Tag Archives: cous cous

Chicken & Vegetable kebabs

16 Feb

chicken kebab

Who said you have to wait for summer before enjoying some chicken kebabs to get that barbeque spirit in the air? If you’re anything like my man, you eat a lot of chicken breast fillets. It is healthy, very low in fat and high in protein. Sometimes, I need a little change from the normal chicken fillet though.

mushrooms

Last summer the man and I really felt like some chicken kebabs on the barbeque, but those tiny ones you buy prepared in the supermarket just didn’t hit the spot.

chopped mushrooms

So I bought some stainless steel skewers, £1 for 4!! I can’t walk away from a bargain, I know!

bell pepper

After I made our own skewers, I never looked back!

green bell pepper

Now to spruce up your chicken fillets, you can make very tasty chicken kebabs that will be gobbled up in no time, and then you have the recipe already for when the long summer evenings start poking out.

peppers and onion

Its also very convenient, because once you’ve placed it in the oven, you just leave it to cook and you can get on with other wife duties, if you’re anything like me and always busy with doing washing or packing things away.

chopped red onion

Chicken & Vegetable Kebabs

chopped red onion

Ingredients

4-6 kebab skewers

3 x tablespoons bbq sauce

1 x 500g pack chicken fillets, cut into cube pieces

1 x tablespoon Nando’s medium peri-peri sauce

juice of half a lemon

1 red onion, cut in medium size ( for skewers, see picture)

2 x green bell peppers, cut in medium size ( for skewers, see picture)

2 x red bell peppers, cut in medium size ( for skewers, see picture)

1 x pack of mushrooms, cut in medium size ( for skewers, see picture)

1 x tablespoon soya sauce

1 x tablespoon olive oil

Salt & Black pepper

Place the chicken fillet cubes in a bowl.

chopped red onion

Add the bbq sauce, nando’s sauce, lemon juice and mix through thoroughly.

chicken marinade

Cover with cling film and allow to stand for about 15 – 20 minutes. Meanwhile, start cutting up your veg for the skewers.

kebab

You want to start with a piece of red onion, then chicken, then a pepper, a mushroom, and a pepper again.

kebab

Repeat this until your skewer is full, same with the others. Preheat the oven to 160 degree celcius.

When your oven is ready, place the skewers in a tray,  Drizzle the skewers evenly with olive oil and the soya sauce.

chicken kebab

Season with some salt and black pepper and pop it in to the oven for 30 minutes.

chicken kebab

If you want, you can turn it half way through, which is what I did, but if you don’t feel like it, I wouldn’t say its absolutely necessary.

chicken kebab

It all depends on your laziness factor ;-p

chicken kebab

I served the skewers with some buttery cous cous, but I’m sure it will be equally delicious with some sticky jasmine rice.

chicken kebabs

chicken kebab

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Slow cooked meatballs

31 Oct

with winter around the corner! Indeed, I wish everything was slow. Nowadays everything feels like it is moving too fast! I barely have time to daydream about what I would like to cook for supper. Nevermind writing my recipes down. As so, my blog has also been slow, as I am sure I don’t need to point out the last time I made a post. As fast paced as life is here in london, our household is “techonologically doomed”!

First, I had problems with my laptop, which is also one of the reasons you have not seen any posts. Then Ipods.. camera’s, dehumidifiers… maybe it is all a sign to let go of all this technology.

Sometimes I wish I was outside, far away from the city, with winding country roads, the warm sun on my face and the fresh breeze of wildflowers in the air. I guess this is what I was thinking about while I was enjoying a glass of lovely red wine, with the meatballs slowly bubbling away.

I believe that our thoughts influence our cooking and so my thougts inspired a heartwarming meal, that helps me to slow down and smell the wafts of the lovely spiced aroma in our home. .. I guess I sound like my mother’s daughter now.. yearning for the farm, family and friends around my table, no rush, surrounded by love and joy.

Enough of my self pity as I sit in layers of clothing in this cold.. I hope you enjoy this recipe, and as it will show, there is so much you can do with the right combination of spices

Flavourful Meatballs with Herb ‘d Provence Cous cous

1 pack of minced beef

2 tablespoons of olive oil

1 teaspoon of ground coriander

1 teaspoon of turmeric

2 teaspoons of cumin seeds, ground

2 pinches of salt

2 pinches of black pepper

2 onions, finely chopped ( use a food processor)

2 slices of stale bread

1 egg

1 teaspoon of paprika

juice of half a lemon

1 cup of chicken stock

half a cup of white wine

half a cup of warm water

2 tablespoons of butter

For the Cous Cous

2 teaspoons of butter

salt and black pepper to taste

1 1/2 teaspoons of Herb ‘d Provence

 

To start, take one onion, and half a teaspoon of all the spices, including the salt and pepper ( 1 pinch) and put them in the food processor. Process fine, just before it makes a paste. Take the bread slices and break them into crumbs. Mix this with the mince, egg and your paste you made. Start rolling the mince into little balls, about the size of a walnut.

Take the remaining spices and put it in your food processor, along with the other onion. Process to the same texture as the semi-paste you made for the meatball mixture. Add your olive oil and butter to a pan. Wait for the butter to melt. Now add the onion and spice mixture. Cook for about 8 minutes. Now, add all the remaining ingredients and allow to bubble for about 5 minutes.

Add your meatballs to the pan. Swirl the pan so that the sauce moves around the meatballs. Turn the gas down to low. Put the lid on and allow to simmer for 20 minutes. Now toss the meatballs around, so that the other side of the meatballs are also covered in the sauce. Simmer for another 10 – 15 minutes, or until cooked.

While the meatballs are cooking, measure the cous cous you required. Place it in a bowl. Now, take the Herb ‘d Provence herbs and sprinkle it over cous cous. Season with salt and black pepper. Boil water, enough to just cover the cous cous. When this has boiled, pour it over the cous cous, mixing it twice with a fork. Cover completely with a plate or some plastic wrap and allow to stand for 10 minutes.

Lift the plate / take off the plastic wrap and take 2 teaspoons of butter and mix it through the cous cous with a fork. I served the meatballs with mixed roasted vegetables, along with the cous cous, but you can serve it with any vegetables of your choice, or even a lovely fresh rocket salad.

Heart warming Sunday Chicken for Jo

19 Jul

Sounds very simple, but if you think about it, it is usually the simplest things that you remember. There are many things about this recipe that reminds me of my friend Jo, which has a very special place in my heart. Garlic, a very strong, overpowering ingredient, but you can add it to anything and it will turn a so-so dish into a winner! Chicken, an underestimated main ingredient, might sound boring, but it is always a success, giving  you strength and rejuvenates you when you have flu and warms a cold, tired and weak  body. Potatoes, a true and rich indulgence, fluffy, creating instant happiness for anyone!!

Jo is exactly like all these ingredients. Like Garlic, she is full of surprises – strong, but also sweet and can lift anyone up and you know she is always there to make things better. Like chicken, she has enough love and care to spread between all her friends and family and you know she is always there to come to the rescue if anything goes wrong or puts you in a swizzle.

Like potatoes – she is comforting, always there to give a hug when needed and envelops you in a cloud of calming conversations. I miss her dearly this beautiful friend of mine. This is also her dish today as she loves the “one pot wonders”. I know she totally adores a lovely and hearty casserole! However, a few months back she got sick after eating chicken. I wonder if this had anything to do with her now expecting a little bambino? ;-p All the more why I know she will love this recipe as she is in the mood to eat and enjoy lovely, fresh, old fashioned hearty food. Especially since it is winter in South Africa at the moment.

She is one of my friends that loves delicious food, and believe me, she can prepare it, but she would rather sit around a table and chat with her friends while there is something cooking in the oven that will look after itself, but be an absolutely winner when finished! I really wish I could sit down at a beautifully decorated table, with a lot of candles, beautiful food and lovely conversation with my dear friend. This will have to wait until December, when I assure you we will be doing this exact thing, but by this time, she might be able to balance her teacup on her beautiful belly! So Jo, this one is for you 🙂

1 whole chicken

1 tablespoon of butter, softened

1 lemon, cut in half

3 whole Garlic bulbs

Olive oil

5 red rooster potatoes, cut in quarters

1 twig of rosemary

Black pepper

Salt

handful of mushrooms

2 courgettes, roughly chopped

1 aubergine, roughly chopped and salted

2 onions roughly chopped

1 teaspoon of chopped garlic

1 tin of chopped tomatoes

1 teaspoon of sugar

Garlic drizzle sauce

1/2 glass of dry white wine

2 tablespoons of butter

cooked garlic cloves

juice of one lemon

Preheat your oven to 190 degrees Celsius. Rub your chicken with the butter, almost like massaging ;-p Season with salt and pepper. Season the inside of the chicken with salt and pepper. Now place the two halves of the lemon inside the chicken.

Cook the chicken for 30 minutes. While the chicken is cooking in the oven, boil your potatoes in salted water for 8 minutes. While this is boiling, drizzle a frying pan with oil and add the garlic. Gently start frying your onion. Now add your courgettes and fry for about 8 minutes. Add your aubergine. Fry for another 8 minutes. Add your tinned tomatoes. Flavour with salt and pepper and mix in your sugar. After your chicken has cooked for 30 minutes, remove from the oven and arrange your potatoes and mushrooms around the chicken.

Place your garlic in between the potatoes and mushrooms. Drizzle olive oil over each whole clove, generously. While the chicken cooks, it will make extra juices, along with the olive oil, so use this and mix through the potatoes so they are coated in these juices. scatter the leaves from the rosemary twig around the potatoes. This sounds like a lot of garlic, but remember, when garlic cooks in its skin, it becomes sweet 🙂 Now, return the tray to the oven and cook for another 40 minutes or until the juices run clear.

Take the cooked garlic and place in a small pan with the butter,lemon juice and white wine. press down with a wooden spoon onto the garlic to allow all the juices to flow out. Now sieve it through onto the chicken and potatoes etc. Enjoy with your ratatouille with this lovely chicken, and if you want to, feel free to enjoy with some rice or cous cous!  🙂