Chinese Won Tons

Are you bored of seeing diet recipes all throughout January? Yes me too. There is no reason why healthy food can’t be fun and exciting to cook and eat.

If you have some spare time, why not try making some Chinese won tons? If you are having friends over, they will love it! Also, they are surprisingly easy to make so don’t worry.

You will need to buy some Chinese won ton wrappers from a good supermarket, a Chinese supermarket or online. I filled mine with pork mince but you can fill them with anything you want. Here’s what I did.

First of all you have to flavour your pork mince. Remember there is no strict recipe and you can add any flavours you want. To my pork mince, I added chopped garlic, ginger and chilli,  spring onions, sesame oil, chopped carrots, salt and pepper. Simple!

Then add a small amount of pork mince to the middle of the won ton wrapper, dip your finger in water and spread on the edges of the wrapper. Next, fold one corner to the other (diagonally) and then join the bottom two corners together and press firmly.

Now your won tons are ready to cook. You can steam them or fry them, but I did both! So I got a large pan with a lid on a medium heat and added some sesame oil. I placed the won tons in the pan and let the bottoms fry for a minute or two.

Once the bottom is crispy, add a large splash of water to the pan (be careful here) and then quickly put the lid on. This steams the rest on the won ton and you will be left with a crispy bottom and a soft top. Delicious!

Serve with a soy sauce dip and some vegetables. Its absolutely gorgeous, you have to try this! Go on…

chinese-dumplings-2

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Sausage and egg McMuffin breakfast

On a lazy bank holiday Monday, why not try and make your own McDonalds breakfast? It’s probably healthier (kind of), cheaper and at least you know what you are eating! I’ll admit, I have had a cheeky McDonalds breakfast before and as tasty as it is, you always feel a bit guilty and sluggish afterwards.

Making your own sausage and egg McMuffin couldn’t be easier and it tastes exactly the same. All you need is english muffins, good quality sausages, eggs and cheese. This is how I made mine.

You can either buy sausage meat or buy normal sausages and push the meat out of the skin. Shape them into thin and wide patties (they shrink when cooking) and keep them in the fridge until you are ready to cook. All you have to do is fry off the sausage patty in a pan with very little oil, turn it over and place slices of cheese on top to melt. I used cheddar cheese but you can use what you like.

Then for the egg, I used a ring to keep the shape of the egg round, but it doesn’t matter if you don’t have one. You could also use a really small egg frying pan. It just makes it easier to eat. Toast your muffin and that is it! Assemble, dollop some ketchup on the side and there you have your own cheeky breakfast. It is delicious and a little bit naughty, but what’s life without a little treat? Go on…you know you want to try it. The shops should be open right now right? 😉

Thanks for reading. Check out my website at www.jbimagery.co.uk

Sausage and Egg McMuffin

 

Sri Lanka…A beautiful country :)

Who would have thought that a ‘small’ country like Sri Lanka would have so much to offer? My husband and I recently visited this beautiful island and immediately fell in love with it. The hustle and bustle of the busy roads, with street vendors on the side selling anything from fresh fruit and veg to swim floats and wood carvings, kept us very entertained.

The people were so friendly that each and every person we met asked us where we were from, as they were so intrigued by us! They were very kind and friendly and wanted to learn about new people. Nobody bothered us or tried to convince us that we need to buy a lucky necklace that will cure any illnesses. The children smiled at us and waved like we were A-list celebrities.

The one thing I have to talk about is the food! The food was so memorable that I am convinced my carnivore husband could live as a vegetarian out there. From fresh exotic fruit such as papaya, rambutan and king coconuts, to pumpkin curry, lentil curry, mango curry and any other curry you can think of!

As a British Asian, I have eaten my fair share of curries, but never have I tasted curries such as these. The contrast between sweet and spicy wakes up your taste buds and makes you yearn for more. A traditional Sri Lankan lunch consists of a number of curries served with red or white rice, accompanied with roti, poppadoms and fried lake fish. Most importantly, it was served with a side of spicy ‘sambol’, which is a combination of ground coconut, chillies, onions and lime, which absolutely makes the meal kick! Delicious.

They utilise so much of what they can grow themselves. For example, no part of a coconut is wasted; the water and flesh is used in cooking, the shells are used for carvings and the husks used as brooms; the oil is used for cooking as well as beauty products and the leaves  are woven together and used for shelter – you name it they make it!

I could go on and on about all the different experiences we had in Sri Lanka, such as releasing baby turtles in the sea or climbing Sigiriya rock, but I will be here all night. There was so much to explore in Sri Lanka that I would most likely visit again one day. And when I do, I’m going straight for a traditional lunch!

A beautiful country filled with warmth, vibrancy and excitement. A must see!

Check out my website www.jbimagery.co.uk Thanks for reading!

Garlic, Rosemary and Chilli Sausage Rolls :)

Have you ever tried making your own sausage rolls? They are so easy and a lot tastier than some of those ready made ones you find in the supermarkets. Making your own means you can add whatever flavour you want and you know what goes into them. No hidden nasty ingredients!

All you need is some lean pork mince (I bought the kind with very little fat) and some ready rolled puff pastry. Flavour the mince with whatever you have! I added fresh garlic, chopped rosemary and chilli and seasoned it with lots of salt and pepper. But you can add the classic combination of sage and onion, or some smoked paprika or fennel seeds. Get creative!

Cut the pastry into long strips (about 3 inches wide), place the pork mince in a long sausage shape in the middle and brush the edges with a beaten egg. Fold the pastry over the mince and seal with a fork. Brush the pastry with more beaten egg and sprinkle some sesame seeds on top. Lastly, cut them into edible sizes and you are ready to bake! Bake at 200 degrees C for about 20 minutes or until golden and crisp.

They are so tasty and much better than those bland supermarket sausage rolls. Great for parties, picnics and more. The only problem is trying to not eat them all! Go on…give it a try. Yum.

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Sausage Rolls

Bored of the same lunch? Try something new…

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve looked at my boring sandwich or same old salad for lunch and thought, surely I can eat something else? Especially in the winter, I long for something warm that won’t make me feel sleepy all afternoon.

So today I decided to make leek and potato soup, and it was very satisfying. I didn’t add any cream (even though I really wanted to!) because as a weekday lunch I didn’t want it to be full of calories . All I did was fry a medium sized chopped onion, two garlic cloves, 2 sliced leeks and one small sliced potato in some olive oil. I let them sweat down a little bit and then added some chicken stock. I boiled it until the potato was cooked through and then added a splash of semi-skimmed milk, seasoned with salt and pepper and blitz until smooth. I also added some fresh parsley to give the soup a bit of a lift.

I think soup is a great idea for lunch, you can make a batch on the weekend and then freeze into individual portions for the week and off you go. I’m not a fan of those packet soups because who knows what is in them and they taste a bit watery to me. I like to know that I am getting some real veg in me. And there are so many different combinations you could try, such as sweet potato and carrot soup or tomato and red pepper soup. What flavours do you like?

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Leek and potato soup w

Friday Night Curry…Butter Chicken

With all this hype about how butter is now good for us, I couldn’t not cook butter chicken and share it with all you lovely people. Now I don’t know if butter is good for us, bad for us, or simply tormenting us but what I do know is that it’s delicious and seems to make everything taste better. But yes, everything in moderation I can hear you say.

I based this dish from Jamie Oliver’s Food Tube video on butter chicken by Maunika but gave it my own spin. It’s such a delicious dish and if you are not a fan of very spicy curries, then you have to give this one a try.

I basically followed this recipe but used Pataks Kashmiri spice paste rather than a powder. You can get this in most of the supermarkets and it gives the curry a great flavour.

I marinated the chicken (for the whole day) in yoghurt, ginger, garlic and chilli paste, tomato puree, Kashmiri paste, lemon, salt, chilli powder turmeric, ground cumin and coriander powder. I then placed the chicken on skewers and cooked it in the oven to get nice and charred.

To make the sauce I fried a chopped onion in some butter, and once browned I then added a chopped tomato, ginger, garlic and chilli paste, tomato puree and the Kashimiri paste. I added different spices such as turmeric, chilli powder, cumin, coriander powder and let this cook into a thick paste. Next I added about 100ml of single cream to give the sauce a creamy taste. I let the sauce down with some boiling water and let it simmer. I preferred to do this than use lots of double cream so I would feel less guilty!

Once the chicken is charred I added it to the sauce alongside all its juices and its done! Add some fresh coriander and serve with naan bread or chapatis and basmati rice. Delicious!

If you are vegetarian you can always make this sauce and use hearty veg such as cauliflower and sweet potato. I like my curries a bit spicy but if you don’t then you don’t have to add any chilli, but go on…spice up your life! (Gosh that was cheesy)

Thanks for reading and check out my website www.jbimagery.co.uk

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Butter chicken 1 wButter chicken 2 w

 

Why is baking so addictive?

I don’t know what it is but I will find any excuse to bake. I will happily admit that I am not the best baker in town but I like to give it a good go. I am guilty of changing recipes based on what I have in the house, which doesn’t always go my way. But I am a firm believer in having a well stocked cupboard and not running to the shops everyday. And I think my purse thanks me for it.

What is it about baking that is so much fun? Is it seeing a bunch of ingredients transform into something warm and delicious? Or is it the feeling of eating something afterwards that you know is slightly naughty? Yes that is probably it. We all have a dark side.

One of my (and my husbands) favourite biscuits are oatmeal and raisin cookies. I’m not sure if this is because the oats and raisins make us both feel like we are being slightly ‘healthy’, but then we are reminded by the butter and sugar in it and slowly come back to reality.

This is a very easy recipe that I got from one of Mary Berry‘s Bake Off books and it was delicious. A perfect combination of ingredients made the biscuit slightly soft and chewy rather than too crunchy.

The recipe is as follows: 125g softened butter, 150g muscovado sugar, 1 large free-range egg, 1 tablespoon of milk, 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract, 100g self-raising flour, 75g raisins, 150g porridge oats.

Cream the butter and sugar together, then beat in the egg, and then place the rest of the ingredients in and fold through. It’s as easy as that! I added a pinch of cinnamon too because I love it, but you don’t have to. Place small dollops (technical term there) on a baking tray lined with baking parchment and bake in the oven for 15-20 mins or until golden. Bake at 180 degrees C/gas mark 4. Let them cool properly on a rack if you can resist eating them straight away. Enjoy!

Baking is good the for soul…go on give it a try.

Thanks for reading! Please subscribe and check out my website www.jbimagery.co.uk