Time for a Buttermilk Chicken Burger

Buttermilk Chicken Burger

Sometimes I cook and sometimes I just buy stuff I can heat from chilled or frozen. Often it’s time, sometimes convenience, othertimes it’s because I like it.

I really quite like the Buttermilk Chicken Thigh Burgers from Aldi. You get two in a box.

Buttermilk Chicken Burger

These are baked the oven. I served mine in a brioche roll with cheese. The chicken is moist and tender and the seasoned breadcrumb is nice crunchy and tasty.

They are quite large so will fill the bun easily. I have noticed that they are a little inconsistent in size when I have bought them, but in some ways that I quite like, it feels a more natural product.

Spicy Crunchy Chicken Bites

These were an attempt to make my own version of the Santa Maria Colombian Crunchy Chicken Bites that we usually have. I had to make my own, as I was unable to get hold of a pack of the Colombian Crunchy Chicken Bites Seasoned Corn Coating.

The end result wasn’t quite the same, however they were very tasty and enjoyed by all.

The method I used was to take some chicken thighs and slice them into equally sized strips.

These were then coated in gluten free flour, before then been coated in an egg mix and finally coated in a mix of gluten free breadcrumbs, cajun seasoning, and salt and pepper.

You could fry these, however I baked mine in the oven for about 15-20 minutes.

They go well with sour cream and wrapped in mini tortillas.

Colombian Crunchy Chicken Bites Seasoned Corn Coating

I like this packet for making crunchy chicken bites.

A mild blend for light, oven-baked, crunchy, gluten free bites. Use our simple blend to make delicious Colombian-inspired crunchy chicken bites in your oven. We use corn, instead of wheat, to get that extra crispiness which is loved by adults and kids alike, making it perfect for a family night in. Buen provecho!

What I also like about this pack is that it is gluten-free.

The process is nice and simple, I take some chicken thighs and cut them into strips which are placed in a bowl, to which I add some sunflower oil and the contents of the pack. This is mixed together and then the chicken is placed on a baking tray. I usually line the tray with baking parchment.

The chicken strips are then cooked in the oven.

What you get a crunchy spicy chicken. I like to eat them in a wrap with some sour cream and pea shoots. 

However I am now having real trouble finding it in my local supermarkets, Morrisons no longer sell it, my local Waitrose had it on special for a while, but now it’s no longer on the shelves. In theory it’s available at Asda, but I have never seen it at my nearest branch. So as a result I have been looking at making my own version using spices and gluten free breadcrumbs.

Time for some Chicken Fajitas

Alongside my steak fajitas I made some chicken fajitas as well.

Chicken Fajitas

I make versions of this dish quite often, but the method is pretty much the same. With the chicken I prefer to use chicken thighs. These I cut into strips. I then added sliced onion and pepper to the chicken before adding some fajita seasoning.

This chicken, onion and pepper mix is then cooked in a hot frying pan until the chicken is cooked through. I finished off the dish with some chopped fresh coriander.

The fajitas I serve with warm tortilla wraps, sour cream, guacamole and salsa. I also like to add some pea shoots into the mix as well and thinly sliced radishes.

Gluten Free Spicy Crispy Chicken Strips

I made these spicy crispy chicken strips to accompany an asian inspired meal I was cooking.

Gluten Free Spicy Crispy Chicken Strips

I cut some chicken thighs into strips and then coated them in a homemade batter. The batter was made from gluten free self raising flour, mixed with a single egg and flavoured with salt and pepper, and Schwartz Japanese 7 Spice Yakitori Seasoning. The aim was to coat the chicken with the batter, ensure the batter is thick enough to coat the chicken, but not too thick so that there is a thick layer of batter on the chicken.

The chicken strips are then shallow fried in batches in hot oil. After draining on kitchen paper, I finished them off in the oven.

I served them with sweet chilli sauce.

Venezuelan Coconut & Lime Sauce

This is a Venezuelan Coconut & Lime Sauce chicken dish I made recently.

I am a bit of a fan of the Santa Maria Latin American Kitchen range of sauces and spices. Though I like to make my own sauces, sometimes for speed and ease I use ready made sauces such as the Venezuelan Coconut & Lime Sauce. They are also useful when you don’t want to buy all the ingredients to make a sauce like this one, or only want to make a smaller portion as part of a wider range of dishes. I sometimes use the sauces for inspiration for cooking my own sauces.

The Venezuelan Coconut & Lime Sauce is a tasty sauce and is one of my favourites from the range.

Venezuelan Coconut & Lime Sauce

A creamy sauce made with coconut cream, lime juice & chillies. Venezuelan Coconut & Lime Sauce has its roots in the Zulian region, in the north of Venezuela by the Caribbean Sea, where coconut palms grow. This fresh, tangy, coconut cooking sauce brings you a real taste of the tropics.

I generally cook some chicken with onions and pepper before adding the sauce and heating it through., I added some chopped coriander and served the dish with rice.

Chipolatas on the Barbecue

One of the nice things I have enjoyed when self-catering at a Eurocamp in France is the gas barbecue that is outside every caravan. Something I have never experienced in the UK (maybe it rains too much).

One of the advantages of the barbecue is that you can avoid using the oven or grill in the caravan which can heat up the living area considerably, which when it is hot anyhow, makes it very uncomfortable.

On the first evening of our recent holiday to France, we popped to the local campsite shop for some quick extra supplies (we had brought some basics with us, as well as enough food for the first meal). However as we had time we thought we might get some French food for the evening meal.

I picked up a pack of Chipolatas sausages, which I grilled on the barbecue.

These were really nice, meaty, tasty and delicious. We had these quite a few times over the holiday.

Over the week, as well as Chipolatas I also did Merguez sausages, lemon chicken and some nice peppered rump steaks.

Most of the time we had these with salad, though I did cook Pommes Rissolées a couple of times, and also made a (gluten free) pasta salad as well.

The only challenge was on the final evening, though I regularly cleaned the griddle part of the barbecue, the bottom part did have too much grease on it, so we had some flames which resulted in certain pieces of food getting somewhat charred! When we go again I will clean this part of the barbecue as well.

Part of the (new) housekeeping agreement with Eurocamp, as well as emptying the fridge and doing the washing up, you also had to clean the barbecue.

Knowing this in advance, I did bring some metal scouring pads and cloths for this purpose. It came up okay, but having some proper cleaning spray or similar would have been useful. However I got there in the end.

I really enjoyed cooking on the barbecue during the week, it was quick to light up and made catering much quicker and easier.

Tasty Bao Buns

I quite like Bao Buns. I don’t actually recall when I had my first Bao Bun, a filled steam bun, but I think it was from the SheSellsSushi stall at one of the Bristol Street Food markets. I’ve had some really nice ones, and some which were rather disappointing.

Having enjoyed the buns from Master Bao the last time I was there, and needing lunch I decided to visit Master Bao again. As this is a shopping centre, there are a range of outlets all with a common eating area. You order at the counter, take a electronic gizmo and when it buzzes you collect your food. Not the best way I think of having a nice lunch, a bit too fast food for me, but it works. I ordered the lunch deal of two bao buns and a side dish

I had this before, but did enjoy it, the Shiitake Mushroom Bao – teriyaki shiitake mushrooms, pickled onions and miso.

Shiitake Mushroom Bao - teriyaki shiitake mushrooms, pickled onions and miso

This was mushrooms cooked in a teriyaki sauce and served in a hot fluffy bao. The bun was warm and fluffy, and the mushrooms very tasty. It was a bit messy to eat, but I got there in the end.

My second Bao was the Mr Bao – slow braised pork with house pickles, roasted peanut and coriander.

Mr Bao - slow braised pork with house pickles, roasted peanut and coriander

The pork was very tender, and the peanut added a nice crunchy texture to the Bao. I would have liked a little more coriander, but otherwise it was delicious.

Both Bao buns were soft and fluffy and full of tasty fillings.

I had enjoyed the pork dumplings last time, but this time I went with the fried chicken.

fried chicken

This was not as good as I thought it could be, but the chicken was nice and crispy with a tasty sauce.

Overall I really did enjoy the meal,

 

 

Two Three Bird Roasts

I blog about what we eat for Christmas lunch, mainly to remember things that worked well and for those that didn’t, not to repeat that mistake.

We now have a tradition of having our Christmas dinner on Christmas Eve. We’ve done this for ten years now. We do this for a few reasons. On Christmas Day itself, the children are often too excited to sit down for a long meal, so don’t eat or enjoy the meal or the occasion. It also usually means I spend a fair few hours in the kitchen, which means I miss them opening and playing with their presents. I also find it quite demanding to spend as little time in the kitchen as possible, whilst creating a wonderful dining experience.

Having the meal on Christmas Eve means that we can both spend a bit more time preparing the meal (less stressful in itself) and enjoy eating the meal (as do the children). As a result for them it helps pass the time on one of the more exciting days of the year as they anticipate the arrival of a sleigh full of presents being pulled by eight tiny reindeer!

As to what we eat on Christmas day itself, well we have lots of lovely leftovers, cheeses, pickles, hot bread, etc…. quick and easy to prepare and delicious.

I had originally planned to cook three roasts for our Christmas lunch. With limited space in the oven and thinking we might have too much food, in the end I decided to cook only the two three bird roasts and leave the beef joint for Boxing Day, which was an excellent piece of beef and I will blog about at later date.

The main roast was a turkey stuffed with chicken and duck, along with a pork, plum and sloe gin stuffing.

This was an excellent roast full of flavour.

We also had a three game roast, which was a pheasant, stuffed with partridge , pigeon and a pork, apple, calvados stuffing.

We were less impressed with this roast, it lacked flavour.

Overall it was a nice meal and enjoyed by all.

Nice Bao Buns

I don’t actually recall when I had my first Bao Bun, a filled steam bun, but I think it was from the SheSellsSushi stall at one of the Bristol Street Food markets.

I’ve had some really nice ones, and some which were rather disappointing. I have also made them at home as well, well made is a strong word, I bought some ready prepared, steamed them, and added my own filling. That’s almost “made”, but I am keen to try and make some properly one day.

Needing lunch quickly and having parked at the Westfield Centre in West London, there was a wide choice of places to eat but in the end I did quite fancy giving Master Bao a try.

As this is a shopping centre, there are a range of outlets all with a common eating area. You order at the counter, take a electronic gizmo and when it buzzes you collect your food. Not the best way I think of having a nice lunch, a bit too fast food for me, but it works.

I ordered the lunch deal of two bao buns and a side dish. My first choice of bao was the shiitake mushroom bao.

shiitake mushroom bao

This was mushrooms cooked in a teriyaki sauce and served in a hot fluffy bao. It was rather nice, I wouldn’t say I was blown away, but I did enjoy it. The bun was warm and fluffy, and the mushrooms very tasty. It was a bit messy to eat, but I got there in the end.

My second choice of bao, was the chicken bao made with 24 hour marinated fried chicken, fried wasabi, kimchi and coriander.

chicken bao made with 24 hour marinated fried chicken, fried wasabi, kimchi and coriander

I enjoyed the crispy chicken and the accompaniments added a nice spicy extra to the dish. The combination of textures, soft vegetables, crispy chicken and soft bao, was a delight.

As I had chosen the chicken bao, I chose a side dish and went with the pork dumplings.

pork dumplings

These were nice and tasty, steamed and then finished off in the frying pan.

Overall I really did enjoy the dish and would certainly go again.