds and cores. Place in a large bowl and set aside until needed.

2 Meanwhile, bring a large pan of water with a tight-fitting lid to the boil. Add the rice and a good pinch of salt, then bring back to a rolling boil and stir once. Boil for exactly 8 minutes. Check the rice — it should have a slight crunch — then drain well, return to the pan and cover with the lid. Leave to steam in its own heat, undisturbed, for another 10 minutes. Don’t be tempted to peek at the rice before it’s ready — lifting the lid allows all the steam heat to escape.

3 To make the dressing, place the extra virgin olive oil in a small bowl and whisk in the balsamic vinegar and the garlic, if using. Season with salt and pepper.

4 Blanch the broad beans or peas, and if using broad beans, split the skins to pop out the beans. Add to the red peppers with the black-eyed beans, kidney beans, sweetcorn, red onion and herbs. Use a fork to fluff up the rice grains and gently fold it into the bean mixture. Drizzle over the dressing and gently fold it in, then cover with cling film and set aside at room temperature for 1 hour before serving or pack in a suitable container and keep in a cool bag or in the fridge until needed.

LAMB RAGÙ WITH WHITE BEAN GNOCCHI

This gnocchi is made with mashed beans and potato flour so that it’s gluten-free. Although they are not quite as light as the traditional ones, they have a great texture. The ragù is inspired by a wonderful Sicilian combination that I once had while on holiday there.

Serves 4-6

Ingredients

2 x 400g (14oz) tins of cannellini beans, drained and rinsed

150g (5oz) potato flour

1 large egg

3 tbsp olive oil

1 onion, finely chopped

2 garlic cloves, finely chopped

2 tbsp tomato purée

½ tsp dried crushed chillies

500g (1lb 2oz) lean minced lamb

120ml (4fl oz) white wine

1 x 400g (14oz) tin of whole plum tomatoes

1 tsp chopped fresh oregano

Pinch of caster sugar

Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Freshly grated Pecorino, to serve

Fresh basil leaves, to serve

Method

1 Put the beans in a food processor with the flour, egg, 1 tablespoon of the oil and 1 teaspoon of salt. Pulse to combine, then wrap in cling film and chill for 15 minutes.

2 Heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil in a large sauté pan set over a medium heat. Add the onion and cook for 3–4 minutes, until soft, stirring occasionally. Add the garlic, tomato purée and chillies and cook for another minute, stirring. Increase the heat to medium-high, then add the lamb mince and brown for about 5 minutes, breaking up any lumps with a wooden spoon.

3 Pour the wine into the lamb mixture and allow to bubble down, then crush the plum tomatoes with your hands and add them along with the oregano and sugar. Season with salt and pepper, then reduce the heat and simmer for about 30 minutes, until tender, stirring occasionally.

4 Meanwhile, bring a large pan of salted water to the boil. Roll the chilled bean dough into 2 thin logs and cut into 2.5cm (1in) lengths. Boil, in batches, for 5 minutes, then remove with a slotted spoon and toss with the lamb ragù.

5 Divide among warmed wide-rimmed bowls and scatter over the Pecorino and basil leaves to serve.

MONKEY BREAD

This classic monkey bread is a sweet pull-apart bread baked in a Bundt tin. It’s completely irresistible, particularly with a strong cup of coffee. You have been warned…

Serves 8-10

Ingredients

300ml (½ pint) milk

2 tsp fast-action dried yeast (or 25g/1oz fresh yeast)

5 tbsp caster sugar

500g (1lb 2oz) strong white flour, plus extra for dusting

1 tsp fine salt

50g (2oz) butter, softened, plus extra for greasing

For the cinnamon sugar coating:

125g (4½oz) demerara sugar

1 tbsp ground cinnamon

100g (4oz) butter, melted

Method

1 Put the milk in a pan and gently heat until warm to the finger, then pour into a bowl and sprinkle in the yeast and 1 teaspoon of the caster sugar. Lightly whisk, then leave in a warm place for 10 minutes, until a light foam forms on the surface.

2 Sift the flour, salt and remaining caster sugar into a large bowl (or use a standalone mixer with a dough hook). Beat in the butter until it forms fine breadcrumbs or rub together with your fingertips. Add the yeast mixture and mix everything together to form a soft dough. If using a mixer, mix for 5 minutes on a medium speed, until the dough is quite soft, sticky and shiny. If kneading by hand, turn it out onto a floured surface and knead gently for about 5 minutes. Wash and dry your hands, then sprinkle the dough with a little more flour and continue to knead for another 10 minutes, until it’s very pliable, smooth, shiny and slightly sticky, as described above.

3 Place the dough into a large lightly oiled bowl and cover with oiled cling film. Leave in a warm place for 2 hours, until doubled in size and spongy.

4 Meanwhile, generously butter a 23cm (9in) Bundt tin or savarin mould. Place the demerara sugar in a bowl and stir in the cinnamon until well combined.

5 Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knock it back. Knead for a minute, then divide into about 30 equal balls. Coat each ball in the melted butter and roll in the cinnamon sugar, then layer them into the prepared Bundt tin, building up a second layer on top. Cover the tin loosely with oiled cling film and leave in a warm place for about 45 minutes, until the dough is well risen.

6 Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F/gas mark 4). Bake the dough for 25–30 minutes, until the dough balls are cooked through and golden brown. Cool in the tin for 10 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack. This is best served warm.

RICH CHOCOLATE CAKE

This is an excellent chocolate cake recipe to have up your sleeve. It’s wonderfully rich and decadent. Sometimes I fold a couple handfuls of white chocolate drops into the batter just before I pour it into the cake tin to bake.

Serves 6-8

Ingredients

A little plain flour, for dusting

500g (1lb 2oz) plain chocolate (minimum 55pc cocoa solids), broken into squares

125g (4½oz) butter, plus extra for greasing

6 eggs, separated

75g (3oz) caster sugar

150ml (¼ pint) cream

2 tbsp dark rum

1 tsp vanilla extract

Lightly whipped cream, to serve

Fresh raspberries, to serve

Tiny edible flowers, to decorate

Method

1 Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F/gas mark 4). Butter a 23cm (9in) loose-bottomed cake tin and lightly flour it, knocking out any excess.

2 Place the chocolate and butter in a heatproof bowl set over a pan of barely simmering water and allow to melt, stirring until smooth. Remove from the pan and set aside to cool a little.

3 Place the egg yolks and sugar in a bowl. Using an electric hand-held mixer or hand whisk, beat until pale and thick. Stir in the cream, then fold in the cooled melted chocolate mixture with the rum and vanilla extract.

4 Wash the beaters, then whisk the egg whites in a separate bowl until you have achieved soft peaks. Gently fold the egg whites into the chocolate mixture in 3 batches, until evenly combined.

5 Pour the cake batter into the prepared tin and bake for 25 minutes. The cake should be just set with a slight wobble in the middle. Remove the cake from the oven and leave to cool in the tin. It will sink slightly as it cools.

6 To serve, cut the rich chocolate cake into slices and arrange on plates with a dollop of whipped cream and raspberries and edible flowers.

HOMEMADE FISH FINGERS

Who doesn’t love fish fingers? This is a much healthier version that uses olive oil spray, which is now available in all supermarkets. It’s a very clever way of using just a tiny amount of oil so that the breadcrumbs don’t dry out but still turn a nice golden colour. Don’t tell anyone how you’ve cooked them and see if they notice…

Serves 4

Ingredients

450g (1lb) firm white fish fillets (such as hake, pollock, coley, whiting, haddock or cod), pin-boned and skin removed

Finely grated rind and juice of 1 lemon

50g (2oz) plain flour

2 eggs

75g (3oz) panko (toasted dried breadcrumbs)

2 tbsp chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

1 tsp sesame seeds

1–2 tsp olive oil spray

Lightly dressed green salad, to serve

For the tartare sauce:

2 gherkins, finely chopped

3 tbsp mayonnaise

3 tbsp thick Greek yogurt

1 tbsp chopped rinsed capers

1 tbsp chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

1 tsp lemon juice

Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Method

1 Cut the fish into goujons about 2.5cm (1in) thick and around 7.5cm (3in) long. Place in a shallow dish, then drizzle over the lemon juice and leave to marinate for 30 minutes covered with cling film in the fridge.

2 To make the tartare sauce, mix all the ingredients together and season with salt and pepper. Place in a small bowl and cover with cling film, then chill until needed.

3 Put the flour on a plate and season with salt and pepper. Lightly beat the eggs and place in a shallow dish. Mix together the breadcrumbs, lemon rind, parsley and sesame seeds in a shallow dish. Dip each piece of fish in the seasoned flour, shaking off any excess, then dip in the egg mixture. Finally, coat evenly in the flavoured breadcrumbs and place on a baking sheet lined with non-stick baking paper. If time allows, place in the fridge for a couple of hours to firm up the coating.

4 When ready to cook, preheat the oven to 200°C (400°F/gas mark 6).

5 Spray the fish fingers with the olive oil and bake for 12–15 minutes, until the fish fingers are cooked through and golden brown. Divide among warmed plates and add a small dish of the tartare sauce to each one along with some of the green salad to serve.

FALAFEL WRAPS

These wraps are so good that even meat eaters will be happy to have them! They are excellent on their own or put into wraps as suggested here, but they are also good in a pitta or a soft roll with a smear of mayonnaise, a few crisp salad leaves and some thinly sliced tomato and cucumber. They also work on the barbecue as long as you’ve given the mixture time to firm up.

Serves 4

Ingredients

2 tbsp olive oil, plus extra for brushing

1 onion, finely chopped

1 medium courgette, finely diced

100g (4oz) carrots, grated

1 garlic clove, crushed

1 x 400g (14oz) tin of chickpeas, drained and rinsed

75g (3oz) fresh white breadcrumbs

1 medium egg yolk

2 tbsp chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

1 heaped tbsp crunchy peanut butter

1 tsp mild curry paste or powder

To serve:

4 white or wholemeal wraps

6–8 tbsp piquant barbecue yogurt sauce

40g (1½oz) mixed salad leaves

Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Method

1 Heat the olive oil in a large frying pan set over a medium heat and sauté the onion for 5 minutes, until softened and lightly browned. Increase the heat to high, then add the courgette, carrots and garlic and sauté for another 5 minutes, until softened, stirring regularly. Leave to cool.

2 Blend the chickpeas in a food processor or blender until smooth (or you could finely chop them by hand if you prefer). Put into a bowl and mix in the cooked vegetables. Add the breadcrumbs, egg yolk, parsley, peanut butter and curry paste or powder. Season with salt and pepper and divide the mixture into 8 portions, then shape into even-sized patties. These can be put on a flat plate, covered with cling film and chilled for at least 2 hours to firm up or up to 2 days if necessary.

3 When you’re ready to cook, heat a large non-stick frying pan. Brush each falafel all over with olive oil, then add half of them to the pan and cook for 6–7 minutes on each side, until heated through and lightly golden.

4 Toast the wraps on a heated griddle pan for a minute or two. Smear each wrap with a little piquant barbecue yogurt sauce, then scatter some salad leaves on top. Add 2 falafels to each wrap and drizzle with a little more of the piquant barbecue yogurt sauce to serve.

CHORIZO AND NEW POTATO TORTILLA

Perfect for lunch, this recipe is a variation on the original Spanish tortilla. Once it has cooked, it should be golden brown on the outside but still succulent and moist in the middle. Tortilla makes a great breakfast centrepiece, but because it’s excellent served cold too, it also makes fantastic lunchbox or picnic food cut into wedges and wrapped in cling film.

Serves 4

Ingredients

3 tbsp olive oil

1 large onion, thinly sliced

225g (8oz) small new potatoes, scrubbed

175g (6oz) raw chorizo, peeled and diced

6 large eggs

Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Lightly dressed green salad, to serve (optional)

Method

1 Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in a non-stick frying pan with a base that is about 17cm (6ƒin) in diameter. Add the onion and sauté for about 5 minutes, until softened but not coloured.

2 Cut the potatoes into thin slices about 5mm (ªin) thick. Dry the slices in a clean tea towel and add to the pan, tossing to combine. Season generously, reduce the heat and cover with a lid or flat plate, then cook gently for 10–15 minutes, until almost tender. Turn them over once or twice and shake the pan occasionally to ensure they cook evenly.

3 Add the chorizo to the pan and cook for another 5 minutes or so, until the potatoes are tender and the chorizo is sizzling and its colour has begun to bleed into the potatoes.

4 Break the eggs into a large bowl and add a good pinch of seasoning, then whisk lightly with a fork. When the potato and chorizo mixture is cooked, drain off any excess oil, then quickly stir into the beaten eggs.

5 Wipe out the pan and heat the remaining tablespoon of oil. Tip in the potato and egg mixture, pressing it down gently, and reduce the heat to the lowest setting. Cook for 15–20 minutes. When there is virtually no raw egg mixture left on top of the tortilla, invert it onto a flat plate.

6 Slide the tortilla back into the pan and cook for another 5 minutes. Turn off the heat and set aside for 5 minutes to finish cooking. It should be cooked through but still moist in the centre.

7 To serve warm or cold, turn the tortilla onto a chopping board and cut into four wedges. Place a wedge on each plate with a small mound of salad and serve at once or wrap in greaseproof paper and tin foil and pack in a suitable container with a separate bowl of salad and a little pot of dressing for lunchboxes.

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