So as well as a LOT of baking this week I did manage to rustle up a couple of new savoury dishes. One of which I stupidly forgot to take a photo of so you’ll just have to imagine how amazing it looked.
Nigel Slater’s Roast Chicken
As I’ve already hinted at I’ve never really made a roast dinner on my own, because it’s just the two of us it seems a bit wasteful making an entire roast dinner but we really fancied one this week and just used the leftovers for lunches. So I had to consult a recipe book on the chicken as I literally didn’t know what to do with it! So Mr Slater came to the rescue advising me to rub the skin with a garlic butter and some tarragon and I sat the chicken in a little bit of water and stock so I could baste it throughout the cooking. I roasted a couple of onions in the pan with the chicken so that I would have the base of an onion gravy at the end. The chicken went into the oven for an hour and a bit on 180 degrees, whilst that was cooking I peeled some sweet potatoes and put them on to boil – I’d decided I fancied sweet potato mash rather than potato mash because its healthier and so tasty! The other vegetables I used were cauliflower, broccoli and honey roast carrots. I par boiled whole baby carrots until I could just sink a knife into them, then coated them in honey and roasted in the oven for about 20 minutes.
The chicken came out lovely – the skin was crispy and garlicky and the meat was cooked just right, the sweet potato mash and honey carrots created a nice sweetness to go with the cauliflower, broccoli and onion gravy. I was so excited about my first chicken dinner that I forgot to take a photo but it was so good!
Sticky Pork Stew
I’m always looking for new things to cook – earlier on in the year I bought some pork for the first time in ages, I made a recipe for sweet and sour pork, which I blogged about in Week 3 and since then I’ve been buying it a lot more regularly. But a girl can’t live on sweet and sour pork along so I’ve been trying to find new pork recipes. I got the bones of the sticky pork recipe from a Jamie Oliver recipe but typically I didn’t read the recipe properly and didn’t realise it took 2 1/2 hours to cook – on a school night that’s just not achievable so I modified it!
I used pork, red peppers, leeks, red wine, red wine vinegar, apricots and put them all in a casserole dish, with a bit of water to cover the meat. It went in the oven for an hour or so on 180 degrees. After an hour I checked it and it smelled fantastic, but the sauce was a bit runny so I mixed up a tablespoon of cornflour and water and added it to the dish, it went back in the oven for 10 minutes whilst I rehydrated some cous cous. This was a really warming casserole but with a twist – the apricots added a real sweetness to the dish that you don’t get with a traditional casserole.
Mr Gem thought it was good but was disappointed not to have the butternut squash mash I’d promised! Regular readers of my blog may remember I bought a butternut squash last week but so far I haven’t attempted to cook it. It is currently sitting in my vegetable rack goading me at my lack of inspiration. The fact is I didn’t want to waste the brand new ingredient on something as bland as mash, but so far I haven’t been able to do anything with it. However this week the squash is for the chop…watch this space!