There is a pox on this house. Well, a cold that we seem to be passing back and forth to each other, back and forth. Extra boringly, the cold has triggered old ailments in both of us that seem to be complicating the road to recovery. Needless to say, not much bar the essentials is getting done round here, and I am trying to fight the guilt that comes with being a small business owner and taking any time off whatsoever.
Anyway. Even cooking was an achievement this week, feeling so under the weather, and grocery shopping, which I normally love, was a definite no-no. Yet we also knew that actual medical scientific fact told us that we had to 'feed a cold'. (Hmm, although on second thoughts, I've also had a comical-style fever, going from boiling to freezing in a few minutes - what to do? Feeding rather than starving is a much more appealing prospect, it has to be said).
So, back to the old trusty storecupboard. Even though they still look bizarrely full, we are getting down to the bare bones of serviceable ingredients lurking in the pantry and the freezer. We had a few vegetables knocking round, including the last of the summer
wine new potatoes, and the last handful or two of frozen, cooked prawns from the freezer. Add into this a requirement of spice, so we had a cat in hell's chance of actually tasting our tea, and a Prawn and Potato Curry was calling.
The starting point of the recipe came from Levi Roots (of Reggae Reggae fame), but it was adapted to what we had in. I'd used the last of the canned tomatoes in the pizza sauce, and refused to shop even once to replace them. Instead I used 400ml chicken stock with a tablespoon or two of tomato puree dissolved in it, and then a tablespoon of cornflower slaked in cold water, stirred through at the end to thicken.
This was really, really good. Bright and fresh and comforting flavours, almost good enough to kick start us back into life.
Prawn & Potato Curry
400g new potatoes, cut into chunks
1 tablespoon sunflower oil
1 onion, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
2cm ginger root, peeled and finely chopped
1 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon paprika
1/8 teaspoon ground pepper
pinch fennel seeds
1 green chilli, chopped with seeds
3 mushrooms, sliced into good-sized pieces
1 red capsicum, sliced finely
Handful green beans, topped, tailed and cut into 2cm pieces
400ml chicken stock
1 tablespoon tomato purée
150g cooked, peeled prawns (defrosted if frozen)
1 tablespoon cornflour, mixed with just enough cold water to make a thin paste
First, cook your potatoes. Put them into a pan of cold water, bring to the boil, salt the water then simmer for 10 minutes, until mostly cooked through. Drain them, and leave to one side.
Meanwhile, heat the oil in a large pan over a lowish heat. Gently fry the onion, garlic and ginger until soft but not burned. Add the salt, cloves, cinnamon, paprika, pepper and fennel and cook, stirring, for a minute. Add the chilli, mushrooms, capsicum, and green beans and cook for 5 minutes, stirring frequently.
Stir the tomato puree through the chicken stock until dissolved.
Add the potatoes, prawns, chicken stock and tomato puree, and simmer for about 5 minutes, until the potatoes are fully cooked and the prawns are completely hot. Stir through the cornflour, and simmer for a couple of minutes until the sauce is thick and glossy.
Eat in gratitude of the only food you have properly tasted for a week.