Jack Daniels BBQ Ribs!

Have you ever tasted the most succulent, tender, fall off the bone ribs in a restaurant and wanted to make it at home? Well now you can. I made these today and I can safely say that I had a very happy husband next to me. These ribs were effortless to make and so worth it. They were so tender that I struggled to slice the ribs off to take the picture! The meat was literally falling off the bone. Yes…

It’s a great dish to make when friends are coming over, as you can leave them in the oven to slow cook whilst enjoying a glass of wine with your guests and not be stuck in the kitchen the whole time.

Now this is my recipe, inspired by lots of other recipes and adapted to whatever I had in the house. So you can adapt it too. Put whatever you want on them, there is no right or wrong way of making them. I’m sure they will be delicious no matter what!

Here’s what I did:

Ingredients:

2 rack of pork ribs

Dry Spice Rub:

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 tsp pepper

1 tsp fennel seeds

1 heaped tsp smoked paprika

1/2 tsp dried oregano

1/2 tsp dried thyme

1 tsp garlic powder

1/2 tsp chilli flakes

Jack Daniels BBQ Sauce: 

100ml Jack Daniels (you can use less or more depending on how much you like it!)

2 tbsp tomato ketchup

2 tbsp brown sauce

1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce

2 tsp Tobasco

1 tsp english mustard

1 tsp honey

50ml apple juice

1 tsp smoked paprika

  1. Put all the dry spice ingredients in a pestle and mortar and beat to a fine rub. Use this rub to coat all over the ribs.
  2. Place ribs in an oven tray and cover with foil. Cook in the oven at 160 degrees for 2.5 hours or until soft and tender and cooked through.
  3. Meanwhile make the BBQ sauce. In a saucepan, add all of the sauce ingredients and mix together. Simmer gently for 5 minutes. Leave to cool.
  4. Once the ribs are cooked, remove the foil and coat the ribs in the bbq sauce. Place back in the oven (uncovered) for a further 25 minutes until the sauce has cooked and thickened.
  5. Serve with coleslaw or any sides you wish!

Now I’ll admit, my measurements are estimations simply because they are not as important as other recipes. It doesn’t matter if you add a little more tabasco or a little less  apple juice. As long as you stick to the rough quantities then you will end up with a great sauce.

Get the napkins ready, this is a messy dish! Enjoy 🙂

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

untitledBBQ Ribs

 

 

 

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Hearty Chicken Soup

There is something about a warm bowl of chicken soup on a cold winter Sunday evening that makes you feel like everything is going to be okay. If you are feeling a bit under the weather, or just fancy an easy and tasty soup, then this recipe is for you.

It’s amazing how food can comfort you in many ways, and that comfort food does not always have to be unhealthy lardy dishes. Comfort food can also strike fond memories of your childhood, when your Mum would make you some soup if you are not feeling 100%. That first mouthful warms your insides and suddenly your spirits are lifted slightly, and that bond between mother and child is intensified just that little bit more. Thanks Mum.

So if you feel like making some soup for the soul, or you want to make someone feel a bit better, why not give this a try.

I am not ashamed to say that I took a massive shortcut in this recipe and used a rotisserie roast chicken bought from the supermarket. I love the taste of a rotisserie chicken compared to a home roasted chicken, but of course you can use either.

Ingredients:

1 carrot

1/2 onion

2 garlic cloves

1 chilli

A pinch of ground cumin

Sweetcorn (as much as you like)

1 rotisserie chicken (or any cooked chicken)

1 tbsp cornflour

500ml chicken stock

  1. Dice the carrot and onion and finely slice the garlic and chilli. In a pot, add a little olive oil and place the vegetables in. Sauté gently until softened.
  2. From your roasted chicken, remove the skin and shred some meat from the leg, thigh and wing (this meat is more tender and will not dry out.) Add the chicken to the pan.
  3. Season the ingredients in the pan with sea salt, cracked black pepper and a pinch of cumin.
  4. Add the chicken stock. In a water glass, mix the cornflour with a splash of cold water and then add to the soup to thicken it.
  5. Simmer for a few minutes. Serve with crusty bread.

Tip: I used a chicken stock melt with boiling water as my stock, these can be found in all supermarkets. If not, a stock cube or fresh chicken stock will work too.

I have to say that I like my soup with a little bit of a kick! I believe spice diminishes any nasty germs but maybe that is a myth. If you don’t want the soup to be spicy, leave out the black pepper, chilli and cumin. But I have to say that these are the best ingredients so please don’t blame me if it is bland or boring! :p

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

Chicken Soup low res

 

 

 

 

 

 

I’m back! Did someone say Halloumi Fries?

Well I think it’s about time that I got this blog back up and running again. It seems as though I let work and well…life get in the way of what I really love to do, and for that I can only apologise. I forgot just how much I love to create my own images and make a big mess in my kitchen. So let’s get started!

A recent trend that I have picked up on is Halloumi Fries. I first tried them in Camden market (click here to see) with friends and I was blown away! Ever since then I have been wanting to make them at home so here it is.

Now I must mention that all the recipes I looked up had fancy spices like sumac and za’atar and pomegranate molasses in it, but unfortunately my kitchen cupboards are not that exotic, and I was too lazy to go out to the supermarket in the snow, so here is my version.

Ingredients:

1 pack x Halloumi

Spices: 1 tsp smoked paprika, 1/2 tsp ground cumin, 1/2 tsp dried oregano, 1/2 tsp dried thyme

1 tsp plain flour

Pomegranate seeds (to garnish)

Plain yoghurt (to garnish)

Chilli flakes (to garnish)

Mint leaves (to garnish)

Oil (to fry)

Method:

  1. Slice the Halloumi into strips, making sure you don’t slice them too thin.
  2. Mix the smoked paprika, oregano, cumin and thyme together and coat the fries. Then coat them in the plain flour. Any left over spices can be mixed together with the yoghurt (optional). Shake off any excess flour.
  3. Deep fry the halloumi until golden brown and crisp. Place on a serving dish.
  4. Drizzle the yoghurt over the fries and garnish with the pomegranate seeds, mint leaves and chilli flakes. Enjoy!

Tip: Dry the halloumi with a kitchen towel before you flavour them, otherwise the moisture from the cheese will spit when frying. I found this out the hard way…

I realise that deep fried cheese doesn’t really fit into the theme of healthy eating in January but life is too short not to indulge now and again. This is one of my favourite recipes and I will defend it with all my might. The salty and crispy cheese paired with sweet pomegranate seeds and mint just creates an explosion in your mouth. A must try! Oh go on…

It feels good to be back. I learnt that you can’t let life get in the way of doing what you really love. For me it’s food photography, but whatever it might be for you, keep it up!

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

Halloumi Fries Low res

 

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!

A Christmas treat…Gingerbread!

Merry Christmas everyone! It’s the best time of the year, a time when you can bake as much as you want and not feel guilty about it. So this year I decided to make gingerbread and oh my gosh they are so delicious and dangerously easy to keep eating.

Now please don’t laugh at my attempt at decorating. I am fully aware that one of my gingerbread men looks like he has had a bit too much sherry. I have no skills in decorating because whatever I make doesn’t seem to last long enough in my house.

I got this recipe from BBC Good Food and it is definitely one that I will keep. The gingerbread is not too sweet and has the right amount of spice. It is also slightly soft and chewy on the inside (if you don’t over bake it) and crisp on the outside, which I love.

They are great fun to make, especially if you have kids. I am a big kid myself so I was quite content making them for myself. So why not give them a go this Christmas?

Get cosy with a nice hot chocolate topped with marshmallows, perfect for dipping your gingerbread man in. All you need now is a classic Christmas movie, some warm socks and someone else to do the dishes. After all, this is the time to relax and treat yourself. But don’t eat too many!

Wishing you all a very Merry Christmas! Thanks for reading and have a lovely holiday!

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Gingerbread man 1 w

 

Diwali…The Festival of Light

Its Diwali! The time of lights, food and family!

Diwali is a great festival that is celebrated all over the world, wherever you might find Indians! Of course it is a lot more grand in India, but us British Asians give it a good go! I was born and raised in England so I consider myself quite British, however I have always been in touch with my culture thanks to my family. As part of a large community in the UK, we celebrate all the festivals all over England.

Diwali is a time where everyone would spend the weeks before cooking all sorts of sweet and savoury snacks for the big day. I remember my Mum and I creating a huge mess in the kitchen making Indian sweets, Chukri (savoury swirls), Karkaria (sweet discs), Bombay mix, biscuits and more! Our kitchen would be covered in flour and empty packets of butter, and we would be exhausted by the end of the day.

The best part was the unofficial exchange system we created from this. Our relatives would make the same snacks and we would all go to each others house and exchange food! It was a custom that brought us all together. We would offer sweets to anyone who would come to see us and vice versa. Let’s just say Diwali is not a time to be on a diet.

We would end the day with a big meal of masala fish and prawn or daal curry and all the trimmings. Chapatis, rice and poppadoms all finished with something sweet at the end, such as Gulab Jamun or Ras Malai (heaven)! And with our belly’s full to the brim, we would all stand outside in the cold and watch the fireworks.

Although I am emphasising how much Diwali is about food, it is nothing without family. The best part of Diwali is going to see all of your relatives that you don’t get to see often, or call those who are too far to visit. It is about welcoming people into your home and offering them food that you have made from scratch. It is about paying respects to your elders and remembering those who are not with you anymore.

This post is dedicated to my dear Mum who is no longer with us. Happy Diwali Mum x

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Diwali

Unusual ingredients…Okra?!

It may be unusual to you, but to me I grew up eating Okra. I actually went through a mad phase of demanding my Mum to cook it once a week for me (is that weird?). My brother however is not a fan! I like to discover new ingredients whenever I can, otherwise I would just get stuck eating the same old thing.

Okra is a great vegetable, slightly weird and wonderful! Some people get put off by its texture or they don’t how to cook it. I grew up eating it chopped up with onions, potatoes, garlic, ginger, chilli and some indian spices. Served with some fresh chapatis, its delicious! There are loads of recipes out there with different variations, but this is how I have always eaten it. If you can’t make chapatis, it will taste just as good with some basmati rice or naan bread.

It’s good to mix it up in the kitchen. I get incredibly bored and don’t like to have the same old food week in week out. Unless its a classic, I will always try and adapt a recipe or try something different. That’s not to say it works every time though! Do you like to try different dishes each week? Let me know!

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Okra