Saturday, 25 October 2014

One pot, chicken stuffed with goats cheese and roast vegetables

A lovely, easy one dish meal, full of flavour and a good way of using up bits in the fridge the other evening.
Heat the oven to 200ºC. Cut a pocket into the side of each chicken breast and stuff with creamy goats cheese. Wrap the prosciutto ham around each breast and keep in the fridge until ready to cook. Put some new potatoes in a roasting tray and season and cover with olive oil. Cook these for 20 minutes until starting to brown. Add the chicken breasts after 20 minutes and cook for approximately 30 minutes until well and truly cooked through. Depending on which vegetables you are also using, also add to the dish in the last 30 minutes of cooking time. I added tender stem broccoli at the same time as the chicken. This ended up quite burnt and crisp, but I quite liked that. I added cherry tomatoes for the last 15 minutes of cooking time. Serve with all the lovely cooking juices.

Tuesday, 14 October 2014

Buttery mushroom and spinach pilaf

Olive magazine provided the inspiration for this very tasty lunch yesterday. I loved the soft boiled egg on top, which coats the rice with warm, golden egg yolk. 

Serves 2
1 onion, halved and sliced
25g butter
1 clove garlic, crushed
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp turmeric
Basmati rice, I teacup
Vegetable stock
250g chestnut mushrooms
100g spinach chopped
2 poached eggs to serve

Cook the onion in the butter with a good pinch of salt for about 20 minutes, until dark golden brown and caramelised. Add the mushrooms to the pan and cook until softened and browned and there's not much moisture left in the pan. Stir in the garlic and spices and cook for a minute then tip in the rice and stir well. Measure 2 cupfuls of stock using the same container you used to measure the rice. Cover with a tight fitting lid and cook on a low simmer for about 12-15 mins until the stock is absorbed and the rice tender. 
Stir in the spinach with a splash of stock and leave for a few minutes to wilt. Divide between 2 plates and top each with a poached egg. 

Friday, 10 October 2014

Jamie Oliver's Bloody Mary Beef

Forgive my long absence, I've haven't been trying out many new recipes, nothing worthy of a blog anyway. Last night I cooked a meal for my mum and my sister to celebrate their birthdays. This Jamie Oliver recipe appealed to me as it could be prepared hours in advance and cooked slowly in the oven . This usually means masses of flavour and tender meat. I did enjoy it, but not as much as I thought. The meat wasn't falling apart as suggested in the recipe, it was still a bit stringy. That may have been the quality of the meat though. I think that for beef meal with wonderful flavours, you can't beat a Beef Bourguignon. However, it could be that as I had smelt the meal cooking away all day, by the time I came to eat it my taste buds had been overloaded. Everyone else thought it was wonderful. The recipe is from Jamie's new book "Comfort food. I might try it again in a slow cooker and leave it for much longer. Serve with a great pile of creamy mash and some greens.

Serves 8

1 x 1kg piece of brisket
olive oil
head of celery
4 small red onions
half a bunch of fresh rosemary (15g)
2 fresh bay leaves

Bloody Mary mix
1 x 700g jar of passata
2 tbsp worcestershire sauce
few drops of Tabasco sauce
3 tbsp vodka
1 tbsp port

Preheat the oven to 130ºC. Place a snug-fitting casserole pan over a medium heat to get hot. Season the brisket all over with salt and pepper, then add to the hot pan with a splash of olive oil and cook for about 10 minutes, or until gnarly and browned all over. Meanwhile, trim and chop the celery into 5cm chunks, then peel and quarter the onions. Add the chopped veg to the pan, reduce the heat to low and cook gently for 5 to 10 minutes, or until slightly softened.

Combine all of the Bloody Mary ingredients in a large jug, then pour into the pan with 500ml cold water and a good pinch of salt and pepper. Make a bouquet garni by tying the rosemary and bay together with string, then add to the pan and bring everything to the boil. Take the pan off the heat and cover with a cartouche – this is basically a scrunched-up piece of greaseproof paper that you place directly on the surface of the food. Cover the pan with tin foil and cook in the oven for 5 to 6 hours, or until the beef is tender and falling apart.