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  1. Moringa Tea Burger

    March 4, 2014 by ismepete

    Moringa Burger

    A homemade burger is a dinner time favourite; the perfect way to enjoy this delicious treat without purchasing from over-processed, unhealthy options. By using Moringa in making the burger you can gain even more nutrients and create an extra healthy dinner.

    This recipe makes two large burgers, or four fairly small ones.

    Ingredients:

    • 400g mince beef
    • 1 egg
    • 2 red onions
    • 2 tbsp cane sugar
    • 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
    • 1 tomato
    • 4 Moringa Tea Bags (we’ve been loving the Moringa Tea Bags we’ve tried from Nanny Moringa recently)
    • A few leaves of iceberg lettuce
    • Burger buns

    Method:

    1. Cut the onions into small slices and fry them until they are browned, adding the sugar and balsamic vinegar until they are softened.
    2. In a large mixing bowl add the caramelized onions to the meat, along with one egg. Then cut open the Moringa tea bags and add the leaves directly to the mix. If you like your burgers with a bit of a kick to them you can add some chilli flakes or garlic in now too.
    3. Combine the ingredients together and mould to form the burgers, they cook best if they’re about 2 cm thick.
    4. Fry the burgers or grill them if you prefer, on both sides until they are cooked through.
    5. Cut open the burger buns and place the burger topped with tomato and lettuce.

     

    If you’ve got extra time in advance, you could prepare some tasty home-made fries to accompany this, or if you are like me you can melt a bit of cheese on top!


  2. Double meat and dairy Staffordshire Oatcakes

    June 5, 2013 by ismepete

    Todays guest recipe is a Staffordshire Oatcake breakfast recipe from StokedSEOs’ Gaz Copeland.

    For the uninitiated the Staffordshire Oatcake is a humble delicacy originating from the glorious city of Stoke-on-Trent, also known as “The Potteries” (My home town). Whilst the Oatcake bears a striking resemblance to the pancake, consumed nationwide on Shrove Tuesday, they are actually a savoury treat traditionally enjoyed as a hearty breakfast powering the once mighty pottery industry of the local area.

    More recently however, an excellent hangover cure.

    Oatcakes can be enjoyed with a whole host of weird and wonderful fillings, and I encourage you to experiment, but I want to share one of my current favourites with you, the mighty “Double meat and dairy”.

    Staffordshire Oatcakes

    Staffordshire Oatcakes

    Prep time: 2 Minutes

    Cook time: 10 minutes

    Yield: 1

    Ingredients:

    • 3 Staffordshire Oatcakes (if you don’t live within the confines of Stoke-on-Trent you can order them from Povey’s  here)
    • 3 large handfuls of grated mature cheddar
    • 3 thin pork sausages
    • 4 rashers of smoked bacon

     Method:

    1. First of all pop the sausages and the bacon under the grill on a medium heat turning as appropriate until they are fully cooked
    2. Put the sausages to one side and slice the bacon roughly length ways into strips
    3. The Melt

    Historically oatcakes were actually put into the bottle kilns with the potter to cook (I kid you not) but there are 2 main methods of performing the melt now.

    The more traditional way (my nana favoured this) is to lay the oatcake topping side up flat on a grill pan and allow the cheese to melt under a low heat. The advantage of this technic is that the cheese melts evenly on the oatcake and the edges crisp up nicely. The downside is that it’s difficult to fit more than 2 oatcakes at a time under the grill so and kind of bulk order isn’t practical.

    I’m a more modern oatcake muncher, a product of the 90’s, and as such prefer the quickest and most convenient method possible, the Microwave. With the double meat and dairy filling this requires each oatcake to be prepared as follows:

    Spread the bacon slices evenly over each naked oatcake, closely followed by a large handful of cheese. You want the cheese to be evenly spread across the entire surface of the oatcake. At this point you may add any condiments, brown sauce or even Reggae Reggae jerk sauce are personal preferences but tomato will surface.

    Now, place the sausage against one edge of the oatcake and tightly wrap the entire thing into a single roll. Place the roll on a microwavable plate and repeat twice more.

    The 3 oatcakes should fit easily into the microwave, cook on full power for 1 – 2 minutes or until the cheese has completely melted.

    Pic Credit – http://i1087.photobucket.com/albums/j465/tinnedtomatoes/staffoatcakes.jpg


  3. Pea Guacamole

    January 22, 2013 by ismepete

    I’m a huge fan of having little dips with dinners, from home made salsa’s to a fresh hummus. I also really love a good gaucamole, but avocado isn’t always the cheapest ingredient, particularly when you buy then ripe and ready to use. As a result, we started making a cheaper alternative, which is super quick to make and is a real hit for everyone we’ve made it for.

    Whilst I do call this guacamole, it isn’t really – it tastes very different from using an avocado, but I tend to use this with meals that I would otherwise make a more “normal” gaucamole, such as with a tasty Chilli or some luxurious Fajitas. There is considerably less fat in peas than avocado as well, so I tend to think of this as a fairly healthy side dish with those meals.

    Pea Guacamole

    Rating: 51

    Prep Time: 5 minutes

    Cook Time: 5 minutes

    Total Time: 10 minutes

    Yield: 4

    Pea Guacamole

    A tasty alternative to an avocado guacamole that goes fantastically with Chilli Con Carne, Fajitas and much more

    Ingredients

    • 250g Frozen Peas
    • 1 medium red onion
    • 2 largish tomatoes
    • 2 cloves of garlic
    • 2 tablespoons of Olive Oil
    • Juice of 1/2 lime
    • 2 teaspoons of Mint Jelly
    • Fresh Herbs (I like chives, coriander or a small amount of fresh mint)
    • Salt & Pepper (to taste)
    • 2 teaspoons of Chilli Flakes or 2 fresh Chillis (optional)

    Instructions

    1. Boil the kettle, and in a small pan cook the peas. By the time the peas start floating they're cooked (it takes a couple of minutes).
    2. Chop the garlic, onions and tomato fairly finely, and add to a blender.
    3. Add the peas and the rest of the ingredients.
    4. Blend as smoothly or coarsely as you'd like (I prefer mine to be be fairly coarse)
    5. Empty into a serving bowl and get stuck in!
    http://quickeasydinners.co.uk/pea-guacamole/

     

    Pea Guacamole


  4. Thai Green Salmon Curry

    May 7, 2012 by ismepete

    Today’s guest recipe for a quick and easy dinner comes from Mat Bennet from BritNet, based on Hayling Island, where I lived from birth until I was 21.

    It might not be the most authentic Thai curry in the world, but this flavour packed meal can be ready in less than 20 minutes, making it a regular feature of our dinner table on nights when we both work late.

    Thai Green Salmon Curry

    Rating: 51

    Prep Time: 3 minutes

    Cook Time: 15 minutes

    Yield: 2

    Serving Size: 2

    Thai Green Salmon Curry

    Ingredients

    • 2 Pieces of Salmon – fillets / tranche / whatever – just enough salmon for 2 people
    • 1 Jar Thai green curry paste
    • 1 can of coconut milk
    • Some veg. I used baby sweetcorn and sugarsnap peas, although green beans, mange tout, sprouting broccoli or even frozen peas work really well
    • 1 Green Chilli – optional
    • Basmati rice – about 60g per person

    Instructions

    1. • Put a large frying pan on a medium to high heat. Put a kettle of water on to boil
    2. • Put the basmati rice is a sieve and rinse under a cold tap to remove excess starch. If you have longer, then simply soaking the rice in cold water for 10 mins works even better.
    3. • Put an appropriate amount of curry paste in the frying pan. Read the jar to check how much to use as they do vary a lot. However most suggest around 3 tablespoons.I add an extra spoonful of the curry paste to the pan, as they always play safe ;)
    4. • Heat the curry paste on a medium heat, stirring occasionally until it starts to separate. This helps release the favours and fragrances. If you like more heat in your curry now is a good time to throw some chopped green chilli in.
    5. • Drain the rice then put in a pan with a good pinch of salt and boiling water to roughly double the height of the rice. Put this on a high heat.
    6. • Whilst the curry paste is heating remove any skin from the salmon and cut it in to thick chunks of around an inch square.
    7. • Once the rice is boiling remove it from the heat and put a lid on the pan
    8. • Add the coconut milk to the pan in one go. You might find that it has separated, forming a hard plug and watery fluid. Don’t worry if this is the case. Just keep stirring and it will all emulsify again.
    9. • Place the vegetables in a bowl with a small amount of water. Don’t cover them; just have a few tablespoons of water in the bowl. Cover with cling films and microwave for about 90 seconds.
    10. • Add the salmon pieces and drained vegetables to the curry mixture & turn the heat down so that it is bubbling gently
    11. • Stir the rice once (literally, 1 circle) then replace the lid.
    12. • Give it a few minutes until the salmon is cooked to your liking/
    13. • Serve it up, . If you like heat add some finely chopped green chilli for extra flavour & garnish
    http://quickeasydinners.co.uk/thai-green-salmon-curry/

    This is a really flexible meal. We frequently do variations with prawn or chicken (if you do chicken don’t bother microwaving the veg – just throw them in the pan. If you are on a health kick then it works perfectly well with low fat coconut milk, although the result is thinner. Whilst this recipe was just for two, its easily scaled up and down appropriately!

    ** Thanks a lot for this Mat, this sort of thing is right up my street – I can see myself having a go at making this! Knowing me, I’d add considerably more chilli though!


  5. Stoked Sweet and Spicy Chilli Con Carne

    May 3, 2012 by ismepete

    Todays guest recipe is a Sweet and Spicy Chilli Con Carne from StokedSEOs’ Gaz Copeland.

    Stoked Sweet and Spicy Chilli Con Carne

    Rating: 51

    Prep Time: 10 minutes

    Total Time: 1 hour, 10 minutes

    Serving Size: 4

    Stoked Sweet and Spicy Chilli Con Carne

    Ingredients

    • 500g Mince
    • 1 Large Onion
    • 1 Red Pepper
    • 200g Mushrooms
    • 3 Cloves of Garlic
    • 1 or 2 Tea spoon(s) of chilli powder
    • 1 Tea spoon cumin
    • Black pepper
    • Olive Oil
    • 1 400g Tin Kidney Beans
    • 1/2 400g Tin Sweet Corn
    • 2x 400g Tins Tomatoes

    Instructions

    1. Roughly chop the Red Pepper, Mushrooms, Garlic and Onion, I like to have a chunky chilli but if you prefer you could finely chop.
    2. I actually use a Wok for this dish but a large heavy based pan will do the same job, place on a medium heat and add enough olive oil to cover the base.
    3. Once the pan is up to temperature throw in all your veggies, stir every now and again for at least 5 minutes or until softened.
    4. Add the mince with cumin, black pepper (to taste) and chilli powder
    5. Once the mince is cooked add the 2 tins of tomatoes
    6. Bring to a simmer and cover for about 40 minutes, stir every 10 minutes or so.
    7. Uncover the chilli, add the drained kidney beans and sweetcorn
    8. Simmer uncovered for a further 15 minute, stir regularly
    http://quickeasydinners.co.uk/stoked-sweet-and-spicy-chilli-con-carne/

    Serve with rice and a fresh garlic ciabatta or alternatively a jacket potato.


  6. Chicken Chimichanga Recipe from Anna Lewis

    March 30, 2012 by ismepete

    Todays recipe is brought to us by my friend and web analytics specialist Anna Lewis

    Chicken Chimichanga Recipe

    Rating: 51

    Prep Time: 15 minutes

    Cook Time: 1 hour

    Yield: 4

    Chicken Chimichanga Recipe

    Soft and spicy chicken mix inside a crisp fajita wrap.

    Ingredients

    • 500g chicken, diced
    • grated cheese, approx 150g but adjust amount to taste
    • 2 jars of salsa, you choose which heat level etc, don't use Doritos ones as too liquidy
    • 2 peppers (Any colour)
    • 2 Onions (Any colour)
    • Chorizo optional, for extra flavour
    • Potatoes, optional, for extra bulk
    • Chilli powder
    • Cumin seeds or ground
    • Paprika
    • Black pepper
    • And any others you fancy

    Instructions

    1. Dice the chicken, onions, peppers, chorizo and potato (if using all). Cook the chicken in a big pan, throw in the peppers and onions (and chorizo and potatoes if using), soften them down and add spices. Once soft add the salsa. Simmer it all down for quite a while (20-40 minutes), it should be thick and gooey, not watery! Ten minutes before the end add in the cheese, and mix. Don't forget to taste it to check you have the right balance of spices.
    2. Once the filling is done, dollop a good amount in the middle of each fajitas in a lightly oiled tray. Wrap the fajitas by folding two sides in over the filling, then the top and bottom over to make a square shape which just about seals, turn it over so the join is on the bottom. Don't overfill the wraps or they will leak. Bake them for about 20 mins at 180, baste them with oil if you want a crispy top, with cheese and herbs to look impressive or with salsa and cheese for extra tomatoey-cheesy-goodness.
    3. Serve with rice and green salad, maybe some extra salsa and nachos too. It's a very flexible recipe, you can add and remove ingredients as you like.
    http://quickeasydinners.co.uk/chicken-chimichanga-recipe/

    If you have any variations of this it would be good to hear about them!


  7. Simple Festive Mulled Wine

    December 23, 2011 by ismepete

    Today’s recipe comes from my friend and PPC specialist Matt Hopson.

    It’s not the most complex recipe in the world ever, which is probably a good thing at this time of year.

    Simple Festive Mulled Wine

    1. 60g Demerara sugar
    2. 1 cinnamon stick
    3. 1 orange (halved) or 2 clementines
    4. 2 cloves
    5. 1 dried bay leaf or 1 star anise
    6. 1 bottle of half decent red wine – nothing that going to break the bank though (my recommendation would be a cheapish Merlot)

    • Put the sugar and the juice from half the orange/ 1 clementine in a saucepan to create a syrup, add the rest of the ingredients and just enough wine to thin the syrup.

     

    • Simmer for a couple of minutes and then add the rest of the wine. Warm the wine through but don’t boil it!

     

    Preparation time: 2 minute(s)

    Cooking time: 5 minute(s)

    Number of servings (yield): 4

    5 :  ★★★★★ 1 review(s)

    I’m certainly going to be trying this out tomorrow on Christmas Eve – thanks Matt!


  8. Chick Peas with Minted Leeks and Couscous

    November 25, 2011 by ismepete

    Today we have a nice tasty vegetarian recipe from Giddy Limits, a contemporary online magazine for men and women over 50.

    Chick Peas with Minted Leeks and Couscous

    Ingredients

    1. 1 large or 2 small Leeks
    2. 1 tin Chick Peas
    3. 100g raw Cous cous
    4. Clove garlic
    5. 2-3 sprigs finely chopped fresh mint
    6. Rounded teaspoon vegetarian boullion powder
    7. Desert spoon Olive oil
    8. Dollop of creme fraiche optional

    Method

    • Wash leeks and chop into fine rings
    • Saute gently in the oil, stirring frequently
    • Add a small amount of water and stir
    • Boil water in a kettle and pour over the couscous in a dish to just cover.
    • Cover the dish to keep couscous hot.
    • Add the garlic and fresh mint to the leeks and stir
    • Add the boullion powder and 2 or 4 tablespoons of water to create a
    • watery stock
    • Add the chick peas
    • The couscous should have soaked up the liquid. Spoon into shallow bowls.
    • When the chick peas are hot and the leeks soft it is time to serve over the cous cous.

    Enjoy with a dollop of creme fraiche (optional) accompanied by a crisp glass of
    New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc.

    Preparation time: 10 minute(s)

    Cooking time: 10 minute(s)

    Number of servings (yield): 2

    5 :  ★★★★★ 1 review(s)


  9. Steak, Chicken & Chorizo Fajitas

    October 9, 2011 by ismepete

    steak chicken and chorizo fajitas

    I’ve made many different types of Fajitas and tried out all sorts of methods. I’m sure that this isn’t an “authentic” recipe by any stretch of the imagination, but it includes most of the classic flavours in a way that works well for me!

    When I first used to make them when I was a teenager, I tended to marinade the meat that I was using for a really long time, soaking in beer and spices, plus of course an obscene amount of chilli.
    Times have changed since being in education full time however, and my cooking now is much more about cooking quickly, so I’ve changed the recipe to maintain the flavours from my former approach, but now only marinade whilst I chopping the rest of the ingredients.

    This makes it much faster – you prepare the meat whilst chopping everything to go alongside it, and by the time that chopping is done, the meat is ready to be cooked. This recipe is for 2, but can be easily scaled up and down as required:

    Steak, Chicken & Chorizo Fajitas

    A quick and easy Steak, Chicken & Chorizo Fajitas recipe

    Ingredients

    1. 1 Small Rump Steak, cut into strips
    2. 1 Large Chicken Breast, cut into strips
    3. 60g of Chorizo sausage, cut into pound coin like chunks
    4. 1 large onion, cut into semi-circle strips
    5. 1 large red pepper (or a few smaller mixed colour ones), cut into strips
    6. 2 teaspoons of Ground Cumin
    7. 1 teaspoon of Smoked Paprika
    8. 1 teaspoon of Sweet Paprika
    9. 1 teaspoon of Cayenne Pepper
    10. 1 to 8 teaspoons of Hot Chilli Flakes (I’m usually not far off 8, and am happy to add any fresh chilli too)
    11. 4 cloves of Garlic (crushed)
    12. Tortilla Wraps
    13. Grated Cheese

     

    Instructions

    • Get your steak and chicken into a mixing bowl (if you like your beef a little rarer, you may wish to keep them separate), and add the cumin, both types of paprika, the cayenne pepper, chilli flakes (and fresh if using them) and the crushed garlic, giving everything a good stir. I often use scissors for cutting my meat into strips this way.
    • Add about a tablespoon of Olive Oil, perhaps 2, the same amount of beer and the juice of half a lime. Give a good stir and set aside.
    • Chop your onions, pepper and chorizo (it gives the meat enough time to infuse and we’re then ready to cook).
    • Start heating frying pan on full heat – I have stopped adding oil at this stage now due to the chorizo. Once the frying pan starts to heat up, get all your chorizo coins into the frying pan and wait for the oils to start oozing from the sausage.
    • If you want the steak to be rarer, make sure you separate the chicken from the beef and add the chicken to the pan at this stage. If you skip the chicken, I’d cook the veg before the steak, but I like it a bit pink. Drain any excess liquid away from the marinade before adding to the pan, as you want it to fry and not steam.
    • Add the onions and peppers to the pan once you have sealed all the chicken meat.
    • Fry for about 5 minutes, and if wanting the steak rare, add this in now.
    • Cook for another 5 minutes until everything is cooked through
    • Serve in a nice dish, put a side salad on the plates, grab your wraps and get stuck in! Garnish with coriander if its available and something you like

     

    Preparation time: 15 minute(s)

    Cooking time: 20 minute(s)

    Number of servings (yield): 2

    5 :  ★★★★★ 1 review(s)

     

    Put enough different types of chilli in (I like to mix them up where I can) to try out different amounts of flavour. Whilst the recipe I used today *only* uses chilli flakes, I often use scotch bonnets, jalapenos and whatever else I can get my hands on to mix it up. I also find that if I don’t have one of two of the spices that it is just as excellent, so I wouldn’t panic if you only have 1 type of paprika for example (I think the smoked one is best personally).

    If you are not fond of spicy food, I’ve made really tasty versions of these for friends with no chilli at all, and it still retains a great flavour. Just be careful with the amount of cayenne pepper as well, as it’s hotter than you might imagine and has killed the taste buds of a few of my friends that I had tried to cook mild food for. It was mild to me, but it still burned!

    I like to serve this dinner with a small side salad, a tin of sweetcorn, an avocado or pea guacamole, a mountain of cheese, some crème fraiche or sour cream and of course some tasty tortilla wraps!

    sweetcorn, cheese & pea guacamole

    This is without doubt one of the most popular dishes I ever cook for friends, and when I haven’t completely scorched them with chilli, they nearly always want more.

    Top down look at steak, chicken and chorizo fajitas

    You don’t need to use Steak, Chicken & Chorizo – this just happens to be my most decadent version. Leaving out any 1 of the 3, or replacing the steak and chicken with Prawns will also work excellently.

    I hope you try out this recipe and let me know how you get on with it!


  10. Quick and Easy Chocolate Cupcakes

    February 27, 2011 by ismepete

    Today’s guest recipe comes from Carly Wood, who has just launched a new silicone bakeware website, who has kindly agreed to share one of her quick easy recipes for this site.

    If you fancy whipping up a sweet treat, may I suggest you give these chocolate cupcakes a try?  Although they only take minutes to prepare, they taste very decadent and will certainly give you a much needed chocolate fix!

    Quick Easy Chocolate Cupcakes

    Additionally, this is a great recipe for baking novices, as it’s hard to get wrong!

    Ingredients for ‘Quick and Easy Chocolate Cupcakes’

    (Makes 12)

    * 110g of soft margarine

    * 85g of self raising flour

    * 25g of cocoa powder

    * 2 large eggs

    * A tablespoon of vanilla extract

    How to make ‘Quick and Easy Chocolate Cupcakes':

    Preheat your oven to 180 degrees/Gas Mark four and line a 12 hole muffin tin with silicone cupcake cases.  If you don’t have any silicone, paper cases are fine.

    Put all your ingredients into a large bowl, or a mixer if you have one.  Make sure all of your dry ingredients are sifted – this will make sure your cakes extra light and fluffy.

    Whisk for 5 minutes, or slightly longer if you’re mixing by hand.  When the mixture is ready, it should resemble a smooth chocolate moose.

    Next, spoon the mixture out into the lined muffin tin and place in the oven for around 15-20 minutes.  Your cakes should have risen and will be firm on top but still quite spongy.  Skewer one cake in the middle to see if they’re cooked – if the skewer comes out clean, the cupcakes are ready!

    Leave your cupcakes to cool for a minute or two before taking out of the pan.

    To decorate, either sprinkle with icing sugar or squirt a heap of buttercream icing on top and finish off with edible glitter and white chocolate stars.

    Yum!

    Tip: Instead of dishing out into cupcake sized-portions, try pouring your cake mixture into a loaf or cake tin and making a lovely chocolate sponge and serve with custard.  Enjoy!