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!

Avocado, Mango and Blue Cheese Salad

  

I feel a bit condescending explaining how to make a salad, it’s a salad, it’s not exactly difficult. I was using up stuff I had bought and forgotten about so I wasn’t really expecting a post worthy recipe, everything was telling me blue cheese and mango didn’t go but if I didn’t use it today it would probably get thrown out so I ignored the voices in head asking me what I was thinking and went ahead and did it anyway; hey! living on the edge!……. surprisingly it was super yummy! 

Instead of my usual lashings of salad cream I whipped up a dressing of natural yoghurt and Harissa. I loved the burst of zing the Harissa added; it complimented the mango perfectly.

Ingredients

  • Salad leaves
  • Cucumber
  • Tomatoes
  • Spring onions
  • Quarter mango
  • 1 avocado
  • blue cheese (I used blacksticks blue)
  • 2 tbsp Natural yoghurt 
  • 1 tsp Harissa paste

 

Method

There is no special method to this, I don’t think there really is to any salad, it’s all about the ingredients, it really doesn’t matter how to chop/slice them so you’ll notice that I haven’t put quantities of salad ingredients on here as you can just chop up what you need/want and chuck it in a dish. If you like tomatoes (like me) add a few more in, if you don’t love cucumber, leave it out – it’s totally up to you! One thing I will say though is crumble the cheese between your fingers so it breaks up quite small as large bits of blue cheese can sometimes be a bit much (and that’s coming from an avid cheese lover!) . 

Put the yoghurt in a separate bowl and plop the Harissa on top, give it a little stir but not too much, you want some of the yoghurt to have more Harissa in than others, then drizzle the dressing over. Obviously if you are doing this for more than one person you will need more dressing – this amount was just for me. Enjoy.

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.