Thursday, 24 September 2015

Jeera Chicken


Jeera Chicken (Cumin spiced Chicken)

These are little nuggets of golden brown delicious, an Indian version of chicken nuggets. This recipe also taste great if made using chicken wings as an alternative but preferably the skinless version to ensure the actual meat gets coated with the spice mix. Chicken breast though is just easier to buy and prepare and these days life is all about making it as easy and fast as I possibly can.
This would taste great as a quick starter before a dinner party served with a side salad or as part of a main meal; we enjoyed it with couscous and raita. Hope you all find it delicious too!

Serves 4 as a starter or 2 as a main

 
Ingredients

15g Butter
1 Tbsp. Rapeseed Oil
1 ½ tbsp. Jeera (cumin seeds)
4 Garlic Clove finely chopped
1 inch Ginger finely grated
1 green Chilli finely sliced
3 Spring Onions finely chopped white and green parts separate
2 tsp Ground Cumin
1 tsp Garam Masala
¼ tsp turmeric
500g Chicken cubed
Salt and Pepper
1 Lemon freshly squeezed
Coriander finely chopped

Equipment

Deep Frying Pan (Wok Style)

Method

1.Heat butter and oil together in a pan
2.Add in cumin seeds until toasted (2-3 mins)




3.Add in garlic and fry until golden brown


4.Add in ginger, chilli and spring onions white parts continue to cook for 4-5 minutes


5.Add in ground spices, followed by chicken



6.Season and squeeze in lemon juice

7.Cook chicken for 15-20 minutes – ensure its cooked through

8.Top with chopped green parts of spring onion and coriander





Saturday, 19 September 2015

Fishermans Curry


Fish Curry

This is very similar to the Masala Chicken curry recipe I posted recently in the sense it is a staple comfort food curry that I turn to often when I need something quick, spicy and warming. Served on top of fluffy pea pilau (made from basamati rice or brown rice if your trying to be healthy) it provides you a big bowl of yumminess. 

The main difference in the base of this curry I think is the sliced onions rather than finely diced which provide a bit more bite to the dish and also the fresh tomatoes which lighten it up making the tomato gravy more delicate perfect for seafood. I used fillets of Hake in this but any firm white fish that has been skinned and boned would work fine.
Bubba really enjoys eating this too, trying to get him used to spicy food the same as we eat at home so we now give him the same and if it is too spicy just add a bit of yoghurt to his food.

Ingredients

 2 tbsp. Rapessed Oil
1 tsp Cumin Seeds
2 Garlic cloves finely chopped
2 Medium Onions finely sliced
1 inch Ginger finely sliced
1 green Chilli finely sliced
1 tbsp. Tomato Puree
4 Tomatoes finely sliced
1 tsp Salt
1 tsp Turmeric
2 tsp Ground Cumin
2 tsp Ground Coriander
240g Hake or any White firm fish
½ cup Water
Coriander


 Equipment

 Large Saucepan


 Method

 1.Heat oil in pan and add cumin seeds fry for a few minutes

2.Add in garlic and cook until light brown




3.Add in onions and cook until caramelized





4.Add in ginger and chillies cook for a further 2-3 minutes


5.Add in tomato puree and fresh tomatoes





6.Add in salt, turmeric, ground cumin and ground coriander


7.Cook for a further 10 minutes until oil begins to release from tomatoes around edge of pan


8.Add in fish fillets and water

9.Cover and cook for 10-15 minutes until fish is cooked through



10.Garnish with coriander and enjoy










Tuesday, 15 September 2015

Sweet Potato Fries



Sweet Potato Fries

I have tried to make healthy baked sweet potato fries so many times but they just never come out right, either they go to crunchy with nothing left in the middle or they are just soggy. So I pulled out the oil and decided to be naughty and make a fried version. This is probably only the second time I have ever fried anything so it is really not difficult if I can do anyone can. Also proves the only way to get delicious sweet potato fries that taste the same as our favourite steak house Miller and Carter is to deep fry them. Great for the taste, not so great for the waist. We enjoyed these fries with pulled pork burgers and a homemade carrot salad.

Serves 4

Ingredients

3 large Sweet Potatoes - sliced into even ½ inch chips
2 tbsp. Cornflour
2 tsp Garlic Salt
1 tsp freshly ground Black Pepper
Sea Salt flakes

Equipment

Saucepans x2

Method

1.Par boil sweet potatoes for around 5-7 minutes until it starts to soften





2.Combine cornflour, garlic salt and black pepper

3.Toss batches of sweet potatoes in this

4.Pre heat oil in a wide saucepan – I did not have a thermometer to test the temperature so just used a bit of potato to ensure it was sizzling hot when I added the fries

5.Fry sweet potatoes in small batches of around 15 fries or so at a time to avoid over-crowding and ensure the crispy outside for around 3-4 minutes

6.Drain on kitchen paper and top with sea salt ( apart from Bubbas)





Mac N Cheese



Mac N Cheese

Ultimate comfort food, Mac and Cheese is a big bowl of yum I think. Perfect on this cold rainy Tuesday. Delicious enjoyed on its own as an easy lunch and perfect food for Bubba who could eat the whole saucepan.
I know there are lots of variations and Mac and Cheese can be spiced up with bacon, tomatoes, chillies and different types of cheeses but this is a great base recipe below for you guys to add your own twist too. My favourite is topping it with parmesan, breadcrumbs and crispy bacon bits.

Ingredients

200g Macaroni
35g Butter
25g Plain Flour
450ml Whole Milk
50g Cheese
Salt and Pepper
Breadcrumbs and Parmesan

Equipment

Saucepan
Deep Baking Tray

Method

1.Heat a large pan of boiling water and cook macaroni pasta according to instructions

2.In another large saucepan melt the butter and whisk in the plain flour, I think whisking is key here rather than stirring to avoid lumps

3.Slowly the add the milk, continuously stirring and the cheese

4.Drain macaroni, add to the cheese sauce base until mixed together and season

5.Place in baking tray and top with breadcrumbs and parmesan for a crunchy topping



Sunday, 13 September 2015

Roasted Veg Cous Cous

Roasted Veg Cous Cous

This dish might seem a bit of an effort as you have to bake in addition to cooking on the stove but pre- roasting the veg definitely enhances the flavour. The slight charcoal taste you get makes all the veg sweeter and perfect balance to the spicy, tangy couscous so although it may seem like extra effort I think it is definitely worth it. Can be served hot or cold and is the perfect side dish to kebabs, chicken and fish.


Ingredients

1 Mini Courgette
12 Cherry Tomatoes
½ Orange Pepper
½ Yellow Pepper
½ Aubergine
1 Red Onion
1 tbsp. Olive Oil
Juice of half Lemon
Salt and Pepper

1 tsp Olive Oil
½ tsp Jeera Seeds
¼ tsp Jeera Powder
2 Garlic Cloves
3 Spring Onions
1 Green Chilli
1 cup of Couscous
1 low salt veg Stock Cube
2 cups of Warm Water
Coriander chopped
Lemon

190 fan – 30 minutes

Equipment

Baking Tray
Frying Pan

Method

1.Chop all veg in around 1 inch pieces and place on baking tray covering with the olive oil, lemon and seasoning and roast in pre heated oven at 200 Fan/220/Gas Mark 6 for 20 minutes until edges begin to colour






2.Whislt veg is cooking, prepare cous cous – heat oil in saucepan

3.Fry Jeera seeds, powder, garlic, spring onions and chilli for 2-3 minutes



4.Add couscous and toss in mixture

5.Add stock, place lid, lower heat and cook for 3-4 minutes until all water is absorbed







6.Add roasted veg and to serve top with chopped coriander and squeeze of lemon

7.It also tastes great with nuts added however as Bubba was eating it too I excluded them this time










Wednesday, 9 September 2015

Chocolate Malteaser Cake

Chocolate Maltesers Cake



Recently we had a family BBQ get together so I thought I would take along a malteaser Piñata cake. However a chocolate cake filled with chocolate covered balls does not really work as you cannot see the Maltesers when you cut into it, the principle would work great but next time I would change the chocolate choice to M&M’s.

On the topic of cakes, we have been very busy gearing up to cut a very special one over the last weekend as Bubba turned 1. I had lots of fun putting together his circus carnival themed party and it turned out to be a beautiful day with the sun shining. I did want to make the cake myself however just did not have the time or patience level to do it without getting really stressed so I had it made and it was delicious. We had a marble layer, chocolate layer and plain vanilla layer, Bubba really enjoyed it and finished a whole slice, I guess you only turn 1 once.

                                                        

I am also back to work this week so I have been busy in the kitchen cooking up freezable meals to have some back up dinners on those days when you just want quick, comfort food ; more on those recipes later this week.

Back to the Malteaser cake after that little update I think the key to making a rich chocolate cake is combining the cocoa powder and liquid chocolate for a more intense flavour. Remember use a colourful chocolate and it will not only look great but taste great too.

Equipment

Stand Mixer
2 9inch round tins
Greaseproof Paper
Scales

Ingredients



Cake
225g Stork
225g Caster Sugar
4 large Eggs
1 tsp Vanilla extract
200g Plain Flour
½ tsp Baking Powder
30g Cocoa
2 tbsp. Whole Milk
100g Dark Chocolate – melted

Frosting
30g Dark Chocolate Melted
40g Milk Chocolate Melted
100g unsalted Butter
200g Icing Sugar
1 tsp Vanilla extract
1 tsp Whole Milk
Box of Maltesers

Method

1. Cream together stork and caster sugar in a stand mixed for 7 minutes






2.Whisk eggs and vanilla extract and add slowly to stand mixer

3.Sift together Flour, baking powder and cocoa and fold into cake mixture



4.Add in milk and liquid chocolate to mix and place into prelined cake tins

5.Place into preheated oven - 160 fan, 180, Gas Mark 4 for 20 – 25 minutes until skewer comes out clean



6.Allow to cool

 



7.In stand mixed mix together all ingredients for frosting apart from Maltesers




8.Cut a hole into bottom layer but not going all the way through, frost edges and add maltesers/other sweets into centre




9.Place top layer on with further frosting and top with Maltesers

 10.Cut into, enjoy wow factor of Piñata cake and eat