Friday, April 6, 2012

Hot Cross Curry

A few years back now, one of my friends showed a group of us 'young adults' from church how to make Hot Cross Buns during Lent. We had a great night mixing and kneading, proving and rolling, piping crosses, baking and finally glazing before we ate the most delicious warm Hot Cross Buns. I had never had freshly baked, home made Hot Cross Buns before and this was a revelation for me. Ever since, I have baked my own Hot Cross Buns every year on Good Friday. I try to time them to be ready between 3 and 4pm.

These days, I make my friends recipe with my students at school every second year as it adapts well to both the fruit and chocolate variety, but at home I make the recipe included in Anekka Manning's The Good Taste Collection: Baking which was printed in 1999.

This recipe uses a delightful mix of cinnamon, nutmeg and mixed spice to flavour the buns along with sultanas for the fruit. Compared to the original recipe I started with, the recipe uses a lot of milk (1 1/2 cups) but I think this adds to the flavour and texture of the product. Today I used Farina '00' flour which I have not used to make this recipe before. I think I should have stuck with my regular White Wings plain flour as I was happier with last years product. This years are perfectly edible, but just a little drier then the ones I produced on Good Friday 2011.

I was hoping the recipe would be available online so I could provide you with a hyperlink, but alas it is not. I am also loathe to publish the recipe as I have not adapted the original recipe from the cookbook at all and therefore it really is someone elses intellectual property, so I shall just share a picture of my Hot Cross Buns instead.

Hot Cross Buns - fresh from the oven and brushed with glaze!

It takes a good two hours plus to make these but it is well worth it (especially when I know they are additive free and made from fresh ingredients without preservatives). The recipe makes what I would consider to be twelve very generous buns. I think I recall thinking last year that I should divide the mixture into 15, so I must try and remember this for my next batch. Considering there is only one of me, I will be eating hot cross buns for a few days so it really is very fortunate that I like them so much!

Hot Cross Buns cooling on the dining room table.

Tomorrow I think I will warm them in the microwave again for breakfast. After that I think I will need to toast them or turn them into bread and butter pudding - a trick I learned from my aunt.

Inbetween all of the bun making activity, I worked on some Easter baking but I shall have to post about this later, as there are some lovely people who might stumble upon this post, who are also yet to receive some Easter goodies. I can however show you what I made for dinner for Good Friday.

Being from a bit of a traditional family, I was brought up not to eat meat on Good Friday, and I cannot bring myself to change from this tradition. As such, each year, I either prepare a vegetarian or seafood based meal on Good Friday. I remember as a child that my Mum would go to great lengths to prepare something nice for us. When I spoke to her on the phone this afternoon, she told me that she had purchased both fish and prawns yesterday and was off to prepare this tonight.

For the past few years I have prepared Red Salmon Quiche from one of my Nanna's cookbooks as I remember her preparing this at some point in my high school years and really liking it. I still do, however I felt it was time for a change.

When I was a child, my Mum decided one Good Friday to prepare a prawn curry. Picture the 1980s. White people in Australia did not cook with coconut milk for the most part and certainly not coconut cream. However, my Mum had a very big, contemporary 'Australian' cookbook which featured a prawn curry recipe and she decided to give it a go. Let's just say that after the experience prawn curry was never again prepared in our household and coconut milk was a blasphemous ingredient. Fast forward ten years and I had a wonderful chef friend at university and I learned about the wonders of Thai food, Asian food and ingredients. These days, Thai and Vietnamese food regularly feature on my dinner table and it is not unusual to find some Malaysian and Chinese there too.

So with slight trepidation (those memories are engrained) I decided to prepare an adaptation of the 'Prawn, coconut and tomato curry' featured in the April edition of Good Food magazine. There was nothing unusual on the ingredient list compared to what I might find in most of the Asian curries I like to prepare. I did however decide to add a sliced carrot and increase the quantity of prawns. As I was feeling a little lazy, I also decided to buy prawns that were prepeeled and deveined. Unfortunately this meant the prawns were not as flavoursome as they should have been. When the rice finished cooking I put the trimmed broccolini on top as it rested which steamed it ever so slightly - just the way I like it.

The result - a very nice, mild prawn curry served with Jasmine rice and crisp broccolini. I would happily make this dish again, however next time, I think I will peel my own prawns and fry the heads off before adding some vegetable stock to enhance the flavour a little more. I will also go to the nice fish monger and not the big supermarket - better planning required!

Prawn, Coconut and Tomato Curry served with Jasmine rice,
mango chutney, coriander and extra green chilli.

Overall it has been a productive Good Friday in the kitchen and I feel quite satisfied with what I made. I might just have a nice French Earl Grey or Chai tea with a Hot Cross Bun for a spot of supper this evening.

If I have time I will provide an Easter treats update next week and perhaps a post on my Easter Lazy Lunch which I am preparing on Monday.

For now, have an enjoyable Easter! xo

No comments:

Post a Comment