Chicken in White Sauce and Courgette Bake

My first memories of this dish are from the early eighties when mum used to make it as a quick meal when we got back in late from some place or another. Now she says she was given this recipe by her mum but has no idea where she got it from in turn. Perhaps it came from a meal she made up of home grown courgettes, left over chicken from a sunday roast and some white sauce – who knows?

Making this for the first time in years after we got back in late last night, brought back the memories of how much I used to enjoy this very simple meal. I have since added a new culinary twist to the dish – my 21st century addition to the family recipe – white wine.

It took me, using the recipe below, about 5 to 10 mins (at a slow tired pace) to put the ingredients together and 20 to 25 mins to bake in the oven – enough time to read my post, newspaper headlines and begin to unwind.

All I will say is that I had never made it for my partner before and she loved it as much as I did all over again.

Amounts depend on how hungry you are:

2 Tins of M&S Chunky Chicken in White Sauce
2 Courgettes
Grated Cheese for the topping
1 Glass of White Wine

Pre-heat oven to 180C/350F Gas 4 or 170C Fan Oven.

1 Thinly slice the courgettes length ways and place them in the bottom of an oven proof dish then season well.

2 Pour over the sliced courgettes the glass of white wine.

3 Empty the tins of chicken in white sauce over the courgettes.

4 Cover the bake with the cheese for the topping.

5 Bake in the oven for about 20 to 25 mins and take out once the topping is browning nicely.

6 Serve with… well just about anything you like – crusty bread, potatoes, beans etc.

7 Enjoy!

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Shortbread Biscuits

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A real lifelong favourite of mine are my mum’s shortbread biscuits. Thirty years on and she is still making them in exactly the same way.   Winter is a common time of year that the family can always find some freshly baked biscuits on a rack or plate somewhere in the Kitchen or breakfast room but they can be made and enjoyed all year long.   And most importantly, after a weekend visit I’m normally packed off home with half a dozen to enjoy later.

4ozs Caster Sugar (Golden or White)
8ozs Butter (Margarine can be used but doesn't have such a rich flavour)
10ozs Sifted Plain Flour
2ozs Cornflour

Pre-heat oven to 180C/350F Gas 4 or 170C Fan Oven.

1 Put all ingredients into a food mixer or processor and mix thoroughly until all the ingredients have come together. This may take a couple minutes or more.

2 Roll out on a floured board and cut into biscuits, or if preferred press into tins, flute the edge, mark into triangles and prick with a fork.

3 Bake for 20/30 minutes, or until lightly coloured, and cool on a wire rack. Biscuits may only take 15/20 minutes.

4 If cooked in a tin cut through marks before the shortbread cools.

5 The shortbread can be kept in a tin for 2/3 days but also freezes well.

* When my children were small I used all sorts of different shaped cutters for special occasions like birthdays, Christmas and Easter.

** If using metric measurements the figures for the ingredients are below, and then follow the recipe.

100gms Caster sugar
200gms Butter
250gms Sifted Plain Flour
50gms Cornflour

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Meringue Roulade (Gluten Free)

First post…
Having benefitted from my mum’s cooking for over 30 years, I feel I have a compelling need to share my good fortune with a wider audience in the hope that they will come to appreciate why I return home so often for a refresher!   Mum has a gluten intolerance and yet our diet over the years has never been compromised by this, and we have always eaten the same dishes (except bread cakes and biscuits).

With that said, I wanted to share one of mine and my family’s all time favourites in my first post – my mum’s meringue roulade.

Serves 6 to 8 people

5 egg whites
8ozs Caster Sugar
1 teaspoon White or malt vinegar
1 teaspoon Real Vanilla Essence
2 heaped teaspoons Cornflour
Icing Sugar

A 35cm x 27cm Swiss-roll tin lined with oiled baking paper or a silicon lining cut to size.

Preheat oven to 180C/350F Gas 4 or 170C Fan Oven.

1 Whisk egg whites until they are very stiff (you should be able to turn the bowl upside down without them falling out)

2 Continue to whisk and add caster sugar a spoon at a time.

3 Then add the vinegar, vanilla essence and corn-flour and mix them in completely.

4 Spoon the meringue mixture into the lined Swiss-roll tin and bake for 10 minutes or a little longer if the top not golden. The meringue will have risen but will sink again as it cools.

5 When cold, turn out onto a sheet of greaseproof paper dusted with icing sugar.

6 Whisk cream until stiff, spread onto meringue and then add fruit of your choice.

7 Using the greaseproof paper to help roll up the meringue, put on a dish and dust with more icing sugar.

Ready for baking
Ready for baking
Straight from the oven
Straight from the oven
Left the tin
Left the tin
Creamed and fruited
Creamed and fruited
Ready to roll
Ready to roll
Eat me
Eat me - yummy!

A home for my personal foodie ramblings, culinary attempts, information on local produce and also for collecting my mum's recipes and culinary teachings, before she leaves this mortal coil!

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