Showing posts with label Rice. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Rice. Show all posts

Thursday, 25 July 2013

Flavour of Spain - Paella

As a lover of cooking and of course eating, there's nothing I look forward to more than going abroad and trying new foods.  I really love looking at different and exciting menus.  That said I know there are a lot of people that wont even try anything new.  If you feel like that, I'd love to be able to encourage you to just look at the delicious foods that countries such as Spain has to offer. 

Such wonderful colours, different textures and flavours a dish such as Paella has to offer.  Chicken, peppers, slightly spicy chorizo, peas and perfectly cooked flavorsome rice to name but a few.  

But as I say, I don't need convincing.  I just love the wonderful ingredients and flavours of the Mediterranean and their easy and relaxed style of cooking. Although Paella does seem to have a never ending list of ingredients, it's so worth giving it a go.  Everything ends up in one big pan I find it quite relaxing watching it cook and  adding another ingredient now and then giving it the occasional stir. 
But what if you really don't like one or more of the ingredients:
As with any recipe, if there's something that you really don't like, I say just leave it out!  Cooking should be a matter of personal taste and not fussing too much about following a recipe to the letter, cooking is an experiment.  Of course when it comes to baking you have to follow a recipe of your cake or bread wont happen which is why you wont find too much of that on this blog.  I've hardly ever followed a recipe properly in my life, just go with what you like to eat.

Paella has so many fantastic flavours but you can miss out the clams and mussels if you really don't fancy them.  My husband just doesn't like them and so I didn't add them - simple.

Here's a recipe for a traditional Paella which is really easy to make so you might want to try out at home.  Who knows, when you next book a city break to Barcelona, and the waiter asks what you'd like to order, you'll say 'I'll have the Paella please'!

Print Recipe

For a huge traditional Paella you will need:
170g/6oz chorizo, cut into thin slices
110g/4oz pancetta, cut into small dice
2 cloves garlic finely chopped
1 large Spanish onion, finely diced
1 red pepper, diced   
1 tsp soft thyme leaves
¼ tsp dried red chilli flakes   
570ml/1pint calasparra (Spanish short-grain) rice
1 tsp paprika
125ml/4fl oz dry white wine
1.2 litres/2 pints chicken stock, heated with ¼ tsp saffron strands   
8 chicken thighs, each chopped in half and browned
18 small clams, cleaned
110g/4oz fresh or frozen peas
4 large tomatoes, de-seeded and diced
125ml/4fl oz good olive oil
1 head garlic, cloves separated and peeled
12 jumbo raw prawns, in shells
450g/1lb squid, cleaned and chopped into bite-sized pieces   
5 tbsp chopped flat-leaf parsley
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Preparation method:
Heat half the olive oil in a paella dish or very large heavy-based saucepan.  Add the chorizo and pancetta and fry until crisp.  Add the garlic, onion and pepper and heat until softened.  Add the thyme, chilli flakes and calasparra rice, and stir until all the grains of rice are nicely coated and glossy.  Now add the paprika and dry white wine and when it is bubbling, pour in the hot chicken stock, add the chicken thighs and cook for 5-10 minutes.

Now place the clams into the dish with the join facing down so that the edges open outwards.  Sprinkle in the peas and chopped tomatoes and continue to cook gently for another 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, heat the remaining oil with the garlic cloves in a separate pan and add the prawns. Fry quickly for a minute or two then add them to the paella.  Now do the same with the squid and add them to the paella too.
  Scatter the chopped parsley over the paella and serve immediately.

Go on, give it a go and I think you'll be pleasantly surprised.

This is a sponsored post, all thoughts are my own.

Wednesday, 9 January 2013

Jollof Rice with Chicken - Easy One Pot Cooking

Jollof rice is a very popular dish in many parts of West Africa and especially in Ghana and Nigeria.  The rice is cooked in a spicy tomatoey sauce and so takes on a lovely orange colour.  Sweet peppers and onions cooked with cumin, nutmeg and heat from a Scotch bonnet chilli - oh yes now we're talking!
 Of course you use an ordinary chilli for less heat, but it just won't taste the same.  Cooked in one pot means it's not only nice and easy, but you have less to clear up too - which is a good thing.

Sunday, 7 October 2012

Spicy Sausage Rice Recipe - Gordon Ramsay

It has to be said I've loved watching every minute of Gordon Ramsay's Ultimate Cookery Course on Channel 4 - fantastic recipes, fast and simple to make.
Not easy to photograph - my picture really doesn't do this dish justice.
Spicy sausage, peppers, red onion, tomatoes and spring onion cooked in one pot with chicken stock white wine and rice.

Thursday, 6 September 2012

Easy Lemon Chicken - Barefoot Contessa Recipe

Ina Garten - you've gotta love her!  I had a go at making her Lemon Chicken the other day and it was delicious.  A lovely lemony garlic sauce that surrounds the chicken and then baked in the oven.  So very easy to do and is made in no time at all.
 As a first for me, I didn't titivate this recipe apart from making the same amount of sauce to serve two people using two chicken fillets. I'd do the same again as the I found the amount of sauce was just right for two.
Oh and fear not about the 9 cloves of garlic - just do it!

Thursday, 7 June 2012

Pan-fried Pork with Apple Cider Cream Sauce

Inspired by the Masterclass by Marco Pierre White I recently went to, where Marco showed us that the Knorr stock pot doesn't have to be diluted with water.  Apple, carrot, prune juice make for a much more tastier dish adding another depth of flavour.
 With that in mind and armed with a chicken stock pot, a bottle of apple juice and a bottle of cider.  Apple cider cream sauce was in the making!
Served with buttered spinach rice it went down very well indeed. 

Wednesday, 6 June 2012

One Pot Cooking with Marco Pierre White and Knorr

Last week I was very kindly invited along with around 15 other people including food bloggers and food journalists and Knorr representatives to a 'One Pot Cooking' Masterclass by Marco Pierre White.
Marco showed us how a Knorr stock pot doesn't have to be diluted with water, just use your imagination.....
Depending of course on what you're cooking, you can use fresh carrot, apple, or prune juice either on their own or in a combination with wine or cider.
Knorr stock pots are quite marvelous things!  If you've never tried them before you really should give them a go.  There's no need to faff about making your own stock ever again as they really do taste like 'proper' stock.
In just a couple of minutes you have freshly made stock to use in any recipe requiring stock. 
Marco first made Pumpkin Soup which was delicious.
   Instead of water he used freshly made carrot juice to dilute the vegetable Knorr stock pots.  He pointed out that shop brought carrot juice isn't the same due to the antioxidants they add which alter the flavour.....So now I need a juicer!
   After we'd all eaten the soup we went back into the kitchen to watch Marco make a lovely Asparagus Risotto:
The risotto was totally yummy and we all loved his idea of adding the peelings of the asparagus to the pan with the Knorr stock pot as it was brought to heat to add even more flavour.
 He then passed it through a sieve to remove the unwanted peelings and then used the stock in the usual manner.  It may not sound too amazing but it really makes a difference to the stock pot adding another depth of flavour.

Marco explained how by adding flavours in layers as you cook you a much more professional, tastier dish will be the end result.
Marco added the precooked asparagus tips at the very end of cooking, resulting in a greener fresher taste and look. 
    Now, as if we hadn't all had enough to eat, we once again returned to the kitchen to watch Marco make a really easy creamy Roast Chicken Casserole!
Of course using roast chicken will always result in a much more tasty casserole.  You can of course use the same recipe but make it into a pie for a change.  Two recipes in one!
As he made the recipe he wrote it down for us although you can find the recipe for this and many more over at Knorr.
The chicken casserole was made in no time at all and now it was time for us to try it.....
 Well I didn't meet anyone that found any fault with it - total yum on a plate!
As Marco said, don't be worried about experimenting in the kitchen and remember you don't have to follow any recipe to the last detail.
Don't be afraid to try new things.  Cooking should be fun!
  A massive thank you to Jen and Neil for inviting me along to my second Masterclass with Marco Pierre White and Knorr - I loved every minute of it and picked up lots of tips too.
I'll leave you with a few more photos of the day - Click on Continue Reading to view them:

Sunday, 9 October 2011

Spicy Chicken Kebabs and Cambodian Chicken - Tesco Real Food Cook Off

As part of a team of food bloggers involved with the Tesco Real Food 

I was asked to make two recipes from the Channel 5 show 'Real Food Family Cook Off' shown Tuesday evenings at 7.30pm.
  If you've been following the programe you'll know that this week was the turn of Banita Ludhor to take on Jonny Thomson.
 Banita made Spicy Chicken Kebabs, while Jonny cooked up Cambodian Chicken with Pineapple Fried Rice.
So there I was armed with a huge amount of lovely ingredients and my kitchen looking like food heaven, I cooked one dish one night, and the other the next!
 Banita's Spicy Chicken Kebabs were seriously delicious and had a lovely salad to go with them too:
Then there was Jonny's Cambodian Chicken - a very colourful mix of flavours.
The pineapple rice was really yummy and a meal on it's own!
 Both of these recipes can be found over at Tesco Real Food 'Cook Off'
As this weeks program has already been shown, you will know that Banita has gone through to the next round and sadly Jonny hasn't.  But well done Jonny for getting this far - great stuff!
If you missed this weeks show and want to catch up you can see the full episode here.

Friday, 12 August 2011

Foil Baked Salmon - with Sweet Soy and Peppers

Slightly sweet, slightly sticky, slightly tingly in the mouth.  
Jans' 'Make it Up as you Go Along' foil baked salmon. 
Salmon fillets marinated in Indonesian sweet soy sauce with peppers, chilli 
and spring onions.

Friday, 8 October 2010

Claypot Chicken Rice with Chinese Sausage - Lap Cheong

A delicious rice and chicken dish with a lovely mixture of flavours.
Once all the preps out of the way, it's all cooked in one pot - marvelous!
 So, yesterday I went in search of a dried Chinese sausage - as you do!

Saturday, 1 May 2010

Monday, 12 April 2010

Simple Stuffed Veg - from Jamie Does by Jamie Oliver

Jamie Oliver's latest book 'Jamie Does' goes on sale this Thursday 15th April.
You can order is here if you are in the UK or here if you're not!
As I said in the post before, it is a fantastic book.
I made one of his Greek dishes 'Simple Stuffed Veg' and I must say, it was total yum!  We loved the chilli Jamie added to this dish, along with the pistachios and feta.

Friday, 29 January 2010

Jeera Rice or Cumin Rice

Jeera rice or cumin rice, whatever you want to call it, it's good.
Jeera means cumin in Hindi. The cumin seeds are gently roasted with cloves, cinnamon, peppercorns and bay leaves until they nicely browned and nutty.
This is another Gordon Ramsay recipe from his book 'Great Escape'

If you like Indian food than you have to give this a go!

Of course you don't eat the bay leaves nor the cinnamon stick - I left those in an attempt to make the picture look more fancy!

Wednesday, 20 January 2010

Jan's Chilli con Carne - Nice and Spicy

A right nice n spicy Chilli con Carne always goes down well and is so, so easy to make.
Just the thing for cold weather or when you have friends round.

Sunday, 17 January 2010

Onion Fried Rice - Indian style

Onion fried rice with a nice hot curry - Mmm yum!
Pictured here served with my chicken vindaloo.

There's no real recipe as I made it up, but all you need is some cooked cold rice enough for two and then just double the amount of spice and onions if you want to make rice for four etc.
Make sure your rice is cold or it will be sticky and be sure to read my note here on storing cooked rice safely.

Print this Recipe

You will need:
cooked boiled rice enough for two
- rice must be cold
a little oil and a knob of butter

1 onion - diced

about 1/2 a teaspoon of onion seeds

about 1/2 a teaspoon of mustard seeds
a teaspoon of turmeric

3/4 of a teaspoon of cumin

a small amount of dried curry leaves - crumbled

How to do it:
First of all in a dry wok or large frying pan, toast the onion and mustard seeds until they begin to pop - keep the pan moving or they will burn easily. Once done remove and set aside.

Now in the same pan add just under a tablespoon of oil and a little butter and heat.

Throw in the diced onions and cook over a high heat stirring all the time.
Don't let the onions burn.
Stir in the turmeric and cumin and the rice along with the cooked rice, onion and mustard seeds. Crumble in the dried curry leaves and keep stirring so nothing burns.

Make sure the rice is piping hot. Stir in a small knob of butter.
Job done!

Wednesday, 13 January 2010

Mulligatawney Soup

Just the thing for this freezing cold and snowy weather we're having here in the UK at the moment. A lovely curry flavoured soup with rice and beef.
There are so many variations of Mulligatawney soup you would not believe!
This is Gordon Ramsay's version, to which I added a good handful of cooked and finely chopped roast beef left over from the Sunday roast. I also used medium heat curry powder and not mild - I like a bit of heat!

Print this Recipe

His book says to add 150g cooked rice but I think that must be a printing error as it would end up like porridge. We really liked this recipe but when I make it again, I will use beef stock as I think the colour would have been more to the kind of Mulligatawney soup I've had in the past.

To serve 4 you will need:

a big knob of butter

2 onions - peeled and chopped

Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

3 tbsp tomato purée
2 or 3 tbsp of curry powder - medium heat
a good handful of finely diced and cooked beef - left over from the Sunday roast

2 tbsp plain flour
2 or 3 tbsp ginger - grated
1 green apple - peeled and grated

400ml chicken stock

400ml tin of coconut milk

60g cooked long grain rice

To Serve:

a few fresh coriander leaves

a dollop of sour cream for each bowl

chunks of nice freshly baked bread

How to make it:
Melt the butter in a pan and add the onions and some seasoning. Cook the onions for about 10 minutes, until they begin to soften,
but don't let them colour too much.Add the tomato purée, curry powder and the flour. Cook for 2 minutes, stirring frequently, until it smells delicious.
Now add the ginger and apple and stir over a high heat for a few minutes.
Deglaze the pan with the stock, scraping the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon to remove any bits.
Add the coconut milk and simmer until thickened.

Just before serving, add the rice and make sure it's nicely heated though and then season generously to taste.

Pour into bowls, add a dollop of soured cream and a few coriander leaves.
Now get the bread at the ready and dunk it in!

Friday, 9 October 2009

Jan's Paella

Easy and tasty recipe - Paella is packed with flavour and as long as you use the correct rice you can't really go wrong. Lots of people like to leave the shells on the tiger prawns, which I know looks more impressive, but I can't be doing with things on my plate that can't be eaten!

 You may wish to add more shellfish than I did but I had to keep mine very low key as Paul would have a fit as I had a job convincing him about the squid!

Sunday, 19 July 2009

Peppers and Tomatoes Stuffed with Rice

In my fridge I had 12 bell peppers - they were a bargain!
So, on seeing this recipe in a book called Greek Cooking. I felt the need to make it. I have altered the original recipe quite a bit though.
So here is my version.

Preheat your oven to 180C/350F/Gas 4

You will need:

4 bell peppers plus another half of one
2 beef tomatoes (I only used one as Mr Bennett doesn't like them - more for me ha ha)
plus 2 ordinary tomatoes
1 large onion - chopped finely
2 medium potatoes - sliced into 1/4 slices
300ml hot chicken stock made from 1 Knorr stock cube
1 tablespoon of freshly chopped parsley
pinch of dried mint
pinch of oregano
a pinch or two of sugar
1 and a half cups of rice
4 plus 1 tablespoons of good quality olive oil
salt and pepper

How to do it:

Slice the bottom of the tomatoes to create a lid and put the lids to one side. Now scoop out the pulp and reserve.

Cut the tops off the tops of the peppers, put the lids to one side. Remove the seeds and discard them.

In a frying pan heat a tablespoon of the olive oil. Add the onions and sliced potatoes. Cook until the onions are tender. The potatoes wont be cooked at this point - but don't worry. Remove the potatoes and put to one side.

Now stir in the rice and cook for a minute and the reserved tomato pulp from the beef tomato.
Stir in a little of the hot chicken stock. Keep stirring and adding more stock a little at a time until the rice is almost cooked. You may not need all of the stock - if you need more then it should only be a small amount so you can just add a little water. The Knorr stock cube is meant to be dissolved in 440ml of water so the taste will still be fine.

When the rice is almost cooked.
Now stir in the parsley, oregano and mint.
Put the peppers and the tomatoes into an oven proof dish - choose one so they sit nice and snug and hold each other up. Put the slices of potato around the edge.
Sprinkle a little sugar in the bottom of each tomato and a little salt and pepper in each pepper. Now fill each of them with the rice mixture.
Put the lids back on. Sprinkle the potatoes with a little salt.

Chop the half a bell pepper and the two other tomatoes into small dice. In a small bowl mix these together with the rest of the olive oil.

Drizzle the peppers and tomatoes with the olive oil and tomato and pepper mixture. Put into your preheated oven and cook for about 35 to 40 minutes.

Serve with nice crusty bread.

Saturday, 11 April 2009

Chicken Bulgogi

Bulgogi is a lovely Korean dish usually made with beef.  It's sweet and spicy but you can control the spiciness simply by using more or less of the Korean hot paste.

I managed to get Gochujang the hot spice paste from an oriental shop that I've mentioned before called Setonaikai in Shrewsbury. If you give them a ring they will be more than happy to post items to you.
So armed with my Gochujang there was no stopping me!  My phone excelled its self yesterday too and took some not too bad pictures.

I couldn't get a nashi pear (or Asian pear) so I had to make do with an ordinary pear, any hard variety works fine.

For the marinade you will need:
2 skinless chicken fillets - sliced into strips and the following;
4 tablespoons of Korean soy sauce, 1 tablespoon of water, 2 tablespoons of sugar, 3 garlic cloves - finely chopped, 1 teaspoon of finely chopped ginger,
1 nashi pear - peeled and cored, 1 onion and a pinch of white pepper and a pinch salt
*1 tablespoon of sesame oil, added just before you are ready to cook or the strong taste will overpower the marinade if it's put in too early.

How to do it: 
Slice the chicken into strips. In a bowl mix together the Korean soy, water, sugar, garlic, salt and pepper. Using a blender, puree the pear and onion in a and then add this to the marinade. Mix in the chicken strips and leave to marinate for a good 30 minutes.  Don't add the sesame oil yet.
While that's all happening, get your lettuce leaves at the ready!

And the rice.

To cook you will need:
a little vegetable oil, ½ onion sliced, 1 spring onion sliced diagonally
To serve you will need:
1 lettuce washed, leaves washed and dried - I use a salad spinner,
some cooked rice and Gochujang (hot Korean paste) and toasted sesame seeds and pine nuts 
How to do it:
Just before you are going to start cooking, mix in the sesame oil into the marinade.
Heat a heavy based pan and add a little vegetable oil. Remove the chicken from the marinade but do not discard the marinade!
Cook the chicken the heated pan for a few minutes. Add a good amount of the marinade and cook until the chicken is cooked through. Now add sliced onion and spring onion and cook for another minute or two.
Transfer to a serving dish - preferably one that can go onto a small food heater to keep hot and garnish with the sesame seed and pine nuts. 
To serve:
Serve immediately. Place a spoonful of rice in a lettuce leaf then add some chicken followed by a dollop of the Gochujang. Now wrap the lettuce around the filling, which can be a bit of a trick and a bit messy to eat, but it is oh, so good! 

We really liked Bulgogi and I will make it again but I will have a go at using beef for a change.

Monday, 30 March 2009

Nice Baked Rice!

Baked rice is just so nice!
You will need:
1 tablespoon of vegetable oil
1 knob of unsalted butter - approx 25g
1 onion - diced
1 red bell pepper - diced
1 or 2 tomatoes - skinned and diced
1/2 a cup of white wine
**3 cups of hot chicken stock - use Knorr stock cubes (Oxo are too salty)
1 and a half cups of uncooked Long grain rice - I use Uncle Bens
salt and pepper to season
How to do it:
Get yourself a large skillet and melt the oil and butter together and then add the onions - fry them gently over a medium heat for a few minutes. Now add the peppers. You don't want the onions or peppers to brown - just cook them until they're soft. Season with salt and pepper.
Now add the rice and give it a stir for a couple of minutes then add the wine. The rice will start to absorb some of the wine and the lovely juices from the onions and peppers which will all add to it tasting so good.
Stir for another minute then pour the lot into a casserole that can go into the oven. Now stir in the chopped tomatoes and the chicken stock - remembering you can always add more so start with 2 and a half cups.
Dot the top with a few little bits of butter and cover the casserole with a lid but don't fuss if you haven't got one with a lid, I haven't, at least not one the right size. Just fashion one immediately from kitchen foil!
Put the dish into a preheated oven for about 30 minutes then check and give it a good stir and also to see if you need to add anymore stock and adjust the seasoning to your taste. Pop it back in the oven until the rice is cooked through and the liquid have mostly gone - probably another 5 or 10 minutes.
Serve the rice with whatever you fancy.
**Top Tips!
I made 3 cups of chicken stock in case I needed it but I didn't. Better to have a little too much than not enough! If you are not using the wine you will need three cups anyway.
Tomatoes can be skinned easily but scoring them around the center and putting them into a jug of boiling water for a few minutes then the skin will peel of really easily.
For some reason baked rice just tastes different to ordinary rice and if you leave the lid off for the last few minutes you get nice crunchy bits.

Friday, 6 March 2009

Nasi Goreng - Indonesian Fried Rice

If you want a quick (and I mean quick) and easy snack, side dish or just feel the need to eat rice then this is for you. I'm a bit behind with my postings as I made this last week - I just can't seem to keep up with this blogging lark!
This dish is spicy but not really hot, I guess you just add more or less of the paste till it tastes how you want it to.
You will need some precooked long grain rice. Please see my posting on storing cooked rice.
As I was shopping in Tesco's , I spied with my little eye a jar of Nasi Goreng paste, so of course I had to buy it.
I made chicken satay to go with it, but the pictures are awful so your not getting to see them!
Now as I understand you can add more or less anything you fancy to Indonesian fried rice. Says Wikipedia that it is often made up of left overs. The addition of prawns would have been good but Mr B wont eat them.
I did the following:
Heat up your wok, add a little vegetable oil then stir fry one chicken breast fillet that has been cut into bite sized slices.
When it's almost cooked add some small diced red bell pepper and one or two spring onions sliced diagonally into small bits.
Now add 4 good tablespoons of Nasi Goreng paste and stir for a minute. Then add the precooked rice stirring all the time.
Please make sure the rice has been heated through and it piping hot.
In a separate pan fry an egg - or you could make an omelet before you begin, shred it and put to one side. I just fancied it would look good with a fried egg on top.
Put the rice into a bowl and put the egg on top.

Serve immediately.