Monday 27 May 2019

Chicken Chow Mein

Chicken Chow Mein
  • 2 chicken breasts, cut into chunks
  • Half a red pepper thinly sliced
  • 4 tbsp dark soy sauce
  • 4 tbsp light soy sauce
  • 4 tbsp oyster sauce
  • 3 nests of medium egg noodles
  • 3 tbsp sesame oil
  • 1 tbsp cornflour
  • 2 cloves of garlic, thinly sliced
  • 1 bag of bean sprouts
  • 3 spring onions, cut into 2cm pieces
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • Few grinds of black pepper
Firstly, you need to marinade the chicken for at least an hour.  Place the chicken into a bowl, add 1 tbsp of dark soy sauce, light soy sauce and cornflour, mix well, ensuring the chicken gets a good coating then place in the fridge.

Cook the noodles according to pack instructions and then run under cold water to prevent them sticking together.

Heat the oil in a wok until hot, add the chicken and fry until cooked through, remove from the wok and set aside.  Add the garlic, sliced peppers and spring onions and cook for a couple of minutes, mixing as you go.  Add the noodles, chicken and bean sprouts, stir in the remaining dark soy sauce, light soy sauce, oyster sauce and the sugar and pepper, stir through and serve.

I recently made this dish with the young people at Dormans Youth Club where I teach, it was such a hit I decided to make it myself at home.  This seriously is a contender to rival any chow mein that you get from your local takeaway, you won't be disappointed.  Whilst chow mein is a noodle dish as opposed to a stir fry I did add some sliced peppers, which to be honest was just to add some colour to the dish!  I don't usually make dishes like this simply because I had never made anything that was on a par with food from the Chinese, but this changed my mind, try it yourself and let me know what you think.

Sunday 19 May 2019

Chicken and Artichoke Pide

Chicken & artichoke pide
This Turkish recipe is easier than you may think to make.  With the pide dough you make a boat shaped base which you can fill with a variety of fillings.  For this recipe I am using chicken and artichokes.

For the dough, you will need:-
  • 7g sachet of fast action yeast
  • 1 tsp caster sugar
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 2 tbs olive oil
  • 100 ml cold water
  • 300g 00 grade pasta flour

For the filling you will need:-
  • 2 cooked chicken breasts, shredded
  • Jar of artichoke hearts, drained
  • Handful of sliced black olives
  • 1 pepper thinly sliced
  • Turkish chilli flakes
  • 200g grated cheddar cheese
  • Small amount of melted butter
  • Rocket leaves

Put the yeast and sugar into a small bowl, add two tablespoons of warm water, stir and leave to one side.  Sift the flour into a large bowl and add the salt.  Make a well in the centre, pour in the olive oil and yeast mixture.  Combine the mixture with your hands, gradually pouring in the cold water.  Continue to mix until the dough sticks together, if needed add a couple more tablespoons of cold water.  Remove the dough from the bowl and knead on a floured surface for 5 or so minutes until the dough is stretchy.  Place the dough into an oiled bowl, cover with a tea towel and leave for 30 minutes until it has risen slightly.

Preheat your oven to 220 degrees.  Place in a pizza stone to heat or alternatively if you don't have a pizza stone, line a baking tray with baking paper.

Whilst there is enough dough to make 8 pide, this recipe will make 4, the remaining dough can be frozen or alternatively if making 8 increase the filling ingredients accordingly.

Cut the dough into 8 equal portions.  Using your hands, form 4 pieces into an oval shape.  Dust each side with flour and roll out into a long thin boat shape.  Prick the dough all over with a fork and place on the baking sheet or heated pizza stone.  Place you cheese, chicken, artichokes, pepper and olives onto each pide, leaving a small gap around the edge.  Fold the edges in on themselves and using a fork, crimp around the border.  Bake the pide boats for around 10 minutes until slightly golden.

Plate up, sprinkle over some Turkish chilli flakes and top with a small amount of rocket.  Brush the pastry with the melted butter and enjoy.  I drizzled over some rapeseed vinaigrette  and got stuck in!  

This is a light and tasty dish, you could have with a side salad for lunch or a light dinner.  We both really enjoyed this and can't wait to try something different with the remaining pide dough, watch this space!  What toppings would you try?

Saturday 11 May 2019

Sardines on toast

Sardines on toast
Another quick and easy recipe.  I was sent these sardines to review with my shopping from Ocado and after a quick ponder I decided on sardines on toast.  To make this tasty lunchtime dish you need the following:-

  • 2 tins of sardines (drained)
  • Handful of rocket leaves
  • Couple of slices of toasted bread
  • 4 eggs
  • Splash of white wine vinegar

Bring a large pan of water to the boil, add a good splash of white wine vinegar and then drop in the eggs.  There is no need to swirl the water around as the eggs should naturally bind together, I would however suggest cracking each egg into a small ramekin dish as this makes it quicker and easier to drop in to the water, as timing is of the essence. Cook the eggs for 3 minutes and remove with a slotted spoon and set aside.

Butter your toasted bread, add some rocket leaves, place on the sardines and then top each slice with a couple of poached eggs and get stuck in!  

For anyone who has never had sardines, they do contain bones but they are so small they are ok to eat.  The sardines I used were in a chilli and garlic oil which gave a subtle hint of flavour to the dish, they were also quite a decent size so you could slice them in half rather than use two tins.  

Sunday 5 May 2019

Quick and Easy Canapes

Egg & Bacon Vol au Vents

Egg & Bacon Vol au Vents, Caprese skewers, Tuna and Cucumber Wedges

Here are some really easy canapĂ© ideas that can be put together in next to know time, they look great and they taste fab!  The amount of ingredients used will depend on how many canapes you are looking to make so you will need to adjust accordingly.

For the vol au vents I used 3 hard boiled eggs mashed together with a few tablespoons of mayonnaise, don't overdo the mayo, you don't want the mixture to be too loose, season with plenty of freshly ground black pepper.  I had two packs of ready made vol au vent cases (24 cases) which you then spoon or pipe the egg mixture into.  I grilled two rashers of bacon which I then cut into thin strips and placed a couple of slices into each vol au vent and then topped with some cress.  Not only do these look really good but they are so tasty.

Caprese skewers, Tuna and Cucumber Wedges

The caprese skewers are so easy, I used a bag of mini mozzarella pearls, there were 12 in the pack. Drain them from the liquid and pat dry.  You will also need 12 cherry tomatoes, 12 basil leaves and 12 cocktail sticks.  Place a folded basil leaf on top of the cherry tomato, top with the mozzarella pearl and skewer with the cocktail stick, it really is that quick!  I had a bottle of balsamic glaze which I also put out so people could drizzle over themselves but the skewers tasted amazing as they were, the flavours of each component just go so well together.

Lastly for the tuna and cucumber wedges I mixed together one drained can of tuna with half a finely chopped red onion, freshly ground black pepper and a few tablespoons of mayo.  Again, don't overdo the mayo, you don't want the mix to be sloppy it needs to hold together to sit on the cucumber.  I cut a cucumber into 12 thick slices and then topped each slip with a spoon of the tuna mix.  If you like a bit of heat you can add a few drops of tobacco to the mix just to spice it up a bit.

I made these recently for an afternoon tea and they went down really well, great flavours from all of them and again, so quick to put together, give them a try and let me know what you think.