Just a few weeks ago it was cold, miserable and dark and the only bright spot on the horizon was the launch of the new volume of Cook Taste Share, The Cooking Lunch Girls second fabulous recipe book; absolutely jam-packed with the most delicious recipes that I am sure you and your families will adore. To launch this beautiful book, The Cooking Lunch Girls held a lunch in aid of the two charities the proceeds of the book go towards: #Kisharon & Max's Foundation #maxsfoundation.
The ladies involved are passionate about these two charities that have touched so many lives offering help, support and education via #Kisharon to children and young adults with learning disabilities as well as their enterprise arm which provides much needed jobs and, more importantly, great self esteem for the young people from Kisharon who work in these enterprises.v The second charity supported is Max's Foundation, set up in memory of ten year old Max Schiller who sadly passed away from Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy, a genetic heart condition that is extremely difficult to detect in a young heart. The foundation have committed to funding a three year contract for a cardiac research nurse as well as purchasing much needed cardiac equipment to help perform life-saving surgeries at Great Ormond Street Hospital.
The Cooking Lunch Girls have very generously shared some of their treasured recipes with us to give you a flavour of what to expect. The recipes are all meat/poultry based but there are a plethora of beautiful salads for the warmer weather that we will update you with, rice dishes to tempt your tastebuds, fish, desserts and cakes and dare we say it 'vegetarian' recipes too!
If your appetites have been whetted, copies of Cook Taste Share are available for £25 each; just email firstname.lastname@example.org with your details. All profits from the book will be donated to the two very worthy causes above. If you would like to find out any more about them you can visit Kisharon's website at www.kisharon.org.uk and Max's Foundation at www.maxsfoundation.org.uk
Now the weather is warming up most of us are turning away from stews, casseroles and heavier dishes in favour of something lighter and more vibrant. The Cooking Lunch Girls Chicken Shawarma is just the ticket for a mid-week meal. I like to serve this, as suggested, with either pitta or flatbreads and bought ready-made tahini, hummus, baba ghanoush, some harissa or sehug and a zingy salad of mixed lettuce, half moons of red onion and cucumber , parsley and black olives or a finely chopped tomato, onion, cucumber and avocado salad with parsley and lots of fresh coriander.
CHICKEN SHAWARMA - BY THE COOKING LUNCH GIRLS
An authentic middle eastern dish seasoned with ready made spices, either served in a wrap filled with chopped salad, pickles and tahini or on a dish. However served, it is a great meal to feed a large number of people.
Serves 6-8 Ingredients
10 chicken thighs, boned and skinned 2 tbsp olive oil 2 tbsp sunflower oil 1 large onion, finely diced
2 tsp shawarma spice 1⁄2 tsp chilli flakes 1⁄2 tsp salt 1 tsp black pepper
Use a ready made shawarma spice or make your own by mixing 1⁄2 tsp ground coriander, 1⁄2 tsp ground cumin, 1⁄2 tsp cinnamon, 1⁄4 tsp cayenne pepper and 1⁄4 tsp garlic granules.
Fill a large pot with boiling water. Put in the chicken thighs and boil for 5 minutes. Lift out with a slotted spoon and dry on kitchen paper. Slice the chicken thighs into thin strips no longer than 4cm and place in a bowl. Add the shawarma spices, salt, pepper, olive oil and chilli flakes. Mix well and leave for at least an hour.
In a large frying pan, fry the onion in 1 tablespoon of sunflower oil until golden brown. Add the chicken strips, the remaining sunflower oil and fry on a medium heat for about 10 minutes until almost cooked. Lower the heat, add a little boiling water. Cover with a lid and steam for a further 15 minutes, keeping the chicken moist until fully cooked. Remove the lid and crisp the shawarma for another 5 minutes. The shawarma can be prepared in advance.
Season with salt, pepper and additional shawarma spices. Serve immediately either in a wrap with chopped salad and pickles or on a plate over flat bread, topped with a large tomato and half a red onion, both finely sliced.