Lamb Tagine

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Having started back at work this week after a years maternity leave, I’m already using my slow cooker more and more.

I’m always on the look at for new ideas and I came across this lamb tagine spice mix in our local farm shop. It couldn’t be more simpler and its absolutely delicious.

In your slow cooker, add 500g of diced lamb, a tin of plum tomatoes, a diced onion and the lamb tagine spice mix. Cook on medium heat all day and just before serving add a handful of chopped dried apricots and stir in, allow these a couple of minutes to soften then serve with some rice.

 

Chicken Tikka Pitts Pockets

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This is great for lunch or a lighter dinner. Mia struggles with the ‘pocket’ so I just give her a deconstructed version with pitta soldiers instead which works well

Simply marinate some diced chicken in yoghurt and chicken tikka paste – I use pataks – and leave for as long as you can.

When you’re ready, grill the marinated chicken and serve in a toasted pitta pocket with spinach, cucumber and yoghurt along with a side salad

Moroccan fish stew

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I love Moroccan flavours and this fish stew is tasty and simple to make.

First light fry a teaspoon of cumin seeds, a crushed garlic clove, 1/2 teaspoon of ground cinnamon, 1/2 teaspoon of marjoram and 1/2 teaspoon of dried chilli flakes (optional) in some oil for a couple of minutes. Next lay 2 cod fillets and 6-8 raw prawns into the pan then add 200ml of passage and the juice of 1/2 lemon. Stir in to this fish and bring to the boil. Turn down to a medium heat then put the lid on and cook for 8-10 minutes until the fish and prawns are cooked.

Serve with some couscous and roasted tomatoes

Cottage Pie

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Sometimes only a pie will do! This one takes longer than my usual recipes but it’s worth it!

First dice a large onion and place in a cast iron saucepan, sweat over a medium heat until softened. Add a clove of garlic and fry for a further couple of minutes. Meanwhile dice two carrots and steam in the microwave for a couple of minutes to soften. Turn the heat up on the pan and add 500g of mince beef and the diced carrots, heat until the meat is browned. Next add 2 tablespoons of flour and mix in to the meat then add 200ml of beef stock, 125ml of white wine and season with salt and pepper. Bring to the boil then place in a fan oven 180degree for 20 minutes while you prepare the mash potato topping

For the topping peel, quarter and boil approx 3 large potatoes, set aside 2 quarters pieces of potatoe and mash the rest with a little butter and seasoning. Remove the pie from the oven then spread the topping over the meat and finally grate over the two quarter pieces of potato which you set aside earlier. This will give the pie a nice crunchy topping. Put back in the oven and cook for a further 20 minutes then grill for a further 5 minutes to brown the top. Serve with some greens x

Peri Peri Chicken with Lemony Mixed Mash

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I’m not sure if using a shop bought marinade is considered cheating but I don’t think I care if it makes the job easier – which it does!

To allow the chicken to cook quicker and allow the marinade to get into the chicken meat I like to cut 2-3 slashes in to the  chicken drummers prior to rubbing the nandos marinade and nandos dry rub in to the chicken. (I used both for extra flavour)

Place the marinated chicken in a roasting tin and roast in the oven for 30 minutes at 190fan or until chicken is cooked.

Get some corn on the cob cooking

I also like to serve this with a mixed potato mash. For this quarter one sweet potato and one ordinary potato and place in a bowl with half a lemon and a table spoon of water. Cover in clingfilm and cook/ steam in the microwave for approx  8 minutes until the potatoes are cooked. When done, remove the lemon, squeeze out any excess juice in to the bowl and roughly crush and mix the potatoes with a fork, leave the skin on and season with salt, pepper and a little bit of coriander (paste) and I like to crumble some feta over the top too. Yum!

Satay Chicken Skewers

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Or peanut butter chicken as Sammy calls it! This is a take on Jamie Oliver’s 20 minute meals version but to keeps things simple I use lime juice from a bottle, ginger paste and coriander paste instead of the fresh alternatives.

The satay sauce is really simple to make providing you have a mini blender. In here put 3 tablespoons of crunchy peanut butter, one tablespoon of soy sauce, 1/4 teaspoon of dried chilli flakes, one garlic bulb, one tablespoon of lime juice, a pea sized dollop of easy ginger, a thumb size dollop of coriander paste and seasoning. Whiz all this up in the processor and and then use half of the paste to marinate two diced chicken breasts. reserve the other half for dipping later. Skewer the chicken pieces and then place in the oven to cook for 20-25 minutes on fan 190. I like to balance the skewers on a roasting dish (see pic) so that the skewers cook all around and I also like to grill them for a further 5 minutes at the end so they crisp up.

Serve with some egg fried rice and stir fried garlic and chilli broccoli

 

Tuna steak Nicoise

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My children won’t eat ‘leaves’ so this salad is great because it doesn’t contain any and is ready in the same amount of time it takes to boil some new potatoes.

Start by getting your new potatoes boiling, 2-3 per person should be plenty meanwhile hard boil some eggs, one per person should be ok, and steam some green beans.  While all these are on the go, quarter some baby tomatoes and slice up some avocado.

Next season and lightly brush your tuna steaks with olive oil. (To keep the cost down I use the frozen tuna steak portions and defrost them the night before.) Put a griddle on a high heat then pan fry your steaks for 3-4 minutes each side.

By this point all the other components should be ready so just arrange on a plate and drizzle with olive oil and lemon juice.

Prawn Mushroom fried rice

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Make some rice up (4 person serving) as per packet instructions but add 1/2 cup of frozen peas to the grains prior to cooking as to cook the rice and the peas at the same time.

Meanwhile fry up half a sliced onion along with 3 large sliced mushrooms in a large frying pan. When the onions are browned and the mushrooms cooked, whisk up 3 eggs in a bowl and season. Set aside.

When the rice is ready add a little oil to the pan with the onions and mushrooms in and turn the heat up. Add the rice and peas into the pan and fry for a couple of minutes whilst stirring. Next make a well in the rice and pour in the beaten egg mixture. Leave for approximately a minute so that half of the egg is cooked, mix the rest of the egg in to rice mix along with some prawns and stir fry for another couple of minutes.

Serve

 

Moroccan spiced Lamb chops

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The longest component to this recipe is the cooking of the roast vegetables so you need to get these on first.

In a large roasting dish add one chopped  courgette, half a sliced aubergine, a sliced red pepper, two sliced large mushroom and half a sliced red onion. Mix in some olive oil, dried basil and seasoning and roast in a preheated oven for 20 minutes at 200(fan)

Next marinate your 8 lamb chops with some olive oil,1/2 teaspoon dried chilli,2 cloves of garlic, one teaspoon of ground cinnamon, one teaspoon of dried cumin seeds and seasoning.

Five minutes before the vegetables are done, get a large frying pan on a high heat and when at temperature, fry the lamb chops in the marinade for a couple of minutes on each side, this should leave the lamb ‘blushing’ and not rare inside.

Serve with the roasted vegetables and some couscous

 

Sweet and sour chicken

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I stole this recipe from my father in law, my husband absolutely loves it.

First dice 2 chicken breasts and pop them under a grill or on a George Foreman until they are browned and nearly cooked through, meanwhile prepare the sauce.

In a large frying pan add 4 tablespoons of cider / white wine vinegar, 2 tablespoons of brown sugar, 1 tablespoon of soy sauce, 1 tablespoon of corn flour and the juice from a tin of pineapple chunks. Warm on a medium heat and keep stirring until the sauce starts to thicken, this should take a couple of minutes. (At this point, have a little taste of the sauce and see whether you’d like to add more sugar – this makes quite a sharp sauce so you can make it sweet if you like)

Once the sauce has thickened, add your choice of vegetables – I like to use peppers and sugar snap peas, but you can use what you like, stir these in to the sauce for a couple of minutes.

By this time your chicken should be ready, so remove from the grill and slice in to bite size pieces. Mix into the sauce and continue to heat for another 5 minutes until until the veg and chicken are cooked and serve with some boiled rice.