Speedy supper tonight. 4 left over chicken thighs, cut into thin strips, 3 red pepper halves that had been marinated the previous day with olive oil, garlic, baby tomatoes and basil for a light lunch and had been thankfully left over – cut into strips too and pan fried with two spring onions sliced thinly. Once they had attained a sparkly, gleaming brightness, I pushed them to one side of the pan and added the chicken and pan fried it until it was browning a little. I then stirred it all together and added some fresh coriander. This was now in a state of extreme bliss.
5 or 6 Majorcan new potatoes were sliced thinly – not peeled – and pan fried in hot olive oil with a generous sprinkling of cumin and rock salt.
Just as the chicken was about to be served I ground over some lemon thyme salt. I added a portion of the chicken pepper mix to a wrap, plus some of the fabulous juices along with a few baby salad leaves and some cumin crisps on the side.
P.S. Dear Mr Jagger – if you still cannot get any of the aforementioned abstract noun – please try these wraps.
This is a dish of delights. It is simplicity itself and truly tasty in every respect. Not as authentic as the fabulous falafel I have tasted in the middle east but as a store cupboard standby version – this does the trick.
For 4 wraps – makes about 12 balls
410 gm tin of chickpeas drained
1 bunch chopped spring onions
Large handful of chopped parsley and chopped coriander
2 cloves of garlic crushed
2 tsp cumin seeds
Pinch of smoked paprika
In a bowl mash by hand the chickpeas, the coriander, parsley and garlic. I uses my large stone pestle – though you could use a decent masher too. Add the cumin and paprika and stir in.
Season with a little salt and black pepper and a squeeze of lemon juice. Break in an egg and stir in well.
Heat about 1 to 2 tbsps of olive oil in a frying pan. Form the mix into small balls or patties – this bit is wonderfully messy – enjoy it. Get tactile with your food! Gently place the balls into the oil and leave for no more than 3 minutes on a medium heat. Turn them gently and repeat for 2 to 3 minutes until they have a good golden crisp coating – they will remain gorgeously gooey inside.
I served them in a wrap with salad leaves and some sweet chilli sauce, or you could just squeeze over more lemon juice – anyway, they proved very, very popular with my kids. Immensely popular in fact!
The day began well…pink sun rise, apple soft clouds..then around 2pm the heavens opened and a gentle melancholia set in…could the summer really have fled? Is this the beginning of autumn? Chills ran down my spine for the first time since March…I have already begun dreaming about next summer and where to escape to. Enough! Time to make a culinary mental gear shift…stop with the salads and the ozone infused paellas…time to get the autumnal hard hat on and make with the dishes that will sustain us through until the time when we can emerge from the English winter and sally forth to heat laden lands. But for the time being – let’s start thinking end of summer fare. And this simple supper dish this evening was just right for the frame of mind I found myself in. Memories of the dying summer, coupled with the heat and smoke of the on coming solstice fires.
And it felt healthy too.
4 chicken fillets cut into strips
For the marinade – a tbsp of balsamic vinegar, a sprinkle of fennel seeds, cumin seeds, dried thyme and a dash of hot smoky paprika, a little rock salt
A quarter of an iceberg lettuce shredded finely
4 spring onions chopped finely
12 baby plum tomatoes halved
Quarter of a cucumber finely chopped
Red or green jalapeños
4 slices of parma ham
4 tortilla wraps
Pop all the marinade ingredients in a shallow bowl and then add the chicken pieces – coat in the wonderfully unctuous sauce and leave for around 30 minutes to an hour.
Mix the shredded lettuce in a bowl with the spring onions, cucumber and tomatoes.
Add a tablespoon of olive oil to a wok or large frying pan – add the chicken fillets once the oil is hot and sizzle for a good 10 minutes until cooked.
Add the slices of parma ham, whole to the pan, gently. Let them just start to crisp.
Warm the tortillas in a small frying pan and pop one on each plate. Share out the salad mic between each wrap – then add the chicken and top with the parma ham. I then added several slices of red jalapeños because I like the heat….serve open with a range of sauces and chutneys.
This is so simple and yet so mouth-fillingly sumptuous.
And as always, you can play with it how you will…adding other ingredients that are lolling around the fridge or cupboard – be creative!