Over the course of 2014, I had found myself doing a lot of new things and being inspired to create new recipes, make dishes that can take me away from the everyday trudge of mealtime and keep eating after work just as enjoyable as eating at the weekend. Monday blues are no excuse to stick to beans on toast (not that there’s anything wrong with beans on toast!) purely through a lack of inspiration.
I have a few stalwart recipes that come to mind that tend to remedy this, however, This one in particular is fast becoming a favourite for me and my family! I have cooked this for a fair few people now and its always met with the same positive reaction, which makes me feel pretty confident that its something you guys will love. Its hearty, its healthy, and its full of ingredients that when put together, create a great ‘feel good’ kind of meal that is quite suitable for battling Monday blues, getting over the Wednesday hump or any day of the week you need a bit of a pick me up. Oh and don’t worry about not having time. It doesn’t take more than 5o minutes in total, So get somebody to help with the prep or chop your ingredients in advance to save time.
- 1 tbspn rapeseed oil.
- 4 Chicken breasts. Diced.
- 1 Chorizo ring.
- 200g Diced butternut squash.
- 100ml Red wine.
- 1 Tin chopped tomatoes.
- 300ml Good chicken stock.
- 1 tbspn Dijon mustard.
- 1 tbspn Paprika.
- 1 tbspn Turmeric.
- 2 Chopped sticks of celery.
- 2 tbspn Worcester sauce.
- 1 Can butter beans.
- Salt and pepper to taste.
- Add oil to a large cast iron dish or saucepan on a low heat, add the oil, chorizo and celery. Fry for a few minutes until the chorizo releases its own oil and starts to brown.
- Add the chicken a move around the pan until the chicken starts to also take on the reddish brown colour from the chorizo. (About 3-4 minutes).
- Splash in the red wine, followed by the squash, tomatoes and chicken stock. Stir and simmer for 5 minutes.
- Next pop in the Dijon mustard along with the paprika and turmeric. Leave on a medium heat for 30 minutes, stirring regularly.
- A few minutes before serving add the butter beans and give them a good stir around. Put the lid on if you have one and leave them to warm through for a couple of minutes, turn the heat up if you wish to finish it off nicely. (Putting them in at the end retains their form better as they seem to escape their outer casings and disintegrate into the abyss otherwise)
- Serve with rice and enjoy being hugged from the inside. I use the easy micro bags of rice to save time and as a bit of a cheat.
There you have it! Its as easy as that to make and its worth every second. Packed full of all the good stuff you need to feel full and satisfied without neglecting your vegetables. The chorizo is just an added bonus to reward your obvious dedication to giving yourself something healthy to eat!
Give it a try, get creative and add your own twist to it and add fresh chilies or olives. Go crazy!
The Christmas break is now a distant memory and I can honestly say it feels like the whole festive season was gone in a blink of an eye. I always find that the whole build up to Christmas far outweighs the impact of the actual event, by the time you actually get there it fizzles out like a spent candle and all that’s left from 9 weeks of build up is a bloated waistline and a new year’s resolution claiming newly found restraint. It leaves me a little deflated as the quality of the Christmas dinner and the buffet style foods that flow between the 25th through to the 1st all of a sudden seem to just fade away leaving naught but the mother of all Monday morning feelings when the majority of us return to work on the 2nd of January.
Therefore I am a believer of the Sunday roast done properly. It keeps the deflating withdrawals from the mass feasting available over Christmas and keeps you satisfied by providing something a little bit special and extravagant once a week for you and your family. Most people stick to the usual suspect’s when it comes to roasts like chicken, lamb and beef, but however great these are don’t let the trend deter you from trying something different every now and then.
Enter the star of today’s show, the duck. The bird provides succulent, dark, decadent flesh and hearty reusable fats. I adore duck as it is a real treat and not as widely used as chicken but it really, really should be. Roasted it just makes me totally content and I want to share that experience with you, so here’s my recipe for roast duck to ease your foodie withdrawal symptoms.
- 1 medium duck
- Large pinch sea salt
- 600 ml chicken stock
- 100ml white wine
- Dash of Worcester sauce
- Tbsp flour
- Pierce the skin of the duck all over. Place on a rack in the kitchen sink, and pour over 2 full kettles of boiling water. Pat it dry with kitchen towel. leave it to dry in the fridge. This will help give you crispy skin!
- Preheat the oven to 200 C, 180 C fan, 400 F, gas 6. Place the duck on a rack over a roasting tin, as it will release a lot of fat into the tin.
- Add sea salt to the skin and roast for 90 minutes. Basting every 15 minutes.
- Remove from the oven and leave to rest.
- While the duck is resting, make the gravy. Place the roasting tin over a low flame, then stir in the flour and keep on the heat until you have a slightly thicker paste and have moved some of the sediment from the tray.
- Gradually pour in the stock and wine, stirring constantly, until you feel it thicken.
- Simmer for 2 minutes, using a wooden spoon to stir, scraping any remaining bits and pieces from the bottom of the tin.
- Strain the gravy into a small saucepan, then simmer, adding the Worcester sauce and season.
- When you carve the duck, add any extra leaky juices to the gravy for an extra treat.
Simple, but beautiful! Enjoy!
This week brings a whole different kind of animal to the burgathon table to finish the series. It brings together two sides of the spectrum and mashes them together to create something so moreish, I struggle to not eat it every day. This is easily my favourite burger so far. The Maple bagel burger is a congregation of sweet and savoury flavours joining forces to excite the taste buds and whip your senses into frenzy.
This one is inspired, just like the mardi gras burger, by the cultural melting pot that is the USA. The blend of flavours and culinary diversity that comes together to create some truly unique food. The soft bagel, the sweet, warm, spiced burger and the mellow, mustardy undertones of the dressing complete the package and create something truly fantastic.
So to get us started youll need:
For the burger
600g lean steak mince
3 tablespoons maple syrup
large pinch cracked black pepper
1 tablespoon mild chili flakes
pinch fine sea salt
4 fresh white bagels
8 slices pastrami
8 slices good Swiss cheese
chopped salad leaves of your choice, sliced tomato and a splash of olive oil.
For the dressing
1 tablespoon sour cream
1 tablespoon good quality mayonnaise
1 teaspoon Worcester sauce
1 teaspoon English mustard
pinch white pepper.
- Combine the mince, chili flakes, maple syrup, salt and pepper in a bowl. With clean hands mix well until all seasoning and the maple syrup is evenly distributed.
- split into 4 evenly sized balls and pat down into discs around an inch thick.
- Cover and leave in the fridge for 10-20 minutes to firm up.
- preheat a griddle pan on a medium heat and add a little oil to each side of the burgers.
- Add the burgers to the griddle 2 at a time and cook for 7 minutes on each side. Preheat your grill on high.
- Grill the bagels on both sides until they start to brown.
- cut up 2 pieces of pastrami per burger, top with a few pieces of cheese and slide under the grill for a few minutes. then remove and rest for a few moments.
- Mix all of the dressing ingredients together and add it right the way around the base of the bagels, followed by the salad, the burger with the pastrami and now soft Swiss cheese, capped off with the top half of the bagel and press down a little to push it all together.
- Then enjoy it! it really is a show stopper!
that completes my trio of simple but effective burger recipes for you to try, I hope you enjoyed them! Keep your eyes peeled for new burger recipes and more on food gecko!