Healthy, Mexican, Poultry

Paprika Chicken with Pico de Gallo

Serves: 4

This Frank Camorra dish is a doozy.

Super simple, super healthy (haloumi aside I guess), super weekday cooking.

It is Monday night in a nutshell when you need a glimmer of hope – and possibly a vino – to know that Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday are within reach.

Save the calories for Friday night and start the week with a Mexican-style chicken breast.

(We used the leftover Pico de Gallo with some pan-fried tuna the next night, adding olives and chopped preserved lemons… two for one and another weekday win!)

Ingredients

1 tbsp smoked paprika
1 tbsp vegetable oil
4 chicken breasts
4 large ripe tomatoes, diced
1 Spanish onion, finely diced
½ bunch coriander, leaf and stalk chopped
1 Jalapeno chilli, finely diced
2 limes, juiced
400gm haloumi cheese
Salt
Salad greens to serve

Method

  1. Mix the paprika and oil in a bowl; add the chicken and mix well until coated. Cover with clingwrap and leave to marinate for an hour.
  2. Add the tomatoes, onion, coriander, chilli and lime juice to a bowl and mix well.
  3. Heat the barbeque or grill. When hot, grill the chicken until well coloured on both sides and cooked through.
  4. Cut the haloumi into 4 eve slices and grill for a few minutes on each side. Cut into smaller pieces.
  5. Slice the chicken breasts in half and place on your plates. Place the cut haloumi around the chicken and then spoon the Pico de Gallo liberally over the chicken.
  6. Serve with the salad greens.
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Asian, Healthy, Poultry

Steamed Chinese Chicken with Ginger and Shiitakes

Serves: 4

This is one of the simplest, most effective, tastiest dishes you can cook.

And the most healthiest.

Read through the ingredients and you’ll understand why you are almost obliged to serve it with some steamed rice… because otherwise, there is almost literally nothing there.

Which is not to say it is subtle, though it is delicate.

Thank the rice wine, sesame oil and ginger for that.

I promise you will cook this again and again and you will never be bored of it.

Brilliant.

Ingredients

4 x 150gm chicken breast fillets
Salt and white pepper
1 ½ tbsp Chinese rice wine
8cm piece ginger, cut into matchsticks
6 small dried shiitake mushrooms, soaked in boiling water for 10 minutes, stalks removed and sliced
1 bunch baby (Dutch) carrots
1 bunch Chinese broccoli (gai lan), chopped
2 tsp sesame oil
Spring onions, thinly sliced to serve
Coriander leaves to serve
Steamed Jasmine rice

Method

  1. Slice the chicken on an angle (1cm slices) and combine with the rice wine, salt and plenty of white pepper in a bowl. Set aside to marinate for 10 minutes.
  2. Place chicken, overlapping onto a heatproof plate. Scatter ginger and mushrooms over the chicken.
  3. Place in a bamboo steamer and steam for 8-9 minutes or until cooked. (If you have a multi-level steamer, place the carrots and chopped broccoli on a plate on top of the chicken for the last 3 minutes of chicken cooking time until just tender; otherwise, blanch in boiling water.)
  4. Divide chicken, carrots and broccoli among serving plates. Drizzle oil on top and scatter with onion and coriander. Serve with steamed rice.
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Asian, Mince, Poultry

Chinese Ground Chicken Bowl

Serves: 4

Name aside, this is a wonderful mid-week dish I found on a blog, Ominvore’s Cookbook.

I have adjusted it slightly and it really is a set-and-forget sort of dinner.

Get your chicken simmering, cook your rice, prepare your bok choy and heat up the pan to cook the eggs.

Which means more time for a wine on the couch discussing the progress of your new baby. Or puppy. Or whatever is progressing in your life.

We have done a few minced pork and chicken recipes lately and could there be anything better after a long day?

This dish is no exception.

Ingredients

4 tbsp light soy sauce
2 tbsp rice wine (or Japanese sake which we used)
2 tsp sugar
¼ tsp Chinese five spice powder
¼ tsp salt
1 tbsp vegetable oil
1 tsp minced fresh ginger
2 tsp minced fresh garlic
500gm ground chicken breast (chicken mince)
50gm shiitake mushrooms
1 cup frozen baby peas
4 eggs
2 cups of steamed rice
Baby bok choy, sauteed quickly in a hot pan with a splash of vegetable oil, sesame oil, light soy sauce, black bean sauce and chilli sauce

Method

  1. In a small bowl, mix together the light soy sauce, rice wine, sugar, five spice powder and salt.
  2. Place the shiitake mushrooms in a bowl and pour over boiling water. Leave for 5 minutes, drain well and chop.
  3. Heat a wok over a medium heat and add the oil; when warm, add the ginger and garlic and stir, cooking for a minute until fragrant. Add the chicken mince, breaking up and stir until the chicken is slightly browned.
  4. Add the shiitake mushrooms, the light soy sauce mixture and 1 cup of hot water. Partially cover and cook for 30 minutes or until the sauce is mostly absorbed. Add the peas, stir for a minute and take off the heat, stirring until the peas are warmed through.
  5. Meanwhile, cook the rice and prepare the bok choy.
  6. When the chicken is close to done, add some oil to a pan, heat to medium and cook the eggs, crisping the edges though keeping the yolk runny.
  7. Cook the bok choy.
  8. Serve the chicken mince on the rice with the egg on top and the bok choy at the side.
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Healthy, Poultry

Spinach and Ricotta Chicken with Roasted Vegetables

Serves: 4

So you have a new baby and cooking lobster tet-a-tet on a Monday night is no longer the priority.

Or possible.

And so you have this dish.

A dish which is simple, healthy and newborn-in-the-house friendly.

We speak from experience!

It isn’t going to set the world on fire though conversely, season well and serve with some steamed green beans and you have a really respectable Monday night dinner on your hands.

And lunch the next day for when the new baby is still at it and lobster tet-a-tet is remains off the menu.

Ingredients

250gm baby spinach
4 tbsp (light) ricotta
Zest and juice of 1 lemon
Three pinches of nutmeg
4 chicken breasts
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
50gm fresh breadcrumbs, seasoned
3 zucchini, cut into batons
2 red peppers, seeded and sliced
2 red onions, peeled and cut into wedges
250gm vine cherry tomatoes
4 garlic cloves (left in skin)
Steamed green beans to serve

Method

  1. Heat the oven to 200c.
  2. Put the spinach in a large colander and pour over a kettle of boiling water to wilt. Allow to drain for a few minutes and then squeeze out as much water as possible. Chop, put in a bowl and beat in the ricotta, lemon zest, nutmeg and plenty of seasoning.
  3. Using a sharp knife, cut a slit into the side of each chicken breast and use your fingers to make a pocket. Spoon the spinach mixture into the 4 breasts. Rub with some of the olive oil and press the seasoned breadcrumbs on top. Arrange the chicken in a roasting tin.
  4. Put the vegetables in another tray baking tin and drizzle with oil and season well.
  5. Back the chicken and vegetables for 30 – 35 minutes, stirring the vegetables occasionally. Remove once the chicken is cooked through and the breadcrumbs are golden.
  6. Remove the softened garlic from the vegetables and remove the flesh; mash the flesh with the lemon juice, mix through the roasted vegetables and serve with the chicken and steamed beans.
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Healthy, Mince, Poultry

Kourtney Kardashian’s ‘Don-approved’ Guilt-free Chilli

 

kourtney-kardashian

A Google search says this is her.

Kourtney Kardashian’s ‘Don-approved’ Guilt-free Chilli

 

Serves: 6

I don’t really know much about Kourtney Kardashian – in fact, I know pretty much nothing – though I suspect that her figure is important to her.

She is on a TV show I think.

This is Kourtney’s (famous) chilli that Nat found in the sort of magazine Kourtney Kardashian is featured in and the chilli isn’t bad at all.

In fact, it is a pretty good, spicy chilli.

I added sliced carrots, 2 red chillis and capsicum to it and dialed down her 3 tablespoons of chilli powder to 1 ½ tablespoons. Of course, if you want your heart to explode through your chest, go with her suggestion, though for the rest of us with only 10 minutes to eat lunch, stay with the dialed down version I have written up below.

Not sure of what the old Kourtney has given us food-wise otherwise, though thank you for the mince.

She is a good, simple, healthy mince.

(And double it of course as with all minces and freeze.)

Ingredients

2 tsp olive oil
1 onion, chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
500gm ground turkey
1 ½ tbsp chilli powder
2 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp dried oregano
½ tsp salt
1 x 800gm can diced tomatoes
2 x 400gm can red kidney beans, rinsed and drained
Avocado and coriander to serve

Method

  1. Heat the olive oil over a low heat in a large saucepan. Add the garlic and onion (and fresh chilli if using) and saute until golden.
  2. Add the mince, using a spoon to break it down. Cook until all of the liquid as evaporated.
  3. Stir in the chilli powder, cumin, oregano and salt. Add the tomato, kidney beans and other vegetables you might want to add.
  4. Bring to the boil and then cook for 45 mins to an hour or until thickened. Season.
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Healthy, Poultry, Stew

Spiced chicken, spinach and sweet potato stew

Serves: 4

So, between the time of writing this and next Friday (4 days away), Maxy Ashes Beerworth will be born.

A little man destined to make – and break – our lives, at least in the short-term. (The making will be a much longer-term affair though the immediate focus is on the cannonball that will interrupt any concept of sleep, dancing with tequila in the kitchen late at night or eating out on a whim.)

But kids are a long-term game and I am so bloody excited, words do not describe.

But back to the short-term play.

We will need food and at a time when the sous vide and micro herbs probably won’t play a part.

Herein starts a short series of posts dedicated to Maxy, our sanity and eating well.

And this bloody marvelous stew is a great way to kick it off.

It takes a while and I have adjusted the recipe to add a touch more spice – of which you could certainly add more – and I recommend it it without hesitation if your little Maxy is about to enter the world.

Or you just want an awesome, super-healthy stew for lunch.

Seriously, she is good.

Ingredients

Stew

1 tbsp olive oil
3 sweet potatoes, cubed
200gm baby spinach, fresh
8 chicken thighs, chopped
500ml chicken stock

Spice mix

2 red onions, chopped
2 red chillis, chopped with seeds
1 tsp paprika
Thumb-sized piece of ginger, grated
400gm can tomatoes
2 preserved lemons, deseeded and chopped

To serve

Coriander
Pumpkin seeds, toasted

3 preserved lemons, deseeded and chopped
Warmed naan bread

Method

  1. In a food processor, blend all of the spice mix ingredients until very finely chopped.
  2. Heat the oil in a large saucepan and cook the spice mix for around 5 minutes until thickened.
  3. Add the chicken and cook until the sauce has thickened.
  4. Add the stock and reduce over a medium heat until thick; an hour at least, likely two. You want a thick stew and the chicken breaking apart.
  5. Meanwhile, boil the sweet potato for 10 minutes. Drain and set aside.
  6. Season the chicken with pepper, add the sweet potato and spinach. Combine for a minute or two.
  7. Serve with coriander, pumpkin seeds and a sprinkle of chopped, preserved lemon.
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French, Poultry

Christine Manfield’s Five-spice Duck and Shiitake Mushroom Pie

Serves: 8

Preamble: We are typing up this recipe as part of a tribute to our awesome friends Leesh and Josh who are getting married – at last – this weekend. Being awesome means they are awesome on the food front: cooking, eating, discussing and pairing wines with.

Here is to many meals in the future guys. We are proud to be your friends.

Enjoy the copper and cooking this pie one rainy Saturday. Keep the champagne near.

Love

Nat and Rob

Christine Manfield is unquestionably one of Australia’s most talented chefs that you’ve never heard of… unless you’re a foodie.

Her Paramount restaurant was arguably Australia’s best restaurant for many years and the breadth of her capabilities is stunning. One downside is the complexity of much of her work where a sauce is reduced and added to another sauce which is then reduced and worked into another sauce.

Tuesday night cooking it is not.

Conversely, every recipe I have cooked from her beautiful Indian cookbook Tasting India has been so unique, so wonderful that the decision to invest the time is simply one about what sphere of eating you want for that night.

Her food is not incrementally good. It is revolutionary good.

From Indian to this recipe is a jump, though you’ll understand my point about the range of her abilities. It is one of the finest bits of food I have cooked.

Indeed, this pie is one of her signatures and she says of it:

“This was a constant on my Paramount menus from the very beginning to the restaurant’s final night, selling out on a nightly basis,” says Christine Manfield. “People still stop me and request it. It pays homage to the French Pithiviers, a hand-moulded dome, while its filling is a nod to Chinese flavours. Where the humble meat pie holds special significance for many Australians, this version elevates it to a refined status. Don’t be daunted by the process – the workload can be spread across a couple of days and the result is a triumph, so please persevere.” Manfield suggests making the pastry and balls of duck-mushroom filling the day before, and then rolling out the pastry rounds and assembling the pies on the day of baking.”

All I can say is that after a day in the kitchen, this pie will blow your socks off. You’ll have bonded, you’ll have opened a wine at 5 and you’ll be so pleased with yourself and so you should be.

Do it.

Ingredients

4 Duck Marylands (250gm-300gm each), trimmed of excess fat
½ tsp ground Sichuan pepper
½ tsp Chinese five-spice
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 onion, finely chopped
4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
2 tsp finely chopped ginger
1 long red chilli, finely chopped
2 spring onions, thinly sliced
2star anise, broken into pieces
1 tsp Sichuan peppercorns
1 tsp fennel seeds
2 litres brown chicken stock

Mushroom mixture
2 tbsp vegetable oil
1onion, finely chopped
3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
2 tsp finely chopped ginger
250 gm shiitake mushrooms, thickly sliced
250 gm chestnut mushrooms, trimmed (see note)
1 tbsp five-spice salt (see note)
3 spring onions, thinly sliced
¼ cup finely chopped flat-leaf parsley

Crème Fraîche Pastry
2 ⅓ cups) plain flour
250 gm chilled unsalted butter, diced
250 gm crème fraîche
Eggwash, for brushing

Ginger Glaze
1 onion, thinly sliced
1small red chilli, thinly sliced
1 tbsp finely chopped ginger, plus 1 tbsp extra, cut into julienne
2 tbsp vegetable oil
1 tsp Sichuan peppercorns
1 tsp fennel seeds
1 star anise
100 ml Stone’s Original Green Ginger Wine
25 ml Shaoxing wine

Method

  1. Prick duck skin with a skewer. Combine Sichuan pepper, five-spice and 2 tsp sea salt in a bowl, then rub into duck.
  2. Heat 2 tbsp oil in deep frying pan large enough to hold duck in a single layer over medium-high heat and fry duck, skin-side down, until browned (2-3 minutes), turn and cook other side for 2 minutes. Set duck aside, tip fat out of pan, add remaining oil and onion and sauté until onion is softened and translucent (4-5 minutes).
  3. Add garlic, ginger, chilli and spring onion and fry until softened and just starting to colour (6-8 minutes). Add whole spices and fry for another minute or so until fragrant. Add stock, bring to the boil, add duck in single layer so it’s covered by stock, reduce heat to low and simmer until duck is tender (50 minutes to 1 hour).
  4. Remove duck from stock (reserve stock), then, when cool enough to handle, remove meat from bones (discard skin, bones and sinew). Finely chop and set aside.
  5. Strain stock through a fine sieve, cool, then refrigerate until fat sets on the surface (2-3 hours). Skim off fat, discard and refrigerate stock until required.
  6. For mushroom mixture, heat oil in a frying pan and sauté onion, garlic and ginger until fragrant (3-4 minutes). Stir in mushrooms and toss to coat, then sauté until softened (8-10 minutes). Season with five-spice salt and 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper, stir to combine and remove from heat.
  7. Stir in the spring onion and parsley, cool slightly, then add to duck meat and mix well with your hands. Roll into 8 balls roughly the size of a tennis ball, place on a tray, cover and refrigerate until cooled and firm (2-3 hours).
  8. For the crème fraîche pastry, process flour, butter and 1 tsp sea salt in a food processor until mixture resembles coarse breadcrumbs – don’t overwork. Add crème fraîche and pulse until just incorporated. Tip out onto a bench, form into a disc about 3cm thick, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate to rest for 2 hours.
  9. Cut pastry into 4 even pieces. Keep remaining pieces refrigerated as you work with each; roll out each and cut out two 11cm-diameter rounds for the 8 lids, place on a lightly floured tray and refrigerate. Re-roll pastry and cut out eight 7cm-diameter rounds for the pie bases, place on a lightly floured tray and refrigerate for 20 minutes.
  10. Working with a pastry base and lid at a time and keeping remaining pastry rounds chilled, lay a small pastry round (base) on a lightly floured surface, brush edges with eggwash and place a ball of duck mixture in the centre. Place a larger pastry round (lid) over the top, gently mould pastry over duck mixture with your hands, press edges with a fork to seal, then trim edges with a paring knife. Place on an oven tray lined with baking paper and refrigerate while you assemble the remaining pies. Brush pastry with eggwash and score seven arcs from centre of lid down the dome with a paring knife, then refrigerate for 1 hour to rest.
  11. Meanwhile, for ginger glaze, fry onion, chilli and chopped ginger in oil over medium-high heat until soft and translucent (2-3 minutes). Add spices and fry until fragrant (1 minute). Deglaze pan with ginger wine and Shaoxing wine, and boil until reduced by half (3-4 minutes).
  12. Add 300ml reserved duck stock and bring to the boil, then reduce heat to medium and simmer until reduced by half (40-45 minutes). Strain through a fine sieve and season with salt to taste. Just before serving, bring to a simmer, adding julienned ginger at the last minute.
  13. Preheat oven to 200C. Bake pies until golden brown (18-20 minutes). Serve with ginger glaze.
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