Sunday, 17 May 2015

Hot and Spicy Vindaloo Chicken Wings

Vindaloo spiced chicken wings with naan bread

This is a nice and easy recipe but no less delicious or enjoyable. The sauce used is supposed to be a stir frying or casserole sauce but it works perfectly well used in this way for roasting chicken wings in the oven. You can use sauce that comes in a glass jar like this one or in a foil pack.

Vindaloo stir fry sauce

Ingredients (Serves Two)

12 chicken wings, tips removed and separated at remaining joint
3 tablespoons vindaloo stir fry sauce
Little bit of vegetable oil for greasing roasting tray
2 mini garlic and coriander (cilantro) naan breads
3 or 4 large mint leaves, rolled and thinly sliced, to garnish

Vindaloo sauce ready to be used as marinade


Start by getting your oven on to preheat to 210C/425F/Gas Mark 7. Spoon the vindaloo sauce in to a large bowl, comfortably capable of containing all the chicken wings. Be sure to use a glass or stone bowl, as the sauce would permanently stain a plastic one.

Chicken wings are added to vindaloo marinade

Add the chicken wings to the bowl and use your hands (it really is much easier) to stir them through the sauce and ensure even coating. Lightly oil a large roasting tray and lay the wings skin sides up on the tray in a single layer. If necessary, use two trays - don't have any of the wings overlapping.

Vindaloo sauce marinated chicken wings ready to be roasted

Put the tray in to the oven for thirty minutes.

Vindaloo roasted chicken wings are left to rest

When the wings come out of the oven, they should be left to rest for five minutes before they are plated. This will allow them to be enjoyed much more juicy and tender.

Divide the wings between two plates, heat the naan breads per the instructions on the pack, cut in half and serve alongside. Garnish with the shredded mint leaves.

Vindaloo chicken wings are plated for service

Thursday, 14 May 2015

Spicy Turkey Steak Naan Sandwich

Curry spiced turkey steak sandwiched between two mini naans with mini poppadoms

A few weeks back on this blog I shared a recipe for a turkey burger with naan bread and potato wedges. This recipe is an even quicker and easier to prepare variation on that dish but proved equally delicious. It's a perfect dinner recipe for one of those nights where you don't have a lot of time to cook but still want to enjoy a tasty home-cooked meal.

You could of course simply fry the spiced turkey breast steak but I honestly believe griddling is a better option in a number of ways. It is quicker as the cooking temperature is much higher, it is healthier, as less oil/fat is contained in the meat due to the ridges in the pan, and it is definitely the way to go for better presentation in many instances. If you don't have such a pan, you can pick them up at a fairly reasonable price - especially on the likes of Amazon - and if you care for it properly, it will last you for many years.

Turkey breast steak

Ingredients (Serves One)

6 ounce turkey breast steak
2 teaspoons medium curry powder
2 tablespoons rapeseed oil (alternatively, vegetable or sunflower oil - never use olive oil for griddling)
2 handfuls mini poppadoms
2 mini naan breads
2 teaspoons mango chutney
Freshly chopped mint leaves to garnish

Curry powder is scattered over turkey breast steak


Lay the turkey breast steak on a plate and scatter over the curry powder.

Curry powder is massaged in to trukey breast steak

Use your fingers to massage the curry powder gently in to both sides and the edges of the steak. If time permits, cover and leave for an hour to dry marinate.

Oiling turkey breast steak for griddling

Start your griddle pan heating on maximum heat until it is smoking hot. This will take a few minutes. Pour the oil carefully over the steak and turn it over a few times, ensuring it is fully coated.

Starting to griddle curried turkey breast steak

Carefully lay the steak on the dry griddle pan. It should not be moved during cooking, other than to turn it over half way through.

Griddling turkey breast steak on second side

The time your turkey steak takes to cook will depend upon its thickness. This three-quarter inch thick steak needed three minutes each side. Use cooking tongs to turn it, rather than a spatula.

Mini poppadoms

When the turkey steak is done, lift it to a plate and leave to rest for five minutes. You can use part of this time to plate the mini poppadoms and heat the two mini naan breads per the instructions on the pack.

Griddled and rested turkey breast steak is laid on one mini naan bread

Lay the turkey steak on one of the heated naan breads.

Mango chutney is spread on curried turkey breast steak

Spoon the mango chutney on to the turkey steak and spread it out evenly.

Spicy turkey naan bread sandwich is assembled

Sit the second naan bread on top of the turkey steak, plate your sandwich with the mini poppadoms and garnish with the sliced mint leaves.

Spicy turkey breast naan sandwich is plated with mini poppadoms

Monday, 4 May 2015

Quick and Easy Roast Chicken and Veg

Simple roast chicken and Mediterranean style vegetables

Roast chicken with an accompanying assortment of vegetables is a huge favourite of millions of people. It is not, however, a dish which is usually practical for many people to make during the week as it normally requires considerable time spent preparing the vegetables and a combined preparation and cooking time of at least a couple of hours. That is where this recipe is so different, requiring minimal preparation and a cooking time of only half an hour. The specific vegetables used in this instance also make it a particularly healthy option.

Vegetables and chicken for roasting


14 ounce/400g supermarket tray mixed Mediterranean style roasting vegetables*
1/2 pound/225g skinless chicken breast strips
Rapeseed or olive oil
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
Salt and pepper
Shredded basil leaves to garnish

*If your supermarket doesn't sell trays of vegetables like this, you can buy some quick and easy to prepare vegetables such as bell peppers, cherry tomatoes and courgette/zucchini and simply assemble a similar combination in an oven roasting tray

Mediterranean vegetables are oiled and seasoned


Start by getting your oven on to preheat to 400F/200C/Gas Mark 6.

Remove the film lid from the tray of roasting vegetables. Season with the dried basil and oregano, salt and pepper. Drizzle liberally with rapeseed/olive oil and use your hands to lift and mix the vegetables to ensure they are all evenly coated in the seasoned oil.

Chicken is added to tray of vegetables

Add the chicken pieces to the tray of vegetables and again turn them through by hand. Place the foil tray on a more substantial oven tray and cook in the oven for half an hour. Remove with a slotted spoon to a serving dish and garnish with the freshly sliced basil leaves.

Chicken breast strips are carefully turned through vegetables

Thursday, 30 April 2015

Fajita Spiced Trout with TexMex Dips

Fajita spiced rainbow trout fillet with TexMex dips and tortilla chips

Fajitas usually come in the form of sizzling hot pieces of steak or chicken which are added to a tortilla wrap along with such as guacamole and salsa. In this recipe, I have changed that format slightly by serving a fajita spiced rainbow trout fillet with the traditional dips and a bowl of tortilla chips. You could buy the salsa and guacamole already prepared but in this instance I have made both of them from scratch.

Ingredients (Serves Two)

1 ripe hass avocado
1 small red chilli pepper, seeded and finely diced
2 large garlic cloves
Small handful coriander/cilantro, roughly chopped (plus extra to garnish)
Juice of 1 lemon
Salt and pepper
1 medium tomato, seeded and finely diced
2 inch piece of cucumber, seeded and finely diced
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
2 or 3 tablespoons plain/all purpose flour
2 teaspoons of fajita spice mix plus a little extra for sprinkling on flesh side of trout
2 rainbow trout fillets, skin on
Vegetable oil for frying
Small tub of soured cream
Spicy chilli tortilla chips to serve

Preparing guacamole


Peel and stone the avocado and add it to a mixing bowl. Add the lemon juice and mash with a fork. Add half the chilli, 1 of the garlic cloves (peeled and grated) and half the chopped coriander. Season with salt and pepper and stir well with a spoon to fully combine.

Preparing spicy salsa

In a separate bowl, combine the tomato, cucumber, second garlic clove (peeled and finely diced), remaining coriander, remaining lemon juice and extra virgin olive oil. Season with salt and pepper and stir well.

Fajita spiced flour for rainbow trout fillet

Pour some oil in to a large non-stick frying pan (you may need to use two pans, depending upon the size of your trout fillets) and bring up to a medium to high heat. Scatter the flour on a large plate and mix through the two teaspoons of fajita spice as well as some salt and pepper. Pat the trout fillets on their skin sides only in the flour, shake off the excess and lay the trout fillets skin side down in the pan(s). Scatter the flesh sides of the fillets with some more fajitas spice and a little salt and pepper. Fry for around three minutes on a medium to high heat until you can see the trout fillet is cooked most of the way through.

Pan frying fajita spiced rainbow trout fillet

While the trout is frying, spoon the guacamole, salsa and soured cream in to two ramekins in each instance. Garnish the soured cream with some coriander. Place one ramekin of each dip on two serving plates.

Assorted TexMex dips are plated

When the trout is cooked almost all the way through, turn the heat off completely before turning the trout fillets to fry on their flesh sides in the residual heat for one minute only. You should see that the skin is nicely crisp. Lift one fillet on to each plate with a fish slice.

Pan fried rainbow trout fillet is plated with dips

Garnish the trout fillets with a little bit more coriander.

Coriander is used to garnish fajita spiced trout fillet

Serve the trout and dips with a bowl of tortilla chips per person. You should find that the nicely crisped skin can easily be peeled away, perhaps with the aid of the blunt edge of a dinner knife.

Skin should easily peel free from trout fillet in one piece

Tuesday, 28 April 2015

Spicy Turkey Naan Burgers and Wedges

A Tasty and Healthier Twist on a Burger and Fries

Spicy turkey burger served between two naan breads with spicy potato wedges

One of the things I love most about the entire burger and fries concept is its versatility. It's possible to vary the type of meat used for the burgers, add any number of different flavourings, substitute the bun for a type of bread roll and also play around with the fries in imaginative ways. This idea is one I came up with on the spur of the moment when some minced/ground turkey was on special offer in my supermarket a day or so ago and I was absolutely delighted with the results.
Potatoes for making wedges

Ingredients (Serves Two)

2 large baking potatoes, washed but unpeeled and cut in to wedges
1 pound minced/ground turkey
1 small red chilli pepper, seeded and finely diced
1/2 small red onion, peeled and finely diced
1 tablespoon freshly chopped coriander leaf/cilantro, plus extra to garnish
Black pepper
Vegetable oil for frying
2 tablespoons rapeseed/sunflower oil
1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
1/2 teaspoon chilli powder
4 mini naan breads (garlic and coriander/cilantro flavour used here)
2 tablespoons mango chutney

Wedges ready to be parboiled


The wedges are cooked in two stages so have to be started first. Begin by soaking them for ten minutes in cold water. Drain and add them to a pot of fresh cold water and season with salt. Bring to a simmer for five minutes before draining again and allowing to steam off for five minutes. Lay them in a single layer in a large plastic dish and refrigerate for an hour.

Parboiled potato wedges ready for chilling

You can prepare the ingredients for the turkey burgers and the burgers themselves at your leisure while the wedges are chilling and drying out in the fridge.

Red onion, red chilli and coriander for spicy turkey burgers

Begin by adding the turkey to a large bowl which will allow plenty of mixing space.

Minced or ground turkey

Add the red onion, diced chilli and tablespoon of coriander to the turkey meat. Season with salt and bleck pepper.

Red onion, chilli and coriander added to turkey

It is far easier to use your hands than a spoon to thoroughly mix the burger ingredients. Split in to two equal portions, roll in to balls and flatten in to burger patties about an inch thick.

Spicy turkey burger patty mix

Get your oven preheating to 200C/400F/Gas Mark 6. Pour the rapeseed oil in to a bowl and season with the turmeric, chilli powder and half a teaspoon of salt. Stir with a wooden spoon to evenly combine.

Oil and spices for potato wedges

Add the wedges to the bowl and very carefully turn them around in the oil with the wooden spoon until they are all evenly coated. Lay them on a baking tray in a single layer and bake for twenty minutes, turning with cooking tongs half way through.

Oiled and spiced wedges ready for roasting

As soon as the wedges are in the oven, you can start frying your burgers. With big burgers like this, it is much easier to use two separate frying pans. Oil the pans and fry the burgers very gently for about ten to twelve minutes each side. Remember, they must be fully and properly cooked.

Starting to fry spicy turkey burger

Try to only turn the burgers once to both ensure even cooking and lessen the risk of them breaking up in the pan.

Turkey burger is turned in frying pan

A couple of minutes before the burgers are ready, take the wedges from the oven and lift them to a plate/plates covered with kitchen paper to drain.

Spicy potato wedges are drained on kitchen paper

Heat the mini naans per the instructions on the pack (usually only takes about thirty seconds to a minute) and lay one on each plate. Lift a burger on to each naan and spoon on some mango chutney.

Spicy turkey burger and mango chutney added to first naan bread

Lay a second naan bread on top of each burger.

Second naan bread tops turkey burger and mango chutney

Plate the wedges alongside the naan burgers. Garnish the wedges with some coriander.

Spicy wedges are plated with turkey burger

You can of course eat these burgers with your hands but in this instance, I elected to use a knife and fork.

Enjoying spicy turkey naan burger and wedges