Monthly Archives: February 2014

Chicken Calvados

We were having people over and wanted to make a hearty nommy dish, given the cold Spring it is. We threw some butter in a pan and seared seasoned chicken breast until browned, but not cooked inside. We placed them in to a casserole dish.

Seared chicken

Then in the butter left of the pan we glazed and softened shallots (use as much as you want, we used 450grams), but we were feeding 10 people.

Sweat the shallots until glassy

Add shallots on top of chicken in casserole dish.

Stock

Then in a pan heat 6 tablespoons of calvados, set alight and pour over chicken and shallots.

Calvados

flaming calvados

Pour 2 litres of chicken stock and 500mL of cider into the casserole dish and heat in oven for 40 minutes at 180 degrees Celsius.

Stir

Cider

In a separate dish cut 8 cooking apples in to edible chunks and leave them in water until needed. With a small amount of oil in the pan heat the apple chunks and toss them in oil. Then remove the casserole dish and add the apples stirring them in.  Return to the oven until the apples have softened. 

Apples tossed in oil

Ready for the oven

Serve with bread and a green salad. Nom

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Curry or Soup – Sweet potatoe, butternut squash and lentils

A lot of recipes I find come from just having things sitting around the house, like a couple of sweet potatoes or butternut squash. This was divine, I made it again two days later because there were cries for more more more! I am also pretty casual with how I make my soups, this one ended up thicker and more of a curry, so feel free to adjust spice or veggie combos yourselves.

Looks like a soup doesn't it?

1 butternut squash

1-2 sweet potatoes (yams)

3-4 onions

2-3 stalks of celery

2-3 carrots

olive oil

3-4 garlic cloves

a thumb or two of ginger

ground cinnamon

ground  tumeric

ground cumin

chicken/vegetable stock

400g of chopped tomatoes

Heat the oil in the bottom of a pot or the good ol’ casserole dish  and throw in the onions, letting them soften, but avoid browning them, so a low heat is good. Add the lentils (you can use any type, the family is a little picky so I find they like the split red lentils more than other types) and stir, coating all the lentils in a little oil.

stir to cover veg and lentils with a little of the oil

Throw in the carrots and celery chopped into bit size pieces, this is a nice chunky soup, so you need some chunky veg in there. Then peel and chop the sweet potatoe and butternut squash as well and pop them in the pot too. Stir and let it all cook for a little minute. Then add the garlic, crushed, and the root ginger, grated.

Add the spices, I like my spices and to quote my mother “the balance is just right here” – so 1 tablespoon of cumin, 2 1/2 teaspoons of tumeric and 2 teaspoons of cinnamon.

ginger, cinnamon, cumin, tumeric, garlic

Then add 1 liter of stock, I used chicken, but go veggie if you’d prefer.  Then I added a can of chopped tomatoes, or blitzed whole ones.

a can of chopped tomatoes

Cook until it all reduces and the squash and sweet potatoe is soft. The lentils add great body and texture to the soup.

let it reduce

We served it with a lime, avocado, tomatoe, mustard seed salsa and a cucumber, garlic, yoghurt thing. And a bit of naan bread. Kind of reinforcing the curry, rather than soup vibe.

Nom

Maybe you guys can decide if its a curry or a soup?

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Red Cabbage, Like the In-Law German Granny Does

Red cabbage nom

There was this odd head of red-cabbage sitting in the fridge for a good while, so I decided I had to do something with it. We happened to have a ham too and what’s better than a glazed ham (Neven Maguire’s recipe is amazing, we used this at Christmas!), mash potatoes and some red cabbage. So I gave it a bash.

80g of butter into the bottom of the casserole dish, with the head of red cabbage chopped into small strips/slices. Soften the cabbage, stirring every so often, until the blue-ish red colouring is staining all the cabbage. Then add three chopped apples, (we genuinely had no apples in the house), so I added a small bottle of apple puree I had made ages ago (for pork!).

Butter and a Head of Red Cabbage

Sweat it out, add wine, cider vinegar and stock

Then add 500ml of red wine, 75ml of cider vinegar, 400ml of stock (I used ham stock, but stock of your choice works too!) and 200ml of red current jelly.

Delicous

Cook under tender. Then add another 75ml of cider vinegar.

Spices at the ready

Finally sprinkle a teaspoon of ground cloves, half a teaspoon of nutmeg, a teaspoon of cinnamon, a pinch of salt and three juniper berries into the pot. Stir well to get the spice everywhere. Then add 6 tablespoons of sugar and stir well.

Add the caster sugar

Cook until sauce is reduced and all the cabbage is soft and looks like it would just go SO well with a small bowel of steaming mashed potatoe.

Reduce the sauce

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