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.
1 large chicken breast
100g Philadelphia garlic and herb cream cheese
2 garlic cloves
4 slices Parma ham
1 handful fresh parsley
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.
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.
2 cooked salmon fillets (smoked)
1 handful chopped spring onions
2 tbsp chopped coriander
1 handful sweetcorn
1 pinch sesame seeds (to garnish)
Sweet chilli sauce (to serve)
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
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!
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.
1 tin of chickpeas
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)
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.
Baba Ganoush! Have you ever tried it? I think I just made it because I like to say it…Baba Ganoooooush. Go on say it with me, I can hear you trying to pronounce it.
Baba Ganoush is a mezze or dip that is made from roasted aubergines and it widely eaten in Lebanese cuisines. Now I know what you are thinking, it is not the most attractive looking dish, but what it lacks in appearance it makes up in flavour.
It is very easily made and you can whip it up in no time. Just roast an aubergine in the oven until dark and soft (don’t forget to prick the aubergine with a fork before roasting, otherwise it will explode and you will end up wearing it) and leave to cool afterwards. Then scoop out the flesh and roughly chop it up. After this, simply add 1 tsp tahini (sesame seed paste), 1 fresh garlic clove (minced), lemon juice, parsley, salt and pepper and extra virgin olive oil. You can spice it up a bit with some cumin seeds if you want that extra flavour and it’s done!
It’s a great dip that can be eaten with flatbread, pitta bread, or veggies. Yes it is slightly unusual and people might frown at it, but my husband is known for loathing aubergines, and he happily lapped this up. I think the freshly baked bread helped though.
I made a flatbread called ‘Maneesh’ from Paul Hollywood’s recipes (click here for the recipe) and it is so delicious. Easy to make and soft and airy.
So next time you have some people over, why not give it a try? Thanks for reading!
Have you ever tried making your own sausage rolls? They are so easy and a lot tastier than some of those ready made ones you find in the supermarkets. Making your own means you can add whatever flavour you want and you know what goes into them. No hidden nasty ingredients!
All you need is some lean pork mince (I bought the kind with very little fat) and some ready rolled puff pastry. Flavour the mince with whatever you have! I added fresh garlic, chopped rosemary and chilli and seasoned it with lots of salt and pepper. But you can add the classic combination of sage and onion, or some smoked paprika or fennel seeds. Get creative!
Cut the pastry into long strips (about 3 inches wide), place the pork mince in a long sausage shape in the middle and brush the edges with a beaten egg. Fold the pastry over the mince and seal with a fork. Brush the pastry with more beaten egg and sprinkle some sesame seeds on top. Lastly, cut them into edible sizes and you are ready to bake! Bake at 200 degrees C for about 20 minutes or until golden and crisp.
They are so tasty and much better than those bland supermarket sausage rolls. Great for parties, picnics and more. The only problem is trying to not eat them all! Go on…give it a try. Yum.
Merry Christmas everyone! It’s the best time of the year, a time when you can bake as much as you want and not feel guilty about it. So this year I decided to make gingerbread and oh my gosh they are so delicious and dangerously easy to keep eating.
Now please don’t laugh at my attempt at decorating. I am fully aware that one of my gingerbread men looks like he has had a bit too much sherry. I have no skills in decorating because whatever I make doesn’t seem to last long enough in my house.
I got this recipe from BBC Good Food and it is definitely one that I will keep. The gingerbread is not too sweet and has the right amount of spice. It is also slightly soft and chewy on the inside (if you don’t over bake it) and crisp on the outside, which I love.
They are great fun to make, especially if you have kids. I am a big kid myself so I was quite content making them for myself. So why not give them a go this Christmas?
Get cosy with a nice hot chocolate topped with marshmallows, perfect for dipping your gingerbread man in. All you need now is a classic Christmas movie, some warm socks and someone else to do the dishes. After all, this is the time to relax and treat yourself. But don’t eat too many!
Wishing you all a very Merry Christmas! Thanks for reading and have a lovely holiday!
The big day is nearly here! Are you ready to make an epic Christmas dinner? It’s the best part of the day and what would it be without homemade, fresh and crisp Yorkshire puddings!
I think a great roast dinner has to be served with the best roast potatoes and the best vegetables. I also think it has to have the best Yorkshire puddings! I have to admit, when I was young I remember eating ready made Yorkshire puds and didn’t think twice about them. And then I learnt how to make them and I have never looked back since.
They are so easy to make and very satisfying. I seem to find myself staring through the oven door and watch them rise. Yes I know, I need to get out more.
All there is to it, is 2 eggs, 100g plain flour and 100ml milk. Whisk it all together and add some salt. Get your muffin or cupcake tray and put a tiny drizzle of oil in each section and heat up in a very hot oven (gas mark 9). Once the oil is smoking hot, pour the batter into the tray and place back into the oven and do not open the door for about 20 mins. I turned the oven down after about 10 minutes to gas mark 6.
And there you have it, delicious, hot, crispy Yorkshire puddings ready to be dipped in some gravy. Go on give it a try, you will never look at another ready made pud again!
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