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Chicken Katsu Kare (Curry)

Chicken Katsu Kare (Japanese Curry)

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.

Chicken Katsu Kare (Japanese Curry)

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!

Chicken Katsu Kare (Japanese Curry)

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!

Chicken Katsu Kare (Japanese Curry)

Serves 4:

For the curry roux:
50g butter
4 tbsp flour
1 tbsp curry powder
1tbsp Garam masala
1/2 tsp five spice
1/4 tap cayenne pepper

(Curry Powder:
2 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp ground cumin
1/4 tsp turmeric
1/4 tsp chilli powder)

For the curry:
1/2 onion
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.
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Filed under Easy, Japanese, Mains

Apple Pie Slices

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!)

Apple Slices

They are deliciously flakey and actually not too sweet.  They are also super quick and easy to throw together!

Apple Slices

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!

Apple Slices

I also use bought puff pastry because nobody outside of the Great British Bake Off tent has time for that nonsense!

Apple Slices

Makes 8

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!

 

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Filed under Easy, Teatime Treats

Mini Breakfast Bites

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!

Mini Breakfast Canapes

Makes 24

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!
  • Mini Breakfast Canapes

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Filed under Canapés, Christmas, Moderately easy

Chicken, Leek and Rosemary Tagliatelli

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.

Chicken, Leek and Rosemary Tagliatelli

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!

Chicken, Leek and Rosemary Tagliatelli

Serves 2

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!

Chicken, Leek and Rosemary Tagliatelli

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No Bake Chocolate Truffle Torte

This one is a great Friday bake!  It’s the end of the week and we’re all a bit tired.  Chocolate will help.  Specifically a No Bake Chocolate Truffle Torte!  All of the flavour, none of the faff!

No Bake Chocolate Truffle Torte

It’s a biscuit based crust with a smooth and silky chocolate ganache centre.  Yum!

No Bake Chocolate Truffle Torte

Look at those frills!  This makes an excellent centrepiece dessert, or even an afternoon tea… I may have had it for lunch at one point too… shh!!

No Bake Chocolate Truffle Torte

It’s quick, it’s simple, its packed full of chocolate.  You should definitely make this!

No Bake Chocolate Truffle Torte

Makes 1 8″ torte

300g chocolate biscuits (I actually used some of my Easy Chocolate Biscuits but you could use store bought too)
150g plain dark chocolate
150ml double cream
350g plain dark chocolate, broken into chunks
15g butter
50g white chocolate to decorate

  • Crush the biscuits into crumbs.  You can leave some chunks if you like but I prefer crumbs.
  • Melt the first 150g chocolate and mix with the biscuits.
  • Press evenly into a fluted ring (the one I use doesn’t have a base, it rests on a baking sheet and lifts off). Use the back of a spoon for a smooth surface.
  • Heat the double cream in a small pan until at a full rolling boil.
  • Put the 350g chocolate and butter in a mixing bowl.
  • Pour the hot cream over the chocolate and butter.
  • Leave it for a minute or two, then mix to form a smooth ganache with no lumps.  The cream should be hot enough to melt all of the chocolate if you squish it against the side of the bowl.
  • Pour the ganache into the biscuit shell.
  • Melt the white chocolate and drizzle or pipe over the top of the ganache to decorate.
  • Leave to set for at least 1 hour before serving.
    No Bake Chocolate Truffle Torte

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Filed under Desserts, Easy, Teatime Treats

Cheats flatbreads

Coming to an end of my Indian theme I wanted something quick and easy to accompany my meal, the Fritters were doing a good Yorkshire Pudding substitute but I just felt that it needed a flatbread to accompany it.  I could have made up some dough without too much hassle but with everything else going on in the kitchen I just wasn’t in the mood.  I had a can of bread roll dough in the fridge so I improvised!

Cheat's Flatbreads

They worked brilliantly!  Perfectly portioned, beautifully fluffy inside.  This is a cheat I’m sure to turn to again as it was effortless!

Cheat's Flatbreads

1 can of dough for 6 bread rolls

  • Roll out each “roll” on a lightly floured worksurface.
  • Heat 2 tbsp oil in a large frying pan.
  • Place the dough in the pan and fry for about 2 minutes on each side until the dough is firm and browned on both sides.
  • Place the cooked flatbread on a paper towel and keep on a plate in a warm oven until the rest are done.
  • Repeat with the remaining dough, topping up the oil as necessary.

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Filed under Breads, Easy, Sides

Channa Masala

This recipe for Channa Masala is a brilliant one to have in your repetoir.  It makes a delicious meal in its own right or a brilliant accompaniment to a large meal.

Channa Masala

It also makes a wonderful fast day option as it is so filling and extremely satisfying on its own!

Channa Masala

2 tbsp sunflower oil
20g butter
1 onion
2 cloves garlic
1 tbsp garam masala
1 tsp coriander
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp chilli powder
2 tsp paprika
1 tsp turmeric
1 tbsp lemon juice
2x 400g tins tomatoes
2 tbsp tomato purée
2x 400g tins chickpeas, drained

  • Heat the oil and butter in a large saucepan or deep frying pan.
  • Cook the onion and garlic until soft.
  • Add the spices and cook for a minute longer
  • Add the lemon juice, tomatoes,  puree and chickpeas and simmer on a low heat, stirring occasionally for at least 30 minutes, preferably an hour.
  • The sauce should be slightly reduced and nicely glossy and thick.
  • Serve immediately or this also freezes really well!

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Filed under Easy, Fast Day Food, Mains, Sides