Wednesday, 27 March 2019

Teriyaki Chicken Thigh Fillets with peanut garlic kale

After a busy day of running errands, and visiting family, we needed a quick, easy and tasty supper.

First I set the oven heating up to 200 degrees, and then I brushed a foil tray with oil and laid out a pack of boneless skinless chicken thigh fillets - unfolded so they were flat, and smooth side down - and then covered them over with a small bottle of Blue Dragon teriyaki marinade.  I had planned to make my own, but I ran out of time, and this was my back up.  If I'd had time, I would have left this to marinade for an hour, but I didn't have this luxury, so I  drizzled on about a tablespoon of toasted sesame oil and popped it in the now hot oven for 20 mins.

Meanwhile, I followed the packet instructions for a bag of sushi rice, up until the point where I cooked it in my rice cooker.  No fuss no muss.

After the 20 mins were up I turned the fillets over and sprinkled on some sesame seeds, then put them back for another 15-20 mins.

Now I finely chopped some spring onions and fried the white part in a lightly oiled wok.  I then added some chopped garlic.  When both were soft and fragrant, I chucked in a bag of prepared kale.  Big'Un isn't great with kale always and found it tough chewing (she's always had an issue with tough leafy foods) and her little brother kindly suggested that next time maybe we could try cavolo nero.  I nearly choked for laughing at his terrible "overheard in Waitrose" comment!!

Once the kale was properly mixed with the aromatics, I then added some soy sauce and about a tablespoon of crunchy peanut butter, thinned with a little hot water.  Basically, I had an almost empty jar which I didn't want to waste, so I swished it out with boiling water and poured it all into the pan.  This did a nice job of thickening the sauce and also adding a subtle flavour and texture to the kale.  Finally, I sprinkled on a few sesame seeds.

Once everything was ready, I put the green parts of the spring onions out to be used as a garnish for the chicken, and I sprinkled the rice with mirin before serving.  I also put packets of Tanaka Gohan sushi rice spice mix for sprinkling on the rice.

There was also plenty of lovely sticky teriyaki sauce for the rice.  The whole meal was a huge success.

We also brought some sushi rice ball makers to the table for a little fun, and these were great too!  We used these ones.  Tiny hasn't always enjoyed sushi rice, but this way he definitely did!  This was a definite "please do make this again Mama" meal!

Monday, 25 March 2019

Cheesey smoked haddock

Mondays are what I call our revolving door days.  The girls help at Rainbows and Brownies, both now being too old to actually attend either, and our pack doesn't have enough call for a Guides section.  Tiny usually helps if I'm helping too, or he hangs out with Papa for a change.  He's the only of the 3 kids who is a fish fan, so I often cook some salmon or some simple white fish for Papa, Tiny and myself to share, and the girls have mini pizzas and veggies which they cook when they need them in the halogen. 

Today we had a surplus of milk though, and Tiny wanted in on the pizza action, so Papa brought 3 mini pizzas home and I made a simple ordinary cheese sauce when I got home from work - with my usual touches of malt vinegar and mustard powder, of course.

Once we were closer to our mealtime - we usually try and fit in our supper during the longer Brownies' session - I laid some undyed smoked haddock in a buttered dish, and poured the cheese sauce over it.  I grated on some hard Italian cheese and then I baked the whole shebang for 20 mins at 200 degrees.

I served this with some steamed green beans and some soft white rolls to mop up the tasty cheese sauce.  It was simple but satisfying!

Monday, 28 January 2019

Express Vegan Noodles

We have been using discounted Hello Fresh boxes recently, and one recipe for express noodles with chicken had me actually wishing it hadn’t had any chicken. I’m not a fan of chicken breast and I felt by increasing the amount of nuts and veg, this could be cheaper and yet tastier. 

And it turned out to be very easy to make it vegan, so I did. For fun.  Here’s what I did.


1 bunch of spring onions
2 handsful of unsalted cashew nuts
2 handsful of salted roasted peanuts
150-200g sugar snap peas
150-200g baby corn
Approximately 500g noodles of choice - I love fresh ones for speed
60ml ketjap manis
30ml soy sauce
1 tsp toasted sesame oil
Oil for frying
Vegan stock powder

First split the cashews and set aside.
Then finely slice the spring onions and set aside.
Then crush the peanuts very roughly. 

At this point, cook the noodles if required and set aside after taking precautions to avoid sticking together as detailed on the packet.  If you start them as you start frying the problem shouldn’t arise.

Heat a wok and add a little drizzle of groundnut oil.  When hot, add most of the spring onions and stir. After a minute or two, add the halved cashew nuts and continue to stir.  Now add the veg (sugar snaps and baby corn) and keep stirring. 

Sprinkle about half to 3/4 of a teaspoon of veg gan stock powder onto the veg and add a splash of water, mix well.  Cook until the water has evaporated.

 Now you must add most of the peanuts, reserving some for later.

When the contents of the pan are well mixed, add the noodles and the sauces.  Stir well and mix with tongs or cooking chopsticks.

When it is all thoroughly coated, and piping hot, serve with the reserved spring onions and peanuts for sprinkling on top at the table.