Roast chicken and creamed corn soup with corn bread muffins

Here’s our contribution to the “What do you do with the left over roast from Christmas ?” conundrum.  On Boxing day we had made some corn muffins for a lunch get together with some dear friends.   Having used some of the creamed corn in the corn bread muffin mix we had planned to use the remainder in a soup combined with the left over roast chicken (using tarragon butter – recipe posted earlier) from Christmas lunch.   We think it is one of the better soups we have made in a while with the fresh tarragon adding incredible flavour and enhancing the overall deliciousness of the soup.

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What do I need to make it?

  • 2 handfuls of left over roast chicken
  • 300 gm creamed corn
  • 2 large closed cup mushrooms sliced
  •  1 Thai red chilli chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic chopped
  • Handful of fresh tarragon chopped
  • 2 chicken stock cubes
  • Dash of pepper
  • Knob of butter

How much will I make?

2 hearty bowls

How do I make it?

Heat a pan and add a knob of butter followed by the garlic.   Saute for a minute over medium heat ensuring the garlic does not brown before adding the chopped red chillies.   Saute for another minute before adding the tarragon and left over chicken.   Warm the chicken through and switch of the heat.   I a separate pan add another knob of butter to saute the mushrooms for a couple of minutes.   Pour in 400 ml of water and add the stock cubes and bring to a boil.   Add the creamed corn and chicken to the stock and simmer over low heat for 5 minutes.  Pour into your soup bowl and enjoy.

 

Corn bread muffin

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What do I need to make it?

  • 1 cup of corn meal
  • 1 cup gluten free all purpose flour
  • 4 tsp baking powder
  • 2/3 cup skimmed milk
  • 4 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 cup creamed style corn
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped spring onions
  • 1/2 cup chopped jalapenos
  • 1/2 grated cheddar cheese (substitute with your favourite cheese)
  • 2 eggs
  • Salt to taste

How many will I make?

12 medium sized muffins

How do I make it?

Mix all the dry ingredients in a large bowl.   Add the chopped spring onions, jalapenos, cheese, milk and oil – mix thoroughly before adding well beaten eggs.   Fold the eggs into the mixture and spoon into greased muffin cases and bake in pre-heated oven at 180 degrees Centigrade for 40-45 minutes till they are golden brown.  Enjoy on its own with some sweetened butter (honey mixed with softened butter) or as an accompaniment to soups.

Chestnut flour pancakes

The love affair with chestnut flour continues and we are tinkering with different flavour combinations to our standard pancake mix (one cup chestnut flour, one cup milk, one egg and one teaspoon baking powder).  Over the last week we have made two versions, one savoury and one sweet.   For the savoury option we added a pinch of salt, one teaspoon of English mustard, some chopped spring onion, fresh coriander, 1 Thai red chilli and a handful of a blend of 4 cheeses.   The subtle taste of the mustard made it quite delightful.   For the sweet version we added one tablespoon of smooth peanut butter, 1 tablespoon of Nutella and  1/2 tsp of vanilla extract.  This was equally delightful but then again we don’t think one can go wrong with Nutella in any sweet dish!

Mustard and four cheese pancake

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Peanut butter and Nutella pancakes

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Cassava meal kesari (pudding)

We had friends over for dinner last night and felt a bit creative with our dessert offering.   We have used “gari” or “cassava meal” previously in a savoury recipe as a substitute for “rava” or “fine semolina” and decided to try using it as the base for our gluten free  kesari alternative.   The cassava meal does have a bit or sourness to it which works fine in savoury dishes but not completely off putting in desserts (feel free to increase the amount of sugar to suit your taste).

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What do I need to make it?

  • 1 1/2 cups of cassava meal (gari)
  • 1 cup of sugar
  • 1/2 tsp cardamom seeds
  • Pinch of safron
  • Handful of almond and cashew nuts chopped
  • Handful of raisins
  • 6 tbsp ghee (2 to roast the nuts and raisins and the remainder to go into the kesari)

How much will I make?

Serves 4

How do I make it?

Roast the cassava meal over a medium heat till it starts to brown. Heat 2 tablespoons of ghee and roast the almonds, cashew nuts and raisins till the cashew nut begins to brown – keep aside once done.  Then heat 1 1/2 cups of water in a wok – dissolve the sugar and continue boiling for a few minutes before adding the saffron and cardamom seeds.    Reduce the heat to medium and  pour in the roasted cassava meal and whisk vigorously to ensure no lumps are formed.  Add four tablespoons of ghee to the mixture and keep stirring till the kesari leaves the sides of the wok.   Switch of the heat and garnish the dish with the roasted nuts and raisins – mix thoroughly and serve the kesari warm.

 

Related content:

Gluten free upma (annaandshiv.com)

Coffee flavoured chestnut flour pancakes

Having discovered the versatility of chestnut flour as an adequate replacement for normal flour in our baking endeavoors we have been making pancakes regularly with it.  We decided yesterday to try something different and incorporate some bold coffee flavours into the batter and are pleasantly surprised with the outcome.   We think this could work brilliantly as a dessert option with scoops of vanilla or coffee ice cream or a syrup made with Kaluha.  The pancakes have also given us an idea for a  tiramusu alternative – more once we have tried it.

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What do I need to make it?

  • 2 cups chestnut flour
  • 1tsp baking powder
  • 2 tsp  sugar (adjust to taste)
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 shot of espresso
  • 2-3 tbsp Kaluha (add more for a boozy dessert pancake)
  • 1 tsp espresso powder
  • 1 tsp vanilla essence
  • Butter to grease the pan
  • Pinch of salt

How much will I make?

8 medium sized pancakes depending on size

How do I make it?

Beat the egg and milk in a bowl and then add the chestnut flour and baking powder.  Use a whisk to beat further to ensure no lumps.   Add the remaining ingredients, whisk further and batter should coat your ladle.   Heat frying pan on medium heat and add a knob of butter some batter and cook on both sides,   Serve hot as a breakfast pancake or as a dessert with a scoop of coffee/vanilla ice cream.

Thai flavoured casserole

Having caught the casserole bug a couple of weeks ago we have been busy experimenting with different ethnic flavours (posted our take on Moroccan and Creole/Mexican casseroles in earlier blogs, links below).   Tonight we tried putting together Thai ingredients to create a casserole which was not as thick as previous attempts as there are no starchy ingredients but flavour and taste wise was delicious.   You need some standard Thai ingredients to ensure you maximize the flavour.

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What do I need to make it?

  • 500 gms boneless chicken thighs (6-8 pieces)
  • 1 large white onion sliced
  • 1 red pepper cut into cubes
  • 1 yellow pepper cut into cubes
  • 2 green chillies roughly chopped
  • 5-6 garlic pods
  • 1 carrot roughly chopped
  • 6-8 button mushrooms halved
  • 5-6 baby corn cut into bite size pieces
  • Handful of green beans chopped into 1 inch pieces
  • 200  gms sliced bamboo shoots (small can drained)
  • 6-8 snow peas/mange tout
  • 1 stick of lemon grass bruised
  • 1 piece of galangal bruised
  • 1/2 tsp crush dried birds eye chilli
  • 2 chicken stock cubes
  • 2 tsp Sriracha chilli paste
  • 400 ml coconut milk
  • 2 tbsp coconut oil
  • Few sprigs of fresh coriander chopped to garnish
  • Salt and pepper to taste

How much will I make?

Serves 4

How do I make it?

First marinade the chicken thighs with the Sriracha paste and a bit of salt – set aside for a few hours.   Heat your oven proof casserole dish and add 1 tbsp of coconut oil – sear the chicken pieces on both sides and remove.   Add another tablespoon of coconut oil and stir the crushed birds eye chilli for 30 seconds before adding green chilli, garlic, lemon grass, galangal and kafir lime leaves and stirring for another 30 seconds.  Add the onion and  peppers and stir for a couple of minutes before adding the remaining vegetables, stock cubes, coconut milk, chicken and about 200 ml of water.  Sprinkle a little salt and black pepper to taste and place the casserole in a pre-heated oven at 200 degree Centigrade for an hour or till the chicken is cooked through.   Garnish with fresh coriander and serve on its own or with a bowl of Jasmine rice.

Spicy pancakes and prawn salad with coconut sambal

Having made some fresh coconut sambal for dinner last night we were trying to find ways to use the leftovers in our meals today.   We first used it this morning to spice up some pancakes and finished off the remaining sambal with a spicy prawn salad.  We have posted the recipe for the prawn salad in an earlier blog.   Once the prawns (marinated in blackened cajun seasoning) were cooked we added 2 heaped tablespoon of the sambal and served it on bed of rocket and ripe mango.  We’ve added the recipe for the pancakes below if you prefer savoury options for breakfast versus sweet.

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What do I need to make it?

  • 3/4 cup chestnut flour
  • 1/4 cup desiccated coconut
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 2 tbsp sambal
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup milk
  • Salt to taste

How many will I make?

Around 6-8 pancakes depending on size

How do I make it?

Place all dry ingredients in a bowl and whisk in the egg and milk till the batter coats the back of your spoon.   Add in the sambal and give it a good mix.  Cook pancakes on both sides with a knob of butter and serve it with some Thai sweet chilli sauce (works really well).

Gratinated Mexican rice

One of my favorite dishes growing up which mom would pull together for dinner parties was her rendition of Spanish rice.   Back in those days exotic ingredients were hard to come by and she made do with what was available.   I’ve had her recipe with me for 15 odd years and have never attempted to make it once but Saturday night was an opportunity to try it out.  We had invited some friends over for dinner and decided to go with a Mexican theme.   I have taken mom’s recipe as a base and made a few tweaks before rechristening it gratinated Mexican rice!   The dish was a hit with our guests and hope you enjoy making it.

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What do I need to make it?

  • 2 1/2 cups cooked rice (long grain or even Basmati)
  • 1 large onion sliced
  • 1 green pepper sliced thinly
  • 1 stick of celery sliced
  • 1 carrot chopped into tiny pieces
  • 4-5 baby corn chopped into bite size pieces
  • Handful of green beans trimmed and chopped
  • 2 medium tomatoes roughly chopped
  • 3 cloves of garlic finely chopped
  • Handful of fresh coriander chopped
  • 1 tsp cumin powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp chipotle chili paste
  • 3 tbsp vegetable oil
  • Salt to taste

For the garnish

  • 1 tomato sliced
  • 1 red pepper sliced
  • 3-4 tbsp pickled jalapenos
  • 2 sprigs of green onion chopped
  • 50 gms of mature cheddar cheese

How much will I make?

Serves 6

How do I make it?

First par boil the carrot, beans and baby corn.  Then heat a wok/kadai, add oil first before sauteing the garlic for a minute.   Add the sliced onions, green pepper and celery and cook till the onions start turning golden brown.   Add the chipotle paste, sprinkle cumin powder and chopped tomatoes and continue cooking till fat begins to leave the mixture.   Stir in the par boiled vegetables, adjust the seasoning and cook for another 5 minutes.   Switch off the heat and garnish with fresh chopped coriander.  Once the cooked rice has cooled stir in the masala and prepare the dish to be grilled.

Assembling the dish 

Transfer the mixed rice into a large rectangular oven proof dish.   Sprinkle the cheddar cheese evenly over the top.   Arrange the red pepper, tomato and jalapenos on top of the cheese.  Sprinkle the chopped spring onion and grill under a pre heated oven at 220 degrees Centigrade till the cheese melts, bubbles and turns golden brown.   Serve with a fresh tomato salsa or mango salsa as we did (1 large ripe mango cubed, 1 red chilli de-seeded and finely chopped, juice of half a lime and salt/pepper to taste).

Moroccan inspired casserole

What better way to celebrate our 100th blog and Anna’s birthday than with a Moroccan inspired casserole and a sweet bottle of muscat wine.  It has taken us a good seven to eight months to get to this point and we have really enjoyed sharing our culinary exploits.   Thank you for all those that have taken the time to read through, like and follow our blog.   We would love to hear from you and do share any thoughts and comments on improving some of the dishes.  So please join me and raise a glass to toast our next 100 blogs and Anna’s next … birthdays 🙂

Anna has been wanting to cook a Moroccan flavoured dish for quite some time (she has a dish in mind which we will write about in the near future) but I decided to use this as an inspiration to cook her a wonderful casserole for her birthday.

PS.  For the culinary purists – we know parsnip is not a typical vegetable in Moroccan dishes.

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What do I need to make it?

  • 500 gms boneless chicken thighs
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds – toasted
  • 1 big onion sliced
  • 4-5 garlic cloves chopped
  • 1 courgette cut in thick slices
  • 6 small potatoes halved
  • 1 large parsnip cut in chunks
  • 1 large carrot cut in chunks
  • 1/2 butter nut squash
  • 1 stick of celery roughly chopped
  • 1 large green pepper cut in big pieces
  • 400 gm canned chickpeas drained
  • 8-10 dried apricots
  • 4-6 green chillies
  • 2 chicken stock cubes
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 2 tsp harissa paste
  • 2 preserved lemons sliced
  • 3 tsp honey
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • Handful of coriander chopped for garnish
  • Salt and pepper to taste

How much will I make?

Serves 4

How do I make it?

First marinade the chicken with 1 teaspoon of harissa paste and the toasted cumin seeds and leave for a few hours.   Heat a oven proof casserole dish and brown the chicken pieces, remove and add the olive oil.   Saute the garlic and onion for a couple of minutes before adding the green pepper, celery and green chilli.  Cook for a few minutes before adding the remaining vegetables, chickpeas, ground cumin, harissa paste, apricots, preserved lemons, stock cubes, honey and around 500 ml of water.   Season with a pinch of salt and pepper to taste.  Cover the dish and cook in a pre-heated oven at 190 degree Centigrade for an hour till the chicken is cooked.   Garnish with some fresh chopped coriander and enjoy.

Gluten free penne with lamb meatballs

We tried making meatballs for the first time without the obligatory bread crumbs since going on our gluten free journey.  It turned out pretty good as we substituted the breadcrumbs with chestnut flour to act as the binding agent.   The meatballs maintained shape through the cooking process and tasted great.

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What do I need to make it?

Meatballs

  • 200 gms lean minced lamb
  • 1 medium onion finely chopped
  • 3 cloves of garlic minced
  • 1 tsp crush red chilli flakes
  • 1 tsp dry oregano
  • 2 tsp chestnut flour
  • Handful of fresh parsley chopped
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Tomato sauce

  • 400 gm tinned plum tomatoes
  • 1 medium onion chopped
  • 4 small green chillies chopped
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 3 cloves of garlic finely chopped
  • 1/2 tsp sugar
  • 1/2 tsp dry oregano
  • 1 tsp fresh oregano
  • 2 tbsp fresh basil chopped
  • 2 tbsp fresh parsley chopped
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste

How much will I make?

Serves 2-3

How do I make it?

Place all the meatball ingredients in a bowl and knead together.   Roll the meat mixture into small balls (should get around 20) and refrigerate for an hour.   Heat a pan with some olive oil and brown the meatballs off before placing them in a 200 degree Centigrade pre-heated oven for 12-15 minutes or till the meat is done.

For the sauce, heat a pan, add the olive oil followed by the garlic and bay leaves.   Stir for 30 seconds before adding the onions and green chilli.   Sweat the onions for 5-8 minutes before adding the dry and fresh oregano.   Pour in the plum tomatoes (if whole crush or chop them first) with a cup of water and simmer over gentle heat for 20 minutes.   Add the sugar and adjust the seasoning.   Once the tomatoes have cooked through, add the meatballs and garnish the dish with fresh basil and parsley.   Pour over your favourite pasta and enjoy.

Savoury chestnut flour pancakes

We have been having sweet pancakes with chestnut flour as a base and Anna has been challenging me to come up with a savoury alternative.  We had some delicious savoury pancakes for breakfast this morning and it’s worth trying if you are tired of sweet pancakes.

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What do I need to make it?

  • 1 cup chestnut flour
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1 egg
  • 3 small green  chillies chopped
  • 1 small shallot finely chopped
  • Handful grated Cheddar cheese
  • Handful grated Red Leicester cheese
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • Butter to cook
  • Salt and pepper to taste

How many will I make?

6-8 depending on size

How do I make it?

Use a whisk to mix the flour, egg and milk.   Once blended add the onions, chopped chilli and cheeses with a pinch of salt and pepper.  Heat a frying pan and add a knob of butter, pour in a ladle of batter and cook on both sides to a nice golden brown colour.   Enjoy on its own – we want to try it with some chilli jam or Thai sweet chilli sauce next time.