Pasta with Chicken and Mushrooms

This is a very quick recipe which shouldn’t take longer than twenty minutes from entering the kitchen to sitting at the table and you should even be able to do it in less than fifteen!

Take two pans of boiling water, in one add some carrot, some onion, some parsley, a few black peppercorns (or I suppose you could use a stock cube). Poach four boned and skinless chicken thighs for about ten minutes (you could use chicken breast, but I prefer the flavour and taste of the thighs).

Add the pasta to the other pan of boiling water. I now never add salt or oil to my cooking pasta. All adding oil does is form an oily scum on the top, the myth that it stops the pasta sticking is just that a myth. After cooking if you toss the pasta in olive oil, this will stop is from sticking together, but that is after cooking and it is drained. I also don’t add salt, some add salt for flavour, but as I was using pancetta and parmesan and these are quite salty, there is no need to add extra salt.

So the two pans are simmering away, take a hot frying pan and add a handful of chopped (or diced) pancetta and a splash of olive oil. As the pancetta cooks, add a finely chopped onion and continue to cook until the onion is nice and soft. Now you could remove from the pan, but personally I keep the onions and pancetta in there and add a handful of sliced chestnut mushrooms. After the mushrooms are nearly cooked I add some ground black pepper and half a handful of finely chopped flat leaf parsley. Leave for a minute before removing all the mixture from the pan.

Remove the chicken from the poaching liquid and slice into chunks. With the frying pan, turn the heat up, add another splash of olive oil and quickly add the chicken to add some flavour. After a minute add three large spoonfuls of creme frache.

Drain the pasta, to the pasta add a handful of freshly grated parmesan, the pancetta, mushrooms and onions. Spoon in the chicken and creme frache and toss the pasta around.

Serve, adding grated parmesan and ground black pepper to taste.

Rice Salad

I do like a nice rice salad.

rice salad

The problem I have with some you can buy is that they are either too salty or too wet! So where possible I try and make my own.

This is a very simple recipe and you can adjust quantities to taste, how much you want, how much you have in the fridge.

Cook some rice.

I use basmati rice, in the main as it is so simple to cook, and cooks in ten minutes.

While the rice is cooking, in a frying pan add some olive oil and then add pancetta, onions, red pepper and courgettes. After that has cooked for a while add some mushrooms.

Ensure that they are cooked through and turn off the heat.

Now you could add the pepper, mushrooms, even the courgette raw, but I prefer to have them cooked.

Once the rice is cooked, drain and then to stop it cooking further and to cool it down rinse well with cold water.

Put the cooked rice in a bowl, add some mayonnaise and some creme frache.

Then add the cooked mixture.

making rice salad

Stir with a spoon until the rice and cooked mixture is evenly coated. As with a lot of salads though you could serve this straight away, it will improve if you leave it in the fridge for a few hours.

Excellent.

Pork with white wine and pancetta

Last night I cooked a very nice meal and it only took 15 minutes from scratch.

Ingredients

Pork medallions (or you could use loin steaks, pork chops or tenderloin)

Olive oil

Black pepper

Rice

Green beans

For the sauce

Pancetta

Onion

Parsley

Flour

White wine

Creme frache

So first boil the kettle with fresh water to cook the rice and the green beans.

Whilst the kettle is boiling put two pans on for the pork and the sauce. Add a dash of olive oil to both pans. When the oil is hot, add the pork (ensure it is dry) to one and the pancetta to the other.

Ensure the rice is washed, I now use basmati rice all the time, in the main as it cooks easily without sticking and only takes ten minutes. Put separate pans on for the rice and the beans. Time the rice for ten minute, the beans should be cooked after ten minutes as well.

Once the pancetta is cooked, add the onion, finely chopped.

Check the pork, turning if needed.

Once the onion is softened add a spoonful of flour to the pancetta and onion and stir well, then add a good dash of white wine. When it starts to thicken take off the heat.

When the pork is cooked, remove to a warm plate and allow to rest, this will make it tender.

Deglaze the pork pan, by adding a good dash of white wine. Add the pancetta and onion sauce and a couple of large spoonfuls of creme frache, add the parsely and freshly ground black pepper.

Stir.

Put the rice on the plate, you can just spoon it on, if you have more than fifteen minutes then I use a ramekin, spoon the rice into the ramekin and then upturn onto the plate, looks neater than a spoonfuls of rice.

You can either leave the pork whole, or slice depending on what you prefer.

Cover the pork with the sauce.

Serve with the green beans.

Fifteen minutes from entering the kitchen to on the table.

Sorted.

Making coleslaw

Easy.

coleslaw

I use cabbage, usually organic pointed cabbage or white cabbage. I shred this, ensuring I cut the core out first.

I then skin an onion, cut it in half and then cut very fine slices, before adding them to the coleslaw mix.

I grate my carrots.

For the dressing, I add a small spoon of wholegrain mustard, a couple of spoons of creme frache, a couple spoons of mayonnaise and a few grinds from my pepper mill.

Using two spoons I mix the lot together.

More black pepper and a splash of olive oil.

Serve.

Done.


Coleslaw, do you buy it or make it?

Do you buy coleslaw?

Do you  make coleslaw?

Generally I always try and make my own coleslaw. Not only is it very easy to do, it also tastes fresher and so much better.

I use cabbage, usually organic pointed cabbage or white cabbage. I shred this, ensuring I cut the core out first.

I then skin an onion, cut it in half and then cut very fine slices, before adding them to the coleslaw mix.

I grate my carrots.

For the dressing, I add a small spoon of wholegrain mustard, a couple of spoons of creme frache, a couple spoons of mayonnaise and a few grinds from my pepper mill.

Using  two spoons I mix the lot together.

Serve.

Done.

After you have made your own coleslaw you will wonder why you ever bought it in the past! Make some today.

Chicken, Red Pepper and Mushrooms in a Cream and Saffron sauce with Gnocchi

This is a dish I made.

Chicken, Red Pepper and Mushrooms in a Cream and Saffron sauce with Gnocchi

Take some chicken thighs, add olive oil to a hot pan.

Brown the chicken in the pan, then remove.

Add chopped onion and red pepper to the pan.

Cook on a low heat until soft.

Add chopped mushrooms.

Meanwhile soak some saffron in a little hot water.

Once the mushrooms, onions and red pepper are cooked, add the chicken.

Add some freshly chopped parsley.

Add the saffron.

Add a couple of large spoonfuls of creme frache, you could use double cream, but I prefer creme frache.

Serve with some freshly cooked gnocchi.

Done.