Fake aways - recipes for healthy fast food at home
Reach for the frying pan, not the phone, says Chef Adrian, whose healthy takes on fast food recipes make the perfect Friday night feasts
PRAWN PAD THAI
This isn't your authentic Pad Thai recipe, but it's a simple twist on it that tastes very similar and uses easily accessible ingredients that we have here in Ireland. You can always substitute your favourite meats like chicken or beef if you don't like prawns. Most supermarkets now stock smoked garlic and baby spring onions. But if it happens that they don't, just use the ordinary varieties, giving the spring onions a small chop.
200g rice noodles
2 cloves of smoked garlic
A handful of coriander, leaves and stalks separated
¼ stick of lemon grass
1 red chilli
10 Dublin bay prawns shelled and de-veined (ask your fishmonger)
10 baby spring onions
Zest and juice of 2 limes
100g bean sprouts
A handful of salted peanuts, chopped
1 Place the noodles in salted boiling water and cover for 5 minutes to soften.
2 Chop the garlic, coriander stalks, lemon grass and chilli, then fry in some oil for a minute over a medium heat. Add the prawns and spring onions and cook for another 2-3 minutes.
3 Add the lime zest and juice and the bean sprouts. Now add the noodles to the pan and stir well until heated through. Season with sea salt to taste and serve sprinkled with the chopped peanuts and coriander leaves.
CHICKEN TIKKA MASALA
Chicken tikka masala would be up there as one of my favourite mid-week meals. If I have the time, I like to marinate the chicken overnight to ensure that I get an awesome flavour. I was disappointed the first time I had tikka masala from a takeaway as I found it dry. So I had to make it myself to really enjoy it.
6 heaped tbsp natural yoghurt
Zest of ½ lemon
1 tbsp garam masala
1 tbsp cumin
4 boneless chicken breasts
For the sauce 1 onion, sliced
2 cloves of garlic, chopped
½ red chilli, chopped
1 tbsp garam masala
1 tbsp turmeric
2 tbsp tomato purée
1 x 400ml tin of coconut milk
A handful of coriander, chopped
1 In a large bowl, mix the yoghurt, lemon zest, garam masala and cumin.
2 Slice the chicken so it can fit on skewers. I normally just cut each breast straight down the middle lengthways, so you are left with eight pieces.
3 Place one chicken piece on each skewer and marinate in the yoghurt mixture for as long as you wish (you can cook these straight away if you like).
4 Preheat the oven to 180ºC/350ºF/gas mark 4. Place the chicken skewers on a baking tray and bake in the oven for 15-20 minutes, until fully cooked.
5 When the chicken is almost ready, make the sauce. Sweat the sliced onion, garlic and red chilli for 1-2 minutes over a medium heat. Add the garam masala and turmeric and sweat for 20-40 seconds, then add in the tomato purée and cook for 1-2 minutes.
6 Add in the coconut milk and then turn up the heat. Bring the sauce to the boil and simmer until the colour changes and the sauce thickens.
7 To finish the sauce add the coriander and season with salt to taste. Serve the chicken on a plate or platter and spoon the sauce over the chicken.
CRISPY DUCK NOODLES
Here's my take on the popular Chinese takeaway dish. The crispier the duck is, the better. Once you have the duck ready you can put this dish together in 5 minutes. If you don't have the time to cook the duck, I recommend buying pre-cooked confit duck legs for this recipe.
2 duck legs, fat trimmed off
1 cinnamon stick
2 star anise
Flat-leaf parsley to garnish
For the noodles 250g rice noodles
1 tbsp olive oil
2 cloves of garlic, chopped
1 tsp peeled and grated fresh ginger
1 head of bok choi, sliced into rough pieces
3 tbsp sweet chilli sauce
2 tbsp low-salt soy sauce
1 Preheat the oven to 180ºC/350ºF/gas 4.
2 Place the duck legs in an ovenproof tray and sprinkle with sea salt. Add the cinnamon stick and star anise to the tray and drizzle in the water. Bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes. Remove the duck from the oven, then remove the skin and pick off the meat in strips.
3 To prepare the noodles, boil a full kettle of water, then place the noodles in a heatproof bowl and cover them with the boiling water. Cover the bowl with cling film and allow to sit for 5 minutes.
4 Add the oil to a frying pan over a medium to low heat and fry off the garlic, ginger and duck for 3-4 minutes, until crispy and golden. Add the bok choi and cook for another minute over a medium heat.
5 Uncover the bowl of noodles and drain off the water. Toss the noodles into the pan and add the sweet chilli sauce and soy sauce. Mix, then taste and, if needed, add a small pinch of salt.
6 Serve in some bowls, garnish with the parsley and tuck right in.