Enjoy A Variety Of Foods Every Day (Part 6) - Smashed avocado with crispy chicken, pickled onions & tortillas, Beef & beetroot curry

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Smashed avocado with crispy chicken, pickled onions & tortillas


PREP 50 mins plus marinating

COOK 20-25 mins

·         2 large, very ripe avocados

·         juice 1 lemon

·         8 seeded soft tortillas or your favorite flatbreads, warmed small bunch coriander, to serve

For the onions

·         1 large red onion, very thinly sliced

·         100ml/3½fl oz red wine vinegar

·         4 tbsp caster sugar

For the chicken

·         4 skinless chicken breasts, each cut into 3-4 chunky strips

·         284ml pot buttermilk

·         85g/3oz polenta or cornmeal

·         85g/3oz plain flour

·         1 tbsp sesame seeds

·         1 tbsp sweet paprika

·         ½ tsp cayenne pepper

·         2 pinches ground cinnamon

·         1 tsp garlic salt (or normal salt)

·         sunflower oil, for shallow-frying

Smashed avocado with crispy chicken, pickled onions & tortillas

Smashed avocado with crispy chicken, pickled onions & tortillas

You may associate avocados with summer, but winter sees the first of the Californian and Mexican fruit, while the Chilean season is about to come to an end - so there should be an abundance of both the dark, crinkly Hass variety and the light, smooth-skinned Fuerte. Mix the chicken strips with the buttermilk and chill for about half a day.

Mix all the onion ingredients, season with salt and set aside to marinate for at least 30 mins or up to half a day.

Mix together the polenta or cornmeal, flour, sesame seeds, paprika, cayenne pepper, cinnamon and garlic salt on a plate. Heat 2cm sunflower oil in a deep frying pan (or slightly more in a big wok) until a cube of bread browns in 1 min. Lift the chicken from the buttermilk and drop into the flour mix, tossing to coat well. Add about 3 chicken strips at a time to the oil and fry, turning, until golden on all sides and just cooked through. Drain on kitchen paper while you fry the rest.

Halve and stone each avocado, scrape out the flesh into a bowl with the lemon juice and some seasoning, and very roughly smash together with the back of a spoon. Spread over the warm tortillas or flatbreads, top with the crispy chicken, pickled onions and some coriander, and roll up to tuck in.

PER SERVING 941 kcals, protein 45g, carbs 104g, fat 32g, sat fat 8g, fiber 8g, sugar 29g, salt 2.0g

Beef & beetroot curry


PREP 30 mins

COOK 2 hrs 50 mins

The beetroot season is nearly over, so make sure you get your fill - there's a long wait for the new season to begin. With their sweet, earthy flavor, there really is no comparison.

·         750g/1lb 10oz raw beetroot, stalks trimmed to 1cm

·         finger-length piece ginger, chopped

·         3 garlic cloves

·         1 whole red chili, seeds and all

·         small bunch coriander, ½ leaves reserved to serve, remaining leaves and stalks roughly chopped

·         6 cardamom pods

·         2 tbsp tomato paste

·         2 tbsp treacle

·         2 tbsp ground cumin

·         1 tbsp ground coriander

·         2 tsp fennel seeds

·         ¼ tsp ground cloves

·         3 tbsp sunflower oil

·         1.5kg/3lb 5oz British feather blade beef (or other stewing beef), cut into big chunks

·         2 onions, chopped

·         2 beef stock cubes

·         2 tsp Garam masala

·         Naan bread, basmati rice and Raita or natural yogurt, to serve

Beef & beetroot curry

Beef & beetroot curry

Put the beetroot in a large pan of water, bring to the boil and simmer until tender -check with a skewer; you may need to remove smaller ones first while the larger ones carry on cooking. Drain and cool, then put on rubber gloves to peel the skin and remaining stalks. Chop into large chunks and set aside two-thirds for later.

Put the remaining one-third beetroot in a food processor or blender with the ginger, garlic, chili, chopped coriander, cardamom pods, tomato paste, treacle, cumin, ground coriander, fennel seeds, cloves and 2 tsp ground black pepper. Whizz to a paste.

Heat oven to 160C/140C fan/gas 3. Heat half the oil in a big flameproof casserole. Fry the beef chunks in batches until browned all over, removing to a dish as you go. Add the remaining oil, lower the heat, then tip in the onions and fry gently until softened, scraping up the beefy bits. Tip in the spice paste and fry for 5 mins until really fragrant. Return the beef and stock cubes with enough boiling water from a kettle to cover. Bring to a simmer, then put on the lid and bake for 2 hrs.

Uncover and bake for a further 30 mins until the beef is really tender. Put back on the hob and stir in the Garam masala and reserved beetroot to heat through. Season well with salt, scatter with coriander leaves and serve with Naan, basmati rice and Raita or yogurt, if you like.

PER SERVING 467 kcals, protein 51g, carbs 19g, fat 22g, sat fat 7g, fiber 4g, sugar 16g, salt 1.4g

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