One pot chicken

This is a recipe of my own making and is so simple – it’ll surprise you.

With a rich sauce, this dish is surprising light and is healthy too. Although it is best slow cooked for a number of hours, this recipe is a tasty bowl of comfort within an hour and a half and the prep will only steal a few minutes.

No sauteing or browning in a pan – this one pot chicken is just that.

Less dishes. Less fuss. More flavour

Ingredients (serves 3)

4x Chicken breasts

baby potatoes

1x stick of celery

1x red onion

can of tomatoes

2x red bell peppers

2 cloves of garlic

350ml chicken stock

capers or pitted black olives

parsley

dried basil  

olive oil

 

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 180 degrees.
  2. Chop the vegetables into bite sized pieces and lay them at the bottom of the pot with the potatoes.
  3. Mince 2 large cloves of garlic and tear some parsley – placing both into the pot with the vegetables.
  4. Score the chicken breasts and Lay them on top of the vegetables. Add the can of tomatoes and stock to the pot.
  5. Season to taste with salt & pepper and add a teaspoon basil.
  6. Cover and place pot into the hot oven. Cook for 1hr.
  7. After 1hr. Remove pot from oven and add the capers or olives to the pot. Stir.
  8. Place pot back into the oven and cook uncovered for 30mins.
  9. Serve in warm bowls with a drizzle of olive oil and garnished with parsley with a slice of crusty buttered bread. Dig in!

For vegetarian & vegan readers – why not try this recipe with some fried firm tofu?

 

If you have the time and the patience I really recommend you slow cook the dish for 3hrs. The recipe above is quick and healthy but is extremely versatile too. We not knock it up a notch with some chili flakes or replace the potatoes with lentils

 

Gnocchi

Some snaps from Rome & the addict’s recipe …

Rome was exactly what I had expected. Full of life and sunshine, it is a city of hustle and bustle, of espresso shots and scooters and of incredible ancient ruins scattered across the entire city. Rome is a city for exploration, of religious devotion and most importantly for food.

When backpacking  across Europe I was savvy with my money and often I bought food at shops and markets or binged on complimentary continental breakfasts supplied by the many hostels I visited – For Italy however my frugalness left me and I ate out all day everyday during my stay at this vibrant and gastronomic country!

Italian food is my absolute favorite. Where taste and comfort is at the heart of it, Italian food does away with any fuss or pretension and when made with love and fresh ingredients packed with flavour – Italian food is eccezionale!

Below are a few snaps from my trip to Rome and below that is this week’s scrap on an Italian favorite – Gnocchi. It’s surprisingly easy to make and the recipe below is fool proof, perfect for a lazy sunday afternoon whatever the weather. Admittedly I tried my first ever Gnocchi in Rome and let me tell ‘ya – I wasn’t disappointed!

I ate at a small restaurant that was a short walk away from my hostel. Tempio di Mecenate is a cosy spot where they serve good wholesome homey food. It’s good value too and is close to the enchanting Porta Magica – a magic portal in a garden which is a quiet and special find rarely surrounded by tourists.  Before traveling to another dimension, I recommend having lunch at the restaurant and although it will cost you extra, sit outside in the sun – it will be worth it.

Old school Roman dining beside a garden of magic – bellissima! (…yes I’m unashamedly throwing Italian words into my post)

House of Augustus
House of Augustus

House of Augustus Tower

Virgin Pillar

Pantheon, Rome.
Pantheon

Pantheon, Pillars

Pantheon,Pillars

Pantheon, Entrance

Gnocchi

Although in Rome, I had Gnocchi with a rich ragu sauce. The recipe below is perfect for beginners and although it does take some time, it is incredibly simple and can be made into larger batches and stored in the freezer for future use.

This recipe ensures the Gnocchi is the centre of attention. The sauce is very light which I think compliments this starchy and substantial pasta

Ingredients (Serves two) 

2 large potatoes

2 cups of flour

2 eggs

parmesan

garlic

onion

basil

pine nuts

butter

Lemon juice

salt and pepper

olive oil

  1. Peel the potatoes and boil them in a pot for about 20mins (or until tender). Do not overcook them. You want the potatoes to be tender and fluffy – not too soft and mushy.
  2. Drain the potatoes well. You want to get rid of all excess water and have the potatoes dry before mashing.
  3. Give your potatoes a good mashing (or push them through a potato ricer – if you’re more fortunate than I & have one)
  4. Place mashed potato on a clear work surface and top with the flour.
  5. Grate a generous amount of the cheese and add it to the potato and flour mixture.
  6. Sprinkle some salt on the mound and roughly give it a mix with your hands.
  7. Create a well in the centre of the mound and add the beaten eggs.
  8. Mix the flour, potato, cheese and egg together until it forms a dough.
  9. Knead it only until it becomes well formed. It should be a little sticky but not too much. NOTE: If a little flour is needed add some but be careful – too much flour will make the pasta hard.
  10. Shape the dough into one large rectangular shape making sure it is even in height, about 2cm thick.
  11. Cut dough into rectangular strips about 10cm long.
  12. Roll each strip into a sausage shape making sure it is even.
  13. Cut the sausage shape into 2cm pieces and use a fork to indent the gnocchi pieces with ridges.
  14. FOR THE SAUCE: As the fresh gnocchi takes only 4mins to cook. Leave the pasta aside and dice an onion and some garlic.
  15. In a hot pan saute the onion and garlic with some butter and in a separate pan toast the pine nuts until golden.
  16. In a pot of boiling salted water add the gnocchi and cook for 4mins ( you will know when the pasta is done as the gnocchi will float to the top)
  17. Drain the gnocchi and toss it into the pan. Mix the gnocchi in the buttery sauce gently and tear some basil leaves adding the herb & a little more butter to the pan. Add the toasted pine nuts to the pan with the squeezed juice of about half a lemon also. Stir gently. Season with salt if needed (bare in mind the cheese & butter is salty) & a generous amount of freshly ground black pepper.
  18. Serve in warm bowls with grated Parmesan on top, a sprig of basil & a final sprinkling of nuts. A drizzle of olive oil wouldn’t go amiss either!

Dig in!

NOTE: Gnocchi can be kept in the freezer for future use. Just pack the pieces in a zip bag with a little dusting of flour (to prevent them sticking) and defrost them the night before you need them

This is comfort food in a bowl and although it uses simple ingredients -it doesn’t skimp on flavour. It may take some time and attention but gnocchi isn’t as daunting  as you’d think – give it ago.

 

Expect more posts on my Italian adventures. I have tonnes of photos, tips and recipes I want to share. This was only a little taste of Rome, there’s plenty more to come – so look out for more on the scrapbook

Salchicha española y salsa de pimiento asado

Spanish sausage & red pepper sauce – an Addict’s recipe

This is a quick scrap which is simple to make, packed with flavour and is perfect if there are many mouths to feed as it can be cooked in one big pot. It goes brilliantly with couscous or rice and peas and is a cracking good dish with minimum effort.

#recipethursday

Ingredients  (serves 4)

Spanish sausage or sausages

onion

2 garlic cloves

3 red bell peppers

2 tablespoons of red pepper relish or salsa

Cajun spice 

ground coriander

cumin

can of chopped tomatos

salt and black pepper

parsley 

olive oil

 

  1. Pre-heat an oven to 180c
  2. Chop the bell peppers in half, removing seeds and stalk. Lightly coat peppers in olive oil and salt and pepper on a tray. Place tray into oven for 10-15mins (or until peppers are lightly chared).
  3. Whilst peppers roast in the oven. Dice an onion and the garlic and add it to a heated pan with olive oil. Saute.
  4. Chop the sausages into bite sized pieces and add them to the pan.
  5. When the meat has browned on its sides, add the chopped tomatos and turn down the heat of the pan. Simmer.
  6. Remove peppers from oven and place them into a heat-proof blender. Bliz. 
  7. Pour pureed bell peppers into simmering pan. Add the spices and relish/salsa. Stir
  8. Turn up the heat and let sauce bubble once more and thicken.
  9. Roughly chop parsley and garnish dish
  10. Serve with warm couscous or rice.

 

Dig in!

This dish is great comfort food and is delicious as is but it can be knocked up a notch with some pitted black olives, a final sprinkling of chili flakes  and a dollop of sour cream. Chorizo works brilliantly here but any Spanish sausage or bangers in the fridge will do too!

Fit flapjacks 

The Scrapbook: Recipe Thursday

This scrap is a simple, healthy and quick recipe – perfect for breakfast on the go or a post-workout snack especially if you add a scoop of protein powder.

Ingredients: (makes 6 large squares)

1 & 1/2 cup of rolled oats

1/2 cup of raisins

Heaped tablespoon of peanut butter 

1 cup almond milk

2 tablespoon of honey

1 Apple

3 tablespoon of Coconut oil

Cinnamon
  1. Pre-heat oven to 180 degrees.
  2. Dice an apple into small pieces and place into a mixing bowl. Mash the fruit with the back of a spoon.
  3. Add the rolled porridge oats, honey, milk and raisins.
  4. Add a pinch of cinnamon and a heaped spoon of peanut butter.
  5. Mix well so that none of the oats remain dry.
  6. Place the mixture into a greased oven tray. Flatten flapjack mixture so that it evenly distributed and around 2cm thick.
  7. Melt down coconut oil and pour over the flapjack mixture in the tray.
  8. Place tray into the oven for 20-30mins or until golden brown.
  9. Remove from oven and cut into squares whilst still warm from baking (it will be easier)
  10. Leave to cool and serve with one last drizzle of honey.

Note: add vanilla whey powder to the mixture to boost protein intake! But remember to increase the milk by another cup full to compensate the extra dry ingredient.

This recipe is very versatile. So try mixing it up at bit with pitted punes or dates too.

I’m not going to lie. This doesn’t taste better than the buttery, sugary flapjack we know & love but it’s a tasty and guilt free treat, packed with protein and healthy fats.

Give it a go

#recipethursday

Butternut Squash Soup

Christmas is on its way and there’s nothing better than having a hot bowl of soup while snuggled on the sofa near a roaring fire. This is a quick recipe perfect for cold winter nights. It’s so easy to make and will have you warmed up in no time as the winds continue to howl outside.

With very few ingredients – This recipe is as healthy as it is fuss-free. All it takes is a little prep and either a heatproof blender or a handheld blender which will blitz the vegetables in no time.

Ingredients:

2x Butternut squash 

1x large onion

garlic

350ml of vegetable or chicken stock

tablespoon of honey

tablespoon of french mustard

dried oregano

olive oil

cumin seeds

Juice of half a lemon

salt & pepper

wp-1481126767220.jpg

  1. Chop the butternut squash into chunks. No need to peel the hard outer skin, just scoop out the seeds.
  2. Place the chunks of squash in a baking tray and massage the olive oil generously so that the chunks are coated.
  3. sprinkle a few cumin seeds onto the chunks of squash
  4. Place tray into a heated oven for 30mins at 200 degrees.
  5. Dice a large onion and a large clove of garlic.
  6. Add chopped onion & garlic to a pot with some melted butter or a little olive oil. Saute.
  7. Take the cooked squash out from the oven and leave to cool for a few minutes. Scoop the squash away from the skin. After being baked, the skin can peel away easily.
  8. Add the squash to the pot
  9. Add the stock and stir
  10. Add a tablespoon of the honey, mustard and dried oregano. Stir
  11. Squeeze the juice of 1/2 a lemon in the pot and stir well
  12. Blend the stock and vegetables until smooth.
  13. Serve the soup with a  dollop of cream cheese or sour cream and a few diced chives.

This soup is so easy to make and is healthy too. Serve the soup with some crusty buttered bread, sit back and dig in.

Egg fried rice

A healthy takeaway favourite

This is a quick recipe for a tasty meal packed with flavour. Unlike a Chinese takeway this home cooked scrap will have your tummy thanking you. Quick and easy – like all my recipes, this is a great warming dish perfect for cold autumn nights. Add as much spice as desired and you’re good to go.

The recipe below uses few ingredients but feel free to pack in more of your favourite veggies and of course use quorn or tofu as an alternative to chicken.

Vegetarian tip: Use rice wine vinegar too instead of Oyster sauce.

Seriously this meal is whipped up in minutes, just prep first and have all your veg chopped and ready to go.

Ingredients:

cooked chicken breast

cooked brown rice

spring onion

garlic

ginger

chili flakes

mangetout

1 egg

peanut or coconut oil

oyster sauce 

soy sauce

5 spice

toasted sesame oil (optional)

 

  1. Chop the chicken/tofu into bite sized pieces
  2. Dice the garlic, ginger & chop the veg.
  3. In a bowl, scramble an egg and leave aside for later.
  4. Heat a pan or wok with some peanut oil or coconut oil.
  5. Add the diced ginger, garlic and some chili flakes. Stir
  6. Add the spring onion and mangetout (and other desired veg). Stir.
  7. Add the rice and stir the wok, making sure to keep everything moving on high heat.
  8. Add the osyster sauce, spices and soy sauce.
  9. Add the egg and quickly mix/stir the rice and vegetables together making sure the egg coats as much of the rice as possible.
  10. Serve immediately in warm bowls with a final drizzle of sesame oil

 

The toasted sesame oil is optional but if you have it at hand use it as it adds a brilliant nutty flavour to the dish. The recipe is extremely simple and versatile but packed with flavour. It’s one of my favourites

Ramen

Irish lad cooks ramen

I was inspired to make this after watching a film based around the Japanese stable. It’s quick, easy to make and very healthy too like most dishes from Japan. Although my recipe cannot compete with the authentic original – I’m proud of my first attempt anyhow and the scrap recipe below is perfect  for evenings after work as it can be whipped up in no time. Unlike the original, there’s no need to slave over a broth for hours & as I made this dish at a whim, my recipe lacks Shiitake mushrooms – which I would definitely put in if I had them.

Warm & homey cooking, perfect for cold and rainy nights. You’ll be slurping noodles in no time!

Ingredients

egg noddles

a boiled egg

spinach

spring onion

mushrooms (Shittake preferably) 

chicken stock

red chili

ginger

garlic

carrot

coriander

chives

Teriyaki sauce 

peanut oil

 

  1. Mince the garlic, ginger and slice the chili into pieces. Add to pot with a little oil and stir.
  2. Add the chicken stock. Stir
  3. Boil an egg. Place the egg into a pan of cold water. Bring to the boil and then leave to simmer for 10mins = cooked egg with runny yolk.
  4. In a separate pan, add the egg noodles to boiling water. Leave to simmer.
  5. Chop the spring onion and mushrooms. Try to slice at an angle (purely for aesthetics) & add to the pot. Stir.
  6. Mince a carrot & add to the pot.
  7. Bring stock to the boil and let it simmer for 5 mins to thicken a little
  8. Strain the noodles and place them into deep soup bowls.
  9. Chop the spinach and chives roughly and add them to the bowl/s.
  10. Add a splash of soy and teriyaki sauce to the stock and stir.
  11. Ladle stock on top of noodles, spinach and chives.
  12. Cut the boiled egg in half and place carefully into bowl.
  13. Chop some coriander and garnish dish. dig in!

 

Make sure you don’t over cook the noodles! You want them to have some bite left. This recipe is very versatile, so experiment with  different ingredients. Chicken pieces coated and fried with teriyaki or soy bean paste would work really well & pak choy too. To make the dish vegetarian, opt for vegetable stock instead. Tofo, substituting the egg,  is also a great alternative for vegans.

If you have your own recipes, please share them in the comments! Especially those which are authentic Ramen dishes- as i’d love to try them

J.