Tag Archives: potatoes

One pan roasted chicken and potatoes

Thursday’s radio spot saw me veer away from the sweets (quelle horror!) to show a steady course to one of my go-to one pan roasts. The big tip here is to have a rare moment of organisation when you buy your chicken pieces. Throw them in a snap-lock bag with the marinade before poping them in the freezer. It means on the night you’re going to have it all you need do is defrost the chicken, toss with the potatoes and roast. As my friend Beth says, BANG.

dinner winner

 

One pot wonder

  • 1kg chicken pieces (drumsticks, wings, pieces that are on the bone)
  • one lemon, cut into chunks
  • few lugs olive oil
  • a handful mix of fresh herbs (eg tarragon, sage, parsley, thyme)
  • 4 garlic cloves, slightly crushed but skins still on
  • one onion, cut into chunks
  • heaped dessert spoon of dijon mustard
  • good pinch of salt and a healthy grind of pepper
  • 6 potatoes, cut into wedges
  1. Combine the chicken with the marinade in a bowl or large snap-lock back and combine thoroughly
  2. Marinate for a long as you’ve got – ideally a couple of hours at least
  3. Preheat your oven to 180C
  4. Tip the chicken pieces and potatoes into a baking dish and toss together, add a few more lugs of olive oil if everything’s not getting nicely coated with the marinade. You could probably sprinkle over some more salt and pepper here as well.
  5. Bake for about an hour or until everything is nice and golden with some crispy bits and charred bits and basically a pan of ridiculous goodness.

Onward!


Old Fashioned Lamb Chop Casserole

So my mum used to cook. Then she got divorced, had to go back to work and basically raise two kids on her own so she stopped. It all happened around the time I discovered that I liked to cook, which was fortuitous. Even so, my mum doesn’t eat much – like pasta, tomatoes, chilli, anything with spices and so on and so forth.

That said, she makes a vegetable barley soup and a chop casserole I can never match.

But with a recent pocket of cooler weather I desperately needed a casserole, so attempt it I did. And lo, it came to pass that it was delicious.

Now the amounts below are, I confess, a bit of a guess. Casseroles are a moveable feast as far as I’m concerned, sometimes featuring a tin of tomatoes, sometimes some beer of some sort, sometimes mushrooms, you get the picture. So use the following as a lose guide rather than some ‘to be followed to the letter’. I’m just saying is all.

Lamb chop casserole

  • 6 – 8 lamb loin chops
  • a piled heap of plain flour
  • olive oil
  • 1 onion, finely diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, sliced
  • 2 heaped tblsp tomato paste
  • glass of red (or white) wine
  • 1.5 litres of water or stock
  • 4 potatoes (depending on size) halved or quartered depending on size
  • 2 carrots, cut into chunks or thick fingers
  • handful or two of fresh herbs of choice, chopped
  1. Preheat the oven to 180C
  2. Season the plain flour with sea salt and freshly cracked pepper
  3. Heat the oil in a large frypan
  4. Dust the chops in the flour and sear in the frypan until you get good colour on them. Do this is batches and place the browned chops in a deep casserole dish as you go, throwing in some of the potatoes and carrots as you go
  5. Once all the chops are done, add a splash more oil and brown off the onion and garlic
  6. Pour the wine into the frypan and let it come to a rapid boil as you scrape all the bits off the bottom of the pan into the winey oniony garlicky juices
  7. Scatter over a good heaped tablespoon or two of the flour that you were using to coat the chops and cook off for a minute or two
  8. Then add the stock in batches, stirring madly as you do so it doesn’t go lumpy. Never fear if it does, I’ve been known to take the whole lumpy mess and dump it into a jug and then blitz with the stick blender, then pour back into the pan as if nothing ever happened.
  9. Somewhere in here add the tomato paste – sometimes I add it to the onions to cook it off a bit, sometimes I forget completely and just stir it in once I’ve got the gravy well underway
  10. Add the herbs and cook for a little while – the trick here is that you don’t want it too thick nor too runny. But you know what? So long as it tastes good, it doesn’t really matter.
  11. So, put the lid on, bang the whole thing in the oven and leave it there for at least two hours. The other day the one pictured above had almost four and the meat was just dissolving, which I find absolutely divine. In this instance I’d made a cartouche (sp?) of a piece of baking paper I had wet and scrunched up and then placed over the top of the casserole before putting the lid on. No idea if it made a difference but I felt fancy pants doing so.
  12. Serve with peas.
  13. This makes enough to feed an army.

Ode to Nigella 14 – heaven and earth mash

Seriously, I think the name of this dish is even OTT for Nigella. The nutmeg was also a really good idea and lifted the dish to a new level. With the zest I just put bit shaved bits of zest in and pulled them out when I was mashing the rest, the recipe was a bit unclear if that was right or if it was meant to be finely grated. I didn’t have time to dwell on it. In fact, I’d probably add another apple. The amount of butter and cream is just ridiculous and yes, it did taste lovely, but I’m not one for saturated fat just for the sake of saturated fat. Would I make this again? Most definitely. But I would at least halve the amount of butter and cream. At least.

Heaven and earth mash

  • 2.5kg floury potatoes
  • 3 eating apples (Nigella used Pink Ladies, I used Granny Smiths)
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • 150g butter
  • 175ml double cream
  • 1tsp freshly grated nutmeg
  1. Peel and halve (or quarter if they’re really large) potatoes and cook in salted boiling water for 30 minutes.
  2. Add the peeled, cored and quartered apples and lemon ride and cook for another 20 minutes or until soft.
  3. Drain and put through a ricer or mash back into the hot pan in which you have let the butter melt with the cream while you are draining the apples and potatoes.
  4. Add the nutmeg and season with some salt
  5. Beat everything together and serve.

In the recipe Nigella talks about the two critical components to good mash – one is to puree them and the second is to aerate them. So, even though it’s all been mashed, you have to give it a good beating with a wooden spoon before serving.

She talks about how never ever make mash in a processor as it does something to the potato starch that means you end up with glue. I went through a phase of making mash in the processor because I liked that claggy glue silken smooth mash that you got, so there you go. Take from that what you will.

This serves 10 – and I’d believe it.


Nigella Lawson feast from Feast: sage and onion chicken and sausages, chocohotpots, peas and lettuce, potato gratin

Monday night saw me make the most kick-arse dinner for some months. It was all from Nigella Lawson’s Feast cookbook, something I am somewhat obsessed with, so bear with me…

This is what it all looked like come dinner time:
Sage and onion roasted chicken and sausages

Nigella Lawson, Feast
I saw her make this and was intrigued. Intrigued enough to cook it, and MY GOODNESS was it seriously delicious.

  • 2kg chicken, cut into 10 pieces (or 10 drumsticks or thigh pieces or whatever you choose)
  • 12 chipolata sausages (she suggests anything from a traditional English sausage, to Italian or Chorizo)
  • 1 large onion, cut into eighths
  • 1 lemon, juiced and rind cut into eighths
  • 125ml olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon dried sage leaves
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 teaspoons English mustard
  • cracked pepper
  1. Put all the marinade ingredients in a large snap-lock bag (this is a great Nigella tip as it cuts down on washing up and lets your really mush the marinade into the meat)
  2. add the chicken and really mush the marinade and chicken together. Depending on when you do this, either refrigerate or leave at room temperature (I made it on a cold wet day and left it at room temperature for about an hour and a half)
  3. preheat oven to 220C
  4. pour the whole lot into a baking dish and tuck the sausages in around the chicken pieces
  5. sprinkle over the fresh sage
  6. bake for 1hr 15mins, turning everything occasionally so it all browns evenly.

Potato gratin

Nigella Lawson, Feast

I had been craving this for weeks and this seemed like the perfect occasion to satisfy it. The recipe was essentially the same as the potato dauphinois that I’ve been making for years, but it features this fancy thing with an onion. Mind you, on eating, it tasted no different, so I leave the decision on the value of the extra effort to you…

  • 2kg potatoes
  • 500ml milk
  • 500ml double cream
  • 1 onion, peeled and cut in half
  • 2 cloves, one stuck into each half of the onion
  • 1 tsp nutmeg
  • 3-4 bay leaves (although it was too wet for me to bother going out to the garden to get these)
  • good pinch of sea salt (Nigella says 1 tablespoon, I say woo down nelly on the salt)
  1. Preheat oven to 220C
  2. Bring the milk and cream to the boil with the onion, nutmeg and bay leaves, turn off the heat, put a lid on and let the onion infuse the milk.
  3. Peel the potatoes and slice 1cm thick – I use a mandolin for this as it turns a painful, time consuming job into something relatively painless.
  4. Put the potatoes into the milk mixture and bring it back to the boil.
  5. Reduce to a simmer and cook until the potatoes are soft but not falling apart.
  6. Grease a large baking dish (about 30x37cm) and as you transfer the potatoes remove the onion and cloves and the bay leaves.
  7. Pour over the milk mixture and then bake for about 15 minutes or until its all golden and bubbling.
  8. Seriously one of my most favourite dishes of all time.

 

Peas with lettuce

Nigella Lawson, Feast

I have never ever been one for the cooked lettuce concept, but this, this has changed my world.

  • 2 spring onions, finely sliced
  • 45g butter
  • 1 baby cos lettuce, finely shredded
  • 250g frozen baby peas
  • 125ml chicken stock
  1. Cook the onion in the butter until soft, then add the lettuce and cook until it has wilted.
  2. Add the peas and stock and cook over a robust simmer until the stock has reduced slightly and everything is tender.

(Nigella – on the episode she cooks this on – says to cook for 20 minutes or so but I think 10 is ample)

For dessert I did my Chocolate Sludge, but it was weird and didn’t go sludgy at all. I think it’s because it was cooked and we didn’t eat it for a while, so the sauce component sort of got absorbed into the cakey top.

As there was enough of everything to feed the whole family again on Tuesday night, I made a new dessert – Nigella’s Chocohotopots.

 

Chocohotopots (makes 4)
Nigella Lawson, Feast

  • 125g butter
  • 125g dark chocolate
  • 2 eggs
  • 150g caster sugar
  • 3 tablespoons plain flour
  1. Pre-heat the oven to 200C and grease 4 small ramekins (I used 1 cup size and you fill them about half way)
  2. melt the butter and chocolate together and let cool slightly
  3. in a bowl beat the eggs with the sugar, then fold in the flour
  4. pour in the melted choc butter mix and fold together
  5. spoon the gooey mixture into the ramekins
  6. cook for 20 minutes – the tops go all cracked and lovely and inside is just this gooey goodness.

I mean how easy is that? And can I just say, they are a.m.a.z.i.n.g. – and that’s from someone who really doesn’t do chocolate.

(Note: the recipe in the book adds 100g white choc chips, which you fold through at the end, but this just sent them over the edge. Chef and I agreed they would be divine with some raspberries folded through them.)

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