Category Archives: Food

When is simplicity simplicity?

Sometimes in cooking there is a temptation to go too far. But I think this is just a quick ready -steady-chomp.

2 medium lamb chops marinated in Ras al Hanut & olive oil.

Just one teaspoon of the vibrant mixture is enough for 2 chops.This one was                              paprika,cassia,cumin,ginger,coriander,turmeric’fennel,allspice,cardamon,dill,galangal, nutmeg,orris,chilli,bay,caraway,cloves,mace,cubeb,black cardamon,rose,saffron.                      3 hours in the marinade in the fridge.

I feel quite exhausted listing that lot but lets carry on….

At this stage you could prepare a Greek Salad & let it stand.                                                                  I just used 3 cherry toms cut in 1/2, 3 slices of cucumber cut into qtrs, green & black olives, feta, pinch of oregano & drizzle of olive oil. Mix & do not disturb….You could add red or yellow pepper & lettuce….(greedy)

15 minutes before you want to eat.                                                                                                              First get the grill on for 10 mins. The lamb takes 2 1/2 mins each side..(.or longer if you want a cremation)   You can grill a 1/2 a big tom & 1/4 red pepper (or what ever takes your fancy.)

Second boil a kettle. Add 200 mills of boiling water to 80 gm of plain couscous. Lob in a nice quality chicken stock pot. Leave for 5 mins & stir.

Third just after you start grilling heat up 1/2 an Italian Flat bread (or a whole one) for 3 minutes.

This works as a quick, simple meal for one. Is it simple ? I leave it with you!



















First Attempt 2016 Bill’s Lebanese Chicken Curry

First Attempt 2016

Bill’s Lebanese Chicken Curry

The players Stage

300g chicken (cut into medium pieces 3

2 medium onions (finely chopped) 1

2 cloves of garlic (chopped) 2

1 apple 4

1 heaped tbs organic Curry Powder 2

1 heaped tbs Tandoori Marsalla 2

1 tbs tomato puree 4

1 block of creamy coconut (break it up) 4

600 mil boiled water 4

1 heaped tbs bouillon (not oversalted stuff!!) 4

1 tbs chicken or turkey seasoning 4

3 tbs rape seed oil x2 1

¼ heaped tsp Lebanese 7 Spice 4

Salt & Black pepper 4

2 tbs water x2 2

3 hard boiled eggs (keep whole) 6

3 medium potatoes (boil till soft in skin& peel then cut into 4) 5

1 Fry onions till soft & transparent

2 Add garlic & curry powders stiring & adding water not to burn

3 Add chicken & coat on all sides for 5 minutes

4 Add puree,apple then the water & seasoning. Bring back to the boil & add coconut.

Simmer for 45 mins giving you time to boil eggs & potatoes if you cook rice in 15 minutes start with 10 left on the clock

5 Put in the hot peeled & cut potatoes & stir

6 Put in the eggs (if you can pick them up) Give everything 5 minutes & ready!!

1 ramekin Basmati rice for 2 servings cook as normal

Cold Garnish – cut

cucumber,tomatoes,lettice, spring onion or red onion

banana & peanuts.

The banana (cold ) really does work very well. There is just enough liquid left in the curry for you to mash up all on your plate if you wish, or play spot the chicken as some potato pieces look identical!!

I normally put coconut in with 5 minutes to go but earlier it really works very well & besises playing with hot eggs ‘n potatoes with 5 minutes to go is more than enough….

A Bit of Cooking Since Getting a new set of Exotic Spices 5

A Bit of Cooking Since Getting a new set of Exotic Spices 5

New Territory.

Bill’s Malay Masala Chicken cooked slowly for 50 minutes.

OK.This really was unchartered stuff with an English twist.

This one is spices doing the talking!

Cut up 2 onions as fine as you can (this is to stop Mrs B from seeing them & fishing them out) & start frying them in a pan (with a lid on) in 2 tbsp of cooking oil. After 2 minutes add 2 large heaped tsp of Malay Masala and a heaped half tsp of Galangal. (Good for Morning Sickness & Bad Breath apparently but I would not know about either……)Add a drop of rapeseed oil infused with lemon grass and no other extra spices.

Slam in 8 chicken legs into the pan & stir over the mix & onions. Turn the chicken over to get both sides golden yellow for 3 minutes or so.

Sneak in the juice of half a lemon. Add a bit of boiled water to stop a frying effect. The chicken is about to be braised! Add into the pan 1 tin of tomatoes & just leave the red on top for 30 minutes. (I was feeling lazy perhaps….). Reduce the heat to a little bubble……

This gives you a chance to walk the dog,cut 2 apples small size,cube 1 red pepper & find a bag of sultanas & basmati rice.

On the ding put the rice on to boil. I have started using lots of boiled water in a pasta pot. A ready made drainer!!

Put the red pepper into the pan with chicken & stir everything now adding water if needed. The smell will be driving you crazy by now……

Add the apple & sultanas and in 15 minutes the chicken dish should be cooked. Taste & see. Leave to stand & concentrate on the rice…..Done.

The English twist is the apple & sultanas. Perfect though…..

The caution is the sultanas soaking up the orange sauce.

A Bit of Cooking Since Getting a new set of Exotic Spices 4

New Territory.

Bill’s Piri Piri Turkey Kebabs without the sticks

We had 2 turkey steaks left in the fridge and yours truly was given the task of cooking them a la pronto.

OK! I got the grill warming for 10 minutes…..

Cut each steak into 2 or 3 strips & cut them 1 inch long or thereabouts.

Make a marinade of ½ heaped tsp Piri Piri,1 tsp Lemon Grass infused Cold Press Rape Seed Oil,1 tsp Olive Oil.

Cut ½ an onion up for grilling, ½ any pepper red or yellow, 2 tomatoes.

Stick everything under the grill then marinade everything. After 5 mins turn the meat & onion over & use rest of marinade.

We had some rice left from last recipe so we microwaved it for 2-3 minutes.

Everything was ready by the time I plated the rice.

Simple & very quick. The steaks lie flat so no need to use skewers!

Make sure tomatoes cut in half are topped up with olive oil if necessary.

A Bit of Cooking Since Getting a new set of Exotic Spices 3

New Territory.

Bill’s Lebanese 7 Chicken cooked as fast as you can, slowly.

OK I admit it! I like to make food recipes up as I go along. If it works, it works! My Guinea Pigs happily eat stuff if I get it wro…..what am I saying?

This one is simplicity gone mad.

Cut up an onion as fine as you can & start frying it in a pan (with a lid on) in 2 tbsp of cooking oil.

We had 6 or 8 mini boned chicken thighs so I cut the meat up getting 3 strips on each then ½ an inch long. I put the chicken in a sieve & poured boiling hot water over. This turns the chicken from pink to white!

With most of the water out bung the meat into the onions!!

Add 1 heaped tsp of Steenbergs Lebanese 7 to the mix & after grinding ½ a tsp of Cumin seed add that. Stir & get the lid on as fast as you can!

Cut up 2 yams & cube & microwave in water for 3 minutes.

While waiting I put the rice on 1/2 cup easy cook+1/2 basmati.

I added a cut up green pepper to the mix and then the yams and water. With a big stir it’s the water that cooks the chicken!!!More boiled than fried!! After 3 minutes the smell is right though the house!!. I looked to add diced apricots but substituted a mega handful of sultanas. A lot of liquid remained and within 5 more minutes everything was cooked.

I can assure you that is fast for me!!.

The mix of cumin,Lebanese 7 & sultanas is a winner!!

The mixture looks like mud & black pepper specs but keep your eyes open!

A Bit of Cooking Since Getting a new set of Exotic Spices 2

New Territory.

Bill’s Baked Zaatar Salmon on a bed of vegetables.

OK! I’ll level with you this was partly a response to the too hot Prawn Tandoori……

Preheat the oven to 200c for 10 minutes and prepare:

Lightly grease a flat baking tray for the fish & find a deep baking tray for the veg.

I did 4 slices of salmon & enough veg for 4 or more. Depending on how many are feasting.

Get a medium bowl & put in 2 tsps of Zaatar, 1tbsp of Olive Oil & 1 tbsp of Lemon Grass Infused Rape Seed Oil. Mix and stand.

Peel & cut into cubes 2 medium sized yams. Quarter 9 Salad Potatoes. Chunk up 1 onion & 1 red pepper (or ½ red & ½ yellow or orange). Keep whole 8 cherry tomatoes. Bung the veg in the roasting tin & pour over the oil & Zaatar mix. Swish it round with your fingers & then cut 2 big oranges in half & squeeze the juice on & bung into the ready oven for 10 minutes.

Rescue the salmon & put it into the bowl & wipe the left over mixture.

Stand the salmon on the tray & dab on each a smidgen of soft cheese (not to be invasive) and give each salmon a serrano ham hat. Double check & add what is left from the bowl onto the hat!!!

After the 10 minute beep stir the veg, turn it & spoon over the juice in the pan. Put the tray on top & put both into the oven for 20 minutes.

The food should be hot, ready & stunning. Bon appetit!

They will rip your hand off!

A Bit of Cooking Since Getting a new set of Exotic Spices 1

A Reworking of Steenbergs Tandoori Lamb using Prawns

I love Lamb as do my girls and while my mum cooked it under protest it is a red line for the Mrs so I thought OK swap 600 grams of Lamb for 200 grams of Prawns.

Overnight I put into the fridge 200g of Prawns mixed with 3 tbs of natural yoghurt & 15g of Tandoori Masala. Looked a pale pink by tea time the next day……..

I fried 1 Medium chopped Onion in 3 tsp of cooking oil & added

25g of grinded Cumin, 25g of fine Coriander, 10g of Chilli & then ¾ of a large tin of tomatoes for 15 minutes.

Grilling the prawns till done looked funny on a bed of foil & trying to turn them was funnier.

Cooking I cup of basmati rice with a bit of a Cinnamon stick as you wish.

We had to do Gluten Free Nan and embedded a good tbsp of fantastic Nigella seeds. Elena’s Nan was the best even though a tsp of sugar was replaced by a tbsp. To be honest the curry was blinking hot so extra sweetness was most welcome!!

Making 5 nan this way means you need another frying pan. But it is quick.

Mix 400g GF Self Raising Flour, Pinch of pepper & pinch of salt, ½ tsp of baking powder , 3 tsp of sugar. Add 100g Natural Yogurt & blend then 1tbsp of cooking oil ,adding 100ml of water & reblend until you have a ball.

Turn out onto a floured surface & split into 5 mixing in each 5 good pinches of Nigella Seeds.Flatten & leave for a couple of minutes while you heat the oil.Impossible not to get flour on your hands!! On a hot pan with little oil nan cooks quickly and the smell of Nigella is fantastic.

The Tandoori was blinking hot even with a low amount of chilli & sweet bread!!

Spoiled it!!

OK! Get your musical ear ready,We just came back from a lunch at a local hotel. The set meal main meal, clock wise was.:









Obvious is n’t it? Try singing the dishes to the tune of “Run Rabbit, Run Rabbit,,,,”

Now Hold on a minute !!!!!

These foods make you sleepy

1/ Hummus….tryptophan

2/Salmon….B6 melatonin……zzzz

3/Wallnuts…. tryptophan and melatonin

4/Lettuce… for Sherlock Holmes…Opium type…..I don’t eat a big volume of it! Phew!

5/Prawns…… tryptophan

6/Banana…….normally taken in milk shakes for energy….this actually relaxes the muscles & sends you to sleep. How you don’t fall out of your tree is really beyond me. B6 converts triptophan to serotonin

7/Cherries….melatonin to sleep better.

8/Honey……Trigger for orexin production that says “Don’t stay awake!”

9/Dark Chocolate……serotonin packed

10/ White Bread …….glucose zips into your bloodstream and makes you feel spent.

11/Turkey…..I fall asleep after just about every Christmas feast thinking it was the Bucks Fizz, & Wine. Tryptophan it’s you!!

12/Oatmeal….Breakfast time. Insulin level goes up and you want to sleeeeeeeep. The melatonin again.

OK . I like Red meat & have a sweet tooth so I’d better stop!

A lot of these we eat at lunch time. I can have afternoon naps….

Big dolop of hummus at bed time on pitta would be something new.