Nicola’s Blog

Simple but Tasty! February 3, 2009

Filed under: Recipes — nickleickle @ 12:56 pm
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Usually if I do chicken in breadcrumbs (or similar), I dip the chicken or chicken pieces into egg, then flour and/or breadcrumbs and fry it.

I came accross this recipe the other week and tried it last night. It was really, really good!! Dipping the chicken in melted butter instead of egg made a big difference! I didnt have any cornflakes, so I whizzed up some toast in the mixer to make breadcrumbs, and it was very tasty – cooking it in the oven makes it a healthier option too.  Something I will definitely try again!

The suggestion is also made to prepare the chicken strips ahead of time, and then to freeze them so they just need to be cooked. Good timesaving idea.

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Gooey Chocolatey Fudge Cake December 14, 2008

Filed under: Recipes — nickleickle @ 5:21 pm
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lrg_1452I found another yummy looking recipe on the Jamie Oliver site, and tried it out at home.It’s a really rich, squidgy in the middle, naughty, fudgey, chocoately, scrupmtious cake!

The only thing I changed from the receipe was that I added a bit more fudge (mixture of vanilla and chocolate fudge), and I found that it needed almost double the stated time in the oven (although that may just have been my oven!).

Ingredients

  • 200g good-quality dark chocolate (70% cocoa solids)
  • 175g butter, plus extra for greasing
  • 120g soft brown sugar 
  • 100g blanched almonds
  • 2 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • a pinch of salt
  • 4 large eggs, preferably free-range or organic
  • 150g self-raising flour 
  • 100g fudge

crème fraîche or vanilla ice cream 

Serves 8

This cake is best made using a food processor, as you can simply add everything and blitz it up together, but you can easily make it by hand if you buy ground almonds and grate the chocolate into the mix. 


To make your cake

  • Preheat the oven to 160°C/320°F/gas 2 
  • Break up the chocolate, put it into a food processor with the butter, sugar, almonds, 1 tablespoon of the cocoa powder and the salt, and whiz until smooth 
  • Crack your eggs, one at a time, into the food processor and add the flour 
  • Whiz again until smooth 

To bake your cake

  • Get a deep baking dish roughly 25 x 25cm in size 
  • Butter the dish really well and sprinkle the remaining tablespoon of cocoa powder over it 
  • Shake it around a bit so it lightly coats the whole surface of the dish 
  • Pour the cake mixture into the dish, using a spatula to scrape it all out of the processor 
  • Break the fudge into pieces and sprinkle these over the top of the cake mix, pushing any larger pieces down into the mixture 
  • Pop the baking dish into the preheated oven and cook for 18 to 20 minutes 
  • Take the cake out of the oven and stick a fork into the middle of it 
  • If there’s a little bit of cake mixture on the fork when you pull it out, that’s okay – you want the cake to still be a little moist inside so that it’s nice and squidgy 
  • However, if it seems a bit wobbly, pop it back into the oven for another 3 to 5 minutes to firm up a bit

To serve your cake

  • Let your cake cool slightly and serve it warm and gooey 
  • Lovely with a dollop of crème fraîche or a scoop of vanilla ice cream
 

Apples, Apples & More Apples… November 8, 2008

Filed under: Recipes — nickleickle @ 4:34 pm
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apple-pieI am also making an apple pie.  Eamon kindly provided the congregation with huge sacks of apples, so we all helped ourselves to a few.  I never got to taste my last attempt at an apple pie as it got given away, so hopefully this one will be good!
web analyticsEDIT: Needed a tad more sugar. Apples went to mush – would have been better if I hadnt cooked them first I think. Pastry was good!

 

varkokbokI havent quite found a recipe that I like yet – I have found baking in different countries is totally different.  In Sweden, the flour, baking powder, eggs and everything are all different – so my Swedish cookbook works perfectly with Swedish ingredients, but not as well at all here in Ireland.

My other cookbooks are American, and despite having bought the right cup measures, again, the ingredients dont always seem to work as well.  I think I may have to invest in an Irish cookbook that I can use here! Any suggestions??

stuffed-appleMore apples left over – so (thanks Alison), I am making baked apples for dessert tonight with a mixture of walnuts, almonds, coconut, chocolate, dried cranberries and brown sugar stuffed inside.

apple-tea

EDIT: One word… MUSH…

The apple pie recipe that I used today said that I should cook the apples in water, sugar, spices and lemon juice, and then drain off the liquid before putting the apples into the pie.  The liquid looked too good to waste, so I added some more water & have reduced it down by half.  I am thinking of adding some hot water to it in a mug, and having a spiced apple tea! Mmmm…

EDIT: If you are going to make this tea – make sure you havent added butter to the apples – it makes the tea a wee bit weird 🙂    But it still tastes good!!

 

Roasted Pepper and Goats Cheese Bruschetta, Apple & Walnut Stuffed Pork Loin, Mushroom Risotto and White Chocolate Mousse October 25, 2008

Filed under: Recipes — nickleickle @ 3:14 pm
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Tonight’s dinner is a bit of an experiment – but I figured cooking for three lads (one of whom says that beans on toast is his favourite meal :-), and the other two being single) – that they wouldn’t be too critical.. We’ll see!

So for starters I am doing something that I have made before – a really easy and delicious starter that I had at an Italian restaurant in Kildare Outlet Village and really liked.

So you get half a ciabatta, or white crispy roll, drizzle on some olive oil and spread on some pesto.  Then you get a jar of roasted peppers (thank you Aldi! You could roast them yourself if you really wanted), and put a few pieces on each piece of bread. Add some goats cheese on the top (thanks again Aldi!), drizzle a little more olive oil on top & put under the grill for a minute or two till its heated up.

Serve with web analyticsrocket with a little more olive oil, and maybe some balsamic vinegar. Voila – easy and tasty!

 

The main course is a bit of an experiment.  One pork loin – rinse & pat dry.  Butterfly the loin and whack with a meat hammer (or rolling pin as I did!). Rub in some salt & freshly ground pepper. Soak 1 cup of croutons in half a cup of chicken stock and leave for 5 mins or so. In a mixer (or chop by hand for a rougher texture), add 1/3 cup dried cranberries, 1/3 cup walnuts, 1 cup chopped apple, 2 tblsp maple syrup, 1 teasp rosemary, 1/4 cup minced shallots (except that I forgot to put them in and rolled everything up, so I added some sliced onions underneath the pork roll, and some on top – hope it will do!) and the croutons. Whizz for a few seconds, and spread onto the flattened pork loin.

Roll it all up, tie with kitchen string (where do you buy that?? None in Tesco today – had to make do with some thread – hope that works too!!).  Put some olive oil in an oven dish and put in the pork. You can refrigerate it at this stage until you are ready to cook it.

175 C for about 1hour 15 mins (according to the recipe – haven’t tried it yet), and then slice up and serve.

I am also serving it with a mushroom risotto type thing, and some lightly boiled baby veg (that I got free in Tesco as they overcharged me!!).  Not sure about the combination of risotto and the pork, was trying to decide between roasted potatoes and roasted veg, but decided on the rice.

Dessert is a white chocolate mousse – melt 175g white chocolate in a bain-marie. Add 90ml milk (which I forgot to do… I blame Itunes for distracting me and making me forget half my ingredients!), stir and set aside.  Whip up two egg whites and 1tblsp lemon juice until stiff, and fold into the chocolate.  Whip 225ml cream also until stiff and fold that into the whole mixture too. I filled half my little glass dishes with the mousse, then put on a thin layer of mashed raspberries, and then filled the glasses up.  Put in the fridge for at least 2 hours. I am going to put some dark chocolate flakes on top, and a whole raspberry to decorate.

 

So that’s the plan… I will edit and add photos when we have eaten it all!!!!

Ok so here’s the verdict – the starters was yummy! The main meal was a bit of a weird combination – the risotto & pork didnt really go. The pork was way too sweet for my liking, but it wasn’t yucky! Could be nice with some tweaking perhaps. The dessert was good too – also quite sweet, but the raspberries made a nice sharp contrast – I would put more raspberries in the next time.