Category Archives: Rubs and Spices

Sweet and Spicy Chicken Rub

It’s always handy to have a rub recipe up your sleeve!

This is one of my favourites, not too spicy and the boys love the sweetness.

Serves 6.

Ingredients

2 tablespoons brown sugar

1 tablespoon sweet paprika

2 teaspoons salt

1 teaspoon oregano, rubbed

1 teaspoon onion powder

1 teaspoon chipotle chilli powder

1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

Freshly ground pepper

2kgs chicken wings, tips removed

Method

Combine all of the rub ingredients together.

Sprinkle the rub over all of the chicken and refrigerate for 4 hours.

Preheat oven to 190 degrees Centigrade and line a baking tray with parchment.

Place the wings in the prepared tin, skin side up.

Bake for 60 minutes, basting regularly.

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Tandoori Flavoured Whole Baked Cauliflower

I know that making the paste might sound like a bit of a faff but I highly recommend that you give it a go, the colour is amazing and it really makes the humble cauliflower a bit of a star turn.

Obviously liquid smoke doesn’t have a place in Indian cuisine, so I apologise in advance, but, it does give you a fab, just out of the tandoor oven flavour. If you don’t have any, consider swapping out some of the paprika for smoked paprika.

Serves 6-8.

Ingredients

1/2 brown onion, roughly chopped

3 ripe tomatoes, quartered

2 cloves garlic, peeled

1 thumb sized piece of ginger

100mls water

50mls oil or ghee

4 teaspoons sweet paprika

1 tablespoon ground cumin

1 tablespoon ground coriander

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon Kashmiri chilli powder

1/2 teaspoon liquid smoke

1 lemon, juiced

125mls natural Greek yogurt

1 large head of cauliflower, leaves removed and some of the inner stalk removed

Method

Whizz the onion, tomatoes, garlic, ginger and water in a food processor to make a smooth runny paste.

Heat the oil or ghee in a frying pan over a medium to high heat, add the tomato and onion paste, bring up to a simmer and simmer until you have a thick, dark red paste that the oil or ghee is separating from.

Add the dried spices and salt and cook for 1 minute.

Take the pan off the heat and add the liquid smoke, lemon juice and yogurt, stir well.

Preheat the oven to 190 degrees Centigrade.

Line the base and sides of a large casserole, that will fit the cauliflower snuggly, with two large pieces of baking parchment.

Turn the cauliflower upside down and spread some of the paste over the base, pushing it into all of the nooks and crannies.

Turn the cauliflower the right way up and smear over the remaining paste until completely covered.

Carefully place the cauliflower in the prepared pan, cover the top of it with another piece of baking parchment and then the lid.

Bake for 50 minutes and then remove the lid and paper and bake for 20 minutes until the cauliflower is beginning to colour.

Lemon Infused Salt And Pepper

One of the best cheats to have in your pantry here! Fantastic on fish, prawns, chicken and summery salads.

I make this quantity and then store the extra in an airtight spice jar for another day.

Ingredients

6 teaspoons salt flakes

Zest of 4 lemons

20 peppercorns

Method

Preheat the oven to 150 degrees Centigrade. Line a baking sheet with baking parchment.

Measure the salt and lemon zest onto the baking parchment.

Bake for 15 minutes until the lemon has dried out and is really fragrant.

Allow to cool a little and then pour into a mortar, add the peppercorns and grind to a powder.

Slow Cooker BBQ Beef Brisket

This photo really doesn’t do this recipe justice but to be honest the beef was eaten so quickly I only got the one shot!

I’ve taken the principles of using a rub with herbs and spices to coat the meat and then allowing it to sit for 12-24 hours in the fridge. Then, instead of using the BBQ, the slow cooker has stepped in and worked its magic! Finally, I take the meat out and pop it in a hot oven just to crisp up the fatty bits for a fab tortilla filling or serve with lots of salads to cut through the richness of the meat.

Serves 8-10. Leftovers keep well in the fridge, freeze well and are very popular in wraps for school with my boys.

Ingredients

2.2kg beef brisket, cut into 8-10 large pieces

5 tablespoons sweet smoked paprika

3 tablespoons dried oregano

1 teaspoon chipotle chilli powder

1 teaspoon cayenne powder

1 teaspoon ground all spice

1 teaspoon dried thyme

1 teaspoon garlic powder

2 tablespoons salt

Pepper

375mls passata

100mls gluten free Worcestershire sauce

100g brown sugar

2 teaspoons liquid smoke

Method

I leave the fat on the top of the brisket, cut it into large chunks, around 5-8cm square. Take a sharp knife and score the fat to create a crisscross pattern.

Combine the spice rub in a bowl.

Tip the meat into the rub and cover completely.

Place the meat and any excess rub into a zip lock bag and refrigerate for 12-24 hours. 24 hours is better if you can!

Tip the meat into your slow cooker, I use a 6.5l Cooker.

Add the wet ingredients and sugar and using your hands massage the sauce all over the meat.

Turn the cooker on and set to nine hours on low.

After nine hours the meat should be falling apart a little if you push it with the back of a spoon.

Preheat the oven to 200 degrees Centigrade.

Gently spoon the meat into a roasting tray, scored fat side up, and slide it into the oven, roast for 30-45 minutes to let the fat crisp up.

Pull the meat apart with forks to serve so everyone gets a little of the crispy fat as well as the delicious, sticky sauce covered meat.

Slow Cooker Spice Rack Pork


At the beginning of winter I bought a slow cooker and a few months later I am a complete convert on nights when we are all coming and going.

The seasoning for the pork is very simple but don’t be tempted to add more liquid, it really doesn’t need any.

I love chimichurri and it goes so well here, cutting through the rich meat and adding a gorgeous splash of colour.

Serves 8. Any leftover meat freezes well with the pan juices and the boys have wraps with salad, pork and chimichurri for school in the days after we have this.

Ingredients

2kg boned pork shoulder/pork butt cut into 5-7cm dice

1 large orange, juiced

3 teaspoons dried thyme

4 teaspoons dried oregano

3 teaspoons sweet paprika

1 teaspoon cayenne

1 teaspoon garlic powder

2 teaspoons onion powder

2 teaspoons salt

1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper.

Chimichurri Ingredients

20g parsley leaves

80g fresh coriander, leaves and stalks

1 green chilli, deseeded

1 lime juiced

2 garlic cloves

75mls olive oil

Salt and pepper to taste

Method

Combine all of the pork ingredients in the slow cooker.

Cook on high for six hours.

To make the chimichurri…….

Process all of the ingredients, add a little more oil if you need to.

Cheesy Corn Chip Chicken Wings

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To be honest these wings have never been near a corn chip but the masa lista and Parmesan give them a fabulous texture without frying and the coating does taste like corn chips!

Serves 4-6.

Ingredients

1.5kgs chicken wings, tips removed and cut in two

1 cup masa lista, Mexican corn flour

1/2 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese

3 tablespoons dried oregano

2 tablespoons smoked paprika

1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper

salta and pepper

2 eggs, beaten

Method

Preheat the oven to 190 degrees Centigrade. Line two baking trays with baking parchment.

In a bowl, combine the masa, Parmesan, oregano, paprika, cayenne, salt and pepper.

Take a piece of chicken, dip in the egg and then in the flour mix.

Lay on the baking sheet skin meaty side up and repeat with the remaining chicken.

Bake in the oven for 30 minutes, turn once and then bake for a further 10-15 minutes until fully cooked.

Allow to rest for 10 minutes before serving with some sour cream dip.

Barbecued Lamb And Haloumi Salad

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In a family of males, meat features regularly on the menu but this is a favourite, known as cave man salad by the boys and with the added bonus of bribing them to eat the salad as it has the meaty juices all over it!

Serves 6.

Ingredients

1.4kgs well trimmed lamb cutlets

4 garlic cloves, crushed

8 teaspoon zatar

2 teaspoons sumac

2 teaspoons ground cumin

zest and juice of 1 lime

50 mls oil

200g haloumi

200g mixed lettuce leaves

1 carrot, grated

1 capsicum, thinly sliced

6 tomatoes, quartered

1 pomegranate, seeds only

Method

Combine the lamb, garlic, zatar, sumac, cumin, lime zest and juice, salt, pepper and oil, allow to marinade for thirty minutes.

Heat the barbecue flat plate over a high flame.

Mix all the salad ingredients and plate up.

Cook the haloumi on both sides and then place it on the salad.

Now pop the meat into the BBQ and cook, turning once, to your liking.

Place the cooked meat on the salad, sprinkle over the pomegranate seeds and serve.