Tag Archive: takeaway

  1. A Return to Home Cooking

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    Our lives are getting busier and our diaries are getting fuller. We are now contactable at all hours, information is being thrown at us on an increasing number of platforms and there never seems to be enough hours in a day. But as people are become less willing to set aside what little free time they do have to the pursuit of cooking, perhaps that is exactly what they need.

    Research suggests that those who regularly eat home cooked meals tend to be happier and healthier. They consume less sugar and processed foods and as a result have higher energy levels and better mental health[1]. Children also stand to benefit from cooking at home with a link emerging between regularly eating home-cooked food as a family and healthier, happier kids who are less likely to use alcohol, drugs or cigarettes later in life[2].

    ProWare The Virtues of Home Cooking

    Our recipe for pan-roasted bream with fennel is a simple but impressive dinner.

    They may be quick, convenient and (let’s be frank) tasty but takeaways have their issues. Perhaps the most significant of these is expense. Ordering a meal for two from your local Chinese, Indian or pizzeria is unlikely to leave you much change out of £20. There are also several health concerns surrounding takeaway food, with it being generally much less nutritious than home cooked food. It is also typically higher in energy, fat and salt. This disparity is amplified further by reduced likelihood of exercising portion control when eating out or ordering in.

    How to Get Back in the Habit

    If you find yourself tempted by takeaways but are struggling to motivate yourself, we have put together some great tips to not only help get back to cooking but to enjoy it as well!

    Get Your Kitchen Sorted

    You are far more likely to want to cook at home if your kitchen is a nice place to be. Keep it clean, organise it in a way that works for you and (if you aren’t blessed with a dishwasher) don’t leave the washing until tomorrow, it will put you off going back in.

    Keep it Simple

    Home cooking doesn’t have to be complex or elaborate, leave that to the professionals. The simple things are often the quickest and most delicious. Cook what you like to eat but don’t be afraid to try something new.

    Stay Stocked

    You are more likely to give a recipe a whirl if you already have most, if not all, the ingredients already in. Make sure you always have stock of those ingredients you find yourself using regularly. If it is something with a long shelf life and you have the space, consider buying in bulk as you can often save quite a few quid. Find out some of our favourite cupboard staples here.

    Plan Ahead

    Write. A. List. Decide what you are going to make on each day in advance and write a shopping list accordingly. Remember to take stock of what you already have in to make sure you are using things up before buying more. If you stick to your plan you will find yourself not only spending less on impulse buys but also throwing less away at the end of the week.

    One-Pot Wonders

    Sometimes it isn’t the cooking that has you reaching for a takeaway menu, it’s the thought of washing up. A great way to keep clean-up to a minimum is going for a one pot recipe. Don’t think this just mean things like soups and stews. Instead think pasta, risotto or even a pilaf. Find loads of great one-pot recipes here.

    Make Extra

    Things like chilli, casseroles and curry are easy to make in batches. Cook more than you need and freeze leftovers for an other day. It is much easier to get in and just do a bit of rice than it is to start from scratch everyday.

    Slow Down

    If you can, invest in a slow cooker. You can get one large enough to feed the whole family and have left overs for around £20 (find out more here). Honestly, you will use it all the time. Just throw everything in before leaving the house and by the time you get home dinner will be ready. The internet is full of great recipes if you’re unsure about what to make. Slow cookers are also excellent for cooking joints of meat. Simply plonk a joint of beef on a bed of onions and carrots, add 750ml of water and cook on low for about 8 hours. An absolute fail-safe Sunday roast (be sure to use the cooking juices to make a top notch gravy).

    Home Cooking Rhubarb Crumble

    It is always nice to get back to the classics like rhubarb crumble.

    Get in Touch

    If you have any comments, tips or questions we would love to hear from you! You can contact us here. Alternatively you can tweet us or email us at info@proware-kitchen.co.uk

  2. Lamb Rogan Josh with Spice Kitchen

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    Spice Kitchen are an award-winning artisan producer of tea and spice blends based in Walsall. They have a excellent range of small batch, freshly ground spices great for keen home cooks. In addition to this they sell products for tea aficionados and have some wonderful gift ideas.

    They were kind enough to send us two of their spice tins (Gift of the Year 2018), containing 10 Indian spices with 7 individual spice pots, wrapped in a beautiful handmade silk sari wrap.

    We have used the spices from their Indian Spice Tin to make a fantastic Lamb Rogan Josh. Lamb Rogan Josh is an old family favourite of ours and for the longest time the version in Madhur Jaffrey’s Indian Cookery was our go-to dish for an easy Saturday night.

    The dish originates from Kashmir and can be made using beef or lamb. In researching this version, we saw a suggestion that the meat could be substituted for cauliflower – though cooking times would obviously be significantly reduced!

    Part of the faff of making this dish was sorting through the spice cupboard or having to pop out to the supermarket. Thanks to Spice Kitchen almost all of the ingredients were easily to hand in the spice tin.

    The dish is even better if it is prepared ahead of time and the sweet yellow rice is a perfect accompaniment if you have the time!

    ProWare Beef Rogan Josh Spice Kitchen

    Lamb Rogan Josh

    Serves: 4 (easily doubled)

    Prep time: 20 minutes

    Cooking time: 2hr 15 minutes


    Equipment


    Ingredients

    • 4tbsp vegetable oil
    • 5cm piece fresh ginger
    • 8 cloves garlic, peeled
    • 10 cardamon pods, whole
    • 2 curry leaves
    • 6 cloves, whole
    • 10 peppercorns, whole
    • 1 cinnamon stick
    • 2 tsp cumin seeds, ground
    • 2 tsp ground coriander
    • 2 tsp paprika
    • 1 tsp cayenne pepper
    • 1 tsp salt
    • 0.5 tsp garam masala
    • 900g rolled lamb shoulder, cut in to 2cm cubes
    • 200g onions, peeled and finely sliced
    • 6 tbsp natural yoghurt

    Cooking Method

    1. Using a blender, combine the ginger, garlic and 4 tbsp water into a smooth paste.
    2. Heat the oil in a wide, heavy pot over a medium-high heat and brown the meat in several batches. Set to one side.
    3. Add the cardamom, bay leaves, cloves, peppercorns and cinnamon to the hot oil, stir once and wait until the cloves swell and the bay takes on colour. Then add the onions and fry for 5 minutes until they brown.
    4. Add ginger paste and fry for 30 seconds. Mix in the coriander, cumin, paprika and cayenne; then add the fried meat and juices and stir for 30 seconds.
    5. Add 1 tbsp of the yoghurt and stir until it is well blended. Add the remaining yoghurt, a tablespoon at a time, stirring in between.
    6. Cook for a further 3-4 minutes then add 425ml water and bring to the boil.
    7. Cover and turn heat to low. Simmer for 2 hours or until meat is tender. Alternatively, cook in oven at 180C. Stir every 15 minutes or so.
    8. When the meat is tender, turn the heat up, remove the lid and boil off some liquid.
    9. Before serving, skim off as much fat as you can from the top and sprinkle with garam masala and some freshly ground black pepper.

    Sweet Yellow Rice (Meetha Pullao)

    Serves: 4 (easily doubled)

    Prep time: 3hr 25 minutes

    Cooking time: 1hr 10 minutes


    Ingredients

    • 1/2 tsp saffron threads
    • 2 tbsp whole milk, warm
    • 200g basmati rice
    • 3 tbsp ghee or butter
    • 4 green cardamon pods
    • 1 cinnamon stick
    • 1/2 tesp salt
    • 15g flaked almonds
    • 1tbsp sultanas
    • 90g caster sugar

    Equipment


    Cooking Method

    1.  Using a frying pan, toast the saffron over a medium heat until the threads turn slightly darker.
    2. Put the milk in a cup and crumble in the saffron. Set aside for 3 hours.
    3. Wash the rice, changing the water 3 times, then drain. Leave it to soak in 1.2 litres of water for 30 minutes. Drain and leave in the colander for 20 minutes.
    4. Preheat the oven to 150°C/300°F/gas mark 2.
    5. Heat the ghee over a medium heat in a wide, oven-proof pan. When it’s hot, add the cardamom and cinnamon and stir. Add the rice and stir.
    6. Sauté the rice gently for about 3 minutes, reducing the heat slightly if it begins to catch. Add 325 ml of water and the salt.
    7. Increase the heat back to medium and gently stir. Cook the rice until all the water is absorbed.
    8. Pour in the saffron milk and stir in the almonds, sultanas and sugar. Cover very tightly and put the pan in the oven for 30 minutes.
    9. Remove the rice from the oven and stir. Remove the cardamom and cinnamon. Sprinkle with the extra sultanas and almonds to serve.

    Spice Kitchen™ - Spices, Spice Blends, Gifts & Cookware

    spicekitchenuk.com
    soldwithlove@spicekitchenuk.com
    07729 116102