Facebook Didn’t Lie- I love the BexanCo NZ Cashew Nut Curry.

 

You know when Facebook tells you that you will like a certain page and you click and think ,YEAH! Well that happened with me and BexanCo NZ. I clicked the link to the page, shared the page on my Muffin Mum page to ask if anyone had tried it. BexanCo got back to me and offered me a couple of sachets to try. Us Muffins love our spicy food and buy our rice in bulk, I wasn’t going to say no. Tonight we tried the Cashew Nut Curry.

 

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To be honest, I didn’t expect to be impressed and was wondering why I would buy a sachet of spices? I have spices in my cupboard and can make a good mix. However, my spices are not fresh. I confess I am a spice hoarder and it has to stop.

This sealed packet of perfectly balanced spices and cashews was fresh, very fresh and smelt delicious. To cook I went a little off track from the directions on the packet and used the Pressure Cooker.

I browned the onions, then the chicken, added the spice, a drained tin of chopped tomatoes and a tin of coconut milk.

I cooked it in the pressure cooker for ten minutes, did the instant release and added some frozen international vegetables, I simmered for about 10 minutes.

This Cashew Nut Curry was delicious, seriously delicious.  I would happily serve it at a dinner party and be proud. That is a very an excellent approval rating from me.  BexanCo NZ impressed me and I didn’t expect it. Mr Muffin commented that it wasn’t a curry he would normally order but it had opened his eyes. It was similar to a Madras in a NZ curry house. The spice rating was balanced and Miss ate a good sized portion and no complaints were heard.

All up, yes I would buy the Cashew Nut Curry, it was a great easy dinner in the pressure cooker and we all look forward to trying the BexanCo NZ Curry.

I apologise for the not very impressive photos but we were hungry

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A Sad Food Moment On A Monday.

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This morning I got to work a little early so I could pop to my favourite cafe and get my lunch. It was closed, I nearly cried and then I went to a nearby cafe. My choice for lunch was a spinach and feta filo pie. It was awful and I was so disappointed. It was under cooked, had no flavour and left me feeling very sad. To top it all, there was no lovely relish served with it but a cheap generic tomato sauce. Needless to say, I didn’t eat my lunch.

I will look forward to a Friday treat at Pranah and hope that I get a slice of the veg pie. It has an amazing crust and is bursting with flavour.

To make my self feel better I cooked a lovely dinner and I now have a smile on my face.

Dinner was sausages and potatoes roasted together with some pumpkin, leek and carrots that had been dusted with smoked paprika. There was a side of broccoli and sweetcorn to keep Miss happy.

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Two Ingredients Bolognese -Convenimince.

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On Sunday I went to The Wellington Food Show, it was entertaining but there was rather a lot of wine for a food show and me and wine are not friends any more. The best parts were watching chefs in the theatre, having a wonderful lunch from the Origin Gourmet Food Truck  and buying beef from Green Meadows Beef.

Green Meadows are excellent on the social media front and  great to follow on Twitter and you can find them here. I found out about their new product Convenimince through Twitter and I was curious about  the ‘Grass-fed beef mince blended with sautéed onion, red capsicum, garlic & a hint of magic.’ As I bought a 4 choice deal pack at the show I brought a packet home with me.

I have been pondering over what to do with it and after over complicating things I talked myself round to keeping it simple, really simple. I chose to do a two ingredient bolognese and it was very good. I had to fight the urge to cut up and onion or clove or garlic. I felt proud of my achievement as I love to add things. I am pleased I managed it.

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Dinner was delicious and it made a brilliant midweek staple dinner easy. We will certainly be buying Convenimince regularly as the taste was excellent and flavourful .It would make great patties, meatballs and kofta.

All I did tonight was –

Brown the Convenimince in a little olive oil.

Added the tinned tomatoes, I used Wattie’s Crushed and Sieved.

Cook with lid off for 10-15 minutes until liquid has reduced.

Cook for a further 10 minutes with lid on,  stir occasionally.

Serve with pasta of your choice.

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This is not a sponsored post.

 

 

 

 

Watermelon Rind Curry, Used My Melon And Used The Whole Watermelon!

 

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February 2016 is New Zealand’s First Watermelon month, the key producer of the great watermelons that are grown in NZ is LeaderBrand and they are the brains behind this idea. This post is a part of a competition to create recipes using watermelon or to use a great pun, to use your melon.

I have had my thinking hat on for a while thinking about watermelons and #NZWatermelonMonth. In my head I have file cabinets full of recipes and ideas I have seen. It took a while for my brain to find this idea and when I did I made it my own and cooked my heart out.

Now, I didn’t make this idea up and it doesn’t look pretty. It tastes mighty fine and is a fab way to use all of the melon. The taste isn’t unlike cucumber or marrow but better.This is based upon an Indian dish which was stored in my vast head files, this dish is called ,tarbooz ke chile ki sabj. It hails from the Rajasthan region which is the region of India that calls me back and I hope to visit again one day.

This dish is more of a side dish and will go perfectly with just about every Indian main I can think of. I have kept the spices to ones likely to be found in your cupboard but feel free to experiment. I am sure my dish is not very authentic but it is the flavours I love. Be brave, use your melon…..your whole melon.

I am sure you can come up with things to do with the normal people’s part.  There are many recipes out there for wonderful salads, sorbets and smoothies.

I don’t usually post many pictures with my recipes but I wanted to add a couple here so you can see how to best cut the watermelon. The rind on my watermelon wasn’t huge but it still worked fine.

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This amuses me, it looks as if the watermelon is getting undressed.

 

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Watermelon Rind Curry - Muffinmum.com

  • Servings: 2-3 as a side dish
  • Time: prep, 15 mins, 20 mins cooking,
  • Print

Canola oil

400g water melon rind chopped into 2cm rough square (you can increase the spice ratio to suit how much rind your watermelon yields)

1-2 cloves garlic finely chopped

2 tsp cumin seeds

1  tsp ground cumin

1 tsp ground coriander

1 tsp turmeric  powder

1/2 tsp chilli powder

1  tsp garam masala

Salt and pepper

1/4 c water

Heat oil in a pan, you need just enough to cover the bottom.

Add cumin seeds and cook until you can smell them release their flavour.

Tip in garlic and give a good shake and let cook for a minute.

Next add the spices.

Tip in that rind and stir well so it is coated in the spice oil.

Add the 1/4 c water and cover the pan.

Cook for 10 mins on a low heat, give the pan couple of shakes.

Remove lid and cook until the rind is soft.

Serve warm as a side dish and enjoy.

 

Cumin Potatoes with The Lucky Sod’s Little Diggers.

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We love these spuds and the name of the company. I find that when I pick up a bag of Lucky Sod’s I know I am getting quality potatoes.

Summer in New Zealand means little potatoes and invites to barbecues that ask you to bring a plate. For those not in NZ, it doesn’t mean you have to take a plate but to bring some food with you to be shared with all. Potatoes are often over looked and I have the perfect recipe for you to impress the host. These cumin potatoes are excellent for dinner too, we had them tonight with stir fried vegetables and a sausage.

With the recipe you can crisp the spuds up two ways. Either carry on cooking them in the fry pan and keep flipping or pop them in the oven in a roasting pan. I have used a disposable baking tray to take them to barbecues  and they have vanished quickly. They are best kept at room temperature.

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Cumin Potatoes- Muffinmum.com

  • Servings: this recipe 2-3 people
  • Time: 50-55 mins cooking,
  • Print

This recipe can be increased easily and they work just as well. Make sure your pans are big enough to have a single layer of potatoes.

Ingredients

500g potatoes (I use Lucky Sod Little Diggers)

2 tsp cumin seeds

1 1/2 tsp ground cumin

1 1/2 tsp ground coriander

1 tsp ground turmeric

1/2 tsp cardamom

Salt and pepper to season

Oil for frying

Method

Cut potatoes so they are all even sized

Boil potatoes in salted water until a knife can be interested

Drain

In a large fry pan heat enough oil to just cover the base

Add the cumin seeds and brown

When they are brown add the potatoes

Stir the potatoes so they are covered in seeds

Cook for 2-3 minutes and keep stirring and

Add remaining spices, salt and pepper

Give everything a very good stir so all are covered and yellow

You can either keep cooking in the fry pan and stir regularly until brown and crispy

or

Place in a roasting tin and pop into the hot oven at around 180℃ and roast for 40-45 minutes stirring occasionally until nice and crispy.

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Chipotle Roast Potatoes – Using Barker’s Of Geraldine’s, Really Useful Chipotle Sauce.

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I was lucky enough to receive happy mail thanks to Lassoo Media and PR. A courier knocked the door looking a little flushed and asked for Muffin Mum with a parcel in his hands, I did sign the device as Emma. In that parcel was a box containing three of the brand new sauces from Barker’s Of Geraldine. In my box there was a lovely cute wire rack containing Central Otago Rich Red Plum Sauce, Chunky Salsa Tomato & Capsicum Sauce and last but certainly not least Really Useful Chipotle Sauce. I engineered our dinner to include the later.

That is actually a bit of a lie, I planned a roast for Monday night but it was a hot day in Wellington. I decided to do a fancy meal similar to a roast but with a bit of a flavour boost. I stuffed chicken breasts with feta and tomato and ramped up the good old roasts with a good coating of the Really Useful Chipotle Sauce. This spuds were mighty fine and the Really Useful Chipotle Sauce has a very good kick. We are having burgers on Friday and I am looking forward to putting too much sauce on my bun.

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Chipotle Roast Potatoes- Muffinmum.com

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Time: 1 hour cooking
  • Print

Heat oven to 180

1 kg of good roasters (Agria)

3 tbsp olive oil

2 tbsp Really Useful Chipotle Sauce

Peel the potatoes and cut into roughly 4 cm chunks, don’t worry too much about the size but do make them roughly the same size.

Place in a pan, cover with cold water and add a little salt.

Boil the potatoes until you can insert a knife (around 10 mins)

Drain, tip back into the sauce pan.

Tip 2 tbsp olive oil over the potatoes and give the pan a good shake.

Tip into a roasting tin and place back into the oven.

Cook for 45 minutes, turning occasionally.

Mix Really Useful Chipotle Sauce and the remaining tbsp olive oil.

Remove the potatoes from the oven and tip the sauce over them.

Give them a good stir and stick back in the oven for 15-20 minutes.

When they are nice and golden remove from the oven.

Enjoy

Not very authentic but a quick and easy family meal – My Chicken Biryani

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I love India. I plan to spend time living in India at some point, I love it that much. I have been 3 times and want to go more, I wish it was easier to get there from New Zealand. I also love Indian food. I say that in a generic way but there is only one thing I have come across that I didn’t like, soft idli.

I think cooking anything that might come under the heading ‘Indian’ frightens a few people. You can cook the grand food with all sorts of ingredients and spend a day doing it, you can also change recipes. You aren’t going to insult any one if you use a generic curry powder, find what you and your family like spice ways and work with what you get. I have been cooking my Indian homestyle food for as long as I can remember and lost my fear long ago.

This recipe is not classy and is not at all authentic. It is a good family feed and an easy midweek dinner. It can also be good for using things up like that scraggy chicken breast in the freezer, the ends of frozen veg and the last bit of rice.  It is also a good place to start adding an Indian feel to family meals.

My Chicken Biryani- Muffinmum.com

  • Servings: 4-6 people
  • Print

1 tbsp flavourless oil (canola)

1 tsp turmeric

1/2 tsp ground cardamom

1 1/2 tsp ground cumin

1 1/2 tsp ground coriander 

1 large chicken breast ( or 2 small)  in small cubes

1 medium onion, diced

2 garlic cloves chopped

2c chicken stock

1 1/2 c basmati rice

1 1/2 c frozen veg

On a medium heat, heat oil in a wide fry pan with a lid

When hot add chicken and cook until sealed on each side

Add onion and garlic and cook until onion is transparent

Then add rice and give a good stir to coat

Tip stock in and give another stir

Cover, lower heat and let cook for 10 mins (check it has not gone dry a few times, add hot water if it has)

Add frozen veg, stir yet again

Cook with lid off for another 10-15 minutes (add more hot water if dries out)

Serve with cucumber and mint yoghurt, naan or what ever floats your boat.

*makes excellent left overs