Friday, 27 November 2015

Spicy Scottish Venison Cheeseburgers

Scottish venison grillsteaks on rolls with cheese, onion and peppers

Scottish venison grillsteaks quickly griddled before Scottish cheddar cheese is melted over the top and stir fried mixed peppers and onion are subsequently added. Sound good? This idea actually came about when I had bought the grillsteaks to serve in an entirely different way but before I could do so, I discovered some forgotten mixed bell pepper slices and half an onion in my fridge requiring using if they were not to go to waste. Although therefore an accidental creation in a sense, this was super delicious and definitely something I'll be making again.

Scottish venison grillsteaks


2 Scottish venison grillsteaks
Vegetable oil
Handful of mixed sliced bell peppers
1/2 small white onion, peeled and moderately thinly sliced
Salt and pepper
Generous pinch of hot chilli powder (optional)
2 wholewheat bread rolls or similar
4 slices of Scottish cheddar cheese or as required
Teaspoon of freshly chopped coriander (cilantro)

Starting to griddle the venison grillsteaks


Start your griddle pan heating on your highest setting. It has to be very hot and this is likely to take a few minutes.

Oil the venison grillsteaks all over and lay them in to the hot griddle.

Grillsteaks are griddled on the second sides

The size of the steaks will vary but these ones took three minutes on each side to cook. Cooking tongs make them easier to turn. It's best not to risk using a plastic implement with a hot pan like this. When the steaks are ready, lift them to a heated plate and cover with foil to rest for a few minutes.

Stir frying peppers and onion

Add a little oil to a small frying pan and stir fry the peppers and onion over a medium heat for two or three minutes, seasoning with salt, pepper and a little chilli powder if desired.

Rested venison grillsteaks are laid on roll bases

Cut the rolls in half and lightly toast on their cut sides under your overhead grill/broiler.

Cheese slices are laid on venison grillsteaks

Lay a grillsteak on each bottom roll half and top with cheese slices.

Cheese is melted over grillsteaks

Melt the cheese under your grill until just bubbling.

Spiced peppers and onions are laid on top of cheese

Lift some peppers and onion on to each burger top with cooking tongs.

Coriander garnishes the burgers before they are closed over

Scatter with the chopped herb before adding the tops to the rolls to serve.

Ready to eat spicy Scottish venison cheeseburgers

Monday, 23 November 2015

Leftover Turkey Chili Sloppy Joes

Leftover turkey chili sloppy joe with simple salad

Leftovers provide us with a wealth of opportunities when it comes to deciding what to have for dinner of an evening. Using them up cuts down on food waste thus expenditure, they can save significant amounts of time in the preparation of a meal when all you want to do is relax after a hard day and they provide excellent opportunities for experimenting with different ways in which you can actually serve them up to your family.

Sloppy joes (just like chili!) are traditionally made with beef as the meat ingredient. When I experimented one night, however, in making this pretty unusual but absolutely delicious turkey chili recipe with different coloured tomatoes, I had some leftovers and decided to borrow the sloppy joes concept for a very quick and easy dinner for two the following evening. You should also note that this idea could also be prepared with ordinary chili or indeed any similar type of meat or even vegetable stew.

Leftover turkey chili

Ingredients (Serves 2)

Generous portion of leftover turkey chili
Two handfuls of peashoots or similar green salad leaves
1 medium red tomato
1 medium yellow tomato
Salt and white pepper
2 soft bread rolls
Chopped coriander/cilantro to garnish

Salad ingredients are washed in cold water


Take the chili from the fridge (where it should of course have been stored overnight) and put it in to a saucepan. Put the pot on to a low heat and gently reheat the chili, stirring frequently with a wooden spoon. Wash the salad leaves and tomatoes in a colander under running cold water and dry.

Toasted roll base is plated with salad

Cut the two bread rolls in half horizontally and lightly toast on the cut sides. Cut the tomatoes in to segments and mix through the salad leaves, seasoning with salt and white pepper. Lay a bottom roll half on each of two serving plates and arrange half the salad alongside in each instance.

Turkey chili is spooned on to roll base and garnished

When the chili is fully reheated, divide between the two bottom roll halves and garnish with the chopped herb. Sit the roll tops in place and tuck in.

Saturday, 21 November 2015

Fresh Tuna and Mayo Sandwich

Fresh tuna slices with mayo on a bed of fresh watercress sandwich

Fresh tuna is as different from canned tuna as tuna itself is from cod. It really is like eating an entirely different foodstuff - provided, of course, the fresh tuna is not overcooked as the canned stuff is to such excess. I quite literally can't eat canned tuna I dislike it so much but I love fresh tuna and rate it as one of my most favourite types of eating fish. What I did here therefore was make a simple tuna and mayo sandwich but used fresh tuna cooked on a hot griddle or grill pan rather than canned.

Starting to griddle tuna loin fillet

Ingredients (Serves 2)

6 ounce tuna loin fillet (around 1 inch thick)
Vegetable or sunflower oil
Salt and pepper
Generous handful fresh watercress (or salad leaves of choice)
2 bread rolls
Mayo as required

Watercress is washed under running cold water


Start your griddle pan preheating on as high a heat as possible. It has to be smoking hot for cooking the tuna and it is likely to take three or four minutes to get up to the required temperature.

Put the watercress in to a sieve and wash thoroughly under running cold water. This is always essential, even when the pack claims it is washed and ready to eat. Sit it aside to drain off.

Tuna fillet is turned in griddle pan

Lightly oil the tuna fillet all over (never the griddle pan) and season on both sides with salt and pepper. When the griddle pan is smoking hot, very carefully lay the fillet in it to fry for three minutes. Turn with cooking tongs and fry on the second side for a further three minutes.

Griddled tuna fillet is rested

Lift the tuna fillet to a chopping board and allow it to rest for a couple of minutes.

Watercress bed is fashioned on bread roll

Cut the rolls open and very lightly toast on the cut sides. Divide the watercress between the two bottom roll halves to serve as a bed for the tuna.

Tuna slices are laid on watercress bed

Slice the tuna to around a quarter of an inch and divide between the two watercress beds. Add the mayo and place the tops on the rolls to serve.

Fresh tuna, mayo and watercress sandwich

Saturday, 31 October 2015

Spicy Turkey Steak and Cheese Toastie

Fajitas spiced turkey steak with cheese, chilli and tomato toastie

This was an idea which came about when turkey breast steaks were on special offer in my local supermarket a few nights back. I bought one and brought it home, without really having decided what I was going to do with it. It was therefore a search of the fridge and cupboards to see what was available that led to this particular, incredibly simple recipe idea being created.

Ingredients (Serves One)

6 ounce turkey breast steak
1 teaspoon fajitas spice mix
Vegetable, sunflower or similar oil for frying
1 tablespoon grated Cheddar cheese
1 medium green chilli, seeded and finely diced
Black pepper
2 slices of bread
4 slices from medium tomato
2 basil leaves, rolled and shredded

Starting to fry fajitas spiced turkey breast steak


Scatter half the fajitas spice mix over each side of the turkey steak, season with a little salt and gently massage it in with your fingers. If time permits, cover and leave to dry marinate for an hour.

Pour the oil in to a non-stick frying pan and bring it up to a medium heat. Lay the turkey steak in to the pan and fry for four to five minutes on the first side, still on a medium heat.

Grated cheddar cheese, green chilli and black pepper for topping turkey steak

Put the grated cheese in to a bowl and mix with the green chilli and some black pepper.

Turkey steak is turned to fry on second side

Turn the turkey steak to fry for another four to five minutes on its second side. Ensure it is properly cooked. Turn off the heat, push the pan to a cool part of your stove top and let it rest while you preheat your kitchen grill (broiler) to maximum.

Cheese and green chilli mix is laid on fried turkey steak

Carefully arrange the cheese and chilli mix on top of the turkey steak. Put the pan under the grill for a minute or so until the cheese is melted and bubbling. During this time, you should also put the bread slices in to your toaster.

Spicy cheese turkey steak is laid on first slice of toast

Lay the two slices of toast on a serving plate and carefully lift the turkey steak on to one of them with a spatula.

Tomato slices and shredded basil top cheesy turkey steak

Lay the tomato slices on top of the turkey steak and scatter with the basil. Put the second slice of toast on top, press down very lightly and slice diagonally to serve.

Spicy turkey steak and cheese toastie is served

Thursday, 15 October 2015

Avocado, Cheese and Tabasco Toasties

Spicy avocado paste with tomato slices, cheese and Tabasco sauce toasties

Ideas for recipes can come from a virtually endless number of different sources. I couldn't even guess how many different ways I personally have come up with ideas for preparing and serving food. This recipe is one which I adapted from a very appealing creation I happened to see on Twitter, shared by the sports' journalist and broadcaster, Eilidh Barbour. What she had done was spread some mashed avocado on toast, melt cheese over the top and sprinkle with some Tabasco sauce to finish off. Although I loved the idea as it was shared, I decided to play around with it a bit and this creation is what I developed.

Vegetable ingredients for toastie

Ingredients (Serves 2)

1 large, ripe hass avocado
Juice of half a lemon
Salt and pepper
1 mild green chilli
1 large garlic clove
2 teaspoons freshly chopped coriander (cilantro), plus extra to garnish
1 medium tomato
Slices of cheddar cheese as required
2 cheesy bread rolls (or rolls of choice)
Tabasco sauce

Stoning the avocado


Sit the avocado on a chopping board broad end down. Take a large sharp knife and cut down through the top centre just until you hit the stone. Carefully turn the avocado away from you until you have cut all the way around the circumference, right through to the stone. Set the knife aside and twist the two halves in opposite directions. They should separate easily, leaving the stone embedded in one half.

Protect your weaker hand with a thickly folded over towel and sit the half with the stone, cut side up, in your palm. Sit the knife blade on top of the stone and moderately firmly lift the knife and bring it down to embed it in the stone. Twist and remove the stone.

Avocado is mashed and seasoned

Scoop the flesh out of the two avocado halves with a teaspoon and add to a mixing bowl. Add the lemon juice (to stop it oxidising and browning) and mash with a fork. Season with salt and pepper.

Preparing green chilli and garlic

Cut the top off the chilli, half it and remove the seeds and membrane. Peel the garlic clove.

Green chilli, garlic and coriander added to avocado

Finely dice the chili and add it to the avocado along with the coriander (cilantro). Grate the garlic clove in to the bowl and stir well.

Cheesy bread roll

Cut your cheese rolls in half horizontally.

Avocado paste spread on roll halves

Divide the avocado combination evenly between the four roll halves and spread out to even thickness with a knife.

Tomato slices laid on avocado

Slice the tomato moderately thinly and cut each slice in half. Lay on top of the avocado as shown.

Cheese slices laid on top of tomato

Lay cheese slices on top of the tomato to fully cover.

Tabasco sauce is added to melted cheese

Lift the assemblies carefully on to a grill (broiler) tray and place under a high heat just until the cheese is melted. Use a spatula to carefully lay two portions on two serving plates and sprinkle with Tabasco sauce. (Important note - this stuff is hot, so be careful!) Garnish with the last of the coriander.

Coriander garnishes avocado, cheese and Tabasco toasties

Monday, 5 October 2015

Kangaroo Burgers with Bacon

Kangaroo burgers with bacon and spicy mango chutney served with tortilla chips

A few months back, one of my local supermarkets was selling kangaroo leg steaks. I had a great time devising a number of different kangaroo recipes using these steaks and when I saw kangaroo burgers for sale in the same supermarket, I knew I had to give them a try. I wasn't disappointed.

Kangaroo burgers

Ingredients (Serves 1)

2 kangaroo burgers
Vegetable oil
4 strips smoked streaky bacon (standard bacon, USA)
Generous handful mixed green salad leaves of choice
2 soft bread rolls
2 teaspoons spicy mango chutney
Hot and spicy tortilla chips to serve

Starting to griddle kangaroo burgers

You can cook the burgers in a frying pan over a fairly high heat for four or five minutes each side but I prefer to use a cast iron, ridged griddle/grill pan like the one shown above. Put the pan on to preheat on the highest setting until it is literally smoking hot. This will take at least two to three minutes. Lightly oil the burgers (not the pan) and fry for three to four minutes each side, turning once. Lift to a plate, cover with foil and leave to rest for five minutes.

Starting to fry bacon

Pour a little oil in to a non-stick frying pan and fry the bacon for a minute or so each side until done. Lift to the plate with the kangaroo burgers.

Rested kangaroo burgers and bacon strips

Wash the salad leaves through a colander under running cold water and shake dry. Cut the bread rolls open and lay the salad leaves in the form of burger beds on the bottom halves. Lay a burger on each salad bed and top with a teaspoon of spicy mango chutney.

Spicy mango chutney is spread on kangaroo burgers

Lay two bacon strips on top of each burger.

Bacon strips are laid on kangaroo burgers

Close the rolls over and add a generous handful or so of tortilla chips to each plate to serve.

Kangaroo burgers with bacon ready to serve