Sunday, 24 July 2016

Mustard and lemon Chicken with roasted potatoes

This is a recipe from a book called 'Falling cloudberries', by Tessa Kiros. I think I've talked about it before, it's gorgeous book to look at even if you don't cook any of the recipes. I have to admit I didn't cook this meal, my husband Steve did, but he said it was very easy to make. We had it on a Sunday with friends when we didn't want a full Sunday roast, but still wanted something substantial.  This was a perfect compromise. 

Serves 4
    4 or 5 large potatoes, peeled
    2 heaped Tbsp. grainy mustard
    Juice of 2 lemons (save the squeezed lemon halves)
    1 Tbsp. dried oregano or thyme, crumbled
    4 Tbsp. olive oil
    1 3lb whole chicken (or chicken breasts, bone-in)
    1-2 red onions, peeled & cut into wedges
    2 bay leaves 
    garlic cloves, with skin left on
    1/2 cup white wine


Preheat oven to 180C. Halve the potatoes lengthwise, then cut them into 3-4 pieces so they look 
like giant french fries.

Mix together the mustard, lemon juice, oregano and olive oil to make a marinade. Put the chicken, 
potatoes, onion wedges, bay leaves and 4 garlic cloves in a large oven dish. Season the potatoes and 
chicken (outside and in the cavity) with salt & pepper. Put 2 of the squeezed lemon halves and remaining garlic in chicken cavity. Splash the marinade over the chicken and potatoes, tossing them around with your hands so they are well coated. Gently pour a cup of water into the dish (trying not to wash off the marinade). Roast for about 1 hour.

After an hour, the top of the chicken should be getting brown. Pour the wine over the top, turn the potatoes and onions and roast for another hour, turning the chicken when it is well browned on top. Check that the potatoes are still in a little liquid. If they look dry, add more hot water.

The chicken should be golden brown, juicy and cooked through. If it seems done but you think the potatoes might need longer, remove the chicken to a warmed platter. The potatoes, however, should not be crispy but golden and juicy, and there should be a little sauce in the dish to serve with the chicken. If it is dry, add some hot water to the dish and scrape bits from the bottom and sides to make more sauce. Serve hot or at room temperature. .

Tuesday, 5 July 2016

Asparagus and Prawn Risotto

Don't be afraid to try to cook a risotto, they are not difficult. As long as your'e on hand to keep ladling in the stock and make sure the rice is not sticking. I used a white onion instead of shallots and used just one pack of asparagus. The recipe is from the BBC food Site. I enjoyed this so much I'm making it again tonight for my sister. 

Serves 4 
2 small shallots, peeled and finely chopped
3 tbsp of unsalted butter
350g risotto rice
1 glass dry white wine
up to 2 litres of vegetable or fish stock, kept hot
20 asapargus, steamed until just tender, spears removed
200g/7oz cooked peeled prawns
sea salt and freshly ground pepper
a few whole, hot, steamed asapargus and a handful of cooked, warm prawns, to garnish

Fry the shallots and the butter together until the shallots are cooked and soft but not browned. Add all the rice in one go and stir it around with the other ingredients to toast the grains thoroughly without browning.

After about 5 minutes of toasting, add the wine, and stir it in for about 2 minutes. hen add the first 3 ladles of hot stock and stir it through.

Continue to add the stock and stir it in each time the spoon opens up a clear wake behind it during the cooking process.

After about 15 minutes, which is five minutes from the end of the cooking time, add in the asparagus spears and the prawns and continue to cook the risotto, taking care not to destroy the asparagus spears or the prawns. Taste and season with salt and pepper to taste.

When the risotto is cooked (the rice grains are firm to the bite but cooked, and the texture is creamy), remove from the heat and stir in the rest of the butter. Cover and rest for 4 minutes, stir again and transfer to a warmed serving dish to serve at once, garnished with the extra asparagus and prawns.

Sunday, 3 July 2016

Slow cooker Asian pulled pork with ginger, five spice and coleslaw

You just can't go wrong with this meal (unless you switch the slow cooker off 3 hours early to whip cream). This was my second time of making it and it was perfectly cooked. Wonderfully tender meat which did pull apart, with gorgeous juices to pour over it, served in a brioche bun with sweet potato fries and coleslaw. And hopefully there's plenty left over for sandwiches for the next few days. 
I made a simpler version of coleslaw with cabbage, carrots, red onion and mayonnaise. 
The recipe is from 'How to be a better cook',  by Lorraine Pascale. 

Serves 10-12
5 tbsp soy sauce
4 tbsp mild or hot chilli powder
3 tbsp five-spice powder
2 tbsp light muscovado sugar
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
4cm piece of fresh ginger, peeled and finely chopped
3kg boneless pork shoulder, rind removed

3 tbsp sesame oil
2 tbsp soy sauce
½ red cabbage, very finely sliced
1 red onion, finely chopped
1 large carrot, cut into thin matchsticks
2 red chillies, deseeded for less heat if preferred, finely chopped (optional)
Large handful of fresh coriander leaves (optional)
Freshly ground black pepper
10-12 buns, split open and toasted

Place the soy sauce, chilli powder, five-spice, sugar, garlic and ginger in a large slow cooker and mix together well to give a sloppy paste.
Sit the pork shoulder in and, getting your hands in, massage the spice mixture well all over the pork.
Put the lid on the slow cooker and cook on low for 8–10 hours or until the meat is so tender you can shred it with a fork.
Close to serving time, make the slaw. Mix the sesame oil and soy sauce together in a large bowl. Toss the cabbage, onion, carrot, chilli (optional) and coriander, if using, through until well mixed. Season to taste with pepper.

Once the pork is ready, shred it with a fork and serve. It is delicious piled into toasted sesame buns with the spicy slaw.
If you would like to serve it with a sauce, then bubble the cooking juices in a large wide pan on a high heat for 10–15 minutes until reduced and thickened slightly. Season to taste with pepper.