Sunday, 10 November 2019

Chicken Nachos

Chicken Nachos
  • 2 chicken breasts
  • Large bag of tortilla chips
  • Grated cheddar cheese (as much as you like)
  • Handful of sliced jalapeño peppers
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp tomato purée
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • 250ml chicken stock
  • 3 tbsp lime juice
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp cumin powder
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
  • Salt and pepper to season
  • Small tin of sweetcorn, drained
  • Small tin of retried beans

In a large bowl, mix together 1 tbsp olive oil, the lime juice, garlic, oregano, cumin, paprika, cayenne pepper and a pinch of salt and pepper.  Add a couple of tablespoons of the chicken stock and mix to form a paste, add the chicken and coat with the mixture.

Heat the remaining olive oil in a frying pan and cook the chicken for 20 minutes, turning as you go until the chicken is cooked through, then set aside.  Add the chicken stock to the pan along with the tomato purée, sugar and any remaining marinade mix, stir through and simmer until the sauce thickens.  Shred the chicken using two forks and return to the frying pan, mix thoroughly to ensure the chicken gets a good coating of sauce.

Preheat your oven to 180 degrees.  Place a layer of tortilla chips on two dinner plates, top with grated cheese and some of the chicken mixture.  Top with the remaining chips and the chicken and sprinkle over some sweetcorn, refrained beans, jalapeño peppers and some more cheese.  Place the plates into the oven for 5-10 minutes or until the cheese melts.  Serve with some homemade guacamole, sour cream, salsa and hot sauce.

This is comfort food at its best, the chicken packs a punch and has plenty of flavour, I guarantee this recipe will soon become a firm favourite and again, it is quick and easy to make, I hope you enjoy as much as we did.

Sunday, 3 November 2019

Thai Meatball Banh Mi

Thai Meatball Banh Mi
  • 2 medium red chillies, thinly sliced
  • 2 tbsp clear honey
  • 3 tbsp fish sauce
  • 5 spring onions, (finely chop 4, reserve 1)
  • 1 clove of garlic, minced
  • 450g minced pork
  • 2 tsp lemongrass, finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp finely chopped mint
  • 2 tbsp finely chopped coriander
  • 1 tsp cornflour
  • 2 baguettes
  • 1 small carrot, thinly sliced
  • Handful of rocket
  • Rice wine vinegar
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • Lime wedges
  • Sweet chilli sauce
Place the pork into a medium mixing bowl, add the honey, fish sauce, 4 sliced spring onions, garlic, lemongrass, cornflour, mint, coriander and one sliced chilli.  Mix until well combined and then form into 20 balls and place onto a baking tray then place in the fridge for around an hour to firm up.

Preheat your oven to 180 degrees.  Place the meatballs onto a baking tray and cook in the oven for 30 minutes until cooked through.

Whilst the meatballs are cooking, thinly slice the remaining spring onion and place into a bowl along with the carrot, cover with rice wine vinegar and add the sugar, leave for at least 15 minutes

When the meatballs are cooked, slice open your baguettes, fill with rocket then top with the meatballs and garnish with your pickled vegetables and the remaining red chilli and drizzle with the chilli sauce and place the lime wedges on the side to squeeze over the baguette.

This is a fantastic recipe, packed full of flavour and given the chillies, it has plenty of heat so be warned!  Quick and easy which is how we like it, this recipe is so tasty you will be making it time and time again.  

As the recipe makes 20 meatballs there are enough to make 4 baguettes however I only needed 2 so froze the remaining meatballs to use another day.

Sunday, 13 October 2019

Nasi Goreng

Nasi Goreng
  • Vegetable oil - 3 tbsp
  • 2 chicken breasts, cut into large chunks
  • 2 x 250g microwaveable pouches basmati rice
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 2 tbsp kecap manis
  • 1 tbsp fish sauce
  • Juice of 1 lime
Nasi Goreng Paste
  • 2 shallots, chopped
  • 1 stick of lemongrass, finely chopped
  • Thumb sized piece of ginger, cut into matchsticks
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 2 tsp tomato purée
  • 1 Birdseye chilli, sliced 
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar
To Serve
  • 2 spring onions, finely sliced
  • Crispy fried shallots (finely slice a shallot and shallow fry in oil until crispy)
  • 4 fried eggs
  • Sambal or sriracha hot sauce
  • 1 red chilli, finely sliced
Firstly make the paste by placing all the ingredients into a food processor with 2 tbsp of cold water and blend until you have a smooth paste.
Heat 2 tbsp of the vegetable oil in a wok or large deep frying pan until the oil is hot.  Add the chicken chunks and cook until browned all over, remove and set aside, once cooled, shred the chicken.
Reduce the heat under the wok, add the remaining tbsp of oil and the paste and cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Turn up the heat under the wok, add the cooked rice and cook for 3 minutes.  Make a well in the centre of the rice and add the beaten egg, once this has cooked, chop up and mix through the rice mixture.
Add the fish sauce, lime juice, kecap manis and the chicken, season and cook for 5 minutes until hot and cooked through. 
Plate up the Nasi Goreng and top with a fried egg, crispy shallots, chilli slices, spring onions and sambal or sriracha sauce.

This is my version of Nasi Goreng which is a traditional Indonesian breakfast dish, however it is quite substantial and can be eaten any time of the day.  I haven’t included shrimp paste which is generally used as I find the taste too strong but you can add a teaspoon to the paste mixture if you wish. 
Kecap Manis is an Indonesian sauce, often found in the Asian aisle of your supermarket - you can use soy sauce and brown sugar as an alternative.  
I have also cut down on the amount of chilli, you can obviously adjust accordingly.  

This is a great tasting dish, you can add shrimp or pork as well, depending on your tastes, pimp up the chilli and you will guarantee to clear and winter sniffles!

Sunday, 6 October 2019

Thai Basil Beef - Pad Gra Prow

Thai Basil Beef - Pad Gra Prow
  • 2 tablespoons oil
  • 380g bavette steak, sliced thinly against the grain and mixed with 1 teaspoon oil and 2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 5 cloves garlic (chopped)
  • ½ of a red bell pepper (sliced thinly)
  • 1 small onion (thinly sliced)
  • 2 teaspoons soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon dark soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon oyster sauce
  • 1 tablespoon fish sauce
  • ½ teaspoon sugar
  • 1 cup thai basil leaves 
  • Coriander (to garnish)
  • 1 green chilli, thinly sliced 
  • Thumbnail sized piece of fresh ginger cut into matchstick strips

Heat your wok over high heat, add the oil and then brown the steak, remove and set aside.

Add the garlic, red pepper, ginger and chilli to the wok and stir-fry for about 30 seconds. Add the onions and stir-fry until browned.  Return the beef back to the wok and add the soy sauce, dark soy sauce, oyster sauce, fish sauce, and sugar. Stir-fry for another few seconds, and then fold in the Thai basil until it’s just wilted. Serve with jasmine rice, and garnish with coriander.

This is my version of Pad Gra Prow, yet again another quick and easy recipe, packed with flavour and it also packs a punch with the chilli, you can omit the chilli or reduce the amount used to suit your tastebuds.  Using this cut of steak is perfect as it is very tender, don’t over cook it though as that’s when it turns chewy.  A massive hit in our household and I can’t wait to make it again.

Saturday, 21 September 2019

Tom Yum Soup

Tom Yum Soup
  • 500g organic chicken pho broth
  • 6 lime leaves, bruised
  • 6 coriander stems, bruised
  • 3 tbsp fish sauce
  • 4 tbsp lime juice
  • 1 tsp galangal paste
  • 1 large green chilli, thinly sliced
  • 1 lemongrass stalk, bruised and cut into several pieces
  • 1 tomato, deseeded and cut into small cubes
  • 150g raw king prawns, deveined 
  • Small pinch of fresh coriander, to garnish
Place the chicken broth into a medium sized pan and bring to a slow boil.  Add the galangal, lime leaves, coriander stems and lemongrass, simmer for around 10 minutes, basically we want to infuse the flavours into the broth.  

Add the fish sauce, lime juice, chillies, tomato and prawns to the pan and simmer until the prawns turn pink, divide between two bowls and garnish with the coriander.

We are both lovers of Thai food but it’s not something I have really made before.  We have always had this dish when eating out and love the hot and sour flavour so I thought I would give it a go and boy am I glad I did.  This soup is so flavoursome and has a real kick, definitely something to have when you are getting a cold, it will clear it straight up!  Whilst I have used pho broth you can use a chicken stock cube if you are unable to find the broth, I got mine from Ocado.  In the recipe, when I refer to bruising, basically this means you use the flat of a large chopping knife and bang down, bruising the ingredient.

I can honestly say this was on a par, if not better, than a lot of similar soups we have had in restaurants, you can swap the seafood for chicken or tofu, this is my version, I hope you enjoy.

Monday, 26 August 2019

Pulled Jackfruit Taco

Pulled Jackfruit Taco

  • 565g tin of young green jackfruit, in water (drained and cut into bite size chunks)
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 red onion, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup of vegetable stock
  • 3 tbsp lime juice
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 3/4 tbsp oregano
  • 1/2 tbsp chilli powder 
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 6 small flour tortillas
  • 1/2 red pepper, cut into thin batons
  • 2 spring onions, finely sliced
  • 2 radishes, thinly sliced 
  • Several tsps sour cream
  • Small handful of finely chopped coriander
  • 1 tbsp chopped jalapeño peppers

Heat the oil in a shallow casserole dish, sauté the onions and garlic until softened, add the jackfruit and the vegetable stock, cover and simmer for 15 minutes until the jackfruit is tender.  Once soft enough, using a potato masher, mash the jackfruit, it should start breaking up.  Once mashed, reserve a couple of tablespoons of the stock, place the dish containing the jackfruit into a preheated oven (180 degrees fan assisted) and cook for 15 minutes.  

Whilst the jackfruit is in the oven, mix the oregano, chilli powder, lime juice, cumin and reserved vegetable stock in a bowl.  Once the jackfruit has baked for 15 minutes stir through the spice mix and cook for a further 10 minutes.  When baking in the oven you should get some nice crispy bits to the jackfruit which give the appearance of crispy pork!

Once done, divide the jackfruit between your tacos, top each with a few slices of spring onions, pepper and radish along with a sprinkle of jalapeño, corriander and a small dollop of sour cream and get stuck in!  

I have to say I was a bit doubtful but I can honestly say, this really was like eating pulled pork!  The jackfruit soaks up the flavours that it is cooked with, obviously you can spice up your taco seasoning mix or just add ready made bbq sauce, hot sauce or whatever sauce you want, the choice is yours!  Now this is a proper meat free Monday dish, enjoy.

Sunday, 18 August 2019

Chicken, broccoli and sweetcorn fritters

Chicken, broccoli and sweetcorn fritters
500g chicken breast (chopped into small bite sized pieces)
100g sweetcorn (drained)
Handful of cooked broccoli florets (chopped)
1/4 cup of plain flour
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 clove of garlic (minced)
Salt & Pepper
Vegetable oil
1 egg (beaten)

In a large bowl mix together the chicken, flour, Parmesan, garlic, broccoli, sweetcorn and the egg.  Season with a couple of pinches of salt and a good few grinds of freshly ground black pepper.

Add enough oil to a large frying pan (enough to coat the bottom of the pan) and heat over a medium flame.  Using a tablespoon, spoon the mixture into the pan, you should have enough to make 6 fritters, flatten the mixture down to make a patty, shape and fry for several minutes each side until crispy and cooked through, remove from the pan and place onto some kitchen roll to absorb any excess oil.  

I served these fritters with some peri peri fries and habanero mayonnaise but literally you can serve them with whatever you fancy, a good green salad would go equally well.  By the same token, you can mix the recipe up and add a variety of different veg.  By chopping the broccoli up it’s a great way to hide it from those kids who aren’t too keen on eating veg!  This recipe was so quick to put together, ideal when you are a bit short on time, hope you enjoy!

Tuesday, 13 August 2019

Black Bean Nachos

Black Bean Nachos
  • 1 pepper, diced
  • 1 red onion, finely chopped
  • 197g tin of sweetcorn, drained
  • 400g black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 400ml passata
  • Large handful of fresh coriander, leaves and stalks roughly chopped separately
  • 250ml vegetable stock
  • Bag of tortilla chips
  • Grated cheese
  • Chopped jalapeño peppers 
  • 1/2 tsp chilli powder
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 3/4 tsp oregano
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Heat the oil in a large flame-proof oven dish, add the onion and peppers and fry for 10 minutes until softened then add the garlic and fry for several minutes, stirring every so often.  Add the coriander stalks and spices, mix thoroughly and cook for a further minute or so then add the passata, seasoning, stock, sweetcorn and the black beans, stir and bring to a simmer.  Place the pan into a preheated oven (180 degrees) and bake for around 30 minutes, until the sauce is thickened.

To serve, place the tortilla chips onto two plates, top with 2 thirds of the cheese, add the beans, the remaining cheese and scatter over the jalapeño peppers, place the plates into the oven for several minutes until the cheese has melted.

This dish is perfect with sour cream, homemade guacamole and Pico de gallo.  This is a fantastic vegetarian dish and one that you can increase or decrease the heat as suits your tastebuds, you won’t be disappointed and you certainly won’t miss the fact there is no meat!  Yet again another simple yet really tasty meal, enjoy!

Tuesday, 30 July 2019

Sausage and home made baked bean casserole

  • 400g home made baked beans (view baked been recipe)
  • 8 pork sausages (each one cut into 4 slices)
  • 1 large onion, finely diced
  • 1 carrot, peeled and cut into small bite size pieces
  • 1 pint vegetable stock
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 tbsp English mustard
  • 3 tbsp chopped parsley
  • Pinch of salt
  • Few grinds of freshly ground black pepper

Heat the oil in a deep frying pan and cook the sausages until browned all over.  Add the carrots and onions and cook for a further 10 minutes until softened.  Add the stock, mustard, parsley, pepper and a pinch of salt, stir everything through and bring to the boil.  Add the homemade baked beans to the sausage mixture, stir, reduce the heat and simmer for 1 hour.  Once cooked through, divide the casserole between 4 bowls, sprinkle over some extra parsley and enjoy.

Whilst it is summer, on days like this, comfort food is called for!  You can use store bought baked beans however home made baked beans make this dish a bit more special.  Likewise use whichever sausages you prefer, there are a good variety of flavours out there so mix it up a bit, give some extra flavour to the dish.  I served this with some mashed potato and it went down a treat.

Monday, 8 July 2019

Crispy breaded chicken & sweetcorn salad with jalapeño and garlic ranch dressing

Crispy breaded chicken & sweetcorn salad with jalapeño and garlic ranch dressing

  • 1-2 Tbsp roughly chopped pickled jalapeno 
  • 1 medium garlic clove, minced
  • 2 Tbsp roughly chopped red onion
  • 1 Tbsp fresh lime juice
  • 355ml mayonnaise 
  • 237ml of buttermilk
  • 1118ml of sour cream
  • Small handful of coriander leaves
  • 1/2 tsp sugar
  • 2 sliced chicken breasts
  • Golden breadcrumbs
  • 1 beaten egg
  • Handful of plain flour
  • Vegetable oil
  • Salad leaves
  • Chopped cherry tomatoes
  • 1 ripe avocado sliced
  • Large handful of corn kernels 

In a food processor add the roughly chopped pickled jalapenos, garlic cloves, chopped onion and lime juice. Add the mayonnaise, buttermilk, sour cream, coriander,  garlic, and sugar, pour into a container and place into the fridge.

Place the breadcrumbs, beaten egg and flour into separate bowls.  Dip the sliced chicken into the egg then the flour and lastly the breadcrumbs until all pieces are well coated.

Pour enough vegetable oil into a large frying pan to cover the base by about half inch deep, heat and then add the coated chicken strips, cook for around 20 minutes or so until cooked through and crispy.  Remove from the pan and place onto some kitchen paper to soak up any excess oil.

Plate up your salad, top with the avocado, corn and tomatoes, add the chicken strips and drizzle over the ranch dressing.

This is an amazing salad, perfect for summer.  You can dry fry the sweetcorn to add some charred edges to it, also with the dressing you can increase the heat by adding some fresh chopped jalapeño pepper, adjust it however suits your tastes.  The dressing can be kept in the fridge for up to 5 days.