Well Pumpkin Spiced Lattes are trending on Twitter, I guess that officially means it’s Autumn now. The BBQ I bought at the end of June is sitting in the cellar, optimistically assembled but unlicked by charcoal flame. The only thing it’s possibly been licked by is the cat that has decided to sleep in it occasionally, completely ignoring the handmade cat-yurt we bought them from Etsy.
Autumn means stews, soups and curries – reliable, comforting recipes to warm you up without abandoning all dignity and putting a onesie on, or having to get a Wonga loan out to fund a hours worth of central heating. Earlier this week I made my first stew-dish of the Autumn, an Indonesian Fish Curry from John Torode’s new book (Torode’s the one off Masterchef who didn’t get savaged by Charlie Brooker), and it ticks all the boxes for an Autumn and Winter warmer – a reassuring hug in a bowl, but with a lip-biting bit of spice, and it’s quick and easy enough to make and eat before the windows turn pitch black and you surrender to bed at 6:30pm.
Fry 3tbsp Red Curry Paste in a pan with 1tsp Paprika and 1tbsp Coconut oil. Stir in Half a tin of Coconut Milkand simmer for a few minutes. Add the other Half a tin of Coconut Milk and then half-fill the tin with Water and add that, then add Ten Kaffir Lime Leaves and simmer for a few more minutes. Add your fish to the curry sauce – I used 2 White Fish Fillets and a Handful of King Prawn – as well as Cherry tomatoes, a pinch of salt and the juice of a lime. Cover the pan and leave to cook for a few minutes.
Meanwhile add a handful of Beansprouts and a few stalks-worth of Mint leaves into bowls – when the fish is just cooked, spoon the curry into the bowls while it’s still piping hot – the residual heat will soften but not overcook the beansprouts, and release the flavour from the mint leaves.
I guess Autumn isn’t all that bad if having to put up with a few dreary mornings and manky leaves on the pavement means getting to eat this kind of thing several times a week. And it won’t be long until Greggs bring back the Festive Bake…