Tag Archives: Garlic

Chicken and Vegetable Soupy Dish

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This was a really scrumptious, quick after work jobby that took about 30 minutes I’d say. It went down well with the fiancée and most importantly, me. I didn’t follow a recipe, just threw together with what was in the fridge. I find recipes great if you have something to cook for, but often not very economical. You have to be inventive with what you know is in cupboards don’t you. So my journeys home from work tend to be spent on the DLR with 50% of my head in a book or Evening Standard and 50% of my head visualising what’s in the fridge and what I can do with it. I remember back in my early twenties, when I first moved out of Mum’s, I could  barely boil an egg. Perhaps that’s an exaggeration,  I knew what went in things, simple dishes. What I didn’t know, was how to make them taste good, make the flavours blend rather than just sit on top of one another. I’m getting there I think. My fail safes for deep and rich flavours are garlic and anchovy, yum.

Ingredients

  • 2 garlic cloves, sliced (not too thinly)
  • 1 tin of anchovies
  • 3 chicken thigh fillets, diced
  • handful of Broccoli
  • 2 carrots, sliced or cut into batons
  • 2 sticks of celery
  • 1 tin of plum tomatoes
  • 1 tin of brown chickpeas
  • 1/2 a tin of chicken stock

Slice your garlic cloves, no too thinly, as though you were making garlic chips. I like a lot of garlic so it’s a good thing that my local green grocer on Stoke Newington Church Street sells veg that’s bigger, tastier and cheaper than the supermarkets. Look at this comparison between Morrison’s garlic and Stoke Newington Green’s garlic.

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Put your garlic in a low heat pan with olive oil, let it toast away. Then just as the colour starts to turn a little yellow as they cook through, crank up the heat to a high medium and add your chicken. As your chicken browns, in go the anchovies along with the oil they’re tinned in, then your veg. Let this all cook for a couple of minutes.

Next, add you tin of plum tomatoes and smash them up a little with your spoon. You could use chopped tomatoes but I prefer to chop them in the pan. Add the chick peas. Use the tin from your tomatoes or peas to mix a chicken stock cube with boiling water, add to the pan and turn the heat up to a rolling boil. A couple of minutes at this high heat then down to a simmer. Season to taste, I would add pepper and ground coriander  no salt as your anchovies and stock are salty enough.

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Check piece of chicken to see when there is no pink, you’re done. You could let this simmer a little longer for more flavour because chicken thighs are hard to over cook. Not impossible though so do be careful.

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Something fishy

First thing’s first, I’m new to this blogging business, you may have noticed from the shoddiness of my page. Things will improve over time, of that I’m confident, but for now, forgive me for the unprofessional aesthetics!  Second thing’s second, I want to make the point that whilst I love food and eating, I’m not an amazing cook. I don’t think for a second I’m going to make a convincing Nigella, I’m more a person who likes to cook and can just about find her way around the kitchen. Sometimes, occasionally, my dishes don’t go to plan. Edible, but not perfect. If you’ve guessed that a blog about a substandard dinner is coming…bingo, you’re correct. In the spirit of a ‘warts and all’ blog, I won’t be hiding the clangers. Anyway, on with the blog.

When shopping yesterday, I inadvertently pre-empted today’s distinctly fishy headlines. “Eating oily fish ‘can extend life'” Telegraph and “Cod and chips could be a load of old pollock” Guardian. My favourite is the latter, an excellent use of pollock innuendo.

salmoncod fishanchovy

I never buy fish because I’m not to confident with it, but yesterday cod, salmon fillets and anchovies went into the trolley. Here’s hoping I have a knack for predicting lottery numbers as well as headlines. The anchovies and the salmon were eaten yesterday, you heard about my anchovy omelette breakfast and I’ll detail my salmon dinner below. The cod went in the freezer as it was a yellow sticker buy. Does anyone have any suggestions as to how I should cook it? I think they were loins? Can you even get cod loins? I can’t be bothered to go to the freezer to check, so we’ll go with loins. Let me and any readers know of any cod loin recipes you can think of please!

Salmon fillets with red cabbage and vegetable quinoa 

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Having uploaded the photo, it doesn’t look terrible. Admittedly, I used a funky app to take the picture, which made my salmon look pretty pale, well, paler. Then I was worried my dinner was getting cold  so I gave up. It actually tasted pretty nice, and given this is the first time I’ve cooked quinoa, I’ll forgive myself for it being a little water logged. The quinoa is part of this gluten free thing we’re trying.

Ingredients

  • 2 salmon fillets 
  • Olive oil
  • lemon juice
  • garlic
  • half a red cabbage
  • 2 sticks of celery
  • handful of mushrooms, chopped
  • 1 sliced red onion
  • tin of cooked brown chick peas
  • quinoa, rinsed
  • chicken stock

You’ll see that I haven’t given any measurements or anything, I tend to just throw things in.

Wrap your salmon into a tin foil parcel with a splash of lemon, oil and a crushed garlic clove. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Let your oven preheat and heat a pan to the low side of medium.azimuth:0.000000||elevation:0.000000||horizon:0.000000Thinly slice a garlic clove or 2, I like a lot of garlic. Heat your garlic slowly. Before it starts to colour, add your sliced onion and turn the heat up a little. Add your cabbage and turn the heat up a little more, then add your mushrooms. Way before things start to over cook, whilst they look like they still have a good bit of bite, add your, celery, brown chickpeas, quinoa and stock, 1 part quinoa 2 parts water, I judged this by eye, in the pan with everything else in it too. The end result was soggy so the advice is not to be lazy like me and actually measure your quinoa and stock. Bring the pan up to boil then turn down low and simmer. Stick your sealed salmon foil parcel in a medium oven to steam whilst your quinoa cooks for about 20 minutes.azimuth:0.000000||elevation:0.000000||horizon:0.000000

So what if my cabbage stained everything an unappealing shade of purple. So what if my quinoa was more moist than fluffy. So what if my salmon looked like it needed a sunbed. It tasted glorious, the salmon was perfectly pillowy and moist. I’m pretty open to suggestion though so please don’t be shy with the advice.

That was yesterday’s dinner. Tonight’s was really good. I’ll fill you in soon.