Sunday, 16 August 2009

Pontack part 2 and a lovely curry

First up, the second half of making the Pontack sauce...the elderberries and vinegar emerged after four hours in a very low oven. Out with the potato masher to ease the last bit of moisture from the sieved berries. The spice mixture is black pepper, mace, cloves, allspice and a knob of fresh ginger. Pam's recipe calls for shallots, but I substituted with a couple of sliced red onions.
Into the pan it all goes, for around half an hour's simmering. Then you strain again, return the clear liquid to the pot and boil hard for five minutes. Then leave to cool and bottle up the purple liquor. It tastes fruity and vinegary and not quite like anything else. I'll use it to pep up beef stews - Pam says it's also good with venison and liver.
I had planned a mushroom and stilton pie for supper, but as it actually felt like summer yesterday, I changed my mind and went for a favourite recipe adapted from a Vicky Bhogul special, from her book A Year of Cooking Like Mummyji. I love Vicky's writing and recipes. This one is based on her Green Masala Roast Chicken Breasts. The original is fab - but I fancied an egg and potato curry with allotment pots.
A mild summer egg and potato curry
2 green chillis (more if you're not into mild)
1 tsp ground turmeric
2 tbsp whole coriander seeds
2 tsp garam masala
4 cloves garlic
2 spring onions
a thumb sized knob of fresh ginger
3 tbsp yoghurt
2 tbsp oil - I use groundnut
1 tsp salt
Roughly chop your chillis, garlic and onions and bung these, plus all the other ingredients, into a food processor. Whiz. You end with a masala that looks like - yes! - wallpaper paste. But it smells fab.
Boil your potatoes - I used about six medium sized Shetland Black - they're a wonderful purple colour. You have to watch them carefully at the end of the cooking time as they are very floury and tend to break up if you're not quick to whip them off the heat. In another pan, hard boil three eggs. Then put the masala in a pan, add the halved eggs and the potatoes and heat through. Serve with freshly chopped coriander.
Pudding was part of my foraging haul - blackberry and apple crumble. I used to loathe crumble because we got it three times a week at school. And it was a very nasty crumble. But I'm slowly coming back to it after many years of avoiding it like the plague. I stewed the garden apples very gently with a bit of butter and some golden castor sugar. Once they were done, I just bunged the blackberries on top to soak up some of the heat from the apples.
My crumble mix is flour, butter, sugar and ground almonds. Into the oven at gas mark 4 for around 40 minutes. Serve with fresh cream. Yep, I really am coming round to crumble.


mangocheeks said...

Howde Fran,
Admire your forage, and that crumble looks delightful.

I am a fan of Vicky Bhogul. Her recipes and stories in 'Cooking with mummyji' reminds me a lot of my childhood. Alongside Madhur Jaffrey, I think Vicky is perhaps one of the most talented young South Asian British cooks around. I think her cooking is homely, honest and non-pretentious. So I am pleased you made this dish, it is making my mouth water.

fran39 said...

Hi Mango - I was about to post a comment on your blog booking your mum to come and stay here for a week! I'm really thrilled you like Vicky too - 'Cooking Like Mummyji' is one of my favourite cookbooks. Have you seen her new one, 'Flavour'? It's much more fusion than her previous books, but there's some yummy stuff in it.

mangocheeks said...

I have seen the new book, but have been hesitant in puchasing it - I am really hoping she stays true to her roots and not get too caught up in the celebrity chef hype nonsense.

mangocheeks said...

Guess what Fran,
Good news - I did purchase Vicky's book Flavour, it was too good to resist. Though not veggie, I do like her work.
Bad news, my copy of Cooking Like Mummiji has been ruined, accidently of course by a friend, who spilled stuff on it. I can't find a copy here for love or money, and wondered could you keep an eye out for me in your neck of the woods, if you come across one or know of someone who doesn't use their copy please please do let me know.