Caesar Salad.

It’s now the new year, and for me, a fresh start. Last year was an interesting one let’s say, but I have a very good feeling about this year. I’ve set some personal goals, lots of which are related to fitness and health. So I thought what a perfect opportunity to share my favourite go to salad, when I’m feeling super heavy and just ‘ugh’.

I absolutely love this salad because it’s not just delicious, but also my favourite words… quick and easy. It’s bright, light, but stills fills me up the same as a pizza would!

You can be so flexible with this meal as well, you can have it as a side dish, or as a main, which is what I do, but you can change the protein, or the greens, and even the dressing! But I thought I would share my favourite ‘Classic Caesar’ salad.

I also used a store bought dressing because to me this meal is supposed to be easily put together and no stress, but you can make your own dressing if that’s what you’d prefer.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 chicken breast
  • 1/2 iceberg lettuce
  • 1/2 cucumber
  • 1 yellow pepper (or whatever colour you have)
  • 1 slice of bread
  • Caesar dressing (or make your own!)
  • Parmesan cheese
  • Salt, pepper, garlic powder and chilli flakes to season

METHOD:

  1. Preheat oven to 180C
  2. Season your chicken breast with salt, pepper, garlic powder and chilli flakes and place in the oven. Unless you’re using leftover chicken!
  3. Dice your slice of bread into cubes and place in a frying pan of hot butter. Ensure every cube is evenly coated, and season if you wish.
  4. Once the cubes have a crisp coating, place them in the oven. Check on them and toss regularly, remove when golden and crisp and set aside to cool.
  5. Cut your your lettuce or greens of choice, and place in a bowl. Chop your cucumber and pepper and add to the lettuce.
  6. Mix well until combined. Add in your dressing and toss until everything is evenly coated.
  7. Once your chicken breast is cooked, dice it into small chunks and add to your dressed lettuce and combine.
  8. Add in the croutons and Parmesan cheese, mix is gently, and then serve!

Beer Batter Fish and Chips

New Years Day! Obviously this New Years celebrations were very different for everyone, no big gatherings but we still managed to enjoy it together. Food is a huge focus for us when it’s an occasion, and we do love our roast dinners… but this year we went for a new favourite that we’ve recently perfected. We both adore fish, so doing our own Beer Battered fish was a game changer.

This is such a simple recipe, with items you almost definitely have in your pantry. So quick, so easy, and most important so much fun to make. We also made our own skin on chips and they were honestly the best fries I’ve had! Being in the kitchen together is so great and it really builds a connection between people, it’s very special.

In order for the timings to fit in with each other, it works best if you get started on the batter first, so it can rest in the fridge whilst you make the chips.

FOR THE BATTER

INGREDIENTS :

  • 9 tbsp plain flour (you can also use self raising flour)
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • A bottle of beer

METHOD:

  1. Put the flour into a medium bowl and whisk lightly to ensure there are no lumps.
  2. Add in the oil and light incorporate.
  3. Begin adding the beer, little by little, and mix as you go. The end batter should be fairly runny but still have some texture.
  4. Once all combined and you have a silky batter, place in the fridge until ready to use.

FOR THE CHIPS.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 6 large potatoes – we use Maris piper.
  • Salt and pepper to season
  • 1 tsp garlic granules
  • Oil to cook in
  • 20g butter, cut into small chunks

METHOD:

  1. Preheat the oven to 180C
  2. Cut your potatoes into your desired chip shape and place into a saucepan, washing off the starch is optional.
  3. Add just enough hot water to the saucepan with a little salt and bring to the boil, and simmer for 2-3 minutes. Ensure they DO NOT break apart easily.
  4. Place a good amount of oil into your baking tray and place in the oven to get hot.
  5. Once the oil is hot remove from the oven and carefully put your potato chips into the tray. Try to evenly coat each chip in the hot oil.
  6. Season to your tasting with the salt, pepper and garlic powder.
  7. Place the butter cubes onto the potatoes, evenly spaced out, and put the tray into the oven.
  8. Bake in the oven for 30-45 minutes, until cooked to how you like it. Make sure to keep tossing them at intervals so they cook Eve you.

COOKING THE FISH

Your batter should have rested in the fridge for at least half an hour if possible so is now ready to use.

You will need a lot of oil. Like. A lot.

We full our wok (as we don’t have a fryer) 3/4 full with either sunflower oil or frying oil, and heat it to a temperature of roughly 350F.

Take the fish you are using, we use haddock, and either cut into little pieces or keep whole, whatever you decide. Take the fish and place it in the batter and make sure it has a good even coating.

Carefully place the battered fish into the hot oil, and this is the waiting part, you simply wait until the batter is crispy and golden brown. When cooked, using a utensil that has gaps – so the oil can drain, place on a wire rack so the excess oil can continue to drain off.

To finish off we, also made tartar sauce.

TARTAR SAUCE

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 tbsp gherkins
  • 2 tbsp capers
  • 1 shallot
  • 1/4 lemon
  • 180ml mayonnaise (I do this just by eye!)
  • Salt and pepper to season

METHOD:

  1. Very simple, simple finely chop all the ingredients and place in a dish.
  2. Add in the juice of the lemon, and season to taste.
  3. Add in the mayonnaise, mix and serve!

And there you have such a wonderful dish, that’s so fun to make and doesn’t take up a lot of time.

Chloe x

Yorkshire Pudding Recipe!

Roast dinners are one of my favourite meals to eat! I look forward to them all week, and as stressful as they are to cook, I love it!

However, a Christmas dinner is very different… it feels like twice the work even when it’s only a couple of extra things to cook! This year, we spent Christmas Day at my parents house, so we had our own little Christmas Dinner on Christmas Eve, which was wonderful! There was so much food, but it’s not Christmas unless you can’t move after a meal, is it?!?

This year, I had a chicken roast, and I cooked duck for Joey, both were amazing, and the potatoes were just incredible, so crispy, yet so beautifully fluffy inside! I think I’ve finally nailed a roast dinner! This was the first time I’d ever made Yorkshire puddings and I was so impressed! Normally we just buy the supermarket frozen ones but these were amazing and so so easy to make! What makes it even better and my favourite part, is I didn’t plan on making them, they were a spur of the moment decision, and all the ingredients were staples I already in my cupboard!

The most important trick I found to making sure they puff and rise is to have the heat high, and try (if you can) not the open the oven door! Although I had to open it to keep checking on the rest of the food! I also made these about half an hour in advance so I could time everything else, so I cooked them most of the way, and then just put them back in for roughly 5 minutes to crisp up again just before serving!

I also bought a Yorkshire puddings tin but you can also use a cupcake tin, they will just be a little smaller!

INGREDIENTS:

  • 70g Plain flour
  • 2 medium eggs
  • 100ml milk
  • Sunflower oil, using when cooking

METHOD:

  1. Heat the oven to 220C/gas 8
  2. Pour about 3-4mm of the sunflower oil into each hole of your tray and place in the oven to heat up.
  3. Add the eggs and flour into a mixing bowl and beat until smooth and all combined.
  4. Slowly add the milk and continue to beat until the mixture is all combined and you have a smooth silky batter. This is when I like to season with a little salt and pepper but that’s totally optional!
  5. Remove the hot tray from the oven and carefully pour the batter evenly into each hole – I find it best to transfer the batter the a jug to help with pouring! Place in the oven.
  6. Bake for around 20 minutes, or until they are golden and have puffed up.

Enjoy!

Chloe xx

My favourite Sauce!

I cannot even begin to express how in love I am with this sauce, and I shall tell you why!

You can use it for so many wonderful things… Pasta, Pizza, Bruschetta, even as a gift! Its so easy to make and I like to store it in a jar in the fridge if I’m using the same week but I also sometimes make a large batch and freeze it! The smell it fills the kitchen with is amazing, its so warming and beautiful! What makes it even better is you probably have all the ingredients in your cupboards already, so its easy just to whip up if you fancy it!

I think this would make the perfect gift as well! Either as part of a hamper or just by itself. You can by jars online, but also reuse ones you already have, tie a pretty ribbon and its a lovely present, its special because its homemade and useful!

I made this sauce with my siblings as they love cooking as much as me and we all just kept smelling it! I used tinned chopped tomatoes today as thats what I have, and I love that this recipe is easy and you cause whatever you have, but you can also use fresh tomatoes and cook them down! This is very much recipe which you can make your own! I like to season my food throughout the whole process and make it to how I like like it but you can change measurements and adjust it all to how you like it!

Ingredients:

  • 1tsp olive oil
  • 1/2 diced red onion
  • 1 tin chopped tomatoes
  • 2 chopped garlic cloves
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp black pepper
  • 3 tsp white sugar
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • a handful of fresh basil leaves

Method:

  1. In a frying pan, put the olive oil and red onion and cook down until they have some colour, then add the garlic and cook, stirring continuously for 3 minutes.
  2. Add in 1/4 of your basil leaves, salt and pepper and continue cooking and stirring for 2 minutes.
  3. Tip in your chopped or fresh tomatoes and the dried oregano and bring to a simmer.
  4. Add in the sugar and continue to simmer for 7-8 minutes.
  5. This is where I will taste and see what I think it needs! I will probably add a little more basil, and I find tomatoes to be very acidic so maybe some more sugar depending the current taste!
  6. I then continue to stir and simmer for another 5 minutes to reduce the liquid and then remove from the heat and let cool. Unless using immediately.
  1. Once cool, if you’re refrigerating it, pick a jar and ensure its its sterile and place in the fridge, for no longer than a week, until use. Or if your freezing, place in a freezer safe tub, and it will keep for a few a months. When planning on using, add some water to the saucepan to help it defrost!

Make your own Pasta!

Today I’m showing you how to make one of my favourite things… pasta! Pasta is one of my absolute favourite things to eat, and it’s so easy to make! I don’t have a pasta machine… yet, but I love this recipe because you don’t need one. It’s one of those things that feels so rewarding to know you’ve made yourself. Also the dough can be kept in the fridge until the next day if you’d like to prepare in advance, however you can also freeze the dough if you aren’t planning on using right away!

Freezing

  • If you wish to freeze the whole ball of dough, simply wrap in clingfilm, ensuring there is no air trapped inside and lace in the freezer. Make sure to take the dough out of the freezer at least 6 hours before you’re planning to use it and let it defrost on the worktop.
  • It is also very useful to freeze the precut pasta to make life even easier. You can either make the noodles, and cut them to freeze them immediately, or make an extra large batch the next time you make pasta and freeze the excess for another time!

Today I also made my favourite sauce to make this into a meal, which so yummy and easy! Its a multipurpose sauce which I absolutely adore, you can use it for pasta, pizza, bruschetta and so much more! So keep an eye out this week for the recipe!

The key to getting the pasta just right is making sure you roll it super thin and the dough is soft and smooth. It is important to make sure you have enough excess flour to dust the worktop and rolling pin each time to move the pasta dough so it doesn’t stick to the counter.

Ingredients:

  • 375g plain flour ( have extra to dust the worktop)
  • 4 large eggs, AND 1 egg yolk
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp salt

Method:

  1. Sieve the flour and add the salt, tip into a mound on the worktop.
  2. Make a large well in the flour and add in the eggs and oil.
  3. Using a fork, whisk the eggs into the flour and keeping so until it starts coming together.
  4. When all of the egg is combined with the flour, use your hands to knead the dough for 10-15 minutes, until the dough is smooth. The dough may look very wet in certain areas, but the more you knead, it brings it all together.
  5. When the dough is soft and smooth form it into a ball and wrap in clingfilm.
  1. Let this rest for at least an hour. This is now when you can refrigerate or freeze the whole ball of dough if you aren’t using immediately.
  2. Flour your worktop and cut the dough into thirds. Begin rolling them out one by one until they are paper thin, this may take a while. If your dough is struggling to keep its shape or keeps ‘snapping back’ just let it rest for an additional 10 minutes and try again.
  3. Once the dough is paper thin, try and fold the dough like an accordion! Make sure to flour each time you fold to prevent it sticking!
  1. Cut along the dough in strips, this forms the linguine! You can let the pasta dry out for 10 minutes if you have time to preserve the texture. This is also when you can freeze the cut pasta for use at a later date.
  1. Whilst the pasta is drying out, bring a large pan of salted water to the boil.
  2. Put the noodles in the boiling water and and cook for 5 minutes, or until al dente.
  3. Drain and serve with whatever sauce your like, or just butter!

Let me know if you try this recipe, and keep an eye out for my favourite sauce recipe coming later this week!

Chloe