Thursday, 4 November 2010

Moroccan Chicken with Sweet Potato Mash

A very tasty and different dish from the Good Food Magazine October 2010.

Moroccan Chicken with Sweet Potato Mash
Serves 4

1kg sweet potatoes, cubed
2 tsp Ras el Hanout
4 skinless, boneless chicken breasts
2 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, thinly sliced
1 garlic clove, crushed
200ml chicken stock
2 tsp clear honey
Juice of 1/2 lemon
Handful of green olives
Fresh coriander

Boil the potatoes until tender, approx 15 minutes.  Mix the ras el hanout with seasoning, then sprinkle all over the chicken.  Heat 1 tbsp oil in a frying pan then brown the chicken.
Remove the chicken and add to the pan the garlic and onion, cook for 5 mins.  Add the stock, honey, lemon and olives.  Return the chicken to the pan then simmer for 10 mins until the sauce is syrupy and chicken cooked.
Mash the potatoes with the remaining oil (or butter, like I did), thickly slice the chicken (which I didn't do) stir the chopped coriander in to the sauce and plate up.

I was not sure of this dish to start, I have had some bad Moroccan dishes which usually have incorporated preserved lemons, my most loathed ingredient, but the honey and the lemon in this dish combined beautifully and the ras el hanout spices gave a lovely kick to the chicken, very very tasty and super healthy, according to Good Food!

Monday, 1 November 2010

Sweet Cherry Tomato and Sausage Bake

Another comforting dish from the Jamie at Home cook book, that utilised my beloved one pot cooking.

Sweet Cherry Tomato and Sausage Bake
Serves 6 (or not depending on how greedy you are, we halved the recipe for 2 people!)

2kg Cherry tomatoes various varieties, I also used baby plum tomatoes
2 sprigs each of fresh thyme, rosemary and bay
1 Tbsp dried oregano
3 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
12 Cumberland sausages
Olive oil
Balsamic vinegar

Set oven to 190oc.  In a large roasting tray add your tomatoes, in one layer.  Add the herbs, garlic and sausages.  Drizzle well with oil and Balsamic, season and toss together.

Making sure the snorkers are on top pop into the oven for half and hour, then take out shake around and pop back in for a further 15 to 30 minuted depending on hour golden and sticky you like your sausages.

Once cooked you have a lovely thick unctuous tomatoey sauce, if it is too thin, take out the bangers and place the tray on the hob to reduce down a little.

I served this on a big dollop of mashed potato. It was a delicious, thick, rich tomato sauce, utterly perfect and could replace the old favourite of bangers, mash, peas and onion gravy.  Very, very tasty.

Butternut Squash Soup with Parmesan Croutons

I love butternut squash soup, nothing compares to how warming, thick and creamy it turns out, perfect for misty Autumn days, curled up next to an open fire.  I usually just fry up an onion add chopped and peeled squash with vegetable stock and chopped sage leaves, simmer away for 20 mins then blitz with a hand blender, add a little creme fraich or cream if I have it to hand and yum.  Whilst riffling through the Jamie at Home cook book I noticed his recipe and decided to give it a go.

Squash Soup with Parmesan Croutons
Serves 8

olive oil
16 fresh sage leaves
2 red onions, peeled and chopped
2 sticks of celery, trimmed and chopped
2 carrots peeled and chopped
4 cloves of garlic peeled and chopped
2 sprigs of rosemary leaves stripped
1 fresh red chilli chopped
2Kg butternut squash, peeled, deseeded and chunked
2 ltrs chicken or veg stock
16 slices of ciabatta (I used french stick slices)

In a large pan add oil and heat then fry the sage leaves until dark and crisp, approx 30 secs remove and put to one side.  Add onion, celery, carrot, garlic, rosemary, chilli and S&P to the oil and cook gently for 10 mins until soft.  Add the squash and stock.  Bring to the boil and simmer for 30 mins.
Whilst the soup is cooking drizzle oil over the bread slices and the press in some grated Parmesan  on each side of the slices.  In a non stick frying pan fry with no extra oil until golden on both sides.

Once the squash is soft and cooked through whiz the soup with a blender, I like it fairly smooth with a few chunky bits.
Dish up and serve with 2 croutons on each and the fried sage leaves on the top and an extra grating of Parmesan.

This is a great soup and a good way of using up all the leftover squashes and pumpkins from my Autumnal/Halloween display.