Chicken Breast with Langoustines

After making the Tomato Sauce, I got all the other ingredients ready to make this Floyd dish. I had no idea how this was going to turn out, so was definitely looking forward to the eating stage and trying it out!

The recipe said that it serves 4, due to it being a chicken breast per person. As there were only 2 of us we only used 2 breasts but kept the rest of the recipe the same, so there was lots of sauce left over. Next time I make this recipe, I will halve the sauce ingredients too.

You can tell there is a real French heritage behind this dish, using the Langoustines and Cognac and the final results were typically French too – flavours that I wouldnt normally put together to create a fancy and very rich tasting Floyd dish. This is not a recipe you want to make if you are on a diet. Having said that, we both polished the meal off and wished there had been a bit more chicken and a few more langoustines too. Floyd says to serve with boiled rice, which we did, but next time I think I will serve it with green vegetables and french green beans.

(Printable Recipe)

Serves 4

Ingredients:
4 Chicken Breasts
4 Langoustines per person - Large Crevettes or Whole King Prawns can be used
1 tbsp Onion, finely chopped
1 Clove Garlic, chopped
1 tbsp Parsely, chopped
1 cup of Tomato Sauce
½-1 cup of Double Cream (I used ½ cup and this was very creamy)
2 oz Butter
1 large glass White Wine
1 measure Cognac or Brandy
Pinch Thyme
Salt and Pepper
1 tbsp jellified Chicken Gravy
1 tsp Dry Sherry

1 Season the chicken and fry in the butter for 10 minutes.

2 Add the onions, garlic, thyme and langoustines (I removed the shells but the recipe didn’t say what to do).

3 Flame with the Cognac and add the white wine. Allow to simmer for a few moments.

4 Add the tomato sauce and the cream and if possible a tablespoon or two of jellified gravy. Taste the sauce, it should not be too creamy.

5 Season with salt and pepper. At this stage a teaspoon of sherry could be added to sharpen the sauce a little.

Serve with plenty of boiled rice and a green salad.

Enjoy!

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Floyd’s Tomato Sauce

I thought it was about time to try something from ‘Floyd’s Food’ so I decided to cook up something I would never normally choose, in this case “Chicken Breast with Langoustines” (recipe to come) and one of the ingredients was a coffee cup of his own “Tomato Sauce”. So I found the recipe and set about cooking this sauce that reminded me of a very fragrant mediterranean pasta sauce. I’m going to make this again to use with other dishes in future!

(Printable Recipe)

Ingredients:
14 oz/400g Tin Tomatoes
2 Cloves Garlic, chopped
1 Onion, finely chopped
1 tsp fresh or dried Basil
1 tbsp chopped Parsley
1 tbsp White Sugar
1 tbsp Olive Oil
Black Pepper

1 Fry the onions and garlic in the olive oil until soft.

2 When soft, add all the other ingredients and cook over a low heat for 15 minutes.

3 Then liquidize the lot. This sauce can be served either hot or cold.

Enjoy!

Orange Marmalade

I seem to remember that from the end of January to the beginning of February our kitchen was filled the fragrant smell of Seville oranges cooking. I think my mother and grandmother made enough to last almost the whole year! Sometimes I mince the fruit and then use exactly the same method. I also use an organic granulated sugar and that can cause scum (which can be scraped off) but I prefer that to the preserving sugars that have added pectin. It was my treat, as a child, to have the crust off the loaf spread liberally with butter and then a dollop of warm marmalade on top – it is still good but not quite the same with gluten-free bread!

Everyone has their own method of making marmalade. Some people slice the fruit before cooking it and others like me cook the fruit first. This is the method I have always used.

(Printable Recipe)

Ingredients:
2lbs (900g) Organic Seville Oranges
1 Unwaxed Lemon
4lbs (1.8g) Organic Granulated Sugar
4 pints (2.25lt) Water
Require:
Preserving pan, muslin, sieve, small bowl, string, jam-jars, lids and labels

1 Put 2 or 3 saucers in the fridge. These will be used to test for setting

2 Wash and rinse the jam-jars and heat in the oven

3 Cut the oranges and the lemon in half and squeeze out the juice, placing the pips in a square of muslin laid over a sieve over a bowl.

4 Put the cut fruit in the preserving pan with the juice and the water.

5 Tie up the pips in the muslin with the string and tie onto the handle of the preserving pan, so that it sits in the juice/water. Bring to the boil and then simmer for about 1½/2 hours until the fruit is soft.

6 Allow to cool a little and then slice the fruit into quarters and then into thin slices.

7 Return the fruit to the pan with the juice/water and add the sugar. Stir it over a low heat until all the sugar is melted.

8 Increase the heat so that the mixture comes to a fast boil and then boil for 15 minutes.

9 Check to see if the mixture has set by spooning a little of the mixture onto the cold saucer.

10 Allow to cool a little, and then push the mixture with your finger, if it has a skin that crinkles it is set. If not put the mixture back on the heat and boil for another 5 minutes. This can be done again until the marmalade has set.

11 Remove the pan from the heat and if there is some scum around the edge of the pan spoon it away.

12 Leave the marmalade to settle for about 15 minutes and then pour into clean warm jars (I use a soup ladle but be careful as the mixture will be hot). Cover the jars with a clean teacloth until cold.

13 When the marmalade is cold put on the lids and label.

NB: Instead of slicing the oranges I sometimes mince them which gives a very different marmalade. I also like my marmalade less set than some bought marmalades – that is up to you.

Enjoy!

Goan Fish Curry

Having had a busy week at work, my girlfriend decided she would try something new from my new curry book as a treat for me. We had some Salmon fillets in the fridge so she chose this goan fish curry for us. I had had a monkfish korai in recent weeks so I wanted to see how this compared as I don’t get to have many fish curries. I was seriously surprised at how well salmon goes with all the indian spices and coconut milk. I found it so much lighter than the monkfish and it didn’t leave us feeling over-full afterwards. I have to say this is definitely my favourite fish curry to date. There was nothing left in the pan afterwards. I’m already looking forward to having this again!

This is what the book said about it…
“Goa is well known for its fish and shellfish dishes, which are usually cooked in coconut milk. For this dish salmon has been chosen because its firm flesh lends itself well to curry dishes and takes on the flavours of all the spices.”

Source: Curry Bible – Mridula Baljekar

(Printable Recipe)

Serves 2-4

Ingredients:
2-4 Skinless Salmon fillets
1 tsp Salt
1 tbsp Lemon juice
3 tbsp Sunflower oil
1 Onion, finely chopped
2 tsp Garlic purée
2 tsp Ginger purée
½ tsp Ground Turmeric
1 tsp Ground Coriander
½ tsp Ground Cumin
½-1 tsp Chilli Powder
9 floz/250 ml Coconut Milk
2-3 fresh Green Chillies, sliced
2 tbsp Cider Vinegar

1 Cut each salmon fillet in half, place on a plate and sprinkle with half the salt and all of the lemon juice and rub in. Cover and leave to marinate in the fridge for 15-20 minutes.

2 Heat the oil in a frying pan over a medium heat, add the onion and cook for 8-9 minutes until a pale golden colour.

3 Add the garlic and ginger purées and cook, stirring, for 1 minute, then add the turmeric, ground coriander, cumin, chilli powder and cook, stirring, for 1 minute.

4 Add the coconut milk, chillies and vinegar, then the remaining salt , stir well and simmer, uncovered, for 6-8 minutes.

5 Add the fish and cook gently for 5-6 minutes. Stir in the fresh coriander and remove from the heat.

Serve immediately with cooked basmati rice.

Enjoy!

Printable Recipe Links

Having recently wanted to print out a recipe from my blog to use in the kitchen, I realised there wasnt an easy feature to do this, especially when some posts can be quite lengthy with several large pictures. I didnt need the rest of the post, wasting paper and printer ink for the whole article, so I have found a way for myself and other readers to enjoy readng the articles and yet easily print out only what is needed – the recipe itself.

Looking at the image below, there is now a (Printable Recipe) link above each recipe for readers to use. I am slowly going back through all my old posts adding a link in, so some may not have been updated yet by the time this post is published. I will try and have them updated over the next few days.

It’s a simple update that will allow visitors to enjoy reading the whole post, letting them print out the recipe to enjoy later.

Burns Night Scotch Broth

Wanting to blog about a recipe for others to try on Burns Night (on the 25th January), I asked my mum to see if she had any old family recipes that I could cook up and write about. She found me an old recipe for Scotch Broth from forty years ago, which seemed perfect to try out. Having never made it before, it was incredibly simple to do and filled the kitchen with lovely winter soupy aromas while simmering away.

This is what my mum told me about it…

Burn’s Night is celebrated by a meal, usually consisting of Haggis and other Scottish goodies like Scotch Broth. This could be a starter at a Burn’s Night Dinner or a simple supper dish to celebrate with friends at home. I believe I first ate it at Cha-Cha’s (my daughter’s god-mother) house back in the late 1960’s. Born in Glasgow she came south to work and became friends with my family and introduced us to all things Scottish. We enjoyed many a Hogmany with her and she usually served up something like Scotch Broth on Burn’s Night. I even learned Scottish Dancing with her when she bought me a pair of ‘proper’ dancing shoes. She returned to Scotland and, now retired, lives on the shores of Loch Linnhie and I think of her when I use this recipe.

A one-pot very hearty soup that can be a starter or a more substantial meal served with warm crusty bread or thick french stick.

(Printable Recipe)

Serves 4-6 people, or more if just a starter.

The soup should be made the day before it is needed.

Ingredients:
1½lbs (750g) Lamb neck chops (the meat is taken off the bone for serving)
2 tblsps Pearl Barley
2½ pints of water
3 Leeks cut into slices
1 Medium turnip cut into small cubes
1 Large carrot cut into small slices
1 Stick celery cut into small slices (optional)
1 Medium onion chopped
½ Small cabbage shredded
2ozs (40g) Dried peas (optional)
Salt & Pepper
Fresh parsley chopped to garnish

NB If using the dried peas, place in a bowl, cover with warm water and leave overnight, rinse and drain well before adding to the soup.

1 Place the meat in a deep saucepan with the cold water and bring to the boil, skim off any scum that appears on the surface.

2 Then add the barley, turnip, and if using, the peas, and simmer gently for about 1 hour.

3 Then add the rest of the vegetables and simmer for another 30/40 minutes or until the vegetables are cooked.

4 Add the cabbage and stir until heated through and just tender.

5 Remove the chops from the pan and separate the flesh from the bones discarding any fat etc.

6 Return the meat to the pan and then leave the soup to get cold so that any fat can be scraped off.

7 When required reheat the broth, check the seasoning and serve sprinkled with parsley and warm crusty bread.

Enjoy!

“Giles Chicken”

This is one recipe that I will let my mum explain…

“Giles Chicken” is a family favourite that we have been enjoying for many years. I dont know where Giles came up with the recipe but it is a quick and delicious dish that everyone seems to really like. It was cooked for us all on a canal holiday in France in 1991 when I decided to go on ‘strike’ and asked the children to cook one meal each. Fortunately we were able to stop at little villages along the route both to explore and to buy food and drink. Giles bought the ingredients listed below and cooked this lovely dish. This is why we call it Giles Chicken! We ate this sat on the deck of a boat on a deserted canal in the middle of France with the sun going down. Every time I make this dish it reminds of that very happy holiday.

(Printable Recipe)

Ingredients:
4 Free-range or organic chicken breasts – cut into bite-size pieces
4/6 Rashers of streaky bacon - chopped
Juice of a lemon
1 Lettuce shredded
Dressing of choice – usually walnut oil and balsamic vinegar
1tblsp Olive or Rapeseed oil

1 In a large pan heat 1 tablespoon of oil add the bacon and fry until it just colours.

2 Add the chicken and cook for 5 minutes.

3 Add the juice of the lemon and continue cooking until the chicken is coloured, the bacon crisp and the lemon juice absorbed.

4 While that is happening shred the lettuce and put into a large bowl and toss in the dressing.

5 Once the chicken is ready tip it onto the top of the lettuce and serve with crusty bread and a tomato salad.

Summer on a plate at any time of the year!

This can be made for two people or more. Just allow a chicken breast and a bacon rasher per person and adjust the rest of the ingredients.

I try to use organic or free-range ingredients in every recipe.

Enjoy!

Lamb Pasanda

Having been given a shoulder of lamb over the Christmas holiday, I thought it was about time to cook it but wanted to try something new with it. While I was looking through my new Curry Bible that I was given for Christmas, I found the following delicious recipe. It was so simple to cook and for once I had all the ingredients, which was perfect as I didn’t fancy going anywhere during the recent winter storms.

This is what the book said about it…
“Here is a legacy from the glorious days of the Mogul courts, when Indian cooking reached a refined peak. The word Pasanda, from which this creamy dish gets its name, indicates small pieces of boneless meat, in this case tender lamb, flattened as thin as possible.”

Source: Curry Bible – Mridula Baljekar

(Printable Recipe)

Serves 2-4

Ingredients:
1lb 5oz/600g Boneless Shoulder or Leg of Lamb
2 tbsp Garlic and Ginger paste
2oz/55g Ghee or 4 tbsp Groundnut Oil
3 large Onions, chopped
1 fresh Green Chilli, deseeded and chopped
2 Green Cardamom pods, bruised
1 Cinnamon stick
2 tsp Ground Coriander
1 tsp Ground Cumin
1 tsp Ground Turmeric
9fl oz/250 ml Water
5fl oz/150 ml Double Cream
4 tbsp Ground Almonds
1.5 tsp Salt
1 tsp Garam Masala
Paprika and toasted Flaked Almonds to garnish

1 Cut the meat into thin slices and place the slices between clingfilm and pound with a rolling pin to make them even thinner.

2 Put the lamb in a bowl, add the garlic and ginger paste and rub the paste into the lamb.

3 Cover and set aside in a cool place to marinate for 2 hours.

4 Melt the ghee or oil in a large frying pan with a tight lid over a medium heat. Add the onions and chilli and cook, stirring frequently, for 5-8 minutes, until the onions are golden brown.

5 Stir in the cardamom pods, cinnamon stick, corriander, cumin and turmeric and continue stiring for 2 minutes, or until the spices are aromatic.

6 Add the meat to the pan and cook, stirring occasionally, for about 5 minutes, until it is brown on all sides and the fat begins to separate.

7 Stir in the water and bring to the boil, still stirring. Reduce the heat to its lowest setting, cover the pan and simmer for 40 minutes, or until the meat is tender.

8 When the lamb is tender, stir in the cream and ground almonds together in a bowl. Beat in 6 tbsp of the hot cooking liquid from the pan, then gradually beat this mixture back into the pan.

9 Stir in the salt and garam masala and continue to simmer for a futher 5 minutes, uncovered, stirring occasionally.

Garnish with a sprinkling of paprika and toasted almonds and serve.

Enjoy!

Thai Green Chicken Curry

This New Year’s Eve was a big family and friends celebration and so we decided on making it a curry night. While I made a usual Korma favourite, my mum made her Thai Green Chicken Curry which always goes down well. While stuck at their home in the snow, my mum made it again and this is what she sent me…

I always enjoy making a Thai Green Curry and did just that for New Year’s Eve when we had eighteen friends for a meal to celebrate the New Year 2010. They all helped out by bringing starters, puddings, cheese etc. and another friend brought an Indian curry to go with this and the Korma too. I’ve used the same recipe since 1998 when my daughter returned from her year and a half stay in Australia. She and her housemates used to make this as an easy meal and fed friends as well. She always used vegetables to add flavour and another dimension to the curry but I’ve noticed that some cooks only use meat or shellfish. If you are a vegetarian the meat and shellfish can just be left out.

I normally make my own green curry paste with lemongrass, chillies, garlic, ginger etc (and nearly everyone has their own recipe). Today I’m stuck at home with the snow so I used a good green paste from a jar. I hope you find it easy to make and enjoyable to eat.

(Printable Recipe)

Serves 4

Ingredients:
5 Chicken thighs or breasts – cut into bite-size pieces
Thai green curry paste - homemade or from a jar
Green vegetables – I use a combination of beans, mange-tout, green pepper, asparagus or whatever is around.
1 x 400ml coconut milk
1-2tbsp Fish sauce
½-1tbsp unrefined caster sugar
Chopped coriander
Jasmine or long-grain rice

1 Put a little oil in a wok and cook the chicken until lightly browned, removed from pan.

2 Heat the wok until very hot and add 1 heaped tsp of green curry paste and cook for a minute.

3 Return the chicken to the pan and coat with the paste, stirring all the time.

4 Then add the coconut milk and cook on a low heat for 15 minutes until the mixture begins to thicken a little.

5 Add the fish sauce and sugar to your taste, finally adding the green vegetables.

6 Cook for 5 minutes until the vegetable and hot but still have a bite (it may depend how you like your vegetable as to how long you cook them).

Serve with chopped coriander and Jasmine rice.
If using ordinary rice squeeze some lime juice over the cooked rice and fork through before serving.

NB the curry can be made in advance or even the day before, and kept in the fridge, so long as it is heated through properly before serving.

Enjoy!

Wild Salmon and Caper Fishcakes

This has been a household favourite since I was given Delia’s ‘How To Cheat At Cooking’ for my birthday in 2008. It is so simple to make and is great for a lighter dinner – the Watercress Mayonnaise is a perfect addition.

We also have made smaller versions as starters using the recipe when friends and family have come to dinner.

(Printable Recipe)

Serves 2

Ingredients:
7.5oz/213g Tin Wild Salmon
1 dsp Capers rinsed and drained
4oz/120g Mashed Potato (4 discs of frozen mashed potato)
3oz/85g Watercress bag
3 Big pinches of Cayenne Pepper
3 tbsp Groundnut oil
Semolina
For Watercress Mayonnaise:
2 tbsp Mayonnaise mised with 1 dsp lemon juice and chopped watercress (see method)

1 If using frozen mashed potato, defrost in a microwave and allow to cool.

2 Drain the tinned salmon well in a sieve, pressing it down with the back of a spoon. Then place the salmon in a bowl with the capers and potato.

3 Chop 3/4 of the watercress bag in a mini chopper and add a large tablespoon of the chopped watercress to the bowl.

4 Add some salt and the cayenne pepper and mix everything well together.

5 Sprinkle some semolina onto a plate, then divide the salmon mix into 6 and shape them into rounds using your hands, coating each one fully with semolina.

6 Heat the oil in a wok or large frying pan and when it is very hot, add the fishcakes and cook them briefly – about 2 minutes on each side.

7 For the watercress mayonnaise, stir the lemon juice and the remaining watercress into the mayonnaise and season. Serve with the fiscakes and garnish with the rest of the watercress and lemon wedges to squeeze over.

You can use Polenta if you want to make a Gluten Free version.

Enjoy!