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“headless” exhausted chicken.. fillet

15 May

Double that! In one way I am very happy to know that the chicken I am making is headless, but in another, I feel like one running around.. and not stopping, which isn’t a good picture if you HAVE actually seen what a headless chicken running around looks like.

Exhaustion has kicked in, similar to my ideas that I have for cooking chicken. Sometimes I just really think, I don’t know what to cook anymore with this birdie.

Also, I enjoy cooking my food, but not eating it? Is that normal? In the end I just want an apple, or a pear. Not that you would say that looking at my physique ;-p Luckily you can tell how much I love food, by literally reading each blog entry I have posted over the months since I started this “coop”.

So, tonight I think I will create a “headless chicken” style meal as it has to be quick and I am probably going to throw everything together.. and hey.. life is like a box of “eggs” .. you never know what you’re gonna get .. As the man says.. he is sometimes scared of what he’s going to get when he comes walking through our door..

1 pack of chicken breast fillet, halved /pack of chicken thigh fillets

1 tablespoon of  garlic

2 sweet potatoes, cut in quarters and boiled for 8- 10 minutes, still firm

2 x tablespoons of olive oil

handful of fresh sage, roughly chopped, extra for scattering

2 handfuls of cherry tomatoes, halved

1 x tin of artichokes

1 red pepper, cut in medium slices

juice of half a lemon

1 big onion, roughly chopped

2 handfuls of mushrooms, roughly chopped

1 ziplock bag

Preheat your oven to 180C. Add 1 tablespoon of olive oil to a heated pan and add your onion. Fry for about 5 minutes and add your chicken, season with salt and pepper. Squeeze over your lemon juice. All you’re going to do is seal your chicken.

Now, take a ziplock bag and place all the ingredients in it, besides the tomatoes. Drizzle with the remaining olive oil, add the garlic, chicken spice and the sage leaves. Close it up and shake it all about!!!

Now all you do is take it out of the ziplock bag and place on a baking tray.

Scatter your tomatoes around in the tray. Season with salt and pepper and scatter another few sage leaves.Cover with foil.

Place in the oven for 45 minutes or untill cooked.

Serve with some rice or cous cous, or a lovely warm ciabattata dipped in olive oil and balsamic vinegar

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Sweet Potato love

21 Jul

Sweet potato love

“Sweet potato is a tuberous crop and its plant is a creeper with heart shaped or lobed leaves.” Isn’t that a sign? Heart shaped leaves? Of course it is! This lovely little fellow might as well shoot little hearts out at you! It has so many great benefits that I cant include it here in my writing, otherwise you will be reading forever! A while back I went to the Gourmet Burger with the hubby – two for one, we can’t help ourselves ;-p To the point really, I decided to enjoy a slightly different burger and had a chorizo and sweet potato burger. Now my friends, of course by now you know, when it comes to eating, I don’t want the old boring, traditional thing. To me when something sounds nice, it should taste nice and my oh my, sweet potato and chorizo are a match made in heaven!!

How can you resist all that soft, sweet love! Just another example that “beauty is in the eye of beholder” or in this case, the taster ;-p Not that a sweet potato is particularly beautiful, suppose if you are into that rustic kind of thing, it might well be. ;-p Anyhow, I remember when I was little my mother would take a few sweet potatoes, wrap them in foil and place them in the oven. I never particularly wanted to eat them. I thought something that ugly and misshapen couldn’t possibly taste nice! However, when I saw my father eating it out of its skin after it was cooked to perfection, I wanted it! Since I can remember, the food he ate and enjoyed created this content expression on his face. Now how did that help anything? I’ll tell you, it made me eat my veggies! However, I never quite enjoyed it the way my dad did. When he ate veggies, it almost looked as if he was savouring a delicious, creamy chocolate! Maybe that was his special trick? Who knows, it worked!

Ever since, as the years went by, I started to love the sweet potato more and more! This is where I can start talking in my “bubba shrimp” voice from Forrest Gump – you can have sweet potato mash, sweet potato fries, sweet potato wedges, sweet potato pie, sweet potato fritters…. and I can go on and on. It is possible that something so ugly can turn into something so irresistible! Totally gobsmacked! After weeks of rain and dark, dreary miserable weather, I need my sweet potato! I am going to follow the route of my inspiration for this dish – The Gourmet Burger. However, I will make a warm chorizo and sweet potato salad, and let me tell you my friends; you will be coming back for more!! What is there to feel guilty about?

Now, I know my dad loves a sweet potato….so what would ultimately make his day besides, a sneaky, special delivery from Torino chocolates in town? He is a big fan of Spanish, Italian and French cured sausages and meat. If he could sit down to this, I am sure that when he closed his eyes he would start imagining himself in a Italian marketplace somewhere with Italians screaming at each other, children eating warm, freshly baked pastries and a few Italians singing while lazily strumming a guitar. Dad, this one is for you. Maybe,one day, soon, we will do this and all of us can turn our faces to the warm sun and enjoy a crisp glass of White Italian wine

Warm chorizo & sweet potato salad 

1 big, long chorizo sausage/ 4 small chorizo sausages cut in slices

3 sweet potatoes, cut in wedges, preboiled for 10 minutes

125g cherry tomatoes, halved

1 onion, finely sliced

2 courgettes, sliced in medium wedges

1 handful of french beans

olive oil for frying

ground cumin to sprinkle

Salt & pepper to taste

1 teaspoon of sugar

Balsamic glaze

Preheat your oven to 180 degrees celsius. Place your sweet potatoes on a baking tray and drizzle with olive oil. Sprinkle with cumin and season with salt and pepper. Put in the oven for 20 minutes. While these are cooking, drizzle a bit of olive oil in a heated frying pan and add your courgettes and green beans. Cook until tender, but still firm and add your chorizo slices.

They will release lovely juices. Cook until the juices are released. Flavour with salt to taste. Now, in a seperate small frying pan, add olive oil and fry your onions over a low heat. They must start caramelizing slightly, soft, but lightly browned.

Now add your cherry tomatoes. Fry until the tomatoes start realeasing a little bit of their juice and season with salt. Now add your teaspoon of sugar and mix well. Remove your sweet potato from the oven.

Squish them slightly with a fork. Place them in your plate. Plate the tomato and onion mixture on top of the sweet potato. Finally, top off with your vegetable chorizo mix.

Drizzle with a little bit of balsamic glaze and enjoy!

French muffin breakfast treat!

13 Feb

There is a liitle problem with today’s post – the reason? I cooked a marvelous, beautiful meal last night ( if I reaaaaalllly have to blow my own trumpet),but due to the guests arriving early, us having to keep our little home neat for property viewers ALL the time, I really didn’t have time to stop and take photos.

However, I will tell you about what I made – roasted rosemary potatoes, braised lamb shank, mixed roasted vegetables and a rocket salad with pomegranite, cucumber,cherry tomatoes, parma ham and balsamic glaze. Yum! Finished off with key lime pie! It was simply beautiful.

So this is where my post comes in for today – all the food and wine, I really was exhausted. I woke up with a rumbling tummy, screaming for egg. Yes, that does sound very funny. So, instead of french toast, I wanted muffins, something different, with a more “crunchy” taste.  I wanted to indulge in something without too much indulging ;-p  I was very happy with the outcome 🙂

French Muffin Breakfast treat

4 english muffins, halved

4 eggs

salt & black pepper

6 rashers of bacon

syrup/honey/ figs in syrup to serve

butter

Heat a non-stick frying pan and add some butter to the pan. Whisk your eggs together and season with salt & pepper. Now dip your muffins one by one in the egg. Squeeze it a little bit so it soaks up the egg. Place in the frying pan and let brown on both sides. As you put your last few muffins in the pan, place your bacon around them.

Remove the muffins when done, but keep on cooking the bacon until slightly crisp. Now, use the lefover egg you used for dipping, and make scrambled egg in the same pan. Do not cook too long, eggs only need a few minutes. Now drizzle your muffins with syrup/honey/ or cut pieces of fig and place on your muffin and top it off with the crispy bacon. This certainly is a wonderful sunday morning treat!! Especially if your eggs are called “happy egg”.  Enjoy!!

The lazy cook ….

7 Feb

Ok, as you all know, there were no posts last week. Let me explain.. I know it is almost unforgivable, but just give me a chance. Monday night I had to go and look at a few flats… we have to find a new home, with no screaming coming from kids, a garden space for my much awaited herb garden and space for my hubby’s computer factory! Yes, we have 5 computers in our house and I get a shiver down my spine each time he mentions his sister bringing a laptop for him from New York. Yes, it is the horrible truth! ;-p

So tuesday, I was a little bit unwell, so no cooking for me. If I am not cooking, you have to know that I am not feeling well. So , my hubby had soup that he bought from Sainsbury’s. Yes, the microwave meal. EEEEEEEEEK!! I feel like I have committed a terrible sin!! However, I made up for it on wednesday when a friend of mine from SA came for dinner. Unfortunately, due to him arriving at our doorstep exactly the same time that I got off the train, there were no pictures taken 😦  It was hard enough already trying to cook and talk and listen!! Multi-tasking is a possibility, but not always ;-p So I will grace you with this lazy recipe… but it does look quite impressive!! So enjoy  🙂

Crumbed chicken thighs with aubergine & mushrooms

1 pack of chicken thighs (deboned)

1 teaspoon of crushed garlic

Salt & Pepper

Juice of half a lemon

Olive oil

Fine bread crumbs ( the ones you buy in a little holder/sachet)

Dried thyme

1 aubergine, chopped in half circles

5 mushrooms chopped in quarters

cherry tomatoes on the vine

1 cup of bulgarian Yoghurt

Ok, get yourself a ovenproof dish, one that doubles up as a pretty serving dish. Preheat your oven to 180 degrees celcius. Drizzle your ovenproof dish with olive oil and grind black pepper and salt in your dish and add the garlic. Toss in your aubergine and mushrooms. Toss them around so that they are slightly coated in the olive oil. Drizzle over a few pinches of  thyme. Pour your breadcrumbs into a shallow dish. Mix in a bit of thyme, just for that slight flavour.

Now take your chicken and dip it into the yoghurt so that it is evenly coated. Now transfer to your dish with the breadcrumbs and thyme and coat on both sides with the breadcrumbs. As soon as each one is coated all over, transfer them to the oven dish and place on top of the mushrooms and aubergine. Top off with the cherry tomatoes.  Now grind black pepper and salt over the chicken and drizzle with olive oil and your lemon juice. Place in the oven for 45 minutes. Keep an eye on it every now and then to check it doesn’t burn – my oven might be different than yours. While the chicken is cooking, make a bowl of rice to go with your chicken dish. This is where the other lazy part comes in, I used microwave Tilda Rice. Yes, punish me!! I can’t lie, I have to admit it. I just didn’t feel like making a huge bowl of rice. I cant eat rice, so the hubby will have to finish it all!! That’s my excuse for making a small packet of rice      ;-p     Enjoy!!

crunchy broccoli and creamy chicken linguine

31 Jan

I confess…I was lazy, very lazy. It was one of those weekends when you have to do all the things that you don’t really want to do.. lets focus on the word “HAVE”. Clean the house, do the washing.. try and sleep late ;-p So after our paella experience, I felt like something meaty…. my husband’s home made hamburgers!! They are simply delicious! We had hamburgers with brie cheese and basil. I am sorry….. I didn’t take pictures because of two reasons: 1 – I was busy doing nothing, well, actually lying on the couch and reading and 2- I was too busy eating and enjoying the burger that I didn’t want to put it down to photograph it!! My sincere apologies!! Sunday cooking also nearly didn’t happen. We went for breakfast with my sister in law and her boyfriend. After a breakfast like that, you don’t even think about lunch. So after a few hours the tummy started to rumble again. This is what reminds me of my brother – however, I do it in a slightly “non-2 minute noodle” way.

So, back home, every sunday night, round about 7 in the evening, he would make a big bowl of 2 minute noodles, with a LOT of cheese and about a whole bottle of french salad dressing. It sounds horrible, but believe me, it is VERY tasty. So this dish I dedicate to my brother,I think this might be slightly healthier than his 2 minute noodle dish ;-p  Also, this is the perfect sunday night “pig out”, because technically it is still weekend, so you’re still allowed to be a bit naughty with your food! ;-p

1 head of broccoli

1 onion chopped

5 white button mushrooms chopped

3 pieces of chicken thigh fillets

4 slices of bacon

Chilli Oil

juice of 1 lemon

2 teaspoons crushed garlic

Salt & black pepper

1  1/2 teaspoons mixed herbs

250ml Cream / soya cream

Parmesan cheese for grating



Drizzle your hot pan wit oil, add the garlic and start frying the onion until glassy. Add the mushrooms and bacon. When the bacon is almost done, add the mixed herbs. Meanwhile, start boiling the water for the pasta. Remember to season the pasta water with salt. Add the linguine to the water and toss in the broccoli for 5 minutes in the boiling water. Remove the broccoli. Now add the chicken to the mushroom, onion and bacon mixture. season with salt. When chicken is almost cooked through, pour over the lemon juice. Mix through and add the cream/ soya cream.Tip the chicken, bacon etc into the saucepan with the cooked and drained pasta and toss it gently. Transfer to a serving dish.Toss the brocolli over the pasta. Grate fresh parmesan over your pasta and enjoy!!! Njam njam!! This is comfort food, and you don’t feel too bad, because you’re eating broccoli! ;-p