Now how’s that for a title! Quite apt if you were in our kitchen yesterday just before lunch time. As we do, I have been storing a few bits and bobs in the line of leftovers the last couple of days and thought it time to use them up plus there were little dregs of sauces which I just don’t have the heart to throw away – I always think I can add them to something else but in reality never do, so, it was time to clean out the fridge. What resulted was a taste bud tantalising and very satisfying lunch.
My salad consisted of crispy baby gem lettuce, onion, cucumber, tomato, coriander, roast chicken and gammon with a drizzling of mayo, sweet chilli sauce and black pepper which I enjoyed in a nice cosy sunny spot in the lounge.
There was a little more motivation to emptying the fridge but you will have to wait to see why. Sadly no, we are not getting a new fridge, well not yet anyway.
With the cooler weather I have been craving heartier food – salad isn’t quite cutting the mustard any more plus I was in the mood for a taste explosion but wasn’t quite sure what kind of flavour taste explosion so into the kitchen I went to rummage through the spices. A few bottles made their way onto the counter along with a few other ingredients and the result was a fabulously flavourful chicken curry which I think may be making an appearance in our kitchen soon again. Next round may have to have a few pappadums on the side too.
Spicy Chicken Curry
2 tbsp grapeseed oil
1 large onion sliced
½ tsp coriander seed
½ tsp cumin seed
½ tsp Chinese 5 spice
¼ tsp ground cinnamon
¾ tsp ground ginger – fresh would be even nicer
2 tbsp curry paste or to taste – I used Thai green curry paste
2 garlic cloves crushed
1 410g tin chopped tomatoes
1 tsp sugar
¼ cup dry white wine
¼ cup coconut cream – normal cream would work equally as well
3 -4 chicken breasts sliced
Salt and black pepper to taste
Fresh coriander to serve
Fry the onion in 2 tablespoons of grapeseed oil until tender and lightly browned.
Lightly bash the coriander seed and cumin seed in a pestle and mortar and add to the onion along with all the other spices and curry paste and fry for 2 minutes to allow the flavours to develop.
Add the garlic, tomatoes and sugar and cook until reduced by half.
Add the wine and coconut cream and reduce by half.
This really should fall into the un-recipe category and into the should make every week category too. This flavourful meal came about when I found some forgotten tomatoes in the crisper looking quite sad and slightly wrinkled. While waiting for the tomatoes to roast , you can as I did, enjoy a bubble bath with a glass of wine. 😉 With next weeks version, I shall lose the chicken and replace it with anchovies and try roma tomatoes for a more robust and slightly sweeter flavour.
Roasted Tomato & Chicken Pasta
Garlic cloves unpeeled
Olive or grapeseed oil
Sea salt and black pepper
Pasta of choice
Preheat the oven to 220°C.
Place the tomatoes and garlic cloves on a baking tray and drizzles with oil and season well with salt, pepper and origanum.
Bake for approximately 45 minutes.
Blitz the tomatoes and garlic (squeezed out of it’s skin) using a stick blender and beaker. Add another drizzle of olive oil and stir through.
Cook the pasta according to the package instructions.
Fry the chicken breasts over a medium heat in butter and oil seasoned with the Italian herbs and chilli powder.
Once cooked slice into strips.
Serve the tomato sauce and chicken over the pasta with an optional second glass of wine.
When Pete is away on business, knowing that I am going to get the proverbial suckers on my butt and not leave the computer for most of the day but still wanting a tasty dinner without the hassle of an actual recipe or having to plan and prep in advance, I head to the kitchen to make a cuppa and see what the cupboard has to offer in the way of flavour. I find chicken is the safest to experiment with and generally you can’t go wrong with throwing a few ingredients at it and bunging it in the oven until it is cooked. So… Lemon Rosemary Balsamic Chicken was born. I didn’t measure anything – you will have to be guided by the amount of chicken you are cooking and by taste.
Lemon Rosemary Balsamic Chicken
Lemon – mine was from the garden
Rosemary sprig – mine was from the garden
Preheat the oven to 180°C.
Place the chicken in an oven proof dish and squeeze over some lemon juice.
Place pieces of rosemary over the chicken and splash over with a good glug of balsamic.
Grind pepper and salt over the top and bake for approximately 45 minutes until cooked through.
Serve drizzled with the sauce and a side of roast spuddies and veggies.
This is another lovely recipe from my SIL Trish, thanks Trishy! Sorry it took so l o n g to getting around and making this but better late than never as they say. When I make this again though, I will double the amount of Dijon mustard from one tablespoon to two as I couldn’t quite taste it and think it will enhance the citrus flavours even more.
6 to 8 chicken thighs
½ cup marmalade
1 tbsp Dijon mustard
1tbsp olive oil
½ inch piece ginger grated
1 garlic clove crushed
Juice & zest of 1 orange
Salt & black pepper to taste
Preheat the oven to 180°C.
Place the chicken pieces in a large oven proof dish.
Combine all the ingredients and pour over the chicken.
Bake for 45 – 60 minutes, basting every 15 minutes.
If the sauce is still runny, reduce in a pan and pour over the chicken before serving.
I have been wanting this recipe from my SIL Elmien for years – I know, how sad that it took me this long to get around to asking for it. In fairness though, I could always rely on Elmien to make these for us so I never really had to get the recipe but now, she and my brother live over 1000 kilometres away from us so it necessitated me having to make these myself. You will be sorry if you don’t make these delectable, oh so moreish wings; yip, they are that scrumity and couldn’t be easier to make and I managed to only amend the recipe a wee little bit. Do you always have the uncontrollable urge to amend recipes?
We were lucky to be enjoying some beautiful days for this time of year and the barometer has been topping the near middle twenties the last short while, well before the cold spell slap us in the face so a salad for lunch has once again been an option – yay! This quick and easy salad will have you sufficiently satisfied until dinner time. Quantities will depend on how many you are feeding or how hungry you are. I don’t keep a lot of salad ingredients on hand this time of year – lettuce, cucumber and fresh herbs are standard though. You can add anything else you have on hand and a little dollop of mayo (homemade of course) finishes this off perfectly.
Warm Chicken Salad
Chicken breasts cut into strips
1 egg beaten
Seasoned flour – I cheated and used Hinds Southern Coating seasoning (thanks Aunty Christine)
Baby gem lettuce
Cucumber sliced and quartered
Avo sliced Mayonnaise
Dip the chicken in the egg and flour.
Fry in a little olive oil and butter, turning to brown both sides.
While the chicken is cooking, plate up the salad ingredients.
Serve the chicken over the salad greens with a little mayonnaise
I really should think about a shorter title but Chicken Meatballs and Cabbage doesn’t quite have the same ring to it. This makes for a scrumptious lunch or light dinner and comes together in no time at all.
The picture leaves much to be desired but the flavour was delicious, promise.
Mini Chicken Meatballs over Butter Fried Baby Cabbage and Roma Tomatoes
500g ground chicken
45ml finely diced onion
15ml sweet chilli sauce
10ml chicken stock powder
5ml dried thyme
Salt and black pepper to taste
1 baby cabbage shredded
8 Roma tomatoes halved
Combine all of the ingredients except for the cabbage and tomatoes in a bowl and form small meatballs.
Pan fry the meatballs in a little drizzle of olive oil and set aside.
Melt a good sized knob of butter in a pan and fry the cabbage and tomatoes for 2 minutes.
Don’t think I will ever roast chicken any other way again. My mom’s new way of preparing her chickens for roasting is to brine them for 24 hours before roasting which results in the chicken being beautifully tender and moist. The hardest part is planning 24 hours in advance that you want roast chicken for dinner.
Shame, not sure what happened with this photo - it tasted delicious though.
Brined Roast Chicken
For every one bird make up the following: –
1 tbsp salt
1 tbsp sugar
1.5 litres of water
Soak your bird for 24 hours in the fridge.
Remove from the brine, pat dry, season and roast as per normal.
The last remains of a roast chicken work perfectly for these tasty and comforting savoury pancakes and butter fried mushrooms with garlic up the flavour while the creamy white sauce balances things our beautifully before rolling up and sprinkling with cheese to melt and bubble under the grill. Serve with a crispy green salad or just on their own for a delicious lunch or light supper.
Ingredients – quantities depending on how many you are making
Left over roast chicken broken into pieces or fried chicken breasts cut into thin slices
Button mushrooms sliced
1 to 2 garlic cloves crushed
White sauce – recipe to follow soon
Pancakes – recipe to follow soon
Grated cheddar cheese
Fry the mushrooms in butter until tender and add the vegetable spice and garlic.
Add the chicken and heat through.
Place a portion of the chicken onto a pancake and spoon over white sauce. Roll up and sprinkle with cheese.
On occasion when Pete is away, I have been known to get carried away and seem to get suckers on my butt as I never leave my computer for very long. Recently was such a day (and night) which meant cooking supper was not top priority and I only thought of it when my worm was awake and needed to be fed immediately! Seriously quick and easy would have to do – hence the Chicken and Tomato Sandwich was born, which made for a delicious light supper and was perfectly balanced with a Gin and Tonic 🙂 which I enjoyed at my desk.
Pete and I had an impromptu braai the other evening and all I had out defrosted were chicken breasts – not the most ideal thing for the braai but nonetheless, it was decided that we were to braai so onward with the plan. We opted to have pap and sous (always a hit) while I very quickly turned the chicken breasts into kebabs with some veg and a little marinade which was absolutely delicious! The chicken was lovely and juicy while the onions and broccoli were perfectly al dente and the mushrooms were beautifully soft and full of the flavours of the marinade.
Marmalade and Wine Chicken Kebabs
75ml orange marmalade
60ml red wine
15ml whole grain mustard
15ml olive oil
8 skewers – remember to soak the wooden variety for 30 minutes to an hour before using
3 chicken breasts cut into chunks
1 onion cut into chunks
Mix all of the ingredients for the marinade and set aside.
Skewer the chicken and veggies in any combination you like.
Pour over the marinade.
Braai the kebabs (not for very long – you don’t want them drying out) basting with the marinade.
I read about this interesting sounding recipe over at Chef in Disguise and immediately went to check if I had all of the spices on hand – all but paprika so off to the shops it was plus a printed copy of the recipe to Mom for her opinion. We both agreed, a must make it is. We decided to skip the spuds and serve it with rice, sweet carrots and Brussel sprouts instead. Next time around I would halve the oil asked for though – maybe the spuds would have absorbed some of the oil had we cooked them with the chicken as asked for in the original recipe. This is a lovely tasty meal and the garlic flavour is surprisingly very mild.
Red Garlic Chicken
6 cloves garlic crushed
1/2 tsp dried ginger
1/2stp all spice
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp basil
1 tsp rosemary
1 tsp oregano
2 tsp salt
2-3 tbs tomato paste – we used 3
10ml sugar – our own addition
¼ cup olive oil
¼ cup vegetable oil – we recommend omitting this
1 whole chicken cut into 4 pieces – we used 8 chicken thighs
3-4 potatoes peeled and cubed – we omitted these
Whisk all of the herbs and spices together in a bowl while drizzling in the oil.
Place the marinade in a ziplock back with the chicken and massage the marinade into the chicken. Add the potatoes now if you are using them. Set aside to marinate for a couple of hours.
Preheat the oven to 200°C.
Place the chicken (and potatoes) in a roasting dish and cover with tin foil.
Bake for approximately 45 minutes until the chicken is cooked through. To add a little bit more colour, place the chicken under the grill for a couple of minutes.
With the cold weather that seems to be setting in all everywhere, I thought it would be nice to share some comforting soup recipes. Chicken and Corn Soup is a family favourite and this recipe is super easy to whip up.
Our friend Terry made us this super tasty meal a while back and he was kind enough to share his recipe with me, thanks Terry. 🙂 I made a slight adjustment here and there and served it with basmati rice and pappadums. It was an absolutely delicious meal which I am sure will be one of those recipes we serve to family and friends for many years to come.
Terry’s Thai Curry with Butternut
15ml vegetable oil
8 -10 chicken thighs
30ml Thai green curry paste
15ml brown sugar
Zest of 1 lime
400ml coconut cream
10ml soy sauce or fish sauce
500g butternut cubed
Juice of 1 lime
Handful coriander chopped
Heat the oil in a wok or large frying pan and brown the chicken then set aside.
Add the curry paste and sugar to the pan and cook for one minute.
Add the zest, coconut cream, soy or fish sauce and bring to a simmer.
Add the butternut and chicken and cook for 30 to 40 minutes until the butternut is cooked.
Stir in the lime juice and coriander just before serving.
We are still experiencing extremely hot and humid days here in Mauritius so salads for lunch are top of the list plus Tandy’s challenge for this week is to use left overs so yesterdays lunch was made using left over Crumbed Chicken Breasts and drizzled with some of my homemade Salad Dressing. What a winner! I haven’t put measurements or quantities for the ingredients – use as much or little of each that you enjoy.
Cucumber sliced and quarted
Red onion thinly sliced
Pineapple cut into small wedges
Red pepper thinly sliced
Coriander roughly chopped
Curly leaf parsley roughly chopped
Mint leaves roughly chopped Crumbed Chicken Breasts sliced Salad Dressing
These roasting times are approximate and slight adjustments may be required to achieve the degree of cooking preferred. This is particularly important for larger roasts for which cooking times can vary considerably.
Pork roasting times
Oven temperature: 350°F / 180°C / gas mark 4
Medium 30 minutes per 500g plus 30 minutes
Well Done 35 minutes per 500g plus 35 minutes
Check that juices run clear. Rest for 15 minutes before carving.
Last nights supper was put together with left over roast chicken and a half punnet of mushrooms that were taking up space in the fridge. I keep puff pastry in the freezer for such occasions when I use leftovers for a quick, easy and yummy meal. Sadly though, I have been unable to get the make of pastry that I like (nothing out of the ordinary for Mauritius) and bought another brand – bad idea. Firstly, working with pastry in the heavy heat and humidity is not much fun – the best I could do was shape parcels and secondly this pasty was not so much puff as it was short. Nonetheless, we enjoyed our little parcels with a salad.
Chicken Pie Parcels
1 medium onion sliced 125g button mushrooms sliced 200g cooked chicken chopped 125ml chicken stock or 10ml chicken stock powder and 125ml water White pepper to taste 5ml maizena (cornstarch) Puff pastry 10ml milk
Fry the onion and mushrooms in a little butter until the onion has softened and the mushrooms are tender.
Add the chicken and stock and pepper to the pan and heat through.
Thicken with the maizena mixed in a little water.
Set aside and allow to cool.
Preheat the oven to 180°C.
Roll out the pastry and divide into 2 or 4 pieces and place the chicken onto the pastry.
This is another dish that Nanda sends home for me from the office and it is divine. It is a super quick and easy meal to prepare so is ideal for any busy week day dinner. If you prefer your sauce a little thicker, you can stir through a little cornstarch just before serving. Enjoy this dish with rice or more traditionally with baguette.
Mauritian Chicken Curry
2 large potatoes peeled and cubed
Salt and pepper to taste
1 punnet white mushrooms halved
8 chicken thighs cut into pieces
1 large onion sliced
4 large tomatoes roughly chopped
3 garlic cloves crushed
½ inch piece of ginger root grated
2 red chillies seeds removed and finely chopped
1 cup water
Coriander for serving
Fry the potatoes in a little oil until tender and set aside.
Fry the mushrooms until cooked and set aside.
Fry the chicken pieces until just cooked and add the onion and fry for a further 5 minutes.
Add the tomatoes, garlic, ginger and chillies and stir through.
Add the potatoes and mushrooms and stir through.
Add the water, bring to the boil and simmer for about 10 minutes to reduce and thicken slightly.
Even though for a lot of you, the weather is getting cooler, we are heading into warmer weather, which means we will be enjoying a lot more meals outdoors on the braai (barbecue) and these kebabs are a perfect start to the season. Pair these with a Low GI Apple and Cabbage Salad. Yummy.
Low GI Chicken Kebabs
500g chicken breasts skinned and cubed
Onion cut into thick slices
Alternatively any vegetables of your choice
1 garlic clove crushed
65ml soy sauce
65ml lemon juice
½ small onion peeled and grated
Place the chicken on the skewers alternating with the vegetables and place in a shallow dish.
In a glass bowl, mix the garlic, soy sauce, lemon juice and onion and microwave on high for 1 – 2 minutes to cook the onion.
Pour the marinade over the kebabs and marinate for 1 hour or longer if time permits.
Braai (barbecue) the kebabs turning every 2 minutes until cooked. Alternatively, grill the kebabs in the oven.