I have wanted to use a recipe I had for fish kebabs for ages, and decided that one night after a big workout would be the night, however I had not read the whole recipe through, only the fact that it took 25 minutes in total which wasn’t true!

So I had to improvise a little and change them to patties as they might not have held on a kebab… this meant they worked out a little expensive as instead of two dinners and one lunch it only made two dinner but you could easily add some potato or make them smaller to make them last longer or just reduce your quantities of fish and make enough for one dinner.

If you are going to do large ones like this, I recommend halving the recipe and only buying as much fish as you would eat normally, i.e. 1 fillet per person, you could bulk it out with mashed potato if needed.

You need:
500g white fish fillets, skinned
250g salmon fillet, skinned
1 egg white
3 red chillies, finely chopped
4 spring onions, chopped
2 tbsp chopped coriander leaves
1 tbsp chopped mint leaves
2 tsp finely grated ginger
2 cloves garlic, crushed
juice and zest 1 lime
1 tbsp fennel seeds
1 tbsp coriander seeds
1 tsp black peppercorns

1. Remove any bones left in the fish and roughly chop, mash the fish with the egg white together, use a food processor if you need to, then add the chillies, spring onions, coriander leaves, mint, ginger, garlic, lime juice and zest and mix well.

2. Heat the fennel seeds, coriander seeds and peppercorns in a frying pan over a medium heat until fragrant, then grind in a pestle and mortar, before stirring into the fish mix, season with sea salt

3. Mold into patties, whatever size you wish and chill for 30 minutes (if possible, mine worked fine skipping this step)

4. My patties were quite large and I then griddled them for 10-15 minutes, turning frequently.

For a super healthy dinner serve with steamed brown rice (I added spring onions and soy sauce for taste) and a cucumber yogurt dip…

250 ml half fat greek yogurt
1 small cucumber grated
2-3 tbsp roughly chopped mint leaves

Combine all and season with a little salt

 So good, and very healthy if a little expensive!

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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

Jamaican Patties

June 11, 2010

Another recipe from 101cookbooks!

I have made these a lot, it does take time and effort but it is so worth it, they are amazing, they make a great dinner served up with some rice and peas or coleslaw and then you will have enough left to pack them up for a picnic or lunch box. I also made lots of mini ones once for my *Godmother’s* birthday party to serve as quite substantial canapes! To drink? Has to be Ting! or Fruit Punch right? Or maybe some rum coocktails

Heidi recommends playing around with the sizes, I have only ever made big ones using a cereal bowl to cut the circle or teeny ones with a large cookie cutter, but as she also says if they are too small they will open and the filly will leak a little… this doesn’t matter if you don’t care but they will not look perfect.

Another tip is to roll the pastry as thinly as you can, this is hard work but good for those upper arms!

These patties are vegan (unless you paste them with egg, but I use olive oil) do not let that put you off!

1 tablespoon coconut oil (I used cooking margarine as coconut oil is hard to find and very fattening)
1/2 cup 1/4-inch-diced yellow onion
1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon allspice
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/8 teaspoon cayenne
Coarse sea salt
2 large cloves garlic, minced
3/4 cup coconut milk
1/4 cup 1/4-inch-diced carrots
1/4 cup 1/4-inch-diced yellow potatoes
1/2 cup fresh green peas (or frozen)
1/2 cup sweet fresh corn (or frozen)
1/2 cup shredded cabbage
1 tablespoon minced fresh thyme
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground white pepper
Pastry:
1 3/4 cups unbleached flour
1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
2 teaspoons turmeric
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
3/4 cup chilled coconut oil (cooking margarine)
2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons ice water

For the filling: In a medium-size saute pan over medium-low heat, combine the coconut oil, the onion cinnamon, allspice, cumin, red pepper flakes, cayenne, and 1/2 teaspoon of salt. Saute, stirring occasionally, for 8 to 10 minutes, or until the vegetables are caramelized. Add the garlic and cook for an additional 2 minutes. Stir in the coconut milk, carrots, and potatoes, reduce the heat to low, cover, and cook until the carrots and potatoes are tender, 10 to 12 minutes. Stir in the green peas, corn, cabbage, thyme, and lemon juice, cover, and cook for 3 minutes more. Season with additional salt and the white pepper (or to taste) and set aside to allow the flavors to marry.

For the pastry: Combine 1 1/2 cups of the white flour with the pastry flour, turmeric, and salt in a large bowl and mix well. Set the remaining 1/4 cup white flour aside. Add the coconut butter to the flour mixture and rub with your fingertip until the mixture resembles fine sand, about 10 minutes (hs note: I’ve also make this dough by pulsing ingredients in a food processor with good results).

Combine the vinegar and water and mix well. Then, without overworking the dough, add the vinegar mixture by the tablespoon, while stirring, just until the dough comes away from the sides of the bowl and begins to coalesce. Squeeze into a tight ball, flatten, cover in plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.

Preheat the oven to 350F and remove the dough from the refrigerator.

With the reserved flour, lightly dust a clean surface, roll out the dough until it is about 1/8 inch thick. Cut six 6-inch circles from the dough (you can use a bowl). Spoon 2 heaping tablespoons of the filling onto the center of one side of each circle, leaving about a 1/8-inch border. Fold the other half over to make a half-moon, press to seal, and make ridges around the edge using a fork. (hs note: if your dough is at all on the dry side you may need to run wet fingers around the edge of the circles to help get a good seal).

Transfer the patties to a parchment-lined baking sheet and bake until golden brown, about 35 minutes. Serve immediately with some hot sauce.

Makes six big patties, or a couple dozen smaller ones.

Heidi has some great pictures of hers on 101cookbooks, I always end up gobbling mine up too quickly!

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!

Chorizo Hash

June 11, 2010

This is a chorizo and potato hash of sorts… a recipe I have adapted to make a Spanish style dinner.

I had brought some chorizo at the farmers market in Bedminster a couple of weeks ago, the chorizo is made in Bath by Bath Pig and wanted to find a way to use it so I could really taste it, i.e. not in a stew.

The company is based just outside and Bath run by two friends who wanted to make their own chorizo (and other products) using free range British pork. I brought the standard chorizo (they also do part-cooked and extra spicy) and it was really good I definitely recommend this chorizo, and the best thing is you know exactly where it came from!

Chorizo Hash – Serves 2
2 medium potato’s chopped into chunks (I also added some leftover roasted sweet potato chunks)
1/2 red pepper chopped into strips
1/2 green pepper ” ”
1/2 yellow pepper ” ”
1 chorizo sausage from Bath Pig chopped
1/2 can tinned chopped tomatoes
1 tbsp tomato puree
punnet cherry tomatoes (the best you can get)
sea salt and black pepper
fresh chillies (as many as you like)
chopped garlic – 2 cloves chopped/crushed
1 red onion chopped
2 eggs (optional)

1. Roast the tomatoes in the over until they spilt and are cooked through (about 15-20 minutes at 180) and boil for potatoes until they are almost cooked
2. Heat some oil in a large pan (or wok) and pan fry the potatoes for 2-3 minutes, then add the onion, cook for a further 3-4 minutes then add your peppers and chorizo, add some chilli if you like
3. At the same time add your roasted tomatoes to your chopped tomatoes and puree in a saucepan and heat and add the chopped chilli and garlic
4. Finally poach your eggs, serve the pan-fried mix piled on a plate with the tomato sauce drizzled all over and the egg on top.

Yum!