Warm chipotle steak and grain salad

This blog post is a perfect illustration of my love of food/eating it over photographing it. However, as I also love sharing really good recipes with everyone so even if I forget to take a proper photo of something… I really think you will enjoy this though, so here we go!

You can use your preferred cut of steak. I used sirloin while the original recipe used bavette. I’d also use rump, just make sure you adjust the timing to cook it to your liking. Sirloin and rump will need a couple of mins on each side while a bavette will need a few minutes. I marinated my steaks for about 6 hours – the longer you can leave them the better (up to 24 hrs), though even if you don’t have time, it will still be delicious.

More with steak: Quick Beef RamenSteak Sandwiches with Sweet Potato FriesSteak & Vietnamese Noodle Salad

Warm chipotle steak and grain salad


Serves 2 | Prep 15 mins + marinating time | Cook 15 mins
Easy | Gluten and dairy-free

You’ll need

  • 2 sirloin steaks;
  • 2 tbsp chipotle paste;
  • ¼ red cabbage (about 250g), finely sliced;
  • ¼ tsp fine sea salt;
  • 2 limes, zest of 1, juice of both;
  • 1 tsp olive oil;
  • 1 red onion, finely chopped;
  • 1 red chilli, deseeded and finely chopped;
  • 250g pouch wholegrain red rice and quinoa (or similar);
  • 1 large ripe avocado;
  • ½ x 28g pack coriander, leaves roughly chopped, plus extra to serve.

Put the steaks in a bowl, coat with the chipotle paste, season and set aside. If you have time, leave them to marinate for up to 24 hrs in a fridge.

Put the cabbage in a colander over a bowl and sprinkle over the salt, plus the zest and juice of 1 lime. Massage the cabbage with your hands for 30 seconds; set aside to tenderise.

Meanwhile, heat a heavy-based frying pan until smoking hot. Cook the steaks for 4-7 minutes, turning halfway. Transfer to a board to rest for 5 minutes, then slice. Return the pan to a medium heat and add the oil. Add ¾ of the onion and chilli, then fry until soft (about 3 minutes). Add the grains with 1 tsp water and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes.

Mash the avocado in a bowl with the coriander leaves and remaining lime juice, onion and chilli. Divide the grain mixture, cabbage and avocado mixture between 2 plates, top with the sliced steak and scatter over a few extra coriander leaves to serve.

Original recipe from Waitrose Magazine, issue April 2020, available online here.



Griddled Lamb with Sweet Mint Dressing

Summer might be over but that doesn’t mean we have to eating only stews just yet. This makes a fantastic dinner for two and it might just bring some sunshine into your home. You can either griddle or BBQ the lamb (weather dependent). I cooked mine at home on my sturdy griddle pan and the whole house smelled amazing. I found that there is a fair bit of the dressing remaining. If you find the same, just use it in salads, add to roast potatoes or veg or to grilled meat!


It really is worth using good quality extra virgin olive oil for the marinade, as well as quite a bit of sea salt flakes, as it really adds to the flavour of the meat.

This is a recipe I found in BBC Good Food magazine. Serve this with flatbread and fresh tomato and cucumber salad.

More with lamb: Spiced lamb chops with saffron yoghurt | Lamb tagine with dates & sweet potatoes | Lamb chops with pomegranate and feta

Griddled Lamb with Sweet Mint Dressing

Serves 2 | Prep 20 mins + marinating | Cook 20 mins
Easy | Gluten and Dairy Free


Tip: If you are cooking the lamb on a barbecue, insert a skewer so that it goes from one corner to the opposite one. Do the same with another skewer in the opposite direction – this makes it really easy to turn the meat on the barbecue

You’ll need:

  • 2 tbsp soft light brown sugar;
  • juice and zest 1 lemon;
  • 125ml extra virgin olive oil;
  • 8 tbsp balsamic vinegar;

  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed;

  • 4 tbsp chopped mint;
  • half boneless leg of lamb, about 400g.

Make the marinade: mix the sugar, lemon juice and zest with the olive oil, balsamic and some seasoning. Stir to dissolve the sugar then mix in the garlic and mint. Reserve half of the marinade to use as a dressing for the lamb later.

Open out the meat and lay it in a deep tray. Pour the marinade on top then turn to coat all over in the mix. Cover with cling film and leave for 1 hr or overnight in the fridge.

Remove the lamb from the fridge and shake off any excess marinade back into the tray. Heat a barbecue or griddle pan until it’s a medium heat. Cook the lamb for 15-20 mins, turning frequently for pink lamb or longer if you prefer it more done. When cooked, rest for 5-10 mins before taking out the skewers (see tip above), slicing and serving with the reserved marinade for pouring over.

Original recipe from BBC Good Food magazine, issue July 2011. Available online here.

Harissa crusted salmon with chickpea salad

This recipe worked out so much better than I thought. When I first had a look at it in an old BBC Good Food issue I really didn’t think all that much of it. But On a night where I needed something speedy and efficient I gave it a go and boy! Was I taken a back with the flavours. Turns out harissa, salmon and chickpeas go quite well together!

More with salmon: Chipotle salmon with avocado salsa and chilli broccoli | Poached salmon with Dauphinose potatoes and more | Smoked salmon & cream cheese linguine

Harissa crusted salmon with chickpea salad


Serves 2 | Prep 15 mins | Cook 12 mins
Easy | Dairy-free

You’ll need:

  • 2 salmon fillets;
  • 4 tbsp breadcrumbs;
  • 1 tbsp harissa paste;
  • 250g punnet cherry tomatoes;
  • ½ small red onion;
  • 400g can chickpeas, drained;
  • small bunch parsley;
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil;
  • 2 lemons, one juiced and one cut in wedges.

Heat oven to 220C/200C fan/gas 7. Mix the breadcrumbs and harissa paste. Press on top of the salmon fillets and bake for 10-12 mins until the crust is golden and the salmon is cooked through.

Meanwhile, make the salad. Halve the tomatoes, chop the onion and parsley and mix everything together with the drained chickpeas and lemon juice. Just before serving, season the salad and add extra virgin olive oil to taste. Mix well and serve alongside the salmon and flatbread if desired.

Original recipe by BBC Good Food issue July 2011, available online here.

Griddled courgette, pine nut and mozzarella salad

You may get the idea that my griddle pan is getting well used this summer. And that’s exactly how it should be! By now I’ve griddled countless aubergines, courgettes, tomatoes, pork chops, steaks and lamb cutlets… And everytime, it’s incredibly simple and easy food that just tastes amazing. All of those dishes have something in common – very little fuss and big flavours from the simplest of ingredients – little, but always really good, olive oil and my griddle pan. This salad makes a perfect light meal that truly captures the tastes of summer for me. I served it over just cooked orzo and it was perfect for a light dinner.

More with courgettes: Courgette, chilli and basil pizzas | Courgettes with crisp cheese crumbs

Griddled courgette, pine nut and mozzarella salad

Serves 2 or 4 if side/starter | Prep 10 mins | Cook 15 mins
Easy | Meat Free


You’ll need

  • 1 lemon, juiced;
  • extra virgin olive oil;
  • 1 garlic clove, halved;
  • 3 courgettes, sliced ½cm thick on the diagonal;
  • 1 ball mozzarella, torn into pieces;
  • pine nuts 2 tbsp, toasted until golden;
  • mint a handful, chopped to serve;
  • orzo to serve.

Whisk the lemon juice with 2 tbsp of olive oil. Add the garlic along with plenty of seasoning. Brush the courgette slices with oil, and griddle on both sides until charred and softened (you’ll need to cook them in batches), then drop them into the dressing as you go.

Scoop the garlic out of the bowl and discard. Give the courgettes one more toss in the dressing, then arrange on two plates. Add the cheese, pine nuts and mint. Drizzle over any dressing left in the bowl and serve with orzo or bulgar wheat.

Original recipe from Olive magazine, available online here.

Japanese inspired tuna burgers and togarashi fries

A while ago I stumbled upon a delicious tuna burger recipe which had a lot of Japanese ingredients. Unfortunately, I soon lost the recipe but I was set on recreating the flavours on my own. So, here we have it, my own version of a Japanese Inspired Tuna Burgers. I’ve also added a few suggestions for serving – togarashi fries, spicy gochujang mayo and wasabi mayo. I used Kewpie mayo which is a Japanese mayo and it tastes amazing! But you can use standard mayo as well.

More in burgers: Italian-style chicken burgers

Japanese inspired tuna burgers and togarashi fries

Serves 2 | Prep 10 mins | Cooking 30 mins


You’ll need:

For the burgers

  • 2 tuna fillets (around 240g), chopped;
  • Thumb-sized piece ginger, finely chopped;
  • 2 spring onions, finely chopped;
  • 1 red chilli, finely chopped;
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce;
  • 1/2 tsp wasabi;
  • 1/4 tsp chilli sauce (or chilli flaked).

For the chips

  • 400g frozen chips;
  • 1 tsp togarashi chilli powder.
  • 6 tbsp kewpie (Japanese) mayo (or normal mayo);
  • 1 tbsp gochujang paste.

To serve

  • 2 tbsp kewpie mayo;
  • 1 tsp wasabi;
  • burger buns;
  • salad (sliced lettuce, tomato, radish, cucumber etc);
  • crispy onions.

For the burgers: add the tuna, ginger, spring onions and red chilli to a chopped and blitz them until finely chopped and mince has formed. Add the wet ingredients and blitz again. Form two patties from the mixture. Put on a plate, wrap with cling film and leave in the fridge for 15 minutes. Meanwhile, cook the chips according to pack instructions.

While the chips are cooking, prepare your burger ingredients toppings and the two mayos. For the Wasabi mayo, mix 1 tsp wasabi and 2 tbsp kewpie mayo together (you’ll use this for the burgers). For the spicy Gochujang mayo, mix 6 tbsp kewpie mayo with 1 tbsp Gochujang paste.

When the chips are almost ready, heat a griddle pan to high. Once hot, cook the two patties for two minutes on each side, until well browned on each side. When ready, leave them to rest on a board. Halve the burger buns and add face down to the griddle pan to heat a little. Spread some wasabi mayo to the bottom of each bun, followed by the tuna burgers, and any toppings of your choosing (or as suggested above). Serve with the togarashi fries and spicy gochujang mayo.

Previously posted on this date:

== 2018 ==
* Red Velvet Rainbow Cake: https://foodnotesdotblog.wordpress.com/2018/06/10/red-velvet-rainbow-cake/