Chicken and Mushroom Skewers (4)

IMG_7372(1)

Naturally it rained after I had prepared these and they were all prepped for the BBQ! On the other hand that is the good thing about them – they do quite as well in the oven. If you have wooden skewers they will need soaking 30 minutes ahead of time so they don’t burn. I clean my mushrooms in a pan of water with a tablespoon or so of red wine vinegar, then rinse them and wrap them in a dry T-towel. Then I wipe each one. If you leave the mushrooms soaking they will absorb the water/vinegar. The mushrooms and the chicken pieces are marinated separately in two different marinades for a couple of hours before threading on the skewer. The chicken pieces should be slightly less than bite size so that they and the mushrooms are both ready and juicy at the same time.

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees

FOR THE MUSHROOMS

8 oz button mushrooms – rinsed and dried – large ones can be halved

2 large cloves of garlic – grated

2 tbsp. fresh curly parsley – finely chopped

2 tbsp. olive oil

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Place the mushrooms in a large zip loc plastic bag

Whisk together the rest of the ingredients then pour onto the mushrooms and massage the bag so that they are coated with the garlic parsley mix.

Let marinade in the fridge for a good hour

FOR THE CHICKEN

1 pound of chicken breasts – cut into small pieces about the size of a baby mushroom

1 tbsp. fresh rosemary – finely chopped

1 tbsp. fresh thyme – finely chopped

2 tbsp. olive oil

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Place the chicken pieces in a zip loc plastic bag

Whisk together the rest of the ingredients and pour over the chicken.

Rub the contents of the bag so that the chicken is coated with the marinade, then place in the fridge for a good hour or so.

Thread a mushroom then a piece of chicken and continue doing so on a pre-soaked wooden skewer until you have 4 skewers.

Place on a metal baking tray with a rim and cook in oven for 20 minutes or until chicken is fully cooked.

 

 

 

Advertisements

Egg and Potato Salad with Anchovies (4)

IMG_7367

Summer is all about grilling and being outside and food is simpler too – maybe freshly shucked corn and potato salad with sun-ripe fruit or ice cream for dessert. Egg and Potato salad is simple but different and combines two popular salads in one. The mayo dressing is diluted with apple cider vinegar which makes it lighter and the addition of store bought rolled anchovies with capers in the middle adds extra flavor.

8 oz. new potatoes – boiled and cut into small pieces (I use organic potatoes and leave the skin on)

3 eggs – hard-boiled and cut into small pieces

1 x can anchovies with capers – chop 4 finely and reserve 4 for decoration

1 tbsp. mayonnaise

1 tbsp. apple cider vinegar

Freshly ground black pepper

Boil the new potatoes and the eggs in a pan together for 10 minutes or so until the potatoes are tender. Drain pan then fill with cold water and add ice cubes.

When cool  cut potatoes into small pieces and place into a mixing bowl.

Peel eggs (easiest way I have found to do this is to crack egg on its bottom on a counter top – there is a little air pocket at the bottom of the egg – and it makes it easier to peel) then chop into little pieces and add to potatoes.

Add the finely chopped anchovies with capers and chop finely to the mix.

Whisk 1 tbsp. mayonnaise with 1 tbsp. apple cider vinegar and season with a little pepper (salt probably not needed because of the anchovies). Pour over salad and mix well together. Transfer to a serving platter and garnish with the remaining rolled anchovies.

 

 

Pancetta Roasted Potatoes (4)

IMG_7357

These potatoes are for an occasional treat as they are roasted in the drippings from slices of pancetta. It is an Umbrian way of roasting potatoes. Traditionally, the cooking in that region of Italy is based on local, seasonal foods with absolutely nothing going to waste. I sourced the pancetta from an Italian food shop and asked for it to be sliced quite thickly. It is placed on a slatted baking rack above the potatoes. The fat drips out of the pancetta onto the potatoes and they soak up some of the slightly smoked flavor of the pancetta which itself dries out and becomes like crackling. Serve each person with potatoes topped with the crackling. Goes well with roast pork or chicken.

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees fahrenheit.

4 x thickish slices of pancetta

1 pound waxy potatoes (Yukon Gold or new potatoes) – cut into bite-size chunks

Put the potatoes in a metal roasting dish and season with salt and freshly ground black pepper.

Place a rack over the potatoes and lay the pancetta slices on it.

Cook for about 45 minutes until potatoes are nicely browned. Turn the potatoes over periodically.

Serve immediately while pancetta is still crisp, placing pancetta over a portion of potatoes.

 

Coleslaw with Kale (4)

IMG_7356

There is something about coleslaw that is so appealing whether it is store bought, homemade, or a side in a restaurant alongside a burger. If eating out with friends I often trade sides – one gets French fries, the other coleslaw – and we share. So I have tasted my fair share of coleslaw. It can be too vinegary or heavy on the mayo. My sauce is made of a mixture of mayonnaise (store bought is fine), freshly squeezed lemon juice and apple cider vinegar. To cabbage and carrots I add scallions, raisins and kale (only the frilly edges of kale and then finely chopped).

1/2 a smallish cabbage – shredded using a food processor

4 medium carrots – grated in a food processor

2 stems of kale – use only the frilly outer edges of the leaves and chop finely

1 bunch of scallions – just the white bits, outer skin removed and finely chopped

1 x 1 oz. packet of raisins

3 tbsp. mayonnaise

Juice of 1/2 a lemon

1 tbsp. apple cider vinegar

Place the first five ingredients in a large mixing bowl.

Whisk together the mayonnaise, lemon juice and apple cider vinegar, then pour over the vegetables and toss well together.

 

Mixed Grill Steeped in Rosemary (4)

IMG_0276.JPG

Hopefully you see this before you have planned your menu for a summer BBQ and if you are serving it with lots of other dishes it may serve more than 4 people. It takes about an hour or so for the rosemary and the olive oil to amalgamate and create a flavored oil. To do this several twigs of rosemary are place in a zip loc bag along with olive oil, salt and freshly ground black pepper. When the ingredients are in the bag bend or snap the twigs of rosemary and massage the leaves (or roll with a rolling pin). After an hour (or longer)  place the sprigs of rosemary in the bottom of an oven proof pan, place the meats on top and tip the remaining contents of the zip loc bag over the meats and roast in the oven for 20 minutes. Depending on how you like your steak you can add it in later so it will be rarer. The chicken sausage and steak will have a delicious undertone of rosemary.  Goes very well with my recipe for ‘Summer Potatoes’.

Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees F.

6 sprigs of rosemary

2 tbsp. olive oil

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

2 x chorizo sausages or German or Polish sausages – pricked with a fork

1 large (approx. 8 oz.) chicken breast – cut into slices

8 oz rib eye steak – cut into slices

Place rosemary, olive oil, salt and pepper in a zip loc bag, then bend or snap the rosemary and crush the leaves with your hand and massage or use a rolling pin to release the flavor. Leave in the closed zip loc bag for an hour or more – out of the fridge.

When the ingredients are in the bag bend or snap the twigs of rosemary and massage the leaves (or roll with a rolling pin). After an hour (or longer)  place the sprigs of rosemary in the bottom of an oven proof pan, place the meats on top and tip the remaining contents of the zip loc bag over the meats and roast in the oven for 20 minutes. Depending on how you like your steak you can add it in later so it will be rarer.

To serve, remove the meats from the pan and arrange on a serving platter. Pour over any juices and rosemary leaves but discard the sprigs.