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    Thursday, July 28, 2022

    Teriyaki Chicken Bowl

    Yesterday I was asked to make a Teriyaki Chicken and Vege Bowl for dinner
    So I checked on the net for a recipe for a Teriyaki Sauce and this was the one I liked best
    A lot of them used honey but that is not the favourite sweetener in this house so I used soft brown sugar

    The marinade was very simple and it was agreed this recipe was a keeper
    Lots of vege, succulent chicken and some sushi rice to soak it up

    For 4 people
    You will need
    1 1/2 boneless and skinless chicken thighs per person approx more or less depending on the appetite 


    For the marinade
    300 mls hot water
    30 grms soft brown sugar
    150 mls dark soy sauce
    30 gms freshly grated root ginger
    6 garlic cloves peeled and crushed
    1-2 tsp chilli flakes optional, or adjust to taste

    2 cups sushi rice
    1 cup frozen edamame beans
    1 shallot peeled, finely chopped
    French dressing 
    Red Cabbage
    Sesame dressing

    To Garnish
    Roughly chopped fresh coriander
    Sesame seeds
    Sesame Dressing   This is essential, delicious               


    Method
    Grate the ginger 
    Finely chop the garlic with the chilli flakes 
    Mix hot water and sugar in a bowl
    dissolve and let cool a bit

    Add soy sauce, ginger, garlic and chilli flakes

    Add the chicken thighs to the marinade
    Put in the fridge
    Marinade as long as you can but if you are short of time it does need about 2 hours

    When you are ready to go 
    Heat the oven to 200C
    Remove chicken from the marinade
    Place in a lightly oiled roasting pan
    I sprayed a little oil on top of the chicken but that is optional 

    It will take about 25 - 30 mins till the juices run clear when the thickest part is pierced with a skewer
    Leave to rest for about 10 minutes



    While the chicken is cooking, cook the sushi rice, to the manufacturers instructions
    I then brought the remaining marinade to the boil, 
    Simmered it for about 5 mins
    Skimmed off the scum and put aside
    This can be used for extra juice on the rice if you wish 

    Finely chop the shallot and add 2-3 tbs French dressing and let sit while the chicken is cooking

    Chop the red cabbage 
    Cook the Edamame beans and drain
    Slice the cooked chicken

    Time to serve
    Build your bowl

    Rice on the bottom 
    Sliced chicken 
    The vege
    Coriander and sesame seeds
    and drizzle over the beautiful Sesame Dressing 


    Dinner is served 
    Delicious, colourful and healthy to boot 

    Tuesday, April 05, 2022

    Cheesy Chicken and Vegetable Bake


    I have been pet sitting and here is my little charge, she was my constant companion for the last 10 days
    her name in Lola and yes of course I sang the song many times during my stay 
    The Kinks have a lot to answer for
    I was cooking for one so I managed to make some of the food that I cooked "morph" into more than one dish.
    i.e. Chicken stock made from roasted wings became Chicken Soup which then was used to poach some Chicken Breasts, which then were turned into this Chicken and Vegetable Bake

    It doesn't look particularly attractive but it was very tasty and I got to use up the Vegetables that were sitting in the fridge

    So you will need

    Chicken Stock about  2 cups enough to cover the breasts 
    1 Chicken Breast per person
    50 gms butter
    3-4 mushrooms chopped
    I onion peeled and chopped
    1 carrot washed and chopped
    1 red pepper chopped
    1 yellow pepper chopped
    6 Brussels sprouts chopped
    Big handful of spinach  roughly chopped

    For the roux
    50 gms butter
    50 gms flour
    500 pls of milk
    Sea salt and Freshly ground black pepper

    1 cup Grated Cheese (Spilt in 2)
    Fine breadcrumbs about 3 tablespoons 

    So first gently poach the chicken breast in simmering chicken stock
    this will take about 20 mins


    Set aside and let them cool in the stock this will help to keep them moist 
    Then cut into 2 cms pieces

    Meanwhile in another pan 
    On medium to high heat 
    Melt butter and throw in the mushrooms
    Season with S & P
    Saute and remove from pan


    Meanwhile in the same pan sauté the Onions, Carrots and Peppers and put aside

    Prepare the Brussel Sprouts and Spinach

    Wipe the pan and add 50 gms of butter
    Melt and add the Brussels sprouts , sauté for a few minutes
    Add the flour and stir well,
                                                                                                                
    let the flour cook out for about 4 minutes, stirring constantly

    Slowly add the milk stirring until the sauce is lovely, silky and thick 
    Meanwhile grate the cheese
    Add the1/2 the  cheese and the chopped spinach

    Add the rest of the vegetables and the chicken to the sauce
    Then lightly grease a baking dish and fill up your dish
    Sprinkle with the remainder of the grated cheese and then sprinkle fine breadcrumbs onto
    just to lightly cover
    Pop into 180C preheated oven and bake till cheese in melted and it is bubbling away nicely 
    Probably about 25 mins 

    Unfortunately I forgot to take a photo of the dish before it went into the oven and also when it came out so you will have to trust me that it looks and smell divine

    I dished up this helping and wolfed it down
    Yum
















    Monday, November 01, 2021

    Simply Spaghetti - Using New Season Asparagus

     The Asparagus season is here and it is beautiful.  Time for lunch
     I felt like a simple Pasta dish what a great way to hero the Spaghetti with Asparagus and some Tomatoes and Garlic


    You will need
    100 gms dried Spaghetti per person
    Olive oil 1 tbs
    Butter 1 tsp
    2 cloves Garlic peeled and crushed
    8-10 Cherry Tomatoes, chopped
    2 Asparagus spears (tough ends removed then sliced )
    Sea Salt and freshly Ground Black Pepper
    Parmesan Cheese - finely grated 


    Bring a well salted big pot of water to the boil
    when it comes to the boil add the Pasta
    after 7 Minutes, add the Asparagus
    Cook for another 3 minutes 
    Drain

    In a pan add the Olive oil and Butter on medium heat
    Add the Garlic 
    Let it  cook gently till it becomes soft and fragrant - don't brown
    Add the Tomatoes and let simmer for a few minutes till they are just soft
    Meanwhile grate the Cheese
    Toss the Spaghetti and Asparagus into the Tomatoes
    Season well with freshly ground Black pepper
    Into serving bowl and top with the grated Parmesan Cheese
    Voila
    Lunch is served




    Tuesday, October 19, 2021

    Croutons - What do to with leftover bread

    This is a bit like... as the saying goes "teaching  your Mother how to suck eggs" 
    But just another way to use up your leftover baguette.

    Yesterday I forgot I had bought a baguette to have with our lunch...silly me... so there it was sitting on the stairs. Shame to waste, so this morning I made croutons 

    So so simple, just slice the baguette,  lay them on a tray, spray with olive oil and 
    sprinkle sea salt flakes over them 
    As easy as that
    Bake in 160 degree C oven for about 15 minutes
    turn the tray around for even baking
    and back in for about another 5 mins

    They should be golden and crunchy 
    Pop them on a rack to cool


    Great with soup
    or with your favourite dip, in this case Hummus dressed with Lemon Olive Oil
    And a couple of leaves of Coriander and few littles of Fresh Chili
    Just to pretty it up

    Yum






    Monday, September 20, 2021

    Fettucine Cabonara with a Green Twist

    What to do in Lockdown


    Why not make your own Pasta.  
    It's easier that you think. You can either make it totally by hand 
    or
    More of a "cheats" way, use the food processor
    you still have to do some hard work kneading but it's all worth it in the long run

    I had a helper, Granddaughter Cleo was a dab hand at making the pasta
    Both methods are shown here, on this occasion...we did the Food processor method 

    Once you have made your Pasta, roll it into a ball
    Cover with plastic wrap and let it sit in the fridge for at least an hour
    Take it out and start the roll process
    We have a Pasta Roller, that I purchased in another life


    Not only does it roll it out as thin as you would like it then cuts it into the required style
    Cleo and I decided that Fettucine was what we wanted

    Thought a form of Cabonara was just the ticket 
    When looking for the perfect recipe... I found Ina Garten's Spring Green Spaghetti
    So we adapted it to our taste and it was very tasty indeed 
    Cabonara is quite rich so the addition of the greens made it feel just a bit more healthy

    So once you have made the pasta, Grab a broom, wipe the handle and dust it with flour and hang the noodles over it, to dry out

    So its time to cook and assemble
    You will need
    Approx 400 gms pasta

    8-10 snow peas julienned lengthwise

    1 cup shelled fresh peas (1 pound in the pod), or frozen peas

    12 to 14 thin asparagus, bottom third discarded and tips sliced in 2-inch pieces

    2 tablespoons good olive oil

    5 rashers of Pancetta. (I used streaky bacon) 

    1/2 cup heavy cream

    2 extra-large eggs

    2 extra-large egg yolks

    3/4 cup freshly grated Italian Parmesan cheese, plus extra for serving

    5 scallions, white and green parts, thinly sliced diagonally

    1/4 cup minced fresh chives, plus extra for serving

    Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

    Zest and juice of 1 lemon 


    Bring a large pot of well salted water to the boil
    Add the pasta and cook for about 6 minutes
    Take out a cup of the water and set aside
    Add the snow peas, asparagus and the peas (I used frozen)
    Cook for another 2 minutes longer 
    Drain the pasta and vegetables together

    Meanwhile, heat the oil in a medium (10- to 11-inch) sauté pan over medium heat,
    Add the bacon and cook for 7 to 9 minutes, stirring occasionally, until browned.
    Transfer the bacon to a plate lined with paper towels and set aside

    While the bacon cooks, fill a large bowl with the hottest tap water and set aside to heat the bowl. Just before you drain the pasta, pour the water out of the bowl.
    Put the cream, eggs, egg yolks, freshly ground black pepper and some sea salt and 1/4 cup of the reserved pasta water into the bowl and whisk to combine.

    Immediately, add the hot pasta and vegetables and toss with tongs for a full minute or two, until the pasta absorbs the sauce.

    If necessary add enough reserved hot pasta water, to keep the sauce creamy 

    Add the 3/4 cup Parmesan, the scallions, chives, lemon zest and juice and toss well.

    Add the bacon and serve hot sprinkled with extra chives and Parmesan.


    Voila, dinner is served 




     


    Saturday, June 05, 2021

    We Love Pasta

    Well I love Pasta and I love to try it in so many ways. I was planning on roasting some prawns but "quelle domag...not in our freezer today, so I had a good look in the fridge and look what I found

    In the fridge was a piece of carrot, a piece of courgette, 1/3 green pepper, half a leek, 1 lonely mushroom and and some bacon...in the freezer some frozen corn, and some breadcrumbs
    Perfect
    You can use what ever you like but this was such a good and colourful selection
    Plus in the pantry I found some some spaghetti

    So put on a pot of well salted water to boil for the pasta
    Then prep your vegetable

    Grate the carrot and courgette
    Remove all the outside leaves of the leek, wash it and slice 
    Slice the mushroom and the green pepper and you are ready to go 
    Put a pan on the stove and bring up to medium heat
    Chop the bacon and sauté 
    When the water has come to the boil add the spaghetti and cook till just al dente around 6-8 minutes
    Meanwhile
    Remove the bacon and place in a bowl, add the mushroom

    It does look a little lonely but it was worth it
    Remove and place with the bacon  
    Then add the chopped leeks
    Saute them gently till soft 
    Add the rest of the ingredients including the bacon and mushroom
    Saute till soft
    Throw in a good slurp of wine and turn heat up so that it evaporates

    Meanwhile while this is happening
    In a another pan add some oil... about 2 tbs, 
    Heat till just about smoking and then add the breadcrumbs
    Toss well and cook till they are just nice and toasty
    When the pasta is cooked
    Using your tongs, add it to the vegetables and toss well
    Place on your plate
    Sprinkle the toasted breadcrumbs over the top and enjoy
    Lunch is served and very good it was too


    Monday, May 10, 2021

     We have a bucket full of onions. Well it was full but we have been using them

    Have to be used...French Onion Soup methinks 

    There a nice lamb bone from last nights roast and after stripping the meat off...(nothing better than cold meat sandwiches)

    I popped the bone into a large pot add some aromatics and

    Voila Lamb stock

    So I peeled...with a few tears...some onions 

    Sliced them and popped into a pot with some butter

    Nice slow cook about 30 minutes and they are soft, sweet and delicious 

    Don’t forget to stir them regularly 

    Don’t want any burnt bits

    Caramelised but not burnt


    Add a dash of white wine and leave to simmer for about 10 mins

    And Voila 

    Lunch is served 

    The traditional way to serve French Onion soup is with a cheese toasted crouton on top but I’m happy with a little chopped parsley 

    And a cold lamb sandwich on plastic white bread


    Perfect