Cajun Spice Chicken Wings With Lemon

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Loved by everyone, these little wings are are very moreish!

Great cooked in the oven or on the BBQ and eaten with fingers!

I make my own spice rub so I’ve popped the recipe below for reference, this makes 2 jars of rub that lasts for 3 months. Super with any BBQ meat, fish and potatoes.

Serves 4.

Ingredients

1.2 kg chicken wings, each cut in two

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 tablespoons Cajun spice rub

1 lemon, juice and zest

Method

Combine the ingredients in a bowl and allow to marinade for 2-24 hours.

Preheat the oven to 200 degrees Centigrade and line two baking trays with baking parchment.

Spread the wings over the sheets and bake for 40mins.

Cajun Spice Rub Ingredients

6 tablespoons sweet paprika

2 tablespoons smoked sweet paprika

2 tablespoons cayenne pepper, ground

4 tablespoons ground pepper

6 tablespoons garlic powder

3 tablespoons onion powder

6 tablespoons salt

4 tablespoons dried oregano

2 tablespoons dried thyme

Method

Its so easy, just mix everything in a large bowl and pour into  jars.

Keeps for 3 months in an airtight jar.

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Pulled Roast Pork Shoulder

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Gosh I love meat when it is falling off the bone with pan juices for gravy! This recipe you start the day before but once it’s in the oven at a lower temp you have eight hours of piece while it does its own thing. Guaranteed dissolve in the mouth deliciousness with the the pan juices taking it to another level. Leftovers, chop the meat, add the leftover pan juices and some frozen peas and make pasties, very popular in the boys lunch boxes! Serves 6-8. Ingredients 3kg piece of pork shoulder, skin on, scored finely 1 tablespoon olive oil 1 tablespoon coriander seeds 2 teaspoons fennel seeds 1 tablespoon dried oregano 2 tablespoons smoked paprika 4 large cloves of garlic 1 tablespoon salt freshly ground pepper 500mls water Method The day before roasting, combine the oil, coriander, fennel, oregano, smoked paprika, garlic, salt and pepper to make a thick paste, I use a large mortar and pestle or processing will work too. Take the pork and rub the paste all over, really well, including the cuts in the skin, place in a large dish or ziplock bag and pop in the fridge for 24 hrs. Preheat the oven to 220 degrees centigrade. Place the meat, skin side up on a rack in your roasting tin. Roast for thirty minutes. Turn the oven down to 140 degrees Centigrade. Remove from the oven and turn the meat over, skin side down. Pour the water into the base of the pan and cover tightly with foil. Pop back in the oven for 8 hours. Turn the oven up to 220 degrees Centigrade. Turn the meat skin side up, drain the pan juices and set aside. Return the meat to the oven and roast for 40-50 mins until the skin has crackled. While the crackling cooks, skim the fat from the pan juices and warm gently. To serve, remove the crackling and break up into pieces and using tongs, pull the meat apart into manageable pieces, serve with hot pan juices over the top.

Amazing Gluten Free Sticky Toffee Cake

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I don’t use the word amazing lightly with this cake!

Gluten free baking can sometimes be a bit of a challenge but I can guarantee the success of this cake every time and did I mention versatile…….make double topping, save half  and serve this cake warm with the extra sauce to pour over and a little vanilla icecream if you are going all out!

Makes 16 squares.

Ingredients

200g dates, stoned and  chopped lightly

1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda

50ml shot of espresso

200mls boiling water

110g butter

175g brown sugar

2 eggs beaten

70g buckwheat flour

80g rice flour

40g coconut flour

2 teaspoons gluten free baking powder

125g walnuts, chopped

75g caster sugar

50g butter

50ml cream

Method

Preheat the oven to180 degrees Centigrade.

Grease an 18cm square tin and line the base with baking parchment.

In a heat proof bowl, measure out the chopped dates, bicarbonate of soda, coffee and boiling water, set aside.

Cream the butter and brown sugar until light and creamy, add the eggs slowly, beating all of the time.

Drain the dates soaking liquid into the egg batter, stir well.

Fold in the flours, baking powder and walnuts.

Spread into the prepared tin and top with the soaked dates.

Bake for 35mins.

While baking prepare the sauce, bring the sugar, butter and cream up to the boil, simmer until the sugar has dissolved.

Once the cake is baked, remove from the oven and stab it all over with a skewer. Pour the hot sauce over the top, ensuring that it is totally covered, and then set aside to cool completely.

Butternut Pumpkin with a Spicy Crust

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This recipe came about in an effort to get the boys to eat more vegetables and it worked!

Now a firm favourite in our house I often make double and and the extra goes into my vegetarian enchiladas.

Ingredients

1 butternut pumpkin

80g ground almonds

100g Parmesan, finely grated

1/2-1 teaspoon chipotle chilli powder

1 tablespoon dried oregano

salt and pepper

Method

Preheat the oven to 160 degrees Centigrade.

Line two baking sheets with baking parchment.

Cut the pumpkin in half lengthways. Remove the seeds, peel and slice, around 1cm thick.

Lay the slices onto the prepared baking sheets.

Combine the almonds, Parmesan, chipotle chilli powder, oregano, salt and pepper.

Sprinkle the cheese mix over the pumpkin and bake for 30-40 mins until the squash is cooked through and the topping crisp.

Chocolate Mint Bliss Balls

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Continuing on the bliss ball theme………. I give you choc mint bliss balls!

Choc mint ice cream is one of my boys favourites so it made sense to have a go at a choc mint ball!

For all of my baking I use a Dutch cocoa  it has a stronger flavour and darker colour and the pistachios as for a minty green “chip”, cashews work just as well!

Makes 22-24 balls.

Ingredients

350g dates, stoned

2 tablespoons coconut oil

75g raw, shelled pistachio nuts

50g ground almonds

2 tablespoons cocoa podwer

1 teaspoon peppermint essence

Method

Check the dates are properly stoned before you do anything, I have been caught out by a stray stone before!

Process the dates and coconut oil until the dates are chopped into smaller pieces.

Add the pistachio nuts, almond meal and peppermint essence and process, using the pulse button, until the mix begins to come together.

Scoop out and roll into small balls.

Keep in the fridge.

Indian Inspired Chicken Fillet Burgers

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Apologies, I know this may seem a bit out there but bare with me!

Friday night is fast food challenge night, I have to make something that the boys would class as unhealthy and available from a fast food dining establishment!

So, the initial idea was to just marinade the fillets and do them on the BBQ but as time went on I felt I wanted something with a bit more oomph and these burgers were born!

The base of the roll, is spread with thick natural yogurt and topped with cucumber, think raita. That’s then covered with some baby salad leaves, the chicken and then a good handful of fresh coriander. The lid is spread with mango chutney to top off this taste sensation.

The chicken can be baked instead of fried if you would prefer, a preheated oven at 190 degrees Centigrade for 25mins.

For the gluten free option I just omit the roll or use a GF one.

Serves 6.

Ingredients

4 large chicken breasts

100g ground almonds

50g rice flour

2 tablespoons garam masala

1 tablespoon ground coriander

1 teaspoon Kashmiri chilli powder

salt and pepper

2 eggs, beaten

oil to fry

Method

Cut each breast into three pieces.

Line a chopping board with baking parchment, pop a piece of chicken on top and cover with another piece of baking parchment, using the flat side of a meat tenderiser or the end of a rolling pin, hit the chicken until it is around 1cm thick. Set aside and repeat with the remaining chicken.

In a bowl, combine the ground almonds, rice flour, garam masala, coriander, chilli, salt and pepper.

Dip the chicken into the beaten egg and then into the coating mix, ensure it is well covered.

Set aside and repeat with the remaining chicken.

Heat a little oil in a frying pan, once hot, cook the chicken in batches.

The Greenest Veggie Patties

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Food doesn’t come much greener than these delicious patties, using a mishmash of international cooking styles, think felafel crossed with a kadhi, crossed with a bean burger.

As vivid as these are the boys love them served with yogurt and salad with a pitta bread on the side. I try not to make too big a deal of how much spinach has passed their lips!

Serves six.

 Ingredients

30g ghee

2 teaspoons cumin seeds

1 onion, finely diced

1 green chilli, deseeded and finely diced

250g baby spinach leaves

100g fresh coriander, leaves, stalks and roots

1 tablespoon garam masala

100g besan or chickpea flour

1 x 420g tin chickpeas, drained and washed

1 x 420g tin butter beans, drained and washed

1 egg

oil to fry in

Method

Heat the ghee in a large pan that has a lid.

Add the cumin seeds and once fragrant, add the onion and chilli.

Cook until the onion is soft.

Allow to cool a little and then pour into your food processor.

Add the spinach to the pan and cover, cook until just wilted, set aside and once cool enough, squeeze the liquid out of it.

Add the spinach and the rest of the ingredients, except the oil, to the processor and process well.

Heat a frying pan and add the oil, spoon around two tablespoons of batter onto the pan and repeat until you have 3-5 patties in the pan.

Cook until crisp and dark golden underneath and flip, again cooking until crisp and dark golden.

Repeat with the remaining batter.