Tag Archives: spicy dishes

Spicy oregano chicken breast roll with avocado and lime mayonnaise

spicy oregano chicken breast roll with avocado and lime mayo

I’d spent the previous day chopping chickens, primarily for another batch of stock – feeling like a latter-day Dr Crippen (although that may have been influenced by Brenda’s “soothing conversation and light badinage”……..)

Anyway, I found myself with a couple of chicken legs and breasts going spare so thought I’d knock us up a quick and tasty lunch that’s partly a salad and partly a warm sandwich.


1 chicken breast
1/2 avocado
1 bread roll – like a focaccia or ciabatta
two pinches of dried oregano
pinch cayenne pepper

2 dsp mayonnaise
juice and zest of half a lime
small handful of finely sliced spring onions (green part)
pinch of red chilli flakes

olive oil
sea salt
fresh cracked black pepper


1) Bash out the chicken breast between two sheets of clingfilm, using the bottom of a pan, until it’s no more than 1/2 cm thin

2) Heat a medium frying pan on the hob while you rub a little olive oil onto both sides of the meat. Sprinkle a pinch of the oregano on each side – also, season with salt and pepper plus a light dusting of cayenne if you’re feeling adventurous but this can be omitted.

3) Slap the flattened breast onto the hot pan and hear the sizzle! Leave well alone for 2-3 minutes which you can use to make your dressing

4) In a bowl, add the mayo, lime juice/zest, finely sliced spring onion tops, chilli flakes and a little salt and pepper.

5) Turn the chicken breast which should be a lovely sizzling golden brown. While the other side fries, cut the roll in half and lightly toast. Also cut the half avocado into fine slices.

6) To serve, spread just under half the sauce onto the cut surface of each half of the roll, fan the avocado slices equally over each half. The other side of the chicken breast should by now also be golden brown and sizzling (having cooled altogether 5-6 mins). Cut it in half and place each piece on each half of the bread roll and spread the final tsp or so of dressing onto the chicken breast portion.

spicy oregano chicken breast roll with avocado and lime mayo

Chilli Chocolate Crunch

chillie chocolate crunch pudding - absolutely delicious from fanny and brenda

It never fails to amaze me that someone like Brenda who as some would say, possesses the most rudimentary of culinary skills, (and others might more correctly if rather less kindly opine that despite the complete lack of any culinary skills),  has an uncanny ability to occasionally turn out something that is not only worth eating, but is downright delicious.

This particular recipe is very simple to make, yet packs a spicy and sophisticated contemporary punch that will impress any dinner guests that step over the threshold. Serve with a little pouring cream, this simple pud will be the subject of admiring conversation for years!

You will see from the appalling  video demonstration that a total lack of skill or discipline does not necessarily get in the way of a successful result so this should give anyone with no experience of cooking at all, some hope. This really is one to enjoy.


100g of 70% dark chocolate
4 free range egg whites
Juice of half a lemon
10g caster sugar
1/4 tsp of chili powder
200g of chocolate digestive biscuits whizzed into crumbs in the blender
25g melted butter


1) Melt the chocolate in a double boiler on the hob
2) Put the biscuits in the blender and whizz until finely crumbed
3) Melt butter in a pan
4) Pour crumbs in the pan, stir into the butter and add the quarter teaspoon of chilli powder
5) Take about 5 ramekin dishes and grease up with butter
6) Cut discs out of greaseproof paper the same radius as the ramekins and place them in the bottom of the ramekins
7) Whisk the egg whites
8) Add the lemon juice to the egg whites, and whisk the combination until you have stiff peaks
9) Add the chocolate by combining and mix in well
10) Taste the mixture – if sugar is necessary add some to your taste
11) Add shallow layer of biscuit crumbs to the ramekins
12) Add chocolate mousse mixture
13) Sprinkle over the rest of the crumb mixture on the mousse mixtures and pat down
14) Place in fridge to chill for two hours
15) To serve, remove from fridge, and cut round the perimeter of each chocolate crunch in the ramekins
16) Turn upside down and they will release easily.
17) Serve with fine dusting of chilli powder, and some cream.

chillie chocolate crunch pudding - absolutely delicious from fanny and brenda

Mexican Shoulder of Lamb for 2 people

Our nights are still cold here in Blighty and a meal like this is most welcome. It is a delicious arrangement of lamb and vegetables with very mild but wonderfully flavoursome spicing. Although we say it’s for two people (Brenda is extremely prone to large portions), we had plenty of leftovers and could have fed four!

fanny and brenda's delicious mexican lamb recipe


1 shoulder of lamb (0.75kg)
Olive oil
1 whole but small head of garlic (6-8 cloves)

2 carrots, peeled and roughly diced

2 onions, peeled and roughly diced

2 ancho chillies

1 chipotle chilli

350ml full-bodied red wine

1-2 tsp redcurrant jelly

For the spice mix

4cm cinnamon stick

1 large branch rosemary, leaves stripped

1 tsp black peppercorns cloves

1 tsp cumin seeds

1 star anise

2 bay leaves 
Maldon sea salt

To serve
spring greens
courgette batons fried
handful of fresh coriander

fanny and brenda's delicious mexican lamb recipe

1) Cut off any excess fat or sinew from the lamb. Rub all over with olive oil

2)  Put all the spices for the spice mix in a dry frying pan and heat on a medium flame for about three minutes till things start to pop, the bay leaves are very nearly dry and everything is just starting to smoke and smell really fragrant. To stop the toasting immediately (you definitely don’t want the spices to burn), tip the contents of the pan directly into a pestle and mortar, and grind away for a good 3-5 mins till you have a  powder – I actually sieved the grounds into a small glass bowl so that any stubborn bits of cinnamon or the stalk and central vein in the bay leaves which remained, would be captured in the sieve (and could be discarded), leaving a nice even, chocolate brown and superbly aromatic spice mix, to which I then just added  a teaspoonful of Maldon sea salt.

fanny and brenda's delicious mexican lamb recipe

3) Rub or sprinkle the spice mix all over the oiled lamb.

fanny and brenda's delicious mexican lamb recipe

4) Break up the garlic head  and bash the cloves to release them from their skins – a few whacks with a rolling pin is fine!! Scatter the chopped carrots and onions into the baking tin along with the bruised garlic, discard the stalk and seeds in both types of chilli and then tear or cut  each chilli into four or five pieces and add to the tray. Put the wine in a jug and stir through the redcurrant jelly and than pour evenly over the baking tins’ contents, place the lamb on top and leave to marinate for four hours or preferably overnight, in the fridge and covered in tinfoil.

fanny and brenda's delicious mexican lamb recipe

5) Heat the oven to 150°C

6) If cooking the same day, assuming a reasonably cool kitchen, you won’t need to have refrigerated the dish, but having marinated over night, allow it to come up to near room temperature by taking out of the fridge at least an hour prior to cooking – Brenda hates anything frigid in her oven……and although I know what she means, this is in fact mainly to allow the dish to come up to heat quickly once in the oven. Depending on the size of your joint, steam and braise away under its lovely tent of foil for around 3 1/2 hours, by which time it should be meltingly soft. Confirm this by how it looks and feels – by all means have a quick check at around half time and baste the met/veg with some pan juices if necessary, even topping up with 100ml water if it looks as if it might be getting a little dry, although this is unlikely if the tinfoil hat has been fixed on tight.

fanny and brenda's delicious mexican lamb recipe

7)  Lift out the meat, and place, covered, in a warm place to rest. Just before serving, don’t try and carve it, just break apart with two forks so you end up with something like pulled pork  Meanwhile, whizz the contents of the roasting tray with a stick blender (or tip the entire contents of the roasting tray – minus meat - into the blender and process for a minute or two until you have a soft chilli and onion puree which will not be perfectly smooth) Warm through gently on the hob (either in the tray to save on the washing-up, or transfer to a saucepan). Add an extra teaspoon of redcurrant jelly and/or additional seasoning if required. 

fanny and brenda's delicious mexican lamb recipe

8) Serve with modest mashed potato (in other words, don’t go mad with cream and butter as the lamb is quite rich and the contrast will please the stomach) which can be mixed up with steamed spring greens. Best thing is a dollop  (or smear if you’re being refined) of the chilli puree on a warmed plate, next to some neat spoonfuls of the spuds/greens mix, followed by the lamb piled onto the puree and all dressed with some torn coriander leaves. Enjoy!

Chick pea cabbage and chorizo soup

This really is a lovely fresh and warming soup with vital flavours that are good for cold days. Nourishing and gorgeous, there won’t be any leftovers when you make this recipe!

chorizo chick pea and cabbage soup


1 large onion, halved and finely sliced
3 fat cloves of garlic, crushed
1 chorizo – they’re usually 200 or 225g – cut into fine rings
I small Savoy cabbage finely sliced(although any dark green leafy cabbage will work well – just avoid the almost white, very crunchy versions – the sort associated with coleslaw)
1 tin chickpeas, rinsed.
1 lemon or lime cut in halves
1 litre rich chicken stock
Fresh thyme/lemon thyme
3-4 bay leaves
1 tsp smoked paprika
1 tsp chilli flakes
Sea salt
Fresh cracked black pepper
Olive oil

chorizo chick pea and cabbage soup


Gently heat your chicken stock which should take about 20 minutes to start simmering, during which time…

Fry the onion and garlic for 5 minutes in several tablespoons of olive oil, fairly slowly. Then add the chorizo and continue to fry for at least another 10 minutes so that the vegetables get really transluscent and also with some edges turning brown although be careful not to burn as the garlic easily goes bitter. The chorizo should be getting some crispiness and also have released beautiful reddish brown oils.

Add a paprika, chilli, thyme and bay leaves and continue to fry for 1-2 minutes until the pan is releasing very rich spicy aromas.

Now add the simmering chicken stock directly to the onion pan and stir together. Then immediately add the chickpeas and lemon/lime halves and simmer for 5 minutes.

chorizo chick pea and cabbage soup

Finally, add the sliced cabbage, simmer for another 5 minutes or so until the cabbage is tender but not mushy. Remove the citrus halves and squeeze any remaining flesh/juice into the soup. Given the saltiness of the chorizo, you should only check the seasoning at this point – adjust accordingly with sea salt and black pepper.

Serve immediately in warmed bowls with an additional squeeze of lemon juice and some finely chopped parsley. You definitely won’t need bread with this as the chick peas and rich, meaty, paprika flavours make for a satisfying, but still quite light and immensely tasty meal.

chorizo chick pea and cabbage soup

Spiced Pumpkin Chicken

fanny klunge's super gorgeous middle eastern inspired spiced chicken pumpkin dish

It seems pertinent to continue to the pumpkin theme given that they are in the shops so plentifully at the moment. This is a delicious recipe that has some Middle Eastern inspiration and maximises the loveliness of the pumpkin texture. It has a collection of flavours and colour that are vibrant and moreish which works both as a family supper and/or a party piece that everyone will adore. The recipe itself is relatively straightforward and could be considered a marvellous one pot dish!

fanny klunge's super gorgeous middle eastern inspired spiced chicken pumpkin dish

Check out the video below to see our own demonstration.


500g pumpkin, cubed into 1-2cm chunks
glug of olive oil
1 large onion, sliced
3 cloves garlic, finely sliced
1 tsp fresh ginger, finely minced or julienned
1-2 fresh chillies, finely chopped(no need for deseeding – you regulate the heat by the amount of chilli)
1 large cinnamon stick
2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 chicken cut into four
400g can of tomatoes
2-3 tsp harissa
400g potato, cubed
3 tbsp fresh coriander, chopped
sea salt and fresh cracked black pepper

Serve with a spoon of plain yoghurt and diced cucumber

fanny klunge's super gorgeous middle eastern inspired spiced chicken pumpkin dish

Peel the pumpkin and scrape out any seeds and fibrous bits and cut the flesh into 1-2cm cubes

fanny klunge's super gorgeous middle eastern inspired spiced chicken pumpkin dish

Heat the oil in a large pan and fry the onion and garlic for around 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

fanny klunge's super gorgeous middle eastern inspired spiced chicken pumpkin dish

Stir in the ginger, cinnamon stick, cumin and chillies plus the chicken pieces and cook for 5 minutes, turning to brown them slightly all over

Add the can of tomatoes, harissa, potato pieces, pumpkin pieces and 1/2 the empty tomato can of water. Stir well and check/adjust seasoning. Cover and simmer for 45 minutes until the chicken, potato and pumpkin are tender. Sprinkle on the chopped coriander before serving. (A small dollop of yoghurt and some diced cucumber on top makes this most appealing!!)

fanny klunge's super gorgeous middle eastern inspired spiced chicken pumpkin dish

Spanish Chicken

Here is my recipe for Spanish Chicken – this is not an underhand reference to some gorgeous youth but a really very tasty recipe.

Chicken thigh fillets  – 2 per person if they’re a reasonable size

Potatoes – maris piper or King Eddies work nicely

Red and Yellow peppers – one or two per person
An aubergine – does nicely for two (although I know a few who like to hog the whole thing for themselves….)

Couple of medium sized red onions OR a handful of shallots
shallots boiling on fanny and brenda's hob

A 200g chorizo sausage

Olive oil, sea salt, freshly milled black pepper, as much or as little garlic and either fresh green chilli or dried chilli flakes as you like, couple of lemons and maybe a lime and some paprika  (- I used smoked paprika )

OK so here goes……

Boil a kettle full of water.

Take some potatoes (the amount depending on how many you’re feeding but 8 seemed to be more than enough for two folks……..) and peel casually – no need for perfection as I rather like the slightly earthier taste you get by leaving small areas with skin remaining but this really is down to personal taste. Chop spud into pieces about the same size as a medium-size tub of Vaseline. By now your kettle should have boiled so you’ve made a bit of a start on the process of par-boiling the spuds which should take about 15 mins.

While that’s happening, peel your onions which, if red and medium size, will need quartering. Leave the root intact so your quarters don’t fall apart (and for God’s sake if there are any Australians around, this root has nothing to do with your husband or toyboy). Frankly, slightly easier with shallots which can be left whole but , they are also smaller and fiddlier to peel so you choose. Plop these into your potatoes for the last 5-10 mins of cooking just to soften a bit.

aubergines make wonderful vegetables in dishes like this

Although everyone says salt your aubergine, you can if you want but I challenge anyone to taste the difference once the thing has been roasted at nearly 200 degrees centigrade for something over an hour – I’d like to see flubbalump  Fanny retain any water after that . So, do it if you like, but probably not worth it. Instead, just slice lengthways into halves and then again into quarters (I did it again into eighths but there’ll be just too many “people whose first language  is not English” reading this who won’t be able to say that so let’s just keep it simple). I then slice them again across, in the middle. (So, your quarter lengths then give you 8 pieces – or in my case, 16)

Likewise, chop up your peppers into strips (get 6 to 8 out of each pepper, depending on size) -  chop out the green stem and get rid of little seeds first – duh!

Now get your chorizo and slice it up (think of WHATEEEEVVVVER you like while you do it..) into bits about one cm wide…..

Finally, before the assemblage at any rate, take around 30-50ml olive oil and squeeze your lemons, tipping the juice into the olive oil and then add your chillies (either sliced, if fresh, or some flakes, if dried), squish the garlic from your crusher straight into the oil/juice, then add good couple of pinches of sea salt, couple of shakes of paprika and black pepper. Stir this lot altogether with a fork.

this is a wondefully flavoursome and colourful dish

Now wrap each piece of chicken round a red/yellow pepper slice (the veggie in the middle helps keep it moist plus having the chicken in a sort of cylinder rather than just flat also helps it from drying out too much. Place your chicken pieces into your roasting dish then basically cram your (hot!) potatoes, onion quarters/shallots (whichever), rest of the pepper slices, aubergines and chorizo slices in together – arranging reasonably artistically so you get colour variations although you can adjust this half way through cooking.

arrange your ingredients for a colourful look

Pour your oil/juice melange evenly all over then slide the whole thing into you fan-assisted oven at around 190. You’ll know your own oven, ours isn’t great as it tends to burn things on top but even if you’ve got an Aga (really???!!!) you’ll definitely want to look at it after about half an hour and tumble everything about a bit so that if things are getting a bit brown/black on top, you can bring some of the components from below which are not getting so much heat at this stage, up to the surface. However, you really shouldn’t mind any nice crispy brown/black edges as this adds to the look and taste, trust me. After a total of an hour, I like to be a touch braver with those brown edges so I leave it maybe an hour and ten mins…. you should take the roasting dish out and you will find this gorgeous sizzling one-pot dinner, with the spuds just starting to roast, the aubergine gooey with some charred edges, some nice tender peppers (also nice dark edges)and your chicken cooked but still juicy enough.

delicious one pot dinner

The whole thing will be immensely spicy (if you do it like me), soft but crunchy and oozing with red-paprika-stained olive oil and chorizo which will also have some soft and some crispy bits. Satisfying and cheering, just what you want during a British winter and when you’ve got Fanny as a dining companion.

delicious one pot dinner