Tag Archives: Sauce

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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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

Espresso

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

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.