Monday, 29 June 2009

Basque Chicken

Saturday night brought myself and my Hubby down to my parents house, on the pretext of keeping my Mother company whilst my Father is in Hong Kong, but really so that we could watch the Rugby Lions lose in the 2nd test match and therefore the series - boo ;(.

To compensate I cooked one of my most favourite dishes ever - Delia Smiths' Basque Chicken (along with drinking a fair bit of pink fizz and giggling like schoolgirls with my Mum).

Basque Chicken
Serves 4

8 pieces of Chicken - skin on and bone in
Approx a 12cm length of Chorizo cut into 5mm chunks
1 large onion - cut in to chunky slices
2 large red peppers cut into chunky slices
1/2 jar of sun dried tomatoes, roughly chopped
2 cloves of garlic - chopped
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tbsp Tomato Puree
1 cup of Basmati Rice
Salt & Pepper
1 1/2 glasses of White Wine
300ml Chicken or Vegetable Stock
1 Large orange cut into 8 slices
Handful of pitted black olives (not added to this dish in deference to Ma's dislike)
Olive oil

Heat the oil in a large shallow paella pan, cook the chicken skin side down until golden and crisp, turn and seal the other side.
Remove from the pan and put to one side. In the pan then add the onions, garlic, chorizo and peppers, gently fry for a few minutes.
Pour in the Rice and make sure it is completely coated in the oil.
Then add the wine to deglaze the bottom of the pan, pour on the stock, sun dried tomatoes and tomato puree, season and mix.
Place the chicken and orange pieces back on top and olives. sprinkle over a pinch or two of mixed herbs - I used Oregano and Marjoram.
Cover in foil and leave to simmer for 50 minutes, occasionally stirring to avoid the rice sticking on the bottom, add more stock or wine if it gets too dry.

Friday, 26 June 2009

Pan Fried Pork & Mushrooms

After my revalation yesterday and with a concerted effort I made a dish that did not contain a tomato sauce or onions. Although incredibly simple, it was very tasty.

Pan Fried Pork & Mushrooms

Serves 2

2 Pork Loins - Sliced in strips
A couple of large handfuls of sliced closed cap mushrooms
1 tsp dried rosemary
1 tbsp Flour
1 Chopped clove of garlic
200ml Vegetable stock
1 tbsp Oil

Place the flour, pork, rosemary in a large poly bag add salt and pepper, shake up to fully coat the meat.

Heat half the oil in a large frying pan, add the pork and cook for 5 minutes, turning once until they are golden brown with crispy edges - remove from pan.

Add the remaining oil and sliced mushrooms, fry for a couple of minutes then add the chopped garlic and return the meat to the pan along with any flour remaining in the bag.

Add the stock and simmer away for 5 minutes.
I served with runner beans and crushed new potatoes.

Thursday, 25 June 2009

Baked Basa on New Potatoes

Whilst filtering through all the photos I have taken of recent meals, figuring out which one to post, I was concerned to find that I have a bit of a fetish for one pot dishes involving a tomato based sauce, most frequently with rice or pasta.
It seemed to me that all my good intentions at the start of the year to cook more new varied and interesting recipes have fallen by the wayside - I was a little disappointed in myself, but I did manage to create a new super easy dish that is not tomato based although it is one pot as follows:-

Baked Basa on New Potatoes

This really is so simple and so very delicious and works well with the old "I have nothing in the fridge" dilemma.

Slice a large onion into rings around 3mm thick.
Slice a large red pepper the same
Slice enough new or other small potatoes to the same thickness.

Pop the into a roasting tin with a glug or oil, season well and add a little Marjoram or favourite herbs to suit.

Mix together well and place into the oven at 200oc for 10 minutes.

After 10 minutes remove and place on top of the mix two frozen fish fillets (I used 2 Basa fillets from a value pack by John West - having never seen Basa before I thought I would give it a go, they are dense meaty white fish and very tasty).

Cover with foil and place back in the over for a further 20 mins.

Take out and serve. Simples.

Wednesday, 24 June 2009

Mustard & Marjoram Chicken BBQ

Yes, I know I am a bad person, not posting for so long. I have a pile of pictures waiting to be uploaded with a suitable amount of verbage and recipe, but it is just getting round to it that seems to be the problem, so I will start off with something nice and easy today.
Last night the garden beckoned us with it's glorious warm sunshine, the end of the working day feeling and good book and barbecue. I mooched around the fridge to see what could be thrown on and decided on two plump free range corn fed chicken breasts - perfect.

I mixed together some fresh chopped Marjoram, a crushed clove of garlic the zest of a lemon (retrospect, it should have been only half a lemon) a dollop of wholegrain Mustard around 2 heaped teaspoons and a dribble of oil to lubricate.

I eased the skin away on the breasts and pushed some of the mixture underneath, with the rest going inside the breast which I had sliced halfway through.

These were then placed skin side down on a medium BBQ for 25 mins - we have a kettle BBQ so with the lid on the chicken remains moist and tender.

Along with the chicken I made up parcels of baby courgette and baby plum tomatoes a little oil and seasoning and loosely wrapped in tin foil, these too were place on the BBQ for 20-25 mins.

The final accompaniment were some crushed new potatoes with a little butter and grated cheddar. Not bad for a summery spur of the moment dish.

Wednesday, 3 June 2009

Summer Breeze

Again it has been far too long since I last posted. An uninteresting diet of mixed salad, potato salad and something charred from the BBQ have taken over recently, it allows more time out in the glorious weather that seems to have hit Britain. My racks of pork ribs are going down a storm and at less than £3 for a rack more of a bargain than the individual ribs on offer.
Talking of the glorious weather last week Hubby had Whit week off work, we had nothing planned so spur of the moment we jumped into the car and drove to Cornwall. What a brilliant time we had - drive where ever takes your fancy, (we chose Mevagissey, Penzance and Port Issac) find accommodation in one of the many pubs or B&B's and enjoy. All I ate the entire time we were there was seafood - mussels, bass, bream, calamari, cod and pollock and maybe the odd cream tea and full English for breakfast - yum, yum and thrice yum. Took no photos of the gastronomic delights available - in fact I think my camera - Big H had a bit of a scenic view overload and is now in poorly camera hospital with a dodgy shutter, luckily I had a backup to continue snapping with.
But now it is back to work just as the weather turns, but I will leave you with a couple of pics of Cornwall along with a dish I made prior to holiday.
Gilt Head Bream steamed in foil.
2 Bream, scaled and cleaned. Stuff with lemon, bay leaves, thyme salt and pepper.
pop into a pocket of oiled tin foil, pour in a splash of White wine.
Seal the pocket up, place on a tray and put into the oven for 20mins at 200oc.
Simple but very delicious. I served with boiled Jersey Royal Potatoes and green beans.
Minack Theatre
Mevagissey Harbour
Sennen Cove