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7 Pot Keema


I was looking for a way to use one of my rather ferocious
7 Pot Doughla chillies (2nd hottest in the world). After my last attempt with the Naga Chili Chicken, I was quite nervous!. These bright red devils are a delicious fruity chilli and really add a fanatic flavour to the finished dish. However, they are outrageously hot, punching in at 1.2 million scoville. This recipe will be equally good with Scotch Bonnets instead.

The recipe was also an attempt to clear out some of my old spices and the plethora of tomatoes from the garden.

It is a very simple recipe, making a tasty curry sauce base and then adding caramelised lamb mince in to enfuse with the spices and chilli flavours.

The finished dish was lip smackingly delicious, definitely on the hot side although a builder as opposed to a full front assault, but the petit poit and fragrant spice background keep everything under control and very moreish!

I served the dish with sticky Basmati rice, some naan bread and Greek yoghurt. It really is a great mouthful!

7 Pot Keema : Close up

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Chipotle Chilli Chicken


Having finally unpacked the last boxes, after the epic house move, I was delighted to be finally back in the kitchen. For the record I have no intention of moving for at least another 10 years, and will most certainly not offer to wrap and box the contents of the house ever again.

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As a result of the house move, I am now the proud owner of a gas fired BBQ.

Generally, I am a fan of all things charcoal when it comes to BBQ’ing, however, I have been swayed over the years from my sisters-in-law in New Zealand and Oz that quick al fresco cooking is worthwhile.

So, last night I wanted to create something with Chipotle chilli. I have become totally addicted to the smokey flavour and slight punch these chillies give. Combined with the lime juice and cumin I wanted to achieve a real Mexicana feel.

The kebabs were fantastic, moist and succulent but savoury and fresh with a delicate smokey taste followed by a tingling on the lips as the chilli mades itself known!

Totally delicious, and tasting even better for being eaten outside!

Chipotle Chilli Chicken : Wrap Close Up

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Coriander and Lime Rice


A delicious cooling, sticky and fragrant rice. Ideal for hot curries or fish based mains.

Originally served with
Chinese Steamed Sea Bream.

Coriander and Lime Rice


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Vietnamese Pulled Pork and Prawn Pho


If there is one dish that reminds me of my travels abroad and love of discovering new food, then this is the dish.

I think it is the fusion of traditional French cooking coupled with the balanced use of Vietnamese spices, citrus and herbs that I adore so much.

Traditionally, this would be made using beef bones - but I could not get any from the butchers on the day I wanted to make this. Fortunately, I had a batch of roast chicken bone stock in the freezer and so went with this. (Left over carcass from a roast chicken, halved and simmered with onion, star anise, thyme, peppercorns for 4 hours). As it happened, I think it was probably for the best, as the pulled pork and tiger prawns would have been over shadowed with a heavier base.

The depth of flavour, clarity of the broth and amazing roller coaster ride of hot, sweet, salty and sour that hits yours tastebuds made this an instant hit in the CookBakeSmile household.

Give it a go, and substitute the pulled pork with fish, more prawns, poached chicken / pork in the broth, if you do not have the time or inclination to spend so long in the kitchen. The Pho broth is very easy to make in its own right.

Vietnamese Pho : Close Up



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Pork Penang Curry and Sticky Jasmine Rice


Penang curry is not quite as well renowned as its counterparts, the Red / Green Thai Curry.

However, in my opinion, is as equally good - if not better. Penang curry is traditionally not a chilli hot curry, instead being fragrant and more subtle. Controversially, I add a tablespoon of Mae Pra Nom chilli paste. Personally, I like a little more, but not crazy amount of heat - and really love the injection of red colour to the finished dish.

The secret to this dish, and the main differentiation is that the coconut milk is fried in the oil to increase the depth of flavour.

This dish needs to be served with the
Sticky Jasmine Rice in order to give it that authentic finish.

The
Thai Spicy Peanuts are delicious, and provide explosions of crunch and sweet/saltiness. Highly recommend.

Penang curry is traditionally a beef curry, cooked over a longer period, using a hard working cut of beef such as shin.

I opted for Pork chump this time round. Being a very lean cut, I kept the chunks large and cooked very gently, to keep the meat moist.

If you wish for a longer and slower cooked version, try and get hold of pork fore leg.

Pork Penang Curry : Garnish with Coriander and Peanuts

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