100th Post…

I can’t believe it…this is my 100th blog post!! Wow what a journey the last 18 months has been. I’ve always had a love for cooking ever since I was a young boy…but my love for cooking has grown and grown…

I’ve always been a firm believer that good always comes from bad…sometimes it may take a while to realise this but you just have to be patient…

This blog has been much more to me than just sharing my love of food…it has been the thing that has provided focus and a willingness to continue to move forward…

From this blog I started my Facebook group…The ready steady cook club…and I have been extremely fortunate to get to know some truly unbelievably lovely people from all over the world.

I would like to thank everyone who has ever viewed my blog…taken the time to read any of my posts…and who have hopefully taken inspiration from any of my dishes…

You will never hear me call myself a chef…rather a good cook…someone who is at ease and comfortable in the…kitchen. Food makes me smile…

Thank you! Thesimplecook…

Orange & Saffron Pork…

2017 is finally here…and I’m extremely pleased to be back to my much neglected blog…

With so much pain…loss…and political upheaval in 2016…I hope that 2017 proves to be the breath of fresh we all need to be able to move forward with our lives with some sense of optimism…

So what has 2017 got in store for Thesimplecook…well lots more foodie adventures…I plan on starting my food market stall…selling my particular brand of street food…So watch this space! I’ve also been asked to do my first ever private dining night…all exciting stuff…

To kick start 2017…I’ve decided to give you something simple…it’s in the name really…

Take a handful of ingredients…and before you know it…you’re creating a delicious meal…good for any night of the week.

Into a pestle and mortar…add fresh rosemary…2-3 garlic cloves…salt…and pepper…and crush…

Add the juice of half a orange…

Add a generous pinch of Saffron…grind and mix everything together well…

Then add half a teaspoon of red chilli powder…and 2 tablespoons of olive oil…

Pour the marinade over your pork steaks ensuring your steaks are well coted in the marinade…

Roast steaks in the over at 180degrees for 30-45mins…

Serve on basmati rice…equally this would be great with…baby potatoes…or some lovely creamy mash…

A simple yet delightfully citric spiced dish given extra depth from the garlic…and rosemary…

Why not give this a go…another enjoyable dinner after a busy day on my first week back to work…

Orange…and Saffron Pork! Tasty!

Garlic & Herb Chicken Wings with Lime and Sriracha…

Perfect for game day…Try these chicken wings…I love chicken wings…Their affordable…extremely tasty…and the best of finger foods…

Season with…garlic powder…mixed herbs…sriracha…and lime juice…it’s as simple as that…

Place into a oven…at 180 degrees…and roast for 45-60mins or until they are golden brown…and crispy…ensuring you turn them…

Totally tasty…hot…fragrant…and completely finger licking good…add your favourite dips to take things up a further notch…grab a ice cold beer…and enjoy the game….

Crayfish Linguine…

It’s been a while since I posted…I’ve had plenty of dishes to share so tonight I thought I’d pause a while…and share with you what’s had me in the kitchen over the last number of weeks…

What could be better than starting with this delicious seafood linguine dish….

Simple ingredients that compliment each other always make for a great…dish

All you’ll need is crayfish tails…petit pois…linguine….double cream…grana padano (or any good hard cheese)…tomatoes…red chillies and onions…

Finely chop 1 medium sized onion…1 red chilli…and 2 large tomatoes…

Put your linguine on to boil…

To a large frying pan…add a tablespoon of olive oil….and place on a medium heat…when hot…add the tomatoes…onions…chillies and sauté for 2-3mins…

Then add the crayfish tails…and petit pois…sauté for a further 2-3mins…mixing all the ingredients together well…season well with salt…pepper…and dill…

Reduce the heat right down on the pan…add the ready linguine to the pan and mix all the ingredients well into the…pan…

Place the heat back on medium…then add 100ml of double cream…mix well ensuring to cover all the linguine…reduce heat and allow the cream to reduce…thicken…and coat the pasta and all other ingredients….

Serve immediately…hot…and finish with grated grana padano…

Spicy…creamy…fishy…simple…and quick! This is a great 20min dish…perfect for any day of the week and packed full of delicious flavours…

Go on…this is one to try!

Like my dishes? Tried any of my dishes? If you have please let me know about. Leave a comment and let me know your thoughts….

 

Prawns & Mussels in Prosecco sauce…

Seafood…glorious seafood…There’s something about a good seafood meal that always puts a smile on my face…

I’m a big fan of Mussels…and prawns so combining them together to make a delightful…flavoursome dish packed full of strong delicious flavours really is my idea of heaven…

When you love to cook as much as I do…inspiration for dishes come from the littlest spark…a colleague of mine shared a picture of their dinner last night which included prawns…After that…I simply had to have them…

I wanted to create a seafood fiesta…and there’s no better way of celebrating seafood than enjoying mussels…

Ingredients for the dish…Prosecco…Prawns…Mussels…Red chillies…Garlic…Ginger…Lemon…Spring onions…Fish sauce…Dill…salt…and pepper…

This dish is all about big…bold flavours…finely chop 3-5 garlic cloves…2-4 red chillies…and 3-4 sugar cube sized pieces of ginger..

To a large frying pan…add 1 tablespoon of butter…and 1 tablespoon of olive oil…place on a medium heat…when hot add…the garlic…ginger and sauté for 1-2 minutes to infuse the oil…

Add the prawns to the pan…mix well…sauté for 1-3 mins…

Add half the chopped red chillies..mix well…a teaspoon of fish sauce… and season with salt…pepper and dill…squeeze the juice of half a lemon into the pan…

Add the mussels…then pour into the pan…200-250ml of a good dry prosecco…and the remaining red chillies…place a cover over the pan…

Allow the Mussels..and prawns to steam…when the mussel shells begin to open…remove the lid…turn over all of the prawns…and mussels…and cook for a further 5-7 or until you have burnt off the alcohol..

Spoon the mussels…and prawns into a bowl…pour over the prosecco sauce…and garnish with plenty of chopped spring onions…serve hot…

What’s not to love…Fresh prawns…and mussels…soaking in a delicious fragrant spicy…sauce…

A great dish…I smiled with every prawn and mussel eaten…

 

Pan Fried Mackeral with Capers & Baby Gherkins…

Love Mackeral….then you’ll love this simple…quick dish…packed full of fishy…salty…tangy…spicy flavours…

Perfect served on the board…with some great bread and a fresh salad…your dinner guests will love this…

Take 4 mackeral fillets…and season with salt…pepper…fish fry masala (a tikka masala would work well also)…dill…a little lime juice..and drizzle over some olive oil…gently rub all the seasoning into the…fish…

Place in the fridge and leave to marinade in the fridge for…30mins…

Place a large frying pan onto a medium heat…with a tablespoon of olive oil…when hot place the mackeral fillets skin side down onto the pan…

Fry for 2 minutes…ensuring not to move the fish…Before turning…add a tablespoon of butter to the pan…and gently turn each fillet…Fry for a further 2-4mins…

Remove the fillets from the pan…straight onto the chopping board…

Using a fork…gently flake the mackeral fillets into large chunks…sprinkle the capers over the flaked mackeral…slice length ways a handful of baby gherkins and arrange around the mackeral…

Finely chop up a couple of medium heat red chillies…and sprinkle over mackeral

To finish…drizzle over balsamic glaze…

It just doesn’t get simpler…but this dish sings…Mackeral on the board with capers…baby gherkins…and red chillies…done!

Rolled chicken thighs, stuffed with habanero relish, mortadella & goats cheese…

Where has the year gone…summer is over…and my gorgeous girl is back at school and has started year 1…the real business of learning has started for her…and I’m excited for all she can achieve…

I’ve decided to take the next step…and put myself…my cooking talents…and my food to the public…by doing a food stall at my local…farmers market…

Work continues to be busy…and I continue to enjoy going to the gym and trying to get myself into shape…despite life’s ups…and downs I am well…and excited about ending the year positive…

My good friend recently returned from visiting his family in Italy…and brought me back some…Mortadella…so being me I had to find an interesting way to make good use of it…

I de-boned 4 chicken thighs…with the skin on…and flattened them out…

I then layered over Habanero chilli relish…over each chicken thigh…

I then crumbed over goats cheese over each thigh…

Next I finely sliced some Mortadella and layered strips over each thigh…

I then rolled each thigh…and placed into a baking tray…

I then made a simple Marinade of…olive oil…dried mixed herbs…and tarragon…and poured over the chicken thighs…

I placed the thighs into a preheated oven at 180 degrees for 45-55mins or until the chicken is beautifully browned…

(I crudely used Skewers to keep the thighs rolled…but a much neater job could be done by tying each thigh piece)

To accompany the chicken…I made a quick red wine reduction…using the juices from the roasting dish…

To a saucepan…I poured the juices from the chicken…added 1 teaspoon habanero relish…and a good glug of red wine…mix well and reduce by 2 thirds….

Take the chicken out…remove the Skewers and allow to rest…

I served the chicken thighs with…Red and white quinoa with bulgar wheat…

So here’s the finished dish…a simple construction…oozing with flavour…and completely delicious…

The goats cheese…and mortadella complimented the habanero relish perfectly…and the herbed skin balanced the…sweetness of the red wine reduction…which worked wonderfully soaked into the quinoa and bulgar wheat…