Monday, 15 April 2013

Pleasant Paella

I've not posted for a very long time, and for that I apologise! I've been so busy with uni work and going on holiday that I've just not had the time...

Tonight I made a lovely paella for my family and it was delicious yet simple - here's how...

In a little olive oil, I fried chopped onion and green pepper (but any colour will do)! I then added some diced chicken thighs and chorizo and let them cook for a few minutes. I poured in the plain white rice (70g per person), and stirred it in the flavoured oil before adding around a pint of vegetable stock with a pinch of saffron added, A stock cube or boullion works just fine here. Leave the rice to absorb the stock, stirring occasionally. Add some boilling water if necessary. Just before the rice is cooked (after about 15 minutes) chuck in a handful of frozen peas and some mixed seafood. Keep stirring over a gentle heat for 3-5 minutes until the seafood is cooked through and piping hot. Serve with lemon wedges.

Tip: A wok will work okay for this recipe, but to avoid the 'rice sticking to the bottom of the pan' scenario, it's better to use a good non-stick sautée pan.

Saturday, 9 March 2013

Perfect Pie

I haven't posted for a while as uni work has managed to get on top of me a little! This is a super chicken and bacon pie that my housemate and I made tonight.

Pastry first as it needs 15 minutes to chill in the fridge. Put 100g of flour and 55g of cold, cubed butter in a bowl with a pinch of salt and rub to make the texture and feel of breadcrumbs. Add ice cold water a tablespoon at a time and mix with a knife until combined. Wrap in clingfilm and pop in the fridge whilst you make the flling.

For the filling: Heat a tablespoon of oil in a saucepan and add chopped onion and garlic. Then add chopped bacon and chicken breast and fry a little longer. Add about half a litre of stock and let it bubble away for a couple of minutes. Add a large potato that has been diced into 1cm cubes. In a separate little bowl, miz 2 teaspoons of cornflour with a little water and add to the mixture to thicken. Season with black pepper (you won't need any salt as the stock and bacon will be salty enough). Turn it down to a simmer while the pastry cooks in the oven.

Roll out the pastry to about the thickness of a pound coin. We baked the pastry on a baking sheet but if you want to pour the mixture into an ovenproof dish and cover with the pastry - you can! The oastry takes around 20 minutes in a 180deg pre-heated oven.

Serve! We had peas and roasted parsnips with ours. 


Friday, 1 March 2013

Spicy Rice Salad

Okay so I'm aware that having been bashed around in my bag all day, this one doesn't look particularly appetising - but what it lacks in looks it definitely makes up for in flavour, and beats a soggy cheese sarnie any day.

It was so simple to whip up last night too - I fried a little chopped chilli and spring onion in a dash of olive oil, just for a minute of two. I then added a teaspoon of tomato purée and twice the volume of vegetable stock to brown rice, giving it all a big stir. I then turned it down to a really low simmer and then forgot about it for twenty minutes or so. When the rice was cooked, I tipped it onto some frozen peas and chopped orange pepper (any colour will do!) before leaving to cool. This defrosted the peas so they weren't frozen when I came to eat it but weren't overcooked. Once cool, I gave it all another tir (adding a few twists of black pepper) and chucked it in the fridge overnight. Lunch was worth looking forward to!

Wednesday, 27 February 2013

A Very Berry Breakfast

I fancied a bit of a change from my normal honey and raisin porridge for my breakfast this morning, and had heard people going for blueberry and honey instead. I was a little dubious as I imagined it would just turn into a purple much, but was pleasantly surprised with how good this tasted!

The blueberries just pop and allow the juice to ripple through the porridge without just being a horrible mush. Delightful!

Tuesday, 26 February 2013

Eggy Lunch!

I just have to share this goregeous lunch with you all. I absolutely love eggs and am always looking for new recipes - this one is inspired by Nigella!

Really simple... Put a tin of chopped tomatoes, a few chilli flakes, crushed garlic and a little salt and pepper in a pan and cook until piping hot. Pour into a little ovenproof dish (mine is a 'crumble for one' pot!) and crack an egg on top - don't be scared!

Pop into a pre-heated oven for 5-10 minutes (depending on how runny you like your egg) and then dunk in some crusty bread. Divine!

Not as pretty on the eye, but look at the sumptuous runny yolk!

If you like eggs, try it - you won't be disappointed. Let me know what you think!

Monday, 25 February 2013

Simple Veggie Stir-Fry

I fancied doing something really simple tonight (being a bit of a lazy student sometimes!) so rustled up a veggie stir-fry. I used a ready prepared bag of veg and added extra pepper and broccoli (my fave veg!) for a bit more zing. 

I choped some chilli, ginger and garlic into tiny pieces and fried those in a splash of olive oil before adding the veg. I used a good glug of light soy sauce for seasoning because it makes it taste so good!

I didn't have any noodles left in the cupboard, so I served this veggie mix over some brown rice (you can't actually see it in the picture). It's a bit of a faff as it takes the best part of half an hour to cook, but you can cook it in big batches and freeze in individual portions in little sandwich bags. It'll keep in the freezer for a few months so you can just whack a bag in the microwave (or straight to the wok if you want to mix it in). Yum!

Sunday, 24 February 2013

Lush Lemon Cake

I figured that my first post had to be a pretty exciting one. I absolutely love baking (hope to open a patisserie in France one day!) so here are a couple of pictures of the gorgeous lemon sponge I just made.

I used a normal victoria sponge recipe; 8oz butter, flour, sugar and 3 eggs and added a few teaspoons of lemon juice to the batter. I sandwiched it together with a layer of both lemon curd and buttercream, and drizzled some runny lemon icing on the top. Delicious with a cup of tea!

A huge slice for me!