Recipe: Asian-style chicken with noodles and a crunchy salad

I love Asian flavours and experiment a lot with different marinades. This one seems to have a lot of ingredients in it, but I have to say it’s one of the nicest I’ve come up with. The chicken was bursting with flavour and the sesame seeds made the perfect finishing touch.

A quick and easy weekday dinner (just remember to marinade the chicken overnight) that is totally delicious.

Serves 2

Luscious chicken sprinkled with sesame seeds

Luscious chicken sprinkled with sesame seeds

For the marinade

Juice of 1 lime
2 tbsps chopped ginger
3 tbsps soy sauce
2 tbsps sesame oil
2 tbsps runny honey
1 tbsp mirin
1 tsp fish sauce
1 tbsp sweet chilli sauce

2 chicken breasts, sliced into  strips

1 tbsp vegetable oil

2 tbsps sesame seeds, dry fried

 

200g rice noodles, soaked in boiling water, following packet instructions

 

For the salad

Half a small cucumber, peeled and chopped into chunks
8 radishes, sliced

For the dressing

2 tbsps olive oil
Juice of 1 lime
1 tsp fish sauce
1 tsp brown sugar
1 dried chilli, chopped
1 tbsp soy sauce

Mix together all the ingredients for the marinade and place the chicken strips into it, making sure everything is well coated. Leave for at least three hours, overnight ideally.

Make the salad by mixing together all the ingredients for the dressing and pouring over the cucumber and radishes.

Soak the noodles as per the instructions on the packet.

Fry the chicken strips in a hot frying pan for about 10 minutes until browned and cooked through.

Drain the noodles and divide between two bowls, spoon a few spoonfuls of the marinade over the noodles. Top with the chicken strips and sprinkle the sesame seeds over the chicken. Serve with the salad.

The crunchy salad with the zesty dressing

The crunchy salad with the zesty dressing

 

Recipe: Citrussy, minty lamb with roast vegetables

I love the seasons in London. And now it’s time for the season of mist and mellow fruitfulness, to quote Keats. Autumn’s arrived. You wake up to atmospheric, misty mornings and go to sleep to the comforting patter of steady drizzle, the sky’s a different colour and well, there’s a definite nip in the air. The trees in our local park are just starting to change colour and soon everywhere will be a carpet of (often soggy) leaves. Just the time to start thinking comfort food.

One pot (or dish in this case) recipes are always great – simply chuck everything in and cook. I’ve made this one a bit more complex as I’ve used vegetables that need different cooking times so you need to add things in stages. But it’s all really easy. As it’s early autumn I decided to give everything a fresh lemon and mint flavour, don’t want to go too wintery just yet. Substantial, yet light with a healthy dose of veg, this is the perfect dinner for a cosy autumn evening in.

Serves 2

For the lamb

2 lamb leg steaks (about 375g)

3 tbsps olive oil

Juice of 1 lemon

Large handful of fresh mint, chopped

Good grind of black pepper

Marinate the lamb in the minty, lemon mixture for 3 to 4 hours

Marinate the lamb steaks in olive oil, lemon juice and mint

Marinate the lamb in olive oil, lemon juice and mint

For the vegetables

1 large potato, cut into bitesize chunks

1 red onion, sliced

6 large florets of cauliflower

Half a small butternut, peeled and cut into chunks

2 tbsps mint jelly

1 handful fresh mint, chopped

2 tbsps olive oil

Toss the potates in the olive oil and mint.

Place in a roasting pan and roast for 20 mins at 180C

Add the butternut and roast for 10 mins

Add the cauliflower and roast for 10 mins

Add the red onions and top with the lamb steaks, stir in the mint jelly

Roast for 20 mins

Check all the vegetables are cooked and serve

Save on your washing up with all your dinner in one dish

Save on your washing up with all your dinner in one dish

I like my lamb nicely pink inside as you can see here. I sliced it diagonally and served it spread on top of all the veg.

lamb3

Juicy lamb steaks with a healthy portion of veggies

Lamb and vegetable skewers with cucumber raita

Okay, so I think it’s fair to say that I eat out quite a lot…mostly in the name of research of course. So when I eat at home, I’m often looking to concoct light dishes for dinner. This one came out really well! The marinade added depth of flavour to the lamb and all the vegetables were fresh, juicy and tasty. All perfect dipped into a healthy dollop of raita. Enjoy! Oh and don’t you love my new place mats? A Christmas present from my sister who lives in Australia.

The grilled skewers basted with leftover marinade and served with the raita

The grilled skewers basted with leftover marinade and served with the raita

Serves 2

For the marinade

2 tbsps chilli olive oil

Juice of 1 large lemon

2 garlic cloves, finely chopped

1 large handful of fresh mint, chopped

For the kebabs

2 lamb steaks

6 cherry tomatoes

Half a yellow pepper, cut into bite-sized chunks

4 large button mushrooms, cut in half

For the raita

1 small cucumber, chopped small

A handful of fresh mint, roughly chopped

1 small pot of Greek yogurt

Mix together the ingredients for the marinade. Chop the lamb into bite-sized pieces and mix well into the marinade. Leave for at least three hours, overnight if you can.

Soak two wooden skewers in cold water for about an hour before threading them with the lamb and vegetables, alternating ingredients.

Mix together the yogurt, cucumber and raita and put aside.

Grill the lamb skewers for about 6 minutes on each side under a hot grill, so they are browned.

Serve with the raita.

The kebabs ready to go under the grill

The kebabs ready to go under the grill

Tamarind ribs

I absolutely love ribs. There’s the way the meat falls away from the bone (if they are properly cooked), the flavour of the marinade and that immense satisfaction that comes from eating with your hands and making something of a mess!

It also reminds me of my childhood when we used to drive up to Harare (the big city) from the farm where I grew up and after all the business was done, as a special treat we’d go out for lunch or dinner to a Greek restaurant called The Acropolis. I don’t ever remember seeing a menu (though surely they must have had one). All I remember is tucking into piles of ribs and leaving full and happy, with clothes covered with rib sauce! Oh and that their chips were really good, too.

Since then I’ve tasted ribs in many different places (including the three Michelin-starred Osteria Francescana in Modena, Italy). And I’ve cooked them lots of different ways, too – they are so versatile they lend themselves to a myriad of flavours and cooking styles.

This is my latest recipe, using Sainsbury’s tamarind paste as the main flavour. The key here is to cook the ribs really slowly on a low temperature. The meat should just fall away when you pull at it.

I served the ribs with new potatoes and spinach, nice simple flavours to go with the tangy tamarind, and zesty ginger and lemongrass.

A juicy half rack of ribs begging to be eaten

Serves 2

1 rack of pork ribs

3tsp Sainsbury’s chopped lemongrass

2tsp Sainsbury’s chopped ginger

3 tbsp balsamic vinegar

3tbsp ketchup manis (Indonesian soy sauce)

200ml white wine

2tsp Sainsbury’s tamarind paste

Mix all the marinade ingredients together and pour over the ribs into a roasting tray. Make sure they get a good covering. Cover and marinate overnight.

Heat the oven to 120C. Place the roasting tray in the oven, covered tightly with foil, for about 2 hrs. Check and baste the ribs every 20 minutes or so.

Serve with new potatoes and spinach.

The whole rack of ribs marinading

The indgredients

The magic ingredients