Wednesday, August 04, 2010

Parmesan Chicken Breasts with Crispy Posh Ham

I think the best cookbook I have bought this year would be Jamie Oliver's Ministry of Food. It is a book aimed at teaching people to cook proper meals, but even if you can cook, there are some corker recipes in there.

This chicken breast is very tasty. I didn't use prosciutto, but rather streaky bacon which he does suggest to use. (Either that or Parma Ham)

*Taken from Jamie Oliver's Ministry of Food, page 242, published 2008*

30g Parmesan cheese
2 sprigs of fresh thyme (I used dry)
2 skinless chicken breasts, preferably free-range or organic
freshly ground black pepper
1 lemon
6 slices of prosciutto
Olive oil

Grate your Parmesan. Pick the thyme leaves off the stalks. Carefully score the underside of the chicken breasts in a criss-cross fashion with a small knife. Season with a little pepper (you don't need salt as the prosciutto is quite salty). Lay your breasts next to one another and sprinkle over most of the thyme leaves. Grate a little lemon zest over them, then sprinkle with the Parmesan. Lay 3 prosciutto slices on each chicken breast, overlapping them slightly. Drizzle with a little olive oil and sprinkle with the remaining thyme leaves. Put a square of clingfilm over each breast and give them a few really good bashes with the bottom of a pan until they're about 1cm thick.

Put a frying pan over a medium heat. Remove the clingfilm and carefully transfer the chicken breasts, prosciutto side down, into the pan. Drizzle over some olive oil. Cook for 3 minutes on each side, turning halfway through, giving the ham side an extra 30 seconds to crisp up.

Either serve the chicken breasts whole or cut them into thick slices and pile them on a plate. Serve some lemon wedges for squeezing over, and a good drizzle of olive oil. Lovely with mash and green veg or a crunchy salad!

Serves 2

Tuesday, August 03, 2010

Stay Tuned...

...I might just have found my Recipe blog mojo back!

Monday, June 01, 2009

Cheesy Feet

Nigella made hers (& therefore named hers) using Feet cutters.  I used a Crocodile cutter and a Kangaroo one I have.  They are so easy to make and very tasty indeed.  (Monet loves them!)  I will be making batches more in times to come...

*Taken from Nigella Lawson's 'Feast', pg 253, published 2004*

100gm Cheddar cheese, grated
25gm soft butter
50gm plain flour
1/4 tsp baking powder

Preheat the oven to gas mark 6/200C.

Put all of the ingredients into a food processor and blitz until the dough comes together.  Just be patient; it will happen, I promise you.  Form into a fat disc, wrap in clingfilm and let it rest in the fridge for 15 minutes.

Roll out the dough on a floury surface to roughly 3mm in thickness, and cut out your feet with your cutters.  You can keep re-rolling this dough and cutting out feet until it is all used up.

Put them on to a lined baking tray sheet and cook in the oven for 10-12 minutes (depending on size).  The biscuits will continue to crisp up as they cool on a rack, so take them out when they're still a little soft in the middle.

Crunchy Pork Chops

A nice coating to try on your pork chops next time...  I served mine with scalloped potatoes and roasted capsicums...

*Taken from Nigella Lawson's 'Feast', pg 345, published 2004*

2 x 250g pork chops
1 egg
1/2 tsp Dijon mustard
1/4 tsp dried oregano
50g breadcrumbs
1 tbs freshly grated Parmesan
250ml groundnut oil or similar for frying

Trim the thick white fat off the pork chops, cutting carefully around the outside edge.  Lay the chops between two pieces of clingfilm and, using a mallet or a rolling pin, beat them until the meaty part of the chop is half as thick.  You will need to beat around the bone, so turn them over once as you go.

Beat the egg in a shallow wide bowl with the mustard, oregano and salt and pepper.  And, on a large plate or platter, combine the breadcrumbs with the Parmesan.

Press each of the chops into the egg mixture, coating both sides.  Then dip the eggy chops into the breadcrumbs, covering them evenly.  Let them lie on a wire rack to dry slightly while you heat the oil in a large frying pan.  When a small cube of bread sizzles if dripped into the oil, you can get frying.  You need to cook the chops until they're a deep golden colour, about 5-7 minutes a side (depending on how thin you've managed to get them and how cold they were before going into the oil).

Serves 2

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Chilli Lime Chicken and Pasta

Ooo I like this recipe a lot.  It is fresh tasting, light and easy to put together.  Nice to eat on a warm summer's day...

*Taken from Women's Weekly 'Meals In Minutes', pg 54, published 1998*

4 (680g) chicken breast fillets
8 large cherry tomatoes
300g fresh lasagna sheets
100g baby rocket leaves, torn
1/4 cup olive oil
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon drained capers
2 teaspoons finely grated lime rind
2 small fresh red chillies, seeded, chopped finely

Cook chicken on heated oiled griddle, in batches, until browned both sides and cooked through.  Cut chicken, on the diagonal, into 1cm-thick pieces.  Cook the tomato halves, both sides, on same griddle until just soft.

Meanwhile, tear pasta into large, uneven pieces.  Cook pasta in large pan of boiling water, uncovered, until just tender; drain.

Divide pasta among serving plates; top with chicken, tomato and rocket, drizzle with combined remaining ingredients.

Serves 4

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Lemon Tart

Having always wanted to make a Lemon Tart but never having made one, I thought I would make one.  It was a little time consuming, only because of the pastry but it was worth the effort.  
A hint here, if you don't have cooking beads or spare rice, a good idea to blind bake is to cover the pastry with baking/parchment paper then fill with scrunched cooking foil.  Works very well.

*Taken from The Australian Women's Weekly 'All-Time Favourites', page 44, published 1977*

1 1/4 cups (185g) plain flour
1/3 cup (55g) icing sugar mixture
1/4 cup (30g) ground almonds
125g cold butter, chopped
1 egg yolk

Lemon Filling
1 tablespoon finely grated lemon rind
1/2 cup (125ml) lemon juice
5 eggs
3/4 cup (165g) caster sugar
1 cup (250ml) thickened cream

Blend or process flour, sugar, almonds and butter until combined; add egg yolk, process until ingredients just come together.  Knead dough on floured surface until smooth; wrap in plastic, refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Roll pastry between sheets of baking paper until large enough to line 24cm round loose-based flan tin.  Lift pastry into tin; press into side, trim edge.  Cover; refrigerate 1 hour.

Cover pastry with baking paper, fill with dried beans or rice, place on oven tray.  Bake in a moderately hot oven for 15 minutes.  Remove paper and beans, bake for about 10 minutes or until lightly browned; cool.  Pour lemon filling into pastry case then bake in a moderate oven for about 30 minutes or until filling has set slightly; cool.  Refrigerate until cold; dust with sifted icing sugar, if desired.

Lemon Filling Method
Whisk all ingredients in medium bowl; stand for 5 minutes.

Serves 8

Irish Stew

This is my recipe - I think I used to have a basic recipe taken from who-knows-where and over the years I have added and omitted ingredients.  This is a recipe I must make each St Patrick's Day...

1 tbsp Olive Oil
1/2 kilo diced leg lamb
3 potatoes, peeled and cut into large cubes
10 baby onions, peeled and cut in half
1 sprig of rosemary
1 sprig thyme
2 tbsp HP Sauce
1 tbsp Worcester sauce
3 medium carrots, peeled and diced
220ml can of Guinness (1/2 can)
1/2 litre water
2 tbsp parsley, chopped
Cornflour to thicken

In a hot cast iron saucepan, add oil and brown the lamb pieces before adding the rest of the ingredients, bar the parsley and cornflour.  Cover and cook very slowly for about 90 minutes.  Taking a little of the stock from the pot mix in some cornflour then add to the rest of the pan to thicken the stock.  Cook until all ingredients are tender and cooked through.

Serve with crusty bread (or traditional soda bread)

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Strawberry and Cinnamon Torte

Yum.  Easy.  How could you resist not making it??

*Taken from a Good Food Magazine '101 Tempting Desserts', pg 160, published 2006*

175g/6oz ground almonds
175g/6oz butter, softened
175g/6oz golden caster sugar
175g/6oz self-raising flour
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 egg, plus 1 egg yolk
450g/1lb strawberries, hulled and sliced
icing sugar, for dusting
whipped cream mixed with greek yoghurt, to serve

Preheat the oven to 180C (160C fan-forced).  Butter and line the base of a loose-bottomed 23cm cake tin.  In a food processor, mix the ground almonds, butter, sugar, flour, cinnamon, egg and egg yold until evenly mixed.

Tip half the mixture in the tin and smooth.  Spread with the strawberries on top.  Top with the remaining cake mixture.  Spread smooth.

Bake for 1 hour - 1 hour 5 mins.  Check after 40 minutes - if the torte is getting too brown, cover loosely with foil.  When cooked, the torte should be slightly risen and dark golden brown.

Cool slightly, then remove from the tin.  Slide onto plate and dust with icing sugar.  Serve warm, in wedges, with spoonfuls of cream and yoghurt.

Serves 6-8

Sunday, March 01, 2009

Hot Thai Beef Salad

A nice, quick recipe for a warm day.  Mind you, I found it quite spicy with the use of one chilli; I could only get my hands on the bird's eye ones so that might explain it!

*Taken from Margaret Fulton's 'Margaret Fulton's Kitchen' pg 158, published 2007*

500g rump or sirloin steak
freshly ground pepper
1/2 cup torn mint leaves
1 large red onion or 2 large spring onions, thinly sliced
2 red chillies, sliced (I used 1)
juice of 1 large lime or 1/2 lemon
2 tbs fish sauce
1 tsp sugar
a handful of mixed salad greens
1 cup cherry tomatoes
a handful of rice vermicelli
vegetable oil, for frying
2 tbs roughly chopped roasted peanuts (omitted)
1 red chilli, halved (omitted)
lime wedges for serving

Season the steak with the pepper and cook on a hot ribbed griller or under a preheated grill for 5 minutes on each side or until done to taste.  Remove and leave to stand for 10 minutes.  Cut steak into very thin slices and place in a bowl with any meat juices.

Meanwhile, combine the mint leaves with the onions, chillies, lime or lemon juice, fish sauce and suger.  Stir well and add to the beef slices, tossing.  Combine with the mixed salad greens and cherry tomatoes and set aside.

Heat some vegetable oil in a wok, testing the heat with a few strands of vermicelli.  It should swell immediately of the oil is hot enough.  Fry the vermicelli, scooping out with a wire strainer as soon as they puff and turn pale golden.  Drain well on paper towels and cool, then arrange in a bowl.  

Pile the beef salad on top of the crispy noodles.  Scatter with peanuts and chilli and serve with lime wedges.

Serves 4-6

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Curried Leek and Kumara Soup

A quick, easy and very tasty soup to make.  I only used about 1 litre of chicken stock and 3 large kumaras (about 1.4 kg) and 1 tablespoon curry powder, instead of the required amount.I also didn't add the yogurt for lack of any.  Apparently a good soup to freeze, before adding the bacon pieces...

*Taken from Women's Weekly cookbooks 'Meals in Minutes', page 72, published 1998*

1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 medium (150g) onion, chopped roughly
2 large leeks, chopped roughly
2 tablespoons curry powder
4 large (2 kg) kumara, peeled and then chopped roughly
2.5 litres (10 cups) chicken stock
2 bacon rashes, chopped finely
1/3 cup (80ml) yogurt

Heat oil in large pan; cook onion and leek, stirring, until leek softens.  Add curry powder; cook, stirring, 1 minute.

Add kumara and stock.  Bring to the boil; simmer, covered, about 15 minutes or until kuara is just tender.  Blend or process mixture, in batches, until smooth. (Can be prepared ahead to this point; refrigerate overnight or freeze.)

Cook bacon in small heated dry pan, stirring, until browned and crisp; drain on absorbent paper.

Cook soup in large pan until heated through; serve topped with yogurt and sprinkled with bacon.