Tuesday, 14 April 2009

Chilli and Honey Peanuts

This is a pretty quick and easy recipe, resulting in a healthy snack with a kick.


  • 300 g peanuts
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp honey
  • 1 tsp chilli powder (hot!)
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • Salt and pepper
In a roasting dish, mix the peanuts, olive oil and honey. Ensure that all the nuts are well coated. Sprinkle the spices, salt and pepper over the nuts and then mix well again.

Roast in the oven at 200 C for about 20-30 minutes.

Leave to cool then store in an airtight container and snack on when you are peckish.

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Monday, 13 April 2009

Moroccan Roasted Shoulder of Lamb

This is a bit of a spicy twist on the classic lamb Easter roast dinner. Mint is a classic British accompaniment to lamb, and the addition of the Moroccan herbs and spices makes a wonderfully warming Easter roast.


  • 1 shoulder of lamb (I used one which was about 750 g and this was enough for 4 people)
  • 1 bunch fresh mint
  • 1 bunch fresh coriander
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 red onion
  • 2 teaspoons dried coriander seeds, ground
  • 1 teaspoon dried cumin seeds, ground
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2 dried red chillies (add more or less depending on how hot you like it)
  • ~1 teaspoon olive oil
  • Fresh ginger - about the size of your thumb
  • 1 glass white wine
  • ~1 kg potatoes
  • Vegetables to serve - I used peas and carrots - keep the cooking water for use in the gravy
Peel the garlic, ginger and onions and then place in a food processor with the fresh mint and coriander, and the dried spices. Pulse until you get a smooth paste.

Add the olive oil, just a little is needed to loosen up the spice and herb paste. Blend again until it is well mixed in.

Remove the lamb from the fridge and allow it to warm up to room temperature. Using a small sharp knife, make incisions all over the joint. Smear the herb and spice paste all over the lamb, making sure to get your hands dirty and push it well into all the incisions. This will ensure that the meat is really well flavoured.

Place the meat in a large roasting tin and surround with the potatoes. I have used new potatoes here as is spring time. Coat the potatoes in a little olive oil. Cook in a hot (220 C) oven for 15 minutes, then reduce the heat to 150 C. For a 750 g joint like the one I used, it took 45 minutes at 150 C to cook rare, another 20 minutes for medium rare. Adjust the timings depending on your own oven, size of your meat and whether you like it rare or medium.

When cooked, remove the lamb from the roasting tin and leave to rest for 10 minutes or so, whilst you prepare the gravy. Put the potatoes into a warmed serving dish.

The roasting tin will be coated with lots of spicy flavours and herbs, so this can be used to make an intensely flavoured gravy.

Place the roasting tin on a hot hob, add the glass of wine and ~150 ml stock or cooking water from your drained vegetables. Scrape off all the burnt goodness from the bottom of the roasting tin and then bring to a fast boil to reduce to a thick gravy.

Carve the meat. I scraped off most of the herb and spice mix at this stage, although you can leave it on if you wish. It gives a kind of spicy mint sauce effect.

Serve with some vegetables, potatoes and gravy.

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