The other day I posted one of my favourite entries in C&T on my Facebook page. It was an assignment for a Blogging University course (which has now ended) that included a quote. I remember not knowing what quote to choose, but being a creature of habit, and thus feeling like a hobbit most of the time, I decided to go for one from Tolkien’s masterpieces. I got loads of positive feedback for that piece and the recipe I included in it is one that I make again and again. I’m sure you’ll agree that a walnut and banana loaf cake is one of the most comforting bakes around. That and a scrumptious cup of thick hot chocolate.
So you won’t find many recipes on this blog that venture too much out of my comfort zone. C&T started out, and still is I think, a place to share what I cook at home, primarily in a small kitchen, as the ones I had back in the UK. Now I have a somewhat larger room to play in. I am lucky and I like the space, though it wasn’t easy to adjust to it.
Continue reading Indian-Inspired Kerala Stir-Fried Beef and Rice
I’m sure you are familiar with the following scenario. You didn’t plan your meal, so you have no idea what to have for lunch. You start opening your cupboards frantically in search for a life-saver but there’s nothing to be seen. Then you open your fridge and it becomes your best friend. You find some bits and bobs which could work and let’s face it, you need to make something out of them or else they will go bad. That’s exactly the way this concoction came about.
Continue reading Warm Green Bean Salad with Sweet Potatoes
Chicken by itself can be quite tasteless, but if cooked well and packed with other ingredients it is always a hit. I prefer to buy chicken pieces on the bone, or a whole chicken, because these have more flavour and don’t get dry easily, or rather the risk is lessened. However for this chicken and tarragon dish I found on Nigella Kitchen (which I am rediscovering) she uses whole chicken breasts. So I followed her advice, with some variations, and the result was good. If you like delicate recipes or if you want to feel like you’re in a French bistro, and it’s a special occasion you will love this. But for those who like their food to be punchy, then this might not be for you. J is a case in point as he didn’t like it that much. He didn’t say so directly mind you; he just said it needs something more, whatever that was! He could be right btw! Now if you want to try this with less cream you can do so by using half the cream with 3oml of white vermouth. I would leave it as is and serve it with green beans and rice. Serves 4.
- 2 tablespoon olive oil
- 3 cloves of garlic, finely chopped or crushed
- 3 spring onions, finely chopped
- 1 teaspoon dried tarragon
- 4 chicken breasts
- 160ml white wine
- 1 teaspoon course salt, crushed
- 120ml double cream
- pepper, to taste
- 3 teaspoons dried tarragon (to complete the sauce)
In a shallow pan heat the oil well and add the spring onions, garlic and tarragon. Stir well and let them cook for a bit keeping an eye, or two eyes on them to avoid burning.
Place the chicken breasts (curve side down) into the pan and cook them for around 5 minutes. The onions could start to turn brown on you, so if this happens scrape them with your wooden spoon and put them on the chicken. Once you tackled this, turn the chicken on the other side and add the wine.
Add the salt, cover the pan, turn the heat down and let everything simmer for 10 to 15 minutes until the chicken is cooked through. To check this you can cut the thickest part with a knife, but if the juices run clear then they are done. If need be leave them to cook for another 5 minutes. Don’t cook them for too long or they will turn stringy.
Take the chicken pieces out of the pan onto a warm serving dish. Boil the liquid in the pan, add the cream, stir, add the remaining tarragon and some pepper and stir once more. Pour this over the chicken, and serve with green beans and some rice, as this is more delicate in flavour than potatoes.