I don’t get to cook that much these days. When I get home from work I spend time with Little O and then bath and get him to bed. It makes sense for Mr O to cook while I am doing bed time so we don’t end up eating really late. Every now and then though, I sneak in a recipe and this one is a new favourite. It’s perfect for cold winter nights, doesn’t take very long to make at all and you can feel good about eating it as it’s full of veg. Read more…
I really love a good quiche (plus they make good baby led weaning food) but making crusts is tedious, especially when you are trying to wrangle a little person. When I spotted this idea on the Tesco website of using tortillas to make a crust I was skeptical. I figured the tortillas would go soggy and the filling would go everywhere. I was pleasantly surprised that they actually went lovely and crispy. I have already made it twice and Mr O and Little O are big fans.
One of my favourite British traditions is that of the Sunday roast. Not only is it an excellent excuse to have a big, rustic meal; it’s also a great reason to have friends and family around to enjoy it with you. Last Sunday Mr O requested roast lamb, which is something I have never cooked before. I’m not shy of a challenge though so I invited some friends, turned to Jamie Oliver and just went for it. Please excuse the sparse picture but this was all I managed to get before the meal was demolished! Read more…
I was lucky enough to get a bunch of cookery books for Christmas. Clearly people know me well. So I have been cooking up a storm in the Christmas/New Year break. This recipe comes from the latest book in my Jamie Oliver collection, Jamie’s Comfort Food, which was a gift from my in-laws. Mr O and I had this for our New Year’s Eve dinner and it was delicious and a lot less fiddly than you think.
Chicken kiev with broccoli mash
Adapted from Jamie’s Comfort Food
100g pancetta lardons
4 skinless chicken breasts
3 tablespoons of plain flour
2 large eggs
150g fresh, white breadcrumbs
2 large handfuls of baby spinach
4 cloves of garlic
1/2 bunch of fresh, flat leaf parsley
4 knobs of butter (at room temperature)
A pinch of cayenne pepper
1 head of broccoli
1 knob of butter
Fry the pancetta in a pan over a medium heat with a splash of olive oil until crispy. Remove from the pan and set aside. Preheat your oven to 180 C.
For the butter, peel and crush the garlic then finely chop with the parsley. Mix into the butter with the cayenne pepper. Divide into four log shapes and place in the fridge to firm up.
Beat the eggs and pour onto a small plate. Also set up separate plates with the flour (mixed with a little salt and pepper) and breadcrumbs.
Take each chicken breast and pull back the loose fillet on the back. Put your knife in in the opposite direction and slice to create a long pocket. Open up the pocket with your fingers and push one of the logs of butter into the pocket. The push in a quarter of the bacon. Fold back and seal the chicken to completely enclose the filling. If you are worried about it coming out you can secure it with a couple of toothpicks.
Take each chicken breast and lightly coat with the flour mixture. Then dip in the egg, shaking off any excess and finally dip in the breadcrumbs, patting them on until you have a thin even coating.
Shallow fry the chicken breasts in 2cm of vegetable oil for a couple of minutes on each side until they are golden.
While this is on the go, peel your potatoes and chop them into chunks. Also chop the top leafy bit of the head of broccoli into chunks. Put the potatoes on to boil in salted water for fifteen minutes. When the potatoes have eight minutes to go, add the broccoli.
Put the chicken breasts on a baking tray and bake in the preheated oven for 10 minutes.
When the potatoes and broccoli are done, drain and then leave to steam dry. Mash with a knob of butter and a little salt and pepper. Divide the mash into four and put onto plates. Add a chicken kiev to each plate. Lightly dress the spinach leaves with a little olive oil and lemon juice and then sprinkle onto the plate to garnish.
Who doesn’t love a jacket potato? I recently discovered this unusual but rather delicious filling. Think you could probably try a number of different veggies in place of the broccoli. I am definitely going to get on the sweetcorn next.
Mega stuffed jacket potatoes
2 large baking potatoes
1 tsp olive oil
½ tablespoon flour
Pinch of salt
Pinch of nutmeg
½ Cup milk plus a couple more tablespoons
½ cup grated cheese
3 rashers streaky bacon
75g broccoli florets (This recipe is going to give you lovely crunchy broccoli. If you prefer your broccoli soft, nuke it in the microwave for a couple of minutes first).
Heat oven to 200 degrees. Prick the potatoes all over and place them in a baking dish. Bake for 1 hour.
When the potatoes have been in for about 40 minutes, start making your filling. Grill the bacon until crispy and chop into small bits. While that’s on the go, heat up the olive oil over a medium heat in a small sauce pan. Then stir in the flour, nutmeg and salt to make a paste. Slowly add the half a cup of milk a little at the time to combine without lumps. Once all the milk is combined, continue to heat for 5 more minutes, stirring continuously so the sauce thickens. Add in the cheese and stir over the heat until smooth.
When the potatoes are done, take them out of the oven (leave the oven on) and cut each one in half lengthwise while holding them with an oven glove (unless you’re big on third degree burns). Scoop out the inside of the potato, leaving a shell about ½ cm thick.
Mash the scooped out potato with a couple of tablespoons of milk and a pinch of salt. It should be runnier than conventional mash. Mix this together with the broccoli and bacon and scoop back into the potato shells. Top with the cheese sauce and pop back in the oven for ten minutes.