Harissa Chicken with sumac cous cous salad

                                                 
Salads aren’t always for just Summer or when you are trying to loose an odd pound or too. They can be very exciting and that is what I wanted to show you this week and maybe introducing you to some flavours you haven’t tried yet.

  I love this time of year for Comfort food but in-between I have to eat things like this to give me a little break. Plus theres going to be some more indulgent foods in a couple of weeks so this recipe might help to keep you feeling lighter along the way.

  The key to this recipe is using lots of fresh herbs in the salad but if you cant get some of them, I’ve given alternatives. The sumac in the cous cous gives a lovely citrus vibrancy and along with the Harissa chicken will still give you a warming touch. A light dish but yet still very comforting.
Harissa Chicken with sumac cous cous salad:





Ingredients:

(Serves 2)
Chicken
  • 2 boneless and skinless chicken thighs (add more if you want it )
  • 2-3 tbsp Rapeseed oil
  • 2 cloves of garlic, bashed
  •   1-2 tsp Harissa spice, add more if needed  ( I use Spice Kitchen )
  
Cous cous
  • 200g Cous cous
  •   400 ml chicken stock or to just cover the cous cous
  • 2 tsp sumac ( I use Spice Kitchen
  • Handful of chopped cucumber 
  • handful of cherry/baby plum tomatoes quartered
  • 1 small red onion sliced
  • 1/4-1/2 fennel sliced thinly
  • 75g white cabbage shredded
  • a couple of handfuls of baby leaf salad such as spinach, rocket, red chard, red ruby chard etc…
  • Selection of herbs chopped (a good sprig of each, the more the merrier)
                       :- Mint
                       :- Lovage (Use celery leaves if cant get)
                       :- Lemon verbena (use lemon zest if cant get)
                       :- I also used Salad burnet (which tastes like cucumber, I got mine from my local garden centre)
  • Cracked black pepper to season
  •   sea salt ( I used pink himalayan salt ) to season
To finish 
  • a good sprig of chopped fresh coriander leaves
  • Some fennel fronds
  • drizzle of rapeseed oil 
Method:



  • In a bowl cover your cous cous with the stock just so its covered and cover the bowl with foil. Set aside for 10 minutes.
  • Sprinkle your chicken thighs with the Harissa spice and place into a hot frying pan. Cook until your chicken is cooked throughout. Whilst your chicken is cooking throw in your 2 bashed garlic cloves to the pan.
  • In the mean time whilst this is cooking, go back to your cous cous. By now it should be nice and fluffy. 
  • Place the cous cous into a mixing bowl along with all other ingredients. Mix well.
*  When your chicken is cooked, Place the cous cous salad onto a plate or bowl, slice up the chicken, add your “to finish ingredients” and done.








                                         

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.




Spicy Pork and pumpkin pie

So I’ve decided to post this recipe I did for my weekly column as it was a real winner on Halloween and there are still Pumpkins around. However you can still make it at any time, You could even substitute the Pumpkin for Butternut squash. 

  Here is what I wrote:-
Halloween is upon us so I wanted to show you a great dish that is hassle free for you if you are having a party. 
 Every Halloween when I have a party I want to be able to spend time with my guests and not be in the kitchen all day making fiddly buffet food.  I think sometimes one can feel a little pressured to be able to make an edible “Brain” or witches fingers. 
 So today I have done a recipe that still has a halloween theme by using pumpkin, its quick, simple and very tasty for your guests.
 I’ve used Pork mince in this as 1, its economical so will stretch further for any unexpected guests for you and 2, it goes really well against the Pumpkin however you could use Beef mince or lamb if you don’t eat Pork.
  Another point to make is that I was using leftover mashed potato from the day before, another time saver. 
  Serve this up in bowls to your guests and it will leave them spooked of how good it is.
Spicy pork and pumpkin pie:





Ingredients:
Pumpkin and potato mash:
  • Leftover Mashed potato, (enough to fit your dish you are using, there was about 4 potatoes worth left in mine) 
  • 1 small pumpkin chopped into chunks ( I bought mine from a local farm called Cattow’s Farm)
  • knob of butter
  • salt and pepper to season
  • 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
Pork pie mixture:
  • 500g pork mince
  • 1-2 tbsp of rapeseed oil
  • 1 onion diced finely
  • 1/2 leek thinly sliced
  • 2 cloves of garlic finely chopped
  • A thumbnail size of fresh ginger grated
  • 1-2 green chilli’s finely chopped 
  • 3 tbsp of mild curry powder or madras, whatever heat you like it.
  • 1/4 400g tin of chopped tomatoes
  • 4 small chopped fresh tomatoes
  • Salt and cracked black pepper to season
  • handful of frozen spinach defrosted and drained
  • handful of frozen petit pois peas defrosted and drained
  • few sprigs of fresh chopped coriander to finish


Method:
–  Preheat oven to 180-200c depending if fan oven or not.
  • In boiling water, cook your pumpkin until soft. Mash with a hand potato masher, pop in your butter, nutmeg and seasoning then stir in the potato mash together. Leave aside.
  •   Fry off your onion for a couple of minutes until starting to soften.
      Add your leek and cook for a couple of minutes also. Add your garlic, chilli, ginger and curry powder and stir.
  •   Add in your pork mince and continue to cook until the pork mince is almost all cooked through. Pop in the tomatoes and cook for 2 minutes.
  • Add in your peas and spinach, stir, take off the heat and pop to one side.

  •   In an oven proof dish of your choice put in your Pork mixture, level off and sprinkle with fresh coriander.Top with your Pumpkin mash and place in the oven for 20-30 minutes or until crispy and brown on top.




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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Indian spiced warm cauliflower and chickpea salad with homemade tortilla chips


I won’t be sharing all of my recipes I do for my column and other work on here all of the time but I felt I had to with this one.  It has proven to be very popular, more than I thought.  I had one young lady ask me in my local supermarket about it so I felt I should share it on here also. 
  Before though I wasn’t sure wether people would like this?  I know that sounds strange but just in the fact of it being quite a fusion style dish of Mexico meets India.  However Im so pleased to say I have no worries of that now. 

  So, you may wonder why there are tortilla chips on this dish being an Indian inspired one but the main reason for it is to show how easy you can use up different types of flatbreads you may have that need using up, such as Chapatti’s from the night before or pitta breads. I know for sure whenever I open a pack of tortillas or make homemade chapatti’s, Ive always got some left, hence why I used the tortilla wraps in this one. The young lady that asked me about this recipe, loved this part of the recipe.  You may recall I mentioned about doing this on Rupal Rajani’s show talking about Leftovers on BBC Radio Leicester last year.

  This recipe is a lovely spiced mix and match dish, the idea is to get a bit of each and the flavours will burst in your mouth together. Serve this with your favourite chutneys and pickles.  It is great for a Lunch, a picnic or even watching a film and if you have any left over you can use it again the day after in a wrap, with rice or as a cold salad.



Warm Indian spiced Cauliflower and chickpea salad with homemade Spicy Tortilla chips:




Ingredients:

( Serves 2 people as a sharing dish)

Warm dish:

  • 1/2 small cauliflower ( slice down the florets ) plus use the green part too, adds great flavour
  • 1/2 400g tin of chickpeas drained and rinsed 
  • small red onion sliced
  • Handful of fresh spinach or frozen
  • 1-2 tbsp of Rapeseed oil or any oil of your choice
  • thumbnail size of grated fresh Ginger
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 1 thin green indian chilli chopped finely
  •   1 tsp  cumin ( All ground spices from Spice Kitchen)
  •   1 tsp  turmeric 
  •   1 tsp  ground coriander
  •   1 tsp  chilli powder
  •   1 tsp garam masala  

Cold mixed salad:

  • Good handful of fresh Spinach leaves or any leaf of your choice
  •   Chopped fresh tomatoes
  •   Cucumber sliced
  •   Red onion sliced
  •   Carrot thinly sliced 
  •   Radish sliced lengthways
  •   Fresh coriander 
  •   Fresh mint 
  •   Cracked Black pepper to season and a squeeze of lemon
Tortilla Chips:

  • Tortilla wraps cut into triangles
  •   3 tbsp of rapeseed oil
  •   1 tsp Garam masala ( Spice Kitchen )
  •   1 tsp Chilli powder ( Spice Kitchen )
  •   sprinkle of sea salt to season


Method:




Warm Salad:

  • Blanch off your chickpeas and your cauliflower in slated boiling water for about 3-4 minutes.

  • fry your red onion, garlic, ginger and spices for a couple of minutes on a medium heat.

  • Drain your Cauliflower and chickpeas and add to the frying pan. Cook fro another 2 minutes, stirring so all is coated in the lovely spices

  • Add your Spinach to the mix and cook for another minute or two.


Tortilla Chips:

  • Preheat oven to 190c

  • Place all triangles on a baking tray and drizzle with oil

  • Add your spices to it

  • Pop in the oven for approximately 7 minutes or until starting to turn golden brown.

* Assemble all salad together, serve in separate bowls, add your chutneys and pickles and you’re done.