An absolute staple when we get a Chinese takeaway but these are AMAZING homemade and surprisingly similar to the real thing! Safe to safe these are a little greasy and definitely not the healthiest thing to eat, but sometimes you’ve just gotta say WHO CARES?! Honestly, you won’t regret it…..
What you need for 12 triangles:
– 3 slices bread cut into 4 triangles (leave the crusts on)
– 200g raw prawns
– 2tsp minced garlic
– 2tsp minced ginger
– 1/4 tsp salt
– 1/2 tsp white pepper
– 1 tbsp soy sauce
– two spring onions roughly chopped
– veg / sunflower oil to fry
– 5 tbsp of sesame seeds
1. Whilst your heating your oil (check its to temp by dropping in a small bit of bread) blend together your raw prawns, ginger, garlic, soy sauce, spring onion, salt and pepper to make a paste
2. Spread a generous tsp of the paste onto each triangle of bread and then sprinkle with sesame seeds until the paste is fully covered – shake off an excess
3. Fry the toast prawn side down for around 3 minutes until you can see the edges start to turn golden then flip and leave for a further minute. Remove from the oil and leave on a piece of kitchen towel to soak up an excess oil and enjoy!!
Tip: depending on the size of your pan, I recommend frying in batches of of four and then popping in the oven at a low temp to keep warm whilst you fry the rest! Serve with spring onion and sweet chilli sauce AND ENJOY
So Mike’s favourite takeaway is Chinese, but mine’s Indian so obviously we usually compromise and get an Indian…..
So I thought I’d be nice and make him one of his favs at home – and even though I’m not usually a fan of it from the takeaway, this was YUM….and super speedy! 45 minutes (less if you want to be healthier and skip the fried chicken) so even quicker than ordering a takeaway!
What do you need?
(For 2 greedy pigs)
2 large chicken breasts chopped
1 red pepper chopped into large chunks
1 large onion chopped into large chunks
3 cloves of garlic, minced
1 inch fresh ginger, chopped
1 red chilli diced
100g plain flour
2 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp onion salt
1/2 tsk celery salt
2 tbsp malt vinegar*
2 tbsp brown sugar*
1 small tin of pineapple chunks plus juice
*ratio depending on your preference of sweet to sour!
Combine all the dry ingredients in a bowl and in a separate bowl whisk the eggs together
Coat each piece of chicken in the flour mix, then in the egg and then back into the flour mix – shallow fry in batches for around 6 minutes until cooked through
Whilst the chicken is cooking fry your onions, chilli, garlic and ginger for a couple of minutes before adding in the peppers. Leave for a couple of minutes before adding in the ketchup, vinegar, brown sugar and pineapple (and juice!) and leave to reduce
Once the chicken is all cooked, place on a piece of kitchen roll to absorb the oil and then stir through your sauce to ensure it’s fully coated
Serve with rice, fresh spring onions and sesame seeds!
I LOVE pork belly and in my opinion, it is SO underrated. Give it a little love and you can turn a cheap, fatty piece of meat into a flavourful treat meal – whether it’s roasted with a perfect layer of crackling, or cooked in beer and then shredded, it’ll be 10/10 delicious.
This recipe uses the latter option, and layered with a generous dollop of guacamole, shredded lettuce and a red cabbage slaw – it makes a wonderful mid-week taco treat, perfect for #TacoTuesday.
The silver lining of working from home this year is being able to throw recipes like this together – I spend about 10 minutes prepping the pork mid-afternoon and then its into the oven for 3ish hours. You’ll spend your afternoon sat at your laptop with the smell of pork tacos doing their magic in the kitchen. YAS.
Go on, give it a go.
Serves 2 greedy pigs
500g pork belly strips
1 taco seasoning sachet (little cheat, you could make your own spice mix but I’m all for cutting corners for mid-week meals)
10 tacos / tortillas
1/2 pint of beer
1/2 red onion
1/4 red cabbage shredded
100g soured cream
Juice of 1 lime
1/2 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp garlic powder
In a hot pan, sear the pork belly slices, turning frequently to stop from burning. You want to begin to render some of the fat down and caramelise the slices. When browned all over, remove from pan and place in a baking dish
Pre-heat the oven to 150°C and mix the taco seasoning with 250ml of water before pouring across the beef, along with the beer. Cover with foil and place in the oven for 2 1/2 hours. Check occasionally to ensure it hasn’t dried out (if needed, add a splash more water)
When the time is up, remove from the oven and shred the pork, add a splash more water and return to the oven without the foil for a further 30mins / however long you need to whip up the sides!
Cut your avocado, removing the stone and mash in a bowl with finely sliced red onion, half the lime juice, half the garlic powder and s&p and set aside! EASY AS THAT! (You can also add some fresh chilli, but most of the time I cba to slice anything else!)
Mix the soured cream with the lime juice, garlic powder, s&p and paprika before adding to the shredded cabbage until the cabbage is full coated
and ENJOY! Pile those tacos high with guac, slaw, lettuce and pork belly and won’t be disappointed! Happy #TacoTuesday!!
Having cooked this for the first time recently, I was completely and utterly won over. It is one of the best things I’ve cooked for a long time and love the fact that it can then be used for so many mid-week meals throughout the week!
I paid £10.50 for a 1.5kg joint in Sainsburys, which fed 2 for a Sunday roast, burgers, tacos and Mac & cheese; with leftovers from all of them. The best bit – the hard work was all done on Sunday, making the weekday dinners super easy. There is so much more you could do with it too, next on my list is beef ragu and chilli con carne.
1.5kg brisket joint
3 onions, sliced
5 celery sticks / carrots
3 sprigs rosemary
Large glass of red wine
300ml beef stock
4 cloves of garlic roughly chopped
Large knob of butter
Pre-heat the oven to 200°C and heat a little butter and a dash of oil in a pan before seasoning and searing the brisket. Once seared all over remove from the pan and place in an oven-proof dish (with a lid) on top of roughly chopped carrots & celery & rosemary. Ensure the beef is placed fat side up – this way, the fat will render and keep the beef moist.
Add the onions and garlic to the pan and allow to soften for a few minutes before adding in the red wine and seasoning generously. Leave to reduce down slightly and then add to the beef along with the stock. Add just enough to come 3/4 of the way up the brisket joint.
Cover & roast in the oven for 40 minutes before then reducing the heat to 140°C and continue to cook for 5 hours. Throughout the cooking time remove the brisket from the oven to baste regularly.
When cooked, you should be able to pierce the beef with a knife with very little pressure. If you’d like slices of brisket for your roast you may want to take it out slightly earlier – it can become too tender to slice without it falling apart (but personally, I think that’s the best way!)
Now for the gravy! Remove the brisket from the pan and reduce down your gravy on a high heat. I usually transfer it into a saucepan at this stage for ease. When ready to eat, drain your gravy and add a knob of butter to make a silky rich gravy!
Easy mid-week tacos!
Slice a few slices of brisket and place in an oven-proof dish. In a bowl combine one bottle of beer with a taco seasoning sachet and place in the oven at 180°C for 30 minutes, covered with foil. Whilst cooking, whip up some guac and cabbage slaw and lightly toast flour tortillas. When the beef is cooked through, shred with a fork and serve!
Easy brisket burgers!
Again, slice a few slices of brisket and place in an oven-proof dish – add a large glug of beer and leftover gravy from your roast. Cook at 180°C for 30 minutes, covered with foil and then shred. Serve in a soft bap with your favourite sauce!
I LOVE summer, but I’m also always very excited when Autumn comes around the corner and we can get back to cooking big warming plates of food! Nothing beats a plate of food including mash and gravy / sauce, for me that’s a bowl of comfort right there.
Chicken pie was one of the first things I ever learnt to cook at university and was actually the first thing I ever cooked for Mike – this is still my go-to recipe and I’ve lost count of the amount of times I’ve cooked it. Honestly, nothing beats it. Well, maybe chicken, leek, bacon AND mushroom pie, but Mike hates mushrooms so they don’t get to make an appearance very often!
This is a great dish to use up any left-over roast chicken on a Monday, or equally – it makes a great Sunday lunch when you just can’t be bothered for a full roast!
3 chicken breasts
1 pack of bacon lardons
300ml double cream
Half a glass of white wine
1 cup of chicken stock
Knob of butter
1 tbsp flour
2 tbsp of milk
few springs of thyme and rosemary
2 tsp mixed herbs
4 cloves of garlic
1/2 tsp whole grain mustard
1 sheet of puff pastry
1. Start by roasting your chicken breasts in some oil, s&p and a little sprinkle of mixed herbs – roast until cooked through and then shred (you might want to cook it covered in tin foil to keep in juicy!) 2. Whilst the chicken is roasting finely dice your onion and garlic and sweat for a few minutes. Add in the rosemary, thyme and mixed herbs and then the bacon. 3. In a separate pan, make a rue by melting the butter and the flour, take off the heat and add the milk, cream and chicken stock and set aside 4. Add the leeks to the onion and bacon mix and fry for a few minutes before adding in the white wine 5. Once the wine has reduced, add in the shredded chicken along with the sauce and leave to reduce. Season well and add the mustard 6. Transfer into a pie dish and cover with pastry (you can give it a quick egg wash too to help the colour the pastry!) and bake until pastry is golden brown! (25-30mins) Serve with creamy mash & veg!
Anyone that has followed my instagram for a while will know that we religiously celebrate #TacoTuesday in this house. Before lockdown it was great easy dinner after work and I’m not ashamed to admit it was with the help of Old El Paso & Santa Maria seasoning packets and taco shells….
It was a great dinner to have on the table in less than 30 mins, with some salad and homemade guac. But since lockdown we’ve had a lot more time to experiment – we’ve had pork belly, slow cooked beef, fish, sweet potato, chicken…the list goes on. I’ve loved trying out lots of new recipes to jazz up our Tuesday’s but these beer-battered prawn tacos are a firm favourite. Super tasty & surprisingly still pretty quick!
We served them with a cabbage slaw (red cabbage shredded, soured cream, s&p, garlic powder and onion powder), shredded lettuce and homemade guac and served on a flour tortilla!
Packet of uncooked prawns
Half a bottle of beer
1 cup of flour
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp coriander
1 tsp onion powder
Start by drying your prawns slightly with a piece of kitchen towel and season with s&p
In a bowl add your dry ingredients, combine & season followed by the beer. Whisk together until smooth
Heat up your oil – I used about 3cm of vegetable oil in a deep wok. Test the temperature of the oil but dropping in a little of the batter mix. You want it to fizz when it hits the oil but if it browns too quickly, reduce the heat slightly
Add the prawns to the batter and coat well
Using tongs, carefully add prawns one by one to the oil (I usually do 4/5 at a time). They should take 3/4 minutes to cook – they’ll be a nice golden brown and should float to the top when cooked through
Transfer them to a wire rack whilst you cook the others & then enjoy in a tortilla with cabbage slaw!
Once you master the perfect homemade tomato pasta sauce, I promise you, you’ll never go back to the jar. Full of flavour, no hidden nasties and super easy to make! I make a big batch and freeze it in portions ready for a lazy lunch!
This is also a perfect store cupboard dinner – if you’re like me you always have a packet of sausages in the freezer and everything else can be substituted for things I’m sure you’ll have at the back of your cupboards!
Serves 2 / Ready in 20 minutes
Pasta of your choice (I use linguine or tagliatelle)
1 tin of chopped tomatoes
1 tsp garlic granules / 2 cloves of fresh garlic
1 tsp dried Italian herbs
Generous glug of red wine
2 tsp balsamic vinegar
Handful of fresh basil / dried basil
Parmesan to serve
Pinch of chilli flakes
Finely chop onion & garlic and fry in a little oil until softened. Add in the dried herbs with the balsamic vinegar & wine and cook until reduced
Add in the chopped tomatoes, sugar, chilli flakes & season well – leave on a low heat to reduce further
Squeeze the sausages from their skins creating meatball like chunks. Heat oil in a pan and add the sausages
Bring salted water to a boil and cook pasta according to packet
Once the sausages are browned, add half of the fresh basil followed by the tomato sauce with a ladle of pasta water
Add the pasta directly into the pan and coat with sauce – you may want to add more pasta water at this stage to make sure the sauce coats the pasta well
Serve with fresh basil & a sprinkling of parmesan!
There’s something about a big bowl of egg fried rice – it’s like a bowl of pure comfort. Something so simple, but so tasty. I’d happily order it from the Chinese and nothing else!
It might sound strange (especially considering how faithful I am to the weekly Sunday roast), but I LOVE this as a quick Sunday treat and it’s great to clear out the veg drawer before the weekly shop. I’ve popped below the recipe I use, but in all honesty it really depends what we have left that needs using up – pretty much any veg is great it in and I love chucking in some prawns if we have some (they’re a freezer staple for us). Take the ingredients with a pinch of salt and feel free to substitute where needed!
The secret to the best egg fried rice is pre-cooking the rice first and leaving it to cool & dry (none of this pre-cooked microwave rice nonsense). Using cold rice will allow it crisp up more when stir fried! That being said – you need to be careful reheating rice and I love having this as leftovers the next day so if that’s the plan I’ll cook the rice and use it straight away instead of letting it cool, that way I can reheat it. And don’t forget to always make sure the rice is steaming hot!
Serves 3 ( generous portions!)
1/2 shallot / onion diced
Greens of your preference sliced (I love a big handful of spring greens / kale and some sliced broccoli )
3 eggs whisked + 3 extra if you want a fried egg on top (I’ll judge anyone who doesn’t!)
1/2 cup of peas
250g basmati rice (cooked and left to cool – unless planning to reheat leftovers don’t leave to cool, read above!)
2 tbsp vegetable oil
2 tbsp light soy sauce
1/2 tsp five spice
1/2 tsp fish sauce
1 tbsp sesame oil
1 tbsp oyster sauce
1 tsp garlic paste
1 tsp ginger paste (you can use fresh garlic and ginger but this is always a quick meal for us!)
Protein of your choice – I love adding in a diced chicken breast & handful of prawns!
Cucumber, spring onion, chilli, coriander, sliced ginger, sesame seeds and generous serving of sriracha!
Heat 1tbsp of vegetable oil a LARGE wok and add the garlic, ginger and shallot and cook through for one minute before adding the protein – keep stirring to stop burning
Once the meat / fish has cooked through, remove from the wok and set aside and add the veg
Whilst the veg is cooking through, mix the sesame oil, fish sauce, five spice, oyster sauce and soy sauce in a separate bowl until combined
Once the veg is almost cooked, add back in the protein and stir through the rice. Give this a few minutes without stirring too much to allow the bottom layer of rice to crisp slightly!
Heat the remaining tbsp of oil in a frying pan and crack in the eggs
Whilst the eggs are cooking take you bowl of sauce and mix into the rice before adding in the whisked egg – keep stirring the eggs to make sure its fully mixed in and cooks through
Serve the fried rice with the the fried egg on top with a generous handful of garnishes and enjoy!!
On the table in less than 15 minutes and absolutely DELISH!!!
For anyone that believes Yorkshire puddings are only for roast beef. You’re wrong. No argument about it. Personally, I believe they belong on any plate where gravy is; the two are a match made in heaven. Bangers & mash and roast dinners – should ALWAYS be topped with a Yorkshire pud. Hawksmoor even have a whole dish dedicated to Yorkshire puddings and gravy – and I’d happily skip the steak for it.
But, there’s so many recipes out there – which is the best? How do you guarantee it’ll rise and have a perfect hole in the middle to catch the gravy? How can you compete with Aunt Bessie?
Easily. In my opinion, even if the shape doesn’t end up quite right, it’ll always be tastier than an Aunt Bessie’s. But here’s a recipe that’s fail proof for me, for getting that dreamy rise!
I actually fell upon this by mistake one Sunday – I cracked 2 eggs into a bowl and went to grab the milk, forgetting that I’d finished it the night before having a cuppa… but being too lazy to pop to the shops, I thought I’d compromise.
I hear you – Yorkshire puddings with no milk?! You’ll have to trust me.
With any Yorkshire pudding recipe – the trick is to always leave the mixture to rest for a few hours in the fridge before cooking it & to preheat your oil. A lot of the shape of the pudding comes from the cold mixture hitting the sizzling hot oil! (If the you don’t hear the sizzle – it’s not hot enough!)
Makes 6 large Yorkshire puddings
2 large eggs
50ml double cream
4 tbsp plain flour
2 tbsp of vegetable oil
Start off by cracking and whisking the eggs in a jug (I use a large jug so it’s easier to pour the mixture, but a bowl is fine too!)
Then, add the cream & water and whisk together – you might want to add a pinch of salt here as it’ll help break the eggs down
Add the flour a tbsp at a time and whisk through (until you have a batter slightly thicker than pancake mixture)* – try and get as many of the lumps out as possible, but don’t worry too much as they’ll be broken down as it rests. Whisk for a couple of minutes to get plenty of air into the batter & season
Pop in the fridge for a minimum of 1hr – I usually leave mine for 4-5hrs
When ready to cook – preheat the oven to 220C and heat some oil in a Yorkshire pudding tin / muffin tin – when ready pour in the mix equally (REMEMBER: the oil needs to sizzle when you pour in the batter!)
Cook for 15-20 minutes – if they need longer, reduce the temp to 200C to stop the tops burning! You want them to be golden brown with a slight crunch on the top so you know they’re strong enough to hold their structure. Take them out too early and they’ll lose some of their height!
Enjoy with lashings and lashings of gravy!!
Top Tip: You need to work quickly when you take the preheated tin out of the oven to make sure the oil doesn’t cool – have the mixture ready and then pop them straight back in the oven. Don’t open the oven, ideally until they’re cooked completely, but for at least the first 15 minutes!
*I’ve never used a recipe / measured ingredients out for Yorkshire puddings before – for me I always go on what the batter looks like so add the flour slowly until you have your desired consistency! You want it thick enough so they hold they’re shape, but not too thick that they’re too heavy and dense to rise!
For anyone that knows me, you’ll know that I love a burger. Usually, it’s a bacon cheeseburger and I don’t venture any wilder than that – if ain’t broke, don’t fix it.
But whenever we have chicken satay, we’re always left with a bowl full of sauce SO Mike suggested Satay Burgers – and they didn’t disappoint. There are lots of recipes out there for grilled chicken burgers with satay sauce but if there’s one thing we both agree on, it’s that you don’t skimp when it comes to burgers. So, these are crispy chicken burgers, with lashings of satay sauce, pickled cucumber and coriander (well, not for me. I taste soap).
Before lockdown I’d never deep fried anything – I was always brought up being told that deep fat fryers were too unhealthy and using a pan of oil was far too dangerous. I guess both are true.
During lockdown I’ve experimented a few times and use a wok 1/3 full of vegetable oil. I always use the back ring of the hob so it’s slightly further away so I can avoid the hot splatters, always use tongs to place things AWAY from you & LEAVE THE OIL TO COOL COMPLETELY before transferring into a jar / bottle to dispose / save until next time.
If you don’t have a deep fat fryer / feel comfortable frying at home, I’m sure these would turn out brill in the oven too!
Let’s start with the pickled cucumber – using a peeler remove the skin and then continue peeling the flesh to make ribbons. Pop in a bowl and mix in the vinegar and caster sugar with a pinch of salt. Set aside for 15 minutes and then pat dry with a kitchen towel (you don’t want a puddle of vinegar in your burger!)
Crack an egg into a shallow bowl and whisk – add a pinch of salt to help break the egg up
In a separate bowl mix the panko breadcrumbs with the curry powder and season
At this stage I would add the vegetable oil to the wok and start heating it up
Take your two chicken breasts on a chopping board and cover with a sheet of parchment paper – either using a meat tenderiser or rolling pin flatten the breasts until they’re half a cm thick. Then slice in half to create 4 chicken burgers. (I use any offcuts to make nuggets with the leftover Panko!)
Once your oil is at temperature – (160cish – you could test the temperature of the oil with a nugget to start with*) place a piece of chicken in the egg bowl and coat well before dipping into the breadcrumbs. Make sure the chicken is well coated before using tongs to place (gently!!) into the oil.
Complete the process with all 4 pieces of chicken – I usually fry two pieces at a time. They should take about 6 minutes to fry & turn once during cooking. I keep the first batch warm in the oven whilst the second is cooking (I’m a worrier when it comes to chicken and always use a meat thermometer to make sure they’re at 65c and if not I pop them in the oven to cook through!)
Now to build your burger! I always griddle my burger buns just to toast them slightly (you can do this whilst the chicken is resting) and then spread a thin layer of satay sauce on each side of the bun, layer up with iceberg, chicken, another dollop of sauce and then pickled cucumber and coriander!
*you’re testing to see how quickly it cooks – if it goes golden brown within seconds it probably means the oil is too hot and your chicken will burn before cooking through. Equally, too low and the Panko will stay pale and soggy.
Chilli Con Carne – one of the most versatile dishes there is. Have it with rice, on a jacket potato, on chips, in a burrito, with salad…the list goes on. We always batch cook this and have portions in the freezer for a panic lunch prep, or a quick comforting dinner. Chilli cheese chips is a favourite in our house!
Usually, I’d screw my face up at something like this – chilli con carne should ALWAYS be made with beef…or so I thought. Swapping the beef for mushrooms in this was a welcome change – not only making it even cheaper, but also a great way to get some more veggies into your dinner! You dice the mushrooms up finely so I’m sure you’d even be able to trick the veggies haters into loving this!
1 onion (finely diced)
2 cloves of garlic (finely diced)
1 tbsp cumin
1tbsp ground coriander
1 tsp chilli powder (if you’re not a fan of spice go for 1/2)
2 tsp paprika
1 packet of mushrooms diced
2 carrots grated
1 tin chopped tomatoes
1 tin of kidney beans
Start by heating a little oil in a pan and adding the coriander, paprika, cumin and chilli powder and stir through to make a paste with a pinch of salt – leave to cook for 2 minutes
Add in the onion and garlic and cook through until soft (you may want to add in a tbsp of hot water to stop them burning)
Next, add in the mushrooms and carrot and leave for a few minutes before adding in the chopped tomatoes, kidney beans and half a tin of water – leave to simmer for a minimum of 30mins / until reduced. Season to taste.
Serve with rice, guac & soured cream!
This is a dish that tastes even better the following day – I really recommend batch cooking this and mixing it up with how you serve it!