Saturday, 14 March 2015

#SoloSuppers Lemon and Herb Skillet Chicken with Fresh Vegetables

Readers, I’m back on the solo suppers series again! Given I am heading off on the first beach holiday of the year in the next couple of weeks, I thought I better make the effort to get back into shape again.

This is an incredibly simple one pan, one person meal that can be made in around 20 minutes.  You don’t need fancy ingredients either – the store cupboard is key with this one.

Apart from a little butter, it’s pretty healthy - packed full of protein and vitamins from the vegetables. I might try cooking it in coconut oil in future, just to see what it tastes like.

Happy cooking solo!
skillet lemon and herb chicken

Lemon and Herb Skillet Chicken for One

Ingredients

1 chicken fillet – halved vertically (as if you were going to butterfly, it, but sliced in half)
½ lemon (sliced)
¼ cup plain flour
2 teaspoons mixed herbs or Italian seasoning (one for the chicken and one for the pan)
4 asparagus spears
Handful mange tout
25g butter




Method 

1. Add the plain flour and herbs to a tub (Tupperware is good). Mix around.
2. Half the chicken fillet and add to the flour mix, ensure it is fully coated.
3. Chop the asparagus spears, discarding any hard ends.
4. Add the butter to the skillet and melt over a medium heat.  Once the pan is warm, add the chicken.  Cook for 5 minutes each side.  Remove from the pan and set aside.
chicken in skillet
Chicken coated in flour

chicken cooking in skillet
Fry for 5 minutes each side
5. Add the lemon, asparagus and mange tout to the pan. Cook for around 5 minutes.  Ensure the lemon slices are underneath everything, so the juice is released and the lemons begin to caramelise.
vegetables in skillet
Add a little more butter if you need to
Sprinkle a further teaspoon of herbs into the pan and mix through.  Add the chicken back to the pan and cook until hot through.
vegetables and chicken in the skillet
Add everything back to the skillet
6. Serve immediately with brown rice or rice noodles.

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Saturday, 7 March 2015

Savoury Bacon, Cheese & Chive Muffins

Readers, after abandoning my muffins making skills for several years, I’m back on track and making them til the cows come home.  I had some leftover bacon lying around the fridge doing nothing, apart from looking sad and changing colour at the edges, so rather than see it go to waste, I got creative with it.

I also had a block of cheese which was starting to harden up.  I found some dried chives in the cupboard and et voila, the savoury muffin was born.

These are ideal for baking for weekend brunch and the recommendation from friends is that these are best served warm.    I made a half batch, which provided me 6 decent sized muffins.  Probably enough for scoffing on a Sunday.

Savoury Bacon, Cheese and Chive Muffins

Ingredients
bacon and cheese muffins

1 cup plain flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon dried chives
1 egg
100ml semi skimmed milk
40ml sunflower oil
3 rashers unsmoked bacon (chopped)
75g mature cheddar (grated)

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 190c/170c fan/Gas 6.
  2. Chop the bacon and fry in small pan.  Don’t add any oil, the bacon will cook in its own fat. Set aside to cool.
    Fry the bacon
  3. Sift the flour, baking powder and salt into a bowl.  Add the chives and mix to combine.
    Dry ingredients in the bowl
  4. In a glass jug, add the milk, egg and sunflower oil and mix to combine.
  5. Add the bacon and grated cheese to the dry ingredients and mix to combine.
    Add the bacon and cheese
  6. Create a well in the centre of the dry ingredients and pour in the wet ingredients.  Mix until just combined. Be careful not to overmix.   If your mix is too dry, add a spot more milk.
  7. Spoon the mix into muffin cases in a prepared muffin tin.  Fill to around ¾ full.
    Fill to around 3/4 full
  8. Bake in the centre of the oven for around 20-25 minutes until cooked and golden on top.
  9. Serve warm.


Thursday, 5 March 2015

Lemon and Ginger Muffins


Readers, I had a craving the other week for a humble muffin.  I’d also forgotten how easy these are to make.  Most people have eggs, sunflower oil, flour, milk and sugar in the kitchen.  That’s all you need to get started. 

I had a roam around the cupboards and fridge, to see what I could add to my dish.   Luckily, I had some basic spices and a lemon, which was all I needed to create these lovely breakfast muffins.

They are relatively easy to make, keep for two or three days and are great to grab and eat on the go.  Perfect if you are a commuter that leaves with a travel mug of coffee every morning!

Lemon & Ginger Breakfast Muffins

Ingredients (makes 10 muffins)

280g plain flour

1 tablespoon baking powder
Pinch salt
115g soft brown sugar
170ml milk
110ml sunflower oil
2 eggs
1 heaped teaspoon ground ginger
½ teaspoon cinnamon
Zest of 1 unwaxed lemon
Juice of ½ lemon
Topping – porridge oats and 2 teaspoons soft brown sugar

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 200c/180c fan/Gas 7.
  2. Sift the flour, ginger, cinnamon, salt and baking powder into a bowl.  
  3. Grate in the lemon zest.
  4. In a separate bowl mix the milk, sunflower oil and eggs. 
  5. Make a well in the centre of the dry mix and pour in the wet mix.  Mix until just combined.
  6. Add the lemon juice and mix to combine.
  7. Transfer the mix to a muffin tin lined with muffin cases.
  8. Sprinkle porridge oats and a little sugar on the top of each muffin.
  9. Bake for around 20-25 minutes until golden and cooked through.
  10. Transfer to a wire tray to cool before serving with a freshly brewed coffee.
     
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