Halloumi and Mushroom Kebabs with Salsa Verde and Cous Cous

Halloumi and Mushroom Kebabs

I came across this Hairy Bikers recipe on the BBC Food website about 3 years ago when I was going through a halloumi craze! I wasn’t very big into no meat meals so I got a deboned leg of lamb from my butcher and cut it into cubes. Rubbed some of the salsa verde onto them with some salt and pepper and then seared them in some hot olive oil and then added them to the skewer and finished them off with the rest of the ingredients in the griddle pan. I also precooked my button mushrooms before skewering them and it worked beautifully. You could also add cubes of rump steak and treat in the same way as I did the lamb.  There are so many fantastic flavours in this dish and make for a really great vibrant and colourful meal to brighten your week up! This is the recipe that introduced me to salsa verde which has become one of my absolute favourite tastes!

 

For the couscous

125g cous cous

125ml hot vegetable stock

5 tbsp olive oil

1 lemon, juice only

1 ready-roasted red pepper, shredded

50g toasted flaked almonds

50g dried apricots, chopped

 

For the skewers

200g halloumi cheese, cut into 2.5cm cubes

8 cherry tomatoes

8 button mushrooms

3 tbsp olive oil

1 tsp dried oregano

Rumb steak or deboned leg of lamb cut into cubes (optional)

 

For the salsa verde

bunch parsley,chopped leaves only

bunch basil, chopped, chopped leaves only

bunch mint, chopped, chopped leaves only

2 tbsp drained capers

2 garlic cloves, roughly chopped

½ tsp Dijon Mustard

100ml olive oil

sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to season

 

Preparation method

  • For the couscous, place the couscous into a bowl and cover with the hot stock. Cover the bowl with a plate or cling film and leave for four minutes.
  • Uncover the bowl and fluff up the couscous with a fork. Stir in the remaining ingredients, season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
  • For the kebabs, preheat a griddle pan over a medium-high heat. Toss all of the kebab ingredients together and season to taste with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper. Thread the ingredients onto metal kebab skewers and cook on the hot griddle for 5-6 minutes, turning frequently.
  • For the salsa verde, place all of the salsa verde ingredients, apart from the olive oil, into a food processor and blend, gradually adding the oil until you have a loose paste.
  • To serve, spoon the couscous onto plates, top with the kebabs and drizzle with the salsa verde.

Serves 2

 

Photo from the BBC Food Website

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Salsa Verde Crusted Rack of Lamb with a Sweet Potato, Tomato and Crouton Salad

Herb Crusted Rack of Lamb

I made this last night for my Dad and Step Mom and it worked really well. It was great dinner party recipe to do as you can prepare half of it ahead of time and because you are serving the lamb with a salad, you are not frantically running around trying to make sure that your side dishes are hot. I’m sorry I don’t have a photo, I need to get myself sorted with that camera of mine!

Lamb

2 x 750g rack of lamb (frenched)*

Sea Salt and black Pepper

3 – 4 Tbsp Dijon Mustard

Salsa Verde Crust

1 bunch parsley, chopped leaves only

1 bunch basil chopped, chopped leaves only

1 bunch mint chopped, chopped leaves only

2 tbsp drained capers

2 Anchovy fillets

2 garlic cloves, roughly chopped

½ tsp dijon

100ml olive oil 

sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to season

1 and a half cups fresh sour dough bread crumbs (Blitz sour dough slices in a food processor until bread crumbs form)

For the Salad 

1 cup Purple Basil leaves (or green if you can’t find purple)

1 packet baby Rocket

1 packet baby pea shoots

Balsamic reduction to drizzle

5 thick slices of sour dough, cut into bite size blocks

Garlic Salt and freshly Black pepper

2 -3 Orange Sweet Potatoes (or butternut if you cant find the orange sweet potatoes)

1 punnet of baby tomatoes (if they are big-ish you can cut them in half)

Olive oil

– Heat your oven to 200 C (fan) or 230 C (no fan)

– Start with the Salsa Verde. Place all of the salsa verde ingredients, apart from the olive oil and bread crumbs, into a food processor and blend, gradually adding the oil until you have a loose paste.

– Once you are happy with the consistency, add the bread crumbs until a nice crumby pasty mixture is formed. It should be wet enough for you to mould onto the lamb at a later stage. You can leave this in a bowl until you are ready for it.

– Then, get onto the lamb, make sure that your frenched bones are nice and clean and neat. Score the fat on the outside of the rack and season with some sea salt and black pepper.

– Seal the rack in a small amount of olive oil on a medium – high heat until the fat is nicely golden and the meat has browned on the other side. Place in the oven for about 15 minutes.

– Take the lamb out of the oven and brush with the dijon mustard all over. Do it while it’s warm so that it absorbs into the lamb well.

– Cover the lamb in tin foil and let it rest and cool down a bit.

– Meanwhile, you can roast your sweet potaoes, Par boil them first for about 5 – 7 minutes. drain and then place them on a baking paper lined baking tray with a drizzle of olive oil, salt, pepper and some fresh thyme sprigs. Keep some space open on the baking tray for the tomatoes.

– Toss the bread crumbs in some olive oil, garlic salt and pepper and place on a separate baking tray that is lined with baking paper.

– In a separate bowl, toss the tomatoes in some olive oil, sea salt and freshly ground black pepper and a generous drizzle of balsamic reduction

– Place the tomatoes on the same baking tray as the sweet potatoes. Half of the baking tray for the tomatoes, and half for the sweet potatoes. Don’t mix it together.

– Put the sweet potatoes and tomatoes in the oven at 200 C for about 15 minutes.

– Once it has been in for 15 minutes you can add the crouton baking tray into the oven for about 5 – 10 minutes, watching carefully as you don’t want the croutons to burn.

– Take both trays out of the oven and set it aside.

– Now back to the lamb. Uncover and take the herby crumb mixture and pack it on to the rack, evenly to coat it. stand the racks up with their bones interlinked and put it back in the oven for 10 minutes. or until done to your liking.

– While the lamb is cooking, prepare the plates. Scatter the basil, rocket, tomatoes, sweet potato and croutons all over the plate and drizzle with balsamic reduction.

– when the lamb is ready, take it out and let it rest for 5 minutes and then slice into chops and place over the salad. Take some of the crumb mixture that has fallen off and sprinkle over the lamb.

– Toss the pea shoots in a little olive oil and balsamic reduction and then place on the top of the lamb to create some height. Serve immediately.