Wednesday, 1 July 2015

Smoky Tomato Chicken Bites

Happy Wednesday everyone.

This is one of my 'go-to-mid-week-recipes' when I have no idea what else I could/should be cooking.

It's just strips of chicken breasts that are simply marinaded and then quickly pan fried with a few onions and vegetable - usually peppers and/or courgettes. Serving it with rice, salad or over buttered pasta.

The marinade is usually created (read - 'made up') on the spur of the moment- and when I say 'made up' I mean just that! I grab my mini mixer and throw stuff in willy nilly -whatever catches my eye and takes my fancy - I then whizz it around and claim that it's a well thought out, tried and tested, recipe - Ha... just don't ask me to repeat it!

However, this smoky tomato marinade I made a few weeks ago and it turned out so well I decided that it was a recipe worthy of remembering so wrote it down (in some sort of vague fashion) to be repeated.

Here it is ......

Recipe - serves 2

200g skinless chicken breasts - cut into strips
a couple courgettes
2 large onions
1 small red onion - peeled and roughly chopped
1 clove garlic
a handful plum tomatoes
1 tablespoon tomato paste
2 teaspoons smoky paprika
1 teaspoon coriander seeds - slightly crushed
small bunch fresh coriander
1 dessertspoon soft brown sugar
Fresh bay leaves
Half a glass white wine
olive oil

boiled rice, salad or buttered pasta to serve.

First off you need to make your marinade.

Place the red onion, garlic, tomatoes and tomato paste into a mini processor and give it a good whizz to reduce it to a paste. Add the coriander leaves, coriander seeds, paprika and sugar and continue to whizz until all it combined into a thick paste. Add a little salt and then turn out into a large bowl.

Cut your chicken breasts into strips and add to the marinade. Coat them all with the paste - making sure every bit it covered.

Pop the chicken and marinade into a sealable container, tuck a couple of bay leaves in with them and then cover and place in the fridge.

If your organised you can do this the day before and leave them over night to marinade. If your like me and only think a few hours ahead just make sure they have at least 40 minutes to an hour to take on some of the flavours.

Whilst your chicken is marinading you can get on with preparing your vegetable. Just chop and dice into bite size pieces.

I have used a variety of different vegetables with this style of dish - courgettes, peppers, broccoli, mushrooms, green beans and baby sweetcorn are my favourites and I always use a load of onions.

When you ready to start cooking heat large non-stick pan to a high heat, add some olive oil and start to cook the onions and courgettes.

Once the courgettes have started to colour slightly add your chicken and any spare marinade.

Continue to cook on a high heat, keep it moving and allow the chicken to burn slightly around the edges.

Once your happy that the chicken is cooked through give your pan a shake to spread the ingredients evenly around the pan. Pour over the wine and let is sizzle. This will be rather violent due to the high heat so watch out for hot spitting.

When the wine has simmered down give it all another shake to distribute the stick sauce over the chicken and vegetables.

And it's ready. Serve along side some boiled rice or spoon over some hot buttered pasta. And if your feeling healthy this is really tasty thrown over a green salad.

Have a happy Wednesday
Love Lizx

 Smoky Chicken Bites

Monday, 29 June 2015

A Simple Prawn Salad

Sometimes - on a hot sunny weekend - all you want for lunch is a simple salad.

And with a big bowl of prawns sat in my fridge - I thought an updated take on the classic prawn cocktail was in order.....

recipe  - serves 4

400g cooked Atlantic prawns
4 little gem lettuces - washed - remove the outer leaves & leave whole the rest cut into ribbons
4 tablespoons mayonnaise
1 tablespoon natural yogurt
2 teaspoons sriracha hot chilli sauce ( you can add less if you wish)
1 teaspoon creamed horseradish
juice of a lime
large handful cherry tomatoes cut a few into quarters the rest dice.
2 or 3 spring onions - finely chopped
couple of sticks celery - sliced
pinch salt
loads freshly ground black pepper.

extra chopped limes for serving

First off rinse the prawns under ice cold water and leave to drain.

Grab a large bowl and make up your sauce - mix together the mayonnaise, yogurt, chilli sauce, lime juice, horseradish and a little salt & pepper.

Fold the chopped tomatoes, prawns, celery, lettuce and spring onions into the sauce - taste and add more salt & pepper if needed.

Arrange the whole lettuce leaves onto the serving plate, spoon the prawn mixture over and then add a couple of the quartered tomatoes and finish with a grinding of black pepper.

Serve with extra limes and a crusty loaf of french bread.

This was really tasty and I think it would work really well on a jacket potatoes or as a filling for a sandwich or wrap.

Sorry it's a short post today - really busy day ahead today ........ got to get going......

Have a good start to your week
Love Lizx

 Prawn Salad

Friday, 26 June 2015

Pan Fried Courgette with Pine Nuts

This dish was served to me as part of a tapas meal years ago and, for some unknown reason, the memory of it just popped into my head whilst I was typing up some work accounts the other day....

I was just sitting there - typing away - not consciously aware that I was thinking of anything other than the previous days till reports when suddenly courgettes and pine nuts were dancing through my head ( not as good as sugar plums dancing there but it's a bit early in the year for Christmas poetry)

So on the way home that evening I stopped off at my local greengrocers for a big bag of courgettes.
- supper had been decided!

Recipe - more a method really no accurate measures just go with it.....

a load of courgettes - I used 3
approx 1 teaspoon chilli flake
same amount of coriander seeds - slightly crushed
juice and zest lemon
a good handful pine nuts
olive oil
salt and pepper
fresh chopped mint leaves and some crumbled feta (optional)

This is really simple .......

Slice your courgettes into thick-ish rings - about half a centimetre

Heat some olive oil in a pan and then pop your courgettes in. Toss them around in the oil until all have both sides coated. Turn the heat down to low and leave them to cook through.

Whilst the courgettes are cooking you can get the pine nuts toasted.

Grab a pan and pop it over a medium heat. Throw the pine nuts in, without any oil - you need to dry roast them - and keep the pan moving.

If you don't keep these little guys moving around the pan they will burn on one side.

 Once your happy with the colour tip them out of the pan onto some kitchen towel or a clean cloth to stop any further cooking. Set aside whilst you finish the courgettes.

Your courgettes should be softening nicely - now's the time to add your lemon juice, zest, chilli flakes, coriander seeds, a pinch of salt and loads of freshly ground pepper.

Let it continue to cook for a few more minutes - just to let the flavours mingle.

Sprinkle on your pine nuts and your ready to serve.

If you wish to add some mint and feta - add the mint along with the other herbs and spices and crumble on the feta at the end with your pine nuts.......

As you can see this is really easy to make, it's a great dish on it's own with a bit of crusty bread to soak up the juices or have it as a side dish.

Hope you all have a good weekend
Love Lizx

 Courgette with pine nuts