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.

 

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.

Fishy Greens

Fish Pie 5Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 55 minutes -> 1 hour
Serves 2-3

  • 100g fresh leaf spinach
  • 40g unsalted butter
  • ½ onion, finely chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed / squeezed through a crusher
  • 1 tbsp potato/rice flour
  • 300ml semi skimmed milk (for the sauce)
  • 100ml semi skimmed milk (for the broccoli)
  • 2 skinless boneless cod fillets cut into bite size chunks
  • 10 green olives – chopped
  • Herbs: salt, pepper, mixed herbs, paprika
  • 1 broccoli head cut into florets (incl. the stalk finely cut)
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  1. Preheat the oven to 200°C, fan 180°C, gas 6.
  2. Bring a little water to boil in a wok or a large saucepan,
    1. Wash the spinach
    2. Add the spinach and blanch for 3 mins.
    3. Drain, squeeze out the excess water
    4. Line the bottom of a 1.5 litre Pyrex dish with the spinach
  3. Spread the cod over the spinach
  4. In a wok/pan, melt the butter and add the onion.
    1. Sauté for 5 mins before adding the garlic for the last minute.
    2. Add the chosen herbs and chopped olives
    3. Remove from the heat and slowly whisk in the milk.
    4. Add the rice flour, and stir until well mixed
    5. Return the pan to the heat. Simmer for 2 minutes, stirring, until thickened.
    6. Pour this over the cod.
  5. Steam the broccoli in a microwave for 4-5 minutes
    1. Place the broccoli in a food processor and blend until smooth
    2. Add 100ml milk, salt & pepper to taste
    3. Spread evenly on top of the contents of the dish
  6. Bake covered for 25 minutes
    1. Remove the lid and bake for a further 20 minutes.

Cauliflower/Broccoli Mash

mashPrep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes

  • 1 cauliflower, cut into florets, also finely dice the stems
  • 25g butter
  • 4 tbsp milk or single cream
  • Salt, Pepper, herbs and maybe Nutmeg
  1. Steam the cauliflower for 5 minutes (until the cauliflower is tender but not soft)
  2. Warm the milk with the spices and butter until the butter is melted
  3. When the cauliflower is ready, transfer it to the food processor
  4. Blend a little then add the milk for flavour, continue blending until the desired consistency is achieved – smooth or coarse mash.
  5. Place the mash into 4-6 Ramekin dishes
  6. Use a spatula to make a pretty pattern on top
  • If you feel really generous – push a little butter into the centre of the ramekin dish
    or melt a little butter and pour it over the mash, don’t drown the mash, just cover it
  • And if you are really “going overboard” cut some thin cheese fingers a la ‘julienne’ and top the mash.
    Not too much/many as it will overpower the taste of the mash.
  • Place in a hot oven until the cheese has melted and is brown


This recipe can be used for both Cauliflower and Broccoli.
Replace references to cauliflower with broccoli.
Steam the Broccoli for 3-4 minutes only.
The mash can be frozen and reheated when required.