Harissa Spice Beef Soup

A Bowl of Harissa Spice Beef Soup

A Moroccan inspired recipe and perfect for coming into the Winter months, it’s hearty, filling and warming. It is also a great batch cook recipe, make the soup up to 3 days ahead, cover and keep in the fridge. Freeze portions in food bags for up to 3 months. Add a splash of water when reheating.

Serves 4

300g Scottish Steak Mince (or any good quality beef mince)

1 Red Onion – chopped

1 Garlic Clove – crushed

400g Tin Tomatoes

1 tbsp Gram Masala

2 tsps Harissa Paste

1 litre Beef Stock

250g Puy Lentils (I used the pre cooked ones from Merchant Gourmet, my fav)

1 tbsp Dried Coriander

150g Spinach, chopped

1 tbsp Olive Oil

Salt & Pepper

  1. Heat a little oil in a casserole dish on medium to high heat, add the mince with seasoning and brown, about 6-8 minutes, remove with a slotted spoon.
  2. Add the onion and garlic and cook for a few minutes until softened. Add in the Gram Masala, Harissa Paste and stir, next add the tin tomatoes and cook for about 5 minutes to reduce down slightly.
  3. Return the mince to the pot with the beef stock, bring to the boil then simmer and cook covered for about 30 minutes.
  4. Add the lentils, spinach and coriander to the pot and cook uncovered for 10 minutes.
  5. Serve into bowls.


Chicken & Bacon Hotpot

Chicken & Bacon Hotpot

It is my favourite time of the year, Autumn, the colours on the trees, the fresh crisp air, walks in the park, comfy jumpers and warming food. What’s not to like? After harvesting some of my vegetables from the garden today I decided to use them in this warming Hotpot. Nothing says home comfort food that a big pot a deliciousness & straight from the garden too.

The good thing with this recipe is that you can use just about any root vegetable and it will work just as good.

Some of my winter harvest this morning. Parsnips, Carrots & Potatoes

Makes enough for 2 large portions

4 Large Potatoes, cut into bite size pieces

2 Large carrots, cut into bite size pieces

2 Parsnips, peeled and cut into bite size pieces

1 Onion, sliced into wedges

6-8 Rashers of Smoked Bacon, sliced

2 Chicken Breasts, cut into chunks

500ml Chicken Stock

1 tsp oil

1 tsp Nutmeg

1 garlic clove, crushed

Salt & Pepper to taste

Cornflour to thicken sauce if needed.

1 tbsp flour

  1. First coat the chicken with seasoning and the flour, heat the oil in a large pot or casserole dish then brown the chicken and remove.
  2. Add in the garlic & nutmeg along with the onion and fry until softened then add the bacon and fry until cooked slightly, few minutes.
  3. Add to the pan the potatoes, carrots, parsnips and mix, then add in the chicken stock & bring to the boil.
  4. Reduce to a low simmer and cook covered for about 2 hours. Alternatively you can cook in the oven at 140 deg for about 2 hours.
  5. Remove lid and if you like a thick sauce like me just add a little cornflour and stir through. 1 tsp mixed with water should be enough.
  6. Serve with some lovely fresh crusty bread. Or if you are Scottish it has to be Plain Bread!

Chicken Curry with Almond Milk

Chicken Curry Pot

Who doesn’t love a Curry? Especially when it’s a healthier version. This Curry came about when I was trying to use up leftover Almond Milk, nutritionally, store-bought almond milk (like Alpro or Almond Breeze)  is a low-calorie product with about 56 calories per 100ml. It’s typically low in fat, with just 1.5g per 100g – all of which is largely unsaturated fat.

This Curry is a great family curry as its low in spice but with great flavour. It’s also great if you love batch cooking as you can make a hug pot and freeze into portions.

Chicken Curry with Almond Milk

Serves 2

2 Chicken Breasts – cut into chunks

1 tbsp olive oil

Salt & Pepper

1 tbsp Tomato Paste

300ml Almond Milk

1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

1 tsp Chilli powder

Handful of Cauliflower Florets (I used frozen)

Handful of Peas (I used frozen)

Curry Paste (see below)

Curry Paste:

1 Onion

1 tsp garlic granules

1 tsp ground ginger

1/2 tsp ground turmeric

1 tsp gram masala

Sea salt

  1. Mix all the Curry Paste ingredients into a blender and mix until you get a smooth paste.
  2. Heat a little oil in a pan on medium to high heat, add chicken, season and brown.
  3. Add the Curry paste to the pan and heat through for about 2 minutes.
  4. Next add the tomato paste, almond milk, cinnamon and chilli powder and mix through.
  5. Reduce the heat, cover and simmer on low for about 1 hour. 15 minutes before serving add in the cauliflower & peas, mix through and cook for remaining time.
  6. I served with some of my Chickpea Chaptai’s. https://theweecaledoniancook.com/2020/08/29/chickpea-chapati/
Chickpea Chapati


Highland Hotpot

Chicken Hotpot

I am craving home cooked comfort foods these days, maybe it’s because we are all out of routine in life at the moment.

A traditional Highland Hotpot is normally made out of a Brace of Grouse (a brace is one male & one female grouse) and rabbit, however, my partner is not a big fan of these meats so I decided to make my version with free range chicken. This is a great slow cook one pot meal. Easy to make and delicious.

Hot pot meal

Makes enough for 2

2 chicken breasts – cut into cubes

1 tbsp flour

Salt & black pepper seasoning

1 white onion – cut into wedges

2 sticks celery – sliced

Cabbage – shredded

4-6 rashers of smoked bacon – chopped

spray oil

1 tsp white pepper

1 tsp All Spice (cinnamon, nutmeg & cloves)

1 pint of vegetable stock

2 medium potatoes – cubed

  1. Preheat your oven to 160 deg on fan.
  2. In an oven proof dish with lid, heat spray oil on hob at medium to high heat. Coat the chicken with seasoning and flour then brown in the pan, remove with a slotted spoon.
  3. In the same pan fry the onion and brown the bacon rashers for a few minutes.
  4. Add the potatoes & celery & mix through for a few minutes.
  5. Add back to the pan the chicken and add all spice & white pepper along with the stock, mix & bring to the boil. Then add the shredded cabbage mix, put lid on pot and transfer to the oven and cook for about 2 1/2 hours.
  6. The stock should have absorbed into the meat & veg. Serve. Yummy!
Highland Chicken Hotpot

Roasted Red Pepper Chicken Curry

Roasted Red Pepper Chicken Curry

This is my best homemade curry yet! (as said by my partner) I have to admit this was very delicious. I do surprise myself sometimes with my combinations out of a hat…lol! We had just come back from a mini hike nearby so we were pretty hungry, the weather was scorching (now scorching in Scotland is about 21 deg of sunshine…lol!), we fancied something light and refreshing. Looking in my cupboards & fridge, I had coconut milk, chicken and spinach to use up, so a wee light curry it was. Perfect with a light beer too!

Serves 2

2 small or 1.5 large chicken breasts – chopped into bitesize pieces

1 jar roasted red peppers

1 can coconut milk (full fat for more flavour)

1 tbsp harissa paste

Spray oil

1 red onion chopped

1 tsp curry powder

100g Spinach – I chopped finely

Seasoning (salt & pepper)

  1. Using a food processor, blend the roasted red peppers with the harissa paste and coconut milk until smooth.

2. In a pan heat a little oil, season the chicken and fry until browned. Then add the onion and cook for about 3-4 minutes. Add the curry powder and mix.

3. Pour in the Sauce mix and cook for about 10 minutes on a medium to high heat.

4. Add in the chopped spinach and mix through cooking for about 2 minutes.

5. If the sauce is still to thin, bring heat up to a slight boil to help thicken the sauce.

6. Serve with some brown rice or naan bread. I cooked some rice and added it to the pan mixture and mixed though.

This dish could be made vegan and gluten free by adding chickpeas instead of chicken and serving on its own.


Hunters Chicken with Saffron Bean Rice

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This is a classic dish in the U.K, good British pub food, I was keen to give it a go. Easy One pot cooking and can be slow cooked too. Traditionally its served with roast potatoes, however, having loads of rice to use up in my cupboard this was my preferred choice.

 

Serves 4

For the Chicken

4 Chicken Breasts

4 Bacon slices (smoked)

3 shallots, diced

2 tsp garlic granules or 2 cloves

1 400g tin chopped tomatoes

1 tbsp tomato puree

juice of 1/2 lemon

1 tsp smoked paprika

1/2 tsp crushed chilli flakes

1 tbsp balsamic vinegar

2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce

2 tbsp white wine vinegar

1 tbsp hot sauce

1 tsp mustard powder

1 tsp sugar

80g reduced fat cheddar (healthier option)

For the Rice

150g Wholemeal Log Grain Rice

1 x 400g tin of mixed beans

Pinch of Saffron

300ml Vegetable Stock

75-100g chopped Chorizo

 

  1. Preheat oven to 180 deg.
  2. Wrap each chicken breast with the bacon slice and secure with a cocktail stick
  3. Put all of the other ingredients for the chicken into an ovenproof casserole dish with a tight lid.
  4. Place the chicken on top of the ingredients, put lid on and cook for about 1-2 hours.
  5. Remove from the oven and remove chicken breasts from the dish, set aside. Using a blender blitz the sauce until smooth.
  6. Place chicken into a dish, cover with the sauce and sprinkle the cheese over the top, place under a hot grill to melt the cheese.
  7. Place the rice, beans, chorizo, stock & saffron into the steam pot and cook on Steam setting for 20 minutes.
  8. Serve. Yummy!