Chicken and Mushroom Roulade wrapped in Parma Ham

I know what you are thinking, ‘that sounds posh!’ But it really isn’t. It’s a great dish to make on the weekend and impress your friends and it can be prepared in advance. I just made this recipe based on what was in my fridge, and you can do the same.

Chicken is so versatile that you can fill it with anything you like, from pesto, mozzarella and tomato to spinach and ricotta or even roasted vegetables. Anything goes! It’s great fun to make and surprisingly easy. Yes I promise!

Now there’s a few different methods of cooking a roulade. Some say to poach them in water and then pan fry to add colour, others say to pan fry first and then bake in the oven. I wanted to make life easy for myself so just stuck the entire roulade in the oven to roast and it turned out great. It was crispy on the outside yet juicy and succulent on the inside. Simple!

You can also serve it with anything you like. I served mine with sliced crispy rosemary potatoes, roasted broccoli, gravy and chilli jam. I had some lonely looking jars of chutneys at the back of my fridge leftover from Christmas and I thought why not! It tasted great and added a sweet but spicy hit to the entire dish. Give it a try and you won’t be disappointed! Here’s what I did.

Serves 2

Ingredients:

  • 1 large chicken breast
  • 100g Philadelphia garlic and herb cream cheese
  • 200g mushrooms
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 4 slices Parma ham
  • 1 handful fresh parsley

Method:

  • Chop up the mushrooms, garlic and parsley and gently fry in a frying pan until soft. Leave to cool.
  • Lay your chicken breast on a surface between two pieces of cling film. With something heavy like a meat mallet or a rolling pin, pound the chicken gently until its flat and wide, approximately 1cm thick. Careful not to hit it too hard or the chicken will break!
  • On another piece of cling film, lay out your slices of Parma ham, overlapping them slightly. Place the flattened chicken breast over the top of the ham.
  • Next spread the cream cheese over the flattened chicken breast. Then add and spread the chopped mushroom mixture over the top.
  • After this, carefully roll the entire chicken breast into a large sausage shape, trying to keep the filling in tact and using the cling film as support. Once rolled within the cling film, twist the sides to secure and place in the fridge to firm up slightly.
  • Once firm, remove the cling film and place on a baking tray. Roast the roulade in an oven at 180 degrees for approximately 40 minutes or until completely cooked through.
  • Slice the roulade and serve!

Thanks for reading and check out my website at www.jbimagery.co.uk

chicken roulade-web

 

 

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Healthy Thai Salmon Fishcakes

It’s January and we are all trying to eat a bit lighter after an indulgent December. No more mince pies, cheese boards and pork pies! However there is nothing to say that food has to be boring in January. It’s not all lettuce and boiled eggs.

I made Thai salmon fishcakes for dinner and served it with a big salad and I can safely say it went down a treat. Yes I added a few naughty prawn crackers but life is too short to be so strict. I don’t believe in regimented diets, mostly because I don’t think I have the discipline! I just like to eat fresh and healthy food and not deny myself the odd biscuit with my tea or dessert with my friends on the weekend.

These fishcakes were super easy to make. I happened to have lots of Thai ingredients in my kitchen that I used in this recipe but don’t panic. If you don’t have all of these ingredients or don’t want to buy them, all you need is a red Thai curry paste from a jar. These pastes have all the ingredients you need and has done all the hard work for you but won’t compromise on flavour. Just add a heaped teaspoon of this paste to your mix instead of all the Thai ingredients listed below.

Normally fishcakes are full of mash potato and can be a bit stodgy. They also tend to be covered in flour, egg and breadcrumbs and lightly fried, which can be a bit of a faff when you want something quick. To make these fishcakes lighter and easier to make, I skipped all of this! I simply made a mix in one big bowl and shaped them into fishcakes, and lightly pan fried them until crispy.

Another easy tip was to use pre-cooked salmon fillets that have been smoked. You can find these in the supermarkets next to the fresh fillets. They have a great smokey flavour and saves you time cooking the fillets yourself. Of course you can used unsmoked salmon too, just cook the salmon in the oven and leave to cool before making your mix.

So here’s what I did. Serves two.

Ingredients:

  • 2 cooked salmon fillets (smoked)
  • 1 handful chopped spring onions
  • 2 tbsp chopped coriander
  • 1 handful sweetcorn
  • 1 egg
  • 100g breadcrumbs
  • 1 pinch sesame seeds (to garnish)
  • Sweet chilli sauce (to serve)

Curry paste:

  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 1 thumb size galangal (or ginger), peeled
  • 2 kaffir lime leaves
  • 1/2 stick lemongrass
  • 1 whole shallot, peeled
  • 1/2 juice of a lime
  • 1 red chilli
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • 1 tsp fish sauce

Method:

  • To make the curry paste, place all of the ingredients in a blender and blitz until smooth.
  • Remove the skin from your salmon fillets and using two forks, flake up the salmon.
  • In a large bowl, add your flaked salmon, curry paste, and all of the remaining ingredients. Mix together and place in the fridge to firm up.
  • Once firm, divide your mix into four and shape into fishcakes. Squeeze out any excess liquid as you do this.
  • In a frying pan, add a tablespoon of oil and lightly fry the fishcakes. Cook until golden brown on all sides.
  • Sprinkle over the sesame seeds and serve with a big salad, sweet chilli sauce, prawn crackers and enjoy!

Thanks for reading and check out my website at www.jbimagery.co.uk 🙂

thai fishcakes-web

The secret to super smooth Hummus!

Yes that’s right. I have the secret! Although it’s not quite a secret, as it’s all over the internet but I recently discovered a small but vital tip to smooth hummus.

I often eat really smooth hummus in Turkish or Lebanese restaurants and cannot get enough of it. I love this creamy dip that goes well with almost anything, from vegetables, crackers or pitta breads. It’s a great dip to make when you have friends coming over but I never could master a super smooth hummus, until now!

I read an article that said the trick to super smooth hummus is to peel your chickpeas! The chickpeas have this slimy skin over it, and this is what stops your hummus being smooth. When blending the chickpeas, the skin never breaks down as much as you want it to. Yes it takes longer but is so worth it.

Now there’s a long standing debate about whether to use dried chickpeas or canned. Personally I haven’t tried using dried chickpeas, simply because it takes too long as you have to soak them overnight and boil them. One day I will give it a go, but for now I have found that tinned chickpeas work perfectly well.

This is my basic recipe to hummus, that can be flavoured however you please. You can add paprika, jalapeños or cumin. Or roasted peppers and garlic. You can add whatever you like! In this instance I added sumac, mixed seeds and pomegranate seeds for a burst of sweetness. It’s so delicious and so healthy! Follow this basic recipe and you can’t go wrong.

Ingredients:

  • 1 tin of chickpeas
  • 1/2 Lemon
  • 2 heaped tsp tahini
  • 1/2 clove garlic
  • pinch of salt
  • splash of juice from the chickpea can
  • drizzle of extra virgin olive oil (to serve)

Method:

  • Drain and peel all the chickpeas, whilst reserving some of the liquid from the can.
  • Place in the blender and add all of the other ingredients, apart from the olive oil.
  • Blend until extra smooth and season to taste.
  • If the mixture is too soft, place in a the fridge for 30 mins.
  • Spread over a plate using the back of a spoon. Sprinkle over any spices if you wish.
  • Drizzle with extra virgin olive oil and enjoy!

Thanks for reading and check out my website at www.jbimagery.co.uk

Hummus-web

 

Chinese Won Tons

Are you bored of seeing diet recipes all throughout January? Yes me too. There is no reason why healthy food can’t be fun and exciting to cook and eat.

If you have some spare time, why not try making some Chinese won tons? If you are having friends over, they will love it! Also, they are surprisingly easy to make so don’t worry.

You will need to buy some Chinese won ton wrappers from a good supermarket, a Chinese supermarket or online. I filled mine with pork mince but you can fill them with anything you want. Here’s what I did.

First of all you have to flavour your pork mince. Remember there is no strict recipe and you can add any flavours you want. To my pork mince, I added chopped garlic, ginger and chilli,  spring onions, sesame oil, chopped carrots, salt and pepper. Simple!

Then add a small amount of pork mince to the middle of the won ton wrapper, dip your finger in water and spread on the edges of the wrapper. Next, fold one corner to the other (diagonally) and then join the bottom two corners together and press firmly.

Now your won tons are ready to cook. You can steam them or fry them, but I did both! So I got a large pan with a lid on a medium heat and added some sesame oil. I placed the won tons in the pan and let the bottoms fry for a minute or two.

Once the bottom is crispy, add a large splash of water to the pan (be careful here) and then quickly put the lid on. This steams the rest on the won ton and you will be left with a crispy bottom and a soft top. Delicious!

Serve with a soy sauce dip and some vegetables. Its absolutely gorgeous, you have to try this! Go on…

chinese-dumplings-2

Healthy Carrot Muffins

So you see the word ‘healthy’ before something that is supposed to be a treat, and you automatically think it is going to be horrible right? Wrong! I’ve never tried one of those recipes that replaces every normal ingredient for something exotic and hard to find because I simply can’t be bothered to look for these ingredients. Plus the staff in the supermarkets might think I’m weird if I start asking for agave nectar and egg substitutes.

But I found this recipe for carrot muffins on cookieandkate.com and they are absolutely delicious. Kate uses coconut oil in this recipe instead of butter and sweetens it with maple syrup and the natural sweetness from the carrots and the raisins. It even has yogurt in there!

What I loved about this recipe is that it used ingredients that you are bound to find in most homes. I didn’t have to go searching the aisles for any unusual ingredients and could whip them up really quickly.

It’s also great to give to children (or hungry husbands) and you don’t have to feel too guilty about it. Now I am all for a treat now and again, but I seem to crave it too often so this is a great alternative. Plus they taste really good!

Click on the link above to see the recipe and give them a try. You won’t be disappointed!

Thanks for reading 🙂

www.jbimagery.co.uk

Roasted Butternut Squash Soup

Happy new year all 🙂 As we get into January, all I seem to see is diet adverts, documentaries, books and more. Diet, diet, diet…boring! Let’s be honest, they don’t last long. Why not just eat a healthy balanced diet throughout the year and have a treat every so often, or in my case more often that not. Whoops.

Anyway I am not one for dieting, I just like to eat well and have a biscuit with my tea when I feel like it. So here is my recipe for butternut squash soup, something that is perfect for lunch and is full of goodness.

I simply roasted a butternut squash in the oven with a couple of red onions for about an hour. I don’t bother peeling the butternut squash because surely it has lots of goodness in it, why get rid of it? Besides who has the time to peel giant veg. I also scraped out the seeds and roasted them with some paprika, it was delicious! No waste 😉

I then fried some garlic and rosemary in a large pot and added the roasted veg. After this, I added a vegetable stock cube and covered the veg with boiling water. Next, I added a small handful of rice to the pot, this gives the soup a creamy taste without having to add cream. You can add a splash of cream if you want it and it will be heavenly, but I am trying to watch the calories where I can. Season the soup, blend and you are done! Easy as that. Lovely.

Why not give it a try?

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Blueberries…a tasty topping!

We all know that blueberries are super healthy for us, but I have to admit I don’t eat them enough. They can be a bit expensive but I do think are worth it. I bought some recently and they are like tiny bullets of sweetness. Delicious!

Of course, the baker in me wanted to cover these blueberries with batter to make muffins or whip up a batch of blueberry pancakes smothered in maple syrup. But there was a tiny voice inside me screaming about how my hips didn’t need it. So I pimped my breakfast instead. Yes I know you are disappointed in me.

Just a handful of blueberries on top of your morning porridge or granola can really give it a lift. I had some homemade granola, topped with blueberries and natural yoghurt. I could have added some honey but didn’t want the sugar content to go through the roof. It was fresh and yummy.

I get bored of eating porridge every day so I am always looking for ways to mix it up. I also like to freeze the blueberries and when you bite into them they certainly wake you up! What do you guys have for breakfast? Let me know!

Thanks for reading and check out my portfolio at www.jbimagery.co.uk

Blueberries and granola w

Blueberries new shoot w