Saturday, 27 December 2014

Moroccan Chicken Cous Cous

Tired of sliced turkey? For me, turkey leftovers are more appealing on Boxing Day, but on the 27th I quickly grow tired of attempting to reinvent the turkey leftovers that I have ate for my lunch and dinner. That's where the humble chicken (any other time of year, chicken would not be described as "humble") mince is a refreshing and economical change to the usual turkey dishes that are served. This dish is Moroccan inspired: exotic spices, harisa paste, cous cous and raisins for good measure. Any dish that relies on an array of colourful seasoning, I am instantly sold, which was the case for this Moroccan chicken cous cows. This dish has also been an educational lesson to me as I usually season the mince, but in this dish the seasoning is added to the pan. The seasoning added to the pan creates the wonderful aroma and alongside the sweating onions is what makes this dish. The addition of the chicken mince gives the humble cous cous a lift and makes the dish hearty enough to eat as an evening meal, which is when I served this dish. I made this dish in under 30 minutes, using one frying pan which is handy for a quick, delicious, spicy, a healthy meal and saves on washing up. 
Here is how my Moroccan Chicken Cous Cous turned out:

Moroccan Chicken Cous Cous

Moroccan Chicken Cous Cous.

Moroccan Chicken Cous Cous

Recipe for Moroccan-Style Mince.
Serves 4, Prep time: 5 minutes, Cook Time:Approx 30 minutes

2 tbsp vegetable oil
1 large onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped 
1tbsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsbp ground cinnamon
2 tsp ground turmeric
500 g fresh chicken mince
500 ml chicken stock
70 g raisins
250 g couscous
finely grates zest and juice of 1 lemon
salt and pepper
sprigs of flat leaf parsley, to garnish (optional)

1) Heat the oil in a large, non-stick frying pan, add the onion and cook over a low heat, stirring occasionally, for 4-5 minutes, until softened. Add the garlic and spices and cook for a further 1 minute over a medium heat.
2) Add the mince and cook, stirring frequently and breaking up the meat with a wooden spoon, for 4-5 minutes, until lightly browned. Add the stock and raisins, cover over a low heat for a further 8-10 minutes.
3) Add the couscous, and salt and pepper to taste, stir and cover again. Simmer for 5-6 minutes, until the couscous has absorbed the stock and is fully cooked.
4) Remove from the heat, then stir in the lemon zest and juice. Garnish with parsley and serve immediately. 


Wednesday, 27 August 2014

Minced beef pizza

I love mince. Every now and then it's nice to treat myself to a nice piece of sirloin steak, but more often than not I eat beef in the form of mince. What's not to love about mince? It's eaten in the nations well-loved dishes such as lasagne, spaghetti bolognose, chilli con carne, burgers and my new favourite Bobotie. But in a new twist on an ingredient favourite, beef mince is used in a classic pizza recipe. The recipe looks a bit involved, with the many ingredients but trust me, you will have this on your table in less than an hour.  More importantly, the flavours of the mince topped on the crispy pizza base will make this dish a firm family favourite. So, next time you have a packet of mine and unsure what to use it for than a flavoursome pizza is the way to go.

Here is how my minced beef pizza from All Minced Up:
Minced beef pizza baked

Tomato base

Topping on pizza pre bale
Minced beef pizza
Serves 2 
Prep time for 20 minutes
Cook time approx 30 minutes

Olive oil, for brushing and drizzling
175g fresh beef mince
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
1 tsp ground cumin
55g chargrilled red pepper or use any vegetable topping you like.
1 tbsp chopped fresh coriander 
4 tbsp tomato puree
115 g mozzarella cheese sliced
Salt and pepper

Pizza dough
175g self raising flour,  plus extra for dusting 
Pinch of salt
25g butter
100-125 ml milk

Preheat the oven to 200c/400F/gas mark 6. Brush a baking sheet with oil. To make the pizza dough, sift the flour and salt into a bowl. Add the butter and rub it in with your fingertips until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs. Pour in 100 ml of the milk and mix with a round bladed knife to a soft dough, adding the remaining milk if necessary. 
Turn out the dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead gently. Roll out to a 25 cm round and transfer to the prepared baking sheet.  Push up the edge slightly all around to make a rim.
Put the beef, onion,  garlic and cumin in a nonstick frying pan and cook over q medium heat, stirring frequently and breaking up the meat with a wooden spoon,  for 5-8 minutes,  until evenly browned. Stir in the red pepper and coriander and season to taste with salt and pepper.
Spread the tomato puree over the pizza base. Cover with the beef mixture, top 4th the Mozzarella and drizzle with oil. Bake in the preheated oven for 15-20 minute until the crust is crisp.  serve immediately.

Enjoy xx 
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