Chicken Shawarma Doner

A true classic made at home. Healthy, fresh and with some theatre.

Serves 8 | total time 1 hour 45 minutes (plus 3 hours marinating)

Prep 15 minutes | cook time 1 hours 45 minutes

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Ingredients

  • 8 boneless chicken thighs
  • One large onion
  • A few wooden sticks / skewers or 1 metal skewer
  • Parsley, chopped
  • A pinch of Sumac

Marinade

  • 2 tbsp plain yoghurt
  • The juice of two lemons
  • 2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper / chilli powder
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • 2 tsp sumac
  • 2 tsp ground coriander
  • 2 cloves of garlic, chopped
  • 4cm chunk of ginger, copped
  • pinch of salt
  • a few grinds of pepper

Serve with

  • flatbreads / pitta breads / wrap – whichever you prefer
  • fresh salad dressed simply with lemon juice – I went for lettuce and red cabbage
  • Pickled peppers which can be found at the supermarket
  • hot sauce (recipe to come)
  • garlic yoghurt (recipe to come)
  • Crushed Salad (recipe to come)
  • Charred onion, peppers and pomegranate salad
  • hummus

 

Method

Part one

  • Grab a pestle and mortar and grind the garlic, ginger and salt (the salt gives it the necessary friction required for grinding).
  • Pop in the rest of the dry spices and mix.
  • Put this into a bowl (or a sandwich bag) with all the other marinade ingredients and mix well.
  • Add the chicken and mix. Leave in the fridge for at least 3 hours but preferably overnight.

Part two

  • Pre-heat your oven to full whack while you prepare the doner.
  • Chop the top and bottom off a large onion – this acts as the base of your doner.
  • Put three wooden skewers or one metal into the onion and secure it.
  • Begin laying the marinated chicken on top piece by piece until all of it is on the skewer.
  • Add the pieces of onion on top of the skewer (the juice from these onions will hopefully moisten the chicken as it cooks – so add any other veg you have laying around).

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Part three

  • Turn your preheated oven down to 200C (180C if you have a fan oven) and place the doner inside.
  • Cook for 1 hour and 15 minutes, checking every now and again to make sure it hasn’t fallen over like mine did.
  • While you wait prepare the rest of the feast (see above for ideas)

Part four

  • Take the chicken out of the oven and let it rest for 15 minutes.
  • Cut straight down the layers of chicken so you have pieces with charred bits and beautiful pale white bits. You should have a real mix of texture and colour.
  • Lay out your bread, salads and sauces then serve.

 

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Sour & hot French beans with kimchi

I can’t get enough of this sour and spicy dish

Serves 2 as a starter or 4 as a side | total time 20 minutes

Prep 10 minutes | cook time 10 minutes

 

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Ingredients

  • 300g french beans, top and tailed
  • 1 heaped tbsp of Lao Gan Ma chilli oil with Black Bean  (the brand is also known as The Godmother or Angry Lady)
  • 1/2 tbsp fish sauce
  • 1/2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1/2 tbsp rice vinger (although white whine vinegar or cider vinegar will work fine)
  • Two cloves of garlic or 1 large clove, roughly chopped
  • 2 inch chunk of ginger, roughly chopped
  • 1 lemongrass stick (optional) – if you dont have this lemon / lime zest or a teaspoon of tamarind will work
  • 1 pinch of chilli flakes (optional)
  • pinch of sea salt
  • 1 Spring onion, chopped for garnish

Kimchi

Use the recipe on the link, or if you are short of time just buy a jar. 

  • Add this to taste. I go for a large spoonful or even two.

 

Method

Part one

  • Put a pan of water on to boil and season with salt.
  • Grab a pestle and mortar and grind the garlic, ginger and salt (the salt gives it the necessary friction required for grinding).
  • Pop in your lemongrass and smash it up – try not to grind the lemongrass. You still want it to keep together so its easy to remove later.
  • Add the vinegar, fish sauce and soy sauce and mix.

Part two

  • Add your beans to the boiling pan and boil for 2 minutes – i like them with a bit of bite so I wouldn’t go over 2 minutes.
  • drain and refresh with cold water to stop the cooking process and to keep the colour.

Part three

  • Heat a wok or deep frying pan to a high heat and add the black bean paste for 20 seconds – you should have enough oil here to lubricate the whole dish without the need to add more.
  • Add the sauce from your pestle and mortar and mix, it should spit a bit so be careful of your clothes and limbs
  • Add in the beans and stir fry in the sauce for a minute or two – the sauce should slightly reduce and the beans should be hot all the way through.

Part four

  • Transfer to a bowl and place the kimchi on top, stir to heat the kimchi and serve immediately .

Quick Kimchi

Makes 1 litre jar | 1-5 days total time

Prep 10 minutes | 1-2 hours salting and 1-5 days fermentation

Ingredients

  • 1 cabbage (chinese, napa, savoy or white will do)
  • 3 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 2cm piece ginger, cut finely or crushed
  • 3 tbsp fish sauce
  • 2.5 tbsp sriracha chilli sauce (or water and chilli flakes)
  • 1 tbsp golden caster sugar
  • 4 tbsp rice vinegar
  • Broccoli stalks, julienne (or cut thinly)
  • 2 carrots, julienne (or cut thinly)
  • 4 spring onions, finely sliced
  • plenty of salt

Method

Part one

  • Cut the bottom off the cabbage and separate the leaves. Sprinkle salt over each leaf and lay them in a large bowl. Scrunch the salt into the leaves so they are generously covered.
  • Leave for between 1-2- hours.

Part two

  • Mash your garlic and ginger into a paste using your pestle and mortar.
  • Add the fish sauce, vinegar and sugar and stir until the sugar is dissolved, then add the Sriracha.
  • Remove the cabbage from the bowl and discard the water.
  • Wash the leaves to remove any excess salt and dry as well as you can.

Part three

  • I advise using gloves for this bit.
  • In your bowl add the cabbage and the other vegetables with the chilli paste.
  • Use your hands to work the chilli mixture into the vegetables.
  • Layer the veg into sterilised jars and seal tight.

Part four

  • Leave for between 1-5 days dependant on how you like your kimchi.
  • I usually have a jar that i open earlier as I like the crunch, but you can leave it longer and have a more funky, soggy kimchi.
  • Once you are happy, pop it in the fridge to stop the fermentation process.

Tinned Sardine Croquettes with cheats tartar sauce

My good pal Johnny brought these beautiful Sardines back from his holiday and I wanted doing something fancy without having to pop to the shops. This was the result.

I took my inspiration from this recipe:

https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2015/nov/21/sardines-recipes-croquetas-bruschetta-hash-indian-chutney

 

Makes 10 | time 50 minutes

Prep 10 minutes | Cook 30 minutes

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Ingredients

Croquettes

  • 2 tin sardines in oil (keep the oil)
  • 30g unsalted butter
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 30g plain flour
  • 200ml hot whole milk
  • A good pinch of paprika
  • Salt and black pepper
  • 3 tbsp parmesan, grated
  • 75g breadcrumbs (i used panko)
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • Vegetable oil, for frying

 

Cheat tartare sauce

  • I made this up when i couldn’t find the right ingredients but it was really nice.
  • 1 large gherkin, diced
  • 1 tbsp pickled jalepenos, diced
  • 1 tbsp capers, roughly chopped
  • 6 tbsp mayonnaise
  • 1 tbsp coriander, chopped (keep a few leaves for garnish)
  • Salt and pepper to taste

 

Method

Part one

  • On a low to medium heat, sweat the onions in the sardine oil until translucent.
  • Stir in the flour until the mixture is a dark gold (like a strong cup of tea).
  • Add the milk gradually a bit at a time. Ensuring that all the milk is absorbed before adding more.
  • Let this cook on a medium heat for 10 minutes or so to thicken up, seasoning with salt, pepper and paprika to taste.
  • Drop in the sardines and break them into small chunks up with your (you don’t want a sardine mush). Cover with a plate or foil while it the mixture cools.

Part two

  • Combine the breadcrumbs and cheese and pop in a shallow bowl. Beat the egg in another shallow bowl.
  • Heat your pan and add oil (try to avoid using Extra Virgin olive oil as it has a low smoke point). I used a small saucepan for this and shallow fried the croquettes, however you would ideally deep fry. If you are frying in a saucepan pan on the hob I would use a thermometer to try and get as close to 180C / 350F as you can.
  • Shape the cooled sardine mixture into cylinders and roll in the egg then the breadcrumbs.

Part three

  • Drop the croquettes the oil carefully and cook for about 2 minutes ensuring that they cook even all over.
  • I would do one or two at the time – too many and it will bring down the temperature of the oil and they won’t cook properly. I aim for a dark gold colour.
  • Leave them on a paper towel to dry off the grease.

Part four

  • For the sauce add all in the ingredients and mix well, season to taste.
  • Serve in a bowl with the sauce – try to wait until they’ve cooled before you eat them.

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Crispy tofu crunch wrap

A super healthy and light evening meal or a delicious pre-prepped lunch.

Serves 2-4 | time 50 minutes

Prep 30 minutes | Cook 20 minutes

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Ingredients

Crispy Tofu

  • 1 block of extra firm tofu (this does about four wraps)
  • 3 tbsp corn flour
  • pinch of salt
  • glug of oil

 

Salad

To be clear on this you could add anything you want here. This example is just what I had around. Keep it simply, crunchy and healthy. A brilliant option here is to use julienne carrot and radish and lightly pickle them in a sweetened vinegar.

  • 4 tortilla wraps
  • 8 leaves of baby gem lettuce (2 per wrap)
  • 8 Pickled peppers, sliced
  • 1/2 handful parsley
  • 2 radish, sliced
  • a good squeeze of Sriracha per wrap

 

Method

Part one

  • Take your tofu out of its packaging and drain. Line two plates with kitchen paper and place the tofu between them. Weigh it down (I use a case iron pan) and leave for 10-15mins to drain.
  • Prep your veg if you haven’t already and, put a frying pan on the hob on a high heat add the oil to get it nice and hot.
  • Using more kitchen roll, dry the tofu as best you can and cut into cubes.
  • Coat them in seasoned corn flour (you can absolutely put more than salt and pepper in this, Paprika, Cayenne, Turmeric all work wonders).
  • Lay the tofu in the pan with plenty of space around them. If you crowd the pan they will steam and wont get crispy. Do this in two pans or in two batches if you need to.
  • Fry until golden brown, turning regularly.

Part two

  • Warm your wraps either in a frying pan, or in a warm oven. This just makes them more pliable and nicer to eat.
  • Once the tofu is crispy leave it to do drain on a wire wrack, this will crispy them up perfectly.

Part three

  • Put out the wraps on the counter and lay the baby gem, peppers and parsley on top.
  • Spread the tofu and radish evenly between the wraps
  • Squeeze the Sriracha on top roll up (not forgetting to tuck the bottom in).
  • Eat now or take for lunch.

 

Sesame Tuna and salsa verde with a warm new potato and vegetable salad

Serves 4 | time 30 minutes

Prep 10 minutes | Cook 20 minutes

Sesame tuna

Ingredients

  • 4 small tuna steaks
  • 1 cup of sesame seeds

Warm new potato and vegetable salad

  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2 cloves of garlic, diced
  • 1/2 handful of basil
  • 1/2 handful parsley
  • 1/2 handful mint
  • 8 new potatoes, halved
  • 1 bulb fennel, sliced (reserve the fennel tops)
  • ½ a head of broccoli cut into small florets
  • 4 handfuls spinach
  • 200ml vegetable stock
  • Feel free to use any veg you have though

Salsa verde

  • 1/2 clove of garlic, diced
  • 1/2 bunch parsley, cut finely
  • 1/2 tin anchovies, cut finely
  • 1/2 handful mint, cut finely
  • 1/2 handful basil, cut finely
  • 1/2 handful gherkins, diced
  • 1/2 handful capers, diced
  • 2 tbsps red wine vinegar
  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 tbsp Dijon mustard

Method

Part one

  • Pre-heat the oven to full whack, take the tuna out of the fridge and leave to come to room temperature.
  • In a large wide pan, gently sweat the onions on a low heat until translucent, then add the garlic.
  • After 5 minutes add the potatoes and herbs and a splash of stock. Pop a lid on and braise the potatoes for 10 minutes.
  • Add in the fennel and broccoli, then add the stock so its comes halfway up the veg at least, cover then leave to simmer on a low heat for 10 minutes.

Part two

  • Put the garlic and anchovies (save the oil for later) in a pestle and mortar and bash and grind until you’ve created a paste.
  • Add the capers and gherkins, herbs, mustard and vinegar and continue to bash until everything is mixed.
  • Finally, add the oil slowly until you reach the desired consistency. Don’t worry if you don’t use it all.
  • You can do this in a blender or food processor. If you add do throw everything in except the oil and add that last. I prefer the chunkiness of the pestle and mortar version.

Part three

  • Pour the sesame seeds into a shallow bowl and lay the tuna on top, pressing the seeds in until covered.
  • Season well with salt on both sides.
  • Lay the tuna on a wire tray, greased baking sheet or grill pan and cook on high for 2 minutes each side.
  • While you do this uncover the veg pan.

Part four

  • Lay out the plates and with a slotted spoon lay the warm potato and veg salad on a plate.
  • Carve the Tuna diagonally and lay a few strips on top of the salad.
  • Finally spoon a healthy dollop of salsa verde on top.
  • Sprinkle fennel tops over and season from a height before serving.

 

 

Plaice with asparagus, edamame beans and caper butter

Serves 2 | time 30 hours

Prep 10 minutes | Cook 20 minutes

Ingredients

2 fillets of plaice

2 x handfuls of new potatoes

1/4 block of butter

Good handful of parsley, chopped

2 tbsp capers chopped

1 clove of garlic, sliced thinly

6-8 asparagus spears, woody ends trimmed and cut in half long ways

2 handfuls of edamame beans

1 lemon, quartered

Half a chilli, slices

Method

Part one

Put the potatoes in a pan of salted boiling water for 12minute or until cooked.

Put the capers in a pan on a very low heat with half the butter

Blanch the asparagus for 1 minute then dump in ice water to retain their colour and stop the cooking process

Part two

Heat a large pan on a medium heat and gently fry the garlic in the remaining butter

Fry the edamame beans for a couple of minutes till they have a bit of colour and have blistered slightly

Remove the edamame and garlic and ten up the heat

Part three

Slice the skin on the plaice so the fish doesn’t buckle when fried

When the potatoes are almost done (8-9 minutes into cooking time) lay the plaice Skin side down in the super hot pan.

Fry for 2 minutes each side – be super gentle with the fish as it’s a fragile Fish

Take the caper butter off the heat

Part four

Lay the fish on the plate, season from a height with salt and squeeze lemon juice all over.

Throw the asparagus into the pan to heat through while you plate up

Lay your potatoes on top with a knob of butter to coat them

Squeeze lemon in the sauce and throw in 3/4 parsley

Lay the asparagus on top and sprinkle the edamame from a height

Cover everything with caper butter and sprinkle the last of the parsley from a height

Lay the raw chilli on top

Eat and be happy