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ZESTY BEAN SALAD WITH CAJUN SPICE PORK CHOPS

zesty pork chop with cajun spices and lime juice

This is a great recipe from HelloFresh™. It was the first time we tried a set meal delivery and my daughter and I were very pleased with our first experience. The package consisted of 3 meals that came in three boxes packed in a large box with an ice pack in it.

Zesty pork chop was the first recipe we picked to cook. The instructions came in a lovely booklet that adds nicely to our menu library. The beauty of a set meal is a stress-free cooking without having to shop for ingredients and dreaming up recipes to cook.

Instructions for the Zesty Pork Chop

1. Wash, dry and prepare the vegetables. Chop the onions into little chunks, dice the tomatoes, grate the garlic, grate the lime skin, cut the corn kernels off the cob, finely chop the parsley, rinse and drain the beans.

2. In a large bowl, marinate the pork chop. Rub it with the cajun spices, lime zest and lime juice and season with salt and pepper. You can buy cajun spices conveniently mixed and you’d need about 1 to 2 tablespoon to mix all your meat in.

3. For the pork chop, you’d need to heat some oil (a couple of tablespoons) and fry it over medium-high heat, or barbecue it if you prefer. It will take about 4 – 5 minutes per side to cook it through.

4. For the salad, heat some oil in a large pan and add the corn and chopped red onion. Toss them over medium-high heat for just 2 – 3 minutes. Mix the remaining of the salad ingredients, lime zest, and lime juice. Season with salt and pepper. The salad can be prepared in advance and chilled if you prefer.

5. Serve the pork on the salad. You can glaze the pork with a drizzle of honey.

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SALMON BAKED WITH POTATOES, SPINACH, AND CHEDDAR CHEESE

Salmon Baked with Potatoes, Spinach & Cheddar Cheese
Salmon baked with potatoes, spinach & cheesePrepare all the ingredients
  1. STEP 1: Slice the potatoes thinly (preferably with a mandolin slicer) so they’ll cook in the oven. This time round my potatoes were a bit chunky so I ended up with extra minutes in the oven, so the thinner the better.

 

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STEP 2: Put the salmon in a baking glassware or tray

 

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STEP 3: Layer the ingredients on top of the salmon, bake it at 350ºF

Bake the fish covered (you can use silver foil) for 30 minutes

Bake uncovered for 15 to 25 minutes

 

IMG_6494

 

STEP 4: Serve hot

You can serve this dish with bread or hot plain rice.

 

Oh yes – I forgot to take pictures before eating! Thankfully, we had enough to put in a small plate for the photo shoot but really they turned out better looking than this. The cheese curdled a bit but that didn’t impair the taste. You can disguise the curdle by garnishing with a few fresh spinach leaves and sprinkle of parmesan cheese before serving. Equally, you can leave the spinach out until the last 5 – 10 minutes of cooking!

 

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MAKING A CAKE FOR MY MUM!

Occasion: 50th birthday
The most amazing 50th-birthday-cake Cake original design by: Charis Summers

This cake was made for me by my daughter, isn’t it amazing?

This cake is not easy to make, you have to be very patient and need to practice your sculpturing fingers. Give yourself plenty of time, maybe the entire day!

NB. There's no recipe for this post but there are references to videos to show you how to make certain components of the cake.

For the base, you can use any type of sponge cake, yellow cake or white cake recipe.

The lovely icing that covers the whole of the cake is made with ruffled effect fondant.
Kb-youtube
Watch on Youtube – How to make the ombre colored fondant by Cake Trend
.

The flower decorations can be made with homemade modelling chocolate.

Kb-youtubeWatch on Youtube how to make modelling chocolate

This cake takes inspiration from a bunch of beautiful fresh flowers – a combination of lillies, roses, yellow daisies and a burst of tiny purple flowers. For an extra nice finishing touch, the cake is laced with glazed cherries and fresh raspberries.

Birthday Flowers

50th birthday cake

50th-birthday-cake

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MOROCCAN CHICKEN RECIPE

Moroccan Chicken Recipe
Morrocan chicken is perfect for any occasion

Moroccan Chicken RecipeSo far this winter has been so incredibly mild that it reminds me of the Mediterranean climate which is one of hot…

Moroccan Chicken RecipeMoroccan chicken shares very similar spices to Indian curry – cumin, turmeric, ground ginger, coriander, paprika, cayenne pepper and cinnamon. It’s mildly spicy with a tangy Mediterranean flavor. You can add just about anything to the dish and of course depending on what ingredients you choose will produce an entirely unique taste. Some of the variations include chick peas, olives, apricots, almonds and eggplant. Well, for this recipe you can use a red pepper to give it sweetness and also to form a nice red paste for the sauce.

pan

Ingredients
8 chicken thighs with no skin or bones
1 red onion – chopped
1 red pepper – chopped
1 small can chopped tomato
2 tbsp tomato puree
2 tsp cumin
1 tsp dried oregano or italian seasoning
2 tsp paprika
2 tsp cayenne pepper
2 garlic cloves
1 tsp ground ginger
juice of half a lemon
2 chicken stock cubes
Salt and pepper
2 tbsp olive oil
2 cups water
Method

1. Heat 2 tbsp of olive oil

2. Sauté the chopped red onions

3. Cut the chicken thighs into small pieces

4. Add the chicken pieces and spices to the onions and gently fry for 3 to 4 minutes

5. Add tomato puree and chicken stock cubes

6. Add water

7. Bring to boil and lower the heat to simmer for 30 minutes

8. Add the red pepper and and half a lemon juice

9. Continue to simmer for another 15 minutes or so until the sauce is thickened and the chicken completely cooked through

10. Serve with white rice and garnish with a few lemon wedges, sprigs of cilantro or parsley

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CHRISTMAS EVE SEAHORSE SURPRISE!

A rather unusual delivery A rather unusual delivery for the kitchen… —- Video available in HD mode —–

Christmas eve surprise

Posted by KitchenBean on Thursday, August 13, 2015

On August 13, 2015, a package arrived in the mail from eBay. My daughter had ordered two dwarf seahorses. Unfortunately, one of them didn’t live for very long and died. So we ordered four more but sadly the remaining seahorse from the original batch also died. It could have been injured during the journey.

Looking after seahorses isn’t easy. From what I observe, the tank has to be topped with filtered water frequently to maintain the right salinity. On top of that, my daughter has to hatch shrimps from eggs to feed the seahorses. Before she can hatch the shrimps she has to bleach the eggs to strip the shells and place them in an aerated container which she devised herself with some plastic tubes, an air pump and a cut out soft drink bottle. The aerated pump goes on 24/7. For a while, the kitchen looked a bit like a mad scientist’s lab and it was very noisy with the pump, so eventually, she moved all the equipment to the laundry room which was a great move. I just had to make sure not to drop any of the laundry into the brine water filled with thousands of microscopic shrimps!

What a delight when we found seven baby seahorses on Christmas eve.

A Christmas Eve Surprise. Read the rest of the story on http://charissummers.com/blog/christmas-eve-surprise/

Posted by KitchenBean on Friday, January 1, 2016

I’m pleased to say today is New Year’s day and the babies we found on Christmas Eve are still thriving. One did die but we found another baby seahorse the next day. The survival rate for baby seahorses is known to be extremely low but hopefully, in good hands, we’ll be able to see them mature into adults. We hope to keep you posted in a month’s time so do come back and check us out. Thank you for reading our blog.

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SENDING AN APPLE PIE IN THE MAIL!

How to send apple pies in the mail
An apple pie kit

How to send a homemade apple pie in the mail - college kids

Have you ever thought of making a pie kit and sending it in the mail? We tried it and it worked very well! We made an apple pie when the apples were still abundant and mailed it to our college kids a thousand miles away. Everything arrived in one piece as expected. Not only was it great fun packaging the ingredients, we also told our kids they were getting a pie in the mail. However, what they were not anticipating was getting just the ingredients and they had to get their hands dirty to make the pies themselves which added twice the fun!

 

Sending your apple pie kit in the mail

Find a good jam jar.
Make apple filling and put in jam jar.
Measure out the right ingredients for the pastry and send it in a ziploc bag as a dry mix.
Remember to print the instructions for making the pie. Use the mail box from the post office for the packaging.

Tip 1 : GET PROPER JAM JARS

First of all, obtain really good jam jars with seals to put the cooked apple filling in.
We recommend Ball Jar Mouth Pint Jars with Lids and Bands.

Ball jars are robust and high quality. You can obtain these jars from your local supermarket or you can shop at Amazon and get them delivered to your house.

Disclaimer: I am a small time blogger. By purchasing any products through my affiliate links, I will get a small commision. Thank you for using my link.

TIP:
Take a look at the Amazon reviews from customers about the product. They provide some very useful tips how to use the jars.
Make sure you wash and rinse the jars thoroughly.

Put them in a dishwasher or you can hand wash them with plenty of washing up liquid and warm water. I gave them a final rinse with hot boiling water before using but take great caution not to scald yourself.

 

STEP 1: APPLE FILLING

Print out the instructions for making the pastry and the apple pie, so that they can use them with the kit.

Cook the apple filling using your favorite apple pie recipe. To enable your jar to seal properly, you must pour your hot apple filling ingredients immediately after cooking.

Be very careful as sugar burns hotter. Kids should avoid this. We used a long handled ladle to pour the hot apple filling into the jar. As the jar opening is small, to avoid having to hold the jar with your bare hands, you can stand the jar in a small cooking pot so it doesn’t matter if some jam spills over the side.

Close the lid of the jar and do not open it after that. Once the jar has popped, it is sealed tightly

Let the apple filling cool overnight. Then, before packing, make sure to wrap it in a bubble wrap for protecting the jar.

 

STEP 2: PIE CRUST/PASTRY

Prepare the dry ingredients – the pastry mix. Measure the amount that would make for 1 pie and do not include the butter. Put the flour mix in a ziploc bag. You can then label it.

 

STEP 4: DROP OFF MAIL ON MONDAY

Avoid sending perishables over the weekend because your mail can get stuck in the mailroom not going anywhere.

Prepare your ingredients on a Sunday and have them shipped on a Monday.It took 3 days for our delivery to travel 1,000 miles.

Here’s a picture of the pie that our college kids made using the homemade apple pie kit that we prepared.

apple pie kit

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SPINACH PASTA ROLLS BAKE

Lasagna Spinach Rolls
I LOVE LASAGNA
I LOVE LASAGNA

There are many versions for lasagna rolls but we like this one for its versatility and simplicity. You can vary the ingredients and cheeses, it is quick and easy to make and I believe there are less calories in it too which is a bonus.

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Ingredients
1 packet lasagna pasta
1 small packet chicken breast tenderloin –about 2 lbs but you can vary the amount depending if you want more chicken or more spinach and cheese, however you desire!
1 jar of your favorite marinara sauce. We used Italian Seasoning for this dish.
1½ to 2 cups Ricotta cheese
½ cup Cheddar cheese or Mexican blend
1 cup chopped spinach (fresh or frozen doesn’t matter)
2 tablespoons heavy cream
2 tablespoon butter (you can use vegetable oil instead)
Pinch of salt
½ teaspoon Italian seasoning
¼ teaspoon garlic powder
Method

Frying chicken breast

1. Cut the chicken into small cubes

2. Fry gently with a little butter for about ten minutes until cooked

 

Filling for Lasagna Roll

3. Put the cooked chicken pieces in a bowl and mix with the cream, cheese and spinach

4. Meantime cook the lasagna skin in boiling water until soft

5. Take the lasagna skin out, drain and let the steam dissipate

6. Pour a cup or two of the marinara sauce in the pyrex dish (you can put more if you like)

7. Lay a piece of wax paper on the kitchen counter top

8. Lay out the each lasagna skin carefully and spread a layer of the ingredients you just prepared

9. Make the rolls and place in a pyrex dish with the marinara sauce

 

Making lasagna spinach rolls

10. When finished, pour a layer of the marinara sauce over the top of the rolls carefully
Sprinkle parmesan cheese on top.

11. Bake in the oven for 25 to 30 minutes at 355°F until the cheese is golden brown

 

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13. Enjoy!

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Shepherd Pie with Snow Peas Simple Recipe

Shepherd’s pie is a traditional dish from England made with lamb mince meat. But if you cannot get lamb, mince steak or turkey are good choices too.IMG_9520

 

This dish is very easy to prepare – since it’s my daughter who always cooks it – lol! The ingredients are fairly simple. However, if you want a nice finish and professional touch, you would need a cake decoration piping bag with a large nozzle for the mash potatoes on top.

 

Shephard's pie with snow peas recipe

Ingredients
  • 1 and 1/2 pounds of minced meat – beef or a combination of beef and turkey
    2 — 3  chicken, beef or vegetable stock cubes to 3 cups water
    1 small packet snow peas
    3 to 4 large baking potatoes
    2 large onions
    2- 3 garlic cloves
    1 – 2 tbsp butter
    fresh cream – light or heavy
    1 tsp corn starch

 

stick of butter

This is what American butter looks like. It is conveniently labelled so if you want to use cup, tbsp or oz you can easily cut the butter into the right quantity. So clever!

Instructions

1. Chop onions into small cubes. Remove the skin of the garlic.

2. Sauté the onions and garlic in a little oil for five minutes on very gentle heat.

3. Put in the meat and continue to lightly fry for 10 minutes.

4. Dissolve the stock cube in hot water.

5. Dissolve the corn starch in a small amount of cold water. The corn starch will help to thicken the casserole.

6. Pour the stock and corn starch into the meat and let it gently simmer till the meat is cooked through and the liquid is slightly reduced.

7. Meanwhile, boil the peeled potatoes.

8. When potatoes are soft, discard the water and simply make mash potatoes with a little cream and butter.

9. Now, remove meat from the pot and put the meat in a casserole dish.

10. Add a layer of snow peas on top. You can part cook the snow peas if you want them really soft for the pie.

11. Now, add a layer of mash potato.

12. To finish off, my daughter laced the edge of the pie with mash potatoes and sprinkle chess in the middle.

13. The pie is cooked at 380°F for 20 minutes until the cheese is melted and then broil (or grill) for 5 minutes until cheese is lightly brown.

14. Serve hot!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Mini Apple Pies

MMM…

applep-pie-mini

We made these with the apples that we picked because it was the perfect time of the year! Each mini pie that I made was about 4 inches in diameter and served 2 people.

 

MINI APPLE PIES RECIPES 01

Choosing the right cooking apples is important for making pies. Cooking apples need to have the right tart-sweetness balance and also, the flesh need to have a certain degree of robustness – it mustn’t break down during cooking.

 

MINI APPLE PIES RECIPES 02

Using the Pillsbury “Perfect Apple Pie” recipe for the sauce, we adjusted the method to part cook the apples first. We recommend this because if you’re making mini pies, the cooking time is considerably less and may result in undercook apples. If you’re not into making your own pastry, Pillsbury pastry does a great job.

 

MINI APPLE PIES RECIPES 03

Roll out shortcrust pastry to about a 1/8 inch thickness and line each mini pie pan.

When lining a pie pan you want to leave extra dough around the edges, as when blind-baking* the pastry will shrink.

*blind-baking – a term used when baking the pastry before adding the filling, done to prevent the pastry from becoming soggy and making sure that the pastry is done baking when the filling is.

Blind-bake the pastry for about 5 minutes at 400 degrees farenheit.

MINI APPLE PIES RECIPES 04

To prevent the apple pies from splitting during baking, it is important to slit the top of the pies to make openings for steam to escape. From our experience, make bigger holes or more slits if you can and don’t overpack with apples. We did have a few pies burst open though, however when people can see the filling it looks even more exciting!

 

MINI APPLE PIES RECIPES 05

Recipe

Apple filling Ingredients
6 cups thinly sliced, peeled apples
3/4 cup sugar
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt (optional)
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 tablespoon lemon juice
Pastry
Instructions for Charis’ Shortcrust Pastry or 1 box Pillsbury pie crust

 

to make the Apple filling

1. Put chopped apples, sugar and cinnamon in a pot

2. Cook the apples for 5 to 10 minutes over gentle heat

3. Remove and drain any liquid left in the pot, into another pot and continue to simmer vigorously till the liquid is very thick

4. Pour the thicken syrup (almost caramelized) over the cooked apples and mix wellAllow the mixture to cool

to make the Pastry shells

1. Use little pastry dishes

2. Grease each of the individual pie dishes with some vegetable oil

3. Roll out the pastry to a thin layer of about 1/16 inches

4. Cut into appropriate size and fill each pie crust and pressing against the sides

5. Leave the overhanging bits of the pie over the edge of the mini pie dish as pastry will shrink when baked

6. Blind bake the pie cases for 8 minutes

7. When they are baked, let them cool down a little and trim off the excess

8. With the remaining pastry prepare the lids for the pies bye cutting them slightly bigger than the pie dish

Baking the pies

1. Fill the pies with the cooked apple

2. Brush beaten egg on the edge of the blind baked pastry

3. Put the lids on top of the pies, press down slightly and trim off excess

4. When the pies are ready to go in the oven, brush over with beaten egg

5. Bake in the oven at 425°F for 20 minutes

6. Remember half way through brush the pies with beaten egg again

7. When baked, remove and allow to cool on a wire rack

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Spicy Pickled Cucumbers in Red Wine Vinegar

There are many different flavors you can try, be adventurous!

Spicy Pickled Cumcumbers</p><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /> <p>I’m not a great fan of pickles. For me, they were a food generally connected with pregnancy and strange cravings. However, once in a while I feel like having a pickle because it’s a reminiscence of my childhood.  My grandmother used to make amazing Penang Achar – a unique Asian pickle that is spicy, containing ground peanuts and tastes out of this world.

Every jar of pickles has its own personality depending on the type of vinegar and pickling method used. There are various methods you can use but for this recipe, it’s going to be a very simple approach. You just pour vinegar into a jar of pickling cucumbers and infuse the solution with spices and salt. It’s a quick method that produces great result. And you don’t have to wait long before you can enjoy the fruit of your labor.

Spicy Pickled Cumcumbers</p><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /> <p>You can buy pickling jars in a supermarket but we used an old jam jar. We sterilized it with hot boiling water before using.

 

IMG_7679aWe prepared all the ingredients and stuffed the jar full. For best results, wait for at least 24 hours for the flavours to soak in before eating.

There are many ways to eat pickles but I love eating them with steamed white rice and a sunny side up fried egg.

 

Spicy Pickled Cumcumbers</p><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /> <p>Enjoy these spicy pickled cucumbers!

 

Makes about 3 jars
Ingredients
1 to 2 large pickling cucumbers – thinly sliced and seeds and core discarded
1/2 cup salt
3 cups red wine vinegar
1 3/4 cups brown sugar
1 teaspoon whole peppercorns
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon cumin
3 clove garlic
2 – 3 chillies sliced or while (optional)

 

Method

1. Wash and pat dry the cucumber

2. Slice the cucumber into little sticks and remove the core

3. Remove the skin of the garlic cloves

4. Put all the ingredients in a jar

5. Pour the vinegar in to the top

6. Close the lid and let it stand at room temperature overnight

7. Store the pickles in the refrigerator

 

 

 

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Creamy Squash Pasta Sauce

creamy squash pasta sauce
Perfect for pasta dishes

creamy squash pasta sauceI learnt that squash can keep for months if stored in the right conditions – usually in a dark cool place like the cellar in the basement. But before you can store them away you have to harden or cure the rinds to create impervious barrier against moisture, insects, mold and bacteria. To cure the rinds, some websites say you have to leave the vegetable in high humidity and temperatures of 80°F for about ten days. Strange that won’t cause the vegetable to rot.

 

creamy squash pasta saucecreamy squash pasta sauce

Squash is surprisingly delicious when cooked in a creamy sauce.  For this particular recipe, you can bulk it up with cured meat such as ham or chorizo. You can also add cooked chicken to make a substantial main course.

 

Ingredients
1 Squash –  butternut or summer squash
2 tablespoons butter
2 – 4 tablespoons olive oil
3/4 teaspoon oregano
1 onion, finely diced
1 clove garlic, grated
1 cup double cream (heavy cream)
2 cups whole milk
Parmesan cheese, grated
Salt and pepper to taste
Basil, for garnishing
Method

1. Take the skin of the squash and cut the flesh into little cubes.

2. Chop one spanish onions.

3. Finely chop 1 glove of garlic.

4. In a medium heated pan, gently sauté the onions and garlic with a little bit of butter and olive oil. Approximately 5 minutes.

5. Add  the squash. Gently sauté for 10 – 15 minutes till squash is soft.

6. Add cream and milk.

7. Turn the heat down and let it simmer for 10 – 15 minutes.

8. If you need to cook it longer and liquid is considerably reduced, add a little water.

9. Add the oregano.

10. Add salt and pepper and to taste.

11. Serve on a hot plate of pasta or spagetthi.

12. Sprinkle lots of parmesan cheese over.

13. Finish with a few fresh basil leaves.

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Chicken Chorizo Paella with Cockles

Easy Home Cooking Paella
Watch how we cooked our paella

Paella is a fun party dish – everyone can lend you a helping hand or cheer you on. This One Pan Wonder can accommodate everything – even your left over. Having said that, it won’t tolerate the wrong type of rice. You cannot use your normal American Long Grain or Thai Jasmine Rice because it will turn into congee. You’d need short grain, arborio or risotto rice. Seafood isn’t necessary though it’d give a more authentic taste and you definitely wouldn’t need saffron. You may be surprised to know that an ounce of saffron is more expensive than gold, hence save your money for a nice bottle of wine instead. I would definitely recommend Rioja for this occasion.

 

PS_f1_IMG_5691

Total cooking time – about 1 and 1/2 hours

Serves about 15 people
Ingredients
1 Spanish chorizo sausage
4 spicy Italian sausages – substitute for chorizo if you cannot get chorizo
3-4 tablespoons Olive oil
3-4 tablespoons Butter
1 Green bell pepper
1 red bell pepper
1 large can of chopped tomatoes
2, 4 pound packages Short grain rice or risotto rice
4 Chicken thighs
10 Little necks, cockles or mussels
24 large Uncooked shrimp in their shells
4 fluid ounces White wine
boiling water
Herbs & Spices
3 Spanish onions, diced finely
2 Cloves garlic, crushed
1 small bunch Parsley, chopped finely
2 spanish chillies, sliced
Juice of 2 Lemons
Salt
1 teaspoon Paprika
A small packet of saffron (optional)
1 teaspoon Garlic powder
5 cups Chicken stock (no msg)
Method

1. First, sauté the onions and some pieces of sausages in a large paella pan for about 10 minutes

2. Add the chopped red and green peppers and gently fry everything for about another 10 minutes.

3. Add the rice and give the whole thing a good stir, making sure the ingredients are well mixed.

4. Spread the rice out evenly on the pan.

5. Meantime, barbecue the chicken thighs rubbed in paprika, salt and oil.

6. Grill the remainder of the sausages on the barbecue.

7. Barbecue the shrimps with some butter.

8. After the rice has been fried for a minute or two, pour in the chicken stock, a tin of chopped tomatoes and add the paprika and salt.

9. At this point, you can add your saffron.Let the rice simmer, uncovered on low heat.

10. Throughout the process, add a little water at a time until the rice is cooked through.

11. Add the barbecued meat about three quarters way through the cooking. I don’t think it matters too much when you add them

12. Towards the end, pour in some white wine.You can serve the rice with fresh lemon or lime wedges and chopped parsley.

13. Voila — your paella is now done!

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Oven Baked Hot Chilli Chicken Wings

hot chilli chicken wings baked in the oven
Caution: spicy!
Easy hot chilli chicken wings baked in the ovenSpicy chilli chicken wings baked in the oven

 

frank's hot sauce If you want to turn up the heat, why not try this oven baked hot chilli chicken wings using Frank’s Red Hot Sauce?

I remember twenty years ago when I lived in England, chicken wings were considered scraps and I could buy a packet for just 99p (about US $1.50) to feed a family of five. Perhaps it isn’t the case now but chilli chicken wings are ubiqutous here in America. They call them buffalo wings – a puzzling fact!

The best wings to buy are the winglets because they are neat and easy to cook. This is a no-brainer recipe, you really don’t have to do much except throw the meat in the oven. The trick is to bake the chicken nice and slowly so that the skin dries out and gets really crispy and the inside becomes tender and remains moist. If you cook it too fast, the chicken will develop a chewy texture rather like your tennis shoe. Barbecuing wings in the summer makes quite a treat as long as it’s not a hundred degrees outside.

This recipe is actually comes from a family friend. But instead of it being a dipping sauce we used it as a glaze. Get ready for the fire extinguisher!

Ingredients
(I know you can put a ton more ingredients but the idea of this recipe is to keep it simple)
2 packets chicken wings or winglets
1/2 bottle (6 Fluid Ounces) Red Hot Wings Frank’s Sauce

3 tablespoons butter, salted (naughty but it adds to the taste!)
2 tbsp cooking oil
Method

1. Spread the wings on a baking tray.

2. Lightly brush the wings with some cooking oil.

3. Put it in a preheated oven and cook slowly for an 3/4 hours at 350°F (no salt or flavouring required).

4. Meantime, prepare the hot sauce.

5. Pour half a bottle of Frank’s Red Hot Sauce into a sauce pan, put the butter in and warm up gently.

6. When the wings are nice and crispy, remove from oven and pour the sauce over.

7. Put back in the oven and gently cook for another 10 minutes.

8. Hot chilli wings can be dipped in ranch sauce (how Americans like it) or like my case, I dip them in more red sauce left in the pan.

9. Make sure you have plenty of tissues to mop away the brow of sweat.

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Potato and Carrot Soup

carrot and potato soup
A perfect dish for the winter as it is very warming, but its also fantastic in the summer with fresh summer squash

carrot and potato soup

carrot and potato soup

If you fancy a bit of warmth in the winter, try this potato and carrot soup with fresh ginger. Using fresh ginger is a must as the powder form doesn’t give the same punch. There’s certainly a lot of heat stored in this aromatic pungent root vegetable. Some cultures use ginger wrap and ginger compress to treat arthritis and all sorts of ailments including muscle injuries. Ginger is known to have anti-inflammatory properties and it aids blood circulation. So, adding fresh ginger to your cooking once in a while is beneficial for health. For this recipe, you can vary the quantities according to your taste.

 

Ingredients
2 pounds carrots peeled and chopped
2 large potatoes peeled and cut into small chunks
2 tsp Fresh ginger, grated – if you like it more spicy add more by all means!
1 Chicken stock cube to 3 cups water
Salt
2 cups milk
Cream – optional
Method

1. Put the carrots, potatoes, onions, salt, ginger and couple of chicken stock cube in a pot of water and bring to boil.

2. Simmer until all the ingredients are soft and let the pot cool down.

3. Blend the whole thing with a hand held blender.

4. If the soup is very watery you can carry on simmering until it is thicker.

5. For our case, we found that the consistency of the soup after blending was too thick so we added two cups of milk to reach the right consistency we wanted.

6. Gently reheat the soup and serve immediately.

7. We added a swirl of fresh cream, it looked fantastic and tasted wonderful with warm bread rolls spread with butter.

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Chocolate Dipped Pretzels

pretzels dipped in chocolate sprinkles
A fun rainy day project. Great for lunch boxes too!

pretzels dipped in chocolate sprinkles

Ingredients
Prezels
Milk chocolate chips (Nestle, Hersheys or Toll House)
Method

1. Melt chocolate 1/2 cup chip in the microwave for 30 secs and then additional 10 seconds if chocolate chips are not completely melted.

2. Dip pretzels in the cup and let excess chocolate run off.

3. Do 5 pretzels at a time and work on a large sheet of greece proof paper.

4. Pour sprinkles over top and let the chocolate harden.

5. Can be stored in the freezer for up to two weeks but I promise they will get eaten in no time!