Friday, July 31, 2015

462/1038 - Parsley chicken breast with verjuice and crème fraîche sauce

Chicken lovers - you must try this dish! 

I was left to my own devices a few nights ago when my boys deserted me to check out the prowess of the wonderful football players of Real Madrid. I was making flatbreads for my sister for her taco night and so kept one for my dinner, topping it with a salted chilli chicken breast and pan-fried vegetables. (Yes it was as good as it sounds!)

With a chicken breast left over, I decided to add it to another 500g pack and whip up this delicious dinner the following night for the family.

This was one of those fabulously tasty dishes that saw the entire family go quiet as they started to eat. The chicken was cooked perfectly and was juicy and amazing. Slightly spiced up by the paprika flavoured flour in which it was coated and enveloped in a pile of parsley, the pièce de résistance was the verjuice and crème fraîche sauce which took the taste of the chicken to somewhere out of this gastronomic world.

Highly, highly recommended x

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

461/1038 - Orange ricotta tart

Ooh I do love discovering a wonderful new dessert!

We were on orange duty for my son's soccer match a couple of weeks ago and unfortunately the game was cancelled due to a sad and soggy ground. Being the diligent parents that we are, we had already purchased said oranges before the cancellation notice came through. This of course meant that we were left with a bag of them to use up, and as well as eating them for snacks and making the odd juice, I thought this tart sounded like a lovely way to finish a meal.

Starting with home-made shortcrust pastry (love my pastry!), the filling for this tart was ridiculously easy to put together. I replaced two thirds of the Grand Marnier with orange juice given that my young'uns were to be enjoying this dessert. Of course I realised I was reducing the intensity of the flavour by doing this but the result was still really lovely, and even better with some orange zest grated over the top. 

As usual, the pastry was the hero, yummy and crumbly. I honestly don't think I could go back to the packet variety! If you were wondering, yes I buy my butter by the kilo x

Friday, July 17, 2015

460/1038 - Grissini

Crunchy and salty - what's not to love?

I made a lovely little soup for dinner the other night, using up a pile of vegetables about to hit their expiry date. These petite and crunchy little breadsticks were a big winner and I was thankful I had doubled the recipe!

Being an almost daily baker, I have thoroughly enjoyed making my way through the bread recipes. I only have three left to cook in a chapter I will definitely be sad to see the back of. 

To be honest I think I will quadruple this recipe next time and keep the leftovers for little lunchbox fillers. Anything to keep hungry boys happy x

Monday, July 13, 2015

459/1038 - Abalone braised with white wine

Abalone braised with white wine = completion of my 8th chapter! Of course there are 125 chapters in total and so mini-milestones are what keep the energy levels high in this challenge. 

To recap, I am now completely finished with;

                    Asian greens
                    Sweet potatoes
Abalone is now officially one of my favourite things and I enjoyed cooking them five different ways. This recipe was particularly simple and had the family crowded around the plate scoffing abalone like you have never seen it scoffed before. 

I have mentioned before how truly devastated we were when our first son acquired a taste for our favourite seafood. I am now incredibly sad to report that our youngest is now an additional little hand grabbing at our favourite things. They said parenthood would be challenging but we definitely did not consider the smaller portions of seafood when we decided to extend our family. Quite devastating really. 

In all seriousness, I was pleased to see the boys enjoying these as much as we did. Definitely a little luxury, but absolutely worth it. 

458/1038 - Confit of abalone

More abalone! 

I thought I would space out the abalone recipes and this one is the second last in the chapter. Cooked in olive oil and an enormous pile of vegetables, herbs and spices, these were buttery, soft and full of flavour. 

It's such a shame abalone are so expensive because my family love them!

The boys have been on holidays for the last couple of weeks and I thought it would be nice to treat them with some spectacular seafood just before they went back to school. To be honest I have been cooking up a storm lately and so they were pretty much spoiled for the entire two weeks. Treacle bread was my absolute favourite new recipe (thanks to the Press Club for sharing), with the abalone coming in a close second. 

So far, so good. Every abalone recipe has been a winner. 

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

457/1038 - Slow-cooked shallots

Shallots to me are the shining lights of the onion world; so pretty and with such a lovely, gentle flavour. 

Such a simple little recipe, I decided to include it as a part of our dinner party entrée. I also included smoked tomatoes which I have been dying to try since I added a smoking gun to my cache of kitchen toys. Big lovers of anything smoky, we all loved the result and I am now keen to use this little toy more often! Keep an eye out for a smoked chocolate dish coming to the blog soon.

The shallots were supposed to be cooked with a bay leaf and thyme, but sadly when I ventured into the backyard I discovered my three varieties of thyme had all but disappeared from the garden. Devastated, I decided to use rosemary as a substitute, given that our rosemary bush is simply enormous and crying out to be used. 

With twenty shallots in the recipe, we had a number of them left over after the dinner party. Some were eaten as a nice little snack and the rest were included in last night's spaghetti carbonara. 

Another simple little recipe crossed off the list! 457 down, only 581 to go...

Slow cooked shallots served with za'atar baked zucchini,
smoked tomatoes and crispy shallots

Monday, July 6, 2015

456/1038 - Moroccan-inspired chicken

Don't be put off by the extensive list of ingredients! This is a lovely dish with beautiful flavours and is not at all complicated to make.

In order to feed dinner guests and also my family again the following night, I decided to double the recipe. What I hadn't counted on was running out of room in the pan! So doubling turned into "one and a half-ing" some of the ingredients and also splitting the ingredients into a second pan halfway through the cook. 

We had a four year old at the table on the night I served this and so I was feeling a bit guilty about spicing up the couscous. Although it didn't thrill our little guest, I thought it was wonderful! 

Served with freshly made whole meal flatbreads, this was a good hearty meal that we will definitely enjoy again soon.  

Sunday, July 5, 2015

454 & 455/1038 - Simple apple tart with sweet shortcrust pastry

It is very satisfying to knock off two recipes in one dish!

Given that I am now a self-professed master of shortcrust pastry, I decided it was time to tackle the slightly trickier sweet version. Mixing the dough was easy enough, but rolling it out took significantly longer than I am used to!  

Thankfully all of the effort was worth it; the resulting pastry was wonderfully firm and held my apple tart together beautifully. The tart was a lovely mixture of apples and apricot jam, which I decided to leave lumpy, quite liking the idea of a chunky, jammy finish. 

Served with lemon myrtle ice-cream (oh my goodness, yum!!) and rosemary flowers, this little dish was definitely the highlight of our dinner party x