Monday, 31 October 2016

Slow Roasted Chicken Satay with a Peanut and Coconut Sauce

Slow Roasted Chicken Satay with a Peanut and Coconut Sauce 

In Malaysia there's a few street foods which you'll find on every corner and chicken satay is one of the most popular ones. Every family has their own favourite vendor who will sell the most beautiful grilled satay straight from the street. They will maybe change the meats and have chicken, beef or sometimes pork. But it's all in the dipping sauce that comes with it, that creamy peanutty coconut dip makes the whole dish. My take on the satay combines those wonderful flavours from the grilled chicken satay and the sauce into a beautiful homely dish. This is my version which takes half the time to whip up in the house after a hard days work, Peanut butter is the secret to speeding up the process!

Serves 2-3 


Chicken & Marinade
500g Chicken Thighs
5 Tbsp Cumin Powder
5 Tbsp Dark Brown Sugar
Generous seasoning of salt 
3 Tbsp Vegetable Oil
Peanut and Coconut Sauce 
2 Large Brown Onions
6-7 Cloves of Garlic 
1 Stalk of Lemongrass
1 Tbsp Tumeric Powder
2 Tbsp Cumin Powder
1 Tbsp Coriander Powder
3 Tbsp Dark Brown Sugar
300g Blitzed Roasted Peanuts (salted or unsalted)
3 Tbsp Tamarind Sauce
1 Can Coconut MIlk 
2 Tbsp Kecap Manis ( alternatively you could use dark soy sauce and add honey through it)
3 Heaped Tbsp Peanut Butter 

1. Begin by marinading your chicken, rub in all of the marinade ingredients with your hands (one messy job for the best flavour!) and ideally leave it overnight clingfilmed in a bowl in the fridge or if you don't have time try and leave it for about an hour. Once it is marinaded, place it in an oven at about 140 degrees for around 1 hour till there's a crust and the chicken is cooked through. 

2. The sauce has the key to all of the flavour so uses a few more ingredients. Begin by blitzing the onion, garlic and lemongrass together in a blender or by using a hand blender in a tall suitable container. If necessary use a wee bit of oil to loosen up the mixture till it is blitzed to a smooth paste. 

3. Begin frying this off on a medium heat with about 3 tbsp of vegetable oil for about 10 minutes or until the raw smell of the onions has disappeared and it's starting to brown ever so slightly. 

4. Add all of the dry spices, cumin, coriander and tumeric powder and add a touch more oil to allow these flavours to release. Then add in the brown sugar and peanuts and allow to fry off for a while. Now add Kecap Manis, tamarind, coconut milk and enough water to fill the can of coconut milk and allow to bubble away for around 15-20 minutes keeping an eye on it every so often. Add salt to your taste. 

5. Now add the cooked chicken thigh with all of those beautiful cooking juices to the sauce. allow the flavours to all marry for a few minutes. 

6. Serve with basmati rice and lightly pickled cucumber and enjoy!

Wednesday, 4 November 2015


The spices from Chai go hand in hand with this cake, the anise-like flavours you get from green cardamom and cloves go perfectly with the mild coconut and cinnamon brings homely comforting sweetness. This cake has several easy steps, most of it can be done in a food blitzer to save washing up and Chai spice mix is readily available in local Indian supermarkets. The missing pieces of this cake were due to sheer impatience and gluttony on my own behalf and the indulgence was definitely worth it...

Recipe at


350g Almond Flour
350g Butter plus extra for greasing
6 Eggs 
240g Sugar
200g Coconut Dessicated 
50g Chai Spice Mix
1 teaspoon baking powder 

Coconut Frosting 
100g Icing Sugar 
100g Dessicated Coconut 
A few drops of water to combine 
50g melted dark chocolate 

1. Preheat your oven to 180 degrees. Line a round 26cm baking tin with baking parchment on the bottom and butter round the sides. Begin by creaming together the butter and sugar with an electric whisk until light and fluffy. 

2. Now add in 1 egg at a time and beat lightly into the egg mix, be gentle with this so the mix doesn't curdle. 

3. Now in a bowl mix the almond flour, baking powder and coconut until well dispersed. 

4. Fold in the dry ingredients into the butter sugar and eggs until combined. 

5. Gently pour the mix into the cake tin and put into the oven for around 35-40 minutes or until you can poke a skewer into the middle and it comes out clean. 

6. In the meantime mix together the icing sugar, coconut and a tiny bit of water until the mixture is paste like, spread over the cake whilst still hot so it will stick. Leave to cool completely before adding the chocolate. 

7. Gently melt chocolate and with a spoon drizzle over the top at complete random only once the cake is cool. Who said cakes can't be masterpieces. Enjoy with a hot cup of tea or coffee/ or even better with chai tea. 

Tuesday, 11 August 2015

Sticky Mango Drizzle Cake

I love drizzle cakes for their sticky sweet gloriousness, they should be sticky enough that they cannot be eaten by hand and washed down with a cup of tea. Here we've got all those things but rather with a more exotic twist - mangoes. They're lovely sweet and tangy creaminess lends itself well to the texture of this type of cake and it's incredibly easy to whip up. 

(Makes 1 large cake or two small layers)
450g self raising flour 
450g Butter (softened) 
450g Caster Sugar 
5 eggs 
200ml Mango Puree (available at most Asian supermarkets) 
400ml Mango Puree 
200g Icing Sugar 
1. Begin by preheating an oven to 180 degrees and lining a large round baking tin. 
2. Using an electric whisk beat butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. 
3. Adding in only one egg at a time whisk lightly into the mix. 
4. Then sift and fold the flour in until completely combined. 
5. Lastly swirl in the mango Puree so it looks as if it is marbling the cake. Then pour mix into baking tin. 
6. Bake for an hour keeping an eye it doesn't burn on top. 
7. Leave to cool completely. In the mean time sift the icing into the mango, mix and leave in the fridge to set a little 

8. Once the cake is cool pour the drizzle over the top and dust extra icing sugar on top and garnish with grated lime zest. Put into the fridge to set for 15 minutes and then enjoy a large sticky piece with a hot cup of tea.

Tuesday, 14 July 2015

Malay Pineapple Curry with Green Tea Rice

The use of fruit in Malaysian curries is very common, you open up a whole new culinary delight by cooking fruit, you get different more intense flavours and wonderful textures. Pineapple is a key player in this new ball game. This is one of my favourite veggie curries. It's got the lovely crunch from fine beans, some satisfying stodge from potato, and a lovely tangy pineapple bite to finish it all off. It's served in a beautiful fragrant sauce with lemongrass, galangal and an array of spices. 
My mother told me the best way to finish off the leftovers of a curry is to have large hunks of Scottish Plain Bread and mop up all of the sauces which is highly recommended, but if you have similar romantic notions towards carbs like myself, then do try making the green tea rice with this fabulous Asian supper. 

Top Tip: Save half of the paste and freeze it for the next time you need a quick dinner on the go. 

Feeds 4
Paste: (makes enough for two batches)

2 large onions 

400g ginger
300g galangal 
2 lemongrass stalks 
3 dried chillies 
50g coriander seeds 
50g cumin seeds 
20g Tumeric 
20g fennel 
1.5 veg stock Cube. 

800g coconut milk 
4 tbsp tamarind sauce 
3 star anise 
300g boiled totties 
300g fine beans 
1 pineapple 
Lime juice, sugar and salt to taste 

1. Blitz the onions till almost puréed and fry in a pot with some vegetable oil until softened and light brown. 
2. Meanwhile blitz the rest of the ingredients for the paste and then add into the onions, fry for around 15 minutes on a low heat whilst stirring every now and then until fragrant and soft. 
3. Now add a dash of water and all of the coconut milk and allow to bubble on a medium low heat for about 20 minutes 
4. Then add the fine beans and bubble away for a further 5 minutes. 
5. Add the boiled potatoes and pineapple and heat up for a few minutes 
6. Burst two green tea bags open and fry in a little oil. Add in hot boiled rice and stir Through. 
7. Serve fresh and enjoy! 

Wednesday, 17 June 2015

'Big Fat Noodle' and Shiitake Mushroom Broth

So of course 'big fat noodles' may not be the correct term for these, indeed they are actually called 'flat rice noodles'. They're perfect for many things, like stir fry's and in particular a Malay dish called 'Char Kuay Teow'. But for today we're using them in this sumptuous broth of squidgy noodles and smoky Shiitake mushrooms. This is so ridiculously easy to whip up it can definitely become a week day staple and also holds up well for taking lunch boxes to work. If you don't have certain ingredients at hand swap it for whatever you've got in the fridge there's no technicalities to this dish. It's one of those little bowls of goodness for when your body feels like it needs a little nourishment - a hug in a bowl they tend to call it.

Serves 3-4

250g Flat Rice Noodles (cooked) 
150g Dried Shiitake Mushrooms
2 Red Chillies
A few leaves of Pak Choi
Thumb Sized Piece of Ginger
1 Lime
Fish Sauce (a few dashes)
1 tsp Light Soy Sauce 
2 Tbsp Siracha Sauce 
6 Spring Onions
500ml Chicken Stock
Vegetable Oil 

1. Begin by soaking the dried shiitake mushrooms in a bowl with half a teaspoon of salt and boiled water. Use about 250ml of water and leave for about 15 minutes. This is going to be a wonderful part of the dish and will create fresh, natural mushroom stock and add a smoky flavour to the broth. 

2. Now finely dice the ginger and chop the spring onion stalks and chillies (reduce the amount of chillies you use if you prefer it not to be spicy), in a pot put a dash of vegetable oil and fry off the ginger, chillies and spring onion until soft and fragrant. 

3. Now add in all of the chicken stock, soy sauce, Sriracha chilli sauce and squeeze the juice of one lime into the broth. Allow this to bubble away for a few minutes. Now drain the stock from the shiitake mushrooms and add to the broth. Allow this to bubble away on a medium heat for about 10 minutes to intensify the flavours. Add salt and white pepper to your taste. 

4. Chop up the shiitake mushrooms and add to the broth after simmering it. The heat from the broth will heat up the flat rice noodles and pak choi so just add this to serving bowls as required so they remain nice and fresh. 

5. Finish off with any chilli sauce of your choice and enjoy slurping!

Monday, 6 April 2015

Wild Mushroom and Goats Cheese Bruscetta on TIger Bread

It's Easter, which means this weekend we're ladened with sweet chocolates, lie in's and indulgent family meals. For me, I like to enjoy this weekend of lazy days and food by starting off with an indulgent brunch that's quick to whip up and will last you till that all important roast mid afternoon. The sharp rich goats cheese goes perfectly with the woody garlicky mushrooms and on top of tiger bread you can't go wrong and gives you a small mouthful of Easter heaven. I love the difference in textures and flavours you get from wild mushrooms but if they're not available chestnut mushrooms provide a good hearty alternative.


Serves 4

300g Mixed Wild Mushrooms or Chestnut Mushrooms 
5 Cloves Garlic 
Soft Goats Cheese (as much or as little as you like)
Dried Thyme
1 Tablespoon Butter
100ml Vegetable Stock 
1 Tiger Loaf 

1. Begin by slicing garlic thinly and put in a large frying pan with the butter, slowly allow this to fry off until softened and fragrant. 

2. Mean while begin shredding your mushrooms, you could shop them but I find it just as easy to tear them into rough little pieces. 

3. Add the mushrooms and 1 teaspoon of dried thyme in with the garlic and butter and allow to fry off and brown a little. Now add the stock and reduce a little to soak up all the flavours. 

4. Toast large thick slices of tiger bread and spoon the mushrooms on top, then crumble goats cheese on top, as much or as little as your wish. Enjoy with a large cup of tea or coffee!

Happy Easter! Breakfast at Julie's x

Sunday, 15 February 2015

American Breakfast Blueberry and Peanut Butter Pancakes drizzled with Maple


Let's not mess around here, when it's time for pancakes I'll gladly swing the calorie control counted out of the window. I'll go for something sweet satisfying and comforting. So when Pancake Tuesday comes knocking on your door, this calls for an entire day of gluttonous glorious pancake consumption. This year in order to celebrate a little food adventure to New York, I'm paying homage to the bustling city famous for it's large pancakes smothered in maple syrup. Here we have little sweet burst of blueberries hit with the smooth buttery saltiness of peanut butter and of course finished with a generous drizzling of maple syrup. These are the sort of pancakes you'd be happy to lay your head on at the end of the day and fall into a deep peaceful pancake coma. See you there.

Makes 4 large, gigantic pancakes


300g Plain Flour 
2 Teaspoons Baking Powder
200ml Milk 
3 Eggs
400g Blueberries
Teaspoon of Salt 
8 Tablespoons of Peanut Butter (smooth or crunchy)
75g Sugar
25g Butter

1. Begin by mixing flour, baking powder, sugar and salt together. Now slowly add in a little milk whilst whisking. Add the eggs 1 at a time and whisk in until lump free. Now add in peanut butter and whisk until thickened then leave to rest for 5 minutes.

2. Now using a large spoon gently fold in 200g/ half of the blueberries. 

3. Put a large pan on the heat with a tiny touch of oil and all of the butter. Allow this to start foaming.

4. Once it is hot use a ladle to spoon the mixture into the pan, use about half a ladle and allow the mixture to form a circle. Allow it to cook a little and then add an extra dollop on top of the formed circle. This will give it a bit of height. 

5. Now scatter a small helping of blueberries on the pancake whilst it's still cooking. Flip carefully and allow to cook on both sides till golden brown and enjoy!