Tag Archives: supper

Chicken Breasts with Tarragon and Mustard Cream Sauce

In this dish, the humble chicken breast is smothered in a light but tangy velouté sauce, transforming the chicken into something that is absolutely delicious. I made loads of sauce (we do like our gravies and sauces in this house) so there was plenty to around and then, uncouth individuals that we are, there was sufficient left for us to dive into the jug and finish it off with a spoon. One very, very yummy supper dish.

Serves 4

What you need…

1 chicken stock pot (I use Knorr)

500ml boiling water from the kettle

1 tablespoon rapeseed oil

4 plump chicken breasts or supremes

6 tablespoons white wine

Sea salt and black pepper

60g butter

4 tablespoons plain flour

1 tablespoon fresh tarragon, finely chopped

2 egg yolks

200ml soured cream

2 teaspoons Dijon mustard

Paprika

What to do…

To make a chicken stock, pop the stockpot into a jug and top up with boiling water, using a balloon whisk to help it dissolve quickly. Set aside.

In a roomy saucepan, heat the oil and seal the breasts quickly on both sides – don’t allow to brown. Tip in the wine and 6 tablespoons of chicken stock. Pop on the pan lid, turn down the heat to low and poach gently for 20 minutes, until cooked.

Remove the breasts from the liquid, season, cover and set aside, keeping warm.

In a second jug, tip the cooking liquid and top it up with the stock to make up 500ml. Discard the remainder of the chicken stock. Give your saucepan a quick wipe out with kitchen paper.

To make your velouté sauce, melt the butter in the saucepan. Stir in the flour and cook for a few seconds without browning. Tip in the tarragon and quickly stir in to evenly incorporate. Remove from the heat and gradually stir in the stock. Simmer, stirring until thickened.

In your stock jug, mix together the egg yolk, cream and mustard. Then gradually add to the sauce, stirring the whole time just for 2 minutes over a low heat. Taste, adjust the seasoning if you’d like to and then pour over the chicken breasts. Sprinkle over paprika to serve this quite simply delicious supper dish.

Inspired by…

Lynn Bedford Hall, New Creative Cuisine (thanks Helen)

How easy…

Simplicity itself and such a wonderful outcome

Phad Thai Noodles with Seafood

Full of fresh, healthy flavours and zinging with the spiciness of the orient, this is a jewel of a midweek family supper dish and is so quick and easy to throw together. And you can make it as much of an extravagance as you want, simply with your choice of seafood. I majored on scallops and prawns – yummy!

What you need…

175g Thai rice noodles

150g sugar snap peas, cut thinly on the diagonal

2 tablespoons rapeseed oil

2 garlic cloves, chopped

2.5cm-piece fresh ginger, grated

2 red chillies, deseeded and finely chopped

150g shiitake mushrooms, sliced

1 leek, trimmed and sliced thinly, lengthways

100g beansprouts

400g mixed seafood

2 tablespoons sherry

4 tablespoons dark soy sauce

2 tablespoons oyster sauce

Juice of 1 lime

What to do…

Cook the noodles according to the packet instructions – mine took 12 minutes in simmering water. Add the sugar snap peas 1 minute before the end.

Meanwhile, heat the oil in a wok or large frying pan over a high heat until very hot. Add the garlic, ginger and chillies and fry for 2 minutes. Add the mushrooms, leek and beansprouts and fry for a further 5 minutes, stirring the whole time.

Add the seafood to the pan together with the sherry, soy sauce, oyster sauce and lime juice.

When the seafood is cooked through, reduce the heat to low. Drain the noodles and sugar snap peas and add them to the pan, stirring all the ingredients together so that they are evenly mixed.

Serve and enjoy the delight that is this lovely supper dish!

Inspired by…

Mary Berry who, in turn, was inspired by Ken Hom

How easy…

Wok it and see – dead easy!

Mirin-Glazed Salmon

You can tell the summer holiday season is upon us: my recipes are leaning towards fast but tasty family suppers. This one is lovely – I’m a salmon fan anyway, but this recipe, with its dark, sweet and salty glaze, gives the fish a whole different persona: the humble salmon is sensationally transformed into a dish that at once combines being sweet, savoury, tender and crisp – delicious!

Serves 4

What you need…

60ml mirin (Japanese sweet rice wine)

50g light brown sugar

60ml soy sauce

4 x 125g chunky salmon fillets

2 tablespoons rice vinegar

2 spring onions, sliced

What to do…

In a shallow dish, mix together the mirin, sugar and soy sauce until the sugar has dissolved. Pop in the salmon fillets and marinate for 3 minutes on the first side before flipping them and marinating them for a further 3 minutes on the other side. Meanwhile, heat a large frying pan on a high heat.

Dry-fry the salmon for 2 minutes. Flip them over, pour over the marinade and cook for a further 2 minutes. They will be only just cooked – perfect for this recipe – but you can leave them in for another minute or so if you’d prefer.

Using a fish slice, remove the salmon from the pan and onto a serving dish. Add the rice vinegar to the pan and warm through – a couple of minutes, maximum.

Pour the simply yummy glaze over the salmon and scatter over the spring onions. Voilà! That’s it – so fast, so easy and so damned tasty!

Tip…

If you have any fish leftover, pop it into the fridge and serve cold the next day with salad – fantastic. This was our plan, but Connagh elected to have seconds instead – plan dashed!

Serving suggestion…

Basmati and wild rice goes really well. I also sautéed some pre-boiled broccoli with sliced button mushrooms in chilli and garlic – adding a splash of mirin and soy sauce at the end – really lovely!

Inspired by…

Nigella Lawson

How easy…

So, so easy, so so fast, so so delicious!

 

Roasted Chicken Breasts with Broad Beans and Herbs

 

I spotted this recipe and thought that it looked like a good, easy and quick mid-week family supper dish. Reading through the ingredients though I did have doubts as to whether it would be that interesting. We were all really, genuinely pleasantly surprised. The dish is lovely, light, fresh and very summery. Our plates were quickly cleared and the recipe pronounced as a definite for regular repetition. Give it a go – really great!

 Serves 4

 What you need…

 4 large, plump chicken breasts

500g new potatoes

200g skinned broad beans (I use frozen)

Splash rapeseed oil

2 garlic cloves, chopped

300ml chicken stock

Juice of ½ lemon

Handful of basil

Handful of rocket

Large dollop of mascarpone

 What to do…

Preheat your oven to 200°c / 400°f / gas 6.

Lightly oil a baking tin, chuck in the chicken breasts and season. Pop them in the oven and roast for 25 minutes or until cooked but still juicy.

Meanwhile, in salted water boil the potatoes (halve any large ones so that they are all roughly the same size) for 15 minutes or until tender, adding the broad beans 3 minutes before the end (longer if cooking from frozen – maybe 7-8 minutes).

In a frying pan over a moderate heat, warm the oil and then sauté the garlic for 2 minutes. Add in the chicken stock and simmer for 5 minutes before adding in the potatoes and beans. Stir in the lemon juice, herbs and mascarpone.

Slice the chicken and serve on top of the beautifully saucy vegetables! Nothing else required – just perfect as it is!

 Tips…

If you want to improve on the presentation, use skin-on chicken breasts so that you have the lovely golden cooked crispy skin (my chicken breasts were retrieved from the freezer and just happened to be skinned).

I used basil and rocket in this recipe because that’s what I had, but the addition of parsley and more particularly, tarragon would be lovely.

 Inspired by…

Delicious (online)

 How easy…

Very, very easy.

Poached Monkfish in Creamy Tarragon Sauce

So simple but absolutely delightful, this supper dish is lovely and tastes like it’s waaaaaay more complicated that it is. The creamy tarragon sauce is the perfect marriage with the monkfish – creamy but light and with the distinctive tarragon flavour that is the bittersweet mix of aniseed and vanilla; and then the slight acidy of lemon juice – just lovely –what can I say? Give it a go!

Serves 4

What you need…

1 kg monkfish, filleted

4 tablespoons lemon juice, freshly squeezed

1 fish stockpot (I use Knorr)

450ml boiling water from the kettle

150ml white wine

150ml double cream

1 tablespoon fresh tarragon, chopped

Sea salt and black pepper

A small handful of fresh tarragon, to garnish

What to do…

Slice the fish into big chunks (5-6cm) and place in the bottom of a large, heavy saucepan. Pour over the lemon juice and season with salt and pepper. Set aside.

In a separate saucepan, pour your boiling water over the fish stockpot and, using a balloon whisk, dissolve to create a fish stock. Add the wine and bring the mixture to the boil before pouring it over the fish. Place the fish over a high heat and bring to the boil again. As soon as it begins boiling, remove from the heat, pop on a well-fitting lid and set aside to let the residual heat gently poach the monkfish for about 8 minutes, or until the monkfish has turned opaque.

Using a slotted spoon, transfer the fish to a warmed serving dish, cover with foil and keep warm whilst you make the sauce.

Bring the poaching liquid to the boil and boil fiercely for 10 minutes or until the liquid has reduced by half, is thicker and syrupy. Gradually stir in the cream and then add the chopped tarragon. Pour the sauce over the fish, garnish with fresh tarragon and serve immediately. Simply very, very lovely.

Serving suggestion…

Boiled or parmentier potatoes and a green vegetable. I used tenderstem broccoli that had been steamed and then tossed in a little warmed olive oil, flavoured with chopped anchovies and garlic. Yummy!

Inspired by…

Josceline Dimbleby

How easy…

Easy, quick and way tastier than the ingredients might suggest

 

 

 

 

 

Pasta Puttanesca

 

I haven’t made this for years (pre-kids!) and I don’t know why – just forgotten about the recipe I suppose. I make lots of pasta dishes – some follow recipes, some are made-up favourites and some depend on what’s languishing in the bottom of the fridge. But this one stands apart from the crowd – it’s gutsy with intense flavours – tomatoes, garlic, anchovies, capers and olives all party together against the backdrop of tomatoes and basil – a great pick-me-up of a lunch or supper. Really yummy.

Serves 4

What you need…

2 tablespoons olive oil

4 garlic cloves, chopped

2 fresh chillis, de-seeded and chopped

1 tablespoon fresh basil, chopped, plus extra for garnishing

Black pepper

100g anchovies (bought in jars in olive oil)

300g black olives, pitted

2 tablespoons capers, drained

2 x 400g tins good quality Italian chopped tomatoes

1 x 142g tin tomato purée

Sea salt

Spaghetti! (How much is dependent on how hungry you are! I use gluten-free, just because it doesn’t sit so heavily on my stomach)

What to do…

Heat the oil over a moderate heat and add the garlic cloves, chillis and basil. Cook briefly until the garlic is pale gold. Then tip in all the other sauce ingredients except the salt (anchovies are salty so leave the addition of salt until the end).

Reduce the heat to low and let the sauce simmer very gently without a lid for 40 minutes – the smell will be amazing and at the end, the sauce will be lovely, thick and bursting with flavour. Taste and add salt, if required.

Meanwhile, cook your spaghetti according to the packet instructions – mine takes about 12 minutes, so I put the water on to heat up about 20 minutes before the sauce is ready.

Drain the pasta pour over your gutsy sauce and mix together. Serve garnished with basil and a sprinkling of grated Parmesan cheese. A glass or two of a robust Italian red wouldn’t go amiss either!

Puttanesca close up w

Inspired by…

Delia Smith

How easy…

So very easy. It also has the added benefit of comprising store cupboard ingredients so it’s a great mid-week special when your scouring the kitchen for inspiration!

 

Sausage, Root Vegetable and Apple Roast

Conscious that the weather is supposed to be on the turn, with temperatures increasing and thoughts of barbecues on the horizon, I decided to use up the remaining vegetables – usually reserved for the traditional Sunday roast – that were still lurking in the bottom of the fridge. We were also fortunate enough to have lurking sausages (a frequent event as, for some inexplicable reason, we insist on buying packets of 18) so this recipe came to mind. A fantastic, really tasty and cheap family supper, it’s also really flexible – you can pretty much chuck in whatever root veg you have lying around – enjoy!

Serves 4

What you need…

You can chuck in whatever quantities you want really but this time I used the following:

1 x roomy ovenproof dish, lightly buttered

3 large carrots, peeled, trimmed and halved lengthways

2 parsnips, peeled, trimmed and quartered

2 turnips, peeled, trimmed and quartered

2 fat slices of swede, peeled and halved

2 red potatoes, quartered

Splash of olive oil

2 Pink Lady apples, cored and cut into six wedges

8 sausages

1 dessertspoon wholegrain mustard

1 dessertspoon runny honey

A handful sage, roughly chopped

What to do…

Preheat oven to 200°c / 400°f / gas 6.

Chuck the root vegetables into your ovenproof dish, splash over the olive oil, give them a quick stir and pop them in the oven for 20 minutes.

Remove from the oven and tip in the honey and wholegrain mustard, add the apples and mix all together so that the honey and mustard are evenly distributed. Wodge in the sausages and pop back in the oven for a further 25 minutes or until the sausages are golden brown. You may want to take the dish out half way through and stir everything around to make sure the sausages, in particular, are evenly coloured all around.

That’s it! Serve, enjoy this really tasty supper and feel smug over how very easy it is!

Inspired by…

Don’t know – one of those ripped from a magazine years ago!

How easy…

Ridiculously!

 

Sausage Meat-Stuffed Chicken Thighs with Lemon Sauce

This recipe is a lovely alternative way to serving chicken thighs and makes for a fantastic family supper dish. The sausage meat wrapped inside the chicken is really flavoursome and the streaky bacon adds an extra dimension as well as bringing the whole dish together (literally!). You could stop at this point, but adding the lemon sauce takes the dish to a proper, grown up level – lovely, light and a perfect foil to the meat!

Makes 8

What you need…

1 baking dish, lightly buttered and bottom-lined with Bake O Glide/parchment paper. (My baking dish is 30 x 20 x 7cms deep).

30g pork sausage meat

5 tablespoons parsley, chopped

2 teaspoons thyme leaves

Grated zest ½ lemon

50g Parmesan

8 chicken thighs, skinned and boned

8 rashers streaky bacon

Sea salt and black pepper

for the sauce

450ml hot water (from kettle)

1 chicken stockpot (I use Knorr)

50g butter

1 onion, finely chopped

40g plain flour

4 tablespoons double cream

Juice ½ lemon

1 tablespoon parsley, chopped

What to do…

Preheat the oven to 200°c / 400°f / gas 6.

Into a bowl, use your hands to thoroughly mix together the sausage meat, parsley, thyme, lemon zest and Parmesan. Season with salt and pepper and mix again. Make 8 short, fat ‘sausages’, each being the length of the chicken thighs.

Place the chicken thighs, skinned side down on a board, open them out and season with salt and pepper. In each one, place a ‘sausage’ and fold the chicken thighs around it.

Using the flat edge of a large knife, stretch the bacon rashers out on a board and then wrap one rasher around each chicken thigh.

Place the chicken thighs into your baking dish, drizzle with a little honey and then pop them in the oven for 35 minutes or until they are cooked through, golden and crispy. Set aside to rest for 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, let’s make the sauce.

Using water just boiled in the kettle, pour the water over the stockpot and mix together using a balloon whisk to create chicken stock.

Melt the butter in wide-based saucepan, add the onion and fry over a moderate heat, stirring regularly for 10 minutes, until soft.

Add the flour to the onions and quickly stir it in. Add the stock and use the balloon whisk again to mix it all together whilst bringing the sauce to the boil. Reduce the heat and gently simmer until the sauce is smooth and thickened.

Add the cream and lemon juice together with the cooking juices from the chicken. Stir in the parsley and season. Taste and add more seasoning if required.

Serve the stuffed chicken thighs with lemon sauce as a delightful supper dish – easy, tasty and quite different – really lovely!

Inspired by…

Mary Berry

How easy…

Very easy and relaxing to do – no juggling of multiple tasks at the same time.

Fantastic Feast of Pulled Pork

OK! A savoury OMG moment! I can count the number of times I have eaten pork on the fingers of one hand probably (other than bacon and sausages – they don’t count!) But…I am drawn to a pig roast but it never quite delivers in taste what the enticing aromas promise. So, anyway this recipe caught my attention and I have to say that I am now a total convert! This pork was succulent and sooooo tasty; flexible too – it was happy stuffed in rolls or dressed up with plums and a lovely potato and apple combination that I made up on a whim. Seriously, for a relaxed family and friends supper that everyone will just love, give this one a go. Oh also, zero effort – pop in oven and walk off for 6 hours – love it!

Serves 4-6

What you need…

for the pork…

1 x roasting tin, lined with enough foil to cover the pork

1.6Kg shoulder of pork, string and rind removed

2 teaspoons sea salt

2 teaspoons black pepper

2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

2 teaspoons ground ginger

1½ tablespoons dark brown sugar

300ml hot water

for the sides…

4 red potatoes, chunked

2 cloves of garlic, chopped,

1 teaspoon sea salt and black pepper

Splash of olive oil

2 Pink Lady apples, cored and chunked

4 Ciabatta rolls

Knob of butter

4 – 6 plums, halved and stoned

What to do…

Preheat the oven to 220°c / 425°f / gas 7.

In a small bowl, mix together all the dry ingredients.

Unroll the pork and pop it in the foil-lined roasting tin. Rub the mixed ingredients all over the pork and pop it straight in the oven for 30 minutes to brown. Reduce the heat to 150°c / 300°f / gas 2. Pour the water into the foil and then wrap the foil around the joint and seal tightly. Cook for around 6 hours or until tender.

Just before you get to the end of the 6-hour cooking time, pop the red potatoes in a baking dish, scatter over with garlic and dried rosemary, salt and pepper and the splash of olive oil; stir to mix everything together thoroughly.

Increase the oven back up to 220°c / 425°f / gas 7 and uncover the pork. Cook uncovered for 10 minutes the remove from the oven. At the same time, pop in the baking dish of potatoes.

After 10 minutes, remove the pork from the oven, cover with foil and rest for 30 minutes. Reduce the oven temperature to 200°c / 400°f / gas 6. Tip the apples into the potatoes, stir in and roast for another 25 minutes.

10 minutes before you are ready to serve, pop the ciabatta rolls into the oven to warm through – they should only take 10 minutes. Meanwhile, melt the butter in a frying pan over a moderate heat and then place in the plum halves, flesh side down. Turn the heat up to high and cook for 10 minutes until the flesh is just starting to go golden brown.

Everything is now ready and your can dive in. Put the lot onto a serving platter, start pulling the pork with two forks and then leave it on the platter for everyone else to help themselves: pulled pork in ciabatta rolls or just on it’s own with the wonderful addition of a few of those potatoes and the OMG plums – they go sooooooo well. Whichever choice, it doesn’t matter – it will all go! Enjoy – a fantastic feast of pulled pork that requires next to no effort!

Inspired by…

Lovepork.co.uk

How easy…

Seriously, next to zero effort for a really fantastic sharing supper!

Chicken, Mushroom and Leek Lattice Pie

I would put this under the heading of ‘comfort food’. If you’re in the right mood, making the lattice pastry lid is quite relaxing and the actual pie itself is delicious. Despite the amount of cream in it, it is neither too heavy or rich but just rather cheering on a cold, grey evening.

Serves 4 – 6

What you need…

1 x baking dish, (something like 26 x 18 x 5cms for these quantities of ingredients)

2 x 375g packs ready-rolled puff pastry

Splash olive oil

450g roasted chicken, cut into bite-sized pieces

1 large leek, washed, trimmed and sliced

150g chestnut mushrooms, washed and chunkily sliced

200ml water

1 chicken stockpot (I use Knorr)

200ml white wine

300ml double cream

1 tablespoon tarragon, leaves torn from the stems and chopped

Sea salt and black pepper

1 egg, beaten

What to do…

To make the pastry topping: unroll both sheets of pastry so that they are lying flat. The ready-rolled puff pastry comes on baking paper so there’s no need to prepare your work surface. Cut each piece into long 3cm-wide ribbons (being a little on the OCD side I did actually use a ruler for this bit to ensure accuracy!) If your baking dish is rectangular like mine, one sheet of pastry needs to be cut long-ways and the other width-ways (see pictures). Weave the pastry ribbons together (again see pictures) until you have a pastry top that is large enough to cover your pie. Make sure there are no gaps in between the ribbons or your sauce will bubble through during cooking (mine did!) Cover with cling film and pop in the fridge to firm up whilst you cook the pie filling.

pastry a w Pastry b w pastry c w

 

Preheat the oven to 200°c / 400°f / gas 6.

In a jug, dissolve the stockpot into the water, using a small balloon whisk, creating your chicken stock.

In a large frying pan, heat the olive oil over a moderate heat. Add the leeks and cook for 1 minute. Chuck in the mushrooms and cook for a further minute. Add the stock, wine and double cream. Bring to the boil and reduce the liquid until it thickens slightly.

Add the chicken pieces and tarragon. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Mix together thoroughly.

Once the chicken has warmed through, remove from the heat and spoon the mixture into your baking dish.

Brush the rim of your baking dish with egg and then flip the lid on top, so that the paper it came on is now facing upwards. Remove the paper and then press down over the rim to seal. Trim off the excess pastry with a sharp knife. Brush the pastry lid with egg and then pop your pie in the oven for 30 minutes, until the filling is piping hot and the pastry is gorgeously puffy and golden brown. Serve straight away – a lovely comforting treat and quite delicious!

Tip…

Your baking dish needs to be full to the brim with the filling otherwise the puff pastry lid will sink into it. Mine did but that said, the puffiness largely covered this mistake once the pie was cooked.

Inspired by…

The lattice pastry lid was demonstrated by Mary Berry. The filling was based on but tweaked from a recipe by Shaun Rankin, www.greatbritishchefs.com.

How easy…

The lattice pastry lid isn’t difficult but takes time, so you have to be in the right mood – if you’re in a mad hurry, this is not a good idea! That said, the rest of the dish is incredibly quick to prepare and then finishes up in the oven, allowing you to tidy up and cook a bit of greenery to go with it.

Also, the necessary roasted chicken was also immediately available to me, being left over from the 2 John cooked for our Sunday Roast.