I just had to try this, I love pakora, I love chicken & I love pakora so it was a must. Simple to make and very tasty. I didn’t quite have all the ingredients so here is my version. We enjoyed these pakora bites with sweet chilli dip rather than pakora sauce and was delicious. You have to give these a go.
Makes enough for 4 portions or 2 very large portions
2-3 Chicken Breasts – cut into strips
1 Tbsp Garlic & Ginger Paste
Juice of 1/2 a Lemon
Salt & Pepper to taste
1 Tbsp Fenugreek Powder
1 Tsp Paprika Powder
200g Rice Flour (or gram flour)
1/2 Tsp Biacarbonate of Soda
1 Tsp Chilli Powder
1 Tsp Cumin Powder
1 Tsp Garam Masala
1 Tsp Coriander Powder
3 Tbsp Rapeseed Oil (or vegetable oil)
First heat up your oil in a pan or fryer if you have one. (I use Rapeseed oil and heat to about 180-200 deg)
Place the Chicken strips in a bowl, add in the garlic & ginger paste, along with paprika, lemon juice, salt & pepper, mix together and allow to sit and marinade for a few minutes.
Add in the cumin, coriander, garam masala, fenugreek powder, biacarbonate soda, rice flour, oil, water and Irn-Bru, give it a good mix together.
Drop the chicken strips into your hot fryer and cook until browned and crispy (about 8-10 minutes), remove with a slotted spoon or tongs and place onto some kitchen paper to drain the oil.
OMG! What can I say, these are super tasty and very moreish. I do love a good scone, especially with butter & jam but I wanted to try something a bit different, we were having some pakora for dinner (Irn-Bru Chicken pakora recipe here https://theweecaledoniancook.com/2021/05/16/irn-bru-chicken-pakora/) so decided to try an Indian inspired flavour to go with. The curry powder lends that nice warmth of Indian spices to the cheese without being overbearing.
These scones are simple and quick to make, you can also change up the spices to suit your own palette.
400g Self Raising Flour
100g Butter, softened
4 Tsp Baking Powder
3 Tsp Curry Powder
1.5 Tsp Smoked Paprika
1.5 Tsp Turmeric (or Mustard Powder)
200g Grated Cheese (I used a good Scottish Mature Cheddar)
Milk to Bind
Preheat your oven to 180 deg. Line a baking tray with baking paper.
Place flour, baking powder, smoked paprika, turmeric & curry powder into a bowl and mix. Next rub the butter into the dry ingredients until it resembles crumbs then add in the grated cheese. (keep a little grated cheese back to top the scones before baking)
Crack in the eggs and add a little milk at a time to bind to a soft dough. You don’t want the dough too sticky.
Roll out to about 1″ thick, using a cutter cut into 12 rounds. Place onto your backing tray, brush with a little milk and top with some grated cheese.
Bake in the oven for about 15-20 minutes until lightly golden and risen.
Remove and allow to cool. Serve with butter, chutney or anything you fancy really.
I was looking for something refreshing to go with my Salmon for dinner and looking around my kitchen, the little avocado sitting in my fruit bowl was just screaming out to me….eat me!….eat me! & there you have it, Avocado Salsa!
An 80g portion of avocado counts towards your 5 a day and contains vitamins, minerals and fiber. Fiber is good for your heart & gut health. These little fruits are a nutrient powerhouse, they contain nearly 20 different vitamins, minerals, and nutrients. The type of fat in an avocado is mainly unsaturated (specifically, monounsaturated), which, when eaten in place of high-saturated-fat foods, can help maintain healthy cholesterol levels. Olive and rapeseed oil are other well-known sources of monounsaturated fats.
The creamy taste and texture that avocados have means they can feel indulgent to eat, and they are good substitutes for high-saturated-fat options that you might add to a salad or a sandwich, like cheese or butter. When you see or hear avocado being used it’s usually on a piece of toast for breakfast, or in a guacamole for a side dish, but the combination of avocado & cucumber is a sure fire winner in my books and served alongside a piece of fresh Salmon, well, what’s not to like!
1 Large Avocado, skin & stone removed then diced
1/2 Cucumber, diced
Juice of 1 lime
1 Tbsp Mayonnaise (Light, to keep it healthier)
Pinch of Salt
Cracked Rainbow Pepper to taste.
Handful of fresh coriander, chopped finely.
(Optional, sprinkle of dried chilli flakes)
Place everything in a bowl a mix trough to combine. Serve.
If making the salad a few hours ahead, combine all ingredients into a bowl (except the salt!). Squeeze lime juice directly over avocados and toss gently to combine.
Cover tightly with cling film, placing it directly over the surface of the salad to keep the air out. Oxygen is what causes avocados to brown.
Add salt just before serving to keep the cucumbers from wilting and becoming overly juicy.
In our house a Sunday is the only day we have a pudding after dinner and as we were having a filling stew today, I opted for something a little lighter. This was not only super tasty but really light and lower in calories as I used low fat versions. If you love banana’s and custard you will like this. It is also so quick to make, just 10 minutes to prepare with 30 minutes chilling time.
2 Bananas (keep a few slices to serve)
1 x 400g Tin of Low Fat Custard
1 x 150ml Double Light Cream
1 Tsp Vanilla Essence
Empty custard into a large mixing bowl and chill in the fridge for 30 minutes.
Mash the bananas with a fork and add to the custard, crumble in 1 1/2 of flake and mix through to combine
Add 1 tsp vanilla essence to the cream and whisk up until thick, gently fold cream into the custard mix.
Spoon custard into serving dishes and top with a couple slices of banana and crumbled flake.
Note: If you have custard powder, put 2 tbsp of powder and 2 tbsp of caster sugar into a pan, add a little milk and stir to a paste, add the remaining milk (about 400ml) and bring to a gentle boil, stir continually until custard thickens. Remove from heat, place a piece of cling film over custard to prevent a skin forming and allow to cool then proceed as above.
I do love shortbread, I think it’s mainly because I grew up with it, we would visit my Gran’s house and get shortbread for a snack but more so every New Year as this is the tradition in Scotland.
Through the ‘Taste of Scotland’ scheme that promotes authentic and innovative Scottish cooking, Scottish cuisine has enjoying a renaissance and now many believe that the best food in Britain is to be found north of the Border. The story of shortbread begins with the medieval “biscuit bread”. Any leftover dough from bread making was dried out in a low oven until it hardened into a type of rusk: the word “biscuit” means “twice cooked”. Gradually the yeast in the bread was replaced by butter, and biscuit bread developed into shortbread.
Shortbread was an expensive luxury and for ordinary people, shortbread was a special treat reserved just for special occasions such as weddings, Christmas and New Year. In Shetland it was traditional to break a decorated shortbread cake over the head of a new bride on the threshold of her new home. The custom of eating shortbread at New Year has its origins in the ancient pagan Yule Cakes which symbolised the sun. In Scotland it is still traditionally offered to “first footers” at New Year.
Shortbread is traditionally formed into one of three shapes: one large circle divided into segments (“Petticoat Tails”); individual round biscuits (“Shortbread Rounds”), or a thick rectangular slab cut into “fingers.” However, these days as we see some amazing cookie cutter shapes, they can be cut into whatever you like. As it is the Winter Season here just now, I decided to go for some lovely Snowflake Designs.
From memory when my Gran’s used to make Shortbread, the rule of thumb is always 3,2,1, 3 parts Flour to 2 parts Butter to 1 part sugar. Stick with this and you can’t go wrong.
Makes about 10-12 Shortbreads
115g Plain Flour
55g Rice Flour
55g Sugar (Caster or Icing) – (Extra Sugar to finish)
Pre heat your oven to 150 deg C Fan.
In a mixing bowl cream together the butter and sugar, sift in the flours.
Mix until it resembles bread crumbs, then tip onto a floured surface and work by hand to bring the dough together.
Gently roll out to about 1/2 inch thickness, if using a cutter, cut into your designs and lay onto a greaseproof baking tray. If creating petticoats, press into a round baking tin, or fingers, press into a rectangle baking tin. Now refrigerate for about 20 minutes, this helps the biscuits to stop spreading when being baked. Prick the shortbread with a fork and bake for about 20-25 minutes until golden brown.
Remove from oven and while still hot sprinkle with some sugar to finish. Allow to cool.
It’s coming up to the Festive time of year when we start planning our Christmas dinner get together. Roast Potatoes are probably one of the most popular side dishes on the table for most households. We all hope for those crispy skins and fluffy insides for our Roasties but sometimes that just doesn’t happen for whatever reason, so this is my foolproof recipe for the most amazing Crispy Roast Potatoes every time . Great for the festive dinner table but also great throughout the year for the perfect accompaniment to a good Sunday Roast dinner. Enjoy.
1kg Maris Piper Potatoes (these are the best kind)
100g Goose Fat (I used high grade Goose Fat from my local Butchers, S.Collins & Son) (you can also use a good Duck Fat too)
2 Tsp Cornflour
Sea Salt Flakes to taste
Rainbow Peppercorns to taste
First place a Baking Tray in an oven and pre heat to Fan 220 deg C.
Peel and cut the potatoes into quarters (or which ever size you prefer), place into a pan of cold water and season with salt. Bring to the boil and reduce to a medium simmer, covered for about 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, spoon the Goose Fat onto the hot baking tray (be careful) and put back into the oven to heat the fat up, about 10 minutes until the fat is smoking slightly.
Drain the water from the potatoes, give the pan a good shake to fluff up the potatoes, sprinkle the cornflour in and give it another shake, keeping the lid on let the potatoes sit for about 10-15 minutes so that the steam can air dry the potatoes. (the Drier the crisper they’ll be)
Carefully with a pair of tongs, place the potatoes onto the baking tray ensuring they are coated with the Goose Fat. Bake in the oven for 15 minutes, then turn the potatoes over and bake for a further 15 minutes, turn again and bake for another 15-20 minutes or until all golden brown and crisp.
Serve immediately with a sprinkling of sea salt & some pepper.
Some people add garlic and herbs like rosemary etc, which is fine, but I love my traditional recipes to be traditional, if you get a good potato there is no need for extra flavouring, the duck fat & salt are simply perfect for a roastie.
Oh yum…..these were so tasty. I do love experimenting with flavours and using up what I have in my cupboards, sometimes my best recipes come from emptying my cupboards and using whatever is in there and trying things out…lol!
As it is coming up to the festive season I wanted to try some festive flavours and of course gingerbread is almost one of the all time favourites. With the coconut I wanted to create a snowy feel/look. I call them kisses because of the Jam, when you bite in you get the lovely gingerbread flavour and then the Jam gently kisses the back of your throat….yum! Baked in under 15 minutes these are a perfect quick snack with a cuppa. Will be best up to 3 days stored in an air tight container.
Makes about 20-24
200g Self Raising Flour
100g Rice Flour
1/2 tsp Baking Powder
2 Tbsp Olive Oil
40g Softened Butter
100g Dark Brown Sugar
2 Tbsp Honey
Finely Grated Zest of 1 Orange
For the Spice: 1 Tbsp Ground Cinnamon, 1 1/2 Tsp Ground Ginger, 1/2 tsp Ground Cloves
100g Desiccated Coconut
Rasperberry (or any flavour) Jam
2 Tbsp Icing Sugar for decoration.
Preheat oven to 175 deg C Fan. Line Baking Trays with Greaseproof paper
In a bowl beat together the butter, dark sugar, honey, oil, egg and citrus zest until blended.
In a separate bowl mix together flours, salt, spice mix and baking powder. Spoon half of the flour into the wet mixture and bring together, add in the remaining flour mixture and mix until you have a soft dough. It will be slightly sticky, this is o.k., but if too sticky just add a little more flour. Let stand for a few minutes.
Take about 1 Tbsp of the dough and roll into small balls. Place coconut into a bowl and roll each ball into the coconut to cover. Place onto the baking tray and press down with your thumb or finger to make a well in the centre.
Place about 1/2 – 1 Tsp of Jam into the well and bake in the oven for approx 12 – 15 minutes until set. Remove and allow to cool for a few minutes then transfer to a wire rack.
Finish off with a light dusting of Icing Sugar. Serve. Yum!
OMG! Well what can I say, if you love Peanut Butter like me these are delicious. They are also very light and cut up into small squares they are only about 70 calories per square, so in my book that’s a guilt free treat with my cup of coffee.
We always have a little treat on a Sunday, it’s something to look forward to while we relax and chill after our working week. Peanut butter is a good source of protein, fiber, folate, phosphorus, potassium & magnesium. And yes, peanut butter does have fat, but the fat is monounsaturated, which is more cholesterol-friendly.
I first saw this recipe from a Diabetic Website https://diabeticgourmet.com/ when my mum was a Diabetic, unfortunately I never got round to making them for her. This recipe I change a little to suit our sweet tastes….lol!
Makes 16 small squares
120g Caster Sugar (Splenda if diabetic)
40g Light Brown Sugar
100ml skimmed or semi skimmed milk
60g Peanut Butter
1 tsp vanilla extract
120g Self Raising Flour
90g Rolled Oats
1/2 tsp baking powder
120g Chocolate Chips
1. Beat the butter, caster Sugar and brown sugar until well combined.
2. Stir in milk, peanut butter, egg and vanilla until blended. Gradually mix in combined flour, oats, baking powder and salt until blended. Stir in chocolate chips.
3. Spread mixture evenly into a 9 x 9-inch baking pan covered with greaseproof paper. Bake in preheated 170 deg oven for 25 minutes or until a knife inserted near center comes out clean. Leave to cool on wire rack. Cut into squares.
4. Store in airtight container at room temperature, will be best for up to 3 days.
I was lucky recently to have meet Duncan Smith from Duncans Caviar https://www.instagram.com/duncanscaviar/ , who is the Exclusive Scottish Distributor for Royal Belgian Caviar https://royalbelgiancaviar.be/en/caviar. The Royal Belgian Caviar are based in Belgium and home farm their sturgeon for the best quality product. It is a firm favourite with all the Top Chefs. Click link for more information.
I used the Beluga Caviar which leaves a lovely after taste with its rich, Buttery and Creamy notes. Holiday season is fast approaching, so why not treat yourself and indulge, you only live once!
1 Ripe Avocado, peeled and mashed
1 small Red Onion, minced finely
2 tbsp lemon juice
Salt & Pepper to taste
2 tsp Caviar
Mix together the crab meat, seasoning and 1 tbsp lemon juice, set aside
In a separate bowl mix the mashed avocado with the red onion, 1 tbsp lemon juice and seasoning.
For each serving take 1 tbsp of the avocado mix and fill a 1.5″ cookie round, then top with 1 tbsp of the crabmeat mixture, smoothing the surface as you go. Ensure your plate has been refrigerated before hand. Put back into the fridge for 10 minutes, this makes it easier to remove the cutter and stay in tact when removed.
When ready to serve, remove the cutter and finish off with a little Caviar.
These little bitesize timbales are great for a party or get together, the avocado and crabmeat give the creamy base some texture and the delicate topping of the Caviar makes these super decadent. Serve with a glass of Champagne for ultimate taste sensation.
I received the Osietra and Beluga Caviar and so excited to try. The Royal Belgian Caviar are based in Belgium and home farm their sturgeon for the best quality product. Click above link for more information.
Duncan Smith is the Exclusive Scottish Distributor for this excellent product, check out his Instagram above for more information.
I was looking for something a bit more sophisticated for my afternoon tea, so something in a cocktail glass sounded good. This little dish is great for the party season coming up or if you just fancy treating yourself like we did.
The Beluga Caviar leaves a lovely after taste with its rich, Buttery and Creamy notes.
Makes 4 Glasses
4-6 tbsps of Sour Cream or Creme Fraiche (both work well)
1 Medium Avocado
2 tbsp Minced Red Onion
2 tbsp Lemon Juice
1 tsp Chopped Fresh Dill
1 Small Plum Tomato – chopped finely
1 Boiled Egg, peeled and chopped finely
Salt & Pepper to taste
1 tsp Caviar (do not use metal spoon as it can effect the taste)
Spoon the creme fraiche or sour cream into the glass.
Mash the avocado with a fork and mix in the onion, lemon juice, dill and seasoning. Put 1-2 tbsps into the glass on top of the cream.
Sprinkle some of the chopped egg and tomato on top then finish with a small spoonful of caviar an sprig of dill.