Air Fryer Honey Mustard Salmon

This is an easy salmon recipe that can be cooked entirely in an air fryer, which makes for an easy clean up after dinner. In this dish seasoned salmon fillets are first air fried until they are crispy. The honey mustard sauce can then be made in the air fryer pan and is served over the salmon. There is sweetness from the honey and the slight pepperiness of the mustard goes really well with the salmon flavours.

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Air Fryer Honey Mustard Salmon Recipe

Serves: 4
Preparation Time: 5 minutes
Cooking Time: 15 minutes

INGREDIENTS

for the salmon:

  • 520 g salmon fillets (around 4 fillets)
  • salt
  • ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1tbsp avocado oil

for the honey mustard sauce:

  • 1 tbsp avocado oil
  • 1 small red onion finely chopped
  • 1 clove garlic minced
  • 2.5 tbsp honey
  • 1.5 tbsp smooth Dijon mustard
  • juice of half a lemon

METHOD

  1. Preheat your air fryer at 200 °C for 3 minutes. I would completely recommend the Ninja 3.8 Litre Air Fryer, I use mine pretty every day – from making dinners to reheating leftovers for lunch.
  2. Season the salmon fillets with a sprinkling of salt and pepper along with the garlic powder, and coat in the oil.
  3. Once the air fryer is preheated, carefully add the crisper plate to the air fryer pan and arrange the salmon fillets on top. Try to spread the fillets out as much as possible. Air fry for 10 minutes until the fillets are brown on top.
  4. Remove the fillets, place them in an oven proof serving dish, cover with foil and put in the oven on a low heat to keep warm.
  5. Use tongs to carefully remove the crisper plate from the air fryer pan. Rinse pan out and dry with kitchen roll.
  6. Add oil to the air fryer pan and heat for 1 minute on 200 °C.
  7. Stir in the onion and garlic and air fry for 1-2 minutes. The onion should have softened, but you don’t want to burn the garlic.
  8. Add the honey, mustard and lemon juice and stir well. Air fry for a further 2 minutes.
  9. Pour the sauce on top of the salmon fillets. OR if you prefer your salmon to be slightly charred you can add the fillets to the sauce in the air fryer pan flesh side down. Then turn them over to make sure they are coated in the sauce, then air fry for a further 1 minute.

NOTES

  • Serve with wild rice or mashed potatoes, and a salad.

Bolognese Sauce

Spaghetti Bolognese is a family favourite in my household. The kids have fun slurping up the spaghetti, my other half loves it as the sauce is full of flavour and protein, and I enjoy making it as it’s quick and easy, perfect for a mid-week meal. A lot of recipes for Bolognese sauce include red wine, however I like to make mine a fancy by adding in some port. It uplifts the flavour of the meat and adds a little sweetness to the sauce that works so well with the tomatoes.

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Bolognese Sauce Recipe

Serves: 6
Preparation Time: 10 minutes
Cooking Time: 45 minutes

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 tbsp light olive oil
  • 1.5 large white onions finely chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • 750 g minced beef
  • 3 low salt beef stock cubes crushed
  • 3 tbsp tomato puree
  • 120 ml port
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 0.5 tsp mixed dried herbs (thyme, oregano, basil)
  • 3 tsp Worcester sauce
  • 400 g tin peeled chopped tomatoes
  • 100 ml water use to wash out the tomato tin
  • salt and pepper to taste

METHOD

  1. Heat the oil in a deep frying pan or wok. Add in the onion and sauté for 5 minutes until soft.
  2. Stir in the garlic and cook for a further minute.
  3. Turn up the heat and add in the mince. Cook for 10 minutes stirring regularly until the meat has browned.
  4. Add in the port and stir through for two minutes until the alcohol smell goes away.
  5. Lower the heat and add in the crushed stock cubes and the tomato puree and stir well.
  6. Add in the rest of the ingredients apart from the salt and pepper and stir through.
  7. Cover the pan with the lid and simmer on low for 25 to 30 minutes, checking and stirring every 10 minutes.
  8. Season with salt and pepper.

NOTES

  • Serve with spaghetti and top with grated parmesan cheese.
  • Use any left over sauce as a topping for baked potatoes (white or sweet) for lunch the next day.
  • You can make this vegetarian by substituting the beef mince for Quorn mince and use vegetable

The Ultimate Burger

Happy New Year!

With December being the month for giving to others, I think January should be the month for being kind to yourself. After over indulging and over spending during the Christmas season this new month is the perfect time to reset, recharge and prepare yourself for the year ahead. Often there is pressure to hit the ground running in January – I used to set myself big resolutions for the New Year, sometimes they were over ambitious and I would crash and burn after a couple of weeks and feel disappointed. So now I take a more chilled out approach. Being in the dark depths of winter, and now in the middle of yet another lockdown (here in the UK), this was always set to be a tough month. So, I think January is the perfect time to unleash your inner hygge! Make sure you are comfortable and cozy, and do things that make you content. Take that bubble bath, read a novel, binge on a series (I would totally recommend Bridgerton by the way), eat well and nourish your body but allow yourself a little comfort food too. Just ease your mind and body into the new year. Then, when YOU’RE ready take your place in the world and slay 2021!

On the notion of comfort food, I have an amazing burger recipe to share. The patties are well seasoned and then double cooked to perfection – they are first browned on a grill pan and then steamed in the oven. The result is a super succulent burger with a tender texture and uber flavour. Trust me, this beats any restaurant burger, and is incredibly quick and easy to make for mid-week meal.

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The Ultimate Burger Recipe

Serves: 4
Preparation Time: 10 minutes
Cooking/Baking Time: 32 minutes

INGREDIENTS

For the burger patties:

  • 1 slice of bread (crustless and cut into 1 cm squared chunks)
  • 40 ml milk (I use oat milk but dairy milk is fine too)
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • 2 spring onions finely sliced and chopped
  • 1 tbsp ketchup
  • 0.5 tbsp Worcester sauce
  • 1.5 tsp salt
  • 0.5 tsp ground black pepper
  • 750 g beef steak mince (around 15% fat)

To put the burgers together:

  • 4 brioche burger buns
  • 4 yellow cheese slices
  • shredded lettuce
  • 1 large tomato finely sliced
  • 1 red onion finely sliced
  • 8 slices of crinkle cut pickled gherkin
  • BBQ sauce, yellow mustard or additional ketchup
  • 4 slices grilled smoked streaky bacon (optional)

METHOD

  1. Preheat oven to 180 °C fan (200 °C conventional).
  2. Mix all the ingredients for the burger patties together except for the mince.
  3. Add the mince and use clean hands to mix thoroughly.
  4. Divide the seasoned meat into 4 pieces and shape into patties.
  5. Heat a lightly oiled grill pan on a medium heat. Cook the burgers two at a time for 6 minutes on each side. I use my Tefal Grill Pan.
  6. Place the burgers in a baking tin and cover with foil. Place in the oven for 20 minutes.
  7. Assemble the burger. Around 5 minutes before the burgers are done place the buns in the bottom of the oven to warm up. Slice the bun in half and top with a cheese slice lettuce and tomato. Add a burger patty. Top with your sauce of choice, sliced onions, a couple of gherkin slices and bacon if using.

NOTES

Korean-Style Turkey Mince Bowl

This is my take on the Korean beef bowl, but substituting leaner minced turkey for the beef. In this dish the mince is cooked with an onion, garlic and ginger base and flavoured with soy sauce, oyster sauce and hoisin sauce. This results in a deeply savoury mince with a hint of sweetness. It is finished off with a garnish of spring onions, sesame seeds and chilli flakes for a restaurant quality dish that can be cooked within 20 minutes! Perfect for a tasty quick and easy mid-week meal.

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Korean-Style Turkey Mince Bowl Recipe

Serves: 6
Preparation Time: 5 minutes
Cooking Time: 15 minutes

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 tbsp cooking oil (I use light olive oil)
  • 1 large onion finely chopped
  • 5 cloves garlic minced
  • Thumb sized piece ginger grated
  • 4 spring onions white part finely chopped (chop the green part and reserve for the garnish)
  • 1 kg lean minced turkey
  • 2 tbsp hoisin sauce
  • 2 tbsp oyster sauce
  • 2 tbsp shaoxing rice wine
  • 2 tbsp low sodium soy sauce
  • 3 tsp brown sugar
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • 0.5 tsp ground black pepper

Garnish:

  • sesame seeds
  • chilli flakes
  • chopped spring onion (the green part from the above)

METHOD

  1. In a wok or sauté pan heat oil on a medium heat. Add the onion and cook until soft, approximately 5 minutes. I would recommend the Sky Light Wok Pan, it’s a versatile good quality wok, you can find out more about it here.
  2. Add the garlic, ginger and spring onion and cook for a further 3 minutes.
  3. Add in the turkey mince and mix well. Cook for 8 minutes stirring occasionally until brown.
  4. Add in the hoisin sauce, oyster sauce, soy sauce, rice wine, sugar, sesame oil and pepper. Stir well and cook for a further 3 minutes stirring regularly.
  5. Garnish with sesame seeds, chilli flakes and spring onion.

NOTES

  • Served with steamed white rice and steamed broccoli.
  • This dish is also perfect to take to work for lunch as it reheats really well in the microwave.

Chicken Satay

Chicken Satay skewers are one of my favourite starters. What’s not to love? Succulent bites of chicken are marinated in lemongrass and curry. They are then accompanied by a sweet peanut dipping sauce that complements the spices so well. And bonus, it is so easy to make authentic tasting chicken satay at home.

This four step recipe makes eight chicken skewers and more than enough of the delicious dipping sauce. You can use any left over sauce as a dressing for a noodle salad (see notes below).

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Chicken Satay Recipe

Makes: 8 skewers
Preparation Time: 10 minutes
Marinating Time: 1 hour to overnight
Cooking Time: 15 minutes

INGREDIENTS

For the chicken skewers:

  • 625 g chicken thigh fillets chopped into chunks
  • 1 tbsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp lemon grass paste
  • 1 tbsp curry powder
  • 2 tsp Thai red curry paste
  • 1 tsp caster sugar
  • 1 tsp salt

For the peanut sauce:

  • 400 ml coconut milk
  • 2 tbsp Thai red curry paste
  • 180 g smooth peanut butter
  • 50 g caster sugar
  • 2 tbsp dark soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp Japanese rice wine vinegar

METHOD

  1. Add the chicken to a large bowl. Add the garlic powder, lemongrass paste, curry powder, curry paste, sugar and salt, and mix well. Cover with cling film and leave to marinate in the fridge for one hour or overnight.
  2. In the meantime make the dipping sauce. Add the curry paste, peanut butter, sugar, soy sauce and vinegar to a small pan. Place on a medium low heat and stir well until soft and combined, approximately 5 minutes. Remove from the heat.
  3. Thread the chicken onto skewers, I use 20 cm metal kebab skewers by KitchenCraft.
  4. Cook the skewers on a medium high heat in the grill or on a non-stick pan until brown, around 7 minutes on each side. I use my Tefal Grill Pan.

NOTES

  • The skewers can be served as a starter or as a main meal with rice and a salad.
  • Any left over sauce can be thinned with water and served as a dressing for a Thai noodle salad (rice noodles, grated cucumber, carrot and mangetout, and sprigs of fresh mint and coriander).

Ultimate Macaroni Cheese

Macaroni cheese is pure comfort on a plate. A few of my British friends were surprised when I told them that mac and cheese is also really popular in the Caribbean. It is often served as one of the side dishes at West Indian parties, and it is common to get a slice of macaroni cheese when you buy a Jamaican takeaway.

My mother-in-law was first to teach me how to make this dish, but I have adapted it over the years and this is now the most asked for dish by my toddler. The three main components of this dish are macaroni, cheese sauce and cheese topping. I boil the macaroni so that it is just a little softer than al dente. I make my cheese sauce using two types of cheese: parmesan and cheddar. I also add a little grated onion and ground black pepper to enhance the flavours even more.

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Macaroni and Cheese Recipe

Serves: 4-8
Preparation Time: 10 minutes
Cooking/Baking Time: 40 minutes

INGREDIENTS

  • 270 g macaroni

Sauce:

  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 1 onion grated
  • 2 tbsp plain flour
  • 200 ml milk
  • 60 g grated parmesan cheese
  • 120 g grated cheddar
  • 0.5 tsp ground black pepper

Topping:

  • 60 g grated cheese

METHOD

  1. Cook the macaroni. Bring a large pan of water to the boil. Stir in the macaroni and cook for 15-16 minutes. Drain well.
  2. Pre-heat the oven to 180 °C fan (200 °C conventional oven).
  3. Make the cheese sauce. Heat the butter in a pan. When it is melted and hot lower the heat to medium and add the flour. Mix well for two minutes.
  4. Add the milk a little at a time at first to thin out the paste and make it more liquid. Then add the remaining milk a quarter at a time stirring continuously.
  5. Add in the onion, parmesan and cheddar and mix well.
  6. Remove from the heat and stir in the macaroni.
  7. Pour into a medium sized baking tin.
  8. Top with the remaining cheddar and bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes until the cheddar has melted and has started to golden.

NOTES

  • This can be made as a side dish.
  • It can also be served as a vegetarian main dish with a side salad and garlic bread.

Chicken Shawarma

My guilty pleasure would have to be a mixed kebab with garlic sauce accompanied by a mountain of chips and melted cheese – yum. During Lockdown 2.0 here in the UK, it’s definitely something I’ve been missing as my favourite kebab shop doesn’t do deliveries. I have however been making Middle Eastern-style chicken shawarmas, which has definitely appeased my kebab cravings. In this dish succulent chicken thigh fillets are marinated overnight in an aromatic blend of spices. They can then be grilled or cooked in a pan, before being sliced up and served with salad, your choice of flat bread and a garlicy yoghurt sauce. This is such a quick and easy three step recipe, but is so flavoursome that I’m sure we still won’t be frequenting the kebab shop once this pandemic is over.

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Chicken Shawarma Recipe

Serves: 4
Preparation Time: 5 minutes
Marinating Time: 2 hours to overnight
Cooking Time: 16 minutes

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 kg chicken thigh fillets
  • 2 tbsp garlic powder
  • 2 tsp ground coriander
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp cayenne
  • 4 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1.5 tsp salt
  • 0.5 tsp pepper
  • 1-2 cardamom pods slightly crushed
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • 4 tsp olive oil
  • juice half lemon

METHOD

  1. In a large bowl mix all the ingredients together ensuring that the chicken thighs are evenly coated with the marinade.
  2. Cook in the grill or on a grill pan/heavy bottomed frying pan on the hob using a medium high heat for 6-8 minutes each side until the fillets are nice and brown and the juices are clear. I use my Anolon Grill Pan for this, click here for more details.
  3. Slice the fillets, place the meat back in the pan on a high heat for 2 minutes whilst stirring. This will brown some of the edges of the chicken slices and will enhance the flavour.

NOTES

  • Serve with naan or roti (I know, this isn’t Middle Eastern but it works well with the shawarma), a mixed salad and yoghurt or garlic sauce.

Jamaican Brown Stew Chicken

Brown Stew Chicken is an inherent Jamaican classic. In this dish, seasoned chicken is first browned for flavour before being added to sautéed onions and garlic, and being stewed with carrots and sweet peppers. The flavour quartet of pimento berries, thyme, spring onion and scotch bonnet pepper, so quintessential of Jamaican cuisine, is what sets this dish apart from other chicken stews.

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Jamaican Brown Stew Chicken Recipe

Serves: 4-6
Preparation Time: 10 minutes
Marinating Time: 3 hours to overnight
Cooking Time: 25 minutes

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 kg skinless chicken portions (legs or thighs or a mix of the two)
  • 2 tbsp garlic powder
  • 2 tbsp all purpose seasoning
  • 1 tbsp chicken seasoning
  • 0.5 tsp salt
  • 0.5 tsp ground black pepper
  • 3 sprigs fresh thyme roughly chopped
  • 5 tbsp light olive oil
  • 1 large onion chopped
  • 3 spring onions chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 sweet pepper deseeded and sliced
  • 2 carrots peeled and sliced
  • 1 tsp scotch bonnet pepper sauce
  • 3 pimento berries
  • 300 ml water
  • 1 tbsp butter

METHOD

  1. Place the chicken portions in a large bowl. Add the garlic powder, all purpose seasoning, chicken seasoning, salt, pepper and thyme and mix well. Cover with clingfilm and leave to marinate in the fridge for at least 3 hours, but overnight would be better.
  2. Heat 3 tablespoons of the olive oil in a large heavy bottomed frying pan using a high heat. Scrape the thyme from the chicken portions, but put the thyme aside for later. Fry the chicken in batches for around 3 minutes on each side until they are a nice deep brown colour. Place the browned off pieces in a plate and set aside whilst you brown of the next batch. I use my trusty 28 cm Anolon Sauté Pan for this as it has a big enough area to brown the chicken in larger batches and it is also deep enough to hold the gravy that this dish will produce. Click here for more details on the pan.
  3. Once all the chicken has been browned add two tablespoons of olive oil to the pan, don’t worry about any brown crust that has formed on the bottom of the pan from the frying, just scrape this and mix it into the oil. On a medium heat sauté the onions and spring onions until they are translucent.
  4. Add the garlic, sweet peppers, carrots, scotch bonnet sauce, pimento berries and thyme from the marinade and stir well before adding the chicken back to the pan.
  5. Add the water and the butter. Cover the pan and simmer for 25 minutes until the gravy has reduced.

NOTES

Filipino Beef Tapa

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Beef Tapa typically consists of pieces of lean beef marinated in a mixture of soy sauce, calamansi (a kumquat-mandarin orange hybrid fruit) juice, garlic and brown sugar, before being fried with onions. This dish is commonly eaten in the Philippines for breakfast along with garlic fried rice (sinangag) and fried egg (itlog). When all three are featured together in a meal it is known colloquially as “tapsilog”, a blend of the words “tapa”, “sinangag” and “itlog”. In my home we actually eat this as a dinner dish instead of breakfast.

The beef itself is tender a little tangy due to the calamansi in the marinade. It has that rich deep and savoury unami flavour from the soy sauce and the fried onions. Then there is the sweetness from the sugar which caramelises slightly in the frying process. It’s so tasty.

This dish is really easy to prepare, but needs a bit of organisation due to the long marinating time – marinating is a must! The calamansi juice for the marinade can also be difficult to obtain, so this can be substituted with lemon juice. I also include an additional step, which is to boil the marinated meat in water to tenderise it further, before frying. However, this is not a necessary step, I just prefer my meat to be a little more tender, also my fussy toddler is more likely to eat this dish if the meat is a little softer.


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Filipino Beef Tapa Recipe

Serves: 4

Preparation Time: 5 minutes

Marinating Time: 8 hours to overnight

Cooking Time: 30 – 35 minutes

INGREDIENTS

  • 750 g beef steak strips
  • 4 cloves garlic crushed or grated
  • 4 tbsp soft brown sugar
  • 15 ml calamansi juice (you can get this here) or juice of half a lemon
  • 120 ml reduced salt soy sauce
  • 1 and a half medium onions sliced
  • 450 ml water
  • 3 tbsp light olive oil or vegetable oil

METHOD

  1. Place the beef in a non-metallic bowl. Add the garlic, brown sugar and calamansi juice and mix well. Add in the soy sauce and mix well again. Cover with cling film and leave in the fridge for at least 8 hours or over night.
  2. Use a slotted spoon to drain the marinade from the meat.
  3. OPTIONAL: Place the meat in a tall frying pan or wok – I would recommend the Sky Light Wok Pan, it’s a versatile good quality wok, you can find out more about it here. Add the water and boil on a high heat until the water has evaporated. This takes around 20-25 minutes.
  4. Add 2 tablespoons of the oil to a clean pan. Add the onions and fry on a medium high heat until soft and translucent. Set onions aside.
  5. Add the remaining oil to the same pan and fry the beef on a medium high heat for 7-10 minutes. Stir in the fried onions.

NOTES

  • Serve with garlic fried rice, fried egg and slices of fresh tomato for the classic Filipino tapsilog.
  • Sautéed mushrooms also work really well as a side for this dish.

Lamb Kofta

Saturday night is fakeaway night in my household. We either make homemade pizza or homemade lamb kebab. These lamb koftas are succulent and so full of flavour. They are inspired by the Turkish Adanas you can get in the kebab shop.

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Lamb Kofta Recipe

Serves: 6

Preparation Time: 10 minutes

Cooking Time: 15 minutes

INGREDIENTS

  • 50 g fresh breadcrumbs
  • 30 ml lemon juice (the juice of approximately 1 lemon)
  • 500 g lean lamb mince
  • 1 medium onion finely chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic finely minced
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1.5 tbsp dried coriander
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 0.5 tsp ground sumac
  • 0.5 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 0.5 tsp salt
  • 0.5 tsp pepper

METHOD

  1. Pre-heat the grill or pre-heat oven to 180 °C fan (200 °C conventional oven).
  2. Place the breadcrumbs in a large bowl. Pour the lemon juice over and mix well.
  3. Add the remaining ingredients and use your hands to mix it all together.
  4. Divide the meat into 12 pieces. Use your hands to shape and roll each piece into a sausage shape, roughly 12 cm long and 3 cm in diameter. Insert each kofta onto a 20 cm metal skewer. I use KitchenCraft Flat BBQ Kebab Skewers, which you can find here. Flatten the koftas slightly.
  5. Place a wire rack on a baking tray and spread the skewers our on the rack. Cook in the oven for around 15-20 minutes, turning halfway, until brown and cooked through (be careful not to over cook these as they will become dry). Or cook in the grill for around 7 minutes each side.

NOTES

  • For the fresh breadcrumbs, toast approximately 2 slices of medium sliced bread. Break into pieces and add to a chopper. Blitz until really fine.
  • Serve with pitta or naan breads and a salad of shredded red cabbage and sliced tomatoes.
  • These koftas are also ideal for cooking on the barbecue.