Sunday, 3 December 2017

Chicken with a Dijon mustard sauce

We left the teenagers home alone last night. It’s something we are doing a little more often, not for long just yet, 2 nights at the most. So far we have been spared of unauthorised house parties, and any major mess and damage on return. Let's hope I'm not talking too soon. The temptation when away is to eat out,  but we had been out for a lovely meal the night before and didn’t really want to eat out two nights in a row. My intentions of losing weight by Christmas are becoming more unlikely by the day. A trip to the local Co op and a recipe in mind produced this really tasty, simple recipe. It’s a variation on a meal on the Delicious website. I didn’t really measure the ingredients, so the volume of stock on my recipe is a guess but you would be able to work out the volume of sauce you need by looking.  I cooked some new potaotes on the hob, finishing them off in the oven alongside the chicken just to give them a golden crunchiness. The meal was delicious and it’s one I’ll be cooking again soon. 
Hopefully over the festive period I'll get a chance to try some new recipes. I feel this year has been my weakest on my blog, with recipes few and far between. My sister in law and I have just bought ourselves Nigel Slater's 'Christmas Chronicles' as an early Christmas present to each other. Hopefully it will provide some inspiration for meals over the coming month, if nothing else he is a great writer. I do enjoy this time of year in the kitchen. It's a chance to be a bit more extravagant than usual, create a lovely Christmassy home and welcome friends and family to share the good food and wine.







Ingredients 
Serves 4
1 tbsp olive oil for frying
4 chicken breasts
2 tablespoons of flour with seasoning 
A punnet of mushrooms, sliced 
1 onion sliced 
1 clove garlic' chopped 
A glug of white wine
300ml of stock
1 tablespoon of Dijon mustard 
A dollop of double cream 
Salt and black pepper


Method 
Heat the oven to 180c. 
Hear the oil in a frying pan, whilst coating the chicken breasts in the seasoned flour.
Fry the chicken breasts until nicely browned. 
Add the onion and cook until golden. Add the mushrooms and garlic and fry until cooked through. 
Pour in the wine and let it sizzle away.
Mix together the stock,  mustard and cream and pour into the pan mixing everything together. 
Transfer the mixture to an ovenproof roasting dish and cook in the oven until the chicken is cooked through for approximately 25 mins. 
The sauce should be bubbling away with a lovely rich dark colour 

Wednesday, 8 November 2017

Chicken Saag


It's got to the point where I need to watch the calories for a while and lose some weight before Christmas. Since I've reached the age of fifty I certainly know what the saying middle age spread means. Talking to friends at the weekend I have been recommended to try and cut out carbs including potatoes, rice, pasta and bread. So I thought I'd give this ago where I can. Of course giving up wine could be beneficial too, but let's start with the easier options. While in Aldi last night I saw a frozen, slimming  chicken Saag meal and nearly put it in my trolley as I was feeling too lazy to cook. Then I remembered I don't like ready meals and given that it was of the slimming variety would probably like it even less. So I looked at the ingredients and bought them instead. There are plenty of recipes for chicken saag on the internet, I chose the slimming world one as I had most of the ingredients and it seemed quick and simple. I didn't have any fresh tomatoes, so I used a tin of tomatoes which I found made it less like a curry, chopped fresh tomatoes would have been a lot nicer. I also added some fresh lemon juice. Even without rice I found it really filling and satisfying.  I had the leftovers for lunch today. Its a recipe Ill do more often, especially if it helps with weight loss.


Ingredients
Serves 4
low calorie cooking spray (I used olive oil)
2 medium onions, finely chopped
200g closed-cup mushrooms, sliced
6cm piece of root ginger, peeled and finely chopped
3 large garlic cloves, finely chopped
2 tbsp medium curry powder
3 tbsp tomato puree
1 chicken stock cube
700g skinless and boneless chicken breasts, cut into bite-sized chunks
1 ripe tomato, roughly chopped
100g baby leaf spinach, roughly chopped
large handful of roughly chopped fresh coriander
4tbsp fat free natural Greek yogurt
salt and freshly ground black pepper

Method
Spray a large, deep non-stick frying pan with low calorie cooking spray and place over a medium heat.
Add the onions and fry for 5 minutes, adding a little water if they start to stick.
Add the mushrooms, ginger and garlic and cook for a further 5 minutes.
Stir in the curry powder, tomato puree, stock cube and 300ml of water and cook for 2 minutes.
Add the chicken and simmer for 10 minutes.
Add the tomato, spinach and coriander and cook for a further 5 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through.
Take the pan off the heat, stir the yogurt into the curry and season to taste. Serve hot with rice and your favourite vegetables.

Wednesday, 11 October 2017

Flourless Coconut and Lime Cake


I purchased a cookery book called "Tanya Bakes', by Tanya Burr in the charity shop the other day for a £1. A cookbook for a pound is a pound well spent. This recipe jumped out at me straight away as I was having friends around for lunch and one of my friends is gluten free. I could see when I put the mixture in the tin that isn't wasn't going to be a deep cake and once out the oven I was quite disappointed with the look of it. It hadn't risen much at all and looked decidedly flat to me. So instead of the icing the recipe recommended I thought I'd make it look larger and more impressive with lime butter cream. I wasn't really expecting much from the cake given the look of it but was really pleasantly surprised when I tasted it . Infact it was a really lovely cake and I made it again for my sisters birthday the following day . She said it was a close second behind the sticky ginger cake. 

Ingredients
Serves 8-10
150g unsalted butter, softened, plus extra for greasing
150g golden caster sugar
4 eggs
150g ground almonds
100g desiccated coconut
Zest and juice of 1 lime

For the topping
200g icing sugar
Zest and juice of 1 lime
A sprinkling of coconut flakes

Method
Heat the oven to 180ºC . Grease and line a 21cm round, deep, loose-bottomed cake tin with greaseproof paper.

Cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, ground almonds, desiccated coconut and the lime juice and zest.

Pour into the cake tin and bake for 35-40 minutes, until cooked through. Cool in the tin, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.




Cheese and Rosemary sablés



I made these delicious little canapés for a family get together a couple of weeks ago. They can be made in advance and stored in an airtight container, but I can assure you they won't need to be stored for very long. They are very buttery and light with a 
wonderful cheesy flavour. I served mine cold but if you could serve them warm they 
would be even more delicious. I didn't bother with the walnut coating . 
They would be a great served with wine at a Christmas party, I have a feeling I'll be making many more of them in the next couple of months. I found the recipe on the Delicious Magazine website. 

Ingredients 
175g plain flour, plus extra to dust
½ level tsp salt
½ tsp cayenne pepper
½ tsp English mustard powder
150g unsalted butter, chilled, cut into small pieces
75g mature cheddar, finely grated
75g parmesan, finely grated
1 medium free-range egg, beaten
75g walnut pieces, finely chopped
1 tbsp finely chopped fresh rosemary leaves
Sea salt flakes for sprinkling

Method
Put the flour, salt, cayenne pepper, mustard powder and butter into a food processor and mix together until it resembles fine breadcrumbs. Add the grated cheeses and 1 tsp cold water, then blend briefly using the pulse button until the mixture comes together into a ball.
Tip the ball of dough onto a lightly floured surface, divide in half and, with lightly floured hands, shape it into two 3cm thick logs. Wrap them first in squares of baking paper, then cling film and chill in the fridge for 3-4 hours until very firm.
Preheat the oven to 180°C. Unwrap the logs, brush with the beaten egg, then roll in the chopped walnuts, pressing them on firmly by hand. Cut the logs into 4-5mm slices and place the biscuits about 3cm apart on baking trays lined with baking paper.
Brush the tops of the biscuits very lightly with the beaten egg, then sprinkle some with the chopped rosemary and some with sea salt flakes. Bake for 11-12 minutes until richly golden brown. Remove and leave to cool on the baking trays, then store in an airtight tin.

Thursday, 14 September 2017

Pizza Fiorentina


I apologise if you are still following Good food and red shoes and thinking when the heck is this woman going to add a new recipe. I kind of lost my mojo in the summer with the blog. That's not to say I haven't been cooking, it's still a big part of my life, but I haven't been trying many new recipes. 
I turned 50 this July, so I catered quite a lot for friends and family over the summer using some of my favourite recipes. On one occasion I catered for 23 family members, and it seemed relatively stress free. I'll share my recipes and photos soon.  My son did pass all of his GCSE's with good grades despite driving us mad with very little work. So both kids are in sixth form now. My daughter is approaching 18 and my husband 50 so I'm sensing a lot of entertaining and cooking in the next month or so. 


I loved this pizza the other night, it's from a book called Quick Cook, one pot. I really like using tortilla, I like the lightness of the pizza base, it feels healthier, I don't know if it is. The egg was a nice touch, I think I might of liked it as much without,  but it made it more interesting. 

Ingredients
Serves 4 
125 g of baby spinach leaves
4 large tortillas (I use 8 as put 2 together)
Tomato purée
125 g of mozzarella cheese sliced

4  eggs
25 g of Parmesan cheese (I used cheddar too)

Method
Place the spinach in a sieve  and pour over boiling water from the kettle until wilted, then squeeze thoroughly to remove excess water.
Arrange the tortillas on 4 pizza bases.  Spoon on the tomato purée then scatter over the spinach. Arrange the mozzarella on top, then crack and egg in the centre of each tortilla.
Sprinkle the Parmesan over the pizzas and place in a preheated oven 220° C for 5 to 7 minutes until the egg whites are just set. 

Monday, 24 July 2017

Asparagus and Gruyere tarte


If you want to make something that is so incredibly easy but very impressive at the same time this is the dish for you. 
It's a recipe given to me from my sister in law, and every time I have made it, it has been a huge success. 

Ingredients
Serves 4
1 pack of ready rolled puff pastry
A pack of asparagus
2 tablespoons of Dijon mustard
A block of gruyere cheese

Method 
Unroll the ready rolled puff pastry onto a large baking tray keeping it on the greaseproof paper that it is wrapped in . Score a line around the edge of the pastry about half an inch in, and prick the inside of the pastry with a fork to stop the pastry rising too much. Spread the Dijon mustard onto the pastry. Grate on the cheese to your liking. Lightly steam the asparagus then lay on top of the cheese. Grate a little more cheese over the Asparagus. Put the tarte in a hot oven for about 20 minutes unitil the pastry is golden and the cheese is bubbling. It can be eaten hot or cold.