Tag Archives: Chilli

Turkey and Courgette Meatballs

We’ve just about crawled out of our January blues coma over here. The fridge is bare and we’re on the search for something lighter, brighter and perhaps a little less like a kale smoothie. We needed some proper food, but we didn’t want to be delving back into the land of artery clogging just yet. So we settled on turkey mince. Low fat, so that’s good, but it always tastes so bland. So we pimped it up with a super spicy tomato sauce, with just a little chilli for added heat.

Corner Meatballs

The only problem was that it still didn’t have that zip about it. It needed something to freshen it up a little bit and what better thing than freshly chopped mint and coriander right? Plus, to lighten the meatballs up we used grated courgette and fresh spring onion. The outcome, well if I do say so myself was pretty good. A light, healthy and yet hearty meal. Bingo!

Turkey & Courgette Meatballs
500g turkey mince
1 large courgette
40g chopped spring onion
1 medium free-range egg
2 tbsp chopped mint
2 tbsp chopped coriander
1 tsp ground cumin
Salt and pepper to season

Turkey Meatball Mix

Turkey Meatballs

Preheat your oven to 220°C/ gas mark 7. Roughly grate the courgette into a large bowl with all the remaining ingredients. Once evenly mixed, shape into eight large meatballs. If that’s a bit much, then go smaller. I won’t judge you. If they feel a bit loose, then transfer to the fridge to firm up before frying.

Pour enough sunflower oil into a large oven proof pan so you get a thin layer on the bottom. Bring up to a high heat and sear the meatballs  on both sides. Cook them for about 4 minutes, until golden brown. Then transfer the pan to your pre-heated oven and cook through for for around 5 – 7 minutes. Remove from the oven, transfer the meatballs to a plate and use the same pan to start on your tomato sauce.

Cooked Meatballs

Tomato Sauce
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp grounf cumin
1 tsp smoked paprika
1 tsp dried chilli flakes
1 tsp ground coriander
1 medium red onion, chopped
125ml red wine
400g tin of chopped tomatoes
1 red chilli chopped with the seeds removed
2 large garlic cloves. crushed
1 tsp demerara sugar
2 tbps chopped mint

Drain the oil from the pan, but don’t wash the pan. You’ll want the lovely burnt bits on the bottom of the pan to flavour the sauce. Plus it saves on washing up. Heat the olive oil in the pan and add the spices, chilli and onions. Fry until soft, but keep turning so the spices don’t burn. Add red wine and with a wooden spoon scrap the bottom of the pan to release the flavours. Simmer for about 3 minutes and then add the chopped tomatoes, garlic and sugar.

Matballs Final

While the sauce is cooking add the meatballs back into the pan. Simmer for about 15 minutes, until the sauce is quite thick, taste to adjust the seasoning. Sprinkle with the chopped mint and serve with either wholegrain brown rice or couscous.

ReMadeIt recipe featured in the Guardian’s Cookclick here to view

Smokey Bacon & Chipolte Jam

Come on, be honest, is there anything better than smokey bacon? I could eat a pile of it every night of the week. Or lunch or brunch, but Anna might have something to say about that. So what about if we could make bacon as accessible as a simple pot of jam?

Although, let’s face it. Normally when we think of jam it probably involves a slice of toast or at best a scone. Not this jam though. This jam is nothing less than a literal towering triumph and it’s not for the faint hearted. It works as a relish to pimp up your burger or provides a simple way to trick up your cheese on toast. Epic stuff this.

Smokey Bacon

Chipolte Chilli

Bacon Jam Recipe
440g smoked streaky bacon
Two double espressos or 200ml strong coffee
One chipolte chilli finely chopped
50ml maple syrup
100ml cider vinegar
80G brown sugar
Two finely chopped red onions
Two crushed garlic cloves
One teaspoon smoked paprika


Caramelised Onions

Fry off the bacon in a little olive oil until lightly browned. Remove the bacon with a slotted spoon and leave the remaining oil in the pan. Use the lovely hot bacon fat to cook the onion, garlic and chipolte chilli until soft. Add the remaining ingredients and mix together well. Then add the browned bacon and simmer it all for 5 minutes to reduce it slightly.

Place a lid on the pan and put in a pre-heated over at 180°C or gas mark 4. After thirty minutes remove the lid leave in for another thirty minutes until it starts thicken and get sticky. Remove and leave to cool. Oven temperature varies so take it out earlier if you need to.

Bacon Jam Recipe

Move all the mixture to a food processor and pulse until you get your desired texture. I prefer it a bit grainy, so just a few pulses to get the consistency in the pictures. Eat warm or keep in a refrigerated air tight container for 4 weeks.

Bacon Jam

My Perfect Burger

I’ve had a bit of stick around the office recently. You see, I’ve been proud of my recent cooking achievements. Take the chocolate cake recipe for example, popular with the wife, but seen as a bit of a yellow card from the office lads. So I needed something a little more bloke focused. Something with hunks of meat running through it. Something like the perfect burger.

I’m a bit fussy when it comes to burgers, especially when it comes to the bun. More often than not you get a bap made of cheap white bread, if you’re lucky, perhaps an over sized ciabatta. All this does is hide the glorious meaty goodness inside. In my eyes you need something that’s the same size as the pattie, covered with toasted sesame seeds and finished with a lovely golden glaze. This adapted recipe by Hobbs House takes a while, but the results are spectacular.

Burger Buns – makes 4

  • 250g strong white flour
  • 12g demerara sugar
  • 12g lard
  • 5g salt
  • 3g dried fast action yeast
  • 50ml tepid whole fat milk & 100ml tepid water
  • Beaten egg for glazing

Add all of your ingredients to a large mixing bowl and knead for 15 minutes by hand. Once you’re finished kneading add back to the bowl, cover with cling film and leave to rise for an hour. After an hour remove the dough, then on a floured surface divide and shape into four round buns.

Place the buns on a baking paper lined tray and glaze each of them with the beaten egg. Leave for 30 minutes and glaze them again for that deep golden finish. After a further 30 minutes, sprinkle with sesame seeds and leave for a final 30 minutes. Turn your oven up to 230 degrees/ gas mark 8 and bake the buns for around 12 – 15 minutes. Leave to cool.

The perfect burger needs the  juiciest, meatiest pattie you can think of. Do you go with mince? What about the fat to meat ratio? I’ve even seen a recipe that soaks the meat in Guinness. That’s not for me. I like it with chuck steak and just a little bit of seasoning. Let the quality of the meat do the talking I say. Use 400g of chuck steak and gently pulse in a food processor until you get the right texture, as close to mince as possible. Gently mould into four patties and firm up in the fridge.

Get your griddle pan nice and hot so it’s smoking. Place the pattie on the griddle and gently push the middle down with your thumb. This stops it swelling up. Cook for two minutes on each side, or a minute longer if you don’t like it pink.  The burger build is a very personal thing. I prefer mine with onion, hot relish, a slice of cheddar and crispy lettuce. That bit is up to you, but do try this recipe if you’re a burger lover.

Sweet Cola BBQ Chicken Wings

Years of sipping fizzy drinks has taught me a few things. Firstly, why drink Pepsi when you can have Coke? (Only a fool would argue with that) Secondly, accept no imitations, not even those nasty little pre-mixed rum and colas you get when you fly. And yet, here I am not only accepting Pepsi, but praising it.

Now don’t get me wrong, each to their own prefered can of fizzy goodness. It’s just that Pepsi has that little extra hit of cinnamon making it perfect for these sticky chicken wings. Bundled together with a kick of chilli, smoked paprika and zest of lemon, makes these sweet cola BBQ chicken wings a tasty experience.


Pepsi Cola BBQ Chicken Wings – Ingredients
800g chicken wings
600ml Pepsi
340g ketchup
60ml malt vinegar
2 tsp dark soy sauce
2 tsp hot pepper sauce
4 garlic cloves peeled and crushed
1 tsp smoked paprika
1 tsp dried chilli flakes
1 tsp coarse salt
1 tbsp sesame seeds
Juice and zest of one lemon

Remove the wing tips from your chicken wings if this hasn’t already been done. Add them to a sealed container with the lemon juice, a little seasoning and pop in the fridge. If you make your sauce in advance of this then marinade them for at least a couple of hours. Ideally overnight.


To make the Pepsi BBQ sauce combine the rest of your ingredients, except the sesame seeds, in a large pot and bring to a boil. Keep this going until the sauce starts to thicken – around 30 – 45 minutes. Add the BBQ sauce to a sterilised jar, you should be able to keep in the fridge for around two months.


Add the chicken wings to a baking tray and roast in an oven heated up to 180C or gas mark 4. After 30 minutes, remove and add to a large bowl with five tablespoons of the cola sauce and the sesame seeds. Return the chicken back to the oven and bake for a further 10 – 15 minutes.  These are delicious served with fresh coleslaw and sweet potato chips.