Mediterranean Chicken Traybake

If you like quick easy mid week dinners then check this out. An easy delicious dish that’s is good enough to crack out for company.

This can be made in advance and reheated if you fancy some weekend cooking. I usually serve with rice or crusty bread to soak up all the yummy juices this cooks in. It’s colourful, tasty and smells fantastic,

Mediterranean Chicken Traybake

Serves 4

Ingredients

4 Large chicken thighs ( I used ones that still had the bone in, and left the skin on. But you can use the boneless skinless ones if you prefer)

100 Grams Green beans (I use frozen ones that I have defrosted)

100 Grams button mushrooms (halved)

1 Red pepper (Cut into chunks)

1 Yellow pepper (Cut into chunks)

1 Red onion (cut into quarters)

12 Black olives, (optional)

8 Cherry tomatoes

1 Tbsp Olive oil

1 Tsp Smoked paprika

1 Tbsp White wine vinegar

2 Cloves of garlic

Salt and pepper

Method

  1. In a baking dish, mix the olive oil and smoked paprika and put into an oven that has been preheated to 200 degrees, for 5 minutes
  2. Add the vegetables and garlic to the dish and coat with the oil and paprika mix, and bake for 10 minutes
  3. Season the chicken thighs with salt and pepper
  4. Remove the vegetables from the oven add the white wine vinegar and stir, set the chicken thighs on top and bake for a further 25 minutes
  5. Remove from the oven and check that chicken is fully cooked, serve when ready.

Asian Slaw

I could eat this everyday, it’s a glorious mixture of crunchy fresh vegetables, chilli heat, and creamy peanut butter.

Perfect for vegetarians and vegans, it’s goes well with fried tempeh, or in wraps or sandwiches. For meat eaters it’s delicious as a side dish with chicken or steak or to add crunch to a burger.

Asian Slaw

Ingredients

Handful of finely sliced white cabbage

1/2 Red pepper

1 Small carrot (grated)

50 Grams Endame beans (I use frozen ones that I defrost first)

5 Radishes (finely sliced)

Small handful of finely sliced sugar snap peas

1 Tbsp Sesame seeds

1 Finely sliced red chilli pepper

2 Tbsps peanut butter

1 Tbsp White wine vinegar

Method

  1. In a dry pan, toast the sesame seeds until they start to brown, and set to one side
  2. Combine the sliced vegetables in a large bowl.
  3. In a separate bowl combine the peanut butter and vinegar, mix well
  4. Mix the peanut butter dressing in with the vegetables and sprinkle with the sesame seeds and mix well

Peach and Blueberry Free Form Pie

I love Summer, and get a bit carried away buying soft fruits when they’re in season.

To use up the mountain of fruit I bought I decided to come up with this take on a recipe that featured in the Great British Bake Off. This pie usually doesn’t hang around long after it comes out of the oven because it smells so good, but it’s best eaten the day it’s made. It’s also handy that you don’t have to faff around with flan tins.

Peach and Blueberry Free Form Pie

Serves 8

Ingredients

200 Grams Plain flour

100 Grams Butter

1/4 Tsp Salt

1 Egg yolk

1 Tbsp Caster Sugar

3 Tbsp Cold water

Filling

3 Peaches

150 Grams Blueberries

59 Grams Caster

1 1/2 Tbsp Cornflour

29 Grams Melted butter for brushing

Method

  1. Sift the flour and salt together, and along with sugar and the butter (cut into cubes) add to a food processor and whizz until the mixture looks like fine breadcrumbs
  2. Add the cold water gradually, until the mixture starts to form ball
  3. Form into a ball and wrap in cling, put in the fridge to chill for 30 minutes
  4. While the pastry is chilling, slice the peaches into quarters and put in a bowl with the blueberries. Sprinkle the cornflour and sugar over the fruit making sure the fruit is well coated
  5. Preheat your oven to 200 degrees, and roll out your pastry into a thin flat disc. My kitchen was really hot the day I made this, so I found it easier to roll the pastry out between two sheets of grease proof paper, before transferring to a baking sheet
  6. Pile the fruit into the centre of the pastry, leaving a 4 or 5cm gap around the edge of the pastry
  7. Start folding in the edges of the pastry in pleats, and then brush with the melted butter
  8. Bake in the oven for 40 minutes until the pastry is golden brown. You can dust the pie with some icing sugar if you want to be fancy, this is delicious with vanilla ice cream

Veggie Fried Rice

Some nights you just can’t face cooking, when this is the case, this is the dinner for you. I can never judge how much rice to make, and always have extra rice left over. This is a great way to use up that left over rice and takes less than 10 minutes to make.

Serves 2

250 Grams Boiled long grain rice (cold)

2 Scallions /spring onions (sliced)

50 Grams Button Mushrooms (sliced)

50 Grams Frozen peas (thawed)

2 Eggs

2 Cloves of garlic (minced)

1/4 Tsp Dried chilli flakes

1 Tbsp Grated ginger

2 Tbsp Soy sauce

1 Tbsp Sesame oil

2 Tbsp Oil for frying (something without a strong flavour like sunflower oil)

Method

  1. Heat the oil for frying in a large frying pan or wok
  2. Add the vegetables, and cook for 2 minutes, then add the ginger, garlic, and chilli flakes and cook for a further minute
  3. Add the rice to the pan, and cook for a 1-2 minutes, before adding the sesame oil, and soy sauce. Make sure the rice is piping hot
  4. Crack 2 eggs into the pan and stir the entire mixture until the egg is cooked and little flecks of cooked egg appear. Eat right away

Mushroom, hazelnut and gorgonzla tart

A bit more “rustic” than I planned, but I put it down to me trying to make pastry with nuts in it. Save yourself the time and energy and use shop bought short crust pastry. It’s what I plan to do next time.  This recipe might be best saved for the weekend, as it’s a bit more labour intensive, but it’s well worth the trouble, (I had to stop myself eating half of it).

If you’re a vegetarian cooking for meat eaters, they’ll love this. The rich and unctuous filling feels really meaty, and unlike a lot of tarts isn’t too eggy.  This is delicious hot or cold.

Serves 6-8

Ingredients

1 Sheet of ready made short crust pastry

2 Onions (thinly sliced)

1 Tbsp Chopped rosemary

3 Cloves of garlic (finely chopped)

1 Tbsp Olive oil

25 Grams Dried porcini mushrooms, (soaked in 50 ml of hot water)

200 Grams Button mushrooms (sliced)

50 Grams Gorgonzola (sliced)

50 Grams Hazelnuts (chopped)

2 Eggs

150 Ml Double Cream

Salt and pepper

Method

  1. Grease a 23 cm loose based flan tin, roll you pastry until thin and line the tin, (chill in the fridge for 30 minutes)
  2. Put the porcini mushrooms in a bowl with 50ml of warm water and allow to soak
  3. Take your flan tin out of the fridge and over the base with grease proof paper and add baking beans on top, (I use old lentils that had been hanging about). Bake blind in an oven heated to 180 degrees for 15 minutes. Remove the grease proof paper and baking beans, and bake for a further 5 minutes, before removing from the oven
  4. While the pastry is baking add the olive oil and onions to a large heated frying pan. Turn down the heat and cook gently for 10 minutes
  5. Add the button mushrooms, garlic and rosemary to the pan and cook for a further 5 minutes, stirring occasionally
  6. Add the porcini mushrooms and the water they were soaking in to the pan. Cook over a medium heat until all the liquid has evaporated, and leave to cool
  7. Put a baking sheet in the oven to heat (the temperature should be 180 degrees again)
  8. When the mushroom mix is completely cool, spread it evenly across the pastry base
  9. Distribute the gorgonzola on top of the mushroom mix
  10. Beat 2 Eggs, and add to the cream, season with salt and pepper, pour into the tart case and sprinkle chopped hazelnuts across the top
  11. Put the filled tart tin on to the heated baking sheet in the oven and bake for 35 minutes until the centre is set
  12. Allow to cool in the tin for 5-10 minutes before cutting

Gnocchi with bacon and broccoli

My little sister made this for me, and now I have to stop myself making it more than once a week.

A quick and easy starter or midweek dinner. This recipe makes enough for four people as a starter or two hungry people for dinner.

Serves 2

500 gram Pack of gnocchi

4 Slices of bacon

1 Small head of broccoli

2 Tbsp Olive oil

150 grams Crème fraiche

2 Cloves of garlic

Method

  1. Chop the broccoli into bite sized pieces, blanch in boiling for two minutes, and then drain
  2. Chop the the bacon into pieces (about 2cm, but bigger if you prefer)
  3. Cook the bacon in large frying pan (without oil) until crispy, and set to on side
  4. In the same pan and the olive oil and heat before adding the gnocchi, and allow the to cook until they start go golden brown
  5. Add minced garlic to the gnocchi and cook for a further minute
  6. Add the bacon and broccoli and stir in the crème fraiche. Stir until all the all the ingredients are coated and then serve

Baked Onions

This was inspired by a Jamie Oliver recipe, but mine are slightly different because I made with what I had in the fridge. You can make these as a starter or lunch dish, they also make a nice side dish with a larger meal.

Serves 4

Ingredients

4 Onions (about the size of a tennis ball)

4 Slices of prosciutto (you could also use streaky bacon, or Parma ham

2 Tbsp Double Cream

1Tbsp Butter

2 Tbsp Breadcrumbs

2 Tbsp Parmesan

Salt & Pepper

Ingredients

  1. Peel the onions and put in a pot of water just coming to a boil. Turn down the heat and simmer for 15 minutes. Drain and allow to cool
  2. Cut the top of the onion and hollow about an inch of the centre of the onion and set to one
  3. Trim the bottom to make sure the onion can sit upright in a baking tray
  4. Chop the centre of the onion you removed, fry in the butter until it has started to colour, add the cream and salt and pepper then reduce the cream is no longer runny
  5. Wrap the hollowed out onion with a slice of prosciutto. You can use the woody part of a stalk of rosemary for more flavour if you have it. A cocktail stick works just as well at holding the prosciutto in place
  6. Divide the fried onions between the hollowed out onions, and top with the bread crumbs and parmesan.
  7. Bake in a preheated oven at 200 degrees for 20 minutes, until the topping is golden and crunchy