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

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!

Cocktails in the City

June 11, 2010

Another mini-post from London… After tea we went to a cool little bar off Oxford Street called Match

It had a naughty theme…

I had an amazing little cocktail called Nicola 6…

I have added a picture of the menu so you can try yourself, you will need an american style champagne glass for the this look!

Hayley had the classic Mojito!

There are many, many ways to make a mojito but the classic version is make from white rum (I would substitute with Havana club personally!), sugar (or sugar cane juice), fresh limes, sparking water/soda and fresh mint leaves and is served as a long cocktail. First add the lime juice to the sugar, then the mint leaves and crush together, I use my pestle. Then add rum and ice… easy… apart from the effort of juicing limes which is hard on the wrists.

For 1 glass; 2 parts rum 1 part lime juice Soda water to the top 10 mint leaves + 1 sprig for decoration 1 tsp sugar 1 lime wedge