Tag Archives: dog journalist

Chicken and coconut curry and gastronomy courses for dogs

coconutchickencurry2

hugotypewriter2by

I seem to remember Bossy writing a post about my food preferences recently. I don’t always read what she writes because I often find her anecdotes too irritatingly trivial for words. Unfortunately I did read this and my response is: I’m not a whingeing fusspot, I’m discerning. Please learn the difference. My palate is refined and subtle and I won’t be fobbed off with any old food, unlike some dogs I know whose names begin with ‘J’. I’m currently looking into gastronomic appreciation courses for ‘J’ because her lack of taste is beginning to depress me.  It’s difficult to live with someone with so little culinary culture, or any other culture for that matter.

Bossy and Noisy went on holiday for a few days recently, not that I’m familiar with the concept of holidays, never having had one *woeful and exploited doggy sigh*. The Tall One is easier to manipulate negotiate with than Bossy and the leftovers are far more appealing as he doesn’t eat anything green or strange when she’s away. Also, he doesn’t know that I’m supposed to have vitamins added to my food, so that’s one less battle to fight. All in all we had a very peaceful time and even ended up by agreeing on the best camembert to buy. Result!

I’d better go now – Bossy is uttering very naughty words because she just unloaded the washing machine to discover that one of Noisy’s pockets was stuffed full of popcorn. I’ll leave the state of Bossy’s nerves and the inside of the washing machine to your imagination…

Ingredients (serves 4)

1 tablespoon coconut oil

2 red onions, peeled and sliced

2 cloves garlic, crushed

1kg chicken legs and thighs, skinned

1 red pepper, sliced

4 carrots, peeled and cut into rounds

1 tablespoon fresh ginger, grated

1 teaspoon cumin seeds

2 teaspoons coriander seeds

1  stick cinnamon

2 teaspoons curry powder

3 kaffir lime leaves

Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

400ml coconut milk

Preheat the oven to 150°C. Heat the coconut oil in a medium-sized casserole dish or dutch oven and soften the onions and garlic. Add the chicken pieces, frying for a few minutes on each side and then add the pepper and carrots. Add the spices and seasoning and continue to brown for a few more minutes. Finally add the coconut milk, bring to a simmer and cook in the oven for at least an hour. It may be left for longer, in which case you may need to add a bit of water or stock.

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Sole with lemon garlic sauce and a mouse in the house part II

soleandsauce2

hugotypewriter1by

I’ve often noticed that my version and Bossy’s version of anecdotes are quite different. I felt that Bossy’s account of the mouse in the house story (she was touchingly proud of her childish rhyme) was a bit scornful with regard to my skills as a guard dog. This is unfair because I’m an excellent, very intimidating guard dog and to suggest otherwise is just wrong. Any animal on the premises is here with my permission. Bossy’s suspicion that Java and I invited the mouse into the house isn’t too far off the mark as it happens. We didn’t actually invite him in, we came across him in the kitchen, surreptitiously hanging out near the fridge. It was then that I decided he could be very useful. For a while, my keen sense of smell has been telling me that there are goodies lurking under the fridge – cheese rinds mostly – which doesn’t say much for Bossy’s housekeeping skills *snigger*. I have tried in vain to reach them with my paws, and even resorted to asking Java and her spindly little paws for help. Although they may seem like annoying, pointless little animals, mice do have their uses. For example they can almost completely flatten their bodies, which is very handy when you need them to slide under white goods. For the time being, the kitchen is a cheese rind-free zone, but I’m keeping a close watch to summon my illicit worker back if need be. Never let it be said that I’m not resourceful!

 

javahugomouse

Ingredients (serves 4)

4 lemon sole filets (about 150g each)

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 tablespoons flour (I used rye flour)

20g butter

200ml milk

½ lemon, juiced

2 cloves of garlic, crushed

Handful of flat parsley leaves, chopped

Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Preheat the grill and place the fish on the grill pan lightly coated in olive oil. Place the flour, butter, lemon juice, garlic and milk in a small saucepan and heat gently, whisking constantly. Cook until the texture becomes smooth and uniform and then add the chopped parsley leaves and seasoning. Continue to heat for a couple more minutes, stirring well. Cook the fish under the grill for about five minutes on each side. Serve with the sauce on the side.

Chicken risotto and scary toys

chickenrisotto

hugotypewriter1by

I feel acutely embarrassed on Java’s behalf telling you this story, but needs must. A few weeks ago, a kind friend gave us some stuffed toys. Obviously I don’t play with toys because I’m fully-developed and mature, not an emotional car crash like some. So I gallantly left them all to ‘some’.  She seemed to quite enjoy them at first, but soon became terrified after trying to ‘kill’ one of them with her dainty little girl teeth. Its insides spewed out all over her bed, traumatising her so much that she wouldn’t go near the bed after that, even once Bossy had tidied up. Of course this meant that she ended up on my bed and I had to decamp to the couch because she snores like a steam train. In an attempt to regain my bed, I tried to explain that she hadn’t really killed the toys because they weren’t alive in the first place and their ‘innards’ were only stuffing, but her dippiness has hidden depths and she wasn’t to be consoled. One thing I’ve noticed is that dogs with very long names – Java’s full name is Java de la Croix de Ganelon – are often the most irretrievably dippy. I’m just plain old Hugo, which speaks volumes don’t you think?

javatoys

Ingredients (serves 4)

1 tablespoon olive oil or ghee

1 onion, chopped

1 shallot, chopped

2 cloves of garlic, crushed

6 mushrooms, sliced

400g rice (I used basmati)

50ml white wine

Se salt and freshly ground black pepper

½ teaspoon saffron

½ teaspoon turmeric

½ teaspoon paprika

2 tomatoes, blanched, peeled and chopped

1 litre chicken or vegetable stock

200g frozen peas

100g bacon, cooked and sliced

400g leftover chicken

50g parmesan, grated

Heat the oil or ghee in a large frying pan and brown the onions, shallot, mushrooms and garlic until soft. Add the rice and stir well until it is all coated with oil, then add the wine and simmer until reduced.  Add the seasoning and tomatoes and then about a quarter of the stock and leave to simmer, stirring until the stock has been absorbed. Add the peas and continue adding stock and stirring until the rice is almost cooked. Add the bacon and chicken, stirring well. Once the bacon and chicken are completely heated through and the rice is cooked, remove from the heat and add the grated parmesan, stirring until melted.

 

Spicy carrot cake and a ladies’ horse

carrotcake2

HugojournoandJava

I don’t really understand girls. I thought I did, but I don’t. Océane (the only mare of the four horses), took an instant, irrational dislike to Bijou (the four-year-old with a ditch problem) when he first arrived. In fact, she was so aggressive and unpleasant that he ended up covered with tooth and hoof marks and they had to be separated. Yesterday, having spent the whole previous night loudly whinnying for her long-lost love, she barged her way through the electric fence (which made The Tall One very cross) and hasn’t left his side since. At one point, Bijou, in an attempt to free himself from her neediness,  jumped out of the field. This sent her positively hysterical and she bucked and called after him until he’d been rounded up and returned to her side. Still, at least with all her silliness I added a new word to my already fairly extensive vocabulary: Fickle.

Which brings me to Java. Having once been absolutely terrified of horses (or the ‘gigantic dogs’ as she calls them, bless her) she now chases Bijou around the field until she manages to grab his tail between her teeth. Then she doesn’t let go until he’s galloping faster than she can run, which, although it pains me to say it, is pretty fast. It exhausts me just watching them. So what is it with the girls and Bijou? He must have hidden powers of seduction, although I fail to see how he can be more charming than me…

javabibi

I assume that this carrot cake must be for the horses; they’re the only ones silly enough to eat a cake made with carrots and apples. I’m not a fan obviously, but according to everyone else it is very tasty.

javaandjojo copy

Ingredients (serves 16)

250ml olive oil

175g cane sugar

4 eggs

250g carrots, grated

100g apple, grated

100g ground almonds

150g spelt flour (or wheat flour)

1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda

1 teaspoon baking powder

Pinch of salt

1 level teaspoon garam masala (or allspice)

1 level teaspoon ground ginger

75g raisins pre-soaked in rum

100g walnuts, chopped

Grease and prepare a medium-size cake tin and preheat the oven to 180°C. Place the oil and sugar in a mixing bowl and beat well. Add the eggs and continue to beat until the mixture becomes pale in colour. Add the grated apple and carrots to the mix and then fold in the almonds, flour, bicarbonate of soda, baking powder, seasoning and spices. Lastly stir in the raisins and walnuts and transfer to the cake tin. Bake for 50 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean.

Banana tart and rabbits might fly

bananatart

hugotypewriter1by

I think that Java might have experienced what we psychologists refer to as a psychotic break. Being surrounded by creatures – human and animal – of questionable sanity, I recently felt the need to go on a course, which is how I am in a position to say this. I’m not sure whether I should mention my diagnosis to Bossy or not; she thinks Java’s just an adorable scatterbrain and I don’t really want to be the one to break the bad news. Anyway, Java spends hours every morning and every evening gazing at baby rabbits with her head cocked and one foot in the air. She looks, frankly, more than a little bit foolish, and that’s being charitable. I mean, she’s a hunting dog so you’d think she’d try to catch them instead of staring at them gormlessly. I know that she’s bred to hunt birds, but it’s still very odd. I think that she’s probably waiting for them to spread their wings and fly away, but in view of the fact that they’re rabbits, that’s just not going to happen. I don’t put her straight though because while she’s busy being half-witted, I get some uninterrupted peace.

javarabbits

Ingredients (serves 6)

Pastry:

80g coconut oil

150g spelt flour

35g dessicated coconut

Pinch of sea salt

Roughly 6 tablespoons of cold water

Filling:

3 medium-sized bananas, sliced into 1cm pieces

2 eggs, beaten

50g coconut sugar

30g desiccated coconut

1 teaspoon vanilla essence

200ml double cream

1 teaspoon rum

½ teaspoon cinnamon

½ teaspoon nutmeg

To make the pastry, begin by cutting coconut oil into small cubes. Add this to the flour and desiccated coconut with a pinch of salt in a mixing bowl. Blend by hand until the mixture becomes crumbly. Add the cold water, mixing with a spoon. Remove the mixture from the bowl onto a lightly floured surface. Knead until you obtain a ball of pastry (if the mixture isn’t ‘sticky’ enough to form a ball, you may need a drop more water). Wrap in a clean cotton tea towel or some cling film and leave to ‘rest’ in the fridge for about two hours. This relaxes the dough and makes it easier to use.

Preheat the oven to 180°C. Roll out the pastry on a clean, lightly floured surface and fill the tart tin. Cook the pastry for 15 minutes. Arrange the bananas evenly over the surface of the pre-cooked tart. Add the eggs, coconut sugar, desiccated coconut, vanilla essence, cream, rum, cinnamon and nutmeg to a bowl and combine to create a homogenous mixture. Pour over the bananas and cook for 30 minutes, or until the filling is no longer wobbly. Delicious served either lukewarm or chilled.

 

Crab gratin and if it looks like a dog and barks like a dog…

crabgratin2

 

…but eats like a human, then it’s probably Hugo.

HugojournoandJava

I’m in splendid shape, but every year Bossy insists on taking me to visit the vet. She knows that I’m a force to be reckoned with when it comes to socialising with other animals, but she seems adamant on putting herself through the trauma. Upon arrival, I willingly led her – perhaps even dragged her if I’m entirely honest – to the door, which I only had to headbutt once to open. I then efficiently ushered her (again, if we’re being pedantic, ‘hauled her’ might be more accurate) to the reception desk, where I planted my front paws on the desk in a business-like manner. By this time, for some reason, Bossy was very red in the face. The vet is a nice lady and I gave her a big lick on the face to show that I felt no ill will towards her, even though she spent rather a long time prodding my private parts. When we were ready to leave, she told me that I had been a good boy (yeah, whatever) and gave me a dog biscuit. I mean, really? A dog biscuit? Who does she think I am? Camembert? Yes. Foie Gras? Yes. Dog biscuit? Err, not so much. Does she not know that I’m a foodie? Anyway, I spat it out onto the floor because I think it must have been a joke. Bossy by this time was even redder in the face and really quite flustered and tried to explain that I was off my food. What a liar! I’m not off normal food, just dog biscuits…

Ingredients (serves 4)

250g new potatoes, peeled, sliced and cooked

2 leeks, sliced and cooked

250g crabmeat (I used tinned)

150g sweetcorn

1 large spring onion, finely sliced

150ml pouring cream

Sea salt and freshly-ground black pepper

1 teaspoon chilli powder (optional)

100g hard cheese, grated (I used Comté)

Fresh parsley to garnish

Preheat the grill. Place the potatoes, leeks, crabmeat, sweetcorn and onion together in an oven-proof dish and then add the cream and seasoning. Mix well and sprinkle the grated cheese on top. Cook under the grill until the cheese is bubbling and golden (about eight minutes). Garnish with the fresh parsley before serving.

Vegetable fritters (gf) and visually-challenged Setters

courgettefritters hugotypewriter1by

I think that Java needs glasses. Either that or a new brain, but I’m going to be charitable and go with the glasses theory. (As an aside, she also needs to learn which holes she can and can’t stick her nose into, because it’s looking a bit mangled at the moment. Still, we can’t all be hole experts.) Even allowing for the fact that she’s not the brightest, I’ve noticed her a few times recently rather proudly ‘marking’ plastic bags. I know plastic bags can flap in the wind a bit and do very fine bird imitations, but still: Really Java? You’re a dog with a supposedly superior sense of smell. I’m not sure how to broach the subject with her though; it’s a tricky one. Apparently English Setters are extremely sensitive to criticism, and I wouldn’t want to be responsible for tipping her over the edge by pointing out her mistake, tempted though I might be. I think I’ll just leave it to Bossy and her finely-tuned diplomacy skills to explain her error. Watch this space for one horribly humiliated English Setter *wicked dog chuckle*.

Ingredients (serves 4)

2 eggs, beaten

75g chickpea flour (although any flour will work)

½ teaspoon bicarbonate of soda

125ml water

1 potato, peeled and grated

2 courgettes, peeled and grated

1 carrot, peeled and grated

1 onion, finely chopped

1 clove garlic, crushed

4 leaves fresh mint, cut into strips

Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 teaspoon curry powder

1 tablespoon of ghee for frying (you can use butter or oil)

Combine the beaten eggs, flour and bicarbonate of soda, gradually adding about 125ml of water to achieve a fairly thick pancake batter consistency. Add the grated vegetables, onion, garlic, fresh mint and seasoning and combine well, making sure that the vegetables are well incorporated. Heat the ghee in a large frying pan over a medium heat until melted and create several two tablespoon-sized fritters. Fry until golden brown (roughly 5 minutes), turn and repeat until all the fritters are cooked.