Thursday 31 July 2008

A proper posting tomorrow

Tomorrow will mark the first posting of something cooked in my new kitchen....

Tuesday 22 July 2008

Recipe - Faffy chicken with pancetta and blue cheese

I had some chicken breasts and pancetta left since from the day before so I thought I'd do something with them. Normally I don't faff much in the kitchen but I played a bit with the presentation this time.

It did taste quite nice, although the Wensleydale Blue I used overpowered the other flavours a little bit. If you try this I'd recommend that you go for a slightly milder blue.

Skinless chicken breasts, diced
Pancetta, cut into smaller pieces
Blue cheese, crumbled
1 leek, julienned
White sliced bread, crusts removed
Olive oil
Plain flour
Balsamic glaze
Strawberries, sliced
Pour a bit of olive oil on the bread slices and season them. Put them under the grill until nice and golden. Put to the side.

Put the flour, paprika, some salt and some pepper in a plastic bag. Drop in the chicken pieces and make sure to coat properly.

Heat some oil in a frying pan and start frying off the chicken. When the chicken starts to get a golden colour, add the pancetta pieces and keep frying. When the chicken is getting near to being done, add the leek and fry for a little while further.

Pour the contents of the frying pan into a bowl and add the crumbled blue cheese. Stir to mix properly.

Spoon this mixture onto the toasted bread slices, top with the sliced strawberries and drizzle with balsamic glaze.


Monday 21 July 2008

Recipe - Chicken wrapped in Pancetta served on leeks

I had a request for a fairly healthy dish, based on chicken breasts, this weekend. This is what I threw together. Healthy or not. ;)

Ingredients (serves 2)
2 skinless chicken breasts
2 leeks, sliced into about 1.5 - 2 cm rounds
Pancetta, enough to wrap the kitchen breasts
Thyme, fresh sprigs
White Wine
Balsamic Vinegar

Heat the oven to 200c/Fan 180c/400F/Gas mark 6.

Put the leeks in a oven safe dish. Pour white wine into the dish, finish off with some balsamic vinegar and season it. Let this marinate for a bit.

Wrap the pancetta around the chicken breasts and put them on top off the leeks. Put a sprig or two of thyme on top of the chicken breasts.

Put the dish into the oven and keep it there for about 30 - 35 minutes, or until cooked.

Serve with new potatoes and roasted vegetables. Don't forget to spoon some of the juices from the roasting dish over the chicken, they' taste delicious!


Friday 18 July 2008

Recipe - Nuffy Cheese Steak

I was looking at recipes for Philly Cheese Steak when I was planning this meal. Since I cooked them in Nuffield, I thought I'd call them Nuffy Cheese Steaks instead. :)

This is a dish you throw together very quickly and it does lend itself to quite a bit of Freestyling too. Basically, use what you have and add and replace as you feel fit.

Ingredients (serves 2)
4 bread rolls, I used ciabatta styled ones
About 300 - 400g steak, thinly sliced
1 red pepper, thinly sliced
1 - 2 onions, thinly sliced
Cheese, preferably quick melting cheap nasty slices ;)
American yellow mustard (leave this one out if you don't like it)
Tabasco, to taste

Split the bread rolls and if you like mustard, spread liberally.

Fry the onion and pepper slices until well cooked and almost caramelized, put to the side and keep them warm.

Pop the steak slices in the frying pan and season. Add tabasco to taste.

Once the steak is fried sufficiently you can assemble the rolls. Put the vegetable mixture on the bottom slice, add steak and top with cheese. Close it off using the top slice.


Thursday 17 July 2008

The Kitchen - work still very much in progress...

I'm slowly getting there. ;) I decided to keep the heavy machinery on the surfaces to the left in the kitchen and use the right hand surfaces as my working surfaces. The only exceptions is my deep fat fryer and my Bamix, they both need to be close to the working areas/hob.

As you can see I still need to figure out what goes where when it comes to my cupboard staples and so on, but the plan is slowly coming together.

Tuesday 15 July 2008

Recipe - Meatloaf

The company a friend of mine is working for is taking part in the Thames Water Charity Raft Race. This Sunday they were putting the finishing touches to their raft and I was roped in to do the cooking.

I knew I had to feed about 10 - 15 people and that I only had about 1.5 - 2 hours to do my prep and cooking. My plan was to go for something simple yet filling, in this case I choose the classic meatloaf.

I served it with crusty white bread, a crispy salad and some Kettle chips.

No one died and most people seemed to like it I so I deem this foray into catering a success! ;)

Ingredients (serves about 12 - 15 people)
1 kg beef mince
1 kg pork mince
12 rashers bacon, cooked until crispy and then chopped
2 peppers, chopped
2 onions, chopped
3 celery stalks, chopped
3 chili peppers, sliced
3 eggs
Tabasco, to taste
Soy sauce, to taste
Ketchup, a good squirt
Barbecue sauce, homemade or store bought

Heat the oven to 180c/350F/Gas mark 4. Sweat the vegetables in a frying pan for a little while, but be careful so they don't lose too much of their crunchiness.

Once the veggies have been fried off, mix them with thoroughly the mince, eggs, soy sauce, Tabasco and ketchup. Season to taste, remembering that the bacon and soy sauce are quite salty.

Put the mixture into a roasting dish, moulding it so it looks like a loaf. Once that's done chuck it into the oven.

After 35 - 40 minutes, take it out of the oven and pour the barbecue sauce on top - making sure to cover all of it. This time I was lazy and used Budweiser Barbecue Sauce which actually tasted very nice. Maybe they should stick to making sauce instead of beer? ;) Once the sauce has been applied the loaf goes back into the oven.

Give it another 20 minutes or so, or until you think it's cooked to your liking, in the oven.

Take it out of the oven and let it rest under tin foil for about 10 - 15 minutes.

Slice and serve!


Monday 14 July 2008

Pictures of a 'virgin' kitchen...

Here are the first pictures from my new kitchen. I'll update you as I fill it up with all my tools and gadgets... ;)

I've also included a taster picture from a meal I cooked yesterday. I fed about 12 people who were busy building a raft for a charity raft race this coming Thursday. This is a picture of the salad I made as a side. The recipe and pictures of the main course will be posted tomorrow.

Thursday 10 July 2008

Soon a new workshop... ;)

I've been keeping it a bit quiet but I should get the keys for my new flat on Saturday.

This means that I will get a new workshop, or kitchen as the mere mortals calls it. ;) This should mean that my blogging frequency will come back to its normal rate.

It will be good to be able to be the only one using this kitchen instead of having to share one. Being able to put the stuff where it suits me and my cooking style will be awesome.

I got a Jerky Pistol, complete with two spare tubes, sitting at my desk at work just waiting for me finding a good place for my dehydrator.

I'll see if I can't blog the evolution of my kitchen, from a nice clean uncluttered haven to a full on Mikey mess... ;)


Monday 7 July 2008

Woohoo! I made a blogroll...

For some unknown reason I got selected for the blogroll at the Chef From Hell's blog.

Many thanks dude, much appreciated!

Have a look at his site here:

Thursday 3 July 2008

Recipe - Coconut Chicken with Cucumber Salad

I'm back... ;)

Here's a quick and simple recipe that works really well. To be fair, I added some boiled Jersey potatoes just to make the meal a bit fuller but didn't include those in the photo for aesthetic reasons. ;)

I should be in a new place with a new kitchen in a couple of weeks by the looks of things so you should expect my blogging to increase.

2 egg whites, slightly beaten
4 skinless chicken breasts
6 tablespoons desiccated coconut
1 cucumber, thinly sliced -diagonally if you want to be a bit fancy
2 small red onions, thinly sliced
4 teaspoons caster sugar
4 tablespoons white wine vinegar

Heat the oven to 200c/fan 180c/ gas 6.

Season the egg white. Dip the chicken in the egg and then in the coconut, coating properly.Put the chicken breasts on a lightly oiled baking tray and bake for 20 - 25 minutes or until cooked through.

In the meantime put the cucumber slices into a colander, sprinkle with a bit of salt and leave for about 5 minutes to drain. Pat the cucumber dry with some kitchen towel. Mix the onion with the sugar and vinegar in a bowl and add the cucumber. Serve this with the chicken.