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Food Lover

The Food Lover's Recipes

Chicken roasted in orange juice

Summer is a great time for feeding friends and giving them something special. But it can get both pricey and predictable, especially with lots of guests.

This is a goody. A great way of taking cheap chicken portions and cooking them in a fun, fresh way. Dig through the supermarket and see what offers they have on chicken legs and thighs. Don't go for breasts as they are not as tasty and more expensive. Daft, eh?

Tandoori Chicken and Bread without a tandoor

There are several things I would like to own. One is a wood fired oven for bread and pizzas and the other is a Tandoor, because I really, really like very good quality chicken and bread cooked in a tandoor with loads of herbs and spices.

Sadly, I can't see either appearing as birthday prezzies in the near future, so I will have to make do. Today, I knocked up some Tandoori-ish chicken and some flatbread – not Naans, but along those lines. Okay, pen and paper at the ready?

Chicken and Lamb Kebabs cooked over charcoal

It doesn't take much to persuade me to clear out the barbeque, run out to buy charcoal and do something interesting with a chicken and half an English lamb leg. What a way to get the season started.

I have had a variety of barbeques over the years, but in the end, cooking over charcoal or wood is the way to go. Gas BBQs just don't add anything apart from the smell of gas, so what is the point in them? Expensive metal lumps at the end of the day. Spend the money on a really good, heavy grate and suspend it between bricks. Much better all round.

Making the most of Paneer Cheese

One of the most common dishes seen in your average Indian restaurant is Matar Paneer; basically, peas and paneer cheese cooked in a tomato and cream sauce. I am sorry, but this is a really boring dish, or can be. Paneer is a curd cheese popular in South India that is made using lemon to curdle milk (dead easy to make at home, by the way). Unlike a lot of firm cheeses it does not need Rennet to make it hard, so it is perfect for vegetarians. Also, it does not melt when heated so it can be fried or even put on the barbeque.

Wonderful, Creamy, Baked Cod and Haddock

Fishes and ovens do go together rather well. An oven treats fish a little more kindly than your average frying pan, especially when it comes to light, flaky fish like cod and haddock that I am using here. You do have to watch the temperature, be patient and cover the fish to keep the moisture in. However, with something like cod, because it cooks fairly quickly, it shouldn’t dry out.

So, go grab some nice fish of your choice and meet me by the oven dish!

Fish Curry with Cream and spiced with Panch Puran

India has a rather large coastline, considerably longer than ours, and the Indians love of fish is second to no one.

So it is rather strange that the only fish on many an Indian Restaurant menu is either an overcooked prawn or a tandoori trout! (Okay, the owner of the former Cafe Lazeez in Dean Street, London did something phenomenal with salmon, so it is not all bad. Pity it closed). Well, let us redress that right now.

Boning a Chicken - a step by step guide

Chicken is a popular food in our household, but I rather like to stick to free range, both for ethical and taste reasons. But free range chicken is more expensive than other chicken, there is no doubt about that. However, a medium sized Free Range chicken, properly boned, will give nearly the same amount of meat as a packet of 4 intensively farmed chicken breasts, and it is actually only a pound or so more in price. And you get the succulent red meat as well.

Here is a step by step guide to boning a chicken. It really is much easier than you think.

Gorgeous Grilled Garlic Koftas

Lamb koftas are one of those dishes that Kebab houses and vans manage to wreck so frequently.  A charcoal grilled delight that should be soft, moist and yummy is often dry and tasteless and if it is moist, that is because it has been kept warm in a warming dish for the last half hour.

Worse still are the infamous garlic koftas – exactly the same beast, but with garlic powder added! Who on earth invented Garlic Powder? It is revolting.

Simply Wonderful Roasted Loin of Pork

Porchetta is a somewhat wonderful beast from the village communities in Italy. A superb family meal, it is often made from the entire belly of pork, boned, and roasted wrapped in foil, stuffed with herbs for hours in a wood oven.

The trouble is, all the fabulous fat that gives the roast so much flavour is a bit off-putting for some people who appears to be stuck on “can I have something lean?” The compromise is to roast a loin of pork with enough fat to satisfy the chef but lean enough inside to mollify those who are determined to ruin a good idea.

Tuna & Mackerel fried with peppers and couscous

I really do like my fish and down at the supermarket I picked up some cheap mackerel fillets and some line-caught tuna steaks (well, the tuna was line caught – not the actual steaks!)

Both these fishies are wonderful on their own; simply grilled with a little salt and a brushing of olive oil. But sometimes you want to go a little further. Staring at me out of my cupboard is a box of good couscous that I bought the other day. Couscous is often talked about in this country, but going by the fact that in supermarkets it is usually on the back shelf of the ethnic section, a take it that it is not widely used – pity, it is dead simple!