Spectacular Slow Cooking: Moroccan Lamb with Apricots and Almonds

Slow Cooking recipe: Moroccan lamb with apricots and almonds

I’m not sure the photo really does this one justice, but WOW this dish is packed with flavour. It was one of those slow-cooked dishes which I really struggled NOT to eat before dinner time, it just smelled so GOOD!

It’s really simple to make but the flavours are fantastic, I really can’t recommend this enough.

Ingredients:

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 550g lean cubed lamb
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
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Holiday Flashback: Kleftiko in my Slow Cooker

Holiday Flashback: Kleftiko in my Slow Cooker

I bought a slow cooker this week, and much to my family’s amusement I’ve cooked pretty much every meal in it since!  The best recipe I did brought us all happy memories of our holidays to Cyprus. Plus it fitted in well with my 7-year-old’s World Cooking Challenge. We always love having Kleftiko whenever we go to Cyprus, and it’s something I was dying to try as soon as I collected my slow cooker.

I found a few recipes online, but none of them were really similar to the Kleftiko we’ve had on holiday, they all seemed to have lots of Rosemary in. Perhaps this is the difference between a Greek Kleftiko and a Cypriot one, but I left the Rosemary out.

I know it doesn’t look much, but slow cooker recipes rarely look pretty. The meat though was delicious and tender and succulent and packed with flavour. We always serve it with Tzatziki and a Greek salad on the side, which I think really lifts the whole dish. Yum!

Ingredients:

  • lamb on the bone (I used 6 lamb chops for 4 people – just because they were on offer)
  • potatoes, peeled and halved if large (1 largish potato each)
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Sticky Maple Chicken

Sticky Maple Chicken

This really is the most lip-smacking dinner. Served with fresh crusty bread and a good salad, it’s like heaven on a plate! It’s based loosely on Maple Chicken & Ribs from Nigella Express.

Ingredients

  • 12 chicken thighs with skin and bone still on
  • 250 ml apple juice (as sharp as possible)
  • 4 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 star anise or 1 tsp Chinese 5 spice powder
  • 1 cinnamon stick (halved)
  • 6 cloves garlic (unpeeled)

Method

  1. Put the chicken pieces in a large freezer bags or into a dish.
  2. Add the remaining ingredients, squelching everything together well, before sealing the bag or covering the dish.
  3. Leave to marinate in the fridge overnight or up to two days.
  4. When the marinating time is up, take the dish out of the fridge and preheat the oven to 200°C/gas mark 6/400ºF.
  5. Pour the contents of the freezer bag into one or two large roasting tins (making sure the chicken is skin-side up), place in the oven and cook for about an 45 minutes, by which time everything should be sticky and glossed conker-brown.

Sticky Maple Chicken

Pizza Tarte Tatin

Pizza Tarte Tatin

This recipe was an experiment, and I’m happy to say that  it was a very successful one! I spotted a similar idea in a magazine when we were on holiday in Cyprus earlier this year, and have been meaning to try it ever since. Annoying though, I don’t read any Greek and couldn’t decipher the original recipe so I made up my own version with the addition of some fresh pesto. This was a stroke of genius, even if I do say so myself 😉

The pizza is actually more like a pie than a traditional pizza so it’s a lot more filling. Makes 1 pizza (feeds 2 very hungry people or 4 people for lunch)

Pizza Tarte Tatin

Ingredients:

  • 200g cherry tomatoes
  • 1 ball of mozzarella
  • 1 tub of fresh pesto
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 quantity of pizza dough (I used pizza dough mix to make mine but there is a recipe for pizza dough below if you’d rather make your own)

Pizza Tarte Tatin

Pizza Tarte Tatin

Method:

Preheat your oven to 200 degrees C and line your tin with a circle of baking paper to stop your Pizza Tarte Tatin from sticking.

Fill the bottom of your tin with the cherry tomatoes, and prick each one with the point of a knife. If you don’t do this the tomatoes will explode in your mouth as you eat the pizza! Sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Slice or tear the mozzarella and place on top of the tomatoes, then dollop spoonfuls of the pesto on top of the tomatoes too.

Roll out your pizza dough to a rough circle and place this on top and tuck it in all around.

Place in the oven for 25-30 minutes.

Once your tin is out of the oven leave it to stand for 15 minutes.

To turn your Pizza Tarte Tatin out, put a plate on top of the tin and hold it there while you flip both upside down.

Ta daaah! It will look fabulously impressive!

If you want to make your own pizza dough you can use this recipe

Italian Meatballs in Tomato Sauce

Italian Meatballs in Tomato Sauce

This isn’t the prettiest recipe I’ve ever featured, but it’s defnitely tasty! It’s another one from the Hairy Dieters recipe book.  I made the meatballs with lean minced beef and to be honest I prefer my lamb Cypriot meatball recipe, but this is good too… Plus, it was loved by 7 year olds and adults alike and it was healthy and low-fat, so what’s not to love?

Serves 4

Ingredients

  • 500g lean beef mince (less than 10% fat)
  • 1/2 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 1 medium carrot, peeled and finely grated
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 1/2 tsp fine sea salt
  • 1 tsp oil
  • freshly ground black pepper

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Oven baked chicken recipe

Oven baked chicken

It’s been a bit hot for cooking in the oven recently, I’ve been doing most of my cooking on the barbecue. Today however I had a small disaster. Even though it’s 32 degrees outside I’ve had to use the oven (and make my house even hotter) because I ran out of barbecue charcoal! 

Now my whole house feels like an oven, but at least we all have happy full tummies! Where’s that chilled bottle of wine..?

Ingredients:

  • 8 chicken thighs
  • 1 red pepper
  • 4 large tomatoes
  • 2 onions
  • 4 tbsp Nandos hot peri peri marinade (there are lots of different marinades in this range, pick the right level of spice for you!)
  • 2 tbsp natural yoghurt
  • Fresh chives (you could also use parsley, coriander or basil if you prefer)

Colourful crunchy and soft summer salad

Colourful summer salad

This is a lovely salad for summer days – partly because it’s so bright and beautiful! It’s also got a really interesting mix of tastes and textures, from the crisp crunchiness of the sugar snap peas and pomegranate to the softness of the avocado and tomatoes.

Ingredients:

  • 12 sugar snap pea pods
  • 1 ripe avocado
  • 4 medium sized tomatoes
  • 1 orange pepper
  • 1/3 cucumber
  • freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • olive oil

Just chop and slice all the veg into bite sized pieces squeeze over the lemon juice, drizzle some olive oil and ta daaah!