Baked chicken with chorizo, lemon zest & garlic

Ingredients
5 chicken breasts
2 cloves garlic, very finely sliced
level dessert spoon of very finely sliced lemon zest
a piece of chorizo I found at the back of the fridge (about the length of my middle finger, again very finely sliced (diagonally)
a splash of red wine vinegar

Method:
Stick the chicken breasts in an ovenproof dish. Arrange the sliced garlic and lemon zest evenly on top. Arrange the chorizo on top of garlic and lemon. Season with salt and pepper, drizzle on a little red wine vinegar and maybe a small splash of oil. Bake in a moderate oven for 35-40 mins.

Delish.

Tortiche Quilla dichotomy.

Tortilla with sweet potato, chorizo & broccoli

This is pretty much a total meal on a plate and I don’t really know whether it’s a tortilla, frittata or pastry-less quiche. Maybe a tortiche or quilla. But anyway, it tastes great and in our house it’s a popular weekend dish.

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Ingredients:

1 large sweet potato*, about 500g
1 head broccoli, about the size of a large man’s fist
1 medium onion
2 cloves of garlic
250g chorizo
6 eggs
250ml plain yoghurt
60g cheese grated
1 tbsp olive oil

Method:
Cut the sweet potato into small pieces about 1x1x2.5cm, Chuck into a steamer and put on to cook. Separate the florets of broccoli from the stem and chop the stem into small pieces. After the steamer has come to the boil and has been cooking for about 5 minutes, chuck in the broccoli stems only. Let these cook away for another 7 minutes or so and then chuck in the separated florets for the final 5 minutes. The total steaming time for the sweet potato is about 17 minutes, this might be too much if the pieces are small.

While all that steaming action is happening, slice the garlic and onions and cook ’em off on a low gas in an iron-handled pan. While they’re cooking away, slice the chorizo diagonally and put in with the onion and garlic. The idea is to start the fat running in the chorizo and have all that delicious fat and flavour permeate the onions and garlic.

While the onion/garlic/chorizo mix is cooking away, break 6 eggs into a bowl and add your plain yoghurt. Don’t use vanilla (as I did once by mistake) because the dish will taste disgusting. Season with a bit of pepper, but go easy as there’ll be plenty of seasoning already in the chorizo.

Next combine the sweet potato and broccoli in the same pan as the onions/chorizo/garlic and mix a bit to get even distribution especially of chorizo. Pour on the egg/yoghurt mix and top off with  your grated cheese. If you find an old bit of dried out parmesan at the back of the fridge, that’d be perfect. Pretty much anything with do so long as it’s hard.

Put your pan in a moderate oven for about 25 minutes and it should come out looking something like this:

post oven

post oven

*Waxy are spuds probably way better here than sweet potatoes.

Barley Risotto

pot_barley

Here’s something that I borrowed and adapted from Jerusalem from Ottolenghi – adapted because I have issues with the amount of butter, salt and oil used in the original and also because I didn’t have all the ingredients.

Barley is pretty nutritious and a good source of dietary fibre amongst other things (copper, selenium) and it is suggested that whole grains can help reduce the likelihood of developing various unpleasant conditions.

So here’s my version, it’s a lot more low fat/waistline friendly and it’s probably quite good for you.

Serves 10 or more, it’s pretty heavy so a little goes a long way.

Ingredients:
500g pot barley
2 tbsp olive oil
5 sticks of celery, finely chopped
3 red onions, finely chopped
8 cloves garlic, minced
10 sprigs of thyme, stripped
1 tsp berbere/smoked paprika/paprika
3 bay leaves
rind of a small lemon, very finely shredded
1 tsp chilli flakes
2 x 400g tins chopped tomatoes
1500ml stock
700ml passata

pot

 

Method:
Combine the onion, celery, thyme and garlic with the olive oil and cook over a low heat in a large pot for 5 minutes or so, or until the onions are softened. Meanwhile, rinse the barley and drain and add to the pot. Then add all the other ingredients. Cook on a low simmer for about 45 minutes or until the barley seems cooked, with a little bite still in it.

Additions:
I served this with a bit of grilled chicken and steamed broccoli and a little feta cheese which had been marinated in olive oil and caraway seed. The pictures above don’t really do the meal justice, in fact it looks a bit like roadkill, but it tasted pretty good.

Curry leaf

I really love the sourness of curry leaves in cooking, I’m adding them to a batch of curry paste I’m whipping up for Xmas from the fantastically titled ‘Best Ever Indian Cookbook’. Recipe is here.

adventures in Berbere

I arrived back from Ethiopia, last Saturday Dec 7th after a long and tiring journey from the South, but sadly my luggage didn’t make it back with me. It got lost in the bowels of Heathrow somewhere – I had landed in London in the midst of an ATC nightmare, where pretty much all of the south of England was at a standstill. After an exasperating few days trying to get through to British Airways lost luggage department in Heathrow and their conterparts in Dublin Serviseair, it transpired that the luggage had been forwarded to Dublin alright, but the paperwork had been mixed up with another set of luggage, and the people in either office didn’t seem to have the gumption to check the clearly labelled tag with my name, address and phone number printed on it in an attempt to reunite me with my possessions. Anyhow, last night it arrived, nearly six days later with everything intact. Thanks be.

One of the things in my luggage was a half kg of Berebere, the red chilli spice which is an essential part of Ethiopian cuisine. In an attempt to remember Ethiopia through my tastebuds, I’m going to try to recreate a sauce I had many times with injera, the sourdough flatbread which is both eating utensil and tablecloth. I’m going to leave the injera for another time/experiment because it’s made from a grain called teff which isn’t available here (I think).

So, 1st attempt:

1 medium onion chopped
1 large clove garlic minced
1 tbsp sunflower oil
1 level tbsp berbers
1 cup red lentils washed
3 cups water
2 tbsp tomato puree

Result:

Yeah, not that exciting, spice is good, needs a bit of salt. A bit bland, it would be inedible if it weren’t for the Berbere. Must try harder.

2nd attempt:
as above except chop in some chorizo.

Result:

Much better, the smoky tones of the chorizo really come alive in the lentil stew.

Cold Turkey

I’ve been away from photography for a while due to being busy, really busy on the film side of things which is great. But I miss the pictures and have been revisiting old work, messing about with diptychs. I’m going to plan a few things in 2014.

Breaking Bad: the third element

Just found this in the archive, something I was messing about with created in May 2009. I reckon Vince Gilligan came across it and copied my style and created a whole series around it. Think I’ll lawyer up and sue 🙂

smartLav

20130921-011151.jpg

Bought one of these puppies today from cvp.com in the UK, ordered yesterday, arrived today! Great service from CVP I’m glad to say,

Anyway, the smartLav – I haven’t had a chance to test it properly yet but from one or two recordings through RodeRec (paid version) it sounds just as you’d expect from a cheap mic – it’s grand but a little hissy. I haven’t as yet had time to fiddle with settings at all, or read the manual for that matter. I’m reading that airplane mode on the iPhone is important so maybe there’s an interference issue, dunno but will test it properly over the next few weeks.

Sweet potato

So this was supposed to be sweet potato with figs and spring onions, but I didn’t have any figs or spring onions so used apple ad asparagus instead. It was delicious.

Heat oven to 220C
Halve about 1kg sweet potatoes around their girth and then half again lengthways.
Slice each of these quarters into 4 or 5 wedges and chuck into a bowl along with 1/2 tsp caraway seed, 2 tbsp olive oil and a grind or two of sea salt. Mix thoroughly and then put into a baking tray into the oven.

Bake for 25 mins. Then chuck in a bunch of asparagus, halved lengthwise, bake for another 10. In the meantime chop an apple into thin slices and make a balsamic reduction by adding a dessert spoon of sugar to 40ml vinegar to a put and boil gently for a couple of minutes.

Combine all ingredients in a large white bowl and serve warm.

Acronymizing Dublin

It came to me in a flash …

… as I was walking south across Dame St towards my beloved Cornucopia that in light of Apple Maps’ weird new places in Dublin – Ulsara for instance, beloved of the members of the Upper Leeson Street area Residents Association – that we should acronymize Dublin. I’m currently working in Temple Bar, more specifically Crow St north of Dame St (Crownod) and as I was walking towards Cornucopia, I was entering into the area south of Dame St near Grafton St (Asdangs)