Tuesday, 22 January 2008

Another Ham Recipe and a Roo Change

The ham's almost gone now, but it's still featuring in lunches and the occasional dinner recipe. On Sunday I made "Pasta Saltimbocca" - I invented this one, based on the idea of veal saltimbocca, with ham, sage and mushrooms. I had green salad makings and mushrooms from the market, sage from my friend Helen, and you know where the ham was from.

Then yesterday I made a kangaroo keema. I use a keema recipe from Nigella's Feast as my basic, and vary around that. It's more a recovery dish than an actual feat dish - good for the day after the big night. Hers is a very simple dish of lamb mince with peas. Mine had kangaroo mince and green beans. I feel a bit daft even giving a recipe for this - I'll probably never make this exactly the same way twice. I usually serve this as Nigella suggests: with flat bread, rather than rice. Last night we ate it with lebanese pita breads, some lime pickles and mango chutney, and a mango lassi.

Okonomiyaki tonight, I think.
Recipes follow.
Recipe 1: Pasta Saltimbocca
300g mushrooms, sliced
200g ham
1 large onion, sliced
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 tablespoon olive oil
4 tablespoons chopped fresh sage leaves
2 tablespoons marsala
1/2 packet spaghetti or other pasta

First, put the pasta on. Soften the onion in the oil, add the garlic and mushrooms and saute gently for another five minutes or until mushrooms are well softened. When the pasta is nearly ready, add the ham, sage, and marsala, and stir well. Drain the pasta, then stir through the ham and mushroom mix. Serve with parmesan to taste, and a green salad.

Notes: this is a nice light meal. If you fancy a richer style, it can easily become a pseudo carbonara with an egg and some cream. Serves 2, with lots of leftovers for lunch.

Recipe 2: Kangaroo Keema
1 large onion, finely chopped
2 teaspoons sunflower oil
1 teaspoon hot mustard oil
1 tablespoon minced ginger
1 tablespoon minced garlic
3 mild long green chillies, chopped
1 teaspoon turmeric
2 teaspoons garam masala
1/2 teaspoon dried lime powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 400g tin chopped tomatoes
1 cup water
400g kangaroo mince
300g green beans, cut in short lengths to approximately pea size
3 tablespoons Bombay Sandwich Spread

Use a large shallowish saute pan, rather than a deep saucepan. Fry the chopped onion in the oils - be careful to keep the heat low, as mustard oil burns easily. When onion has softened, add the ginger and garlic, and let cook for another minute before adding the mince. Stir well to brown, then add chopped chilli, salt, spices, tomato paste, water and tomatoes. Cover, and let simmer for a couple of hours. 15 minutes before serving, add the green beans and the Bombay spread, turn up the heat, and remove the lid to reduce liquid while the beans cook.

Note: This is how I did it last night. But really it's more of a concept. Vary anything you like - spices, meat, vegetables... It likes a longer simmer, but 30 minutes will do. I usually use frozen peas, not beans. Bombay Sandwich Spread is a condiment from Indian grocers - it's a bright green mix of coriander, mint and who knows what. I have never used it in cooking before, but the normal recipe has a lot of fresh coriander, and I didn't have any. Dried lime powder or "loomi" is a middle eastern condiment made of dried limes. A squeeze of lime juice would also do fine.

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