Pomegranate #5 – Curry!

I am ending the pomegranate series on a high! This is absolutely stunning – rich and deep in flavour while still being fresh and incredibly healthy.

Indian in its flavour, rather than Thai, it does not have all the fat that comes with coconut milk and is also less spicy – brave children will like this one!

Prawn and Pomegranate Curry

(adapted from Food and Wine magazine recipe)

Seeds of half a pomegranate (tips on how to remove these here)
1/2 cup water
3-4 tbsp vegetable oil
1 onion, chopped
3 tsp curry powder
1 red chilli, chopped (omit if making for children)
2 cloves of garlic, pressed
1 tin of chopped tomatoes
Salt, pepper and sugar to taste
500g prawns
Handful coriander
 
  • Place pomegranate seeds and water in a cup
  • Heat vegetable oil in a frying pan and add chopped onion and curry powder – stir until the onions turn soft (3-5 minutes)
  • Add the garlic and chilli and stir
  • Add the pomegranate water mix as well as the chopped tomatoes and season with sugar, salt and pepper – the sugar is primarily included to counteract the acidity that comes with tinned tomatoes. If you use fresh tomatoes you can leave out the sugar
  • Cook for about 15 minutes stirring often
  • Add the prawns and let them cook with the mixture for about 3 minutes – you want them cooked but not hard. If using pre cooked prawns simply add for about a minute before serving to ensure they heat through
  • Just before serving, stir through half of the coriander
  • Serve by laying large ladlefuls on a plate – with either brown rice or naan bread – and sprinkle coriander and a few pomegranate seeds over it for presentation
  • Savour it! Glorious!

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Homemade Peppermint Marshmallows

Are you a fan of luscious and chocolatey peppermint mocha? Do you like hot chocolate to be rich and creamy – with marshmallows melting on top? I DO!

Mint and chocolate go hand in hand, specially at Christmas time, and marshmallows definitely go hand in hand with hot chocolate..so what better than peppermint marshmallows? I craved them…so I made it the children’s Advent activity to feel less guilty! 🙂 Sharing is caring, right?

Very easy to make but patience is needed….You must whip/beat the mixture for a good 20 minutes. This first batch..well…I didn’t wait – the flavour was stunning and the way they melted in hot chocolate divine – so creamy – but they did not have the right marshmallow texture.

So, second time around I switched from food processor to hand-held mixer half way through as I smelt burning and the mixer felt very warm…didn’t want to ruin any appliances…did mix for a full 20 minutes though…and they are stunning! The children particularly enjoyed licking spoons for this one…the batter is almost too good to cook!

These are really lovely wrapped up in clear bags, with ribbon, as a Christmas treat or gift.

Peppermint Marshmallows (adapted from Annie Rigg recipe)

Handful of peppermint sweets – your choice
2 tbsp icing sugar
2 tbsp cornflour
6 tbsp cold water
2 tbsp powdered gelatine
400g granulated sugar
250 ml water
50g golden syrup
2 large egg whites
pinch of salt
1 tsp peppermint flavouring – optional and only if you like them really strongly flavoured
green food colouring (if wanted)
 
  • Preparation is everything – especially if you are making this with the children! Set out everything, weighed, in little bowls and let them tip ingredients in and stir etc
  • Mix icing sugar and cornflour in a bowl
  • Grease a square baking tin – or any shape to be honest – square just makes the marshmallows more symmetrical. It should be at least 4-5cm deep and not bigger than 23cm wide. Dust the tin with the cornflour and icing sugar mixture making sure to keep any leftover mixture
  • Place 6 tbsp cold water in a bowl and sprinkle the gelatine into it – set aside
  • Place 250ml water and the sugar and syrup in a saucepan (looks cool!) and place over medium heat – stir to dissolve sugar

  • Bring mixture to the boil and cook for about 10-15 minutes – ideally the sugar mixture should come in at 120C on a sugar thermometre – but if you do not have one (I do not!) – drip some of it into a glass of water; it will be ready when it creates a hard ball rather than dissolving
  • While this is cooking, bash up your peppermints by placing them in a freezer bag and hitting them with something hard! Once crushed – put aside for later

  • Remove from the heat and add the now spongy gelatine – stir thoroughly to combine and dissolve the gelatine
  • Whisk the egg whites in a bowl with a pinch of salt (helps to stiffen them) – make sure you can turn the bowl upside down without the egg whites moving! That is your sign that they are whipped enough
  • While stirring, add the peppermint flavouring if you are using this, the crushed peppermints and the hot syrup in a steady stream. Keep stirring for 20 minutes or so – what you want is for the mixture to be really thick and creamy. And I mean VERY thick…no cheating or you will have very “wet” marshmallows!
  • Pour half the mixture into the prepared tin – add food colouring to the other half if you want them to look a bit green – and then add the coloured mixture on top of the white one

These are my second batch – made them pink as my daughter requested it! 🙂

  • Leave the tin, uncovered (FAR away from your children who by now have realised this is tasty stuff…), over night
  • When you are ready, dust a work surface with the cornflour/icing sugar mixture and tip the marshmallows out. You may need to pull a little at it to get them out and the bottom will be a little sticky. All good.

  • With a sharp knife – cut to shape!

Made mini marshmallows for the children

If you do not like peppermint – just add vanilla essence and leave out the peppermint sweets and flavour!

You can also make shapes – simply use a spoon and dollop the marshmallow mixture onto greaseproof paper. A bit tricky to get off the paper but do-able! Having learnt-by-doing, trick to this is to make a ginger bread biscuit or other biscuit in the shape you would want, and then dollop the mixture on top. Marshmallow biscuits! Yum!

The best though, and we all agreed, is this:

Make yourself a large cup of real hot chocolate and throw in these peppermint marshmallows! As they are fresh…the way they melt is like nothing I have ever tried. Heaven in a cup!

Perfectly melted! 

Chocolate Chicken Casserole

If you are a coq-au-vin fan you will love this! The chicken comes out incredibly tender and the dish has a deep, rich flavour. Be careful how you present it to your children though…I think mine thought they were being served a piece of chicken with chocolate on the side….there was great disappointment!!!  🙂

2 tbsp dark chocolate (70% cocoa content) – finely chopped
1 chicken in pieces
2 tbsp olive oil
2 medium-sized onions
2 cloves of garlic
3 rashes of streaky bacon
3 large carrots
Some sprigs of thyme
A few bay leaves
250ml red wine
250ml water
Salt and pepper to taste
2 tbsp corn flour and a bit of water to thicken
  • In an oven proof casserole dish, heat 1 tbsp oil and fry onion, garlic and bacon for a few minutes
  • In a separate pan, heat 1 tbsp oil and brown the chicken pieces
  • Add chicken and rest of ingredients to casserole dish and bring to light simmer

  • Put a lid on and place in oven – 150C – for 2 hours
  • Once cooked, remove from oven and place chicken pieces on a separate plate
  • Season and thicken sauce by mixing corn flour with water in a cup and stirring into casserole
  • Replace chicken pieces.
  • Serve with brown rice, vegetables or potatoes