Recipe: Lemon, Garlic and Herb Chicken Thigh Tray Bake

This tray bake is simple, tasty and ready in an hour and needs very little prep, hooray! Using chicken thighs gives crispy and moist meat and the juices released from the skin is just perfect for roasting those potatoes in. The lemon, garlic and herb flavour combination used gives this dish a real freshness about it.

wpid-20140922_193640.jpg

You will need:

  • 5/6 Chicken Thighs
  • 4/5 Potatoes
  • 2 Carrots
  • Baby Courgettes (5/6), halved lengthways
  • 6 Cloves of Garlic
  • 2 Lemons
  • 1 tablespoon dried Herbs de Provence
  • 1 Chicken Stock cube
  • Salt and Pepper to Season

wpid-20140922_181216.jpgwpid-20140922_181441.jpgwpid-20140922_181554.jpgwpid-20140922_181641.jpgwpid-20140922_181933.jpgwpid-20140922_182233.jpgwpid-20140922_184446.jpgwpid-20140922_190719.jpgwpid-20140922_193632.jpg

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 190 degrees Celsius.
  2. Dice potatoes and chop carrots and place in a large baking tray with a glug of olive oil
  3. Chop half of the garlic cloves and crush the other half using the back of the knife and a strong firm push down.
  4. Score the skin of the chicken thighs so the flavours sink in well and place skin side up on top of the veg.
  5. Squeeze over the juice of the lemon and add the rest of the lemon to the tray, sprinkle over the garlic, chicken stock cube, herbs and season with salt and pepper.
  6. Mix well to ensure the seasoning is mingling well with all the meat and veg and roast for 20 mins.
  7. Remove the tray from the oven and give it a shake, turn over the chicken thighs so the skin side is down and return to the warmth of the oven roast for a further 20 mins.
  8. Take out the oven and turn over the chicken so that it is skin side up again and add the courgettes to the tray, give the tray another good shake. Turn up the oven to 220 degrees Celsius and roast for a final 20 mins until the chicken and veg is golden and crispy. Serve and enjoy!
Advertisements

Recipe: Strawberry and Cream Cupcakes/ Chocolate and Cream Cupcakes

Last weekend it was birthday time, which means…. Cake time!!!!! Or cupcake time in this instance. For my dad’s birthday I decided on cupcakes but to go down a classic Victoria sponge route, then I couldn’t decide on strawberry or chocolate, strawberry or chocolate, strawberry or chocolate. Cue brainwave….. I’ll do both.

This recipe makes 24 cupcakes, 12 strawberry and 12 chocolate. After all, when there’s your family and a cake fiend boyfriend to feed there can never be too much.

wpid-20140920_163001.jpgwpid-20140920_162951.jpg

You will need:

  • 350g Self Raising Flour
  • 350g Butter
  • 350g Caster Sugar
  • 6 eggs
  • 1/2 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
  • 3 tablespoons Baking Powder
  • 500ml Double Cream
  • 12 heaped teaspoons Strawberry Jam
  • 12 Strawberries
  • 12 heaped teaspoons Nutella
  • 12 chunks of Chocolate
  • 1 tablespoon Icing Sugar

wpid-20140920_143843.jpgwpid-20140920_143205.jpgwpid-20140920_143932.jpgwpid-20140920_144126.jpgwpid-20140920_144354.jpgwpid-20140920_1445270.jpgwpid-20140920_1447000.jpgwpid-20140920_150801.jpgwpid-20140920_151039.jpgwpid-20140920_151153.jpgwpid-20140920_151344.jpgwpid-20140920_151608.jpgwpid-20140920_153654.jpgwpid-20140920_153946.jpgwpid-20140920_161925.jpg

Method:

  1. Pre heat oven to 180 degrees Celsius.
  2. In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
  3. One by one mix in the eggs until thoroughly mixed in. Add the vanilla essence and mix.
  4. Fold in the flour and baking powder until a thick cake mix is formed.
  5. Line a muffin tin with 12 cupcake cases.
  6. for the strawberry, add a heaped teaspoon of cake mix to each of the cases, then add a heaped teaspoon on strawberry jam on top of the mix, then add another heaped teaspoons of cake mix to top it all off.
  7. Bake the cupcakes for 20 mins until golden and the cakes spring back up when lightly pressed.
  8. for the chocolate, repeat the same process as the strawberry except use Nutella in the place of strawberry jam.
  9. When the cakes are cooled its time to decorate. Whip up the double cream and icing sugar until stiff and forms peaks. Using a piping bags pipe the cream onto each of the cupcakes.
  10. Top each one with a strawberry or chunk of chocolate and enjoy!!

wpid-20140920_162951.jpgwpid-20140920_163001.jpgwpid-20140920_163003.jpgwpid-20140920_163005.jpgwpid-20140920_163010.jpg

You will notice that these cupcakes use fresh cream and strawberries so won’t last as long as other cupcakes, not that we ever have a problem I’m our house.

 

 

Recipe: Dark Chocolate and Hazelnut Fudge

Okay, okay. I admit that I have a bit of a thing for a dark chocolate and hazelnut combination but when something works, it just works, right? Here it is, the recipe for my dark chocolate and hazelnut fudge, I made this using a few leftover buts I had from when I made my Caramel Fudge (see earlier post) it makes enough if just for yourself and a friend but for bigger portions just double (or triple needed) the quantities used.

wpid-20140907_174900.jpgwpid-20140915_194853.jpg

You will need:

  • 100g Dark Chocolate with Hazelnuts
  • 120ml Double Cream
  • 180g Caster Sugar
  • 40g Butter
  • 4 tablespoons Glucose Syrup
  • 1 tablespoon Cocoa Powder
  • 1 tablespoon icing sugar
  • Sugar thermometer

wpid-20140907_123350.jpgwpid-20140907_123530.jpgwpid-20140907_123534.jpgwpid-20140907_124227.jpgwpid-20140907_124353.jpgwpid-20140907_132329.jpg

Method:

  1. Line a high sided baking tin with baking paper and grease well.
  2. Roughly chop the chocolate to break up the hazelnuts.
  3. In a medium pan add the double cream, sugar, butter and glucose and melt together over a medium heat. Once all the ingredients have combined together, turn up the heat and continue to heat until 110 degree Celsius (this is where you will need the sugar thermometer). Try not to stir the mixture too much but you will need to to prevent the mix burning and just remember be careful because sugar work is hot!!
  4. Once the mix is up to temperature, take off the heat and stir in the chocolate until fully mixed in and the mix is smooth and glossy.
  5. Next, whisk in the cocoa and icing sugar, be careful as the mix will still be extremely hot.
  6. Once everything is all mixed in pour the fudge mix into your prepared tin and leave to cool and set for a few hours.
  7. When the mixture is set chop up into nice little (big) squares and enjoy.

wpid-20140907_132351.jpgwpid-20140907_174902.jpgwpid-20140907_174935.jpgwpid-20140907_174939.jpg

 

I’m getting into the swing of fudge making and really happy with the results, can’t wait to start experiment with some new flavours. If you have any that are worth a try, let me know.

Foodie stop: Manchester markets

Last weekend we were up in the North West, And while in Manchester I luckily had enough to have time to have a quick look around the food markets, something which I love to do. Both central, One was in Piccadilly Gardens and the other in St Anne’s Square offering a large array of food on offer from sweets and everyone’s favourite cupcakes, cold alcoholic beverages (damn being the driver) and hog roasts. I also spotted a stall using lucky boat noodles which was a bit of a blast from the last for me as I spent my placement year working at Westmill foods. Walking round it all looked amazing and I was gutted that I’d already eaten and didn’t have room to devour the delights in front of me. On route We also, discovered Mr Simms Olde Sweet shop where we were like, well, kids in a sweet shop.

Here’s a few pictures for you to enjoy.

wpid-20140913_133012.jpgwpid-20140913_133032.jpgwpid-20140913_133034.jpgwpid-20140913_133037.jpgwpid-20140913_133043.jpgwpid-20140913_133051.jpgwpid-20140913_133054.jpgwpid-20140913_133108.jpgwpid-20140913_133110.jpgwpid-20140913_133119.jpgwpid-20140913_133140.jpgwpid-20140913_133123.jpgwpid-20140913_133145.jpgwpid-20140913_133148.jpgwpid-20140913_133151.jpgwpid-20140913_133155.jpgwpid-20140913_133218.jpgwpid-20140913_140201.jpgwpid-20140913_140154.jpgwpid-20140913_140225.jpgwpid-20140913_140240.jpgwpid-20140913_140318.jpgwpid-20140913_140330.jpgwpid-20140913_140351.jpgwpid-20140913_140403.jpgwpid-20140913_140520.jpgwpid-20140913_140530.jpgwpid-20140913_140631.jpgwpid-20140913_140640.jpgwpid-20140913_140650.jpgwpid-20140913_140700.jpgwpid-20140913_140719.jpgwpid-20140913_140758.jpgwpid-20140913_140802.jpgwpid-20140913_140834.jpg

Recipe: Caramel Fudge

As I had a couple of birthdays coming up I thought it might be a nice idea to make some homemade fudge for presents. I made this and a chocolate and hazelnut fudge (which recipe I’ll post soon) to give a mix of fudge flavours. This recipe is for a big batch as I could see that it all wouldn’t make it into those sweet bags.

You will need:

  • 500ml Double Cream
  • 180g Butter
  • 300g Caster Sugar
  • 150g Demerara Sugar
  • 4 tablespoons Glucose Syrup
  • 1/2 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
  • 2 tablespoons Icing Sugar
  • Sugar thermometer

wpid-20140907_114116.jpgwpid-20140907_121109.jpgwpid-20140907_121509.jpgwpid-20140907_121611.jpgwpid-20140907_123335.jpgwpid-20140907_123337.jpgwpid-20140907_124347.jpgwpid-20140907_132316.jpg

Method:

  1. Line a high sided baking tin with baking paper and grease well.
  2. In a large pan add all the ingredients except for the icing sugar and over a medium heat melt together. Once all the ingredients have combined turn up the heat and heat the mix to 110 degrees Celsius, this will take abit of time so be patient.
  3. Once the mixture is up to temperature, remove from the heat and allow to cool for 5 mins.
  4. Once the mix has cooled a little, whisk in the icing sugar and pour into your prepared baking tin.
  5. Allow mix to cool, cut into squares and enjoy, give, share or do with it as you please.

 

wpid-20140915_194907.jpgwpid-20140915_194853.jpgwpid-20140915_194901.jpg

 

And on an end note, this was made specially for my dad’s birthday which is today so, happy birthday dad!!

Recipe: Mediterranean Pork Kebabs

This is a simple yet flavoursome recipe which is what I made us for tea last night. I will admit I had a little mishap when making these, I would normally use onions or peppers to go alongside meat for the skewers but this time I decided to use leeks and, erm, well the kind of just fall off the skewers. But they chargrilled nicely anyway and became a tasty little side dish. This recipe uses pork but also works well on chicken too, or if you’re not a meat fan just mixed veg, just forget the leeks.

wpid-20140906_173432.jpgwpid-20140906_173051.jpgwpid-20140906_173015.jpg

You will need:

  • 500g Pork Loin, diced
  • juice of 1 Lemon
  • 1 teaspoon Dried Oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon Dried Marjoram
  • 1/2 teaspoon Dried Thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon Cayenne Powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon of Paprika
  • 3 cloves of Garlic
  • 1 Chicken stock cube, crumbled
  • salt and pepper to season
  • 6 Fresh Mint Leaves, chopped

wpid-20140906_173610.jpgwpid-20140906_173740.jpgwpid-20140906_174919.jpgwpid-20140906_180631.jpgwpid-20140906_180737.jpgwpid-20140906_181806.jpgwpid-20140906_181842.jpgwpid-20140906_182229.jpg

Method:

  1. Combine all the ingredients in a bowl and mix well to ensure the pork is well covered with all the flavours. Cover and leave to marinade for at least 30 mins.
  2. Thread the pork onto skewers, this should make approx 12 skewers which will be enough for about 4 people if served with a side dish/dishes.
  3. Over a high heat, heat a griddle pan until very hot and one by one add the skewers.
  4. Turn every few minutes to colour on each side. The kebabs will take approx 10 mins to cook but if you are unsure you can always cut open a pice of pork to check that the meat is no longer pink in colour.
  5. Once cooked sprinkle over fresh mint, take out the pan and serve.

I enjoyed my kebabs with roasted potatoes and homemade garlic and Parmesan bread but would go fantastic with Pitta bread, salad and Tzatziki (see older post for My Tzatziki recipe). This would also be great as part of a meat platter and great finger food when having friends over.

Eating Out: Kebab night at Ego

If you would have asked me 12 months ago I would have told you that this place was my favourite spot to eat out, but after a couple of disappointments at steak night our eating out here has some what been lacking lately. But after seeing this offer for kebab night we decided to give it another try and last Thursday was the date.

wpid-20140904_193617.jpgwpid-20140904_193558.jpg

The setting for this restaurant is beautiful yet relaxed and in a great location, on Surrey Street right near the crucible theatre in Sheffield city centre and a 2 minutes wander from the peace gardens. Ego serves Mediterranean food well with a Modern feel with dishes you would typically see in Spain, Greece and beyond. Having previously had the chicken kebabs off the a la carte menu on previous visits this set my expectations high for the kebab night I was about to partake in.

wpid-20140904_193620.jpgwpid-20140904_193602.jpgwpid-20140904_193606.jpgwpid-20140904_193611.jpg

What we ate: 

Off the kebab menu we went for the Jerk Pork and the Piri Piri Chicken and each of skin on fries and sweet potato fries. The kebabs came with tortillas, Tzatziki, Salsa (hot) and salad. The kebabs came and were full of flavour, my choice was the Jerk Pork which was spicy and cooked well, the only criticisms that I had the seasoning could have been a little sweeter and the pork better trimmed as I came across a couple of bits of gristle. I had major food envy of the Piri Piri chicken kebab the boy had ordered, the chicken was spiced well and had good heat level and cooked very well. The fries were good and the sweet potato fries were very good, I could have eaten soo much more of them.

We opted out on dessert at the restaurant and had a sneaky fudge sundae from maccy d’s on the way home.

wpid-20140904_203057.jpg

After this experience Ego has won back my heart and I’ll definitely be back to give the Tapas night a try and to sample more of the a la carte menu. A great night! The only downside I’d if you were expecting this offer to be cheap, once sides and drinks had been added to the £10 kebabs the bill came to almost £40.

wpid-20140904_191424.jpgwpid-20140904_190521.jpgwpid-20140904_190352.jpgwpid-20140904_190000.jpg