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

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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 🙂

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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

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Jack Daniels BBQ Ribs!

Have you ever tasted the most succulent, tender, fall off the bone ribs in a restaurant and wanted to make it at home? Well now you can. I made these today and I can safely say that I had a very happy husband next to me. These ribs were effortless to make and so worth it. They were so tender that I struggled to slice the ribs off to take the picture! The meat was literally falling off the bone. Yes…

It’s a great dish to make when friends are coming over, as you can leave them in the oven to slow cook whilst enjoying a glass of wine with your guests and not be stuck in the kitchen the whole time.

Now this is my recipe, inspired by lots of other recipes and adapted to whatever I had in the house. So you can adapt it too. Put whatever you want on them, there is no right or wrong way of making them. I’m sure they will be delicious no matter what!

Here’s what I did:

Ingredients:

2 rack of pork ribs

Dry Spice Rub:

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 tsp pepper

1 tsp fennel seeds

1 heaped tsp smoked paprika

1/2 tsp dried oregano

1/2 tsp dried thyme

1 tsp garlic powder

1/2 tsp chilli flakes

Jack Daniels BBQ Sauce: 

100ml Jack Daniels (you can use less or more depending on how much you like it!)

2 tbsp tomato ketchup

2 tbsp brown sauce

1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce

2 tsp Tobasco

1 tsp english mustard

1 tsp honey

50ml apple juice

1 tsp smoked paprika

  1. Put all the dry spice ingredients in a pestle and mortar and beat to a fine rub. Use this rub to coat all over the ribs.
  2. Place ribs in an oven tray and cover with foil. Cook in the oven at 160 degrees for 2.5 hours or until soft and tender and cooked through.
  3. Meanwhile make the BBQ sauce. In a saucepan, add all of the sauce ingredients and mix together. Simmer gently for 5 minutes. Leave to cool.
  4. Once the ribs are cooked, remove the foil and coat the ribs in the bbq sauce. Place back in the oven (uncovered) for a further 25 minutes until the sauce has cooked and thickened.
  5. Serve with coleslaw or any sides you wish!

Now I’ll admit, my measurements are estimations simply because they are not as important as other recipes. It doesn’t matter if you add a little more tabasco or a little less  apple juice. As long as you stick to the rough quantities then you will end up with a great sauce.

Get the napkins ready, this is a messy dish! Enjoy 🙂

Thanks for reading! Check out my website at www.jbimagery.co.uk

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Hearty Chicken Soup

There is something about a warm bowl of chicken soup on a cold winter Sunday evening that makes you feel like everything is going to be okay. If you are feeling a bit under the weather, or just fancy an easy and tasty soup, then this recipe is for you.

It’s amazing how food can comfort you in many ways, and that comfort food does not always have to be unhealthy lardy dishes. Comfort food can also strike fond memories of your childhood, when your Mum would make you some soup if you are not feeling 100%. That first mouthful warms your insides and suddenly your spirits are lifted slightly, and that bond between mother and child is intensified just that little bit more. Thanks Mum.

So if you feel like making some soup for the soul, or you want to make someone feel a bit better, why not give this a try.

I am not ashamed to say that I took a massive shortcut in this recipe and used a rotisserie roast chicken bought from the supermarket. I love the taste of a rotisserie chicken compared to a home roasted chicken, but of course you can use either.

Ingredients:

1 carrot

1/2 onion

2 garlic cloves

1 chilli

A pinch of ground cumin

Sweetcorn (as much as you like)

1 rotisserie chicken (or any cooked chicken)

1 tbsp cornflour

500ml chicken stock

  1. Dice the carrot and onion and finely slice the garlic and chilli. In a pot, add a little olive oil and place the vegetables in. Sauté gently until softened.
  2. From your roasted chicken, remove the skin and shred some meat from the leg, thigh and wing (this meat is more tender and will not dry out.) Add the chicken to the pan.
  3. Season the ingredients in the pan with sea salt, cracked black pepper and a pinch of cumin.
  4. Add the chicken stock. In a water glass, mix the cornflour with a splash of cold water and then add to the soup to thicken it.
  5. Simmer for a few minutes. Serve with crusty bread.

Tip: I used a chicken stock melt with boiling water as my stock, these can be found in all supermarkets. If not, a stock cube or fresh chicken stock will work too.

I have to say that I like my soup with a little bit of a kick! I believe spice diminishes any nasty germs but maybe that is a myth. If you don’t want the soup to be spicy, leave out the black pepper, chilli and cumin. But I have to say that these are the best ingredients so please don’t blame me if it is bland or boring! :p

Thanks for reading! Check out my website at www.jbimagery.co.uk

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Peri Peri Chicken Wings!

Yes that’s right…Peri Peri Chicken Wings! We all know and love the famous flavours of peri peri chicken from Nando’s but have you ever tried to make it at home? It’s delicious and cheaper!

Now if the weather was a little bit nicer, I would highly recommend cooking the chicken on the barbecue. But its a bit early for barbecue season so you can still make this in the comfort of your own kitchen. All you need is a grill pan and an oven! I blasted the wings on a very hot grill pan first to get that charred effect that gives great flavour and then whack them in the oven to cook through. Here’s how I made the marinade:

Blend together:

1 chopped onion

4 garlic gloves

2 whole chillies (or more/less depending how hot you like them)

2 tsp smoked paprika

1 tsp oregano

Juice of 1 lemon

1 tsp sugar

1 tsp salt and pepper

1 tsp oil

1 handful chopped parsley

Now you can adjust this recipe to suit your taste buds and experiment! Leave the skin on the wings and marinate for a few hours or overnight. Then when you are ready to cook, blast them on the grill pan either side and then cook them through in the oven. Serve with wedges and salad and enjoy!

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

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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…

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