Chicken and bacon work together all the time.
- Prepare the chicken drumsticks by cleaning up the joint and wrapping the bone with foil if you wanna be fancy. If not, skip this and poach your chicken in salty boiling water till the juices run clear when pierced at the thickest part.
- In a skillet with a little little knob of butter, toss in chopped smoked bacon once the foaming of the butter has subsided.
- When the bacon bits are just about browned, toss in minced onions, sweating them on low heat.
- Toss in the peas once the onions are just about translucent. Let it simmer and remove when done adding a just small amount of the poaching water if its running dry during cooking.
- The chicken should be about done. Let it rest once cooked through.
- Baste it in hot butter till golden.
- Serve with a potato mash or carbs of your preference. I had it with hot steamed basmati.
A ballotine, which means ‘bundle’, is a French dish made of deboned meat fish or poultry (sometimes the whole animal) filled with stuffing and then rolled and tied into a bundle. It is roasted, poached or braised, and can be served hot or cold.
In this case, I made a couple of ballotines of pork shoulder and turkey breast, served on a bed of crushed peas and lemon-seasoned chopped peppers.
It’s a great thing that there’s still Christmas turkey left in the fridge, having it with a small bit of cranberry sauce is exquisite. The flavour of the bird having a friendly tug-o-war with the earthy aroma of pork is simply lovely. Not forgetting the fresh crunch of carrot ribbon rolls and subtle sweetness of the vegetables.
It’s amusing, I made a serving of couscous to go along with this; I need my carbs.
It’s evident that I’ve been watching way too many cooking shows: I’m addicted to the playing with my food now. All the minimalistic presentations, calling for finesse and vibrance, beckoning the appetite of the impatient diner. I just wanna eat good food without paying exorbitant prices.
Pan-seared chicken thigh on a bed of carrot mash, with peas, parsley and a white wine jus.
A beautiful celebration of crispy chicken skin and velvety sweet carrot, mingling with the succulent texture of the poultry, the playful burst of peas and the rowdiness of parsley. Then everything comes to a halt to welcome the zesty twang of lemon in the delightful reduction of white wine and chicken oil. In dishes like these, a delicious tune is heard with every bite.
Two mornings ago, I woke up from a dream; one about breakfast.
This is what I dreamt about:
Poached egg on pan-seared honey baked ham and toast, sitting on a mash of garden peas. With butter glazed mushrooms and basil tomatoes.
Perfect way to start the day.
Photography: Sarah Lee
Sunday Breakfasts are a luxury, as much as sleeping-in is as well. But if you’re up bright and early on Sunday morning, sunny or not, put the kettle on and make a cuppa tea. But don’t stop there. Put a pan on, make an egg (or two) sunny-side-up. Toast some bread, and spread some butter. Why not toss in some cheese, some ham and peas even. Finally, don’t forget a bit of your 5-a-day: lettuce. Have a hearty breakfast, not only ‘cos it’s ‘the most important meal of the day’, but because you can afford the time to.
Have a good week, everybody!
Even though I think the best way to have Bolognese is with spaghetti, sometimes penne is a pretty good change. Served in a deep bowl, all you need is a fork to stab and shove.
- 2 pork sausages
- 1 small handful of frozen peas
- 2 inches of a medium carrot, diced finely
- a quarter of an onion, diced finely
- 1 small small knob of butter
- 1 clove of garlic, minced
- chilli, minced (optional)
- 2 tsp of double concentrate tomato puree
- a pinch of dried basil
- sea salt, freshly ground
- black pepper, freshly ground
- freshly grated Parmesan,
- a couple of fresh basil leaves
- 2 handfuls of quick cook penne
- Get your pasta boiling in a pot.
- In a hot wok, toss the peas in.
- Once they’ve defrosted for a bit, dump the carrots in, together with the small small wad of butter. Toss.
- Then add the garlic and onions. Let them fry away happily, tossing occasionally.
- If you want it slightly spicy, add in the chilli now.
- Peel of the skin of the sausages and throw them into the wok. Cut them erratically with a spatula whilst stirring everything together.
- Scoop out some of the starchy pasta cooking water and pour into the wok.
- Stir in the tomato puree and add more pasta cooking water accordingly.
- When you’ve got the consistency you want, and the sausages cooked, pinch in the dried basil, salt and pepper. Stir and turn off the heat.
- Drain pasta.
- Serve with bolognese. Garnish with Parmesan and fresh basil leaves.
15-minute meal for the famished soul.
Last week, I suffered heart palpitations irregularly over a period of 24 hours. It worried me BIG time, and I knew I had to turn to ‘clean’ food.
Marmite Pasta with Boiled Pork and Peas
- 1 serving of pasta
- 50g of lean pork
- 1 handful of peas
- 1 tsp of Marmite
- 1 egg
Basically, I cooked everything with water: boiled the pasta, pork and peas, and steamed the egg. I also added a bit of the pasta-cooking water to the Marmite, and drizzled generously over the dish before eating.
Clean, and very healthy. If not for me, for my heart.
(Ironic previous post: Deep-Fried Batter.)