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Monthly Archives: June 2012

Taking on the Takeaway

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As someone who enjoys cooking and who feels she can produce reasonably good food for the family, takeaways have never featured much in our house. However as the boys got older and started going to college, University, concerts and the various nights out in the city, the ‘Takeaway’ has earned its place with them.

Words like, ‘best ever, ‘greatest ,Can’t beat it’ started to emerge to describe the various kebabs, pizzas, curries, and burritos that they discovered outside of my kitchen. Not that I grudge them the odd fat, high calorie,sugar, additive laden meal, but when it’s suggested that I could never make it like that, I immediately rise to the challenge.

I’m sure there are some very good takeaway establishments around and admittedly I am partial to the occasional Chinese, or Indian takeaway. However,don’t ask me to eat a Donner Kebab. The very sight of that huge lump of greasy meat turning and cooking for hours, sometimes in a sunny window, maybe even reheated, is just my food hell.Not for my boys; they know where the best kebabs in Glasgow can be found and it was that announcement that led me to ‘Take on the Takeaway’…….a lamb kebab…all the trimmings and the first time I made it I even wrapped it in paper for them.

This version is much healthier and can be made with any meat although I usually use lamb leg steaks, and serve on a large round pitta with salad,red onion, tomatoes, raita and a chili sauce.
Do the boys enjoy the kebab? Yes and they even gave it top marks with the odd “delicious ” thrown in.

Lamb kebab.
Approx 6 lamb leg steak
4 tsp Harissa paste…….I use Belazu Rose Harissa
2 Tbsp oil….I tend to use rapeseed although olive will be fine.

Place the lamb steaks in a plastic bag , mix the Harissa and oil together and add to the lamb, mix well and leave to marinade either overnight or for a few hours.
When ready to cook, heat a griddle or grill and cook steak for approx 4 minutes each side or to your liking. When cooked serve on pita bread with the accompaniments.


Pitta bread…the large round pitta bread from Warburtons are ideal as you can lay kebab on top and fold.
Chopped tomatoes
Sliced red onion
Shredded lettuce

Chili sauce
250ml Natural yogurt
100 ml tomato ketchup
1 tsp chili powder
1tsp mint sauce

250ml Natural yoghurt
Half a cucumber-chopped
1tbsp chopped fresh mint
Half Tsp ground roasted cumin seeds
Pinch of cayenne pepper
Salt and pepper


Lunch…..a Touch of the Mediterranean

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There’s nothing quite like a sunny day and an extra holiday to make me imagine myself sitting enjoying a lingering lunch on the seafront in the South of France….happy memories of wonderful food that’s really not difficult to recreate at home.

Greek salad is one of my favourite salads and eaten al fresco, next to my Lavender bushes, transports me quite happily to the Med and a table by the sea. Along with some crusty bread and a nice chilled glass of wine it really is a perfect summer treat.

During the Summer months there’s always a block of Feta cheese in the fridge and along with other simple ingredients you can very quickly make the most flavoursome salad. My recipe is simple, no strong dressing as the flavour of the Feta, tomatoes, olives,onion and herbs speak for themselves, although I do use good quality olive oil.

Greek Salad

4 large tomatoes
Half a cucumber
1 red onion
Black olives ..I use a small pack with about 20 olives.
Block of Feta Cheese
Herbs….fresh…Oregano is good but sometimes I use basil.

50 ml Olive oil,
15 ml Red wine vinegar
Freshly Ground black pepper and sea salt flakes.

Chop the tomatoes and cucumber into bite size chunks, slice the red onion thinly, add the olives and crumble over the Feta Cheese.
Combine the dressing ingredients and mix through the salad. Scatter the herbs on top, drizzle with some more olive oil and season to taste.

Accompanied by crusty bread and olive oil, the salad will serve four as a starter or 2 for a main.