Wednesday, 12 May 2010

Mexican Chicken Stew

Another one from the hallowed pages of Good Food Mag, with a couple of minor changes to suit my store cupboard. Quite a low fat but tasty dish.

Mexican Chicken Stew

1 medium onion chopped
3 cloves of garlic, chopped
1/2 tsp dark brown sugar
2 dried chipotle peppers - re-hydrated and chopped.
400g can chopped tomatoes
2 skinless chicken breasts
1 small red onion - sliced into rings
Veg oil

Fry the onion in a pan with a little oil until soft, add the garlic,
Stir in the sugar, tomatoes and chipotle.
Put chicken into the pan and spoon over the sauce, simmer gently for 20 mins - add a little water if gets too dry.
Remove chicken and shred with 2 forks then stir back into the sauce.

Serve on a bed of rice and scatter the red onion rings on top.

A lovely dish, but in future I will be adding a couple more chipotles or even a few chilli flakes as there was not much of a kick to it. The chipotles added a really nice smokey flavour and on the whole the dish was very fresh.

Mushroom and Caramelised Red Onion Tart

I found this recipe from the inspiring blog of Kevin at Closet Cooking and modified it to suit what was in my larder at the time:-

Mushroom & Caramelised Red Onion Tart

1 large red onion thinly sliced
250g Mushrooms sliced - I used bog standard closed cup
1 clove garlic - chopped
1/2 tsp thyme
1 sheet puff pastry
1/2 cup grated Emmenthal cheese
Oil and Butter
1 tsp Sugar
Garlic and Herb Light soft cheese
Menorcan Herb Gin - 1 shot

Heat some oil in a frying pan and add the onion and sugar and slowly cook until caramelised, about 20 minutes.
Add a little melted butter and then the mushrooms and cook until soft and slightly browned.
Add garlic, thyme, S&P
I was using a very good non-stick frying pan, so there was no real need to de-glaze, but I did loosen up the whole mixture by adding a shot of the thick Menorcan Herb Gin (I did not want to open a bottle of wine just to de-glaze and I had finished off the cooking sherry so this was my only option!)
Roll out the puff pastry and score around the edges about 3cm in.
Spread the soft cheese over the base, I used about half of a 175g pack. Pour the mushroom and onion mixture over and scatter the Emmenthal over the top.
Bake in an oven at 180oc for about 15 mins.
Serve with a lovely fresh salad.
This tart was deliciously sweet and tasty, the combination of sweet herb gin and red onions went together well whilst the sharper nutty Emmenthal cut through it.

French Style Chicken With Peas & Pancetta

My take on another great recipe from June 2010 Good Food Magazine

French Style Chicken with Peas & Pancetta

6 rashers of dry cured smoked Pancetta - chunky chopped
6 Chicken thighs and drumsticks - skin on if being naughty, skin off if being good
2 cloves of garlic - thinly sliced
1 onion chopped (should have been a bunch of spring onions, but I forgot them)
300ml Chicken stock
250g Frozen peas
1 Little Gem lettuce, rough shred
2 tbsp half fat Creme Fraiche

In a large pan add a little oil and gently fry the chicken skin side down to get it golden and crispy, turn over and continue frying for about 10 mins in total.
Meanwhile use another frying pan to crisp up the Pancetta.
In the main pan remove the chicken whilst you pour off any excess fat and then fry the onion and garlic briefly.
Add the chicken stock, bacon and return the chicken to the pan. Cover and simmer for about 20 mins.
Turn up the heat and add the peas and lettuce for about 4 minutes until the lettuce has wilted.
Stir in the creme fraiche and serve.

I served with crushed new potatoes.

This was a really very delicious dish as well as being colourful. Good Food suggest using skinless boneless chicken thighs which would make the cooking time shorter and saves you having to man handle the drumsticks in order to get all that lovely tender meat off!

Italian Pork Patties

With excitment I opened this months Good Food magazine and found loads of recipes just crying out to be tried, here is the first of many.

Italian Pork Patties

500g Pork mince
50g Fresh breadcrumbs
50g grated Parmesan
2 tbsp chopped parsley
1 crushed garlic clove
Zest of one lemon

Mix breadcrumbs, mince, Parmesan, parsley, garlic and lemon zest in a bowl - Good Food says to add water to moisten the breadcrumbs first, I just added an egg to bind it all together.
Season well, I also added a little sage.
Form into 8 flatish patties
Add a little oil to a frying pan and over a moderate heat fry for 7 mins each side until they have a lovely crisp golden outer.

I served with the recommended potato wedges baked in a pan with a coating of oil, lemon juice, S&P and a simple salad.

The patties were so soft and light and very tasty, nothing stodgy about them at all. The lemon was a lovely twist although hubby thought it was too overpowering. I can imagine these will be a very welcome change when used on a BBQ over the usual burnt beef burgers.