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: Crunchy green salad with a creamy Greek dressing

And still the summer goes on. This is definitely my #besteversummer since I’ve lived in London – boy is it a hot one! I’m loving the blue skies and constant sunshine – an excuse to wear flip flops and shorts (or summer frocks) every day. And an excuse to come up with some delicious summery recipes to help cool down. Like this amazingly crunchy salad of greenness which I served with my homemade Greek-style salad dressing.

This recipe makes two generous portions. We added some tasty slices of ham on the side to make for a perfect, complete summer meal. Enjoy!

Recipe: Salad

Vibrant green mint tops the crunchy mix

The ingredients

2 cups iceberg lettuce

200g frozen peas, defrosted, cooked and cooled

Half a medium cucumber, peeled and cut into cubes

1 celery stick, sliced into small pieces

Handful of mint

50g creamy soft goats cheese

Layer the lettuce on the bottom of your bowl.

Top with the peas, cucumber, celery, mint and goats cheese.

Pour over the dressing, mix together well and serve.

Recipe: salad

The lovely pale greens topped with creamy goats cheese

For the dressing

Juice of 1 lemon

2 tbsp cider vinegar

1 tsp sugar

2 tsps Dijon mustard

100ml extra virgin olive oil

1 tsp dried oregano

150ml Greek yogurt

Put all the ingredients in a jar and shake well together.

You can make this far ahead, the dressing will last in the fridge for two to three weeks.

Recipe: dressing

Creamy zesty dressing with a mustardy kick

Do you have a favourite summer salad recipe? Do let me know, I’d love to try it. 

Recipe: Beef salad with a stunning secret dressing

It’s time to get back into the kitchen and today’s dish is inspired by my recent visit to Vietnam. We stayed in the fabulous Victoria Phan Thiet Beach Resort and Spa and enjoyed dishes created by genius Chef Hoang. I was amazed at the beautiful salads he served up and kept trying to work out the recipe for the dressing. Well, lucky me, when we did a cookery course with him he divulged the secret recipe which I’m sharing with you today. Keep reading to find out more.

Waste not, want not, so I used my leftovers from my huge sirloin at my recent dinner at NV80. This salad is a perfect way to use up any leftover meat, this recipe would also be great with chicken or pork.

I served my delicious salad on this beautiful frog platter from Ceramix. Their delightful and unique ceramic collections feature stylish white platters, dishes, cups and bowls with an animal motif. As well as the frogs, which I particularly love, you can choose from birds, bunnies, cats, tortoises, snails and doves.

Vietnamese-style steak salad with a stunning secret dressing

Recipe for Vietnamese beef salad

The tasty salad on my beautiful Ceramix frog platter

Serves 2

250g white cabbage, shredded

1 medium carrot, peeled and grated

8 cherry tomatoes, halved

One quarter of a cucumber, peeled and cut into chunks

A handful of fresh mint, chopped

A handful of fresh basil, torn

300g cooked sirloin steak (medium rare), sliced. I used leftovers

6 shallots, sliced, fried until crisp and left to dry on kitchen towel

A handful of peanuts

Mix the cabbage and carrot and lay as a base to the salad.

Top with the cherry tomatoes, cucumber, mint and basil.

Layer the slices of steak next.

Sprinkle the fried shallots and peanuts over the top.

Pour over the dressing just before serving.

Chef Hoang’s secret dressing recipe

I make a big batch of dressing and store it in a jar in the freezer. It lasts for about a month and turns any salad into something special.

My favourite salad dressing recipe

The most delicious dressing recipe ever

1 kg fresh passion fruit

250g sugar

1 tsp chilli powder

1 tsp chilli sauce

Put the pulp of the passion fruit into a blender and whiz for 30 seconds. This is just to loosen it up a bit, we don’t want to break the seeds up.

Remove the pulp and put through a sieve to remove the seeds.

Add the sugar and whisk until it’s absorbed and the dressing has a slightly fluffy texture.

Stir in the chilli powder and chilli sauce and mix everything together thoroughly.

Delicious beef salad recipe

Close up salad with the frog watching over it

You can find out more about the fabulous ceramic collection from Ceramix at www.ceramix.co.za

Do you have a favourite recipe inspired by your travels? I’m always looking for new recipes to try, so do get in touch, I’d love to hear from you.

Recipes: Simple salads with crunch

Okay, I know autumn is here, but we did have something of a lovely, elongated Indian summer which gave me the excuse to come up with two new salad recipes for the unexpected barbecues we managed to squeeze in.

And what a pleasure it was to make them as I’d been sent a set of Robert Welch Signature knives which made all that inevitable salad chopping a total breeze. Find out more details about these amazing unique knives below. And do try the recipes and let me know what you think.

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The cooks knife makes food prep a joy

CRUNCHY GREEN SALAD

Serves 6

2 large cos lettuces, trimmed and torn into pieces

5 celery sticks, chopped into small pieces

6 large spring onions, chopped on the diagonal into small pieces

1 medium cucumber, peeled and chopped into bite-size chunks

2 handfuls of seedless green grapes, halved

3 avocados, peeled and sliced

For the dressing

3 tbsps fruit vinegar (I used raspberry and rhubarb that I bought the week before in Yorkshire)

6 tbsps olive oil

Chop all your ingredients and lay them out on a platter in layers, starting with the lettuce as a base and finishing with the avocado.

Mix your dressing and save for pouring over when you serve.

That’s it!

Top tip

To stop your avocado from going brown keep the pips from the fruit and place among the slices. Make sure you include the pip from each one.

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A salad in shades of green

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The final step – a topping of avocado

TRIPLE C COLESLAW with cabbage, carrots, cucumber and sweet chilli mayo

Serves 4

Half a Savoy cabbage, sliced

2 large carrots, peeled and sliced into small batons

1 medium cucumber, peeled and sliced into small batons

For the dressing

6 tbsps mayonnaise

2 tbsps sweet chilli sauce

Mix the cabbage, carrot and cucumber together.

Mix the mayonnaise with the chilli sauce.

Combine the two, making sure the vegetables are well coated with the chill mayo.

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Coleslaw with a spicy bite

Robert Welch Signature knives combine German stainless steel and a Japanese-style blade edge. The handle is smooth and makes the knife comfortable and easy to use. The range is available to buy individually or within sets. Individual prices range from £22.00 to £59.

Find at more at robertwelch.com

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The handy wall-mounted magnetic holder

 

Recipe: Delectable chicken satay

I love satay in all forms and eat it frequently when I’m in Thailand – alternating between beef, chicken and pork. I just can’t get enough of it. The dishes vary quite a bit from restaurant to restaurant – different marinades, different-shaped kebabs and most importantly different-flavoured dipping sauces.

So I’ve been experimenting and come up with a truly tasty chicken satay. The marinade makes the kebabs so sweet and moist as well as adding a spicy bite and the sauce tastes really nutty and indulgent. I used my fabulous new Stellar Chef’s pan to make the sauce – most definitely are a pleasure to cook in. Read more about it and where to get one below.

MY SCRUMPTIOUS CHICKEN SATAYS

Serves 4

600g deboned chicken thigh fillets

For the marinade

1 clove garlic

2 medium chillies, chopped

3 tbsp soya sauce

2 tsp honey

2 tbsp sesame oil

Slice the chicken thighs into three equal, long pieces.

Mix together the ingredients for the marinade and add the chicken. Make sure it is well coated.

Leave covered in the fridge for at least two hours.

Just before cooking thread the long slices of chicken onto the skewers, folding them.

Remember to soak your skewers if they are wooden so they don’t burn.

Grill or barbecue the skewers for about 10 minutes on each side, turning and basting regularly with the marinade.

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Glistening chicken satays with nutty dipping sauce

For the satay sauce

You can make the sauce way ahead and keep it in a jar in the fridge – in fact it will last a few weeks, if you can resist eating it for all that time, that is.

2 tbsps coconut oil

1 small onion, peeled and finely chopped

1 clove garlic, chopped

2 medium chillies, chopped

150g peanut butter

1 tsp honey

200ml coconut milk

A splash of fish sauce

Heat the coconut oil over a medium heat on the hob and add the onion, chilli and garlic. Cook for about 10 mins until nicely softened.

Add the peanut butter and honey and stir thoroughly making sure it doesn’t stick. This will only take a few minutes to melt and blend together.

Allow to cool a little and transfer to your blender. Add the coconut milk and blend.

Stellar Chef’s pan

I made my sauce in this Chef’s pan from Stellar. It’s suitable for all hobs, dishwasher and oven safe and a pleasure to cook in with its non-stick surface and flat, wide base and tall sloping sides. The pan comes in three different sizes with prices starting from £20 for the 16cm one.

For stockist information call 0117 940 000 or email sales@horwood.co.uk

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My Stellar chef’s pan ready to go

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Reheating the nutty sauce before serving

I served my satays with a simple salad using ingredients I had in the fridge and made a zesty dressing using fresh lime juice, chopped chilli, fish sauce and sugar. Simply chop cabbage, cut carrots into batons, top with mint leaves and dry roasted peanuts and pour over the dressing.

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A simple salad adds crunch and zest

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The Stellar chef’s pan is a great addition to my kitchen

Recipe book review: Savage salads

It’s always exciting to acquire a new recipe book for my ever-expanding collection. And I was certainly inspired as I started paging through Savage Salads to decide what to cook for dinner.

The book is the brainchild of Italian chef Davide and Swedish food expert Katrina and the recipes came about because of their highly successful market stall in London.

They came up with the idea after noticing a distinct lack of healthy food options in London’s many food markets. And they also cleverly decided to offer a range of salads that were more interesting than your average leafy collection, as well as being substantial enough to leave you full and satisfied.

The book offers so many choices, it really does take salad to a new level. It’s divided into the four seasons and encompasses a mind-boggling array of ingredients, all of which are easily available in the UK.

The recipes are clearly laid out and easy to follow and I loved the mouth-watering photography.

So far I’ve tried three recipes, all of which have got a huge thumbs up from everyone who sampled them.

From the autumn section I made this fabulous potato salad with new potatoes, apple, spring onion and wholegrain mustard. Such a lovely sweet and sour combination with great crunch. It was served with a perfectly grilled pork chop.

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Something new for my potato salad repertoire

I love gazpacho and I love beetroot so it seemed a no-brainer to try this. Okay it’s soup, the book gets away with this by including what they call a Blitzed Salad at the end of each season. This is summer in a bowl, beautifully pink, sweet and health giving.

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Gotta love a bowl of pink soup

My third choice was from the winter section. No, I’m not confused it’s just that summer hasn’t really turned up so I’m still looking to cook comfort food. Little lamb kebabs marinated in garlic, lemon juice and rosemary are served with roasted sweet potato and turnip and served with crispy kale. Wow! I’m making crispy kale all the time now, it’s so easy and tasty and so full of goodness.

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There’s also a range of dip, dressing and mayonnaise recipes to try out. I’m loving the sound of smoked paprika and lime hummus, or maybe a bit of watercress mayonnaise. Salads are certainly never going to be boring again – the book certainly lives up to its strapline: Fierce Flavours Filling Power-Ups.

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Savage Salads by Kristina Gustafsson & Davide Del Gatto, photography by Kim Lightbody, is on sale now. Published by Frances Lincoln (£16.99). More information on the book can be found here

If you don’t want to cook them yourself (though I really recommend you do),  you can visit them at one of their stalls. You will find them in Berwick Street in Soho from Monday to Friday, Stratton Ground on Victoria Monday to Wednesday and at St Giles in field market in Covent Garden every Thursday.