For most people, summer is a time for being outside. Long evenings with a chilled drink sitting in the garden or balcony enjoying the sunset with friends and family...
But if you live in this part of the world, summer is certainly not the time for being outdoors! You know it’s too hot when you have to turn the car engine on and wait for the AC to kick in before daring to enter... And when you burn your hand opening the car boot while loading the shopping to the sounds of ‘’shut that door - you’re letting the heat in!!’’.
For many of us, it's a time for vacations and an opportunity to enjoy cooler Northern European destinations, to see green fields and mountain streams and to just be outdoors. Well, at least that's what I love :)
The mass exodus is about to begin.
As soon as the schools break up a large percentage of mums and their kiddies leave the UAE shores for ‘home’. Obviously this isn’t the case for many working mums, but generally speaking, the female population is about to diminish significantly and this leaves us, men, alone! Alone with a large empty fridge, (empty of food I hasten to add) and a takeaway menu!
But fear not as this is the perfect time to get into the kitchen and get your friends around for some serious man food. Not a summer salad or a cooling gazpacho, but some hot curries and a few big, juicy steaks!
Instead of a boy’s brunch, save yourself some cash and cook up a few of my favourite dishes. Pop a game on the TV, open a few light ales and get stuck in - I bet your better halves will be impressed when you tell them :)
Here are my best 2 bloke’s only dinner party dishes:
Lamb Vindaloo - For 4 Hungry Daredevils
- 1 kg boneless lamb leg or shoulder in chunks
- 100ml red wine vinegar
- Olive oil
- 500g of spuds cut into bite sized pieces
- 125ml sunflower oil
- 3 chopped onions
- 6 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
- 3 long red chilies, roughly chopped
- Thumb sized piece of fresh root ginger, peeled, roughly chopped
- 1 Tbsp. English mustard powder
- 1 Tbsp. ground cumin
- 1 Tbsp. ground coriander
- 1 Tbsp. ground paprika
- 2 tsp. ground turmeric
- 2 tsp. cayenne pepper
- 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
- 2 tsp. sea salt flakes
- 2 bay leaves
- Mix the lamb with a little oil, red wine vinegar, and salt, and pop it into the fridge while you make the sauce.
- Fry off the onions for about 15 minutes in some olive oil until soft. Meanwhile put the garlic, chilies, ginger, mustard powder, cumin, coriander, paprika, tumeric, cayenne pepper, and cinnamon in a food processor and blend to a purée.
- Add the puree to the fried onions and cook for a few minutes, then tip out into an oven proof dish.
- Fry off the lamb until browned, then add to the oven dish.
>>> Remember to keep any leftover marinade and pour into the dish too.
- Add 500ml of water into the oven dish. Add the salt and bay leaves and bring to a simmer. Cover the surface of the curry with a piece of greaseproof paper, then cover with a lid. Cook in the oven for 45 minutes.
- Remove the curry from the oven and stir in the potato chunks, re-cover with the greaseproof paper and the lid and continue to cook for a further hour or until the lamb and potatoes are very tender. Season, to taste, and serve.
It’s bloody lovely to have it with some fresh naan bread!
- 800g braising steak, cut into 2cm/1inch cubes
- 1 onion, roughly chopped
- 1 Tbsp. chopped fresh ginger
- 1 Tbsp. chopped galangal
- 1 Tbsp chopped garlic
- 1 lemongrass stalk, tough outer layer removed and roughly chopped
- 1 tsp. turmeric
- 6 long red dried chilies, soaked in water and roughly chopped
- 2 Tbsp sunflower oil
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 6 cardamom pods
- 4 kaffir lime leaves
- zest of a kaffir lime or lime
- 400ml coconut milk
- 1 Tbsp. of tamarind paste or juice of a lime
- For the rendang paste, place the onion, ginger, galangal, garlic, lemongrass, turmeric and chilies into a food processor. Blend to form a smooth purée.
- Heat up a large pan and fry off the paste until it turns dark, then add the cardamom pods (crush the cardamom pods gently with the back of a spoon before frying) and the cinnamon stick (break in half) and cook for another minute before adding the meat.
- Stir around for 5 minutes so the meat gets a good coating then pour over the coconut milk and tamarind purée and bring to a gentle simmer. Add the kaffir lime leaves and zest.
- Cook for about 90 minutes, checking from time to time and stirring. Serve with a lump of plain white rice, and a few large beers!
Happy summer lads!
P.S. Our meal plans are also a great way to stay healthy and eat well when the wife is away - and the recipes are easy and quick enough to cook! Subscribe here.