For ordinary families, there are many environmentally positive steps that can be taken that also make great financial sense. Many of these are very simple things like keeping the home thermostat turned down to a sensible level, keeping doors and windows closed to reduce draughts, or turning lights off when not in use. These simple actions cost absolutely nothing but they can deliver noticeable savings on energy costs.
As a business, we’re always looking for ways to reduce waste and the amount of energy we use. One of the most important of these is our policy of using locally sourced ingredients wherever possible. Our factory is based in Lancashire so we aim to source all our fresh meat from suppliers in our region. Our halal policies processes mean that we work only with specialist HMC-accredited suppliers, but we do all we can to keep our supply base local.
In celebration of Go Green Week, our latest recipe idea is Thai-style Green Curry.
Thai Green Curry
• 750g halal chicken (e.g. tikka-cut breast meat or thigh with the bone removed)
• 500g vegetables (your preferred selection: onion, carrots, broccoli, sweetcorn, mushroom, bamboo shoots, mange tout etc.)
• 2 spring onions
• 1 tin of coconut milk
• 1 stock cube
• 1 handful of lime leaves (5 to 7)
• fresh coriander leaves (small bunch)
For the curry paste:
• 4 cloves of garlic
• 4 shallots or half a red onion
• 3cm piece of ginger
• 2 stalks of lemongrass
• Green chillies (2 to 4, depending on heat required)
• Green Peppers
• 2 tablespoons of fish sauce
• Half a teaspoon of ground cumin
• Juice and zest of 2 limes
• Freshly ground peppercorns (to taste)
The key to this dish is preparing the curry paste. With a food processor, it’s a simple matter of roughly chopping all the ingredients of the paste, adding them to the machine and blending them to a smooth consistency. (However, special care is required with the lemongrass; remove any stringy, woody bits and then finely chop the remainder before adding to the processor. Otherwise, there will be spiky bits in the finished curry.) If you don’t have a processor, then chop the ingredients finely and grind to a paste using a mortar and pestle.
The curry itself begins as a simple stir-fry, beginning with the diced chicken. Many cooks prefer to take the chicken out once it has turned golden brown and only then add the other main ingredients. Separating the meat in this way prevents it from over-cooking. However, for simplicity, or to produce tender chicken that takes on the full flavour of the curry sauce, it can be left in.
With a very hot wok, stir-frying the vegetable ingredients should not take long – just enough to begin to colour and soften them. Then add the coconut milk, the stock, the lime leaves and the curry paste.
Next, turn the heat up and bring to the boil. If you took the meat out, return it to the mix, reduce the heat and simmer for about 10 minutes. (Test the vegetables after about 6 minutes; they shouldn’t be allowed to go too soft.)
Near to the end of the cooking time, stir in most of the roughly chopped coriander, but leave some for garnish.
Celebrate Go Green Week and share the message
• Be environmentally responsible and ultimately ‘Go Green’.
• Separate waste and recycle
• Save energy and water
• Raise awareness of sustainability issues and engage the community.