Tuesday, 17 July 2018

Roast Chicken with Peaches and Lavendar

I finally got round to purchasing Diana Henry's A Bird in Hand. This was published in 2015 to great critical acclaim. A cookery book dedicated to the nations favourite meat chicken shows the diversity of recipes that chicken can offer. I've made a few of the recipes but this one I chose to share is perfect during the Summer months. The roast chicken was incredibly succulent and the peach gave such moreish and sweet flavour dimension to it.




Ingredients
3 tbsp olive oil
Sea salt flakes and pepper
1.8kg chicken skin-on, jointed into 8 good sized skin on bone-in chicken thighs.
200ml medium white wine
3tbsp white balsamic vinegar
4tbsp lavender honey
5 small, slightly under ripe peaches
8 sprigs of fresh lavender

Method
Preheat the oven to 190C/375F/Gas Mark 5
Heat 1 tbsp of the oil in a frying pan, season the chicken joints and brown them on each side so they get a good colour. You can do this in batches.
Put the chicken joints or thighs into a very large , broad shallow ovenproof dish (both the chicken and peaches need to be able to lie snugly together in a single layer)
Pour the oil out of the pan but don't clean it. Return it to the heat and deglaze the pan with the wine , scraping to dislodge all the bits of flavour there. Boil this until it has reduced to about 100ml then add 1 1/2 tbsp each of the balsamic vinegar and honey. Stir to dissolve the honey , then pour over the chicken.
Halve and pit the peaches and cut each half in two. Dot these in around the chicken. Season with salt and pepper. Brush each piece of peach with a little olive oil , then whisk the remaining honey and balsamic together with a fork. Drizzle this over the chicken and peaches and scatter with the lavender (leave some sprigs of lavender whole , use just the flowers from others)

Roast in the hot oven for 40 minutes. The chicken should be cooked through and glazed with the honey and the peaches should be slightly caramelized in patches. If you stick the tip of a sharp knife into the underside of a thigh , the juice that runs out should be clear. Serve in the dish in which the chicken has cooked (you can transfer it all to a warmed platter , but be careful as the peaches will be soft and could easily fall apart).
Serve with roast potatoes and green beans.
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Thursday, 5 July 2018

Body Chief Review

I'm back on the blogging game after my laptop has finally gone to laptop heaven (after 9.5 years) and I have a number of posts to share with you. First up is a review of Body Chief meal prepping company. Covering Birmingham, Coventry and Rugby this company is one of the leading meal prep companies in the West Midlands. Body Chief allows you to chose a diet either the Standard Diet, Sports Diet, Vegetarian Diet, a Veggie and Fish Diet or a Gluten Free Diet.  The Standard Diet consists of daily meals available for 1000, 1500 and 2000 calories. Body Chief website allows you to see today's menu and tomorrow's menu which is handy. I sampled the 1500 calorie menu for two days and was surprised with how much food I ate throughout the day. On both days, I ended up sampling a number of mealswhich really kept me full throughout the day.
All the meals are prepped with clear calorie amount displayed.
Day 1 meals.

The first breakfast was Choco pancakes with natural cheese and grapes (375 calories) which was very filling. The yogurt and grapes complimented the chocolate pancakes. The second breakfast that I sampled was corn and egg paste sandwich with nigella seeds and veg (225 calories). For lunch I had chicken breast in chive sauce with young spinach leaves salad which was well seasoned and delicious. The evening meal was low in calories (300) but the Spring salad with buckwheat , cottage cheese, cucumber and radish was delightful. For dessert I had a refreshing watermelon cooler.


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Lunch

Lunch


Day 2 the first meal for the day was Fish paste with pepper and sundried tomatoes (375). I queried how good the fish paste was but it was surprisingly good.

Lunch was a gorgeous and colourful Turkey with Chickpeas and Veg in a cumin sauce (300 calories) This was actually supposed to be for the evening meal but was so colourful and light I had it for lunch.

For dinner (supposed to be lunch) was Pearl Barley Risotto with Beef , Young Cabbage and String Beans (450 calories ). This was incredibly filling.

 
The afternoon snack was Fresh Fruit Salad with Desiccated Coconut (150 calories )

For dessert was a divine brownie,

I also sampled a watermelon cooler which was refreshing. I thoroughly enjoyed sampling all the meals as they were delicious.

Positives :
* The meals were well flavoured and seasoned.
* There are several meals that you can eat throughout the day.
* All the meals are delivered to your home or work from 5:30am onwards
* All the meals are calorie controlled and can be adaptable to your dietary needs.
* The service takes the stress out of preparing daily meals.

Negatives:
* The cost per day for the meals is £18 per pay day which is expensive.

Disclaimer : Thank you to Body Chief.
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Tuesday, 12 June 2018

May 2018 Monthly Eatings

After a few computer problems, I'm back with my monthly eats. I've sampled lovely food from Birmingham and Bicester last month.

Chaophraya Birmingham 
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My Cookie Dough - Birmingham

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Gymmys Healthy Grill - Birmingham

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Le Pain QuotidienImage may contain: food

The Kings Head, Birmingham
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xxx
 
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Sunday, 27 May 2018

Caramelised Red Onion, Cream and Stilton Quiche

I love quiche, the famous French tart is a regular favourite at home. I love making quiche and trying the different variations that this robust tart can offer. This quiche is a rather grown up quiche, the caramelised red onion offers a sweet flavour, the cream a creamy texture (as expected) and the Stilton offers a further depth to this. This is perfect quiche to make over a lazy Sunday or over the Bank Holiday. Any leftovers also make a fabulous lunch. 




Serves 4-6
Takes 15 minutes to make (plus cooling), 1 hour 5 minutes to cook.

Ingredients
50g unsalted butter
1 tbsp olive oil
4 large red onions, thinly sliced
couple of sprigs of fresh thyme
2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 deep 25 cm blind-baked shortcrust pastry tart case
4 eggs
300ml single cream
200g Stilton, crumbled
salt and freshly ground black pepper
handful of rocket leaves

Method 
Melt the butter with the oil in a large, deep saucepan. Stir through the onions and thyme sprigs, then cook, uncovered, over a very low heat for at least 30 minutes or until they are really soft, stirring occasionally. Remove and discard the thyme stalks.
Pour in the balsamic vinegar, increase the heat a little and continue to cook, stirring constantly for a few minutes until you are left with a dark rich mass of caramelised onions. Remove from the heat and set aside to cool - the onions will be very hot indeed so let them cool down until they are cool enough to touch.
Once the onions are cool, preheat the oven to 200C/180Cfan/Gas mark 6.
Spoon the onion mixture into the pastry tart case and spread evenly. In a bowl, beat together the eggs and cream and season well with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Slowly pour into the pastry tart case, allowing it to settle and find its own level gradually around the filling, then sprinkle over the Stilton.
Bake in the oven for about 30 minutes or until the filling is just set and the cheese is melted. Carefully remove the quiche from the tin and transfer it to a serving plate or wooden board. Serve hot or warm, scattered with a generous handful of rocket. This is a very rich quiche, so a simple salad dressed with a sharp dressing with work nicely as an accompaniment.

xxx
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Thursday, 24 May 2018

Chaophraya Restaurant Review

Located in Saint Martins Square, Chaporhya restaurant is one of Birmingham's leading restaurants specialising in Thai cuisine. The two floor restaurant is fantastically located in the heart of the Bull ring and features outdoor seating. Inside, the decor is light, striking and there is a chefs cooking area where you can watch the chefs prepare your meal. The feel of the restaurant is light, airy and welcoming.

Image from the Bullring website

Image from the bull ring 

The restaurant is ideal if you fancy a quick drink with friends or want to do business with colleagues as there are flexible spaces and a private room. Chaoporhya also offers Thai masterclasses if you want to become a culinary expert in Thai cook. The waiting  staff were attentive and helpful, they were able to offer recommendations and suggestions for the new menu.

Chaophraya has a brand new menu which is worth checking out. To start off with, I ordered the Grilled Pork Skewers £7.45, pork marinated with coconut milk, coriander, garlic, palm sugar, honey & oyster sauce. My friend  ordered the Thai Fish Cakes £7.95, spicy fish cakes blended with green beans, lime leaves and red curry with a sweet chilli sauce and crushed peanuts. Both starters were beautifully presented and tasted delicious. The pork was tender and the dipping sauce complimented it well. My friend said the fish cakes were crispy on the outside and deliciously soft on the inside.




For our main courses I ordered Prawn Pad Thai £11.95, the national dish of Thailand, restaurants own famous recipe of Thai rice noodles, stir-fried with egg, vegetables and tamarind sauce. The Prawn Pad Thai had a fiery kick to is and the prawns were succulent. I liked how the tamarind had a tangy flavour. The portion size looked deceptive small but I was pleasantly surprised at how filling the Pad Thai was.



My friend ordered the Royal Sous Vide Lamb Massaman Curry £14.95, Caramelised slow cooked lamb, with home-style massaman curry, coconut milk, carrots and potatoes topped with crispy shallots and cashew nuts. The steamed Jasmine Rice £3.45 was served separately.  My friend said that the curry had a good balance of flavours. 

A lovely dish of what I can only describe as Thai fried chicken, crispy chicken pieces marinated in Thai spices and deep fried was also served. I really enjoyed the crispy fried chicken and could of teen much more.



For desserts my friend and I shared the coconut milk pudding £7.45, A Creamy Rich Coconut Milk Pudding, Served with Sweet Coconut Milk and Toasted Coconut. We also ordered the Sticky Thai Rice £7.45, sweet sticky classic fragrant sweet mango, with sticky rice and warm coconut sauce. I'll be honest the milk pudding was not what I was expecting as it was very wobbly. I much preferred the sticky rice with mango.





Disclaimer: I was invited as a guest of Chaophraya.

xxx

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