Baked Pork Belly, Asparagus & Butter Beans

Those winter warmer meals are definitely the way forward now. Those colder wintery nights just invite juicy, hearty meals with simple and delicious flavours. The added butter beans brings a deeper and more enhanced flavour as it absorbs all the meaty flavours making it more delectable. A real treat for dinner packed with simple flavours providing maximum satisfaction.

Serves 2

Ingredients:

  • 4 pork belly slices
  • 1 leek, finely sliced
  • 125 asparagus tip, cut into chunks
  • 215g butter beans, drained
  • 7 garlic cloves, peeled and kept whole.
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 300ml chicken stock
  • 1 tsp olive oil

Method:

  1. Preheat the oven to 180°.
  2. On the stove, start by frying the leeks and garlic together with the olive oil in the baking tray until lightly browned.
  3. Add the beans and fry for a minute. Sprinkle over the the oregano and evenly distribute the the asparagus chunks.
  4. Pour in the chicken stock and place the pork belly on top. Season generously with black pepper. (The meat should not be submerged in the stock. Around half should be covered in the stock so the meat remains juicy and the other half exposed allowing the pork to become browned and crispy).
  5. Bake for 45 minutes or until the pork is crispy.

Best served hot.

Baked Sea Bass & Asparagus

Asparagus screams spring time to me. I love the preparations for spring time, seeing the new plants and flowers starting to bloom once again just gets me so excited for the warmer weather and the longer, sunnier days. Additionally we slowly start to move away from the heavier more richer foods and start having lighter meals. Starting with this: baked sea bass and asparagus is a deliciously light meal packed with such simple but tasty ingredients. I really enjoy baking fish in foil, it just keeps the meaty part so soft and moist. By tightening the foil it traps all the juices and the aromas inside so when you open it up after removing it from the oven it just awakens those tastebuds and other senses to the deliciousness you’re about to experience.

Serves 2

Ingredients:

  • 2 sea bass fillets
  • 100g asparagus tips
  • 5 cloves of garlic, whole or chopped (depending on how intense you prefer the flavour to be)
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 sprigs of rosemary
  • Salt
  • Pepper

Method:

  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C or gas mark 4.
  2. Place the sea bass in the centre of a large sheet of foil and season with salt and pepper.
  3. Then add all remaining ingredients to the foil and seal it up tightly.
  4. Place the foil parcel onto a baking tray and put in the oven and leave to bake for 15-20 minutes.

Best served hot and with a side dish of boiled or roast potatoes.

Jerk Style Chicken Skewers

Now I am not one to brag but the sauce on this bad boy is just awesome! The trick with this is to leave the chicken to marinate for at least half hour so the flavours in the sauce can infuse, and when cooked keeps the meat really tender.
I added the shallot and vegetable just for added colour and texture, you can mix this up with any other vegetables or just cook the chicken on its own.

Serves 2

Ingredients:

  • 2 whole chicken breast fillets, chopped into chunks
  • 1 green pepper, cut into chunks
  • 1 large shallot, cut into chunks
  • Soaked wooden skewers (soaked so that they don’t burn when grilled)

For the marinade:

  • 1/2 tsp allspice
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tsp onion granules
  • 1 tsp garlic granules
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp ground coriander
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 dessert spoon of light brown sugar
  • 1 tsp maple syrup
  • 1 tbsp olive oil

Method:

  1. In a bowl, add all the ingredients from the marinade list and give it a good mix. Add the chicken, cover with cling film and leave to marinate for at least 30 minutes.
  2. Thread the chicken, shallot and vegetables onto the skewers and place on a grill tray.
  3. Grill for 15-20 minutes on medium low heat (or until the chicken is cooked); rotate the skewers every 5 minutes or so.

Best served hot and with grilled vegetables or salad.

 

Aubergine and Chickpea Stew

Tired from a long day at work and want a quick but delicious dish that’s healthy and meat-free? This tomato and aubergine stew brings juiciness and crunchiness together with a special cameo of our tinned friends, chickpeas. I’ve kept this version a little less spicy but if you fancy more of a kick, add more harissa paste.

Serves 2

Ingredients:

  • 1 medium sized aubergine, chopped into chunks
  • 1 can of chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 3 fresh tomatoes, roughly chopped
  • 3 cloves of garlic, roughly chopped
  • 1 shallot, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp harissa paste
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp ground coriander
  • 2 tsp tomato puree
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 200ml water
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Splash of lemon juice

Method:

  1. In a pan, pour in the olive oil and add the aubergine and fry for 7-8 minutes, stirring occasionally, on a medium heat until the vegetable has browned and lightly softened.
  2. Add the shallot and garlic and fry for 2-3 minutes.
  3. Add the cumin, dried coriander and a sprinkling of salt and pepper; give it a quick stir.
  4. Put in the chickpeas, harissa and tomatoes and fry for 2-3 minutes.
  5. Add the tomato puree and pour the water into the pan and cook for 8-10 minutes.
  6. Squeeze in a splash of lemon and season again with salt. Leave to cook for a further 5 minutes or until the water has reduced.

Best served hot.

2020-07-23 15.51.13