Chicken Pot Roast
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
- 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.
- Preheat the oven to 180°c
- 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
- Once everything coated with the oil tip into the casserole dish
- Place the chicken pieces on top, brush with a little oil if you want the skin to colour
- Place in the oven with the lid on for 40 mins
- After this make a judgement call,
- I took the lid off and placed back in the oven to colour the skin
- Could have taken the chicken out and roasted separately if the veg was well on its way.
- Take the chicken out and place on a plate
- Add the lemon juice and the crème fraiche to the potatoes and turn over
Hearty soup, based on minestrone
A few minutes spare in the Sorrento supermarket allowed me to take a moment to explore all the different shapes and sizes on offer. This particular shape took my fancy and it’s only now that I Farfalline translates to butterflies.
Prep: Large Stock Pot with Lid, As ever don’t get precious over the veg you use, just pick a few good wholesome root veggies and the liquid ratio is yours to choose depending on how thick you like your soup
- 150g Puy lentils
- 50g Pearl Barley
- 2 onions, peeled and diced
- 3 garlic cloves, peeled, crushed
- 2 Celery Stalks, diced
- 1 tbsp Bouillon
- 1 tsp dried mixed herbs
- 3 Carrots, diced
- 1 Parsnip, diced
- 4 slices Smoked Bacon, diced
- 4 Potatoes diced (500g)
- 1 tin of Borlotti beans drained and rinsed
- Glug of Olive Oil or Rapeseed
- Start with soaking the lentils and barley, give them a thorough wash in plenty of running cold water, then soak in the 500ml of water
- Glug of oil in the pan, heat through and then add the bacon
- Dice the onions, and add to the pan
- When the onions start to soften add the crushed garlic, the celery, and turn over, soften for a minute or so
- Add the root veg, and turn over on low heat for 8 minutes or so
- Add the bouillon (I do this dry) and the mixed herbs…..stir through.
- Pour over the Puy lentils, plus barley and the 500ml water
- Top up with water from the kettle (1.5 litre). Cover the veg by 4-5 cm.
- Simmer gently for 15 mins
- Add in the pasta and simmer as per the length of time on the packet. About 6 mins for the Farfalline
- Judge the water level as you stir through to stop things sticking to the bottom
- I briefly pulsed a hand blender to thicken a little…..but it doesn’t really need it
- Feel free to season to taste with salt/ground pepper
Beef Curry Granny Style
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
- 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
- Heat a glug of olive oil in the casserole dish on a high heat
- Sear 1/2 or 1/3 of the beef until brown on each side
- Remove with a slotted spoon, and place in bowl to add back in later
- Add another glug of oil if needed and repeat until all the beef is seared
- Once all the beef is seared, add another glug and soften the onion and apple
- Add the curry powder, stir through and cook for a minute or so
- Add the flour and again stir through and cook for a minute or so
- Add in the tomatoes and stir through
- Add the dried fruit, the beef with it’s juices, the lemon juice and the water, stirring through
- 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.
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
- 175g Butter
- 125g Caster Sugar
- 3 Eggs – beaten
- 175g Self-raising flour
- 1 tsp Baking Powder
- 2 Lemons – the zest of
- 2 Lemons – the juice from the zested lemons
- 125g Caster Sugar
- Preheat the oven to 180c
- In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugar till pale and fluffy
- Whisk in the beaten eggs a little at a time
- Gently fold in the flour, baking powder and the zest
- 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
- For the infusion, mix the lemon juice and granulated sugar to a runny consistency
- 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.
Spiced Winter Root Soup
Robust winter root vegetable soup, spiced with curry powder and ginger.
A huge piece of ginger came in the veg box this week, huge by our standards anyway. We’ve only been known to buy a thumb sized piece….this one was at least 4 thumbs. The box also contained a stonking turnip and a huge ugly parsnip.
Prep: Large Stock Pot with Lid, don’t get precious over the veg you use, just pick a few good wholesome root veggies and the liquid ratio is yours to choose depending on how thick you like your soup
- 250g split red lentils and 350ml water
- 2 onions, peeled
- 2 garlic cloves, peeled
- 2 mild fresh chilli’s, deseeded
- A thumb sized piece of ginger peeled
- 1tbsp Curry Powder
- A large sweet potato (or 2 medium)
- A large swede or turnip
- A large parsnip (or 2 medium)
- 2 400g tins chopped tomatoes
- Glug of Olive Oil or Rapeseed
- Start with the lentils, give them a thorough wash in plenty of running cold water, then soak in the 350ml of water
- Dice the onions, ginger, garlic and chilli. (I use a mini food processor to make this quicker, or you could grate the ginger and finely slice the chilli)
- Glug of oil into the pan and gently soften the onion mix for 5 mins on low heat
- Add the curry powder and continue to cook for a minute or so
- Peel and chop the root veg into chunks, add to the pot and turn over, cook for a minute or so
- Add the chopped tomatoes and stir over
- Add the red lentils which should be looking a little plumper by now and stir over
- Top up with water from the kettle. I usually do this to just about cover the veg
- Simmer until the chunks are soft
- Pulse with a hand blender, or mash with a potato masher to the consistency you like
We recently came back from a weeks camping and on the route home we popped into the supermarket in order to pick up some staples for the working week a head. Armed with zero recipes and preparation on my behalf the sweet potatoes called out to me.
This makes a nice hearty soup with left overs for the freezer for those mid week school nights.
Sweet Potatoe and Lentil Soup
- Large Onion
- 250g red lentils
- 2 large sweet potatoes
- 2 tins of chopped tomatoes (400g tin size)
- 2 tbsp bouillon
- 1.2l boiling water
- 2 cloves garlic, peeled crushed/chopped
- Glug of oil
- Wash the lentils and then soak in 300 ml of water
- Dice the onion, and add to the oil in a pan, soften
- Add the garlic and stir in
- Stir in the Bouillon
- Pour in the boiling water, and then pour in the lentils with its soaked water
- Peel and chop the sweet potatoes into rough bite sized pieces, add to the pan
- Add the tomatoes
- Bring to a simmer for 20 mins or so
- Choice here to make smooth or rustic, I used a Potatoe masher for rustic or you can use the hand blender for smooth. The choice is yours!
We decided to stay in and create our own coffee environment for Mother’s Day, a few options were presented from going to Dobbie’s Garden Centre with the masses or a walk to Morningside, instead we decided we would have a better time without the need for the hunt for that perfect scone coffee combo.
The eldest snuck out for the Sunday paper whilst I got the scones on the go. We are in the process of trying to eat down the various flours we’ve had on the go over a while so this was a perfect excuse to dabble if a bit risky to deviate from the prescribed recipe!
Essentially you need 500g of plain flour to make this a success, so feel free to just go plain! Likewise with the liquid (you need 300ml of milk), I was trying to use some left over cream as well.
I was also given a few pointers before I was let loose
- Be brief with the rubbing of the ingredients
- Don’t over knead the dough
- Be surgical with the cutter…..no wiggling!
- Scones liked to be baked close together as if it makes them fight for the heat
- 200g Plain Flour
- 200g 00 Flour
- 100g Wholemeal Flour
- 1/2 teaspoon of salt
- 2 teaspoons of bicarbonate soda
- 4 teaspoons of cream of tartar
- 50g Butter, cold and cubed
- 30g Trex, cold
- 250ml milk
- 50 ml single cream
- Egg beaten for the egg wash
6-7cm crinkle cutter is needed along with a baking tray, we’ve taken to lining a roasting tin.
Pre-heat the oven to 220C, and prepare your chosen tray.
- In a large bowl sift the flours, bi-carb, cream of tartar together (if using wholemeal, just throw the husk back in). The point of this is to get lots of air around the flour with the hope of getting fluffy scones!
- Add the salt and mix in, Add the cubed fat
- Rub the fat and the dry ingredients together to form bread crumbs. If you have warm fingers a food processor is a saviour for this method and sticks to one of the guidance notes! Really easy to pulse the fat and the flour together.
- If using the pulse method, pour the sand like mix back into the bowl
- Make a well and add the liquid all at once
- At this point, you can either get your hands stuck or use a spatula to get it under control. Work quickly/briefly
- Turn out onto a floured surface, with a brief knead to form a dough.
- With a rolling pin, roll out to about 3cm
- Stamp out the scones, you’ll get anything between 11 and 15 scones depending on how thin/thick you rolled the dough, with a gather of the off cuts and a re-roll for the last few
- With a pastry brush, use the beaten egg to brush over the tops
- Put in the oven for 10-12 mins until golden
- For that Mother’s Day twist, arrange in a nice bowl with a tea towel on top to keep warm….and don’t forget the coffee