Lamb Tagine with Prunes and Almonds


I’ve always loved the combination of sweet and savory and this tagine adapted from Claudia Roden’s spectacular book Arabesque is, for me, the perfect blend of flavors. By using Spice Tree Organics newest spice blend, Ras El Hanout, I got all the aromas of North Africa without having to hunt through my spice cupboard and use jars that have been languishing far longer than they should have.


Lamb Tagine with Prunes and Almonds

Serves 4-6


3 tablespoons olive oil, divided

1 onion, finely diced

2 lbs lamb, diced into 1 inch cubes

2 tablespoons Moroccan Ras El Hanout

Salt and pepper

1 cinammon stick

1 1/2 cups chicken stock

1 cup prunes

1 tablespoon honey

1/2 cup blanched almonds

2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley and fresh mint for serving

Couscous for serving



1. Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in a large dutch oven and sauté the onion until soft and translucent.

2. Add the lamb and brown for a 2-3 minutes then stir in the Ras El Hanout and season well with salt and pepper.

3. Add the stock and the cinammon stick and reduce to a simmer. Cover and cook for 2-3 hours or until the meat is fork tender.

4. Add the prunes and honey, then simmer for a further 30 minutes uncovered until the sauce has reduced and thickened. Taste for seasoning.

5. Heat the remaining oil in a frying pan and fry the almonds until they brown.

6. Sprinkle the almonds, parsley and mint over the meat and serve with couscous.

Malaysian Chicken Satay


Of all the things I miss about my old job, wandering the night markets of South East Asia and eating my bodyweight in street food ranks pretty high. Could it possibly be true that the Thai government has banned street food in Bangkok? It seems as unimaginable as a New York City without yellow cabs. Among my favorite street foods are the ubiquitous chicken satay and their constant companion, peanut sauce. A perfect warm weather appetizer, you don’t have to travel to the other side of the world to get it. It was my first attempt at making satay and I couldn’t believe how easy it was and how in one bite, I was transported to the sounds and smells of those bustling street markets. The chicken in this recipe is incredibly tender from the coconut milk and packed with rich flavor from Spice Tree Organics’ new Malaysian Curry blend and The Saucey Sauce Company’s fish sauce.


Malaysian Chicken Satay
Serves 8

2 lbs boneless skinless chicken thighs (you could also use breast but thigh grills up nicer)
1/2 cup of coconut milk
1/4 cup of fish sauce
1 tablespoon Malaysian Curry blend
1 tablespoon light brown sugar (if you want to be authentic get your hands on palm sugar)
Sliced scallions, lime, red onion and cucumber for serving

Peanut sauce for dipping


1. Clean the chicken thighs from excess fat and cut into strips of desirable length (4″ x 1.5″).
2. In a large bowl mix the coconut milk, fish sauce, curry blend and sugar. Mix well. Add the chicken strips and make sure well coated in marinade. Let sit for at least one hour, ideally overnight for best flavor.
3. Soak wooden skewers in water for 20 minutes pre cooking to make sure they don’t burn in oven/on grill. Remove skewers from water.
4. Preheat oven to broil or heat grill. Remove chicken from marinade and skewer each strip lengthwise. Broil/Grill for 2 to 3 minutes on each side until golden brown and cooked through.
5. Serve hot alongside peanut sauce and enjoy!

Korean Beef and Onion Stir Fry


Hansen has surprised and delighted us yet again with a new marinade, Korean Gochujang. In searching for the perfect recipe to highlight his new smoky and sweet sauce, we knew that a delicious Korean beef dish would be the way to go. This meal is incredibly easy, comes together in minutes and needs very few ingredients. It is the perfect weekday lunch or dinner that will satisfy your yen for succulent and savory Korean beef.


Korean Beef and Onion Stir Fry

Serves 2


2 tablespoons vegetable/canola oil

1 medium onion, thinly sliced

12 oz. hanger steak, thinly sliced

6 tablespoons Korean Gochujang

Sliced scallions and sesame seeds for garnish

White rice for serving



1. In a large frying pan, heat your oil until sizzling.

2. Add your onions and cook for 3 minutes, stirring regularly.

3. Add the hanger steak and cook for 2 minutes until partially cooked through.

4. Add Gochujang and stir for 2 minutes until all ingredients are evenly coated and the beef is cooked through.

5. Garnish with scallion and sesame seeds and serve over white rice.

Beef and Guinness Chili


I keep being asked for a good chili recipe; a classic that I have bizarrely never tried my hand at. With St. Patrick’s Day coming up, I thought it would be fun to give it an Irish twist by adding Guinness.


Researching a recipe is one of my favorite pastimes, made all the more pleasurable since the discovery of The site allows you to create a virtual bookshelf of all your cookbooks with one comprehensive index. A quick search told me which of my hundreds of cookbooks contained chili recipes and then the fun began. The result of all my testing was a hugely satisfying and richly flavorful one-pot meal. Thank you to my friends who inspired this post – keep the requests coming!


Beef and Guinness Chili 

Serves 8


2 tablespoons olive oil

2 onions, chopped

1 yellow pepper, chopped

1 red pepper, chopped

1 jalapeno pepper, finely chopped (remove the seeds to reduce the heat)

4 lbs coursely ground beef chuck

2 teaspoons salt

1 tablespoon ground cumin

5 tablespoons chili powder

2 teaspoons chipotle chili in adobo sauce

1 1/2 (28 ounce) cans crushed tomatoes

1 cup Guinness

2 (15 ounce) cans kidney beans, drained

For toppings: sour cream, green onions, mature Irish cheddar



1. Heat the oil in a large dutch oven, add the onions and peppers and cook on medium for approximately 5 minutes.

2. Raise the heat and add the beef, mixing with the vegetables and cooking until the meat has fully browned.

3. Add the remaining ingredients except the beans and bring to low boil. Reduce heat to low and cook for as long as you can – at least 3 hours (this recipe is like a bolognese, the longer you cook it, the better it gets. You could definitely do in a crock pot but need to sauté the vegetables and brown the meat first). Skim the fat and discard as you go, stirring occasionally through the cooking process.

4. Add beans 5 minutes before you’re finished and heat through.

5. Serve with your favorite toppings – I like the classic sour cream, green onions and Irish cheddar.

Green Chile ‘Turquitos’


Plagued by insomnia of late, I’ve been spending the wee hours of the morning contemplating everything from the big questions in life to the incredibly mundane. Mulling over new ideas for turkey leftovers (which obviously fall into the ‘big life questions’ category) resulted in a 4am stroke of genius: Turquitos. I’m planning on selling the idea to Taco Bell for millions.


Even better than the genius name is that they’re incredibly easy to make and are absolutely delicious thanks to Bunches and Bunches’ vibrant Green Chile Sauce which packs such a punch, you don’t need to add anything else. Now I can go back to worrying about the state of the world in the knowledge that I’ve solved this year’s turkey leftover quandary.


Green Chile ‘Turquitos’

Serves 4 


3 cups shredded turkey (you can substitute chicken)

1 1/2 cups Green Chile Sauce

1 cup Monterey Jack cheese, shredded

12 small corn tortillas

1 cup vegetable oil, for frying

Sour cream, avocado, lime and cilantro for serving



1. In a large bowl, mix the turkey and green chile sauce.

2. In batches, wet the corn tortillas on both sides and microwave for 15 seconds between damp paper towels.

3. Put 2 tablespoons of turkey filling down the center of a softened tortilla, top with some cheese and roll tightly. Secure seam with a toothpick. Repeat until all tortillas are filled and rolled.

4. In a large frying pan, heat oil until bubbling and then fry turquitos in batches, approximately 3 minutes per side. Drain on paper towels and serve immediately with sour cream, chopped avocado, lime and cilantro.


Harissa Braised Lamb Shanks


Ygael’s Harissa is far and away the best I’ve ever tasted – you know when a company only creates one product that they’re confident in its distinction. I’ve been adding it to everything from sandwiches to stews but I knew that it would find its true mate with lamb. The heat mellows with the braising to a multi layered warmth that feels both exotic and homey at the same time. This is a dish that takes a little forethought but hardly any effort and will have your home so filled with the aromas of North Africa that you will wonder why you keep looking up flights to Marrakech.


Harissa Braised Lamb Shanks

Serves 2


2 lamb shanks

Sea salt

2 tablespoons Harissa

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 bunch carrots, peeled

1 cup red wine

2 cups chicken stock

Pomegranate seeds and fresh mint for serving



1. Make several small 1-inch-deep slits in lamb with a paring knife, then rub harissa over entire surface of lamb, pushing some into slits. Season with salt then marinate lamb, loosely covered, at room temperature for at least 1 hour or overnight in the fridge.

2. Preheat oven to 350°F.

3. In a large Dutch oven that fits the shanks in one layer, heat the olive oil and brown the shanks on all sides, approximately 5 minutes total. Remove to a platter.

4. Next, add the carrots and cook for a further 2-3 minutes. Add the wine, making sure to scrape up any of the browned bits with a wooden spatula to blend with the sauce.

5. Return the shanks to the Dutch oven, add the stock and cover with a tight fitting lid before transferring to the oven to cook for 2½ hours. Turn the shanks at least once during the braising. The meat is ready when it’s falling off the bone.

6. To finish the sauce, remove the carrots and shanks to a serving platter and set the pot on a high heat to reduce. Reduce the sauce by half before pouring over the meat and vegetables.

7. To finish, sprinkle with pomegranate seeds and fresh mint leaves and serve with couscous with pistachios and cilantro.

The Ultimate Steak Sandwich


There is a Skirt Steak Panino at Swoon Kitchenbar in Hudson, NY that I have literally dreamt about. Last week, while contemplating the 4 hours it would take me to get a ‘fix’, I realized it might be just that little bit more convenient to figure out how to recreate it at home. With Hillhome’s Vidalia Onion Jam and Victoria Amory’s Roasted Garlic Mayonnaise being permanent fixtures in my fridge, it took almost no effort to achieve a very convincing forgery of the original.


This sandwich is incredibly juicy and you’ll find yourself savoring the steak as it should be appreciated- messily and carnivorously. Basically, this is not the meal for a first date. It is a sandwich that can only be shared with a true friend who appreciates its goodness. Choose wisely.


Skirt Steak Sandwich with Caramelized Onions and  Aioli

Serves 2 


2 French bread rolls

4 slices Swiss cheese

1/2 lb skirt steak

Sea salt and freshly cracked pepper

1 tablespoon olive oil

Roasted Garlic Mayonnaise

Vidalia Onion Jam

1 cup arugula



1. Slice the rolls in half lengthwise, making sure not to slice all the way through. They should open like a book. Toast them in a toaster oven until just beginning to brown.

2. Spread garlic mayonnaise on the inside of both rolls, making sure to cover all sides. Next, lay 2 slices of Swiss cheese on the bottom half of each roll. Return to the toaster oven or broiler to finish off. Cook until cheese is just melted.

3. Season the skirt steak generously with salt and pepper. Heat the olive oil in a frying pan. Once hot (1-2 minutes), add the skirt steak and cook for 2-3 minutes on each side for rare to medium rare. Remove to a cutting board to rest for a couple of minutes before slicing. Cut the steak against the grain into 1 inch thick slices.

4. Spread Vidalia Onion Jam on the top half of your toasted French rolls. Then divide the steak between the two rolls and top with arugula.

5. Eat immediately!

Mole Beef Tacos


In the last few years, I’ve become slightly obsessed with tacos. My favorite are from a restaurant round the corner from me called Empellon Taqueria. Just writing about them makes me want to run over there for a plate of their skirt steak tacos on which I like to pour their famous smoked cashew salsa. Their tacos inspired me to start experimenting at home. This taco recipe rivals any I’ve had at Empellon and if you find yourself with any Mole Beef leftover (unlikely), I discovered it also makes unbelievable Nachos.


Mole Beef Tacos by Bunches and Bunches

From Recipes from Many Kitchens 
Serves 6

Mole Beef:
3 pounds (900g) organic beef chuck

1 onion, roughly chopped
Smoked Oaxacan Mole Sauce
Salt and pepper


Tacos and toppings:
12 small corn tortillas, wrapped in foil and warmed in the oven
1 avocado, cubed
queso fresco, crumbled
4 radishes, sliced paper thin
cilantro leaves for garnish


1) Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C). Season the meat with salt and pepper.
2) In a large dutch oven, brown the meat on all sides over high heat, about 5 minutes per side.
3) Scatter the onion around the beef and cover with mole sauce and bring to a simmer.
4) Cover and braise in the oven until the meat is very tender, about 2-3 hours.
5) Just before you remove the meat from the oven, divide the tortillas in 2 stacks, wrap in foil and put in the oven.
6) Remove the meat to a chopping board or platter and shred with two forks. Return to the pot and stir the shredded beef with the cooked sauce.
7) I like to put the pot of beef in the middle of the table with the tortillas wrapped in a tea towel along with all the fixings and let everyone prepare their own tacos just the way they like them.

NYC Halal Cart Chicken


This dish is street food in the best sense. Spice Tree Organics have wonderfully recreated the delectable flavor that so many New Yorkers crave on their lunch breaks and often wait in long lines to savor. Whether you’re a fan of Halal Cart Chicken or just looking for an easy weeknight dinner, you should give this a try. It far surpasses any I’ve tasted on the street and making it at home, I can ensure it includes only the freshest ingredients.


NYC Halal Cart Chicken with White Sauce
Serves 4

1 lb boneless chicken thighs, cut into small cubes
1 tablespoon Spice Tree Organics NYC Halal Cart Chicken
1 ½ teaspoon vinegar
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 Medium onion, sliced into strips
Sea salt to taste
1/2 cup diced cherry tomatoes for garnish
1 tablespoon fresh minced parsley for garnish


1. Mix the vinegar, 1 tablespoon oil, spices, and salt in a bowl. Add chicken and mix to coat well.
2. Refrigerate and let sit for 2 hours to marinate.
3. Heat remaining oil in a skillet and sauté onion until translucent, about 5 minutes.
4. Add chicken and cook thoroughly for approximately 10 minutes.
5. Serve alongside turmeric flavored basmati rice and white sauce, recipe below.

6. Garnish with cherry tomatoes and fresh chopped parsley


White Sauce
¼ cup mayo
¼ cup sour cream
1 small garlic clove, finely grated
2 teaspoon white vinegar
½ teaspoon sugar
1 tablespoon water
Sea salt and freshly cracked pepper to taste
2 tsp chopped dill


1. Mix all ingredients in a bowl.
2. Refrigerate for one hour to allow flavors to combine.

Lamb Kofta with Cacik (Tzatziki)


When I lived in London, I used to get the most incredible pre-mixed lamb kofta from a slightly run down Persian grocery store in Kensington. I’ve attempted to recreate it with a mix of spices myself but it was never quite as good. A few weeks ago, a package arrived with an array of different spice blends along with recipe cards from Spice Tree Organics. There was no question as to which I would try first. The Istanbuli kofta was exactly as I remembered – thank you Doaa and Freda for your meticulously toasted, ground and blended spice mixes!


Lamb Kofta
Serves 4

1 lb ground lamb

2 tbsp + 2 ½ tsp Istanbuli Kofta spice

1 medium onion, finely chopped or grated (juices drained)

¼ cup finely chopped fresh parsley

Salt to taste (about 1 tsp)



1. Combine all ingredients in a bowl. Thoroughly mix all the spices, onion, and parsley into the meat.

2. Chill meat mixture for one hour. In the meantime, preheat broiler or grill and make your tzatziki (recipe below).

3. Depending on the size of kofta you prefer, divide the meat mixture into 6 or 8 portions. Using a skewer or butter knife, mold the kofta around the skewer into a long sausage shape. If butter knife was used, carefully pull the kofta off of the knife without ruining the shape.

4. Place the koftas onto a hot broiler pan or grill. Cook for approximately 5 to 8 minutes until browned on the surface.

5. Turn kofta and cook an additional 4 minutes until cooked through. Serve with tzatziki.


Cacik (Tzatziki)

Serves 4


2 cups of plain greek yogurt

1 hothouse cucumber, sliced in half lengthwise and seeded

1 tablespoon salt

1/2 cup sour cream

3 tablespoons lemon juice

1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

1 garlic clove, minced

1 tablespoon fresh dill, minced

Freshly ground pepper and salt, to taste



1. Grate the cucumber and mix with 1 tablespoon of salt. Place it in a sieve over a bowl. Fill a zip lock bag with water and use as a weight over the cucumbers to help speed up the draining process. Leave for an hour then squeeze as much liquid out of the cucumbers with paper towels.

2. In another bowl, mix the yoghurt, sour cream, lemon juice, olive oil, garlic and dill. Next add the cucumbers, stir well and add salt and pepper to taste.