Harissa salmon with wild garlic & herb couscous and roasted veg.

IMG_1528 (1)

 

Wild garlic is at is peak now for foraging and should be in most places over the UK in flower. I Love wild garlic and this year I have been experimenting more with it. I think people who come into my kitchen recently must be sick of smelling it, or even on me for that matter! ( Never thought about that until now! ) Also what is coming up great in my kitchen garden are the herbs. My fennel has lasted all through winter and is still going strong.

IMG_1513

One recipe that really stood out through developing was this one on how quick it takes to prepare and cook. Plus it is super healthy.

I don’t usually buy salmon purely on its cost and sustainability but I couldn’t get Loch trout which I would have used instead. I managed to find some Scottish salmon that was MSC certified which had a lovely taste.

Combining the lovely subtle fresh flavours of the wild garlic and herbs in the couscous makes this dish so light. I didn’t overpower the salmon either, just gives it a little gentle heat against everything else. This dish is perfect for lots of occasions and especially with Easter coming up it’s a lovely alternative if you don’t want to have Lamb or any other meats. One key factor to remember…Do not overcook the Salmon then it will keep it’s lovely flavour and just flake away nicely.

I paired this up with some lovely British tomatoes that look fantastic on the dish but if Im completely honest I don’t think they go with the rest of the dish. They have a beautiful taste roasted though. So that’s your choice on whether you put them on the dish or not.

IMG_1514

 

Ingredients:

(Serves 2)

Salmon:

  • 2 responsilbly sourced Salmon fillets ( I used Scottish )
  • 1 tsp of dry Harissa spice mix/rub ( I use Spice Kitchen )
  • 1 tbsp of rapeseed oil
  • Sprinkle of sea salt to season. I use pink himalayan salt on mine but any good quality will do.

Wild garlic and herb Couscous:

  • 150g of Couscous ( you might even have more left over for Lunch the next day )
  • 250ml of vegetable stock ( boiling water )or enough to just cover the Couscous
  • a handful of freshly picked wild garlic leaves, stalks off, washed and finely chopped ( Chiffonade )
  • A good handful of fresh herbs finely chopped such as: Chives, mint, green fennel or fronds of, chervil and parsley. If you can’t get the fennel or chervil use a little tarragon or dill.
  • A little salt and cracked black pepper to season if needed.

Roasted vegetables:

  • 1 small red onion roughly diced
  • 1 small red pepper diced roughly
  • 1 small yellow pepper roughly diced
  • 1 stick of celery chopped roughly
  • 1 tbsp rapeseed oil
  • Small handful of lemon thyme, (if you can’t get this use normal thyme and a little lemon zest at the end of roasting)
  • Salt and cracked black pepper to season.
  • British Vittoria tomatoes on the side ( optional )

 

IMG_1505

Method:

  • Preheat oven to 180c fan.
  • Place vegetables in a roasting tin/dish with the lemon thyme and place in oven for 5 minutes.
  • Place Salmon after 5 minutes in a roasting dish, smother the harissa and oil over it, season and place in the oven also for approximately 12-15 mins or when salmon is cooked.

IMG_1507

  • Continue cooking the vegetables also.
  • Whilst these are in the oven together Pop your dry couscous into a bowl, cover with the vegetable stock and cover with cling film for 10 minutes. Leave aside.
  • At this point pop your tomatoes in the oven if you want to use them.
  • Then when all is ready in the oven, flake your couscous with a fork and will be fluffy at this point. Then add in your herbs and wild garlic, stir and leave to stand until all dished up together.
  • Serve altogether and enjoy!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chicken, red wine casserole with parmentier potatoes and local king cabbage

 

 

img_1104

 

Even with how many recipes I develop on a day to day basis, it still begins to amaze me when a dish turns out fantastically especially when you were just using the odd thing up in your cupboards and fridge.

It was last month on a Sunday and I said to my partner I was going to do a bit of a fridge/cupboard raid for dinner. I called it a chasseur at the time just because it was cooked in red wine but I’ve decided to call it a casserole as it was cooked the same way.

This recipe blew my mind with how the red wine tasted in it. The wine I use isn’t too expensive but one of which we love in our house. A South African Stellenbosch.

Earlier on in the day we had been to our local garden centre to actually look for another blueberry plant to help with pollination. We did get one. However when we first turned up, they had these huge King cabbages for sale at only 40p! As you can see by the picture below, it had these vivid green and purple tones that were just mesmerising. I knew it would taste nice and would stretch to lots of meals for us.

img_1081

This was the sort of meal that for an occasion, date night maybe or a Sunday that you are fed up of the same roast, this a great alternative and so easy to cook. It somehow feels a little extra special but still comforting and warming at its best.

 

Ingredients:

  • 3 chicken breasts ( Or 1 per person )
  • 4-5 chestnut mushrooms sliced
  • 1 onion diced
  • 1-2 tbsp of rapeseed oil
  • a knob of unsalted butter
  • 2 garlic cloves finely chopped
  • 2 carrots peeled and chopped/sliced however you like
  • 1 large leek sliced
  • 1/2 celery stick chopped
  • 3/4 400g tin of chopped tomatoes
  • a sprig of thyme
  • a good handful of chervil, if you can’t get use a little parsley and tarragon
  • 250ml red wine ( I used a South African Stellenbosch )
  • 1 tbsp tomato puree, may need to use a little more
  • Chicken stock, Use a 1/4 gel pot or homemade. You need enough to create a lovely sauce. I used about 300ml of water. Add more if need be.
  • salt and cracked black pepper to season

Parmentier Potatoes:

  • 6/7 medium sized potatoes, I use marfona Peeled and chopped into squares
  • A handful of rosemary
  • 3-4 garlic cloves crushed
  • Plain flour for dusting
  • sea salt and cracked black pepper to season
  • 1-2 tbsp of rapeseed oil

 

IMG_1083

Method:

  •  Preheat your oven to 190c

 

  • In a heavy bottomed casserole dish, seal off the chicken breasts in some rapeseed oil.

 

  •  Take out your chicken once starting to colour and pop aside. Then in the same pan add a little more oil and a knob of unsalted butter and fry off your onions until starting to soften.

 

  •  Add in your carrots and celery and stir. Then add all other ingredients . Pop the lid on and place in the oven for about 45 mins-hour.

 

  • In the mean time you can prepare and cook your potatoes. Blanch the potatoes in boiling water for 3-4 mins.

 

  •  Drain and sprinkle your flour over the potatoes coating them.

 

  •  Place a baking/roasting tray in the oven with a little rapeseed oil in it. Once hot pop the potatoes onto it ( it should sizzle ) with the herbs and garlic and place in the oven for about 15 minutes or when crispy, golden brown.

 

IMG_1086

 

  • Once the casserole and potatoes are done. Best way to cook this cabbage is boil your water first and then once rapidly boiling plunge into the hot water. It will only need about 4-5 minutes cooking maximum and will stay vivid green.

 

  •  Once the cabbage is cooked, serve all together and enjoy.

 

 

IMG_1095

 

 

 

 

 

Spring Lamb chops with a wild garlic and herb butter, butterbean mash and a medley of veg:



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:








Ingredients:
(serves 2)

  • 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

Butterbean Mash:

  • 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 




Method:

  • 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.





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.




Leftover Moroccan Lamb cous cous

img_5940

 

 

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:

 

img_5769
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.

 

img_5767