Winter here in Melbourne has bought chilly mornings meaning that I walk out the door most days wrapped up in multiple layers; stockings, skirt, top, cardi, my favourite green jacket, scarves, gloves and occasionally hat.
I actually really love this weather . I find there's something about the cold and the fact that you need to rug up that I find comforting, or perhaps it's all those extra layers that make me feel a bit like a teddy bear... Idon't know what it is but people tend to complain alot in chilly weather, perhaps it because they're wearing short skirts and short sleeves (hello! dress appropriately for starters people!) but when the sky is clear and a light frost makes the grass you tread on crunchy, I like it. I tend to hibernate in winter, I know, all this baking and I just can't get my butt out of bed at 6am for that morning walk, I blame the darkness for not wanting to roll my ankle. Mainly I bring it back to the positive which is that my bed is so warm and comforting, it's just calling for me to stay in there an extra hour, I'll get up early in spring time I say.
There's the Saturday afternoons that are filled with coffees piping hot with warm chocolate brownie for a decadent afternoon delight. After a baking marathon I've been known to send out a mass text message or facebook call out to friends 'afternoon tea at mine, byo hot beverage' it's a great way to catch up with friends and offloads the food I've been testing for clients or the Christmas Magazine . The sun in the sky grows dim early and as the temperature drops we tend to gather, round a fire, round a table . Slow cooking is what I love more than anything at this time of year, ok, so, maybe I love my warm bed more! but to eat I simply can't go passed a slow cooked bolognese , lamb shanks or roast or a pumpkin & tomato soup to warm the bones whilst you enjoy a bottle of red wine and a game of scrabble with friends. It's ugg boots around a fire kind of eating and I love it.
Don't get me wrong, come spring time I'm all for a spring vegetable quinoa salads with bbq chicken or a light lemon cheesecake instead of that dense and warm gooey chocolate brownie. I wake up for m more than my fair share of early morning runs. Even late afternoon runs, just as the sun goes down and the skies are tinted with pink where the sun disappears behind that curtain. Yes, I love the runs, mainly because I love my comforting all to carb loaded winter foods, but heck, I've got gluten out of my diet, I don't think I could live low carb, so I run and enjoy those moments. Mainly I enjoy those moments when I know that it's ok to steal a poppadom off my mans plate 'no, honey we only had two each' hahaha! So, here's to warm dishes on cold days. Enjoy!
This curry is a simple one that I've made many times thanks to a friend introducing it to me many, many moons ago. It's easy t throw together and then just leave it on the stove to bubble away. My man came into the relationship with a rice cooker and it's one if the things I love about him the most, that he brought that, ok, that AND the le Crueset into our kitchen and now I couldn't live without them both. Ok, I couldn't live without him either, but it's true, I've been known to say that if we ever do become two instead of one, I get that rice cooker! So, pop that rice into the rice cooker at the 20minute mark and you'll be sorted, don't have one? Find a store or a man that does! The curry, well, sometimes it's just potatoes, sometimes sweet potato and potato with the chicken , sometimes both plus peas or whatever vegetables are in the crisper in my freezer. It's simple to make and an easy fix for a crowd. You could even make it vegetarian; leave out the chicken and add extra veggies, some char-grilled eggplant would be delicious I think.
Oh, and don't forget the delicious crispy poppadoms. Lots of them are naturally gluten free, just read theingredients on all the packets in the supermarket and you'll be sure to find some.
Simple Chicken Curry
Serves 3-4 hungry souls
1 brown onion, roughly chopped
2-3tblspn mild korma curry paste - I used Patak's
400g skinless chicken thighs, cut into bite sized pieces
2 medium potatoes, cut into 3cm cubes
1 medium sweet potato, peeled and cut into 3cm cubes
1 x 270ml can coconut milk, thoroughly shaken up
1 x 420g tin diced tomatoes
1 cup fresh or frozen peas
pinch dried chilli flakes, optional
Poppadoms & steamed rice to serve
In a large heavy based pan with a lid, I love our Le Creuset for this, heat 2tsp vegetable oil over medium heat and cook the onion until soft. Add the curry paste and stir for a minute until fragrant. Add the chicken and stir to coat the chicken. Allow the chicken to cook on each side for a minute each, or until sealed.
Add in the potato and sweet potato with the coconut milk and tomatoes. Stir to combine, top with lid and bring to a simmer. Stir occasionally for approximately 30minutes or until the potatoes are tender and the chicken is cooked through. Add the peas and cook a further 2minutes until cooked. If you want a little extra heat (as this paste is very mild) add a pinch or two of dried chili flakes for a little kick.
Serve with steaming hot rice and poppadoms.
Makes for a delicious lunch at work if you've got leftovers.