Kofte Kebabs

31 10 2010

 Anyone who has read my recipes before will possibly have noticed that I really do like Greek and Turkish food quit a lot, so much in fact that it is probably a very good thing that both cuisines can be some of the healthiest around.

 Kofte or Kefte or Kofta depending on where you are from are made of ground meat such as lamb that is worked with until it is almost like a paste mixed with herbs and spices and then formed into balls, cigar like sausages or worked around a stick before grilling – delicious 🙂

I happen to be particularly fond of a version that I used to have at a Turkish restaurant back home and that I finally managed to get right after many attempts. Whilst you can use most meats and even fish to make your kofte I find lamb to be the best however I do like a 50/50 mix of lamb and beef as well.

Ingredients:

500 g of ground lamb
1 handfull of parsley (stalks removed)
1 slice of white bread with the crust removed
1 medium red onion
1 garlic clove
1 egg
~12 mint leaves
1/4 tsp cumin powder
1/4 tsp paprika
1/4 tsp black
1/2 tsp salt

Method:

When you buy your minced lamb ask the butcher to mince it twice for you to try and get it as fine and smooth as possibly, if you don’t visit a butcher and don’t have access to a mincer at home then place the mince on a chopping board and using 2 knives try and break it down as much as possible- imagine you are playing the drums!

Very lightly toast your slice of bread and using a food processor turn it into bread crumbs, if you don’t have a food processor then it looks like you will get to work on your drum skills again.

Peel your onion and garlic and dice both as finely as you can, also at this point chop up your parsely and mint leaves finely.

Beat together your egg .

Add all of your dry ingredients to a mixing bowl which has been greased with a little bit of olive oil and give them a rough mix together. Now add in your beaten egg and really mix everything together well, you don’t want any pockets of meat that haven’t been seasoned or any big clumps of breadcrumbs.

Once your mixture is well mixed together cover the bowl with a clingfilm/a teatowel and pop in the fridge for at least 30 mins.

After taking your mix out of the fridge divide it into equal amounts and shape it as you wish; either into little meatballs, cigar like sausages, patties or shaped around a wooden skewer.

Now for the cooking, pop your koftes onto a nice hot charcoal grill / bbq or if you don’t have a grill/bbq available you can pop them into a hot frying pan.

Cook the kofte until they are done, if you split this amount of mixture into 15 small sausages you will need to give them 3/4 minutes each, different sized portions will differ accordingly.

Serve with some natural yoghurt, a nice simple salad and some flat bread.





The Marquis of Gransby, Cambridge Circus

29 10 2010

The Marquis of Granby

142 Shaftesbury Avenue, London, WC2H 8HJ

The Marquis of Granby is probably the pick of the pubs at Cambridge Circus, unfortunately that isn’t saying a great deal!

The pub itself is well situated and has a fairly large main bar with a smaller room upstairs that is occasionally open when the pub is busy and boy does this place get busy, particularly on match days.

The decor is a bit tired and shabby looking which is a shame considering the last refit was as recent as 2008! The posters and programs from various operas and plays over the years add a bit of interest though.

The staff are competent and the service is prompt enough, I have found the landlord to be a tad unfriendly though; one particular story that was relayed to me involved a non-regular asking for the television to be turned up so he could hear the game and the landlord turning the volume from 0-100 whilst staring the guy down the whole time.

In relation to the football the Marquis seems to focus on showing Celtic matches and appeasing the cockney red brigade, funny as I thought we were in London not Manchester!

There is usually a decent selection of beers on offer and last time I was in here I had a very good pint of Ringwood Old Thumper and a not so stellar pint of Cornish Coaster – which was no fault of the pub I just don’t find much to enjoy about it!

The prices can be a little prohibitive if you were planning on having a bit of a session, a short walk can see you paying £2.50-£3.00 a pint as opposed to the £3.50-£4.00 that you will pay in the Marquis.

I find the Marquis of Granby to be fine if I am bowling along through Soho and need to wet my whistle but for me it would be a stop along the way, not a destination.





An update on my homebrewing project

28 10 2010

 As regular readers will know my most recent homebrew was a traditional IPA, well it now a little over a month since it was bottled so I decided to give it a try and see how it is getting on.

 There is a fair amount of carbonation, certainly enough for my tastes. The beer pours to a very pleasant light amber with a decent sized head that lasts well throughout drinking with a fair bit of lacing.

 There is a decent aroma developing with hops, a slight hint of citrus and a rich maltiness being the predominant notes.

 For me the look and smell of my homebrew are important but the key is very definately how it tastes. Well I can officially say that this IPA is a winner as far as I’m concerned.

There is a good level of bitterness to the beer offset with a nice caramel like sweetness from the malt, I was really pleased as a lto of homebrews that I have sampled before have had an almost cider like quality to them coupled with a rather unpleasant sweetness.

If I compare this IPA with a commercially brewed version I would certainly take this over something like the ubiquitous Greene King offering and not only because this is tipping the scales at a little over 6% (6.2% as close as I can measure it)

I can’t wait until my next scheduled tasting at the end of November 🙂





Homemade Rogan Josh

28 10 2010

The other night was curry night at home; I knew straight off the bat that I was going to make my chana masala, onion bhajis, bombay potatoesflat breads and the lemon pickle that Jamie Oliver made recently in 30 minute meals.

What I didn’t work out quite so quickly was what I was going to make as a meat dish.

I hadn’t been going to make a meat dish and had been going to do a nice vegetable dish instead but my brothers were adamant that they needed meat.

Now my tastes run towards the far hotter and spicier end of the scale and I normally make myself a vindaloo or a phal, I knew that these wouldn’t be welcomed with open arms so decided to make my take on Rogan Josh instead.

Traditionally Rogan Josh would use lamb but it is equally good with beef or chicken as well.

Ingredients (4-6servings):

1kg of diced lamb (beef or chicken also work well)

400g tinned tomatoes/tomato concasse

3 large onions

5 cloves of garlic

3″ piece of ginger

7 green cardamom pods

1 medium-sized chilli (you can add more if you want)

a bunch of fresh coriander

3tsp dried coriander leaf

3tsp garam masala

1 1/2tsp coriander seeds

1 1/2tsp cumin seeds

1tsp paprika

1tsp turmeric

1tsp black mustard seeds

1/2tsp ground nutmeg

1/2tsp mace

1/2tsp asafoetida

 Method:

  • mix the dried coriander with the meat and a small drizzle of olive oil, set aside and leave until it is needed.
  • chop the onions into a fine dice and sweat in a saucepan for 30 mins
  • peel and chop the garlic and ginger finely, and continue to soften for a further 20 mins
  • add the cardamoms, coriander seeds, mustard seeds and cumin seeds to a dry pan and heat until the seeds start to pop, add these to the saucepan along with the paprika, turmeric, garam masala, nutmeg, mace and asafoetida making sure to stir everything together well.
  • empty the meat and coriander mixture into a pan and brown off.
  • add the meat to the main saucepan and use some stock or water to deglaze the frying pan, add the juices etc to the saucepan.
  • stir in the chopped tomatoes/tomato concasse and the chopped fresh coriander and chopped chillis. Leave to simmer for at least 90 minutes.

Serve with basmati rice and your choice of accompaniments.





Dumbest Yahoo Answers questions ever

25 10 2010

I was trawling through the internet last night and came across some particularly stupid questions from Yahoo Answers (I know there are a ton to choose from!)

 

Here are a few of my favourites





Homemade Onion Bhaji

25 10 2010

I was making  Indian food yesterday  and my brother asked me if I wanted him to pick up some onion bhajis from the takeaway in town on his way home from watching the Arsenal vs Man City game.

I said no of course as I don’t see the point in spending €6.50 for 3 super greasy over cooked bhajis when I can make dozens for far less money and with far more taste.

So here is my recipe for making delicious onion bhajis at home:

  • 100 g of gram flour (if yiou haven’t got gram flour then use plain white flour)
  • 2 large onions cut into thin strips
  • 1 medium sized red chili cut into thin strips
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 1/2 tsp cumin seeds (optional)
  • 1/2 tsp of garam masala
  • handfull finely chopped fresh corriander leaves
  •  pinch of sea salt
  • pinch of black pepper
  • 100 ml of water
  • 200 ml of rape-seed oil to fry

 

mix together the gram flour,onions, chilli,spices and seasonings

add the water to it, mixing it constantly, until you have formed a fairly thick batter

heat oil in a saucepan

using two spoons form the bhajis and place into the hot oil

ensure that there are no more than 2 bhajis in the pan at once or the temperature will drop

fry the bhajis until they are a nice golden brown colour and have a nice crisp texture

pat the fried bhajis with a kitchen towel to soak excess oil, if you aren’t eating the bhajis straight away they will keep perfectly well in a low  oven until you are ready.

These Bhajis are great by themselves but are even better with something to dip them in, personally I would make a nice raita to accompany them.





Hobgoblin – the unofficial beer of Halloween

24 10 2010

I wrote a review about Wychwood Hobgoblin a little while ago now (you can view it here if you want)

Since then I have had a few bottles of it here and there and have enjoyed it as always. The other day though I noticed something about the bottle…

There is a pumpkinesque orange label and a tagline proclaiming that Hobgoblin is the unofficial beer of Halloween.

Can’t say there is any better choice personally!

The most important change is on the little label up on the neck; Wychwood are running a Halloween competition that could net you a cool £5000!

Click here to enter and enjoy the Halloween fun.

 








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