A Missing Birthday and Boozy Mutton

I’ve been the worst blogger. Seriously.

My blog’s birthday has gone by (in February) and I’ve simply done nothing about it!

Last year, I had resolved to make a chocolate cheesecake to celebrate Fat-free Brainwaves’ birthday…but its been up and down so much the last few weeks that I missed it altogether. Bad, bad girl.

For the last three days I’ve been gathering all the snaps e-mailed to me from Port Blair (above) and snaps from my own collection (below) for a little project….The Boyfriend Project, I call it!

Anyway, the positive thing is I have been photographing a few of the nicer stuff that I’ve cooked till now over the last couple of weeks, and a White rum-Rosemary mutton’s on top of the list.

Mutton Stew with White Rum and Rosemary

This is essentially a stew, slightly watery but not much boozy, though it calls for a considerable amount of white rum, the rum evaporates as the stew cooks.

The granulated sugar makes this stew more sweet than salty, but I prefer it that way.

Another special touch to this stew would be if you roast the garlic before sauteing them.

Feel free to experiment!

What You Need:

– 800gms of mutton

– 80mls White Rum (My Captain Morgan was almost empty so I used Bacardi…any good brand will do)

– 2 sprigs of rosemary

– 6 big cloves of garlic, chopped

– 2 tablespoons of olive oil (not necessarily extra-virgin)

– 1 tablespoon of whole black peppercorns

– Half a teaspoon of chilli flakes (this depends on how hot you like your food)

– 2 spring onions, chopped

– 1 heaped teaspoon of granulated sugar

– Salt to taste

– Freshly chopped curled parsley leaves, to garnish

Instructions:

Heat the oil in a pan and saute the chopped onions, sprigs of rosemary and garlic for about a minute on high heat, till the onions acquire a typical translucent color.

– Reduce the heat. Add the peppercorns and the pieces of mutton and chilli flakes and saute for another minute, coating all the pieces with the rosemary-garlic scented oil.

– Pour in the rum. Add sugar and two cups of water.

– Stir well, cover and cook on minimum heat for about 45 minutes.

– Uncover. Do a quick taste check and add salt accordingly. Cover and cook for another ten-fifteen minutes. At this point you need to be happy with the amount of water remaning in the pan. Some like their stews to be more watery than others. So add some more water if you want the stew to be more fluid. Or not.

– Conduct another quick taste check. Adjust amounts of salt and sugar accordingly. Take the meat off the heat. Garnish with chopped parsley and serve with steamed white rice!

Enjoy…and yeah, I’m not forgetting the cheesecake this time!

Spicy Stuffed Peppers

Stuffed peppers or stuffed capsicums as we call them, have always been a family favorite. I remember, as a kid I used to help out my grandmother with all the stuffing. This was not a “regular” preparation though, and were only made when guests were invited. My brother and I would hide outside the kitchen, around the corner waiting for the first batch to come out; when it did, we’d grab one each and run!!

We ended up with scalded fingers and tongues of course.

Grandma’s recipe asks for fish in a spicy turmeric and tomato sauce. The ones I made yesterday were stuffed with minced meat or more precisely, mutton. Now, mutton’s always usually goat out here, but minced lamb meat does more than well.

The meat’s prepared the way we prepare curry, keeping only a few points in mind:

– the onions have to be super-finely chopped, and

– the tomato is pureed

To make the stuffing, I used: (the quantities depend on how much you’re making, of course)

minced meat (kheema), about 250gms

– boiled and mashed potatoes

– pureed tomatoes

– finely chopped white onions

– turmeric powder

– red chili powder…I like a lot of this to make the dish super-spicy!

– cumin powder

– chopped green chilies

– garlic paste

– ginger paste

– salt and pepper to taste

Fry the onions in a pan along with the ginger and garlic pastes, until the edges turn brown. Add the green chilies, turmeric, red chili powder and cumin. Cook for about a minute. Add the kheema and the potatoes. Mix well to coat the meat. Add the tomato puree…I use little of this, since I don’t want the stuffing to be too watery or tomatoey ….uh, is that a word?

Cook covered, on medium heat for 15-20 minutes.

Cut the peppers in half and remove the tops, seeds and membranes. Wash ’em and pat ’em dry. Spoon the stuffing in and add grated cheddar on top. Brush the stuffed pepper with a little butter. Place on a baking dish lined with parchment paper, pop it in the oven and bake at 350° for 30-40 minutes. The peppers come out soft, perfectly cook with a slight crunch to them.