Five Spice Chicken and Spring Onion Samosas

 These are the perfect nibbles and are so yummy! Serve warm and with lots of hoisin sauce for dipping. You will need a slow cooker and this recipe makes 12 Samosas

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Ingredients

2 large skinless chicken breasts

200ml chicken stock (I used to chicken OXO cubes)

Tablespoon of Five Spice

A bunch of chopped spring onion

12 Samosa pastry sheets or filo pastry (pre sliced into rectangles, must be room temperature)

60g of melted unsalted butter

  1. Place the chicken breasts into the slower cooker and empty the chicken stock. Sprinkle a teaspoon of five spice and leave on low  for 6 hours. After 6 hours the chicken will be cooked, take out the chicken breasts onto a plate. Use two forks to shred into pulled chicken. Then place back in the slow cooker and add the rest of the five spice, on a high heat for another 20/30 minutes. After 20-30 minutes remove from the slow cooker and leave on a plate to cool. Now preheat the oven to 190°C
  2. On a clean work surface place your pastry strips. Using a pastry brush, dip the brush into the melted butter and brush the pastry strip. Get a tablespoon of the pulled chicken and the bottom of the pastry strip. Sprinkle some of the spring onion on top. Take the right corner and fold diagonally to the left, enclosing the filling and forming a triangle. Fold again along the upper crease of the triangle (use this opportunity to add some more chicken and spring onion if you want). Keep folding in this way until you reach the end of the strip. Brush the top of the samosa with a little bit more butter to seal, and place on a baking sheet. Cover the samosa with a dampened tea towel, and make the rest of the samosas.
  3. Once you have made all of your samosas, remove the tea towel and place on the middle shelf of the oven. Leave in the oven for 20 minutes or until golden brown and crunchy.

Serve hot and with warm hoisin dipping sauce.

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Peri-Peri Spatchcook Chicken

I am a serious lover of nandos! Spicy chicken, peri peri chips and halloumi = dream. But I have been searching for the perfect recipe to do at home. After a trying a few other recipes, I finally gave up with my own blend of spice. You can adjust the seasonings below for your own level of spice too. Which I think works perfectly. This recipe is for 2 chicken quarters or a small whole chicken.

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Ingredients

All of these seasonings need to be put through the food processor.

2 red chillies sliced (with seeds)

4 Garlic Cloves (minced)

1cm Fresh Ginger (grated)

Handful of Fresh Corriander

Juice of 1 Lime

1 tablespoon of Wostershire sauce

1 teaspoon of red wine vinegar

1 heaped teaspoon cayenne pepper

1 teaspoon Smoked paprika

1 teaspoon of dried parsley

1 teaspoon of Mild Chilli Powder

Small Whole Chicken or 2 Large Chicken Quarters

Olive oil

 

  1. Place all of your seasonings in the food processor on a low setting until they combine. Preheat the oven to 190c.
  2. Remove your whole chicken from it’s packaging. Put the chicken on a large chopping board breast side down. The chicken’s backbone should be facing you, using sharp kitchen scissors cut out the back bone.
  3. Flip the chicken on it’s other side, so the chicken breasts are facing you. Using the palm of your hand lightly press down so the chicken becomes flatter. I then pierce the chicken using bamboo skewers and use a sharp knife to make slashes in the skin.
  4. Using a pastry brush, dip it into your marinade and brush the chicken all over. With the remaining marinade rub the it all over the chicken until it’s completely covered. If you are able to get some of the marinade under the skin.
  5. Leave the chicken in a freezer bag overnight in the fridge (or for an hour in the fridge at least). You also have an opportunity to freeze the chicken now in a roasting tin.
  6. Place your spatchcook chicken in a roasting tin (chicken breast side up) and drizzle a little olive oil on top. Place in the middle of the oven. For an hour and half or until the juices run clear. Around 10 minutes before serving crack up the heat to 200c and place the chicken on the highest shelf.

Serve with home chips, grilled halloumi and some hot sauce!

Dark Chocolate and Cinder Toffee Torte

Now, I know I made a chocolate torte last year for Christmas. But this year I hosted my first Christmas dinner, and I needed a recipe that I knew that was quick and easy. I have done a slight twist on last year’s torte recipe. It works perfectly with the bitter dark chocolate and then a sweet contrast with the sweet toffee on top! You will need a 9″ fluted tin tart (loose base is better). I hope you enjoy 🙂

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Ingredients

For the Torte

300ml Whipping Cream

3 Bars of Dark Chocolate (I used green & blacks)

tablespoon of coco powder (Iused bournville)

296g of Bourbon Biscuits

150g of Unsalted butter

1 tablespoon of vanilla toffee spread *optional

For the Cinder toffee

100 grams caster sugar

4 tablespoons golden syrup

1½ teaspoons bicarbonate of soda

Butter for greasing tin

 

The Torte

  1. Empty the entire packet of biscuits into the food processor on the lowest setting until they turn into crumbs. Don’t forget to add your cocoa powder. (use a plastic bag and rolling pin if you don’t have a food processor).
  2. Place a small saucepan on the stove on a medium heat. Once the saucepan starts to get warm, add the butter until it melts. Put the food processor on a low setting again and slowly pour the butter in. Until the butter has completely mixed in with the biscuit breadcrumbs.
  3. Now empty the breadcrumbs into your fluted 9″ tart tin. Use your fingers to make the crust around the edge first. Then flatten the remaining breadcrumbs in the middle. After you’ve roughly got the breadcrumbs in place, use a palette knife to flatten the base and make a sharp definition between the crust and base. Now place your tin in the fridge to harden (leave in the fridge for around 10-15 minutes).
  4. Now break up the dark chocolate into small chunks and put in a heatproof bowl. Place in the microwave for a minute at a time until the chocolate is melted. Once the chocolate is melted, pour the whipping cream into the bowl and place back in the microwave for another minute.
  5. Remove the chocolate cream mixture out of the microwave. Using a heat proof spatula slowly mix the chocolate and whipping cream together, Don’t forget to add the vanilla spread if you have it. Once the chocolate is completely incorporated with the cream it will become thick, but still have a pouring texture.
  6. Remove the tin from the fridge and empty the chocolate mixture into the tin. And evenly spread until the mixture is touching the edges (use a palette knife or regular knife to achieve an even finish).
  7. You now have your dark chocolate torte (YAY), place in the fridge for an hour and half so it sets. Sprinkle some edible gold glitter on top for a festive decoration!

Cinder Toffee

  1. Using a large heavy bottomed saucepan. Empty the golden syrup first (Tip: Rub some sunflower on your spoon before using the syrup. This way it doesn’t stick) then the caster sugar. Use a wooden spoon to mix together the syrup and sugar. (It’s important not to stir the mixture once your pan is on the heat)
  2. Place your saucepan on the heat and the mixture will start to melt. After around 3/4 minutes the mixture will start to bubble and turn a maple syrup colour. Once this happens taken the saucepan off the heat.
  3. Add the bicarbonate soda into the mixture, and start to beat with your wooden spoon. When you add the bicarbonate soda the mixture will double in volume and as you keep mixing resemble a golden cloud. Once it’s reached a pale gold colour, empty into your small greased tin. Leave to one side to set.
  4. Once the cinder toffee has set, remove from the tin and place in freezer bag and seal. Use a rolling pin to bash into small crumbs and chunks. Then just before serving scatter on the torte.

Serve with vanilla ice cream and cinder toffee (if you have any of the bourbon biscuit crumbs left, scatter on top too)

 

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Maya’s Turkey Enchiladas

Still trying to get rid of turkey? This recipe makes four enchiladas and uses up lots Christmas day leftovers = winner! This recipe takes an hour to make and serves 4 people

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4 Tortilla wraps

500g of Leftover Turkey

1 onion, finley chopped

3 large garlic cloves, minced

1 400g tin Chopped tomatoes

250ml of chicken or turkey stock

splash of red wine vinegar

Tablespoon of crushed chillies

Tablespoon of smoked paprika

Tablespoon of Worcestershire sauce

Teaspoon of cayenne pepper

1/2 Teaspoon of ground cumin

pickled jalapeno slices

Tablespoon of Olive oil (plus more for oiling)

Jar of salsa

grated cheddar (used mature and smoked cheddar – leftovers from the cheese board)

  1. Heat the oil in a large deep frying pan over a low heat. Gently fry the onions until they are translucent. Add the minced garlic and fry for a couple more minutes. Sprinkle a little salt and add the tomatoes, stock, red wine vinegar and Worcestershire sauce. Add a pinch of sugar, and freshly ground black pepper. Leave to simmer for 5-6 minutes.
  2. Get your turkey out of the fridge. And tear up pieces and add it into your sauce. Keep the leftover bones in a sandwich bag and freeze (great stock for soups later). Leave the turkey and tomatoes to simmer for another 5 minutes, it will naturally start to shred. (Now preheat the oven to 195c).
  3. Add the cayenne pepper, smoked paprika, jalapeno, and ground cumin. Stir in all of the seasonings leave to simmer for another 10 minutes.
  4. Use a bit of kitchen roll and oil your deep roasting tin making sure the base and edges are greased.
  5. Put your tortilla wraps on plate, place them in the microwave for 30-40 seconds or just until they become slightly warm.
  6. Divide the turkey mixture equally among the tortillas, then roll them up and place in the roasting tin. Using a pastry brush, brush some olive oil on top of each of the enchiladas. Place in the oven for 10 minutes. After 10 minutes remove from the oven and generously apply the salsa all over the tortillas. Scatted the grated cheese on top and place back in the oven until the cheese has melted and bubbles.
  7. Remove from the oven and leave to stand for a couple minutes before serving. You can have this with some leftover roasted roots or a salad.
  8. Any leftovers simply freeze for another day!
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Enjoy 🙂

Pulled Jerk Chicken and Spring Onion Samosas

I LOVE jerk chicken and after watching bake off, I thought why not try them in samosas! Be sure to check the instructions on the pastry box, as some filo pastry requires it to be at room temperature for 2 hours.  This recipe makes around 14 samosas.

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Ingredients

4 Skinless chicken breast

150ml of Water

1 teaspoon of Mild Chilli powder

1 teaspoon of Smoked Paprika

4 tablespoons of Dunns River Jerk seasoning

a small bowl of cold water

5 Spring onions, sliced

1 Pack of ready-made filo pastry

  1. Place the chicken breast, with the tender removed, on a cutting board and hold it flat with the palm of your non-knife hand. Using a sharp knife, slice the chicken breast horizontally into two even pieces. Repeat this to all of the breasts.
  2. In a medium bowl rub in two teaspoons of the jerk seasoning into the chicken. Then put in the fridge for 20 minutes.
  3. Remove the chicken from the fridge. In a heavy bottomed saucepan add the water and chicken, cook the chicken over a medium heat for around 10 minutes. Don’t forget to cover the saucepan with the lid.
  4. After the chicken is cooked, remove the chicken from the saucepan onto a large plate (leave the water in saucepan). Allow the chicken to cool slightly, use two forks to shred the chicken.
  5. Place the chicken back in the saucepan mixing  in the chilli powder, smoked paprika and 3 teaspoons of jerk seasoning (more if you can handle the heat) and simmer until all the water has disappeared.
  6. Place the chicken back on the plate and leave to completely cool down.
  7. Layout one of the filo sheets on a clean surface. Using a sharp knife cut two strips that are around 13cm wide. Place around a tablespoon of the pulled jerk chicken at the end of strip, and sprinkle some of the spring onion on top. Now take the right corner and fold diagonally to the left, enclosing the filling and to form a triangle. Fold again along the upper crease of the triangle. Keep folding in this way until you reach the end of the strip. Use the cold water the light brush the excess pastry and fold to seal it. Repeat this until you have made all of the chicken into samosas.
  8. Half fill a large saucepan with sunflower oil and heat (I used a piece of excess pastry to test when the oil was ready). Fry the samosas in small batches until golden brown and crisp. Remove from the oil using a spoon and drain on kitchen paper.

Best served warm with some sweet chilli mayo!

 

Enjoy ©

Bean & Cheese Quesadillas

Bean & Cheese

This is a quick and easy but really yummy mid week dinner! This recipe serves between 2-3 people, and takes 30 minutes to prep and make

 

Ingredients

210g Refried Beans

200g Black beans

1 Red Chilli, finely chopped with seeds

1 Yellow Pepper, finely sliced

3 Garlic Cloves, minced

A handful of Fresh Parsley, chopped

4 Spring Onions, finely sliced

2 teaspoon of smoked paprika

Salt and Pepper to to taste

2 tablespoons of Garlic Olive Oil

1/2 Large Brown Onion, diced

3 tortilla wraps

a large handful of cheese (your preference)

 

  1. Preheat the oven to 190c. Heat a large non-stick pan with a tablespoon of garlic olive oil, over a medium heat. Add the onion and chillies until the onion becomes partly translucent. Then add the spring onions, minced garlic and yellow pepper. Gently fry for 2 minutes and then added around a tablespoon of the chopped parsley. Leave to fry for another minute and then remove from the heat.
  2. In a bowl mix the refried and black beans, then empty the mixture from frying pan. Add the rest of the parsley (do leave some for garnishing later), smoked paprika and a tablespoon of garlic olive oil. Taste to see if it requires salt/ and or pepper.
  3. Place one of the tortilla’s on a plate, and spread the bean mixture on one side. Then sprinkling the cheese over it and fold the torilla. Repeat this to the other tortillas and ensure the bean mixture is divded evenly.
  4. Clean the frying pan from earlier. Then lightly grease it with the remaining garlic olive oil, over a medium/high heat. Carefully fry each quesadilla at a time (for around 1-1 1/2 minutes) on each side, or until they are golden brown and the filing is piping hot.
  5. Once you have the desired colour, place on a baking tray and pop in the preheated oven. And repeat step 4 until they are all fried (placing them in the oven just ensures they stay hot until serving)
  6. Once all your quesadillas are cooked cut into wedges, sprinkle some parsley and/ or cheese on the top. Serve with a dollop of guacamole and hot salsa with fries.

Enjoy ©

Smoked Cheddar Cheese Scones

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These were one the first things I learned to bake when I was a kid, they are quick and easy! These are a twist on a savoury favourite, with a slight hint of spice from the cayenne pepper and mustard. This recipe makes 14 scones.

 

Ingredients

225g self raising flour

Pinch salt

½ teaspoon of cayenne pepper

½ teaspoon of smoked paprika

1 teaspoon  of dijon mustard (more if you are a mustard fan!)

1 teaspoon baking powder

55g unsalted butter

85g Oak Smoked Cheddar (plus an extra 50g for topping the scones)

150ml milk, plus extra for glazing

 

  1. Preheat oven with the baking tray on the top shelf inside to 200c. In a large bowl sift the flour and add cayenne pepper, smoked paprika, salt and baking powder. Using a tablespoon mix together until all the dry ingredients are thoroughly combined.
  2. Cut the butter into small cubes, place in the bowl then mix together with your fingertips to make breadcrumbs. Sprinkle the grated cheese into the breadcrumb mixture and rub in the cheese so it is evenly distributed. Don’t over mix as the cheese and butter will melt!
  3. Make a well in the centre of the mixture, and pour milk in bit by bit until you have a soft but firm dough.
  4. Lightly flour a clean surface and roll out the dough. It needs to be 2cm thick, using a medium cutter (I used a glass tumbler that was 7cm wide). Remove the baking tray from the oven and spray it twice with butter cooking spray. Place the scones on the tray and making sure not to place them too close together. Glaze the tops with milk using a pastry brush and sprinkle a little cheese on top before putting in the oven.
  5. Bake in the oven for 15 minutes or until golden brown and cooked through.

 

Best served warm  and with a blob of spicy chutney on the side!

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Carrot Cupcakes

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Ingredients

For the Cupcakes

  • 3 medium carrots, peeled and grated
  • 100g soft light brown sugar
  • 80g unsalted butter, softened
  • 80g Golden syrup
  • 2 medium eggs
  • 150g self-raising flour
  • ½tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • pinch of salt
  • 100g of Crushed Walnuts Halves (optional)

For the icing

  • 50g unsalted butter, softened
  • 110g low-fat cream cheese
  • 225g icing sugar
  • 1tsp vanilla extract

 

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 180c. Using a 12 tin cupcake tray, line with your chosen cupcake cases.
  2. Over a medium heat, combine the butter, sugar and golden syrup in a large saucepan until they melt together. Before stirring in the self-raising flour, make sure to sift it through first (to ensure the cupcake mixture is light!).  Add the flour, salt, bicarbonate of soda, grated carrot and eggs. Mix well until the batter become smooth. Once you have your desired consistency add the crushed walnuts and stir into the mixture.
  3. Dive the mixture evenly amongst the cupcake cases, making sure the mixture is about half way full. Place the cupcakes in the oven for around 20-25 minutes until risen (if you’re unsure use a metal or wooden skewer).
  4. Remove from the oven when ready and allow to cool on a wire rack.
  5. Whilst the cupcakes are cooling, now is time to prepare the icing! Combine the butter, cream cheese, icing sugar and vanilla extract together in a large mixing bowl. It is best to use an electric whisk until smooth. Transfer to a piping bag with your desired nozzle, or use a plate knife to spread the icing evenly on top of the cupcakes.

 

Philadelphia stuffed Breaded Chicken Breast

This was a great midweek quick dinner! I often find it tricky to keep the filling inside the chicken, but I think I have found a trick. I do find it’s better to prepare the chicken the night before. This recipe serves 2 people and takes 40 minutes to make.

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Ingredients

2 Large Chicken Breasts

5 Tablespoons of Lightest Philadelphia Cream Cheese

13 Fresh Basil Leaves

3 Crushed Garlic Cloves

1 Tablespoon of All Purpose Seasoning

300g Natural Breadcrumbs

1 Egg (whisked)

100g Flour

150ml of Passata

2 Tablespoons of Red Wine

1 Tablespoon of Red Wine Vinegar

1 Tablespoon of Tomato Puree

50ml of Water

100ml of Olive Oil

1 Mozzarella Ball

salt and pepper

Method

  1. Firstly, using a sharp knife you need to insert a 1.5cm wide slit into the thickest part of the chicken breast. When cutting into the chicken try cut in a diagonal line but downwards, and only 4cm into the chicken. Making sure to move the knife from side to side so that you can fill the chicken breasts. Repeat this to the chicken breast.
  2. Cut an A4 size sheet of cling film, lay both of the chicken breasts onto the film. Sprinkle the all purpose seasoning on to both sides of the chicken and make sure to rub it into the meat. Now cover the chicken completely in the film and with rolling bash the chicken on both sides.
  3. Using a clean chopping board and knife, finely chop the fresh basil leaves. Once chopped, using a fork combine the basil leaves, Philadelphia cheese and garlic in a bowl. Finally adding salt and pepper to taste.
  4. Now back to the chicken. Use the bottom of a rounded teaspoon handle, push it through the slit you have made to make it can hold as much of the cream cheese filing as possible.
  5. Pre heat the oven at 200c
  6. Use the teaspoon to fill the gap in the chicken (you will roughly need four teaspoons for each piece of chicken). As you put more of the cream cheese in you will see it to start to fill the insert you made. Repeat this to the other piece as well.
  7. Once the chicken has been filled with the cream cheese, tightly wrap them individually in two sheets of cling film. You should have some of the cream cheese left and also put in the fridge overnight along with the chicken.
  8. Gather 3 plates, on 1 plate empty the flour, the second plate 1 whisked egg and the other plates your breadcrumbs.
  9. Remove the chicken from the fridge and unravel the cling film. Dip one of the Chicken Breasts in flour, then egg and finally into breadcrumbs repeat this process twice for each breast.
  10. In a large frying empty the oil and put on a medium heat. Wait for a couple of minutes for the oil to reach frying temperature (you can test by dipping a small part of the breast in the oil, if small bubbles appear around the meat then it’s ready). Fry each side of the chicken breasts so each has a nice golden colour.
  11. Lin a baking tin with foil and bake the chicken in the oven for 20 – 30 minutes. Slice the mozzarella into 6 slices and set to one side.
  12. Around 10 minutes before the chicken is ready. In a small saucepan empty the passata and the remaining cream cheese combination and heat over a low heat. Once the cream cheese has melted into the passata, add the water, red wine, red wine vinegar, tomato puree and dried basil. Leave on a low heat for 2-5 minutes and set to one side.
  13. Once your chicken is cooked, remove from the oven and evenly dive the mozzarella slices on top of the chicken. Place back in the oven under the hot grill until the cheese bubbles.
  14. Once the cheese has a nice golden colour, remove from the grill and use 2-3 tablespoons of the passata mixture on top of the chicken.

Garnish with basil and serve with sweetcorn and wedges.

 

Enjoy 🙂

Banana, Dark Chocolate and Nut Loaf

I do love banana bread, especially with a large cup of tea. But this variation of the classic isn’t too bad either (if I do say so myself). This recipe makes 2 loafs and 15 minutes prep, and just over an hour cooking time. This recipe is done using a food processor!

 

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Ingredients

4 Ripe Bananas

150g Dark Chocolate Chips

200g Caster Sugar

150g Unsalted Butter

200g Self Raising Flour

100g Walnut Halves (Crushed)

1 tablespoon Vanilla Extract

2 egg

 

  1. Pre heat the oven to 190c
  2. First empty the sugar and butter into the food processor. Turn it on to speed number 1, until the butter and sugar is light and fluffy.
  3. Next chop the bananas into thumb size pieces, add to the creamed butter and sugar on speed 1 until the bananas are combined. Also add the tablespoon of vanilla extract.
  4. Add the eggs and flour whilst the food processor is still on. Once all the traces of flour are gone, pour the loaf mixture into a large mixing bowl.
  5. In a freezer bag empty the walnut halves and lightly crush them with a rolling pin. Empty the walnuts and chocolate chips into the mixture using a spatula to mix them in.
  6. Grease your loaf tins with butter and line with greaseproof paper. Evenly dive the mixture between the two loaf tins, place on the bottom shelf of the oven for 1 hour or a skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean.
  7. Once the loaf is cooked, remove from the oven and leave to sit for 3-5 minutes. Then turn it out onto a wire cooling rack.

Best served warm, enjoy!