Saturday, 21 December 2019

Chilli Chicken

Chilli Chicken
  • 4 chicken breasts cut into bite sized chunks
  • Oil for frying
  • 2 tbsp corn flour
  • 1 tbsp plain flour
  • ½ tsp chilli powder 
  • ½ tsp ground black pepper powder
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 tbsp vinegar
  • 3 tbsp water
For the sauce
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 4 spring onions finely chopped (keep green ends for garnish)
  • 2 green chilli cut in three 
  • 5 garlic cloves finely chopped
  • ½" ginger finely chopped
  • 2 green pepper diced
  • 1 red onion diced
  • 1 tbsp chilli garlic sauce
  • 3 tbsp Kecap manis
  • 50ml water
  • 1 tsp corn flour mixed with 3 tsp of water
  • Pinch of salt
Heat the oil in a deep wide sauce pan or a wok, approx 1cm deep.  In a mixing bowl add the corn flour, plain flour, chilli powder, black pepper and salt. Add the vinegar and water; mix to make a thick batter. Add the chicken pieces to it and mix well coating all the pieces with the batter.

Fry the chicken in the hot oil in batches for 1-2 minutes until lightly coloured all over. Drain the chicken on kitchen paper and set aside.

To make the sauce; refresh the oil in your pan/wok and heat on a medium heat.  Add the white part of the spring onions and fry for a few seconds followed by the green chilli, chopped garlic and chopped ginger. Fry for 10 seconds and add the green peppers along with the red onions. Sauté for 1-2 minutes until softened.

Add the chilli garlic sauce and the Kercap manis and stir well. Add the water and bring to a boil and simmer for a 1 minute on a low heat. Add the corn flour water mix, season to taste and simmer for a further 2 minutes as it begins to thicken. Turn the heat off and cool the sauce slightly.

When you’re ready to serve add the fried chicken pieces to the gravy, stirring well making sure to coat all the pieces with the sauce evenly. Simmer the sauce on a low heat for a minute. Serve with fried rice and garnish with the green part of the chopped spring onions.

Another tasty takeaway dish that you can make in the comfort of your own home.  This recipe feeds 4 and I can guarantee it will be a hit with you and your friends.  As usual, you can adjust the chilli powder and amount of chillies to suit your taste.

Sunday, 8 December 2019

Strawberry Cero

Strawberry Cero Cocktail

  • 1 measure of non alcoholic botanical spirit 
  • 25ml rose syrup
  • 200ml hibiscus tonic
  • Strawberry
  • Mint sprigs
  • Black peppercorns
  • Ice

Add the non alcoholic spirit to a cocktail shaker along with the syrup and a handful of ice.  Shake well and pour the drink (excluding the ice) into a suitable glass, garnish with a strawberry and the mint, add a few peppercorns to the glass and enjoy!

As party season is upon us, if you are the designated driver you can feel like you are missing out or indeed for those who don’t drink, the same old fruit juices and fizzy drinks get a bit samey, then this mocktail is for you.

I came across a brand of non alcoholic spirits but at over £20.00 a bottle I know people would begrudge paying that, why would you when you can buy alcohol for less!  I then stumbled across this particular brand at a leading budget supermarket for half the price!  With promises of juniper, coriander, hibiscus and lingonberry, it sounded like a good gin, but minus the alcohol.

I have to say, this tasted amazing and hard to tell there was no alcohol, the peppercorns gave a little spicy hit to the drink which was light, fruity and refreshing.  You will love this if you are a gin fan, it certainly is like a gin cocktail but without any alcohol whatsoever, go on, give it a try.  This will also be perfect with dry January just around the corner!

Sunday, 17 November 2019

Chicken Gyros

Chicken Gyros
  • 2 chicken breasts
  • 3 large cloves of garlic
  • 1 large tbsp dried oregano
  • 8 tbsp Greek yoghurt
  • 1 tbsp white wine vinegar
  • 4 tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 large cucumber
  • 2 tomatoes
  • 1/2 red onion, finely chopped
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 flat breads

In a large bowl, add 3 tbsp of yoghurt, 2 cloves of minced garlic, 1 tbsp white wine vinegar, 1 tbsp olive oil, 3 tbsp lemon juice, oregano and a good pinch of salt and pepper, mix thoroughly, add the chicken breasts and coat with the marinade then place into the fridge for 2 hours.

Whilst the chicken is marinading we will make the tzatziki and salad to go with the gyros.  Using a box grater, grate half of the cucumber and place into a bowl along with 5 tbsp of yogurt.  Add 1 tbsp olive oil, lemon juice, 1 clove of minced garlic and a good pinch of salt and pepper, mix thoroughly and place into the fridge.

To make the salad, cut the remainder of the cucumber into bite sized chunks and place into a bowl, deseed the tomatoes and cut into small pieces, add these to the bowl along with the chopped onion mix together then place into the fridge.

Once the chicken has marinaded, turn your grill onto high, place the chicken breasts onto a tray (I would recommend placing tin foil onto the tray) and cook for around 20-30 minutes, turning once, until the chicken is cooked through.  Cooking time will vary depending on the thickness of your chicken.  Alternatively you can cook the chicken on a griddle pan.

Now the chicken has cooked, place onto a chopping board and leave to rest for 5 minutes.  Heat your flatbreads in the oven for a couple of minutes.  Slice your chicken into chunks and place onto the flatbread with a good portion of the tzatziki and salad.

This dish is so fresh and tasty, trust me, you won’t be disappointed!  Next time I’m going to try this with some halloumi which will go just as well as the chicken.  Hope you enjoy.

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!