Ginger Chicken Meatballs in Miso Broth

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chick 20/06/2017

Ginger, lemongrass, chicken meatballs and pak choy in miso broth make for a light, healthy and seriously satisfying soup. This soup is bursting with flavour and freshness.

You can use chicken or turkey mince. I would use one with a mix of white and brown meat for more flavour. Add rice noodles for more substance.

Serves 4

Ingredients:

  • 1 Pound Chicken or Turkey Mince
  • 1 Cup Plain Panko Breadcrumbs
  • 2 cloves Garlic, divided – 1 minced and 1 peeled and smashed
  • 1 small onion – peeled and sliced
  • 1 TBSP  Soy Sauce
  • Ginger , divided – 2 tsp freshly grated + 1 (1’’ piece) sliced
  • 8 Spring onions – white and green part, thinly sliced, plus more for garnish
  • 1 TBSP Fish Sauce , divided
  • 1 TBSP Lemongrass , white part only – minced
  • 1 TBSP Fresh Coriander – roughly chopped
  • 5 Cups Chicken Broth , divided
  • 1 Cups Water
  • 1 Thai Chili – sliced (optional)
  • 2 TBSP Miso (I used white)
  • 2 TBSP Vegetable Oil
  • 2 heads Baby Pak Choy , quartered into wedges (can substitute 1 regular head)
  • ¼ tsp Crushed Red Pepper Flakes , plus more for garnish
  • Salt and Pepper , to taste

Instructions:

  1. Make the Meatballs: In a large bowl combine the chicken/turkey, panko, minced garlic, soy sauce, grated ginger, half the spring onions, 1 tablespoon fish sauce, lemon grass, coriander and 2 tablespoons of broth. Gently mix, just until combined. Use your hands to scoop out about a tablespoon and form mixture into (1’’-diameter) meatballs. Transfer to a plate or clean work surface lined with parchment paper. Repeat until all meatballs are formed. I had 22.
  2. In a medium pot over medium heat, combine remaining broth, water, Thai chili, smashed garlic, onion, sliced ginger, 1 tablespoon fish sauce and remaining scallions. Bring to a gentle simmer over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to maintain a simmer and cook for 15 minutes. Use a slotted spoon to remove solids and discard. In a small bowl combine miso with 2 tablespoons of the broth and whisk to combine. Add the miso mixture to the pot of broth. Stir to combine.
  3. Meanwhile, heat oil in a large frying pan over medium heat until shimmering. Add meatballs to the pan (in batches if necessary to not overcrowd the pan) and cook, turning occasionally, until golden brown on all sides, about 6-8 minutes. Remove and transfer to a clean plate.
  4. Add the pak choy and crushed red pepper flakes to the broth. Simmer until pak choy is almost tender, about 3 minutes.
  5. Add in the meatballs and bring broth back to a simmer. Simmer until meatballs are cooked through, about 5-8 minutes. Taste broth and adjust for seasoning with salt and pepper.
  6. Serve garnished with spring onions and crushed red pepper flakes.

Sausage Meatball Stroganoff

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meatba 12/06/2017

After going meat free for so long, I was craving a meat fix. What better way to get it than with sausages?! This recipe uses good quality sausages to create a really simple meatball dish that packs a ton of flavour and satisfaction.

If you can find it, shiitake mushroom powder is so good to use in recipes like this. It delivers a real umami punch to dishes. The savoury flavour is perfect with the creamy mustard sauce but if you can’t find it, the dish will still be really lovely.

Serves 2

Ingredients:

For the meatballs:

  • 4 sausages, skins removed (I used Lincolnshire)
  • 2 spring onions, chopped finely
  • ½ tsp fennel seeds
  • ½ tsp dried rosemary
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 Tbsp breadcrumbs

For the sauce:

  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 100g chestnut mushrooms, sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp flour
  • 1 beef stock cube
  • 2 Tbsp sour cream
  • 1 heaped tsp mustard
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tsp Shiitake powder
  • 300ml water
  • 2 spring onions, chopped
  • Linguine, or any pasta and fresh herbs to serve

meatb meat

Method:

  1. Grind the fennel seeds and rosemary in a pestle and mortar until well ground.
  2. Add the sausage meat to a bowl along with the spring onions, breadcrumbs, seasoning and ground herb mix. Stir really well with a fork to combine.
  3. Take teaspoons of the mixture and roll out into little meatballs.
  4. Heat the oil in a large frying pan over a medium heat. Fry the meatballs off until browned all over.
  5. Add the garlic and mushrooms to the pan and continue to cook for 2 minutes.
  6. Next, add the flour and shitake powder and crumble in the stock cube. Stir to coat the meatballs and mushrooms before adding any liquid.
  7. Once this is done, add a splash of water along with the sour cream and mustard. Stir everything together then add the remaining water and let the meatballs bubble away on a medium low heat while you cook the pasta.
  8. Once the pasta is ready, stir the spring onions through the meatball sauce and serve.

Lebanese Turkey Meatballs & Cous Cous

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screenshot_2016-10-09-21-52-38-11 09/10/2016

Another brilliant meatball recipe! This time it’s succulent turkey flavoured with rich spices that taste like you’ve been slaving in the kitchen for hours. Really simple to make, this is a real treat and a lovely change from regular spaghetti and meatballs (not that there’s anything wrong with those).

Serves 4

Ingredients:

Meatballs:

  • 500g lean turkey mince
  • ⅔ cup plain bread crumbs
  • 1 onion, finely grated
  • ⅓ cup fresh coriander, chopped
  • ⅓ cup parsley, chopped
  • A splash of milk
  • 1 Tbsp. (6 cloves) garlic
  • 2 tsps. each salt, sugar
  • 1 tsp. each allspice, coriander, chilli powder, cinnamon, cumin, fennel seeds

Sauce:

  • 1 Tbps. olive oil
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2 tsps. (4 cloves) garlic, grated
  • 1 can good quality crushed tomatoes
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • ½ tsp. each black pepper, cinnamon, allspice

Instructions:

Meatballs:

  1. Combine meatball ingredients and mix well with your hands.
  2. Roll into golf ball size meatballs and place on a baking sheet.
  3. Preheat oven grill to medium-high and place rack in the centre.
  4. Grill meatballs 5 minutes.

Sauce:

  1. Start making the sauce by heating oil in a medium cast iron pan on medium heat.
  2. Add the onion and sauté 5 minutes.
  3. Add garlic and sauté 2 minutes.
  4. Stir in remaining sauce ingredients and bring to a rolling boil.
  5. Add meatballs. Cover and reduce heat to medium/low.
  6. Simmer 15 minutes. Serve with fluffy cous cous.

Lighter Lamb Kofta Curry

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Screenshot_2016-05-25-20-52-16-1[1] 25/05/2016

Lamb is one of my absolute favourite meats. It is so full of flavour! It can be slow cooked for hours on end or flash fried in seconds. It is a very versatile meat and very underused in my opinion. It can be bought in many forms that lend themselves to particular types of cooking like many other meats however, lamb does have a tendency to be fatty (which is partly where the amazing flavour comes from). An alternative version of a classic recipe with the calories, salt and fat slashed. Still rich in flavour, this creamy lamb curry is big on fibre, vitamin C, iron and folate  – what’s not to love?

How I made it healthier: To cut down on the fat and saturated fat, I swapped half the mince for lentils – which also increased the 5-a-day. I reduced the amount of salt but boosted the flavour with a variety of spices and other flavourings. I used rapeseed oil for frying (only a small amount) and only half a can of coconut milk with water for added liquid to reduce the fat content.

I have a little confession though; in this particular recipe, I didn’t have any fresh coriander or any herbs in the house for that matter so I used a teaspoon of mint sauce from a jar in the kofta mix and it actually tasted amazing!

Serves 4

Ingredients:

For the meatballs:

  • 270g packet puy lentils
  • 250g lamb mince (20% Fat)
  • 1 tbsp ground coriander
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • ¼ tsp turmeric
  • ¼ tsp chilli flakes
  • ¼ tsp medium or hot chilli powder
  • 1 small onion, very finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely grated
  • 2½ cm/1in piece ginger, grated
  • 3 tbsp chopped coriander

For the sauce:

  • 2 tsp rapeseed oil
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 3-4cm/1 ¼-1 ½ in piece ginger, finely chopped
  • 2 tsp ground coriander
  • ¼ tsp turmeric
  • ¼ tsp medium to hot chilli powder
  • 8 dried curry leaves
  • 1 cinnamon stick, halved
  • 1 plump green chilli, deseeded and thinly sliced
  • 2 large tomatoes (about 200g/7oz), roughly chopped
  • 2 tsp tomato purée
  • 200ml reduced-fat coconut milk
  • 1 tbsp chopped coriander, plus extra to serve
  • garam masala, for sprinkling

Method:

  1. Line a baking tray with a sheet of baking parchment. Tip two-thirds of the lentils into a medium bowl and mash them (the mashed lentils will help bind, the whole ones will add texture). Mix in the whole lentils, lamb, the spices, onion, garlic, ginger, coriander, a good grind of black pepper and a pinch of salt, taking care not to overwork the mixture.
  2. Using slightly damp hands, shape into 18-20 meatballs. Lay the meatballs on the prepared tray, cover with cling film and chill while you prepare the sauce. Can be chilled overnight to develop extra flavour, if you like.      Screenshot_2016-05-25-20-06-00-1[1]
  3. Heat oven to 190C/170C fan. To make the sauce, heat the oil in a non-stick frying or sauté pan, and fry the onion and cumin seeds over a medium heat for 6-8 mins until the onion is softened, stirring occasionally. Raise the heat slightly to start to brown the onion and stir in the garlic, ginger, ground coriander, turmeric, chilli powder and curry leaves, stir-frying for a few mins. As the onion browns, stir in the cinnamon stick, green chilli, tomatoes and purée, briefly stirring to soften the tomatoes. Pour in 100ml of the coconut milk, scraping the bottom of the pan to gather up any brown sticky bits, and let it bubble briefly and thicken. Pour in 250ml water, bring to the boil, then lower the heat, cover and gently simmer for 15-20 mins to thicken very slightly – but keep checking so it doesn’t reduce too much (add a splash of water if needed). Season with pepper.
  4. While the sauce simmers, uncover the meatballs and cook in the oven for 20 mins until cooked through and starting to brown on top – there is no need to turn them. Remove and pat down with kitchen paper to drain off any excess fat.
  5. Stir the remaining coconut milk into the sauce over a low heat then add the chopped coriander. Sit the meatballs in the sauce and cook for 5 mins on a very gentle simmer to warm through and blend the flavours, then remove the cinnamon stick.
  6. Tip the meatballs into a serving dish or divide between bowls, sprinkle over a little garam masala and the coriander, and serve with rice and/or flatbreads/naans/paratha.

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Meatball & Mozzarella Bake

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IMG_20160409_130649[1] 09/04/2016

You can’t plate this up politely. The cheesy topping goes deliciously gooey and stringy so just put it in the middle of the table with a salad and loads of crusty garlic bread and let everyone wrestle out a portion.

The sauce is delicately flavoured with paprika and the tiniest bit of chilli heat which mellows as it bakes to give a wonderful depth of flavour. Teamed with oozing cheese and chunky veg, this is a real luxurious meal.

Serves 4

Ingredients:

For the meatballs:

  • 250g lean beef mince
  • 250g lean pork mince
  • 1 small red onion, grated
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • 100g breadcrumbs
  • 1 Tbsp fennel seeds, crushed
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • Milk

For the sauce:

  • Olive oil, for frying
  • 1 small red onion, chopped finely
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • 1 green or red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 red chilli, sliced
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 500ml passata
  • 1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 200g mozzarella (Block form), grated
  • 100g mascarpone
  • Salt and fresh ground black pepper

Method:

  1. For the meatballs: Put the onion, beef and pork mince, breadcrumbs, fennel, oregano, smoked paprika, garlic and plenty of seasoning into a bowl. Add a splash of milk to soak up the breadcrumbs and combine. Shape into 20 meatballs. Heat 1 Tbsp olive oil in an ovenproof frying pan and brown the meatballs in batches. Once browned, set aside on a plate.
  2. For the sauce: Add the chopped onions to the pan with another Tbsp oil. Fry gently until soft then add the garlic, pepper and chilli and fry for another couple of minutes.
  3. Add the passata, smoked paprika and balsamic vinegar. Bring to a simmer and allow to bubble gently for 20 minutes until the sauce has reduced and thickened.
  4. Add the meatballs back to the sauce.
  5. Mix 150g of the grated mozzarella with the mascarpone and a little seasoning. Spoon the cheesy mix over the meatballs in dollops and scatter over the remaining mozzarella.
  6. Heat the oven to 190C. Bake for 30 minutes until the meatballs are piping hot and cooked through and the cheesy top is golden and bubbling. Let the dish cool for 5 minutes before spooning into nice large bowls and diving in with some crusty garlic bread.

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Beef Kofta Curry

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IMG_20150719_082236[1] 19/07/2015

It tastes and looks like you’ve spent hours slaving away making this curry but actually, it is very simple to put together and there is a lot of flavour going on too.

I have suggested using a curry paste in the recipe. It doesn’t have to be Rogan Josh. Try Balti, Tikka Massala, Korma etc based on your taste but make sure you buy paste and not sauce. Ready made curry sauce is not authentic and not very tasty either.

Ingredients:

For the Kofta

  • 1 heaped teaspoon garam masala
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 inch piece ginger, finely chopped
  • 400g quality lean beef mince
  • 100g breadcrumbs
  • A splash of milk to combine

For the curry:

  • olive oil
  • 3 ripe tomatoes
  • 1 thumb-sized piece of ginger
  • 2 spring onions
  • 1 fresh red chilli
  • 1 bunch fresh coriander
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon runny honey
  • 2 heaped teaspoons Patak’s rogan josh curry paste
  • ½ x 400 g tin of coconut milk
  • 4 tablespoons fat-free natural yoghurt, to serve
  • 1 lemon 

Method:

  1. Put the mince into a bowl with salt, pepper, breadcrumbs, ginger and garlic and garam masala. Add a splash of milk then mix and scrunch together with clean hands. Divide the mixture in half, then with wet hands quickly squeeze and mould each half into 6 fat fingers. Put them into the frying pan with 1 tablespoon of oil, turning until golden.

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2. Squash the tomatoes into the liquidizer, add the peeled ginger, trimmed spring onions, half the chilli, the coriander stalks, turmeric, honey, curry paste and coconut milk then blitz until combined. Pour into the kofta pan, bring to the boil then simmer for 10 minutes and season to taste.

3. Finely slice the remaining chilli and the coriander leaves and scatter them over the curry, dollop with yoghurt, then serve with lemon wedges, poppadoms and rice.

Spicy Chilli Meatballs

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IMG_20150522_213309[1] 22/05/2015

A different take on a classic chilli with spiced meatballs in a smokey sauce with creamy, zingy avocado to top, this recipe is a real crowd pleaser.

Serves 4

Ingredients:

  • 1 red onion, halved and sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves, sliced
  • 1 large bell pepper, quartered, deseeded and diced
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 2-3 tsp chipotle chilli paste
  • 300ml reduced-salt chicken stock
  • 400g can cherry tomatoes
  • 400g can black beans or red kidney beans, drained
  • 1 avocado, stoned, peeled and chopped
  • juice ½ lime

For the meatballs:

  • 500g pack turkey breast mince
  • 50g porridge oats
  • 2 spring onions, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp coriander
  • small bunch coriander, chopped, stalks and leaves kept separate
  • 1 tsp rapeseed oil

Method:

  1. First make the meatballs. Tip the mince into a bowl, add the oats, spring onions, spices and the coriander stalks then lightly knead the ingredients together until well mixed. Shape into 12 ping-pong- sized balls. Heat the oil in a non-stick frying pan, add the meatballs and cook, turning them frequently, until golden. Remove from the pan.
  2. Tip the onion and garlic into the pan with the pepper and stir-fry until softened. Stir in the cumin and chilli paste, then pour in the stock. Return the meatballs to the pan and cook, covered, over a low heat for 10 minutes. Stir in the tomatoes and beans, and cook, uncovered, for a few minutes more. Toss the avocado chunks in the lime juice and serve the meatballs topped with the avocado and coriander leaves. Serve with rice.