The Crazy Kitchen: October 2013

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Wednesday, 30 October 2013

Garlic & Rosemary Breadsticks and Focaccia

After watching the Great British Bake Off masterclass last night with Paul Hollywood making olive breadsticks I knew that I had to make them, and make them soon.

With no time like the present I got up early to make dough. I wasn't going to let the small issue of having no olives stop me and instead chose to add rosemary and garlic, along with a few chilli flakes.

The dough is quite a wet one and it was really helpful watching it on the tv before making them as I was able to see the consistency of the dough and watch the technique of forming the breadsticks. I made just over a third of the quantity that Mr H made (he used 1kg of flour), which still made quite a few breadsticks, as well as a small Focaccia.

Garlic & Rosemary Breadsticks

Garlic & Rosemary Breadsticks

350g strong white bread flour
7g salt
7g yeast
glug of olive oil (approx 50ml)
280ml cool water (approx)
handful of fresh rosemary
3 cloves of garlic, thinly sliced
Pinch of chilli flakes
Flour & semolina for dusting

  • Mix the flour, salt, yeast, oil and half of the water together in a food mixer
  • Add the rest of the water with the motor running until you get a thick cake like batter, adding more water if necessary
  • Add the rosemary, garlic & chilli flakes
  • Mix for 10 mins on high speed
  • Put dough into a large rectangular plastic food box (lidded)
  • Prove for approx 1 hour, until doubled in size
  • Dust the work surface with semolina & flour 
  • Prepare a baking sheet by dusting with flour & semolina
  • Tip the dough out and sprinkle with more flour & semolina
  • Cut the dough gently into strips and as you lay onto the prepared baking sheet stretch them gently
  • Bake in a 220 C oven for approx 20 minutes, until browned & crispy


You can reserve some of the dough to make focaccia - I sprinkled with a little sea salt before baking - it makes such a soft bread


Garlic & Rosemary Breadsticks

Garlic & Rosemary Breadsticks
Garlic & Rosemary Focaccia
 photo gbbosponsorsimage_zps6ebc1adb.jpg

Tuesday, 29 October 2013

The Great Bloggers Bake Off - English Muffins

The Great British Bake Off may be over but The Great Bloggers Bake Off isn't. We are continuing with our baking for as long as we can so please feel free to continue joining in.


This week Mary Berry & Paul Hollywood are showing us how to make some of the bakes from the show (and more) during their Masterclasses. Tonight saw a whole orange cake, Olive breadsticks, Angel food cake, chocolate cake and English muffins. The breadsticks looked amazing and I will definitely be making some of those very soon.

We are opening up the linky once again and encouraging bakers to link up their Bake Off Masterclass inspired bakes. They can be a bake shown in one of the bakes or previous shows that you didn't get around to trying out during the series. The linky will be open until the end of November to give everyone a chance to include as many bakes as they like - please only include bakes that have been featured in this series of the show and masterclasses.


I have never made English Muffins before & seeing other people make them in week 2 of the bake off made me really want to try them even more, but as I was on holiday that week I never got around to it.


I used Paul Hollywood's recipe but as you can see from the pictures, rolling the dough out to 2.5cm thick was NOT a good idea as they rose into monster muffins and ended up being too thick to cook fully on the griddle. In the end I cooked them on each side on the griddle and then popped them in the oven for an extra 20 minutes or so on very low to finish cooking in the middle.  I think 1.5cm will be a sufficient thickness for next time.


We ate the muffins toasted with cheese and ham for lunch in the car on the way to see my parents on Sunday afternoon, and they were delicious!


English Muffins

English Muffins - makes 8

300g Strong white bread flour
6g dried yeast
6g salt
15g Caster sugar
15g Stork 
1 egg, beaten
approx 170ml milk
Semolina for dusting
  • Add the flour, yeast, salt, sugar, Stork, egg and milk together to form a soft dough, adding more milk if necessary
  • Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and knead for approx 10 minutes
  • Put the dough into a greased bowl and cover with clingfilm and leave in a warm place for approx 1 hour, until doubled in size
  • Lightly dust the work surface with semolina and flour
  • Roll the dough out - I would say to approx 1.5cm, Mr H says 2.5 but what does he know, hey! (see above)
  • Using a round pastry / cookie cutter cut out circles and lay on a baking sheet dusted with more semolina
  • Sprinkle more semolina over the tops and leave to prove for 30 minutes
  • Preheat a flat griddle pan over a low heat and griddle the muffins for approx 10 minutes on each side, or until cooked through 
English Muffins
rising into monster muffins
English Muffins
some of the neater, more muffin like muffins
English Muffins
the rest of the doughnut looking muffins

I was sent some Stork to use in my Great Bloggers Bake Off bakes, a versatile butter alternative
 photo gbbosponsorsimage_zps6ebc1adb.jpg

Monday, 28 October 2013

Come Dine With Furniture Choice {blogger competition}

Currently there is a blogger competition where you can win a new dining room set up to the value of £500 as well as £100 supermarket vouchers.

The competition couldn't be simpler, just devise a dinner party menu and publish it on your blog.


All entry details can be found on the Furniture Choice website.

For me, a dinner party is all about socialising with your guests. Who wants to be stuck in the kitchen for hours whilst your guests are having a good time enjoying cocktails. With this in mind I like to have a menu that can mostly be prepared in advance. I've decided to go down the Mexican route and have included one of my favourite main course dishes, Mexican Beef Mole. It's something that takes a while to prepare and I have only made once before but it was delicious, and our guests loved it. It uses smoky dried Ancho chillies and dark chocolate to make a rich sauce.

Everything on the menu can be prepared in advance, the nachos can be prepared in a serving dish and popped into the oven for a few minutes before serving. The Molé can be prepared a day or two in advance and reheated in the slow cooker, and be ready as and when you need it. If you have a rice cooker it makes cooking the rice so simple as you don't need to keep your eye on a simmering pan. I've decided to add my Chocolate and Lime cheesecake as the dessert as the tangy lime is nice to end a spicy meal.


The Crazy Kitchen Dinner Party

Menu

Lime and Coriander Nachos

~~~~~

Mexican Beef Molé
with steamed Basmati rice

~~~~~

Chocolate & Lime Cheesecake

~~~~~

Appetisers and Drinks

Chilli Poppers
Lime Mojito's
Corona Beer with lime wedges

Dress Code
optional : Mexican Dresses & Ponchos
compulsary :  Sombrero and Maracas

Music

   sombrero

The Recipe Kit {review}

The Recipe Kit provide an alternative to eating out and provide all the ingredients that you need to cook globally inspired meals at home.

In brief:

  • With 9 recipes each week (including 4 vegetarian options) there are plenty of options to choose. 
  • Each recipe takes, on average, 35 minutes to cook and include step by step recipe cards.
  • Each recipe feeds 2 people
  • Deliveries are made on a Wednesday evening for those in London and on a Thursday for everywhere else. 
  • It is recommended that ingredients are used within 3-5 days to ensure that they are used at their best but meat can be frozen if necessary.
  • Ingredients arrive in a cardboard box with meat and dairy in an insulated pack with ice packs
 photo recipekitbox_zpsf093082a.jpg

The meals :

Brioche hotdogs with jalapeno salad

 photo recipekithotdogs_zps5e4c220a.jpg 

  • The portions for this were very generous, with 4 large sausages and 4 large brioche buns.
  • Cooking time was 45 minutes
  • Easily fed a family of 5, with a side portion of home-made oven baked fries
  • Very tasty side salad and onions and juicy sausages
  • The brioche buns were disappointingly flat and dry and not something that could easily hold a sausage as they split into 2 and crumbled
  • Ketchup not included despite being pictured on the recipe card

Ras el hanout lamb & herby freekeh

 photo recipekitlamb_zps385e7b0e.jpg

  • Again the portions were generous with 2 lean and juicy lamb steaks
  • Cooking time was 30 minutes
  • Very tasty and unusual ingredients including Freekah and preserved lemon
  • I omitted the pomegranate seeds from the Freekah as I really don't like them
  • The coriander was very muddy and I would've expected that to have been ready for use
  • The dish could have done with some kind of vegetable side

Sweet potato, spinach, feta and pine nut filo pie and salad

 photo recipekitpie_zpsbe4e068f.jpg


  • The ingredients made a very large pie which was more than enough for 2 people
  • Cooking time 40 minutes
  • Disappointingly the rocket was a slimy wet mess despite it being used on the 3rd day after delivery (see pic below) but luckily I had some rocket in the fridge (which was a week old but still fresh)
  • Despite the ingredients supposedly being in the correct portion for the recipe I did find that the bags had more cinnamon and allspice than the recipe called for, there was also a lot more than the required 6 sheets of filo, but used it all anyway.
  • There seemed too much spinach for the pie so I left some of it out and removed the large stalks from the spinach that was used - I would have expected these to have been removed or baby spinach might have been a better idea.
  • The pie was really delicious and our favourite of the 3 meals

 photo recipekitrocket_zpsbfcdb902.jpg
slimy Rocket

All in all the recipes were very nice and well thought out but I would be disappointed at the quality of some of the ingredients had I bought this myself . These kind of kits are a great idea if you are busy and don't have the time to shop for specialist ingredients, however the might not allow for a change in plans as some of the ingredients may be past their best after an extra day.

**AMENDMENT : since writing this review The Recipe Kit have been in touch to assure me that all points noted in my review have been addressed with product suppliers.

I was sent 3 meals from The Recipe Kit for the purpose of this review


FruMoo & Caffe Latte {review}

I often buy The Lake Distrct Dairy Co mature cheddar cheese so was more than happy to try some samples of their new fruity milk drinks and Caffe Latte's.

FruMoo & Caffe Latte  

The Frumoo drinks are a blend of 100% fresh milk with real fruit, in 2 flavours.

My 2 testers tried the drinks out, Hanna opting for the Raspberry & Blueberry & Jack for the Strawberry & Blackberry (he doesn't like either raspberries or blueberries). Whilst Hanna loved her flavour Jack was less than impressed with his and myself and Hanna were inclined to agree unfortunately.

The 230ml bottles retail for £1.30 and contain around 175 calories per bottle (more of a dessert than a drink in my personal opinion).

Even though I'm not a big iced coffee drinker (I prefer my coffee to be hot) the Caffe Latte drinks were much nicer than the fruity ones. Again they retail at £1.30 and have a calorie content of just over 130 calories per bottle - ok as an occasional drink but not something I would want to drink on a regular basis

I was sent the above drinks for the purpose of this review

Sunday, 27 October 2013

Cinnamon Sugar Pretzels

Yesterday was a long day that started at 5.45 with the run to swim practice and ended around half past midnight after a girls night out. Although it could have been 1.30 or even 11.30 as I was confused by the clock change!

Somewhere in between haircuts, shopping and taxiing the footie fans of the family to and from the station I managed to bake a cake for my Mum's birthday and some pretzels.

Strawberry Victoria Sponge


I used the same soft pretzel recipe that I've previously used for the pretzels although I did use self raising flour and butter this time as per the original recipe.

I was in a bit of a rush to go out and got Hanna to help and didn't bother with the bicarb bath and instead just brushed with melted butter and cinnamon sugar (equal parts cinnamon and caster sugar).

Cinnamon Sugar Pretzels

They were very nice & the kids loved them, although they do seem more like little bread rolls than pretzels. Next time we'll definitely do the bicarb bath and roll them out longer to keep the pretzel shape.

  GreatBloggersBakeOff

Saturday, 26 October 2013

Mega Spooky Marshmallows

At 7.30 this morning whilst having my usual mooch around Asda whilst Hanna swam at the leisure centre I spotted these big beauties...

Mega Marshmallows

In a sleepy hungry haze I grabbed a pack and put them in my basket.

With 5 minutes of free time between swimming, taxiing, haircuts, shopping and a girl's night out I used a ready made tube of chocolate icing and piped some ghost faces on a few marshmallows.

 photo ghostmarshmallows_zps0cbd959c.jpg

Simple, yet effective treat for a Halloween party.

 photo jackmarshmallowcollage_zps96c562ab.jpg

Friday, 25 October 2013

Birdseye Chilli Jelly

I am a big lover of chillies and up until I was pregnant with Jack I ate quite a lot of them, in fact I possibly ate pickled chillies or chilli flakes on every meal. I think you begin to lose your tastebuds as they never really seemed very spicy. Due to pregnancy heartburn I cracked the habit and now only have them occasionally. I sometimes make a jar of pickled jalapenos but these days they last a lot longer than they used to.

I'm also a bit partial to spicy chutney and my favourite chilli jam has made a reappearance this year, this time sweetened up with some plums. You can find my recipe for chill plum jam here and my Asian chilli jam here.  A few years ago (and possibly a few more) I spent a few months living and working in Cornwall, and whilst I was there I acquired a jar of chill jelly. I can't remember where it came from but I think a housemate picked it up during a visit back home to Dorset. The jelly was set and had little birdseye chillies dispersed throughout the jar. I used it in quite a lot of my cooking as well as on toast and crackers. I wanted to recreate the jelly but the only recipes I could find on the Internet had apples in too so I decided to have a bash without a recipe for guidance and see how it turned out.

 photo birdseyechillijam2_zpsc7e0ef48.jpg

It has the right look about it, and definitely tastes just like the chilli jelly that I remember from all those years ago, however it has more of the consistency of golden syrup than jelly.

 photo birdseyechillijelly_zpsd8942395.jpg

I won't give up and next time I will add a little more pectin (or add pectin that is in date, oops) to see if that will help. If there are any jelly making experts out there please feel free to give me some advice.

Birdseye Chilli Jelly - makes 1 jar

200ml vinegar (I used Sarsons distilled pickling vinegar)
200g Granulated sugar
Dried birdseye chillies (I added approx 50)
1/2 tsp Pectin powder
  • Add the vinegar, sugar & chillies to a pan
  • Bring slowly to a boil and simmer gently for approx 15 minutes to release the flavours of the chillies
  • Stir in the pectin until dissolved
  • Turn up the heat and bring to a boil and boil rapidly for 4 minutes
  • Remove from heat & pour straight into a sterilised jar and crew the lid on
  • After it has cooled a little, give it a gentle shake to disperse the chillies

Wednesday, 23 October 2013

Get Creative at Halloween with Warburtons

This Halloween Warburtons have joined in the fun with their Halloween packaging. Ghosts & Ghoulies adorn the loaves of Half & Half and Milk Roll, as well as the rolls and wraps

   photo warburtonshalloween_zps4dec191d.jpg

We were sent a few ideas for Halloween snacks and challenged to give them a go.

 photo warburtonshalloween5_zpsd305d83f.jpg
Warburtons ideas

Myself and Jack decided to make some pumpkin shaped peanut butter sandwiches using sliced half & half bread and milk roll, decorating with cucumber and chocolate sauce (nicer than you think, honest).

 photo warburtonshalloween4_zps9ac35415.jpg


 photo warburtonshalloween2_zps38aca954.jpg

I also had a go at making some witches toast by using a cookie cutter to leave an impression on the bread before toasting it...but it didn't really work so I used chocolate sauce so draw the outline of the witch...hmmm, that didn't really work either! We are not great at this arty food lark & Hanna said that she will be taking over next time!

 photo warburtonshalloween3_zpsbbf536bd.jpg


I was provided with the Warburtons bread to make our Halloween snacks.

Tuesday, 22 October 2013

The Great Bloggers Bake Off - Week 10 - Pumpkin & Chestnut Picnic Pies

Well that's it, Great British Bake Off is over for another year (apart from Mary & Paul's Masterclasses) and the winner has been announced.

It was anybody's game really as it was all quite even up until the final wedding cake round. I did really like the look & sound of Ruby's vegetarian pie but she never managed to pull off the wedding cake. To be honest I don't think any of them were particular show stoppers, but they do have limited time, which must be really hard to deal with.

Anyway, it was a bit of a shocker that Frances won, I really thought it was going to be Kimberly or Ruby.

Back to reality and the baking hasn't stopped for us quite yet...

The challenges this week are :

Signature : Picnic Pie
Technical : Pretzels
Showstopper : Wedding Cake

I decided to go with picnic pies, nothing big or creative, but tasty all the same...with distinct layers (sorry no rainbows though)! The pastry is light and flaky and they are lovely served warm or cold, with a spoonful of chilli jam. I love chestnuts and the chestnut and mushroom filling in these pies is similar to that used to stuff mini yorkshire puddings last Christmas.

Pumpkin & Chestnut Picnic Pies

Pumpkin & Chestnut Picnic Pies - makes 8

for the pastry
175g plain flour
175g cold butter, diced
pinch of salt
1 tbsp chopped fresh Thyme
1-2tbsp cold water

for the filling
tbsp Olive oil
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
75g chestnut mushrooms, finely chopped
75g prepared chestnuts, finely chopped
1 tbsp chopped fresh Thyme
salt & pepper
knob of butter
100g steamed pumpkin, cut into 1cm pieces
100g Goats cheese, crumbled
1 egg, beaten

Make the pastry
  • Add the flour, salt, butter & thyme to a food processor or mixer & pulse/mix until it resembles breadcrumbs
  • Add the water in small amounts & mix until the dough comes together
  • Roll into a ball, flatten and wrap in clingfilm & place in the fridge whilst you make the filling
Make the filling
  • Preheat the oven to 180C & grease 8 holes of a muffin pan
  • Heat the oil in a frying pan over a medium heat
  • Add the onion & fry for 3 minutes until softened
  • Add the garlic, mushrooms, chestnuts, thyme & the butter
  • Fry gently for approx 8 minutes until the mushrooms have cooked through
  • Set filling aside whilst you roll the pastry
  • Roll the pastry until approx the thickness of a £1 coin
  • Cut out 8 circles large enough to cover the base & halfway up the sides of a muffin pan 
  • Cut out 8 smaller circles for the pie lids
  • Spoon some of the mushroom/chestnut mixture into the base of each pie
  • Add the pumpkin on top and then the cheese
  • Brush around the edge of the pies with beaten egg
  • Place the lids on & crimp the edges (I used the end of a teaspoon)
  • Brush the pies with beaten egg
  • Bake in the oven for approx 30 minutes, until golden brown

 photo pumpkinpies_zps23f2dfa3.jpg
Pumpkin & Chestnut Picnic Pies

What will you bake this week?

This is your last chance to gain an entry into the Great Bloggers Bake Off giveaway, which you can read more about here.

Please also take the time to read the rules & grab the badge here.

GreatBloggersBakeOff

Monday, 21 October 2013

Pumpkin Bean Burgers

I have a massive selection of cookery books but I'm always happy to receive more, they make a great bedtime read, especially if they are full of nice photos to accompany the recipes.

Lorraine Pascale's 'A Lighter Way to Bake' is one of those books, with a photo to accompany each recipe, plus a lot more.

After all the Great British Bake Off baking that I've been doing it's a welcome relief to have some lighter recipes to try out. Don't get me wrong, they are not diet recipes but may include a little less butter and a little less sugar, as well as alternative methods of cooking and serving to cut a few calories.

Some of the recipes that caught my eye are Walnut, Honey & White Chocolate Cakes, Coconut & Lime Loaf, Skinny Cafe Late Butterfly Cakes, Brown Sugar Espresso Chocolate Dipped Meringue Kisses, Peaches & Cream Eclairs with White Chocolate & Raspberries and Cake with Blueberries & White Chocolate Icing, plus a lot, lot more.

 photo lorrainecollage_zpsc22f3efb.jpg


Each recipe has nutritional information with it alongside that of a comparable recipe. I chose to make Butternut Squash Bean Burgers with Apple, Mango & Chilli Salsa which are 188 calories per burger vs 494 calories in a comparison recipe. As there are an abundance of pumpkins around cheaply at the moment I used pumpkin instead of butternut squash in my burgers.

Pumpkin Bean Burgers - makes 6

200g prepared Pumpkin, peeled & cut into 1cm pieces
spray oil
2 red onions, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 red chilli, finely chopped
small handful of fresh coriander, roughly chopped
400g tin of kidney beans, drained
400g tin of cannellini beans, drained
1 egg white
finely grated zest of 1 lime
salt & pepper

coating
3 slices of wholemeal bread, lightly toasted
1 egg white

  • Preheat the oven to 200C and line a baking sheet with baking parchment
  • Cook the pumpkin/squash in a pan of boiling water for 3-4 minutes until just tender, drain really well
  • Heat a little spray oil in a frying pan over a medium heat & fry the onions until softened & a little browned, for approx 8 minutes
  • Prepare the burger coating by whizzing up the lightly toasted bread in a food processor
  • Tip the crumbs into a wide shallow bowl and season with salt & pepper
  • Lightly beat the egg white in another shallow bowl
  • Add the garlic , chilli, paprika and coriander to the onions and cook for a further minute & remove from heat
  • Tip the kidney & cannellini beans into a large bowl & lightly crush with a potato masher
  • Stir in the onion mixture and the lime zest, egg white & salt & pepper.
  • Fold in the pumpkin/squash until mixed through
  • Form the mixture into patties with dampened hands
  • Dip the burgers into the egg white, coating them fully & then into the breadcrumbs until evenly coated
  • Spray each burger with a little oil & place onto the baking tray
  • Bake in the oven for 25 minutes until crisp & golden


My burgers weren't quite as neat as Lorraines but they did taste good - I made a mango salsa & served the burger on a crisp lettuce leaf (lighter option for myself) and in ciabatta with oven baked paprika fries for everyone else

  Pumpkin Bean Burgers   Pumpkin Bean Burgers

I received the book for the purpose of this review

Sunday, 20 October 2013

The Great Bloggers Bake Off - Week 9 Round Up

Another week and some more fabulous bakes. There were a lot of canapés, as we expected, a few Opera cakes, as we'd hoped, and only one Charlotte Royale, which we are not at all surprised about - on the show they seemed like so much effort and didn't look particularly nice either.

There are some great ideas for canapés here and if you are planning on having a Christmas or New Year party these would be great. 

Opera Cakes
Myself & Jenny were very impressed by the effort that went into making the four amazing Opera cakes and they all look very tempting. We therefore decided this week to present the prestigious title of Star Baker Week 9 to an extremely delicious sounding cake and one that we both agreed on without discussion........

{drum roll......}

The Star Baker title goes to.....



{dramatic pause}




Jen at Bakerama with her Caramel Apple Opera Cake. Caramel & Apple are one of mine & Jenny's favourite combos and our mouths were watering looking at the cinnamon apple oozing out! Congratulations Jen, please contact Jenny for your badge.

As a thank you to everyone that has entered over the weeks we are having a prize draw - you can read more about it here. There is still one week of baking left so if you haven't managed to bake something yet there is still time to gain an entry.

GreatBloggersBakeOff

Great Bloggers Bake Off Prize Draw

The Great British Bake Off has almost come to an end, I can't believe how quickly the weeks have flown by and how many fabulous bakes we've seen in our very own Great Bloggers Bake Off. As a thank you to everyone that has been baking madly for mine & Jenny's weekly challenge we have a few prizes up for grabs in our raffle for those that have taken part.

We have a total of five prizes in all and they are good ones .....

1st Prize

Set of round Topsy Turvy cake pans from Lakeland valued at £52.97

 photo topsytuvypans_zps6ed24b3c.jpg

2nd Prize

Large Cake / Cheese Dome from Procook valued at £34

 photo 4432_lifestyle12copy_zps417f3b11.jpg 

3rd Prize

OXO Good Grips set valued at £35
 photo OXOprize_zps95018c35.jpg
4th Prize

Lorraine Pascale 'A Lighter Way to Bake' rrp £20 (you can read my review of the book here)

 photo lorrainepascale_zpsf722260c.jpg

5th Prize

Set of 2 deco spoons rrp £14.99

 photo decospoons_zpsa8e93d5a.jpg 



How To Enter
To be eligible for entry your post needed to have been linked up in the weekly linky's. You will get one entry for each week that you have linked up. To enter you will need to add the required information into the Rafflecopter form below, you will find all the entries at the bottom of this post.

For example. If I was to enter I would click on the drop down arrow for Week 1 in the Rafflecopter form & enter '1' in the empty box as my Angel Food Cake is no.1 in the list. I would then enter '2' in week 2  (my Brioche is no.2) and '10' (Caramel Apple Trifle) in week 3...and so on. You are only eligible to enter the giveaway if you've joined in with the Great Bloggers Bake Off and added your entries into the linky's as you will need these entry numbers. (think of these as your 'raffle tickets') If you are unsure what to do please contact myself or Jenny. 

The Rafflecopter form will open on 23rd October and close on 30th October, giving you a week to get your entries in.




a Rafflecopter giveaway

week 1 : Cake
week 2 : Bread
week 3 : Desserts 
week 4 : Pies 
week 5 : traybakes, tuiles & biscuit towers 
week 6 : tea loaf, couronne & sweet Europoean buns
week 7 : pastry 
week 8 : Quarter Final 
week 9 : Semi Final 

week : 10 Final
Prizes may change from those shown & additional prizes may be added at our discretion

Thursday, 17 October 2013

Chicken 3 ways {review}

I don't tend to cook a big Sunday roast very often, mainly because I'm not a great fan of them myself. There's also a lot of peeling and steaming and roasting involved, not to mention the mountain of dirty pots and pans afterwards. All this said, my family do like their Sunday roast so I have been making more of an effort recently and have so far produced three Sunday roasts on the trot, hurrah for Mum!

Last weekend I had a helping hand with the roast from Asda who now have a range of fuss free chickens, all ready for the oven. There is no need to season the bird as it is all done for you, you don't even need to touch it as it comes in it's own roasting tin inside it's own roasting bag. All you need to do is pierce the bag once (you are even told where to pierce), pop it onto a baking tray and into the oven, as simple as that.

There are a variety of flavours - extra tasty, garlic & herb, lime & coriander, Mexican, Piri Piri, sage & onion stuffed and tikka. They are a minimum size of 1.6kg but I was lucky enough to find one that was 1.79kg!

I wanted the Mexican chicken but unfortunately they didn't have any at my local store and instead opted for garlic & herb. 


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There are exact cooking times on the package so you don't need to worry about calculating the time based on the weight of the bird. The packaging advised cooking for 90 minutes but by using my trusty meat thermometer it was ready after 80. If you wish you can cut the packaging open before the end of cooking time to brown the chicken off. I decided not to as I was going to remove the skin anyway.

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The meat was lovely and succulent and I served up a roast dinner with all the trimmings.



Roast chicken dinner

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I filled everyone up with plenty of stuffing and roast potatoes to ensure that there was still some chicken leftover for the next day as I had plans for it. The husband would have been even happier if I'd included some Aunt Bessie's Home BakeYorkshires which he absolutely loves with any roast dinner! I do love these ads from Aunt Bessie's with Mabel & Margaret showing how quick & easy it is to cook up a roast dinner (even midweek!) with a helping hand from Aunt Bessie's.


Sponsored video 


Chicken & Sweetcorn soup

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I boiled up the carcass with a couple of onions, strained it and blended it before adding some sweetcorn and a little cornflour to thicken it


BBQ Chicken Quesadillas

 photo chickenquesadillas_zpsda01db80.jpg 

I fried up some onion and peppers before adding the remaining chicken and some barbecue sauce. Once heated through I lay a tortilla in a frying pan, covered with the barbecue chicken and some grated cheese, added another tortilla on the top and heated gently on each side.


Butcher's Selection Simply Roast in the Bag chickens are available from Asda for £5

I was provided with a giftcard to enable me to purchase the chicken & other ingredients

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