Chicken Pastilla

For various reasons this week I haven’t had to cook many meals. So it made me feel more able to try something new. I’ve been meaning to cook some more Lorraine Pascale recipes from her first book “Baking Made Easy”.

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Chicken Casserole and Kedgeree

Mr Cookingfanatic has an extraordinary memory – although unable to remember anything he was taught in Science at school, he has an amazing capacity for remembering food. Particularly every meal he has eaten on every holiday he has ever been on. But the more mundane food memory unfortunately passes him by. When I sit down to do the online shopping order for the week, neither he nor I can remember 7 basic meals we eat.

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82. and 83. Flavoured butters and Twice-cooked chicken kiev

Home Cooking Made Easy p238 and 133

I’m not very good at growing plants. My Mum wouldn’t let me have a pet as a child because she said I wouldn’t look after it, but she eventually let me have a cactus, which I killed. She may have had a point. When we lived in London, I forgot you had to water outside pot plants, because I was used to Manchester, where it’s always raining. Now baby cookingfanatic loves watering the houseplants and some of them have made a miraculous recovery.

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31. Warm & cosy coq au vin

Home Cooking Made Easy p92

I have a problem with “The Little Paris Kitchen” currently on BBC. Rachel Khoo is pretending to do real French food, but she’s adding so much of a British twist that it’s about as French as the doughy baguettes you get in English supermarkets. She cooks croque madame with sliced bread, lamb stew with mint sauce (the French hate mint sauce with meat) and coq au vin kebabs. As the guardian reviewer pointed out, “I already know how to cook coq au vin the wrong way, so I don’t need much help.”
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30. Satay chilli chicken

Home Cooking Made Easy p36

Lots of Lorraine’s recipes in this book are comfort food for those autumn evenings or winter nights, but Satay chilli chicken is a recipe crying out for a picnic. So it’s a good thing that summer seems to be upon us. We don’t eat starters often in the cookingfanatic household (can’t think why), but this is in fact ideal lunch food.
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27. Hearty Spanish paella, and 28. Extra gooey pecan pie

Home Cooking Made Easy p124 and p191

heart·y adj. 4. b. Providing abundant nourishment; substantial: a hearty meal.

I think Lorraine may have overstated the case here with her paella. It’s certainly very pleasant, but not exactly abundant in nourishment. Of course, she might have meant the other meaning of hearty – a meal fit for a pirate (“avast, me hearties”) – but this would also be some way off the mark. Continue reading “27. Hearty Spanish paella, and 28. Extra gooey pecan pie”

9. Thai green chicken curry

Home Cooking Made Easy p79.

By the end of this year, I will have a cupboard full of strange ingredients I had to buy for one recipe, such as truffle oil, japanese rice wine and juniper berries. Perhaps I shall actually set aside one cupboard for it, and it will become a sort of shrine. This week’s interesting ingredient was kaffir lime leaves. There were no fresh lime leaves to be had in our local shops, “not even for ready money,” so I had to use dried ones. It was, therefore, a relief to find Delia says “Fresh kaffir lime leaves can be hard to track down, but they also come freeze-dried rather like bay leaves, but with that unmistakable oriental-Thai flavour. Use dried, pounded in a pestle and mortar or soaked in a little hot water, and they’re almost as good as new. Fresh leaves can be kept in the freezer.”

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