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Baked Almond Crusted Prawns

27 Jan

Inspired by local Essex boy, Jamie Oliver. He has some good ideas, particularly if you like rustic food and can’t be bothered with fussing over presentation. Rustic food needs to be phographed well but as always, I can’t be bothered. If you try this recipe out, do send in some pictures inshaaAllaah.

Ingredients
Ground almonds/almond flour
Salt
Crushed red chillies
Roasted garlic and herb mix seasoning
Chopped flat parsley (optional)
Pinch of cayenne (optional)
Pinch of Paprika
Lemon zest
Prawns
Egg

Method
In a small bowl mix all the ingredients together but NOT the prawns and egg. In another small bowl, lightly whisk the egg. Dip the prawns into the egg and then place them into the ground almond mix. Remember to use one egg for adding the prawns to the eggs and then putting the eggy prawns into the ground almond mix. Then use the other hand to cover the eggy prawns with the dry mix. Use separate hands to avoid eggy-almond hands.

Place them on a non-stick tray and very lightly spray this with oil. Pop the prawns in the oven for approximately 12-15 minutes mak on gas mark 4 and you should turn them half way through to give them a nice even ‘tan’.

Serve with veg and a nice wedge of lemon. Squeezing fresh lemon juice on top of these prawns is just delicious!

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Washed prawns, whisked egg and ground almond mix… and a bit of the oven tray

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Close up of ground almond mix

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Ready to go in the oven

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Just out the oven with a tan

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Dished up ready to eat! Remember to add loads of lemon – yum!

Mediterranean Vegetables

4 Dec

I’m pretty sure this ‘recipe’ is long over-due. Ok so, really simple dish, can be served as a side, part of a main meal, put into lasagnas, bolognese, on pizzas or eaten as a snack and it’s oh so healthy!

Ingredients
Courgettes
Red onion
Green/red/orange/yellow peppers – make it colourful!
Carrots (optional, slice them thin if you add them, I don’t)
Aubergine (optional but I would advise cooking these separately. I think they need their own post)
Italian herbs and spices – you know, you’re typical blends or random mixtures of anything. Oregano is a must I think.
About a teason of butter/ghee/coconut oil
Pinch of salt and pepper

Method
Chop the veg chunkily (awesome word!) and toss into a frying pan with the fat of choice and season/herb up. Put it on a meadium to high heat and just give the pan a shake until the veg are a little tanned.
Don’t kill (overcook) the veg please, we want them to be full of goodness still and they should be a little crunchy still. If they’re mushy, you’ve gone too far. Simple, yummy and kids will LOVE them!

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Num num, yum yum!

Kebabs & Burgers

3 Dec

My thoughts on the best type of meat for this recipe:
Mince chicken (leg and thigh is best as it has fat, chicken breast would be too dry and crumbly)
Mince Lamb (leg is best)
Mince beef (whatever the butchers have I guess)
You could use mutton too but, meh, it’s not my thing

We’re a big Asian family and so when we make this for everyone we can get through quite a bit of meat, plus it’s good to have extra so you can freeze them and take them out when you have company.
Again, I don’t measure things, I eye ball everything, really I do, I guess it’s an Asian thing although most of my friends follow recipes quite strictly. Personally I think that’s more for unexperienced cooks (unless it’s baking, of course). Forgive my lack of measuring as all quantities are up to you. Once I make the mixture I always pan fry a small tester just to make sure it’s how I like it. A good cook always tastes their food, take note!

Ingredients
Mince meat of your choice
Onions
Fresh corriander
Fresh green chillies (with seeds, put some fire in your food!)
Salt
Crushed cumin
Crushed corriander seeds
Chilli powder
Dried Pomegranate powder (WHAT?! Trust me, it’s good and makes a huge difference)

Method
Put your mince in a large bowl. Blitz all your fresh ingredients and spices in a food processor until chopped. Not finely but not overly chunky, kinda inbewteen. Add the mixture to your mince, mix well and pan fry/grill/BBQ a taster. Add more spices depending on your preference and re-taste. Once you’re happy, pan fry, BBQ, skewer these bad boys and serve up in a non-paleo manner.

Please, do NOT deep fry these kebabs now matter what they’re for. My family have never deep fried kebabs but during Ramadhaan when people send over iftaar (may Allaah reward them in abundance aameen) or when I visit other people and I’m served kebabs, they’ve been deep fried. You have taken what could be a really healthy snack and dunk it in oil for ages until it’s over cooked, hard and INCREDIBLY bad for you.  I think it’s an Asian thing as my neighbours do this a lot and I’m sure some wedding caterers do it too. Seriously, stop it, while you’re at it, throw out your chip pan and deep fryer, you really don’t need it.

TOP TIP: For juicy, succulant burgers which are perfectly cooked and moist, just flip the burgers once. Yep, that’s the secret to a great kebab/burger.

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Fresh and dried ingredients blitzed in the food processor… not too fine and not too chunky

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Minced meat mix with ingredients in a bowl.

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Fry the burgers well on one side before flipping. Remember just to flip once only to keep the burgers moist

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They’re not burnt lol… one side needs to be cooked well for a few minutes longer than the second side. They’re only flipped once and *I* don’t want my burgers raw thank you very much

Burgers/kebabs served with home made tomato salsa

Burgers/kebabs served with home made tomato salsa

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Alternative serving suggestion, tomato salsa and burgers served on bed of raw bean sprouts, yummy!

You can find my Turkish tomato salsa aka Ezme Salatasi recipe here.

Ezme Salatasi

6 Nov
I thought it’d be cool to use the actual Turkish terminology but what it really means is spicy tomato salad which has been finely chopped… aka Tomato salsa or relish. But we’ll stick to Ezme Salatasi because I like it. Ideally it should be served with grilled or BBQ’d meat but I could have it with almost anything thing because it’s so tasty maashaaAllaah!
I was inspired by my weekened lunch at a halaal Turkish restaurant. This salad was the highlight of the lunch. I’ve made it twice already and would have made it again only I ran out of cherry tomatoes.

Ingredients

20ish cherry tomatoes (make sure they’re sweet)
Half a green bell pepper
Half a small red onion or 1-2 ‘sprigs’ of spring onion
1 fresh green chilli
Paprika
Cayenne pepper
Crushed chillie flakes
Pink Himalayan salt
Dried or fresh mint (fresh is better!)
Fresh corriander

The method is simple. Chuck everything except the tomatoes into a mini food processor and blitz until finely chopped but NOT mushy. Add the tomatoes, blitz for a few more seconds until the tomatoes are chopped/semi-mushed. If you have a few large chunks, don’t worry about it, I like the rustic look it has.

By the way, some people deseed the tomatoes and lose the extra juices. It should be illegal, for real. Tomato juice and seeds = yum!

Apologies for the bad photography (as always), it’s kind hard to focus on mush especially when you’re only using one hand and the lighting is poor at night. Enjoy!