Braised Lamb Meatballs, Sumac Rice

Braised Lamb Meatballs, Sumac Rice

I am a big fan of meatballs and this dish of lightly spiced lamb meatballs braised with peas, preserved lemon and dried figs is great for a sharing supper.

Sumac rice is the best accompaniment to these meatballs and is equally good with other lamb dishes.

Braised Lamb Meatballs, Sumac Rice
Serves 4

Ingredients:

For the Meatballs: 750g Minced Lamb, 1 Small Onion (Finely Diced), Large Handful Parsley (Finely Chopped), 2 Garlic Cloves (Crushed), 3/4tsp Ground Allspice, 1/2tsp Ground Cinnamon, 75g Dried Cranberries, 1tsp Sea Salt, 1tsp Cracked Black Pepper, 1 Egg Yolk (Beaten), 200ml Vegetable Stock, 200g Freshly Shelled Peas, 2tsp Preserved Lemon Rind (Chopped), 3 Dried Figs (Finely Chopped), Large Handful Fresh Dill, Mint and Coriander (Chopped)

For the Rice: 300g Basmati Rice, 460ml Water, 25g Unsalted Butter, 2 Cinnamon Sticks, 3tsp Ground Sumac, 1tsp Sea Salt, 1tsp Cracked White Pepper

Method:

1) Combine the minced lamb with the onion, parsley, garlic, allspice, cinnamon, cranberries, sea salt, black pepper and egg yolk in a large bowl. Mix well with your hands until fully combined. Divide into equally sized meatballs.

2) Place a large, heavy based pot (a Le Creuset casserole is perfect) on the stove top over a medium heat. Cook the meatballs in a little neutral oil until well browned all over – around 10 minutes. Add the vegetable stock, peas, preserved lemon and figs to the pot, stirring well to combine with the meatballs. Bring the mixture to a simmer and braise the meatballs in the stock for around 10 minutes or until fully cooked and the peas are tender. When ready, add the fresh herbs and stir well to combine.

3) Meanwhile prepare the rice. Melt the butter in a large pan over a medium heat. Add the rice, cinnamon sticks and season with the salt and white pepper, stirring until fully coated in butter. Add the boiling water and turn the heat down low. Cover and cook for 15 minutes. After 15 minutes, turn off the heat, remove the lid and cover with a thin tea towel before replacing the lid. Allow to rest for 10 minutes. Before serving, stir through the ground sumac with a fork to fluff the rice.

4) Serve the meatballs and braising mixture with the sumac rice and a good spoonful of natural yogurt.

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Spiced Spring Lamb, Citrus Lamb Rice

Spiced Lamb, Citrus Lamb Rice

A deliciously light and simple dish which is perfect for summer. Marinated spring lamb is served with citrus lamb rice.

Boneless lamb leg steaks or lamb loin are best for this dish and can be pan fried or cooked on the BBQ.

Spiced Spring Lamb, Citrus Lamb Rice
Serves 4

Ingredients:

For the Lamb: 4 Lamb Leg Steaks or 4 Lamb Cannons (Single Loin, Cut into Portions), 4tbsp Natural Yogurt, 2tsp Smoked Paprika, 2 Garlic Cloves (Crushed), 1tsp Ground Cumin, 1tsp Ground Coriander, 1/2tsp Cayenne Pepper, 1/2tsp Turmeric, Sea Salt, Black Pepper

For the Rice: 200g Basmati Rice, 25g Unsalted Butter, 360ml Water, 100g Minced Lamb, 2 Cinnamon Sticks, Peel of 1 Lemon & 1 Orange, 50g Dried Cranberries, 50g Sultanas, Small Handful Chopped Mint and Coriander, Sea Salt, Cracked White Pepper

Method:

1) To marinade the lamb, place all of the ingredients in a large bowl and combine well to ensure the lamb is fully covered by the marinade. Leave to marinade in the fridge for at least 2 hours.

2) Fry the minced lamb in a small pan over a high heat until crispy. To cook the rice, melt the butter in a medium saucepan over a low heat. Add the rice and season with a little sea salt and cracked white pepper. Stir to ensure the rice is well coated with the butter. Add the cinnamon, fruit peel, dried cranberries and sultanas. Add the water to the pan and bring to a simmer. Reduce the heat to low and cover. Cook the rice for around 12 minutes until the water is fully absorbed. Remove from the heat, cover the pan with a thin tea towel and replace the lid. Leave to rest for 10 minutes. Before serving, stir through the fresh herbs and fluff the rice with a fork.

3) Meanwhile, cook the lamb steaks either over a BBQ or in a large non-stick pan over a high heat for around 3 minutes each side (for medium) or until cooked to your liking. Allow the lamb 10 minutes to rest before serving.

4) Spoon the rice onto plates or a serving dish and top with the crisp minced lamb. Serve with the lamb. You can also top the lamb with some toasted pine nuts.

Enjoy!

Jerk Chicken, Rice and Peas

Jerk Chicken, Rice and Peas

A bbq classic which can be enjoyed all year round. Chicken (on the bone of course!) is marinated in a fiery jerk seasoning before being oven baked then finished on the griddle.

Great served with rice and peas – this version omits the coconut milk for a lighter supper.

Jerk Chicken, Rice and Peas
Serves 4

For the Chicken/Marinade: 1 Whole Chicken (Quartered), 2 Scotch Bonnet Chillies, 1tsp Ground Cinnamon, 1tsp Nutmeg (Freshly Grated), 1/2tsp Ground Allspice, 1tbsp Fresh Thyme Leaves, 6 Spring Onions (Chopped), 1tbsp Dark Brown Muscovado Sugar, 1tsp Sea Salt, 1tbsp Dark Soy Sauce, 1 Garlic Clove (Crushed), Juice 2 Limes

For the Rice and Peas: 250g Long Grain Rice, 10 Spring Onions (Finely Chopped), 2 Medium Red Chillies (Finely Chopped), 3 Garlic Cloves (Finely Chopped), 1 Tin Black Eyed Peas, Vegetable Oil, Sea Salt

Method:

1) Place all of the chicken marinade ingredients (except the chicken) in a spice grinder/food processor and blitz to a fine paste. Place the chicken in a shallow dish and massage the marinade into the meat. Cover and place in the fridge to marinade for at least 6 hours or preferably overnight.

2) Preheat the oven to 200c. Place the chicken in a pre-heated baking tray and cover the tray with foil. Bake in the oven for around 40 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through.

3) Meanwhile, boil the rice according to instructions until cooked through, drain and set aside. Place a wok over a high heat and add a little vegetable oil. Fry the garlic, chilli, spring onions and black eyed peas for 3-4 minutes. Add the rice and stir fry with the other ingredients until piping hot. Season well with sea salt and keep warm.

4) Place a griddle pan over a high heat. When the chicken is cooked, remove from the oven and sear on the griddle pan for around 5 minutes each side – or until the skin is crisp and slightly blackened.

5) Serve the chicken with the rice and peas and a wedge of lime.

Enjoy!

Lamb Biryani

Lamb Biryani

A superb recipe for a quick Lamb Biryani – aromatic and deeply spiced. Using lamb fillet or loin ensures this biryani is ready in 30 minutes – perfect for a weekday supper.

You can also omit the meat for a great side dish.

Lamb Biryani
Serves 4

Ingredients:

For the Lamb: 500g Lamb Fillet/Loin (Diced), 2tbsp Natural Yogurt, 1tsp Turmeric, 1tsp Fresh Ginger (Finely Chopped), 2 Garlic Cloves (Crushed), 1tsp Ground Coriander, 1tsp Sea Salt, 4 Small Onions (Finely Sliced)

For the Rice: 300g Basmati Rice, 35g Unsalted Butter, 2tsp Cumin Seeds, 1 Cinnamon Stick, 5 Cloves, 1tsp Sea Salt, 3tsp Cracked Black Pepper, 1 Red Chilli (Finely Chopped), 900ml Water

To Finish: 2tsp Garam Masala, 1tsp Saffron (Soaked in 50ml Milk), 3tbsp Sultanas (Soaked in Boiling Water), 3tbsp Cashew Nuts, Large Handful Fresh Coriander (Chopped)

Method:

1) Pre heat the oven to 200c. Combine the lamb with the yogurt, turmeric, ginger, garlic, coriander and sea salt in bowl and mix well to combine. Place a frying pan over a high heat and add a little oil. Fry the onions in the oil for 5 minutes until soft and lightly browned, remove and set aside. Fry the lamb in the frying pan for 5 minutes – stirring frequently until well sealed. Set aside.

2) Meanwhile, place the butter, cumin, cinnamon, cloves, sea salt, black pepper and red chilli in a medium saucepan and place over a medium heat. Toast the spices in the melted butter for 2 minutes then add the rice and coat well with the butter. Add the water and bring to the boil. Reduce the pan to a simmer, cover and cook the rice for 10-15 minutes until just cooked and the water has been absorbed. Allow to stand for 2 minutes.

3) Place a small layer of lamb in a casserole dish and top with a layer of rice. Sprinkle with some of the fried onions, sultanas, cashews and garam masala. Continue to layer until the lamb and rice is exhausted. Top with the saffron milk and fresh coriander. Cover and transfer to the oven to bake for 10-15 minutes until warmed through and the rice has started to dry out. Remove from the oven and fluff through with a fork – mixing together all of the ingredients.

4) Serve the biryani with some natural yogurt.

Enjoy!

Cambodian Beef with Yellow Rice

Cambodian Beef with Yellow Rice

A superb summer supper – sirloin steak is marinated in super spicy blend of chilli, lime and soy sauce and accompanied by turmeric rice infused with lemongrass.

This would be great cooked on the bbq but works equally as well in a super hot wok.

Cambodian Beef with Yellow Rice
Serves 4

Ingredients:

For the Beef: 4 Sirloin Steaks (Trimmed and Cut into Strips), 1 Birds Eye Chilli, 2 Garlic Cloves, 1″ Fresh Ginger (Peeled), Juice and Zest 1 Lime, 1tsp Palm Sugar, 1tbsp Light Soy Sauce, 1tbsp Dark Soy Sauce, 1tbsp Tomato Ketchup, 2tsp Ground Black Pepper

For the Rice: 350g Long Grain Rice, 1 Tin Light Coconut Milk, 275ml Water, 1tsp Turmeric Powder, 4 Lemongrass Stalks (Bruised), 1″ Ginger (Peeled and Finely Sliced), 1tsp Salt

Method:

1) Combine all of the ingredients for the beef (excluding the steak) in a spice blender and process until smooth. Combine the marinade with the sliced beef and allow to marinade in the fridge for at least 2 hours.

2) Make the rice by placing the rice in a medium saucepan with the coconut milk, water, turmeric, lemongrass, ginger and salt. Bring to the boil and stir. Cover and cook over a low heat for 12 minutes. Remove from the heat, place a thin tea-towel over the pan and cover with the lid and allow to sit for 10 minutes.

3) Meanwhile cook the steak in a little vegetable oil in a large wok over a high heat for around 2 minutes each side or until cooked to your liking. Allow to rest for at least 10 minutes.

4) Remove the lid and towel from the rice and fluff well with a fork. Serve with the beef and a little extra lime zest.

Enjoy!

Pork with Pineapple, Lime and Chilli Sauce

Pork with Pineapple, Lime and Chilli Sauce

Forget Chinese takeaway – this is real sweet and sour pork! The usual glutinous and sickly sweet sauce is replaced by one which is spicy and vibrant with a big kick of fresh lime.

Pork fillet is rolled in a blend of crushed peanuts and Chinese five spice before being roasted in the oven. The nuts offer great texture whilst the anise note of the five spice works perfectly with the sweet and sour sauce.

This dish is great paired with egg fried rice and steamed pak choi.

Pork with Pineapple, Lime and Chilli Sauce
Serves 4

Ingredients:

For the Pork: 2 Pork Fillets (Fully Trimmed), 75g Plain Peanuts, 3tsp Chinese Five Spice, 1tsp Sea Salt, 2tbsp Groundnut Oil

For the Sauce: 260g Tinned Pineapple (And Juice), 75ml Fresh Pineapple Juice, 2tbsp Dry Sherry, 1tbsp Soy Sauce, 3 Limes (Juice and Zest), 1/2tsp White Pepper, 1 Red Chilli (Sliced), 2tsp Cornflour (Mixed with Water)

Method:

1) Pre heat the oven to 200C. Crush the peanuts together with the five spice and salt in a food processor to a fine crumb. Roll the pork fillets in the crumb – ensuring they are well covered.

2) Place a large frying pan over a high heat. Fry the pork fillets in the groundnut oil for 2-3 minutes each side until sealed (ensure the nuts do not burn). Transfer the pork to the oven and cook for around 25 minutes or until cooked to your liking.

3) Meanwhile make the sauce. Place all of the ingredients except the chilli and cornflour in a blender and blend until smooth. Pass through a sieve into a saucepan and place over a medium heat. Allow the mixture to boil for 5 minutes before adding the sliced chilli. Slowly thicken with cornflour whilst over a low heat until the sauce reaches the desired consistency. Check the seasoning (white pepper and soy sauce) and keep warm.

4) When the pork is cooked, remove from the oven and allow to rest for 10 minutes. Slice the pork and serve with a generous amount of sauce.

Enjoy!

Thai Prawn Rice

Thai Prawn Rice

A deliciously simple recipe – perfect for midweek suppers or as a BBQ side. Spicy, fragrant fried rice and vegetables are paired with grilled jumbo prawns tossed in chilli flakes and fresh lime.

Using pre-steamed coconut rice and pre-made (homemade) curry paste minimises fuss and cooking time – this dish can be ready in under 10 minutes.

Jumbo grilled prawns offer the best contrast of texture and can withstand the heat of the curry paste. However, this recipe will work equally as well with smaller prawns which are more readily available.

Thai Prawn Rice
Serves 2

Ingredients:

For the Prawns: 6 Jumbo Prawns (or 12 smaller), Juice 1 Lime, Sunflower Oil, 1/2tsp Chilli Flakes, 1/2 Garlic Clove (Crushed), Sea Salt.

For the Rice: 1 Red Pepper (Sliced), 100g Tenderstem Broccoli, 100g Peas, 8 Spring Onions (Chopped), 250g Pre-Steamed Coconut Rice, 2tbsp Thai Green Curry Paste, Small Handful Fresh Basil (Chopped), Sunflower Oil.

Method:

1) Place a wok over a high heat and add a little sunflower oil. Stir-fry the spring onions, broccoli and red pepper for 2 minutes. Add the curry paste and cook for a further 2 minutes.

2) Add a splash of water and the rice to the wok – tossing well to break up and combine. Continue to stir-fry until the rice has warmed through (around 2-3 minutes). Add the chopped basil just before the end of cooking.

3) Meanwhile, place a large griddle over a high heat. Add a little sunflower oil and add the prawns, chilli flakes and garlic. Cook the prawns until ready (size dependant). Before removing from the heat add the lime juice and sea salt.

4) Serve the rice with the griddled prawns and an extra squeeze of lime.

Enjoy!

Spiced Meatballs, Saffron Rice

Spiced Meatballs, Saffron Rice

A blend of minced beef and lamb with warming spices including cinnamon and allspice makes for some delicious meatballs which pair perfectly with fragrant saffron rice.

This is a great dish for lunch or dinner with friends as the meatballs can be prepared in advance and cook in the time taken to cook the rice. I have paired the rice and meatballs with some sautéed broad beans.

Spiced Meatballs, Saffron Rice

Spiced Meatballs, Saffron Rice
Serves 4

Ingredients:

For the Spice Blend: 1/2 Cinnamon Stick, 1tsp Ground Sumac, 1tsp Ground Allspice, 1/2 Whole Nutmeg Grated, 2tsp Cumin Seed, 1tsp Coriander Seed, 1tsp Black Peppercorns, 1tsp Cardamom Pods

For the Meatballs: 300g Minced Beef, 300g Minced Lamb, 1 Medium Onion Chopped, Large Handful Parsley Chopped, Small Handful Coriander Chopped, Small Handful Mint Chopped, 1tbsp Ground Cumin, Zest 1 Lemon, Sea Salt, Black Pepper

For the Rice: 280g Basmati Rice, 450ml Boiling Water, 25g Unsalted Butter, White Pepper, Sea Salt, Small Handful Soaked Sultanas and Dried Cranberries, 1/2tsp Saffron Strands, Small Handful Chopped; Parsley, Mint and Tarragon

Method:

1) Prepare the spice blend by combining all of the ingredients in a spice blender and grinding to a fine powder.

2) Prepare the meatballs by combining all ingredients in a large bowl and mixing well – seasoning with a little sea salt and black pepper. Mix to fully combine and roll into small balls.

3) Cook the meatballs in a large frying pan over a low to medium heat. They should take around 10 minutes each side to fully cook through.

4) Meanwhile prepare the rice. Soak the saffron strands in 2tbsp boiling water. Melt the butter in a large pan over a medium heat. Add the rice, season with salt and white pepper, and stir until fully coated in butter. Add the boiling water and turn the heat down low. Cover and cook for 15 minutes.

5) After 15 minutes, turn off the heat, remove the lid and cover half of the rice with the saffron water. Cover again, leaving off the heat and allow to rest until the meatballs are ready. Once ready, add the sultanas and cranberries to the rice and stir well. Serve in a bowl and garnish with the chopped herbs.

6) Serve the rice with the meatballs, a lemon wedge and some natural yogurt.

Enjoy!