Quick Healthy Lunch

Serves 1 Time from start till finish: 5 minutes

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I was hungry and didn’t have any bread for a sandwich.
So, a rummaged in my fridge and freezer
and this was the result of my finds.

Ingredients:
½ Onion, chopped finely
1 Tomato, chopped not too finely
100g lardons
100g leftover chicken, cut into cubes
100g frozen mixed vegetables.
1 tsp olive oil
15-30g butter
Salt, pepper and whatever other herbs you want or none.

Method:

  1. Heat the butter and the oil in wok (or frying pan).
  2. Add the onions and lardons, and fry until the onions are translucent.
  3. Then add the frozen vegetables, stir, cover and leave for 1-2 minutes.
  4. While the vegetables thaw and cook, chop the tomato and chicken meat.
  5. Then add this to the wok, stir and add your herbs.
  6. Cover and let simmer for 2-3 minutes.
  7. Serve and enjoy.
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Easy Fried/Stir-Fried Potatoes

This is a quick way to make fried potatoes from scratch, if you are in a hurry and don’t want to wait for your potatoes to be cooked.
This is a two-in-one recipe for fried potatoes.
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2-5 potatoes
1tsp olive oil
25-50g butter (depending on how many potatoes are used)
Salt & Pepper to taste

Pan-Fry: Slice the potatoes into thin slices using a mandolin

Stir-Fry: Cut the potatoes into cubes using a mandolin.

  • While slicing/cutting bring a saucepan of water and a little salt to boil.
  • Add the sliced/cut potatoes to the boiling water and cook for about 2-3 minutes, drain and dry with a kitchen towel.

Pan-Fry:

  1. Heat oil and butter in a frying pan
  2. Add the potatoes and fry. Turn occasionally until potatoes are browned and slightly crunchy.
  3. If wanted you can also add some sliced onions to the frying pan.
  4. Serve as a Side-dish to your dinner or lunch, sprinkled with parsley and/or chives.

Stir-Fry:

  1. Heat oil and butter in a wok.
  2. Add the potatoes to the wok. Stir occasionally.
  3. Add whatever else is needed for the stir-fry.
  4. And serve.

Courgette and Pecorino Fritters.

Serves 3-4       preparation time 15 minutes       baking time 20-22 minutes
Turn your bumper courgette crop into satisfying snacks, delicious hot and/or cold.

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Courgette and Pecorino Fritters (3)

  • 250g courgette; shredded
  • 1 large egg
  • 70-100g grated pecorino (an Italian cheese made from ewes’ milk)
  • 100g Panko (or 80g polenta for gluten free)
  • 1 clove garlic (crushed with press)
  • ½ tsp pepper
  • 2 tbsp olive oil, for greasing the baking sheet
  1. Toss courgette and salt together in a large colander and place in sink to drain for 10 minutes. Then Squeeze to drain even further.
  2. Mix pecorino, panko, crushed garlic, the egg and pepper in a large bowl; and stir in the drained shredded courgette.
  3. Scoop a table spoon of ‘dough’ and drop onto a large greased baking sheet, roughly shaping each into a log.
  4. Bake in a 200°C oven for 20-22 minutes, turning halfway through.
  • Dipping Sauce:
    • Stir chopped chives and basil into sour cream.

Spinach Omelette with Fried (Finger) Soldiers

I really fancied something substantial that didn’t take hours to make. I happen to have some spinach and a little pack of pancetta. So here is a delicious spinach omelette with onions, pancetta and fried soldiers.

Preparation and cooking time 5-10 minutes

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Step 1: Fry the pancetta and onion; when blanched add the spinach, lower the heat and leave until the spinach is wilted.

Step2: Mix 1-2 eggs with a little water (half an eggshell of water), salt, pepper and whatever flavour you want. Pour this mixture over the fried onions, pancetta & spinach. Cover with lid and fry on low heat for another minute

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Step3: While Step2 is finishing, heat another frying pan, butter the bread and place buttered side down in the frying pan, when the first side is nearly done (approx. 1 minute) butter the other side and turn the bread over.

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Step4: Cut the fried bread into finger soldiers and serve with the omelette.

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Chicken Stock

Preparation time 5-10 minutes         unattended simmering time 3-5 hours

Nowadays not many young people know how to make their own chicken stock, so I thought that I would show how easy it actually is to make chicken stock for instant usage or the freezer. This can also be cooked in a slow-cooker just add all the ingredients, and cook on high for eight hours.
I tend to make this after I’ve had a rotisserie chicken − I just throw the carcass in a pan with any root veg and herbs I happen to have; but, you’ll get a cleaner-tasting stock if you use a raw chicken or chicken pieces.

  • 1 chicken carcass, skin and bones
  • 2 onions peeled and quartered
  • 3-4 garlic cloves, bashed, unpeeled and halved
  • 4 large carrots cut in 2cm slices
  • 1-2 leeks cut into 2-3cm pieces
  • 3 litre water
  • 1 tbsp salt
  • 1 tbsp whole black pepper corns
  • 1 tsp mustard seeds
  • 1 tbsp mixed herbs
  • 3-4 bay leaves
  • Anything from the fridge that need to be used
  • Break the carcass into at least four pieces and place in a large saucepan.
  • Chop the onions, carrots and leeks and add to the saucepan.
  • Use a wide knife to bash the garlic. Place the flat side of a chef’s knife over the garlic clove. Do this on a flat, stable surface. Make sure to face the sharp edge of the blade away from you. Place your outstretched palm over the blade and push downward with a quick, light blow. The goal here isn’t to completely pulverize the garlic clove, but rather to break apart the peel from the rest of the garlic.
  • Now add the water and the herbs and anything else.
  • Bring to boil.
  • Lower the heat to 1 (the lowest setting) cover the saucepan; but leave it just open. Leave it to simmer for 3-5 hours (nearly unattended).
  • After an hour or so, remove any scum that rises to the surface with a ladle or a large spoon. Repeat as necessary.
  • After 2 hours taste if you need more salt, pepper. If you feel it’s too salty add 1-2 raw quartered potatoes to the stock, to absorb the salt.
  • Strain the stock, discarding the vegetables and chicken pieces when finished cooking.
  • Allow to cool for about half an hour then refrigerate or divide it into small plastic containers at this point and freeze, leave about 1cm air below the lid, for the soup to expand when freezing. Remember always write the contents and date on the containers, as you can’t see what’s in the containers once frozen.

PS. The stock will keep in the fridge for about 4 days and in the freezer for 2-3 months.

Tomato, Onion and Orange Salad

Preparation time 10 minutes

I wanted to make a different salad and had seen other people using oranges in salads with avocado. I didn’t have an avocado, so here is my version of a salad using oranges.

Tomato, Onion & orange Salad

  • 2-3 ripe tomatoes, cut in thinnish ring slices
  • 1 Onion, cut in thin slices
  • 2-3 mandarins, cut in thinnish ring slices
  • 1 tbls olive oil
  • ½ tbls rice vinegar
  • Salt and Pepper
  • Fresh Parsley and/or Chives, chopped
  1. Cut the tomatoes and mandarins as thin as possible into rings.
  2. Use a mandolin to very finely slice the onion.
  3. Place the tomato, onion and mandarin slices on a plate alternating them.
  4. Sprinkle a little salt and pepper on all the salad.
  5. Then drizzle the olive oil and vinegar over the ring.
  6. Cover with cling film and keep at room temperature until served.
  7. Sprinkle with the chopped parsley and/or fresh chives.

 

Gammon to Honey Roast Ham with Crackling

I love home cooked ham at Christmas and New Year. But I also dread cooking it mainly because I am not sure how to cook it. So this year I searched the net, both Danish and English, and was pleasantly surprised at how easy it was. All of the recipes agreed on the cooking time, and I opted for a version of half boiled and half roasting.
I had purchased a small raw gammon joint of 1.4kg and here is how I cooked it.
I wrote this in January 2017; but forgot to post it.
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Prep time 10 minutes Cooking time 20 minutes per 500g
plus 20 minutes
Serves 8 Rest Time 2x 10 minutes

For boiling:

  • 1.4kg gammon joint
  • 5 cloves
  • 3-4 bay leaves
  • 1-2 Onions, peeled and quartered
  • 1 tsp Pepper
  • 1 tsp Mustard seeds

For oven:

  • Many cloves, enough to poke into each diamond
  • 1 tbsp Honey
  • 1 tbsp Mustard
  1. Place the gammon in a saucepan, cover with water add 5 cloves, bay leaves, onions, pepper and mustard seeds.
  2. Bring to boil, then lower the heat and let simmer for half the total cooking time.
  3. Remove from saucepan and let it rest for at least 10 minutes.
  4. Now remove the rind leaving as much as possible of the fat on the gammon.
  5. Crisscross the fat with a knife making a diamond pattern.
  6. Mix the honey and mustard, and spread it over the fat
  7. Then poke each diamond with a clove.
  8. Place in a 180°C oven for the remaining time. Keep an eye on the joint and cover with foil if it colours too much.
  9. Remove from oven and leave to rest for 10 minutes before serving hot.

Make the Crackling:

  1. Once the rind is removed slice it into bite size
  2. Place all the pieces on a shallow baking tray
  3. When finished place another tray on top to prevent the slices curling
  4. Place in the oven with the ham on a lower rack and bake for 10-20 minutes
  5. After 10 minutes remove the upper tray, and salt the cracklings, and bake for 10 more minutes or until cracklings are nicely browned.

PS. The best about the rind is; that it can be purchase from Morrison’s for 40-50p
Just pre-boil the rind (5-10 minutes). The time it takes to heat the oven.