Wednesday, 30 December 2015

Chicken & mushrooms with a cracked black pepper sauce

This is one of those recipes that i literally threw together without much thought or exact measuring of ingredients - I had a rough idea of how much and what I needed, and tweaked it as i went along. 
I was rather happy with the end result as not only did it taste rather scrummy & filling, It only used 5 ingredients & took just under 30 minutes to cook.

The husband & I ate it with a side of sweet potato wedges & steamed veg.. but it's just as nice on its own as it is or maybe served with rice or even stirred into pasta.

The amount below should easily serve 2 people :

1large chicken breast 
1 large onion
2 x 180g cracked black pepper Philadelphia
2 handfuls of sliced button/chestnut mushrooms
4-5 tablespoons of milk 

  • Start by cutting your chicken breast .. either into strips or 4 quarters, and leave to a side. (I did mine in strips simply because quarters would have taken a little longer and I was running behind on other jobs)
  • Roughly chop the onion and cook off in a large frying pan in a little oil till softened & brown in colour. Add in the chicken and cook through till no pinkness remains in the chicken
  • Add in the sliced mushrooms, and continue to cook till the chicken has browned evenly all over and the mushrooms have cooked through.
  • In a bowl, mix together the cream cheese and the milk. Take the chicken off the heat and stir in the cream cheese 
  • Once the sauce is incorporated & the chicken & mushrooms are coated thoroughly, put back on to a medium heat and leave to simmer. Taste at this point and season with salt if you wish too.
  • Leave to simmer till the sauce has reached your desired thickness and serve*

*If the sauce becomes too thick at any point, just add in a little milk slowly stirring it through till its back to the consistency you want it at

Saturday, 26 December 2015

Chilli Chicken Nachos

If you want a quick, no fuss minimal effort for a snack or starter for a get together then this is the recipe for you. These nachos really are the easiest to make but definitely moreish when it comes to flavour and are a definite crowd pleaser. 

The amount below that I made served just over 10 of us :

2 x 150g Bag of Doritos (I went for the hint of lime flavour)
1x g Bag of grated cheese
1x g Jar of Jalepenos (optional)
Fresh coriander - chopped small handful (optional)
2x g bottle of sala (I used Old El Paso)
smoked paprika 
1kg boneless chicken*
2 medium onions
1 tsp chilli flakes 
1/2 tsp salt

  • Start by chopping your onions, and browning them till softened in a large pan in a little oil.
  • Add the chicken once the onions have softened, and cook the chicken throughly & until lightly browned in colour - mine took about 20 minutes.
  • Add in the salt & 1 level tsp of smoked paprika, chilli flakes, chopped coriander & stir through. Leave to cool.**
  • When ready to serve, take a platter or large plate (making sure it fits in your microwave)***
  • Put the Doritos in the plate, pour half the salsa evenly over the Doritos, and sprinkle over a little cheese.
  • Add some of the chicken next, and a few jalepenos, pour on a little more salsa & another good handful of cheese, finish with a sprinkling of smoked paprika.
  • Put the plate in the microwave on full power for 8-10 minutes - or until the cheese is melted and bubbling .. and tuck in 
  • Serve with Guacamole & Sour cream on the side with extra salsa & jalepenos 

* Instead of chicken breast, I asked my butcher for thigh/ leg meat as this doesn't dry out as much as breast does.

** When the chicken has cooled, pour into colander so that any excess oil can be drained as the last thing you want is the nachos sitting in a pool of oil.

*** You can also put them under the grill if your serving plate/platter won't fit in the microwave.

Monday, 21 December 2015

I'm team Marmite - How about you ?!

Marmite - you either love it or hate it, there really is no in-between. And this post is for a recipe which I would say is exactly that as Marmite.. Spiced Chicken Livers .. LOVE them or HATE them ? I happen to love them so obviously it's got to be posted on here.

To serve 4-6 people you will need: 

1kg chicken liver 
4 large onions
2 tbsps garlic paste / 6-8 garlic cloves crushed
2 tbsps ginger paste / 1 inch fresh ginger crushed 
2 tbsps curry powder
1 1/2 tsp salt 
3/4 green chillies chopped
juice of a whole lemon
fresh coriander to garnish

  • Start by finely slicing the onions, and frying them off in a little oil. When the onions have softened, add in the garlic, ginger, chillies & salt. 
  • Place the chicken livers in a bowl and wash thoroughly in cold water, till the water is as clear as possible
  • When the onions have turned golden brown in colour, add the curry powder, stir well and add in the chicken livers. Stir through, place the lid on the pan & leave to simmer on a low heat.
  • The livers should take anywhere between 40 -55 minutes to cook through. Half way between them cooking, make sure to give them a stir through and add in the lemon juice
  • You will know they are done when they break easily with a wooden spoon, and they are lightly browned all the way through
  • Just before serving, garnish with the chopped coriander and serve with chapatis or garlic naan

Strawberry Cheesecake

Linking on from my earlier post for my Ferrero Rocher cheesecake, here's my recipe for the classic strawberry cheesecake. This one just as the Ferrero Rocher will easily serve 10 -12 people and is definitely a quick and simple crowd pleaser

You will need :

130g butter 
350g digestive biscuits 
250g cream cheese*
280ml double cream 
100g white chocolate 
1 Punnet of strawberries 
1 punnet of raspberries 
white chocolate curls to decorate (optional)
  • Start by melting your butter and then set aside. Crush the biscuits either in a food processor or using a plastic food bag & rolling pin to crush.
  • Pour the crushed biscuits & melted butter in a bowl and combine together. Press the crushed biscuits into a deep 9 inch round loose bottom tin and smooth out evenly with the back of a spoon or a plastic spatula. Pop in the fridge to chill 
  • Melt the white chocolate either in a microwave in short 30 second bursts or in a bowl over a pan of simmering hot water- making sure the water doesn't come into contact with the bowl. Once melted, set aside to cool
  • Using a freestand mixer or electric hand whisk, whisk the double cream until you get a stiff peak consistency. Add in the cream cheese and whisk for another minute or so till its all smoothly combined together.
  • Take the cooled melted chocolate and half of the raspberries and add to the cream cheese mix and stir through with a spatula or metal spoon
  • Pour the cream cheese and raspberry mix onto the biscuit base, and level it off - i normally use a breakfast knife .
  • Cut the tops of the strawberries off, and cut them either into halves or quarters and arrange a over the top of the cream cheese, leaving a little room in the middle to fill with the remaining raspberries. For a finishing touch sprinkle over some white chocolate curls.
  • Refrigerate for at least 3 hours (preferably overnight)before serving to allow the cream cheese to firm up. 
  • To serve, either remove the cheesecake about 15 minutes before serving from the fridge or cut through the cheesecake using a hot knife (dip the knife in hot water and dry with kitchen paper)   as the base should be quite firm due to the cold set biscuit base.

* make sure you use full fat cheese as low fat just won't set as well as full fat would and you'll end up with a runny cheesecake. I love to use a mix of marscapone & philadelpia - 125g each 

Cheesecake cured my bloggers block

Bloggers block - if there is such a thing- is something I have been seriously suffering from, along with being too worn out in the evening from the everyday housewife and mother duties on some days to be able to string a coherent sentence together, never mind post a recipe … But reading through all my posts reminded me of how much I enjoyed blogging so I'm going to make more of an effort to post a recipe regularly, even if it is only once a week. Hopefully *she says* I won't go months without posting something.

So to ease myself back into it, I thought I'd share 2 desserts that I made for the family last night and they went down rather well. I've said earlier on that this would be a blog of mainly Asian food but I'd be sharing recipes for other cuisines as well as desserts since I do have a sweet tooth. So this post is all about the cheesecake… I have the classic strawberry cheesecake and a Ferrero Rocher version for you 

Both these will serve 10 - 12 people easily and they are no bake, only require chilling in the fridge. 

 First up is the Ferrero Rocher Cheesecake , you can find the post for the strawberry version HERE

130g butter 
350g digestive biscuits 
500g cream cheese
300ml double cream 
5-6 generous tablespoons Nutella
Ferrero Rocher chocolates to decorate 

  • Start with the cheesecake base, melt the butter either in the microwave or in a small pan on a low heat. Crush the biscuits in a food processor till you get fine crumbs. If you don't have a processor to hand, you can put the biscuits in a food bag & crush using a rolling pin. Add the melted butter to the crushed biscuits, stir till combined, tip into a 23cm springform tin and press the crumbs into the tin evenly , leave to chill in the fridge.
  • In a bowl whip together the cream cheese and the Nutella. I found that I needed to slightly melt the Nutella as it was quite cold and set hard in the jar
  • Whisk the double cream in a separate bowl till you get stiff peaks, and gently fold in the cream cheese & chocolate mixture
  • Pour the mixture into the tin over the biscuit base, smooth the mixture with a spatula to level it out. Leave in the fridge to chill for at least 4-5 hours, or preferably overnight if you can.
  • When ready to serve, decorate the top with Fererro Rocher chocolates - either crush and sprinkle over the top or leave them as whole
  • As an extra, finish off with a drizzle of melted chocolate all over the top 

Sunday, 1 March 2015

Who says Nandos is just for chicken ?!

Sundays go hand in hand with long lie ins, late breakfasts, staying in your pyjama's for as long as possible and most importantly a good old roast dinner. I don't know about you but a sunday without a roast of some form is just criminal.

With that said a roast isn't always possible when you've kids running crazy around the house or are desperately (is it just me ?)  trying to catch up with the mound of laundry and ironing. This is a recipe that really requires hardly and prep at all, and cooks away slowly while you can get on with whatever else needs doing..  Or if your anything like myself .. plonk yourself on the sofa and do as little as possible !!

To serve a family of 4 for you will need :
2- 2 1/2 kg lamb shoulder
2 sachets of Nandos garlic & herb seasoning (medium hot)
100ml olive oil
fresh rosemary sprigs*
2 medium red onions

  • Start by preheating your oven at 200c, (fan assisted) then in a small bowl combine the 2 sachets with the olive oil and stir together and put aside.
  • Take the lamb shoulder and lightly score all the top and underside. Take the garlic marinade, pour over the shoulder and rub in well with your hands, making sure you get into the scored cuts.
  • Take the rosemary sprigs and tuck into a few of the cuts on top and the underside
  • Cover the lamb with foil and place in the oven and leave for 2 hours
  • After 2 hours, remove the foil from over the lamb**, add in 2 roughly chopped onions. Lower the heat down to 150c and place back in the oven for a further 3 hours
  • The lamb now should be golden and fully roasted. Remove from the oven, recover with the foil and leave to rest for at least 10 minutes.
  • Serve with your favourite roast veg, my easy peasy yorkies and gravy  … and lashings of gravy 

Yorkies and Gravy

What's better than a home made roast ? It's a home made roast with home made gravy AND yorkshire puddings .. both of these go perfect with my roast lamb shoulder, the recipe which is here

If you're one of those that thinks gravy and yorkies are a bit of a mission, i promise you not.

To make 6-8 yorkshire puddings you will need:

100g plain flour
2 eggs
100ml milk
pinch of salt and pepper
oil oil

  • Preheat your oven on full *
  • In a 12 hole cupcake/muffin tin, pour about a tablespoon of oil into each hole
  • Place the tray into the oven for the oil to heat up for about 10 minutes - the oil needs to be bubbling hot.
  • Whisk together the milk & eggs and add in a pinch of salt and pepper.
  • In a bowl, place the flour and make a well. Slowly pour the milk into the flour whilst continously whisking. You should end up with a smooth batter. If there are any lumps, continue to whisk for a further couple of minutes
  • Carefully remove the muffin tray from the oven and pour in the batter into each hole evenly. Try to be as quick, but careful, as you can. 
  • Lower the heat to 250c and place the tray back in the oven, leave for 25-30 minutes. Do not open the door until the yorkies have almost doubled in size and are golden brown in colour. 
To make the gravy you will need :

Roasting juice from the roasting dish
1 tablespoon of flour
350-400ml of stock

  • Start by removing your roasted meat or poultry from the roasting dish and placing aside. Place the dish on a low heat over your cooker.
  • Remove excess bits of fat as you'll end up with a rather heavy and greasy gravy, scrape the juices  and bits off the tin with a wooden spoon and you should see the juice begin to simmer
  • Add in the tablespoon of flour and mix and stir continuously and you should end up with a paste like consistency
  • Slowly pour in the stock, again continuously stirring. Keep stirring till the flour and stock have combined together. Leave to simmer for a couple of minutes to thicken. 
  • If after a couple of minutes the mixture is too thick, add in some more stock or even just a little water. If it's too runny for your liking, leave for a few more minutes. Season with a little salt and pepper

Dial up or dial down Beef noodles

I don't know about you but I'm a nando's fan and I love that I can get my hands on them from practically any supermarket now and play around with recipes to my hearts content.. As well as saving a few pennies and keeping my purse that little bit heavier !

This one is a twist on my Sweet Chilli Chicken & Noodles and uses their hot peri peri sauce .. Question is are you one to crank up the heat or turn the heat dial down ?

To serve 4 people you will need :

500g cooked egg noodles
400g Beef Strips
1 red onion
1 x red & green pepper
handful mini corn on the cob
Nando's hot peri peri sauce

  • Start by finely slicing your onion, and frying in a large frying pan till they soften, add the beef strips and cook on a high heat for about 5-8 minutes 
  • Add in the mini corn on the cob and cook for a further 3-5 minutes- i like mine to have a slight crunch and not cooked all the way through. Finally add in the sliced peppers, and again just till they still have a slight bite to them .. soggy cooked peppers are a no no for me
  • Add in the noodles and lower the heat as they just need heating through and they will burn quite quickly on a high heat, and stir in the  Nando's sauce to your  liking. Are you dialling up the heat or turning it down ?
  • Finish off by garnishing with a sprinkling of sesame seeds and fresh chopped coriander