Wednesday, 14 February 2018

Beetroot Hummus with Griddled Chicken

As I inched my way through dark the days of the start of a new year, gradually then fairly rapidly losing to the monotony of dry January, dragging myself out on some very short and very slow post-Christmas laps of the park, and generally being miserable. I decided to put a bit of colour in my life (and my pee) with some beetroot.

Now beetroot is something people tell me is great, so I buy it. Then unceremoniously throw it away 2 weeks later. This Zhuzhuary however, on day 13 of my beetroot's normal journey to the bin I made the jump and came up with something I think is quite special.

Now I had this Beetroot hummus with a butterflied chicken breast, however it can be used in so many ways (dips, sandwiches, kebabs etc) and will keep in the fridge for about 5 days after making.

4 Beetroot
 (Uncooked - although if buying precooked get the non pickled versions)
2 Lemon
1 Clove Garlic
1 Tin of Chickpeas
Teaspoon of Cumin
Bunch of fresh corriander
150mls Olive Oil

  1. If you have raw beetroot preheat the oven to 180 degrees.
  2. Take your beetroot whole (no need to peel) and place on a sheet of tin foil with half a lemon, a drizzle of olive oil the thyme and some salt and pepper.
  3. Wrap them up in the foil and stick in the oven for about 1hour (if a knife goes into them with a small amount of resistance they're done.
  4. When cooked place them in a bowl of cold water and peel or scrape them with a knife or peeler.
  5. Get out a food processor (hand blender will work but may just take a bit longer and be a little messier). 
  6. Add all the chickpeas (+half the water from the tin), beetroot, garlic cumin and olive oil as well as a decent lick of salt and pepper and blend until hummus like texture.
  7. Taste and season with as much lemon juice as you want (I used a whole lemon with a bit of zest (if using zest ensure unwaxed you are using unwaxeds lemon)).
  8. This is then ready to eat.
  9. To make the chicken I butterflied a chicken breast* sprinkled with some dried cumin and paprika and cooked on a hot George Foreman grill (other pieces of 90's cooking machinery are available).
Serve with some nice full fat Greek yogurt and a drizzle of olive oil and some lemon juice.

*Some butchery tips and kitchen knife lessons will be coming soon. 

A Thirstyman

This is a humdinger of a Hungry Man recipe and it poses a number of questions for the Thirsty Man. What wine to pair with beetroot that can also stand up to lemon, and yoghurt, and thyme. And chicken?!

In cases like this, it’s important to let the big ingredients have their moment in the spotlight, so don’t try and fight the beetroot with a punchy floral wine, or the yoghurt with an oaked chardonnay. Here, simplicity and elegance is key. My thoughts turn to a couple of white wines, all of which display a little of what winos call ‘minerality’. 

Minerality is a non-fruity, non-spicy, non-herbal note in wine that tastes and or smells like wet rocks, or gravel in the rain. I know, not the most appealing thought when tucking into dinner, is it?! Wine language travels so poorly that what the word is really trying to express is a wine which displays elements of the terroirs or soil the vines are grown in, and for this I have chosen two very different wines which should help to cleanse and refresh the palate after each mouthful of A Hungry Man’s exceptional dish:

Dragon Langhe Bianco, Luigi Baudana 2016

Piedmont is my favourite wine region in the world and I love the red wines made with its nebbiolo grapes. A couple of years ago I thought I’d try a Piedmont white alongside a red and this is what I came up with. This wine has a mix of good, clean acidity and a hint of citrus with a very light floral bouquet. Don’t serve this wine ice cold or else you’ll only taste the citrus notes – instead, serve it is tad closer to room temperature than your normal bottle of Blue Nun and it should help elevate the beetroot, thyme and yoghurt in the dish, without getting into a street fight with it. At £10.50 from the wine society, it’s a no-brainer.

Rustenberg Chardonnay 2015

When the Decanter World Wine awards come out each year, I love skipping to the back of the edition and finding out which supermarket Davids have slain the world of wine’s Goliaths. Lidl, M&S and Waitrose, as well as all the others, always win a clutch of awards and so I like to buy them and try them for myself. This Rustenburg Chardonnay 2015 won a silver medal and is a fantastic offering, perfect for A Hungry Man’s butterfly chicken with beets. It has a lovely refreshing nose of lemon and a hint of butter with white fruit, a hint of oak, and some lovely refreshing minerality on the palate. The light oak and structure to the wine will stand up well to the chicken and thyme. This isn’t strictly the clean, fresh & mineral wine I was aiming for when I first started writing this article, but I think it’d stand up really well to the food and its only £13.99 – a bargain!

Happy drinking!

Saturday, 20 January 2018


Ahungryman's Comeback
Japanese Poached Chicken

I almost thought this day would never come.

I feel much has changed since my last gift to the gastronomic world. A year living and working in South Africa, a wedding, getting into expensive ways of exercising, and the life of a junior doctor has kept me from posting my food based musings. I promise you, however that time away from the keyboard does not equate to time away from the stove.

My travels, and a new found interest in having to drag my dairy filled self through seas, over mountains, and round parks, has made me think more than ever about food. Or as people in sport seem to call it "Nutrition".

In this comeback I aim to give you excellent food, often with a healthy twist but occasionally not, hopefully some decent food photography, and some updates on how training for a half Iron-Man in the summer is coming along.

In order to prevent this becoming some shitty pumpkin seed eating, super food moaning, nutrition blog (which as many of you who know me, isn't really my style), I have employed an ahungryman sommelier. He is a trained supper of Sauternes, a swiller of Syrah and his job is actually to drink and buy wine. I welcome with open arms AThirstyMan. He will cook my food and offer his opinions on a suitable drink to quaff with your Thursday tea.

Poached Chicken, Japanese Broth

I have gone with a healthy introduction to 2018. Do not confuse healthy with dull though, because this is tastes and looks great. Most of the hard work is done in the cooking of the stock, and if you can't be arsed with that, then you can just buy a decent supermarket stock and add a few ingredients.


 2 Litres good Chicken Stock
8 Chicken Drumsticks

4 Chicken Breasts
Few knobs of Ginger
Bunch of Spring onions
2 Cloves Garlic
3 Red Chilli's
2 x Star Anise
Soy Sauce
Rice Wine Vinegar (White wine vinegar)

Noodles - I used Soba but any will do

For The Stock

1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees. Place the drumsticks on a bed of spring onion leaves and chunks of ginger (no need to peel) in an ovenproof dish.
2. Roast in the Oven for 40 mins.
3. Transfer all to a large saucepan or casserole and add 2 litres of water, and all the aromats (ginger chills, garlic and star anise).
4. Gently simmer for 40- 50 minutes and then add a good slug of soy and a splash of mirin and vinegar. Season as needed (remember broth/stock is salty so will need a decent amount of salt or soy)
5. Further simmer for 10 minutes.

Note: if you just buy the stock - just add all the aromats to the stock and should only need 10-15 minutes on the bubble.

6. Sieve the stock so you are just left with the Broth

To poach the Chicken
7. Take your broth to a gentle simmer and place in your breasts.
8. They should take about 20 minutes (you are going to slice them for presentation so you can always take one out and cut in the middle to check the cooking).
9. While your chicken is cooking, chop some chilli and spring onions for little additions for the table.
10. Once you have removed the chicken, throw in 4 eggs and the noddles into the stock.
11. Cook the eggs for 5 mins and then remove place in cold water and de-shell.  

To Present
Take some noodles and place in a bowl, slice the chicken and place on top. Half the boiled eggs and place in the bowl. Finally ladle in some broth and add any sauces or oils of your choice.

Sadly my man Zil has pissed of to New Zealand to "find himself" so the Zilometer is no more, but i can tell you, with a small amount of effort this is delicious, and a good source of protein and low in fat. 

A Thirsty Man

It’s a joy to write my first A Thirsty Man accompaniment to A Hungry Man’s recipes. I’m lucky enough to have been cooked for by the Hungry Man and although I consider myself a decent cook, he is leap years ahead in the gastronomic stakes. Anyway, we’re not here to talk food but to talk about wine.

Wine. I love the stuff. The madder the better. I first got into wine after enjoying the pairings good sommeliers made at decent restaurants and from then on I’ve turned it into a passion and, now, a job. Selected properly, wine can elevate food to another level and there are simple rules to follow based on the five basic taste sensations the human tongue can differentiate: Sweet, sour, salt, bitterness and ‘umami’, or savouriness. Most of us already subconsciously pair food with wine when we order a spicy red with a steak, or go for white wine with fish, but by paying a little more attention to the component parts of a recipe, we can hit the wino jackpot.

How to accompany A Hungry Man’s poached chicken with Japanese Broth? The first thing is to plump for a white wine, as the tannins in the red wine would overwhelm the delicately poached chicken, and the red fruit notes from a rosé wine would lessen the punch of the chilli and other spices. There are two options for me here, the safe option and the experimental option.

The safe option is a good, fresh Pinot Gris from the Alsace region of France. Typically overshadowed by other Alsace varieties like Riesling, Pinot Gris offers acidity, which is vital in every wine for refreshing the palate and keeping things from getting staid, as well as a little residual sugar which would mediate the heat and spices a little without killing them completely. It’d compliment the chicken well and bring out the umami notes in the soy sauce. A decent Pinot Gris also tends to have a more viscous feel in the mouth, making it feel a little more substantial than the Blue Nun you’d knock back with your pot noodle.

The second, more maverick option is a wine I love: Gewürztraminer. Gewürz means ‘spice’ in German, and this is the perfect wine for most Asian-inspired cuisine. I’d go for a German or an Alsatian offering from a wine which has its homeland in the foothills of the Alps, growing best in cooler climates. The most striking thing about Gewürztraminer is the wonderful aroma it gives off, usually of lychee, rose (think Turkish delight), peach, pineapple, ginger and cinnamon. This is an extrovert of a wine which would complement the spices in A Hungry Man’s Japanese broth, particularly the star anise and ginger, and the juiciness of the chicken, but also stand on its own two feet as a talking point. It often has good acidity and a little residual sugar, like the Pinot Gris, but can offer a much wider flavour profile. If you hate the smell of Turkish delight then this might not be for you but if you haven’t tried it before then I’d urge you to try a chilled bottle!

I’d advocate getting a Wine Society membership if you haven’t already got one, as they have an excellent range of wines, but in the spirit of knocking something together after work one night, most supermarkets now have very good (award-winning) selections and should have at least one type of the wines above. I’m plumping for Waitrose here, but Tesco, Sainsbury’s, M&S and Lidl all have good offerings.




Happy drinking.


Thursday, 30 May 2013


After an extended period away from the keyboard I thought I needed to return with a bang. Although the translation from plate to paper has not been happening, I can reassure you I have been eating, and eating well. This year along with many, many great recipes, reviews and thoughts on food, I promise to bring you bring you a website more useful than Wikipedia, more innovative than google, more informative than twitter, and with a greater procrastination potential than Facebook. 2013 will be forever remembered as the year of

So to kick off the year one of my favourites. 

Lasagne must be one of the greatest comfort dishes in the world, and here I have two amazing versions of this Italian staple. This week I give to you a traditional meat lasagne and then next week a delicious vegetarian alterative (which can be slightly meatafied).
Lasagne is simple really – meat, pasta, cheese, meat, pasta, cheese

500g Beef mince
1 onion - diced
3 cloves garlic – smashed
1 tin of chopped tomatoes
Half a glass of red wine
A good squirt of tomato puree
1 Mild red chilli – diced.
Salt and black pepper

A box of lasagne sheets will normally do two lasagnes for four.

Cheese (béchamel sauce)
1 Mug of plain flour
50g of butter
1 mug of milk
A decent amount of grated cheese (you can make it as cheesy as you like)

Firstly make the meat sauce.
1.     Sweat off the onions, garlic and chilli in a pan.
2.     Turn up the heat and sear the mince with a good amount of seasoning.
3.     When the meat is browned chuck in the wine and cook for 1 minute.
4.     Add tomato puree and cook for a minute or two, and then the chopped tomatoes.
5.     Allow the sauce to bubble down for a good 30 minutes to become lovely and rich.

The Cheese sauce.
1.     While the meat sauce is cooking, you can start melting the butter in a pan.
2.     When it has melted keep on a low heat and add the flour until a kind of doughy consistency has formed.
3.     Slowly add the milk until you have a white sauce.
4.     Add the grated cheese, and you have the cheese sauce.

The Assembly.
1.     Meat
2.     Pasta
3.     Cheese (sauce)
4.     Meat
5.     Pasta
6.     Cheese (sauce)
7.     Grated cheese

Place in a pre-heated oven at 180 degrees for 30-40 mins. Put a knife in to make sure the pasta is nice and soft.

The final product.

Monday, 19 November 2012

A taste of Morocco

My recent jaunt to Morocco has inspired me to create a new, somewhat belated, entry to “ahungryman”. Those of you who have visited Morocco will know of its vibrant personality, influenced by the leisurely Mediterranean, bustling chaos of central Africa and the ardent Middle East; however unfortunately these personalities are not often reflected in the country’s cuisine. Most backpackers and travellers looking for the ‘Moroccan experience’ will succumb to cheap and cheerful “ ‘Meat’ tagine”, lamb/chicken kebab and couscous quaffed down with hot sweet mint tea. This breaks my heart. You need not venture far into the souks (markets) to find the spice shops and their veritable feast for all the senses. Most shop owners will be able to take you on a tour through the saffron scented plains, to smoky Saharan harissa, and back to the familiar kitchen essentials. My challenge today was to revamp the cuisine of Morocco without stripping it of it’s essential identity.
Beef kebabs with a fruity sauce and exciting couscous:
Beef kebabs:
Beef steak mince 500g
1 Tbsp chopped mint leaves
1 Tbsp chopped coriander leaves
1+1/2 tsp of Ras al Hanout
1 tsp chilli powder
1 chopped chilli
1 large clove of garlic, finely chopped
1 egg
Season generously with salt and pepper to taste
Garlic 1 clove chopped
1 heaped tsp Cinammon (ground)
1 tbsp harissa
1 tbsp chopped coriander
1 tsp cumin
Handful of fresh olives
1 tin chopped tomatoes
50g of dried apricots
handful of roasted almonds
Season accordingly
½ courgette chopped to 1cm pieces
½ yellow pepper chopped to 1cm pieces
1 tspn Cumin
½ Ginger
¼ All spice
¼ ground coriander
¼ teaspoon cloves
¼ cayenne pepper
Handful of sultanas
¼ orange zest
Juice of 1 orange
1 tbsp of fresh chopped mint leaves.
Hot chicken stock to soften couscous
1) Mix together all the kebab mix with hands and leave for at least 2 hours (preferably 12).
2) Form into balls or sausages and seal in an oven proof pan on a high heat.
3) For the sauce: fry off garlic and spices
4) Add the tomatoes and coriander and a handful of chopped olives
5) Chop the apricots into strips and add to the sauce
6) Once the tomatoes are cooked, add to the pan with the kebabs and finish in the oven for 15-20mins.
7) Garnish the sauce with crushed almonds and chopped coriander.
For the couscous, add all the ingredients to the bowl and just before serving add the hot chicken stock.
9) Pretty simple no?
Rich-o-meter- “A solid 9/10.”