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…

Paprika & Tarragon Chicken Strips…

The holidays are coming to a close…work continues to be stressful…and full on…my daughter will be returning to school…and I continue to train hard at the gym…

Today signified the end of yet another Ready Steady Cook Club…Cook Off…Dishes for cook of #9 were fantastic…and the winner will be decided in the next couple of days…

Tonight’s post is from a simple dish I put together a few weeks ago…finding the time to regularly post still continues to be difficult…but I will persevere…

If you’re looking for a healthy…simple dish then this makes for a great mid-week meal..and best of all its so adaptable…

slice into goujons…2-3 chicken breasts…then season with 1 tablespoon of paprika…salt…pepper…dried tarragon…and sweet chilli sauce…and leave to Marinade for…30mins…

After 30 mins…add a good tablespoon of olive oil to a pan…and place on a medium heat…when hot…place your goujons into the pan…

To accompany the goujons…I made a beautiful salad of…Lettuce…yellow plum…melon…cucumber…mixed olives and pomegranate…and finished with balsamic glaze…

Fry the goujons in the pan…turning as required…Fry for 6-10 minutes or until they are well cooked through and the sweet chilli has caramelised the skin…

Serve hot with the salad…finish with a garnish of chopped spring onions…

Simple…quick…light…sweet…savoury…full of texture…healthy…and completely delicious…

Smoked Mackerel, Sausage & Mushroom Paella…

July is finally over…and what a month it was…works been crazy…my beautiful daughter turned…5…it’s been cook off #8 week…and it ended on a sad note by finding out my step father passed away…last night…

With all this going on…I have not taken the time to pause…sit…and enjoy putting a post together…

So like my love of lamb…and tagine cooking…I have a growing enjoyment in creating delicious…paellas…

Always a sucker for a bargain…I found a lovely reduced pack of Scottish smoked salmon…and picked up a pack of chestnut…mushrooms…

Finely chopped some red chillies (add as little or as much as like)…peel…and finely chop 3 large chestnut mushrooms…chop up 2 good quality sausages…finely chop one medium sized red onion…and finely chop…3 garlic cloves…

Using a fork…flake/shred the smoked Mackerel…into good sized chunks…

To the paella pan…add 2 tablespoons of olive oil…and place on a medium heat…when the pan is hot…add the garlic…added fry…moving around the pan for 1-2mins…

Then add the sausage…and saute for another…2-3mins…

Then add the red onion…& mushrooms…and sauté for 2-3mins…

Then add the red chillies…fresh thyme…and rosemary…mix all the  ingredients together well…and sauté for a further 2-3mins…

Season well…with salt and…pepper and add the…smoked Mackerel…

Mix all the ingredients well in the pan…being careful not to break up the Mackerel too much more…

Add 20og of rice evenly over the pan…and then cover over the rice with good vegetable stock…turn up the heat and boil for 5-7mins…It is important not to turn the rice…

Reduce the heat…cover over the paella dish with foil…and steam the rice for another 10-12mins…

Serve this delicious paella…with a nice glass of something white…cold…and refreshing…

Smoked Mackerel…Sausage…and Mushroom Paella…it kind of speaks for itself…doesn’t it!

Lamb Breast… 

If you are a regular follower of my blog…you will by now know that I am a lover of all things lamb…it is my treat meat…

Now if like me you love lamb…i think it is only right I sing the praises of…lamb Breast…It is a highly underrated cut of lamb but benefits from being very affordable…and as a result is fast becoming my favourite cut of lamb…

So let me share withwith you two great ways of enjoying this cut of meat…

1. Lemongrass…ginger…and garlic crusted Lamb Breast…

To create this simple dish you will need a stick of lemongrass…2-3 cloves of garlic…and a sugar cube size of…ginger…

Finely chop 1 wholewhole stick of lemongrass…finely chop 2-3 garlic cloves…finely chop the ginger…

Season the lamb well with salt…and pepper…mix all the chopped ingredients together well and then place evenly over the skin of the…lamb Breast…

Place the lamb Breast into a roasting dish…and roast on 180 degrees for 45-55mins being mildful not to blacken your a crust…you are looking for a  golden crust…

Serve with whatever you like…i served mine with jasmine rice…green beans…broccoli…and sweet chilli…

2. Tomato and grilled pepper pesto lamb Breast with a fresh mint crust…

Amazingly simple…but ridiculously delicious…this is a winner…and only 2 ingredients…

Season your lamb Breast with the red pesto…make sure you score the skin of the lamb so you can really rub the pesto into the skin…finely chop a good bunch of fresh mint…and sprinkle over the skin evenly…

Place your seasoned lamb Breast into the…oven…and roast on 160 degrees for 30mins…then increase heat to 180 degrees…and roast for a further 25 minutes…

Remove lamb Breast and allow to rest…the chop into individual Ribs…

Succulent…and totally tasty…serve with rice…mashed potatoes…whatever you choose to serve it with you will not be disappointed…enjoy!

Two great lamb dishes…for a delicious affordable lamb dish you can’t go wrong with lamb Breast…Try it!

T…is for Tagine…

So I find myself at the closing point of yet another start to the week…

I spent yesterday with my gorgeous daughter as it was father’s day…we had a lovely few hours together…along with my elder daughter and my 15 year old niece…

Today also rang the bell on cook off #7 for my Facebook group the Ready steady cook…another great array of dishes…were showcased from a lovely ingredients bag…picked by the always friendly Thoko Langman…check out Thoko’s blog..

http://www.blog.taryndelish.com/

It has been a while since my last blog post…so I thought the best way to get the ball rolling again is to share with you 3…flavour packed…and delicious Tagine dishes…

I love cooking with my Tagine…in fact I would say it is fast becoming my favourite way of cooking…

1. Chicken Tagine with pancetta and green olives…

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For this Tagine…as I often do…i used my favourite cut of chicken…Thighs…

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Place the thighs into the Tagine…then add to the chicken…half a stick of finely chopped lemongrass…finely chop 2-3 garlic cloves…100g of pancetta…and half a generous handful of green olives…

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Add a good tablespoon of…English Mustard…and season well with sea salt…and cracked black pepper…

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Then add…2 tablespoons of tomato puree…then sprinkle over 2-3 tablespoons of chicken 65 Masala…

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Finish by pouring in a whole tin of chopped tomatoes…cover Tagine and place into the over at 180 degrees…and cook for upto 2hrs…

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Serve with jasmine rice…and garnish with chopped chives…

2. Lamb Kashmiri rogan Josh Tagine…

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For this Tagine…I use a cheap but extremely tasty and cut of Lamb…Lamb Ribs…

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To the Tagine…chop into good sized squares the lamb Ribs…
then add some fresh Rosemary sprigs…finely chopped one medium sized…red onion…half a good handful of…cherry tomatoes…chop up 2-3 garlic cloves…

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Sprinkle over a generous coating of…the Kashmiri mutton rogan Josh Spice blend…

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Then cover with water…till it just covers over the meat…

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Cook on 180 degrees for upto 2 hours…serve on wholegrain rice…

3. Chicken Tagine…with  gnocchi and green beans…

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Finely chopped one medium sized red onion…finely chop 2-3 garlic cloves…and chop the green beans into small cuts…add to the Tagine…

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Cover over the vegetables with a layer of gnocchi…

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Add the chicken thighs…skin off…and season with salt…pepper…and fresh cumin…

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Add 2 tablespoons of tomato puree…and sprinkle over 2-3 tablespoons of Xacuti Masala…

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Pour in a whole tin of chopped tomatoes…top up with a little water…add a few Bay leaves…cover and place into the oven…

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Cook on 180 degrees for upto 2 hrs…

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Serve on Basmati Rice…

So there you have it…3 great simple Tagine dishes…

If you don’t own a Tagine..then I recommend you go out and get one and start creating some amazing meals.

Gnocchi with pancetta and green olives…

I am so pleased to finally be able to get a post out tonight…safely back from India for work for a few weeks now…life since my return has been busy…work has been crazy…

I’ve also started the Gym…and I’m loving it…I’m committed to losing weight…and being healthier….

My love of cooking and good food is unwavering but I am trying to inject more healthy eating into my diet…

I have never had gnocchi before…so today I thought I would cook with it tonight…

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To go with the gnocchi…you will need…garlic…lemongrass…pitted green olives…pancetta…red onion…fresh Rosemary…and a green leaf salad of your choice…I used a salad of Kale…pak Choi…and Baby leaf (a salad of spinach…rocket and watercress would work well also).

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Finely chop one medium red onion…finely chop 2 garlic cloves…finely chop half a lemongrass stick…then half 25-30g of pitted green olives…
and you will need 100g of pancetta…

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Add a table spoon of olive oil to a large frying pan…and place on a medium heat…(I used fry light)
When hot…add the pancetta and…garlic to the pan…fry for 2-3 minutes…

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Then add the olives…onions…
lemongrass…and rosemary to the pan and season well with cracked black pepper…and slightly with some sea salt…sauté all the ingredients till the pancetta has browned…3-5mins….then remove from the heat..

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Place a saucepan of water on the heat and bring to a boil…add the gnocchi…boil the gnocchi for 2-3mins or until the gnocchi rises to the top…

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Drain the gnocchi…and add to the other ingredients in the…frying pan…

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Place the frying pan back onto a low heat…and turn the gnocchi well with the other ingredients…
and heat through…

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To finish…add a handful of the green leaf salad to the pan…mix well with all the ingredients until the salad has begun to wilt….its ready to be…served…

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Just before serving…grate some extra…mature cheddar over the dish…

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It’s as simple as that…Gnocchi with pancetta…and green olives…

Chennai…

It’s 20:18…and I’m writing this post sat up comfortably at the terrace floor in the Chennai Hilton hotel in Chennai….

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There’s a beautiful infinity pool up here…and I can see the hustle and bustle of Indian life happening  in front of me…and down below…

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I’m sat enjoying a bowl of popcorn and chilli chickpeas with an ice cold glass of King Fisher beer…after a hot…busy day in with a supplier…

I’m missing home…and most of all my daughter…but thoroughly enjoying being here…and soaking up the sights…sounds…
and…culture…I may not be on holiday but it’s certainly nice to enjoy my evenings…

One of my favourite sci-fi movies of all time is Dune…and it talks of the Spice being the thing that controls all the universe…well in that case…India is the centre of the universe…the spice is in the air…on the people…and in the very food that you eat…

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I was lucky to have the chance to visit the shore Temple…an ancient temple close to the shores of the Indian ocean…

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I was told the temple was for the father of Ganesh…For over 1200 years and a Tsunami…the temple continues to stand the test of time…truly remarkable…

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I am also informed that a Biriyani…is also a big part of this region of India…Loving Biriyani I just had to indulge in my favourite…Lamb Biriyani…A black man in India…enjoying a Biriyani…Ahh things aren’t all bad🙂

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The food is amazing…the people are always on the move…its a completely different way of life over here…swarms of motorbikes wizz past cars and vans…whole families…young and old are transported on motorbikes…goods are carried on bikes…traffic is like nothing I have ever seen…it is the very example of…organised chaos…

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The heat by day is intense…and just consumes you in seconds…
by night it’s more cooling…and with a breeze really is rather lovely…

I hope I will get to visit this place again but if I don’t…I will have fond memories of my short time in India….

Thesimplecook signing out…