Two Ingredient Flat Breads

These two ingredient flat breads are incredibly simple to make. They are so simple that my children get stuck in when making them. The best thing about these flat breads is that they take literally no time to make them and they are really difficult to mess up.

I have been buying Naan breads from the shop for years out of convenience. They are the perfect side for a curry, especially my butter chicken recipe.Although shop bought flatbreads are great, I always love being able to make the things I buy as it gives me a bit more satisfaction and with a bit of experimentation they usually end up being better. I make butter chicken curry once a week with some yoghurt dip and flatbreads. It always goes down well with the family and it’s a pretty cheap dinner.

When you buy flatbreads from the shop you usually only get between 2 to 4 and cost anywhere between two and three pound. When I make these, I make about 8 to 10 flatbreads which means I can save some for the next meal. They keep in the freezer for about a month.

Recipe

300g self raising flour

200ml 0% Greek Yoghurt ( I usually buy a 500ml tub and using some for the flatbreads and the rest for the yoghurt dip)

If you want to add some extra flavour to the mix you can add some herbs or some garlic granules. They are absolutely fine plain.

Method

Put the flour and yoghurt in a bowl and mix until fully combined. Depending on the flour you may need to adjust the amount of yoghurt you need. I tend to ‘eyeball’ it and add a little bit more if the mix is a little dry.

The dough should come together easily by working it together with your hands. Don’t be afraid to get stuck in. My kids love this part.

Once it’s together take it out of the bowl and knead the dough like you would bread on a clean surface for about 5-10 mins. It should have a smooth surface when it’s ready. Then roll it out into a sausage shape and cut it in to 8-10 portions of equal size. Roll these portions into balls and then press down to flatten. Use a rolling pin and roll then out to about 1/2 centimetre thickness.

You can add some oil or a sprinkle of water to the surface of the flatbreads and then cook. I cooked the featured flatbreads on a health grill for about 8 minutes. Flatbreads need a little colour, so if you get some charred bits all the better. To cook in the oven, preheat to 200C and cook for 6-8 mins. I always do test flatbread first as the mix varies dependiing on what flour I have used and how thick and large I have made the flatbreads.

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Our go to curry favourites – Butter chicken, quick flatbreads and yogurt dip

If your interested, see these recipes to make the curry and the dip:

Butter chicken curry

 

Yoghurt dip side for curry

 

 

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Butter Chicken Curry

A good curry takes time to make from scratch but you can make some short cuts. My version of a butter chicken recipe has taken quite a few attempts at getting the flavour and texture I want from a curry. It also has to be okay for the kids to eat as well – not too spicy.

I think we are not alone when I say sometimes it is just easier to get your curry from the local Indian takeaway, and we do when we want a sample of a couple of different curries. However, we tend to eat curry at least once a week and it gets expensive if you eat takeaways that often. My wife and have always loved curry! We went on holiday to Goa just so we could have a great excuse to eat curry for breakfast, dinner and lunch. It was amazing! That’s why it is so important that when we do have homemade curry, it must tastes authentic. The trick to this? Make sure you buy a good Garam Masala spice mix. You can make it yourself but buying it is one of those short cuts. Also, don’t use cheap tin tomatoes – just like making Italian pasta sauces, tomatoes are just too important to get wrong.

Serves – 4 to 6

Prep –  10-15 mins

Cooking Time – 35 mins

Recipe

3 large onions

2 tbsp garam masala

1 tsp ginger

1 tbsp of tomato puree

1 tsp powdered garlic or 3 cloves garlic

1 tsp paprika

1 tin of good quality chopped tomatoes or passata

30g butter minimum ( I some times add a bit for for a creamier taste)

salt and pepper

Chilli powder if you like it a bit spicy

150 ml of water

3-4 chicken breasts

Method 

  1. Dice the onions and sautee until transculent in some olive oil. Be sure to salt the onions as it helps draw the moisture out.
  2. Add the garam masala to the pan and cook the spices out on a low heat for a few minutes.
  3. Once the spice has cooked out the onions will take a beautiful dark colour. At this point add the tomato puree and cook out for another two minutes.
  4. Add the rest of the spices and a little splash of water or chicken stock.
  5. Add the chopped tomatoes and the water. Let the pan simmer for about 15 mins until it has reduced by a third.
  6. Use a food blender to blend the sauce until it is smooth
  7. Strain the sauce through a sieve. This will make the sauce really silky and without the lumps. You don’t have to do this but I think it makes the sauce better.
  8. Chop and cook the chicken with some oil. Be sure to season the chicken with salt and pepper. It makes the difference. You can add some extra flavour to the chicken by making the sauce the day before and marinating the chicken over night.  The chicken takes about 8 mins to cook in a saucepan.
  9. Add the sauce to the chicken and bring to a simmer. Add the butter and continuously stir until it dissolves into the curry.
  10. Serve with basmati rice, yoghurt dip or mango chutney and flatbreads.

Check out the recipes for the sides:

Flatbread recipe

Yoghurt dip recipe

Baked Chocolate Cheesecake

Baked Chocolate Cheesecake

 

For those you who have read any of my other recipes, you know I haven’t been able to eat much chocolate or fatty foods. That doesn’t mean I don’t treat myself now and then. I have discovered I can eat dark chocolate without much problem, and treat myself to some 70% cocoa solids dark chocolate on a Saturday night. This weekend I have used that treat in a cheesecake. If you don’t like dark chocolate just change it to a chocolate you do like. If I could, I would, trust me. I have always liked dark chocolate, but I now have a new found appreciation for it, since it’s the only type I can eat without any problems.

I have always been a chocoholic, it is one of those vices that I cannot fully get rid of. As so many people say, ‘Everything in moderation’. I baked an apple crumble cheesecake a couple of weeks ago, and since then have been playing about with a recipe of a chocolate version that is pretty low fat and much less sugar than the ones you can buy over the counter, or the many recipes out there that have a tonne of sugar in them. Since starting my diet my mission has been to create food that I used to eat but with different ingredients and less fat and sugar in order to get healthy without it being too much of a food and taste killer. I knew it was possible, I have lost 3 stone in since March. It’s amazing what you can do with a little effort. The thing is, dieting encompasses your life when you stick to one – that can be incredibly hard to stick to. It’s too intense. My trick is you have got to treat yourself, but the treat has to be worth it or it has to be kinda healthy or lower in fat and sugar. That way you’re not wandering off back into your old food life.

This baked chocolate cheesecake contains far less fat that most baked cheesecakes contain as it uses low fat cream cheese and lighter mascarpone. The chocolate topping is the naughty part of this dessert. Although I have used far less of the naughty stuff than you would imagine by using good quality chocolate that delivers on taste.

We tried this dessert after a steak dinner on Saturday night.

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The Rump Steak dinner was pretty good too!!

It went down like a house on fire. My kids had smiley chocolate faces that you really can’t pay for. It’s worth a little bit of extra effort to make the family happy. The bonus of making this cake is that I make it in a large cake tin, which means there is plenty for the next day and also plenty to share out to family and friends. I love hearing what they think of my recipes. I have started a Facebook group for sharing recipes – share some please, I have loved making cheesecake recipes lately. It’s great, considering  they are inspired by a recipe shared with me.

Ingredients

Cheesecake Base:
A half pack of digestives (approx. 10 biscuits)

75g of toasted and blended oats

2 tsp Cocoa powder

2 tablespoons of honey

Cheesecake Filling
2 packets lightest (5% or less) cream cheese
1 packet light mascarpone

2 tsp cocoa dissolved into 1 tbsp of hot water

50g melted dark chocolate
25g sugar

1 tsp of Cornflour

2 tsp honey
2 medium eggs

Topping (optional)

50g dark chocolate

25g chocolate buttons

10 Maltesers

Method

  1. Heat the oven to 160°C/320°F
  2. Toast the oats in a dry frying pan until they start to brown. Be careful not to burn the oats as this doesn’t take long. They should smell a little like popcorn when toasted. Yum! Put the the toasted oats and digestive biscuits in food processor and blend until they are just crumbs. Add the cocoa and process again until combined. Add the honey and mix. The mix should be damp and form crumbs. If not add a little more honey until you get this texture. Press into the bottom of a lined, spring loaded, cake tin and refrigerate whilst you get the rest sorted.
  3. Melt the chocolate in the microwave. I do this 10 seconds at a time to make sure it doesn’t burn. Alternatively, you can do this in a bowl over hot steaming water. Also, dissolve the cocoa powder for the cheesecake filling in a tablespoon of hot water. I learnt this little trick by watching Nigella. Like her or not, she has some pretty awesome recipes.
  4. Add all the ingredients for the cheesecake filling and pulse until smooth. Use can you a food processor or a hand mixer like I did for this. Empty in the mixture into the cake tin and place in the centre of the oven for 1 hour.
  5. Once it has baked, let it rest for at least 10 mins before adding your topping.
  6. For the topping melt the buttons and the dark chocolate with just a couple of drops of oil. I used rapeseed oil as it’s lower in fat. It also gives the chocolate topping a nice shine. Once melted use a small spoon and drizzle over the top of your cake. Add the Maltesers for some decoration. The kids had these on theirs. You can use white chocolate buttons – melt a few and drizzle them over the dark chocolate to make a nice visual contrast to the dark chocolate. Its up to you.
  1. Set for at least three hours in the fridge. I l was suppose to leave mine overnight but it looked too good not to try it.

I hope you like it! If you do, let me know what you think.

Slow Cooker Brisket

Slow Cooker Brisket

I’ve thought about trying out vegetarianism a few times; in fact, I once gave up meat for lent. I lasted about twenty days until I accidentally ate a shepherd’s pie that was put in front of me. I am not exaggerating. It was upon my last mouthful that I realised what I was doing and how I had just ruined my lent challenge. I am a meat eater and can’t really help it. This recipe is just one of those reasons why as well. The photos don’t do it justice on this occasion. Sunday’s, especially at the start of Autumn, demand a roast dinner. That’s one of the things I love about this time of year – there’s something magical about going for a Sunday morning walk, seeing the new colours that we all remember from childhood, having the wind blow the cobwebs from your tired eyes and the cooler wind freshen your soul. Returning home and having that roast dinner aroma fill your nostrils is heavenly. Of course, it is not just the meat that seals the anticipation, but it is definitely the main show.

Rolled Brisket is generally one of the cheaper cuts of cow meat. I bought this one for £5.03 from Lidl. You can obviously buy them at your local butchers, which I do often, and other supermarkets. The prices vary but generally they are cheap cuts wherever you go. Cheap sounds great,yeah? In my book it definitely does. I used to buy the most expensive bits of meat for my cooking, but since becoming a parent and looking after the pennies and pounds a little bit better, cuts like brisket are perfect. If not cooked correctly, this incredible bit of meat will become tough. Cooked low and slow, this meat is absolutely mouth watering.

Cooking it low and slow is the basis of any good brisket. Generally, a brisket is going to need at least 3-4 hours in a slow cooker in order to make it nice and tender. Trying to rush this cut of meat is a major no no! Trust me, I’ve tried and failed and it’s just not worth the disappointment. You can’t just chuck it in the slow cooker without taking care of the cut just a little bit either. Don’t worry though, it’s not a complicated process, and you definitely don’t need much skill. Simply put, all you need to do is brown off your meat in a frying pan (the darker you get it the better) as this will seal in the juices and also colour and flavour the gravy that you will make as you’re cooking. The other task is imparting as much flavour as you can with vegetables, herbs, stocks, and spices. For this recipe I’ve made it simple – some salt and pepper, stock, chunky carrots and some roughly chopped carrots. That’s it!! I cooked mine for a bit longer on the lowest temperature on my slow cooker – 8 hours. It was deliciously soft and tender by the time it was ready. The effort was minimal and the satisfaction was maximum.

The best part about – there is always leftovers that you can use the day after for a nice stir fry or stunningly sumptuous beef brisket sandwich or wrap. The other bonus, other than my own satisfaction, is that my kids and family love it and always think you’re some amazing cook that has slaved away in the kitchen carefully looking after your roast, when in fact it is far from it. Sit back, relax, go for a Sunday stroll and come back to a awesome Sunday lunch.

Ingredients

Rolled Brisket

2-3 Carrots

4 Shallots or 1-2 Onions

500ml of beef Stock ( I use an Oxo cube dissolved in hot water)

1 Tbsp Cornflour

Method

  1. Unpack your meat and season by rubbing salt and pepper into the brisket. Roughly chop the onions and carrots and place in the bottom of the slow cooker. The slow cooker needs to be on the low setting for 7-8 hours or the high for 3-4 hours. Also, make the stock with 500 ml of hot water and a stock cube. Add any spices or herbs you like. I usually add some garlic and bay leaves (at least 2). Add the a tablespoon of cornflour to thicken the gravy throughout the cooking period.

  1. Sear the brisket in a hot frying pan. Do not add any oil to the pan. Sear all sides of the meat until it’s nice and dark brown. Don’t worry if parts of the meat catch and look too dark. This will add more flavour and give a lovely colour to your gravy.IMAG0131.jpg
  2. Add the meat to the slow cooker for the your chosen time. When ready get the meat out and rest for at least 15-20 minutes. This will help the meat relax and will be all the better for it.
  3. Remove the carrots and blend the liquid in the slow cooker to make a gravy. You can move liquid into a saucepan to reduce down for 5-10 mins if you like a thicker sauce.

We have this served with other veg and Yorkshire puddings. I will post my recipe for Yorkshire puddings soon.