Star shaped tortilla bites and tangy tomato dip

Star shaped tortilla bits and tango tomato dip

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Want an impressive looking appetiser that is really easy to make?

Look no further!

These star shaped tortilla bites are delicious but are made in just minutes. You can also make them a few hours in advance – just store in a sealed container so they don’t go soft. They are baked so are healthier than most fried chips or crisps, and the accompanying tomato dip is packed with fresh flavours.

You make the star shape using a standard cookie cutter. I have this nest of star shapes, so you choose a variety of different sizes. You can also experiment with different shapes of cookie cutters. They’d be perfect for a children’s party! What about animal shapes or even Christmas tortillas?

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Ingredients
– Flour tortillas
– Zest of one lime mixed with a teaspoon of sea salt
– Star shaped cookie cutter

For the dip (serves 6)
– 1 tomato
– 200g cherry tomatoes
– half a red onion
– 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
– 1 tablespoon tomato ketchup

Method
1. Preheat the oven to 180°C
2. Use the cookie cutter to cut out star shapes from the tortillas. If you press down firmly, you can cut through several tortillas at once.
3. Arrange in a single layer on a baking sheet (you may need to do more than one batch) and bake for 4-6 minutes until crisp but not brown.
4. Sprinkle immediately with the lime zest and sea salt.

To make the dip, finely chop the tomatoes, cherry tomatoes and onion. Mix with the vinegar and ketchup. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

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Jerk chicken skewers with sweet potato fries

Jerk chicken skewers, zesty soured cream and chive dip, sweet potato fries and charred pepper salsa

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I’m very lucky to live in the south of Spain, where barbecue season is long! It was gorgeous weather yesterday, so we decided to fire up the barbecue. As is so often the case, my first point of call for inspiration was Jamie Purviance’s “The Complete Weber Barbecue Book.” I love this recipe book. It is packed full of delicious recipes, ideas for barbecuing pretty much everything and loads of suggestions for rubs, spices and marinades.BBQ - Jerk skewers (5)

The jerk chicken skewers recipe came from this barbecuing bible, and I developed the meal from there. I’ve already posted up recipes for some of the separate elements, but if you would like the complete meal, then here it is.

You don’t actually need a barbecue for any of this recipe. The sweet potatoes and salsa can be made in the oven, and the skewers can be grilled. But that’s nowhere near as much fun!

*Barbecue tip 1 – I built up my coals on one side only of BBQ - Jerk skewers (2)the barbecue. This meant I could cook the skewers over the direct heat, but the peppers and sweet potatoes could be cooked on the other side. It is still hot, but they haven’t got the coals directly underneath them so the bottom doesn’t burn. Jamie Purviance refers to this as direct and indirect heat. My barbecue is this one from Weber.
* Barbecue tip 2 – If you are using wooden skewers, make sure you have soaked them in water first, otherwise they will burn. I soak a whole packet at a time and then freeze them, so I always have skewers ready. You can also use metal skewers.

Ingredients (serves 3)

Jerk chicken skewers
– 3 boneless chicken breasts         BBQ - Jerk skewers (4)
– 1 chilli
– 25g coriander leaves and stems
– 75ml olive oil
– 2 spring onions, chopped roughly
– 3 garlic cloves
– 1 tablespoon chopped ginger
– 1 tablespoon sugar
– 1 teaspoon lime juice
– salt and pepper
– 3 spring onions

Sweet potato friesSweet potato fries
– one large sweet potato
– 1 tablespoon olive oil
– 1 teaspoon each of: paprika, ground cumin, ground coriander, dried rosemary
– 2 teaspoons crispy onion bits
– salt and pepper to season

Zesty soured cream dip
– 250ml soured cream
– 2 celery sticks, finely chopped
– zest of half a lime
– 2 teaspoons chopped chives
– drizzle of honey

Charred pepper and tomato salsa
– 1 large red bell pepperCharred pepper salsa (2)
– 10 cherry tomatoes
– 6 small green poblano peppers
– 4 garlic cloves (unpeeled)
– olive oil
– 4 spring onions, chopped
– small bunch of coriander leaves, chopped
– salt and pepper to season

Method
BBQ - Jerk skewers (1)1. Put the chilli, coriander, olive oil, spring onions, garlic, ginger, sugar and lime juice in a food processor, along with a teaspoon each of salt and pepper. If you’re chilli is a very hot one, you could remove the seeds first. Process until you have a smooth paste.
2. Cut the chicken into chunks, about 1.5cm thick. Cover in the paste and marinate in the fridge for 2-3 hours.
3. For the salsa, de-seed all the peppers and cut into large pieces. Cut the cherry tomatoes in half.  Take a large baking tray. Spread the pieces of pepper and tomato around the tray, along with the unpeeled garlic cloves. Drizzle with olive oil and mix well with your hands.
4. Place on indirect heat on the barbecue. Make sure the lid is on the barbecue. Leave for 20 minutes, turning occasionally.
5. Mix all of the dip ingredients together. Cover and leave in the fridge for 30 mins or so.
6. Peel the sweet potato and ” target=”_blank”>Spiralize it, using the thick noodle setting. Cut any really long noodles with scissors to make curly fries. Transfer into a large bowl.
Season with the most of the oil, then all of the onion, spices, salt and pepper. Mix really well.
BBQ - Jerk skewers (2)7. Take a large piece of tin foil and drizzle with the remaining oil. Spread the sweet potato fries out on the tin foil (more than one layer is fine). Fold the tin foil over to create a parcel.
8. Remove the peppers and tomatoes from the barbecue. Replace with the sweet potato foil parcel. Barbecue the sweet potatoes on an indirect heat for 25 minutes. Then, open the parcel slightly so some of the steam can escape and cook for 5 more minutes. BBQ - Jerk skewers (3)
9. While the sweet potato cooks, chop the peppers and tomatoes into chunks. The size is up to you, it depends on how chunky you want your salsa to be.
Add the chopped spring onions and coriander leaves. Squeeze the soft, cooked garlic out of the papery skin and chop. Mix together thoroughly and season to taste. Set aside ready to serve.Charred pepper salsa (1)
9. Thread the marinated chicken onto skewers. Alternate a piece of chicken with a slice of spring onion. Grill the skewers over a direct heat for 6-8 minutes, with the lid on. Turn once, halfway through the cooking time. Check that the meat is thoroughly cooked.
10. Serve skewers, dip, sweet potato fries and the salsa.

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Charred pepper and cherry tomato salsa

Charred pepper and cherry tomato salsa

This salsa goes really well with my jerk chicken skewers and barbecued sweet potato fries recipe, but it will also go well with loads of other things. It is delicious!

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If you want to spice this up, chop up some chilli and add it when you mix the cooked, chopped ingredients together. I used a mix of bell peppers and poblano – that way you get a blend of sweetness and a slightly sour hit. If you can’t get poblano, substitute in green bell pepper, but be aware your salsa will be quite sweet.

Finally, you don’t have to barbecue this – the cooking can be done in a conventional oven at 200°C for 25 minutes. Just bear in mind that then there won’t be as much char in your charred pepper salsa! As always, I used my Weber barbecue for this. Make sure your barbecue has a lid!

Ingredients (serves 3 as a side dish)
– 1 large red bell pepper
– 10 cherry tomatoes
– 6 small green poblano peppers
– 4 garlic cloves (unpeeled)
– olive oil
– 4 spring onions, chopped
– small bunch of coriander leaves, chopped
– salt and pepper to season

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Method
1. Deseed all of the peppers and cut into large pieces. Cut the cherry tomatoes in half.
2, Take a large baking tray. Spread the pieces of pepper and tomato around the tray, along with the unpeeled garlic cloves. Drizzle with olive oil and mix well with your hands.
3. Place on indirect heat on the barbecue (to do this, have the coals on one half of the barbecue and the baking tray on the other side). Make sure the lid is on the barbecue. Leave for 20 minutes, turning occasionally.
4. Remove from the barbecue. Chop the peppers and tomatoes into chunks. The size is up to you, it depends on how chunky you want your salsa to be.
5. Add the chopped spring onions and coriander leaves. Squeeze the soft, cooked garlic out of the papery skin and chop. Mix together thoroughly and season to taste.

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