Friday, 18 November 2011

Friday Night Fakeaway : Ginger Chicken

Now, this is GOOD... Happy Friday, everybody

Ginger Chicken

For the sauce:

2 tbsp soy sauce
4 tbsp cider vinegar
1 tablespoon tahini
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 tbsp fresh ginger, chopped
1 lemon, zested and juiced
1 tbsp toasted sesame oil
4 tbsp rapeseed oil

Place all ingredients except rapeseed oil into a bowl. Slowly whisk in said oil to make a thick, pale brown sauce. Set aside while you do everything else (or you can make it the day before).

4 chicken breast fillets, cut into bite-size pieces
2 beaten eggs

Roll the chicken pieces in cornflour, then egg, then cornflour again.  Heat about 4 tbsp oil in a large pan and fry the chicken in batches until ncrisp and brown.  Don’t worry about cooking it all the way through, just get it looking good… Remove and drain on kitchen paper.

Now, you could (and I have)just throw it in a dish and pour the sauce over before baking it, but I like to add noodles and spinach underneath to make it a more ‘complete’ meal.  Soak two or three nests of dried egg noodles in hot water from the kettle, then drain them over a colander containing a handful or so of chopped leaf spinach.  Put this into an ovenproof dish and stir through a few spoonfuls of the sauce.  Top the noodles with the crisp pieces of chicken,  in a single layer (or as near as damn it),, then spoon over the remaining sauce, making sure you get a bit on every piece of chicken.  Scatter with some sesame seeds and bung it in a 180 degree oven for 25 minutes.
Cath xx

Friday, 11 November 2011


Now this is bit of a revelation.  Homemade ice-cream in five minutes with no cooking!  You need a pot of cream, a jar of jam, a lemon, a shot of some sort of booze and a lemon (and you only need half of that!).  If I can get all of these things in the shop in the village, they are hardly difficult to come by.  True, you do have to freeze the ice-cream overnight, so it's hardly what you could call an instant pudding, but it is so easy that you can almost always have some in to feed the ravenous hordes, whether expected or not...

It does need to be a decent jam though, and I favour the Bonne Maman conserves.I've also had luck with blackcurrant with cassis and apricot with amaretto but I always, always go back to the favourite; strawberry with triple sec.  There's something about the orangey alcohol that just seems to bring out the true flavour of the strawberries and this has been described to me by more than one person as the most strawberry-ish strawberry ice-cream they've ever had.  Not bad for five minutes' work!

Jam Ice-Cream

284ml carton whipping cream
370g jar of jam (and see above)
2 tbsp booze of your choosing (and see above)
juice of half a lemon.

Stiffly whip the cream.  Stir the jam, alcohol and lemon juice together, then fold this mixture into the cream until thoroughly combined.  Pour into an airtight plastic container and freeze.  Transfer the box from the freezer to the 'fridge about twenty minutes to half an hour before you want to serve the ice-cream.  I normally do this as we sit down to eat, which is easy enough to remember.  Dish it out with an ice-cream scoop dipped in hot water for ease.

Cath xx

Sunday, 6 November 2011

Posh Peelings

 What a busy few weeks we've had at Distracted Towers! Weekend after lovely weekend we've had friends and family visiting and lots of enjoyably drawn-out suppers around a very convivial table.  My younger son turned five last week and, eschewing a party, announced that he wanted to go to dinner at the local Italian restaurant.  Yes, he's five... and yes, we went and all had a wonderful time. These announcements are getting to be regular occurrences of late; only the weekend before he announced that he wanted mussels to eat.  His beloved, and adoring, Granny dutifully purchased said bivalves and he tucked into them with gusto... I had to snaffle some quickly to be sure of a share!

When Hubby took the boys to see his parents during the half-term holiday, he returned with a rather large bag of apples.  He confessed that he'd accepted them thinking the children would gobble them up before long, before he found out they were, in fact, 'cooking' apples.  So they sat around guilt-inducingly, until today when I finally had time to process the whole sack bag's worth.

I now have four 1-litre bags of stewed apple for the freezer, and a couple of bottles of extremely tasty apple juice.  This may just be my new best thing...

Thrifty Apple Juice

apple peelings

Pack the apple peelings into a deep lidded pan.  I had to use my stockpot because I'd peeled thirty-plus apples and had a veritable Mount Peelmore on the worktop.  Pour water over to just cover the peelings and bring to the boil.  Reduce the heat to a very low simmer for a couple of hours, then strain the juice and stir in some powdered sugar to taste.  Let cool before decanting into (empty wine) bottles with a funnel.  Keep in the fridge, or use some to make ice-lollies

Cath xx


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