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Food Names

Food Names

Fish UK USA Egypt India Sea Bream Red Snapper Morgan Kisi Sea Bass Branzino Aroosa Khajura Grey Mullet Grey Mullet Bouri Boi Tilapia Tilapia Bolti Tiapis Crab Crab Kaboorya Khadapichimbori(blue swimmer crab) Fish Herbs UK USA Egypt India Fenugreek Fenugreek Halba Methi Coriander Cilantro Kasbara 

Belly Pork in the Pressure Cooker

Belly Pork in the Pressure Cooker

Well I finally used the multi-cooker as a pressure cooker. On out last trip up to El Gouna we dropped into the butchers there and I picked up a nice joint of belly pork. This is what I decided to do with it. I must 

Mango Magic

Mango Magic

It’s mango season here again, in Egypt. They’re everywhere and so the prices are quite reasonable (15 LE, about £0.63 a kilo).  We’re down to our last few tablespoons of mango chutney and as it forms a crucial part of the Prawn Pathia that my life loves so much, I thought I’d better get making a new batch of it.

I have her favourite recipe (I will be trying some new ones this season as well), so I peeled and diced the mangos, put the spice mix together, and popped over to Ahmed’s for some more white vinegar.

As I was mixing the mango chunks with the vinegar, my eye caught my sous vide machine, still set up from my breakfast eggs.  Hmmm. How good would the mango be if it was sealed away and slow cooked for, say, 8 hours?

I fried off the spice mix and added it to the mango and vinegar, then poured it all into a ziploc bag, removing as much of the air as possible.

Sous vide preheated to 83°C, bag clipped to the side of the pot and off I went to do other things.

In the evening I placed the bag into a pot with cold running water running through it from the tap for 5 minutes.

Time for a taste and texture test – oh dear. The taste was fantastic, the sous vide really helping to retain the juices and flavour of the mango but, without the evaporation, the chutney had not reduced at all.  I decided to look at it in the morning and put the bag to one side to settle overnight.

As dawn’s rays filtered through the kitchen window (yeah, right!), the sauce had not noticeably thickened.  I was fretting about potentially ruining the taste and fragrance of the sauce by reducing it over heat, when I realised … another of my birthday presents was the molecuar gastronomy kit!  It contains a plethora of powders and potions that, amongst other things, thicken mixtures!

Now the big decision… which method to use?

  • Gelatine – hmm, it’s beef gelatine, the good lady would not really be happy with that.
  • Agar Agar – possible, but a bit of a brittle gel and I didn’t want solid chutney.
  • Xanthan Gum – all round thickener and friend of chefs – I’d found my saviour!

I poured the chutney into a large bowl and carefully measured out 2g of gum, sprinkling it over the chutney and then blending it in with the Bamix.  Promising, but still a little runny.  1g more of the powder blended in produced a perfectly smooth and silky chutney. I used 3g of Xanthan as the recommended amount for thickening is between 0.1% and 1% of the total weight, and the chutney was pretty much spot on 800g.  As the chutney wasn’t utter water, I worked my way up from 2g (0.25%) and settled on 3g (0.33%) which produced the viscosity I was looking for.

It remains to be seen whether we’ll discover an even more delicious mango chutney than this one (most likely we will), but at least there’s 500ml of it available now.

Mango Chutney

Ingredients

  • Spice Mix
    • 1 tablespoon cooking oil
    • 2 teaspoons fresh ginger, finely minced
    • 2 cloves garlic, finely minced
    • 1 red chili, sliced
    • 2 teaspoons whole nigella seeds
    • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
    • ½ teaspoon ground cumin
    • ¼ teaspoon turmeric
    • ¼ teaspoon ground cardamom
    • ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
    • ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • Mangoes
    • 500g mango flesh, (about 1kg unpeeled mangoes), peeled and diced
    • 160g white granulated sugar
    • 240ml white vinegar
    • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • Finishing
    • 3g Xanthan Gum

Method

  1. Pre-heat the sous vide to 83°C.
  2. In large bowl, combine the diced mangoes, sugar, salt, and vinegar and stir well.
  3. Heat the oil over a medium heat in a pan.
  4. Saute the ginger, garlic and red chilies for a minute.
  5. Add all the spices and saute for another minute. .
  6. Allow the spices to cool slightly and add to the mango mixture., stirring well.
  7. Place the mixture in a ziploc bag, squeezing out as much air as possible, and place in the sous vide bath for 6-8 hours.
  8. Remove bag from bath and cool in an ice bath or under running water.
  9. Empty the bag into a large bowl and sprinkle the xanthan gum over, then blend with a hand blender until it thickens.
  10. Pour into a sterilised jar and refrigerate.

For storage:

  • Chutney will keep for a while because of the high acidity content.
  • A conservative time frame would be up to 2 months in the fridge (in a sealed jar) or for several months in the freezer.

Smokin’

Smokin’

My Tower multi-cooker is not only an ELECTRIC pressure cooker (no exploding pans, food on the ceiling etc), but also has both hold and cold smoking functions. The only problem with this lovely little machine is that the manual is awful.  No details of how 

Suzie Veed – welcome to the house

Suzie Veed – welcome to the house

I’ve just had my first 64° egg.  Closely followed by my second.  They won’t be my last. I love a runny egg, but the texture and flavour of a perfect poached/soft boiled egg with a touch of ground white pepper and sea salt takes some 

Sweet and Sour Carp

Sweet and Sour Carp

The original recipe for this came from a Russian/Phillipino family.  What makes it utterly fantastic is the use of the ginger as a vegetable rather than just a spice.  It’s one of the best sweet and sours we’ve ever had and Corinne loves it.

Ingredients

  • 1lb carp fillets (or your fish of choice, catfish works well), cleaned and cut into 1½”  x 3” chunks.
  • 2 cups vegetable oil (for frying)
  • 1 medium red bell pepper, julienned
  • 1 medium green bell pepper, julienned
  • 1 cup fresh ginger, julienned
  • 1 ½ cup carrots, julienned
  • ½ onion, sliced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • ¼ cup soy sauce
  • ½ cup distilled white vinegar
  • ¼ cup brown sugar
  • 1/8 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1 tbsp salt (for salting fish)
  • 1 tbsp cornstarch (to thicken sauce)
  • 2 cups water

Method

  1. Salt the fish chunks lightly on both sides – you only half half a teaspoon of salt to do the entire fish, so just use a touch on each piece.
  2. Deep fry the fish in batches for about 4 minutes each, then drain and set aside.
  3. Heat wok and add 2 tbsp oil from fryer. Sauté the garlic and onions until slightly browned.
  4. Add carrots, bell pepper, and ginger. Sauté veggies for another minute.
  5. Add water, soy sauce, vinegar, ground black pepper, and brown sugar. Stir.
  6. Take out about ¼ cup of the sauce and dissolve 1 tbsp of cornstarch in it. Add it back into the wok.
  7. Bring to boil and then lower heat.
  8. Add fried fish chunks, making sure they are at least halfway soaked in the sweet & sour sauce.
  9. Baste fish with sauce. Simmer uncovered for 10 minutes.
  10. Serve hot with rice or noodles.
Simple Garam Masala

Simple Garam Masala

Many Indian and East Asian recipes use a garam masala.  Your choice of masala can greatly influence the taste of a dish.  Here’s a simple garam masala recipe that works great with most curries. Ingredients 6 heaped tablespoons coriander seeds 6 heaped tablespoons cumin seeds 

Prawn Balti

Prawn Balti

Originally from a restaurant in Birmingham, I’ve modified this recipe from a chicken balti recipe. If you want to use chicken rather than prawn, use a skinned and deboned chicken breast cut into 1″ cubes, but add it between steps 4 and 5 and make 

Tagen, Tagine, Tajine

Tagen, Tagine, Tajine

img_3769Depending on where you’re from or which dialect of Arabic you choose to use, it’s basically a casserole pot.

We went hunting with Mum and Dad trying to find a Tagen, as Mum uses a Moroccan-style one at home, which has a conical lid.  There was nothing similar-looking in the shops that we went to, but the little man in our usual kitchen shop was quite happy to point out the different varieties that they had.  3 different sizes in one set, with beautiful decoration, came to the sum total of 55 LE.  That’s about £2.50 at current exchange rates.

Whilst in the shop we also selected a new canteen of cutlery, which involved much sitting around on the floor and bringing of different boxes for Corinne to look through.  A decision was made and now we have lovely gilded cutlery for best.  Thanks to Gran for the Christmas present.

Indian Giver

Indian Giver

It’s always been hard to find a decent Indian meal in Hurghada.  Now it’s almost impossible as the Indian restaurant in the Marina has now shut down. I’ve been gradually building up my collection of herbs and spices, with the assistance of friends returning from