Tag Archives: Meat

Greek Holiday Gyros

There are a whole load of foods that I’m pretty sure aren’t worth the trouble of cooking at home, though I suspect this list varies depending on where you live. I’m fairly certain I won’t be making  a sour dough loaf in my kitchen, now I’ve discovered the the flour pot bakery. But all bets are off when you consider the costs of eating abroad, but are dreaming of the lazy Mediterranean street food wonder that is gyros.

Maybe we’d sampled a bit too much of the local Ouzo on our Villa Plus holiday,  perhaps it was mild sun stroke, but we’re both pretty sure that discovering gyros made by a little old lady in Crete was a holiday food sensation. Sure you can get gyros anywhere, but this little old lady made fresh flatbread like it was as easy as tying your shoelace. It was soft, stuffed with fresh tzatziki and enough red onion to shake a stick at.

Flatbread dough

Flatbread

Flat breads – makes 4
175g self raising flour
Pinch of sea salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
175g natural yoghurt

Tzatziki
175g plain yoghurt
1 large cucumber
2 garlic cloves (crushed)
Squeeze of a lemon
Handful of fresh mint
Salt and pepper to taste

Everything else
2 chicken breasts
2 large tomatoes
1 red onion
Two white potatoes
Olive oil

Slice your potatoes into chips before mixing together in a baking tray with olive oil and salt. Place in the oven at 200 °F and leave to bake. Squeeze one half of the lemon and a glug of olive oil over the chicken. Season with salt and pepper, then leave to the side to marinade.

Mix the flat bread ingredients together in a large mixing bowl with your hands. Tip the mix onto a floured work surface and knead for a minute or two. It’s not like a normal bread recipe, so you only have to knead enough to bring it together. Put the dough back into the bowl and cover with a plate.

Chips

If you’re in Greece then the likelihood of needing to make your own tzatziki will be fairly limited. However, I’m down Brighton….so erm, will be making my own. Grate the cucumber and squeeze with your hands until all the excess liquid has gone. Then combine with the lemon juice, cucumber, chopped mint, yoghurt and crushed garlic. Season to taste. Slice the onion and tomato, then set aside to use later

Back to the flat breads. Place the dough onto a floured surface and divide and roll into 6 separate balls. With your hands, pat and flatten, then use a rolling pin to roll each piece into a circle, roughly 3mm thick.  Place your griddle pan on a high heat, then once smoking hot, cook each flatbread for 1 to 2 minutes each side, or until they puff up.

In the same griddle pan place the chicken skin side down and cook for 3 minutes. Place the pan into the pre-heated oven with the chips without ever turning the chicken. After 12 minutes take the chicken out of the oven, turn them over and leave to rest.  Remove the chips from the oven and pat dry on kitchen towel.

Tzatziki recipe

Fresh tzatziki

To assemble take one flat bread and fill with sliced chicken, chips, sliced tomato and sliced red onion. Dollop a generous amount of tzatziki on top and fold in the edges. And it is exactly what  you should make this weekend. Stuff these flat breads with whatever meat you fancy on the BBQ to get you dreaming of long lazy summer holidays

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Leftovers?

So what to do with all these leftovers? We’ve already done the best bit, where you go round with two slices of bread and fill them with only things you like. A cold bit of ham? Oh yes please. How about these leftover brussels? …..erm, no thanks they belong in the bin. I’ll have a slice of that blue cheese, as well as those stuffing balls, with a little mustard wedged between my two slices of bread please. Anna? Well her sandwich was more pickle and turkey based….not my bag.

Leftover Turkey Pie

The only thing is there are only so many sandwich challenges you can manage before those leftovers pass their reusable date. So what to do? Turkey curries are always popular, but I like a good pie. It’s a cracking last meal dish before you head off into a detox January of kale smoothies and portion controlling. Plus, if you’ve just about had enough of Christmas dinner a pie will freeze really well for a later date.

Leftover Turkey Chopped Leftovers

Turkey and Gammon Pie (feeds 4 people)
750g leftover turkey and ham
400ml chicken stock
1 sheet of pre-rolled puff pastry
1 egg
1 small red onion (diced)
150g button mushrooms (sliced)
2 teaspoons wholegrain mustard
1 tablespoon flour
1 tablespoon crème fraîche
Salt, pepper and fresh thyme

Chop up all you leftover turkey and ham into pieces about 1cm thick. In a large pan gently fry the onions and mushrooms in olive oil, until they start to colour. Add the turkey and ham with the tablespoon of flour and stir to prevent it sticking. Once it starts to stick to the pan add a small amount of the stock and deglaze the pan. Then add the crème fraîche, remaining stock, fresh thyme and mustard. Stir well and bring the pan to a simmer. Season with salt and pepper to taste and take the pan off the heat.

Turkey Pie Filling

Roll out the pre-rolled pastry onto a floured surface and turn the oven onto  200°C/ 400°F. Flip your pie dish upside down onto the pastry and cut around the dish leaving an extra couple of centimeters. Crisscross the pastry to score it and if you have it in you use the remaining pastry to make some fancy decoration bits. Tip your pie filling into the dish and wet the edge of the dish with a little water to help the pastry stick. Place the pastry on top of the pie dish and crimp it down with a fork to hold in place. With a knife poke two little holes into the middle to let the steam out.

Quickly beat the egg and brush the eggy mix all over the pie pastry. Bake on the top shelf for about 20 minutes, or until it starts to go golden. Your oven is likely to be different so you might need a few minutes either way. Serve with mash, gravy and peas. On a side note, just like a puppy this recipe isn’t just for Christmas and works well for any leftover joint of meat.

Gawker Pie

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.