Chipotle Chicken Stew

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Roast chicken in our house is much more than one meal. I like to get creative with using the leftovers and try and make as many meals as possible out of them. This almost always includes me cooking up a pot of stock the next day using the bones and a tasty salad using the scraps of thigh and leg meat but thats not really that exciting. This is one of my favourite quick, easy, healthy roast chicken left over meals using few ingredients and taking minimal time. You can use skinless, boneless chicken thighs if you don’t have any roast chicken to use up!

SCC Chipotle Chicken Closer

 

For two people, you will need:

A teaspoon vegetable oil

Left over roast chicken

1 red onion, sliced

1/2 Green Pepper, sliced

1 can of chopped tomatoes

2 Tbsp Chipotle Sauce, you can add more depending on your prefered taste. I like to use the La Costena brand

Fresh Coriander to finish

 

Add a small amount of oil to a lidded saucepan and cook the onion and peppers until softened. Add the chicken, tomatoes and chipotle, cover and gently cook until the chicken is heated through. Garnish with fresh coriander leaves and serve with rice. So easy!!

 

SCC Chipotle Chicken

 

Soup of the week! Lamb Mulligatawny

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SCC Lamb Mulligatawny Soup TextThe first time I tried Mulligatawny soup it was out of a Heinz tin. As a kid, I thought it was Scottish. Of course it wasn’t the mild spices that lead me to my conclusion but the name, to me, sounded very much from Scotland. It’s not really much of a surprise as the very same child thought that ‘random’ was a small town near Manchester. You know when you’re watching a TV show and they say, ‘Winners will be chosen at random’? Well I thought it was a happy place where, in a special building, there were winners everywhere. I was very much a youngster who lived in a world of Rainbows and Unicorns!

I pulled this soup together a couple of weeks ago when my husband came home from work feeling a little fluey. He said he wasn’t hungry but I had to make sure he got his vitamins if he was going to get better and it went down a treat! It’s so miserable here in Singapore at the moment. Earlier this year we had no rain at all for about 8 or 9 weeks but now we seem to be getting some everyday. This soup is full of goodness and along with the spices, a yummy, healthy, comforting dinner when the heavens are opening up outside.

This recipe, which serves 6,  comes out similar to a dhal’s consistency which you can thin out if you would prefer with some extra stock but I personally like it just the way it is.

When I’m cooking I like to prepare a Mise en Place before I start with anything else. I have multiple ramekins, dishes of various sizes and plastic containers that fill my cupboards and are used almost daily for this purpose. Our kitchen has very little worktop space so if I start making a meal and haven’t prepared anything, the odds are that something will go wrong. If I keep all my prepared ingredients in their own area, fill the sink with hot soapy water and throw the pots and ramekins straight into the washing up bowl whilst I’m cooking, I find it not only keeps the mess to a minimum, but during those periods where I have to wait 5/10 minutes before the next step,  I can get those pots washed, dried and put away making much less tidying to do after dinner. And that my friends, is what I call a good result!

 

What you’ll need:

 

  • 250g Minced Lamb
  • 1 tbsp Sunflower Oil
  • 3 Cloves of Garlic, 2 finely chopped and one squished with the flat side of a knife
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 Large Onion, finely chopped
  • 2 Medium Carrots, cut into smallish chunks
  • 2 Celery Sticks, sliced
  • 1 Large or Two Small Sweet Potatoes, peeled and cut into smallish chunks
  • 1 Tbsp Curry Powder
  • 1 Tsp Ground Cinnamon
  • 1 Tbsp Tomato Puree
  • 1 Eating Apple, peeled, cored and cut into small chunks
  • 1/2 a Fresh Mango, cut into chunks (You can take the other half, chop into pieces and freeze in two parts, I have another recipe coming soon that it can be used in!)
  • 1 Litre Hot Chicken Stock
  • 1 Cup of Uncooked Green Lentils
  • Fresh Coriander, Natural Yogurt and flat breads to serve

 

Get all your ingredients ready as directed above and once prepped, set the oil on a medium heat in a saucepan and start browning the lamb. Whilst this is going on, place the lentils in second saucepan and add the one squished garlic clove and a bay leaf to help add some flavour into them whilst cooking. Add 2 cups of hot water and simmer for around 20 minutes. Once the lamb has browned, add in the onion, carrots, celery, sweet potato and the remaining garlic. Pop the lid on and sweat out for around 10 minutes stirring or shaking the pan occasionally to prevent sticking on the bottom. Once soft, add in the tomato puree, curry powder and cinnamon. Stir well before pouring in the hot stock, apple and fresh mango and simmer for about 5 minutes. Check your veggies are tender before turning off the heat and leaving to cool for a few minutes. Your lentils should now be quite soft so drain them and remove the garlic and bay. Set them aside whilst you blend the soup in a food processor. It’s up to you how much you process the soup but I like to leave a few little lumps in there. Pour back into the saucepan and stir in the lentils. Season with salt and pepper before serving with a dollop of yogurt, a scattering of coriander and your chosen flat bread, pitta, chapati or naan.

SCC Lamb Mulligatawny Rain

 

 

Back from Honeybobs!

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You know? Like holibobs but honeymoon-bobs? Well my husband knew that’s what I meant the first time I said it but maybe that’s why he’s my husband!

When I cooked dinner  last tuesday, it was the first time I had cooked since 9th April! That was our last meal at home before we left for England to wed and then off on our two week honeybobs in the Maldives. Although our honeymoon was amazing in every aspect, after that amount of time we were definitely ready to come home and I was missing Bryan (the pug) heaps!

I always have the same craving when I’ve been away from home for a while and it’s always roast chicken. I think it’s because it was the most common Sunday roast my mum would make therefore making it comfort food. When we landed late on Monday night I was just about ready for my roast chicken. Having learned early on in my Singapore experience, if you want your whole chicken to come without head and feet, then you need to pick up the chicken in the packaging which states ‘without head and feet’. This is always something I pay attention to as with the first whole chicken I bought here, I had no idea until I took the bird out of it’s packaging and placed it on a tray to marinade, much to my horror I ended up eye to eye to the clucker. As I clearly still had Maldives brain on, when I picked up my first chicken packet last week and saw it said with head and feet, I just picked up the packet in the next display not checking which parts of the anatomy were still attached. I realised my error when I opened the packet and I saw cockscomb and wattles  hanging down, in a slight panic, I tried to hack off the neck with my favourite ceramic kitchen knife which my dad bought me for Christmas only to break the knife rather than the spine of the bird! Tuesday was clearly not my day. Anyhow, I stuffed my chicken with some fresh sage leaves, half a lemon and half an onion before popping in the oven at around 160 degrees for 90 minutes. We had some delicious chicken, not forgetting that lovely crispy skin, with new potatoes, green beans, roasted sweet potato and carrot. Accompanied by Bisto, as I keep forgetting to pick up gravy browning to make our passed down family recipe homemade gravy, of course we enjoyed it with a dollop of cranberry sauce. 

A lot of people have a certain food from home they crave when they’ve been traveling, my husband always fancies a cheddar and branston sandwich on white crusty rolls. What’s your comfort food craving after a spell away from home?

 

SCC Chicken in Oven SCC Chicken and Sweet potatoes SCC Chicken Meat SCC Chicken Skin

 

Bangers and Bulgar

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‘Remember, remember the 5th of November, Gunpowder, Treason and Plot’ It’s the most well known song that relates to Guy Fawes Night. This is the first year in a long time that I have missed a display on bonfire night, there doesn’t seem to be anything happening in Singapore but I have fond memories of watching displays previous years. Wrapped up in hats, scarves and gloves it seems a world away from our life here. Apart from sparklers, I always think of slightly burned sausages when I think of bonfire night. I have no idea why as my Dad would probably gasp at the prospect of a sausage being given such disrespect. I had tried to find some decent sausages here in Singapore and finally hit the jackpot a couple of weeks ago when I found a packet of British Sausages in the freezer section of my local supermarket. From a farm in the home counties they really are a taste of England. The last couple of weeks I’ve been eating a lot of grains, pulses and wholewheat. I always thought that Bulgar Wheat was really boring and tasteless, but cooked with the right herbs and spices it can be really full of flavor. It’s also a pretty quick dinner and to top it all off, this week is British Sausage Week, what better excuse do I need to open a packet of good old british bangers!

Here’s my recipe for Bangers and Bulgar

What you’ll need for two people…

100g Bulgar Wheat, this will need a good wash to take away any bitter taste

25g Raisins

1 tbsp Olive Oil

1 Red onion thinly sliced

2 Cloves of garlic

1 tsp Cinnamon

1 tsp Garam Masala

25g Toasted Pine Nuts

One large pack of fresh coriander, roughly chopped

4 Sausages

SCC Bangers and Bulghar Ingredients

Get the sausages cooking as they’re going to take the longest. While they’re having a sizzle, take a small sauce pan and heat the onion and garlic until soft. This should take just over 5 minutes. Add a little salt and pepper along with the cinnamon and garam masala and cook for another couple of minutes. Meanwhile, place the bulghar and the raisins in a sauce pan, cover with water and boil for 5 minutes. Once cooked, drain and mix with the cooked onions and garlic, add the pine nuts and serve with the sausages cut into chunks.

SCC Bangers and Bulghar

Egg White Omelette with Feta Cheese

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It’s been a busy couple of weeks in our household with my in laws to be visiting from England. It’s been nice to actually spend some time making memories with them rather than just the quick catch ups when you just spend a couple of days together every few months. We’ve had a lovely time showing them the sights of Singapore and eating out in some yummy restaurants, what a treat!  Although it hasn’t given me much time in the kitchen lately.  With them now safely home and the other half back in the office, it’s time for me to get the apartment back in order and get into the kitchen. Here’s what I had for lunch today…

Yet another healthy post from me but lets just make one thing clear – we aren’t sacrificing on taste here. I’m the kind of person who’d rather spend an extra 20 minutes in the gym than eat some low fat, low cal cardboard.  I have always associated egg white omelette with healthy tasteless rubbish but the low fat feta in this one teamed with the olives and mushrooms makes it very tasty indeed. Even the other half likes it! Next you’ll just need to figure out what to use those left over egg yolks for! This recipe makes an omelette to serve one.

What you’ll need:

3 Egg whites, Seasoned with salt and pepper

25g Red onion, finely sliced

1 Black olives, sliced

2 Mushrooms, sliced

50g low fat feta cheese

SCC Egg White Omellette Ingredients

Coat a small frying pan with a little cooking spray or just enough olive oil to cover the pan in a thin layer. Cook the mushrooms and onions on a medium to low heat for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Now add the feta and olives, followed by the egg whites. Swirl them around until they coat the bottom of the pan and cook until the eggs are no longer translucent. Turn over halfway if you need to. Serve with your favorite side salad.

SCC Egg White Feta Omelette

Caesar Salad Dressing – The Healthy Alternative

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This isn’t the most seasonal recipe to post on the last day of September but then again we are no longer eating the most seasonal foods in our household when the only change throughout the year is ‘Monsoon Season’ and ‘not Monsoon Season’.

I am a real sauce lover. Be it gravy drowning my Sunday roast or a big dollop of hollandaise on a juicy steak, sauce really completes a meal for me. So with the wedding coming up it doesn’t help with my healthy eating when I want drink the stuff!

One of the few salads I can get the main man in my life to eat as a meal in itself  is Chicken Caesar – he loves it. I’ve managed to adapt the sauce so it still has that caesar taste but is a bit lighter on the calories. This recipe makes enough to serve 4 people.

What you’ll need:

SCC Ceasar Ingredients

One small or half of one large clove of garlic, minced

75g Low Fat Mayonnaise

40g Parmesan, grated

Juice of half a lemon

1 tsp Colmans English Mustard Powder

SCC Ceasar Dressing in Mug

Mix all the ingredients together until well blended. Traditionally, the salad is tossed in the dressing before being served but we’re cutting down on calories here so divide the dressing evenly between four mini dishes and season with some freshly ground black pepper.

SCC Ceasar Salad Dressing

Get some chicken breasts in the grill pan and start preparing that salad!

SSC Grilled Chicken

Another way I cut down on calories with this is to dip my fork in the dressing before loading it up with salad, that way I get the taste of the dressing with every mouthful without the same calories as smothering the entire salad with it.  And I don’t feel as guilty enjoying a nice cold glass of Riesling Gewurztraminer blend with my Saturday lunch.

Not you traditional Ceasar salad but a yummy Chicken Salad with a just as yummy Caesar Dressing!

Not your traditional Caesar salad but a yummy Chicken Salad with a just as yummy Caesar Dressing!

Quiche au Gruyère

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Quiche was always a favorite for Mum and me. She would sometimes bring home a couple of slices of Cheese and Onion from the deli counter where she worked many years ago. It would put a smile on my face to see that plastic bag in the fridge with the sticker printout reading QUICHE.

It’s only in recent years that I’ve extended myself to eating Quiche Lorraine and other varieties rather than just the cheese and onion from my childhood, if you know me well, then you’ll know I’m a sucker for almost anything cheese and onion flavored.

In Switzerland, bacon lardons and Gruyère, the swiss cheese traditionally used in Quiche au Gruyère, are both readily available and reasonably priced and so are great ready made pastries if you don’t have neither the time nor willingness to make your own. I guess that’s why I eventually perfected this recipe in Geneva. I much prefer homemade pastry although I now have to give it a miss and go straight for the ready made here in Singapore. My kitchen temperature generally averages at around 30 degrees and being one of the only rooms in our condo without air conditioning, it’s difficult to make a tasty pastry. As the old saying goes, cold hands make good pastry. This is because the warmer the fat is, the more flour it absorbs and the pastry becomes tough. That aside, I have actually made this a couple of times without any pastry at all which cuts out some of those calories too!

What you’ll need…

SCC Quiche Ingredients

Short crust pastry, be it homemade or straight from the store or just leave it out completely!

Butter for greasing

100g cooked bacon lardons

4 eggs

160ml double cream

75g Gruyere

100ml milk

20cm, circular Flan dish  – If your dish is slightly smaller, you can just pour any left over mixture into muffin tins to make make mini crustless quiches. Cook for about 20 mins until golden and set and pop them in the fridge once cooled and they make great little snacks!

 SCC Fried Bacon

Preheat the (fan assisted) oven to 160 degrees. If you are using pastry, you will need to blind bake the pastry in the flan dish. To do this, simply grease the dish with the butter, lay the sheet of pastry into the dish pressing it in smoothly. Leave a little pastry as an over lap – I usually cut this off once it’s all cooked. Next you’ll need to lay a sheet of baking paper over the pastry and fill with baking beans If you don’t have baking beans you can use dried beans, pulses or rice instead. This bit stops the pastry from rising up. Bake for 20 mins before carefully removing the beans, continue to bake for an additional 5 mins.

Its not very photogenic but thats what working with pastry in 30 degrees plus does!

Its not very photogenic but thats what working with pastry in 30 degrees plus does!

Whilst this is cooking we can make the filling. Beat the eggs in a jug and then add the milk and cream and beat a little more. I always beat the eggs separately and then add the milk and cream afterwards as I have made this before and noticed whilst pouring the filling into the case, I still had a whole yolk. Now add the bacon and cheese, stir through and season with salt and pepper.

This is the crustless version with the mixture poured straight into the flan dish

This is the crustless version with the mixture poured straight into the flan dish

Next, without taking the flan dish out of the oven you’ll need to pour the mixture into the case, this is so that you can get as much mixture in as possible without it spilling over the edge. Using an oven glove, slide the oven shelf out and pour the mixture into the case. Continue to bake for 40 minutes until nice and golden on top. Allow to cool for a few minutes before removing and serving with a fresh side salad. Any left overs can be chilled and eaten straight form the fridge.

Crustless, fresh from the oven. Just like a gooey, cheesy, creamy, oven baked omelette

Crustless, fresh from the oven. Just like a gooey, cheesy, creamy, oven baked omelette

Served with salad for a yummy weekend lunch. I added a handful of chopped mushrooms to the mixture here as I had some in the fridge

Served with salad for a yummy weekend lunch. I added a handful of chopped mushrooms to the mixture here as I had some in the fridge