Hi everybody! Remember me? I won’t blame any of you if you don’t. Heck, not even my computer could recall where I usually save my recipe files. I don’t even remember the last time I used my desktop to write a piece for my blog. For the record I won’t say that I’m totally back writing on here either, because the thing that scares me still and after a very long sort-of sabbatical, writing an actual blog post feels daunting.
Continue reading Roast Lemon Chicken with a Honey and Lavender Marinade
C&T has by now become quite the fixture in my life. I find myself thinking about new recipes and reviews continuously, especially when I’m doing the usual mundane things, which most of the time are house chores. Stirring a soup in the kitchen is also included in this list, although funnily enough it’s not as boring as it seems for me. Anyways, all this is to tell you that I feel I haven’t had a proper catch up with you in ages.
A few months ago, I registered for a couple of online short courses with WordPress. One of the writing tasks was exactly like this – a kind of coffee chat/date, and I’m thinking about making it a series on this blog. I’ll try to post them regularly, although not that often as to become mind-numbingly tedious! That’s not my plan at all. I don’t keep a journal for various reasons, however this format of blog writing could serve me well.
Continue reading Coffee Date #2
It seems as though the Sun left us for a while this morning, and it could not come back out from the gloomy clouds for the rest of the day. Rain is also on the menu, but I am not minding it one bit. Last week was hectic but absolutely lovely. My friend’s visit was a success. We went to loads of places around Malta and she seems to have enjoyed her holiday here. Now I’m taking a little time to adjust to my routine again, but I’m happy and I have a rest-day planned. I will be cooking though and I can tell it will be good as the temperature also gave me a rest and I will be savouring every second.
For today’s lunch I will make an Indian-inspired recipe for buttered chicken and will work on that as soon as I publish this post, and plan to make this as a side. I think it will pair up well with the chicken and frankly I think it will make a delicious side to any other dish.
Continue reading Peas with Fresh Garlic and Parsley
I have a question for you. Are there days when you are constantly on the move or in some kind of a rush? Every single day I hear you shout! I lead a small life and generally I have a very fixed timetable. Usually. There are times though when everything I’ve learnt about time management just goes out of whack. Whatever I planned for the day just gets thrown out of the window and I just…just…squeeze in the basic things on my to-do list. Do you have one of those? I do. Crossing out all the tasks rarely happens, no news there I guess, though I relish that yes-I-have-achieved-so-much-today feeling. Don’t you love that?
Continue reading Creamy Pasta with Sage and Peas
Now that’s a great combo. That’s why I’ve chosen it for the name of this blog. And if you try this combination, you’ll know – it’ll be a bit of an a-ha moment. You see, to be honest this blog post was a long time coming and I know I will be relieved once it’s published. If you follow me on Twitter or Facebook you might already know that recently I bought a cook book which I didn’t like that much at first. I thought it was a total waste of money really. Having baked some recipes from it as the weeks passed by, I must now say that although I still have some lurking doubts, I am warming up to it slowly. First of all I must thank this book for this blog’s name. I have cooked with chorizo before and it has become a staple in my pantry. Lorraine Pascale made me want to try it with thyme. It turned out to be a perfect marriage.
The following recipe is my take on her Chorizo and Thyme Fougasse (click here for the actual recipe). I am grateful to Ms. Pascale for this and for some other recipes in her book which I will try very soon. I made this bread after a long walk in the beautiful Surrey countryside and loved it. So here it goes.
A very important note for this recipe: I used my bread machine to make the dough instead of a mixer with a hook. This was less messy and it worked really well for me. I will also include the traditional method later on.
For the bread machine dough method will need:
- 500g strong white bread flour
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 2 teaspoons yeast dissolved into 250ml warm water
- 2 tablespoons olive oil (extra virgin if possible)
Have 50g of finely chopped ready-to-eat chorizo and 2 tablespoons of dried thyme at the ready, to add after the dough cycle is ready, and some milk for brushing the dough.
- If you have a bread machine then choose the pizza dough option which will take approximately 45 minutes. Remove the dough from the container.
- Preheat the oven to 200°C/400°F/Gas Mark 6.
- Work the chorizo and thyme in the dough. When these are well combined leave the dough to rise in a warm place, preferably covered with some oiled clingfilm or a warm damp clean cloth for around 30 minutes or until doubled in size.
- Brush the dough with the milk.
- For the crust to remain nice and golden place two handfuls of ice cubes at the bottom of the oven (you can also either spray the oven with some cold water before closing or fill a small roasting dish with water in place of the ice cubes).
- Place the dough on a lightly oiled roasting tray in the oven. Bake for around 40 minutes but keep an eye on it and check its colour every once in a while. I know this is fiddly, but it’s worth it. I’m already smelling the freshly baked bread in your kitchen!
And now for the other method, all you need to do is to replace Step 1 with the following:
- Mix the dough ingredients together in a large bowl.
- Turn out the dough onto a floured surface.
- Knead for 15-20 minutes. I know you have to work at it and use some muscle power but this will develop the dough’s elasticity. So please, please have patience.
- Put the dough back in a bowl, cover with a clean cloth and leave to rise for 30 minutes.
- Continue from Step 2.