Tuesday, 9 December 2014

15 minute chicken pasta

  • 350g pasta bows (farfalle)
  • 300g broccoli, cut into small florets
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 3 large skinless boneless chicken breasts, cut into bite-sized chunks
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 2 tbsp wholegrain mustard
  • juice of 1 large or 2 small oranges
  • 25g flaked almonds, toasted
  1. Cook the pasta in plenty of boiling salted water according to the packet instructions. Three minutes before the pasta is cooked, throw the broccoli into the pasta water and continue to boil.
  2. While the pasta is cooking, gently heat the oil in a large frying pan or wok. Tip in the chicken and fry, stirring occasionally, until the chicken pieces are cooked and golden, about 8-10 minutes, adding the garlic for the last 2 minutes.
  3. Mix the mustard with the orange juice in a small bowl. Pour the mixture over the chicken, and gently simmer for a minute or two. Drain the pasta and broccoli, reserving 3 tablespoons of the pasta water. Toss the pasta and broccoli with the chicken, stir in the pasta water and the almonds, season well and serve.
 From BBC Good Food

Thursday, 6 March 2014

Maltesers Traybake

100g Butter
200g Milk Chocolate
3 tbsp Golden Syrup
250g Crushed Digestive Biscuits
225g Maltesers

Extra 100g Milk or White Chocolate as topping
  1. Melt the butter, chocolate and syrup
  2. Add the crushed biscuits and maltesers
  3. Mix together then pour into a greased baking tin and chill until set.
  4. Option: Once set, melt the additional chocolate and pour over the top. Chill until set

Tuesday, 25 February 2014

Chickpea and chorizo soup

225g dried chickpeas, soaked overnight
1 tbsp oil
125g chorizo, in bite-sized chunks
3 garlic cloves, chopped
½ onion (don't chop it)
2 tsp ground coriander
salt and pepper
extra virgin olive oil
toasted flaked almonds

Heat the oil in a frying pan. Add the chorizo and fry until just beginning to crisp. Add the chickpeas and cook for three minutes. Add the garlic, onion and coriander. Cover with water and bring to the boil. Then simmer for 2 hours. Add more water if necessary during cooking. Remove the onion and season the soup.
Spoon about half of the chickpeas into a blender and blend until smooth. Put the blended chickpeas back into the pan and reheat. Serve topped with flaked almonds and a drizzle of olive oil.

Monday, 10 February 2014

Soy-braised chicken with star anise

With apologies for the long delay since my last post on this blog!

This recipe is WAY easier than it sounds, and is absolutely delicious. It's quite hot, so adjust the chill as necessary.

Serves four
2½ tbsp groundnut oil
8 chicken thighs (I use diced chicken)
2 tbsp soy sauce
2 tbsp rice vinegar (I use white wine vinegar)
2 tsp fish sauce
2 tbsp soft dark-brown sugar
1 red chilli, halved, deseeded and finely shredded
2.5cm (1in) piece root ginger, peeled and very finely chopped
3 cloves garlic, very finely chopped
1 bunch spring onions, trimmed and cut on the diagonal
3 strips orange rind
1 star anise
50ml (2fl oz) water or chicken stock
2 tbsp orange juice
2 tsp cornflour (optional)

Heat 1½ tbsp of the oil in a sauté pan or casserole (something in which all the thighs can lie in a single layer). Brown the chicken on both sides. Don't try to turn them until they are easy to move; pulling is an indication that the meat isn't brown enough and will tear the skin. Set the thighs aside and pour the fat out of the pan.
Stir together the soy, vinegar, fish sauce and sugar. Heat the rest of the oil in the pan and add the chilli, ginger and garlic. Set aside the greener bits of spring onion and add the rest to the pan. Cook over a medium heat for a couple of minutes, until the garlic is golden, then add the soy mixture. Put the chicken back in the pan, skin-side down, along with any juices, plus the orange rind, star anise, water or stock and orange juice. Grind on some pepper.

Cover the pan and put in an oven preheated to 180°C/350°F/gas mark 4 for 40 minutes. After 15 minutes turn the chicken over and return to the oven. Remove the lid for the final five to 10 minutes. You can either serve the chicken as it is with its thin soy juices, or thicken them with cornflour. To thicken, stir the cornflour in a cup with 2 tbsp water until smooth. Put the chicken in a warm serving dish and add the cornflour to the pan. Heat, stirring, until the juices thicken a little, then pour over the chicken. Scatter with the reserved spring onions and serve with boiled rice and a watercress salad or stir-fried cabbage or pak choi.

Wednesday, 19 December 2012

Chilli cheese toast

This is a tasty Indian twist on cheese on toast. It makes a great brunch or lunch, or you can cut slices into quarters as canapés.

For 2 slices
2-3 tbsp grated cheese (I like mature cheddar but any hard cheese would work)
1 finely chopped chilli
A small onion finely chopped (preferably red onion, which works well with Indian spices)
Seasoning if required
2 tbsp finely chopped fresh coriander or 1 tsp powdered coriander
2 slices white or wholemeal bread

Preheat oven to 100˚C.
Mix the cheese, chilli, onion, seasoning and coriander.
Lightly toast the bread
Put the toasted bread on a baking tray. Spread the mixture over the toast, patting in place.
Bake for around 5-6 minutes or until cheese has melted.

Wednesday, 15 August 2012

Leek and potato soup

4 servings

• Glug of olive oil
• 1 onion, sliced
• 225g/8oz potatoes, cubed
• 2 medium leeks, sliced and washed
• 1.2 litres/2 pints vegetable stock
• Glug of milk or Double Cream
• Lots of salt and freshly ground black pepper

• Heat the oil in a large pan and add the onions, potatoes and leeks
• Cook for 3-4 minutes until starting to soften
• Add the vegetable stock and bring to the boil. Season well and simmer until the vegetables are tender.
• Whizz with a hand blender or in a blender until smooth
• Reheat in a clean pan, stir in the cream milk, heat through and serve
• Serve with crusty bread

Friday, 27 July 2012

Slow-cooked courgettes on toast

From Mark-Mi-Words's blog, with thanks.

Cooked this way they lose most of their moisture and become a thick, fragrant, chunky mass. They can be used as a pasta sauce (just add a little cream) or the base for a lovely soup (blend with a little stock and/or milk). They also make a great toast topping/ bruschetta, which is my favourite.

Serves six.

3 tbsp olive oil
3 garlic cloves, peeled and chopped
1kg courgettes, finely sliced
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

For the toast/bruschetta
6 slices of coarse country bread
1 garlic clove, cut in half
Extra-virgin olive oil, or butter
Parmesan, or other grateable cheese (optional)

Heat the oil in a large saucepan, then add the garlic, courgettes and a little salt. Cook gently, so the courgettes soften without browning. As they release their water, turn up the heat to bubble it off. When they become more concentrated and pulpy, turn it down again. Stir whenever they begin to catch on the pan, and do not allow them to brown more than a shade. Keep cooking until they are rich and oily, but not watery. Check seasoning. Grill the bread, rub each side with garlic, and trickle with olive oil or melted butter. Pile a mound of the hot courgette mixture on top, grate over a little cheese, if you like, and serve.