Posts Tagged ‘grilled’

Chicken Satay Lettuce Wraps

I wasn’t meant to blog about this lunch. It kind of just happened. I had some leftover ingredients from a shoot, ingredients I don’t normally cook with on a daily basis. Bean sprouts, pickled ginger and mountains of baby cos lettuce. 

Then this happened, a beautiful lunch of leftovers. These kind of lunches are my favourite. Lunches that come together in less than half an hour, lunches that are colourful like a child’s painting, lunches that clean out your fridge. That’s the kind of lunch this was. An unplanned lunch. 

And you know what’s even more amazing? I ate this today, I photographed it today, edited the images today and wrote this post today as well. That has never happened before. There is always something that stops me from hitting the publish button- recipe not written down whilst cooking, food not photographed before it is eaten. A lot of the the time I’m unhappy with the images. And the biggest issue has always been that the words just don’t flow. Often, all I want to write is- Eat this, it’s good. That’s all!

But I’m really glad it all came together for this post. I really love this recipe that is heavily inspired by a meal I had at a popular American chain restaurant. It’s a recipe where every member of the family finds something they like and can enjoy. And something to dislike as well. 

Hassan only ate the noodles with carrots and cucumbers. He kept wanting to lick the peanut butter sauce even though it was so spicy. The expression that followed was priceless. Maryam devoured the noodles and bean sprouts on her lettuce leaves. I as usual, had a bit of everything. I do hope you will try this and that everyone in your family will find something to like about it. 

Chicken Satay Lettuce Wraps

125 ml crunchy peanut butter
200 ml coconut milk, warmed in the microwave
4 cloves garlic
juice of 1 lime
3- red chillies (deseeded if you want to decrease the heat)
1 tbsp honey
500 g chicken breast, cut into 3/4 inch strips
2 tbsp sunflower oil

20 g rice noodles
200 ml coconut milk
1 tbsp Thai green curry paste
1 tbsp soy sauce
1 tsp fish sauce
1 tbsp lime juice

2 spring onions
handful cilantro
1 tbsp tamarind paste
1 clove garlic
1 tsp honey

To serve: 
4 baby cos lettuce, stems removed
1 carrot, cut into matchsticks
1 cucumber, deseeded and cut into strips
105 g pickled ginger, cut into strips (optional)- you can drain the pickling juice or add it to your spring            onion sauce
75 g bean sprouts
handful coriander leaves
1 red chilli, thinly sliced (optional)

In a bowl, mix together the first 6 ingredients until well incorporated and season with salt. Marinate the chicken strips with 3/4 of the marinade, leaving aside the rest to use as a dipping sauce (the sauce may thicken after a while so just use hot water to loosen as needed). Heat oil in a skillet on high heat. Grill the chicken on both sides, turning, once, until cooked through (about 3 minutes). Set aside.

Cook the noodles according to the packet instructions, drain and set aside. In a saucepan, add the coconut milk. Once it comes to a simmer, add the curry paste and the rest of the ingredients. Add the cooked noodles and season well with salt. Set aside. 

Make the cilantro dipping sauce by blending together the spring onions, cilantro, tamarind paste, garlic, honey and season with salt. You may use a little bit of water to loosen the paste. 

To serve, layer the ingredients as follows. Lay the lettuce leaves on a platter, Top with the noodles followed by the chicken strips. top with the carrot and cucumber strips followed by the pickled ginger if using. Top with beans sprouts, coriander leaves and sliced chilli. Drizzle over the cilantro suace and peanut sauce and serve immediately. 

Serves 6-7.

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Classic Beef Burgers

I photographed these burgers in February. I had my fuzzy grey socks on with a hole where my little toe sticks out. Maryam likes to play ‘this little piggy’ with it when I wear it. It was just overcast enough to naturally diffuse the sunlight but I had to work fast to race against the dying light though. All it wanted to do was play peekaboo with the clouds. 

That evening, we had an early dinner in the garden. The kids ate their burgers whilst digging for diamonds in the sandpit. Hassan buried his lettuce in the sand and I’m guessing we probably had an apple crumble for dessert- still sat in the garden of course. 

I made these again last week in honour of them appearing in the May issue of Spinneys Food magazine for which I contribute their suppers ideas each month. We ate them in totally different circumstances though. The French doors to the garden were bolted shut and we sat on the dining table, ruefully watching the sheer curtains dance against the air conditioning drone. Hassan had no choice but to eat his lettuce this time. 

Summer is finally here in Dubai! One thing remained the same though. These burgers still tasted just as good as they did in February…..anytime burgers really. 

Recipes for Chicken Satay, Green Fish, Herbed Omelette and Asparagus Pea and Tomato Tart with Parmesan can be found in the May issue of Spinneys Food or online soon. 

Classic Beef Burgers

800 g beef mince
6 garlic cloves, minced
4 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
4 tbsp wholegrain mustard
4 tbsp finely chopped fresh parsley
oil, for grilling

To serve: 6 burger buns, sliced red onion, sliced tomatoes, lettuce leaves and tomato relish

Mix together the ingredients for the burgers until well incorporated. Season well with salt and pepper. Form 6 round equal sized patties. Place on parchment paper and chill for 15 minutes. 

Pre heat a grill pan over a medium heat. Brush with oil and when it begins to smoke, grill the patties for 3-4 minutes on each side or until cooked through to your liking. 

Serve on a bun with slices of red onion, tomatoes and lettuce leaves, topped with relish. 

Serves 6

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Zaatar and Pomegranate Roasted Chicken and Arugula and Clementine Salad with Walnuts and Clementine Mustard Dressing

Just a few weeks ago, I told you about these truffles with some rather decadent ingredients- chocolate, orange blossom water, pistachios and cardamom. Those truffles were originally inspired by a clementine, pistachio and semolina cake. 

I have been eagerly waiting to share this recipe with you since that time. Inspired by Ottolenghi’s lemon yoghurt and pistachio cake, I decided to top mine with candied clementines and pistachios. You can find the recipe for it in the latest issue of House of Fifty.

I’ve also been trying different variations of grilled chicken recipes recently. But today I want to share the recipe for this zaatar chicken with you. Because the colours of this meal took my breath away. Because it has contrasting tastes of sweet, tangy, spicy and sour. It also helped that Maryam enjoyed the leftover chicken in a sandwich the next day. 

Since moving to Dubai, zaatar has quickly become one of my favourite Middle Eastern spices. Beautifully pungent, there’s lots of green in it. Thyme, marjoram and oregano. A bit of sumac and sesame seeds all brought together with olive oil. I buy mine ready made but there are plenty of links on the web on how to make it at home.

Finally there’s this simple clementine and arugula salad. But it’s all about the dressing in this salad. You’ll see what I mean when you make it. Suffice it to say there is creamy walnut mustard and the wholegrain variety too. I then peppered the salad with roasted walnuts too. I hope you enjoy it as much as we did.
1) Zaatar and Pomegranate Roasted Chicken

Ingredients:1.5 kg chicken, cut into pieces with skin on
1/4 cup olive oil
4 tbs zaatar
2 tbs pomegranate molasses
4 garlic cloves, crushed
salt and pepper to taste
1 lemon
1/4 cup toasted pine nuts
3 tbs parsley
3 tbs fresh pomegranate seeds

Make the marinade by mixing together olive oil, zaatar, pomegranate
molasses, garlic, salt and pepper. Rub the chicken with this marinade

Preheat the oven to 200 degrees Centigrade. Place the chicken skin
side up in a baking tray in the middle rack and roast for about 1 hour
or until the chicken has beautifully browned and cooked through. If
you prefer the skin to be crispy, place the chicken under the broiler
for a few minutes but watch it very carefully to avoid burning.
Sprinkle with lemon juice, pine nuts, parsley and pomegranate seeds
and serve immediately.

2) Arugula and Clementine Salad with Walnuts and Clementine Mustard Dressing

2 tbs wholegrain mustard
1 tbs walnut mustard
2 tbs chopped coriander
1 tbs maple syrup
1/4 cup + 2tbs clementine juice
2 tbs clementine zest
salt and pepper to taste
3 cups arugula (can substitute any other greens)
3 clementines, peeled and thinly sliced
1/4 cup chopped walnuts

Add the first six ingredients to a bowl to make the dressing. Season
with salt and pepper. If the dressing is too thick, you can add extra
clementine juice.

Arrange the arugula on a platter topped with the sliced clementines.
Drizzle the dressing on the salad and top with walnuts. Serve

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Grilled Lamb Chops with Garlic and Rosemary (and a Le Creuset Giveaway)

‘Where do you see yourself in five years time?’ His slim reading glasses perched at the tip of his nose, recording every word I said with an emphatic scrawl of his pencil. I thought about it long, and hard. It is always the simplest questions that seem to have the hardest answers.

‘I see myself doing something that I love, something which I enjoy, something for which I am excited to wake up for everyday. But most importantly, something where I’m learning new things everyday.’ Yes, that was my answer. His face was expressionless, not a hint of emotion. Giving nothing away.

That afternoon, he called to say I had got the job. My first professional job as an optometrist. I learned on my very first day that one of the strongest reasons why I got the job was on the basis of that question I had answered. ‘Most people said they see themselves working up the ladder, managing there own store, earning a certain amount. But you will not succeed unless you enjoy what you do. You will never be good at it unless you love it. And that’s why I hired you over anyone else.’

My answer still stands today. Although I no longer work as an optometrist, I make sure whatever I do excites me, ignites a passion in me, satisfies me. Something which I look forward to, that gives me a sense of achievement. Something that I love and enjoy.

And that is exactly what photography does for me. I love creating images, artwork. Arranging plates and food to make the photograph look as aesthetically pleasing as possible. Carefully choosing props to enhance the food. Deciding on a color scheme, what angle to shoot the food from. Where to place the herbs.

From the day I picked up my point and shoot till now, that same fires burns within me. That same enthusiasm. That same feeling of trying a new adventure. And that is exactly what I did this last week. I decided to try something completely- shooting meat. And to complicate matters a little more, shooting it in a style I’m not familiar with.

I decided to try out high contrast ‘dark’ photography- completely out of style and character for me. It was a a fun journey though. Picking dark props, painting moody backdrops, using black reflectors and making friends with shadows.

So where are the somber images you ask? Well, they just weren’t good enough to publish. As I said, it’s a work in progress, a learning curve. But with a recipe that involves, enthusiasm, hard work and perseverance, I’m sure it won’t be long before you see them on the blog.

Even if the photos were not up to par, the lamb cutlets certainly were. Juicy, spicy, lots of garlic and that grilled smoky flavor. And that is one of the reasons why I love my Le Creuset skillet grill. So much so, that I’m happy to give away one Signature Square Skillet Grill ($165) in a color of your choice.

To enter, leave a comment here telling me what is your favorite food to grill. The required entry must be done otherwise any extra entries will not count.

For more chances to win:
1. Follow @sipsandspoonful on Twitter and tweet the following: Enter to #win a @LeCreuset Signature Skillet Grill (ARV $165) from @sipsandspoonful #giveaway #lecreuset
2.  ‘Like’ Sips and Spoonfuls on Facebook
3.  Follow @LeCreuset on Twitter
4.  Subscribe to Sips and Spoonfuls by email or RSS feed (top right corner of the page)

PLEASE REMEMBER: Leave a separate comment for EACH of your entries or only one entry will be counted.

If you already follow me on Twitter and Facebook and/or already subscribe to Sips and Spoonfuls let me know as well, since this counts as an entry.

Giveaway starts on 24/05/2012 and will run until 04/06/2012 at 11:59 pm PST.

Official Rules:
Giveaway is open to U.S. residents only.
To enter leave a comment.
One winner with a valid entry will be selected at random. I will email the winner and they will have up to 3 days to claim their prize or another winner will be selected.
One winner will be selected at random to receive a Signature Square Sillet Grill ($165).
The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning.
Sponsors are as follows: Le Creuset,
Above competition rules, regulations and guidelines from Gourmande in the Kitchen. 

Grilled Lamb Chops with Garlic and Rosemary

8 trimmed lamb chops
4 garlic cloves, crushed
2 tbs tomato paste
1 tbs soya sauce
4 birds eye chilies, minced (vary the amount depending on how much spice you can handle)
a few fresh rosemary sprigs
salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
olive oil for frying

Marinate the lamb chops in all the ingredients. You can do this overnight or at least an hour before. Heat about a tablespoon of olive oil in your skillet grill over heat. Place your lamb chops in batches on the grill for 2-3 minutes on the first side. Turn over and cook for a further minute or so (cooking time will depend on how well done you like your meat). Remove from the grill pan and let it rest for 5 minutes before serving.

Serves 3.


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