Chorizo & Tomato Rice

On 16th May 2016, This was Dinner

Is it just me that thinks the green bean is underrated?

Well here I am again, posting about food I ate in May and being reminded that it is 21 days since my last post. I shall make a huge attempt to get up to date and start blogging more or I shall throw my blog in the metaphorical bin!

Get set…

  • Chop an onion
  • Finely chop a garlic clove
  • Chop some chorizo
  • Chop some parsley
  • Cook some frozen green beans
  • Prepare some chicken stock
  • Get rice, tinned chopped tomatoes, chilli powder, smoked paprika, oil & seasoning ready

Throw it together…

Heat a pan and cook the chorizo. Remove and set aside.

Pop the onion and garlic into the same pan (add a little oil if required) and cook until softened.

Add the spices and the rice and stir for a minute then put the tomatoes and stock in. Stir well and bring to the boil then reduce and cook gently until the rice is almost cooked.

Add the chorizo and the green beans to the pan and cook for a few more minutes. Season.

Dish is up…

Just a simple sprinkle of parsley.

TWD_1605

I I shall promise myself that once Friday is over (I’m going out for dinner tomorrow night) I shall nail this thing!

Chicken & Chorizo Paella

On 15th April 2016, This was Dinner

I had some paella rice in the cupboard and some chicken thighs in the freezer so it made sense to take inspiration from this BBC Good Food recipe in the March edition. Apart from the chorizo, most things are store cupboard anyway so I didn’t need to pick anything else up.

Get set…

  • Cut some chicken thighs into pieces
  • Thickly slice a chorizo
  • Prepare some chicken stock
  • Finely slice a large onion
  • Finely chop a garlic clove
  • Chop some parsley
  • Get saffron, paprika, turmeric, paella rice, frozen peas, lemon, oil & seasoning ready

Throw it together…

Heat some oil in a pan and brown the chicken. Remove and set aside.

Add the chorizo and cook until it starts to release oil. Remove and set aside with the chicken.

Add the onion and cook until softened. Then add the garlic and cook for another minute.

Add the spices and stir then add the rice and stir again.

Pour in the stock and bring to the boil then add the chicken and chorizo and cook for around 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Add the peas and cook for a few more minutes. Check the seasoning.

Sprinkle with the parsley.

Dish it up…

Serve with a squeeze of lemon.

TWD_1504_Paella

I was going to put some cooked prawns in but forgot to get them out of the freezer in the morning.

Chicken Biryani

On 7th March 2016, This was Dinner

I’m not obsessed with the stats on the blog, I just love doing it, but what I always notice when I’m making sure I’ve replied to my comments is that a Jamie Oliver Lamb Biryani post is my most popular and still gets plenty of views weekly.

So every time I notice it I think ‘I must make that again’. I finally decided to make a chicken one instead after organising my old recipes last week when I came across this Delicious magazine recipe which claims to be ‘The Best Chicken Biryani’.

I must admit, the lamb one was better but this was still good. You won’t forgive me for all the washing up later either.

A bit of prep before – one to two days before…

Halve some chicken thighs.

Bash & finely chop 6 garlic cloves.

Roughly chop 2 green chillies.

Peel & Grate some fresh ginger.

Get Greek yoghurt, hot chilli powder, sweet paprika, ground coriander & ground turmeric ready.

Mix everything (apart from the chicken) together then stir in the chicken pieces. Cover and chill.

Get Set…

  • Halve some chicken thighs
  • Bruise 6 cardamom pods
  • Finely slice a couple of onions & coat in plain flour
  • Toast some cashew nuts
  • Chop some coriander
  • Get vegetable oil, basmati rice, saffron, ghee*, cloves, milk, bay leaves, cumin seeds, ground nutmeg, star anise, tomato purée & salt ready

Throw it together…

Soak the rice in cold water for an hour.

Heat about 1cm of the oil in a pan and cook the onions for 2-3 minutes until golden, do in batches. Remove to kitchen paper.

Heat more oil in a large pan. Add cloves, cinnamon, cardomom, bay leaves, cumin seeds, nutmeg & star anise and allow everything to release their aromas then add the chicken, along with the marinade.

Cook for 5 minutes then add tomato purée and salt. Simmer for about half an hour until the chicken is cooked. Keep warm over a low heat and add water if required but you don’t want the sauce runny.

Soak the saffron in a little milk.

Cook the rice in boiling, salted water for a few minutes then drain and stir in the ghee.

Heat more of the ghee with some water in a casserole pan with a lid.

Put a third of the rice in the bottom of the pan, drizzle with saffron milk then scatter some of the onions. Pop on half of the chicken then repeat finishing with rice and onions on top.

Pop the lid on and turn up the heat to start the steam then turn down low and cook for 20 minutes.

Scatter over the coriander and cashews.

Dish it up…

Just a big old couple of spoonfuls with a beer!

TWD_Biriyani.jpg

I loved the onions done like this so much that I’ve used the method again since.

** I couldn’t get my hands on any ghee so I just boiled some butter for around 3 minutes then reduced the heat. It produces a foam which disappears. After about 7 to 8 minutes a 2nd foam appears and the butter turns brown. Strain and use this liquid.

Egg Fried Rice with Beef

I was look forward to my post for Gnocchi with Bacon, Blue Cheese & Cavolo Nero but you have to believe me when I say it tasted far better than it looked! It was so good though, I’ve posted the recipe below this one.

So on 28th January 2016, This was Dinner...

Note: To get ahead, precook some rice.

Get set…

  • Oil & season a large steak
  • Slice some mushrooms
  • Slice a couple of garlic cloves
  • Slice some spring onions
  • Lightly whisk a couple of eggs
  • Get cooked rice, soy sauce, sriracha, beansprouts, sesame oil & seasoning ready

Throw it together…

Heat a griddle pan up high and cook the steak for 2 to 3 minutes each side, depending on how you like it. Remove from the pan and leave to rest.

Heat the sesame oil in a pan and add the mushrooms, cook until starting to soften then add the garlic, beansprouts and both sauces. Cook for a minute or so then add the rice.

When the rice is cooked through, move to one side and add the egg to the empty side of the pan. As it starts to cook, stir the rice back through. Add the spring onions and season to taste.

Dish it up…

Slice the beef and serve on top of the rice with an extra squirt of sriracha.

TWD_2801_Fried_Rice

Here’s the original.

So the gnocchi…

And the problem was the gnocchi. Don’t believe the packet when it says its OK to freeze. It spoils it. We thought we were in for a terrible meal but it was actually really tasty, just not photogenic.

I’ve not used cavolo nero (or black kale) before but decided to use it last week when I saw it in the supermarket.

Get set…

  • Thickly slice some cavolo nero
  • Crumble some blue cheese
  • Get gnocchi, single cream, bacon, butter & seasoning ready

Throw it together…

Cook some strips of bacon in a dry frying pan. Remove and chop into pieces.

If the bacon has released plenty of oil, add the kale but if not add a little butter first. Cook it, stirring all the time until it wilts. Add a little cream and the blue cheese and stir occasionally.

Cook the gnocchi in boiling salted water, drain and add to the kale. Stir well and season.

Dish it up…

Serve sprinkled with the bacon bit’s and an extra dash of black pepper if required.

I’d definitely use a stronger blue cheese next time. I bought it from Aldi as the cheese man at the market was on holiday so there wasn’t a large choice. Oh and I will definitely avoid freezing gnocchi in the future!

Gumbo

On 4th October 2015, This was Dinner

I think gumbo is a proper comfort food with it’s deep, rich flavours. Apparently a gumbo consists of a strong flavoured stock and includes the holy trinity (wikipedia words, not mine) of celery, onion and peppers. Did you know it is also another word for okra.

Mr S says I can sometimes be away with the fairies. Well he got to do his eye-roll at the deli yesterday. I asked for 8 small chorizo sausages. I duly handed over my money for those and a few other ingredients and thought ‘Well that was expensive!’ Yeah – turns out he gave me 8 normal sized chorizo. Good job I bloody love the stuff.

Preparing:

  • Chop up a couple of chorizo sausages
  • Dice a green pepper
  • Dice a couple of celery stalks
  • Chop up an onion
  • Grate a few garlic cloves
  • Chop up a few tomatoes
  • Prepare some chicken stock
  • Slice some okra
  • Chop some parsley
  • Get cooked prawns, rice, cajun seasoning*, a bay leaf, a couple of thyme sprigs, plain flour, oil & seasoning ready

Making:

Heat a pan and cook the chorizo until starting to release it’s oil. Remove and set aside.

Add a little more oil to the pan and cook the onion, green pepper and celery until starting to soften. Add the garlic and some cajun seasoning and cook for another minute. Add the flour and stir through for a minute. Pop the tomatoes in along with the thyme and bay. Add the chicken stock and bring to the boil. Cover and cook for about 45 minutes to intensify the flavours.

Make sure there is enough stock and add the rice. Cook for 10 minutes then add the okra.

Cook, keeping an eye on the stock level until the rice is cooked through. Season well, adding the prawns for the last few minutes. Serve with the parsley.

TWD_0410_GumboI adapted a recipe called Portuguese Linguiça Gumbo from my Dirty Food book.

  • cajun seasoning – paprika, cayenne, chilli flakes, oregano, thyme, onion powder, garlic powder & black pepper.

Risotto with Tuna & Pine Nuts

On 22nd September 2015, This was Dinner

This was a really good risotto. I have a habit of sticking things on ‘the list’ then wondering why and this was one of those dishes. I thought it was going to be mediocre, don’t ask why, I just did. Instead I got a risotto I just couldn’t get enough of. Expecting to have some left over for lunch the following day.

Preparing:

  • Finely chop an onion
  • Finely chop a garlic clove
  • Dice some tomatoes
  • Prepare some chicken (or fish) stock
  • Drain a can of tuna
  • Slice some (pitted) black olives
  • Chop a red pepper into small pieces
  • Toast some pine nuts
  • Grate some parmesan
  • Chop some parsley
  • Get risotto rice, oregano, white wine vinegar, butter, oil & seasoning

Making:

Mix the tuna, olives, parsley, a third of the red pepper, a sprinkle of the oregano and a dash of white wine vinegar. Season.

Melt some of the butter and oil in a pan and add the onion and garlic. Cook until soft and golden.

Add the rice and stir well ensuring all the grains are coated and are starting to turn transparent. Add a ladle of the stock and stir. When the stock has been absorbed, add the next ladle, repeating until the stock has gone and the rice is almost cooked.

Pop the tomatoes and the remaining pepper in another heated, oiled pan to cook for a few minutes until they are warm then add the pine nuts. Transfer this to the rice and continue cooking.

Add the tuna mixture to warm through along with the parmesan. Check the seasoning and serve.TWD_2209_Tuna_Risotto

Prawn & Pineapple Fried Rice

On 13th July 2015, This was Dinner

If you want to buy a microwave packet rice for this and make it a quick one, you can, it’s what is used in the original recipe here. I made mine from scratch. The recipe also uses ginger paste and garlic paste but that would be a waste of money as I’ve always got garlic and a small piece of ginger lasts, and isn’t expensive.

I also added some cooked ham I’d got going spare.

This includes cooling time for the cooked rice.

Preparing:

  • Grate a couple of garlic cloves
  • Grate some ginger
  • Chop an onion
  • Whisk up a couple of eggs
  • Slice some ham
  • Drain a tin of pineapple chunks
  • Zest & juice a lime
  • Get frozen peas, defrosted prawns, cashew nuts, rice, Chinese five spice powder, soy sauce, sesame oil & seasoning ready

Making:

Boil the kettle and pour over the rice. The water should be about the level of thumb tip to knuckle. Bring to the boil and simmer gently for 5 minutes. Cover with foil and pop the lid on and cook for another 5 minutes. Turn off the heat and leave for 15 minutes.

Fluff up the rice and spread out evenly to allow to cool.

When the rice has cooled, heat the oil in a large pan. Add the egg and spread as an omelette, cooking for a minute or so each side. Remove from the pan and set aside.

Add the onion to the pan and cook until softened. Add the garlic, ginger and five spice powder. Cook for a couple of minutes, stirring well.

Throw in the peas and give it another stir. Add the rice and soy sauce and stir fry for a few minutes.

Add the prawns, pineapple, ham and cashew nuts. Cut the omelette into ribbons and add to the pan. Give it all another stir with a bit of seasoning if required. Make sure it is heated through and serve.

TWD_1307_Fried_Rice