Homemade Yorkshire Puddings

img_1604As I was ill over Christmas and lost my appetite, I have been making up  for the Christmas dinner I didn’t get to thouroughly enjoy by cooking a decedent roast every Sunday 😋. And of course no roast is complete without homemade Yorkshire puddings!

These yorkshires are so tasty and simple to make, you’ll be asking Aunt Bessie who???

Ingredients:

100g Plain flour

1 large egg

100ml semi-skimmed milk

1/2 teaspoon salt

A pinch of black pepper

Method:

1. Preheat the oven to gas Mark 9/240c

2.Put 1 teaspoon of vegetable oil into 9 holders of a cup cake tray and put the tray into the oven to heat the oil whilst you make the batter. The secret is to get the oil extra hot!

3. In a jug, measure out the milk and then whisk the egg into it. Add the salt and pepper then gradually stir in the flour until it forms a smooth batter. Be careful not to knock the jug- you need as many air bubbles in the batter as possible.

4. Carefully take the tray out of the oven and pour the batter evenly into the sectors containing oil. The batter does not need to fill the top of the holders, just fill them halfway.

5. Put the yorkshires into the oven and leave to cook for 30 minutes until they have risen and are a deep golden brown.

Top Tip: I know it will seem tempting but do not, I repeat DO NOT, open the oven to check them as they might deflate and turn into pancakes!

They should be well risen and crispy and will go deliciously with hot gravy!
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Winter-Warming Carrot & Coriander Soup

img_1591What should you do with all of those sorry looking vegetables that were leftover from Christmas? Turn them into soup of course!

Carrot and coriander soup is a particular favourite of mine. Not only is it delicious and comforting; it is super-easy to make too!

Ingredients:

3 large carrots, washed and chopped

1 chopped onion

1 teaspoon of dried coriander

A sprig of fresh coriander, chopped

1/2 a packet of chicken cuppa soup

A pinch of black pepper

A dollop of Creme  Fraiche (optional)

Method:

1. Heat some vegetable oil in a pot and add the onions and carrots until they soften. Season with the pepper and dried coriander.

2. Pour  water over the carrots until they are submerged and leave for 15-20minutes to boil until the carrots go soft. Add the fresh corriander and stir in.

3. Take the pot off the heat for a minute and blitz the soup until it is completely smooth.

4. Put the soup back on the heat and stir in the cuppa soup mixture. The soup will thicken up so you may need to add a little more water and then some salt to taste.

5. Serve with a dollop of cold, creamy creme fraiche and some crusty bread, then enjoy!

Creamy Macaroni Cheese

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To my macaroni buddy…if you’re reading this Leah, this recipe goes out to you!

Our day at work would turn into the best one ever if we knew we were having a microwaveable macaroni cheese for lunch. Our excitement was uncontainable.  That creamy pasta-ry goodness would simply dispel our troubles in an instant.

However, nothing CAN EVERRR come close to a homemade macaroni cheese. If you are ever having a bad day, this will cheer you right up for sure (if only for a few minutes 😄!)

Also if you are ever struggling to decide what to eat, macaroni will come to the rescue if you have these few simple ingredients.

Serves 3-4

Ingredients:

200g macaroni

50g butter

50g plain flour

600ml milk

A pinch of salt

A pinch of white pepper

250g of grated mature cheddar to add to the roux and a little extra for the topping

Method:

1. Preheat the oven to 200c/ gas Mark 6

2.Boil the macaroni in a pan of salted water for 10-12 minutes and then drain.

3. In a separate pan, melt the butter. When melted add the flour and stir continuously until they have combined and a thick paste is formed.

4.Slowly add the milk whilst continuing to stir to create a smooth and creamy roux.

5. Add the cheese to the roux and continue to stir until all has melted.

6. Spoon some of the macaroni into an ovenproof dish and cover with some of the cheese sauce (roux). Add another layer of macaroni and the more roux. Finish by grating some extra cheese on top.

7. Bake in the oven for 15-20 minutes until the topping becomes golden brown and the cheese is bubbling. Enjoy!

 

 

 

KBC…Kentucky Baked Chicken

imageimageI know it’s been a while since I’ve posted… I was bogged down with work. However, now it’s the holidays I am back with an awesome finger-licking recipe!

If you love KFC and are a major fan of fried chicken like me, you will definitely enjoy making this healthier version which has all the flavour but less of the grease which comes with frying.

Through experimenting, I found a way to make deliciously flavoured chicken drumsticks with a tasty crispy coating. The prep can be a little messy, but the results are soooo worth it 😋.

Ingredients:

Prep for the chicken before coating:

8 chicken drumsticks

1 tablespoon garlic powder

1 1/2 tablespoons of paprika

1 1/2 tablespoons of chicken seasoning

1/2 tablespoon of white pepper

For the chicken coating:

100g breadcrumbs

2 eggs

30g plain flour

2 tablespoons of paprika

1 1/2 tablespoons of chicken seasoning

1 1/2 tablespoons of garlic powder

2 tablespoons of mixed herbs

1/2 tablespoon white pepper

Method:

1.Preheat the oven to 200C/Gas Mark 6 and grease a large baking tray with butter.

2. In a separate dish, place the chicken and cover in paprika, chicken seasoning, garlic powder and pepper. Ensure all drumsticks are fully covered by rubbing the seasoning into the meat.

3.Crack the eggs into a bowl and whisk and put the dry ingredients listed for the coating into a sealable bag.

4. Take a chicken drumstick and dip the whole leg into the whisked egg, ensure that all sides are coated in egg.

5. Carefully put the egg coated drumstick into the coating mixture. Seal the bag and shake it until the drumstick is completely covered in breadcrumbs. Take it out, being careful not to brush off the coating and place on the buttered tray.

6. Repeat the process until all drumsticks are coated and then cook in the oven for 2 hours. Ensure that the meat under the coating is cooked thoroughly before serving. Enjoy!!!

 

 

Spicy Tandoori Chicken with Mint Yoghurt

imageI loooove Indian spices. My dream is to visit India one day and eat as many of the divine foods that they have there. But for now, I have to be content with my own Indian inspired meals.

Tandoori chicken has always been a particular favourite of mine; there’s  just something about the unique mix of flavours and the captivating red colour which always seduce me.

If you are as crazy about tandoori chicken as I am then try out this recipe and let me know what you think! It is so simple to prepare and tastes so fresh and authentic when cooked that you might even prefer it to your local takeaway!

Ingredients:

For the tandoori chicken:

6 chicken drumsticks

4 tablespoons of Tandoori Masala powder

3 tablespoons of natural youghurt

1 chopped red onion

2 tablespoons of coriander powder

1 teaspoon of salt

1 1/2 teaspoons of chilli powder

2 teaspoons of garlic powder

1 handful of fresh coriander, chopped finely

For the mint yoghurt:

1 teaspoon of mint sauce

3 tablespoons of natural yoghurt

1/2 teaspoon of lemon juice

Method

  1. Make the mint yoghurt first by mixing the yoghurt, mint sauce and lemon juice together in a bowl. Leave to cool in the fridge until ready to serve with the chicken 😊
  2. Place the drumsticks in a dish and evenly sprinkle with all of the dried ingredients
  3. Add the natural yoghurt and mix with the dried ingredients until all the drumsticks are covered
  4. Add the chopped onions and leave to marinate for 1 hour
  5. Whilst waiting, preheat the oven to gas mark 7/218c
  6. Put the drumsticks into the oven to cook for 1hr 45 minutes, turning them over half way
  7. Sprinkle the drumsticks with fresh coriander when cooked and dollop a spoon of mint yoghurt at the side
  8. Best served with pilau rice, naan bread and an ice cold beer!

 

Jerk Chicken Curry Patties

imageI can’t resist a good patty. I grew up loving these traditional Jamaican snacks and took any opportunity to buy one whenever we we attended a church convention or festival.

Whilst commercial, shop bought patties are tasty, nothing beats the taste of your own homemade ones, especially when you can add whatever meat you want to them! When they come out of the oven and the delicious curried pastry aroma wafts around the kitchen, you will realise making them was definitely worth the effort.

Ingredients:
Serves 6

For the pastry (you could use shop bought pastry if you prefer, however nothing beats your own): 

200g plain flour

125g cold unsalted butter cut into squares

3 tablespoons cold water

1 teaspoon turmeric

1 teaspoon curry powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 egg beaten (for the glaze)

For the filling:

200g diced chicken

1 tablespoon jerk seasoning (you can find this in all leading supermarkets- buy the jar type, not powdered)

1 red onion finely chopped

1 potato, peeled, sliced and diced into little chunks

1 tablespoon of gravy granules

Method:

  1. Preheat the oven to gas mark 4/ 180.c
  2. Sieve the flour into a large mixing bowl
  3. Add the curry powder, turmeric and salt
  4. Add the butter and crumble it into the flour with your fingers then add the cold water and knead together to make a dough. Put in the fridge until you are ready to use it
  5. Parboil the potatoes for 6-8 minutes and then turn off the heat
  6. Heat a pan with some oil and fry the onions until soft
  7. Add the chicken and fry until white then add the jerk seasoning. Continue frying until the chicken is fully cooked and then turn off the heat
  8. Take the pastry out of the fridge and roll out flat on a floured surface. Use a small bowl to cut out a circle shape from the pastry
  9. Drain the potatoes and put into a bowl along with the chicken. Take 1-2 teaspoons of the chicken and potato and place in the centre of the pastry circle
  10. Use the gravy granules to make some gravy in a bowl and add a teaspoon of the gravy to the chicken mixture
  11. Fold the other half of the pastry circle over and press the joined edges together with a fork.Follow the same procedure for the other patties
  12. Beat an egg use it to glaze the patties before baking for 25-30 minutes. Don’t worry if they aren’t beautifully neat (like mine below); the main thing is it that they will taste amazing!!! Enjoy!

 

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Dangerously Good Seasoned Wedges

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It’s time to celebrate the humble potato. In desperate times of need, when the fridge is near empty, it is always there to save the day. Whether baked, mashed, roasted or fried I’m always partial to a potato side.

Today was one of those desperate days. I didn’t feel like eating rice again for the 3rd time this week so I had to whip out my bag of potatoes and conjure up an exciting side to go with the leftover chilli from yesterday!

So my gift to you today is my dangerously good seasoned wedges. They’re called dangerously good for a reason… make sure that you have someone to share these with or you might find yourself in danger of eating the lot! This is seriously cheap to make too, with the ingredients costing under £5 (assuming you already have butter, oil and salt 😊). Here’s the recipe:

Ingredients

5 medium sized potatoes

1 1/2 tablespoons of paprika

1 teaspoon of chilli powder

1 tablespoon of mixed herbs

1/2 tablespoon of garlic powder

1 teaspoon of salt

1 tablespoon of butter melted

1 tablespoon of olive oil

Method

  1. Preheat your oven to gas mark 7/ 220.c
  2. Drizzle the olive oil onto a large baking tray and place in the oven to heat up
  3. Cut the potatoes into wedges (cut them in half first then cut one half  longways into 4-5 wedges)
  4. Put the wedges into a large pot and boil them for 15 minutes until slightly soft
  5. After the wedges have boiled, drain and place them onto the oiled baking tray
  6. Lightly brush the wedges with the melted butter then evenly sprinkle the paprika, mixed herbs, garlic powder, chilli powder and salt over them
  7. Cook for 20-25 minutes, turning halfway, until browned and crispy. Enjoy!

 

Sweet And Spicy Chilli With Crunchy Pitta Chips

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I was really struggling to think of what to cook for dinner today. I didn’t want to make another boring mince and pasta dish but I had already defrosted the mice meat so I was stuck with it. Then I had an idea…

Initially I thought of making chilli con carne with nachos but to be honest I couldn’t be bothered to go to the shop to buy any. Then I remembered that we had a few pitta breads that needed using up and that’s when it struck me. I could make my own nachos! Well…pitta chips.

They went down extremely well with the chilli and were lovely and crunchy! I was well impressed if I do say so myself.

This cheeky little dish will spice up your evening for sure ; ).

Serves 4

Ingredients

For the pitta chips:

2 large pitta breads

1/2 teaspoon of turmeric

1/4 teaspoon of paprika

1 teaspoon of oregano

1 teaspoons of garlic powder

A pinch of salt

1 teaspoon of butter

1/2 tablespoon of olive oil

For the chilli con carne

500g of beef mince meat

1 red onion

1 tablespoon of red wine vinegar

1 tablespoon of garlic powder

1 tablespoon of bbq seasoning

2 squirts of tomato ketchup

3 mushrooms chopped

Half a tin of kidney beans

1 tin of chopped tomatoes

1/2 teaspoon of brown sugar

1/2 tablespoon of chilli powder (less or more depending on how much of a spicy kick you want!)

Method

For the pitta chips

  1. Preheat the oven to gas mark 6/ 200.c
  2. Cut the pitta breads in half and then quarters so that they form triangles and place on a baking tray
  3. In a small bowl, heat the butter in the microwave for a few seconds then add the turmeric, garlic powder, oregano, paprika and salt then mix in
  4. Brush the butter mixture over the pitta triangles
  5. Lightly sprinkle a little olive oil over the pitta triangle and then put in the oven to bake for 10-15 minute, turning them over once, until crisp

For the chilli con carne

  1. In a large pan heat some oil and when hot add the onions. Fry them until they become soft
  2. Add the mince meat and brown it, then add the garlic powder, bbq powder and chilli powder. Continue to fry the mince for a further 4 minutes
  3. Add the mushrooms and then stir in the chopped tomatoes
  4. Now add the red wine vinegar, tomato ketchup (sounds weird I know, but it makes all the difference!), sugar and  finally the kidney beans
  5. Leave to cook for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally; the con carne sauce should be bubbling and a rich brown colour
  6. Serve with the pitta chips and rice. Enjoy!

 

Sticky Honey And Mint Chicken

I cooked this for our dinner tonight and what a treat it was indeed!

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I remember when my husband first introduced me to this recipe. This was years ago, before we got married,so the dish obviously impressed me if I’m still going on about it til this day!

Initially though the thought alone of the flavours honey and mint combined with chicken made my head spin. I was very sceptical of how it would turn out. But then I tasted it…and it changed my life. Slight exaggeration there… but really, the flavours are tantalising and all you need to achieve it are a few simple ingredients.

Serves 3

Ingredients

6 chicken drumsticks

4 tablespoons of honey

2 tablespoons of mint sauce

2 tablespoons of mixed herbs

1 red onion chopped and diced

1 teaspoon of garlic powder

1 teaspoon of red wine vinegar

Method

  1. Preheat your oven to gas mark 7/ 220.c for electric ovens
  2. Place the drumsticks in an oven proof dish
  3. Drizzle the honey over the chicken, then add the mint sauce and red wine vinegar
  4. Add the chopped onions, garlic powder and mixed herbs
  5. If you’re not afraid to get your hands dirty, coat the drumsticks in the mixture. Ensure that each one is covered in minty honey goodness
  6. Place the drumsticks in the oven and leave to cook for 45 minutes, rotating throughout. Check them after this time and baste them with the juices
  7. Turn down to gas mark 5 and leave them to cook for a further 20-30 minutes
  8. Serve with boiled rice or roast potatoes (or both! Treat yourself 😉)

Comforting Chicken Madras Curry


I love a good curry. I grew up in a household of spice lovers which is probably why the odd tikka masala or madras dish tempts me every now and again.

Now with this recipe I cheated a little (yes I said it) and used a delightful curry sauce that I found at Lidl. I couldn’t resist, it was so cheap I had to try it and boy was I impressed. Well done Lidl; I officially love you and will be buying more of this stuff!

The main thing I loved about cooking this was that I needed very little ingredients. All in all, even if you use the very basic of ingredients (let’s say just the chicken and the sauce) this meal will only cost you £3.78 at the very least! Doesn’t that sound better (and cheaper) than a takeaway? So if you are stuck for what to eat tonight, why not give this a go?

Enough babbling now, on to the recipe.

Serves 3

Ingredients

350kg diced chicken breast (I bought mine from Lidl for £2.49!)

1 red onion diced

1 red pepper, chopped and diced

1/2 teaspoon of garlic powder

Fresh coriander chopped

Kanpur Garden premium Madras curry sauce (again from Lidl for £1.29)

2 cups (literal drinking cups..not American cups) of easy cook white rice

2 teaspoons of tumeric

1 teaspoon of salt

2 teaspoons of mixed herbs

1 teaspoon of butter

Method

1.Firstly, prepare the rice. Wash it twice in a pot, drain it, add fresh water and then put on the stove.

2. Add the salt, mixed herbs, turmeric and butter to the rice to season and then leave to boil. In 20-25 minutes it should be fluffy. Turn the stove heat to low just before it reaches this point.

Whilst the rice is cooking…

3. In a large frying pan, heat some oil.

4.Add the chopped onions and peppers to the pan and fry until soft.

5.Add the diced chicken. Fry until light brown and cooked in the middle. (A good way to test is to split a piece of chicken with a fork to make sure it is not pink inside)

6.Now add the curry powder from the sauce set to the chicken. Stir until every piece is covered.

7.Add the Madras sauce then lower the temperature  slightly on your stove. Leave to cook for a further 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

9.Before serving chop up a sprig of fresh coriander and stir into the curry. Add a few leaves to garnish, if you wish.

10.Serve with a side of rice and perhaps a garlic naan bread if you want to treat yourself!

 

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This curry will make you forget about you takeout fantasies!