Tuesday, 26 November 2013

flapjacks

Flapjacks are full of oats and oats are full of great things. What else are oats good for? Porridge. Konjee. Haggis. All these can provide you with oats and oats are brilliant for keeping you full, and counteracting cholesterol.

Oh, oatcakes, you can make oatcakes. Personally, I'd rather eat kitchen towels, a more convenient way to remove moisture from my mouth. I suppose you could use oats to make textured pictures as part of a collage, if you run out of sand and pasta, or indeed together with sand and pasta - although I suspect you would need gallons of glue.

You can use oats as a coating too, instead of breadcrumbs.

Aren't they used as a facial scrub sometimes (with water)?

I've no idea why they get horses/ponies etc frisky, but apparently they do. I've tried it and it didn't work for me. But don't let that stop you.

Anyway, for reasons that would take too long to explain, I've got an awful lot of oats in the cupboard. And it isn't because I've been trying to pep up my love life, or that my pony has died. Now, I hate porridge but my family doesn't, sadly the oats I have in plenty are the jumbo variety, and I'm told they don't make good porridge or rather when used in porridge the slime factor isn't uniform enough or something. I'm not eating it, can't say. So what to do? Flapjacks is the only answer.

I use a roasting tin, lined with baking parchment. It measures 8x12" (20x30cm). So, adjust the quantities according to the size of your tin. Or use a tin the same size as mine.

What is baking parchment? It's greaseproof paper's baby brother, probably the result of space technology, like teflon. It is non-stick. If you haven't got any, grease the tin very well, or use the old stalwart, greaseproof paper, which you should also grease. What's the point of that? It makes the tin easier to clean, and helps you get the flapjacks out of the tin more easily as well.

tip:
  1. scrunching up the paper makes it sit easier in the pan
  2. using enough paper to reach the edge of the tray makes it easier to get everything out 
  3. you can use up the ends of packets of mueslie as part of your flapjacks
Flapjack recipe

Ingredients
200g butter or margarine
100g soft brown sugar
200g golden syrup
500g oats

Set your oven to Gas Mark 5/375/190

Method
Line your baking tin with baking parchment.
  • On a low hear, gently melt the butter/marg in a saucepan. Once it has melted. Add the sugar and golden syrup, keeping the heat low, stirring all the time.
  • If you let it bubble it may start to crystallise, and not mix completely with the oats.
  • Once everything in the pan is melted and mixed up nicely stir in the oats, until the liquid coats the oats evenly. Stir the oat mixture up well, so that the oats soak up the liquid well.
  • Put the sticky oat mixture into the tin, spreading it evenly to the edges and tamping it down, to make it an even depth. 
  • Cook for 20-30 minutes, until the surface of the mixture is slightly golden. 
  • Take out of the over and allow to cool. 
  • When flapjacks are tepid, cut into squares, using a sharp knife. If you cut from the outside edge into the middle, it'll be a cleaner cut.
Don't eat too much at once, becuase you might get tummy ache. Or, live dangerously, and eat it all at once. Or as much as you like. It's your life, your stomach. They're pretty good flapjacks.

If you fancy it you can add nuts and/or dried fruit. Up to 150g in weight should do it.

Wednesday, 6 November 2013

hazelnut crisp biscuits




 
The hazelnuts in these biscuits give a lovely flavour and aroma. Despite the sweetness there is a slight tang, almost bitter, probably coming from the skins, which I include, through laziness. They are lovely with a cup of tea or coffee. I know they are popular, because they disappear quickly.

The biscuit is not a shortbread, it is quite crisp.

They are very easy to make, but make sure that they don’t burn, they should be a nut brown. Appropriately.

I am only giving cup measures. A cup is about 2/3 of a mug – or a quarter cup is about the size of a demitasse coffee cup. Really, don’t fret about it. Use a sensible measure as a cup measure, something like a small bowl, and measure everything else in proportion.

INGREDIENTS

1/2 cup of butter or margarine
1 cup light brown sugar (I mix demerera and some brown)
1 egg
1 tsp. vanilla essence
1 cup plain flour
1/4 tsp baking poweder
1/2 tsp. salt

1/2 cup chopped hazelnuts

METHOD

Prepare two baking trays – lined with baking parchment or buttered and floured.

Set oven to GM 4/350F/180C degrees
quite airy and crisp
Grind up the nuts to the texture you like. I like some finely ground and some coarser bits and I use a hand blender with a lidded chopper attachment.
  • Beat the sugar and the butter together with the vanilla essence.
  • Beat the egg into the sugar mixture.
  • Beat in the flour until it all comes together
  • Drop by the teaspoonful onto the prepared sheets, leaving room to spread – press thin if you like


Bake for around 10 minutes – until they are a light nut brown. Keep an eye on them!
sideways but good!



Monday, 21 October 2013

Apple tart - French rustic meets British bite


Tart made with Wilma's Bramley apples
This is apple time, the apples falling late this year, helped by the recent deluge of rain and ferocious gusts of wind. Since they are so late, the birds and bugs have had first dibs, and a lot of the apples bear scars and scabs that mean they won't keep. Time for some serious baking - apple recipes follow.

The Bramley apple is queen in the British autumn kitchen. With a thick waxy skin, and a characteristic shape, the crisp super sharp flesh gives a flavour that is unbeatable. This apple lends to all kinds of cooking, with the addition of judicious sweetening and spice. It is worth letting it take the lead, by pairing it with a butter laden pastry.

The pastry of this tart is buttery, crunchy, like shortbread and flavoured by an unexpected addition – alcohol. The alcohol cooks off, so eating it won’t get you drunk, other than on pleasure. I usually use tightly packed plums or apricots as the filling - but here I've used Bramley apples.

Betty’s original recipe used Calvados, which underscored the apple flavour, but any strong alcohol will do. I’ve tried using rum, brandy and vodka, although I prefer something with flavour. 

Since I've run out of Calvados I used rum in this tart
This rich pastry seems to resist getting a really soggy base from the abundant fruit juices. Cook it shortly before eating if you like the base of the tart crisp, or prepare it ahead and enjoy the slightly soaked-in flavour. Of course, it’s delicious either way.

Recipe
for two 8"/20cm tarts

For the pastry:
500g plain flour
300g unsalted butter
100g castor sugar
2 egg yolks
1 coffee cup of strong alcohol

For the filling - per tart
two tins of apricots
or
1kg/2lb+ of fresh fruit, stoned or peeled and cored 
You can use tightly packed plums or apricots as the filling - but here I have used Bramley apples.

Method

  • cream butter and sugar together
  • add egg yolk, beat in until combined
  • slowly add alcohol, beating all the time - if it happens to start to separate add a spoonful of flour
  • add in sifted flour a little at a time
  • if the mixture becomes slightly dry add water to combine into a ball
  • allow mixture to sit for at least an hour - best in a plastic bag in the fridge
  • roll out half the pastry and line well buttered tart tin - if it cracks patch with scraps
  • crimp the edge with your fingers and trim of surplus - I like a nice fat edge
  • pack fruit in tightly - fresh fruit is great, but you can also use tinned apricots
  • sprinkle liberally with demerera sugar or failing that granulated sugar 
  • cook for 45m at gas mark 4/350 F/180 C
  • eat hot or cold 
  • great with slightly sweetened creme fraiche, cream or ice cream

Tips
Don't stress too much about how the fruit is arranged, just make sure there is plenty of it, packed tight.

Try using the pastry recipe to make wonderful shortbread.

Either
Roll it into a fat sausage, wrap and chill for an hour, then cut slices with a very sharp knife.
lay out on lined baking sheet and prick with fork
cook for 15-20m gas mark 4/350 F/180 C
Or              
Just bundle it up, wrap it and chill, pinching off pieces of the mixture and flatten into discs with a fork.

Monday, 14 October 2013

Leek and mushroom tart



wholemeal pastry with leeek and mushroom filling. Wholegrain mustard spread over the base, then a bit of cheese sprinkled over that. A mixture of milk and egg with seasoning was poured over the lot and a little cheese sprinkled on for good measure. All cooked together. I need to hone the recipe, but the flavours were terrific. You could use a white sauce instead of the egg mixture.

Mocha iced choc marble fairy cakes

Seemed to vanish

Wednesday, 9 October 2013

pad thai style veg... with rice! Veg Month hits the jackpot.



vegan pleasure in a bowl
Stir fried pad thai style veg:

I have committed to a month of being a vegetarian, inspired by Wendy, who is keeping a blog recording her meals day to day. As I love eating lots of herbs, I have parsley, coriander, mint and dill in the house. Purchase of a sweetheart cabbage, the pointy kind, and the idea of an ersatz pad thai came to mind, but the rice noodles have all been eaten, so I moved swiftly on to stir fried veg with coconut rice.
The most tricky part of this meal is the slicing and chopping. It is a refreshing and filling dish bursting with flavour. I like to have a kick of chilli in with the veg, but it isn’t for everyone. 

If you can’t be bothered toasting peanuts, you can substitute roast salted peanuts, but if you do, leave out the soya sauce, or you will have salt overload.

The flavours are fresh and zesty, and the combination is very satisfying.

This is enough for one very hungry person, or two not so hungry. Increase the cabbage, egg and peanuts to make it serve more. 

Ingredients
·         ½ pointed cabbage sliced very fine, including stem
·         ½ Onion finely sliced
·         1 large carrot, sliced finely
·         2 cloves Garlic chopped finely
·         ½ “ Ginger chopped finely
·         1 tbsp soya sauce
·         1 tbsp sweet chilli sauce
·         1 lime, ½ as juice, ½ to serve
·         1 egg
·         Large handful raw peanuts, toasted and crushed or chopped
·         Small bunch of fresh coriander (cilantro), chopped fine, including the stems (wash it first)
·         Sprig of mint leaves, chopped fine
·         oil

Rice
Dessicated coconut

Method
  • Cook the rice according to preference, together with the coconut.
  • Mix the lime juice, soya sauce and chilli sauce in a bowl and set aside.
  • Heat a wok or large frying pan on a medium heat, and once hot add a slug of oil
  • Put garlic, ginger, onions, cabbage, carrot, onion, chopped herbs and half the crushed peanuts into the wok and cook for a minute, stirring all the time.
  • Add some water, a couple of tablespoons and cook for another minute, stirring
  • Push the vegetable mixture to one side and crack the egg into the free area of the pan, stirring the egg, letting it cook through, then mix the egg through the veg
  • Add the soya sauce, chilli sauce and juice from ½ lime, stir through and turn off the heat.
  • Sprinkle over the remaining crushed peanuts and serve with a lime wedge and the cooked coconut rice



Sourdough mojo w mixed flours

this used a mix country malt, wholemeal and white bread flours



SOURDOUGH 

Based on Hugh Fearnley Whittingstall recipe - http://bit.ly/hughfwsourdough see how to make your sourdough starter there, or look for sourdough starter recipes online.


For the sponge
About 150ml active starter 
250g strong flour (white, wholemeal or a mixture)


For the loaf

300g strong bread flour (white, wholemeal or a combination)
oil 
10g fine sea salt


At least 8h before you want to bake your loaf, mix up a 'sponge'. This is a combination of some active starter, water and flour: 150ml of starter, 250g flour and 275ml warm water. Stir well, cover and leave overnight or the equivalent. In the morning it will look thick and bubbly. (don't forget to replenish your starter)

Once the sponge has had time to get to work, mix it with 300g of flour, along with the salt. Tip the dough on to an oiled surface and knead until it feels smooth, probably about 10 minutes. Enjoy yourself, that is about three songs worth of kneading. If it stays sticky, add a little flour, but if you keep your hands and the surface oiled, it usually transforms as the gluten starts to bind everything together. Once it is kneaded put your dough into an oiled bowl, cover and leave to rise. You can’t rush it, let it do its stuff for a few hours in a warm spot, overnight (or equivalent) in a cool spot. You should see when it’s ready, it will be about twice the size of when it started.

Knock it back by kneading, or do the stretch and fold (see below). Oil the surface you are working on, and oil your hands, to stop the dough from sticking. Let it sit for a while – ie ‘prove’ – until it has risen again, the knock back by knead or stretch method and make a round loaf by tucking in the raggy edges together, leaving a smooth top.

You may have a proving basket, lined with cloth, or you might like to improvise one. I use a drying up cloth to line the inside of my salad spinner. Whatever you use, it should be around twice as tall as the dough. Sprinkle the cloth and the loaf generously with flour – if you mix in a litte cornmeal it makes the crust crisper. Put the smooth side of your loaf down into the basket (or equivalent). Make sure the edges of the loaf are good and floury, because it is very annoying if the dough sticks.

The top of the loaf needs to be covered while it rises. You can use oiled plastic – bag or cling fim – or flour the upside end of the dough liberally and fold over the dish cloth. It will take around1 ½ - 3h for it to double in size.

The oven needs to heat up to as hot as it will go before you put in your loaf. Once it’s hot enough, put a bowlful of boiling water in, on the shelf below, to make it nice and steamy.

Turn out your loaf onto a lined/greased baking tray. Don’t worry if it’s covered in flour. Use a very sharp knife to make slashes in it – I dip mine in water to keep the slashes open. Put the loaf in the oven and cook at the highest temperature for 20m, then turn it down to 200 C and cook for another 20m. It is cooked when the base sounds hollow when it's tapped, if it doesn’t sound hollow, give it another 10m.

Leave to cool before cutting.
I thought I'd lost the talent for making bread, but it turned out I was just rushing it. Phew.

Stretch and fold or fold and stretch
Fold and Stretch – from here on the dough should be handled as gently as possible to retain all of the rise and bubbles that it are building.

Dust flour around and under the dough while it’s in the bowl and scoop it out onto a smooth and floured countertop or large floured cutting board.

Place a dough scraper under one edge, then grab as much dough as you can, and lift up without tearing it, and pull back toward the middle of the dough ball. Think of this round ball as a clock. Pull and stretch the four sides at 12 o’clock, 3 o’clock, 6 o’clock and 9 o’clock.

Stretching and folding takes the place of kneading and you will get a feel for how many times you want to do this before your final proof and bake. Two or three times is a rule of thumb. Don’t do it so often that it’s too stiff to bake. Each time of stretching and folding, the dough should become a little stiffer. Make sure you space these 30 to 40 minutes apart to allow the dough to relax between the stretch and folds.



Olivia made carrot cake - it must be love

I started this blog so that daughter Olivia could have recipes from home to cook when she was at uni, a little while ago. She's been and gone, got a 1st and returned to the fold. It soon became clear that I was more interested in writing the blog than she was in making the recipes, but yesterday she wanted to make her friend a birthday cake, and turned to cookable. So this is her choice - carrot cake.

I was impressed at the result, but then remembered what a teenage friend said recently 'cooking isn't that hard, really' and of course she is right. Teenagers know everything. Cooking is mostly a matter of paying attention.

This Australian Women's Weekly recipe for carrot cake is easy to make and not as sweet as some, just sweet enough. I boost the spice with extra tsp of cinnamon, to boost the flavour. I like to ice the cake inside and out, and prefer this citrus fudge icing to the more often used cream cheese icing.

'icing just right this time mum' (photo from April)
Carrot cake

Preparation and cooking time – 1hour 35 minutes

1 cup / 250 ml vegetable oil
1 1/3 cups / 250 g firmly packed brown sugar
3 cups / 220 g firmly packed, coarsely grated carrot (about 6 medium carrots)
1 cup / 120 g coarsely chopped walnuts
3 eggs
2 ½ / 375 g self-raising flour
½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
2 tsp mixed spice
1tsp cinnamon

Preheat the oven to 160 C

I use two 23cm tins and bake for 40 mins

  • Grease deep 23 cm round cake tin, lining base with baking parchment
  • Put carrot and nuts in large bowl,  and sift flour, bicarb and spices together in a separate bowl, keep both to one side
  • Beat oil, sugar and eggs in small bowl with electric mixer until thick and creamy. Transfer mixture to large bowl with carrot and nuts, stirring, adding flour mixing well
  • Pour mixture into prepared tin and bake cake for about 1 ¼ hours, covering loosely with foil or parchment halfway through cooking, to prevent it browning too much on top
  • Stand cake for five minutes before turning it onto a rack to cool
If you can stand it, this cake is better if left for a day to mature.

Saturday, 28 September 2013

Chard tart

Tarte aux Blettes, sometimes a sweet tart, with a top crust, pine nuts and sugar. This version makes the veg take centre stage. It's got an earthy taste that I love. The stems and leaves are prepared separately, then piled onto a wholemeal shortcrust, and bechamel is spread over the lot. Top that with a mild cheese, and cook in a medium oven. It's great, hot or cold. Oh, lemon zest from one lemon should be grated over the pastry, and other than property and salt, nutmeg is the only other flavouring.

If you wanted, cooked bacon bits or ham could be added.

Salad and steamed potatoes makes it a feast.

Tuesday, 24 September 2013

biscotti for an autumn evening - you dictate the season

The autumn sun has just about set, I’m thinking ahead, and tonight I will indulge in an evening tipple, a little brandy perhaps. In my hand I want to see a little hard biscuit. Cantuccini, dipped in a little spirit, with a short coffee. The flavour is light, you can still taste the nuts as well as vanilla and a touch of cinammon. A winning combo, making a proper end to an evening. 

After some experiments I’ve mastered the recipe for cantuccini now. My first batch were definitely the dentist’s friend, requiring serious dunking, in tea coffee or alcohol to avoid that worrying bite and crunch, after which you couldn’t help wondering if there was a nut in your mouth or a fragment of something, that until very recently, had formed part of your dental infrastructure.

All in all, despite this being a two-step recipe, it is worth making the effort. The biscotti, apart from being the only thing in my cupboard with that name that is actually cooked twice, keep for ages, if you can hide them from the greedy. They are not too sweet either.

I have used mixed nuts and favour some brazil nuts and some hazelnuts as an alternative. I don’t want any fruit in there myself, but some people include raisins or apricots (chopped up). You don’t have to peel the almonds either, of course. Time to bake.

Tips:
  • The dough should be sticky but not wet. Eggs vary in size, as does opinion about what large means (thank you, Marks and Spencer). If your dough is not sticking together add a little water, drop by drop. Or you could add some alcohol, it will give the flavour a twist, something without too pungent. Not milk, since this is a fat free recipe, let’s not spoil it.
  • Don’t forget the salt, it makes a big difference, and I try to have fresh baking powder, because baking powder does go off and a poor rise is just depressing.
  • When you take the loaf out It’s worth waiting a while before cutting the first bake of the loaf into slices. I find a very sharp serrated knife works best. I’m also thinking of drying out the almonds a little before starting on this recipe. I skin the almonds by soaking them in boiling water, and that makes them a teeny bit soggy.

Set your oven to Gas Mark 4 (180°C/350°F).

RECIPE

Ingredients:
325g (12oz) plain flour
300g (11oz) caster sugar
1½ tsp. baking powder
½ tsp. ground cinnamon
½ tsp. salt
325g (12oz) whole blanched almonds
3 large eggs
2 tsp. vanilla extract

Method:
  • Prepare two baking sheets with baking parchment.
  • Roughly crush about a third of the almonds (I sometimes use 1/3 almond flour)
  • Mix the dry ingredients: flour, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, salt and almonds.
  • Whisk the eggs and vanilla together and stir them into the dry ingredients, working it into a stiff dough (I use a fork). If it’s not all sticking together add a few drops of water.
  • Turn the dough out onto a floured board and divide into two.
  • Roll each half into a sausage and divide again into two, so you have four pieces. I do this because it fits on my baking tray, and makes slightly smaller biscotti.
  • Put the sausage shaped dough on the lined trays and flatten a little – they will spread a bit, so keep them well spaced.
  • Bake for about 30 minutes, or until the logs are well risen and have almost doubled in size.
  • Leave the oven on.
  • Cut into slices about 1cm thick. Some people say they should be smaller, but I can’t cut them that small. Don’t worry about leaving space between the slices.
  • Put the sliced dough back and cook for around 20 minutes more, until they are lightly toasted. Let them cool before storing (or eating).


Makes lots.

biscotti for an autumn evening - you dictate the season

The autumn sun has just about set, I’m thinking ahead, and tonight I will indulge in an evening tipple, a little brandy perhaps. In my hand I want to see a little hard biscuit. Cantuccini, dipped in a little spirit, with a short coffee. The flavour is light, you can still taste the nuts as well as vanilla and a touch of cinammon. A winning combo, making a proper end to an evening. 

After some experiments I’ve mastered the recipe for cantuccini now. My first batch were definitely the dentist’s friend, requiring serious dunking, in tea coffee or alcohol to avoid that worrying bite and crunch, after which you couldn’t help wondering if there was a nut in your mouth or a fragment of something, that until very recently, had formed part of your dental infrastructure.

All in all, despite this being a two-step recipe, it is worth making the effort. The biscotti, apart from being the only thing in my cupboard with that name that is actually cooked twice, keep for ages, if you can hide them from the greedy. They are not too sweet either.

I have used mixed nuts and favour some brazil nuts and some hazelnuts as an alternative. I don’t want any fruit in there myself, but some people include raisins or apricots (chopped up). You don’t have to peel the almonds either, of course. Time to bake.

Tips:
  • The dough should be sticky but not wet. Eggs vary in size, as does opinion about what large means (thank you, Marks and Spencer). If your dough is not sticking together add a little water, drop by drop. Or you could add some alcohol, it will give the flavour a twist, something without too pungent. Not milk, since this is a fat free recipe, let’s not spoil it.
  • Don’t forget the salt, it makes a big difference, and I try to have fresh baking powder, because baking powder does go off and a poor rise is just depressing.
  • When you take the loaf out It’s worth waiting a while before cutting the first bake of the loaf into slices. I find a very sharp serrated knife works best. I’m also thinking of drying out the almonds a little before starting on this recipe. I skin the almonds by soaking them in boiling water, and that makes them a teeny bit soggy.

Set your oven to Gas Mark 4 (180°C/350°F).

RECIPE

Ingredients:
325g (12oz) plain flour
300g (11oz) caster sugar
1½ tsp. baking powder
½ tsp. ground cinnamon
½ tsp. salt
325g (12oz) whole blanched almonds
3 large eggs
2 tsp. vanilla extract

Method:
  • Prepare two baking sheets with baking parchment.
  • Roughly crush about a third of the almonds (I sometimes use 1/3 almond flour)
  • Mix the dry ingredients: flour, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, salt and almonds.
  • Whisk the eggs and vanilla together and stir them into the dry ingredients, working it into a stiff dough (I use a fork). If it’s not all sticking together add a few drops of water.
  • Turn the dough out onto a floured board and divide into two.
  • Roll each half into a sausage and divide again into two, so you have four pieces. I do this because it fits on my baking tray, and makes slightly smaller biscotti.
  • Put the sausage shaped dough on the lined trays and flatten a little – they will spread a bit, so keep them well spaced.
  • Bake for about 30 minutes, or until the logs are well risen and have almost doubled in size.
  • Leave the oven on.
  • Cut into slices about 1cm thick. Some people say they should be smaller, but I can’t cut them that small. Don’t worry about leaving space between the slices.
  • Put the sliced dough back and cook for around 20 minutes more, until they are lightly toasted. Let them cool before storing (or eating).


Makes lots.

Monday, 23 September 2013

first mince pie nice on a September day


ok, I was surprised too, but I've just eaten my first mince pie of Christmas 2013

Sunday, 22 September 2013

revisiting green sauce with fish

I got such an enthusiastic reception for green sauce yesterday, that I am reprinting the recipe. Last night I added tarragon, so it the combination garlic, coriander, dill, tarragon, capers and gherkins, with about a spoonful of olive oil, a couple of spoonfuls each of maionnaise and greek yoghurt, plenty of pepper and salt. Into the blender and hey presto, joy to eat with potatoes and on this occasion salmon baked in white wine on a bed of tarragon, dill and coriander.

It is hard to describe the flavour, since the ingredients vary. The variety above has a lovely aniseedy undertone. The main thing about green sauce is that it packs a tangy punch, and complements both fish, meat and veg. Give it a go.

this is my original posting:

The green sauce is a grab it sauce in terms of ingredients. I often have parsley, coriander and dill hanging around, and I throw a good handful of each into the blender with a clove of garlic, pepper and salt and blitz the lot. Adding a bit of oil and lemon juice or vinegar gives a lovely dense sauce. Adding assorted pickles (capers, gherkins, jalapenos) adds a vinegary tinge.You can also add maionnaise, and/or yoghurt or creme fraiche. Anchovies may also put in an appearance, to be blitzed. I like to have a smooth base and then add some texture by chopping an onion very finely by hand, sometimes a hard boiled egg might be added. Green sauce is a lovely accompaniment to fish and potatoes. 

Friday, 20 September 2013

Chicken risotto with chorizo

Risotto scares people off, as it has the reputation of being difficult to cook. Its true that if it is overcooked it can be like an unwelcome savoury rice pudding. The only thing you need to do is to take it slow. Even going slow, it is a quick meal to prepare, around 30 minutes including peeling, chopping and slicing.

half a packet of sliced chorizo
·         1 chicken breast, sliced
·         Risotto rice - ½ cup per person

·         1 large glass of white wine
·         Olive oil

·         green veg (peas, sliced beans, sliced courgette)
·         Parmesan cheese, finely grated
·         Salt and pepper
·         Two sprigs of fresh rosemary
·         Two tomatoes (tinned is ok)
·         Spoonful of balsamic vinegar
·         Good quality organic chicken stock
·         One red onion, finely chopped
·         2 cloves garlic, sliced
·         Butter

Method

·         Fry the tomatoes in olive oil in a large/deep frying pan, until they are reduced, add the balsamic and set to one side
·         Put a couple of tablespoonfuls of olive oil on the hob, and add sliced garlic, chopped red onion, and the rest of the rosemary
·         Add sliced chorizo and chicken, and continue to cook for five minutes, stirring
·         Once the chicken has started to colour and the oils are seeping out of the chorizo, add rice, frying at a medium temperature for a couple of minutes
·         Add the wine, keeping the temperature bring the wine to a simmer
·         Now start adding the chicken stock, a small amount at a time, but keeping the ingredients just covered beneath the stock
·         Cook the rice for about fifteen - twenty minutes, stirring all the time
·         After ten minutes add the veg, stirring into the risotto, so it cooks properly
·         Keep checking the rice, it is cooked when the rice is firm but not hard
·         Stir in the tomatoes, season and add the parmesan

Let the risotto sit for a few minutes.


Eat with some nice peppery lettuce leaves