recipes for healthy living

Tag: Party

Sumac and Lemon Spiced Lamb Chops with Chickpea Puree

sumac lamp chops

This spice mix works so well on the lamp chops and is perfect with the chickpea puree. It is a quick and easy meal for family and friends.

Serves 4

8 lamb chops
1/2 tsp sumac
1 tsp nigella seeds
Zest and juice of 1 lemon
1 tbsp cumin and coriander seeds
1 tbsp plain flour
3 tbsp oil separated
2 tbsp fresh mint chopped
2 tins chickpeas (reserve half tin liquid)
1 clove garlic peeled chopped and mashed
1 shallot finely chopped
2 tbsp of madeira (Optional)
1 small knob of butter

Dry toast the coriander and cumin seeds until fragrant. Tip into a mortar and pestle and grind.  Tip out into a flat dish, add the sumac, nigella, zest and plain flour and mix well.
Season your lamp chops and press each side into the spice mix and set aside for 30 minutes to develop the flavors.
Meanwhile , heat 1 tbsp oil in a pan and add the shallot and garlic and cook over a gentle heat until softened. Tip in the chickpeas and the reserved liquid and simmer for about 5 minutes over a gentle heat. Tip into a blender and blend well, adding the other tbsp of oil. Taste and season with salt and pepper as required. Tip into a pot and keep warm while you cook the chops.
Heat the oil and in batches, brown the chops well on both sides. IF you wish you can complete the cooking on the pan (medium is about 4-6 minutes depending on thickness) but I like to transfer to a hot oven to complete the cooking .
Deglaze the pan with 1 tbsp madeira, add lemon juice and 30ml water and a small knob of butter. Season and add the chopped mint.
Serve the chickpea mash with 2 chops and some of the pan sauce.

Easy and delicious!

Chicken with Cashew Nut Sauce

Chicken with Cashew Nut Sauce

      The Irish weather is amazing right now so it’s time to move the kitchen out into the garden and clean the barbq if you haven’t done it already. We spend yesterday in the garden till almost dark and it really is such a joy to be outside with the heat of the day on your bones. This is a really simple dipping and marinade for chicken, popular with all members of the family and great for the barbie rather than your usual dried out chicken breast. The spiced aubergine salad makes a great accompaniment to this for something just a little bit different. I only used 1 chilli as it was for our little one too, but up the content if you are feeling brave and fond of the chilli heat!

Serves 3

3 chicken breasts
100gr cashew nuts
1 red chilli
60gr palm sugar
1 tbsp sherry vinegar
2 tbsp sesame oil
100ml water
1/2 tsp salt

If you are using wooden skewers then soak them in water for 30 minutes
Toast the cashews on a pan until golden
Tip them and everything else into a blender and blend until it is a rough paste
Put half into the fridge until required
Cut chicken breasts into long strips and tip into the rest of the marinade, cover and leave in the fridge to absorb the flavours
Thread the chicken onto the skewers and cook on the griddle pan, barbie or in the oven until cooked through.
Serve with the rest of the sauce and some of the aubergine salad from here

An epic baking Session and a Happy Birthday!

Packed for a Party
So I spent the day baking for a party. It’s my sisters birthday – a special one and she is having a party. I’m one of 5 girls (there is also a boy) so it will be lots of glamour and I’m sure lots of fun. No glamour today though just lots of baking and lots of Springsteen on the iPod!. I started at 9am and finished this afternoon. Results :- 7 doz various cupcakes and the same in Marcaroons… I know she will appreciate them , I just hope everyone likes the flavours. I’m not going to post the recipes as there are a million cupcake receipes out there, all of which are perfectly good. The one I used today is from the Hummingbird café just because I really like the book, simple recipes and great pictures. The macaroon recipe is the classic Pierre Hermes one but without liquefying egg whites simply because I didn’t fancy having them in the fridge for that long with the risk of picking up fridgy smells. I had also bought lovely gold and silver foil cupcake cases to bake them all in. Very pretty to look at, but my first 3 batches of cakes did not rise properly; I had a hole in the centre of each of them. Suspecting the foil cases, I switched to regular paper and sure enough they were perfect. I don’t know the science, if any, behind this but I have made a million cup cakes before and this has not happened since I was 7 so I’m blaming the foil cases!

I tried to make the filling interesting and came up with the following:-

Passionfruit and white chocolate ganache with a sugar bun crumb

Dark Chocolate ganache with chocolate soil (Thanks Heston!) .. decorated with flowers to resemble a garden

Chocolate and Hazlenut buttercream on dark chocolate cupcakes

Blood Orange buttercream on lemon and orange zest cupcakes

The mararoons were filled with chocolate ganache and passionfruit ganache but I also made one batch with popping candy, lime zest and a lime buttercream… That concoction was all my own work!

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