Spring is underway now, tulips are in full bloom in gardens, birds are busy making nests and the weather is…well not the great today. However we have had some glorious days which means a certain Springtime ingredient is at it’s best now and that is wild garlic. I cannot get enough of this stuff every year and try and conserve it in ways I can enjoy it throughout the year. In this recipe, a butter. Once made and popped into the freezer, you certainly won’t be buying shop-bought Garlic bread anymore thats for sure!
This recipe is a quick way of turning some lamb chops into something a little bit more special using Spring’s seasonal ingredients.
The wild garlic butter gives colour and full flavour but still allowing the taste of lamb to come through.
The butterbean mash gives an alternative to potatoes giving it a lighter feel and also being a little more frugal.
Finally, the medley of veg “ Petit pois a la Francais” is a lovely alternative to do as a side dish for this recipe, fish and chicken.
Here is the recording when I cooked this on BBC Radio Leicester with Ben Jackson showing just how simple, quick yet so effective this recipe can be :- LISTEN HERE
Spring Lamb chops with a wild garlic and herb butter, butterbean mash and a medley of veg:
- 2-3 Spring lamb chops each depending on how big they are
- 1-2 tbsp rapeseed oil
- Sea salt ( I use pink himalayan but any will do ) and cracked black pepper to season
Wild garlic butter:
(Make this before hand and pop into the freezer)
- A block of unsalted butter
- a good handful of wild garlic ( if you haven’t got it, use normal garlic )
- a handful of fresh herbs chopped- flat leaf parsley, basil, I had. You could use Rosemary instead if you wanted to.
- 1/4-1/2 a lemon zest
- season if you wish
- 1 tin of Butterbeans drained and rinsed
- a drizzle of rapeseed oil
- sea salt and cracked black pepper to season
Medley of Veg:
- 6-7 lettuce leaves such as romaine, little gem or the innards of a round lettuce
- a few handfuls of frozen peas ( roughly 150g ) petit pois or garden peas defrosted and drained.
- 3-4 spring onions or baby leeks cut into 3 including the green ends
- 1/4 gel pot of chicken stock
- knob of butter
- a couple of sprigs of garden mint chopped finely
- sea salt and cracked black pepper to season
- Just cover your butterbeans in a saucepan with water, bring to the boil and simmer for a couple of minutes.
- In the meantime oil your lamb…not your pan and heat up your frying pan. Cook your Lamb for about 4 minutes each side for rare, more time for more well done.
- Drain your butterbeans and crush/mash with a masher only slightly, drizzle with oil and season. Keep warm.
- Rest your Lamb for about 5 minutes.
- Whilst this is resting bring to the boil your stock in 200ml of water and a knob of butter. Also season.
- Add in your Spring onions and cook for a minute, then add in your lettuce and peas, cover and cook for a further minute.
- Drain most of the liquid, add in a little more butter. Season if needed more, Pop in your chopped mint and stir.
– Melt your Wild garlic butter.
– Everything is now ready to serve.
At Christmas time, scallops always make their way into my Kitchen. I don’t get chance to eat them very often because of their cost so they become an indulgent treat at Christmas.
I have done many starter recipes with scallops so I thought I would share one of my festive ones with you.
Scallops are a great starter for Christmas Day or anytime really over the festive period as they are so quick to cook plus they only need a few ingredients alongside as you don’t want to overpower their sweet subtle taste. Personally I find if you buy large scallops, 3 can be ample for each person but thats your choice.
This recipe you will be able to knock up in 15 minutes to impress your guests. A festive, seafood, showstopper that really is simple to do.
My Festive Scallops:
- 1 tbsp Rapeseed oil
- a couple of knobs of unsalted butter
- 12 Large scallops
- 3 rashers of Smoked bacon trim most of the rind off but leave a little fat to give flavour
- 150g frozen petit pois defrosted
- 3 clementines segmented keep the rest for juice later.
- small handful fresh mint chopped
- a good splash of Prosecco or fruity sauvignon blanc
- Chop your bacon into very small squares. Fry in a hot frying pan for a couple of minutes, just until starting to colour. Pop aside on a plate leaving the fat in the pan.
- Pop some boiling water into a saucepan and empty in your peas. Boil for no more than 2 minutes as you want to keep their colour. Drain, add a knob of butter and your chopped mint, shake and cover with a lid. Set aside.
- To cook the scallops, add a knob of butter and a splash of rapeseed oil to the frying pan and heat until hot but allowing not to burn. Place your scallops in the pan and cook for roughly 2 minutes, do not turn until caramelised on each side. Then do the other side.
- Set your scallops aside onto a warm plate and then add your bacon back into the frying pan, deglaze with your wine and reduce down for about a minute. Add in your clementine segments and a little spritz of the juice. Once reduced to a syrup texture you are ready to plate up.
* Place pea mixture onto the plate, top with your scallops and pour over your bacon and clementine syrup.
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:
- 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 )
- 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)
:- 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
- a good sprig of chopped fresh coriander leaves
- Some fennel fronds
- drizzle of rapeseed oil
- 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.
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:
( Serves 2 people as a sharing 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 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
- 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.
- Place all triangles on a baking tray and drizzle with oil
- 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.
I normally like to keep my work recipes separate to the ones I do on here, but occasionally, I just have to share some with my readers and this recipe is one of them.
The weather today here in the Uk is a scorcher so I felt I had to share this with you for a perfect easy, quick dinner that won’t have you sweating over the oven!
These are a great favourite in our house especially at this time of year and throughout Summer. I tend to cook these as a great Sunday alternative and of course when the Sun is out, the BBQ can be lit. We don’t tend to buy Lamb that often because of price, but if your budget takes you a bit further, it’s a great treat to have. I always freeze some down so that they are there when money doesn’t stretch that far.
Ive added a spice of Ras el hanout which is a spice blend from North Africa. It is widely available now and gives it that extra flavour such as Garam masala does in Indian Cuisine. It is a great Blend that can be used in many recipes, of which, I do!
Once all wrapped up, these are so Juicy and fresh tasting with all that salad packed in and of course with the little added bonuses of Lemon, Yoghurt and pickled chilli peppers, It’s a match made in Heaven.
Once you’ve had these, you’ll be making a lot more I assure you.
Lamb Kofta Wraps:
(Makes approximately 14 Koftas)
- 500g Lamb Mince
- 2 Tbsp Rapeseed Oil
- 1 medium Onion diced finely
- 1 tsp Ras el hanout ( I use Spice Kitchen for all my dry spices, they are fantastic)
- 1 tsp Ground Cumin,
- 1 tsp Ground Coriander,
- Half of a small Green Chilli chopped finely
- 2 cloves of Garlic Chopped Finely
- 1/2 Tsp Chilli Powder
- 1 Level Tbsp Tomato Puree
- Sea Salt and Cracked Black Pepper for seasoning
- Small handful of Fresh coriander chopped finely
- A selection of Salad leaves such as Watercress, Rocket, Mizuna (to give a peppery) taste
- White Cabbage Sliced fine (to add crunch) You could use Iceberg if you can’t get it.
- Salad Cress
- Red onion sliced through the whole onion very finely
- Cucumber sliced fine
- Fresh Mint leaves
- Fresh Coriander Leaves
- Soft Tortilla Wraps , If you want to have a go at making your own Flatbreads, I have my recipe click here
- Plain Greek Yoghurt
- Lemon to spritz over
- Pickled Chillis ,if required, to add extra hotness and authenticity (Can be bought in most world sections of supermarkets)
- Fry off your Chopped Onion and add your dry spices (Ras el hanout, Cumin, coriander and Chilli powder). Cook for a minute, stirring and allowing not to burn.
- Add your Garlic and fresh chilli and cook for another minute or two or until onions have started to colour and your Garlic isn’t burning.
- Add some salt and pepper to season and pop this mixture into a bowl to cool.
- In a separate Bowl place your Lamb mince, tomato Puree and a little more Salt and Pepper. Pop into this bowl, all your onion and herb mixture.
- Mix all ingredients together with your hands and add your Chopped Coriander.
- Take a small handful of your Kofta mix and start to form a ball in your hands, then slowly shape more into an oval shape. Do this repeatedly with all your mixture.
- * N.B If you do too many you can freeze them at this stage.
- Fry off your Kofta’s in a little oil as with lamb you wont need too much. Turning so that each side is cooked well.
* Warm your Tortillas to packet instructions and then assemble your Wrap. Add a little salad, then meat, then salad. Spritz Lemon, add chilli if you wish and drizzle with Yoghurt and you’re ready to go!