There are many versions of this out in the blogosphere, which of course includes the one found here on C&T. I’m a big fan of feta; its creaminess and texture is great for any salad. When I don’t have it I use halloumi, but for me, that just doesn’t make the cut. It’s too chewy and tough, though mind you, it still has it’s uses. It grills well, for example.
This is a simple photo taken while I was sadly parting with my Greek basil plant. It was the picture of health for months and months. Then suddenly parts of it started to dry up on me. I didn’t want it to go to waste, and instead of trying to save it and knowing that I would fail miserably, I decided that the best thing here was for me to keep the majority of it by cutting it, washing it, using some up and freezing what was left.
I just wanted to share with you some photos I took this week during a little adventure at Guildford Market. I’m ashamed to say that I haven’t visited often, but I must do so from now on. Guildford High Street is charming anyway, and something of a shopper’s dream, but on the first Tuesday of every month (except in January) you can buy those little treats that make it even more special. As my lovely neighbour suggested, I could have nibbled my way up through the stalls. I wish I could. I would have been set up for the day, but I didn’t. I will next time though! Bread, cheese, jams, cookies, pastries and a chorizo and chicken paella…what do you think?
And since I love all things lavender, I got these. I *must* go back…
I have to admit I do find it hard sometimes to come up with good veggie dishes. Not out of any lack of love for them; I enjoy shopping at the market stall and often buy more than I need. Typical example: I bought four lovely pomegranates around three weeks ago, just because I didn’t have them in ages. Also they bring such lovely childhood memories of my grandpa that I couldn’t help myself. After five days staring at me from the bowl, the beauties were begging me to eat them. Instead I painstakingly pulled all the seeds out and placed them in a container in the fridge. Did I eat them? No. I had to throw them all away. I won’t tell you the reason why. Shame on me and what a waste! End of confession.
I love roasting things though…food I mean. Roasting a chicken is easy; doing the same with vegetables is even easier and the cooking time is much shorter. The first few times I did this I made the mistake of cutting the veggies into smallish chunks. The result was a big veggie mush. Not nice.
What I do now is this. I cut them into larger pieces, season them with pepper and just a little bit of salt (not too much because I don’t want them to lose too much of their water), dried thyme or any herb of your choice really and plenty of olive oil (not extra virgin though), pop them in the oven for around 30 mins at 180ºC. I like a mix of mushrooms, red or white onions or both, potatoes, aubergines and courgettes. But really it can be done with anything you like. You can serve them with any meat or fish, or even alone with some rice or bread. I make sure to add some chilli then for extra heat. So easy!
I love it when after a day’s work I can make dinner in one-pot, in the oven. This is just the thing I need when I’m stressed but still want something hearty to eat without resorting to the emergency takeaway stuff. The following recipe is one I have adapted and changed a lot throughout the last few months from Nigella’s Forever Summer. Also, since Nigellissima has hit the shelves earlier this month (my review will follow this post later on this week), I thought this was an appropriate way of celebrating the occasion.
I used chicken pieces for this, mainly because I didn’t want to faff around with a whole chicken. Also smaller pieces make serving easier. But if you want you can use a chicken (or two) and have them butterflied by yourself or your butcher. It’s totally up to you. This recipe also spells convenience. You can scale it up (or down – but this is rare in my house) as you please, or adapt the herbs to your taste. But here’s how I do it.
You will need any number of chickens or chicken pieces as you want. You will be ok with around 2kg worth. Place these in a glass dish. (I use my large Pyrex one – safe for marinating and then into the oven it goes.) On top of the meat, scatter 2 tablespoons fresh parsley, 1 teaspoon course salt, 1 teaspoon pepper, 1 teaspoon chilli flakes, 2 teaspoons paprika, 2 red onions, quartered or roughly chopped, juice and zest of 1 lemon. Let the chicken marinate in the fridge for a few hours when you lack the time, but you can prepare it even a day or two ahead (always keeping it in the fridge) if you want to. The more time, the better. Around an hour or so before you want to cook it (and depending on how long it was in the fridge for), remove it from the fridge and let it come to room temperature. Preheat the oven to 220ºC and cook for 1 hour uncovered, skin side up. Remember: chicken needs to be cooked properly so check it by cutting near to the bone (eg. between a thigh and a breast). If the juices run clear it’s ready. Serve with rice or some roast potatoes, with some bread to mop up the lemony gravy. You are in for a treat.