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SomethingForTheWeekend: Homemade Katsu Curry (gluten & dairy free)

Katsu curry is always someting I’ve loved at Wagamama’s – but theirs isn’t gluten free and always results in me going home doubled over in pain! Here’s a recipe for you to try that won’t leave you in pain and is seriously less complicated than it looks!

The original recipe I used is here: katsu curry, but below is my adapted recipe, to make it gluten free as well as dairy free, and I’ve halved the quantities because I was only cooking for me and hubby (and to suit what I had in the cupboard)

For the sauce:

1/2 tsp cumin seeds

1/2 tsp coriander seeds

1/2 tsp fennel seeds

1 cardamom pod

1/2 tsp ground fenugreek

1/2 tbsp turmeric

1 onion, sliced

1 green pepper, chopped

2cm piece ginger, chopped

1 clove garlic, sliced,

1 green chilli, sliced

200g chopped tomatoes (from a tin)

125ml free range chicken stock

1/2 tbsp honey

1/2 tbsp GF tamari sauce

2 spring onions, chopped

For the Katsu:

2 free range chicken breasts, cut into strips

75g gluten free plain flour (rice flour or any GF flour)

100g gluten free breadcrumbs (I used mrs crimbles)

1 free range egg (lightly beaten)

4 tbsp vegetable oil

(and some long grain rice – 75g per person – for serving with)

Method: (it’s easier than you think!)

  • Toast the cumin seeds, coriander seeds, fennel seeds and cardamom for 1 or 2 minutes (until they smell amazing) and then finely ground in a pestle and mortar, and add the turmeric and fenugreek
  • In a large pan, heat the onion, pepper and ginger in a little oil for 6-8 minutes, untl softened.
  • Add the garlic and chilli, stirring through and allowing to heat for no more than 30 seconds, or the garlic will become bitter.
  • Add the ground spices and tinned tomatoes, followed by the stock
  • Simmer genty for 20 minutes

Meanwhile…

  • Get your flour, breadcrumbs and egg laid out in separate plates / shallow bowls
  • Coat your chicken pieces firstly in flour, then in egg, then in breadcrumbs, and set aside on a clean plate

Back to the sauce…

  • Once the sauce has been heating for around 20 minutes, turn off the heat and allow to cool for a few minutes
  • Transfer to a blender and blend until smooth
  • Pour back into the pan and mix in the honey and soy sauce
  • Keep it on a very low heat until ready to serve

To Finish…

  • If serving with rice, add it to boiling water now (long grain rice, depending on the type, takes between 10 and 20 minutes)
  • Add a few tbsp oil to a frying pan, heat, and add half the breaded chicken (not to overcrowd the pan)
  • Cook the chicken for 3-4 minutes each side,until golden brown & coked through ( cut a large piece open if you’re not sure) then put aside on kitchen towel to drain the excess oil (and repeat for the rest of the chicken)
  • At the last minute, add chopped spring onions to your curry sauce and turn off the heat
  • Serve, a mound of rice, pour over the curry sauce and top with the breaded chicken.

Yum.  It looks like a lot of work, but it’s not if you follow the steps in the right order. It’s such a satisfying curry, perfect for a Friday Night, and who’s to say you can’t change the chicken for another meat… or vegetables (Wagamamas do a fantastic veggie katsu curry with breaded sweet potato, squash and aubergine!) Go on, give it a try!

Food for Lovers: Spicy Chorizo Pasta (gluten & dairy free)

This is what I made for myself and hubby last night, our Valentine’s dinner. It’s the simplicity of Italy married with the fire of Spain. I don’t have a picture of it because, truthfully I got carried away eating it, but if you imagine; pieces of orange pepper and spicy sausage peeking out from under the penne pasta, smothered in blood red sauce with flecks of green basil running through it… you’ve got the idea. There were many reasons why I chose this. Firstly, tomatoes are red; the colour of love & passion. Secondly, meat is a supposed aphrodisiac, and there is little sexier than chorizo.  Lastly, a bowl of pasta is quick to make – which means more time to spend with your OH :)

Ingredients:

200g gluten free pasta (dry weight) – I used corn penne pasta

250g chorizo (chopped however you like)

1 red or orange pepper

5 (approx) medium mushrooms (chopped)

1 stick celery, finely chopped

1 clove garlic (peeled & minced)

400ml tomato passata

1/4 tsp paprika

1/4 tsp cayenne pepper

1/2 tsp basil

Method:

  • Bring a large pan of water to the boil (for the pasta)
  • In a large deep pan, heat chorizo in a little oil, for 4-5 minutes (it will sizzle and spit so be careful)
  • Add the mushrooms, pepper and celery and continue to heat until they soften
  • Add the garlic at the last minute, stir through before adding the passata
  • Season with paprika, cayenne, and basil, then allow to simmer while you cook the pasta
  • Add pasta to the boiling water, and cook until al dente – firm (this is because you will finish cooking the pasta in the sauce)
  • Corn pasta is usually al dente after about 7 minutes, so then drain it and quickly throw it into the sauce, stir through and allow to simmer for 2-3 minutes longer
  • That’s it, serve, and enjoy!

This worked well with a little tapenade of olives and cheese, a mocktail of white grape, elderflower, pomegranate & blueberry juice, followed with strawberries & cherries dipped (seductively of course) in melted dairy free chocolate. Who am I kidding – you can’t dip anything seductively in chocolate because it ultimately ends up all over your face, but it was a nice touch.

Recipe: Sexed up Lentils! (gluten & dairy free of course)

Puy Lentils are so sexy. If you disagree, it’s probably because you’ve never cooked them like this. With very little effort, puy lentils can be your go-to ingredient for comforting PJ food – and what’s sexier than that? ;)

OK, they’re not much to look at, but they are so tasty (pictured below in an oven-baked potato, and some red cabbage & red pepper on the side)

Ingredients:

225g puy lentils (dry weight)

2 cloves garlic – peeled and minced / grated

1 red chilli – finely chopped

2 sticks of celery, finely diced

2 tbsp red cooking wine

600ml veg stock

Method:

  • Heat the celery in a little oil on a low heat for around 10 minutes, until it is soft and smells fantastic
  • Add the garlic & chilli to the pan and mix through – leave for a matter of seconds, before throwing the lentils in
  • Add the wine to the pan, and turn up the heat, keeping the lentils moving for about a minute while the alcohol evaporates
  • Add the stock (preferably hot) to the pan, give it a stir, then cover and let it simmer gently for about 30 mins, until the stock has been absorbed and the lentils are soft (you want them soft but not mushy)
  • That’s it – serve, in a baked potato, on a salad, with a piece of meat or fish… or just in a bowl all by themselves!

As a rule of thumb I allow 75g (dry weight) of lentils per person. The above was enough to fill 3 potatoes generously.  Be warned though, once you’ve cleared your plate, you will probably wish that you made more. And you will want to make it again. Because it’s so easy, so healthy, and so damn sexy.

Sticky Flourless Chocolate Brownies :)

Link: Nigella’s Flourless Chocolate Brownies

Perfect Sunday night comfort food! Me and OH made these tonight – great because you don’t need any gums, any flour, or any baking powder.  They are so easy to make, just use dairy free chocolate, and dairy free spread instead of butter!We didn’t make the chocolate sauce, mainly because the brownies are rich enough without it (and also because of laziness…)  They are so gooey that we gave them about 20 mins longer in the oven than the recipe says, and you definitely don’t want to try eating them without a spoon ;)

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