Thai Red Chicken Curry and Egg Fried Rice….

I often find when making a curry that you need so many spices and ingredients and it can often take me a long time to prepare. Why not try Verstegen spices and pastes. I used the Red Thai Curry paste to make this recipe. They are so so easy to use and take away all the pressure and extremely tasty too!

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You Will Need:

  • 1tbsp vegetable oil
  • 250g skinless chicken breasts, cut into chunks
  • 1 large onion, cut into wide strips
  • 2 small sweet potatoes, cut into 2cm cubes
  • Verstegen Red Thai Curry Paste
  • 100ml of water
  • 2 eggs
  • 3 spring onions
  • 1 cup of rice
  • 2 cups of water

Preparation Method:

Thai Red Curry:

  1. Heat the oil in a wok or large frying pan and add the chicken. Cook over a medium-high heat for 4-5mins, stirring occasionally, until the chicken is sealed and browned.
  2. Add the sweet potato and fry for 4 minutes
  3. Add the onion and fry for 2 minutes
  4. Add the water and curry paste and simmer for 5 minutes

Egg Fried Rice:

  1. Boil 1cup of rice to 2 cups of water for ten minutes
  2. whilst this is boiling chop you spring onions very finely and throw in a frying pan with a little oil
  3. Then break two eggs into the frying pan and scramble
  4. Then add your rice, covering it with your egg and onions and fry for 3 minutes

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Home Cooked Heaven….

You Will Need:

  • 2 fillets of any fish of your choice- firm fish works best but it can be anything from pollack, cod, haddock or salmon etc roughly 600g
  • 1 fillet of a smoked fish for flavour- about 200g
  • 2 Hard Boiled Eggs- peeled and quartered
  • 1kg Maris Piper Potatoes
  • Bechamel
  • 20g Orkney cheddar – grated
  • 1 egg- for egg wash

Court Bouillon:

  • 1 Lt water
  • 2 cups white wine
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 bouquet garni  
  • Salt
  • Cracked Black Pepper

Bechamel:

  • 60g butter
  • 4 tbsp flour
  • 500ml milk
  • 2 tbsp Grain Mustard
  • 100g Orkney cheddar – grated

Preparation Method:

Hard Boiled Eggs

  1. Cover eggs with water and place over heat.
  2. Bring to a boil and take off the heat.
  3. Allow to sit for 10 minutes and then cool before peeling.

To make the béchamel sauce:

  1. First bring the milk up to a simmer in a small pot and set aside
  2. Next in another pan, melt the butter gently over medium heat, then add flour and stir until the mixture is smooth
  3. Now begin adding the milk a little at a time to avoid lumps. Keep adding milk and stirring, until you have a rich creamy sauce
  4. Allow to cook slowly for 5 minutes and then add the grain mustard and Orkney cheddar
  5. Mix well and set aside

Cooking the fish:

  1. Add all the ingredients of the Court Bouillon in a large deep sauce pan. Bring to a gentle simmer before adding your fish to gently poach. Remembering to poach the smoked fish last
  2. Once cooked through, remove from liquid, let cool and remove any bones and skin
  3. Flake fish into nice small pieces and set aside

To make the mashed potato:

  1. Pre heat the oven to 200°C/Gas 6.  Place the potatoes on a tray and bake in a hot oven until crispy and soft
  2. While still hot, scoop out the flesh, discard the skins and pass the potato through a drum sieve to remove any lumps
  3. Heat the milk used for poaching the fish previously and add 2 tbsp butter and fold through potato mixture. Season to taste

To make the pie:

  1. Preheat the oven to 190°C/Gas 5.  Butter a baking dish and start to make the pie by first spreading a small amount of bechamel on the bottom of the dish
  2. On top of that spread the poached fish and quartered eggs
  3. Spread with the remaining bechamel
  4. Top with the mashed potatoes and brush with an egg wash and sprinkle with grated cheese
  5. Place baking dish on a tray and put into a preheated gas mark 5 oven for 30-40 minutes or until golden brown and bubblingfishy

 

A quick hunger fix….Goody Good Stuff

Goody Good Stuff is an all-new natural gummy candy range. The range doesn’t use animal-based gelatin, which most traditional gummy sweets. They also have taken out all of the artificial colours and flavours and use only natural fruit and vegetable extracts. They also do not use any fruit additives. Their range is fat free, meat free, dairy free, egg free, gluten free, nut free, soy free, wheat free and gelatine free. These sweets are perfect for Vegetarians!

There are so many great flavours in the range however I was lucky enough to try three of the flavours (obviously not all at once). I tried Strawberry Cream, Koala Gummy Bears and Coala Breeze. My favourite were Koala Gummy bears! They were even shaped like little Koala bears and had several flavours in the pack including orange, kiwi, apple and blackcurrant. Unlike the usual gummy sweets these were not sickly sweet instead they tasted just like the fruit! The ranges are split into two Gummies and also The Sours.

If you would like to find out more about Goody Good Stuff please check out their site – www.goodygoodstuff.com you can also follow them on twitter @GoodyGoodStuff

Something for the weekend…. Nandos

Nandos is a chain of restaurants which focuses on chicken dishes. The restaurants are very nicely decorated. The buildings themselves are nearly always painted white on the outside. On the inside, soft lighting and a Portuguese theme. Lots of brown wooden decoration, green plants and a nice ambience. The kitchen is very often open for all to see.

The atmosphere in their restaurants is really nice. It’s always pretty full but noise is at a nice level and the whole place just feels chilled and relaxing. The staff are usually not authentically Portuguese, although the odd one often is. They are mostly friendly and nice.

The food at Nandos is second to none. The overall cuisine of the restaurant is Portuguese, although there is a little something for everyone here! Their speciality is their Peri Peri chicken although there are a range of meals available.

I went with my friend to Nandos and we decided to share the whole chicken with two sides – whilst all chicken here is peri peri, you can opt to with either lemon and herb, mild spice, medium spice or hot spice marinade! We decided to have the medium marinade with spicy rice and seasoned chips. The food here is lush! I find that the portions are usually just right. I feel full but not overstuffed which I always think just ruins a meal. The chicken itself is tender and tasty, and all food is served nice and hot!

Nandos is pretty cheap for what you get in my opinion, for our platter it cost £18.95 which include two bottomless soft drinks. Great value for money!

Check out your neatest Nandos at – www.nandos.co.uk

Soup you sir…. Chicken Noodle Soup

You will need:

  • 900ml chicken or vegetable stock
  • 1 boneless chicken breast
  • 1tsp of fresh chopped ginger
  • 1 garlic clove finely chopped
  • 50grams of noodles
  • 2 tbsp sweetcorn
  • 1/2 chopped red pepper
  • 2 tsp soy sauce

Preparation Method :

  1. Pour the stock into a pan and add the chicken, ginger and garlic. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat, partly cover and simmer for 20 mins, until the chicken is tender. Remove the chicken to a board and shred into bite-size pieces
  2. Return the chicken to the stock with the noodles, corn, red pepper and the soy sauce.
  3. Simmer for 3-4 mins until the noodles are tender.

A Taste Of…. China

I love to cook chinese food mainly because it is quick and easy. This is a simple beef chow mein recipe.

You will need:

  • 225g/8oz egg noodles
  • 2 tbsp sesame oil
  • 2½ tbsp finely chopped garlic
  • beef frying steak
  • 1 onion sliced
  • handful of mushrooms slices
  • 2 tsp light soy sauce
  • 2 tsp dark soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp  dry sherry
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp freshly ground white pepper
  • ½ tsp sugar

Preparation Method:

  1. Cook the noodles by boiling them for 3-5 minutes in a pan of boiling water. Drain and plunge into cold water, drain again then toss with a little sesame oil.
  2. Cut your steak into shreads
  3. To marinade your steak, combine with the light soy sauce, dry sherry, sesame oil, salt and pepper in a small bowl
  4. Mix well and leave to marinate for 20 minutes.
  5. Heat a wok until it is very hot. Add one tablespoon of oil and, when it is very
    hot and slightly smoking,  add steak shreds.
  6. Stir-fry the mixture for about two minutes, then transfer to a plate
  7. Reheat the wok, and add remaining oil. Add the garlic and stir-fry for 10 seconds. Add the onion and mushrooms fry for a few minutes
  8. Add noodles, light soy sauce, dark soy sauce, rice wine, salt and pepper, the sugar and continue to stir-fry for two minutes.
  9. Return your steak to the mixture
  10. Continue to cook until your steak is cooked to taste

Crumb Corner…. Gingerbread Men

Its coming up to Christmas and what better time than to get the Kids involved with making gingerbread men to share with friends and family!

You will need:

  • 350g/12oz plain flour, plus extra for rolling out
  • 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 125g/4½oz butter
  • 175g/6oz light soft brown sugar
  • 1 free-range egg
  • 4 tbsp golden syrup
  • Writing Icing

Preparation Method:

  1. Sift together the flour, bicarbonate of soda, ginger and cinnamon and pour into the bowl of a food processor. Add the butter and blend until the mix looks like breadcrumbs. Stir in the sugar.
  2. Lightly beat the egg and golden syrup together, add to the food processor and pulse until the mixture clumps together. Tip the dough out, knead briefly until smooth, wrap in clingfim and leave to chill in the fridge for 15 minutes.
  3. Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas 4. Line two baking trays with greaseproof paper.
  4. Roll the dough out to a 0.5cm/¼in thickness on a lightly floured surface. Using cutters, cut out the gingerbread men shapes and place on the baking tray, leaving a gap between them.
  5. Bake for 12-15 minutes, or until lightly golden-brown.
  6. Leave on the tray for 10 minutes and then move to a wire rack to finish cooling. When cooled decorate with the writing icing.

 

 

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