Tag Archives: Basil

Bacon-Wrapped Chicken Fillets

If you haven’t heard or seen this before, you must absolutely try it out sometime. Bacon-Wrapped Chicken Fillets will knock your socks off.

Depending on how many you’d like to make, this is what you’ll need for just a humble TWO pieces. But you know you’ll definitely want more.

Two ingredients, two simple steps, for two awesome chunks of meaty goodness.

  • 2 streaks of smoked bacon or pancetta.
  • 2 fillets of chicken, cut into pieces two inches long
  1. Put a piece of chicken on one end of a streak of bacon and roll it to the other end.
  2. Stick it into the top rack of the oven at 180°C for about 20 minutes, flipping it at midpoint.
TIP! If you wanna be a tad more adventurous, sprinkle a dash of thyme, rosemary or basil across each streak of bacon before rolling.
Also, this goes fantastic with a potato mash and gravy. More on that next time.
Advertisements

Bolognese Brilliance

Bolognese Brilliance: no serious slurping, no mess, just awesome food.

Building on from Springy Bolognese, I’ve decided to list some numbers and ingredients for this massively easy pasta dish. Its hearty and satisfying; perfect for that one time when you’re feeling incredibly hungry. Hurhur.

The brilliant thing about bolognese is that there’s no hard and fast rule about what goes inside. To me, it’s like Chinese Fried Rice; you add whatever tickles your fancy. Personally, I aim for ‘colourful’.

So here’s what I had in mine this time. Extremely extravagant. 

  • 1 third of pasta from a standard size quick cook spaghetti pack
  • 1 handful of chopped red pepper
  • 1 handful of chopped yellow pepper
  • 1 handful of peas, frozen works the same
  • 1 handful of mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 white onions, minced
  • 1 third of a finger chilli, minced
  • 1 clove of garlic, minced
  • 1 thumb-sized knob of butter
  • 50g of double concentrate tomato puree
  • half tbsp of dried basil
  • salt
  • pepper
  • 1 handful of finely grated cheddar (if you have parmesan, even better)
  • 1 handful of fresh rocket (optional)
  • 1 handful of beef minced (omit this is you’re vegetarian)

With all the ingredients ready, what you’re going for now is efficiency and speed. No mucking about. You’re hungry, and if you’re not about getting angry yet, your stomach is. A hungry man is an angry man. Whatever.

This is how to roll:

  1. Since we’re going for speed, quick-cook pasta is the key choice here. Get that in a pot of boiling water and let it work its magic. If you believe in the Italian saying that ”the water for pasta cooking should be as salty as the Mediterranean”, then go right ahead and salt that water.
  2. While that’s happening, get another pot/wok on the hob too. If your peas are frozen, get them straight in, together with that knob of butter. If not, get everything you want in your bolognese e.g. onions, mushrooms, peppers, carrots, etc. and dump them in. Let them fry about while you wash up your chopping board and knife, and welcome the Aroma Fairies.
  3. When they (the ingredients, not fairies) are just about done, in goes the minced beef. Toss.
  4. Then, tomato puree goes in too. Here’s a tip. Instead of using plain water to dilute your sauce, get some of that starchy pasta water, about half a cup full and pour it into the sauce. Happy days.
  5. Mix about before adding the dried basil. Mix some more and taste. Season with salt and pepper your liking. Turn the heat off.
  6. Your pasta should be done, so drain the water out and get it straight into your superb bolognese sauce. Toss about, coating every strand of that spaghetti in red goodness. Move all to a serving dish.
  7. Top with fresh rocket leaves. Then, grate your cheese straight onto everything.

Pasta Evolution

Remember Pasta Promotion?

Well, I am now proud to present to you, Pasta Evolution.

So what is it?

It’s Aglio Olio made with Chicken Oil

Yes, it’s exactly the same as your usual dry parmesan, garlic, basil, oregano and parsley spaghetti, except that you use the oil rendered from Very Succulent Braised Chicken Portions instead of olive oil.

Try it now or regret forever.


Pizza Saucery

 

Tried out making your own pizza dough yet? Here’s how you can make your own Pizza Sauce now. Yes, that tomatoey first layer that goes onto your perfectly round and flat pizza dough. Instead of buying a jar off the shelf at the store, here’s a really good cheat. It’s actually Spaghetti Bolognese without the spaghetti and chopped up ingredients. Just the sauce alone. Combine a lug of olive oil, tomato puree, basil, pepper and water into a bowl and mix. Add water bit by bit till you get the consistency of a spread. You don’t want it too paste-like nor too runny.

So simple to do, it doesn’t even take a minute.


Pasta Promotion

I remember the first time I ordered Aglio Olio. I was a young student then and pocket money was well, just pocket money. So pompous Bolognese and obnoxious Carbonara sitting on the menu had to take the back seat. Since then, I’d always thought of Aglio Olio as the humble, poor man’s pasta.

Most definitely, things change when you’ve got money. But hey, things also change when you can make your own food. Aglio Olio isn’t the same anymore; look who’s come out to play with the big boys now.


Easter Bruschetta

It was Easter Sunday two days ago and back home, the family always gathers for a meal. It may not be a feast of food but the cheerful banter and warm company is enjoyed by all.

This year, unfortunately, I’m away from home. However, that didn’t stop me from having a small dinner affair with a bunch of friends. While they were knocking hard at their books, churning out essays, I took to their kitchen and prepared a little somethings.

Easter Dinner Prix Fixe

Starter

Tomato Bruschetta

*

Main

Roasted Chicken Thighs

Shepherd’s Pie

Veggie Pie

Green Salad

*

Dessert

Caramel Ice Cream on Warm Brownies

*

I won’t feature all the items here, but what I’d like to share is how to go about making the starter – Tomato Bruschetta (pronounced as [brusˈketːa]). There are a few ways of doing it and here’s mine:

Place tomatoes into a deep bowl or pot and douse with boiling hot water. Ensure they are completely submerged for a couple of minutes.

Drain and remove the skin of the tomatoes. This should be pretty easy to do since they’ve been boiled through. Begin by using a knife to make a slit on the skin of the tomato.

Once that’s done, chop them all up and toss into a bowl, with a splash of olive oil, vinegar, basil, salt and pepper. Stick them into the fridge for a bit.

Toast slices of baguette in the oven or on a hot griddle pan, to your liking and sprinkle bits of chopped garlic on top. (I do this instead of adding the garlic to the tomato mixture so that the flavour of the garlic comes out stronger.)

Lay a spoonful of tomatoes on each of the baguette slices now. Top off finally with chopped arugula, for that nutty aftertaste. Done!

“Slimy, yet satisfying.”


Mr Coriander’s Dinner

When I was away in Greece for eleven days, someone had to look after my plant.  Yes, it’s just ONE plant and his name’s Mr Coriander.  So I got Joanna to look after him for me. She did a swell job and I wanted to thank her. And what better way was there than to cook for her.  This eventually led to a Sunday dinner with five other people, and this was the menu for the night:

Mini Yorkies with Beef Gravy
Aglio Olio
Champion’s Salad
Apple Crumble (Courtesy of Joanna & Gang)

I’m not gonna feature the entire dinner here but instead, I want to highlight the Aglio Olio which happened to be quite a hit for the night.  Thank goodness I did a trial run in the afternoon prior to the dinner:

Simplest of recipes and extremely fun too: garlic, parsley, dried chillies, basil, oregano, salt, pepper, olive oil and parmesan. Everything goes into a saucepan, together with spaghetti cooked until al dente.

Try it today! (: