Chicken Potatoes & Rosemary

Chicken Pot Roast

  • Servings: 2
  • Time: Prep: 20 mins Cooking: 50 mins to 1 hour
  • Difficulty: easy
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Chicken Pot Roast for 2

A dreich weekend, a head cold to boot and looking after our nephews called for a simple bang in the oven treat. Chicken was the staple of my youth, but there was not a herb in site let alone garlic, just bisto! 

Credit: Granny’s Recipe File

Prep: You’ll need a large bowl for tossing the ingredients together and a lidded roasting dish.  The recipe will scale easily, so chose an appropriate roasting dish. This is perfect for 2 in a small le Creuset

Ingredients

  • 4 Chicken Thighs
  • 3 medium roasting potatoes cut into chunks
  • 100g Bacon Pieces/diced streaky
  • 3 Cloves of Garlic, finely sliced
  • 1 Onion Quartered and then chopped again
  • 2 Sprigs of Rosemary, or few sprigs of thyme
  • Olive Oil
  • Juice of a Lemon
  • 2 tbsp Crème Fraiche

The recipe card recommends serving with a green salad, or braised cabbage like I did.

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 180°c
  2. In a large bowl, mix/turn over the potatoes with
    • Chopped onions
    • Diced bacon
    • Finely sliced garlic
    • Finely chopped rosemary or thyme
    • Good glug of olive oil
  3. Once everything coated with the oil tip into the casserole dish
  4. Place the chicken pieces on top, brush with a little oil if you want the skin to colour
  5. Place in the oven with the lid on for 40 mins
  6. After this make a judgement call,
    1. I took the lid off and placed back in the oven to colour the skin
    2. Could have taken the chicken out and roasted separately if the veg was well on its way.
  7. Take the chicken out and place on a plate
  8. Add the lemon juice and the crème fraiche to the potatoes and turn over

 

Beef Curry – Granny’s Way

Beef Curry Granny Style

  • Servings: 12
  • Time: Prep: Less than 20 mins Cooking: 2 hours
  • Difficulty: easy
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Slow cook Beef curry, with apple and raisins

Sunday and a blue sky chilly day, a chance to walk with the sun in our faces.  We made it over the top of Blackford Hill and along the Hermitage to the Lodge for a cheeky scone.  At the back of my mind the desire to try Granny’s curry which would definitely fit the bill of a warming wintry slow cook allowing us to get on with watching a Boys film from the recorded Christmas TV.  

Credit: Granny’s Recipe File

Prep:  Large casserole dish hob and oven friendly

Oven: 180°c or 350°f

Ingredients

      • 650g Stewing Beef diced
      • Rapeseed/Olive Oil
      • 2 large onions diced
      • 1 cooking apple, peeled and chopped
      • 1 tbsp curry powder
      • 25g plain flour
      • 1 (400g) tin of chopped tomatoes
      • 500ml Water
      • 1 tbsp chutney
      • 50g sultanas or raisins
      • Juice of a lemon

Directions

      1. Heat a glug of olive oil in the casserole dish on a high heat
      2. Sear 1/2 or 1/3 of the beef until brown on each side
      3. Remove with a slotted spoon, and place in bowl to add back in later
      4. Add another glug of oil if needed and repeat until all the beef is seared
      5. Once all the beef is seared, add another glug and soften the onion and apple
      6. Add the curry powder, stir through and cook for a minute or so
      7. Add the flour and again stir through and cook for a minute or so
      8. Add in the tomatoes and stir through
      9. Add the dried fruit, the beef with it’s juices, the lemon juice and the water, stirring through
      10. Then place in the centre of the oven for 2 hours

Post-Recipe Notes: Granny loved to add raisins to everything.  This a glossy, sweet and sour curry the apple disappears and there is a hidden back note to the dish.  Curry powder feels cheatsy, quick and easy to rustle this up before banging in the oven. 

Lemon Drizzle Cake

Lemon Drizzle

  • Servings: 9-12
  • Time: Prep: Less than 20 mins Cooking: 20 mins
  • Difficulty: easy
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Granny's Lemon Crusty Cake, an infusion of citrus to a classic sponge

Pleased to find a classic easy cake recipe in Granny’s recipe file, hoping that one of the boys would help me as I start the journey of working through the box.   We’ll see though, there is another kind of box (starts with x) calling on this grey January day.  

An infusion of summer is introduced in this cake, a reminder to me of the lemons growing freely and openly in Sorrento……just the ticket for afternoon tea.

Credit: Granny’s Recipe File

Prep: Grease and line a 22cm x 22cm square cake tin

Ingredients

Cake:

  • 175g Butter
  • 125g Caster Sugar
  • 3 Eggs – beaten
  • 175g Self-raising flour
  • 1 tsp Baking Powder
  • 2 Lemons – the zest of

Topping:

  • 2 Lemons – the juice from the zested lemons
  • 125g Caster Sugar

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 180c
  2. In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugar till pale and fluffy
  3. Whisk in the beaten eggs a little at a time
  4. Gently fold in the flour, baking powder and the zest
  5. Pour the mixture into the tin and bake for 20 minutes, the cake should shrink a little from the sides and spring back lightly when touched

Topping

  1. For the infusion, mix the lemon juice and granulated sugar to a runny consistency
  2. Pour/Brush over the cake while still hot in the tin, and leave to cool

Post-Recipe Notes:  I’ve been given the back story to this recipe, the recipe card mentions Verbier 88…which brought back tales of a family sharing a chalet on a skiing holiday.   This recipe came from the customary afternoon tea that that gets served up on return from the slopes.  This a take away recipe from the Chalet Girl.

This comes with a high sugar warning……..I didn’t quite manage the crunch, I was too scared to go for the full amount on the topping!  Just goes to show…..make your own cake so you know what goes into your food!   Aside from that…..it’s delicious.

Braid Hill

Enjoying the #bluesky this morning #arthursseat #edinburgh

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Sunday and there are blue skies with a hint of warmth.  We are in that snow drop daffodil cross over period.  The sign that we a moving into longer days and happier times.  We managed a lovely long walk from the door.   Taking in braid hill which has an amazing 360 degree view of Edinburgh and the Pentlands.

With lungs full of fresh air we made it home for some free time and I decided it was time to tackle one of the recipes that I’d pulled out of the Black box.  What is there not to like about millionaires shortbread, a biscuit covered with unctuous caramel, covered in chocolate.  Not to be deterred by my wife saying I don’t remember having that as a child…..I ploughed on.

Millionaires Shortbread

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The recipe is nice and easy and broken down into 3 fairly obvious stages. The base, the middle and the end!

Shortbread

  • 280g plain flour
  • 170g butter
  • 100g sugar

Caramel

  • 379g condensed milk
  • 100g golden syrup
  • 100g butter

 Topping

  • 280g milk chocolate

Pre-heat the oven to 150C, and line a 20cm x 30cm baking tin with parchment.

  1. Rub the flour and butter together to form bread crumbs.  A food processor is my saviour for this method.  Really easy to pulse the butter and flour together.
  2. Pulse in the sugar
  3. Pour into the baking tin and press down using the back of a soup spoon.DSC_0052
  4. Place in the oven for 30 mins until it starts to turn colour
  5. Take out the oven to cool
  6. Melt the butter, condensed milk and syrup together until smoothDSC_0053
  7. Bring to the simmer for 5 mins,  I found I had to stir it to stop it catching on the pan.  It will thicken and turn golden
  8. Leave to cool slightly before pouring over the biscuit base and spread evenly.  Leave to coolDSC_0055
  9. Time for chocolate…..usual melting chocolate rules apply, melt the broken chocolate pieces in a bowl set over (not touching) simmering water.   Stir every now and agin and once the lumps have gone pour over the set caramel and spread evenlyDSC_0058
  10. Leave to cool, chop into the desired squares and enjoy

The Black Box

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I’ve had two black box’s in my life.  The first, my first record player.  A beast of a thing that no child could carry and sat in the corner of my room.  I used to think little people lived in side.  Amazingly for a 1950’s bit of kit (it would have been a good 30 years before I got my hands on it!) you could stack it with 6 records to play in a row.  I’ve just found a you tube video and the clunk click as the record drops, and the needle moves into place takes me back.

The second an inherited black box of recipes from my mother in-law when she passed away.  A treasure trove of recipes and notes that she’d meticulously copied for herself and recipes that had been written down on the same index cards passed on by friends.

The recipes really belong to my wife and food is a powerful thing in terms of evoking memories.  At the time the box was too great to tackle, to have a look and explore would have been painful.   Now a good few years on, the memories are of fond ones rather than sad.  The box has sat by my desk for some time as I had the notion to transcribe them, modernise and bring into our way of cooking.

For some this box would just be a standard index card system with recipes that no doubt feature highly across the web if you were to search for them.  For me though it’s a journey, the box wobbles and whispers.  What will I find in there.  Do I start at the beginning and work my way through or is there a method that I should apply.   Deep down I’ll be looking for the baked Alaska recipe that was presented effortlessly when I met my future in-laws for the first time.  Or the apple betty that is spoken about as legend between brother and sister.