Recipe: Spicy apple chutney

Recipe: Spicy Apple Chutney

I love autumn in London. There’s the beauty of all the leaves changing colour, atmospheric misty mornings and still warmth in the sun when it pops out. September is often the best month, especially after we’ve had a particularly lacklustre summer like we’ve had this year.

And it’s apple time – particularly good when your neighbours have an extremely fruitful apple tree in their garden. Always love a bit of free food and they are positively begging me to come and help myself before all the fruit goes sadly to waste.

So I popped over for some pickings and it was time for some apple cooking. First up, this really easy spicy apple chutney. It goes beautifully with cheese and cold meats, spicing up sandwiches and to serve with curries. Well, it kind of goes with most things. I made quite a big batch and shared it out with my neighbours. Spreading a bit of tasty autumn cheer.

Recipe: apple chutney

Apple chutney for the neighbourhood

Apple Chutney

The ingredients

12 apples, peeled, cored and finely chopped

1 red pepper, chopped

1 medium onion, chopped

2 dried red chillies

3 tbsps fresh ginger, chopped

2 cloves of garlic

300ml cider vinegar

200g brown sugar

100g caster sugar

Half a tsp ground cardamom

Half a tsp ground cloves

The process

Put  all ingredients in a saucepan. Bring to the boil, reduce heat, and cover.

Simmer for about an hour, stirring frequently, check that the apples are tender and the chutney is thickened. Keep an eye on it to make sure it’s not getting too dry and mix in some water if you need to keep it moist.

Remove from the heat and allow to cool.

Ladle it into vacuum sealed jars and keep in the fridge until it is ready to serve.

What’s your favourite recipe using apples? These versatile fruits can be used in so many different ways. There’ll be more apple cooking coming soon so watch this space. And do let me have some of your favourites to try out for myself.

Recipe: Ginger beef with pepper and spring onion

Ginger beef with pepper and spring onion

Today I’m experimenting again with my HaloChef. This versatile halogen oven seems to present endless cooking opportunities as you can use it to roast bake, grill and defrost. It’s powered by halogen light that generates heat for quick and easy cooking. And it’s environmentally friendly, too, as you’re using less energy.

Today’s dish is kind of a cross between a stir-fry and a stew with some tasty Asian flavours. I browned the meat in a frying pan before putting it in the casserole but all the rest of the ingredients are simply chopped and put in raw. So there’s little preparation and even less mess to clear up. Hooray!

Cooking in the HaloChef produced beautifully tender meat and a luscious sauce which had a real gingery bite – a new firm favourite in our house.

HaloChef: ginger beef

The final dish on a bed of egg fried rice

Serves 2

The ingredients

350g steak cut into small pieces (I used Waitrose’s frying steak which is good value and tender)

2 tbsp sunflower oil

1 red pepper cored and chopped

250ml beef stock

1 tablespoon dark soy sauce

3cm fresh grated ginger

1 dried red chilli, crumbled

1 tbsp cornflour

2 tbsp water

12 suger snap peas

A  bunch of spring onions

The process

Heat the oil in frying pan and fry the beef until browned. Transfer to a casserole dish with a lid.

Add the chopped pepper. Pour over the stock, soy sauce, ginger and chilli. Put the lid on the casserole.

Set the halogen oven to 200C  and cook for 50 mins.

Halo Chef: ginger beef

The beef and peppers soak up the ginger flavours

 

Blend cornflour with water. Stir it into beef, add the sugar snap peas and spring onion.

HaloChef: ginger beef

Sugar snap peas and spring onion add crunch

Cover and cook for 10 more mins

Serve with egg fried rice

Special reader offer

You can find out more about the HaloChef which retails for £89.99 here. And exclusively for readers of eatingcoventgarden.com you can get a discount of £6.99 by entering the code ECGCR3 when you buy.

Go on, you know you need a HaloChef in your life.

 

 

Recipe: Spicy pork kebabs

Recipe: Spicy Pork Kebabs

I’ve recently got back from Spain and I’m missing those wonderful Spanish flavours. So today I decided to make pork kebabs inspired by the Pinchos Morunos we had for lunch on the beach at Arena bar in Mar de Cristal. A real simple dish where the beautiful flavours come from the spicy marinade.

I griddled the kebabs on my Morsø griddle pan, a wonderful way to keep meat moist while also achieving that lovely browned outside. Morsø‘s new Nordic Cookware collection can be used in the oven, on all types of cookers, including induction, on the grill and the barbecue.

Exclusive offer

Check out the whole fantastic Morsø range at morsoe.com.  And exclusively for Eating Covent Garden readers there’s a 15% discount if you order cookware on the Morsø website. Simply quote the code nac15 when you order.

Morso griddle

The stylish Morso griddle ready for cooking

Makes 12 skewers

1 kg pork fillet, diced

For the marinade

4 garlic cloves, peeled and chopped

2tsps smoked Spanish paprika

2 tsps ground cumin

2 tsps ground coriander

2 tsps ground thyme

Juice of 1 lemon

4 tbsps olive oil

Mix all the spices and herbs together with the lemon juice and olive oil.

Add the pork and mix well together. Marinate for at least three hours, ideally overnight.

Thread the pork pieces onto skewers. I used mini bamboo skewers.

Griddle over a high heat for about 10 minutes, turning them as they brown.

Morso griddle

The diced pork marinades in herbs and spices

Morso griddle

The pork on bamboo skewers ready for griddling

Morso griddle

The deliciously browned pork kebabs

Keeping to my Spanish-inspired theme, I served the kebabs with these little padron peppers which I simply fried up in a couple of tablespoons of olive oil in my new Morsø frying pan.

Morsø frying pan

Padron peppers sizzle in the Morsø frying pan

Morsø frying pan

The non-stick, large Morsø frying pan is great to cook in

 

Find out more about Morsø by clicking here.

 

 

Recipe: Barbecue pulled pork bake

I’m back! I know it’s been pretty quiet on Eating Covent Garden recently as I’ve been doing a lot of travelling. Gathering exciting stories and recipe ideas for all my readers, naturally. While I do love exploring the world it’s always great to get home – and to get back into the kitchen. And I was particularly looking forward to creating some exciting new recipes using my new range from Morsø.

Morsø‘s new Nordic Cookware collection is crafted from stainless steel, so they are great for cooking on while also looking really stylish, as you can see. All items offer great versatility as they can be used in the oven, on all types of cookers, including induction, on the grill and the barbecue.

Exclusive offer

Check out the whole fantastic Morsø range at morsoe.com.  And exclusively for Eating Covent Garden readers there’s a 15% discount if you order cookware on the Morsø website. Simply quote the code nac15 when you order.

Today I’m cooking in my beautiful new Morsø Piaf. I love the look and feel of this dish and it inspired me to come up with a wonderfully tasty recipe.

My brand new, stylish Morso Piaf

Barbecue pulled pork bake

Barbecue pulled pork bake

Crisp and golden straight out of the oven

Serves 4

I love the comfort of a shepherd’s pie and here I’ve come up with a kind of pork version using slow cooked pork with a tangy barbecue sauce. If you don’t have a slow cooker you can do the pork in the oven on very low, just make sure you keep an eye on it.

I added sour cream and finely chopped spring onions to the mash which gave it a lovely something extra.

For the pulled pork

1 tbsp sunflower oil

1 boneless pork shoulder roast (crackling removed)

1 can French onion soup

1 cup of tomato ketchup

2 tbsps cider vinegar

3 tbsps brown sugar

Heat the oil in a frying pan to a medium-high heat. Fry the pork until it is well browned on all sides.

Pour the onion soup, ketchup vinegar and sugar into your slow cooker and stir. Add the pork and make sure it’s well coated with the sauce.

Cook on a medium-low heat for 4-5 hours.

Remove the pork and let it rest for about 10 minutes. Then shred it, using two forks.

Barbecue pulled pork bake

The pork simmers slowly in the tangy sauce

For the potato topping

1kg potatoes

3 tbsps sour cream

1 bunch of spring onions, finely diced

Peel the potatoes and boil until the are soft.

Mash with the sour cream and spring onions.

For the bake

2 tbsps barbecue sauce

1 can sweetcorn

1 egg, beaten

Add the barbecue sauce to the mixture you cooked the pork in.

Now start layering. First layer the pulled pork on the bottom.

Barbecue pulled pork bake

The melt-in-the-mouth pulled pork makes the base

Then spoon over about three-quarters of the sauce.

Barbecue pulled pork bake

The tangy sauce is added to cover the pork

 

Add the sweetcorn as the next layer.

Barbecue pulled pork bake

Sweetcorn adds colour and crunch

Top with the mashed potatoes.

Brush the top of the potato with the beaten egg.

Barbecue pulled pork bake

The pie is topped with potato and ready for the oven

Cook in the oven for about 30mins at 180C until it’s golden on top and slightly bubbling.

Barbecue pulled pork bake

Up close to the luscious filling

This is one of my favourite recipes I’ve ever come up with. The best pork pie ever!

Now that I’m inspired by my exciting new range of pans, there’s plenty more to come, so watch this space. I’ll be doing lots more cooking with Morso.

Recipe: Peri Peri chicken on my CharBroil Big Easy

Recipe: Peri peri chicken legs

It’s that time of the week again – barbecue time on my Char-Broil Big Easy. Today I’m trying to perfect my peri peri marinade. Peri peri (or piri piri as it’s sometimes spelt) is Portuguese in origin and is very popular in the African countries of Angola, Namibia, Mozambique and South Africa.

Most people associate peri peri with restaurant/takeaway chain Nando’s – and not surprisingly as it has over 1,000 outlets in over 30 countries around the world. I’ve had my share of Nando’s chicken and delicious it is, too. They also constantly produce fabulously clever TV adverts which you should google and check out – they’ll give you a real laugh.

Anyway, I digress. Today I’ve come up with this beautifully simple peri peri marinade which adds a real bite to chicken. I only marinated for about three hours – overnight would be better. And then cooked it on the grill of my Char-Broil Big Easy for around 20 minutes. The legs came out crispy on the outside and beautifully succulent inside.

I served the chicken with some slow-roasted cherry tomatoes which I cooked in the oven on low for about an hour. A match made in heaven.

Serves 2

2 legs of chicken, skin on

For the peri peri marinade

3 large fresh chillies

1 clove garlic, chopped

1 tsp sea salt

1 tsp oregano

1 tbsp paprika

200ml olive oil

100ml red wine vinegar

Roast the chillis whole in the oven at 180C for about 20 minutes until softened and slightly blackened

When they have cooled slightly, discard the stem and add them into a blender with the garlic, salt, oregano, paprika, olive oil and vinegar.

Blend until you have a liquid marinade.

Rub the marinade thoroughly over both sides of the chicken and leave to marinate in a bowl for at least two hours, turning regularly. You can do it overnight to increase the flavours.

Cook the chicken on the grill of the barbecue for about 10mins each side, checking regularly.

The chicken marinates next to the cherry tomatoes awaiting slow roasting

The chicken sizzles on the grill

Close up on the juicy, crispy chicken legs

All ready to serve

Slow roast tomatoes

Serves 2

About 10 cherry tomatoes, on the vine

4tbsps olive oil

Pour the olive oil over the tomatoes

Roast in a low oven (around 90C) until the tomatoes are soft and sweet – about an hour.

Char-Broil Big Easy tomatoes

There’s something irresistible about the sweetness of slow-roasted tomatoes

Have you perfected a peri peri marinade? Do you think it’s better than mine? Do get in touch, I’d love to try it.

Find out more about the fabulous Char-Broil Big Easy at charbroil.eu.

 

Recipe: Orange and lemon polenta cake

Recipe: Orange and lemon polenta cake

I love baking – not that I do enough of it. Mix a few ingredients in a bowl, pour them into a tin and cook – and voila, you have something delicious on your plate. Okay, it doesn’t always work out quite that way – I’ve had my share of baking disasters. But I’m telling you that this is recipe is going to become a firm favourite. It has few ingredients, takes so little time to make and tastes spectacular.

Recipe: Orange and lemon polenta cake

The golden brown outside and a promise of the citrussy inside

It’s light, sweet and zesty. And the addition of polenta (which I have never used in a cake before) gives it a surprisingly pleasant crunchiness. Of course if you don’t have polenta you could just leave it out but I do think it adds a little something extra.

Recipe: Orange and lemon polenta cake

Deliciously moist slices of citrussy cake

The ingredients

175g self-raising flour

1 tsp baking powder

50g polenta

225g castor sugar

225ml olive oil

4 eggs

Juice and zest of 1 orange

Juice and zest of 1 lemon

The instructions

Preheat the oven to 170C/Gas mark 3.

Mix the flour, baking powder, polenta and castor sugar in a bowl.

Make a hole in the middle and pour in the olive oil. Break the eggs into the olive oil.

Mix well using a wooden spoon until there are no lumps left.

Add the orange and lemon zest and juice and mix.

Grease a cake tin and line the base with greaseproof paper.

Drop the mixture into the tin, smoothing it into the corners.

Bake for 1 hour, then check to see if it’s cooked by inserting a skewer gently into the cake.

If it comes out clean your cake is ready.

Let it rest for 5 mins before moving to a wire rack and removing the paper.

Recipe: Orange and lemon polenta cake

The beautifully yellow and crumbly cake