Posts Tagged ‘lunch’

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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Breakfast Pizza

This post centres around my recipe for a basic pizza dough. 

Or……it could also be about what to make when you feel down. Last September, when Hassan was only nine months old, we moved from a two bedroom flat to our current house. With an extra 2 bedrooms and an office as a bonus, it didn’t take long to get comfortable. Very comfortable. 

We quickly grew into the place. Day by day, the backyard grew greener. Our petunias sprouted and Hassan grew accustomed to his morning rounds in the park. Maryam made grand plans to paint her room……pink, of course. 

I kept telling her ‘we will, we will.’ But sadly, that won’t be happening as we will be moving again soon. Our landlord had decided he is renovating the whole compound and our contract won’t be renewed. I won’t lie- I was quite devastated. Moving has to be one of the most difficult things I’ve done (I’ve done it nine times!). Add two children to the equation and it makes it doubly hard. 

Plus I love this house, So many memories we have made in nine months. So many firsts for Hassan and already two birthdays celebrated in the house. I made this pizza whilst I was feeling down in the dumps. This breakfast pizza to be exact. Complete with eggs and sausages. Oh yes. Lemony arugula and parmesan to top it off.

And you know what? It did the trick. Yup. It certainly made me feel better, more positive. Our bellies full and hearts content. So much so, that we have already found a lovely villa to move into next month. It will be just before I go to London for a week when I’ll be attending Food Blogger Connect. 

So much happening. I’ll keep you updated on our move. Excited. 

Note: I’m looking to update my blog design as well as creating a new web portfolio. If you know of someone, please leave their details in comments? Thanks!

Breakfast Pizza 

For the dough-

1 tsp dry yeast
155 ml warm water
1 tsp sugar
1 tbs olive oil plus extra for greasing

275 g all purpose flour plus extra for rolling
1/2 tsp salt

For the sauce-
1 tsp olive oil
2 cloves garlic, crushed
3 tbs tomato paste
1 tsp chili flakes (optional, can adjust amount to your liking)

1 tsp olive oil
1 sausage, casing removed

1/2 small red onion, thinly sliced
100 g mozzarella
2 eggs

To serve-
Handful arugula- tossed in olive oil and a squeeze of lemon 
Grated parmesan

In a bowl, mix together the yeast, warm water and sugar. Set aside until frothy, about five minutes. Stir in the olive oil. Sift the flour into a large bowl and mix in the salt. Create a well in the centre and mix in the yeast mixture. Bring the mixture together with your hands to form a dough. Knead for five minutes until smooth and elastic. Put the dough into a greased bowl and cover with a damp tea towel. Allow to prove in a warm place for 45 minutes or so or until doubled.

Heat a pizza stone in the oven at 250 degrees Centigrade.

Meanwhile, make the sauce by heating the olive oil in a frying pan.  Add the garlic and fry for 30 seconds. Add the tomato paste and chilli flakes and fry for a minute. Set aside. 

Wipe the frying pan clean and heat olive oil again. Add the sausage and fry, breaking up the lumps with a wooden spoon, until well browned. 

Dust your worktop with flour and place the dough on it. Punch it to knock out any air and divide into three equal balls (you will only use two balls for this recipe but you can freeze the other in an airtight container for up to a month). Roll both the doughs to a thickness of half a centimetre. Spread the sauce evenly over the dough, leaving a half centimetre border at the edge. Top with cheese followed by the sausage and onion. 

Break an egg into a bowl. Make a small well in the centre of each pizza and pour the egg into the well. Place the pizzas directly on the stone and bake until the base is cooked and the eggs are cooked to your liking. 

Top with arugula and parmesan. Season with pepper and serve immediately. 

Makes 2 small pizzas

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