Posts Tagged With: Elegant

Chicken & Chorizo Stew – A Cold Nose Dish

Project4_Page000Yes, it’s that time of year again where the nights are getting darker, the bikini’s are firmly locked away in their summer drawer and we are all freezing are bottoms off when we open our front doors to head to work in the mornings.

It’s stew time!!! And I have the perfect one for those that want warmed-up cold noses and one-pot-wonders. I present to you, Chicken & Chorizo Stew!

This dish is good. And why wouldn’t it be? You’re pairing chicken with a fiery Spanish pig sausage for God’s sake! Definitely, a greater love story than Twilight… Match made.

Chorizo packs a great deal of flavour and it works really well with the delicate chicken. This stew has a slightly smoky, spicy flavour and the chicken ends up falling off the bone; moist and succulent!

It’s also super for winter dinner parties. I made this last year (yes; last year. Worst. Blogger. EVER) and it was for a dinner party with some friends. The dish was delicious and convenient because once you have done the prep and done the simple steps outlined below, there really is little else for you to prepare but maybe a green salad and opening a few bottles of red wine.

So warm up those noses, sit back and enjoy!

Difficulty: Easy

Prep and cooking time: 95 minutes

Price:  €16

Music I listened to: 

Instead of listening to music, I watched a few episodes of “Friends”. Ah, it never gets old.

Wine I drank: Pinot Noir

Serves: 4

Ingredients:

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  • 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 150g chorizo, cut into ½ cm slices
  • 850g-1kg chicken pieces
  • 1 large onion, peeled and sliced
  • 3 cloves of garlic, peeled and sliced
  • 1 stick of celery, trimmed and diced
  • 200ml of white wine
  • 1 can of chopped tomatoes
  • 1 yellow pepper, deseeded and cut into 3cm pieces
  • 2 tsp paprika
  • 4 potatoes, peeled and quartered
  • Sea salt  and black pepper

 

Method

Preheat the oven to 170˚C/330°F.

Heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil in a large ovenproof casserole dish over a medium heat. Gently fry the chorizo until it starts to brown and the oil has turned all lovely and red. Remove the chorizo from the casserole dish to a clean plate.

Turn the heat up to medium-high and add half of the chicken pieces. Brown them on all sides for about 3-4 minutes and then remove them to the plate with the chorizo. Brown the other half of the chicken in the same way and remove to the plate as well.

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Add the rest of the olive oil to the pan and then the onion, garlic and celery. Fry until soft. Add the wine to the pan and let it boil for a few minutes,

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Now add the tomatoes, chicken and chorizo.

While the casserole is coming to the boil, add the pepper pieces, paprika and the potatoes to the casserole and cover with a lid. Let it simmer for 5 minutes and then transfer to the oven for an hour.

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Remove the lid for the last 15 minutes to let the top brown.

Serve with a lovely green salad and a spicy Rioja Reserva to wet the pallet!

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Categories: Chicken, Main Course Dishes | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The “Holy Cow” Rainbow Cake- A True Picture Baking Story

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So I mentioned in my previous post that my friend and I were going to make a rainbow cake for her daughter ‘Amelie’ who also goes under the status name of ‘My Goddaughter’. It was her first birthday and so, it needed to be especially epic.

And what can I say? Well we came, we baked, we pellet-gunned those bad boy Gummi Bears to the icing and we blew the socks off the party. There were “ooooooooooh”s and “woooooooooah”s and even the occasional “holy cow”* was featured.

*(The word “cow” may have actually been replaced with a swear word of the excrement variety)…

It is because of this that this post shall be a picture one, with few words. The awesomeness of our achievement speaks for itself.

We barely followed a recipe (coz we’re crazy and that’s just how we roll) and the link to such recipe is at the bottom of the page.

The colours are immense. Sunglasses please.

 

Suzy vs. Batter; A Test of Whips…

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Adding the colourants to the batter; First batch to bake!

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First set of sponges that I shall name “Spongii”…

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Next batch of batter to face the colourants and oven for a Spongii Round 2;

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Whipping and colouring the icing layers;

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Icing done and spread between the layers? Ok, now it’s time to stack; Lets do this…

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Look at those layers; those beautiful layers!!!

 

Icing on the cake? Get your pellet-gun (or fingers) and you go add those Gummi’s and candles;

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Now, cut into it. Be prepared. Be proud. Yes, you are now SUPER cool;

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http://www.woodlandbakeryblog.com/how-to-make-a-rainbow-cake/

Categories: Desserts | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Avocado & Cucumber Mousse with Cherry Tomato & White Truffle Oil Salsa

I never really understood why some people dislike avocados. Yes, yes I know; each to their own. But to me, they are just so damn delicious. They are creamy and nutty in flavour, so versatile and scrum-diddly-umptious in sandwiches, dips, salads etc, etc.

I’m not going to bore you with the nutritional facts of avocados because there are just so many positives and reasons to prove how unbelievably good they are for you. Yes, I can hear some people say ‘but they are so high in fat’?! Alright, they may contain 25% fat but this, my calorie conscious friends, is indeed the right fat. Ever heard of monounsaturated fat? Did you know this fat is good for you? Yep, it is! It basically reduces the bad (LDL) cholesterol and boosts the good (HDL) cholesterol. This fat is just so ‘fat-astic’!!!

(Ok, I’m sorry. I’m even face-palming myself right now for subjecting you to that pun. I’m sorry. Please forgive me).

So, here we have a recipe for Avocado & Cucumber Mousse with Cherry Tomato and White Truffle Oil Salsa. This is loosely based on a Mary Berry dish. Her example was more of a guideline really. I have changed the quantities, added different ingredients and of course, decided to add the divine white truffle oil to the salsa.

This starter is lovely, pretty and also a classy dish that is perfect for dinner parties! It’s made ahead so you don’t have to worry about preparing anything later but the salsa. It’s subtle in flavour but the truffle oil really accentuates the creamy, nutty taste of the avocado, the freshness of the cucumber and the sweetness of the cherry tomato salsa. Yummy!

So don’t delay! Get your ingredients ready and guac ‘n’ roll!!!

(Jeez, I’m really sorry again. I have a pun problem. I’m receiving treatment for it).

Difficulty: Easy – Medium

Prep and cooking time:

Mousse: Once cucumber has been drained with salt, prep/cooking is about 30 minutes then leave to set for at least 6 hours.

Salsa: 5 minutes

Price:  €10

Music I listened to: 

‘Supermassive Black Hole’, Muse

‘All My Days’, Alexi Murdoch

‘Brand New Day’, Joshua Radin

‘Mr. Brightside’, The Killers

‘Let Go’, Frou Frou

Wine I drank: Chenin Blanc

Serves: 4

Ingredients:

The Mousse

  • ½ cucumber
  • Packet of gelatin
  • 1 ripe avocado, stoned, peeled and roughly chopped (remove any dark bits)
  • 100g/3.5 oz low-fat cream cheese
  • 100g/3.5oz low-fat fromage frais or sour cream
  • 3 tbsp of good light mayonnaise
  • Juice of ½ lemon
  • 75ml warm chicken stock (or vegetable stock if vegetarian)
  • 2 tbsp chopped dill
  • Salt

The Salsa

  • 1 ripe avocado, stoned, peeled and roughly chopped (remove any dark bits)
  • Juice of ½ lemon
  • 1/2 clove garlic, finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tsp white truffle oil
  • 280g/10oz organic cherry tomatoes, deseeded and thinly sliced
  • 2 tbsp chopped dill

Method

Grease the sides of 4 ramekins with a little oil. Peel the cucumber and cut it in half lengthways. Remove the seeds with a teaspoon and chop up into very small dice. Put the cucumber in a sieve over a boil and sprinkle with a teaspoon of salt. The salt will dehydrate the cucumber to remove some of the liquid. Leave for about an 1 hour.

Follow the instructions on the box for your packet of gelatine. It should be about 11g-15g per packet and you only need 1. If for some reason you don’t have any instructions, the normal way of preparing the gelatine is to put it into a bowl and sprinkle about 3 tablespoons of cold water on it. Leave to sponge for about 10 minutes. Once sponged, stand the bowl in a pan containing a little boiling water to dissolve the gelatine.

Now, put the avocado, cream cheese, fromage frais, mayonnaise and lemon into a bowl and blend with a handheld blender or put into a food processor and blend until smooth. Pour the gelatine into the warm stock and mix together. Pour into the bowl and blend again until mixed thoroughly. Stir in the diced cucumber with the dill and then season with some salt as desired.

Pour the mixture into the ramekins, cover with cling film and chill in the fridge for at least 6 hours or overnight until firm.

So, it’s about an 1 hour before you want to serve your smart, little starter. Make your salsa! Mix all the salsa ingredients into a bowl and lightly season (if necessary). Cover and ignore this colourful goodness for an hour in order to let the flavours infuse.

Hour is up and it’s starter time! Run a thin knife around the ramekins, then tip the mousse onto a plate and shake to release from the ramekins.

Serve with the salsa.

Classy!

Categories: Starter Dishes, Vegetarian | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

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