Green herb sauce

Sea Bass with a Simple Green Herb Salsa

Sea Bass with Simple Green Herb Sauce

Sometimes the simplest ways of eating fish are the best.   It may be a clichee used to excuse a lack of imagination.  But not always.  Sometimes it’s really true.   This simple green herb salsa served with sea bass is one of the times when simple really is the best and not just a popular catchphrase.

To make the simplest things taste great it really helps to have the best quality ingredients.   In this case fresh herbs and garlic, good vinegar and of course a tasty extra virgin olive oil.  I had been sent some Italian Antichi Frantoi Francescani extra virgin olive oil and I wanted to use it in a recipe where a good olive oil would make all the difference.

Once I’d made up the green herb salsa with the oil I had a fiery, garlic and herb paste that was a perfect match for the fish but it could be so versatile.   I think it would also be great with halloumi or chicken, drizzled or dotted on a salad, or even used as a marinade.  The Antichi Frantoi Francescani olive oil has a strong green olive taste and would also be lovely for dipping bread in.   You could imagine you were on holiday in Italy even if you weren’t.

Simple Green Herb Sauce

Sea Bass with a Simple Green Herb Salsa

Yield: Serves 2

Ingredients

  • Large handful of coriander
  • Small handful of parsley
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • 1 green chilli pepper
  • 2 tbsp white wine vineger
  • 4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • Small pinch of salt
  • 2 fillets of sea bass (or another white fish)

Instructions

  1. Put all the ingredients except the fish into a food processor. Process until smooth.
  2. Taste. Add a little extra oil, vinegar or seasoning if necessary.
  3. Cook the fish and serve the salsa with it.
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I am linking this to Tasty Tuesdays at Honest Mum and Cook Blog Share at Hijacked by Twins.

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Kabocha Squash stuffed with black quinoa

Kabocha Squash Stuffed with Black Quinoa

Kabocha Squash stuffed with black quinoa

Welcome to this month’s Recipe Redux post.   As the new year kicked off we were challenged to create a recipe using an ingredient we’d never tried before.   Well, to begin with this seemed like a difficult challenge as I have a whole cupboard full of different grains and pulses which I don’t use nearly as often as I should, but I couldn’t use any of them as I had at least used all of them once.

I have however been hearing a lot about black quinoa recently and even though my cupboard doesn’t need another half used bag of grain, I decided that this one would be worth it.   After all, quinoa is apparently a supergrain: gluten-free, high in b vitamins, fibre and minerals, as well as being a complete protein as it contains all 9 essential amino acids.

One of the lovely thing about quinoa is its texture and the slight crunchiness as you eat it.   If you haven’t tried black quinoa then the difference is that it’s even more crunchy than white quinoa.   And of course it looks great.   Colourful food is always that little bit more enticing than white food.

I decided to make aroasted kabocha squash black quinoa salad and use it to stuff a .   I have to admit that the kabocha squash had been in the bottom of my fridge for a few weeks and really needed to be eaten up.  The great thing about squashes is that they last really well but even so, this one was ready to be eaten.

The bright orange flesh of the squash contrasted beautifully with the black quinoa salad dotted with pine nuts, cucumber, tomato and fresh mint leaves.   It made a delicious vegan meal, although I did have to cut the squash in half to serve as a whole half for one person would have been just too much of a good thing.

Kabocha Squash stuffed with black quinoa

Kabocha Squash Stuffed with Black Quinoa

Yield: Serves 4

Ingredients

  • 1 kabocha squash
  • 200g black quinoa
  • 8 cherry tomatoes, quartered
  • 10cm piece of cucumber, diced
  • Handful of mint leaves, chopped
  • 50g pine nuts
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 3tbsp extra virgin olive oil

Instructions

  1. Slice the kabocha squash in half, scoop out the seeds, drizzle with olive oil and roast in the oven for 30 minutes or until soft
  2. Boil the quinoa for 20 minutes then drain.
  3. Toast the pine nuts in a dry frying pan until golden. Set aside to cool.
  4. Mix together all the ingredients except the squash. Add a little extra lemon juice or olive oil if necessary.
  5. Scoop the salad into the squash halves and serve.
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I am linking this to Extra Veg, hosted by Fuss Free Flavours and Utterly Scrummy, the #FoodYearLinkUp at Charlotte’s Lively Kitchen and Recipe of the Week at A Mummy Too.

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wild rice and pea salad

Spiced Wild Rice and Pea Salad

Spiced Wild Rice and Pea Salad

January is definitely the time to eat healthily but some salads just don’t suit cold wintery weather.   The good news is that there are plenty of salads which are just right at any time of year and this spiced wild rice and pea salad is one of them.

The beauty of this salad is that it is so versatile.   You can serve it as a main meal or it can just be a side.   It keeps well in the fridge so you can make a big batch and then eat it up over the next few days.  Like many people, I need to try and save time in the kitchen and this is a perfect #CookOnceEatTwice meal.  If you’re looking for more ideas for meals that are great eaten as leftovers then do take a look at my #CookOnceEatTwice posts.

The most important thing is that it is healthy and healthy is exactly what I’m looking for right now.  I adapted it from A Salad for All Seasons by Harry Eastwood and it’s an easy salad to adapt.    You could use any long grain rice or a grain such as spelt would be lovely too.  Diced peppers could replace the carrot and sunflower or pumpkin seeds could be used in place of the pine nuts.

I always think a few spices and fresh herbs do so much to add flavour to a dish and although you could use dried herbs instead, the fresh parsley goes really well.  Coriander would also be lovely.

Although I didn’t consciously realise it when I made this spiced wild rice and pea salad, it’s also a vegan salad and although I am not following Veganuary like some food bloggers this month, it’s always healthy to eat more plant based meals.

spiced wild rice and pea salad

Spiced Wild Rice and Pea Salad

Serving Size: Serves 4

Ingredients

  • 250g rice (I used Red Camargue and Wild Rice)
  • 3 cardamom pods
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 50g pine nuts
  • 1 large carrot, finely diced
  • 1 tsp ground allspice
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 250g frozen peas
  • Handful of fresh parsley
  • 1 red onion, finely diced
  • Juice of 1 lemon

Instructions

  1. Cook the rice with the cardamom pods and bay leaves.
  2. Put the pine nuts in a dry frying pan and toast them gently until they are golden. Set them aside.
  3. Put a little oil in the frying pan, cook the carrots gently for about 5 minutes then stir in the ground spices
  4. Add the peas to the rice a couple of minutes before the rice has finished cooking then drain the rice and put it in the pan with the carrots. Stir the carrot and spices into the rice
  5. Chop the parsley and finely dice the red onion. Stir them into the rice too.
  6. Squeeze over the lemon juice and add a little extra virgin olive oil. Sprinkle the pine nuts over the top when serving.
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This is my #CookOnceEatTwice post. I am also linking to  the #FoodYearLinkup at Charlotte’s Lively Kitchen, Cooking With Herbs hosted by Lavender and Lovage and No Croutons Required hosted by Lisa’s Kitchen and on alternate months by Tinned Tomatoes.

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lemon and courgette spaghetti

Lemon and Courgette Spaghetti

Lemon and Courgette Spaghetti

One thing I am aiming to do this year is eat more fruit and vegetables.  With that in mind I decided to get my Spiralizer out of the cupboard again.  I’ve had it for a couple of months and this lemon and courgette spaghetti was one of the first things I used the spiralizer for.  The spiralizer cuts the courgette into long thin ribbons which are perfect with spaghetti or in salads and stir fries.

I’ve seen some recipes which replace the spaghetti entirely with courgette but I know that wouldn’t fill me up.  I’d be looking for snacks in a couple of hours.  I still wanted to eat pasta, just a pasta dish filled with vegetables too.

This spaghetti fits the bill perfectly.   It was light and fresh from the courgette, herbs and lemon but the little creme fraiche I added gave it that comfort food factor too.   It was quick to prepare and cook and although I used my spiralizer for the courgettes,  you could still make it if you didn’t have one just by slicing the courgettes thinly.

Lemon and courgette spaghetti

Lemon and Courgette Spaghetti

Yield: Serves 2

Ingredients

  • 150g spaghetti
  • 2 medium-sized courgette, thinly sliced or spiralized
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • 2 tbsp creme fraiche
  • Juice of a lemon
  • Good grinding of black pepper
  • Pinch of salt
  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
  • A little grated parmesan

Instructions

  1. Cook the spaghetti
  2. When the spaghetti is almost ready add the courgette and continue to cook for another minute.
  3. Drain the pasta and courgette and return to the pan.
  4. Add the garlic, creme fraiche, half of the lemon juice, salt, black pepper and most of the parsley. Stir in. Taste and add the rest of the lemon juice if you think it needs it.
  5. Serve with a little parmesan cheese and the rest of the chopped parsley.
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lemon and courgette spaghetti

I am linking this to Spiralizer Saturday hosted by Caroline Makes, Tasty Tuesdays at Honest Mum, Cook Blog Share at Hijacked by Twins and Meat Free Mondays at Tinned Tomatoes.

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Whole roasted celeriac with pearl barley and curried mushrooms

Whole Roasted Celeriac

Whole Roasted Celeriac with pearl barley and curried mushroom sauce

Welcome to this month’s Recipe ReDux post and my whole roasted celeriac.   You could even call it Zombie Brain!  As it’s Christmas and as the Recipe ReDux has been around for 54 months now, we were challenged to play a little party game and ‘redux’ the recipe on page 54 or 154 of one of our cookbooks.   I have a lot of cookbooks and I looked in quite a few before I found a recipe I could redux on the right page.   It’s not that page 54 seems reserved for dishes I don’t like but rather page 54 already seems to be dedicated to delicious healthy recipes that need no reduxing.

Luckily it wasn’t long before I turned to Save with Jamie and there on page 54 was, Zombie Brain, a recipe I’d looked at before and considered making but never had.   It was perfect for this challenge: a real vegetable showstopper of a dish with a delicious sounding creamy mustard sauce that certainly could be made a little healthier.   The zombie brain is actually a whole roasted celeriac served with pearl barley and mushrooms.

I stuck closely to Jamie’s method for most of this recipe but changed the flavours of the sauce to make a curried yoghurt sauce rather than a cream-based sauce.   The yoghurt meant the sauce was still creamy but it was a healthier substitute for the cream.  I also omitted the butter.

The recipe redux is all about creating healthy dishes and making healthier versions of already delicious dishes.   I’m sure Jamie’s whole roasted celeriac is amazing but I was more than happy with the way my take on it turned out.  From now on it won’t just to squash that I roast whole.

Whole roasted celeriac

Whole Roasted Celeriac

Ingredients

  • 1 whole celeriac
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp dried thyme or use a sprig of fresh thyme
  • pinch of black pepper
  • pinch of salt
  • 2 cloves of garlic, in their skins but crushed slightly with the back of a knife.
  • 200g pearl barley
  • 1/2 onion, finely diced
  • 2 cloves of garlic, crushed
  • 400g mushrooms
  • 2 tsp curry powder
  • 200ml stock
  • 3 tbsp natural yoghurt

Instructions

  1. Scrub the celeriac to make sure it's really well cleaned as you don't peel it.
  2. Take a large piece of aluminium foil. Put the celeriac in the middle, drizzle with the olive oil, season with a little salt and pepper and sprinkle over the thyme and the 2 whole cloves of garlic. Wrap the celeriac up well.
  3. Cook it for 2 hours in the oven at 180C until it is soft all the way through.
  4. While the celeriac is cooking, cook the pearl barley.
  5. About 30 minutes before the celeriac is ready, cook the onions gently with a little olive oil until they are soft then add the crushed garlic. Cook for about a minute before adding the mushrooms and the curry powder. Add the stock and turn up the heat a little. Let it simmer until the liquid has almost disappeared. Stir in the yoghurt at the end.
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Filo Venison Wellington

Individual Filo Wellingtons

Individual Filo Wellingtons - Filo Venison Wellington

A few years ago I made beef wellington for the first time and loved it.   It’s the perfect meal for a special day as it looks as well as tastes great and who doesn’t want to impress their guests?  This time I decided to make individual wellingtons and to make them a little lighter I used filo pastry rather than shortcrust or puff.   If you’re looking for an alternative to turkey for Christmas dinner then these individual filo wellingtons would be just the thing.

Wellingtons are normally made with beef but as Christmas is coming and it was a special day, I went for venison, although I had to make a beef one for my husband!  I’ll let you choose.  The beef and venison steaks were wrapped in  crisp filo pastry, parma ham and a layer of chicken and mushroom pâté.   They were easy to put together but certainly didn’t lack anything in flavour.

The pastry was deliciously crisp and the pâté added extra richness to the meat and the sauce.  I experimented for the first time by making a red wine jus and actually going to the effort of reducing the sauce properly.   It was worth it.

Although I could have used any wine for the jus, I wanted it to be worthy of the Wellingtons and so I used Astelia Cabernet Sauvignon.   Cabernet Sauvignon is one of my favourite reds.  It’s perfect with red meat and rich hearty dishes, such as these individual wellingtons.  Astelia Cabernet Sauvignon is a Pays d’Oc certified wine with rounded tanins along with mocha and forest fruit aromas.  Luckily I had two bottles and only needed a little for the sauce.  The wellingtons are very rich and the French red wine was perfect both for the sauce and for drinking with the meal.

Individual filo wellingtons - Filo venison Wellington

Individual Filo Wellingtons

Yield: Serves 4

Ingredients

  • 4 venison steaks (or substitute for beef fillet steak)
  • 6 sheets of filo pastry
  • 60g butter
  • 8 slices of parma ham
  • 100g pâté (I used chicken forestier)
  • For the Red Wine Jus
  • 1/2 onion, finely diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 250ml red wine
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/2 tsp dried rosemary
  • 500ml beef stock (you could use venison stock if you have it)
  • 25g butter
  • Black pepper
  • Salt

Instructions

  1. Heat a little oil in a frying pan and cook the venison for about 30 seconds on each side to seal in the juices. Leave to cool.
  2. Heat the butter until melted. Lay a piece of filo pastry on the work surface, using a pastry brush, brush it with the melted butter. Lay another piece on top and repeat with a third piece.
  3. Repeat with the other three sheets of filo. Using a sharp knife, cut each stack of filo sheets in half so you have 4 smaller filo rectangles.
  4. Lay 2 pieces of parma ham in the middle of each filo rectangle. Divide the pâté into 4 equal amounts and spread on top of the parma ham.
  5. Put a venison steak on top of each piece of parma ham and pâté and wrap the filo pastry around. Use a little more melted butter to stick the ends of the pastry together and tuck them underneath the filo parcel. Brush the top with melted butter.
  6. Bake in the oven at 180C for 25 minutes.
  7. Make the red wine jus while the wellingtons are cooking. Put a little oil in a saucepan and cook the onions and garlic gently for 10 minutes. Add the bay leaf, rosemary and red wine.
  8. Turn up the heat until the sauce has reduced by about half. Add the stock and continue to cook vigorously until it has reduced again by about half.
  9. Strain to remove the onion and herbs.
  10. Return to the pan and stir in the butter. Add extra seasoning if necessary.
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You can buy Domaines Paul Mas – Astelia Cabernet Sauvignon at Olivers Wine Warehouse.   For more information about French wine then go to http://www.paysdoc-wines.com/ and you can also follow @paysdocigpwines on Twitter.

Disclosure: This post is for a competition. I was sent two bottle of Astelia Cabernet Sauvignon and invited to create a twist on a traditional Christmas dish to serve alongside.

Mint and Lamb Meatballs

Mint and Lamb Meatballs

Mint and lamb Meatballs

It’s Secret Recipe Club time again!  I love being assigned a random blog and searching through for recipes I would like to make.    This month I had no problem finding something I liked and wanted to make as my blog was The Hobo Kitchen written by Ellie.   If you haven’t discovered this blog yet it’s definitely worth a look.   It has a simple layout with beautiful pictures and I promise you that you’ll want to eat almost everything you see and these mint and lamb meatballs in a mint and tomato sauce are a good place to start!

Lamb goes so well with spices and the addition of the fresh mint really brings it alive.   So much better than using dried herbs, although I know it’s not always practical.   These meatballs contain cinnamon, cumin and dried coriander as well as few flakes of dried red chilli pepper to add a touch of heat.   The spices are in the tomato sauce too which means you can still really taste them and the sauce doesn’t become just another tomato sauce, especially not when you add the fresh mint as well.

I served the mint and lamb meatballs with couscous but you could serve them with rice or flatbreads if that’s more your thing.

One thing I’m certain of is that I’ll be coming back to the Hobo Kitchen again to see what other tasty dishes Ellie’s been making.   I love her mix of dishes from various cultures and especially the use of fresh herbs and spices in many of them.  Of her recent recipes her butternut squash and goats cheese quiche looks amazing, as do her slow cooker bbq chicken taco bowls and I am hoping my husband does not see her shredded baklava cups because if he does I’ll have no choice but to make them!

Mint and Lamb Meatballs

Mint and Lamb Meatballs

Ingredients

    For the Meatballs
  • 500g lamb mince
  • 1/4 onion, finely dice
  • 1 clove of garlic, crushed
  • 2 tbsp fresh mint, chopped
  • 1 egg
  • 1 slice of white bread, made into breadcrumbs (toast, leave to cool then crumble up)
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp ground coriander
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
  • For the Tomato Sauce
  • 3/4 onion, finely diced (use the rest of the one used for the meatballs)
  • 2 cloves of garlic, crushed
  • 100ml stock ( I used vegetable stock but you could use lamb or chicken)
  • 400g tin of chopped tomatoes
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • Handful of chopped fresh mint

Instructions

  1. Put all the ingredients for the meatballs in a large bowl and mix them together with your hands.
  2. Take small pieces and roll them between your hands to make the meatballs.
  3. Heat a little oil in a large frying pan and fry the meatballs, turning until they are slightly browned on all sides.
  4. Remove the meatballs and set aside.
  5. Add a little more oil and start making the sauce by frying the chopped onion gently so it softens.
  6. Add the garlic and stir into the onions then add all the other sauce ingredients except the mint. Bring to the boil then add the meatballs. Lower the heat and simmer for 20 minutes.
  7. Serve with rice or couscous.
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I am linking this to Tasty Tuesdays at Honest Mum, Cook Blog Share at Snap Happy Bakes and Recipe of the Week at A Mummy Too.

Tasty TuesdaysCook Blog ShareRecipe of the week

Sweet potato parsnip and potato soup 3

Leftover Roast Vegetable Soup

Sweet Potato, Parsnip and Potato Soup

At this time of year we eat a lot of roast dinners, with the biggest of course being Christmas dinner, and it’s a shame to see the leftovers go to waste. Roasted vegetables are at their best when they are freshly made but that’s no excuse not to use them up later.   In fact now that I’ve discovered how well leftover roasted potatoes blend up to make a creamy soup, I’ll now plan to have leftovers more often.   Just so I can make this leftover roast vegetable soup.   It may be traditional to eat leftover turkey after Christmas but why not make this soup too?

Often when cooking it can be tempting to add lots of ingredients, especially herbs and spices to make something taste great.   Of course there’s nothing wrong with that and it’s what I do all the time but with this soup, it really has been pared back to the basics of roasted root vegetables and stock.  Good stock.

essential turkey stockIf you want you can make your own stock and I do admire people who do but for everyday home cooking I prefer the ease of powdered stock as it means I can quickly mix up exactly the amount I need.  For this soup I wanted a Christmas flavour and used Essential Cuisine Turkey Stock and was really pleased with the depth of flavour it added: Rich and tasty but not salty.   As I’m cooking for a family it’s good to know that award-winning Essential Cuisine Stocks contain no e-numbers or added MSG as well as being gluten-free.

Finally I should mention the bacon.  I find root vegetables can be a little sweet in a soup if you don’t balance them out with something salty or bitter.   That’s why the bacon pieces on the top of the soup are so much more than just a garnish. The salty smokiness really adds to the flavour of the soup, even if you only use a little.   If you have leftover sausages wrapped in bacon from your Christmas dinner, they’d also make a great garnish.

Soups are the perfect meal for colder weather:  easy to make, comforting and healthy too.  I like to make enough to last for the next day too which means this is the perfect #CookOnceEatTwice meal for my own Cook Once Eat Twice blogging challenge.

Sweet Potato Parsnip and Potato Soup

Roast Vegetable Soup

Yield: Serves 2 - 4, depending on serving size

Serve with crusty bread as a main meal for 2 or as a starter for 4.

Ingredients

  • Leftover roasted vegetables (I had approximately 2 roasted parsnips, 2 roasted sweet potatoes and 3 roasted potatoes)
  • 500ml Essential Turkey Stock
  • 2 pieces of smoked bacon

Instructions

  1. Roughly chop the roasted vegetables.
  2. Put the vegetables and stock in a saucepan and bring to the boil. Simmer for 5 minutes.
  3. Fry the bacon until crisp. Drain on kitchen paper and chop up.
  4. Put the soup in a blender and blend until smooth or use a stick blender.
  5. Serve the soup topped with the bacon pieces.
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I am also linking to Tasty Tuesdays at Honest Mum, Recipe of the Week at A Mummy Too and Cook, Blog, Share, hosted this week by Sneaky Veg.

Cook Once Eat TwiceTasty TuesdaysCook Blog ShareRecipe of the week

Garlic Roasted Chicken

Garlic Chicken Roasted in a Bag

Garlic Roasted CHicken

Roast chicken makes a great meal in our house.   I especially like it as it’s so easy to make and there is usually enough chicken leftover to feed us the  next day too.   This time I tried a new way of preparing roast chicken by cooking it in an oven bag with lots of garlic butter and all the vegetables too.  After all,  who could say no to garlic roasted chicken with buttery vegetables and a buttery garlic sauce?

It sounds simple and it was.  I was trying out my new Look Oven Bags for Roasting from Just Catering Supplies and I wasn’t disappointed.  The idea behind roasting in a bag is that the meat will stay moist and tender as it cooks and because everything is in a bag it definitely saves on washing up afterwards too.   No more scrubbing away at stubborn burned bits on the roasting tin!  And no need to clean the oven either!

Garlic chicken in an oven bag ready to cook

Ready for the oven!

I put the chicken, vegetables and stock into the bag so I had a perfect one pot meal.   I just needed to reduce the sauce a little afterward.   Normally I would have roasted the potatoes to go with the roast chicken as we love crispy potatoes and of course with this method the potatoes aren’t crispy but they have absorbed the buttery garlic flavours of the sauce and the chicken and so are still really tasty, as are the carrots and sweet potatoes.

As the chicken is in a bag you can’t insert a skewer to test if it is cooked but you should still be able to pull on one of the legs using an oven glove, if it comes away from the bird easily then the chicken is ready.

Garlic Roasted Chicken

Ready to serve!

Garlic Chicken Roasted in a Bag

Yield: Serves 4

Ingredients

  • 30g butter at room temperature
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • Whole chicken (mine was 1.7kg)
  • 4 medium-sized potatoes, peeled and cut into quarters
  • 3 carrots, peeled and cut in half
  • 2 sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into quarters
  • 50ml chicken stock

Instructions

  1. Heat the oven to 180C
  2. Mash the garlic into the butter and then spread it over the chicken.
  3. Put all the vegetables into the roasting bag on a baking or roasting tray. Put the chicken in the bag on top of the vegetables. Pour the stock into the bag and fasten the bag using one of the ties that comes with it.
  4. Put it in the oven for 2 hours. If your chicken is much larger or smaller you may need to adjust the cooking time. As you can't check very easily if the chicken is cooked then it's best to overestimate the time as it will still stay moist in the bag.

Notes

Feel free to add more vegetables or to use different root vegetables depending on what you like best. If you are unable to get these oven roasting bags then the same dish could be created by covering the roasting dish with some aluminium foil but removing it for the last half hour of cooking so the skin browns too. You might also need to add extra stock as more would evaporate as it cooked.

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This is my Recipe of the Week at A Mummy Too. I am also linking to Tasty Tuesdays at Honest Mum.

Recipe of the weekTasty Tuesdays

 

Tomato and nigella seed soda bread

Tomato and Nigella Seed Soda Bread

Tomato and nigella seed soda bread

When the theme for this month’s Recipe Redux was announced I have to admit that I wasn’t especially excited.   The theme was Quick Breads and although I love recipes that can be prepared quickly and with minimal hands on time, I do actually prefer my breads to have yeast in them.

I’ve only made a quick bread once before, a plain soda bread and I said then that I doubted I’d make one again, or at least not a savoury one.   Well, everything deserves a second chance and although I was tempted to go down the sweet route, I decided to give savoury the benefit of the doubt.

One of my favourite bread recipes  is these tomato and nigella seed bread rolls and so I decided to take the same flavours and try them in a quickbread.   Nigella seeds are also known as black onion seeds and kalonji seeds and are used a lot in Indian and Middle Eastern cooking.  They have a slightly bitter onion flavour and I love them in bread, any bread.

With some of my favourite flavours in, it would have been hard for me not to like this tomato and nigella seed soda bread.   As well as flavouring the bread, the tomato puree gives it a warm orange colour so it looks very inviting on the table.   I served it with a homemade vegetable stew and yes, luckily I did like it!

I have to say, given the choice I wouldn’t choose a quickbread over a more traditional yeasted loaf, but I certainly wouldn’t say no to eating this again or to making another savoury soda bread in the future, which is a definitely improvement since last time.

Tomato and nigella seed soda bread

Tomato and Nigella Seed Soda Bread

Ingredients

  • 300g plain white flour
  • 200g plain wholemeal flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 250ml yoghurt
  • 50ml water
  • 50ml tomato puree
  • 1 tsp nigella seeds

Instructions

  1. Put the baking tray in the oven and preheat to 200C
  2. Mix all the dry ingredients in a bowl. Make a well in the centre.
  3. Add in the wet ingredients and mix together until fully combined but don't over mix.
  4. Flour a work surface and turn the dough out onto it.
  5. Bring the dough together with your hands to form a loaf shape.
  6. Take the baking tray out of the oven. Put the dough onto it and use a knife to cut down almost to the baking tray to make a deep cross on the loaf.
  7. Bake in the oven for 25-35 minutes.
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