Spatchcock Harissa Chicken Kebabs

Ingredients

  • 1 whole chicken around 1.8kg
  • 3 cloves of garlic finely grated
  • 1 shallot finely grated
  • juice and grated zest of 1/2 a lemon
  • 3 dessert spoons greek yogurt
  • 2 teaspoons harrisa paste
  • Salt and pepper
  • Drizzle of olive oil

homemade harissa marinade

marinaded harissa chicken

Instructions

  1. To Spatchcock the chicken, turn the chicken over so the breast is facing down. Either take a sharp scissors or knife and cut down either side of the breast bone, remove and discard.
  2. Turn the chicken back over so the breast is facing up and the and the cut side underneath. Open up the carcas so that it spreads out on a flat clean surface or roasting tin and press down in the centre of the breasts until you hear it click and lays flat on the surface. Spatchcocking is great for reducing the cooking time down as the internal core temperature inside the bird doesn’t take as long as it’s one flat piece of meat now.
  3. Use a fine grater like the one used for Parmesan to grate the garlic and shallot very fine. Place all the other ingredients into a bowl and stir. I don’t tend to weigh or measure the ingredients so you can play around with exact quantities to your taste putting in more or less harrisa depending on how spicy you want it.
  4. Make some incisions in the chicken all over to allow the marinade to penetrate and work it’s magic. Pour the marinade over the chicken and massage it in making sure to work it into all the incisions for ultimate flavour.
  5. Leave to marinade for at least 30 minutes or longer in the fridge if you have time.
  6. Once the marinade has had chance to absorb and leave it’s mark on the chicken, place the chicken in the roasting tin in the oven and cook for around an hour depending on weight on around 180-190C. Check the colour of the skin before that time to make sure it isn’t burning and amend the temperature and time accordingly so that it doesn’t blacken too much but cooked through.
  7. The juices should run clear on the thickest part of the thigh. Leave it to rest for a few minutes to save your little pinkies when carving or just yanking the spicy, slightly chared legs off.

filled harissa chicken and tzatziki pitta

Serve with

I served mine with with griddled or toasted mediterranean style pittas from M & S, halloumi, hummus, tzatziki, salad and a sprinkle of summac. Not that I have to say but would go great with a crisp white wine.

Chipotle Corned Beef Hash with Crispy Parmesan Potatoes Recipe

Chipotle Corned Beef Hash

Ingredients

  • 1 tin corned beef cut into chunks
  • 1 red onion sliced (or I used a small red and half a white onion)
  • 2 cloves of garlic grated
  • 1 birds eye chilli
  • Worcestershire sauce
  • Tin of good quality Italian plum tomatoes
  • Chipotle hot sauce
  • Mustard
  • Salt and pepper to taste

chipotle corned beef hash

Parmesan roasted potato cubes

Ingredients

  • 2 large potatoes chopped into chunks ( I left the skin on)
  • Olive oil
  • Salt and pepper
  • Parmigiano Reggiano or Parmesan if that’s all you have

roast parmesan potatoes

Instructions

  1. Add the cubed potatoes to a pan of salted water and bring to a boil. Cook for around 10-15 minutes to soften but not break up. Drain in a colander and shake to bash them about and fluff up a bit so they go crispy in the oven.
  2. Mix the potatoes with a bit of oil, salt and pepper and add to the oven to crisp for around 20 minutes to finish around the same time as the hash.Add the sliced onions to a hot pan with some olive oil to brown between 5-10 minutes. I added a bit of salt and a sprinkle of sugar for the last few minutes to help caramelise the onions.
  3. Add the grated garlic and chilli to the onions and maybe a splash more oil if itís been absorbed by the onions so it doesnít burn and cook for about a minute.
  4. Add the cubed corned beef and mix to combine. Cook for a couple of minutes to warm up the corned beef then add the tinned tomatoes to the pan.
  5. Mash the tomatoes with a spoon or fork so there are no large chunks left.
  6. Give a good glug of Worcestershire sauce, a spoonful of mustard and a couple of dashes of chipotle hot sauce. Season with some pepper but you can skip the salt as there is plenty in the corned beef.
  7. I added a bay leaf to the mix and cooked on a medium for about 10-15 minutes.
  8. Check the potatoes and if they are crisping up nicely and nearly done, grate a good helping of Parmigiano Reggiano on top but not too much and return to the oven for 5 minutes to crisp up some more.
  9. Taste the hash and if it needs a bit more pepper or spice add pepper, Worcestershire sauce or chipotle sauce to your liking.
  10. Spoon the crispy potatoes between two bowls but make a well or put to the side and then add the corned beef hash in the middle of the well or on the other half of the bowl not to make the crispy potatoes soggy.

Moroccan Sausage and Potato Salad

Although it is spiced with Middle Eastern spices this wouldn’t be a typical Middle Eastern dish due to the use of pork that is widely forbidden for consumption due to religious reasons but I found the flavours work well myself.

This makes an easy lunch for work or would work really well as a side dish for BBQ for a healthy alternative to potato salad smothered in mayo. 

Ingredients

  • 1 pack of Heck 97% pork sausages
  • 1 tin of chickpeas
  • 4 medium sized potatos peeled and cubed
  • 1 packet of feta cheese cubed
  • 1 red onion diced
  • 1 chilli diced
  • 8 cherry tomatoes quartered
  • 1 large clove garlic
  • 1 lemon
  • za’atar seasoning
  • olive oil

Instructions

  1. Grate the garlic and add the juice of a lemon to a small jar. This will cook the garlic slightly and make it a bit more mellow compared to its raw state.
  2. Cook the potatoes in a pan of boiling water till done (You could also use leftover potatoes that have cooled down)
  3. Cook the sausages according to instructions and let cool.
  4. Cook the Chickpeas and let cool.
  5. When the cooked ingredients have cooled add them to a large bowl and add the garlic and lemon, red onion, chilli, tomatoes and feta then mix to combine.
  6. Add a good glug of extra virgin olive oil and mix again.
  7. Add a teaspoon of Za’atar seasoning and season with extra bit of salt and pepper to taste then give it one last mix to combine the seasoning with the rest of the dish.
  8. Add more Za’tar if the ingredients are not covered enough and even an extra sprinkle of sumac if you have any. I got both from Tesco from their own brand.
  9. Put in the fridge to chil and bring all the flavours together for a few hours or overnight for the following day.

Asian Slaw recipe for beef bulgogi lettuce wraps

Asian Slaw Recipe
Ingredients

1/2 red cabbage sliced

1 red onion

3 spring onions

8 radishes sliced into rounds

2 medium carrots julienned

1 bag of beansprouts


Dressing

juice and rind of 1 lime

3 dessert spoons light soy (because who actually has a table spoon in the kitchen?)

3 dessert spoons fish sauce

3 dessert spoons rice wine vinegar

3 dessert spoons toasted sesame oil

2 dessert spoons honey

1 dessert spoon sesame seeds

2 cloves of minced or finely grated garlic

1 inch thick piece of grated ginger

1 small bunch of corriander chopped finely

leaves of around 6 stalks of mint finely chopped

Instructions

Prepart the dressing by adding everything to same bowl.

Due to recent food bacteria scares related to beansprouts I added the bag to a steamer for a few minutes to kill the bacteria but still leave crunchy. After a few minutes in the steamer I rinsed under cold water to stop the cooking process and still leave a little crunch.

In a seperate large bowl add the vegetables for the slaw one by one after slicing.

Pour the dressing over the veggies and mix to combine. Leave to infuse for an hour or two in the fridge.

I served this with BBQ’d bulgogi beef lettuce wraps, pickled cucumber, pickled daikon and kimchi for my birthday BBQ last week. It still tasted great for lunch with the leftovers the day after down the beach with a nice cold can on fruity Brewdog Elvis Juice.

Thai Turkey and Bacon Meatball with Peanut Butter Sriracha Noodle Recipe

Thai Turkey and Bacon Meatball Recipe

  • 100g thai bacon chopped into small chunks (or standard bacon if you don’t *sign up to Cure and Simple, which you should by the way)
  • 500g minced turkey
  • 4 spring onions chopped finely
  • 2 cloves of garlic grated
  • 1″ squared chunk of ginger grated
  • 3 teaspoons fish sauce
  • 1 teaspoon palm sugar
  • zest and juice of 1 lime
  • teaspoon korean red pepper flakes (or dried chilli flakes if you don’t have any)
  • small bunch corriander chopped finely
  • 1/2 teaspoon lemongrass powder or 1 finely chopped fresh stalk

Optional

My turkey mince was quite wet to start with because I had frozen it and defrosted it and added with the wet ingredients meant it had a little bit too much moisture. To help bind the mixture and give a bit of texture I added a couple of spoonfulls of panko breadcrumbs at a time until it made the mixture less wet to work with.

thai turkey meatball ingredients

Instructions

  1. Fry the bacon to for a few minutes to cook slightly and for the fat to render out. Remove from the pan and set aside.
  2. Fry the garlic, ginger and spring onion for a minute or two in the bacon fat then remove from the pan.
  3. Add the bacon, onion, garlic and spring onion mixture to a large bowl with the minced turkey.
  4. Add the fish sauce, palm sugar, zest and juice of lime, red pepper flakes, corriander and lemongrass to the bowl. Mix the ingredients into the turkey mince for a few minutes with your hands to fully combine.
  5. Take small mounds of the minced mixture and shape into little balls and place on a plate or baking tray until you’ve used up all the mixture.
  6. Heat a little coconut oil or olive oil into a wok then add all the meatballs. Cook until slightly browned on all sides then add to the oven on 200C for 10 minutes or until cooked through.

thai turkey meatballs

Peanut Butter Sriracha Chilli Noodle Recipe

  • 200g dried udon noodles
  • 3 teaspoons peanut butter
  • 2 teaspoons fish sauce
  • 4 teaspoons light soy sauce
  • 4 teaspoons toasted sesame oil
  • 4 teaspoons sriracha chilli sauce
  • juice of half a lime
  • sesame seeds to decorate

Instructions

  1. Place the noodles in salted water and cook to the packets instructions. Take a cup of the cooking liquid before draining the noodles and set aside.
  2. Add the fish sauce, soy sauce, sesame oil and sriracha to a small bowl and stir to mix. Add to a warm pan and cook for 30-60 seconds or until it starts to bubble slightly. Add the peanut butter and lime juice to the pan and stir until the peanut butter is smooth.
  3. Drop the cooked noodles into the pan and toss with a pair of tongs to coat the noodles in the sauce. Add a bit of the reserved noodle cooking water a bit at a time to loosen the noodles and make the sauce a bit lighter as the peanut butter can be quite thick.
  4. Once evenly coated, remove the noodles and divide between two bowls. Add a little more sesame oil if you like and a scattering of sesame seeds.
  5. Top with the cooked meatballs and devour at your leisure.

Kimchi Udon Noodle Recipe

Ingredients

  • 2 packets ready cooker udon noodles (I used M & S)
  • 2 dessert spoons kimchi chopped
  • 1 clove garlic grated
  • 4 spring onions chopped diagonally
  • 1 teaspoon sesame seeds
  • toasted sesame oil to season
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1/2 stock cube
  • 150ml boiling water
  • 2 teaspoons gochujang paste

Instructions

Warm the ready cooked noodles in the microwave for a minute just bring them up to temperature. It doesn’t matter if they aren’t boiling as they are going to be added to the pan anyway.

Add the chopped kimchi with a little bit of juice in the jar if there is any and the gochujang paste to a wok with a bit of oil to cook for 2-3 minutes on medium heat. Make sure it doesnt burn by stiring every 30 seconds or so.

Stir in the grated garlic, add the noodles to the wok, mix to combine then cook for a minute or two.

Add the 1/2 stock cube to the boiling water then add to the pan and mix again to make sure the noodles are coated.

Cook for another minute or two until done.

Divide the noodles between two bowls, scatter the spring onions and sesame seeds equally between the two bowls, drizzle with a bit of toasted sesame oil.

Place an uncooked egg yolk in the middle of the bowl and mix everything in with a fork or chopsticks. Now dig in!

The best blue cheese sauce recipe ever

Ingredients

  • 1 clove of garlic finely grated or chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon mustard powder
  • Juice of 1/4 of a lemon
  • 4 teaspoons low fat greek yogurt
  • 4 teaspoons mayo
  • 30-40g crumbled blue cheese depending on preference. I used Cropwell Bishop Blue Stilton
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • Drizzle of good olive oil

Instructions

Grate or chop the garlic and add to a pot or bowl to mix. Squeeze the lemon juice into the garlic and leave it sit for a few minutes. I find this mellows the intensity of raw garlic as the acid cooks it somewhat like a ceviche.

Add the garlic powder, onion powder, yogurt, mayo to the pot and mix. Crumble the cheese into the mix and season with salt and pepper to taste. Drizzle a good olive oil on top to finish the dip off and give it one last stir.

You can play around with the measurements to your taste but remember the cheese will impart it’s flavour as you let it sit in the fridge so don’t worry if it’s not tasting too intense to start with.

Cover and refrigerate for at least an hour. I used mine as a dressing for iceburg lettuce, slaw and rare steak.You could also use as a dip for anything you might fancy such hot wings, breadsticks, carrot sticks, cucumber, tortilla chips.

Gochujang and peanut butter chicken thigh with bibimbap

Gochujang and peanut butter chicken thigh ingredients

  • 3 teaspoons peanut butter
  • 3 teaspoons gochujang chilli paste (I got mine from Waitrose)
  • 6 teaspoons light soy sauce
  • 3 teaspoons water
  • 1 teaspoon Korean red pepper flakes
  • 3 teaspoons rice wine or white wine vinegar
  • 2 cloves garlic chopped or grated
  • 750g chicken thighs deboned

Bibimbap ingredients

  • 200g uncooked wholegrain rice
  • 1 courgette julienned
  • 2 carrots julienned
  • 8 black kale leaves trimmed from the tough stalk
  • 8 chestnut or shitake mushrooms
  • handfull of beansprouts
  • handfull of dried seaweed soaked in water to re-hydrate
  • 2 tablespoons saesame oil
  • 3 teaspoons light soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoons Gochujang chilli paste
  • 1 teaspoon saesame seeds
  • 2 egg yolks

Sides

  • Kimchi
  • Pickled daikon
  • Pickled Korean Cucumber

The above 3 were store bought at a Korean deli on Woodfield Road in Cardiff.

Instructions

combine all the gochujang and peanut butter ingredients in a bowl apart from the chicken and red pepper flakes. Mix to combine then add the chicken thighs and massage the marinade into the chicken to coat evenly then cover and put in the fridge for a few hours for the flavours to develop.

Once you’re ready to cook, put the rice in salted water and cook to instructions on the packet. Mine took 25 minutes so I put them in just before the chicken so it was cooked in time but adjust accordingly so everything is done on time. 

Place the chicken skin side up on a grill rack, dust with the Korean red pepper flakes and put in a preheated oven at 200C for around 25-30 minutes as the bone is removed and it will take less time than normall for thighs.

Now fry each individual veg seperately for a couple of minutes with a bit of oil and season with salt to cook slightly but you still want a bit of bite as most of it can be eaten raw anyway. When each veg is done assemble them on a large plate or dish keeping them seperated from each other.

Make the gochujang sauce by combining the 2 teaspoons paste, 3 teaspoons soy, 2 tablespoons seasame oil and the saesame seeds in a bowl and mix to combine.

A bibimbap is traditionally served in a clay pot heated up on a stove or in the oven. The pot is heated up extremely hot, coated inside with saesame oil so the rice doesn’t stick then layered with the rice so it starts to crackle and produce a delicious crust on the outside where it comes into contact with the pot.

I didn’t have a clay pot and nothing safe to heat on the stove so I put a ceramic bowl in the oven to warm up coated in oil, added the rice and put in the oven for 5 minutes to heat up.

Then I assembled each of the veg going clockwise on top of the boiling hot rice, chopped the chicken and added on top, dropped the egg yolk in the middle, a dollop of the gochujang sauce depending on your preference but this is more of a sweet and warm spice rather than blow your head off Sriracha chilli sauce. 

Once your work of art is assembled, mix with a spoon or chopsticks so all the flavours are combined and the egg cooks in the heat of the rice.

No Korean dish is complete without a side of Kimchi and is ramped up with a portion or two of pickles such as daikon and cucumber.

Really easy Tabbouleh recipe

This should feed 4

Ingredients

  • 300g bulgar wheat and quinoa mix (I got mine from Waitrose but seen them in Tesco too)
  • 1 red onion
  • 2 large tomatoes or 10 cherry tomatoes
  • 1/2 cucumber
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 1 lemon
  • 100g flat leaf parsley
  • 50g fresh mint
  • Salt and black pepper to taste
  • Good olive oil
  • Sumac (I bought a small tub in Tesco in the world food aisle white label area)


Optional

  • Feta cheese
  • Pomegranate (Out of season when I made it yesterday so couldn’t find any)
  • Chilli

Instructions

Use a large saucepan as the grain mixture will treble in size and the bigger it is the easier to mix all the other ingredients together too when assembling at the end.

Cook the bulgar and quinoa to packet instructions. Mine said to rinse then cook for 15 minutes, then drain and leave to stand for 10 minutes. You need the mixture to cool beofre mixing the other ingredients so you can do this an hour or two in advance if you like. You need a very fine seive to drain or I used a bowl pressed up against the pan just watch you don’t burn your hands as it gets boiling with the water draining through.

Finely grate the garlic cloves into a small dish along with the zest of the lemon. I used a fine grater I use for parmesan. Cut the lemon in half and add the juice of half to the garlic and lemon zest to the small bowl. I did this as the acid in the lemon will cook the garlic slightly so you don’t get that harsh raw garlic taste, which doesn’t seem to agree with me.

Dice the red onion, tomatoes, cucumber. Finely chop the flat leaf parsley, fresh mint and chilli then either add to the large saucepan with the bulgar wheat and quinoa or if you don’t have a pan big enough empty all the ingredients into a large bowl and mix to combine.

Add the lemon and garlic juice and squeeze the other half of the lemon into the mix. Season with a good helping of black pepper and a bit of sea salt to your liking. If you have any leftover parsley you can always chop that up and sprinkle on top as some recipes use a hell of a lot of the stuff and you might as well use it up.

Drizzle with a good olive oil and sprinkle a couple of teaspoons of Sumac over the top.

This is great as a side for some crispy grilled Ras el Hanout spiced lamb or I used a middle eastern dry rub tin from Marks and Specer mixed with some olive oil then rubbed into the lamb with finely grated garlic and left for an hour to marinade.

You can also knock up a quick mint yogurt sauce combining some mint jelly or sauce you have on your Sunday roast with some greek yogurt. Season to your taste with salt and pepper, maybe some lemon juice and if you’ve got any left some cucumber and red onion and a sprinkle of sugar.

Stuff it all in a pitta bread with some griddled halloumi and devour with a good glass of red.

Fig, cinnamon, vanilla, chia, coconut and honey overnight oats recipe

Ingredients

  • 1 Fig
  • 50g cut oats
  • 3 teaspoons chia seeds
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 120g yogurt (I used Tesco protein yogurt but natural or Greek yogurt is fine)
  • Shredded coconut
  • Whole Milk
  • Honey

Instructions

I always add a couple of splashes of whole milk to the oats before adding everything else as I find it softens them better than yogurt alone. Mix the milk with the oats, add the yogurt and combine with the oats.

Add 3 teaspoons chia seeds, 2 teaspoons vanilla extract and the 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon. Mix to combine and add a little more milk if it is a bit too thick for you liking. Remember the chia seeds swell and absorb a lot of the moisture leaving a gell texture overnight.

In the morning or following day depending on when you want to eat the proats, slice the fig and place on top, scatter a few shards of the coconut and drizzle a healthy amount of honey on top.

Mix to combine then sit back and enjoy with a nice cuppa.