Super quick chicken fajitas with homemade guacamole and salsa

There really is no excuse not to whip up a quick dinner with this fajita recipe. Long gone are the days of using a jar of stir in sauce- this takes no time at all without compromising on flavour. I serve fajitas with guacamole and salsa as well as a liberal helping of soured cream so I have also given you recipes for this. Enjoy!

wpid-wp-1423067233756.jpeg

Ingredients- serves 4
4 chicken breasts- cut into chunks
2 tsp paprika
2 tsp ground cumin
2 tsp oregano
1 tsp chilli powder
1 lime
1 red onion- finely sliced
1 red and 1 yellow pepper- finely sliced
Handful (generous!) of jalapeno chillies
Splash of vegetable oil

1. Start by marinating the chicken chunks. The marinade works just as well if you only leave it for a few minutes or if you leave it for longer. Put the chicken in a large bowl and add the paprika, cumin, oregano and chilli powder along with the juice of a lime and you can also add a little zest if you like. Set aside until you’re ready to use it.

2. Heat a splash of oil in a large frying pan and add the chicken for a couple of minutes just to get a bit of colour before adding the onion and peppers. Cook until the chicken is cooked through and the vegetables are softening. If you like your peppers a bit crunchier in your fajitas then simply add them in towards the end of cooking. When the fajita mix is nearly ready, throw in the jalapenos and cook for a further minute or so.

Serve the mix in a large bowl so everyone can dig in and help themselves. I serve with options of guacamole, soured cream, salsa, lettuce and some cheese. Actually talking of guacamole and salsa…

Guacamole
3 medium tomatoes
3 ripe avocados
Juice of a lime
1/2 a small onion- finely chopped
2 garlic cloves- grated
Fresh coriander- chopped
2 red chillies finely chopped
Salt

1. Start off by preparing the tomatoes by making a small cross on the end of each and blanching them in hot water for 30 seconds. Remove and then peel the skin off. Of course you can leave the skin on too if you like a bit more texture. Scoop out the seeds and chop finely.

2. Next up sort out the avocados by halving, removing the stone and scooping out the flesh. Use the back of a fork and mash until it reaches a smooth consistency before adding in the lime juice.

3. Take the onion, garlic, coriander and chilli and stir through the avocado to combine before adding the tomato. Check the seasoning and adjust to taste.

Salsa
6 tomatoes- finely chopped
1 onion- finely chopped
1 garlic clove- crushed
4 green chillies- finely chopped
Juice of half a lime
Fresh coriander- chopped
Pinch of sugar and salt

1. Step one: combine all the ingredients and serve! It could not be easier!

Ultimate slow cooked bolognese

A great bolognese should be in everyone’s culinary repertoire so let me share mine with you. The key to a beautiful bolognese sauce, or ragu, is slow cooking so be patient! Also remember that Italians traditionally serve this with tagliatelle so use a good quality pasta so the sauce clings to every strand. If you’re not a huge fan of mince then substitute it with diced beef but remember that this would cook better in the oven on a low heat to ensure the meat falls apart.

wpid-wp-1425368815496.jpeg

Ingredients-serves 4
2 tbsp olive oil
400g beef or veal mince or half and half
1 onion finely sliced
2 garlic cloves crushed
200g chestnut mushrooms- sliced
Handful of rehydrated dried porcini mushrooms
1 tbsp tomato puree
2 celery sticks- finely sliced
1 carrot- finely chopped
Small pack of pancetta cubes
120ml red wine
400ml tinned chopped tomatoes
1 tbsp dried oregano
Beef stock cube
1/2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
400g dried spaghetti or tagliatelle

1. To start, take a large pan and heat 1tbsp of the oil over a high heat and brown off the mince which will take a few minutes. I often use veal mince as it has a lower fat content and gives a lighter bolognese.

2. In a frying pan sautee the chestnut and porcini mushrooms until golden. Mushrooms need to be cooked over a high heat to draw out the water

. 3. Take a heavy based pan (time to crack out my Le Creuset again!) and heat the remaining oil over a medium heat.Cook the onion, celery, carrot and pancetta until it all begins to soften and then add the garlic into the pan for 1-2 minutes until fragrant. Pancetta cubes are easy to find however if you want to ramp up the flavour even more then look for a small block of pancetta which you then cut yourself. This tends to have more flavour and a smokey note which you don’t get with precut cubes so head to the local deli and treat yourself!

4. Next the tomato puree goes in to cook off for another couple of minutes, followed by the red wine and aim to reduce this by half. Pop the bay leaf in and sprinkle the oregano.

5. Stir the tomatoes and balsamic vinegar in and crumble in the stock cube which will add an additional depth of flavour. Season to taste, bring the bolognese up to a simmer, cover and cook on the hob for 1- 1 1/2 hours or until the sauce has reduced and thickened. I also keep some of the porcini mushroom liquor back and add a little to give an extra meatiness.

6. When the bolognese is nearly ready cook the pasta and drain well. I add the pasta into the sauce to ensure each stand if pasta is well coated. Divide the bolognese between the bowls and serve with parmesan.

A classic dish to please any family! I mean who wouldn’t want this simmering away on their hob?…