Saturday, July 22, 2017

Spanish Chicken

There are some fab recipes in the June 2017 edition of the Coles magazine, and I sought inspiration from it for dinners.

The first recipe I tried is Spanish Chicken, on p27.  It is a bright, colourful dish which is a breeze to make because it is all cooked in the oven - once the ingredients are prepped, it looks after itself.

I also added some pumpkin to the dish, as I already had it and I needed to use it up.

To make this version of Spanish Chicken, you will need:

4 chicken thigh cutlets (I used the more readily available drumsticks)
2 teaspoons smoked paprika
2 teaspoons dried oregano
500g baby potatoes, halved
1 red onion, cut into wedges
1 capsicum, deseeded and coarsely chopped
1 zucchini, halved lengthways and sliced diagonally
1/2 cup Kalamata olives
1/2 cup chicken stock

Preheat your oven to 200 degrees Celsius.

Combine the chicken, paprika and oregano in a large bowl.  Heat a large frying pan and cook the chicken for 2 minutes each side or until golden brown.  Transfer the chicken to an oiled baking dish. 

Add the potato to the frying pan and cook for 5 minutes or until golden.

Arrange the potatoes, onion, capsicum, zucchini and olives around the chicken in the baking dish, and pour over the stock.  Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Bake the chicken in the oven for 35-40 minutes or until cooked through.

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Green Grass Scones

July's Red Tractor calendar recipe is Green Grass Scones.  Here is the quote of the month, this time from C S Lewis: 

I was a bit dubious when I read the recipe for these scones.  They are savoury scones with cheddar and feta cheeses, rocket (arugula) and cayenne pepper.  However, when I tasted one of these scones fresh out of the oven, slathered with butter, I was sold.  They are delish, and I love the kick from the cayenne.

To make these scones, you will need:

4 cups self-raising flour
(or just add baking powder to plain flour as per the tin)

1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
3 large handfuls rocket (arugula), roughly chopped
2 cups grated tasty cheese
2-3 tablespoons crumbled feta cheese
300ml cream
300ml soda water

Preheat your oven to 200 degrees Celsius, and line a large baking tray with baking paper.

Combine the flour, baking powder, salt and cayenne in a large mixing bowl.  Stir in the rocket and cheeses.

Combine the cream and soda water in a jug.  Make a well in the centre of the flour mixture and pour the liquid ingredients into the well. Mix with a knife until just combined.

Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and knead lightly, then shape into a rough rectangle about 4cm thick.   

Cut the dough into 20 square pieces, place on the baking tray, brush the tops with a little milk, and bake until puffed and golden (around 15-20 minutes).

To serve, split open the scones and slather with butter. 

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

TWD - Coffee Malteds

The second Dorie's Cookies selection for this month is Dorie's Coffee Malteds.  As the name suggests, these chewy, fat cookies are flavoured with coffee and malt powder.

These cookies are very simple to make and come out round and uniform.  They are well behaved all round, and taste very good.

To see what the other cookie bakers thought of these cookies, visit the LYL section of the TWD website.

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Salmon Curry

I try, but fail, to include enough fish in my diet.  I like to cook in advance for the week, and many fish dishes do not accommodate this.

However, I recently found a recipe for Healthy Salmon and Vegetable Curry on Well Nourished that allowed me to cook in advance and freeze. 

This lovely curry, the recipe for which is here, has lots of good things - vegetables, oily fish and spices and herbs that support the digestive system or have anti-inflammatory qualities.  Fantastic!

This curry was delicious.  The thing of course that made it expensive was the salmon, but I am think thinking that canned salmon  could be used as a substitute to reduce the cost.

It is winter here now, so I enjoyed this spicy, warming curry to comfort me on the inside.

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

TWD - Lavender Galettes

This week's Tuesday with Dorie recipe is Lavender Galettes.  These are curious cookies that are somewhat like tuiles, and have a similar use ofbeing able to be eaten with icecream. 

These galettes are rolled very thin, so thin that they are each rolled on their own individual piece of baking paper, with jagged edges, and bake up crispy.

I didn't have lavender, so I used crushed candied violets instead - they're floral, they're purple and hence seemed to fit the bill.

I was surprised at how much I liked these cookies.  I made a half batch and ate three (two with icecream), and gifted the rest to friends.

To see what everyone else thought of these, visit the LYL section  of the TWD website.

Monday, July 10, 2017

Hairy Dieters' Chicken Provencal

I recently added another Hairy Dieters' recipe to my repertoire, this time their Chicken Provencal from The Hairy Dieters Eat For Life.   Chicken Provencal is a classic, and while mine didn't turn out with a sauce as thick as theirs, it was delicious. Even better, according to the book, it only has 282 calories per serve.

To make this version of Chicken Provencal, you will need:

12 chicken thigh fillets (I bought half as many as I had super-sized fillets) 
2 teaspoons oil
2 thinly sliced onions
2 crushed cloves garlic
400g canned tomatoes
2 tablespoons tomato puree
1 teaspoon white sugar
300ml chicken stock
2 teaspoons dried herbs de Provence
100ml red wine
1 capsicum cut into 3cm chunks
2 zucchinis cut into 2cm slices
1 tablespoon cornflour
1 tablespoon cold water
salt and pepper

Trim all the visible fat off the chicken and cut each thigh in half.  Season with salt and pepper.

Heat the oil and fry the chicken in batches until lightly coloured.  Add the onions, garlic, tomatoes, tomato puree, sugar, stock, herbs and wine, and stir well.

Bring the liquid to a simmer and cook for 10 minutes.  Add the zucchini and capsicum and bring back to a simmer.  Cover the pan loosely with a lid and simmer gently for another 20 minutes until the chicken is cooked through.

Mix the cornflour and water together in a small bowl, then stir into the chicken mixture and simmer until the sauce has thickened.

Serve the chicken provencal served over rice (or in my case, bulgur wheat).

Saturday, July 8, 2017

Winter Roast at The Gables, Malvern East

Wow look at you now
Flowers in the window
It's such a lovely day
And I'm glad you feel the same
Cause to stand up, out in the crowd
You are one in a million
And I love you so
Lets watch the flowers grow

Flowers in the Window, Travis

A couple of weeks ago, Tim and I went to The Gables in Malvern East for their Winter Roast.  For $65/head, you receive a glass of wine or beer, a three course roast menu, and pot coffee or tea.

We were seated in the front room with a wonderful blazing fire to keep us warm on a rather chilly Melbourne day:

Here is the menu:

The starter was celeriac and hazelnut soup:

The soup was lovely - not too much celeriac, which can be quite salty and strong in taste, and the hazelnut was definitely ascertainable.  The soup was rib-stickingly thick, and was served with your choice of a bread roll or bread.

Next up came the roast, served smorgasboard style.  You could choose between roast lamb or beef, sliced to order, with Yorkshire pudding and red wine gravy.  You helped yourself to vegetables, including roast potato, pumpkin, kohlrabi and baby carrots, and broccoli and beans with almonds.  There was also a vegetarian gnocchi available as a side, featuring zucchini, peas, gorgonzola and herbs: 

The least exciting course was the dessert (I know! coming from me).  There was apple pie, trifle, chocolate mousse and cheese.  Tim had the apple pie, which was more an apple frangipane tart than a regular apple pie.  I went for the trifle, which was good without being spectacular, and the chocolate mousse sprinkled with freeze dried raspberries, which seemed a little bit overset:

This is one of the beautiful tiles surrounding the fireplace:

And here is the lovely plaster cornice:

Last but not least, this is one of the stained glass windows viewed from the inside:

Tim and I walked back from The Gables. Tim remarked that there were flowers in the window of one of the houses we passed, which instantly reminded me of the Travis song, Flowers in the Window, which is one of my favourites.  I was also excited to learn recently that Flowers in the Window was co-written with Paul McCartney! Always good to know about The Beatles connection. 

15 Finch St
Malvern East VIC 3145