Tuesday, 31 January 2012

Number Three - Slacking and Chicken Teriyaki


So January is coming to a close. Most people will be thinking 'thank god', but to be honest, my January 2012 hasn't been too shabby. I've done a lot of socialising, work is going extremely well, I've done a bit of cooking and I'm generally very happy. Roll on February.

I have been slacking a bit with blogging unfortunately. This will change. Although I have been collecting recipes from various sources, mainly friends and family. My cousin emailed me about a recipe swap she was planning. It's basically just a chain-email you send on to friends who in return ask their friends to send you a recipe. I think I'm probably most looking forward to 'Baked Eggs with Chorizo'. Two of my favourite foods in the World!

I have almost perfected another Lorraine Pascale recipe too. The delicious and extremely quick 'Chicken Teriyaki'. It's so yummy! So I thought I would share...see below :)

Lorraine Pascale's
Chicken Teriyaki

(This is a photo from the second time I made this recipe, unfortunately I forgot to buy spring onions on this occasion)

You will need -
65g Soy Sauce (I use light soy sauce)
80ml Mirin (please don't miss this out, you can find it in any supermarket, it will be next to Hoi Sin sauce etc)
50g soft light brown sugar (I just use normal brown sugar and it seems to work!)
3 or 4 skinless chicken breasts
1 x 2cm piece of fresh ginger
1 garlic clove
A small bunch of Spring Onions
A handful of Sesame Seeds

  • First things first, prep everything. Trim and finely chop the spring onions, cut the chicken into chunks, peel and chop the garlic, grate the ginger - this is a pain in the neck, but worth it, next time I might try using lazy ginger. I'll keep you posted. Finally, put the sesame seeds into a dry pan on a low / medium heat and toast until they are golden. It's really easy to burn them so be careful, put them to the side.
  • Put the brown sugar, mirin and soy sauce into a bowl and mix. Put to one side.
  • Season the chicken with salt and pepper (not too much, I feel Lorraine uses too much in the recipe), and fry in hot oil for two minutes. 
  • Add the ginger and garlic to the chicken and cook for another minute.
  • Add the sugar / mirin / soy sauce mixture and simmer for 5 or 6 minutes. I sometimes simmer for longer to give it a stickier sauce, as it can come out quite thin. Be careful not to overcook the chicken though.
  • Add the spring onions and cook for two minutes.
  • Now remove from heat, add the sesame seeds and serve. I use boil in the bag rice because I'm lazy! And haven't a clue how to cook rice properly. (I will learn and blog about it!).
I really love this recipe. So quick and easy. I also made it the other night scaled-down for one person. And it worked just as well! The above photo is how it turned out (although I forgot to buy spring onions that time).

Next recipe = my favourite soup, Sweet Potato and Chorizo. YUM.

Over and out.

Smutch x

P.S - Oh and I now have one follower! So proud! Please have a look at her blog, she's a fellow Lorraine Pascale lover! http://missflashfantasticfood.blogspot.com/

Saturday, 21 January 2012

Number Two- 'Heartwarming Boeuf Bourguignon'

Boeuf Bourguignon.
 (photo from http://www.kitchendaily.com/global-cook/)
NOTE: This is a very easy recipe to follow (coming from someone who struggles to cut an apple), and can be changed to each persons tastes. Enjoy!

One of my first favorites.

I was a very picky kid. Hated beef, hated veg, hated cheese, wouldn't eat eggs, wouldn't really eat much. However, one day, I must've been around 12, my Mum made Boeuf Bourguignon .

If this gorgeous dish is made right...words cannot describe how beautiful it is. It is not for the 'calorie conscious' of you, but you must at least try a mouthful. I'm all for being healthy etc, but you have not lived until you have tried this recipe.

The inspiration for starting my blog was a film called 'Julie & Julia', this is a fantastic film that made me, the least inspired cook in the World, to want to cook, cook, cook, cook, cook. I have been following blogs for a wee while, but only one of them is actually a cooking blog. Her name is Laura, and she is substantially more advanced than me. I believe the film was also her inspiration to start a blog.You can find her here - http://foodpug.blogspot.com/

Right, so back to the dish. You have to remember that up until this point, I had never browned meat, or chopped garlic or anything similar. I am a total newbie! I was given the Lorraine Pascale cookbook for Christmas from my parents, I would advise anyone to invest, it's very easy to follow but some of her recipes are really inventive.

Lorraine Pascale's
Heart-warming Boeuf Bourguignon
(I don't know how the copyrights work on this thing, so going to put my own spin on it).
  • Season and add 250g of large chunks of braising steak to a pan and brown. 
  • Tip into a casserole dish and brown the other 750g in 250g portions too.
  • If the pan starts getting a bit burnt, add some red wine. Lorraine recommends Burgandy, but my Mum says any decent red will do.
  • Put 100g of lardons into a pan and brown, then add to the meat in the casserole dish. Repeat with the other 100g.
  • Sprinkle a handful of plain flour over the beef / lardons, and season with some salt and pepper (I put too much salt in, so be careful!). Stir until the flour has disappeared.
  • Add 2 sprigs of rosemary, 2 sprigs of Thyme and a clove of garlic ground to a paste / finely chopped.
  • Add just enough red wine (Lorraine recommends Burgandy), and Marsala or stock to cover ALL of the meat (my wine & marsala didn't cover the meat and it became dry).
  • Cover the caserole dish and cook in a pre-heated oven for 2.5 hours at 150 deg.C.
  • Fry the shallots until they are golden brown, add the carrot and cook for a minute then put them both aside. 
  • After the casserole has cooked for 2.5 hours, take it out of the oven, add the shallots, carrots and a large handful of dried porcini mushrooms (not totally necessary, as they aren't cheap!), then put the casserole back in the oven for 30 minutes. 
This should give you a gorgeous Boeuf Bourguignon, however to make it perfectly, follow Julia Child's recipe. She really is amazing! Find the full recipe here. Thanks to some advanced bloggers, way ahead of the game!

Anyway, I really enjoyed making this. As a newbie, the most difficult thing for me in this recipe was chopping garlic. And working out just when the beef was browned. Trial and error is a very important factor in this recipe. For me, Lorraine uses too much salt, and I would put in a lot more red wine, but that may be the lush in me!


Smutch x

Number One.

Hello all, or none.

Ok, I'm slightly embarrassed writing my first post for the following two reasons:
  1. I might be slightly boozy...
  2. The fact that people I know may actually read this....AARGH!!
Right.........anyhoo, I suppose you should learn some more about moi. So, my name is Sarah. I am currently twenty-one years, ten months and twenty-one days old. Nearly twenty-two. Obviously. I have lived in the North East of bonny Scotland my entire life.

Scotland is a love/hate relationship. I know people rave on about how beautiful Scotland is. And you may think this is all a pile of rubbish, but really, I am incredibly proud to be Scottish. It is a beautiful country, and if you don't live here or haven't been - COME. I'm not going to bore anyone (or nobody) with how amazing the food is here. And now for the embarrassing facts:
  •  I am picky. Beyond picky. I struggle to enjoy fruit or veg. (Except Carrots, I like Carrots).
  • I love junk food. Love it. Especially pizza!
  • I hate 'bits'. (Yoghurt 'Bits' especially).
  • I don't like Haggis, a typically Scottish food. 
  • I also really don't like fish. I'll eat prawns, but that's it as far as seafood goes!
So I'm really quite picky. This is partly why I'm learning to cook. I need to force myself to try new things. And I'm really sick of ready meals from my local supermarket.

Sorry I have dragged on. To be honest I am away to post my first recipe too....but oh well...nobody is reading this anyway. I suppose on the World Wide Web you can write whatever the heck you want. It has taken a huge amount of courage for a rookie amateur like me to post rubbish like this. So please laugh, hate, love, enjoy......criticism welcome. Within reason! I'm a sensitive wee thing!

Smutch x