Tag Archives: lemon

Middle-East Feast

Standard

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

Advertisements

Sticky Chilli, Ginger, Citrus Salmon

Standard

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

Standard

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?

 

Pork, Pear & Parsnip Roast

Standard

Fruit should not just be reserved for dessert.

I won’t lie, this is a little faffy – it was kind of on the hop and I haven’t really had a chance to perfect the method I’m afraid…if anyone has any ideas as to how to streamline it I would love to hear them! Having said that, for a roast this is pretty quick…

Serves 4-6

Ingredients

4 pork tenderloin steaks (approx. 700g), cut width-ways into strips – about 5 or 6 per steak
2 large parsnips, cut into wedges
2 large carrots, cut into wedges
3 large potatoes, cut into wedges
2 large onions, cut into wedges
3 large pears, cut into – you guessed it- wedges!
couple of handfuls of apricots

Marinade

2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
thumb-sized piece of ginger, finely chopped
100ml cider (roughly)
juice of 1 lemon
good glug of oil
good slug of golden syrup
handful fresh rosemary leaves, roughly chopped
handful fresh thyme leaves, roughly chopped
2 bay leaves, gently crushed
salt and pepper

Method

Chop everything first – vegetables then meat, just to be safe. This is where having a couple of assistants comes in very handy – so if you’re cooking for a group get them to earn their grub! Parboil the carrots, parsnips and potato for about 10 minutes, until they’re slightly tender (basically just make sure you don’t turn them to mush).

Preheat the oven to 200oC/400oF/gas mark 6. Get a couple of oven trays or large roasting trays out and put them in an easily accessible place. Mix up all the marinade ingredients (don’t throw away your lemon skins!) in a large bowl. Put a large frying pan on a high heat. Toss the pork in the marinade, give it a good rub around with your hands (just wash them afterwards, a’ight) and add to the frying pan. Seal the outside of the meat, turn the pieces over every now and again to make sure you get every side. You may need to do this in batches – add the sealed meat to one of the trays and repeat.

Repeat the process – marinade then frying pan – for the pears and onions, about 5 minutes should do it. Again, depending on the size of your saucepan you may need to do this in batches.

Drain your vegetables and add to the remaining marinade with the apricots. Give a good shufty then divide everything up evenly over the roasting trays. Pour over any left over marinade, another glug of oil, a good few twists of pepper, the bay leaves and the lemon skins, give one final shufty and put in the oven for about 20-25 minutes.

After 20-25 minutes, take out the trays, give a good shufty, return to the oven and turn up to 220oC/425oF/gas mark 7 for a final 10-15 minutes. Take out and serve – succulent meat, caramelised fruit, roast vegetables all in one incredible ensemble.

Sorry, no picture – couldn’t stop myself from getting stuck in!

Summer Berry Jam

Standard

If you are looking for a definitive jam recipe from someone who knows what they are doing this is not it. I sort of made this up as I went along and the recipe that follows is how I may do this in future knowing now what I did right/wrong. I will highlight all the mistakes I made so hopefully you won’t make them too! It still tastes pretty epic by the way but if you want something foolproof…I recommend going elsewhere!

This makes quite a tart jam, so if you have a sweeter tooth obviously up the sugar.

Makes…quite a lot!

Ingredients

1.5 kg summer berries, I used (575g blackberries, 500g raspberries, 500g blackcurrant and 200g blueberries. I realise that doesn’t add up to 1.5 kg but I’m trying to make the weights a bit more scalable)
500g sugar*
6 tbsp orange juice
4 tbsp lemon juice (+keep the lemon, pips** and all)
2 tbsp lime juice (+ keep the lime, pips and all)
handful fresh rosemary
handful fresh thyme
handful fresh lavender
3 tsp vanilla essence
2 tsp ground nutmeg

Method

Squeeze your juices into a deep pan (as deep & wide as you can: jam is like magma when boiling and it has a tendency to jump out and attack you). Get your herbs, put them in a piece of cloth or something porous, with the remains of the lemon and lime (pips and all!) and bind with some twine. Crush with your hands to release the smelly loveliness. This would be a good point to sterilise some jars for preserving, so fill a bowl with soapy water, set the oven to a low heat, wash the jars then stick them in the oven to dry. (Read here for a little more info).

Add 2/3 of all the fruits to the fruit juice over a medium heat and bung in the lovely smelly sack. DON’T ADD ANY EXTRA WATER***. Stir regularly with a spoon and after 10-15 minutes add the sugar, nutmeg and vanilla essence. Continue to bubble away until the fruit is reduced and mushy and somewhere between liquid and solid. Add your remaining fruit – this way you get some mushed-down, jelly-type spread and hopefully some whole fruit too, yippeee – and turn the heat right up for 10 minutes or so. Really my timings are very rough – leave it as long as you deem necessary, the longer you do obviously the stiffer your jam will be.

Please be aware the area around the pan can and will get fairly splattered so don’t wear your favourite-brand-new-turquoise-shorts-that-are-so-good-your-girlfriend-steals-them****.

Remove your jar/s from the oven when dry and immediately fill with the hot jam – a funnel is really useful at this point. Seal the jars as soon as they are full so a vacuum is formed. Leave on the side to cool for a few hours before putting in the fridge, otherwise the glass is liable to crack due to the rapid change in temperature.

Serve on toast, in peanut butter and jam sandwiches (I used to be a non-believer, but my god they are awesome – honestly if you’ve never tried one you really ought to), in puddings, y’know, wherever you usually use jam…!

My Mistakes

*I used 300g of sugar (initially only 200!) and having had it for my lunch to say I have to say it was a little on the…tangy…side, even for me (and I’m usually one for cutting down the sugar in recipes by a lot).

**I didn’t include the pips but apparently they are a big source of pectin which is what is put in jam/jam sugar to help it solidify. So include yours!

***I added 100ml of water – BIG MISTAKE. The berries create plenty of liquid themselves and the extra water just meant it took forever to reduce. Honestly, although it might not seem like it at first you don’t need to add any.

****I got jam splodges on my favourite-brand-new-turquoise-shorts-that-are-so-good-your-girlfriend-steals-them *shock*. Fortunately my dad was there to very kindly wash them while I continued to tend to my jam…in my boxer shorts…

And on that beautiful image I shall leave you! Have a jamtastic time ;]

Ginger & Lemon Ice-Cream/Fro-Yo Mashup

Standard

It’s got cream in it. It’s got yoghurt in it. It’s icy AND frozen (well…I suppose those are one and the same). So which is it – a bona fide Ice-Cream, an authentic Frozen Yoghurt…or some crazy hybrid combo? Who knows but more importantly who cares? Words go out the window when treats this quick taste this good. Not too unhealthy either. Boom.

Makes ½ litre

Ingredients

200ml single/double cream
200ml natural yoghurt
6 pieces of stem ginger, chopped
3 tbsp stem ginger syrup from the jar
pinch of salt
zest of 1 large lemon

Method

Whisk up the cream until it thickens – I used an electric whisk to save my paltry arms. Add the yoghurt, salt and syrup and continue to whisk. It doesn’t need to get too thick – I thought my mixture would be way too runny but half an hour in the magic ice-cream machine really thickened it up nicely. Chop your ginger into 0.5cm cubes and fold in with the grated zest of 1 lemon. Or go mental and add the zest of 2 lemons. Throw in the ice-cream maker and follow the instructions for your particular machine.

Mine came out almost ready to eat so this is a great one to make if you need to rustle up a frozen dessert pronto. Again I have failed to take a picture*, but hey ho. One of these days we’re going to go back to cooking real food but for now we’re surviving on ice-cream and ice-cream alone.

J

*I HAVE NOW TAKEN A PICTURE! See:

garnished with coriander. lovely jubbly.