Turkey, red pepper and chilli bolognese.

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I cook lots of traditional Italian ragu at home as I love the fact it just cooks for many hours on a slow cook and boy is it worth the wait at the end! I will post one at some point. However there are sometimes midweek when I love a “British” style bolognese but using turkey mince, it’s a lovely lighter alternative and great for children nutritional wise. Even better for adults!  More to the point, its quick to make and cheaper.

I’ve actually been meaning to post the recipe for sometime, truth be told I thought I had until I looked! This recipe is a slightly different version that I made by using up some peppers and chillies I had. My partner loved it and said it was better than the first version, I agree, but if you don’t want the peppers or chillies in it then follow the recipe and take those out.

If I’m making the “British style” bolognese like this one, I actually now prefer it with Turkey so If your young ones struggle a little with beef mince then give this recipe a try. Let me know how it went?

Also if you have any left either freeze it down or pop it on a jacket potato for your Lunch the next day.

 

Ingredients:

( Serves 4 )

  • 450g Turkey Mince
  • 2-3 tbsp Rapeseed oil
  • 1 onion diced
  • 1/2 large carrot or 1 small carrot finely diced
  • 1/2 stick of celery finely chopped
  • 1/2 red pepper finely chopped
  • 1/2 yellow pepper finely chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic finely chopped
  • 1/2 mild chilli chopped finely
  • 4 chestnut mushrooms sliced
  • 1 tbsp tomato puree
  • 1 400g tin of chopped tomatoes
  • 1/4 of chicken stock gel pot
  • a good splash of dry white wine ( optional )
  • Handful of fresh herbs chopped finely = Rosemary, sage and oregano
  • A good splash of Worcestershire sauce
  • 250ml of water to hand if needed
  • Pinch of sea salt and cracked black pepper to season

 

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Method:

  • Heat up your rapeseed oil for a few seconds in a frying pan until hot then fry your onions, carrot and celery. Cook for about 2 minutes then add in your mushrooms and stir.
  • Once your mushrooms are starting to colour add in your peppers and turkey mince. Then add in your garlic and fry until your mince is cooked.
  • Once the mince is cooked pop in your chillies, herbs, stock, wine and tomato puree. Stir for a further 2 minutes.
  • Then add your chopped tomatoes, stir and simmer for about 10 minutes. If it starts to go dry, add in a little water. *** A good tip from me is pop your water into the chopped tomato can then none is wasted! ***
  • After this add in your Worcestershire sauce and simmer for a further 5 minutes or until your sauce is lovely and thick. Season if needed.
  • Serve up with spaghetti or the pasta of your choice and add parmesan if you wish. Try a bit without first though.

 

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Chinese spiced meatballs with seasonal veg and wild rice





Meatballs don’t always have to come in tomato sauce, around pasta or in a Sub Roll. Being a little more creative with your dishes by a slight change can create a dish so different and fantastic, you’ll never want to turn back. 
 You may not always associate a meatball with Chinese food, but it’s allowing your food to go a little further, using a cheaper meat alternative and to get your taste buds tingling to new flavours.
  This weekend, why not get the Children involved in making the meatballs to create a meal together. 
  I have teamed this dish by using ribbons of seasonal Courgettes and carrots, again, so easy for the children to make as you just use a potato peeler. 
  This is my take on that takeaway classic thats normally swimming in a heavy sweet and sour sauce. It’s healthier, cheaper and if you make too many Meatballs at the raw stage, just freeze down for another meal.




Chinese spiced meatballs with seasonal veg and wild rice:





Ingredients:
(Serves 4 approximately)
(Meatballs):
–    1-2 Tbsp Rapeseed oil
  • 5oog Pork Mince
  • Salt and cracked Black pepper to season
  • 1 heaped Teaspoon of Chinese Five Spice I used Spice Kitchen’s own blend
  • 1/2 a large Green chilli ( mild) diced finely or 1 small one
  •   1 clove of Garlic finely chopped d or 2 if small
  •   2x Thumbnail size amount of fresh ginger finely grated
  • 3-4 spring onions chopped as finely as you can get them
  • Small handful of chopped coriander 
(Veg mixture):
–    1-2 tbsp of Rapeseed oil
  • 1 onion sliced
  • 1-2 carrots ( depending on size )ribboned with a potato peeler
  • 1 Courgette Ribboned with a potato peeler * Don’t peel the skin away, thats the best bit!
  • 1 yellow pepper sliced lengthways 
  • 1-2 cloves of garlic finely chopped
  • Thumbnail size amount of grated fresh ginger ( Wang Fung Hong )
  •  
  • 1 -2 tbsp superior light soy sauce ( Mine was from the Chinese supermarket Wang Fung Hong in Leicester )
  • 1 tbsp Oyster sauce ( Wang Fung Hong )
  •   1-2 tsp of Chilli Bean sauce ( Wang Fung Hong )
  • 1-2 tsp of honey ( I used the non clear )
  • A good spritz of lime juice
  • a handful of chopped coriander to finish 
Wild basmati rice to serve.
Method:
Cook rice to packet instructions.
  • Mix all the ingredients in a bowl for your meatballs together and form meatballs, place aside.
  • In a frying pan fry off your meatballs turning after a few minutes. They should take about 10 minutes in total approximately or when cooked through.Pop aside when done.
  • In a separate wok , start to stir fry your onions and peppers, then after a minute or two add your courgettes, tossing the vegetables around the Wok continuously. 
  • After about a minute, add the carrots, garlic and Ginger, be careful the ginger doesn’t burn. 
  • After a minute or two add your soy sauce, Chilli bean sauce, oyster, 1 tsp of honey and a small spritz of lime. Stir and taste to see what sauces you need to add more of.
  • Add in your meatballs and coat them with the sauce. They need to be fully warmed through.
  • When you are happy with the taste of your sauce, add in chopped coriander and serve on a bed of hot Wild rice.
NB: If you didn’t want to add in too much chilli bean sauce then reduce the amount, if you want more spice add in extra fresh chilli to your sauce.




Gooey Chocolate Chilli brownie’s with cranberries




  At teatime or in the evening when it begins to get chilly, this is great to have with a cup of Coffee or tea. It gives you a real tingle inside after having one.

  I have been making this Chocolate chilli brownie recipe for years now, sometimes I drizzle white chocolate on top, add pistachios or you can even change the cranberries to dried cherries. However Ive decided to use cranberries as we only seem to see them in December but in actual fact they go perfect along side the chocolate and chilli.
This is such a super, easy, sweet treat to serve whatever the occasion. It will go great after Hot dogs, or an autumnal one pot wonder. They are even fantastic to give as a gift.

  You can serve this with double cream, ice cream or to be even more decadent and naughty, I would add some booze such as Pedro Ximenez sherry.


  I also made these for my regular cooking slot on BBC Radio Leicester a couple of weeks ago so if you click on the clip here, you can hear me making them for Ben Jackson and how much he liked them! 



Gooey Chocolate chilli brownie’s with cranberries:






Ingredients:


(Serves 8 Brownies in a tin roughly as mine was 28cmx18cm )

–  100g Dark Chocolate ( at least 60,70 % cocoa solids ) 
–  88g unsalted butter
–  163g Caster sugar
–  2 eggs
–  65g plain flour
–  50g dried cranberries
–  1/4-1/2 tsp of Ground hot chilli powder (depending how hot you want it! )I use Spice Kitchen spices
–  1/4-1/2 tsp of fresh chopped red chilli ( depending how hot you want it! )




Method:

*  Grease a tin of your choice and line with parchment paper

*  Preheat oven to 160-170c

*  Melt chocolate and butter in a heatproof bowl over a pan of simmering water

*  In a separate bowl whisk eggs and sugar together and then sift in flour and fold in

*  Place that mixture into the melted chocolate and butter and mix with a spatular, add in cranberries

*  place mixture into your baking tray and pop into the oven for about 40 minutes

*  Allow to cool on a tray until you cut into squares

*  Serve with a nice cup of hot drink, double cream or Ice cream. If you want to be even more naughty, pour over some booze such as Pedro Ximenez sherry.
















Leftover Moroccan Lamb cous cous

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I want to share this recipe with you before the week is over as this week is all about promoting British Lamb week, ( 1st Sep-7th Sep 2015 ) something I feel very passionate about. I wrote this recipe for my column last month but I feel that now would be a right time to be reminded of it.

Here below is what I originally wrote:

Sometimes on a Sunday if the weather isn’t too hot then we will have a roast of some kind and if we are even more lucky it may even be lamb. Normally we go for a breast of Lamb as its cheaper however I bought this particular shoulder of lamb as it was reduced right down from £19 to £6! Bargain! An offer too good to be missed.

Because this lamb was so big for my partner and I its great for creating other dishes from it and thats what I am showing here. Sometimes the leftover recipes are the best.
So for this time of year cous cous is a lovely light alternative to have and I have included the lovely British courgettes being right in season at the minute to add a lovely texture, colour and added sweetness to the dish. Give leftovers a chance, it may even be better than the first dish was.
Leftover Moroccan lamb cous cous:

 

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Ingredients:

Cooked shoulder of lamb ( Could use shanks, breast or leg if you wanted )
1 tsp was el hangout spice ( widely available in most supermarkets or online) I use spice kitchen’s blend.
approximately 200g cous cous
1/4 tub of chicken stock gel pot
1/4 litre of boiling water
Sea salt and cracked black pepper to taste
3 tbsp Rapeseed oil
1 tbsp mild curry powder
small handful of almonds sliced
few sprigs of fresh mint finely chopped
few sprigs of fresh coriander finely chopped
1 courgette sliced into half moons
half a small green pepper diced
half a small red pepper diced
Half a red onion finely diced
1 clove of garlic finely chopped
Thumb nail size of fresh ginger grated
1 tsp ground coriander (Spice Kitchen)
1 tsp ground cumin (Spice Kitchen)
1 tsp ground cinnamon (Spice Kitchen)
Method:

Take your cold cooked lamb and marinate with a little rapeseed oil and the ras el hanout.

In the meantime take the cous cous and cover with approximately 1/4 litre of boiling water with the chicken stock added so it just covers the cous cous and cover with foil.

Fry off your courgettes in a little rapeseed oil and after a minute or two add your peppers and cook until starting to colour and soften. Add in the garlic, ginger and chillies and cook for a further minute or two.

Stir in the ground coriander, cumin and cinnamon, add in the lamb and stir allowing the lamb to warm up. Season to taste

Stir the cous cous with a fork, add a drizzle of rapeseed oil and the cous cous should be light and fluffy. Add the curry powder a little salt and pepper if need be and pop in your chopped coriander and mint.

* Add the Lamb mixture into the bowl of cous cous, mix all through and serve.

 

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Chinese pork lettuce cups



I thought I’d share with you another recipe from my column that I did a couple of months back. This dish has been in my life for a long time and I always make these for many different occasions.  I even make them for just a snack, they are that moorish!

  So, I think the earliest memory of me having a version of this dish, must have been when I was only about 4 years old. But back then, they would wrap it all up in a large lettuce leaf. It is quite a retro dish for these days but I have come up with a version that I feel never dates or fails.

  The sauce is something I have been having for years with these, noodle soups and Chinese dumplings so I thought I’d share that with you too. When you drizzle that sauce on top, it will give it a real kick.
  I love serving these little cups when entertaining, they always look great served up on trays for people and they always seem to get an “ooh” when they come round. You can also use this recipe for a starter one night, a light Lunch or even on a Chinese banquet as my “Chinese nights” always seem to end up as! 
  They are very quick to prepare and they don’t break the bank to buy the ingredients either. 
  Lately I’ve being seeing a lot of Pork mince reduced so if you aren’t sure what to do with it, buy it and fear no longer.



Chinese pork lettuce cups:







Ingredients:
–   1 tbsp of Rapeseed oil or you can use, sunflower or groundnut oil
  • Pork mince 35og will make about 12 cups
  • Half a green chilli chopped finely
  • 4 Spring onions, half of pork mix, half for garnishing
  • 1 tsp Chinese five spice blend ( I use Spice Kitchen )
  • 1 tbsp of Light soy sauce ( Mine is from Wang Fung Hong in Leicester )
  • 2 cloves of garlic finely chopped
  • small grating of fresh Ginger (about a small thumbnail amount)
  • 2 Little Gem lettuces
  • For the garnish: Thinly sliced cucumber 
                                      Thinly sliced Spring onion
                                      Thinly sliced carrot (julienned)
                                     Handful of fresh chopped coriander
                                      Red chilli chopped finely

                                                                           

Hot Sauce:
  • 2 tbsp of Sriracha sauce ( Mine is from Wang Fung Hong)
  • 1 tbsp of malt vinegar
  • 1 tbsp Tomato ketchup
  •  1 tbsp light soy sauce 
  • sprinkle of chilli flakes ( put more if you want it hotter )
  • sprinkle of caster sugar
N.B If you find the sauce is too tangy, sometimes I add 1/2 tbsp Oyster sauce to this also.




Method:
  • In a wok or a frying pan start to fry off the spring onion, garlic, chilli and ginger for only a minute.
  • Add your pork mince and stir for a couple of minutes breaking up all clumps of the meat.
  • As your pork mince is starting to turn brown, add in your Chinese five spice and again, stir for a couple of minutes
  • Add in your soy sauce, stir and when your Pork is cooked, turn your heat down just to keep warm.
*  Assemble your Pork mince into the lettuce cups, garnish and serve with your sauce.