Category Archives: Meat & Fish

Chicken Tagine with Spinach, Olives & Preserved Lemons

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Whale received multiple Moroccan themed ingredients and a tagine for her birthday so naturally this is the result. On a side note we’re also going to Marrakech in the summer. I’m sure you could do this without using a tagine – a large casserole dish would probably suffice. Recipe modified from a gorgeous book – The Food of Morocco.

Ingredients

Marinade

1 tsp paprika
1 tsp ground cumin
1½ tsp ground ginger
½ tsp garlic paste or 1 clove crushed
good pinch of salt and pepper
1 tbsp oil
1 tsp of lemon juice

Tagine

4 chicken breasts, cut into large chunks
3 medium red onions, halved and thinly sliced
2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
2 pickled lemons, quartered
few strands of saffron
1 cup red lentils, rinsed
good handful spinach
200ml chicken stock
½ tsp turmeric
½ tsp cinnamon
handful pitted olives
large handful fresh coriander, chopped

Method

Make up marinade in a large sandwich bag (or a plastic bowl). Add the chicken, give a good squidge around and stick in the fridge for a few hours.

When ready to cook, put the saffron in 2 tbsp warm water. In a large frying pan sweat the onions over a medium heat for 5 minutes, then add the garlic for and sweat for a further 2-3 minutes. Tip half the onions into the tagine (put the other half to one side) add the chicken stock and saffron water, then layer over with lentils and spinach.

In the frying pan fry the chicken with the cinnamon and turmeric then once sealed add on top of the spinach, with the preserved lemon quarters. Stick the tagine in a cold oven and put on 160oC/320oC/gas mark 3 for 45-60 minutes. 5 minutes before serving take the tagine out, top with the remaining onions, olives and chopped coriander and stick back in the oven. Serve with a side order of tagine bread (recipe to come).

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Meen Molee [South Indian Fish in Coconut Milk]

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Very quick and very straightforward. I made this, just about, after coming home from an 80 km bike ride with feet I couldn’t feel and hands I couldn’t stop shaking. And it still turned out alright. So it can’t be that hard…! Adapted from Mighty Spice.

Ingredients

4 garlic cloves
2.5cm ginger
2.5cm fresh turmeric (use a teaspoon of ground turmeric)
1 large onion, diced
1 large tomato, chopped
500g white fish fillet, cut into bite-sized pieces
400ml can coconut milk/cream
juice of 1 lime
1 tsp curry powder
handful of green beans
1 carrot, peeled into slivers

Method

Mince the garlic, ginger and turmeric together into a paste. If you have one use a mini blender, but I don’t so I made do with a stick blender, a large mug and a little oil.

Fry up the onions for 5 minutes over a medium heat. Add the paste and tomato and cook for a couple more minutes. Add the coconut milk and lime juice and season with salt. Stir, bring to the boil, reduce to a simmer and add the fish. Cook for 5 minutes before adding the carrots and beans then continue until fish is cooked through (approx. 3-4 minutes).

Sorry, no piccy. Wouldn’t have been able to hold the camera probably…

Sweet Potato Cottage Pie

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aka Jelly’s Miraculous Return from being a massive lazy bum.

So, I’ve been terribly rubbish and awful with not posting for like 6 months so I do apologise about that. Here’s a proper tasty, easy peasy cold January kind of a recipe. Adapted from BBC Good Food. Totally customisable to your taste.

P.S. Happy New Year!

Serves 4 very well, 5 quite well and 6 well

Ingredients

3 onions, chopped
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
3 medium carrots, chopped
hefty sprinkling of thyme
300-400g minced beef/lamb
100g puy lentils
1 cup of peas
flour to thicken, if necessary
1l stock (beef or vegetable)
3 medium sweet potatoes, cut into 2cm cubes
3 large potatoes, cut into 3cm cubes
150g yoghurt
salt and pepper
2 tsp ground coriander
2 tsp ground turmeric
2 tsp ground paprika
few handfuls grated cheese

Method

Heat some oil in a large/deep saucepan. Sweat the onions for 5 minutes then throw in the garlic, thyme and carrots. Cook for 5 more minutes before adding the mince, stirring and breaking it up with a wooden spoon. Once fully browned add the lentils and stock. Simmer for 30 minutes or so, until nicely thickened – add flour if necessary.

Meanwhile stick all your potatoes in another large saucepan. Boil until soft, then drain and mash with the yoghurt. Season to taste, add the peas and stick in a large casserole dish. Cover the meaty mixture with the mash (if you’re feeling fancy you could pipe it, but if not just stripe with a fork). Stick in the oven (180°C/350°F/gas mark 4) until the mash begins to crisp then add the cheese and cook for a further ten minutes.

Picture soon to follow…!

Scrummy Pie

See, told you so.

J

Summer Chicken Tray Bake

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Inspired from a recipe in the Hairy Bikers “Hairy Dieters” book. Their recipe included chorizo (75g, thinly sliced) which would have been a fabulous addition, alas none was to be found in my house. This is a really pretty and straight-forward dish and would make a great centre-piece for people to help themselves, on its own or accompanied by a leafy salad.

Serves 4-5

Ingredients

4-5 chicken breasts (approx 600-700g) deeply slashed every inch or so
2 red onions, cut into 8 wedges
500g new potatoes, cut into inch cubes if large/left whole if small
8 whole garlic cloves, in their skins
4 large tomatoes, cut into 8 wedges
10 or so sundried tomatoes, halved
handful asparagus spears, woody ends snapped off
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp dried oregano/mixed herbs
1 tsp ground turmeric
2 peppers (colour of your choosing!) cut into 1cm thick strips
salt and pepper
lemon juice

Method

Preheat the oven to 200oC/400oF/gas mark 6. Stick onions, potatoes, garlic and tomatoes in a large roasting tin. Season with plenty of pepper and a little salt, drizzle with a little oil (I used the oil from the sundried tomatoes) turn everything over with a spoon or similar implement. Roast for 20 minutes. Mix the paprika, turmeric and oregano and set aside.

Put the chicken breasts on a board, season all over with ground pepper. Remove the vegetables from the oven, sprinkle over half of the spice mix, shake/turn to coat. Add the sundried tomatoes (and chorizo if you’re lucky enough to have some!). Lay the chicken breasts on top of the vegetables and sprinkle with the rest of the spice mix – open up the slices and try to get some in if possible. Return to the oven for 20-25 minutes.

Remove the tin from the oven. Holding one corner (use oven gloves, obviously) tip the tray ever so slightly so the juices run down to the opposite corner. I recommend tipping it slightly away from you as if there are any spillages at least it will go toward the relative safety of the top of the oven and not all over you and the floor! Spoon the juice back over everything – concentrate more on the chicken. Add the pepper strips around the chicken.

Return the tray to the oven and turn up to 220oC/425oF/gas mark 7 for ten minutes. Remove and lay the asparagus spears over the top of everything. Return to the oven one final time for 10-15 minutes depending on the thickness of your asparagus. Stab a couple of the potatoes to ensure they’re cooked through and serve.

J

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Middle-East Feast

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We would certainly recommend this as a lazy weekend afternoon set of recipes. There’s nothing particularly difficult here, but it’s nice to get everything together in a leisurely manner – even factoring in time for a mid-aftermoon cocktail! Equally you needn’t cook everything here, feel free to mix and match as you see fit!

feast

Serves 4-5

Harissa Lamb Kebabs

Ingredients

400g lamb steaks, cut into inch cubes

Marinade

1 tbsp harissa paste
1 tbsp tomato purée
juice of one lime
2 garlic cloves, crushed/finely chopped
1 tsp cumin seeds, ground
a few cloves, ground
2 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp paprika
salt and pepper

Method

Mix up the marinade ingredients in a bowl. Stick in the lamb and smush around till all sides of are coated. Cover with clingfilm and stick in the fridge. 15 minutes before you plan to eat, remove from the fridge and stick on a skewer, leaving a small gap between each cube. Stick under a medium grill for 10-15 minutes (or to your preference) turning every so often until the outsides are slightly charred and hey presto.

Oven-Baked Aubergine

Ingredients

1 large aubergine
1 onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, crushed/finely chopped
1 cinnamon stick
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp ground cumin
2 tsp ground coriander
few handfuls of raisins
handful walnuts, chopped up

Method

Preheat the oven to 200oC/400oF/gas mark 6. Halve the aubergine lengthways and slash the cut side. Wipe all over with olive oil, stick in a roasting tin and season with salt, pepper and a little paprika. Cover with foil and bake for 35-40 minutes.

Meanwhile sweat the onions and garlic in a little oil, add the spices and cinnamon stick, raisins and nuts and a little water. Cook till the onions are translucent, adding water if things start to stick. Remove the aubergine from the oven, take off the foil, cover in the mush and put back in the oven for 5 minutes.

Flatbreads

See here

Hummus

Ingredients

1 tin of chickpeas
1 tbsp tahini
juice of half a lemon
salt and pepper
1 tsp paprika

Method

Drain the chickpeas, preserving the water in a separate jug. Whizz them up with a blender until they are crushed, before adding the tahini paste, lemon juice, paprika and seasoning. Whizz a little more, a cautiously add bits of the chickpea water until you reach the desired consistency.

Tasty Tabbouleh

Ingredients

2 tomatoes, chopped
2 inch piece of cucumber, chopped
1 small red onion, chopped
1 large handful of herbs: mint, parsley, coriander, chopped
1 tbsp olive oil
juice of half a lemon
salt and pepper

Method

Add all the chopped vegetables and herbs to a bowl. Drizzle over the oil and lemon juice, season well.

Yoghurt, Two Ways

Ingredients

400g natural yoghurt
1 tsp harissa paste
1 spring onion, finely sliced
1 inch piece of cucumber, chopped
handful fresh mint, basil and coriander leaves, roughly torn
squeeze of lemon juice
pepper

Method

Add half the yoghurt to one bowl, stir in the harissa. Add the rest of the ingredients to a separate bowl, stir and that is essentially it! Time to enjoy all this incredible food!

J&W

Sticky Chilli, Ginger, Citrus Salmon

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Oh look, I cooked fish again and oh look I cooked it with fennel. This is mainly a Hairy Dieter’s recipe, with some tweaking.

Serves 5

Ingredients

5 125-150g salmon fillets, skin on
1 fennel bulb
3 spring onions, sliced lengthways

Marinade

2 stem ginger balls, finely chopped
2 tbsp stem ginger syrup
3 tbsp soy sauce
3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
zest and juice of 1 orange
zest and juice of 1 lemon
1 small red chilli, finely chopped
salt and pepper

*I didn’t actually have a chilli so substituted 1 tsp chilli powder

Method

Make up the marinade, ideally in a large rectangular flat dish à la this one. A bowl will work fine (in fact, I used a bowl and am recommending a flat dish in hindsight). Lay the salmon fillets in the dish with the skin side pointing vertically, season with plenty of black pepper (and chilli powder if you like) and leave for a few minutes. Turn skin side down, peppper, leave, turn to the third side, pepper, leave and finally turn once more to skin side up. Cover and put in the fridge for at least half an hour. I made mine up in the morning and left it around 8 hours (!)

When you’re ready to eat, preheat the oven to 220oC/425oF/gas mark 7 tear off a piece of foil large enough to bake the salmon in. Lay out on a large oven tray, I recommend using a deep one in case of leakage. Remove the tough outer fennel leaves and cut off the manky bits (for want of a better word). Halve from top to bottom, lay flat side down then cut into thin (2mm) wedges from outside edge to centre. Put out on the foil with the spring onions then carefully place the salmon fillets on top, skin side down. Not going to lie, hands really are the best way of doing this. Drizzle over about half of the marinade, pull up the sides of the foil and scrunch together to form a seal.

Put in the oven for 15 minutes, bring out and check. My oven is a bit of a cold-burner and mine took a fair while longer. Meanwhile reduce the rest of the marinade on the hob until viscous and sticky. When the salmon is ready, plate up with the fennel, some steamed veg and drizzle over the reduced marinade.

J

sticky salmon

Everything-But-The-Kitchen-Sink Chicken Stir Fry

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As I’m currently on Easter break I am home for a while which means I have access to many more (free) ingredients than I would do normally. Hence this stir fry has got everything I could get my hands on in! It could easily work with a lot fewer ingredients.

Serves 4-5

Ingredients

400g chicken breasts, cut into strips
1 large red onion, thinly sliced
1 large carrot, thinly sliced
½ broccoli, cut into small florets
handful red chard, leaves stripped from stems, stems sliced
½ karela*, cut horizontally into strips
1 red pepper cut into strips
1 cup of peas
handful peanuts
handful cashew nuts

*also known as bitter melon apparently, I picked one up in the supermarket because it looked interesting. This really is pretty bitter, though grated in the marinade it gets cooked through nicely and loses its edge much more than when left in chunks. If I use it again I think I will probably grate it all.

Marinade

6 spring onions, sliced
3 cloves garlic, grated
½ bitter melon, grated
thumb-sized piece of fresh ginger, grated
3 tbsp soy sauce
3 tbsp tomato purée
2 tbsp brown sugar
½ tsp cinnamon
2 tsp chilli powder
3 tsp coriander
1 piece galangal, broken into a few pieces
zest and juice of ½ a lemon
zest and juice of ½ a lime
1 kafir lime leaf
handful fresh basil, torn up
handful fresh coriander, torn up
1 stick lemongrass, slightly crushed
glug sesame oil

Serve with noodles

Method

Usually I would advice cutting everything up first but seeing as your chicken is going to want to marinade for a while it makes sense to do the marinade first. Stick all the marinade ingredients into a large bowl. Give a good mix then add the chicken and smush around until everything is relatively evenly coated. Cover with clingfilm and stick in the fridge. I left mine for an hour or so. Go get cutting!

If possible get a wok, preferably one with a lid. (You could use a frying pan but it would have to be pretty mega). Toast the nuts for a few minutes then set aside. Fetch your marinaded chicken from the fridge. Heat a fairly large glug of oil (sesame if you have it, but this is by no means essential) over a high heat. Add the chicken and fry off for a few minutes, until cooked through. Remove and put to one side.

Put a saucepan onto boil for your noodles. Fry up the onions for 7-8 minutes then add a little water to the wok and throw in the broccoli. Stick the lid on and steam for 5 minutes or so. Remove lid, stir, add carrots and chard stalks, replace lid. After a further five minutes add the peas, chard leaves and re-add the chicken and nuts. Heat everything through while you cook your noodles. Depending on personal preference either add the noodles to the wok or just put them on a plate and add the stir fry on top.

J

what, no kitchen sink?