This was an absolute winner!
I’m quite a fan of lamb breast, a very underused and under rated cut of meat.
I think a lot of people are put off by the appearance (there appears to be very little meat) and they don’t know how to cook it.
I normally roll it with a nice stuffing to soak up the juices and make it go a bit further.
On this occasion I remembered seeing a recipe where the breast was cooked without being rolled so that it went nice and crispy, so I thought I’d give it a go with a nice spicy coating.
‘Ome Made Spicy Crispy Lamb Breast.
We were not disappointed! I used three lamb breasts which did me, Kit and the four hungry Kids and then there was some leftover for lunches.
It does reheat really well and goes even crispier!
The recipe below is for one lamb breast so double it for two or treble for three… There’s nothing like stating the obvious is there, sorry!
Lamb breast needs to be cooked slow to render the fat down and give you tender meat so this was cooked in two stages the first with the marinated meat cooked in a low oven, wrapped in tinfoil. The oven temperature was then turned up and the lamb finished off uncovered.
Before you cook the lamb breast you need to remove the thin bit of film that covers the inside of the ribs as it tends to be a bit tough. If your not confident about doing this ask the butcher to do it.
Talking of ribs the breast can be cooked with or without them.
Our Kids love the ribs when they are removed after the meat is cooked!
As far as flavourings you could use any mixture you like. I stuck with cumin, which goes fabulously with lamb, chilli and garlic as the main focus.
Of course you could use a ready bought mixture from the shop such as Ras el Hanout or of course any of the ‘Ome Made seasonings and rubs!
Spicy Crispy Lamb Breast
1 Lamb breast
splash of lemon juice
2 cloves of garlic crushed
2 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon chilli powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
lots of ground black pepper
A little oil of your choosing
Prepare the lamb breast removing the film and any big lumps of fat. lightly score the meat (SEVERRRN!… Sorry!) and any fat to help the marinade penetrate the lamb. Splash a little lemon juice over the lamb and rub in. Put the crushed garlic, spices and seasoning in a bowl and add enough oil to make a paste. Cover the Lamb Breast with the paste and give it a good rub in. leave to marinate in the fridge for up to 24 hours if you have the time, however the meat can be cooked straight away and still taste good! When ready to cook wrap the lamb breast in a couple pieces of tin foil and place in a roasting dish. Place in a preheated oven at 145°C/125°C Fan for around 3 hours.
After this time the meat should be cooked and tender and the soft fat will have rendered down giving incredibly moist, tasty lamb.
Turn your oven up to 200°C/180°C Fan.
Remove the lamb from the tin foil and place on a wire rack (if possible, will be fine if not) in a roasting pan.
Once the oven has come up to temperature put the meat back in. After 15 minutes turn the meat over and leave for another 10 – 15 minutes or until you have a nice crispy finish to your lamb.
Remove from the oven and let rest for 15- 20 minutes before slicing into strips to serve.
We served the crispy strips of lamb breast with some mashed potato and garlicky sautéed cabbage… Winner!
Chicken Tandoori seems to be quite popular in our house at the moment. It makes a nice Sunday roast!
We use a whole chicken… well actually three!
The leftovers of course go into the Kids school pack-up and they make a rather nice curry (Chicken Tikka Massala Madras hot is a favourite!)
Of course you don’t have to do three chickens, you don’t even have to do a whole chicken! Chicken joints work just as well and of course you can even do Tikka with just the breast meat.
I do recommend that you try doing a whole chicken though, it needs a little longer cooking than if you do joints but the flavour is great and the marinade keeps the meat nice and moist. And of course as a center piece on the table it looks amazing.
I’m not going to give a full on recipe because my way is rather long winded and… top secret. I will suggest some ingredients that you can add to make it a little special though.
The easiest way of doing this of course is to buy a jar of Tandoori paste and add yoghurt and lemon juice to make your marinade.
My method is this (For three chickens)
1 tablespoon mild curry massala (’Ome Made in our case)
1 tablespoon paprika
1 tablespoon Kashmiri chilli powder
1 level tablespoon dried mint
Big chunk of ginger (3’’ by 1’’)
Lots of garlic, roughly 9 cloves
Couple of green chillies
Big handful of fresh coriander
2 tablespoons lemon juice
3 tablespoons of natural yoghurt
Fry your spices (not the chilli) gently in a quite a bit of oil to make a paste.
Blitz or finely chop your ginger, garlic, green chillies and coriander.
Mix all the marinade ingredients (apart from the Kashmiri Chilli) together.
Now you need to skin your chicken, this bit always grosses out the Kids! You could leave the skin on but the marinade tends to slide off and the skin doesn’t go crispy so it’s not particularly nice.
Once you’ve skinned your chicken score it (SEVERRN! Sorry!)
Now rub the Kashmiri chilli powder into the chicken, if you have some gloves to wear, I would. The other option is a freezer bag!
Slap on the rest of the marinade and give your bird a good massage (That’s the chicken!)
The chicken can now be left to marinate for up to 24 hours or for as long as you have (I’ve given it 30 minutes before and it’s still been lovely).
To cook preheat an oven to 225ºC (200ºC if using fan assisted).
Put the chicken in the oven for 20 minutes and then turn down the temperature to moderate about 170ºC. The chicken then needs to be in for 1 – 1 1/2 hours or if your doing three about two hours. Test the chicken is done by testing with your usual method. The joints should be nice and flexible and easily pull away from the bird.
Let the Chicken rest for 20 minutes or so and then pull apart or carve to serve.
We like to serve ours with some Tomato, Onion and Mint salad, Pilau rice, Naan bread and lashings of Tandoori Yoghurt Raita.
Proper finger lickin’ fun.
I can’t wait for the weather to turn drier and warmer so I can do Whole Tandoori Chicken in the smoker and BBQ…
Soup… We absolutely love it in our house. Not the tinned variety of course. It has to be ‘Ome-made! And it’s so easy to make. You take your favourite ingredients sweat them off in some butter add some stock, cook for a bit and then blitz. Not leek and potato soup though, that can’t be blitzed. That’s completely breaking the rules, that has to be… ‘lumpy’.
If you make your own stock it’s even better. Even if it’s chucking the bones from the leftover roast chicken in a pot and boiling for an hour, you will be left with a nice base for a soup. Of course if your one of those non-meat eating types you can make a stock from those manky left over carrots at the back of the fridge any veg trimmings and some onion. If you roast the veg for 20 minutes or so you’ll get more flavour and a deeper colour to your stock too.
So heres a recipe for a soup I made the other day along with a recipe for some cumin, ginger and garlic croutons. If you don’t have the croutons with this soup I suggest putting the spices used to flavour them in the soup. Although this recipe has chillies and spices in it it is no way spicy. If you prefer it spicier just up the amount of red chili in the recipe.
Sweet Potato & Red Chili Soup
1 medium onion roughly sliced
2 cloves of garlic roughly chopped
200g (a large baker) potato cubed
700g sweet potatoes (4 small or 3 medium)cubed
1 large carrot diced
1 teaspoon ground white pepper (or extra black if you haven’t)
1 teaspoon salt
1 heaped teaspoon mild curry massala (or curry powder)
1 teaspoon ground allspice
1 teaspoon dried thyme
2 litre of stock
2 medium sized red chillies deseeded and finely chopped
1 tablespoon chopped coriander
Ground black pepper and salt to taste
Melt the butter in a heavy bottomed pan. Gently fry the onion and garlic for about 10 minutes.
Add both types of potato and carrot to the pan along with the white pepper, salt, curry massala, allspice and thyme. Gently sweat all the veg off for a further 10 minutes stirring so the spices don’t stick and burn.
Add your stock which should just cover the vegetables. Bring to a simmer and cook for approximately forty minutes or until all the veg is cooked through and soft. Take off the heat and carefully blitz with a hand blender, blender or food processor.
Put back on the heat and add the remaining ingredients. The soup will be ready after 20 minutes.
Cumin Ginger & Garlic Croutons
8 slices white bread
2 teaspoon crushed garlic
2 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon ground ginger
Salt and black pepper
Cut the bread into cubes and put in a shallow roasting/baking tin.
Drizzle with oil and sprinkle with the garlic, cumin and ginger. Give the croutons a good toss and then sprinkle a little more olive oil on them and toss them again.
Put in an oven preheated to 165°C on fan setting (185°C for conventional)the croutons will take 30 – 40 minutes but you need to regularly check on them and give them a shake or turn every 10 minutes or so.
Once the croutons are cooked they can be used straight away. Once the croutons are completely cool they can be put in a sealed container where they should be good for up to five days.
Happy soup making!
And it nearly blew his head off!
Well maybe not. Allegedly one in every thirty, or twenty % padron peppers is a hot one. So eating them is a bit like playing Russian Roulette… but with peppers.
For those that don’t know Padron Peppers are little chilli peppers that grow in the northwest of Spain in an area called, well, Padron of course.
I first heard of them when Rick Stein was doing his series on Spain. He cooked them the classic way, in olive oil until blistered and then sprinkled with sea salt.
I thought then that they looked delicious but that was a couple of years ago and it is only now that these little tasty morsels seem to be readily available. In fact they seem to be the new craze!
They are incredibly tasty, and generally not spicy. However it’s great fun when you get a spicy one and there is no way of telling!
We simply cook them gently in olive oil until the skin starts to blister and small flecks of charred flesh appear. They are then spooned into a bowl and sprinkled liberally with salt.
The bowl is then handed round the table and we all take one. The kids always look a bit apprehensive just in case they have picked one of the hot ones. It’s great to watch them gingerly take that first bite!
We always give the children a little pot of Greek yoghurt on the side which they dip their pepper into. And of course it helps if they do happen to get a hot one!
I whole heartedly recommend anyone to try these peppers. They really are tasty and such a simple little treat to prepare as a snack, simple starter or a full Tapas blow-out.
Just remember as they say in Spain; Os pementos de Padrón, uns pican e outros non, Padron Peppers, some are hot, some are not!