Recipe: Lemon paprika chicken and crunchy apple salad

I recently had a fabulous lunch at Ceru in Soho’s D’arbalay Street on a particularly steamy London summer day. And totally fell in love with the fabulous flavours of the Levant. So much so that I simply had to recreate two of the delicious dishes we enjoyed. So here’s my version of their lemon, paprika chicken which is served with apple, mint and pomegranate salad.

I was very pleased with the results – it can be tricky trying to replicate recipes when you don’t know exact quantities of ingredients. Either way, this is certainly an easy and delicious, summer dinner that you can enjoy at home.

You can read all about my visit to Ceru by clicking here.

Lemon Paprika Chicken

Serves 2

2 chicken breasts, diced

For the marinade

3 tbsps olive oil

2 tsps paprika

1 tsp dried thyme

juice of 2 lemons

2 cloves of garlic, peeled and crushed

a pinch of salt

Chicken: marinade

The vibrant marinade ingredients

Mix all the marinade ingredients together and add the diced chicken. Make sure all the pieces are well coated. Leave for at least three hours. I left mine for around seven and the flavour really shone through.

Chicken: marinade

The diced chicken soaks up the flavourful marinade

Just before cooking take the chicken out of the marinade and thread onto skewers. I used mini bamboo skewers that I soaked for an hour in cold water before to ensure they wouldn’t burn during cooking.

Chicken: kebabs

The little kebabs ready for cooking

I cooked the kebab on the barbecue for about 10 mins on each side. You could also grill them – same timings.

Chicken: cooked

Lemon, paprika chicken ready to eat

Apple, mint and pomegranate salad

This is a beautifully fresh, sweet and zesty salad that I can see myself making regularly. The pine nuts add an extra special texture and taste and the simple lemon dressing brings all the ingredients to life.

I used a pink lady apple because they are my absolute favourite.

Serves 2

1 pink lady apple, cored and thinly sliced

Handful of fresh mint leaves

Half a cup of pine nuts, toasted

2 handfuls of pea shoots

Half a cup of pomegranate seeds

For the dressing

3 tbsps olive oil

Juice of 2 lemons

A good grind of black pepper

Add the salad ingredients to a bowl and pour over the dressing. Mix so everything is well coated.

The lemon in the dressing will prevent the apple from going brown.

Apple salad

A salad that simply sings summer

Have you been inspired to recreate dishes you’ve eaten in a restaurant or at someone’s home? How did it turn out?

I’d love to know, so do get in touch.

 

Recipe: Barbecued ribs in the CharBroil Big Easy

Barbecued ribs in a Chinese-style marinade

I love a good rack of ribs. Earliest memories take me back to a Greek restaurant in Harare, Zimbabwe called the Acropolis where we’d tuck into huge plates of ribs. It was a real treat eating with our fingers until all that was left was the piles of bones eaten clean. A somewhat messy business – which seems to make it all that much more enjoyable. And I guess the fact that we so rarely visited restaurants also helped make for an amazing experience. A bit different from my frequent restaurant going days now!

One of the beauties of ribs is that you can marinade them to produce many different dishes, there are so many potential flavours. Today my mixture infuses lovely Asian flavours. I like to marinade them overnight to the flavours really infuse.

The Big Easy offers a unique way to cook ribs. You suspend them from the side of the basket using the handy hooks supplied. The come out beautifully moist and flavoursome with a slightly crispy exterior. Genius!

This recipe uses 12 ribs which is great for two people with the tasty coleslaw accompaniment.

CharBroil Big Easy: Chinese-style ribs

The beautifully browned ribs

For the marinade

100ml hoisin sauce

2 tbsps soya sauce

2 tbsps sweet chilli sauce

1 tbsp runny  honey

2 tbsps teriyaki sauce

Mix all the ingredients together and place in a dish. Add the ribs and make sure they are thoroughly coated. Cover and put in the fridge for at least 3 hours, ideally overnight.

The instructions

Slice between the first and second ribs about 20cm in and use the hooks from the Big Easy kit to hook onto the basket that slots into the barbecue.

Turn the barbecue on to three-quarters heat and leave to heat up for about 15 minutes.

Place the basket into the barbecue and cook for 30-35 minutes until the ribs are browned and slightly crispy.

CharBroil Big Easy: Coleslaw accompaniment

Crispy, spicy coleslaw

For the spicy coleslaw

2 cups of white cabbage, thinly sliced

2 carrots, peeled and thinly sliced

Half a cucumber, thinly sliced

4 tbsps mayonnaise

1 tbsp sweet chilli sauce

Mix the mayonnaise and chilli sauce together and combine with the vegetables.

CharBroil Big Easy: ribs in basket

The ribs clip easily onto the basket

The CharBroil Big Easy is the UK’s first three-in-one barbecue which you can roast, grill or smoke in. Find out more about this amazingly versatile barbecue by clicking here.

Recipe: Smoked roast ham in my CharBroil Big Easy barbecue

It’s hard to beat a good roast ham. It’s something usually associated with Christmas or special occasions but it doesn’t have to be. It’s always a great thing to have in the fridge – and even better if you’ve cooked it yourself!

I roasted and smoked this one in my CharBroil Big Easy barbecue. The glaze gives it a beautiful sweetness and you could really taste the smokiness from the alder wood chips. I’m lucky enough to have two large bay trees in my garden so I snipped off some fresh leaves to add to the smoker which definitely added flavour.

Make sure you score the fat of the ham before basting. This helps the flavours really soak through.

The meat thermometer is a handy way to help gauge when the ham is ready. If you’re not sure it is done, keep roasting for a bit longer – as long as it’s not burning it will be fine as the basting keeps it moist.

Roast smoked ham

With an orange and Honey Jack Daniels glaze

Place the alder wood chips and bay leaves into the smoker compartment and turn the CharBroil Big Easy barbecue to a low/medium setting. I chose to cook the ham on a lower setting for longer and it came out lovely and moist.

Leave the barbecue to heat up for about 15 minutes.

Place your ham in the basket and cook it for 25 minutes per pound.

Baste it with the sauce using a brush every 15-20 minutes.

Before taking it out, check the internal temperature of the meat has reached 140C.

Baste it one more time and leave it to rest for at least half an hour before carving.

CharBroil Big Easy

The beautifully browned smoked ham

For the baste

Half a cup of fresh orange juice

Half a cup of honey Jack Daniels

1 cup of brown sugar

1 tsps of ground ginger

Mix everything together thoroughly and baste the ham regularly using a brush.

To smoke

Alder woodchips

6 fresh bay leaves

 

CharBroil Big Easy

The luscious, thinly sliced ham

Competition: Win a Char-Broil Big Easy barbecue

Competition: Your chance to win a Char-Broil Big Easy barbecue

You’ll no doubt have noticed that I’ve been getting all excited about a new barbecue in my life and trying all sorts of new dishes. Well, I still am, the Big Easy has a lot of tricks up its sleeve – it’s an amazingly versatile piece of cooking equipment.

So I’m thrilled to tell you that you have the opportunity to win one of your very own. Right here on eatingcoventgarden.com

The Char-Broil Big Easy is the UK’s first gas three-in-one barbecue from US barbecue brand leader Char-Broil. It’s gas-fired for convenient cooking and is a smoker, roaster and grill all in one package. It’s perfect for roasts – even for large gatherings as it has the capacity to cook up to 11kgs. And there’s a grill on top, ideal for steaks, chops and salads.

I also love the smoking aspect. You fill the pull-out smoker box with wood chips and while you’re cooking add a smokey flavour at the same time.

Char-Broil Big Easy

The top of the barbecue is perfect for grilling

I’ve created several recipes for you to try on your new Big Easy – should you be the lucky winner – and there’s more to come. Here’s what you can find so far on EatingCoventGarden.

Ideas with Roast chicken

Hot smoked salmon

Roast vegetables

Peri peri chicken legs

Char-Broil Big Easy

Or how about roasting a juicy chicken

You can find out more about the Char-Broil Big Easy by clicking here.

The prize

One Char-Broil Big Easy SRG barbecue with a value of £299.99

Competition: Char-Broil Big Easy

Here’s some inside information on the fabulous Big Easy

How to enter

1 Follow eatingcoventgarden.com by entering your email in the box at the top in the right hand column.

2 When you receive the email (which should be immediately), confirm that you want to subscribe.

3 Like Char-Broil on Facebook by clicking here.

3 Answer the following question in the comment section of eatingcoventgarden.com

What three ways can you cook in the versatile Char-Broil Big Easy?

A Boil, roast and fry

B Roast, grill and smoke

C Grill, smoke and boil

D Steam, grill and roast

Terms and conditions

Competition only for residents of the UK.

Closing date for entry will be Monday 31 July 2017 at midnight.

The winner will be chosen at random after the closing date.

The winner will be notified by email.

No cash alternatives to the prize will be offered. The prize is not transferable.

Prize does not include the gas canister.

The editor’s decision is final.

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: Moroccan roast vegetables and lamb in my Big Easy barbecue

I’m loving my Char-Broil Big Easy barbecue. The more I experiment, the more I discover how versatile it is.

Today I’m going to make Moroccan-style roast vegetables – well it is a roaster after all.

It’s a simple dish. Just make sure your veg are cut in similar size pieces – except the little peppers which I kept whole. Then douse in olive oil and cumin and you’re ready to go.

I popped the roasting tray on the rack in the barbecue with the temperature on medium-high and checked them after 20 minutes – well it was my first effort roasting vegetables in my new acquisition.

In the end they need around 30 minutes – quicker than in a conventional oven. Once the veg had cooled, I added the fresh mint leaves and little knobs of soft goats’ cheese on top, squeezed the juice of a lemon evenly over and added a couple of slugs of olive oil. No need to transfer the veg to another dish – any excuse to save on the washing up.

I love cumin and it goes perfectly with these vegetables. And also with the delicious lamb chops we bought from our local butcher around the corner. I used the grill part of the Big Easy for them – cooking for about 5 minutes on each side until they were nicely striped on the outside but still medium-rare inside.

Moroccan Roast Vegetables

Serves 2

1 medium carrot

1 courgette

1 red onion

2 handfuls diced butternut

2 small peppers (I chose one red and one yellow for colour variation)

2 tsps cumin seeds

4 tbsps olive oil

2 tbsps goat’s cheese

A handful of fresh mint leaves

Chop up all the vegetables except for the small peppers.

Toss them in the olive oil and cumin seeds in a roasting dish.

Place the dish on the rack in the Char-Broil Big Easy barbecue with the temperature on medium-high.

Cook for about 30 mins, checking after 20.

Remove from the barbecue and leave to cool.

Sprinkle the mint leaves and goat’s cheese on top of the roast vegetables. Use a teaspoon to dot small pieces of the goat’s cheese over the vegetables. It adds a beautiful creaminess.

Squeeze over the juice of one lemon and add a drizzle of olive oil and you’re ready to serve.

Vibrant vegetables are spiced up before cooking

The final salad topped with mint and goat’s cheese

The lamb chops sizzling on the barbecue grill

Find out more about the Char-Broil range by clicking here.

Next week I’ll be pursuing my self-inflicted challenge to making the perfect (well, extremely good anyway) peri peri chicken. Could cooking it on the Big Easy be the secret to success?