Monday, 14 July 2014

Jambayla

Do not be put off by the long ingredients in this recipe, most of them will be in your cupboard in your seasoning cabinets and the rest can be easily brought. I love jambayla and have previously shard a blog post about this creole favourite. The good thing about a base recipe is that you can amend and change to what ever you have available in the fridge, for example chorizo can be swapped for sausages and chicken for turkey depending upon what you have - although this will take the authenticity out of it. I made this dish when I had friends over and coincidental this is what Lisa Faulkner shared in her book this is a dish she would make when having friends over. The chicken, chorizo and prawns compliment each other and what this dish is a flavoursome, spicy one pot which is quite easy to make. I must also add that The Way I cook is a fantastic cookery book to which I look forward to sharing further blog posts and recipes from.
Here is how my jambayla turned out:
Jambayla

Jambayla tomato added

Jambayla chicken cooking


Recipe for jambayla
Serves 4 
1-2 tablespoons olive oil
4 chicken breasts
400g chorizo, chopped
2 onions, finely sliced
2 garlic cloves, crushed
2 peppers (red, yellow or green) deseeded and sliced
2 celery sticks, chopped 
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon onion salt
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon mustard powder
a pinch of white pepper
300g long-grain rice
1 x 400g chopped tomatoes
300ml chicken stock
300g prawns
about 12 mussels
1-2 tablespoons freshly chopped
spring onions, sliced

Method
Place a heavy-based casserole dish over a medium-high heat. Add the olive oil and the sliced chicken breasts. When the chicken is starting to brown, add the chroizo and cook for 2-3 minutes until it browns a little too. Use a slotted spoon to remove the chicken and chorizo and set aside on a plate.
Return the pan to the heat and add the onions. Cook until softened and then add the garlic, peppers, celery, thyme and oregano and stir through to mix. Return the chicken and chorizo to the pan, add the onion salt, garlic salt, paprika, cayenne pepper, mustard powder and white pepper. Stir well.
Add the rice, tomatoes and stock and give it a good stir. Bring to the boil and let it simmer, covered for about 15 minutes or until the rice is cooked through. Give it a good stir every now and then so that it doesn't stick to the base of the pan.
Add the prawns and cook for a few minutes, then add the mussels and cover and cook for about 2-3 minutes. Sprinkle with the parsley and the spring onions and serve.  

Friday, 11 July 2014

Wing Wah Wolverhampton

I love all you can eat Chinese restaurants. To be honest, I am in love with the explosion of the all you can eat restaurants and there are now quite a few in the city of Wolverhampton. There are numerous all you can eat restaurants in Wolverhampton, something that was not around when I was growing up, if my recollection is correct the first all you can eat Chinese restaurant sprung up in Wolverhampton the early noughties.  Wing Wah restaurant is a firm favourite of mine, it is my nearest Chinese restaurant and regularly visited by my family and friends. I visit Wing Wah around every other month, so I am warning you in advance this review is slightly biased.
 In this economic climate Wing Wah offers fantastic value for money; £11.99 for evening meal per adult and £5.99 per child - bargain. The main reason why I continue to visit is I love the large selection and variety of foods. There are 5 different cuisines which are covered here: Chinese and Oriental, Indian, English and Continental and Mexican  Each cuisine has a variety of starters and mains, there is so much choice so there's no excuse not to try something new. There is also a tepyanki station where you can chose from your favourite meats or fish, choose the sauce and watch the expert chefs cook your noodles to your liking.  When Wing Wah first opened I was addicted and fascinated with the gigantic chocolate fountain which I would eagerly and perhaps childishly stack all the marshmellows on a stick and dunk liberally in the fountain.  My favourite dishes from the Chinese section include  the compulsory crispy duck pancakes, spring rolls and prawn toast. Chinese mains include chicken balls, deep fried squid, stir fried noodles and spare ribs. I thoroughly enjoy the Indian mains which include  chicken tikka masala, lamb rogan josh and rice. sushi bar, pancakes, desserts. I tend to just pile up my plate with my favourite foods.  My starter included sticky chicken wings, duck pancakes, prawns and sesame prawns on toast.  My main included a selection of my favourite Indian dishes: chicken tikka masala, lamb rogan josh, naan and chickpea curry. My starters and mains were delicious.

Starter

Main dish
As I've visited quite a few times, I thought I would share some of my previous visits to Wing Wah.
Selection of food at Wing Wah.

Selection of food at Wing Wah.


Selection of food at Wing Wah.




Pros: Superb value of money, delicious food, convenient locations and friendly staff.
Cons: Can there be any with such delicious food.
Overall: Will definitely again!

Wing Wah Chinese Restaurant on Urbanspoon Disclaimer: I dined as quests of Wing Wah.

xxx

Monday, 7 July 2014

Round up of foodie goodies

I have been sent some lovely food products over the last couple of months. Instead of writing an individual blog post (as I usually do) per item reviewed I have decided to write a review post every other month of the products that I have reviewed.

Tefal Optigrill
The lovely people from Tefal have introduced the innovative Optigrill a professional grill chef at home that can cook a variety of meats, alongside vegetables and pannis. I fell in love with the Optigrill as it is the perfect way of cooking meats - the audible alarm ensures that the meats are not overcooked alongside the intelligent cooking level indicator. This has come firm favourite within my home and I have cooked a variety of dishes using the Optigrill. There are 7 cooking settings: steak, burger, pork, chicken, fish, sausage and manual. The Optigrill is a brilliant way of ensuring that meats are cooked in healthier way as any fat from the meats is drained and collected in a tray I know you all are health conscious out there especially in the heat of the summer we want a healthier way of cooking meat. At£150.00 this isn't the cheapest grill on the market, but I certainly think any food lover would make a wise decision investing in this grill.
Optigrill



Cooking on the optigrill.

Jane Plan diet
Described as a life changing weight loss from the woman who knows, Jane Michell lost 2 stone devising her own weight loss plan. The Jane Plan diet is about making food fad free (no processed food!) and fuss free. The Jane Plan diet contains over 70 delicious recipes. Also includes The Skinny Rules, rules which enables dieters to stay on track. My favourite part of this book is the recipes, although there are no accompanying pictures, I made a couple of recipes from this book and followed the rules and managed to lose 4 lbs in a week. This book is published by  Here are the pictures for the low carb scrambled eggs with parma ham and the delicious Mediterranean chicken bake.


Mediterranean chicken bake

Mediterranean chicken bake
Scrambled egg and parma ham. 

Florette
It's summer and nothing quite says summer than a lovely light crispy salad. I most always accompany many of my evening meals with a salad during the summer months. Florette salads have a wide range of salads and flavours such as rocket, classic crispy, sweet and crunchy and Caesar salad. I've always been partial to the peppery crispy salad as this is more suitable to my taste buds. What I also like about the florette salads is they have a website which contains a large selection of recipes and decided to recreate the chicken and bacon salad from the website. Florette salads are widely available in supermarkets near you.

Chicken and bacon salad.



Harry Eastwoods A Salad For All Seasons
I have a large collection of cookbooks, but only have one cookbook dedicated to salads until now, Harry Eastwood's A Salad For All Seasons  has become a firm favourite in my ever growing collection. There are over 70 salad recipes in this book which are split according to the four weather seasons, there is no need for boring salads anymore. I made the Thanksgiving salad which is included in the Autumn chapter, I know this dish is very summery but I loved the idea of butternut squash, turkey slices, cranberries, nuts, seeds and rocket.
A Salad For All Seasons
Thanksgiving salad.

Many thanks to Tefal, Piatkus and Florette salads for the review opportunities.

xxx

Saturday, 5 July 2014

Cowboy breakfast

It's Saturday, yay. I love the weekend, this is where I get the opportunity to dedicate more time to cooking and baking. I often cook from my favourite comprehensive book such as Leiths How to Cook and attempt to recreate some restaurant style dishes. But before I can get on with my day, I have to start my day with a hearty breakfast. I have shared many of my weekend breakfast on here and also my Facebook page and this dish is no exception. Lisa Faulkner's The Way I Cook features a fabulous weekend breakfast, entitled Cowboy breakfast. The idea is that it is a one-pan dish which would be suited for busy cowboys or cowgirls. I liked the idea that the oven does all the hard work for a twist on a classic English breakfast. The use of potato wedges cooked and flavoured with the juices from the sausages really done it for me.
Here is how my weekend breakfast turned out:
Cowboy breakfast


Serves 4
2 tablespoon olive oil
1 large potato, cut into wedges
8 sausages
8 streaky bacon rashers
4 plum tomatoes
4 eggs salt

Method
Preheat the oven to 190C, gas mark 5
Pour the oil into a large ovenproof dish or pan with a metal handle and heat for a few minutes over a medium heat.
Add the potato wedges, coat with the hot oil and a little salt, and then transfer the pan to the preheated oven and bake for 10 minutes.
After 10 minutes, turn the potatoes and then add the sausages and bacon. Return to the oven for 20 minutes.
Add the tomatoes and crack the eggs over the top of everything. Cook for a further 5-6 minutes or until the egg whites have set.
Serve with toast and a big pot of tea.

xxx

Monday, 30 June 2014

BBC Good Food Show Summer

I love food and cake shows. What's not to love about food shows? They are (usually) indoor venues jam packed with a variety of food related stalls and even better, famous and well loved chefs showing off their culinary skills during food demonstrations. I've been to BBC Good Food Show, twice before but this has been during he winter shows. 
I recently visited during their summer show and I must say that I prefer this to their winter show. Located in the incredibly large National Exhibition Centre, there are literally hundreds of stalls and so much going on. If you like demonstrations there was a Summer Kitchen and Cakes and Bakes show which is free, alongside the Supertheatre Kitchen where cooking and baking national treasures cook up scrumptious treats. I watched Lisa Faulkner make a lovely panzanella dish which I recreated at home at the Summer Kitchen and also watched Francis Quinn make delicate sporty cupcakes at the Cakes and Bakes theatre.
Another fabulous part of the BBC Good Food Show is the amount of freebies that all the stalls are happy to give you, which of course lures you (well me) into buying more foodie goodies. I strongly recommend that if you attend next year, do not drive as there are plenty of alcohol related stalls who offer tasters of unique flavours such as chocolate wine. After a busy morning looking around and purchasing foodies items, lunch time was heaven, I was spoilt for choice for all the lunch options. Previous years where I have attended I've always brought a pork bap from a hog roast stall but decided to venture into the unknown this year and brought a delicious buffalo burger. I stocked up on some tasty olives, fab vintage knife and fork (from Simply Vintage stall), coconut mini cakes, fudge Gallo wine, chocolate pizza, Malaysian spice mix and managed to pick up a couple of freebies. Would I go again? Definitely, as a foodie I think this show is compulsory for all food lovers.  
Here are some of my favourite pictures of the day.


Me and Lisa Faulkner
Med foods

Med foods

Jackfruit

My fave stall Simply Vintage

Simply vintage

Colourful vegetables

Vegetables







Laura's fudge

Laura's fudge




Francis Quinn



Chocolate pizza











Me outside (The garden show was also on)

Goodies I brought

Disclaimer: I received two press passes to attend BBC Good Food Show, I was not required to write a positive review.

xxx

Sunday, 29 June 2014

Chicken and Waffles - A Taste of The Deep South

I have been fascinated by this American classic ever since seeing the legendary global superstar Beyonce share this dish on her Instragram page when she visited a native Texan restaurant all the way back in February 2013. I was fascinated on how an unusual breakfast combination of waffles, something so sweet with meat would work, but it had to work as it's eaten throughout the Deep South, so it must be fabulous. Type in the term chicken and waffles in google there are so many different variations but I decided to develop my own healthier version. Perhaps if I didn't gain weight easily I would have dunked the chicken in a deep fat fryer, but sometimes all the frying can detract from the wonderful moist flavour of the chicken. Anyway, I liked my buttermilk marinaded oven baked version, the marinading from the night before makes the chicken incredibly tender and moist, and the crispiness comes from the flour which the chicken is liberally dunked into. As the oven does all the hard work it leaves you plenty of time to get on with other things. The waffle is simple to make and once paired with the chicken, strawberries and lime marmalade it's a taste sensation which will leave you wanting to make this hearty weekend breakfast over again.
Here is how my chicken and waffles turned out:
Chicken and waffles


Chicken and waffles


Marinaded chicken

Flour


Waffle mixture


Batter in the iron.

Chicken and waffles


Recipe for chicken and waffles
2 chicken legs
1tbsp all purpose seasoning
1 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp paprika
3 tbsp plain flour
A good splash of milk (around 6 tbsp milk)
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp lemon juice
3 strawberries
lime marmalade or 2 tbsp golden syrup
waffles can be made in accordance to the instructions a waffle packet mixer or follow a basic waffle batter recipe.

You will need an ovenproof dish and a waffle maker.

Method
Get started the night before, mix the all purpose seasoning, cayenne pepper, paprika and pinch of pepper in a bowl until combined. Pour 1tbsp oil over the 2 chicken legs then evenly share the seasoning between the two legs. Place the chicken legs in the oven proof dish then add the milk and the lemon juice to the oven proof dish. Leave in the dish overnight in the fridge, if it's not possible to marinade overnight leave for as long as possible as the milk makes the chicken tender and moist.

Once the chicken has marinaded, remove the dish from the fridge. Preheat the oven to Gas mark 6. Place the plain flour in a plate and carefully dip the chicken pieces in the flour, ensuring all the chicken is coated with the flour mixture. In another oven proof dish add 1 tbsp oil and place the chicken legs in the dish. Oven bake for 40 minutes, turning over after 20 minutes. Whilst the chicken is cooking and 10 minutes away from being baked, preheat the waffle machine, drizzle a little oil inside the waffle iron and prepare the waffle mixture. Pour the waffle mixture and cook according to the instructions on your waffle iron.  Once the waffle is cooked, carefully remove with a fish slicer and place on your plate. Remove the chicken from the oven and position next to the waffle. Add the strawberries to the plate and drizzle the lime marmalade or golden syrup if using.
Enjoy.

xxx

Monday, 23 June 2014

Chocolate and Ginger Tiffin

One of my favourite chefs, Levi Roots describes this sweet treat as "A superior chocolate biscuit cake, ginger, nuts, sultanas, chocolate - how can we go wrong?". I agree, you can't go wrong with chocolate especially when Caribbean flavours are infused in this chocoholic treat. It's been a while since I made a dish from Sweet but I have pencilled so many sweet dishes from this book, many of my upcoming posts will include recipes from Sweet. I'm used to making a no bake dish with digestives but the ginger nuts offer a fiery dimension to the dish and I love the addition of the nuts and sultanas. If you are making this dish, I'll have to warn you that it is quite addictive and I struggled to stick to one piece.

Here is how my chocolate and ginger tiffin turned out:
Chocolate and ginger tiffin

Chocolate and ginger tiffin

Ginger biscuits crushed

Ginger nuts in tin

Chocolate melted

Chocolate filling in pan

Chocolate and ginger in tin pre set

Chocolate and ginger tiffin set

Recipe for Chocolate and Ginger Tiffin
Serves 8 225g ginger biscuits
150g unsalted butter
2tbsp golden syrup
1 1/2 tbsp coco powder
75g almonds or hazelnuts (or whatever nuts you fancy)
50g sultanas
150 g dark chocolate (I used half milk/half dark)
I also added glace cherries & white chocolate

Method
Pulse the biscuits in a food processor or, alternatively, place them in a sealed plastic bag and bash them with a rolling pin until they are completely crushed biscuits and small chunks.
Line a 15cm (6 in) square baking tin or plastic container with foil or non stick baking paper, ensuring that the lining extends over the edges of the tin so, later you can easily lift the tiffin out of the tin once it has set.
Melt the butter and the syrup together in a heavy based saucepan set over a medium heat. Add the coco powder, nuts and sultanas and stir until everything comes together. Press the mixture into the tin so it iis around 3 cm (1 1/4in) thick once flattened out. Leave to cool, then refrigerate until set.
Melt the dark chocolate in a bowl set over a pan of simmering water, ensuring that the base of the bowl doesn't touch the water. Pour the chocolate over the tiffin and leave to set (put it in the refrigerator to speed it up.
Once completely hard, lift the tiffin out of the tin, holding onto the foil or the baking paper. To serve, cut the tiffin into small squares with a sharp knife.

xxx