August 30, 2009

Grandma's scones

Scones, jam and cream remind me of country Australia. A steaming hot cup of tea served in the morning or afternoon with freshly made scones; raspberry, blackberry or strawberry jam and lashings of cream.
Last week at work we needed to cover a shift or two in the kitchen and our server Jess stepped up to the plate. Now Jess being a country girl from Victoria knew her way around a kitchen and I had a feeling she wouldn't let us down. I was delighted when I rocked up to work and found she had rang her mum for the family's fabulous scone recipe because she couldn't find my muffin recipe (could of had something to do with the fact that I store it in my head).
Our customers didn't realize the treat they were in for, Jess's grandma's recipe is one to turn to every time you want to whip up a batch of scones and when paired with homemade jam you just can't go wrong.
The dough is a lot wetter than I am use to but the end result is a delicious moist, fluffy scone. After tasting Jess's batch at work I decided to bring the recipe home and see if my boys would enjoy an afternoon treat. To prove to you these were a huge success I have decided pictures speak louder than words...

The first bite......yummmm

By the look on his face I was wondering if he was enjoying the scone?

Hang on, he has thrown his head back for full shoveling action

Yep a clear favorite, the scone was devoured in under ten seconds with only fingers to lick as an end result. I always knew he'd use those cheeks for storing food!

Awesome scones, a big thanks to Jess and her Gran for sharing. I'll now be popping this one into my battered and well flipped through recipe book for years to come.

Jess's Grandma's Scone Recipe
2 cups self raising flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
Pinch salt
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup cream
1 egg
Preheat oven to 200°C (400).
In a medium bowl combine all dry ingredients and set aside.
In a large measuring jug combine all wet ingredients and whisk lightly to combine (I do this with a fork).
With a gentle touch add wet ingredients to dry and cut with a blunt knife to combine.
Once combined (at this stage it will look lumpy and wet but that is good), lightly flour your bench and turn out mixture onto floured surface.
Gently knead to form dough, lightly flatten into a disc shape and cut out scones.
Place scones onto a lightly floured tray, brush tops with a little milk and pop in the oven for ten minutes.
Remove from oven, let stand for 5 minutes then serve warm

Note: The secret to really light and fluffy scones is in the mixing, a very gentle touch and minimal handling will get you fabulous scones every time.

August 24, 2009

Ethiopian Chicken

I have been a bit behind in my blogs and I do apolagise. There seems to be an awful lot going on these days and sometimes I wonder how I can fit it all in. I usually look at other blogs and read about so many other
peoples cooking/life experiences but lately I haven't even had time to look at my favorites which I am not to happy about. How do bloggers do it? How do they continually keep their blog updated on a daily schedule, fit everything else into the day and then proceed to blog about the most fantastic meal they happened to whip up in the dinner hour- I don't know?
What I do know is I am trying to keep pace but am slipping! I feel like I haven't cooked an exciting meal in weeks and now I am going to blog about a meal Nic cooked about three days ago when mum was still here because-
a) it was dam fine and
b) it is from my most favorite cooking magazine- Saveur.
As most of you know my hubby is non to shabby in the kitchen. He likes to read a few cookbooks and then try out his version of the recipe at hand. When the April '08 issue of Saveur came out it was the beginning of his best chicken dish yet!
Nic first cooked this for me in April of '08 and I nearly fell off my chair. The flavour was intense, heart warming and I remember feeling duped when I licked my plate clean and there was nothing left but bones sucked dry.
I suggested to Nic he should make it for mum when she was over and he was happy to oblige. The real name for this killer dish is Doro Wot. The only time Nic wasn't really happy with his end result was of course when mum was here. Due to my heavy use of paprika there wasn't as much in the jar as he thought so the above dish was lacking it's usual deep potent redness. I thought the flavour was still wonderful and when you blend in the hard boiled egg with the chicken and sauce you really do feel like you are eating in someone else's home (another reason why I love Saveur so much).
I would love to re write this recipe for you, however when I flip to the page it is filled with handwritten notes in Nic's handwriting and if you have ever had the pleasure of reading Nic's handwriting you'd know it is a no go zone unless you have studied ancient scripts! I will however advise you to find a copy of Saveurs no: 110 issue, flip to page 76 and give it a go. The recipe is not hard and you will be over joyed with the results I promise.

August 20, 2009

Nanny's peanut butter biscuits

Yesterday was such a busy day here at the Baker household; I had to go to work, the kids went to school and mum got to have the house all to herself for the day. I thought she would enjoy the break from our madness and noise (or should I say the boys noise!). Mum has had a pretty intense week at work herself, being a caterer she put in some massive hours before her Sydney break (fairly typical in the Hospitality industry- if you ask for holidays, you'll be worked into the ground until the day you leave).
I thought mum could put her feet up, sit back and totally relax........well I think this lasted for all of 15 minutes! I had to ring mum from work telling her I was getting a late lunch rush and could she please get the boys from school- no worries. When I met up with them at home I found the massive pile of laundry mum had washed, hung out to dry and then ironed!!! Not only was the laundry done, I turned into the kitchen to make a cuppa tea for us when I spotted the home baked biscuits she had whipped up for an after school snack- WOW!
I can't remember the last time I arrived home to find home-made biscuits that I didn't make. I put that kettle on to boil faster than a three year old could eat a stolen chocolate (and at our house that is pretty fast!). Food always seems to taste that much better when someone else makes it and these peanut butter cookies were no exception. The nutty, crumbly, buttery texture melted in your mouth and you just had to go back for seconds, or was that thirds Nic?
Thanks mum for all the help and especially for the ironing and biscuits, your the BEST!

Nanny's Peanut Butter Biscuits
1/2 cup unsalted butter
1/2 cup sugar
1 egg
1 cup self-raising flour
1/2 cup crunchy peanut butter
1/2 cup chopped salted peanuts
icing sugar for dusting

Preheat oven to 180 (350).
In a mixer, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
Add egg and beat until smooth and combined, scraping down the sides of the bowl.
Stop mixer and add flour and peanut butter, mix on medium speed until well combined.
Press a generous teaspoon of mixture into the crushed peanuts before placing on a greased baking tray.
Bake for 15 minutes, cool on a wire rack and once cool give a good dusting of icing sugar.

Enjoy with a nice cup of tea!

August 19, 2009


So you know we started the evening meal with in line was simply grilled flathead fillets. I didn't want to do anything elaborate with the fish because it was super fresh and I wanted to taste the flavour of the fish. For those of you who don't know flathead, it is a very flaky white fish with a hint of sweetness.
To compliment the fish I served it with a creamy guacamole (meaning I mushed 3/4 of the avocado and left the remaining in chunks) and fresh green beans that I tossed through some garlic butter I found in the freezer (from the grilled steak I did a few weeks back). The buttery garlic flavour complimented the fish and guacamole beautifully. Of course I needed some grains so I served it on top of couscous. The whole meal took about 20minutes to make and serve- right up my alley!
The boys are not a big fan of avocado so I served them a salad of carrot sticks and cucumber tossed through lemon and extra virgin olive oil (one of their favorites), serving beans and salad was a bit odd but no complaints so there you have it. A delicious fish dinner made in 20 minutes and everyone was happy!

August 18, 2009

Oysters Kilpatrick

I am so excited, it has been a very long time since I have had oysters in the house and because my mum arrived for a visit yesterday we got spoilt rotten. I had to do a quick whip around the grocery shops and thought mum would like to come for a look (knowing the produce would be a little different than what she gets in Tassie). Mum wasn't disappointed and also brought us some oysters and flathead fillets to prove it.
I love oysters, my favorite way to eat them is straight from the shell with a squeeze of fresh lemon juice a pinch of pepper and down the hatch. The mix of sea water, tangy lemon and the creamy oyster has me craving more every time.
Nic brought it to our attention that he had never tried oysters Kilpatrick before, mum and I were staggered as it is one of our favorite ways to eat an oyster if consuming on a cold night. For those of you how don't know Oysters Kilpatrick it is and oyster that has diced bacon and Worcestershire sauce piled on top of it and then popped under a grill to crisp up the bacon and warm the oyster. The flavour is much richer than a-la-natural but a pleasant and delicious alternative with a meat flavour.
I am not to sure Nic was convinced he should be eating oysters warm. I have a feeling he prefers them straight from the ocean but at least he has now tried them. Three oysters natural and three Kilpatrick were perfect for me and brought back memories of me eating them when I was a kid however I didn't even bother offering any to the boys because if I have to be honest- I didn't want to share and I was pretty sure they would of taken one look and opted for a bag of chips instead!
The oysters were a fantastic way to begin our seafood meal and I have to say we all loved the flathead we had for a main but I'll have to tell you about that tomorrow.......

August 15, 2009

Night time nibbles

On Friday night I arranged for a few of the mums from school to get together and have a little drink and chat at our local beauticians house where some of us proceeded to get plucked, waxed and tinted. I have now decided the best way to get a wax is after a glass of champers- that sting of pain doesn't seem to last all that long, especially if you have another glass!

Because I pretty much invited myself and a few others around I said I would bring some nibbles. When Friday rocked around my day was flat out and full speed ahead, 7 pm screamed around well before I was ready for it which also meant I had prepared nothing for our little gathering. After deciding I just didn't have the energy to whip something up (and I am a slackker for thinking a bottle of wine would be fine) I was reaching into the freezer for something when I spotted the last two sheets of puff pastry stuck to the bottom freezer draw.

This got me thinking..... what if I just whipped up a batch on mini quiches? everyone loves those, right? I looked inside the fridge for fillings and found some ham and jalapenos, olives and semi dried tomatoes- perfect! It was an after dinner affair so I decided to make them extra mini so they just popped into your mouth; two bites and your done sort of nibble. Because we are all still getting to know each other, I put ham and jalapenos with a soft cheese while the olive and semi dried went together with parmesan cheese (covering my bases just in case there was a vego).

From start to finish the quiches were made, baked and ready to go within 20 minutes which left me half an hour to sit down with Nic and catch up on his day before heading out the door. The quiches went down a treat all except when our beauty therapist bit into the jalapeno and nearly passed out (well not quite) I kind of forgot to tell them the peppers were in there- Oops!
Next time I decided to invite myself around to someones house or vice versa I will make sure I have a constant supply of puff pastry in the freezer for this super fast, tasty and cute looking nibble.

To make your own simply spray a muffin tin with cooking spray, line the muffin holes with puff pastry, fill with any ingredient you like then beat together 2-3 eggs with 1/4 cup of milk or cream, salt and pepper and pour gently into your moulds. For my quiches I had about 1 tablespoon of egg mix per quiche.
Bake in a hot oven (200/400) for approx 15 minutes.
Your quiches will 'puff', so you know they are ready to pull out of the oven.

Run a knife around the top to release from the pan then place on a wire rack to cool.
Another note to ones self- quiches of all sizes will freeze really well, just pop them in a medium hot oven to reheat.

August 13, 2009

What to do with the leftover roast?

Roast chicken is one of the leftovers my boys will eat. I could lay out a whole chook, tell them it had been roasted a week before and they would happily devour it, but leftover veggies? Not a chance in hell!
I on the other hand will happily eat soft, cold, roasted pumpkin; I've been known to spread it on rolls instead of butter which brings cries of despair from Max & Alex.
I had a plan for the leftovers and one that I knew would work- risotto!
Risotto is the best way to disguise soft roasted vegetables enabling me to slip in the fennel they did not eat the night before because it looked "disgusting".
I make pumpkin risotto quite often so it didn't raise any red flags for the boys when I placed a big steaming bowl of orange risotto in front of them, I even got a 'this is good mum, did you put sugar in?'
Sugar indeed! That is what you get when you pop in the leftover fennel you boys didn't eat last night if you really must know (and no I didn't say that out loud, I just smiled and told them to eat up).
If I had a $1 for every time the kids told me they hated something and would NEVER eat it I'd be awash with gold coins! The fact that they didn't ask if fennel was in the risotto meant that I didn't have to lie to them so everyone wins and I don't have a fridge full of small containers growing mould on them because I'm the only one who will polish them off. Now I just need to find something lurking in there for tomorrow nights tea.

August 12, 2009

Nic's roast dinner

On Saturday night I was tired from my working weekend, so when it came around to dinner time I was so excited to hear Nic say he was going to cook a 'roast chook with all the trimmings' and all I had to do was sit back with a glass of vino and relax!
Nic makes a very good roast, he tells me stories of him coming home from school when he was a kid and popping on the roast for dinner when his mum was home late from work; rubbing the beef with mustard, sticking in cloves of garlic and rosemary in the leg of lamb or as he did on this occasion, shoving lemon and thyme up the cavity of a chicken. I often think of this and remind myself to get Max in the kitchen more so when he is a little older he can do the same for us.
Because Nic knows me so well I didn't even have to ask him to snap a photo of the chook before carving, instead he took it upon himself to not only take one shot but document his chook from beginning to end. I thought why waste his pictures so below is a photo/commentary of our Saturday roast.

When Nic cooks he does not believe in low fat, or using anything sparingly therefor I knew he was going to use all my thyme and stuff a big lemon up the chooks cavity,

and knowing all of this I am also aware of his favorite flavour optimizer- BUTTER!
Even though I know he loves the stuff and uses more than I, I am still trying to pick myself up off the floor as to the amount of butter that got stuffed under this little birdies skin- no wonder I kept commenting on how juicy the meat was!

Along with chunks of butter (and I hope you noted the chunk squeezed next to the lemon) we had a feast of pumpkin, our home grown pots and roasted onions. I haven't eaten roasted onion in ages, I had forgotten how soft, juicy and sweet onions become when blasted with a hot oven. Now that Nic had all his bits and bobs in the oven he was left to saute some fennel with even more butter. Don't get me wrong I love butter but at this stage I am starting to wish I didn't go back for seconds; if I keep this caper up random people will be pointing out Jack Sprat and his wife whenever we go out!

At the stage of pulling the chicken out of the oven and resting the meat I always get a call to come into the kitchen and make the gravy. I have to thank my grandma for passing down her method to mum and then mum passing it on to my sister and I. Draining off a lot of the fat (again I was thinking to myself what a lot of fat this bird had whilst draining) I then heat some of the juice and fat over a stove top and add about a tablespoon of flour, then stir to form a paste. With the paste thickening I just add more juices from the chicken and any water left from boiling veggies...alas we didn't boil anything this time so I just used water; continually stirring the sauce until the lumps go and you are left with a thick yummy gravy.

So there you have it, Nic's roast chook was absolutely delicious. We all ate way to much as per usual and there were left overs but I'll tell have to tell you all about that meal tomorrow!

August 7, 2009

Sausage stir fry

Ever had one of those days when you just don't know what you want to eat? Your hungry but nothing sounds, looks or tastes what your after? I was wondering the streets yesterday trying to decided what to have for dinner and nothing came to me- this is when I headed straight to my butcher and stood among all the shoppers waiting and watching, hoping something would inspire me.
After watching kilo after kilo of pork belly, chuck steak and some frozen cut of meat I couldn't recognise go into shoppers canvas bags I finally decided I'd get those tasty Vietnamese sausages I so dearly love. I am always impressed at how they can have such a deep lemongrass flavour throughout the sausage yet no traces of the actual lemongrass?
I have cooked these thin pork sausages on the grill many times and have also found them very tasty when you take them out of their casing and stir fry them with all the vegetables you have in your crisper (it's the end of the week and time to do the forage of hidden green things). I didn't realize I had so many zucchinis so I made that my main veggie, also a great match with the sausage seeing as zucchini absorbs flavour really well.
I heated the wok on HIGH ripped up the sausages and through them in with a sliced onion and half a red pepper then sloshed in some fish sauce to create a bit of juice. The aroma was starting to get me excited at last. After the peppers has softened a little I threw in my chunky zucchini and corn along with about a tablespoon of oyster sauce and another 2 tablespoons of water before popping on the lid and steaming my concoction for about 4-5 minutes, tossing occasionally to prevent burning. The sausages held their shape very well and the fat from the sausages thickened my sauce perfectly.
Once the rice was ready I piled on the stir fry and we sat down to a delectable feast. The flavour was light and crisp, I think stir-frying these sausages was an excellent idea and the red peppers sweetened the dish to perfection. Who would of thought a few hours before I was going to suggest eggs on toast for dinner!

August 6, 2009

Home Grown

I woke up this morning to a messy house; the dishes were strewn across the kitchen sink, the boys had dragged half of their room out into the hall, lounge room and kitchen and there were no home made baked goods in the cupboard for school lunches. What with facebook, my blog, work and running around from swimming to football I decided that I have become a terrible housewife!
Feeling quite bad and sorry for my family I decided I'd try to improve...but I had a few emails to answer first. Ok with that done I popped on a load of washing, yelled a lot for someone to pick up the toys and paper floating about the house and then told the boys I would be more than happy to put it all in a garbage bag and toss it in the bin (I have been known to do this so Max wasn't taking any chances before he set off for school) if I trip over another Ben 10 alien!!!

Twelve o'clock hit and I was due at the school for reading groups (this also made me feel better about my parenting duties, never mind the fact that I get introduced as Mrs. Baker and start looking around for my mother-in-law). Once Alex and I return home for lunch which was leftover chickpea and spinach for me and a ham and cheese jaffle for Alex, the sun was shining so we decided to go out the back and soak up a few rays while eating a late lunch. Alex being Alex wanted to push all our fruit scraps into the compost heap we have out the back (something I started when we first moved in but as my housewife skills deteriorated so did the compost heap!).
Making sure he scraped the apple cores and orange skins onto the right place and buried them so we don't get every cockatoo this side of Sydney I noticed green plants all over the compost.
"Dam weeds Alex" was my response but when I pulled one of them out to my surprise there were two little potatoes sitting at the bottom. I was so excited I started to root around trying to find more, indeed we found a large potato just under the surface and Alex and I were beside ourselves.
"Did we grow them all by ourselves mum?"
Yes we did Alex was my response. I decided to leave the others in there to grow a little longer and see what we will harvest in a week or so. I have no idea how long potatoes take to grow, I read in a kids book that the leaves turn brown and die then you get the potatoes??? If anyone knows please let me in on the secret of happy compost gardening.
Anyway I thought after producing my very own potatoes I should be redeemed in the housewife stakes. So what if the ironing is still sitting in the laundry basket and the table has newspapers all over it......I grew my own potatoes!

August 5, 2009

Burgers of the LARGE kind

My copy of the latest Saveur magazine arrived a couple of days ago and on the front cover is a delicious looking burger. The photo is awesome and got me completely hooked on wanting one of my own. Nic arrived home later in the evening and I saw the drool escaping his mouth as he was flipping through the magazine.
Saveur is my all time favorite food magazine because it is all about food, real people producing real food and the writers travel everywhere and anywhere to bring their readers the best meals, dishes, stories and produce they can find. I have been buying this mag for 5 years and never tire of it.
This months issue is devoted to the burger and what an issue it is, I for one ran out and brought all the ingredients needed for a delicious burger. When shopping I had a bit of a moment and to this day I still can't believe I flaked out but I have the evidence (actually had the evidence, we demolished it last night). I stood in front of the mince meat section at the shops and began trying to find a bargain. I thought I saw organic minced beef for the same price as regular beef mince. I went back and forth with them both trying to find what was wrong and in the end decided Woollies made a labeling mistake and I go home the winner. I popped the organic 'beef' mince in the trolley and began buying other ingredients to make my awesome burger.
Once I got home I bragged to Nic that I was able to buy organic beef for the same price as the other beef, explaining their stuff up. With that said my practical husband picks up the meat in question and says "so why does this say organic minced lamb?"
Sometimes I really could give myself a bloody good kick up the backside. Lamb? but I was dreaming about beef. Don't get me wrong I love lamb but when I think of a burger I am all about the beef. Any who after reading through a few stories in the Saveur I decided the writer was right, you can't really go wrong with a burger no matter what the style you are eating, they all seem to taste awesome (we are talking about the home made variety people!)

Because I had lamb instead of beef I decided to work in garlic to the dinner and I also knew we were going to have oven roasted chips with the burger as it is the best marriage in my opinion so I chopped the potatoes, threw in heaps of garlic cloves and banged them in a really hot oven to go crisp on the outside and soft and creamy in the middle. While they were cooking I worked on our burgers, Nic took the boys off to footy practice while I played in peace.
In the end I decided to caramelize some onions, boil up some fresh beetroots because there is nothing better than fresh beets on a burger and pulled the pickled jalapenos from the fridge. Whilst grabbing for the peppers I eyeballed my homemade BBQ sauce I had made for the ribs a few weeks ago and thought why the hell not!
The boys all rocked in from footy practice, Max and Alex in heaven with the smell of the burgers cooking while I put it all together. Just before pulling the meat patties from the grill I dropped a big dollop of spicy BBQ sauce onto adults burgers followed by the aged cheddar I picked up from the shops (The boys tried it and decided it was to hot for them and they wanted the regular cheese- no worries!). While the cheese was melting I applied lashings of mayo to the bun followed with lettuce, tomato and sliced beets; placed the lamb burger on followed with caramelized onion and chopped jalapenos. I was is heaven, the boys told me I better not photograph their dinners because they were sooooo hungry Oh, and to put on extra chips but keep the caramelized garlic to ourselves- with that said I happy obliged.
I have to say dinner was one of the best flaky moments I have had in a long while and I am now wanting to go on a all burger diet, alas my thighs will not be thanking me, nor will my cholesterol level, so bring on moderation, make a burger with all your favorites and enjoy every mouthful....oh and don't forget the oven roasted chips!

August 4, 2009

New toy #3

I am so happy and excited, I bought myself a new toy........ actually I brought it for my sanity! My day begins with the words "I'm hungry" and then they roll into "I'm starving" and then I am lucky enough to have Alex at home with me 5 days a week continually telling me these phrases over and over and over again until I want to throw him from the house.
Living with two active and sporty boys has given me a new out look on feeding a family. Max is at the stage of hoovering up anything in his path without to much questioning. Alex is continually hungry (or so he says) BUT will still question everything that is put in front of him and for this reason I have no problems starving him (this is what he tells me I am doing when I won't feed him 50 minutes after a massive lunch).
To help me in my quest of keeping the boys from fading away I have brought a jaffle maker. I love these things, we use to have one when I was a kid and the list was endless as to what you put inside; baked beans and cheese, bacon and eggs, spag bol and cheese etc, etc... The jaffle maker is also going to be my number one tool for moving leftovers in the house (there is only so much I can eat). Because the Baker boys are so turned off by leftovers I simply pull out my trusty jaffle maker, butter the outsides of bread, fill the inside with whatever is lurking, add some cheese for the melted effect, put the top slice on and let it work it's magic.
Before the boys can tell me they are waisting away I have two jaffles made and sitting in front of them ready to be devoured AND if I happen to have leftover mince and cabbage from the night before, all is shoveled in before the realization hits them.
Bellies full, I'm not getting nagged to death and leftovers gone- bring on the teenagers.


August 3, 2009

Aussie spinach and chickpeas

My cooking radar has been a bit low of late. I have managed to spend more nights out at dinner time than in, thus my slack blogging record of late. I was going to blog about the chicken wings I popped under the grill a few days ago but to my horror I forgot to recharge my camera battery and all I had was one very blurry shot before the whole thing shut down. I did contemplate waiting a bit and shooting but Max had a mate over for dinner and I didn't think waiting for Mrs.B to shoot the food was something the boys wanted to introduce to outsiders, especially not their friends; I decided to recharge and feed them all while the food was still warm.
Last nights meal was a bit of a slap together and see how it turned out kind of dinner. Nic wanted curry, I didn't know what I wanted and the boys were after pizza, burgers or anything that resembles fast food (we are entering the phase of everything MUST taste better because we have to buy it from a store, something I am hoping won't last very long!).

I had a can of chickpeas, some Aussie spinach (I've always known it as silverbeet), four new potatoes and a tin of whole tomatoes. I started on the idea of curry but then slowly changed my mind and produced a vegetable stew with ginger, garlic and lemon flavours.

Starting the meal I sauteed onions (quite a lot, about 2 large ones) in a knob of butter with the lid on and on medium heat for about 10 minutes, allowing the onions to get really soft, sweet and caramelise. Then I added chopped garlic and ginger; I wanted a more gingery flavour so I tossed in a tablespoon of chopped ginger to about 2 small garlic cloves. After a few minutes I added sliced, raw new potatoes about 1 cm thick; stirring to combine I then threw in the spinach. I washed it before so the remaining water would help remove the tasty bits on the bottom of the frying pan. Silver beet can take a bit of cooking to produce a soft vegetable, especially when you leave a little of the white stem attached with the green.

When I cook vegetables on a low-medium heat I love the flavour of citrus to develop through the dish so I squeezed in half a lemon to the dish, after squeezing I throw the whole half in the dish for extra flavour, add chopped tomatoes (not the liquid it sits in) give it a stir and put the lid on and leave it for about 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Last but not lease I drained the tin of chickpeas and added them to the dish in the last 5 minutes of cooking just to heat through so they kept their shape and texture.
The end result was really tasty and to give it another dimension I added some roughly chopped coriander (cilantro) just before serving to compliment the ginger and lemon flavours (and chopped chilli for Nic and I). When I came to serve the dish there was no way the boys would of eaten it as is, so I got out some tortillas and made theirs into burritos while ours were served on the side and we used the tortilla to mop up the stew. A great combo, Max enjoyed it, Alex enjoyed picking out the chickpeas and potato while seething at the spinach and Nic and I enjoyed every last mouthful.

Note: Because we have a hideous electric oven and stove I had to come up with a quick and simple way to heat the tortillas (they were a last minute idea) so I threw them on top of the stew with the lid on for 1-2 minutes to soften and warm them. It did the trick and saved me on dishes!