Two new recipes this week! Firstly is this beauty on my left…. Chicken & Beetroot risotto. I have been eating a lot of risotto. Rice is one of the few things that I can eat without consequence. It’s not exciting and it gets very samey. So I thought I’d try some thing a bit difference. When I was sorting out the veg patch at the weekend I thinned out the roots bed. Which meant I had a good number of small – medium-sized beetroots to use up. I’d seen a recipe on the internet for a beetroot & feta risotto and that sparked the inspiration. I’d already cooked the beetroot, so started off the risotto in the normal way (diced onion in butter, rice added, then stock a ladle-full at a time), then towards the end I added in diced cooked chicken, diced cooked beetroot and some frozen peas. The whole lot was topped off with grated peccorino cheese. I have to say, it was delicious! Mark’s not a fan of beetroot unless it’s pickled and even he liked this one!
The second recipe is Chicken & Tarragon pasta. I don’t eat much pasta at all any more but it fits in to the “bland and boring” food that I can safely eat so…. This was using up the leftover chicken from Sunday’s roast dinner. I diced a carrot and a parsnip and sauteed them in butter. Then I added 150ml of chicken stock and let them simmer until softened. Then I added the diced chicken, some frozen peas and a tiny splash of cream and, of course, some tarragon (I love tarragon!). Once the pasta was cooked, I stirred it into the sauce and voila! Another tasty dinner.
Today, I have been cooking! As boring at it is, I’m still suffering with my colitis and I came home early from work because I just couldn’t concentrate with the pain and the loo trips. So, to take my mind off my troubles I decided to bake!
I was browsing through my Baking Magic book that Lucy bought me for some inspiration. My friend Toby is coming home from Australia at the weekend and I’m going to make him a “Welcome Home” cake. I didn’t really get anywhere with that decision but decided I’d make some biscuits in the meantime. I don’t eat biscuits generally but I saw the recipe for ginger biscuits, had all the ingredients and well, they’re medicinal aren’t they? Ginger is supposed to be good for bad tummies isn’t it?
They didn’t really work….. I obviously went wrong somewhere but I’m not sure how. The “dough” was more like breadcrumbs – I had nowhere near enough liquid. I kept adding more wet until it just came together but it was still a bit dry. You can see that they’ve cracked (and they got a bit burnt!) where they weren’t wet enough. They were also REALLY strong. I wasn’t too impressed. I’ll have to give them another go.
The other biscuits I tried to make (in Toby’s honour!) were Anzac biscuits. Originally made by Australian & NZ women in the war they contain both coconut and oats and are a doddle to make. Now these worked. And they taste fantastic! There’s no way this batch will last until Toby gets here so I’ll have to make some more for him 🙂
I had a new recipe planned for dinner too. I meant to make it last night but I forgot to take the chicken out of the freezer so we had it this evening instead. I have a little recipe book that I’d forgotten about called 101 One Pot meals. I regularly cook a few things from it so rarely bother getting the book out. I had a browse through it and wanted to try the Chicken & Spring Vegetable Stew.
This was lovely. It’s pretty low in calories too – so win, win! The chicken is pan-fried then you add some thinly sliced new potatoes and chicken stock. Cook for 10 minutes and reduce the stock down. Add spring vegetables (I used courgette, green beans & peas but the recipe suggested broccoli and broad beans too) and cook for a few more minutes. Stir through a spoonful of creme fraiche and some tarragon and there you are! Bloody gorgeous. I’ll definitely be making this one again…..
For Valentine’s Day yesterday Mark & I decided we’d try a new recipe. It was a team effort. Mark did all the gacky bits (raw meat, egg wash, breadcrumbs etc) and I did the rest.
This is another recipe from my Hairy Biker’s Meat Feast book. It’s Pork Schnitzel and it is absolutely delicious. It was in the “quick meat” section of the book and they’re not kidding. I put the veg in the steamer and we’d prepped and cooked the pork by the time the veg had finished! Not bad at all.
As I say it was really tasty and we’ll definitely be doing this one again.
Following on from our meal out in Swanage the other week (https://101in10012014.wordpress.com/2016/02/07/day-867-29-go-out-for-12-meals/) I decided to try and recreate something similar to the amazing Shepherd’s Pie that I had.
I had some diced beef in the freezer along with some mince from my last muscle food box. So I fried that off and put it in a pan, along with some diced carrot, parsnip, onion and celery. I added beef stock and red wine and left it to simmer for the Ireland rugby game (so about an hour and a half). For the topping I diced swede, sweet potato and white potato and then, once cooked, I mashed half of it and “crushed” the other half. It all smelled amazing. I then put it in the oven topped with a bit of grated cheese. The finished result is the picture on the far left. I have to say it was bloody gorgeous. As you can see I made several helpings!
If I was going to do anything differently I’d probably add more grated cheese to the topping and mix it in rather than having it sitting on the top. I’d also make some spare red-wine gravy just to add a bit more wet. All in all – a great success!