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November 2012

Friday Food: Chicken, Egg, Parsley

I am perfectly well enough to 'cook' with Hugh's Three Good Things On A Plate again, if you click through there are nine recipes to try. He actually wrote: 'Sausage, Egg, Parsley', but I didn't have any cold sausages. I did have a chicken breast though. And I poached it. This is a lovely light lunch, and would be delicious with most left over meats mixed in.  Hugh calls for bread, and perhaps some finely chopped gherkins, but I used a crusty baguette.

You could prepare the egg, mayo and chicken earlier and then just serve it up whenever you please.

I used the parsley from my garden. I was very chuffed!!

Honestly, I could just cook using three main items a lot in the next few months!!

 

Chicken, Egg, Parsley  serves 2

  • 1 chicken breast or 3-4 cooled sausages, chopped
  • a baguette or freshly sliced bread
  • flat leaf parsley, chopped
  • 3 eggs at room temperature. I use free range
  • 2-3 generous tbspn posh mayonnaise, that's 40-60ml
  • a squeeze of lemon juice
  • salt and pepper to taste

To poach the chicken breast, place it in a saucepan of cold water covering it by at least 3cm. Add some sliced onion and a few cloves of garlic if you like. Bring to the boil and then cover and simmer for 15- 20 minutes. I make a little cut in the thickest part to make sure it is cooked through. Take the chicken out and set aside to cool while the eggs cook. When it is cool, shred the chicken. Pop into the fridge if needs be.

Chicken, poached
To cook the eggs, bring a large saucepan of water to the boil over medium to high heat. Gently add the room temperature eggs and simmer for 7 minutes. If the eggs are straight from the fridge they will crack. Ask me how I know. Trust Hugh. 

Drain the hot water away  and run the eggs under cold water for a minute or so. I actually just let mine sit in the cold water for 5 minutes or so. I find that if I crack the shells, the water seeps in between the shell and the thin membrane and makes the eggs easier to peel. I also believe, rightly or wrongly, that slightly older eggs are easier to peel than very fresh ones. Chop or mash the eggs roughly.

Mash eggs 

Add the mayonnaise, salt and pepper and a squeeze of lemon juice, if you like.

Mayo hey-o 

Gently fold in the cold chicken into the egg mayonnaise and then spread over the baguette or bread slices.

Chicken and baguette

Scatter with parsley. Mine is less than generous as my parsley is sparsely parsleyed as yet.  I served mine with a little salad, really only to make the picture look pretty!!!

Chicken egg parsley


Friday Food: Lemon, Condensed Milk, Gingernuts (or not)

Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall has a new book called Hugh's Three Good Things On A Plate and this is one of several recipes in the November Delicious Magazine.

There are more than three ingredients, but it has three main flavour components, eg sausage/egg/parsley and potato/cheese/thyme. I like the idea and this is just so, so easy. MrsDrWho and MrsHouseOf taste tested it for me and declared it to be well worth making.

I used Butternut Snaps instead of Gingernut biscuits, but otherwise I followed the recipe faithfully. I don't mind the way they look in the glasses I used, though in the magazine it was in teeny tiny cups.

 

Lemon, Condensed Milk, Gingernuts   serves 6

  • 4 lemons
  • 1 tin condensed milk (395g)
  • 150ml very thick double cream
  • 12 Gingernut biscuits

Pour the condensed milk into a bowl and add the cream.

Milk and cream
Zest two of the lemons and then you will need 150ml of fresh lemon juice. I used 3 1/2 lemons. It will depend on their juiciness. Add the zest and lemon juice to the milk and cream and stir until it thickens and combines into  a smooth mixture.

Adding the lemon 

The mixture was 600g and so I spooned 100g into each glass. I used my scales, I love to be that accurate!! Refrigerate for 2-3 hours.

Puds

Crush the biscuits relatively finely and just before serving sprinkle evenly over the puddings.

Smashing biscuits
This is very rich and 100g is just the right amount. You can even make these when you don't feel particularly like cooking!!

Lemon, condensed milk, biscuits


Miss Polly, Well By Golly, Who Was Sick Sick Sick?

Yes, that would be me. I have been sick sick sick, but now I am at last starting to feel better better better. I went to the doctor twice and have been taking antibiotics and some magic tablets for people who have ulcers, which I do not, to help me feel well. I'm still not 100%, well my 100%, but I have another appointment at the doctor on Tuesday and so I expect I can talk about the bits of me that are still poorly then.

I managed to work myself up into a tizz and it was my doctor's reassurance that calmed things down in the end as much as the drugs. So I have been lying on the couch or napping with The Labradors and doing very little else apart from worrying. Peri Pumpkin is so cute when she is sleeping hard on her Warmy bed. I love the way her little tongue just peeps out.

Peri sleepy bobos
Miss Lorelai Gilmore especially likes the foam squares on top of her low table. I think they absorb the heat, being dark, and are nice and cushiony. She has beautiful eyes.

Gilly's lovely look
I saw my specialist at the Holman Clinic, I missed out on Leukaemia Support Group again as I didn't want to give my germs to other people with compromised immune systems, I missed out on our Knitting Group's dinner and the only proper thing I have been doing is walking Peri and Gilly.

I arise from bed, they hop in the car  and then I trudge around the picnic area like a zombie and they run gleefully about sniffing the grass and rolling in something smelly.

Peri and Gilly come to the car
You would think that I had copious amounts of knitting time, but in truth there has been little knitting. I finished the My Cup of Tea Socks. They are lost. It is as if there always has to be a certain amount of Lostness at our house. Yesterday I had the socks, but I lost my inside/night-time glasses. Today I found the glasses, but the socks have disappeared. Strange. So here is my first Clock Sock. It's the Hickory Socks form the Knitter's Book of Socks. I'm using some Restless Knitter sock wool called Envy which I bought in a Ravelry Destash. It's not very soft, but I expect when it is washed it will be fine and it does show up the stitch pattern so well. I love the pattern, it's a kind of moving rib that looks like the bark of a tree. I only did one leg repeat. It fits like a glove: you know what I mean. I may start the second sock this week.

One clock sock
So I am hoping that the last symptoms may work themselves out and I won't have to take even more drugs. I rattle when you shake me. Drugs are fantastic though and I am ever so grateful to live in society that cares for people who are very ill. My GP is fantastic and when I ring, they always fit me in to se her, or another doctor at the surgery. And I have great friends (real and imaginary) and family too.

Baby Zoe has left the hospital (click to see the newspaper article) and she is living at the flat with her mum, dad and nan. She looks so happy, her hair is growing back and she is allowed out into the Real World in a covered pram. She needs to stay near the Hospital for a couple of months and then she will be able to come home. I am just so happy for Zoe and her family!


Bond, John Paul George & Ringo, Bond.

Fifty years of The Beatles and James Bond films on the same day yesterday: an auspicious day indeed.  As a toddler I apparently loved to sing She Loves You Yeah Yeah Yeah, but I have no recollection of seeing James Bond films till much later on. I think Roger Moore, of the terrible puns, was the first Bond I saw at the pictures of my own accord.

I am an enduing and loyal fan of both: no Rolling Stones or other spy franchise for me. It is scary to think that young people these days probably don't even know who The Beatles are, or recognise their music. James Bond they may have seen, but it will have been the Blond Bond, not my all time favourite Bond- Sean Connery, of the terry towelling playsuit!!

Despite my fandom, I own very little Beatles or Bond memorabilia, a few records, a piano book of all the songs, a poster book for films. That's about it.

Monty Python (and now for something completely different: a man with three buttocks) turned 43 on the same day. I remember watching Monty Python's Flying Circus when I was in C class. I enjoy reciting lots of the scripts, endlessly,and I only have to say a few words and my mind flies off into Monty Python heaven ( Spring surprise, Elderberry wine, Run away, run away, This is a contradiction, It's an ex parrot, I'm a lumberjack, What have the Romans done for us?? She's a witch, Knights who say 'ni', See the violence inherent in the system, the machine that goes 'bing') not to mention all the songs. I have to stop listing things now, or it would just be a post of lists. I once owned a lovely boxed set of all the Monty Python records, yes records, along with a similar set of The Goons, but I lent them to someone in a mining town and they took them with them when they left to go back home overseas.

I have been Le Poorly this week, I ended up going to the doctor on Thursday when I had a fever, felt swimmy in the head, jittery and pretty awful and sick all round. It's a virus of an indeterminate nature, but I always have to have antibiotics as a precaution. Normally well people would scoff at the virus, but because I have a compromised immune system I need extra precautions. So I have been sleeping, or lying on the couch watching Burn Notice and Monk. There has been a little sock knitting, but not much. I have almost finished the My Cup of Tea socks.

My other cup of tea sock
Wednesday is Rubbish Day and I took the kitchen bin outside as it is easier to tie up the bag and lift it out. When I came home, someone had done this:

Bin there done that
I think it was Miss Lorelai Gilmore. No matter what I do bits and bobs still seem to migrate into the bottom of the kitchen bin through the lining bag. When I came home it was suspiciously clean inside. Luckily it was a $12 bin from The KMart and easily replace and not too dangerous to chew.

Peri has been trying to laze in the Sun, but Gilly is always there, ready for a game or to have her photo taken first.

Gilly interrupts Peri's nap

Peri Pumpkin eventually found a quiet spot.

Peri's lazy sunny day

I am all up to date with Doctor Who, I've watched the last proper episode, saying farewell to The Ponds, on iView and now I am waiting for the Christmas episode and then the 50th Anniversary next year.

Here are two funny things I saw. The first was at the corner bakery. It is open to several interpretations, all of them very strange. The second was at The Black Spot of Doomlight. It's not their fault, they import these, but I have to ask what kind of clause he is - standard, relative predicative??

Funny things

And now because I still feel more than a little bit under the weather and Daylight Saving starts in the early morning, we must go to bed early and try and sleep. The time change always plays havoc with The Labradors' sleeping patterns.


Friday Food: Chocolate cake

The recipe blurb opines that this is a Favourite Chocolate Cake, and I have to agree. I have made it twice and it has had very good reviews. I am also chuffed that it actually took an hour to bake, the time the recipe suggests, and was perfectly cooked. I used Dutch cocoa and made a ganache topping, but otherwise I followed the recipe. Quite unusual for me!! I also used my new very tall 20cm/8" round cake tin with a removable base and it was perfect as well. It was a bit of a puzzle to line, but I persevered.

This is from the October Coles Magazine.

Chocolate Cake  serves 8-12

  • 1/2 cup cocoa  (60g)
  • 3/4 cup boiling water  (185ml)
  • 3/4 cup butter (180g), softened
  • 1 cup caster sugar (220g)
  • 1 tspn vanilla extract
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 3/4 cups (260g) self raising flour
  • 1/2 tspn bicarbonate of soda
  • 7/8 cup (200g) sour cream

For the ganache topping

  • 200g good dark or milk chocolate ( 70%)
  • 1/2 cup (125ml) pouring cream

Preheat the oven to 180*C or 160*C fan-forced. Grease and line a 20cm round cake tin. Mine has high sides and this is better I think.

Lining the tin
Mix the cocoa and the boiling water until it is smooth and set aside to cool.

Cocoa and water
Cream the butter and sugar until it is pale and light, about 5 minutes, and then add the vanilla and the eggs. Beat briefly so they are well combined.

Creaming the mixture
Sift the flour and bicarb soda together and add to the creamed mixture along with the cocoa and water and finally the sour cream. Fold together carefully and gently until combined.

Batter up
Spoon into the tin and smooth the top. Bake for 1 hour. I turned the cake half way through. It is cooked when the top springs back to the touch and a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. The top of my cake cracked slightly, but it will be covered with the topping and really, I think it doesn't matter. It just shows that the cake is home made, with love and care!!!

Tin tin
Cool in the tin for 10 minutes and then remove and place on a rack until cold. Then top with ganache, or your favourite chocolate icing.

Ganache
To make the ganache heat the cream in a pan or the microwave until it comes to the boil. Chop the chocolate into small pieces and pour the cream over. Stir until smooth and cool to room temperate. Then spread over cake.

Favourite Chocolate Cake