Tag Archives: Lamb

Curry Kit’s A Hit

14 Dec

Regular readers will know how much I love a cooking kit – from little cakes to a full menu – not being a natural cook I thrive when every tiny thing is written down and weighed out for me.

So I was more than happy to try out a curry kit from Hari Ghotra. I chose a Xacuti Kit because I liked the name, but I should have done a little research first as this was one hot and spicy dish.

Anyway – the kit is a tiny bundle of spice sachets with an easy guide – you just add the meats and vegetables you like. I decided on lamb and here is mine waiting to be curry kitted:
curry1Add the first little bag of tumeric to the lamb and let it sit while you get on with making the paste. Now this is a little fiddly as you have to toast the spices from the second bag (but how do you know when they’re done? I trusted my nose and stopped just when they started to smell lovely and… toasty!).

curry2You grind this concoction up and add it to water – et voila your very own curry paste. Aren’t you clever?

Then there is the very small matter of mashing up some tamarind in hot water while you cook your meat and paste together. Just add this sieved water near the end with the final bag of spices (some lovely nutmeg which I never think of adding to a curry) and you’re done!

It tasted incredible, although I did add maybe a little too much water and this particular curry choice was a little hot – but hey you’ve got to live a little right?

The sauce was more than enough for two people, reasonably easy to make and absolutely a far better bet than buying a ready-made sauce full of stuff that has no place being in a curry. Or ordering in a takeaway obvs.

Plus it makes your house smell completely wonderful and had my family considering the very unusual fact that I might actually be doing some ‘real cooking’ for a change.

curry3

No, I didn’t make the bread.

PLEASE NOTE: This curry kit was provided to me free of charge for an honest review from someone who can’t cook.

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Red Sky In The Morning, Shepherds Pie Warning

19 Aug

If you want to know what happens when you don’t make (buy) enough mashed potato to cover your shepherd’s pie then let me show you…

It goes in like this:

Shep1 Continue reading

One Year On… A Poem!

21 Aug

So Alice Can’t Cook is one year old.
It’s the first birthday of my blog and if I may be so bold?
I shall celebrate with a rhyme or three…
Remembering the best and worst of my cookery

So I’ve served raw eggs to an unborn baby
Made a risotto so solid it could have plastered a wall, maybe
My roasted vegetables just won’t roast
But now and again I can have a bit of a boast

My self-imposed Veg Box Challenge was really trying
The hideous shrunken-head celeriac had me crying
I created some fruit compote that ended up in the sink
And a toxic hummous that kicked up a stink

Jamie Oliver’s Fritters won the vote but still got burnt
I’ve been a student but still haven’t learnt
There has been SO much trouble with eggs and rice
But thankfully I have a failsafe dish that usually turns out quite nice

Toad in the Hole nearly burnt the kitchen down
And even an easy kids recipe made me frown
A slimy festive turkey had me skidding across the floor
But my Christmas kit cakes had them crying out for more

Just don’t talk to me about curry!
I either make it like soup or a nasty slurry
My pretend birthday cakes reveal me to be a bad mother
But this years castle creation has made me think not to bother!

I’ve made my dog sick and my son scream
But weirdly my really difficult salmon dish turned into a dream
In the past year I’ve laughed and I’ve cried
I’ve served crap food but still no one has died.
Thanks for reading this year, for all your helpful comments and the laughs!
Alice Can’t Cook (still)…
But She’s Getting Better x

Cooking for Casualty

4 Apr

I’m often asked if my cooking has ever made anyone ill?

Thankfully the answer to that is: Only Myself!

I’ll admit I’ve had a few scares… such as the time a pregnant friend came to visit. I attempted to cook a Queen of Puddings. Those familiar with this most magnificent of desserts will know you need to whip up a competent meringue to crown it.

Of course the chances of me creating a lightly crusted whippy egg topping are slight.

But for some reason I was determined to be impressive.

Of course it went wrong. I pulled a fruity, bready mess out of the oven with a blackened top, while the insides were like raw runny scrambled eggs flavoured with jam and cream.

I picked off the burnt crust – my crested tops had collapsed anyway – and mixed everything up to make a ‘Queen Mess’ and served that.

It didn’t occur to me until half way through eating that I had just served my pregnant friend raw eggs. Which is something we are warned in leaflets from the hospital not to do.

Happily, I have just been to that baby’s first birthday and he seems to have suffered no ill effects. Sorry George.

I’ve definitely made the dog ill, on numerous occasions. You’ll probably remember my Toad In The Hole and what happened to that?

And here he is bringing back up a smoked chicken soup I made. It made me feel a bit poorly too I have to say:
But no, the only person I have ever really made ill was myself…

I wanted to make a dish using fresh pastry. I was amazed that you could buy this block of something and make it into pastry. I’ll never be able to make my own so was keen to give it a try.
What do I make straight off? Something simple? No, Lamb en Croute.

Well I thought to myself ‘just how hard can it be?’ as I happily seared bits of lamb.

I didn’t have a rolling pin so I couldn’t roll the pastry properly. I just sort of beat it into submission with a dog bowl and then ‘rolled’ it out with a pint glass.

I wrapped my lamb up in it to make what looked like two absolutely huge parcels, which I then artfully scored little lines into.

They seemed to grow in the oven. They looked like massive, crusty pillows. My husband took one look at these flabby, overblown meat mailbags and decided he was going to get an early night.
But I had spent so long making them (and the lamb wasn’t cheap) so I thought I’d eat them myself. Both of them.

The next day I opened my eyes, I knew something was wrong immediately. I couldn’t really see properly, everything in my normally still bedroom was moving, swimming. As I tried to get up my stomach rolled, my head capsized and my legs gave way beneath me.

Waves of nausea washed over me as I tried to continue with my daily routine, part of which involved me collapsing underneath my baby son’s changing table with him still on it. As I clutched my tummy with one hand on the floor I held my other up in the air, in a pathetic attempt to stop him rolling off, shouting for my husband.
Thank goodness he hadn’t sampled my dinner too.

The whole day was spent lurching from the toilet, to my bed, to the shower, to lie down on the floor. Pressing my hot face against every cool surface I could find and wrapping my arms around myself to stop my body shaking and shivering. I only had to think of the words ‘lamb’ or ‘pastry’ to start convulsing again.

I’ve never tried to make anything using fresh pastry since.
But I have bought myself a rolling pin.

Lamb not Bacon

5 Mar

No this is not a painting by Francis Bacon.
This is my Sunday roast.
Two little charred lumps of lamb.

I had to use an apple corer to pull something edible out of these. The dog had the rest.

My husband roasted himself a chicken.

Damn that lamb!

22 Sep

Here is last weekends roast dinner. A shoulder of lamb. I love lamb, it’s certainly my favourite roast, but only when other people make it for me.

This isn’t burnt so much as shrunken and shrivelled. Those who enjoy a rarer portion of meat would shy away from this. I tried to keep it moist and tender by slow cooking for about four hours in vegetable stock while the family and I attended a local dog show.

On returning home the house was filled with beautiful lamby smells, the dog expectantly took up residence in the kitchen, and I was thrilled. After sprinkling the juicy joint with salt, pepper and dried mint (for a crispy skin) I immediately put it into a hot oven and prepared the veg. I kept the slow cooker stock for gravy – see I do think ahead sometimes!

After about 40mins cooking (to allow the spuds and parsnips to roast) the lamb came out completely dry. And half the size! If you look carefully you can see the bone has appeared as the meat has shrunk around it.  Also my parsnips had burnt to inedible crisps, honestly the oven wasn’t too hot – I think I just didn’t take them out early enough! (but the gravy was nice).

Sadly the lamb didn’t really taste of much, there was a lot of crispy skin to chew on but very little in the way of succulent meat. AND having bought a big enough joint for five people there ended up being just about enough for my husband and I.

So – should I be using foil to wrap it up and protect it? Or poured oil over the joint before putting in the oven? It looked moist enough on its own?

If I shouldn’t put it in the slow cooker first then how do you get this tender slow-cooked-lamb that everyone is talking about?

The dog had the bone, he enjoyed it whatever…

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