Friday, 11 September 2015

A Chicken and Avocado warm salad - A Bird in the Hand

I love, love, love chicken and avocado. Creamy smooth avos and deliciously juicy chicken thighs.



I am perhaps not as enamoured of quinoa, but in this recipe from Diana Henry's ace book, A Bird in the Hand, it works very well indeed, lifted as it is by the zingy lime and chili dressing.   I have the book, but you can find the recipe here, on Delicious magazine's website:


It is rather a shame that I can't get the same lighting and brightness to my picture of my dinner.. but then, as I've said before, it is just dinner, the photo taken on my table before I eat it, so I shouldn't whine too much. Oh, and it was taken on my phone, so I could instagram it... perhaps not the best thing as the light gets darker with autumn arriving. Back to double photoing with camera and phone, and a colder dinner, I guess.

Result was less faff than it looks on paper, very delicious, and to be made again. Time taken (if you ignore the time for the tomatoes, though they probably needed less in my oven, they came out slightly singed rather than just caramelised. I am still soaking the burnt bits off the roasting pan...) about half an hour including prep, so not bad at all.

Wednesday, 12 August 2015

More lamb.. are you a breast or a leg person?

Fabulous breast of lamb from Layer Marney lamb, bought at the Essex Food festival. Glorious.

Rough recipe?

Roll up breast of lamb (I cut whole breast into two, and rolled these up separately, cooks a bit quicker) . 

Put on top of sliced onions in pan. 

Half cover with lamb gravy (best use E Cuisine Home Chef lamb stock cos its the only lamb stock worth using) put in oven gas mk 4, covered with foil. 

Bake for 3 hours, basting from time to time. 

Take out, rest, and while it is resting, add 1 tablespoon of blackberry vinegar and reduce until syrupy. Onions will have melted into the gravy. 

Cut each half breast into two pieces and put on plate, cover with gravy. 

Eat.
A photo posted by Lynne Clark (@josordoni) on

Monday, 10 August 2015

Lamb and salad. Slam it in!

A photo posted by Lynne Clark (@josordoni) on

I have been posting my dinners on Instagram and couldn't work out what to do to get them here for you too.. well I have at least discovered (if it works) how to embed the picture here.

Today's dinner was a 20 minute marvel. Lamb steak tossed in lemon juice, seasoning, mediterranean herbs and olive oil, grilled and served on a salad mainly consisting of fine green beans, broccoli, cucumber and little gem lettuce. Simple.

Tuesday, 23 June 2015

I'm on Instagram too now!

I'm so sorry I've been missing in action again... happens from time to time that life gets in the way of telling you about my dinner.

BUT.... I have been using Instagram lately, since I got a new phone that allows me to. (my old  one would only let me post pictures of dinosaurs) so do come over there and check out my quick snaps.

Mostly food, but sometimes other bits and pieces I like.

And I promise you more dinners here soon. 


Come and see me here:

  Instagram

Sunday, 12 April 2015

Diana Henry's "A Bird in the Hand" - Chicken with anchovies, lemon and rosemary

It is a long story , the one about waiting to get hold of Diana Henry's fabulous cookery book A Bird in the Hand



Three copies the publisher sent to me, three copies disappeared into the black hole that is Royal Mail. But eventually it and I were united, and I was finally a happy chick.

I gave the honours of first choice to Bob, and he homed in on Chicken with anchovies, lemon and rosemary.  It is not dissimilar to my favourite Spezzatina, made with anchovies and vinegar, but this one has onions (should have been shallots, but I didn't have any) and wine, and is topped with lemon and garlic - I added parsley to that mixture, to make a classic Italian gremolata, which I love. 

It came out beautifully. Apart from the little tweaks above (and where would I be if I didn't tweak) I followed the recipe, and it came out just as it should. 






We had roast Italian style potatoes and fresh, lightly blanched spring greens and it was gorgeous. And easy!! Hurray for easy! 


disclaimer: I was sent a review copy, but I did the cooking, the eating and the writing! 

Red Cooked Pork and Carrots - Hong Shao Rou (紅燒肉)

I had a small piece of pork belly in the freezer, nice, but it was really too small to roast. What to do?

How about Chinese style? Red cooked pork is delicious, the fat and skin turn into a soy sauce tinted soft jelly that works wonderfully well with rice. I cooked sushi rice as I wanted something much stickier than basmati - I didn't have any other rice that would be sticky, and it worked excellently. I followed (roughly) this recipe - more for the method than for the quantities.  The blanching of the pork I only did for 10 minutes as I had already cut the pork into cubes and I added star anise and a few slices of ginger to the blanching water.

The rest of the ingredients are as per the recipe, except that I increased (roughly doubled) the amount of dark and light soy sauce, and used dry sherry instead of Shaoxing wine as I didn't have that in stock.  I also added carrots to increase the amount of veggies, (that was a suggestion in my Ken Lo Chinese cookery book) which worked really nicely.


A warning though - when they say that the pork spatters when you are caramelising it with the oil and sugar they are right. Wrap a tea-towel around your hand and tilt the pan away from you when you are stirring the pork, or you will have a blister on your hand like I do.. :(

I didn't take the sauce right down to a sticky coating as I wanted some gravy to go with the rice. I served it with the sticky rice and finely sliced spring greens stir fried with grated ginger,  finely chopped chili (just a little) and oyster sauce and scattered with sliced spring onions.

Delectable and one for the recipe file I think :)

Wednesday, 8 April 2015

Fridge picnic... with Yoghurt Crusty Bread

I had made some bread. Easy delicious yoghurt bread, which is my favourite at the moment, and I really couldn't be bothered to have anything difficult alongside it for dinner.

So to the fridge... I found:

2 Peppers
half an aubergine
2 courgettes

A couple of tomatoes and half a cucumber

Cheese.

Half a jar of giardinera pickles

I cut the peppers/aubergine/courgettes in strips and drizzled them with oil, dried oregano and salt and pepper and popped them in a very hot oven for half an hour, then let them cool.

Everything else just went on a plate. Fridge picnic day :)




Monday, 6 April 2015

Pork and bacon meatballs... mmmmmm

Meatballs are so good, whether made of beef, lamb or in this case pork.  I found a pack of pork mince in the Sainsbury's cheaps counter for only 30p so I had to buy it didn't I!

I sauted a finely chopped onion with some chopped streaky bacon and added it to the pork with salt, pepper, fried sage and an egg yolk.  Squished together my hands but not too much,  the mixture should stay fairly loose or the balls will be heavy. Wet your hands before making the meat balls, it stops the mixture from sticking to your fingers. Make balls about the size of a ping pong ball and chill for 10 mins in the fridge.

Heat a little oil in a frying pan and fry the meat balls until they are golden all over and then transfer to a baking tray and cook in a medium oven for another 10 minutes or so. They will keep in a low oven for another 10 minutes or so if you need to delay them until the rest is cooked.

They are good with tomato sauce and pasta, or any mixture of roast vegetables, but today I fancied some mashed potatoes.

I made a simple sauce of the meat juices with some chicken stock, capers and grainy mustard, and served with Bramley apple sauce and fresh veg on the side.




Crispy Skinned Salmon with Green Curry broth and steamed veggies

It was fish day of course on Good Friday. Salmon, pan fried in a little olive oil on the skin side until it is really crispy and you can see that the fish is cooked about half way up the side. Then take the pan away from the heat and turn the fish over to rest and finish cooking while the veggies steam.

You can see how the fish is JUST cooked through, but not at all powdery. This is the best way to cook salmon in my opinion, oven baked is hard to judge when the fish is cooked and it is so easy to overcook and ruin it, turning it into pink cotton wool.


I made a laksa type broth of coconut milk and green Thai curry paste with fish sauce, sugar and lime juice. Added two packs of ready to heat Udon noodles (my favourite noodles, thick and toothsome, I love them added to broth or fried, Amoy do them in packets easily available at most supermarkets)

The broth went into bowls, with a mixture of mange touts, broccoli, baby corn and pak choi which I had steamed piled on top and the salmon finally with the skin uppermost to keep it crisp. A scattering of chopped spring onions and coriander and we're done.
I love a 10 minute dinner!!









I love a 10 minute dessert too - we had a quick lemon and sherry syllabub (just lemon juice and sherry, a little sugar and a small pot of double cream mixed together and whipped until softly peaky) mixed with crushed meringue and raspberries, piled into a (bought) meringue nest. Yummy!!