I hope you were able to join me at my Facebook Live the other evening and we will be doing lots more in the coming weeks and months. We cooked three recipes and I promised you I would share them on the blog. First up is a delicious Chicken Korma that comes from my new book, Neven Maguire’s Complete Family Cookbook then we have a firm favourite in the shape of Gratin of Hake with Prawns and lastly we have another recipe from my new book, a gorgeous Caramel sauce.
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 and a drizzle of cucumber raita for lunch. I often add a tin of chickpeas and/or a couple of diced sweet potatoes to bulk it out.
• Serves 4
• 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 (1in) cubes
• sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
• steamed fragrant rice (see below), to serve
• handful of fresh coriander sprigs, to garnish
• warmed naan bread, to serve
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.
Steamed Fragrant Rice
This recipe uses basmati rice, the undisputed queen of rice. It actually triples in length as it cooks and fills the house with the most heavenly scent. You can omit frying the spices and bay leaf in the oil if you are serving it with more Oriental-inspired or plain dishes.
• 350g (12oz) basmati rice
• 1 tbsp sunflower oil
• 4 whole cloves
• 4 green cardamom pods, cracked
• 5cm (2in) piece of cinnamon stick
• 1 bay leaf
• 600ml (1 pint) boiling water
• ½ tsp salt
1 – Wash the rice in numerous changes of cold water until the water runs relatively clear. Cover with more cold water and leave to soak for 7 minutes, then drain well.
2 – Heat the oil in a heavy-based pan that is approximately 20cm (8in) in diameter. Add the cloves, cardamom pods, cinnamon stick and bay leaf and cook gently over a low heat for 1 minute, until they start to smell aromatic.
3 – Stir in the rice and add the boiling water and salt, then quickly bring to the boil. Stir once, cover with a tight-fitting lid, reduce the heat to low and cook over a low heat for 1 minute. Uncover, then fluff up the grains with a fork to serve.
Gratin of Hake with Prawns
for the hake:
- 4 (175g each) hake fillets (pin-boned and scaled)
- 16 raw dublin bay prawns (peeled)
- and veins removed
- 4 tblsp chopped basil
- 4 tsp chilli jam or sweet chilli sauce
- 125 g grated mozzarella cheese
- maldon sea salt and freshly
- ground black pepper
- 4 tblsp pesto
- for the spinach:
- 50 g butter
- 225 g spinach (washed and tough stalks removed)
- pinch of caster sugar
- Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F/Gas 4). Place the hake, skin-side down, on a baking sheet lined with non-stick baking paper and carefully arrange the prawns on top.
- Sprinkle over the basil and then drizzle the chilli jam or sauce on top. Scatter with mozzarella and season with salt and pepper to taste. Bake for about 15–20 minutes until golden brown.
- To sauté the spinach, melt the butter in a medium saucepan over a medium heat. Once it has stopped foaming, quickly sauté the spinach with the sugar until soft and wilted. Season the spinach with salt and pepper to taste and drain well on kitchen paper to remove the excess moisture. Return to the saucepan and keep warm over a very low heat until ready to serve.
- Place a pile of the sautéed spinach in the centre of four plates and, using a fish slice, carefully arrange a cooked fillet of hake on top of each. To serve, drizzle 1 tablespoon of pesto around the edge of each plate.
For my final recipe I hope you enjoy this gorgeous Caramel sauce. It is super easy to make and I just know you will really love it.
This sauce will keep in the fridge covered with cling film for 2 weeks. Add 1 teaspoon of sea salt flakes with the vanilla seeds for a salted caramel version, and it’s also great with a splash of your favourite tipple, such as whiskey, dark rum or brandy.
• 275g (10oz) caster sugar
• 150ml (a quarter of a pint) water
• 250ml (9fl oz) cream
• 75g (3oz) butter
• Half a vanilla pod, split in half lengthways and seeds scraped out
Place the sugar and water in a pan. Bring to the boil and cook for approximately 15 minutes, until golden brown. Stir in the cream, butter and vanilla seeds and mix well. Stir on a low heat until it reaches a thick consistency. Serve hot or transfer to a large bowl and leave to cool. Cover with cling film and chill until needed. Use warm or cold as required.