Most people probably already have a go-to chicken noodle or stir fry recipe, but not me. So I looked at one of Jamie’s and then amended it a little (that’s usually how I roll). The result was a nice mixture of soft noodles and chicken, crunchy carrots and peanuts and freshness from lime and coriander. And like most stir-fries, it takes mere minutes to make.
Chicken noodles, serves 2
Adapted from Jamie Oliver’s recipe.
oil for frying
1 garlic clove, chopped
a few spring onions, chopped
1/2 red chilli, finely chopped
1 lime, cut into wedges
2-3 chicken thigh fillets
1 carrot, cut into matchsticks
1/2 broccoli crown, cut into small florets
2 egg noodle nests
1 tbsp soy sauce
1/2 tbsp fish sauce
a handful peanuts
1/2 bunch coriander, finely chopped
salt & pepper
Cook the noodles according to the packet. Rinse and put aside.
Heat up the oil in a wok or large frying pan. Trim the chicken and cut into bite size pieces. Fry them until golden. Add salt and pepper. Then add garlic and chilli to the pan and thereafter spring onions, carrot pieces and broccoli. After a minute or so, add the noodles and heat up. Add soy and fish sauce, squeeze some lime and season to taste. Top with peanuts and coriander. Serve with lime wedges.
Maybe you’re beginning to sense a theme on the blog?! Food that’s quick to make when one’s busy, perhaps? Well that’s what my life looks like right now. If I cook at all at the moment it’s either for friends or a quick supper.
Work will hopefully slow down a little this week, but June is still horrendously packed (albeit with fun things). Last weekend I had Maria, Daniel and Otto visiting and this weekend I’m going to Sweden for a flying visit as one of my dear friends is getting married. And so it continues…
That’s why sometimes I cook food that’s ridiculously simple. One you don’t even need a recipe for. But it is still very tasty, filling and satisfying and definitely fresher than a takeaway.
How to (just in case):
Boil the new potatoes. Melt butter in a frying pan and fry the (drained) potatoes golden brown. Add spinach and let it wilt. Season. In a separate frying pan, fry an egg, remove and then fry a few slices of halloumi on high heat until golden brown. Serve.
As much as I like finickety recipes sometime nothing but simple food will do. Simple without being boring that is. It’s a fine line, but I definitely think that this simple concoction of pasta, fresh pesto (may it be store-bought) and fried purple sprouting broccoli with lemon zest is simple, fresh and far from boring.
Penne with pesto and fried purple sprouting, serves 2
2 portions penne
50 ml fresh pesto
200 g purple sprouting broccoli
1/2 lemon, zest only
Cook the pasta according to the packet. Cut the broccoli into chunky pieces. Fry on medium heat in olive oil. Once browned add lemon zest and season. Drain the pasta and mix with the pesto and some olive oil. Divide between bowls, top with broccoli and grated parmesan.
I thrive on inspiration from other blogs. Isn’t it great what the internet can provide us with?
Last week I found this recipe on a Swedish food blog I follow; Kryddburken [The Spice Jar] – a wonderful pasta recipe with a fabulous sauce made with spinach, peanuts, lemon, garlic and parmesan. It was utterly simple and tasted lovely. I think this will stick to my weekday repertoire.
I adapted the recipe a little (omitted pine nuts and halved it). You find my version below.
Pasta with spinach and peanut sauce, serves 2
Adapted from this recipe.
200 g pasta of your choice
100 g spinach, roughly chopped
50 g salted peanuts
200 ml half and half (half cream, half milk)
1/2 lemon, the juice
75 ml grated parmesan
1 small garlic clove, pressed
1 tsp chilli sauce
butter and oil for frying
salt and black pepper
Cook the pasta accordingly. Chop the nuts with a knife or in a food processor. Add the butter and oil to a frying pan on high heat. Add the spinach and nuts. Cook until the spinach has wilted and the water has dried away. Add the half and half, garlic and lemon juice and let the sauce thicken while stirring. Season.
Remove from the heat after about 5 minutes and stir in the parmesan. Serve with the pasta.
One day last week when we needed a quick supper I tried this marinaded beans recipe I found on the wonderful blog Smaskens.
To flavour beans this way is genius and the marinade was so so good. It didn’t take long to prepare either and turned out a perfect Monday supper paired with Toulouse sausages and some nice bread to soak up the juices with.
Marinaded butter beans, serves 2
Translated and adapted from this recipe.
1 tsp sweet smoked paprika
50 ml olive oil
1-2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tsp chilli flakes
1 shallot, finely chopped
400 g tinned butter beans, rinsed and drained
1 tbsp acacia honey
Warm the oil in a large pan. Add paprika, shallots, garlic and chilli flakes. Stir while the onion cooks without browning. Add the beans and heat them up. Pour into a bowl and leave to cool. Add parsley and honey just before serving.
Although I love cooking, I don’t particulary enjoy to cook for only myself. If I need to I want something that’s quick, but still enjoyable. There are other times when that type of cooking is required too. Like when Christopher is working late and not home until 10pm.
This dish is for such occasions. Apart from podding the beans it will only take the same amount of time as it does for the pasta to cook. In my case that was 12 minutes. And the result was summery and lovely.
Farfalle with smoked salmon, broad beans and chives, serves 2
250 g farfalle or other pasta
400 g fresh broad beans in their pods
150 g cold-smoked salmon
100 ml Philadelphia
juice from 1/2 lemon
Pod the beans. Cook the pasta. Fry the beans in butter until soft. Add some lemon juice, salt and pepper. Mix the Philadelphia with lemon juice, salt and pepper. Drain the pasta. Top with smoked salmon, beans and cut chives. Perhaps add some freshly ground black pepper and dig in.
The best way to get a nice dinner in exchange for little cooking is to use the oven. A few days ago I made this utterly simple traybake of chicken thighs, chorizo, new potatoes and celeriac. The chorizo is so full of flavour and transfers it to the chicken that all you need to add is olive oil, salt and pepper. We had some of the lovely slaw with it and homemade chilli mayo. You didn’t really need the mayo and I need to tune the recipe a bit more before I am proud of it. But you can have the recipe for the chicken and chorizo already now, as it is perfect as it is, so simple and all.
Chicken and chorizo with roasted new potatoes and celeriac, serves 2 + a lunch box
800 g chicken thighs
1/2 ring chorizo
300 g new potatoes
Line an oven tin with parchment paper. Add the potatoes whole, cut the celeriac in sticks and add them too. Sprinkle some lemon pepper and a drizzle of oil. Place the chicken thighs, skin side up, in another tin. Slice the chorizo and add it to the chicken. Add some olive oil, salt and pepper. Place both tins in the oven, 200 C for 45 mins- 1 hr.
After 15 minutes, turn the chicken pieces around, and after another 15 minutes, place them skin side up again.