Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Chicken and Chickpea Casserole

Well,  this is another one I made up from thin air... and it was not too bad!!!  I really enjoyed it and it was exactly as I thought it would turn out.  Yay!!  I had to make this on the stove top in a heavy pan with a lid,  because my stoopid oven comes complete with a KILL SWITCH!!  So,  it keeps killing itself if I leave it on too long.  Que??  Yeah, my oven overheats.  Anywaaaay,  this would probably do quite well in a casserole dish after cooking on the stove top.

Ingredients:

  • 3 chicken breasts, cut into about 3 or 4 pieces (or about 700g or whatever cut you have)
  • 2-3 tabs Plain Flour
  • Failsafe oil (I'm using Rice Bran Oil these days)
  • 1 Leek, quartered and finely sliced
  • Garlic, crushed
  • 1 tab Vegie Stock Concentrate
  • 1 - 1.5 cup water
  • 1 can Chickpeas, rinsed
  • Pear chutney
  • About 1/2 cup cream cheese
  • 1 spring onion, finely diced
METHOD:
  • Coat chicken in flour
  • Stir spring onion into cream cheese and set aside
  • Fry chicken pieces and set aside
  • In a little oil,  cook leek and garlic until soft
  • Add Vegie Stock and water
  • Add Chickpeas and Chicken
  • Add Pear Chutney and stir
  • Place blobs of the Cream Cheese mixture on the top of the casserole, cover and allow to simmer while you cook some rice (at least 15 minutes)
  • If you're putting this in the oven, maybe simmer covered for a while and then add the cream cheese and brown it
  • Serve on white rice with some steamed green beans
Verdict:  Like I said,  I loved it and so did Mr frillypants.  Ms C ate it up (after she got over the disappointment of it not being 'Crispy Chicken' ) but Ms D doesn't like Pear Ketchup,  so next time I would serve hers a little 'dryer'.  Overall,  this went down a treat!!

Monday, February 7, 2011

Baked Lamb with Leek and Potatoes

I was about to scribble some instructions on the back of an old envelope for Mr frillypants who is on dinner duty tonight and then realised it'd be better to just put it here.  Here's a deliciously tasty meal (was that a tautology?) that's sure to please everyone.  My mum used to do this with cheap lamb chops and onions when I was little, so it's a bit of a comfort food I suppose.  Essentially, it's a stack of food,  chucked in the oven.  Very easy.  Much like a roast...  the blend of flavours at the end is gorgeous. 

I happen to have some lamb chops in the freezer from my last trip to the Oakleigh Market, but looking at the frozen lump now, I can't decide what cut they are.  Leg? Forequarter? Chump?  I suppose any of these would do.  Something with a little bit of fat... and not too fiddly or wasteful.  Ms D won't touch something if she believes it might have fat attached to it.

Ingredients:
  • 3 Lamb chops
  • 1-2 leeks, thickly sliced
  • 4-5 potatoes, peeled and thickly sliced (about 3-5mm)
  • garlic whole cloves
  • Failsafe oil
  • Salt
Method:
  • Heat oven to 180deg
  • In a roasting pan, put a little oil in bottom, lay out potatoes, then leek, then chops on top.
  • Put in garlic cloves, still in their skins, just around in the pan
  • Bake for about 45-60 minutes and check - continue until meat is cooked and potatoes are tender (remove meat to rest if potatoes need more time.)
  • (If you're short on time, you could microwave potato slices first and then put them into the roasting pan,  but I think you'd miss out on some great flavours)
  • Serve with steamed veg:  green beans, sliced carrot*, peas**.  You could even roast some parsnip in the pan since you're already baking.  Maybe heat up some Butter Beans with a little butter and garlic as a side as well.
*Contains Moderate Salicylates
**Contains Glutamates

Verdict:  Well,  like I said, the mix of flavours with this is lovely.  I have to restrain myself...  I want more, more, more of it.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Beef Salad (or Chicken? Or Lamb?)

Beef Salad:  tonight was a raw green salad with chick peas.


This was a creation one hot evening when we had my mum coming for dinner and a house-guest.  I had no meat except some left over yearling rump steak.  I wasn't enough if I had just put pieces of meat on plates,  but I decided to stretch it by putting it into a salad. 

INGREDIENTS:
  • Steak, finely sliced approx 2-3cm long strips
  • Butternut pumpkin, peeled, diced 2cm
  • Parsnip, peeled, very finely sliced
  • 1/2 Leek,  sliced
  • 1/2 head Iceburg Lettuce, torn/shredded to small pieces
  • 1-2 small Cucumber, peeled, cut into small chunks
  • 1-2 sticks celery, finely sliced
  • 1-2 Carrot, peeled cut into small chunks
  • handful of snow peas, sliced diagonally
  • 100g Raw cashews, chopped
  • Salad dressing
METHOD:
  • Heat oven to 180deg
  • Coat pumpkin and parsnip in a little oil and salt.  Roast until pumpkin is cooked and caramalised and parsnip is crispy
  • Set aside to cool.
  • Combine all other ingredients in a large salad bowl and toss through with salad dressing to taste
Verdict:
I served this with diced boiled potatoes, coated with a sour cream, spring onion mix.  This was to bulk it up a bit and make it a little more filling.  Everyone LOVED it.  It even elicited noises of pleasure!!!!  Can't ask for more than that.

Salad dressing

We've done mayo...  how about a 'garden salad'?

This is a basic recipe that I was able to just keep topping up.

INGREDIENTS:
  • 1/4 cup Rice Bran Oil
  • 2 tabs Malt Vinegar*
  • 1-2 cloves of crushed garlic (I sauteed and cooled mine)
  • 1 spring onion, finely chopped
METHOD:
  • Combine ingredients in air/water tight container and shake to combine.
  • Store in fridge
  • Top up oil/malt vinegar as required, if you have enough garlic and spring onion left over

*Moderate in Amines

    Wraps.

    I buy my wraps at the supermarket.  I believe it's called Mountain Bread and they make it with rice, wheat or rye.  It's a very basic recipe, with no additives.   I find it great to mix them up from time to time,  depending on what's in the fridge.  Mayo or coleslaw goes well with chicken, natural yogurt or sour cream mixed with garlic and shallots go well with lamb.  Make your own combos...  and please tell me about them!!! 

    Now, let me just mentally rummage through the fridge and see what's available for wraps.


    INGREDIENTS:  (Just some ideas)
    • Wraps,  enough for the family... obviously
    • Iceburg lettuce, shredded
    • Cucumber*, peeled and finely sliced
    • Carrot*, peeled and grated
    • Mung bean Sprouts
    • Coleslaw
    • Leeks, finely sliced and sauteed
    • Shallots
    • Cream Cheese
    • Sauces:
    • Pear ketchup
    • Mayonaise
    • Sour Cream with garlic, shallots
    • Natural Yogurt
    • Meats:
    • Left over crunchy chicken, sliced
    • left over steak, finely sliced
    • left over roast lamb, beef, chicken
    Put everything into bowls onto the table.  Do you have a lazy susan?  Even better!!!   Now,  everyone can help themselves to create the wraps they want.  It's very conducive to family conversation as well.

    Verdict:
    Anytime I put bowls of make-it-yourself food on the table,  it's a hit.  Sometimes they eat from all food groups,  sometimes they make a cream cheese roll.  It all evens out over a week I find.

    *  Moderate in Salicylates when peeled.