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.

Homemade Potato Wedges

I need something more for a dinner party and didn’t want to have just boiled potatoes, I thought of wedges and checked my freezer if I happen to have some frozen wedges; but alas I didn’t. Now that the thought was implanted in my head I looked around on the net and found that making and cooking wedges wasn’t that difficult; so here is what I did.

Prep time max 5 minutes unattended cooking (baking) time 35 minutes
Serves 2-4
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  • 2-3 potatoes per person, I used new small potatoes
  • 1 tsp each of Salt, Pepper, Onion-salt, Garlic-salt, fresh Thyme … and whatever you fancy like: ginger paprika, curry …
  • 1-2 tbsp olive oil (or sunflower/rape seed)
  1. Pre-heat oven to 200ºC. Line a baking tray with foil (saves washing up).
  2. Cut the potatoes in half; then cut 3 wedges from each half. Place the wedges I a bow full of cold water for about 5 minutes.
  3. Put the oil in a small plastic bag; Drain and dry the wedges and place them in the bag. Close the bag with a peg so that it doesn’t leak. Then shake the bag making sure all the wedges are coated in oil.
  4. Place all your herbs in another plastic bag; and move the wedges into this bag; again close the bag and shake. Once all your herbs are used tip the wedges out into your baking tray, spread evenly and place in oven.
  5. Bake for 35 minutes – and that’s it. Serve and enjoy.

 

Fried Leftover Rice Cakes

I can’t remember where I found this recipe; but I can promise you it absolutely fabulous. I have made some changes to suit me and as you can see it doesn’t take long to prepare and cook. If served with vegetables it’s a meal and a half. The cakes are great for ovo-vegetarians and they are total gluten free.

Prep time max 5 minutes resting time 15 minutes
cooking time 3-4 minutes per side
  • 150-200g leftover cooked rice
  • 1 egg
  • 1 bunch spring onions; chopped finely
  • 1 large cooked beetroot; chopped finely
  • Dried herbs: onion salt, garlic salt, pepper
  • Fresh herbs: parsley, basil, thyme (all finely chopped)
  • Instead of spring onions and beetroot, try: peeled and finely chopped green and red peppers.
  1. Mix everything together; ensuring the egg is thoroughly mixed in.
  2. Place the mixture on a sheet of cling film and roll to a sausage approx. 5-8cm diameter. Place in freezer for 10-15 minutes to make it easy to cut and use; do not freeze to a solid sausage. Remove from freezer and keep in fridge until required or cook straight away.
  3. When ready; cut the “sausage” into 1finger wide slices through the cling film.
  4. Gently remove the cling film. Heat a little butter and oil in a frying pan and fry the slices, on medium to high heat, for 3-4 minutes on each side.
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The rice cakes are delicious cold, warm and/or as a side dish to Indian and Chinese cooking.

A healthy evening meal

This meal is nearly vegetarian; just remove the pork and you have a very nice dish. Its not too filling and it only takes 5-10 minutes to cook and serve.
evening-meal

  • 1 medium Carrot roughly julienned
  • 1 Pak Choi – cut into 1cm slices (except for the leaves)
  • 5 thinly cut slices of a pork chop
  • ½ onion, sliced finely
  • 1 tsp butter/rape seed oil
  • Herbs: salt, pepper, garlic-salt, mixed herbs
  • Heat the oil in a high sided frying pan
  • Fry the onions until translucent
  • Add the julienned carrots and fry for approx. 5 minutes
  • Then remove from pan; but leave the juices
  • Fry the pork adding the herbs to taste.
  • When the pork is sealed re-add the carrots and onions.
  • Also add the chopped Pak Choi and leaves, stir a little
  • Cover with lid and reduce the heat to minimum.
  • Leave simmering for 3-5 minutes; and then serve.

This meal is nearly vegetarian; just remove the pork and you have a very nice dish. Its not too filling and it only takes 5-10 minutes to cook and serve.