actifry or one-pot lamb tagine

Here for the lamb tagine? Yes, that’s well and good, and perhaps you can’t wait, but if you have five minutes, why not take a moment to read part two of our trip to Switzerland?

I apologise for the length of the last entry – I’ll try and keep it a bit more sensible this time around. This actifry lamb tagine can very easily be made in a normal pot, by the way, just simmer for the same amount of time. Can’t go wrong. I’m typing this up when I actually should be knuckling down for some last-minute Christmas shopping as I have exactly nil Christmas presents bought. Oops. Ah well, lumps of coal and stern looks for all. I might send Black Santa from the previous post.

But anyway, enough grousing. Let us step back a week or so ago to a point where two fresh-faced, handsome men, stylishly dressed for the city and with hope in their hearts, stepped off the Geneva-bound easyJet flight from Newcastle. You’ll see us right behind them, sweating our tits off, pulling our balls free from the inside of our thunderthighs and exclaiming ‘IT’S RIGHT COLD’ as we stumble down the steps like a cow with advanced BSE.

swisstwo

looking for part one? click here

Do you know, I think that’s the best banner yet.

The first thing we did in Geneva was have a stare-off with some Aldi version of Annie Lennox who was quite insistent that she should cut in front of us in the queue at security, for reasons I couldn’t ascertain from her scowling face and bleached grey hair. You could say she was a Thorn in my Side, but actually, I’d just call her a rude bitch. I don’t mind an elbow in my back-fat if it belongs to Paul but not someone who is jump the queue. Tsk. Paul and I made sure to stand beside each other, pressed firmly together, like Trump’s Wall but made from Tesco jeans and fat. My, she couldn’t half tut though. Imagine my concern.

Security waved us through – yet again, no stamp – why? I want stamps in my passport. I appreciate that means that I’ll probably need to travel somewhat further afield than what Newcastle Airport can offer me but still. Rumour tells me that I’ll get a stamp if I travel to Benidorm, but alas, the stamp will be on my nose by an orange chav with Naf-Naf shoes. Pfft. We made our way out of the airport and decided to have a sandwich and a coffee in one of the many pleasant eateries dotted about the concourse. Well, honestly – in what will doubtless be a running theme throughout these entries – it was so bloody expensive. We had been warned but we waved off the concerns and cautions with the haphazard air of the seasoned traveller. A sandwich and a small coffee? £13. I wanted to lean over the counter and ask if the sandwich came with someone to sit with me whilst I ate and regale me with Swiss fairy-tales but alas, my French doesn’t extend to lusty sass.

That’s another thing about Switzerland – you’re never quite sure whether you should be speaking in French, German, Italian or some bizarre hybrid of the lot. We both give speaking in the native language the old college try but it’s bad enough when you’re trying to summon the French for cheese and ham baguette from the distant memory vault of Year 9 French, it’s even worse when you have to try and build in a Germanic back-up plan. Shamefully, we both did rather more pointing and apologising in English this holiday then we’ve ever done before. We managed to receive disdain from so many races that I felt like Nigel Farage.

Having finished our sandwiches and drib of coffee, neither especially amazing, we made our way to get the train from the airport into the centre of town. I’d looked it up online and spotted that it was a mere 5 minute ride and, even with the Swiss propensity to take the normal price of goods and services and then square it, it was never going to cost that much. However, Paul had spotted somewhere on the Internet that tourists to Geneva were given a free ticket to travel in, saving us, oooh…£4 at best. He wouldn’t be shaken from the idea that we simply had to have this ticket and so it was that we spent a good thirty minutes scouring the airport for this mythical free ticket machine. I was thrilled, as you can imagine, given I was full of warm cheese and bitter coffee, and anyway, this is a man whose primary motive for buying a new car was because his old car was dirty and needed new tyres. He’s not exactly Martin Lewis, you know?

We eventually found the fabled free ticket machine, however, of course, it was located back in the arrivals bit and we’d already  gone through the customs channel, meaning we couldn’t nip back through. Conversation somewhat strained, we made our way back to the train station, I bought us two first class tickets and we were on a train in no time at all. My simmering rage was tempered when the train turned up – it was a double-decker train! I know that’ll be of no excitement to anyone with an active sex-life but to me, it was thrilling. There’s something captivating about climbing up stairs on a train to me – it gives me an opportunity to make grand staircase exits as I leave the train, for one.

As you’d expect, the train was comfortable, luxurious and clean, putting everything that barely trundles around our rail network to shame. There’s something pleasing about sitting in a train where you’re not greeted with a rolling wall of shit-vapour everytime those automatic toilet doors open, for one. We were perturbed by the scenes outside the train window though – I was expecting fastidiously clean streets and charming buildings but instead we were treated to a heavily graffitied jet-fuel depot and lots of suspicious looking men in stonewash denim. Happily, the train pulled smartly into a tunnel and all that was soon forgotten, deposited as we were into Genève-Cornavin station.

This was more like it. Our first true glimpse of Switzerland. First impressions? Very few fat people. I’m not sure why but it was noticeable – no-one clutching handrails on stairs and gasping, no-one shuffling with pained feet – everyone walking briskly and stylishly. I immediately felt bad and made to cover my man-boobs and sweat patches in my Scottish Widow coat. I don’t normally care, but who wants to be the cow pat a field of flowers?

We consulted our phones – thank the lord for google maps – and realised that it was an easy fifteen minute walk to our hotel, the Hotel N’vy, which you can gaze adoringly at by clicking here. Don’t worry, it’ll open in a new window. As we trundled along we were both struck by how clean it all was – yes, perhaps some of the buildings needed a gentle Karchering, but there wasn’t a pick of litter to be seen, nor the other unfortunate city sights that trouble Britain, such as smashed up phoneboxes or the homeless. I assume that’s because Switzerland treat their homeless like humans rather than inconveniences and shysters like we do in the UK.

Seriously, the amount of comments I read on our local rag’s facebook page about Newcastle’s homeless appalls me. Stuff like ‘they spend all their money on drugs so I don’t give them anything’ or ‘they’re all scammers’. You know, if you don’t want to donate or help, that’s fine, we’ve all got our reasons, but please don’t wear your arseholery like a badge. No-one is impressed. Frankly, if someone wants to put the quid or two that I’ll drop in their pot on some smack to get them through a winter’s night, so be it, good for them. I’d do the same thing if I was on the streets – not as if I’d get much for selling my body, for sure, though perhaps someone could cut me open and sleep in my belly like Leonardo di Caprio does in The Revenant with that antelope. If I’m being conned, at least I took a gamble.

Anyway, sidetracked, sorry. We made it to our hotel without getting lost once which is a bloody miracle given neither of us can find our arses with our elbows. Honestly, our sex life is just a long series of pointed directions – up a bit, down a bit, left a bit, no no, come down a bit, to me, to you – our neighbours must think we’re moving a large sofa around a tiny room with assistance from the Chuckle Brothers. Someone once suggested that we use the ‘scratch and sniff’ approach to lovemaking in the dark: pfft, that would work, save for the fact Paul’s arse smells like a stable fire where the horses didn’t make it to safety.

The receptionist was an absolute delight – couldn’t speak a lick of English, unusually, but we managed to laugh our way through the reservation and she took my American Express with skilled panache. Funny how the language barrier never stands in the way of payment, eh?

We were lucky, too – despite us arriving at around 11ish in the morning, they’d already prepared the room (the usual: reinforce the toilet, plastic sheeting on the bed, make sure the telly can receive Tipping Point and The Chase) and we were ushered upstairs with our luggage by some friendly chap in a lovely hat. He didn’t hold his hand out for a tip which was fortuitous as I only had notes of 100 Swiss Francs (about £80) and in Switzerland that would have only just been enough to get him to hold the door open. He left us to our room where, you guessed it, Paul’s holiday traditions took place – a look in the minibar, the stealing of anything small and portable into our freshly emptied suitcase, and yes, an eye-watering poo. I’d barely got the cap of my complimentary bottle of sparkling water before I heard rapturous groans and heavy splashing from the lavatory, followed by “JUST MAKING ROOM FOR THE FONDUE MY LOVE”. Isn’t he a treat? I don’t think I’ve ever been in a hotel room with Paul for longer than fifteen minutes before it smells like a rendering plant and I can barely read the minibar list through my streaming eyes.

I’d like to tell you that we bustled straight out of the door to enjoy the city but actually, once Paul had finished his poo and had a shower, the early start caught up with us and we decided to spend the day ordering room service and sleeping. We like to spend a full day exploring the city but we needed to be fresh and ready for that, and frankly, we’ve both been working super hard lately. We needed the rest. At some point, in between the drunken sleeping (we raided the minibar, and by god we’d truly pay for that later) and ordering of burgers and chips and sandwiches, Jingle All The Way came on the TV. Aaaah, it doesn’t get any more Christmassy than that, does it?

Let’s pick up the rest of this in our next entry. I apologise that I don’t move on very quickly when I’m typing up holiday entries, but I just love writing about them! I’d LOVE to hear your thoughts. To the recipe, then.

We’ve taken this from the MyTefal app, but modified it slightly and gave it a sexier name. We know it’s not a real lamb tagine. Deal with it. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t normally need a lot of encouragement to get my hands on a dishy Moroccan, but here we go. I don’t know how they can get away with calling it a lamb tagine, either, given it’s a very ‘dry’ dish. This makes enough for four or so chunkers.

lamb tagine

to make actifry lamb tagine you will need:

  • 900g diced lamb
  • 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp thyme
  • 2 tsp paprika
  • 5 tomatoes, quartered
  • 1 yellow pepper, deseeded chopped into large chunks
  • 3 cloves of garlic, chopped
  • salt and pepper

Actifry’s are back under £90 on Amazon – I don’t expect they’ll stay that way so if you’re sitting on the fence, get one now by clicking here! It’s bloody Christmas, treat yourself.

to make actifry lamb tagine you should:

  • place all the ingredients into a bowl and mix well, leave to marinade for 30 minutes
  • cook in the actifry for 27 minutes
  • that’s it

Doing this in a pot? You’ll need to do it a little differently – brown off the lamb first by cooking in a bit of oil. Add about 100ml of lamb stock to the pan and allow to gently bubble along with everything else until thickened and lovely. Serve with rice. Or hoy it all in a slow cooker. Hey, each to their own, am I right?

Looking for more ideas on what to do with lamb? Click the buttons below!

lambsmallpoultrysmallbeefsmallporksmall

Enjoy!

J

droptober recipe #1: pronto lamb tagine – a lovely autumn stew

A pronto lamb tagine? Well, yes, it’s a one-pot meal left over from one-pot week, and you can find it below. It’s one of those meals that no matter how you photograph it, it looks like something our cat did on the carpet when we changed his catfood for the cheaper variety. We’re currently locked in this exact battle of wills with our cats – we want to see if we can get them on cheapy cat food for a bit so we bought a sachet of Conshita or something from Lidl (I know) to test. They sampled a bit and seemed to enjoy themselves so we went and bought a crate of the stuff. Of course, this was a step too far and they immediately took such great offence at our penny-pinching that they’re refusing to eat. We’re also refusing to budge. They won’t go hungry, there’s plenty of dry food and mice and whatnot to be had, but I swear they both sit there smirking as I scrape the untouched catfood into the bin. We’ve got an Amazon Dash button for Whiskas on the fridge (very clever stuff – you press the button, Amazon automatically orders you a box of catfood and delivers it the next day – I’m not kidding, look!) and I reckon it’ll be three days before they’ve started pressing it themselves.

ANYWAY where have we been? Well, I’ve been in gay Glasgow on a sort-of business trip and Paul’s been stuck at home, aimlessly masturbating and wailing around the house like Victoria when Albert died. I did take my iPad with me with an eye to creating some new posts but actually, after I had finished work and navigated Glasgow, I couldn’t be arsed. Plus The Fall was on and I was too busy admiring Whisperin’ Agent Scully to hammer out a blog.

However, we’re going to try something new for the next month – a new post every day in October. Let’s have 31 days of new recipes and ideas and really concentrate on getting our slimming done right. Are you with us? You should be. I know October is traditionally given over to giving up smoking but listen, smoking makes you look cool and better you put a cigarette in your mouth than a family sized bar of Dairy Milk, am I right? I’m kidding: don’t smoke, folks, it makes you look common and everyone thinks you stink. I’ve been racking my brains to try and think of a decent, snappy title that combines October with recipes or losing weight and can I balls – if you can think of one, do leave a comment. One thing to stress though: there will be nights when it is PURELY a recipe we’re posting – so no guff beforehand! I always feel guilty if I can’t squeeze out a few paragraphs but no more! Something is better than nothing, after all…!

I can’t help but notice there’s a rash of strops and gashcrashing going on via the facebook groups about the fact that Slimming World are changing the rules on sweetener, which I believe is now synned at 1/2 syn per tablespoon. Quite bloody right! When you see people making cakes (sorry, how silly: vanilla scented omelettes) that have 75g of this shit in and then eating the whole lot because ‘ITZ JUS LIKE A PROPA CAKE HUN XOXOXOX’, you can see why SW stepped in and stopped it. That’s why we don’t have many cakes and biscuits on this blog – not because we can’t bake but because the reason these things taste so nice is because of the butter and because of the sugar. Sweetener, quark and the tears of a fatty is never going to beat that! Naturally we’ve had over-reactions, with people saying they’re going to leave because SW keep changing things, which is the equivalent of shooting yourself in the head because the logo for BBC2 has changed. Plus, if you HAVE to have it, it’s only 1/2 syn in a tablespoon. You’re allowed 15 syns a day. So that’s thirty tablespoons and frankly, if that isn’t enough to get by on, you’ve got bigger problems than getting Splenda out of the folds in your neck.

Finally, just a big thank you to all the wonderful kind comments and likes on our last post – I was so tempted at the end of it to say we were packing up and no more posts as a joke – I’m glad I didn’t. Judging by your outpouring of love (or was it just wind?) I’d have finished a few of you off – and not in that ‘rubbing ink off your hand’ way, if you get what I mean. To the lamb tagine! This serves four fatties and can be done all in the one pot as long as that pot has a decent lid and can go in the oven. If it can’t, you’re fucked. No, obviously not, you’ll just need to transfer it, but you can definitely manage that!

OH COMPLETELY AS AN ASIDE: do you need a laugh? This is a genuine goldmine. It’s as old as Paul’s mother but far more entertaining – read the reviews people have left for this portrait of Paul Ross. Click right here. It’s rare that I laugh 😐 but these had me absolutely creased. It’ll open in a new window, no need to shit the bed. You know we’ve got a good sense of humour, it’ll not let you down.

pronto lamb tagine

to make pronto lamb tagine you will need:

  • 500g lean diced lamb
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 carrots, quartered lengthways and chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp ras-el-hanout spice mix
  • 1 tin chopped tomatoes
  • 1 tin chickpeas, drained
  • 100g dried apricots, chopped (10 syns)
  • 600ml chicken stock

to make pronto lamb tagine you should:

  • preheat the oven to 180°c
  • heat a casserole dish on the hob over a medium-high heat and add some oil
  • brown the lamb on all sides and then remove from the pan and place onto a plate
  • in the same pan, add the onions and carrots and cook for about three minutes
  • add the garlic and cook for another minute
  • stir in the spices and chopped tomatoes and stir
  • add the lamb back to the pan along with the chickpeas, dried apricots and and stock
  • stir well, bring to a simmer and cover with the lid
  • cook in the oven for a couple of hours, though make sure it doesn’t boil dry – add more stock if it does
  • serve with rice!

How easy was that? If you’re after a few more lamb recipes, click the buttons below, but you can indulge yourself with beef, chicken and pork too!

poultrysmallbeefsmallporksmalllambsmallonepot

Enjoy folks.

J

lamb kofta with creamy cucumbers

I’ve never felt older than I did this morning, when, standing at a bus-stop surrounded by screaming kids effing and jeffing, I tutted to myself and thought ‘kids these days’. Well actually, what I thought was ‘kids these days…if I kicked the littlest one under the wheels of a bus would I REALLY be in the wrong?’. Which is a trifle worrying but honestly, they were so loud. All the conversation was happening at twice the speed I’d expect, like someone leaning on the BPM slider on an old record-player. At one point I thought they were speaking Gujarati until I made the words ‘here-man-ye-FUCKING-DONKEY’ explode through all the vocal drawls and tics. Plus half of the little scrotes were smoking, albeit they were doing that affected ‘suck in a tiny bit and exhale like you’re trying to blow out a chip pan fire’ smoking. I mean if you’re GOING to smoke do it properly, I didn’t hear one lung-rattling cough amongst them. Amateurs. I was on half a tin of Peterson Old Dublin at their age.

You may wonder why someone as sociopathic as me was on a bus – well, I had to take my dear little car in for a service. It’s a brand new car so there should be no problems and it could have waited but see, my windscreen wipers were leaving an annoying smear on the window and rather than just clean them myself, I just took the car in for a full service and asked for a new set. We’re terrible with money, what can I say. But we’ve got no debt so we’re doing something right! I had to sit outside the dealership for twenty minutes waiting for someone to open up, and then I was immediately cut up in the queue by someone with a nicotine fringe and Build-a-Bear shoes. It’s OK, I’m British, I’ll queue politely and stare at the back of your greasy head with such unimaginable fury that I’m surprised the word KNOBJOCKEY didn’t burn across your ears.

He was booking in his bellendmobile for a service too and I almost ground my teeth into diamonds at his excruciating exchange with the receptionist. See, she asked him what time he wanted to pick up the car, he replied ‘Whatever time is good for you, I’m easy’. That made me vomit gently against the back of my teeth but I held it back. She then suggested 4pm – nope, no good, he was picking the kids up. 5pm? No, he was taking his mother to hospital. 3pm? He’d be at work. Tomorrow morning? He drives a lorry for a living, he’d be away. I mean HAWAY MAN, it’s not bloody hard to give HER a time instead of trying to be a smooth bastard with your plaitable earhair and chip-fat musk. After what felt like enough time to the rubber on my tyres to perish in the sun, he fucked off, it was my turn, I signed the car over and was away before she could click her pen.

The bus, then. Awful. For so many reasons. Firstly, I like my own personal space. I don’t like sharing that personal space with someone for whom deodorant and mouthwash are part of an “alternative lifestyle”. I immediately tune into their every defect – the way their nostrils whistle when they breathe out, the way they click their teeth over every speedbump, the way they lean against me as the bus turns a corner. I hate it. I’m not perfect by any stretch but see that’s why I contain myself in a car. People don’t respect personal space but I probably take it to the other extreme – I wince like a beaten dog if someone so much as gets in the lift with me.

Plus, the journey cost me £2.20. For a distance no greater than two miles, all downhill. Had I not been worried about my lovely shirt, I could have laid on my back and barrelled down the hill like a roll of carpet. I could even have walked (shock, I know, but even I’m not fat enough to decline a walk downhill) but I would have been late for my dentist and he’s the last guy I want to piss off. That’s extortionate, and it took almost half an hour because the bus stopped quite literally every 100 yards or so to let someone off and on, with all their bloody questions taking another five minutes. The driver had all the charisma of a roadside piss and snatched tickets and cash like he was on the Crystal Maze. I don’t doubt there are exceptions but do they make all bus drivers go to a training camp to thrash all the human decency out of them? Or is it dealing with rotten human beings all day that turn them into such miserable buggers? I saw someone stumble over the word Megarider and I honestly thought the driver was going to punch her on the tit. 

Ah well. The dentist went very well – I’m not even going to write a sarcastic recount of that, because I just can’t fault my dentist. He’s lovely. He takes the time to tell me what he’s going to do and I think he must minimise anything that ‘hurts’ because I rarely feel a thing. Apparently I have animal teeth AND naturally white. Not surprised, what with all the “whitening solution” I’ve had cascaded over them over the years, am I right? If I was richer, I’d have every last tooth torn out and replaced with big fake white teeth. I know it looks unnatural but it’s the one thing about me that I’m genuinely shy about – even though my teeth are pretty decent.  Paul hides his teeth all the time too, despite having a lovely smile – but in the nine years we’ve been together I’ve never been allowed to look at the back of his mouth. The guy is happy enough texting me a picture of his balloon knot with an ‘URGENT: OPEN THIS’ caption, but his teeth? No. Weird.

Anyway, as it happens, the car came back completely free of any worries and they replaced the blades for nowt because they should have lasted longer! RESULT.

Tonight’s recipe, then:

11329947_883520991721505_840740268862043942_n

to make lamb kofta, you’ll need:

ingredients for the kofta: 900g lean lamb mince, 1 large onion, 3cm piece of root ginger (peeled and chopped), 2 cloves of garlic, 1 chilli pepper (deseeded), 1 tsp ground cumin, 2 tsp ground coriander, 2 tsp garam masala, 1tsp salt, 1 egg

to make lamb kofta, you should:

  • throw the onion, ginger, garlic, chili pepper, cumin, coriander, garam masala, salt and egg into a food processor and pulse until it makes a grainy paste
  • mix together the minced lamb and egg, and then combine with the paste mixture
  • leave to rest in the fridge for half an hour
  • divide the mixture into ten portions and roll out into a thick sausage shape – you want it to be about the size of a penis that, when presented, you wouldn’t get very excited about, and skewer
  • in a small bowl mix together a little fat free yoghurt with a drop or two of oil and add a pinch of black pepper
  • using a pastry brush, lightly coat the koftas with the yoghurt mixture
  • grill under a medium heat for around 5 minutes per side

We served this on a HEB WW tortilla bread from Tesco, plus some tomato and a giant lettuce leaf. 

ingredients for the creamy cool cucumbers: 1 cucumber (sliced thinly), 1 onion (sliced), 60g fat free natural yoghurt, 1 tbsp white wine vinegar, 1 tsp sweetener, pinch of salt and pepper, 2 tsp dill

recipe: 

  • mix together the yoghurt, onion, white wine vinegar, sweetener, salt and pepper
  • pour over the cucumbers and toss well to mix
  • sprinkle the dill over the mix just before serving

Listen: I know I go on about this all the time. But if you haven’t got a mandolin slicer, bloody well get one. Fair enough you might circumcise the end of your fingers but it’ll be worth it – you can slice your onion and cucumber for this recipe in less time then it would take you to get a knife out of the block and crack a few jokes about the girth of the cucumber. The one we use is from Amazon and is brilliant – and only £12. Think of all the time you spend crying over your onion and irregular slices. Treat yourself. It’s this or chocolate.

Better to make this just before serving otherwise the cucumber leaks its water and the sauce looks like something you might get treatment at the clap clinic for.

End on a high!

J

spiced lamb mince and potato aloo kheema

Firstly, a massive and genuinely heartfelt thank you to everyone for the lovely comments yesterday in response to my article about my nana. I can’t reply to them all but please know that they were read and enjoyed greatly. She’d have hated (but secretly loved) all the fuss. She was one of those people who would say she didn’t want anything for Christmas and then sit there with a face like a slapped arse until you got her present out. I’ll miss her at Christmas – we used to joke on amongst ourselves that she was like Dr Who – always regenerating at Christmas despite us saying for a good ten years that ‘we’d better not go away this year, it’ll be her last’. Ah well. Your comments were delightful, inspired and so very kind, and it made me feel better that I was able to encapsulate even the smallest bit of what she meant to me. That said, if she wasn’t currently on ice down at the morgue, she’d be tunneling halfway to China now spinning in her grave at what I’m about to show you.

I have literally become the thing I hate most. Just look.

11169720_869972836409654_2164813589689236468_o

I’m drinking a mixed drink from a fucking jamjar, like some pretentious rah-yah in one of those bars where they take a perfectly affable building, cover it in veneers and turn off all the lights so you have to read the menu by the cherry of a liquorice-papered, prison-thin American Spirit roll-up. You’ll note however that the jamjar is a proper Kilner licenced jar and I even doubled down and got the awful paper straws to go with it. Paper straws though, really – the liquid equivalent of trying to dry yourself with a cloud. Five minutes in and it’s already collapsed, so I end up sucking like I’m giving the world’s worst blowjob to both parties concerned. Don’t worry, it’ll be back to George pint glasses soon enough and we’ll only wheel out the posh stuff when it’s going on Twitter, like the Christmas china.

That’s the next point – we’re now on Twitter. The observant amongst you will doubtless have spotted the little widget there on the right displaying pictures and other such nonsense. The aim is to get you lot sharing these recipes wherever you can, plus, it gives me an outlet for my bile for when I can’t be bothered sitting at the computer trying to type with a particularly needy cat clawing away at my genitals. Follow us by adding @twochubbycubs and share share share share!

Along similar lines, I’ve just noticed that we’ve sailed clean past 2000 members, which when you think I was only bleating on about having 1000 members back in January (and take a look at that page, I shit you not when I say it’s one of our best recipes), is pretty incredible. Like we always say – Paul loves cooking (he’s learnt to, Little Mo has nothing on him) and I love writing, so this is the perfect outlet for us. The fact that so many of you like hearing our nonsense and swearing only gives us a reason to try harder! With that in mind, know that we are going to be back to full speed pretty soon – recent events have knocked us a little, but we’re still doing a new recipe a day, and you’ll get the benefit of that. We’ve got breakfast ideas, themed weeks and oops – we forgot about Europe. What are we like. So bear with us, and until then, enjoy this:

lamb kheema slimming world

Tasty. And check out the presentation, I felt like I was in a Newcastle Wetherspoons. I mean, I knew I wasn’t because I have a full set of teeth and a career, but still*.

to make the spiced lamb mince you will need:

500g of lean lamb or pork mince (or beef, for that matter – hey listen, I’m not judging you), 500g of potatoes (use new potatoes if you can get them) cut into thumb sized chunks, 1 red onion finely chopped, 2 big juicy red tomatoes (i.e. don’t be buying a pack of cheap tomatoes, God is watching and he despairs of your watery orange balls of nowt), and then the spices:

to make spiced lamb mince you should:

You’ll also need a drop of oil for the onions. If you prefer, use Frylight, but like I always say: don’t.

This recipe only took us about 30 minutes to make and most of that was the pot sitting on the hob. So what’s your excuse, eh?

ingredients for the sides: a pitta bread each (HEB if you use a wholemeal Weight Watchers pitta, which has all the taste and wonder of a side of Artex), an onion, tomato, cucumber and red chilli for the onion salad and fat free natural yoghurt, cucumber and fresh mint (or mint sauce if you’re common) for the raita. 

FULL DISCLOSURE: I don’t know if this is extra-lean lamb mince. See, it was at the back of our freezer and we did buy a load of extra-lean mince from our butcher back in the day. I think it is. If it is, then the dish is syn free. If not, use extra lean beef or pork or even turkey. OH THE EXCITEMENT.

OK, so the recipe:

  • make up your side dishes
    • add yoghurt, mint and grated cucumber together and chill
    • toast pitta bread
    • chop up onion, tomato, cucumber and finely chop chilli – combine and add a pinch of salt
    • set aside
  • get your best pan out of the cupboard – heavy bottomed (that’s the pan, not you, cheeky)
  • add the cinnamon stick, bay leaf and cumin seeds and get it on a medium high heat until they sizzle
  • add the chopped onions, cook until golden, add the ginger and garlic paste
  • add the turmeric, chilli and coriander powder and let it sweat for a moment or two before chucking in the mince and potato
  • allow to brown for a few minutes and then add the chopped tomatoes – two big tomatoes should produce more than enough water once you put the lid on and turn the heat down to a medium
  • cook until the meat is cooked and the potatoes tender – chuck in the garam masala and cook down for a moment or two more
  • serve.

Enjoy!

* I actually like Wetherspoons and don’t have a problem with them. Creative licence, alright?

J

rosemary crusted lamb steaks

Just a wee post tonight as I’m itching to find out what happened to Lucy Beale, god help me. I’m ashamed of myself.

I heard Boy George on the radio driving back and it nudged a memory out of me – I once threw my sister’s Culture Club CD down a well (apparently I lived in Amish country)– frankly the best place for it, but I got a proper telling off for it. But see now she used to do the same thing that Paul does now – hears a song, likes it, plays it over and over and over and over again. Not too bad when it’s a decent ditty but Karma fucking Chameleon? Even now the opening chords of that song transport me right back to my teenage years in a bedroom that smelled slightly of bleach and Boy bloody George caterwauling through the floorboards.

I grew up in a tiny village in the middle of nowhere, Northumberland – the type of village where a minority of the locals still pointed at planes in the sky, mouthing the word dragons with spittle on their lips. It didn’t have a corner shop (and still doesn’t) but it did have two pubs and a kitchen and bathroom centre. You couldn’t buy a pint of milk but you could buy a fabulous bespoke oak cabinet to store it in. It was a pleasant enough place to live but definitely somewhere you’d go to die rather than thrive.

My sister and I, and the other children of the village (or corn), spent most of our time building dens and treehouses. Well, I’d watch them build treehouses, I was always too fat to climb a tree and the one time I did I got stuck up there for several hours before promptly falling out, like a sleepy owl dressed in a knock-off Diadora tracksuit. Looking back, our dens were amazingly creative – a stack of pallets hidden up a tree, a stack of pallets hidden in the woods, a stack of pallets hidden amongst the pallets on the building site when they built the new houses. We lit a fire once inside one of these enclosed dens which has to be the height of stupidity, but filled with the childlike sense of invincibility we carried on, and mind it gets worse – we used a tyre as a make-shift fire-pit. How the hell we survived that I have no clue – nothing says good country living like breathing in smoke and the fumes from a singeing tyre. Perhaps we’ll be able to launch a criminal case against Dunlop in years to come for all of our defects but frankly, I don’t have Julia Robert’s three-cock-gob so I’d make a shite Erin Brockovitch.

Tell you what I can get in my gob though – tonight’s tea. Rosemary crusted lamb steaks with broccoli and pepper mash.

slimming world rosemary lamb crusted

to make rosemary crusted lamb steaks you will need:

four decent lamb steaks, fat removed – better to buy two excellent chops than four scrag-end slippers, 50g of fresh parsley, 2tbsp of fresh rosemary leaves/sprigs/fingers, who knows, one clove of garlic, 2 tbsp of grated parmesan (between four is a tiny amount, but I’d be careful and say 2 syns), 4 tsp of olive oil (again, between four, so only 2 syns each, and if you want to reduce that further, use two tsp for the crust and use frylight to oil the pan), 60g of breadcrumbs (between four, but I just whizzed up a breadbun which is one person’s healthy extra), salt, pepper and a beaten egg. Serve with pepper mash (mashed potato + egg + lots of pepper) and broccoli.

to make rosemary crusted lamb steaks you should:

hopefully you’ll have a mini-chopper – something like this will do – less than £15 and you can make healthy pesto, hummous and finely chop breadcrumbs in it. We use it a lot, but you can make do with a food processor. Chuck the parsley, rosemary, garlic, parmesan, olive oil (saving a little for the frying pan later) and breadcrumbs in there and blitz to make a pesto. Add some more breadcrubs to get it nice and crumbly.

Pop your beaten egg into one bowl and your pesto in other. Swish your lamb chop around in the egg and then in the pesto. Get your pan up to heat, the olive oil or frylight hot, and drop the chops in – two minutes or more on each side depending on how rare you like your lamb – I like mine to still be connected to its mother and with a half-formed baa on its lips when it gets turned into my dinner. Let them rest for 3-5 minutes (plate up your mash and sides) and enjoy!

The pesto might come away from the lamb, but so what? Just put it back on. This was delicious and only 4 syns max per chop, and that’s being VERY careful. I’d personally give it only two syns but I can’t be fussed arguing with someone over two syns!

Right! ENJOY. Share!

J

doner kebab

Warning: this post is miserable as syn. Pun intended.

I woke up in a proper huff today. No particular reason, just I wanted everyone I saw outside of my immediate circle of friends to be immediately blinked out of all existence. Humanity seemed to be doing its bit to bring me to my knees – if I’d had a shotgun and could carry off a leather knee-length coat with any sort of panache then there could have been genuine trouble. Things got off to a sour note as soon as I checked my facebook over my morning banana – which isn’t as filthy as it sounds – and saw…

…people queueing up outside of Iceland to get a ready meal. I mean for heaven’s sake. You need to understand that I wouldn’t queue up outside of a shop if they were giving away free blowjobs and pug-faced kittens, but I can just about see the point of it if you’re desperate for a bargain. But for a fucking ready meal? I’ve seen trolleys awash with them like each one contains a mini Margaret who will come and jiggle your fat-shelf up and done to tone it whilst you watch Eastenders. I apologise profusely if there are any readers out there who queued and enjoyed themselves but I find it despairing – like Black Friday but sweatier. Plus the sausages look like an old poo in a condom, though admittedly I’m basing that on a photo that Ray Charles himself seemingly took using a potato. Nevertheless, each to their own and all that. So…

Every song on the radio into work was the wrong one. My iPod wouldn’t bluetooth up to the car music system meaning I couldn’t have my music on. Every person in every single other car on the road was driving like an arsehole – either too slow, reading their phones, or swerving all over the road trying to get their iPod to bluetooth up to their car music system. Well, honestly. I nearly ran someone over who thought stepping out in front of the bus was the best way to continue their life and then I got stuck behind a bin-lorry who had parked up in a single-lane street so the driver could have a cigarette. And you can’t remonstrate with a binman, everyone knows that. That was just the journey in.

Work was work.

Lunchtime came and by this point, all I wanted to do was eat my lunch and doze for half an hour in peace so I picked up my Thermos of bloody awful watery vegetable soup (I had nowt in last night to make something fancy) (Paul calls it care home broth) and made my way over my car in the multi-storey in Newcastle’s Chinatown. No sooner had I poured my soup when some piss-eyed old bugger tapped on my window and told me to move my car as they were doing electric works on the lamppost behind. I duly obliged, working my way through my entire bank of swearwords as I moved around to find a space whilst all the while holding a cup of soup in one hand. Having done so, I finished my ‘delicious’ dinner and was about to nod off for twenty minutes when what sounded like the entire country of China paraded through the street below, banging drums and making noise. They were practising the Chinese New Year march and it was like being under attack. I would have had a more restful half hour if I’d managed to set my face on fire with the car lighter. Dejected and tired, with a fetching orange stain on my shirt from where I’d jumped the first time around, I headed back in.

But no! The joy didn’t end there. Work continued being work. Over the rest of the day I managed to drop my pass into the toilet when I went for a piss and then drop it again down the stairs on the way out of the building. I also managed to leave my car parking ticket on my desk at work, meaning I had to go back for it, and then, the final insult, I got stuck behind the only AUDI driver in existence who DOESN’T think they need to go 150mph in their shite company car who was tootling merrily along the 60mph road at 30mph where the bends and hills precluded any overtaking. I like to think she at least heard the sound ‘UUUUUUUUUUUUNNNNNNNNNT’ as I finally overtook. 

Anyway, I’m home now. Deep breath. I appreciate that this entry is one long moan but I needed it, and now I feel better. Here’s a recipe for doner kebab. Normally I’d shy away from a doner kebab, believing it’s only really suitable for soaking up bile and half-digested carrot before promptly being upchucked in a technicolour yawn by some drunken trollop in the Bigg Market before she settle downs in an alleyway for a foamy piss and regretful sex. A tortuous example. But you get my drift, it’s not exactly classy fare.

10974427_838032809603657_8143722105898714892_o

to make doner kebab you will need:

500g of extra lean lamb mince, 1 tsp of oregano, 1/2tsp of thyme, onion powder, garlic powder respectively, 1/4tsp of cayenne pepper, 1tsp of salt and some black pepper. Listen, if you don’t have onion or garlic powder, no need to shit the bed, just use fresh onion and garlic chopped fine. You can use a tiny bit of flour to dry it out if your lamb is particularly wet. Syn that though – 25g is four and a half syns but a) you’ll not use that much and b) you’re not eating the whole lot, so don’t worry about it too much. Eat it in a pitta bread – weightwatchers wholemeal pitta (x1) is a HEB. You’ll need whatever salad you want in there.

to make doner kebab you should:

preheat the oven to 180degrees. Chuck absolutely everything into a big old bowl and mash mash mash with your fists. Imagine you’re punching the face of someone you hate, or you’re trying to birth a cow against the clock. You want that mixture smooth, not lumpy because you couldn’t be arsed. No excuses. Think of the body magic. If you sweat and it drops in, just reduce the amount of salt you add. When you’ve got it so smooth and well-mixed that you want to take a picture and show it to the neighbours, stick it in a parchment-lined loaf tin and cook in the oven for around 90 minutes. After 45 minutes, turn it over and skim off any shite that has oozed out. Once cooked, take it out, let it cool, slice it thin. 

Now, stuff it into your pitta with as much salad as you want. Because I’m not very exciting, I just went for spinach and tomato and onion with a raita made from fat free yoghurt, mint and a bit of garlic. Whoo, right? You could have an extra pitta for five syns more and who is going to know? I’m not telling anyone, I’m still in a bad mood!

Enjoy. Goodnight.

J

Oh: before I forget! Thank you all for your comments, we really do appreciate and love each one. Don’t be discouraged if we don’t reply (we always try to) – I sit in front of a computer all day and once I’ve typed this up, I normally turn off the computer and concentrate on relaxing or teasing the cat. But we thank you all 🙂