Saag Daal and Buffalo Chicken Wings – Junk’s Manor

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Today’s lunch is a bit of a mishmash but definitely cheaper than my normal lunches. Bought a bag of spinach on the weekend and was wondering what to do with it. I hate that spinach always come in big bags. I know they shrink when cooked but 1 bag last at least 4 meals for me. There were some lentils languishing in my pantry and thought why don’t I give Saag Daal a try? So I’m having the leftovers from dinner last night with a few added extras.

Consulted a few recipes for Saag Daal online and they are variants along the same theme. Basically, you soak or boil the lentils till they are tender, fry up some onions and spices, bunk in the lentils with enough liquid and continue to boil, add the chopped up spinach and you are done! For my version, I added tomatoes, ginger and garlic and for the spices, I went with tumeric, coriander, cumin, fennel seeds, chilli powder and a bit of all spice. Turned out pretty good I think!

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Waitrose currently have a 1/3 off all chilled ready meals and I was tempted by the Hot and Spicy Buffalo Wings. I believe after discount, it was £1.99 for 12 wings which I thought was a good deal. Since it’s from Waitrose and need to cater for the mass market, I knew it will never be that spicy but was quietly hopeful. Alas, my instinct was right, it’s not spicy at all and to add insult to injury, it’s sweet. Decided to use it to bulk up my lunch as the wings are too depressing to eat on it’s own. Will need to go back to the Orange Buffalo for my wing kicks soon.

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For the carb portion of my lunch, I went digging into my trusty pantry and found the last bag of Tilda’s microwave basmati rice. This time, it’s Coconut Basmati and I knew it will match my Saag Daal well as it says on the package “Perfect for curries”!

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In all, a very satisfying lunch. The Saag Daal brewed up overnight and I can taste the fennel and all spice coming thru the sweetness of the tomatoes and onions. The buffalo wings were ok after generous lashings of Tabasco sauce. As for the rice, not the best in the Tilda’s range but pleasant enough with quite a bit of shredded coconut scattered amongst the rice grains. I will definitely cook Saag Daal again in the near future.

Junk’s Manor
Somewhere in West London
Open 365 days a year (except leap years)
No dinner party plans as yet

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Beef Brisket with Bourbon and Apricots – Chez Boom

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Back from holiday and straight back to the usual weekend schedule. The Boom and I tend to find interesting things to cook during weekends. Things that are either complicated or takes too long to cook during the weekday. Went to Waitrose on Fri and found a rolled joint of beef brisket. Whenever I see beef brisket, it tend to buy it as its not a commonly available cut, even the local butcher don’t stock it.

Decided to repeat the tried and tested recipe by Ms Graves which takes 7 hours or there about  The recipe is actually pretty simple, just bunk everything into a pot. It’s the time that’s the issue. Guess you can always use a slow cooker or leave it on the stove overnight.

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Ingredients include brisket, bourbon, onion, garlic, dried apricots, beef stock, bay leaf, dried chilies  chilli powder etc. Just put everything into a pot, bring to a boil, lower heat to a simmer then leave it to bubble for up to 7 hours.

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After the allocated time or when the brisket is tender, remove the brisket to be shredded by hand. Reduce the remaining stock by half, season to taste then return the shredded brisket back to the reduced stock.

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To be shredded

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The bourbon gives the dish a smoky and deep flavor while the dried apricots disintegrate into tiny nodules of amber sweetness. The brisket is obviously tender and moist from the long cooking and the resulting cooking stock. I never remove the fat as I think it adds extra beefiness to the meat. This is best served on a hearty bread which can soak up the juices without turning to mush and a sharp and tangy coleslaw.

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If you can find brisket and wonder what you can do with the cut, do give this simple but scrumptious recipe a try.

Chez Boom
Somewhere in West London
Open 24/7
Only for the privileged
Strictly by invitation