Jo’s Chinese Chicken (4)

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I have played with the flavors here and they are less salty as there is no soy sauce. Good both hot and cold. I have introduced rice noodles (Annie Chun’s brand) into my diet and used the very fine ones – even better if you can find a brown rice variety. Love the ‘A Taste of Thai’ brand as the products mainly seem gluten and diary free (but I always check). Incorporated water chestnuts and baby sweetcorn as well as spinach. There is ginger too and garlic – healthy.

1 tbsp. olive oil

1 shallot – finely chopped

2 large cloves of garlic – grated

1 large tbsp. ginger – grated

Kettle full of boiling water

4oz. rice noodles

2 x chicken breast – sliced thinly and halved into bite-size pieces

10 oz. baby spinach

1 x 8 oz. can sliced water chestnuts

1 x 15 oz. baby sweetcorn  (pre-cut into chunks)

Juice of 1/2 lime – freshly squeezed

Handful of unsalted peanuts – bashed with a rolling pin

Place oil in cast iron casserole dish and when sizzling add shallot and garlic, turn down heat and let soften. Then add ginger and cook for a few minutes.

Add chicken and let brown a little, then add 1 cup of sauce (see below) and cook, stirring from time to time, for 10 minutes.

Add water chestnuts, baby sweetcorn, 5 oz. spinach and rest of sauce.

Cover with lid and let spinach wilt for 5 minutes or so and then add 5oz more of spinach and the lime juice

Cook for 5 more minutes.

During this time bring kettle full of water to boil then pour over rice noodles and let noodles sit for about 6 minutes. Drain, wrap in tea-towel and when water has been removed chop rice noodles into 2 or so inch pieces. Add to chicken mixture. Mix together and sprinkle peanuts over the top

SAUCE

2 tbsp. tamarind concentrate

1/2 cup water

1 tbsp. fish sauce

1 tbsp. A Taste of Thai Garlic Chilli Pepper Sauce (aka sriracha)

Mix all ingredients into a bowl and it will make just about 1 cup of sauce.

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Jo’s Pad Thai (serves 4)

Jo’s Pad Thai (serves 4)

My Pad Thai may not be truly authentic but it tastes good. Chopping takes a little time and would be a great thing to do with another person – husband, son or daughter or a friend (I often cook with a friend of mine when she makes dinner). The added ingredient here is my newly discovered Tamarind Paste – Neera’s Tamarind Paste, found in Whole Foods; a different brand can be found in Waitrose in the UK. I used a gluten-free soy sauce, but it does contain soy, so may not be appropriate for some of you. On top of that I added fish sauce, lime juice, ginger and extra virgin olive oil. I purposely only used one chicken breast as am trying to reduce the amount of meat we eat and increase the veg. Ideal pan is a skillet with a glass lid. Cooking time is around 15 minutes.

A 1 inch piece of ginger – peeled and finely grated

1 tbsp. fish sauce

1 tbsp. gluten-free soy sauce

1 tbsp. freshly squeezed lime juice

1 tsp. tamarind paste (not concentrate) – dissolved in 1 tbsp. of hot water

2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil

Place all of the above in a bowl and mix together.

1/2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil

1 large bunch of scallions/spring onions – finely sliced

2 large garlic cloves – finely chopped

1 chicken breast – finely sliced and cut into small pieces (so they cook quickly)

1/2 a red pepper – cut into fine strips

1 large carrot – cut into matchsticks

4 oz. thin French green beans – cut in two

4 good size broccoli florets – cut into smaller florets

4 oz. baby bella mushrooms – sliced

Heat oil in skillet and when sizzling add scallions/spring onions and garlic and cook for a couple of minutes.

Add chicken and sear.

Add all veg. and pour over the sauce.

Cook for 10 minutes or until chicken pieces are cooked through.