Tag: quick and easy

Drinks Friday: Negroni

Drinks Friday: Negroni

So for tonight’s ‘Drinks Friday’ I am keeping things simple:  the negroni.  This is a cocktail that is fairly ubiquitous right now, appearing on every hipster cocktail menu up and down the country (for the record, I was drinking it long before it was popular).  But here is the secret – it is really easy to make.

To be fair it is not to everyone’s taste; it is bitter and strong, so if your idea of a great cocktail is something made with a ton of fruit juice then a negroni is probably not for you.  But if you do like it then you will probably find yourself making these at home fairly regularly – I know I do.  I have one rule: when I can no longer remember how to make it, it is time for bed!

Tips

  • You can premix the ingredients in bulk – great if you want to serve these as an aperitif for a dinner party. Simply mix in equal parts and store in a clean, sterilised bottle. When you are ready to serve, simply pour over ice and garnish.
  • Try using different gins (and gin-based liqueurs) to change the flavour.  Sloe gin works brilliantly, as does blackberry gin. Just remember that the prominent flavour of Campari is bitter orange – choose something that complements that and you won’t go too far wrong.

The Negroni

Ingredients

35ml Gin
35ml Campari
35ml Sweet vermouth
Orange peel to garnish
Ice cubes

 

Method

  1.  Fill a glass with ice.  Pour the gin, Campari and vermouth into the glass. Stir for a few seconds. Garnish with a piece of orange peel.

 

I told you it was easy.

 

That is it from me – I’ve got a cocktail to drink! Happy Friday everybody – please drink responsibly(ish) and let me know what your favourite variations on the classic negroni are in the comments. Cheers!

Chicken and Chorizo Tray Bake

Chicken and Chorizo Tray Bake

This is barely a recipe – more just something I threw together once and have repeated a number of times since, but it is quick to prepare, cooks in under 30 minutes and is really tasty.  Treat the recipe here as more of a guide – It is great the way I have described but is also a fantastic way of using up a few leftover odds and ends that are in the fridge. This has become something of a family favourite in our house – give it a try and I’m sure you will love it too!

TIPS – Salting the chicken in advance is not essential but worth doing if you can.  If you don’t have time, just follow the method as described, but leave the chicken out while you prepare the marinade and chop the vegetables.

Chicken and Chorizo Tray Bake (Serves 4)

Ingredients

1kg Bone in, skin on chicken thighs and legs
2tsp table salt
2tsp smoked paprika
1tsp herbs de Provence (or similar mixed herb blend)
1tsp garlic puree
Juice and zest of one lemon
2tbsp olive oil
200g chorizo
2 red peppers
1 medium courgette
1 bunch of spring onions

 

Method

  1. Place the chicken pieces into a roasting pan and sprinkle with the salt. Try to ensure you evenly coat all the pieces. Do this job on the same day you are cooking as early as possible – if you can season in the morning before going to work, the meat will be more evenly seasoned and really tender once cooked. Store in the fridge until about 30 minutes before you want to start cooking then leave out to come up to room temperature.
  2. Heat the oven to 190ºC fan (210ºC conventional).
  3. Mix the paprika, dried herbs, garlic purée, lemon juice, lemon zest and oil together in a large bowl to create a marinade.
  4. Slice the chorizo into rounds about 1cm thick, then halve these to create semi-circular chunks. Chop the peppers and courgette into bite-size pieces.  Trim and clean the spring onions.  Cut each one into 3-4 pieces.
  5. Put all the vegetables, the chicken pieces and the chorizo into the bowl containing the marinade. Mix everything together thoroughly with your hands. Make sure the spice and oil mixture has coated everything, then spread the vegetables and chorizo out evenly in the roasting pan and place the chicken on top, skin side up.  Wash your hands.
  6. Place the roasting pan into the middle of the oven and roast for 20-30 minutes. It is ready when the chicken skin is crisp and the juices run clear from the meat if pierced with a skewer.
  7. Serve with whatever takes your fancy – crusty bread and a salad works brilliantly, as do roast potatoes.
King Oyster Scallops and Mushroom Risotto

King Oyster Scallops and Mushroom Risotto

During my visit to Forest Fungi earlier this week, I had to find out what their recommendations were for mushroom dishes.  Jess was kind enough to share the following two recipes with me.  If you are inspired by these, head on down to their farm shop and café in Dawlish Warren to get hold of the star ingredients, and perhaps get some more ideas from the extensive list of mushroom dishes on the cafe menu.

Also click the link to read all about my visit to Forest Fungi to see the new grow rooms

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Mushrooms on Toast with poached egg

Mushrooms on Toast with poached egg

Given the name of this site, I figured it was about time I got a toast based recipe up here.  This dish was inspired by some gorgeous shimeji mushrooms from Forest Fungi that I picked up at The Exeter Food Festival but could be prepared using any fresh mushrooms you can get your hands on.  It is also ridiculously quick to throw together. Just make sure you have everything ready to go before you start cooking, because it all comes together in minutes.

TIPS:

  • A fairly dense bread works best as the moisture from the mushrooms will quickly soften your toast if you use something too soft. I used a spelt and sunflower loaf that I got from Sainsbury’s which kept its texture brilliantly.
  • Shimeji mushrooms are well worth finding, but if you use something else, you may need to adjust the cooking times slightly. The bigger the pieces, the longer they will probably need. (For the photo, I actually bulked the dish out a bit with oyster mushrooms because I was a little short).
  • Try replacing the paprika with a spoonful of chopped tarragon. This will give the dish a fresh, aniseed flavour that works brilliantly with mushrooms.

 

Ingredients

30g unsalted Butter

1 large clove garlic

100g white shimeji mushrooms (or what you can get – see above)

¼ tsp smoked paprika

Salt and pepper

1 medium egg

1 tsp white wine vinegar

1 or 2 slices of good quality bread

Butter for spreading.

Flat-leaf parsley for garnish (optional)

Method

  1. Get a pan of water boiling for poaching the egg. Keep at a low boil until ready to use.
  2. To cook the mushrooms: Put the butter into a frying pan over a med-high heat and heat until foaming. Turn the temperature down slightly, add the garlic, peeled and partially crushed with the flat of your knife, and allow it to infuse into the butter for a minute or so.
  3. While the garlic is infusing is a good time to get the toast on. Cook to your own liking!
  4. Turn the heat back up to med-high. Add the mushrooms into the frying pan and stir to ensure they are all evenly coated in butter. Leave to fry unmolested for a minute, shake them up again then give them another minute or so.  Add the paprika, and season with salt and pepper.
  5. To poach the egg: As soon as the mushrooms are in the frying pan, break the egg into a ramekin and add the vinegar to the boiling water. Stir the water to create a whirlpool in the centre of the pan, then gently pour the egg into the centre.  Leave to poach for 2-3 minutes – as soon as the white is even coloured and opaque it is cooked.  Remove from the water with a slotted spoon and leave on the spoon to drain, until ready to serve.
  6. Finally, butter the toast and place it on a plate, pile the mushrooms on the toast then top it all off with the poached egg. Finish with a little black pepper, a pinch more paprika and some chopped, flatleaf parsley if you want.  Eat immediately.