This is one of the simplest things I’ve made in ages and yet it packs a big flavour punch! My recipe for Red Onion Refrigerator Pickles pack a heck of a punch visually too, who can resist bright pink food? They are perfect paired with pulled pork as here, or even just in sandwiches (put them in a cheese toastie and be amazed!)
Darcy was poised and ready for any spillages!
3 red onions, thinly sliced
1/2 tsp salt
~1 cup/250ml red wine vinegar
- Put your onions in a sealable tub, jar or bowl.
- Sprinkle with salt.
- Cover with the vinegar.
- Leave in the fridge for 2 hours – 2 weeks. Then enjoy!
One of my favourite Japanese meals is Chicken Katsu Kare. A breaded chicken (or sometimes eve pork) cutlet with a lovely thick, mild curry sauce and sticky rice, topped with lightly pickled red pepper.
Its absolute rainy day comfort food for me. I had a real craving for it the other week but didn’t have any of my usual short cuts in stock. (In Japan I’d always make the curry with shop bought roux cubes as would everyone else!) So I set to and made it all from scratch. I didn’t even have any curry powder!
Its actually not hard at all, it just takes a bit of organisation in a small kitchen like mine as there are a lot of little stages you need to pull together. I’m very happy I took the time and did a big batch though, this recipe will serve 4 so for singletons like myself I suggest you freeze ready prepped portions for the next rainy day craving!
For the curry roux:
4 tbsp flour
1 tbsp curry powder
1tbsp Garam masala
1/2 tsp five spice
1/4 tap cayenne pepper
2 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp ground cumin
1/4 tsp turmeric
1/4 tsp chilli powder)
For the curry:
1 clove garlic
1 carrot, diced
1 medium floury potato,diced
500ml chicken stock
For the cutlets:
2 chicken breasts
2 tbsp flour + salt and pepper
1 beaten egg
4 tbsp bread crumbs
3 tbsp rapeseed oil
Sticky Japanese rice and chopped pickled pepper* to serve (*I love Lidl’s jars of roasted peppers!)
- First things first, make up your curry powder if you’re making that from scratch, just give it all a good mix. There will be some spare so pop it in a small jar for later use.
- Then prep your roux. Melt the butter in a small saucepan and once it is all bubbly add the flour and spices. Give it a good stir for 30 seconds or so and it will turn a golden brown. Set aside off the heat.
- In a larger saucepan heat a splash of oil and sautee the onion and garlic until soft.
- Add the carrot, potato and chicken stock and simmer for 20 minutes.
- Add the curry roux to the saucepan gradually, stirring well to avoid lumps.
- Simmer for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally as it thickens to avoid sticking.
- Take your chicken breasts and lay them on a large chopping board, with plenty of room between them. Cover them with cling wrap.
- Take a rolling pin and whack the chicken breasts to flatten them. You will find you can slightly direct how the meat spreads, you want to get it all to a thickness of ~1cm.
- Remove the cling wrap. Cut each chicken breast in half to make approximately equal portions.
- Place the flour on one plate, the egg in a shallow dish and the breadcrumbs on a final plate.
- Coat the chicken in the flour, then dip it in the egg and finally cover with breadcrumbs. Then set aside and continue with the remaining pieces.
- Heat 3 tbsp rapeseed oil in a large frying pan (you may have to do this in 2 batches, or with 2 pans depending on size).
- Place the cutlets in the oil and cook for 3-5 minutes, until you can see them cooked halfway up, then flip and cook for another 3-5 minutes until cooked through.
- Serve the cutlet sliced into strips, with a heap of sticky rice, curry sauce and pickled red pepper on top.
Wishing you all a merry Christmas and a peaceful and prosperous new year!
Anna & Darcy xxx
These Apple Pie Slices are a quick and easy way to bake up some lovely pastries for guests, snacks, afternoon tea or even a naughty breakfast! (What? Apples are a fruit ergo it’s healthy!)
They are deliciously flakey and actually not too sweet. They are also super quick and easy to throw together!
They use my Apple Pie Jam as the filling but you could substitute with a bought apple jelly if you preferred. I would add a pinch of cinnamon to it though for maximum tastiness!
I also use bought puff pastry because nobody outside of the Great British Bake Off tent has time for that nonsense!
1 sheet pre-rolled puff pastry
1/2 jar Apple Pie Jam
3 tbsp milk
3 tbsp demarera sugar
- Heat the oven to gas mark 6 and line 2 baking trays.
- Cut your pastry into 16 equal pieces.
- Put a spoonful of jam in the centre of half of them.
- Prick the remaining slices with a fork to make little holes in the top.
- Put these pieces on top of the jam ones and press down all around with a fork to crimp the edges closed.
- Brush the tops with milk and sprinkle with sugar.
- Bake for 20 minutes until the tops are golden brown. You will probably have to switch the trays over halfway through if they are on different shelves.
- Remove from the oven and allow to cool a little before you eat them. They are equally good cold!
These mini breakfast bites were one of the first things I invented for myself in 3rd year food tech! They are now a staple tradition in our household and I couldn’t imagine Christmas without them!
24 slices of white bread (2 meduim sliced loaves)
1/2 cup sunflower oil
24 quails eggs
12 rashers streaky bacon or pancetta
24 tiny button mushrooms (or 6 small mushrooms cut into quarters)
- Heat the oven to gas mark 7.
- Get out 2x 12 hole bun tins, I prefer the rounded ones but the straighter ones work just fine.
- Use a large round cookie cutter, checking that it is slightly bigger than the bun tins you are using, to cut out a large round from the centre of each slice of bread. (leftover crusts can be used to make bread sauce, or breadcrumbs to freeze for later use)
- Brush both sides of each round of bread and gently press into the bun tins.
- Bake in the oven for 10 minutes, until just turning crisp and golden.
- Take out the tins (being careful coz it’s hot!) and crack a quails egg carefully into each one. (I use a sharp knife to pierce the shells)
- Return to the oven for ~5 minutes until the eggs are just setting.
- Prepare your bacon/pancetta rolls by slicing each rasher in half then rolling up.
- Take the tins out of the oven again and add your bacon rolls and mushrooms.
- Cook for another 5-7 minutes until the bacon is cooked through.
- Serve immediately while hot and make sure you get some too because these will disappear fast!
December is here and ’tis the season for cocktails and canapé at every turn! I thought I’d take the opportunity to share one of my favourite canapé from last year’s Christmas festivities, Mini Yorkshire Puddings!
These are a fabulous little morsel that are quick and easy to prepare, you can even cook the Yorkshire puddings in advance and then reheat them but I do recommend using an oven to reheat rather than a microwave as you get a much better texture. You can even serve these at room temperature if there’s too much pressure on the oven space. Keep it simple and enjoy your party!
100g plain flour
1/2 tsp salt
oil/lard/trex for cooking (I favour Lard unless I have a vegetarian about in which case I switch to trex)
200ml creme fraiche
2 tsp horseradish sauce
1 tsp dijon mustard
~6 thin slices of roast beef
parsley sprigs for decoration
- Put the flour, salt, milk and egg into a tall jug.
- Blitz with a stick blender to combine (Keeping a good grip on the jug!)
- Leave to sit for around 20 minutes, half an hour, or longer if necessary.
- Get the oven nice and hot (Gas 6 / 200C or above)
- Put a small knob of Trex, lard or a dash of vegetable oil (just enough to cover the base of the tin) in each hole of a 24 mini muffin tin (if yours is smaller do this in batches) and place in the oven to get piping hot. (10 minutes or so)
- Pour the batter in to just fill each hole of the tin. (Careful of the hot oil!!)
- Place carefully in the oven and close the oven door.
- Leave to cook for 15-20 minutes until all poofed up and golden brown. DO NOT OPEN THE OVEN WHILE THEY ARE COOKING!
- Mix the creme fraiche, horse radish and mustard together in a bowl. Test to see if its got enough bite to it (or too much!) and alter to suit your tastes.
- Roll the roast beef up and slice into sections about 1″ long.
- Carefully spoon a little of the horseradish mixture into the centre of each Yorkshire Pudding, insert a roll of beef and decorate with a sprig of parsley.
- Grab and bottle of bubbly and go mingle with your guests!
A quick and simple supper recipe today! This Chicken, Leek and Rosemary Tagliatelli recipe uses a white wine reduction to make a super simple sauce that is super luxurious! Sometimes you need to give yourself a little indulgent treat but this is a little bit lighter than my usual cream based sauces.
The freshness of the leeks and the depth of the rosemary pair beautifully with the bacon and chicken to make a perfect Friday supper for two!
1 large chicken breast, sliced
125g bacon lardons
1 medium leek, rinsed and sliced
2 sprigs fresh rosemary
200ml white wine
tagliatelle to serve
- Prep your water for pasta, mine usually takes 4-5mins but check the packet for cooking instructions and proceed accordingly.
- Heat a splash of oil in a large frying pan and add the bacon lardons cook for a minute or two, stirring occasionally.
- Add the sliced chicken breast and cook until just turning all white.
- Add the leek and cook until just softening.
- Add the rosemary and the wine and simmer on a medium heat until the wine is reduced to a thick sauce coating the bottom of the pan and the leek is completely soft and the chicken cooked through.
- Serve over tagliatelle!