Monday, 29 August 2011

Squash, Chicken and Couscous one pot - A Random Recipe

I've been a bit rubbish with blogger challenges recently, I start off the month with all the best intentions then before I realise, it's the next month and I've missed it again. Not this month however, this month I was determined..

Dom challenged us this month to go back to basics with the original random recipe challenge of simply picking a cookbook at random then randomly picking a recipe from that book. Now I have a slight confession to make the recipe may have been random but the book usually wasn't, its hard to shuffle cookbooks (that's my excuse and I'm sticking to it).
so to make this month properly random, I decided to use the ever growing pile of Good Food Magazines building up in the corner. I grabbed an handful and randomly shuffled through them (much easier). I landed on the August 2011 issue and landed on page 48-49, I then closed my eyes and randomly dropped a coin on the pages to pick a recipe. so I give you.......

Squash, Chicken and Couscous one pot
2 Tbsp Harrisa paste
1 Tsp each of ground Cumin and Coriander
2 red onions, halved and cut into thin wedges
2 skinless chicken breasts, bite sized chunks
1 small butternut squash, chopped into bite sized pieces, no need to peel
2 X 400g Tins of tomatoes
zest and juice of 2 Lemons
200g Cherry Tomatoes
140g Couscous
small bunch of coriander

Heat a large non-stick casserole dish or pan on the hob.
Add the harissa, spices and onions, stir and cook gently for 10 minutes until soft.
Add the chicken and brown for 5-10 minutes.
Add squash, stir to combine, add a splash of water if it starts to stick.
Cook for a further 5 minutes.
Tip the canned tomatoes in with 1/2 can of water, cover and simmer for 20-30 minutes.
Add the lemon zest and juice, cherry toms, couscous and seasoning.
Cover and turn off the heat, leave on the hob for 10 minutes, then stir through the coriander and serve.

A very nice one pot dish. I altered the recipe a bit, substituting chicken breasts for thighs (cheaper/tastier) and I used Pomodorino Tomatoes instead of Cherry Tomatoes. The recipe states to not bother peeling the squash, personally I would, but that's just me, also next time I may add a little less lemon. This is also rather nice cold the next day so good for pack lunches etc...

Sunday, 7 August 2011

Lemon Tart

I do like a lemon dessert and I'm usually drawn to these on a menu first, well either that or desserts involving rhubarb. One of my personal favourites is the classic lemon dessert, the lemon tart or tart au citron (hey check me out I'm multilingual) depending on which side of the English channel you are on. But having eaten my fair share I have never actually made one, so as usual I thought I'd give it a go.

Lemon Tart

210g Plain flour
35g Icing sugar
125g Butter, cold and cut into cubes
1 Egg yolk
1 tsp of water

5 Large eggs
225g Caster Sugar
125ml Double cream
Zest and juice of four lemons


Mix the flour and sugar together, add the butter.
Rub the butter into the flour gently between your fingertips until mixture resembles breadcrumbs.
Add the yolk and water and mix together.
Using you hands bring together the mix into a dough ball, don't overwork.
Wrap tightly in cling film and leave to rest in the fridge for 30mins to an hour.

Get two sheets of cling film, spread one across the work surface, place the dough in the middle and spread the other sheet over the top.
Roll out gently in between the two sheets of cling film (this method stops any excess flour being added to the pastry and drying it out).
Remove the top layer and using the bottom layer drape the pastry into a 26cm fluted tart tin.
Press gently into the tart tin and using a rolling pin roll across the top to trim off the edges.
Push the edges up a couple of millimetres to compensate for shrinkage.

Gently press a layer of foil into the tin and fill with baking beans.
Bake in a preheated oven (180C) for 12 minutes.
Remove the foil and beans and bake for another 12 minutes.
Remove from oven and leave to cool on a wire rack.

Whisk up the eggs in a bowl until combined.
Add the remaining ingredients and whisk again until well combined.
Transfer to a jug and pour into the cooled tart case.
Bake in a preheated oven at 140C for 30-35 minutes.

Remove from the oven and when cooler remove the tart from the tin.

Sprinkle with icing sugar and serve.