All posts filed under: Recipes

Vietnamese Chicken Pho

Right. This might sound strange but I find nothing more satisfying than pulling the skin off a chicken – it’s like peeling off your support tights at the end of a long day (I hope this imagine doesn’t freak you out when you have a go yourself). Pho is a bowl of soup literally full to the brim with the big 5  flavours of Vietnamese cooking: sweet,sour, spicy, bitter, salty. Most of the ingredients you can find in any small supermarket. Feel free to use those squeezy bottles of ginger and lemongrass puree if you can’t get fresh, but don’t bother with dried herbs as they just won’t do the job. This recipe is so delicious, so virtuous, clean and fresh with subtle spice. A big bowlful will clear any cold or fill you up after a long day.. just make sure you take off your support tights before diving in. Serves 4 1 whole chicken 5 inch piece of ginger 2 sticks of lemongrass 3 hot red chillies 2 garlic cloves 1 stick of celery 2 star anise pods …

Baconnaise, with Sweet Potato Fries

The first time I had baconnaise was at GBK; what a revelation. I know it has become the trend in recent years to add bacon to everything (just type Bacon into Buzzfeed and you’ll find bacon jam, bacon sushi, bacon wrapped pizzas, chocolate bacon… i’m going to be sick!) Where most of these sound pretty gruesome to me, baconnaise – mayonnaise flavoured with smokey bacon, with crispy bits – is divine, especially with sweet potato fries. I couldn’t find a good recipe anywhere (and GBK don’t post their ingredients online…damn cheeky) so i’ve been trying to replicate it myself. And i’ve gone and cracked it!   Serves 2 Ingredients   2 large sweet potatoes 3 good quality smoked streaky bacon rashers 250ml mayonnaise 2 egg whites light olive oil 3 tbsp flour 2 tsp smoked paprika ½  tsp garlic powder a pinch of celery salt black pepper Add the bacon rashers to the cold griddle pan, turn the heat on high and cook until really crispy on both sides. Remove the bacon and leave on a …

Avocado & Lime Houmous

Two years ago ready made houmous was my shopping basket essential – you can dip in almost everything, and it doesn’t break the bank leaving more money for your night out (it also makes for amazing late night/ early morning snack when the kebab shops are all closed). But now i’m no longer a student, and try to think a lot more about my waste line, and making everything from scratch. Avocados are now a shopping basket staple and so the avocado houmous was born. All you really need is a food processor, and something to dip in. I like to keep mine chunky – its nice to get a good chunk of avocado on your nacho… Makes a good bowlful Ingredients 1 really ripe avocado 1 can chickpeas small bunch coriander extra virgin olive oil 1 garlic clove 1 lime ground cumin ground coriander ½ tsp chilli flakes Roughly chop the coriander, bash the garlic to remove the skin and add to the food processor with the drained chickpeas, cumin and coriander. Blitz a couple of …

Homemade Flatbread with Sticky Chicken Thighs & Curryslaw

This is one of my favourite summer time evening meals. I used to buy flatbreads until I realized how blimmin’ easy they are to make at home, and how much tastier they are too! Indian coleslaw is a revelation, and goes PERFECTLY with sticky tender chicken thighs and fluffy flatbreads. Watch the video for this recipe here: Ingredients (serves 4) For the Sticky Chicken 4 chicken thighs, skin and bone removed 1 tbsp curry powder ½ tsp garlic powder ½ tsp onion powder ½ tsp mustard powder 2 tbsp honey 1 tsp black and white sesame seeds olive oil salt and pepper For the flatbread 160g self raising flour 140g full fat greek yoghurt 1 tsp sesame seeds 1 tsp mustard seeds 1 tsp cumin seeds 1 tsp fennel seeds salt and pepper For the Curryslaw 1 small red onion ½ red cabbage 2 carrot 4 spring onions small bunch coriander 1 lime 1 pomegranate 100g mayonnaise 50g creme fraiche 1 tsp garam masala ½ tsp turmeric ½ tsp nigella seeds salt and pepper For the coleslaw, peel …

Korean Fried Jumbo Chicken Wings

If you’re in London, you have to try pop-up Izakaya ‘Beer & Buns’. Their jumbo fried chicken wings are served in 3 flavours and are seriously unctuous and morish – my fave is  Tebasaki Soy Garlic and is what gave me the inspiration for this recipe. Hot, juicy, tender chicken, with a proper crunchy KFC batter and a rich sauce that’s spiked with chilli and crammed with garlic and sticks to everything it gets in contact with (making it the worst first date food in history). I just had to bring this flavour into my own kitchen. I’ve never made proper fried chicken before so took inspiration from one of my favourite bloggers Helen Graves’ PKFC (Peckham Korean Fried Chicken) recipe. The sauce is the result of all my favourite Korean ingredients shaken about in a pan, and it’s magic. You can used it as a dipping sauce for prawn crackers or spring rolls, spread over roast chicken or pork, or tossed in noodles and stir fry. Korean Fried Jumbo Chicken Wings  (serves 3 – …

Paneer Tikka Arancini Balls

Here’s the recipe for my twist on Arancini, fabulous little breaded balls of creamy risotto. Paneer Tikka Arancini balls are filled with spiced biryani and delicious Indian Paneer cheese, which is similar to mild halloumi when cold and oozes like mozzarella when hot. You’ve just gotta try them. For the paneer tikka biryani: 1 onion 1 garlic clove 3 inch piece of ginger ½ red chilli 1 tsp mustard seeds ½ tsp coriander seeds 1 tsp cumin seeds 1 tbsp curry powder 1 tsp garam masala a pinch of saffron 100g risotto rice 200ml hot chicken stock 1 tin of coconut milk salt and pepper 1 packet of paneer 1 small bunch of coriander For dredging: 1 egg 75g flour dried breadcrumbs (not golden) oil, for deep frying Finely dice the onion, then bash and chop up the ginger and garlic, and finely chop the chilli. Dry fry the mustard, coriander and cumin seeds in a frying pan on a medium heat until the mustard seeds pop. Remove and grind up in a pestle and mortar to …

Beth’s Swansea Scotch Eggs

My black pudding bonbons have become famous. They started off as a humble Glamorgan sausage (a Welsh vegetarian croquette made of leeks and cheese). Then I introduced my old friend, the mighty black pudding and experimented a lot before I perfected the recipe. They’ve been called ‘yummo’ by John Torode, ‘delightful’ by Thomasina Miers and ‘banging’ by my very honest flatmates/ food guinea pigs. But behold… they have transformed again, into Scotch Eggs, with a hidden runny yolk inside! Beth’s Swansea Scotch Eggs Makes 5 large scotch eggs 7 medium eggs 1 leek 5 sage leaves a small bunch of parsley a small bunch of thyme 400g black pudding chubb 1½ tsp English mustard 200g extra mature cheese, grated ½ loaf of white bread (nothing fancy) Salt and pepper 4 heaped tbsp flour oil, for deep frying Take two eggs, separate and keep the yolks and whites together. Add the yolks to a mixing bowl, and the whites to a deep baking dish for dredging later. Cut the leek lengthways three times then very finely slice. Add to …

Avocado Carbonara with Lemon, Pine Nuts & Olive Oil

Ok, so I just moon walked into the kitchen to cook myself something tragic with the leftovers in my fridge, and just so happened to cook a pretty damn tasty dish that was ready to eat in the time it takes to cook the pasta. I use a couple of tricks to make this dish extra special. Avocado’s make a healthier substitute for cream in pasta sauce, using starchy pasta water helps the sauce to stick to the pasta and a cheeky yolk thickens the sauce when it is mixed in, just like in a Carbonara. Serves two 1 small leek 1 small red onion 1 clove of garlic 1 lemon 1 ripe avocado a few glugs of olive oil a handful of pinenuts a handful of grated cheddar 1 egg yolk So… fill a saucepan with water, bring to the boil then add the pasta. Cook for around 15 mins until al dente (and keep 3 tbsp of the cooking water) Roughly chop the leek and red onion, and crush the garlic clove with …

Beer Battered Cod & Triple Cooked Chips & Chip Shop Curry Sauce

There’s nothing better than proper Fish and Chips. Cooking this dish was the first time I felt completely in my comfort zone in the MasterChef kitchen, it brings back so many fond memories of home and my childhood (and I don’t doubt it does for lots of others too!) I even brought my own chip shop paper and chip forks for the show; I think it makes it taste better.  Pale ale gives a great flavour to fish batter. I use my cousin-in-laws’ home brew iota, which gives a sweet malty taste. My curry sauce is a take on the Chinese style curry sauce that everybody loved at the my local chippie. Serves 2 Ingredients For the fish: 2 cod fillets groundnut oil, for deep frying 100g plain flour, kept cold in the fridge until use 150ml pale ale, or your favourite lager ¾ tsp baking powder a pinch of salt For the skin-on chips: 3-4 large Maris pipers groundnut oil for deep frying malt vinegar and sea salt For the chip shop curry sauce: 1 small onion …

Popty Ping – MasterChef and my homage to last year’s winner

‘Popty Ping’ means microwave in welsh. Although there is not a microwave in sight in the below recipes, it does give a clue as to the inspiration for the Malaysian dinner party I hosted a few weeks ago for my nearest and dearest, in celebration of my upcoming TV debut. And the loose theme I chose was Malaysian, as an ode to last year’s MasterChef Champion 2014, the fabulous Ping Coombes. It was Ping’s flawless home-style Malaysian cooking and attitude to food that prompted me to submit my application! From the beginning her dishes were amazing, giving John and Gregg, and the viewers at home a real culinary lesson. She cooked from the heart, using flavours and techniques learnt from her family, and made everyone realize that you don’t have to dine out in expensive restaurants to know about amazing food. So I prepared a (maybe not so traditional) Malaysian feast, with a few of my own little touches too. Entertaining for a big group in a tiny flat takes plenty of planning and lots of …