Sunday, 31 October 2010

Chorizo & Tomato Pot Noodles

I saw this on the latest River Cottage TV programme and found one of his recipes on-line. Here it is. Bloody brilliant.

Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall's Chorizo & Tomato Instant Noodles

Serves 1


  • 1 nest of standard, thin, quick-cook egg noodles
  • About 30g chorizo, chopped
  • 3-4 spring onions, finely sliced
  • ½ tsp fennel seeds, lightly crushed
  • 100ml tomato passata
  • 3-4 shredded basil leaves
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1. Put the chorizo, onions and fennel into a heatproof pot with the noodles.
2. Season the passata well, add the basil, and put in a small jar separately.
3. When ready to eat, pour boiling water over the noodles to just covered, add the passata and leave for 5-6 minutes.
4. Stir and eat.

Friday, 11 June 2010

Souped Up Chicken & Vegetables with Hot Spuds

This is kind of a work in progress recipe. I'm sure I can refine it further, but for now this should work out quite well.

Serves: 4
Cooking time: probably about 20-30 minutes.


4 x boneless skinned chicken breasts
2 tins of tomato and basil soup
400g bag of fresh spinnach
4 x large carrots, peeled & cut into battons
200g fine green beans, ends trimmed off
1nr chilli pepper, deseeded & finely chopped
1 x knob of butter
1nr lime
400g new potatoes, halved / bitesized


  1. Pour the chicken soup into a large base pan & bring it to the boil
  2. Add the chicken, ensuring it is covered by the soup (add water if not)
  3. Simmer for 15-20 minutes or until cooked through.
  4. Meanwhile bring two saucepans of water to the boil
  5. Add the potatoes to one & the carrots & beans to the other.
  6. Allow both pans to simmer for 10 minutes or until the potatoes are cooked through.
  7. Drain the potatoes but place the spinnach in with the carrots & beans for two minutes to wilt
  8. Quick fry the chilli with the knob of butter then drizzle over the potatoes.
  9. Pour over the potatoes the grated rind and juice of the lime.
  10. Drain the carrots, beans & spinnach, ensuring all of the water is pressed out of the spinnach.
  11. Serve, saving some of the soup as a sauce over the chicken.
Note: You can do the vegetables (carrots, beans, spinnach) much easier if you have a steamer tray or a set of steamer pans.

Sausage, Carrot, Pea and Potato Casserole

Preparation time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 60 minutes

Serves 4


1 tbsp olive oil

2 cloves garlic, crushed
2 Onions, sliced
454g pack / 8nr pork sausages
400g can chopped tomatoes
200ml chicken stock
200ml dry white wine
1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
500g baby new potatoes, halved
400g frozen garden peas
2 large carrots, sliced
a pinch of sage
salt / pepper to taste

  1. Heat the oil in a large pan and cook the garlic and onions over a low heat for 5 minutes until softened and lightly browned.
  2. Twist each sausage in the middle and cut in half to make 2 small sausages, add to the pan and brown them on all sides.
  3. Add the tomatoes, stock, white wine, Worcestershire sauce, potatoes, carrots and seasoning and bring to the boil.
  4. Cover and simmer gently for 45 minutes.
  5. Five minutes before serving, stir the peas into the dish, cover and allow to simmer for another 5 minutes.
  6. Check seasoning and serve.

Sunday, 30 May 2010

Simple Ratatouille

There are many ways to make Ratatouille, and the ingredients can vary. For example I don't care for aubergines so I always leave them out, sometimes I add peas, sometimes sweetcorn, sometimes I mix it up with chicken pieces, and sometimes I may add chickpeas or mangetouts or french beans, etc.

This is my basic Ratatouille recipe

500g carton of tomato passata (sieved tomatoes). A tin of chopped tomatoes can be used if you like
1 x courgette, thickly sliced
4-6 x tomatoes (quantity depends on size), deseeded and chopped into quarters
200g tin of garden peas
1 x red pepper, deseeded and chopped into large pieces
1 x large onion - preferably a red onion but a white one will do, chopped into large slices
1 x clove of garlic, finely chopped

1 x red chili, deseeded & finely chopped or a pinch of chili flakes
olive oil
salt & pepper to taste

I like to cook my ratatouille so that the vegetables are still crunchy when served. Apart from still preserving the flavour in the vegetables its also much nicer to eat like that rather than mushy like the shop bought stuff.

  • Heat oil in a large casserole dish. Add the garlic & chili / chili flakes and allow them to sweat for 10 minutes on a low heat.
  • Add the pepper, onion and courgette. Season with salt and pepper, stir and cook for a further 10 minutes with the lid on.
  • Pour in the tomato passata, chopped tomatoes & peas, stir and check the seasoning. Cook for a further 5 minutes.
  • Stir in the basil just before turning off the heat, then serve.
 The above recipe goes great with sausages, pork or chicken and I generally serve it with mashed potato, although new potatoes coated in butter & chives are a great accompaniment as well.

Poaching Chicken

This is more of a technique than a recipe. Poached chicken is a great way to cook boneless, skinless chicken as no oil or fat is required, yet the end result is succulent, flavourful low-fat chicken worthy of any recipe.

The advantage of poached chicken is that it's lower in sodium, and is likely more moist than a chicken that's been grilled or fried.

Your poaching liquid can be as simple as plain water. Admittedly, this doesn't add flavour, but your chicken will be succulent and tender, and perfect to use as a base for a number of recipes that call for cooked chicken.

Still, adding flavour can turn ordinary chicken into something quite extraordinary. Your poaching liquid can be pretty much anything from chicken stock, beef stock, white wine, water infused with fresh or dried herbs and chopped vegetables, fruit juices or light coconut milk.

How to Make Poached Chicken Breasts

The keys to poaching are: the size of the pan, the volume of liquid and the cooking temperature.
  • Place the chicken breasts in a pot that's just about large enough to fit them in one layer.
  • Add your chosen poaching liquid so that it completely covers the chicken by at least a half inch to an inch.
  • After bringing the liquid to a boil, reduce heat to a bare simmer so that only an occasional bubble breaks the surface. At this point, partly cover the pot, cook for about 10 minutes, then turn off the heat, leaving the chicken to finish cooking in the hot water for 10-15 more minutes.
  • Remove the chicken, then enjoy it warm or refrigerate it for later use. Slice or shred your poached chicken depending on what you want to use it for.


About Me

Age: 40...something. Nowhere near the back half though! When I'm not doing nothing I'm usually doing something else, probably involved with working as an Estimator for a partitioning manufacturer & installer in the U.K.