Greek style chicken tray bake

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If there’s one thing that is always welcome in the kitchen, it’s a one pan, no fuss recipe! Tray bakes come in handy when time is short and lend themselves to midweek meals so you can be sure to have something on the table with minimal washing up. This Greek style chicken tray bake makes the most of simple ingredients and uses a straightforward dressing so you really don’t have to put much thought into cooking so get chopping, set the timer and wait to dive in!

Ingredients- serves 4
8 chicken thighs- skin left on
4 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp honey
4 large potatoes- peeled and diced
1 large red and 1 large yellow pepper- diced
Handful of baby aubergines- diced
1 large red onion- diced
Handful of Kalamata olives
200g baby plum tomatoes
150g feta
2 tbsp dried oregano
Chilli flakes- to taste
1 lemon- sliced

1.Preheat the oven to 200c/ 180 fan whilst you make sure that all the ingredients are prepped and ready to go as this really is a speedy meal to assemble once you get going. Take the chicken portions and coat in the honey and 1 tbsp of the olive oil.

2. Place all the remaining ingredients other than the feta in a deep baking tray and toss together. Arrange the lemon slices over the top. Pop the coated chicken pieces on top and cook in the oven until the chicken is cooked through and the vegetables are tender to a knife point. You will know when the chicken is ready when it is golden skinned and the juices are running clear- it will depend on the size of the chicken thighs but around 30 minutes is usual. When the chicken is nearly ready, sprinkle over the feta and put back in the oven for a couple of minutes to soften and warm. Serve immediately with a salad if you like.

Greek style chicken tray bake- if you’re after a speedy but flavoursome dinner then this is for you!

 

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Blue cheese, pancetta and sprout pasta bakes

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The festive season may well and truly be over but that doesn’t mean that sprouts need to be forgotten about until December. They are still in season and can continue to be enjoyed (honestly, they are a wonderful vegetable!) and they lend themselves to a range of simple dishes so banish any thoughts of them being boiled beyond recognition and get in the kitchen. This recipe is also perfect for using up any leftover blue cheese from your cheeseboard that may have been relegated to the back of your fridge. I used blacksticks blue cheese but use whatever you fancy as the flavour of sprouts can stand up to a variety of cheeses.

Ingredients- serves 4
250g Brussel sprouts- cleaned and shredded
1 onion- finely chopped
100g cubed smoked pancetta
40g plain flour
40g unsalted butter
250ml double cream
250ml milk
1 tbsp Dijon mustard
150g blue cheese of your choice
70g parmesan- grated
Panko breadcrumbs
400g pasta of your choice

1. Preheat the oven to 200c/ 180 fan. Take a large frying pan and heat a small glug of oil. Gently fry the shredded sprouts and onion until they start to soften and then add the pancetta cubes so they have time to begin to turn golden. Remove from the heat whilst you make the cheese sauce. Cook your chosen pasta shapes as per the instructions and, when al dente, drain well.

2. In a suitable pan, melt the butter and flour together to form a roux. Slowly add in the milk and cream whilst you stir all the while to avoid any lumps from forming. Simmer until thickened and then add in the mustard and stir well to ensure it is combined. Take the sauce off the heat and add the blue cheese and majority of the parmesan, reserving some for the topping.

3. Tip the sprout mixture into the sauce and make sure it is evenly distributed throughout the sauce. Add in the drained pasta and place in one large ovenproof baking dish or four individual ones. Combine the remaining parmesan and breadcrumbs and top the pasta. Bake in the oven for approximately 30 minutes or until golden and bubbling. Serve by itself or with a simple side salad.

Blue cheese, pancetta and sprout bakes- sprouts are for life, not just for Christmas!

 

Kimchi jigae noodle stew

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Jigae may be something that is brand new in your culinary vocabulary or, indeed, you may be well versed with it; regardless it is certainly a meal that you need to become more familiar with as it is simple, fast and a definite winter warmer. Jigae, to all intents and purposes, is a Korean stew that uses kimchi as the base along with pork and/ or tofu typically. To make even heartier I have added some instant ramen noodles but feel free to leave this out if you prefer.

Ingredients- serves 2-3
3 slices of pork belly
1 tbsp rice wine
Pinch of white sugar
200g kimchi
200g firm tofu- patted dry and cut into bite sized pieces
Shiitake mushrooms- cleaned and sliced
500ml vegetable stock
1 tsp gochugaru
1 tbsp. gochujang
1 tbsp dark soy
Baby pak choi- shredded
Spring onions- sliced
1 tsp toasted sesame oil
200g instant ramen noodles

1.Start a little ahead of time in order to prepare the pork. Simple cut the pork belly into bite sized pieces and marinade in the rice wine; season well with pepper and set aside for half an hour.

2. When the pork’s time is up, choose a heavy based, large pan that will be big enough to fit everything in. Add a glug of unflavoured oil and heat to medium; add the pork belly bites and cook until turning golden and starting to caramelise.

3. Add the kimchi and tofu into the pan with the pork and carefully combine; continue to cook for a couple of minutes along with the mushrooms. Up next goes all the remaining ingredients other than the spring onion and pak choi. Bring the stock to a gentle simmer for 15 minutes; taste and adjust the seasoning to taste by adding more gochujang, soy and/ or sesame oil. For the last two minutes of cooking, sprinkle in the onion and pak choi and add the instant ramen noodles; it’s ready when the onion and pak choi is tender. Serve immediately.

Kimchi jigae noodle stew- a new dish to add to your repertoire and perfect after festive excess!