Not over ’til it’s over

Although Halloween is over for another year, I still have tons of homegrown pumpkins to use up so I decided it was time for curry night in our house. This is a Thai inspired curry with coconut milk added at the end to intensify the flavour and add a layer of richness to the dish, ideal for this time of year as the evenings start to cool down. I hope you like it as much as we do.

Coriander beef, pumpkin and chilli curry

Beef and Pumpkin curry 1

Serves: 4

1 kg cubed beef steak

2 tsp ground coriander

2 tsp freshly ground black pepper

2 tsp salt

4 long green chillies, chopped

1 onion, roughly chopped

3 cm cube root ginger, pealed

2 large garlic cloves, chopped

4 tomatoes, chopped

2 tbs tomato puree

1 bunch fresh coriander

4 tbs sunflower oil

500 g butternut pumpkin, peeled, seeded and cubed

125 ml coconut milk, plus extra to drizzle

turmeric rice and lime pickle, to serve

Place the beef in a bowl and add the ground coriander, black pepper and half the salt, stir well to coat meat and set aside until required.

Place the chillies, onion, ginger, garlic, tomatoes, tomato puree and all but a few sprigs of the coriander, roughly chopped, in a blender with 1 teaspoon salt and blend until smooth.

Heat the oil in a non-stick frying pan fry the beef in batches in a flameproof casserole until browned, removing with a slotted spoon. Add a little extra oil to the pan if needed and add the paste, fry briefly until fragrant, then return the beef to the pan.

Bring to the boil, cover a simmer over a very low heat for 11/2  hours. Add the pumpkin to the pan, cover and cook for a further 30 minutes until the beef  is tender and the pumpkin mushy. Add the coconut milk and simmer gently for a few minutes until thickened.

Garnish the curry with the remaining coriander sprigs, drizzle over a little extra coconut milk and serve with turmeric rice and lime pickle.

Beef and Pumpkin curry 2

Sausage dogs are best

Back at last after a long absence, I wanted to share some of my delicious bonfire night favourites with you. The best bonfire food should be quick to cook, easy to hold (with gloves on!) and give you a warm glow to help ward off the cold night. Here are three hot dog recipes that fit the bill.

Duck sausages with pickled cucumber and hoisin sauce

Posh Dogs 1

All recipes serve: 4

8 baby cucumbers

2 teaspoons salt

4 tablespoons rice vinegar

3 tablespoons caster sugar

4 duck sausages (you could use a smoked sausage)

2 tbs hoisin sauce

Start by making the pickle. Cut the cucumbers length ways into quarters and place in a bowl. Heat the salt, vinegar, sugar and 4 tablespoons water in a small pan until the sugar is dissolved. Bring to the boil, remove from the heat and pour over the cucumbers. Set aside until completely cold.

Cook the sausages as usual, split rolls and fill with sausages, pickled cucumbers and a drizzle of hoisin sauce.

Marguez dogs with harissa mayo and onion rings

Posh Dogs 1

1 onion, sliced

100 ml milk

1 egg, beaten

50 g polenta

8 marguez sausages

4 tbs mayonnaise

1-2 tsp harissa paste

1 tbs chopped preserved lemon

vegetable oil, for frying

Place onions rings in milk and soak for 5 minutes. Drain onion rings, dip in egg and then polenta to coat thoroughly. Heat about 5 cm oil in a wok or deep frying pan and when hot fry the onion rings for 1-2 minutes until golden and crisp. Drain on kitchen towel.

Cook sausages as usual. Meanwhile, combine the mayonnaise with harissa paste. Fill rolls with sausages, harissa mayonnaise and top with onion rings and a little preserved lemon.

Vietnamese sweet chilli and herb ‘dog’ sliders

Posh Dogs 2

4 pork sausages

4 tbs mayonnaise

2 tbs sweet chilli sauce

fresh Thai basil, coriander and mint

1 red chilli, thinly sliced

Cook sausages as usual. Meanwhile, mix the mayonnaise with the sweet chilli sauce. Split the rolls and pile in the sausages, sweet chilli mayonnaise, fresh herbs and chilli slices.

Some styling pieces