Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Butternut squash risotto in a rice cooker

This is a lovely warming recipe perfect for Autumn...no standing over the stove top stirring this risotto - it's easy to do in your Zojirushi rice cooker! This is to be made in 5.5 cup or 10 cup cooker. Serves 4-5 people.

2 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp unsalted butter
2/3 cup of finely chopped yellow onion
1 cup plus 2 tbsp of medium grain risotto rice (superfine Arborio, Carnaroli or Vialone nano)
1 ¾ to 2 cups seeded and peeled butternut squash, cut into ½ inch cubes
1 ½ cups water
1 ½ cups stock

2 teaspoons unsalted butter
2 tbsp lime juice
¼ cup fresh minced Italian parsley leaves
¼ cup freshly grated Parmasan cheese, plus more for serving
Salt to taste

You can also add diced courgette/zucchini, the flavour combines well with the butternut squash.


1.    Set the rice cooker for Quick Cook or regular cycle. Place olive oil and butter in the rice cooker bowl. When the butter melts add the onion, cook stirring a few times until softened – about 2 minutes. Add rice and stir with plastic rice spatula to coat the grains with hot butter. Cook, stirring a few times until the grains of rice are transparent except for a spot of white on each one – about 3-5 minutes. Add the squash, water and stock and stir to combine. Close the cover and reset for the porridge cycle (it will take around 20 minutes to cook).
2.    When the machine switches to keep warm, stir the risotto. There should only be a bit of liquid and the rice should be al dente - i.e. tender with a touch of resistance. If needed cook for a few minutes longer. This risotto will keep on the keep warm setting for an hour, any longer it will thicken considerably.
3.    When ready to serve add the butter, close the cover for a while to allow the butter to melt. Stir in lime juice, parsley, cheese and salt to taste and serve immediately.

Ginger chilli chicken

This is a 'made up by us' recipe, an experiment which turned out really well. A tasty blend of ginger and sweet chilli which goes perfectly with rice.

Finely chop two fingers worth of ginger, crush two cloves of garlic and deseed one or two birds eye chillis (depending on how hot you like it!). Stir fry this in a pan until the flavours start to release and then add the chicken. Keep oil to the minimum and just add spoonfuls of chicken stock to the pan/wok to stop it from sticking. 

Once the chicken is sealed add peppers, carrots, green beans, baby sweetcorn and other veg you may like and stir fry until cooked. Keep adding bits of chicken stock. 

When cooked, add enough chicken stock to make a sauce into the pan/wok. Season the sauce with a splash of soya sauce, black pepper, salt. Add a spoon on sugar and a spoon of honey - we also add some Thai sweet chilli sauce at this point too. Taste to see if the seasoning is correct and adjust accordingly. Thicken sauce with cornflour mixed with water.

Serve with fluffy rice from your Zojirushi.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Pork Adobo - a Filipino favourite!

A very different dish, but a firm favourite with us and Filipinos alike! One of the national dishes of the Philippines, Adobo is delicious and unlike anything else you will eat in Asia. The dish can be made with chicken as an alternative to pork.

Pork chunks
3 cloves of garlic (based with the edge of a knife)
1 red onion
Finely chopped ginger
90ml soy sauce
135ml vinegar
360ml water
A pinch of paprika
5 bay leaves
Cornflour (to thicken sauce)
Salt and pepper to taste
Sugar to taste

How to make:
Saute garlic, onions and ginger until onions are soft. Add the pork chunks and seal.

Add soy sauce, vinegar, water, bay leaves and paprika. At this point add a little salt and pepper and sugar (usually around 1½ dessert spoons). Leave to simmer for up to an hour. The longer you leave to simmer, the fuller the flavour. We usually also add carrots and some other veg like red pepper, broccoli and cauliflower, but the dish can be served with just pork and potatoes.

Add cornflour and water to thicken and add more salt and pepper, according to how it tastes. Bring to the boil again and simmer for an additional 10 minutes.

Delicious served with rice from your Zojirushi.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Kadai chicken

Kadai chicken, another Indian favourite of ours, a very aromatic, tasty tomato based sauce.

Ingredients (serves 2)
Chicken and whatever veg you like - we use potato, carrot, green beans, red pepper, broccoli, cauliflower and fresh tomatoes to garnish (add at the very end of cooking)
1 onion
1 tin of chopped tomatoes
¼ teaspoon chilli powder (or more if you like it very spicy!)
1 teaspoon coriander powder
1 ½ teaspoon ginger-garlic paste
½ teaspoon of fennel seeds
2 cinnamon sticks (medium size)
½ teaspoon garam masala powder
½ teaspoon turmeric powder
4 cloves
2 bay leaves
1 teaspoon cumin seeds

To make
Marinate chicken with ginger-garlic paste, turmeric powder and garam masala powder and salt
Preheat a pan and splutter fennel seeds, cinnamon, cloves and bay leaves (when the pan is hot add a little water which will splutter the seeds – we prefer to use water rather than oil because we don’t like the oil floating on the sauce). Add chopped onions and fry until soft and golden and then add the marinated chicken and cook.
Add tin of chopped tomatoes, chilli powder, coriander powder and mix well. Add a dessert spoon of sugar, a little salt and some ground black pepper. Add the chicken/onion/spices mixture when it’s cooked and stir well.
Simmer on a low heat and add some milk to the sauce (or plain yoghurt if you prefer). Serve with fluffy rice from your Zojirushi.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Chicken tikka masala

Chicken Tikka Masala - another Indian favourite, a lovely combination of spices in a typical tomato based masala Indian sauce.


4 thin sliced tomatoes
2 thin sliced onions
1 little finger-width/length of ginger (julienne sliced)
5 cloves of garlic (julienne sliced)
1 green chilli
Chicken breast
3 cardamom seeds
1 pinch of fennel seeds
5 cloves
1 pinch of cinnamon

Tikka spices
½ spoon garlic/ginger paste on chicken breast
½ spoon turmeric
½ spoon chilli powder
½ spoon garam masala
Small amount of vinegar to mix
Pinch of salt
If you want the traditional pink colouring of chicken tikka add ‘red colour’ powder

For the chicken
Put chicken in a bowl and add the 'tikka spices', leave to stand for a while. Then gently fry to cook the chicken.

For the sauce
Fry cardamom seeds, fennel seeds, cloves and cinnamon with the garlic and ginger until golden then add the onion, chilli and a pinch of salt. Add 1 spoon chilli powder, ½ spoon turmeric, 2 spoons coriander, 1 spoon garam masala then add tomatoes and water to make a sauce. Add salt to taste and some milk or yoghurt. Add cooked chicken and leave to cook a while longer, garnish with fresh coriander and serve with rice and nan.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Aloo Gobi

ALOO GOBI - an Indian vegetarian favourite of ours, simply potatoes and cauliflower in a masala curry sauce. We learnt to make this on a cookery course in Kerala, Southern India. Perfect serves with fluffy rice from your Zojirushi and with a chapati or nan to soak up the sauce.

Cauliflower and potatoes chopped
3 sliced onions (very thin slices)
3 tomatoes (very thin slices)
½ spoon of garlic/ginger paste
1 big pinch fennel seeds
2 cardamom seeds
1 clove
1 big pinch cinnamon
1 green chilli

To make
Half boil potatoes with salt and a pinch of turmeric, then add the cauliflower. Once boiled you can shallow fry in oil to give colour so they are golden.

Fry spices in sunflower oil then add sliced onion, green chilli and pinch of salt. Also add the ½ spoon of garlic/ginger paste, 1 spoon turmeric, 1 spoon chilli powder, 2 spoons coriander, 1 spoon garam masala. Add sliced tomatoes then add water until it is a sauce.

Add the potatoes and cauliflower and mix, add a little milk (or yoghurt if you prefer) to the sauce, some larger slices of tomatoes and garnish with a bit of fresh coriander.