Chipotle Chilli Grilled Salmon Kebabs

Grilled salmon skewers with a smoky and spicy marinade.  Served with a cooling mint and coriander yogurt dip, pita bread and salad.  Perfect for hot and spicy summer nights!

Salmon kebabs2

All of my family love salmon, so these go down really well and can be cooked on a griddle pan, the barbecue, or even on a lined baking sheet in the oven. You can up the spice levels by adding more of the chipotle marinade. The coriander/cilantro used in the yogurt dip is entirely optional. I love it, but the rest of the family – not so much!

As a contact lens wearer, I always use disposable latex gloves when chopping, or using any kind of chilli in a marinade. So much pain and the chilli lasts on your skin for hours, despite washing like Lady McBeth!

salmon kebab close

Salad:
Baby salad leaves
Handful of black olives
Hothouse cucumber slices
Small handful of cherry tomatoes – halved
Feta cheese, crumbled
Lemon wedges and warm pita to serve

Chipotle marinade:
2tbs prepared chipotle paste
Juice of 1 small lime
2tsp olive oil

Kebabs:
Around 400g/14oz Salmon cut into large cubes – this is enough for 2 hungry people
1-2 Courgettes/zucchini, halved down the middle and cut into chunks
1 yellow pepper, cut into large squares
Salt and pepper to season

Yogurt dip/dressing:
6tbs Greek yogurt
Small bunch of chopped mint and coriander/cilantro
Zest and juice of a small lemon
Pinch of salt and pepper

Mix together the chipotle paste, lime juice and olive oil and add to the salmon, turning to coat.  I use gloves and gently rub the marinade over the fish with my hands. Cover and refrigerate for an hour.

Method:
When you are ready to cook, pre-heat the griddle pan and assemble the salad ingredients on the plates. This is also a great barbecue recipe but just remember to soak any wooden skewers first. I use flat metal skewers so the salmon and vegetables don’t move around when I’m turning them.

Thread the fish and vegetables onto your skewers and season with a little salt and freshly ground black pepper.  Place onto the hot grill pan or barbecue. They will cook very quickly – around 2-3 minutes per side.  If you are cooking in the oven.  Cook at 200°C/400°F. They will take around 12 minutes, depending on the size of the chunks of salmon, but keep an eye on them so that the salmon doesn’t overcook.

salmon kebab closeup

Serve over the salads with the yogurt, warm pita and lemon wedges and a little coriander sprinkled over the top (or not if you don’t like it!)

Goats Cheese Ball

Totally retro, but still delicious and a great addition to any party or buffet table.  A cheese ball is really easy to make and the variations are endless.  This one is made with goats cheese and served with green olive and roasted red pepper crackers – recipe below.

Cheeseball

Ingredients:
8oz/227g full fat cream cheese at room temperature
8oz/227g soft goats cheese at room temperature
1 tbs chopped dill
2tsp freshly ground black pepper
3/4 cup/175g finely chopped pecans
1/4 cup/50g finely chopped dried cranberries
Crackers for serving – see below for recipe

Method:
In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, place the room temperature cheeses, dill and 1 tsp of black pepper and mix on low speed until well mixed.  Using a spatula, scrape out the cheese mixture, pile onto cling film and form into a ball.  Refrigerate for at least 2 hours so it can firm up.

On a plate, spread out the chopped pecans, 1 tsp black pepper and cranberries and roll the ball until fully coated.  This is ready to use immediately, otherwise refrigerate for up to 3 days.

Serve with a good chutney, crackers and chilled white wine.

Cracker

Olive & Roasted Pepper Crackers

Green olives and roasted red peppers make these crackers the perfect accompaniment to the cheese ball

Ingredients:
2 cups/280g plain/all-purpose flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp dried oregano
2 oz/57g cold unsalted butter, cut into small cubes
3 tbs green olives, finely chopped
4 tbsp roasted red peppers, finely chopped – I like to roast my own, but you can buy ready roasted peppers in a jar
1/2 cup/112ml milk
olive oil
sea salt

Method:
Preheat oven to 190ºC/375°F

Line 2 baking sheets with a non stick liner or parchment paper.

Mix the flour, salt and oregano until well combined.

Add the butter and rub into the flour mixture until it looks like breadcrumbs.

Stir in the chopped olives, roasted red peppers and milk until evenly mixed.

Divide the dough in half.  Turn out one half of the dough straight onto the non stick liner and roll out to about ¼” thickness.  The thinner they are, the crispier they become and rolling out straight onto the liner means you can roll out the dough very thin.  Using a pizza cutter, cut the dough into 2”x2” squares and remove any excess dough to re-roll.  They shrink a little as they bake, so you don’t need to worry about them sticking together or having to separate them.

Prick the top of each cracker one or twice and lightly brush tops of crackers with olive oil, finishing with a light sprinkle of sea salt.  Repeat with the other half of the dough.

Bake at 190ºC/375°F for up to 25 minutes or until crackers are golden brown.  Be careful not to let them burn.

Let the crackers cool completely before serving.

Crackers