Saturday, 28 February 2015

Chicken Ramen

You mean, you *don't* match your bowl and chopsticks? Casual.

What to do the day after nomming a massive roast dinner into you? Get those chicken bones in a pot and make some stock, and use it the next day to make yummy chicken ramen soup! No? Just me?
Well, that is what I did and it was spectacular.  Full disclosure, the stock could have been better, I added a bit of water to the broth when cooking and I think that took away from the depth of flavour a bit. So don't do that. See, I'm making the mistakes so you guys don't have to!

You all know, I love ramen. I could very happily live in one of those little noodle shops in Japan and never leave it. Pork ramen is classic and delicious and I love it a lot. Chicken ramen is something I hadn’t considered until I was staring at my picked-clean chicken bones/leftovers.

This is a little bit lighter than the pork, and I think it handles itself a little better with unconventional flavours, like the jalapeno toppings. Any of your favourite veggies really will do here, it is one of those special soups which is infinitely customizable.

Wednesday, 25 February 2015

Sweet Potato Brownies

Okay, my love and admiration for the humble sweet potato knows no bounds. We all know this. I would eat it every day if society (and my boyfriend) accepted that. I love the juxtaposition between meat and savoury sauces and the surprise of the silky smooth sweet potato.

But to put it in something exclusively sweet? A brownie, nonetheless! It sounds like it wouldn’t work. I was sceptical right until I put one of these dense, sweet little treats in my mouth. Then I got right on board.

Also, correct me if I’m wrong, but this recipe might just be gluten-free. See, I don’t need flour in *every* recipe! Not that I am opposed to gluten, but I just think that there is nothing bad about making food that lots of people can eat.

Saturday, 21 February 2015

Coconut Breakfast Porridge

YUM. Accidentally made a two person amount for just me, hence the massive portion pictured!

So, I am trying to be a bit more interesting and varied in my breakfast/lunches- on the weekend, during the week I get out of the house in 10 minutes and inhale a yogurt on the train on my way to work. As much as I love food, I confess that my love of sleep is greater.

Porridge, to me, had always been a bit of punishment food. Despite being warming and filling and good for you. I've always felt it is a food best eaten if you’re dieting, or if there’s nothing else in the house and it’s a blizzard outside, or you lost your sense of smell and taste.

However, I have found a way to make it not only palatable, but even a bit yummy! I have possibly engineered this miracle by shamelessly increasing the calorie content (I don’t understand how you could eat porridge without a bit of sugar sprinkled in), but still. It’s better than eating a donut for breakfast.

And you can take that to the bank!

Sunday, 15 February 2015

Home-made Nutella

In honour of the late, great Mr Ferrero, I present my home made Nutella! Apparently his grandfather was endlessly tweaking the precursors for the Nutella we all know and love today. And well he did! I am completely obsessed. I rarely buy it because when I buy it, somehow the contents of that magical jar just disappear within a week. I don’t know how that happens.

Of course, the best way to eat it is on pancakes, or on a digestive if you’re feeling filthy. Recently, I have put it in traybakes, cheesecakes and porridge. Nutella porridge is the best thing I’ve eaten in ages, it transforms an otherwise boring bowl.

And now you too can make your own amazing hazelnut chocolate dream spread at home! There’s nothing much to it, the hardest bit is peeling the damn hazelnuts, which I accomplished by roasting then rolling in between two teatowels – this serves to break off the outer skin quite elegantly. I’ve adapted this from a “health food blog” and mainly I’ve tweaked quantities and added sugar. Oh well, what else have you come to expect?

  Makes one small jar

Thursday, 12 February 2015

Katsu Curry

I've been a bit AWOL recently- life was getting in the way of fun stuff.

But I'm back, and with one of my favourite things I have ever made. I was so happy with it, I skipped a little tiny bit, and annoyed my boyfriend with my yummy noises.

So, as you may remember, I hit up Tokyo last summer, and it was one of the best holidays I have ever had. The experience was unlike anything I’ve ever done before, and probably my favourite part was the astonishingly different cuisine.  I’m not going to lie, I don’t like sushi, so that was not what I was going there for. I was going to slurp some ramen greedily like Naruto. Which I, of course, accomplished.

Buuut, my mind was blown by a burgeoning Japanese fast food staple, kare raisu . From students to tourists, to salarymen, they come and sit on a tall stool in front of the chefs in their whites, and tuck into a BIG (and they don’t scrimp on portions) plate of rice, crispy breaded meat, all covered with some thick, silky smooth curry sauce.


I could eat this sauce on its own all day long. When no one is looking, I smother rice in it and eat it with a spoon (chopsticks are too hard and cutlery feels like sacrilege). That’s why I always double the sauce amount, for sneaky leftovers. You could halve it and have no sauce leftovers (if you were MAD).

Seriously. Make it now. You won’t be disappointed. You might even cry a little bit. I did.

Tuesday, 3 February 2015

Chicken, Chorizo and Potato Oven Bake

As much as I spend most of my evenings stirring a pan of gently frying onions, garlic and assorted spices, there are sometimes when I just want to put something in the oven and walk away. This, for me, is the perfect work-night meal. Quick and simple, and really can be served with a variety of sides depending on what is in the cupboard.  

I have an exam coming up, and as much as I love to cook on my days off, I love these oven meals that I can forget about for 30 minutes while I keep studying.

While it was cooking my mind skimmed through the options for what to serve it with. Do I make it a decandent Mediterranean feast with hunks of buttered bread, or be good and serve with a nice big salad? Or, go Irish (potato on potato!) with some sweet potato fries. There is enough food here that you don’t really even need a side, but I am a feeder, and that thought is unacceptable to me.