Italian Chicken Casserole

Enjoy the taste of Italy with this tempting chicken dish ….. it’s brimming with Mediterranean flavour!

Serves: 4;   Cals per portion: 659;   Prep time: 15 mins;   Cook time: 1 hr 20 mins

Ingredients:

  • 1oz (25g) butter or margarine
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 4 x 8oz (225g) part-boned chicken breasts, trimmed, washed and dried
  • 1 medium onion, peeled and chopped
  • 1 celery stick, trimmed and chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
  • 2oz (50g) pancetta ham or unsmoked rindless streaky bacon, trimmed and chopped
  • 8oz (225g) button mushrooms, wiped and sliced
  • 14oz (397g) can chopped tomatoes
  • 2 tbsp tomato puree
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • salt and black pepper
  • 7 fl oz (200ml) dry white wine
  • 2oz (50g) green olives stuffed with pimientos
  • 2oz (50g) pitted black olives

Step One – In a large frying pan, melt fat with oil. Add the chicken breasts and fry for 7-8 mins, or until browned all over. Using a slotted spoon, remove chicken and drain on absorbent kitchen paper. Place in an ovenproof casserole dish and set aside.

Step Two
– Preheat oven to Gas 5, 375oF, 190oC. Using the same frying pan, fry the onion, celery, garlic, pancetta ham or bacon, and mushrooms for 3-4 mins, or until just softened. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the mixture to the casserole dish.

Step Three
– Place the chopped tomatoes, tomato puree, dried oregano, salt and black pepper in a large saucepan. Pour the dry white wine into the saucepan and bring to the boil. Add the tomato and wine sauce to the chicken mixture in the casserole dish.

Step Four
– Mix well, then cover dish and cook in oven for 50 mins, or until the chicken is tender. Remove casserole from the oven and stir in the olives. Return to the oven and cook, uncovered, for a further 10 mins. Serve with warm ciabatta bread and a dry white wine.

Find a selection of yummy Italian goodies here …

Advertisements

Chicken Fajitas

Serves: 4;   Cals per portion: 300;   Prep time: 20 mins;   Cook time: 20 mins

Ingredients:

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 lb (900g) boneless chicken breast, skinned and finely sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
  • 1 onion, peeled and sliced
  • 2 tsp hot chilli powder
  • 1 tsp onion salt
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 2 tsp lemon juice
  • salt and ground black pepper
  • 1 yellow pepper, deseeded and sliced
  • 1 red pepper, deseeded and sliced

Step One – Heat the oil in a large pan. Add chicken slices, garlic, onion slices, chilli powder, onion salt, ground cumin, dried oregano and lemon juice. Season well. Cook, stirring frequently for 10 mins.

Step Two – Add the peppers to the pan and continue to cook for 5 mins. Serve with wheat tortillas, mixed salad leaves, salsa and soured cream sprinkled with parsley.
Other Mexican Food recipes can be found in

Chilli Con Carne

Serves: 4;   Cals per portion: 392;   Prep time: 10 mins;   Cook time: 55 mins

Ingredients:

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion, peeled and chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
  • 1 ½ lb (675g) lean minced beef
  • 2 tsp hot chilli powder
  • 2 tbsp flour
  • 2 tbsp tomato puree
  • ¾ pt (450ml) beef stock
  • 397g can chopped tomatoes
  • 430g can red kidney beans, drained
  • 1 green chilli, chopped
  • salt and ground black pepper
  • soured cream and freshly chopped parsley to garnish.

Step One – Heat the oil in a large saucepan and sauté the onion and garlic for 3 mins. Stir in the minced beef and chilli powder and continue to cook, stirring frequently, for 5 mins, or until sealed.

Step Two – Stir in the flour and tomato puree, cook for a further 1 min, then add the stock, tomatoes, beans and chilli. Season well. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 40 mins. Transfer to a serving dish and garnish with soured cream sprinkled with chopped parsley.

Other Mexican Food recipes can be found in

Lamb Chops and Ratatouille

Serves:  4;   Cals per portion:  405

Ingredients: 

  • 1 onion, sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 4 tbsp (60ml) olive oil
  • 1 red and 1 yellow pepper, deseeded and sliced
  • 1 aubergine, halved and sliced
  • 8oz (225g) courgettes
  • ½ pt (300ml) passata
  • 1 bunch fresh basil
  • 8 lamb chops

Step One – Saute onion and garlic in oil in a large pan for a few mins, then add peppers, aubergine, courgettes, passata and a few sprigs of fresh basil.  Season and simmer for about 20 mins, adding a little water or wine if needed.

Step Two – Grill, fry or griddle lamb chops for about 10 mins each side until tender.

Step Three – Serve the chops on a bed of ratatouille and garnish with the rest of the basil.

Whole Roasted Cauliflower with tahini and tomato salsa

Recipe courtesy of Psychologies Magazine (Spring 2018) and recipe taken from a booking called Feasting.

If you don’t have time to slow roast the cauliflower, parboil it until soft enough to pierce with a fork.

Serves:  4-6

Ingredients:-

1 large cauliflower head
1 tbsp saffron threads
1 tbsp sumac
1 tsp ground turmeric
1tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground coriander
1/2 tsp ground chilli
90ml olive oil, plus extra if needed
1 tsp salt
540g Tahini dip, to serve
80g slivered pistachios, to garnish
2 tbsp pomegranate seeds, to garnish
2 tbsp chilli hair, to garnish

For the Tomato Salsa:-

1/4 red onion, finely diced
5 tomatoes, deseeded and finely diced
2 tbsp chopped coriander leaves
2 tsp olive oil
2 tsp lemon juice

Step One: Preheat the oven to 180oC / 350oF / Gas Mark 4.  Put the cauliflower head on a baking tray lined with baking paper.  Mix the saffron threads with 500ml of boiling water, then set aside to steep for 15-20 minutes.

Step Two: In a bowl, combine the saffron liquid with the sumac, ground spices, oil and salt.  Pour the mix over the cauliflower, making sure it is evenly coated.  Cover the tray with foil and roast in the oven for 2 hours, basting every 30 minutes with the saffron liquid.  Add more oil if needed.

Step Three: Remove the foil and roast for a further 10 minutes to brown the cauliflower.  While it is browning, make the tomato salsa.  Combine all the ingredients in a bowl and mix.  Season to taste with salt.

Step Four: To serve, spread the Tahini dip on a platter and place the cauliflower on top.  Cut out a generous wedge of cauliflower and pile the salsa inside and around the edges.  Garnish with the slivered pistachios, pomegranate seeds and chilli hair (find in speciality food stores.

 

 

Chicken Drumstick Bake

Recipe courtesy of Tesco Real Food.

Nutrition stats:
Cals:  2173kj/517 kcal; Fat:  17.6g; Saturates: 4.2g; Sugars: 6.4g;  Salt: 0.7g; Carbohydrates: 21.1g; Protein: 66.4g;  Fibre: 4.3g

Ingredients:
1kg (2lb) chicken drumsticks;
3 small red onions cut into quarters;
2 peppers, seeded and chopped into chunks;
400g (13oz) small baby potatoes, halved;
2 tbsp olive oil;
2 tsp mixed herbs;
250g (8oz) cherry tomatoes

Step One: Preheat the oven to gas 6, 200oC, fan 180oC.

Step Two: In a large bowl, toss the chicken, onions, peppers and potatoes with the oil and mixed herbs.  Spread out on a large baking tray and roast in the oven for 30 minutes.

Step Three:  After 30 minutes, add the tomatoes to the tray and cook for another 15 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through with no pink meat showing.

Step Four:  Divide between plates and drizzle over the tray juices to serve.

Time on your Hands tip: 
For a healthier version, remove the skin from the chicken drumsticks before cooking and replace the oil with sprays of fry light and a little water to the bottom of the baking tray to keep the chicken moist.

Thai-steamed Snapper

Brilliant for a dinner party, you can also use this versatile marinade for fish fillets.  This fish is ideal served with sticky Thai-style rice and a crisp green salad.

Thai Red SnapperIngredients:

11 whole red snapper or other whole sustainable white fish (about 2 kg), descaled, gutted and cleaned
4 limes (1 sliced)
1 bunch of fresh coriander
1 bunch of spring onions, topped and sliced (reserve tops for stuffing fish)
1 sweet potato, diced into thumbnail-sized pieces
2.5cm  / 1 in piece of ginger, sliced
5 garlic cloves, peeled
3 lemongrass stalks, outer skin removed and roughly chopped
2 red chillies, deseeded (keep the seeds of half a chilli only)
3 tbsp toasted sesame oil
4 tbsp fish sauce
3 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp brown sugar or palm sugar

Serves:  4

Step One:  Preheat the oven to 200oC (400oF, gas mark 6).  Cut a piece of wide baking parchment twice the length of your fish.  Fold the parchment in half and then open it, placing one half on a baking tray.  Put the fish on the diagonal on the piece of parchment on the baking tray.

Step Two:  Make slashes in the fish on the diagonal through the skin down to the bone on both sides.  Stuff the cavity with a few slices of lime, half the coriander and the tops of the spring onions.  Scatter sweet potato cubes and spring onion chunks around the fish.

Step Three:  In a food processor, combine the rest of the coriander, ginger, garlic, lemongrass and chilli and blitz into a paste.  Add the sesame oil, fish sauce, soy sauce, sugar and the juice of the remaining 3 limes and blitz again.

Step Four:  Rub this marinade all over the fish and fold the other half of parchment over the fish, wrapping the edges over to close tightly.

Step Five:  Cook in the preheated oven for 25-30 minutes.  To test if the fish is cooked, remove from the oven and take a peek inside a corner of the parcel, but be careful because the steam will escape.  If the eye of the fish has turned white, this means your fish is cooked.

Step Six:  Open the parcel and serve large chunks of fish on sticky Thai rice topped with a large spoonful of the cooking juices – that is where most of the umami is.

Recipe courtesy of Psychologies Magazine (December 2015) and taken from At Home with Umami by Laura Santtini.

Restaurateur and inventor of Taste #5 Umami paste Laura Santtini, is credited with making the ‘chef’s best-kept secret’ accessible to home cooks at all levels.  Umami is the savoury fifth basic taste; literally translating from the Japanese to mean ‘savoury deliciousness’, it is universal and can be used in food from every country and culture to make it extra tasty.

In Santtini’s words, umami is, ‘the ultimate expression of flavour; the extra mouthful-ness that makes us say “mmmmm”, the taste that keeps on giving long after its fellow basic tastes – sweet, salty, sour and bitter – are spent.’

In her book, At Home with Umami, Santtini talks about how she has always been fascinated by flavours and the feelings they evoke.  Chapters include ‘Fresh & Uplifting’, ‘Heady & Daring’ and ‘Mellow & Comforting’, so you can check into how you’re feeling and cook full-flavoured food to match your mood.

Meringue Yule log

The log is made from a spongy Pavlova-like meringue, rather than the usual sponge.  This allows you to make the log the day before, if desired.  Use leaf-shape or star cutters for the decoration.  You can also add soft fruit like raspberries (thawed, if frozen) or chopped marrons glacés to the filling.

White chocolate Yule logIngredients:

4 large free-range egg whites
120g (4oz) caster sugar
2 tsp cornflour
1 tsp white vinegar
½ tsp vanilla extract
600ml (20 fl oz) double cream
2 tbsp icing sugar
4 tbsp lemon curd
200g (6 ½ oz) white chocolate, chopped

Serves:  8     Prep time:  30 mins, plus time to cool and decorate     Cook time:  30 mins
Cals per serving:  626     Fat:  48.5g

Step One:  Heat the oven to 150oC (gas mark 2).  Line a Swiss roll tin with non-stick baking paper.  Whisk the egg whites in a mixer until they form stiff peaks, then gradually add the caster sugar, beating until the mixture is stiff and glossy.  Beat in the cornflour, white vinegar and vanilla extract.  Transfer the meringue to the tin, spreading it evenly with a flat-bladed knife.

Step Two:  Bake for about 30 minutes, it should feel dry and springy when ready.

Step Three:  Remove from the oven and set aside for 1 minute only before turning out onto a sheet of baking or greaseproof paper lightly sprinkled with icing sugar.  Allow to cool.

Step Four:  Whip the cream and icing sugar until it forms soft peaks.  Spread the lemon curd thinly over the meringue and then spread with about half of the cream.  Use the greaseproof paper to roll the meringue up (from the short edge) into a log.  Place the log seam side down on a platter.  Spread the remaining cream over the outside of the log and refrigerate until ready to decorate.

Step Five:  Melt the white chocolate in a heatproof bowl suspended over a pan of very hot water (the bowl shouldn’t touch the water), stirring occasionally until smooth.

Step Six:  Spread the chocolate over a sheet of baking paper to a thickness of about 3mm (1/8 in).  Place on a tray and refrigerate until set.  Use a leaf or star cutter to cut shapes from the set white chocolate (you may have to return it to the fridge occasionally) and decorate the top of the log.  Dust lightly with icing sugar before serving.

Tip:  If making the meringue a day before, cover with cling film overnight.

Recipe courtesy of Easy Living Magazine

Duck breast with orange sauce and breadcrumbs

Duck with orangeIngredients:

2 large duck breasts, with skin
30g (1oz) butter
1 clove garlic, crushed
1 tsp finely grated lemon zest
50g (1 ¾ oz) fresh breadcrumbs
2 tsp thyme leaves

For the marinade:-

150ml (5 fl oz) freshly squeezed orange juice
2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
2 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp runny honey
Juice half lemon
Finely grated zest of half an orange
Pinch of ground cinnamon

Serves:  2     Prep time:  15 mins plus marinating time     Cook time:  20 mins
Cals per serving:  772     Fat: 49g

Step One:  Score the skin of the duck breast in diagonal crosses and place in a ceramic bowl.  Combine the marinade ingredients and pour over the duck.  Marinate in the fridge, turning occasionally, for about 8 hours.

Step Two: Heat the oven to 180oC (gas mark 4).  Remove the duck and dry with paper towels, reserving the marinade.  Heat a large heavy frying pan over a moderate heat.  Place the breasts skin side down in the pan.  Cook for 3-4 minutes, or until nice and golden.  Transfer the duck breasts, skin side up, to a roasting tin and cook in the oven for about 10-15 minutes (for medium).

Step Three:  Meanwhile, pour the marinade into a small saucepan and simmer over a low heat for about 5 minutes, or until reduced and slightly thickened.  Season and keep warm.

Step Four:  Drain any fat from the frying pan and add the butter.  When foaming add the garlic, zest, breadcrumbs and thyme.  Sauté until the crumbs are golden.  Slice the duck breast either onto individual plates or on a small platter.  Sprinkle over the crumbs and serve with a jug of the sauce on the side.

Tip:  You can marinate the duck for up to 12 hours.  It is important to boil the marinade well before serving it as the sauce.

Recipe courtesy of Easy Living

Winter Trifle

winter trifleIngredients: 

4 tbsp Grand Marnier
100g (3 ½ oz) dried cherries
100g (3 ½ oz) dried sultanas
250g (8oz) Jamaican ginger cake
600ml (20 fl oz) chilled custard
Toasted flaked almonds, to serve

For the Syllabub:

Grated zest of ½ lemon
2-3 tbsp caster sugar
100ml (3 ½ fl oz) sweet white wine
300ml (9 ½ fl oz) cream

Serves:  8    Prep time:  25 mins, plus refrigeration and standing time

Step One:  Soak the dried fruit in the alcohol for 6 hours or overnight.  Strain, reserving both the fruit and alcohol.  Cut the cut into slices 1 cm (½ in) thick and arrange a single layer over the base of a large glass trifle bowl.  Pour over the fruit and alcohol.  Pour the custard over the cake covering with cling film and chill for at least 3 hours.

Step Two:  To make the syllabub cream, mix together the lemon zest, sugar and wine and leave for 30 minutes.  Strain through a fine sieve into a large bowl, then add the cream and whip until the mixture just holds it shape.  Be careful not to over whip it.

Step Three: Spoon the cream over the trifle and return it to the fridge until you are ready to serve.  Just before serving, decorate with toasted almonds and silver dragees, if desired.

Recipe courtesy of Easy Living Magazine