Caribbean Spicy Sausages

Just try and stop your mouth watering. Look at the colours, vibrant, fresh and what it all boils down to, damn tasty.

Take a good old English tradition and turn it on its head. This dish did it perfectly. Spicy sausages with roasted vegetables samothered in mango chutney and jerk seasoning revive this often dull and lifeless dinner into a fantastic assault on the taste buds. Don’t get me wrong I love bangers and mash, but so often you see cheap sausages, lumpy mash and gravy that may as well be water. Cooked properly and the traditional English staple will win hands down for me. Its what I grew up with. But this fusion of flavours is a welcome change.

The vegatables are sweet and sticky but also come with that irresistible jerk flavouring that provides that lovely heat. The sausages were just good quality sausages. I don’t know what the flavourings in them were but that had a nice spicy flavour. The mash was soft and buttery. Again I don’t know what they were but for mash you need a high starch potato like russets. This means they will mash better and soak up all that butter or milk. I always season my mash especially with pepper.

Slice your peppers into 1 to 2 cm wide slices. They don’t have to be all even, the smaller ones will roast more and get that amazing crispness on the skin. Peel and chop the onion into large 2cm peices. Peel and chop the carrot into batons as big as your little finger.

In a bowl mix olive oil, the jerk seasoning and the mango chutney mix this with the veggies in a tray so everything is covered. Season with salt and pepper and then lay the sausages on top. Prick the sausages a couple of times with a sharp knife. Put it all in a pre heated oven of around 200 degrees and cook for 25-30 minutes.

Peel and chop the potato into 2cm peices, pop the in a pot of boiling water until they are soft in the middle. Once they have cooked drain and put back in the pan with a knob of butter and a splash of milk. Season with salt and pepper and mash until smooth.

Serve it up on a plate and sprinkle with some roughly chopped parsley. Amazing.

Cheats Lamb Moussaka

Lamb, just using it instead of beef gives you such a rich flavour. Soft aubergines and a mouthwatering creme fresh and Parmesan topping will have you wishing you made enough for thirds.

When I think of Moussaka I think of Greece. It does however, like most dishes, have many variations. Across the Balkans for instance it is more likely to see potatoes instead of aubergine, and to use pork mince over lamb. In Turkey the dish is not layered instead the eggplant, green peppers, tomatoes, onions, and minced meat are sauteed together and served with pilaf and tzatziki. Across the Eastern Mediterranean the dish varies so much it can become unrecognisable. The Greek version has three layers cooked separately then assembled and baked together.

Cook the onion in some oil for a few minutes before adding the carrot and grated garlic. Before the garlic browns add the lamb mince and cinnamon stick. Cook the Lamb until it has browned, then add your chopped tomatoes. Leave to simmer for 20 minutes adding a little seasoning and a little sugar if you are feeling a bit naughty. While it is cooking, drizzle some olive oil over your aubergine slices and season Grill them for around 10 minutes on either side. 

This is where we assemble the moussaka, Remove the cinnamon stick from the lamb mixture and pour into an oven proof dish. Spread your grilled aubergine slices over the top. Then spoon on the Creme fraiche and spread it evenly over the top. Grate over the parmasan and grill it until you get that amazing brown crispy top. Remove it from the grill and then cut the last garlic clove in half and rub it over your sliced ciabatta. Grill it till nice and crisp. While it is grilling toss the rocket in some Extra Virgin Olive oil and salt and pepper. Serve together and enjoy these amazingly simple flavours.

This meal was from our HelloFresh box www.hellofresh.co.uk

Tender Stir-Fried Pork with Black Bean Sauce and Cashew Nuts

As much a pleasure to make as it was to eat. My knife skills got a workout with this one. There is something very satisfying about chopping veg really fine. A perfect garlic, ginger and onion mix accompanies the black bean sauce. The rich, sticky, deeply savoury sauce grabs your taste buds and doesn’t let go.

Cornflour, who knew. If you want soft succulent pork with a nice crisp outside then toss it in cornflour first before adding it to your pan. It produces the same tender meat but with a slight crisp to the outside, adding a little texture to the mix. Before you cook the pork cook your cashews in a dry pan until they turn brown. Then leaves them to one side. Then in the same pan add some oil and cook your pork in batches. If you crowd the pan then there will be too much steam and that will basically stew your meat and loose that crisp your trying to achieve with the corn flour. Put the pork to the side and in the same pan again add some more oil and cook your pepper and carrot for a few minutes then add the garlic, ginger and the whites of your spring onion. Cook for a minute then add the pork back to the pan. Mix in your black bean sauce and mix for a minute before serving on a bed of rice. Like most things its the little extras that makes the difference between something nice and something great. Here it is the cashews, every now and then you get a crunch and that subtle nuttiness that works so well with all the other flavours.

I used a new macro lens filter for some of my shots. I cannot afford a proper macro lens so this filter lets me do closer shots. Obviously its not as good as an actual lens but for my purposes it seems to do just nicely.

This meal was from our HelloFresh box www.hellofresh.co.uk

Spiced Pork with Creamy Lentils and Nigella Chapatis

Amazing lentil, mixed with an abundance of great flavours Including a heart warming Malay spice mix. I’ll get to the chapatis later.

This dish is a bowl of two halves. On one half are creamy lentils cooked with carrots and onion, spinach, garlic and Malay spice which is a mix of cinnamon, cayenne, coriander, cloves, galangal (comes from the ginger family), cumin and cardamom. You know just from those ingredients that you are going to get a very aromatic flavour. Creme fresh is stirred in at the end to give that creaminess. On top is a pork steak rubbed with salt and pepper and some of the Malay spice. Cooked perfectly under the grill (or perfectly on one side and somewhere north of over done on the other).

On the other side we have nigella chapatis. These are basically tortillas cooked in a dry pan then drizzled with olive oil and nigella seeds. Now unfortunately what this means is, the nice crispy tortillas you just cooked go soggy in the oil. I would have thought it would be better to brush on the oil and seeds and then cook them in the oven till crisp. Anyway I would highly recommend this, just leave out the chapatis the dish doesn’t need them.

This dish is from our Hellofresh box www.hellofresh.co.uk

Jamie’s Paprika Spiced Chicken Thighs with Herby Bulgher and Skinny Slaw

Succulent chicken, flavour packed bulgher salad, tangy carrot and apple slaw and fantastic feta cheese crumbled all over.

It’s hard to know where to begin with this dish. There were so many flavours, yet they all managed to fit cohesively together. I’ll start with the chicken. Chicken thighs are our new favourite piece. There is so much more flavour and it is so much more juicy than the breast. For this we coated them in paprika and a little oil and pan fried them.  Once they were rested we Sliced them into 1 cm thick slices.

The Bulgher wheat was cooked in stock. While it was cooking I chopped the spinach, spring onion, chilli and parsley, some olive oil and half a lime’s worth of juice. Once the Bulgher wheat was cooked, drained and cooled slightly, it got mixed in with the herby mixture.To make the slaw we just grated the carrot and apple together added some chopped parsley some of the lime juice and a little olive oil.

With all these flavours going on its hard to imagine that you could improve it but then along comes the feta cheese. Every now and then you get that salty tang that comes with real quality feta. Apparently in 2002 feta became a protected designation of origin product. This means only cheeses produced in a traditional way in particular area of Greece, that are made of sheep’s milk, or a mixture of sheep’s and up to 30% goats milk (from the same area) can be called feta.

This meal is from our HelloFresh box www.hellofresh.co.uk