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Serves: 6 Time: 1 hour and 10 minutes
- 500g lamb mince
- 1 small onion
- 4 galric cloves
- 100g fresh breadcrumbs
- 2 tsp ground cumin
- 2 tsp ground coriander
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- ¼ tsp of smoked paprika
- Sunflower oil
- Pitta (to serve)
- Salad (to serve)
- Heat the oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6. Tip all the ingredients except the oil into a food processor with a large pinch of salt and lots of ground pepper.
- Pulse until everything is combined and chopped together. You can also just squish everything together in a bowl, but this will give you a looser finish.
- Oil a large sheet of foil, tip the meat mix in the middle and mould to a very thick sausage, roughly the shape of an aubergine. Roll up the foil tightly, twisting up the ends to create a Christmas cracker shape.
- Lay on a shallow roasting tin and roast in the oven for 35-40 mins, turning occasionally, or until a digital cooking thermometer reads 75C when pierced in the middle. Leave the kebab to cool a little, then unwrap the foil. Place back on the tray and brown under the grill or with a blowtorch.
- Place on a board and carve into thin slices. For full doner mode, you can hold the kebab up with a roasting fork or metal skewer and carve. Serve with warm pitta bread and any of the other accompaniments, including chilli sauce and garlic yogurt sauce.
Sweet & Sour Chicken
Serves: 4 Time: 1 hour and 5 minutes
- Sunflower of vegetable oil for frying
- 100ml of soda water, chilled
- 140g self-raising flour
- 25g of cornflour
- 4 boneless chicken breasts
- Spring onions
For the sauce:
- 1 red pepper
- 3 red chillies, 1 cut into chunks and 2 halved and deseeded
- 425g canned pineapple chunks
- 4 star anise
- 50g tamarind paste
- 100g caster sugar
- 100ml of Chinese vinegar
- For the sauce, put the red pepper, chunks of chilli and pineapple juice in a pan and bring to the boil. Cover and cook for 10 mins, then purée in a food processor. Return to the pan with the pineapple chunks, chilli halves, star anise, tamarind, sugar and vinegar. Gently simmer for 20-30 mins until reduced and sticky. Keep warm, or reheat to serve.
- Fill a large pan 1cm deep with oil and heat until shimmering. Whisk the soda water and 100ml cold water into the self-raising flour with a little salt. Tip the cornflour onto a plate, line a tray with kitchen paper and turn on the oven to low.
- Stir the batter well. Dust the chicken with cornflour, then dip into the batter. One at a time, lower into the hot oil (about 5-6 every batch). Turn up the heat to keep the chicken frying, if needed, and cook for 5-6 mins, turning once. When cooked, drain on the tray, and keep warm in the oven. Repeat with the remaining chicken. Stack onto a plate with the warm sauce on the side, and scatter with shredded spring onions.
Serves: 4 Time: 50 minutes
For the marinade:
- 1 lemon, juiced
- 2tsp ground cumin
- 2 tsp paprika
- ½ tsp of hot chili powder
- 200g natural yoghurt
For the curry:
- 500g of chicken breast
- 2 tbsp of vegetable oil
- 1 large onion
- 3 garlic cloves, crushed
- 1 green chilli
- Thumb-sized piece of ginger
- 1 tsp garam masala
- 2 tsp ground fenugreek
- 3 tsp tomato puree
- 300ml chicken stock
- 50g flaked almonds, toasted
- In a medium bowl, mix all the marinade ingredients with some seasoning. Chop the chicken into bite-sized pieces and toss with the marinade. Cover and chill in the fridge for 1 hr or overnight.
- In a large, heavy saucepan, heat the oil. Add the onion, garlic, green chilli, ginger and some seasoning. Fry on a medium heat for 10 mins or until soft.
- Add the spices with the tomato purée, cook for a further 2 mins until fragrant, then add the stock and marinated chicken. Cook for 15 mins, then add any remaining marinade left in the bowl. Simmer for 5 mins, then sprinkle with the toasted almonds. Serve with rice, naan bread, chutney, coriander and lime wedges, if you like.
Chicken Chow Mein
Serves: 2 Time: 1 hour and 5 minutes
For the sauce:
- Thumbsized piece of ginger
- 2 garlic cloves
- 3 tbsp tomato ketchup
- 2 tbsp oyster sauce
- 2 tbsp soy sauce
For the Noodles:
- 1 large red pepper
- 5 spring onions
- 200g of beansprouts
- 1 large chicken breast
- 3 nests of medium egg noodles
- 1 tbsp sunflower oil
- Use a potato peeler to remove the skin from the ginger. Discard skin, then carefully grate 1 tbsp from the root. Put in a bowl, crush in the garlic, and add the ketchup, oyster sauce, soy sauce and 3 tbsp water. Stir.
- Use a sharp knife to cut the pepper into quarters on a board. Remove the seeds and stalk, then slice diagonally into strips. Cut the ends from the spring onions, and cut the green and white of the onion lengthways. Open the bag of beansprouts. Cut the chicken into bite-size pieces.
- Boil a large pan of water on the hob. when the water is boiling, drop in the noodles, turn off the heat and set the timer to 4 mins. when the time is up, drain in a colander or a large sieve in the sink. ask an adult to help you.
- With everything prepared, you can now start cooking. Heat the wok – it’s hot enough when it starts to smoke. add the oil and chicken. Use a wooden spoon to keep moving the chicken around the wok until it is half white, half pink. add the pepper and stir-fry for a further 1 min.
- Pour the sauce into the wok and stir well until bubbling.
- Add the noodles, beansprouts and spring onions a handful at a time, then toss into the sauce until it is well coated, stirring constantly until the beansprouts wilt. Serve in bowls – an easy way is to use tongs.
Serves: 2 pizzas Time: 1 hour and 30 minutes
- 350g strong white flour
- 25g coarse semolina, plus extra for sprinkling
- 1½ tsp salt
- 7g pkt fast-action dried yeast
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 275ml tepid water
For the toppings:
- 400g can plum tomato
- 2 plump garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 2 tbsp tomato purée
- 2 balls buffalo mozzarella, (about 140g each)
- two small handfuls basil leaves, roughly torn parmesan shavings and rocket, to serve
- In a bowl, mix flour, semolina, salt and yeast. Make a dip in the middle, pour in oil, water, then stir and squeeze everything together (hands are easiest for this). The dough should feel very sticky when it is well mixed, cover and leave for 15 mins.
- Tip the dough on to a lightly oiled work surface and rub your hands and the inside of the bowl with oil. Knead the dough about 12 times only, giving it a quarter turn each time you knead. Tuck the ends under so it is the shape of a ball and lay it in the bowl, seam side down. Cover and leave for 10 mins.
- Repeat the kneading and leaving for 10 mins again, then knead and leave for 15 mins, oiling the surface and your hands each time. In between kneadings make the sauce for the topping. Drain the tomatoes and tip them into a bowl. Snip them into small pieces with scissors. Stir in garlic, tomato purée, and seasoning. Set aside.
- Brush a baking sheet with oil and sprinkle with a little semolina. Heat oven to 240C/fan 220C/gas 9. When the dough is ready, cut in half and put one half onto a lightly floured surface. Knead 4-5 times to squash out any air bubbles, then roll it out. At the point where it just keeps springing back, brush off the flour from the work surface and rub on a little oil. This makes it easier to roll. Continue to roll out until you have a 28cm circle, pulling it into shape as well. Lift it onto the baking sheet (it’s easier if you drape it over a rolling pin).
- Drain the mozzarella, then pat dry with kitchen paper. Brush the dough with olive oil, then spread half the sauce over, almost up to the edge. Scatter over half the basil, then tear up one mozzarella ball and scatter over the basil. Grate over pepper and drizzle with a little oil.
- Bake for 12-15 mins, until the topping is bubbling and the dough is going brown. Repeat with the remaining dough and toppings.
- To serve, scatter with parmesan shavings, rocket leaves and drizzle with oil.
Serves: 2 Time: 20 minutes
- 2 nests thin vermicelli rice noodles
- 1 tbsp light soy sauce
- 1 tbsp oyster sauce
- 2 tsp mild curry powder
- 1 tbsp sesame oil
- 1 garlic clove, chopped
- 1 red chilli, thinly sliced (deseeded if you don't like it too hot)
- Thumb-sized piece ginger, grated
- 1 medium onion, sliced
- 1 red pepper or yellow pepper, cut into thin batons
- 4 spring onions, cut in half lengthways then into batons
- 8 raw king prawns
- 1 large egg, beaten
- Coriander leaves, to serve
- Soak the rice noodles in warm water for 5 mins until softened but still al dente. Drain and set aside.
- In a small bowl, mix together the soy, oyster sauce and curry powder.
- In a large wok, add half the oil and fry the garlic, chilli and ginger until golden, about 2 mins. Add the remaining oil, onion, pepper, spring onions, prawns and noodles and stir-fry for a few mins.
- Then push everything to one side, add the egg and scramble. Add the soy sauce mixture, toss again for a few more mins, then remove from the heat. Sprinkle over the coriander leaves before serving.
Fish & Chips
Serves: 4 Time: 1 hour and 5 minutes
For the chips:
- 800g unpeeled, even-size Maris Piper or King Edward potato
- 2 tbsp olive oil
For the fish:
- 650g (approx) skinless haddock, hake or cod fillet from a sustainable source, cut into 4 equal-size pieces
- 50g self-raising flour, plus 1 tbsp
- 50g cornflour
- 1 egg white
- 125ml ice-cold sparkling water
- 1 lemon, cut into wedges
- 600ml sunflower oil, for frying
- Scrub the potatoes, cut into 1.5cm thick lengthways slices, then cut each slice into 1.5cm thick chips. Tip the chips into a large saucepan, pour in enough water to just cover, bring to the boil, then lower the heat and gently simmer for 4 mins only. Drain, tip onto a clean tea towel, pat dry, then leave to cool. Can be done 1-2 hrs ahead. Heat oven to 220C/fan 200C/gas 7. Put a large shallow non-stick roasting tray in the oven with 1 tbsp olive oil and heat for 10 mins.
- Transfer the chips to a bowl and toss in the remaining oil using your hands. Tip out in a single layer onto the hot roasting tin. Bake for 10 mins, then turn them over. Bake 5 more mins, then turn again. Bake for a final 5-8 mins until crisp. Drain on paper towels.
- While the chips are in the oven, cook the peas in boiling water for 4 mins. Drain, then tip into the pan and lightly crush with the back of a fork. Mix in the oil, lemon juice and freshly grated pepper. Cover and set aside.
- The fish can also be cooked while the chips are in the oven. Pat the fillets dry with paper towels. Put the 1 tbsp of flour on a plate and use to coat each fillet, patting off the excess. Pour the oil for frying into a heavy, medium non-stick wok or wokshaped pan. Heat to 200C (use a thermometer so you can check the oil stays at that temperature).
- Mix 50g flour, cornflour, a pinch of salt and some pepper. Lightly whisk the egg white with a balloon whisk until frothy and bubbly, but not too stiff. Pour the water into the flour mix, gently and briefly whisking as you go. The batter shouldn’t be completely smooth. Add the egg white, then lightly whisk in just to mix. Try and keep as many bubbles as you can so the batter stays light. Cooking two pieces of fish at a time, dip them in the batter to coat, let some of it drip off, then lower into the hot oil using a slotted spoon. Fry for 5-6 mins, making sure the oil stays at 200C and turning the fish over halfway through so it is golden all over. Lift out with a slotted spoon, drain on kitchen paper. Check the oil is back up to 200C, then repeat with remaining fish.
- Reheat the peas and serve with the fish, chips and lemon wedges.
Salt & Pepper Chicken
Serves: 2/3 Time: 25 minutes
- 500g skinless, boneless chicken thighs
- 1 tsp flaky sea salt
- 1 tsp Sichuan peppercorns (use normal peppercorns if you can't find these)
- 1 tbsp cornflour
- 1 tsp Chinese five-spice powder
- 1 tsp sesame seeds
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tbsp soy sauce
- 1 tbsp honey
- 250g Asian greens such as pak choi
- handful chopped coriander, sliced spring onions and cooked rice (to serve)
- Cut the chicken thighs into strips. Crush the salt with the peppercorns in a pestle and mortar, then mix with the cornflour and five-spice and tip into a sandwich bag. Tip the chicken into the bag and shake well to coat in the flour mixture.
- Toss the sesame seeds in a pan over a medium heat and lightly toast, for around a minute, then add the olive oil. Add the chicken and cook for 7-8 mins until golden brown.
- Mix the soy and honey and tip into the pan along with the Asian greens, cook for 2-3 mins further until everything is well coated and the greens are cooked through.
- Serve topped with coriander and sliced spring onions alongside some cooked rice.
Chicken Tikka Masala
Serves: 10 Time: 1 hour and 5 minutes
- 4 tbsp vegetable oil
- 25g butter
- 4 onions, roughly chopped
- 6 tbsp chicken tikka masala paste (use shop-bought or make your own - see recipe, below)
- 2 red peppers, deseeded and cut into chunks
- 8 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 2½ cm cubes
- 2 x 400g cans chopped tomatoes
- 4 tbsp tomato purée
- 2-3 tbsp mango chutney
- 150ml double cream
- 150ml natural yogurt
- chopped coriander leaves, to serve
- Heat 4 tbsp vegetable oil and 25g butter in a large, lidded casserole on the hob, then add 4 roughly chopped onions and a pinch of salt. Cook for 15-20 mins until soft and golden.
- Add 6 tbsp chicken tikka masala paste and 2 red peppers, cut into chunks, then cook for 5 mins more to cook out the rawness of the spices.
- Add 8 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 2 ½ cm and stir well to coat in the paste. Cook for 2 mins, then tip in two 400g cans chopped tomatoes, 4 tbsp tomato purée and 200ml water.
- Cover with a lid and gently simmer for 15 mins, stirring occasionally, until the chicken is cooked through.
- Remove the lid, stir through 2-3 tbsp mango chutney, 150ml double cream and 150ml natural yogurt, then gently warm through.
- Season, then set aside whatever you want to freeze. Scatter the rest with coriander leaves and serve with basmati rice and naan bread.
Veggie Thai Red Curry
Serves: 4 Time: 50 minutes
- 200g firm tofu, cubed
- 4-5 tbsp soy sauce
- juice 3 limes
- 2 red chillies, 1 finely chopped, 1 sliced into rounds
- 2 tbsp vegetable oil
- 400ml can reduced-fat coconut milk
- 1 courgette, chopped into chunks
- 1 small aubergine, chopped into chunks
- ½ red pepper, deseeded and chopped into chunks
- 140g mushrooms, halved
- 140g sugar snap pea
- 20g pack basil, leaves picked
- 1 tsp brown sugar
- jasmine rice, to serve
For the paste:
- 3 red chillies
- 1 lemongrass, roughly chopped
- 3 shallots, roughly chopped
- ½ red pepper, deseeded and roughly chopped
- zest 1 lime
- stalks from 20g pack coriander
- thumb-size piece ginger, grated
- 2 garlic cloves
- 1 tsp freshly ground pepper
- 1 tsp ground coriander
- Whizz the paste ingredients in a food processor. Marinate the tofu in 2 tbsp soy sauce, juice 1 lime and the chopped chilli.
- Heat half the oil in a large pan. Add 3-4 tbsp paste and fry for 2 mins. Stir in the coconut milk with 100ml water, the courgette, aubergine and pepper and cook for 10 mins until almost tender.
- Drain the tofu, pat dry, then fry in the remaining oil in a small pan until golden.
- Add the mushrooms, sugar snaps and most of the basil to the curry, then season with the sugar, remaining lime juice and soy sauce. Cook for 4 mins until the mushrooms are tender, then add the tofu and heat through.
- Scatter with sliced chilli and basil and serve with jasmine rice.
Chinese Chicken Curry
Serves: 4 Time: 55 minutes
- 4 skinless chicken breasts, cut into chunks (or use thighs or drumsticks)
- 2 tsp cornflour
- 1 onion, diced
- 2 tbsp rapeseed oil
- 1 garlic clove, crushed
- 2 tsp curry powder
- 1 tsp turmeric
- ½ tsp ground ginger
- A pinch of sugar
- 400ml chicken stock
- 1 tsp soy sauce
- A handful of frozen peas
- Rice to serve
- Toss the chicken pieces in the cornflour and season well. Set them aside.
- Fry the onion in half of the oil in a wok on a low to medium heat, until it softens – about 5-6 minutes – then add the garlic and cook for a minute. Stir in the spices and sugar and cook for another minute, then add the stock and soy sauce, bring to a simmer and cook for 20 minutes. Tip everything into a blender and blitz until smooth.
- Wipe out the pan and fry the chicken in the remaining oil until it is browned all over. Tip the sauce back into the pan and bring everything to a simmer, stir in the peas and cook for 5 minutes. Add a little water if you need to thin the sauce. Serve with rice.
Chinese Crispy Duck Pancakes
Serves: 4 Time: 3 hours and 30 minutes
- 1 oven-ready duck
- 2 tsp Chinese five-spice
- 2 star anise
- 1 orange, peel cut off in strips, then orange halved
- 2 tbsp Chinese black vinegar
- 75ml Shaohsing rice wine or dry Sherry
- 100ml chicken stock
- 30 Chinese pancakes
- 6 spring onions, cut into finger lengths and shredded, ½ cucumber, cut into matchsticks, hoisin sauce, to serve
- Heat oven to 140C/120C fan/gas 1. Loosen the skin on the duck by wriggling first your fingers, then your hand between it and the flesh until it pulls away – be careful not to break the skin. Trim off any excess fat from cavity and skin around the neck. Rub the skin all over with the five-spice plus a good sprinkling of salt. Put the duck in a roasting tin and push the star anise, orange peel and orange halves inside. Spoon the vinegar, rice wine and stock into the cavity, don’t worry if it spills out again. Cover the roasting tin with a tent of foil and cook for 2 hrs.
- Turn oven up to 240C/220C fan/gas 7. Take foil off, pour off any juices and return duck to the oven for 30-40 mins or until the skin is browned and crisp.
- Once cooked let it rest for 10 mins. Slice off the breasts and shred meat and skin. Pile onto a plate, keeping meat and skin separate. Keep warm in a low oven, covering meat with foil to stop it drying out but skin uncovered to crisp it further.
- Heat the pancakes and serve the duck with accompaniments.