I am sorry it has taken me so long to post this after showing you my starter to this great summer entertaining menu…

A busy week of planning and shopping for the wedding, with one month to go I am trying to get everything I need together so I can relax a little, meant very little time to get this up!

So anyway, here is a great dish for entertaining, it makes lots and is easy and delicious!

You need;
5 lemons
12 cloves garlic, peeled and finely chopped
10cm piece fresh ginger, peeled and finely chopped
4 tsp ground ginger
4 tsp ground coriander
3 tbsp runny honey
2 tbsp olive oil
8-12 skin on chicken pieces (legs, wings and thighs)
sea salt and cracked black pepper

1. Juice a lemon and set the lemon halves to one side then with a pestle and mortar, ground together the lemon juice, all of the garlic, fresh and ground ginger, coriander and honey then add some olive oil, until you have a rough paste. Make it quite thick, so it doesn’t just slide off.

2. Cover the chicken pieces in your paste, working it into cracks and creases, and set aside to marinate in the fridge for as long as possible, I left mine for about an hour but you should do overnight if you can.

3. About 45 minutes before you want to eat the chicken, preheat the oven to 190°C
Chop the squeezed lemon halves and the remaining whole lemons into small chunks, each with a bit of skin then heat a little olive oil in your roasting trays on the hob and wipe most of the marinade off the chicken, season and lay skin-side down in the trays and brown them a little before putting them in the oven.

4. Chuck the lemon pieces into the trays, turn them in the oil, then turn all the chicken pieces skin-side up. Put the trays in the oven for 30-40 minutes.
Keep an eye on the chicken – because of the honey, it can burn easily.
It will be golden and slightly sticky when ready. Allow to sit for five minutes before serving.

I served with steamed summer vegetables, I didn’t really mess with them too much.

I par-boiled some local new potatoes, then threw them about in a skillet with some fresh thyme before chucking in the oven for 15 minutes.

I got some podded peas, which I popped whilst serving the bruschetta and chatting with my friends, love that!

I boiled these for about 2 minutes. No more needed!

Don’t forget unless you’re serving straight away dunk in an ice water bath quickly after removing from the hob before draining and they’ll keep their bite.

Some local carrots chopped, steamed and seasoned with salt and pepper.

And some fresh corn on the cob, I truly forgot how delicious this stuff is and haven’t eaten it in years, this corn was so good we didn’t even add butter!

And that was it. My favourite meal to ever have served, fresh, and so great for a Saturday night dinner or Sunday lunch with friends and good wine.

LOVE.

Recipe from Red Magazine

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Fajitas!

June 15, 2011

I love Mexican food, LOVE it! It’s not the healthiest but it is tastygood.

Last night I had the bridesmaids over to get measured up for their dresses apart from poorly Sof :(
so I decided to make (as healthy as I could possibly make them) fajitas.

You need:
1 red pepper, chopped
1 large red onion, chopped
1 red chilli
2-3 chicken breasts, cut into smaller slices
1 tsp smoked paprika
1 tsp cumin seeds
2 limes
olive oil
freshly ground black pepper
4 wholemeal tortillas
low-fat sour cream
guacamole, to serve
lighter cheddar cheese, grated

1. Make your guacamole and your salsa

2. First toast the cumin seeds on a hight heat then add and fry the onion on a medium to high heat with a little oil until they begin to brown, then add the chilli and peppers. Cook for about 5 minutes then add the smoked paprika.

3. At the same time I fried my chicken in a little oil, already sliced with lots of lemon zest and rind and a little more smoked paprika. This should take between 5 and 10 minutes, keep an eye on the chicken make sure you get it nice and browned but do not over cook, it must be moist not dry!

Warm the tortillas in the oven for 5 minutes, do not let them dry out.

Chuck all your bits on the table, your salsa, your guacamole, cheese, sour cream and let people make their own fajitas!

I have one for my lunch today, Woo!

Adapted from Nigel Slater – Real Cooking, purely because I am squeamish with bones… his is probably better but don’t think you need em, this was so tasty!

4 chicken thighs
little bit of flour
4 tbsp olive oil
juice 2 lemons
lump of butter

1. Dust the thighs lightly with flour
2. Heat the oil in a wok or shallow pan over a medium heat, when its spitting and simmering add the chicken
3. Cook without moving the thighs until they are golden on one side, for about 5 minutes
4. Turn them over and season with salt, cover with a lid and leave to cook, the heat turned a little lower until the wings are golden and sticky, for about 20 minutes
5. Season generously with salt, lift the wings out leaving behind the gooey bits from the chicken

6. Turn up the heat and add the lemon juice and the butter and cook on a low-medium heat for about 5 minutes before pouring over the chicken

I served this with a kibbe but it would be great with some wild rice and a green salad.

I cannot tell you how great this chicken was, I cannot wait to make it again!

Just a quick post today, and not a recipe as such, more of a chuck these together they taste quite good!

I am working quite hard at the gym at the moment and am ravenous when I get home but need to stay healthy or I would be un-doing all my good work… so this was a compromise between ‘I need more than a salad’ and staying healthy…

I literally chucked remains of the fridge on some chicken, left for 10 minutes (as I say… starving, no patience) but I suggest you leave to marinade longer and the wrapped it up in a parcel…

Baked it in the oven for about 15 minutes and served with the standard sweet potato chips (do a search for the recipe, it’s on here a lot) and some steamed asparagus… Perfect!

So I used;
2 red chillies
bunch spring onions
half bunch coriander
zest and juice of 1 lemon
zest of 1 lime
sea salt and lots of black pepper

I also mixed up some lemon and lime zest and juice with some creme fraiche to serve

So in the lovely weather last week some my uni boys (who live on BBQ food and not much else in the summer months) fired theirs up, my first BBQ of the summer was a very meaty affair!

Oliver made some amazing lamb koftas and a very spicy salsa

To make the lamb kofta;
500g lamb mince
1tsp ground cumin
2 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp Paprika
3 garlic cloves
handful fresh chopped mint
Sea salt and black pepper

Mix together all the ingredients until well blended. Divide into 8 balls, then roll each ball on a board with a cupped hand to turn them into ovals.

Thread onto 4 metal skewers and brush with oil. 
You need to cook these through, this should take about 10 minutes on each side on a medium heat.
Don’t turn until they are well sealed or the meat will stick to the grill or pan.

Serve with some yogurt (mix some natural yoghurt with some finely chopped mint, half a finely chopped apple, finely chopped cucumber)

Salsa
6 tomatoes finely chopped removing the middle
2 red onions finely chopped
1 green chilli finely chopped (no seeds)
drizzle of olive oil
sea salt and black pepper
fresh coriander leaves

Mix it all up and leave for as long as you have for the flavours to combine. You can play about with the ingredients and quantities of this to make a salsa you like, maybe more/less chilli, more red onion, some parsley instead of coriander, mix it whatever you feel.

and Teeny marinated some chicken and made a really good potato salad…

plus we had hot dogs to snack on whilst we waited for all of that… I ate a LOT of food!

For ease of eating on our laps in the garden, we made wraps out of everything…

Thanks Boys! When’s the next one?

Simple Chicken Supper

June 11, 2010

This chicken recipe is so easy and simple and YUM!

Chicken with chilli, lemon, mint and yogurt

1 pack boneless chicken thighs (about 10)
4 cloves of garlic, crushed or chopped
1 red chilli (or more to taste) chopped
2 lemons (zest of 1, juice of 2)
Glug of olive oil
5-7 sprigs of fresh thyme
2 handfuls fresh mint leaves
sea salt and black pepper
greek yogurt

Pre-heated oven to 180-200

1. Make shallow slashes in the chicken thighs with a sharp knife and toss them in a large bowl with everything except the mint and yogurt making sure they are throughly coated. Add the lemon halves. Let them marinate for about half an hour if possible.

2. Place the thighs in a roasting dish and pour the rest of the marinade over them and add the lemon halves to the dish placing around the chicken. Crush salt over the thighs and cook for roughly 30-40 minutes, making sure you baste the chicken with the juices halfway through.

3. When they are done, sprinkle with about a tbsp of water and add the mint leaves and cook for another 4-5 minutes.

4. Add sea salt to the yogurt to taste and serve the chicken with the yogurt and a simple salad (I added chips as well!)

The leftover chicken made amazing sandwiches, wholemeal crusty bread, mayo and some salad leaves… so good!

This is an adapted recipe from The Times

Jerk!

June 11, 2010

Once a month me and my girl-friends try to get together for dinner and this month it was my turn to host on what was a pretty miserable may evening.

To brighten things up I decided on a Caribbean/Hawaii theme, I made a Rastafarian curry, red coleslaw with a lime vinaigrette , jerk chicken and rice n peas, we all wore flower garlands and I decorated the room with palm trees and flowers.

This is a great idea for a party as I made all of the food during the afternoon and had nothing to do when my friends arrived, I made a big jug of mojitos, put some jungle on and we just ate and drank till we were way past full! I even cut a fresh coconut up for nibbles (as well as to add to the coleslaw)

This is a traditional Jerk recipe and should really be BBQ’d for best results however I cooked it in the oven this time and it was still very very good. This is from Eat Caribbean – Virginia Burke

This book has recipes from all over the Caribbean and South America and is amazing, many ingredients you will not find in normal supermarkets and so you may need to visit (in Bristol) St Paul’s or the Sweet Mart in Easton.

Jerk Chicken
Prep time 10 minutes… makes 2/3 cup

6 spring onions
1-3 scotch bonnets (I used normal red chilli’s this time as the girls are too into burning their lips off so if you’re not into spicy food but want to try I recommend this, or just use 1 scotch bonnet)
It is trial and error when finding out how spicy you lie jerk but I would say less is more when you’re starting out as you can add more afterwards if needed, just dab a little on your tongue when it’s done and add more if you want to.

2 tsp allspice berries or 1 tsp ground allspice
1 1/2 tsp fresh thyme
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp brown sugar
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp black pepper
1/4 cane vinegar / white wine vinegar
1 tsp oil

Mash all together with petal and mortar and marinade your meat, discard any large pieces of spring onion before cooking
Or to be super lazy you can use a blender to make this a thick paste

Some variations of jerk have lots of little added extras, the above is the essential items but you can experiment and add bits if you, some ready-made sauces might have ketchup, mustard, soy sauce, or rum (which I might try next time!)

Even Biggs the Cat wanted some!

Rice n Peas

prep time soaking overnight + 15 minutes plus 21/2 hours cooking
serves 6-8

250g/1 cup dried red peas (red kidney beans or gungo beans) soaked overnight (or cheat and use tinned and skip the cooking part!)
375ml/1 1/2 cup coconut milk
400g/2 cups white rice
3 spring onions
1 fresh thyme sprig
1 scotch bonnet
salt and black pepper

1. Skip this step if using tinned kidney beans (I do this every time works fine)
Drain and rinse the beans, place in a heavy saucepan with a tight-fitting lid and add enough water to cover them.
Bring to the boil and boil rapidly for 10 minutes and then reduce the heat and cook for about 2 hours or until tender, top up the water as needed.

2. Add the coconut milk, spring onions, thyme salt and pepper (to the cooked or drained tinned beans)
Add enough water so there is about 2 1/2 times as much liquid as rice and beans
(a tip from this book says that if you pop your finger into the pan make sure the liquid is 1 finger joint or 1 inch above the rice and beans, do this and the rice is perfect every time!)

3. Drop in the whole pepper and bring to the boil
Immediately cover the pot and turn down the heat down to its lowest point
Allow the rice to steam slowly for about 25-30 minutes, do not open the pot or stir the rice during this process or it will become sticky when finished all the liquid should be absorbed and the rice tender

4. Remove the pepper, spring onions and the thyme sprig fluff the rice and serve


I will post the Rastafarian curry and coleslaw recipes soon because they were also YUM!