Creamy, Cheesy, Chicken, Broccoli, Leek and Pasta Bake

This was a hit with all family members! 8 and 9 from the kids. This fed 4 of us with a bit left over. I cooked this all in one pan, so if you’re planning on doing the same you’ll need quite a deep frying pan, with a lid, as you steam the veg in the same pan as the chicken so it’ll need to be covered. If you haven’t got one you’ll need to cook the leek and broccoli in the pan for longer, so add them into the pan when the onion goes in.

Ingredients

  • 6 Boneless chicken thighs (chopped into small chunks)
  • 1 leek (sliced)
  • Broccoli (my kids love Broccoli so I put lots of it in (all of it – as you buy it in a bunch at the supermarket)
  • Half an Onion (finely sliced)
  • Juice of half a lemon
  • 200g Cheese (grated)
  • 150ml Double Cream
  • 250ml Chicken Stock
  • Pasta (however much you want really – you know your appetite)
  • Knob of butter
  • Salt and Pepper

Method

  • Boil the kettle and put the water in a pan on the hob to boil with the pasta
  • Put a knob of butter in a deep frying pan and fry off the chicken so it’s sealed on all sides
  • Put the onion in with the chicken and cook until soft
  • Add the leek and broccoli and fry for a further few minutes until it softens slightly
  • Add in the chicken stock and lemon juice and cover, let simmer for about 7 minutes until the stock reduces right down, this needs to be covered to steam the veg.
  • Once it’s reduced down to half it’s size add in the cream and half the cheese and keep simmering until the sauce thickens to your taste
  • Add in the salt and pepper and stir in the pasta
  • Put into a baking dish, sprinkling over the remainder of the cheese and pop in the over at 180 for about 10 minutes or until top turns slightly brown.

Voila.

(You can actually miss out the last step, you don’t have to bake it as well if you can’t be bothered and want less washing up!)

For a little bit of added flavour a heaped teaspoon of wholegrain mustard is nice in this sauce too.

 

 

Chorizo and Broad Bean Risotto

chorizo risotto

Mmmmmmmm…..this is possibly the yummiest thing I have ever cooked in my entire life!

I cooked enough for 2 but Beardy was out so I kept going back to get more until there was only one bean left, then I felt sorry for it and ate that too! Ummmm, I know, naughty me, but I couldn’t help it – it called to me, and it’s rude to ignore. I didn’t even feel guilty, I would have done if I’d left it there all alone with no-one to talk to though, so I figure I did the right thing.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup Arborio Rice
  • 1/2 – 3/4 ltr Chicken Stock
  • 1/2 White Onion (finely chopped)
  • 1 clove of Garlic (crushed)
  • Large handful of grated Parmesan
  • Half a Chorizo Sausage (halved and sliced)
  • 1 cup frozen Broad Beans
  • 1 tbsp Double Cream
  • Salt and Pepper
  • Knob of butter

Method

  • Melt the knob of butter in a saucepan big enough to hold the whole risotto and chuck in the onion, garlic and rice and stir until the rice looks a bit translucent.
  • Pour in the Chicken stock ladle by ladle and intermittently stir vigorously until you’ve used about half of it. The rice should soak up all the stock and you should have a creamy pudding rice consistency.
  • Put in half the Parmesan and all the Chorizo and continue to add in the stock, stirring the whole time.
  • After about 10 minutes of stirring add in the remainder of the stock along with the Broad Beans and remainder of Parmesan and cover to simmer for a few minutes, checking the whole time to make sure the rice doesn’t stick. If it does, just add a bit more boiling water.
  • When the rice is done, pour in the Double Cream and allow to heat through, adding Salt and Pepper to taste (I like lots of Pepper!)
  • Sprinkle with a dusting of Parmesan, if you fancy…and I do.
  • All done.

This should take about 20-25 minutes to cook in total and although is not particularly healthy, is SUPER YUM!

Chorizo, Prawn and Sweet Potato Risotto

prawn&chorizo risotto

Sorry about the soft hue over the picture, I think it must have been the steam but looks a bit like some sort of sultry porno food picture! …..umm…anyway….

I’ve gone a bit mad on Chorizo recently, every time I go shopping Chorizo is on my list and it always ends up in some kind of Prawny Chorizo stylie concoction. The kids both love Chorizo too so it’s a winner, although with this particular dish didn’t bother giving to them since Boo’s new found hatred of Prawns (she used to love them! I can’t help feeling it’s my fault for giving her too many Chorizo and Prawn combinations) and Bears disgust at being served up Sweet Potato – no idea where that came from?! I didn’t think this one would go down too well. So this was just for the grown ups in our house, although some would argue there actually aren’t any! 🙂

Ingredients

  • 1 Chorizo sausage – halved and sliced
  • 1 cup peeled Prawns (cooked/frozen/uncooked – whatever your preference)
  • 1 Sweet Potato – chopped into small chunks
  • half an Onion – finely chopped
  • 3 cloves Garlic – crushed
  • 1 glass rose wine
  • 1 teaspoon Paprika
  • 1 cup frozen Peas
  • 1 cup of Risotto rice
  • 1.5 ltr chicken stock
  • a good handful of parmesan cheese
  • knob of butter
  • Salt and Pepper

Method

  • Heat your oven to 180 degrees
  • Plonk a knob of butter in a pan big enough to hold the risotto and fry off the chopped onion and garlic, add into the pan the rice and coat all over with the garlicy oniony mixture until the rice goes a bit see through
  • Boil a kettle and make your chicken stock, one or two ladles at a time pour into the pan, along with the glass of rose wine, and keep stirring (if you stir vigorously throughout you will release more starch so the risotto will be creamier)
  • Cut up the Sweet Potato into chunks and drizzle with olive oil, sea salt and black pepper. Pop in the oven for about 20 mins – hopefully the time it takes for the Risotto to cook.

sweet pot

  • Meanwhile, while the rice is cooking, chop up the chorizo and put with another knob of butter in a separate frying pan, fry for a few minutes until the butter turns orange and the chorizo becomes harder in texture.
  • Keep adding and stirring that risotto rice. Add in half the parmesan cheese, paprika and salt and pepper to taste (I like to put LOADS of pepper in)
  • Add in the chorizo along with the butter it was cooked in and if you have frozen prawns, put them in now too
  • Keep stirring and tasting the rice until almost done, add the peas, and if you have fresh prawns, cooked or uncooked, this is when you would add them followed by the rest of the parmesan.

chorizo risotto

  • Take the sweet potato out of the oven and stir through the risotto.Check the prawns and rice before dishing up.
  • I grated a bit more Parmesan on top too, can never have too much Parmesan!
  • Eat. Yumski.

 

 

Kids Chicken and Bacon Carbanana (Carbonara)

I say kids, because it’s super creamy and cheesy, in other words, unhealthy (and delicious), not that I ply my kids with unhealthy stuff you understand, they eat well and have a very balanced diet (she says after just posting a peanut butter cookie recipe!), but because of this I don’t mind spoiling them occasionally with something creamy and delicious, something I very rarely treat Beardy and myself to! If I mention the word ‘cream’ in a dinner to Beardy I get a disappointed look (we’re trying to be ‘good’), thus forcing me to sneak away and secretly hide in the fridge eating cheese and drinking cream, out of Beardys view, shhhh, he doesn’t need to know (if I get caught I’ll just say I’m nibbling a lettuce leaf – got it covered!) Saying all this, it still doesn’t stop him ‘making sure it tastes ok!’

So, if you’re a follower of my blog you’ll know I don’t like spending loads of time cooking for the kids. I love this recipe because it’s easy and quick. We got in late tonight and I had some chicken, bacon and double cream to use up and this is what popped into my head. They both love normal Carbonara (or Carbanana as they used to call it), so knew they’d like it, but there is always something, no matter how small, left on the plate, not tonight, oh no, I almost didn’t need to wash their plates up they were so clean!

Ingredients

  • 2 chicken breasts, cut into small cubes
  • 4 rashers of bacon, cut into small strips
  • 1 egg
  • Grated cheddar cheese, about a handful (I usually use Pecorino, but didn’t have any)
  • Double cream, say, half a cup
  • Pasta (I used Farfalle but obviously you can use whatever you have)
  • Pasta cooking water

Method

Put the pasta on to boil. In the meantime, put a couple of glugs of oil in a large pan and fry off the bacon until it’s crispy, set aside with the juices in a separate dish. Fry off the chicken until done, get rid of the fat. Chuck the bacon with it’s juices and pasta back into the pan with the chicken and add half the cream. Crack the egg over the top of the mixture and mix in well, making sure you break the yolk (you can obviously mix up the egg before you put it in, but it just saves on washing up if you crack it straight in the pan). Season (I like to add lots of pepper). Add in the cheese and the rest of the cream until it becomes a thick creamy sauce. Then lastly add in a ladle or two of the pasta cooking water to loosen the sauce up.

You can make this slightly healthier by adding broccoli, which I would have done if I’d had more time but I didn’t, so I didn’t.

Bear and Boo polished this off in about 3 minutes, and I gave them quite big portions. Both gave it 10/10. Shame it’s so unhealthy!

 

 

Salmon & Broccoli Bake

salmon and broccoli

Creamy Salmon and Broccoli Bake

Being a semi-working Mum (3 days a week) I’m always looking for quick easy dinners to do the kids. I find myself getting annoyed and frustrated at myself when I put the same things on the menu because I just don’t know what else to cook, so I try to find or create new dishes, just to satisfy my own irritations really.

I don’t want to spend ages cooking them as kids and new food just doesn’t mix, whenever I put something new in front of them, I get met with an ‘urgh’ face or an ‘I don’t like that’ (obviously before they’ve tried it), it infuriates me, BUT I persist because I like to write something different on my blackboard. I’ve even created a reward chart now where one of the rows is to try to new food and they get a little monster against the row if they eat it, 10 monsters = little treat.

So quick, easy, new dishes is the key for me. I can’t wait to see what the kids think of them and get quite excited when they like them. I couldn’t really go wrong with this as they both love Salmon, Broccoli and Potatoes (especially new potatoes). This was a bit of a mish mash of stuff I had to use up by the best before date so I got a big pat on the back for this one (by myself obvs coz no-one else will).

I haven’t put any measurements on here because I didn’t measure them, I just kinda chucked it all in, when I’m making up my own recipes I very rarely measure!

By the way, I forgot to take a photo of it after I cooked it so this photo is just a generic Salmon and Broccoli Bake, not my one, but it’s the picture that looked most like it (apart from my cheese on top was a bit more browned!)

Ingredients

Salmon fillets (2 – cut into chunks) (you could also use chicken)
New Potatoes (or you can also use pasta)
Broccoli (or any veg really!)
Cheese (you can use cheddar, which is what I used but could equally use any other, blue cheese I think would be especially nice if you’re using chicken!)
Garlic
White wine (1 glass)
Double cream or Cream Fraiche (as much as you want really!!! – I use loads)
Onion (finely chopped)
Breadcrumbs (if you want to)

Method

  • Boil your potatoes in a pan of salted water.
  • Whilst potatoes are boiling, put a few glugs of oil in a pan and add in the garlic and chopped onion, fry for a few minutes.
  • Cut up the broccoli and give it a quick 2 minute blast in the microwave with a little bit of water.
  • Add the broccoli, salmon, white wine and cream to the pan and fry for a few minutes. I also add a bit of water at this point, not much, just maybe 2 or 3 tbsps.
  • Take out your potatoes and cut them in half or thirds/quarters if they’re particularly big.
  • Add your potatoes to the other mixture and mix it all up. Season the mixture to your liking.
  • Transfer, in layers, to a baking dish, covering each layer with some grated cheese. When you put on your top layer I put another layer of cheese on top and then breadcrumbs on top of this.
  • Put into the oven for approx 10 mins.
  • Enjoy!

With the cheese, if your using blue cheese I wouldn’t bother putting a layer on the top with this as it’s such a strong taste and I’d just crumble a few bits in between the layers.

If you’re using chicken, I’d add this in with the garlic and onion at step 2.

I love this recipe as you can change so many aspects of it, it’s so versatile.  I might try chicken with leek and pasta next time. If you don’t like cream or cheese or are lactose intolerant you could also substitute them with tinned tomatoes and a bit of chili or tomato puree and lemon juice.

So, results: Bear gave it an 8/10 and Boo, always one to give high marks – 100/10! (she’s still not got it).