It’s Monday Munchies which means recipe o’ clock 🙂 But I thought I’d branch out this week and share something other than baking. As much as my first love will always be cakes and sweet treats, apparently we have to eat other stuff too! ‘Boo and hiss’ I hear you cry, but unfortunately carrot cake does not constitute one of your 5-a-day!
However, I’m not going for greens today, more of a protein angle. Despite me trying to encourage S to consume more vegetables by cleverly disguising them in exciting dishes (he is an adult, honest!), his inner neanderthal never feels completely satisfied unless he’s gnawed on flesh.
So here are two meat dishes (both easy, one quick) that can be rustled up for a tasty weekday meal or used to impress friends at that weekend BBQ you promised to bring something along to! I hope you enjoy them, they got the thumbs up for a re-cook from S, so they can’t be too bad!
Bloomin’ Good Burgers
Who doesn’t like a burger? I mean, there’s something about a burger, whether it’s meat, bean or veggie based that screams ‘satisfaction’. Maybe it’s the layering, perhaps it’s the grab-ability, but burgers are often a go to menu choice, especially in pub-style restaurants, as a marker of good food and a return visit.
These can be put together and on the table within an hour, plus there are loads of ways you can adapt them once you’ve made the basics (taken from a Jamie Oliver recipe). The added cheese keeps them moist and juicy, whilst helping to bind them together.
What you’ll need: (makes 6 burgers)
- 500g lean minced (ground) beef
- 6 cream crackers (roughly crushed by hand)
- 4 spring onions (finely chopped)
- 1 tsp each of sea salt, ground black pepper and paprika* (Add 1/2 tsp cayenne for an extra kick!)
- A good ‘slack handful’ of strong mature cheddar
- 1 large egg
Optional: Vary the flavour by adding either a handful of chopped chorizo, a pepper or mushrooms (or invent your own!)
Put all ingredients in a large mixing bowl and simply mix well together with your hands. Don’t worry if the cream crackers look like they’re too large, crunch them up as you mix and they’ll practically disappear once cooked. Divide the mixture into 6 balls and flatten to about 2cm thick. Place on a lined baking tray, cover with clingfilm and pop in the fridge for 30 mins (overnight works well too).
Cook as you wish, but I put them in the oven at Gas Mark 6 for 20 mins, flipping half way. Serve on brioche buns, with salad, sauces and wedges – you know the deal, it’s a burger! Tuck in and enjoy 🙂
Hickory Stickory Chicken
Aahh, slow cookers (or crock pots), they’re a godsend aren’t they? The ease of throwing everything in before work, to come home to gorgeous smells and a tasty meal ready to be eaten. We’ve only just discovered this luxury after being given one by the in-laws that they no longer used. I advocate every student putting one of these on their shopping list before leaving home – you’ll be the envy of all your friends who’ll think you’re a culinary genius!
However, don’t worry if you don’t own one of these gadgets, you can still cook the recipes in the oven, just at a lower temp and for longer than usual (quicker than using the pot, but you lose that ‘throw it in and forget about it’ advantage). See here for more details on how to convert the timings.
This sticky, sweet and smoky chicken is deeeelicious and can be served in a variety of ways. The first time we had it, I served it whole with new potatoes and a fresh salad, but after pulling it apart (everyone loves pulled something or other these days!) we knew it would be super scrummy on brioche (or similar) buns. In fact we kept some back and had it in sandwiches the following day – yum! If serving whole, you may wish thicken the juices with cornflour for a more substantial sauce.
What you’ll need:
- 2-4 chicken breasts or thighs
- 225g dark brown sugar
- 150ml vinegar
- 60ml lemondae
- 2 tbsp soy sauce
- 1 tsp of black or cayenne pepper (depending on how spicy you like it!)
- 2 crushed garlic cloves
Place chicken pieces into slow cooker (if using an oven, some people suggest browning the outsides first, although I personally don’t think this is necessary). In a jug or bowl, mix together all other ingredients – it may froth and expand when you add the lemonade. Don’t worry, it’s like a science experiment! Pour over the chicken and cook on low for 6-8 hours (it’s cooked after 6 but can be left longer with no issues). To thicken juices, gradually mix in cornflour, a tablespoon at a time, until desired thickness is reached. Serve and enjoy 🙂
Please let me know what you think and whether you have any other easy meat treats or crock pot favourites to share. Bon appetit!