Posted in Chicken, Comfort Food, Fakeaways

Sweet and Sour Chicken

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 

100g cornflour 

2 tsp paprika 

1/2 tsp garlic powder 

1/2 tsp onion salt 

1/2 tsk celery salt 

150-200g ketchup*

2 tbsp malt vinegar*

2 tbsp brown sugar*

1 small tin of pineapple chunks plus juice 

2 eggs 

*ratio depending on your preference of sweet to sour! 

  1. Combine all the dry ingredients in a bowl and in a separate bowl whisk the eggs together 
  2. 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 
  3. 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 
  4. 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 
  5. Serve with rice, fresh spring onions and sesame seeds! 

YUM YUM YUM

What’s your favourite fakeaway? Comment below!

Posted in Comfort Food, Fakeaways, Pork

Slow-Cooked Pork Belly Tacos

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

Ingredients

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 avocado

1/4 red cabbage shredded

100g soured cream

Juice of 1 lime

1/2 tsp paprika

1/2 tsp garlic powder

Iceberg shredded

Method:

  1. 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
  2. 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)
  3. 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!
  4. 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!)
  5. 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
  6. and ENJOY! Pile those tacos high with guac, slaw, lettuce and pork belly and won’t be disappointed! Happy #TacoTuesday!!
Posted in Comfort Food, Fakeaways, Fish

Beer-Battered Prawn Tacos

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!

Ingredients:

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

S&P

Method:

  1. Start by drying your prawns slightly with a piece of kitchen towel and season with s&p
  2. In a bowl add your dry ingredients, combine & season followed by the beer. Whisk together until smooth
  3. 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
  4. Add the prawns to the batter and coat well
  5. 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
  6. Transfer them to a wire rack whilst you cook the others & then enjoy in a tortilla with cabbage slaw!
Posted in Chicken, Comfort Food, Fakeaways, Quick Eats

Egg Fried Rice

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!)

Ingredients:

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!

To serve:

Cucumber, spring onion, chilli, coriander, sliced ginger, sesame seeds and generous serving of sriracha!

Method:

  1. 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
  2. Once the meat / fish has cooked through, remove from the wok and set aside and add the veg
  3. 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
  4. 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!
  5. Heat the remaining tbsp of oil in a frying pan and crack in the eggs
  6. 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
  7. 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!!!

Don’t forget to tag me! @foodmakeskatiehappy

Posted in Comfort Food, Fakeaways

Chicken Satay Burgers

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).

Makes 4 burgers

Ingredients:

2 large chicken breasts

Satay sauce (see chicken satay recipe here)

Half a cucumber

1 tbsp of white wine vinegar

1 tbsp caster sugar

Handful of fresh coriander

100g Panko Bread Crumbs

4 Brioche Buns

1/2 tsp curry powder

s&p

Half an Iceberg lettuce shredded

1 egg

Vegetable Oil for frying

Method:

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!

  1. 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!)
  2. Crack an egg into a shallow bowl and whisk – add a pinch of salt to help break the egg up
  3. In a separate bowl mix the panko breadcrumbs with the curry powder and season
  4. At this stage I would add the vegetable oil to the wok and start heating it up
  5. 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!)
  6. 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.
  7. 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!)
  8. 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!
  9. Enjoy!!

*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.

Posted in Comfort Food, Fakeaways, Pork

Sticky Crispy Pork Belly

Pork belly is one of the most underrated cuts of meat. It’s cheap. It’s versatile. And it’s super tasty. What’s not to love? When cooked right, pork belly is INSANE! And in my opinion, this is one of the best ways to cook it. I serve it with egg fried rice and stir fried greens, but we’ve also had it in bao buns and with noodles. I might be bias, but this is brilliant.

This one needs a little bit of love and time – but honestly it’s worth it! Once you’ve bought all the ingredients for the sauce you’re good to go again, and again and again. And I assure you, you’ll be back for seconds.

Ingredients:

500g pork belly strips

3 cloves of garlic

2 inches of ginger (peeled)

5 spring onions

1 red chilli

1 tbsp sesame oil

2 tbsp light soy sauce

1 tbsp brown sugar

1 tsp fish sauce

1 tsp rice vinegar

1 tsp Chinese five spice

1 tbsp oyster sauce

1 tsp of sesame seeds

Method:

  1. Start by slicing the pork into 1 inch chunks. Crush the garlic cloves with a knife and add to a pan of boiling water, roughly chop the ginger and two spring onions into large chunks and also add in, along with the chilli, whole. Once boiling, add in the pork and leave to poach for 10 minutes.
  2. Drain the pork, keeping the poaching liquid, ginger, garlic, spring onions and chilli and set aside. Leave the pork for a few minutes to dry whilst heating up some oil in a pan (go easy on the oil, the pork will release fat as it cooks and using too much will give your sauce an oily layer later on).
  3. Fry the pork chunks until crispy all over – at this stage, you want to render down all the fat. Keep turning the pork to ensure all of it goes crispy! Be careful at this stage – it’ll splatter a LOT.
  4. Once crispy turn down the heat slightly, add in the sugar and stir through ensuring it coats all the pork and leave to caramelise for a couple of minutes
  5. Mix together the soy sauce, fish sauce, oyster sauce, rice vinegar, five spice & sesame oil and then add to the pork. Add back in the chilli, garlic, ginger and spring onions and ladle in 1-2 spoons of the poaching liquid. The pork needs to be just covered.
  6. Leave to simmer for 1 1/2 – 2 hours, until reduced
  7. When almost ready – remove the chilli, garlic, spring onion and ginger and slice up the remaining spring onion – add half in now
  8. When ready, serve topped with spring onion and sesame seeds!
Posted in Beef, Comfort Food, Fakeaways

Beef Massaman Curry

Another takeaway favourite. I LOVE Massaman curry & for me it always has to be slow cooked beef. I love the way the the meat ends up falling apart and the potatoes absorb all that yummy flavour. Lovely and creamy, you can control the spice depending on your taste and even if you’re not a fan of chilli, it’s still packed with flavour!

This is a perfect Friday night dinner for us – super simple to make; all it needs is a nice low slow cook and a little patience and then BAM. Who needs a takeaway when you can cook something this great at home?

Ingredients:

4 tbsp Massaman Curry Paste – (you can find a pretty tasty paste in the supermarket which will work a treat but it’s also quick to make your own!)

1kg Beef Shin diced

500g white potatoes (sliced into big chunks, skin left on)

3 Kaffir Lime leaves

400ml beef stock 

1 piece of Cinnamon Bark 

1 tin of coconut milk 

1tsp of brown sugar 

2 tbsp of tamarind paste 

2 carrots (peeled and sliced)

Juice of 1 lime 

2 tbsp Cornflour

Method:

  1. Start by coating the beef shin in cornflour and fry in a little oil until browned 

2. Coat the beef in the curry paste and add in the sugar, cinnamon, tamarind and bay leaves. Cook for a couple of minutes and then add in the coconut milk & beef stock

3. Bring up to the boil and then turn down to simmer for a minimum of 2 hours, but the longer you can leave it for, the better!

4. 45 mins before you’re ready to eat, add in the potatoes, carrots and lime juice and leave on a steady heat until the potatoes are cooked through & you’re done! 

5. Serve with rice / noodles and enjoy!!

Simple. As. That.

Posted in Chicken, Comfort Food, Fakeaways

Chicken Satay

Looking for a weekend treat without reaching for the takeout menus? This will hit the spot! Whenever we get a Thai or Chinese takeaway, Mike ALWAYS insists on getting the sharing platter as a starter – just for the satay. And being truthful, I’ve never been big fan – don’t kill me for admitting this, but I actually HATE peanut butter. I’m pretty strange, right?

So it’s strange that this has become on of my favourite dishes! If that’s not proof that it’s bloody tasty, then I don’t know what is!

The best bit? It’s super easy! The marinade takes 5 minutes and then it’s in the fridge overnight to suck up all those flavours, then when you’re ready, it’s under the grill for 20mins whilst you whip up the sauce and that’s it! So why not give it a go instead of reaching for that takeaway menu?

Serves 2 (3 if you’re not greedy like us!)

Ingredients:

For the marinade:

1/2 tin of coconut milk

2 tbsp light soy sauce

2 tsp curry powder

1 tsp turmeric powder

1 tbsp brown sugar

1 1/2 tsp ginger paste

1 1.2 tsp garlic

1 tsp fish sauce

1 tsp sesame oil

500g mini chicken fillets / sliced chicken breasts

For the dipping sauce:

3 tbsp crunchy peanut butter

1 clove of garlic

1 inch chunk of ginger (peeled)

2 tbsp light soy sauce

Juice of a lime

2 tsp brown sugar

1 tsp ground coriander

1 small red chilli

1 tsp honey

1 tsp sesame oil

1/3 – 1/2 tin coconut milk depending on preference

To serve:

Sliced red chilli, cucumber, crushed peanuts, fresh coriander

Method:

  1. Start by making the marinade – mix together all the ingredients in one bowl before adding the chicken and covering well. Clingfilm and pop in the fridge to marinade. (Ideally overnight for maximum flavour, but for as long as you can spare!)
  2. When you’re ready to cook the chicken, get your skewers at the ready (if you’re using wooden skewers you’ll need to soak them in water for 20ish minutes to stop them burning!), pre-heat the grill to 200C and get your grill try at the ready; I’m a sucker for anything that minimises the clearing up time so always cover mine in tin foil. Then, pop the chicken on the skewers. I go for two on each and thread them through, trying to keep the skewer centred in the middle of the fillet to help them cook evenly.
  3. Then, pop them under the grill for 20-25mins – turning occasionally. Make sure they’re fully cooked through, and juices run clear! (My favourite cooking utensil is my meat thermometer!)
  4. Whilst they’re cooking you can put together the sauce – start by making a paste with the chilli, garlic & ginger – I use a pestle and mortar but you can use a blender or chop finely!
  5. Then mix in the remaining ingredients & you’re done! I usually start with 1/3 tin of coconut milk and then add more depending on flavour – it really depends how strong you like the peanut flavour!
  6. Pop the sauce in a bowl, take the chicken off the grill and top with fresh coriander, chilli and crushed peanuts and a side of cucumber!

This is great as a side or starter – but also great with stir fried noodles or egg fried rice!

We always have lots of sauce left over and tend to use it for Crispy Chicken Satay Burgers – YUM!! Recipe coming soon!!

ENJOY!! xoxox