Thursday 30 April 2009

Recipe - Lamb Kebabs with Garlic Free Tsatziki

This dish really rocked.

I cooked it in my oven but I can't wait to try it on a barbecue. I think this might be one of those dishes that I'll have to defend with a knife if I want to save one for myself during a 'cue.

I've seen different spellings for this. Kebabs, kebobs, kabobs,ke-bobs and so on. I guess calling it lamb mince on a stick doesn't quite have that nice ring to it.

You will notice that this tsatziki doesn't have any garlic in it. I would normally overdo it but this time I decided to try a garlic free version. The reason behind that? Let's just say that everyone I cook for doesn't appreciate garlic as much as I do. Yes, that would be you Mrs T! :) I have to admit that this was almost as good as a garlicky tsatziki.

I served this with a roasted red pepper, dill and lemon couscous but you could serve it differently if you wish. Since I had some leftovers I'll post another suggestion in a couple of days.

Enough waffling, over to the interesting bits.

Recipe (makes 4 skewers)
Lamb mince on sticks
500g lamb mince
2 garlic cloves
1 small red onion, roughly chopped
4 tablespoons fresh mint leaves
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon paprika

Garlic free tsatziki
125g cucumber, deseeded
250 ml plain yoghurt
2 tablespoons fine quality extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh dill
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
A couple of good splashed of Tabasco

Lamb mince on a stick
Put the onion, garlic and mint in a blender or a food processor and mix until well processed and almost a paste.

Put this together with all the remaining ingredients in a bowl and mix thoroughly. Divide the mix into eight pieces. Roll each piece into a sausage shape. Put two pieces onto each skewer.

Refrigerate the skewers, covered, for two to eight hours before cooking.

To cook, preheat the oven to 200c. Put the skewers on a rack in a roasting tray. Let them cook for 12 minutes. Take them out of the oven, rotate and put them back in for another 5 minutes.

Finish them off under the grill - should take about 5 more minutes. Rotate again to make sure to get an even look.

Garlic free tsatziki
Grate the cucumber. Drain in a colander or a sieve and squeeze out most of the moisture. In a bowl, mix the cucumber together with the rest of the ingredients for the tsatziki.

Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve


Wednesday 29 April 2009

Recipe - Curried Tuna Baguette

This is a twist on the normal (and quite boring) tuna/mayo baguette. I can't remember where, it but recently I read someone saying: "It's time for the tuna and the sweet corn to divorce!". I took his/hers words to heart and this is what I came up with. Tuna but no sweet corn as far as your eye can see.

I served this in a baguette but it could work as well in a pitta pocket or why not as a proper open sandwich on some pumpernickel bread?

As always, add and remove ingredients as you see fit - just freestyle it to your hearts content!

Recipe (serves 1 - 4)
2 cans of tuna in brine, drained
6 - 8 tbsp mayonnaise
1 - 4 tsp curry powder
1 pickled gherkin, finely chopped
4 hard boiled eggs, chopped
4 spring onions, chopped
Lettuce, to serve
Sliced tomatoes, to serve
Sprigs of dill, to serve
Lemon juice, to serve

Flake the tuna into a large-ish bowl. Mix in mayonnaise, curry powder, gherkin, eggs and spring onions until it gets a creamy texture.

Slice open a baguette. Line the bottom half with lettuce and sliced tomatoes. Spoon on the tuna mixture and top it with dill and lemon juice.


Tuesday 28 April 2009

Burritos with poached chicken and spicy rice

Burritos are great. You can eat them straight away or roll them up in some tin foil and bring to work for lunch or why not bring them on your next picnic?

Since I'm feeling lazy today I won't give you a full recipe, I'll hide behind the usual - see this as inspiration. ;)

These burritos were made with spicy rice (just boil the rice with some cajun spices or similar), shredded poached chicken breasts, diced peeled and de-seeded tomatoes, diced peppers, diced onion and some fresh coriander (cilantro if you're American).

Serve with salsa on the side.


Monday 27 April 2009

Recipe - Italian inspired Hot Sandwich

My sandwich grill is great when I just want to create something that's quick and easy.

A simple grilled sandwich ticks many of the boxes for comfort food. Freestyling is an integral part of making one so what's there not to like about it?

As always, this isn't much of an recipe - see it more as an inspiration.

Panini, sliced into half horizontally
Strong Italian salami
Flame roasted red peppers
Freshly ground black pepper

Pre-heat the sandwich grill. Assemble sandwich. Grill sandwich.


Friday 24 April 2009

Recipe - Beer Boiled Prawns

Dead simple and damn tasty, 'nuff said! ;)

I was in the mood for some seafood tonight but was tired after work so I went for something quick and easy.

You can basically serve this with any dips that you like, the two I've listed here are mere suggestions. Just add the ingredients you think will work, in the ratios you feel is right. Freestyle it!

You can use peeled prawns or prawns with the shell still on but for the love of everything that is sacred - make sure you use raw prawns. If you don't you'll end up with prawn-shaped bouncy balls.

I always bring the beer to the boil first, then I let it cool down before boiling it again. This so the beer is properly flat when I add the prawns. Not sure why, but I seem to think it works better that way.

Prawns, RAW!
Beer, enough to properly cover the prawns - I used Greene King IPA this time

Dip 1
Tabasco Chipotle Pepper Sauce

Dip 2
Freshly cracked pepper
Lemon juice

Freshly baked baguette, sliced - preferably still warm


For the dips, just mix the ingredients well - sorted.

Bring the flat beer to a boil. Add the prawns and boil for 2 - 3 minutes, or until nicely pink.

Serve with the dips and bread.


Thursday 23 April 2009

Recipe - Slow Cooked Pork Tacos

The first recipe in a long, long time. I hope I don't disappoint you too much.

It's been a long time coming but I just have had too much to do on all other levels of my life. It's not that I've stopped cooking during this time. I just couldn't find the time, stamina or inspiration to do everything that's involved with a post.

However, I feel that I'm in the mood again - so let's go!

This is a very different type of taco to what I'm used to. Normally I'd make them with beef mince but I got to say that this was much more interesting.

Tacos is something that goes well with my philosophy of freestyling the cooking, you can basically top them with whatever you like. The fact that I cooked it in the slow cooker means that it was almost no effort at all, another bonus after a long day at work.

This could alternatively be served as some kind of Mexican casserole with rice. Heat through some peas and sweet corn and the job's a good 'un.

500g diced pork leg
1 - 2 onions, thinly sliced
3 - 4 cloves of garlic, finely diced - or to taste
1 can (400g) diced tomatoes
3 tablespoons white wine vinegar
1 tablespoon runny honey
1 tablespoon oregano
1 - 2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 - 2 tablespoons cocoa powder
1 - 2 tablespoons brown sugar, add more at the end if it's too bitter
2 dried chipotle chilis that have been rehydrated, finely sliced
2 - 4 tablespoons of the water the chilis rehydrated in

Taco shells, to serve
1 onion, diced - to serve
1 small gem lettuce, shredded - to serve
Grated cheese, to serve
Salsa, to serve

Put the pork in the slow cooker and top with the sliced onion.

Put all the wet ingredients and the spices in a blender, or use a hand mixer, and blitz until well blended. Pour this on top of the pork and onions.

Cook in your slow cooker on low for 6 - 8 hours. When done to your liking, give it a stir for good measure.

Once cooked you can choose to shred the pork, cut it into smaller pieces or just keep it as it is. Your choice, don't blame me!

Serve in taco shells and put whatever toppings that rocks your boat under and over the pork.

Tuesday 21 April 2009

Quick preview of two (possible) updates in the near future

There's still some life in me...

I tried to twitter some previews on twitpic but it seems to be a bit down.

Let's post the pictures here instead. Would there be any interest in the recipes for the burritos or the nice and quick tortilla pizza?