6 Nations of Food – (Italian) Mediterranean Chicken and Cauliflower

Second instalment of my Six Nations of Food, it’s my take on the fantastically talented Jason Atherton’s Mediterranean Chicken which follows on from my Toad in the Hole with Onion Gravy and Champ. I couldn’t resist posting this one, Jason’s a chef I really admire and this is a cost effective easy to cook recipe.  You can find the original here, this recipe is ideal for cooking in batches and is really inexpensive to make.

I know we’re on the last week of the six nations but I’m going to extend our 6 Nations of Food for a week or so to fit in the other three nations.  I hope Wales beat Italy today, to gain a little self respect back after last week’s shocking game against England 😆

The Recipe

6 Nations of Food – Mediterranean Chicken and Cauliflower - Ingredients

6 Nations of Food – Mediterranean Chicken and Cauliflower – Ingredients

This recipe is simple, carrots, onions, chicken breast, garlic and tinned tomato and stock.  Of course the good old salt and pepper and that’s it, I’ve served mine with some boiled cauliflower but Jason serves his in the original recipe with potatoes.

6 Nations of Food – Mediterranean Chicken and Cauliflower - Chopping some of the ingredients

6 Nations of Food – Mediterranean Chicken and Cauliflower – Chopping some of the ingredients

Yep you’ve guessed it, chop up all the ingredients and set them aside for later lol.  Chop the onions and carrots and place them in a container for later, then chop up the chicken into bite sized pieces, when chopping up chicken remember to adhere to the guidelines.  I’m not going to lie, even though I’m a butcher’s son and nothing about meat makes me squeamish – chicken safety scares me…. don’t take risks, cook it thoroughly and follow advice.

I can’t stress how much easier cooking is when you chop everything up first, the chef’s call it mise en place which is French for “putting place”

6 Nations of Food – Mediterranean Chicken and Cauliflower - Heating the oil in a pan

6 Nations of Food – Mediterranean Chicken and Cauliflower – Heating the oil in a pan

Heat oil in a pan or a wok, I’ve used Rapeseed Oil but you can use olive oil or vegetable oil.

6 Nations of Food – Mediterranean Chicken and Cauliflower - Browning the chicken in the pan

6 Nations of Food – Mediterranean Chicken and Cauliflower – Browning the chicken in the pan

On a medium heat, fry the chicken pieces until they’re brown all over, don’t have the heat too high because you’re going to cook them again later.  You could say you’re sealing the meat, once you’ve done that set them aside later, use a slotted spoon to scoop all the chicken out.

6 Nations of Food – Mediterranean Chicken and Cauliflower - Frying the carrots and onions

6 Nations of Food – Mediterranean Chicken and Cauliflower – Frying the carrots and onions

Once you’ve taken the chicken out add the carrots and onions and a good grind of salt, if you’re using table salt add a teaspoon of salt and cook them for around 9 minutes.

6 Nations of Food – Mediterranean Chicken and Cauliflower - The carrots and onions as they start to soften

6 Nations of Food – Mediterranean Chicken and Cauliflower – The carrots and onions as they start to soften

Cook the carrots and onions until they have soften.  It’s going to be hard with the carrots to get them to soften but don’t worry because the process isn’t finished yet.  This stage usually takes around 7 – 9 minutes to carry out.

6 Nations of Food – Mediterranean Chicken and Cauliflower - Adding lazy garlic to the pan

6 Nations of Food – Mediterranean Chicken and Cauliflower – Adding lazy garlic to the pan

Because I have difficulty using a garlic crusher and I don’t have James Martin’s knife skills I use lazy garlic, add a couple of teaspoons to your dish, you can add more if you want to,, I’m a garlic fan so I added three teaspoons..

6 Nations of Food – Mediterranean Chicken and Cauliflower - Stirring the garlic through

6 Nations of Food – Mediterranean Chicken and Cauliflower – Stirring the garlic through

Give the garlic a good stir and cook for a few minutes before we move on to the next stage.

6 Nations of Food – Mediterranean Chicken and Cauliflower - Adding the chicken back to the pan

6 Nations of Food – Mediterranean Chicken and Cauliflower – Adding the chicken back to the pan

Add all the browned chicken back and stir thoroughly, make sure when you’re adding the chicken you add all the juices left on the plate back into the saucepan/wok.

6 Nations of Food – Mediterranean Chicken and Cauliflower - Adding tinned tomatoes

6 Nations of Food – Mediterranean Chicken and Cauliflower – Adding tinned tomatoes

Add a tin of tomatoes and stir thoroughly to combine.

6 Nations of Food – Mediterranean Chicken and Cauliflower - Adding chicken stock

6 Nations of Food – Mediterranean Chicken and Cauliflower – Adding chicken stock

Add the stock to the pan, if you’ve got home made stock use that if not, like me, use a stock cube with 250ml of water.

6 Nations of Food – Mediterranean Chicken and Cauliflower - Adding mixed herbs

6 Nations of Food – Mediterranean Chicken and Cauliflower – Adding mixed herbs

From the carosel I’ve used in previous recipes I added a good shake of mixed herbs, you could add fresh Basil, Parsley or Oregano to this recipe – as it’s Italian.

6 Nations of Food – Mediterranean Chicken and Cauliflower - Seasoning with salt and pepper

6 Nations of Food – Mediterranean Chicken and Cauliflower – Seasoning with salt and pepper

As you can see from the inset photo I’ve whapped a load of salt and pepper in this dish because I like it, most people could probably do with less salt but it was enough for us, and I love pepper.

6 Nations of Food – Mediterranean Chicken and Cauliflower - Putting the lid on for it to simmer

6 Nations of Food – Mediterranean Chicken and Cauliflower – Putting the lid on for it to simmer

Cook it until you’re sure the chicken is cooked and the sauce is to the consistency you want it.

6 Nations of Food – Mediterranean Chicken and Cauliflower - Ready to eat, served with boiled cauliflower

6 Nations of Food – Mediterranean Chicken and Cauliflower – Ready to eat, served with boiled cauliflower

Jason served his with potatoes, I’ve served mine with Cauliflower, why I hear you ask… wait and see!

Low Carb Diet

I’m on this Low Carb diet for a fortnight, to try and lose weight, I’m not going to eat pasta, rice, bread or potatoes for a fortnight.  Now you know me not eating potatoes is going to kill me….  but onwards and upwards.

I don’t know if it’s going to make a difference but we’re going to give it a go, that’s why I’ve moved to the ole’ Cauliflower instead of Jason’s spuds.  Anyone got any help????

6 Nations of Food – Mediterranean Chicken and Cauliflower

6 Nations of Food – Mediterranean Chicken and Cauliflower

Coming up we’ve got Eggs in pots (oeufs en cocotte) from Rachel Khoo, they’re French don’t you know lol.  Hopefully soon we’ll have some free range eggs from Gemma’s eggs, they taste fab!

6 Nations of Food – Eggs from Gemma's Chickens

6 Nations of Food – Eggs from Gemma’s Chickens

Give this recipe a go, it’s really flavoursome, the herby garlicy sauce is excellent, I’m suddenly loving chicken again and I genuinely love cauliflower, it’s one of my finds from the decade of 2010’s but it doesn’t replace potatoes sadly – do you feel my pain?

I’ll be back on Tuesday with my Time-Saving Tuesdays review of Weight Watchers Hunters Chicken.

Remember to get in touch, you can visit our social media pages below, or subscribe to the blog for regular updates.Wheelie Good Meals Social NetworkingEnjoy the rugby today, see you Tuesday

6 Nations of Food – (English) Toad In The Hole, (Irish) Champ and Onion Gravy

Ok so yet another hairbrained idea, I thought I’d honour the six nations by making “The Six Nations of Food”. My first two nations are Ireland and England, I’ve made Toad In The Hole and Champ.

Toad In The Hole

An old school classic, Toad in the hole is a traditional British dish made up of Sausages in a Yorkshire, it is often served with onion (hence why I’ve made onion gravy lol). Wikipedia states that the origin of the name “Toad-in-the-Hole” is disputed. Some suggest that the dish’s name comes from its resemblance to a toad sticking its head out of a hole.

Champ

Champ represents the Irish team in the Six nations and is a dish of inexpensive ingredients, it’s made by combining mashed potatoes and chopped spring onions. According to Wikipedia some areas the dish is also called “poundies.

The Recipe

6 Nations of Food – Toad In The Hole, Champ and Onion Gravy - Ingredients

6 Nations of Food – Toad In The Hole, Champ and Onion Gravy – Ingredients

To make this you need nine ingredients, the majority of which are in people’s larder, freezer or store cupboard. As you can see the batter is flour, milk and eggs, sausages are the star of the show, and a stock cube and onions for the gravy. There’s also 500ml of water missing from the photo above.

6 Nations of Food – Toad In The Hole, Champ and Onion Gravy - The process of making the Yorkshire Pudding batter

6 Nations of Food – Toad In The Hole, Champ and Onion Gravy – The process of making the Yorkshire Pudding batter

I made the Yorkshire pudding batter using Brian Turner’s recipe, it’s so easy and, as you’ll see later really effective. You measure out the flour, milk and eggs in the same cup same quantities of everything. I used approximately 200ml of flour milk and eggs, it was roughly four eggs and one yolk. I know that sounds like an excessive amount of eggs but trust me it’s worth it.

6 Nations of Food – Toad In The Hole, Champ and Onion Gravy - Seasoning the Yorkshire Pudding batter

6 Nations of Food – Toad In The Hole, Champ and Onion Gravy – Seasoning the Yorkshire Pudding batter

Mix thoroughly to ensure you haven’t got any lumps, if you do have lumps (like I did) pour the batter through a sieve to get rid of any lump bits. Season well with salt and pepper and mix, place in the fridge for half an hour or so to rest. I’ve just seasoned with salt and pepper but you could put herbs in or a spice to give the batter a bit of a kick – the world’s your oyster Yorkshire Pudding.

6 Nations of Food – Toad In The Hole, Champ and Onion Gravy - Oil in the frying pan ready for the sausages

6 Nations of Food – Toad In The Hole, Champ and Onion Gravy – Oil in the frying pan ready for the sausages

Add some oil to an oven proof dish and place it in the oven 220oC and allow the oil to get hot. Place some oil in a frying pan and allow it to heat up, you can use vegetable oil and butter if you want here, but don’t use butter on its own.

6 Nations of Food – Toad In The Hole, Champ and Onion Gravy - Frying the sausages

6 Nations of Food – Toad In The Hole, Champ and Onion Gravy – Frying the sausages

Place the sausages in the frying pan, be careful they spit – I nearly lost an eyebrow doing this. Cook them on all sides until they are brown, you don’t want to cook them all the way through yet. Once cooked put on a plate for later…. keep the pan we’re going to make our gravy in that.

6 Nations of Food – Toad In The Hole, Champ and Onion Gravy - Chopped onion ready for the gravy

6 Nations of Food – Toad In The Hole, Champ and Onion Gravy – Chopped onion ready for the gravy

Chop the onions into half moons and then cut them into strips, you don’t want them to fine because we’ll be cooking them slowly. We’ll be cooking them on a low heat to allow them to caramelise.

6 Nations of Food – Toad In The Hole, Champ and Onion Gravy - The sausages in the tin ready for the batter

6 Nations of Food – Toad In The Hole, Champ and Onion Gravy – The sausages in the tin ready for the batter

Check on the oil in the oven, if it’s hot take it out and place in the sausages. Remember to keep the oven door closed so that you don’t lose any heat.

6 Nations of Food – Toad In The Hole, Champ and Onion Gravy - Pouring the batter in to the tin

6 Nations of Food – Toad In The Hole, Champ and Onion Gravy – Pouring the batter in to the tin

Take the batter out of the fridge and pour into the ovenproof dish. Because the oil is hot, be careful!

6 Nations of Food – Toad In The Hole, Champ and Onion Gravy - The sausages move with the weight of the batter

6 Nations of Food – Toad In The Hole, Champ and Onion Gravy – The sausages move with the weight of the batter

Pour all the batter in, remember that the oil is hot so be careful, if it’s hot enough the batter will start to cook as your pouring it.

6 Nations of Food – Toad In The Hole, Champ and Onion Gravy - The Toad In The Hole ready for the oven

6 Nations of Food – Toad In The Hole, Champ and Onion Gravy – The Toad In The Hole ready for the oven

In the last picture you’ll notice that the sausages had slipped because they were carried by the batter. Straighten them up otherwise you’ll have one area of sausage and nothing elsewhere. Put the dish back in the oven to cook, I cooked it on the middle shelf for around half an hour, it may need more it may need less, every oven is different.

6 Nations of Food – Toad In The Hole, Champ and Onion Gravy - The process of making the onion gravy

6 Nations of Food – Toad In The Hole, Champ and Onion Gravy – The process of making the onion gravy

Add some more oil to the pan if needed and fry the onions low and slow, when they start to soften and become a little sticky. Next sprinkle over a dessert spoon of flour, you can use regular plain flour here, I used self raising because that’s all we had. Stir the flour through the onions so that the onions are covered in flour.

6 Nations of Food – Toad In The Hole, Champ and Onion Gravy - Beef stock made with a stock cube for the onion gravy

6 Nations of Food – Toad In The Hole, Champ and Onion Gravy – Beef stock made with a stock cube for the onion gravy

In a mug/jug pour 500ml of boiling water and add a stock cube, I season the stock now so that the salt and pepper is evenly distributed around the finished gravy.

6 Nations of Food – Toad In The Hole, Champ and Onion Gravy - The Toad In The onion gravy thickening nicely

6 Nations of Food – Toad In The Hole, Champ and Onion Gravy – The Toad In The onion gravy thickening nicely

Pour the stock into the frying pan with the onions and stir continuously, try and pick up the sticky bits of sausages that were left behind. Cook until there is no taste of flour, I was really proud of this, I know it’s not what people would call “proper gravy” but oh my it was nice! Deep rich flavour of the onion and a silky smooth texture, not that I’m boasting or anything.

6 Nations of Food – Toad In The Hole, Champ and Onion Gravy - The Toad In The onion gravy ready for serving

6 Nations of Food – Toad In The Hole, Champ and Onion Gravy – The Toad In The onion gravy ready for serving

I bought this gravy boat yonks ago and never really get to use it, until now, how good does the gravy look in it???

6 Nations of Food – Toad In The Hole, Champ and Onion Gravy - The Yorkshire Pudding in all its glory

6 Nations of Food – Toad In The Hole, Champ and Onion Gravy – The Yorkshire Pudding in all its glory

When it’s ready take the Toad In The Hole out of the oven, this one took on a life of its own. It was huge, I knew Brian Turner was a legend, and a chef I’m a massive fan of but wow… he knows his stuff!

6 Nations of Food – Toad In The Hole, Champ and Onion Gravy - The Yorkshire Pudding and onion gravy in all their glory

6 Nations of Food – Toad In The Hole, Champ and Onion Gravy – The Yorkshire Pudding and onion gravy in all their glory

You could just eat it like this, rip bits of the Yorkshire pudding off and dip it in the piping hot gravy, but as we’re civilised human beings…. I made champ to go with it.

6 Nations of Food – Toad In The Hole, Champ and Onion Gravy - Ingredients for the Champ

6 Nations of Food – Toad In The Hole, Champ and Onion Gravy – Ingredients for the Champ

I’ve covered this on the blog before, it accompanied my Stunning Spiced Sausage Stew champ is so easy to make, Sharon my carer suggested it to me a while ago and made this way, it’s quick and easy.

6 Nations of Food – Toad In The Hole, Champ and Onion Gravy - The potatoes in the microwave

6 Nations of Food – Toad In The Hole, Champ and Onion Gravy – The potatoes in the microwave

Prick the skin of the potato in several places and then cook on high heat for 10 minutes or more, you want the potatoes to be soft and fluffy when they are ready.

6 Nations of Food – Toad In The Hole, Champ and Onion Gravy - Finely chopped spring onions for the champ

6 Nations of Food – Toad In The Hole, Champ and Onion Gravy – Finely chopped spring onions for the champ

Finely chop a spring onion and set it aside ready for the potatoes. I’ve only used two spring onions here, really speaking I could have probably used another one or two.

6 Nations of Food – Toad In The Hole, Champ and Onion Gravy - The process of making the champ

6 Nations of Food – Toad In The Hole, Champ and Onion Gravy – The process of making the champ

Here we go, this is the straightforward bit, the jacket potatoes are cooked, the potato is soft and fluffy. Scoop the inside out, and place in a bowl, then add the spring onions and stir through, next add the milk and butter and combine all the ingredients together. I’ve used more milk here than I wanted, why, well because I’m heavy handed lol

6 Nations of Food – Toad In The Hole, Champ and Onion Gravy - The whole meal ready to eat

6 Nations of Food – Toad In The Hole, Champ and Onion Gravy – The whole meal ready to eat

This was stunning, I really enjoyed the whole process, anyone can make Yorkshire Pudding, it really is that easy, and so was the gravy, oh and the mashed potato was simple to, win win! The photos are not doing the meal justice at all because the Yorkshire Pudding was crisp and well risen, the mashed potato had a great hint of onion and was fluffy and the gravy was rich and deep in flavour.

6 Nations of Food – Toad In The Hole, Champ and Onion Gravy

6 Nations of Food – Toad In The Hole, Champ and Onion Gravy

Give this one a go, it won’t disappoint I promise, it reaffirms my belief in TV Chef’s because this was Brian Turner’s Yorkshire Pudding batter recipe was amazing. If you do give it ago let me know.

Waste Not Want Not Wednesdays

Waste Not Want Not Wednesdays

I’ll be back on Wednesday with “Waste Not Want Not Wednesday” sharing my Gazpacho recipe from our Mother’s Day meal this year. I’m not going to be publishing the step by step recipes on the day, I will be writing them up and adding them at a later date.

Remember to get in touch, you can visit our social media pages below, or subscribe to the blog for regular updates.Wheelie Good Meals Social Networking

See you Wednesday

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tst mini

Time-Saving Tuesday – Asda Meatballs and Quick and Easy Tomato Sauce

Time-Saving Tuesday – Asda Meatballs and Quick and Easy Tomato Sauce - The Asda Meatballs

Time-Saving Tuesday – Asda Meatballs and Quick and Easy Tomato Sauce – The Asda Meatballs

Here’s a bit different of a difference, my mother’s obsessed with these meatballs, she buys them quite regularly and either serves them as meatballs or squashes them into burgers…. bizarre I know lol!

Time-Saving Tuesday – Asda Meatballs and Quick and Easy Tomato Sauce - Ingredients

Time-Saving Tuesday – Asda Meatballs and Quick and Easy Tomato Sauce – Ingredients

I’m unsure whether this should come under the “Waste Not Want Not Wednesday” because these ingredients were leftovers from the Pizza Pies I made, but it’s also quick and easy so it’s a win win! Before we start cooking chop the chorizo, roasted red peppers and the onion, I’ve cut the onion into half moon and the chorizo into chunks.

Time-Saving Tuesday – Asda Meatballs and Quick and Easy Tomato Sauce - Frying the onions

Time-Saving Tuesday – Asda Meatballs and Quick and Easy Tomato Sauce – Frying the onions

I had some Oil that came in a spray bottle, spray a light covering on the pan and heat. When the pan is warm add the onions and fry them until they start to soften.

Time-Saving Tuesday – Asda Meatballs and Quick and Easy Tomato Sauce - Frying the onions and chorizo

Time-Saving Tuesday – Asda Meatballs and Quick and Easy Tomato Sauce – Frying the onions and chorizo

When the onions start to soften add the chorizo and stir, you’ll need to cook them until they start to soften and also the oil from the chorizo comes out.

Time-Saving Tuesday – Asda Meatballs and Quick and Easy Tomato Sauce - minced ground garlic and chili flakes

Time-Saving Tuesday – Asda Meatballs and Quick and Easy Tomato Sauce – minced ground garlic and chili flakes

In a small bowl add 1 tsp of ground garlic and a large grinding of chilli flakes. Give them a mix and set aside.

Time-Saving Tuesday – Asda Meatballs and Quick and Easy Tomato Sauce - Adding the Minced ground garlic and chili flakes to the pan

Time-Saving Tuesday – Asda Meatballs and Quick and Easy Tomato Sauce – Adding the Minced ground garlic and chili flakes to the pan

Add the chilli flakes and garlic to the pan and stir thoroughly to combine the onions, chorizo, garlic and chilli.

Time-Saving Tuesday – Asda Meatballs and Quick and Easy Tomato Sauce - adding the sun-dried tomato and char- grilled red pepper pastes

Time-Saving Tuesday – Asda Meatballs and Quick and Easy Tomato Sauce – adding the sun-dried tomato and char- grilled red pepper pastes

Add the Char-Grilled Red Pepper and the Sun-Dried Tomato Pastes and stir thoroughly, allow the ingredients to mix together and get to know each other, the party is starting now!

Time-Saving Tuesday – Asda Meatballs and Quick and Easy Tomato Sauce - adding the sun-dried tomato and char- adding the roasted red peppers

Time-Saving Tuesday – Asda Meatballs and Quick and Easy Tomato Sauce – adding the sun-dried tomato and char- adding the roasted red peppers

Add the roasted red pepper and stir thoroughly to combine all the flavours, these are some of my favourite ingredients and it’s shaping up really nicely now.

Time-Saving Tuesday – Asda Meatballs and Quick and Easy Tomato Sauce - adding the sun-dried tomato and char- adding the mixed dry herbs

Time-Saving Tuesday – Asda Meatballs and Quick and Easy Tomato Sauce – adding the sun-dried tomato and char- adding the mixed dry herbs

Add the mixed dry herbs, if you don’t have a packet of mixed dry herbs you could use oregano, basil and coriander in equal measures.

Time-Saving Tuesday – Asda Meatballs and Quick and Easy Tomato Sauce - adding the tinned tomatoes

Time-Saving Tuesday – Asda Meatballs and Quick and Easy Tomato Sauce – adding the tinned tomatoes

Pour in the tinned tomatoes and mix thoroughly, allow everything to come to temperature. You can add water if you want more of a sauce, or add a bit of stock if you want to make some up with a stock cube.

Time-Saving Tuesday – Asda Meatballs and Quick and Easy Tomato Sauce - all the ingredients cooking away nicely

Time-Saving Tuesday – Asda Meatballs and Quick and Easy Tomato Sauce – all the ingredients cooking away nicely

Allow the mixture to simmer and come together nicely, turn the heat down and just check it from time to time.

Time-Saving Tuesday – Asda Meatballs and Quick and Easy Tomato Sauce - the sauce simmering and the meatballs frying

Time-Saving Tuesday – Asda Meatballs and Quick and Easy Tomato Sauce – the sauce simmering and the meatballs frying

Fry the meatballs in a pan with a small splash of oil, you want to cook them until they start to brown all over, you’re going to finish them off in the sauce so don’t worry too much.

Time-Saving Tuesday – Asda Meatballs and Quick and Easy Tomato Sauce - bringing the ingredients together at the end of cooking

Time-Saving Tuesday – Asda Meatballs and Quick and Easy Tomato Sauce – bringing the ingredients together at the end of cooking

Once the balls are brown add them to the sauce and mix through when you stir everything, do it gently and to ensure that you don’t break the balls up.

Time-Saving Tuesday – Asda Meatballs and Quick and Easy Tomato Sauce - microwaveable basmati rice, a great accompaniment

Time-Saving Tuesday – Asda Meatballs and Quick and Easy Tomato Sauce – microwaveable basmati rice, a great accompaniment

Serve this with some quick and easy basmati rice, use the type that you can cook in the microwave and it’ll be ready in next to no time.

Time-Saving Tuesday – Asda Meatballs and Quick and Easy Tomato Sauce - a microwave, a busy cook's best friend

Time-Saving Tuesday – Asda Meatballs and Quick and Easy Tomato Sauce – a microwave, a busy cook’s best friend

The microwave is a great asset to a time starved family, I’m going to be featuring recipes that can be cooked in the microwave, like our Homemade Microwaveable Tomato Risotto. If you’ve got any microwaveable recipes then get in touch, I’d love to see them and try and recreate them.

Time-Saving Tuesday – Asda Meatballs and Quick and Easy Tomato Sauce -served and ready to eat

Time-Saving Tuesday – Asda Meatballs and Quick and Easy Tomato Sauce -served and ready to eat

I really enjoyed this, it’s very similar to the Sausage Meatballs in a Spicy Tomato Sauce I made in September last year. It’s really enjoyable, slightly spicy and a great to use the meatballs, they’re handy to have in the freezer , they can be defrosted and cooked quite easily.

Time-Saving Tuesday – Asda Meatballs and Quick and Easy Tomato Sauce

Time-Saving Tuesday – Asda Meatballs and Quick and Easy Tomato Sauce

I’m back to normal now, and on time 😆 what more can I do! I hosted a dinner party a couple of weeks ago, so I’ll be blogging about that on the weekend, more to come next week with a review and another recipe 😀Wheelie Good Meals Social Networking

I’m going to be doing lots over the next few weeks, so will keep you updated even hoping to finally get my youtube videos up and running… here’s hoping 😆

6 Nations Of Food

6 Nations Of Food

Have you been watching the six nations, I’m going to try and cook something from each of the countries involved so brace yourself for a bit of welsh cakes, pasta, toad in the hole, Kedgeree, champ and something French…. six nations of food, happy days!

See you soon

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New Time-Saving Tuesdays Logo

Time-Saving Tuesday – Tesco Italian Spaghetti Carbonara

Time-Saving Tuesday – Tesco Italian Spaghetti Carbonara in it's packaging

Time-Saving Tuesday – Tesco Italian Spaghetti Carbonara in it’s packaging

Here’s something I wouldn’t normally eat, it’s Spaghetti, I’m not a lover of the long strands of pasta, they don’t go well with my fear of choking 😀 . But I bought this to try and overcome that fear…. How brave am I lol

Time-Saving Tuesday – Tesco Italian Spaghetti Carbonara, nutritional information

Time-Saving Tuesday – Tesco Italian Spaghetti Carbonara, nutritional information

The nutritional information is clear, the whole packaging was clear and easy to read, although it was black and white some people with certain medical conditions may have difficulty reading it. Personally I feel the calorie content of 762Kcal, 37.8g Fat and 19.4g Saturated Fat is high. I decided to look in to the recommended levels of these ingredients. According to the NHS.UK website…

  • the average man should eat no more than 30g of saturated fat a day

  • the average woman should eat no more than 20g of saturated fat a day

The website also went on to say about the different levels, this dish would be considered high because it had more than 5g of Saturated fat per 100g. There was a red marker on the front of the package, all the key figures of this dish were high, now I feel like I probably shouldn’t have eaten this lol. I’m going to look into this more and maybe see if I can make it myself and hopefully reduce the bad elements.

Time-Saving Tuesday – Tesco Italian Spaghetti Carbonara, ingredients

Time-Saving Tuesday – Tesco Italian Spaghetti Carbonara, ingredients

The packet described the product as:

Spaghetti and beech smoked bacon in a creamy cheese sauce.

The ingredients list is straight forward enough, things you’d expect to find in a Carbonara. I don’t quite know what the purpose of the Pork Gelatine in the ingredients were, so I asked Tesco? I sent them a tweet eight days ago…. no reply as yet 😡 will let you know when I do get one though.

Time-Saving Tuesday – Tesco Italian Spaghetti Carbonara, cooking instructions

Time-Saving Tuesday – Tesco Italian Spaghetti Carbonara, cooking instructions

The cooking instructions were great, they were clear to understand and although not displaying times for my microwave it was easy to work out the correct time.

Time-Saving Tuesday – Tesco Italian Spaghetti Carbonara

Time-Saving Tuesday – Tesco Italian Spaghetti Carbonara

This wasn’t a bad ready meal in all fairness, it wasn’t my favourite but itI don’t have any doubt that some people would really enjoy it. The pasta was ok, it was a little chewy but I’m not daft that was probably the way I cooked it. The sauce was creamy but slightly claggy, the pasta was stuck together too, I did stir it but it didn’t seem to make a difference. The sauce didn’t really have the smoky flavour to it that I was expecting and the bacon was pointless, they weren’t really big enough to taste.5 stars

I’d award this five stars, the packaging was clear, the instructions were straightforward and the taste wasn’t too bad. It’s not the best meal I’ve had from Tesco but it’s not the worst. Maybe some more garlic and a bigger hit of smokiness and we’d have been ok.Wheelie Good Meals Social Networking

As always you can get in touch using the social networks above, I’d love to hear from you. How are your Christmas preparations going, are you all ready? I’ve done all my shopping and they’re all wrapped so just bring on the festivities. On the weekend I’ll be sharing with you my take on Rachel Khoo’s Cauliflower Cheese Burgers, they’re totally veggie and great as a starter or main course… or even as a snack!wheelie-good-meals-christmas-door-web-

I’d like to thank Greg (for his company, on our trips away and his photography and not to mention his driving), my mother Mags (for being my sous chef and chief taster, and for putting up with me), Chris (for his technical help), Melanie (Melanie’s Food Adventures for listening to me moan and for her guest posts, which have been some of the most popular posts to date), Alice and Heather (for their ideas), Dave (for his fantastic artwork), Kirsty (for her photography) and Sharon (for the glass). Thanks also to everyone who hosts the linkies I’ve linked up with over the past year, and I’d especially like to thank you all for your support and for stopping by week after week to read the posts.

I doubt I’ll be posting anything until after the new year, so just in case I don’t I’d like to wish you all a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

Rich signature

Strictly Suppers 2015 #8 – Tango Chicken and Homemade Chips

Here’s my latest instalment in my Strictly Suppers series.  It was Ginge who suggested this one to me; it’s my take on a Slimming World recipe. Theirs is Fanta Chicken, where as mine, obviously is Tango Chicken 😀 with my mother’s homemade chips.

It’s Final Time!

It’s final time baby! I can’t believe it already, we’ve had 12 weeks of dancing; it’s gone so fast this year. I don’t know who I want to win, I don’t really have a favourite, I know Melanie (Melanie’s Food Adventures) likes Jay, but he’s a bit to miserable for me. I suppose I’m going to be rooting for Katie and Anton because Anton and Brendan are my favourite Male professionals.

The strictly bit for this recipe is that it’s based on the Tango… ok I know you got that bit, but there’s also an Argentine Tango. The Tango is a Ballroom dance which is an offspring from the Argentine Tango. The best Tango this series has been from Jay and his partner Aliona who scored 38 out of 40 in (week 10), We’ve got to go all the way back to Week 1 to see the lowest which was performed by Iwan and Ola and scored just 17 out of 40.

Strictly Suppers 2015 #8 – Tango Chicken and Homemade Chips Ingredients

Strictly Suppers 2015 #8 – Tango Chicken and Homemade Chips Ingredients

The original recipe I’ve based mine on is obviously aimed at losing weight because it’s from Slimming World, but when has that ever been something I’ve worried about. I suppose the only things that aren’t particularly healthy in my version are the full fat Tango and the Olive Oil.

Strictly Suppers 2015 #8 – Tango Chicken and Homemade Chips, finely chop an onion

Strictly Suppers 2015 #8 – Tango Chicken and Homemade Chips, finely chop an onion

The first thing to do as always is to chop your onions, chop them finely as they’ll cook quicker. You can of course blitz them in a food processor. Once you’ve chopped them set them aside for later.

Strictly Suppers 2015 #8 – Tango Chicken and Homemade Chips, you can't beat Roasted Red Peppers from a jar

Strictly Suppers 2015 #8 – Tango Chicken and Homemade Chips, you can’t beat Roasted Red Peppers from a jar

The original recipe called for one pepper, I didn’t have one at hand so opened a jar of Roasted Red Peppers. These are stunning; I could honestly sit there eating these on their own… I almost did. They are such a time saving product and very tasty, I used three peppers but I suppose it depends on the size as to how many you use.

Strictly Suppers 2015 #8 – Tango Chicken and Homemade Chips, finely chop the Roasted Red Peppers

Strictly Suppers 2015 #8 – Tango Chicken and Homemade Chips, finely chop the Roasted Red Peppers

Cut them into small dice, remember if there are black bits that’s the char from the roasting process…. its flavour please don’t throw it. The silver knife in this picture was my first knife as some of you will know. I haven’t used it a lot because it was blunter than Katie Hopkins on a bad day. Thankfully Chris Vickery has sharpened it and its back to normal again, it’s not my best knife but I wanted to see how sharp it was. If you need your knives sharpening and you’re based in South Wales, get in touch.

Strictly Suppers 2015 #8 – Tango Chicken and Homemade Chips, two large chicken breasts is easily enough for two people

Strictly Suppers 2015 #8 – Tango Chicken and Homemade Chips, two large chicken breasts is easily enough for two people

I’m resisting the urge to make some 14 year old style Sid James esque joke about breasts here…. wait…. wait…. and breathe 😳 ok it’s gone now. I’ve got two really nice chicken breasts, they were good quality and quite chunky, you need to cut them up.

Strictly Suppers 2015 #8 – Tango Chicken and Homemade Chips, cut the chicken breasts in to small cubes

Strictly Suppers 2015 #8 – Tango Chicken and Homemade Chips, cut the chicken breasts in to small cubes

Cut them into chunks and set aside for later, please remember to adhere to all the normal rules that apply when cooking with chicken. You can find them on the NHS Website.

Strictly Suppers 2015 #8 – Tango Chicken and Homemade Chips, fry the onion in some olive oil

Strictly Suppers 2015 #8 – Tango Chicken and Homemade Chips, fry the onion in some olive oil

Put some oil in a saucepan and heat, once it’s hot enough add the onions and cook until they start to soften. Remember to stir occasionally so they don’t stick.

Strictly Suppers 2015 #8 – Tango Chicken and Homemade Chips, then add the peppers

Strictly Suppers 2015 #8 – Tango Chicken and Homemade Chips, then add the peppers

Then add the peppers and stir thoroughly, let the onions get to know the peppers and then leave them sit there to chill out. You’ll need to keep them moving from time to time to stop them sticking.

Strictly Suppers 2015 #8 – Tango Chicken and Homemade Chips, make up 150ml of Chicken or Vegetable Stock

Strictly Suppers 2015 #8 – Tango Chicken and Homemade Chips, make up 150ml of Chicken or Vegetable Stock

As you can see I’ve been playing with photos, well I’ve been blogging for a year and still not got it right 🙄 . Mix 150ml of boiling water with one chicken or vegetable stock cube.

Strictly Suppers 2015 #8 – Tango Chicken and Homemade Chips, add the chicken and fry until starting to brown

Strictly Suppers 2015 #8 – Tango Chicken and Homemade Chips, add the chicken and fry until starting to brown

Once the onion has softened, add the chicken to the pan and stir though. You’ll want to cook the chicken until it’s slightly brown but not cooked all the way through.

Strictly Suppers 2015 #8 – Tango Chicken and Homemade Chips, pour out your Passata

Strictly Suppers 2015 #8 – Tango Chicken and Homemade Chips, pour out your Passata

Next measure out a cup of Passata, I only had ½ cup measure so I poured the 1st ½ into the chicken stock.

Strictly Suppers 2015 #8 – Tango Chicken and Homemade Chips, add the Passata and chicken stock and stir

Strictly Suppers 2015 #8 – Tango Chicken and Homemade Chips, add the Passata and chicken stock and stir

Add the Passata and the chicken stock and stir thoroughly; this will reduce the heat of the pan slightly so you may want to turn it back up. Allow this to cook for about five minutes

Strictly Suppers 2015 #8 – Tango Chicken and Homemade Chips, pour in the Tango

Strictly Suppers 2015 #8 – Tango Chicken and Homemade Chips, pour in the Tango

Pour in the Tango and… yep you’ve guessed stir thoroughly. Allow this to cook for five minutes or so to let the ingredients get to know each other and all the flavours to meld and mingle.

Strictly Suppers 2015 #8 – Tango Chicken and Homemade Chips, adding the vinegar

Strictly Suppers 2015 #8 – Tango Chicken and Homemade Chips, adding the vinegar

Lastly is to season and add the vinegar, I was a bit sceptical about this but it makes the difference.

My posh “Vinaigre de Cidre aux Algues, Echalote es a la Fleur De Sel” vinegar

My posh “Vinaigre de Cidre aux Algues, Echalote es a la Fleur De Sel” vinegar

I used a French Vinegar that I’d had in the cupboard for a long time it was “Vinaigre de Cidre aux Algues, Echalote es a la Fleur De Sel”. This roughly translates as Cider Vinegar with Shallots, Seaweed and French salt. The vinegar was awesome and quite expensive, I tried some and it reminded me of the vinegar you get in pickled onions or pickled eggs. I’m not sure where you can source it from but any White Wine or Cider Vinegar should do.

Strictly Suppers 2015 #8 – Tango Chicken and Homemade Chips, the Tango Chicken after it's been cooked, all we need is the chips

Strictly Suppers 2015 #8 – Tango Chicken and Homemade Chips, the Tango Chicken after it’s been cooked, all we need is the chips

Ta-Da here it is in all its glory, let it reduce and thicken up, if you don’t think it’s thicken up quick enough take a couple of teaspoons of the sauce out and mix it in a ramekin with a teaspoon of cornflower, then stir that back through the sauce.

Strictly Suppers 2015 #8 – Tango Chicken and Homemade Chips, serve with what ever you like, but you can't beat homemade chips

Strictly Suppers 2015 #8 – Tango Chicken and Homemade Chips, serve with what ever you like, but you can’t beat homemade chips

This was stunning, my mother and I thoroughly enjoyed it, I suppose it was meant to be a take on Sweet and Sour, if you like Sweet and sour you’ll love this. I have seen other versions of this recipe that use pineapple but I’m not a fan so I left it out.

Strictly Suppers 2015 #8 – Tango Chicken and Homemade Chips, serve with what ever you like, if you're not a chicken lover just have the sauce on your chips

Strictly Suppers 2015 #8 – Tango Chicken and Homemade Chips, serve with what ever you like, if you’re not a chicken lover just have the sauce on your chips

The sauce had a deep complex flavour with the sweetness of the tango and the acidity of the vinegar. I’m not a Sweet and Sour fan, I’m not going to lie but this was first class and really enjoyable, it wasn’t too sweet or too sour it was spot on. It’s easy, give it a try, you can use One Cal spray and low calorie drinks so it can be as healthy as you want.

Strictly Suppers 2015 #8 – Tango Chicken and Homemade Chips

Strictly Suppers 2015 #8 – Tango Chicken and Homemade Chips

Serve it with boiled rice, mashed potatoes, fried potatoes or good old fashioned homemade chips from mam. This is…. wait for it… winner, winner chicken dinner. As always you can download the recipe here. Good luck to those dancing tonight; I hope it’s a great final.

Strictly Suppers 2015

Strictly Suppers 2015

This is the last of this year’s Strictly Suppers and the last ever as I won’t be bringing it back next year… well I don’t think anyway; I hope you’ve enjoyed the recipes, if you’ve missed some of them you can click on the link below to take you to that particular week.

Strictly Suppers 2015 #1 – Salsa Steamed Salmon

Strictly Suppers 2015 #2 – American Smooth(ie)

Strictly Suppers 2015 # 3 – Quick Step Leftover Fish Cake

Strictly Suppers 2015 # 4 – Rumba Chicken

Strictly Suppers 2015 # 5 – Cha-Cha-Char Grilled Tuna

Strictly Suppers 2015 #6 – Viennese Waltzing Whirls

Strictly Suppers 2015 #7 – Pesto Double

If you’ve made any of my recipes in this series, got any suggestions or just want to say hi, give me a shout using the pages listed below.Wheelie Good Meals Social Networking

Next week will bring my Time-Saving Tuesdays review of Tesco Spaghetti Carbonara, it’s a good one!

See you Tuesday

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