mar 14 2010

ChowChow for dinner..no, not the dog breed.

Published by under Ukategorisert

ChowChow  was a dish popular in many Norwegian homes during the 1970s and ’80s, according to my boyfriend and the webpage where I found a recipe for it. I’d never tried it until I cooked it Saturday evening but it turned out dang delicious. The recipe carries within it the fragile beauty of Norwegian house wives that had tasted Indian food sometime and tried to re-create it with the ingredients they had at hand – which is a wonderful thing, I think. That’s my theory at least.

( I love it when I can make a nice meal from the things I have in my pantry. Okay, I don’t have a pantry, but I have an entire book case stuffed with food stuffs, it’s close enough to a pantry.)
Here goes the recipe, tweaked to my likings and pantry (but not much, it’s pretty close to the original):

ChowChow

6 servings

Ingredients

  • 600 grams pork (I used pork shoulder that I cut into pieces myself – nice and juicy meat)
  • 200 grams bacon
  • 1 big onion
  • 1 red bell pepper
  • 1 orange bell pepper
  • 1 small can of diced pineapple
  • 1 dl cream
  • 1 ts corn starch/Maizenna
  • 1-2 teaspoons of dehydrated broth, or a stock cube or 3 dl of real beef stock, then omit water
  • 3 dl water
  • 1-2 teaspoons curry powder
  • 2 tablespoons tomato purée
  • 2 green apples (they need to be tangy, not too sweet)
  • 1 chinese garlic knob
  • 2 teaspoons of pickled ginger
  • 6 champignon mushrooms
  • 1-2 teaspoons Sweet chili sauce
  • Brown rice as a side

Instructions

Fry bacon bits till brown but not too crispy in a frying pan. Add to a large pot.  Fry the onion in the bacon grease, add to pot. Do the same thing to the champignons.  Cut pork to small pieces, let brown in frying pan, but not cook through, add to pot. Now; in the pot, add garlic and minced ginger, let fry till fragrant, then add curry powder and let sizzle a bit, before you add water, tomato purée, bell peppers, apples, and pineapple pieces. Let simmer until everything is cooked through, then mix cream with corn starch and add to pot. Let it reach the boiling point and simmer for a few minutes or until the sauce has reached desired concistency. Add salt and sweet chili sauce. It’s supposed to taste savoury sweet, not unlike chicken korma if that tells you anything. Serve with steaming hot rice, I used brown and red rice that I love since it’s chewy and tasty (and healthy).

Oh, and don’t ask me why it’s called ChowChow, I have no idea whatsoever. Any one out there have a clue ?

And I almost forgot, the craziest thing about the dish is the toppings it was served with in the 1970s. Behold:

  • Cashews and other nuts – okay, normal
  • Pickled ginger – it’s in the dish, okay to serve along side
  • Banana slices !!! – What a strange thing to add to a curry! It was delicious though, we tried it and we liked it.
  • Cucumber pieces !! WHY ?! This was too crazy for us, we didn’t dare to try. Tell me if you did and survived it.

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mar 31 2009

Lentil craze!

Published by under oppskrifter,Ukategorisert

Lentils are a great ! I never ate them during childhood, except maybe once or twice while visiting my grandmother, but my mother would never make them for dinner. Not until I moved into my own place and I started cooking – I mean really COOKING things from scratch, reading food blogs, try to learn everything there is about good food – I stumbled over the wonderfully diverse group of legumes called lentils. They are cheap, you can always have them in your pantry since they’re dried, they’re full of stuff thats good for you, they’re a healthy alternative to potatoes/pasta/bread and other starchy food, and they don’t take a long time to cook!  – They contain dieatry fiber, lots of different aminoacids (proteins), minerals and folate – need I say more?  The only thing you have to do is to rince them in cold water a couple of times, and pick out un-purities like small pebbles before you start cooking.

There’s a huuge variety of lentils out there, but I especially like the green puy lentils, the small red ones, and the yellow split lentils.

File:3 types of lentil.jpg

Read more about lentils on Wikipedia

I especially like to use lentils in Indian curries, but I’ve also mashed them up for use in veggie burgers, in soups, in salads with a nice vinaigrette or in a stew, like this one: It started out like a soup, but then I just added all the lentils I had in my pantry since I had like three different kinds of jars that were getting empty, and the soup got thick, mushy and stewey. The following days I would alternate between reheating the leftovers for a warm lunch, or eating it cold, like a spread on thick slices of bread, with some extra roasted onions on top – yummy! Lentils keep well in the fridge for at least a couple of days in a thight container.

Multi-purpose lentil stew/soup/spread

Approximately:

- 1-2 tbs of red curry paste

- 1-2 tsp hot madras curry powder

- 2 big carrots, peeled and sliced into half-moons

- 2 big yellow onions, diced into small pieces

- 1 big sweet potato, peeled and diced into small cubes

- 2 medium big potatoes, peeled and diced into small cubes

- 1/4 of a medium-small cabbage head, sliced into strips, then squares

- 1 – 2 cups of brown  lentils (also called puy lentils)

- 1/2 cup yellow lentils

-1 big red capsicum

- 2 cans of chopped tomatoes

- 1 can of coconutcream (I would’ve used 2, but forgot to buy more)

- enough chicken-/vegetable stock to cover the vegetables and lentils after you’ve added the tomatoes and coconutmilk.

I had to divide the stuff among two casserolles and ended up with huge amounts of food, so about half of this would be enough for 4 people, I think. I let everything simmer and bubble for at least an hour, adjusting with some water to avoid the stew from getting too dry.

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