Month: September 2014

Week 51: Chicken Tikka (sort of)

So this week is a bit of double celebration – I’ve been making a new recipe pretty much every week for the last year (I started on Facebook then moved here later), and this week I had my 4000th viewer… They were probably disappointed that their search for “Nigella Breast” got my schnitzelly ravings.

This cheeky recipe caught me unawares, I was so busy being smug that I already had all the ingredients in the cupboard I didn’t notice that it needs to marinate overnight. So I started it off and then my lover whipped up an omelette.

This recipe comes from the Cupboard Love book, but is inspired by Vivek Singh’s Tikka recipe in ‘The Cinnamon Club Cookbook’ (which I’ve got my eye out for), and is a recipe I’ve had my eye on for most of the last year. What always worried me was having to make the masala, but I decided this time I would do without it.

To make Tikka for two you will need 2 boneless chicken breasts (book says skin on, but I could only get them skin off), half tsp salt, half tsp black pepper, 2 tbs lemon juice, 2cm fresh ginger (finely chopped), 2 cloves garlic (finely chopped), half tsp cumin seeds, half tsp coriander seeds, 1 tsp smoked paprika, 1 tbs yoghurt and 2 tbs olive oil.

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Firstly, with your trusty pestle and mortar grind up the cumin and coriander seeds, not too finely but it will smell amazing! Then chop up the garlic and ginger and add to the crushed seeds, then add the paprika.

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Pierce the chicken a few times and rub it all over with the salt and pepper. Toss into a bowl with the lemon juice, then add the crushed seeds, herbs, garlic and ginger, and then the olive oil and yoghurt and mix together with the chicken.  Cover the bowl and chill for at least 2 hours, but preferably over night.

When you’re ready to cook it crank your oven up as high as it will go, and heat a griddle to a medium high heat.  Line a roasting tin with parchment. Fry the chicken skin side down for 3 minutes, then the other side for 2 minutes (season the skin side with some extra salt). Any of the marinade left on the chicken falls off into the pan.

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Transfer the chicken to the tray and bake for 10-15 minutes until cooked through.  Rest for 5 minutes then slice and serve with rice and chutney.

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It was delicious. I’m not just saying that. I loved the dry-ness of it too, I’m not the biggest fan of masala sauce so this was ideal. It went really well with the brown rice and some mango chutney I fould in the cupboard.

Next week a veritable feast for week 52. Hurrah!

 

Cupboard Love by Tom Norrington-Davies (Hodder & Stoughton 2005 ISBN 0 340 83525 5)

cupboard love

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Week 50: Potato and Pear Galette with Roquefort

Or as they say in France: Galette aux pommes de terre et poires avec Roquefort. Oo la la.

So right up until the moment I came to serve this I thought the worst thing to happen was that I completely forgot to buy any form of salad. How wrong could I be? This months Cheese, Please! is recipes for cheese and fruit; and after a fruitless search through the books for a hearty warming Stilton-y Pear thing I found this recipe in the Rachel Khoo book.

I didn’t read too closely at the start so didn’t notice that the Galettes are meant to be starters. To make these for four you will need 4 waxy potatoes (like Charlottes or Maris Peer), a firm pear, and 100g of Roquefort.

I’ve not been able to find normal potato sized waxy potatoes round here, they all seem to be salad sized, so for this you might need 8 -10 smaller ones, which will be a pain to peel. They were definitely a pain to peel.

Pre-heat the oven to 180c, peel the potatoes and cut into 2mm thick slices and peel the pear and cut it into small cubes. Lay the slices out onto a paper-lined tray to make rectangles with the layers overlapping… If that makes sense? Sprinkle the pear cubes over the rectangles and then crumble the Roquefort over the top.  Bake for 20 minutes.

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I’m not entirely sure where I went wrong. I am pretty bad at getting grease proof paper the right way up (like every single time) and I might have also turned the oven down a bit too far (stupid fan oven, who’s bright idea was that?), but the end result was that I served them stuck to the paper… Just like in all the best houses in France.

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So to sum up; ignore the paper, imagine some salad, and I’m not sure what the foam is. Et Voila!

Bear in mind when I started making this my lover was very philosophical and said ‘oh well rubbish crisps are the worst that could happen’ which changed to ‘hurry up I could eat a scabby horse’ when he saw it… I’m not entirely sure I’d make it again – it’d probably be much nicer if I’d got it a bit crispier. The flavours were good though.

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I thought this would be much more hearty and autumnal, but it was tasty, and it’s quite easy to make on a work night – if you remember to buy salad!

Septembers Cheese, Please!  http://thegardendeli.wordpress.com/2014/09/03/cheese-please-a-challenge-for-september/  http://fromagehomage.co.uk/2014/09/03/cheese-please-a-challenge-for-september/

<div align=”center”><a href=”http://fromagehomage.wordpress.com/&#8221; title=”Fromage Homage”><img src=”http://i1284.photobucket.com/albums/a562/fromagehomage/Cheesey2_zps85113bab.jpg&#8221; alt=”Fromage Homage” style=”border:none;” /></a></div>

 

The Little Paris Kitchen by Rachel Khoo (Penguin Books 2012 ISBN: 978-0-718-15811-8)

Little Paris Kitchen

Week 49: Picci Pacci

Gosh well there’s a flash name for ‘Chilli, Basil and Almond Sauce’ but if you can’t wave a bit of italian around the kitchen every now and again what can you do?  This recipe is from my beloved Cupboard Love book, and Tom Norrington-Davies thinks Picci Pacci might mean something like ‘this and that’.

The recipe does indeed involve putting a bit of everything in, I saw that it had almonds in and was sold.  I was hoping that it would be a quick after work pasta fest like the fishy pasta (https://newrecipenight.wordpress.com/2013/11/25/week-9-linguine-with-sardines-anchovies-and-parsley/) or the tomato-ey pasta (https://newrecipenight.wordpress.com/2014/06/06/week-35-spaghetti-and-tinned-plum-tomatoes/) but it wasn’t as such.  The actual cooking is instant, but it needs time to steep for a couple of hours.

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For two people you will need: 200g spaghetti/linguine, 50g blanched almonds, 400g tin peeled tomatoes, extra virgin olive oil, 2 cloves of garlic, 2 tablespoons of chopped basil (or parsley, I used parsley), 1 teaspoon red wine vinegar or balsamic vinegar (I used balsamic) half teaspoon salt, pinch of sugar, half a teaspoon dried crushed chilli flakes.

To start drain the tinned tomatoes into a sieve or strainer and squeeze out all the juice, just like on the tomato-ey pasta. Put the pulp into a bowl with 3 tablespoons olive oil, the finely chopped garlic, the basil/parsley, vinegar, salt, sugar, and chilli flakes; stir it all together and leave to steep for an hour or two.

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Heat the oven to a medium heat and toast the almonds for 10 minutes. Allow to cool and then chop them up (50 grams looks a lot for two people, but I found I ate loads of them before they got anywhere near the table.

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Cook the pasta as recommended on the packet (use good quality pasta) then drain it, return it to the pan and stir the sauce in straight away. Plate up and sprinkle the almonds over them.

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While this has a total cooking time of about 20-25 minutes the steeping makes it a bit of an effort for a work night. I’m not sure how the sauce would cope steeping a whole day outside the fridge, and away in the fridge would make it too cold to stir into the pasta with being heated. But it is so delicious I would definitely make it on the weekend, and should you. YUM!

 

Cupboard Love by Tom Norrington-Davies (Hodder & Stoughton 2005 ISBN 0 340 83525 5)

cupboard love

Week 48: Broccoli Pasta chopped Garden Salad

I do declare that this was the last salad of the summer – I’d planned on cooking something a bit more hearty as the weekend felt a bit back-endish (which is a Nottinghamshire term for autumnal, nothing rude haha) but my lover came in clutching the Jamie Oliver book and insisted.

It’s as if he wanted me to spend hours cleaning the kitchen…

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Apparently he’d had his eye on this recipe for a while, understandably so – it’s got a very pretty picture 🙂 this recipe is for four, but with a chunk of garlic bread or something it’d do 6 I reckon (with dessert).  To make this you will need 320g dried orecchiette (or similar small pasta) a bunch of fresh basil, a 50g tin of anchovy fillets in oil, a lemon, 2 cloves of garlic, a dried red chilli, 30g Parmesan, a large head of broccoli and 50g pine nuts. For the salad you will need  2 carrots, 1 avocado, 3 ripe tomatoes, olive oil, balsamic vinegar  and rocket (Jamie asks for 70g, but I used the whole pack – what else was I going to do with it?)

Now, usually I would type out the method to the letter, but this recipe just doesn’t work well if you try and do it as it is in the book.  Firstly, cut the florets off your broccoli and set them aside for later, then with a box grater grate the stalk and the carrots onto a board (my board got stuck behind the radiator so I used a big serving dish) squeeze and kneed the avocado with your fingers, then squish it out of the skin into the salad (throw away the stone and scrape the skin for any remaining flesh and throw that away too) roughly chop the tomatoes, drizzle with olive oil and balsamic, season with salt and pepper and then toss it all together with the rocket. This is the salad done so pop it on the table out the way.

Next you need to get the liquidiser out, and then turn the kettle on.  Measure out a tablespoon of the oil from the anchovies and tip it in the liquidiser – then drain the rest of the oil and put the anchovies in the liquidiser with the basil and the juice and zest of the lemon. Squash the garlic (Jamie says use a garlic crusher but I don’t have one) and put it in the liquidiser with a splash of boiling water. Then finely grate the Parmesan and add that, and crumble in a dried chilli. I couldn’t find a dried chilli in the whole of Hammersmith, so I kept sprinkling chilli flakes in until it looked like a chilli-worth – it wasn’t the best plan but it was chilli-ish.

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Turn the liquidiser on and keep on going until it’s smooth. While it’s whizzing away pour boiling water into a pasta pan and salt it; then add the pasta and cook as recommended on the packet.

If you’re serving this up at a glamorous party, tip the pesto (which is what you just made by the magic of the liquidiser) into a serving bowl.  Add the broccoli florets to the pasta when it has about 5 minutes to go. Heat up a little frying pan and toast the pine nuts until they’re golden.

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When the pasta and broccoli are cooked, take a cup full of the water from the pan then drain the rest, then tip the pasta into the pesto (if you’re not using a serving dish return the pasta into the pan and tip the pesto in over the top of it) and coat the pasta. Add a bit of the pan water if the pesto needs loosening at all. Sprinkle the pine nuts over the pasta and grate a bit of extra Parmesan over it too. Then serve.

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Doing it in this order takes slightly longer than 15 minutes, but without the panic and total kitchen destruction.

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It was tasty.  It was like a punchier version of the Pasta alla Genovese I made back on week 30 (https://newrecipenight.wordpress.com/2014/05/02/week-30-pasta-alla-genovese/ ) I’d definitely make it again, but not for just the two of us – it’s an impossible recipe to cut in half, so we ended up having it two nights in a row (I put half the pesto and salad into the fridge and did fresh pasta and pine nuts on the second night). It was a bit too much two nights in a row, but it’s definitely one for sharing with friends in the garden on a summer evening with a beer.

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Jamie’s 15 Minute Meals by Jamie Oliver (Penguin 2012 ISBN: 978-0-718-15780-7)

jamie 15min