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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.

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!

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.

Soy, Peanut and Sriracha Steak Udon Recipe

The choice is yours here but I made mine the night before to have for lunch cold in work as I thought it made a nice change to a hot noodle soup that I always pebble dash my white shirt with. You could have this warm too if you prefer.

Noodles

  • 1 round of Udon noodles
  • 2 leaves of savoy cabbage
  • 1 handfull of kale or 3 leaves of cavello nero
  • 1/3 red onion or one shallot
  • 3 slices of roast beef torn or chopped into chunks

Spicy Soy Dressing

  • ½ a large or 1 garlic clove grated with a fine grater
  • ½ a centimetre chunk of fresh ginger grated with a fine grater
  • 5 teaspoons of light soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoons of toasted sesame oil
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil dessert spoon
  • ½ teaspoon of LGM or Lao Gan Ma chicken flavour chilli oil with tofu sauce (Or 1 teaspoon of standard chilli sauce)
  • ½ teaspoon toasted sesame seeds
  • Two pinches of brown sugar

Instructions

  1. Place the cabbage leaves in one layer of a bamboo steamer and the kale in the other layer.
  2. Depending if you want to stop the raw onion overpowering the dish you can add the onions to the steamer for a few minutes too.
  3. Place the udon noodles in salted water and cook to packet instructions. Mine took 7 minutes on boil.
  4. Place the bamboo steamer on top of the sauce pan of noodles to steam in the same water as the noodles to save time and washing up.
  5. Add all of the ingredients of the soy dressing into a small jar and stir to combine or a small sealable container to take with you if eating cold on the go.
  6. Once the noodles are cooked, remove the bamboo steamer and take each layer of to stop the veg cooking and to leave them cool.
  7. Rinse the noodles in cold water to stop them overcooking and sticking to each other.
    Slice the steamed cabbage and kale if not already done so.
  8. Place the cold noodles in a tupperware box, top with the cooked and shredded veg and beef.
  9. Place in the fridge until you want to eat. When you’re feeling peckish you might want to use a bigger bowl and place the contents of the noodle box into the bowl, drizzle over the dressing and use chopsticks or two forks to toss and combine the dressing into the noodle contents.
  10. Sprinkle with a few more sesame seeds if desired.

Quinoa and Butternut salad

Quinoa Salad Ingredients

  • 1 medium butternut squash
  • 6 full stalks of cavalo nero
  • 2 shallots
  • 125g quinoa
  • 6 cloves garlic
  • 1 bunch of flat leaf parsley
  • 1/2 bunch of mint

Dressing Ingredients

  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • Olive oil
  • 1 dessert spoon of Pomegranate molasses
  • 2 teaspoons of Harissa paste
  • Red wine vinegar
  • 1 roasted garlic clove from above
  • Salt
  • Black Pepper

quinoa and butternut salad recipe

Instructions

  1. Empty the quinoa into a sauce pan, with a stock cube and a squashed garlic clove and top with water. Bring to boil and cook to packet instructions. Usually around 15 minutes but make sure they aren’t too mushy, you still want a little bite to give texture. Drain and put to the side to cool when cooked.
  2. Peel the butternut squash using a potato peeler for ease and to save your fingers instead of using a knife.
  3. Slice into 1 inch thick disks, cut each disk into 1/8’s so they cook quicker.
    Drizzle with olive oil then use your hands to make sure they are coated well. Place on a baking tray and season with salt and black pepper.
  4. Take 5 garlic cloves still in their skins and squash with the back of a knife. Place on top of the butternut squash spread out and place the butternut squash in the oven on around 200C for around 20-25 minutes.
  5. Halve and peel the shallots. Place on the baking tray with the squash after around 5 minutes of the squash being in the oven.
  6. Slice either side of the cavalo nero stalks so you are left with the leaves. I prefer cavalo nero instead of the ready cut bags of kale as they always have the thick stalks attached to the leaves and they take forever to remove compared to the whole cavalo nero leaves.
  7. Slice the leaves into 1 inch thick strips, coat with olive oil or fry light and add to the baking tray for around 10 minutes but keep checking as they can burn quite quickly depending on your oven.
  8. Remove the tray from the oven, checking that the butternut squash is cooked and soft. Set aside and leave to cool.
  9. In a bowl add the juice of 1 lemon, good glub of quality olive oil, the pomegrantate molasses, a cap full of red wine vinegar, harissa paste. Take a medium sized clove of garlic from the roasting pan with the butternut squash, remove the skin and crush on a chopping board, then crape with the end of the knife to make a paste.
  10. Add the roast garlic paste to the dressing, season with salt and pepper and stir. Taste and adjust the proportions of the ingredients to taste as some brands are stronger than others.
  11. After everything has cooled down, remove the roasted garlic from the tray and place the rest of the cooked ingredients in a large bowl.
  12. Empty the cooked and cooled quinoa to the bowl with the chopped parsley and mint and stir to combine.
  13. Drizzle the dressing over the top and continue to mix with a large spoon so that everything is equally mixed and coated in the dressing.
  14. Place in the middle of the table and dig in. This would feed two as a main with some meat such as chicken sausages that I paired with it or four people as a side dish with several other plates.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Pan fried scotch egg recipe

Always fancied making a homemade scotch egg but not got a deep fat fryer? Fear not we’ve got it covered with a recipe needing only a standard frying pan below.

Ingredients

  • 1 packet sausage meat
  • 50g breadcrumbs
  • 50g plain flour
  • 1 egg beaten
  • 2 eggs whole
  • salt and pepper

Optional

Chopped herbs of your choice such as thyme, rosemary or a whole sage leaf cooked in with the butter and disgarded to flavour the pan.
Cayenne pepper or chopped fresh chilli.

homemade pan fried scotch egg being made

Instructions

Divide the sausage meat into two. Season the sausage meat with Salt and pepper and add any of the optional ingredients. Mix with your hands to combine then divide into two.

Make two doughnut shapes out of the sausage mix leaving a hole in the middle big enough to hold one cracked egg but remembering that the whole will close up slightly when cooking.

I found the donugt too flimsy to handle to dunk into the breadcrumb ingredients so i dabbed the plain flour around the edges of the sausage then brushed the beaten egg mixture around the edges too. Once the egg has coated the edges, dab it with the breadcrumbs to stick to the outside of the sausage doughnut.

Melt some butter in a pan then place the sausage donugts into the pan to brown the one side. After a few minutes turn the sausage over and continue to cook the other side for a couple of minutes. Crack an egg into the whole in the middle and cook for a couple more minutes for the bottom to set and sausage to firm up on the bottom.

Transfer to a baking sheet and cook for around 8 minutes making sure the sausage is cooked but you don’t want to overdue the eggs as they are 10 times better runny.

Enjoy on it’s own with a helping of a good tomato sauce or as part of a mammoth fry up breakfast.

homemade pan fried scotch egg  with breakfast