Showing posts with label budget cooking. Show all posts
Showing posts with label budget cooking. Show all posts

Monday, 20 February 2012

'Twas the night before Shrove Tuesday...

I hope there are no rules about tucking into pancakes a day earlier than is traditional as I'm taking advantage of a free evening to make a huge pile of pancakes and eat them all to myself. I'm going to Ashtanga Yoga tomorrow and it doesn't feel right to gorge on lard and sugar after pretending to be a dedicated yogi all evening. Plus, The Boy just won't accept that pancakes constitute a meal in their own right and he's away On Business at the moment. So, hoorah, it's Pancake Time! 

I've decided to go for the classic pancake recipe with a lemon and sugar combo, adding a little zing to proceedings with some delicious homemade cinnamon sugar a friend gave me for Christmas. I'm not sure whether anyone actually needs to know the recipe for pancakes but, considering that I had to Google it last year, I'll pop it down here just to be on the safe side:

What you need to make 6 large pancakes:

115g plain flour
pinch of salt
1 medium egg
170ml milk
55ml water
Vegetable oil for cooking
Lemons and sugar, to taste

What you do:

1. Sift the flour and salt into a bowl and make a well in the centre.
2. Beat the egg and pour in to the well.
3. Mix the milk with the water and slowly add to the egg, beating with a wooden spoon. Gradually incorporate the flour from the sides of the bowl.
4. Strain through a sieve into a jug.
5. Leave to rest for 30 minutes (optional).
6. Heat a non-stick frying pan over a medium to high heat. Rub with a thick wad of oil-soaked kitchen paper.
7. When hot, start cooking your pancakes! You might like to try removing the pan from the heat and ladling the batter into the pan at an angle. Then, whizz it around so the batter thinly covers the whole pan.
8. When the batter begins to set and form bubbles, loosen the edges and flip!

Here are some little snaps to whet your appetite... Enjoy! :-)

Jess's Homemade Cinnamon Sugar!

Saturday, 10 December 2011

Recipe: Chicken & Spinach One-Pot Pilaf

Gorgeous pilaf / biryani dish using frozen veg, basmati rice, chicken and not much else!

This is my favourite "store cupboard" recipe at the moment; for times when I fancy something tasty but can't be bothered to go shopping for lots of fresh ingredients. You can make it as spicy or mild as you like (or let the heat be guided by the variety of curry paste you happen to have in the kitchen if you're lazy like me!).

What you need:

Chicken breast pieces
Onion - diced
Ground cumin
Ground turmeric
Chicken oxo cube - made up to stock of about 300ml
Cardamon pods
Garam Masala
Curry paste - vindaloo is good for a spicy kick, or tikka paste is full of flavour but milder
Basmati rice (one portion)
Frozen veg - like green beans / peas
Frozen leaf spinach
Creme fraiche to serve (optional)

1. Fry the onion in a little oil in a big pot, on a low heat, until soft. Add about a tsp each of ground cumin and ground turmeric (or similar indian spices, if you don't have those in the cupboard).
2. Boil some water and make up chicken stock (about 300ml - 400ml depending on how much rice you use). Add a couple of cardamon pods and a good shake of garam masala. Stir and leave to infuse.
3. Add chicken cut into pieces to the pot and fry until coloured on the outside.
4. Add about 2 tsp of curry paste and the basmati rice to the pan and stir through for about one minute.
5. Pour in the stock and stir through.
6. If you are using large pieces of frozen vegetables (such as broccoli), add them now, bring to the boil and cover and simmer for about 10 minutes. Be careful not to let it stick! Keep stirring regularly if in doubt!
7. Add the remaining vegetables and the frozen spinach (nestle them into the rice) and leave the lid off with the mixture simmering for about another 10 minutes, until the rice is cooked and the chicken is cooked through.

Serve with a dollop of creme fraiche or natural yoghurt and some fresh coriander! Voila!

Enjoy :-)