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Chef Adrian

There is nothing traditional (or healthy) in a spice bag, but we can't help but love them. Along with pizza and burgers, this tasty dish is among our favourite takeaway options.

With his book Fakeaway, Chef Adrian shares his own version of some takeaway classic so we can enjoy them without the guilt. 

Chef Adrian's version of the spice bag uncovers the whole truth about what goes in this dish – but it's much healthier than the original…

THE SPICE BAG

"The latest trendy thing to eat across Ireland is the spice bag. It’s sold in Chinese takeaways, but was invented in Ireland. With this dish, it’s all about the spice mixture. Here’s my version."

Serves 2

  • 2 chicken breasts, sliced into small strips
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • ½ teaspoon cumin
  • 200g ground almonds
  • 1 teaspoon coconut oil
  • Sliced red and green chilli (optional)
  • For the chips
  • 4 medium-sized Maris Piper potatoes, washed
  • 2 sprigs of rosemary, chopped
  • 1 onion, sliced
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil, melted

For the spice

  • 2 good pinches of sea salt
  • 1 tablespoon Chinese five spice
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  •   ½ teaspoon chilli powder

1. Preheat the oven to 200ºC/400ºF/gas mark 6.

2. To make the chips, slice the potatoes to whatever thickness you like. Sprinkle with the chopped rosemary and sliced onion, coat with the coconut oil and bake for 35–40 minutes. Make sure you mix all the ingredients with your hands before cooking. If your tray isn’t non-stick, use some greaseproof or parchment paper.

3. To prepare the chicken, place the strips into the beaten egg. In a separate bowl mix the cumin and ground almonds, then place the chicken strips into the mixture, ensuring they are fully coated. If you find they aren’t fully coated, go back and dip into the egg and then back into the ground almond mix once more. 

4. Place the chicken onto a baking tray, put it in the oven and bake for 20–30 minutes.

5. Mix the spices together in a small bowl. Once cooked, combine the chicken and chips and then from a height sprinkle the spice mix over them, making sure to coat both the chicken and chips.

6. I recommend serving this in a bag or wrapped up in some newspaper, with a sprinkling of red and green sliced chilli.

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We all love a good takeaway, but we are also very aware that this isn't always the best option for our wallets or our waistlines (except on Treat Yo'self Thursdays, obvs).

With his book Fakeaway, Chef Adrian helps us enjoy our favourite takeaway dishes without the guilt.  

Among our favourite options are some tasty chicken wings… If you never thought you could make chicken wings at home yourself, think again.

Try this delicious recipe and you'll see that the tasty treat can be made affordably and oh so healthily. 

BUFFALO CHICKEN WINGS WITH A SMOKED GARLIC AND CHIVE DIP

"A classic wing from the United States. It is normally deep fried and coated in a vinegary, buttery, spicy sauce, but for a healthier version I bake these in the oven. This version has the addition of bourbon to the sauce, which adds an incredible musty flavour. Don’t worry, the alcohol burns off in the cooking."

Serves 4

For the wings

  • 24 chicken wings
  • 2 pinches of sea salt
  • 5 sprigs of fresh thyme
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 bottle (354 ml) of hot sauce (I prefer Frank’s)
  • 100ml white wine vinegar
  • 100ml bourbon 
  • 100g butter
  • a handful of sesame seeds
  • 1 red chilli, sliced
  • 4 spring onions, sliced

For the garlic and chive dip

  • 4–5 chives
  • 2 cloves of smoked garlic
  • 3 tablespoons mayonnaise

1. First make the garlic and chive dip. Slice the chives thinly and finely chop or crush the garlic. Mix the chives and garlic into the mayonnaise in a small bowl and set aside until needed. 

2. Preheat the oven to 200ºC/400ºF/gas mark 6. 

3. Season the chicken wings with the salt and thyme leaves. Now sprinkle the wings with the oil. Give them a good mix with clean hands and place on a baking tray. Roast for 25 minutes.

4. While the wings are cooking, make the sauce. Place the whole bottle of hot sauce in a wide saucepan. Add the white wine vinegar, bourbon and butter and then allow to simmer until the sauce becomes sticky and reduces to a nice syrup consistency. 

5. After 25 minutes remove the wings from the oven and dunk them into the sauce. Return them to the oven for another 5 minutes and then dunk them again to get them extra sticky. Place them into the oven for a further 5 minutes and then they are ready. Spoon them into a dish, place the dip on one side, sprinkle with the sesame seeds, chilli and spring onions and tuck in.

 

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The foodie scene in Ireland has never been bigger.

And with chefs keen to impress, influencers eager to educate and restaurants only dying to inspire, there’s never been a better time to embark on a foodie bucket list around our green isle.

But if that particular adventure remains a mere pipe dream right now, you can rest easy as RTÉ have harnessed the expertise of Chef Adrian for an incredible six-part online series where he shows you how to create the nation’s most popular restaurant dishes at home!

With the Cavan-native front and centre, Chef Adrian Eats Ireland pays tribute to Ireland's gastronomy scene, and we cannot wait to get involved!

Following an online poll to find the best food in Ireland, the show visits the winning restaurants in Cork, Galway, Wicklow, Sligo and Dublin to uncover the secrets behind their famous dishes; all nominated by the Irish public.

And it doesn’t stop there!

Chef Adrian brings his knowledge and ideas back to his outdoor kitchen where he cooks his own unique version of the dish, together with special celebrity guests including Samantha Mumba, Jenny Dixon and comedian PJ Gallagher.

Commenting on the series, Chef Adrian said: ”Working on ‘Chef Adrian Eats Ireland’ has been so rewarding and brings together my three great loves – food, fun and Ireland.”

“I wanted to share my passion for quality food and show viewers that cooking, even your favourite restaurant dishes, can be made simple." he added reflecting on the Because Taste Matters hashtag.

So if you’re only dying to sample the delights our country has to offer, be sure to tune in and take a trip around Ireland with the man himself before recreating it yourself!

You can watch Chef Adrian Eats Ireland here and for more recipe inspiration visit www.carrs.ie

And that's not all! You can become a Carr's fan on Facebook here!

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