My Shakshuka Recipe – Turkish Eggs

Shakshuka Ingredients

  • Tin of good quality plum tomatoes. Go for whole not chopped
  • 1 pepper chopped into chunks
  • 1/4 of a pack of feta
  • Bunch of parsley chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic grated
  • 1 red onion diced
  • 1 teaspoon cummin seeds
  • 1 teaspoon Paprika
  • 2 teaspoons tomato puree
  • 1 teaspoon mixed middle eastern spice (I got a meatball spice mix from my local world food market that I used or you can just stick with the cumin and paprika)
  • Sea salt
  • Black pepper
  • Dukka
  • 4 eggs
  • Sourdough bread
  • Real butter

Shakshuka recipe ingredients

Instructions

  1. Fry the onions in a bit of oil to brown for a few minutes.
  2. Add the peppers after a couple of minutes to the onions to give them a chance to brown as they don’t always brown with peppers due to the moisture they give off.
  3. When the onions are brown, add the garlic to the pan for a minute along with the tomato puree, cumin seeds, paprika and spice mix to cook out a little.
  4. Add the plum tomatoes to the pan and squash them in the pan. Mix everything to combine and cook on a lower heat for 5-10 minutes.
  5. Add half the fresh parsley and stir and then c.
  6. Make 4 wells in the mixture and crack an egg into each.
  7. rumble the feta evenly over the mixture
  8. Cover the pan with a lid so that the eggs cook on top or if you haven’t got a cover, cook for a few minutes then finish under the grill. Just make sure you leave the eggs a bit runny for dunking.
  9. Just before the eggs are done, whack 4 pieces of sourdough in the toaster.
  10. Take the eggs off the heat as they will still continue to cook in the mixture.
  11. Scatter remaining parsley over the mixture and a good measure of Dukka for extra crunch.
  12. Place the pan on a heat resistant matt on the table and either eat from the pan or divide between two bowls.

** Make sure you dunk that thick, toasted, butter drenched sourdough in the gooey eggs. **

Burger Theory Review at Kongs Cardiff

I was recently asked back to try out the burgers at Burger Theory at Kongs in Cardiff. I’d been a few times in the past and did a blog post after my second visit to the pop up kitchen on St Mary’s Street. I’m glad to say that things have improved quite a bit since then as it was still new on the scene and I did have a couple of issues on both my first two visits.

I decided to take my younger sister and her boyfriend to see how it faired against some of the other burger places a 16 year olds frequent in Cardiff these days and to get a younger persons perspective. I was offered a £35 voucher towards food so I paid extra for the rest of the food and drinks on the visit. Seeing as I wanted to compare against how they had progressed since the 18 months after they opened I thought I’d opt for the same burger I ordered on my first visit the Kimcheese featuring Beef patty, melted cheddar cheddar, kimchi, pulled beef rib with black pepper glaze, chipotle mayo (£11.95).

I was going to order the cola ham hock dirty fries I’d seen on the menu previously but they were a special and been replaed by the “You have goat to try these fries”, which were a Caribbean take on dirty fries, which consisted of Fries loaded with goat curry, melted cheese, lime and coriander aioli, pineapple and scotch bonnet sauce, coconut flakes.

My sister opted for the Cheese theory with Beef patty with crispy bacon, melted cheddar, house pickles, Dijonnaise, house ketchup (£8.75) and her boyfriend went for The Sherriff with Beef patty with crispy bacon, melted cheddar, onion rings, BBQ sauce (£9.25).

We fancied a chip fest so went for two standard fries (£2.95 each) and a side of halloumi chips (£6.50).

Soft drinks all round for the teens whilst I sipped on a pint of Tiny Rebel Cali till the food appeared out of the kitchen.

Kimcheese Burger at Burger Theory Cardiff

The Kimcheese burger had grown since my first visit and was an absolute whopper of a burger to be fair. I was close to doing a few tricep dips off the edge of the bun to allow my jaw to take it in for a bite. There was a lot of juice and I was glad I had my side of the table to myself so I didn’t drown the person next to me whilst I chomped away.

There was a decent amount of meat content with the patty, beef rib and combined with the other fillings it did taste really good. Again though there wasn’t much kimchi going on. I don’t think I had any of the advertised fermented Korean staple in my burger the first time I visited and I struggled to find much in it this time unless they had done a batch of their own quick pickled kimchi but there was none of the expected pungent condiment in my burger this time either. Apart from that I was pretty happy with the burger.

There was a bit of a mix up with the fries but probably due to me using the voucher to pay at the start for  part of the meal as the server wasn’t sure what to do with it. I ordered one portion of the goat curry dirty fries and two portions of the standard ones but two goat ones came out. They immediately gave us a serving of the standard and let us keep the other goat curry but wasn’t sure if I’d been charged for the two goat curries. I’d had £35 towards the food, which came to around £55 in the end so I wasn’t bothered too much about going back and checking with them or causing a fuss.

goat curry dirty fries at Burger Theory

The goat fries were amazing though and a great addition to the menu instead of the usual pulled pork or chilli beef you tend to find at most burger houses when opting for some dirty fries. They were a slow burner mind as the first couple of bites I thought oh, they aren’t too bad but a minute or two later I could of done with someone fanning me with a palm leaf whilst squirting my mouth with a super soaker 2000 filled with milk.

Not that I was complaining, I was expecting it to be hot spice wise but for me the meat could have been a tad warmer. They were pretty epic though.

halloumi fries at Burger Theory Cardiff

My sister has an obsession for halloumi fries and was very impressed with Burger Theory’s take on the deep fried slabs of cheese and so was I. Portion size was generous and they looked exactly like chips, I thought they had brought out two different thickness of potato kind at first until I bit into one.

She also smashed the Cheese Theory burger and gave it a massive thumbs up along with her partner who said it was the best burger he’s ever had. He attempted a stab at the goat dirty fries and like me thought they were fine at first but when the heat kicked in he bailed. They both enjoyed the standard fries, although they didn’t quite manage to finish them off. Not from lack of trying I might add, they were just stuffed from the burger and other bits and bobs.

The Verdict

I was a lot happier with my food compared to my first and second visit. The Kimcheese burger was still lacking on the Kimchi front though as I’ve always got a tub to hand in the fridge at home I was looking forward to a healthy portion in my burger.

The goat curry fries were a really nice change and if you like your spicy food, keep with them as they seem quite tame at first but they don’t take long to catch up with you when you’re least expecting.

I’ve heard rumours that Burger Theory will be opening up as a standalone restaurant in Cardiff in the near future so keep your eyes peeled on socials. I’m hoping they carry the bottomless burger brunch they do at the standalone Bristol venue to Cardiff too as that will be unreal.

If you’ve not been to Burger Theory before, it’s located at Kong’s Bar on St Mary Street, which is a basement bar next to Turtle Bay.

Nikka Coffey Japanese Gin and Miso Mackerel Recipe

Miso and Japanese Gin mackerel ingredients

  • 2 fillets of fresh mackerel
  • 2 teaspoons miso paste (I used white organic miso from M & S)
  • Juice of 1/2 a charred lime
  • Small bunch of corriander chopped finely
  • 1 small chunk of ginger grated
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 chilli chopped finely
  • 6 teaspoons of Nikka Coffey Japanese Gin (Or sub for another Japanese Yuzu Gin)
  • 3 teaspoons mirin
  • 3 teaspoons rice wine vinegar

Asian salad ingredients

  • 1 carrot julienned
  • 1 carrot sized daikon julienned
  • 1 handfull beansprouts
  • 2 inch thick cucumber cut into batons
  • 1 spring onion sliced thinly
  • 1 teaspoon black sesame seeds

gin and miso mackerel ingredients

Instructions

  1. Put a frying pan on medium to high heat.
  2. Slice a lime in half and put one half, flesh side down in the dry pan for a couple of minutes to char.
  3. Slice the spring onion and peel and julienne the daikon. Add both to a bowl of cold water to get some of the harshness out for a few minutes.
  4. In a bowl, add the miso paste, juice of the charred lime, chopped corriander, grated ginger, garlic powder, chopped chilli, Nikka Coffe Gin, mirin and rice wine vinegar and give it a stir. Put to the side for dressing the dish later on.
  5. Take the daikon and spring onion out of the water and pat dry. Peel then julienne the carrot. Add to a bowl or plate with the washed beansprouts, daikon, half of the spring onions and give a little toss to combine.
  6. Add a little oil to the pan and cook the mackgrel skin side down first. I used a griddle pan and the skin stuck to the pan after a minute but was cooked through so i pulled it off the fish and put to one side to add as a topping later on.
  7. Turn the fish after a couple of minutes. They don’t need too long as they can be quite thin.
  8. When the fish is cooked through, remove from the pan and place on top of the asian salad.
  9. If you removed the fish skin, chop it into little shards.
  10. Drizzle the miso dressing on top of the fish and top with sesame seeds, the rest of the spring onions and the crispy little shards of fish skin.

Korean Air Fried Chicken and Asian Slaw

Asian Slaw Ingredients

  • ¼ red cabbage sliced thinly
  • 2 red onions sliced thinly
  • ¼ daikon julienned
  • 1 carrot julienned
  • ¼ cucumber cut into thin ribbons
  • Juice of 2 limes

I didn’t measure these but played around with little bits at a time till I was happy:

  • Drizzle of rice wine vinegar
  • Drizzle of rice wine / mirin
  • Drizzle of light soy sauce
  • Drizzle of dark soy (go easy on this as it can be really salty)
  • Drizzle toasted sesame oil

Top with:

  • Sesame seeds
  • Gochugarw flakes
  • Thinly sliced spring onion
  • Drizzle of honey
  • Chopped fresh coriander

Instructions

Sliced all the veg and add to a bowl. Add the seasoning and mix. Leave for at least 30 minutes and give one final mix before serving. Top with the sesame, gochugarw, spring onion, honey and coriander to serve.

Korean Air Fried Chicken Ingredients

The following are rough estimates as I didn’t measure

  • 3 teaspoons gochujang paste
  • 2 tablespoons light soy sauce
  • 2 cloves garlic grated finely
  • 1 thumb sized piece of ginger grated finely
  • 2 teaspoons mushroom ketchup
  • 1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
  • 1 teaspoon gochugarw red pepper flakes
  • Juice of half a lime
  • 2 teaspoons rice wine vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons mirin / rice vinegar

Instructions

Add everything to a bowl and mix to combine. Cook the chicken wings or legs in the oven until nearly done and coat them with the marinade for the last 5 minutes and put under the grill till cooked through and sticky.

I had this served with a pitta but would also work nicely in a freshly steamed bao or some griddled tacos.

Baharat and apricot lamb meatballs recipe – a guilt free kebab

Baharat and apricot lamb meatballs ingredients

  • 500g lamb mince
  • 3 teaspoons Baharat spice mix
  • 3 cloves garlic finely grated
  • 1 large shallot finely chopped
  • 50g dried apricot chopped into small chunks

Instructions

  1. I prefer to have my onions and or shallots browned before adding to burgers or meatballs to add a slight sweetness and take the harshness out of them.
  2. Chop the shallot and add to a hot pan with some oil to brown for a few minutes. Add the grated garlic to the onions and cook for a further minute mixing into the onions.
  3. Take off the pan and add to a bowl with the lamb mince.
  4. Add the Baharat spice mix and the chopped apricots to the bowl of mince then use your hands to mix the ingredients to make sure everything is equally combined.
  5. I prefer little meatballs that cook quicker rather than big meatballs that take ages to cook and end up being too dry so tear little chunks of the mix and roll into small meatballs. I made around 20 meatballs with mine so aim for around the same.
  6. I sometimes fry meatballs but it means you have to keep turning them so they don’t burn. I cook most of my meat in an airfryer these days as it cooks through nicely, is a lot quicker than the oven and they still have a nice crisp to them.
  7. Mine took around 10-15 minutes in the air fryer on around 190C.

Baharat and apricot lamb meatballs recipe

To enjoy as a guilt free kebab

  1. Shred some red cabbage
  2. Julienne 1 carrot
  3. Chop 4 spring onions
  4. Slice 2 large tomatoes
  5. Add to a bowl and squeeze a whole lemon over the mixture, season with salt and pepper.
  6. Make a quick mint yogurt mixing a couple of spoons of greek or natural yogurt with two teaspoons mint sauce, salt and pepper.
  7. Add some of the salad mix, a couple of meatballs to a toasted pitta and spoon some of the mint yogurt and if you’re feeling a bit of heat a few drops of your favourite chilli sauce and or a smudge of hummous.

Italian sausage pasta recipe

Italian sausage pasta ingredients

  • 4 Italian sausages, skin removed and rolled into little meatballs (I got mine from Cardiff Indoor Market)
  • 3 cloves of garlic grated finely
  • 8 field mushrooms or 1 large cut finely
  • 1 large shallot cut finely
  • 8 leaves Cavolo Nero
  • ½ tub of Ricotta cheese
  • Enough spaghetti for 2 (I’ll leave that baffling science to you)
  • Grated Parmesan for seasoning at the end
  • Sea salt and cracked black pepper to taste
  • White Truffle oil

Instructions

  1. Put a pan of salted water on to boil for the spaghetti.
  2. Cut the sausages and squeeze out the mixture from the skin and roll into little meatballs
  3. Chop the shallot and mushrooms finely.
  4. Grate the garlic
  5. Cut either side of the stalks of the Cavolo Nero just leaving the leaves then slice into small strips
  6. Add the Spagetti to the water and cook to packet instructions usually around 8 minutes depending on brand and whether you use fresh. Cook for a minute less to leave a bit of bit to the pasta. I used a hollow spaghetti, which was thicker than normal spaghetti.
  7. Add the mini Italian sausage meatballs to the pan with some olive oil to brown. After 4-5 minutes on medium to high heat, add the shallots and mushrooms and add a little butter or oil to the pan so they don’t stick.
  8. Cook for a further 2 minutes then add the Cavolo Nero to the pan whilst mixing to combine. Add the garlic to the pan stir it into the other ingredients making sure it doesn’t burn. Make sure the meatballs have cooked through but the Italian sausage does sometimes have a slight pink hue compared to your British banger. Just make sure it’s boiling in the middle.
  9. Reserve some of the starchy pasta cooking water then drain the pasta.
  10. Add the spaghetti to the pan and toss a little with the rest of the pan. Add the Ricotta cheese and a little of the pasta water to thin the cheese and help it coat the pasta. Keep tossing the mixture and stirring to make sure everything has a nice even coating of Ricotta but add a little more water if needed.
  11. Divide into two bowls. Grate some fresh Parmesan on top, a sprinkle of salt and black pepper to taste and if you like a little drizzle of white truffle oil. I got my little bottle hand sized bottle from M & S.

Tuck in!

Mac n Cheese Recipe

Mac n cheese ingredients

  • 400g elbow or macaroni pasta
  • 250g of mixed cheese (I used up leftovers from 5 different cheeses from xmas including smoked, brie, mature cheddar and parmesan)
  • 1 leek thinly sliced
  • 100g good quality bacon
  • 1 teaspoon mustard powder or 2 teaspoons of ready mixed English or wholegrain depending on taste
  • 750ml whole milk
  • 2 cloves garlic smashed
  • Plain Flour
  • Real butter
  • Salt and black pepper to taste

Optional

Panko Breadcrumbs to give extra crunch in the oven.

Instructions

  1. Add the pasta to boiling salted water and cook for a minute or two less than the packet says. Drain and add a few nobs of butter to the pan of drained pasta to coat it and stop it absorbing too much of the cheese sauce and becoming bloated later on.
  2. Chop the bacon into chunks and cook in the oven for around 10 minutes to brown slightly along with the sliced leeks then remove to cool.
  3. Make a roux by adding a couple of nobs of butter to a warm pan with a about 2 tablespoons of flour and stir to mix. Cook for around a minute and start adding the milk gradually a bit at a time for it to thicken. Keep on a medium heat to warm the milk and for the roux to thicken for a few minutes.
  4. The mixture will go from light to really start thickening very fast so take it off the heat when it starts to thicken and keep stirring. Add the mustard and cheese to the mixture and keep stirring to combine. I added a teaspoon of mild chilli powder at this point too along with some salt and pepper.
  5. Taste the mixture and play around adding a bit more milk if it’s too thick, more cheese if not cheesy enough, or whatever else you want to give it a kick.
  6. Add the cooled pasta to the cheese sauce mix and stir to make sure it’s evenly coated. Empty into a casserole dish, level out and sprinkle with more cheese. Scatter bacon and spring onion and the breadcrumbs if using these.
  7. Either bake straight away in the oven on around 180C for around 20 mins or refrigerate and use later or the day after.

Healthy Pizza Recipe

Spicy tomato sauce

  • 1 tin plum tomatoes
  • 1/2 small red onion diced
  • 1 clove garlic finely grated
  • 1 medium chilli finely grated
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • Couple of stalks of fresh thyme (or dried if you haven’t got any fresh)
  • 1/4 jarred roasted pepper
  • Balsamic vinegar
  • salt and pepper to taste

passata recipe

Pizza ingredients

This is totally up to you depending on whether you’re going out to buy or just want to use up what you have in the fridge but here is what I used as toppings on mine.

  • Your choice of flatbread or wrap. I used 7 seeded
  • 1 Courgette cut into ribbons
  • 100g salami
  • 8 mushrooms sliced
  • 200g chopped cooked beef leftover from a Sunday Roast
  • 3/4 jarred roasted pepper
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1/2 a small red onion sliced

Cheese

I finely grated parmesan on top but you could use standard cheddar or mozerella if you aren’t cutting calories.

You can also use dollops of cream cheese or ricotta as an alternative too

Instructions

  1. Fry 1/2 diced red onion in a few squirts of fry light for a minute or two on medium to high so they start to go transluscent but we don’t want to brown. Add the finely grated garlic and however much of the chilli you want depending how hot you want it for a minute and stiring into the onions. You could also skip on the seeds to make it a bit milder too.
  2. You can either pour the plum tomato into your hands and crush into the pan or give them a bash with a wooden spoon in the pan to break them up a bit. Slice the roasted pepper and add to the pan of onions, garlic, chilli and tomatoes.
  3. Turn down the heat a bit to low to medium. Add the dried oregano and tear the small leaves off the thyme stalks or use dried if you have that to hand and give a stir.
  4. Drizzle a little balsamic vinegar and season with sea salt and fresh cracked black pepper.
  5. Leave on a low heat for around 20 minutes, stiring occasionally so it doesn’t burn or stick to the pan.
  6. I cut ribbons of courgette with a potato peeler then added to a bowl with the chopped beef, drizzled with olive oil and grated a clove of garlic finely, added salt and pepper and mixed to combine but this is optional.
  7. Get a round flat pan such as a baking stone or pizza stone. If using a metal pan warm on the hob for a minute or two then spray with fry light so it doesn’t stick.
  8. Turn the grill up to high to warm.
  9. Place one wrap or flat bread onto the pan or pizza stone. Take a couple of spoons of the tomato and spread to make sure it goes to the ends but don’t put too much as the bread will get too soggy and break.
  10. Assembly with a mixture of your toppings, again not making it too overcrowded as they won’t cook or get soggy.
  11. Top with your preferred cheese and put the grill as close as possible for around 5 minutes making sure the wrap doesn’t burn and whatever toppings you have are cooked enough.
  12. Remove from the grill, slide onto a plate, leave to cool for a minute or two and i ate by folding in half and eating like a folded crispy taco.

Pork and Turkey Meatballs Thai Red Curry Recipe

Thai Pork and Turkey Meatballs Ingredients

  • 250g turkey mince
  • 250g pork mince
  • 2 teaspoons curry powder (I used a Malaysian Curry mix)
  • 1 teaspoon ground lemongrass
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 thai chilli grated or chopped finely
  • 1 small shallot grated or chopped finely
  • 1 thumb size piece of ginger grated finely
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 bunch fresh coriander chopped finely

Optional

  • You can add a little almond flour or ground almonds to the mix to help bind or give extra nuttiness and protein.

thai turkey meatball ingredients

thai turkey meatballs

Instructions

  1. Drop everything into a large bowl and mix with your hands to combine fully. Tear small chunks of the seasoned meat and make little balls. I made them smaller than I normally would make with normal beef meatballs as the turkey is quite lean and tends to dry out if overcooked so this meant they cooked quicker.
  2. You can either fry in a pan or I cooked for around 12-15 minutes in an airfryer on 180C. You want a bit of browning but it’s ok if they aren’t cooked through fully as I added the meatballs to the pan for a few minutes at the end to add the juices to the sauce and for the meatballs to absorb some of the sauce.

Red Thai Curry Ingredients

  1. 1 large shallot sliced thinly
  2. 3 garlic cloves grated finely
  3. 1 thumb size piece of ginger grated finely
  4. Fish Sauce
  5. 1 Tin of coconut milk or if going healthy sub for Yogurt or mixture of fat free yogurt and 100ml vegetable stock
  6. Bag fresh beansprouts
  7. 1 carrot julienned or ribbons
  8. 100g green beans
  9. 1 red pepper sliced thinly
  10. Thai red curry paste. I used two shots of M & S Thai Red Curry Paste
  11. Bunch fresh coriander
  12. Juice of 1 lime

Optional

  • Extra chilli if you like it hotter
  • Peanuts
  • Bamboo shoots

thai red curry recipe

Instruction

  1. Add the sliced shallots to a hot pan and use either coconut oil or frylight so it doesn’t burn. Cook for a few minutes till the onion goes translucent.
  2. Add the grated garlic and ginger and cook for another minute. Add the thai curry paste and stir and cook out for 30 seconds making sure not to burn.
  3. The you can add either the coconut milk, yogurt and or stock depending on whether you are counting calories and stir to combine.
  4. Add the beans, beansprouts and peppers and carrots to the pan of curry. I like to have my veg crunchy in a curry but if you prefer to cook them a little first in a pan, remove from pan then do the onions, garlic, ginger and return after the paste that’s up to you.
  5. Add a teaspoon of palm sugar, lime juice and a good shake of the fish sauce to season. You could sub for honey or brown sugar if you don’t have palm sugar.
  6. Cook away for 5-10 minutes on medium heat to cook the veg to desired crunch or mush depending on preference.
  7. Add the cooked or nearly cooked meatballs to the pan of sauce and vegetables a few minutes from the end so they are coated and absorb some of the sauce.
  8. Garnish with a handful of chopped fresh coriander.
  9. Serve with a bowl of noodles of choice or rice. I opted for wholegrain rice as I’m trying to be a bit healthier these days. Sprinkle with a little more coriander, maybe thinly sliced chilli if you’re feeling brave, a wedge of lime and maybe some peanuts if you like too.

This made about 30 little meatballs and was enough for 4 meals.

Korean Beef Short Rib and Asian Slaw

Korean Beef Short Rib Ingredients

  • 2 ribs of beef
  • 4 cloves of garlic squashed with palm of the hand
  • 1 thumb sized piece of ginger sliced
  • 4 spring onions chopped
  • 1 chinese pear pureed or grated

These measurements below were rough and didn’t use any measuring devices

  • 60ml light soy sauce
  • 30ml water
  • 30ml rice wine / mirin
  • Drizzle sesame oil
  • 2 teaspoons gochujang sauce
  • 1 teaspoon gochugarw red pepper flakes

Asian Slaw Ingredients

1 medium kolrabi, peeled and julienned
¼ cucumber cut into battons
2 carrots julienned
4 leaves of Chinese lettuce washed and sliced
2 spring onions sliced thinly
Bunch fresh coriander
1 lime
light soy sauce
toasted sesame oil

Instructions

  1. Add all the ingredients for the beef ribs marinade apart from the ribs in a casserole dish and mix.
  2. I browned the ribs on all sides in a hot pan to sear, then added to the casserole dish of marinade. Turn around or pour over the mixture so it’s coated.
  3. Either put the casserole lid on or wrap in foil to steam as it’s cooking. I cooked my two ribs on 150C for around 2 hours.
  4. Meanwhile make the Asian slaw by chopping and julienning the veg and adding to a large bowl. Squeeze the juice of one lime, a glug of soy sauce and a drizzle of toasted sesame oil in a little jar. Stir and pour over the salad.
  5. I took out, turned the ribs over and cooked for an additional 30 minutes on 220C with the foil back on till it was soft and tender.
  6. Remove the ribs from the oven and let cool for 10 minutes.
  7. Take a pile of the slaw and place on a plate. Top with the rib of beef and spoon over a bit of the resting juices in the dish.
  8. Scatter with thinly sliced chilli, chopped fresh coriander and a sprinkle of sesame seeds.