Good Ol’ Chicken Stew (4)

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Love stews served with mashed potatoes to soak up the juices. Browning the onions and searing the meat makes all the difference to the end product by providing a depth of flavor to the sauce. I mashed half of the cannellini beans to thicken the gravy. Perfect autumn dish.

2 tbsp. olive oil seasoned with salt and freshly ground black pepper

2 medium onions – finely chopped

2 chicken breasts – cut into bite sized pieces

2 cups of chicken broth

8 oz. carrots – cut into 1 inch chunks

8 oz. baby bella mushrooms – sliced

1 x 15 oz can of canellini beans – crush half of them with a potato masher

Heat 1 tbsp. of the seasoned oil in a Dutch oven and when sizzling add the onions and let soften and brown. Then remove them to a plate.

Add the second tbsp. of oil to the Dutch oven and when sizzling add the chicken pieces and sear on all sides.

Place onion back with the chicken and add the rest of the ingredients. Bring to the boil, then simmer for an hour.

 

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Mushroom Risotto (4)

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A ‘basis’ recipe – a recipe that can be the base of a meal for a group of people with different dietary requirements – is very useful to have in your repertoire. My family members have between them gluten and lactose intolerances and another person is vegetarian. To the basic mushroom risotto you can add/omit cheese, add/omit meat on the side and everyone is happy and you have only had to cook one meal.

To get the best flavor the addition of dried porcini mushrooms and a mushroom broth (Kallo brand can be ordered from Amazon if not if not readily available; a veg. broth will do otherwise) makes a better risotto.

I served this risotto with slices of pan-fried chicken breast.

1 tbsp. olive oil, seasoned with salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 large onion – finely chopped

2 cloves of garlic – grated

1 tbsp. dried porcini mushrooms – soaked in boiling water fro 20 minutes and then dried with paper towel and then finely chopped

8 oz. baby bella mushrooms – finely choppped

1 cup of Pinot Grigio white wine

12 oz. Arborio rice

2 cups mushroom/veg. broth (and more if necessary)

Parsley – finely chopped, as a garnish

 

Heat seasoned oil in a skillet/frying pan and when sizzling add onion and let brown.

Add garlic and cook a little more.

Add both types of mushrooms, wine, rice and some of the broth and bring to a gentle boil, then turn the heat down.

Keep stirring and add more broth a little at a time. When almost absorbed add a bit more.

Keep cooking over low heat until rice is tender (though it will never be as tender as regular rice). And you may want to keep adding a bit more broth – I needed to.

Garnish with parsley and serve.

 

 

 

Veal Ragu with Zucchini Spaghetti (4)

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Zucchini/courgettes ‘spaghetti’ is a really good substitute for pasta and because it doesn’t taste of much it is the perfect foil for many different sauces. I  make my own with a spiralizer but I notice that it is now available to buy in supermarkets. It is very quick to cook – literally a few minutes – and you actually want it to be just ‘al dente’. The veal sauce is livened up with sliced baby bella mushrooms and fresh herbs – sage and rosemary.

1 tbsp. oil, seasoned with salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 large onion – finely chopped

1 pound ground veal/pork

8 oz. baby bella mushrooms – sliced

1 cup chicken broth

1/2 tbsp. fresh sage – finely chopped

1/2 tbsp. fresh rosemary – finely chopped

Heat the seasoned oil in a cast iron casserole dish and when sizzling add the onion and let it brown slightly.

Next add the ground veal and sear it before adding the mushrooms, chicken broth and herbs.

Simmer for around 15 minutes then pour sauce over the zucchini spaghetti.

ZUCCHINI SPAGHETTI

1 pound of zucchini – spiralized

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Cook zucchini in boiling water for around 3 minutes until they are cooked but still a little on the firm side.

Drain, then pat dry with a clean T-towel.

Place in a serving dish, season with salt and freshly ground black pepper and mix well.

Pour the veal ragu over the top

 

Herby Mushrooms and Apples (4)

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An interesting side dish using a mixture of mushrooms (cremini, baby bella and regular mushrooms, etc.) and apple. To add depth to the dish I added garlic and fresh oregano and thyme. Goes well with pork.

1 tbsp. olive oil seasoned with salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 large clove of garlic – grated

4 oz. mixed mushrooms – sliced

1 medium sweet, crisp apple – sliced

1/2 tsp. each of oregano and thyme – finely chopped

Heat seasoned oil and a skillet/frying pan and when hot add the garlic and cook for a minute – so not let garlic brown.

Add mushrooms and apple and stir before adding the herbs.

Cook for 10-15 minutes, stirring quite frequently, until mushrooms are browned and apples are translucent.

 

Jo’s Fiery Mushrooms (4)

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Harissa paste adds the fiery taste – a tablespoon is all you need (or more or less depending on how spicy you like things). Great as an appetizer/starter, side dish, to take on a picnic or to work as lunch. Can be eaten hot or cold, is vegetarian and if you are able to eat bread it would good for mopping up the juices.

1 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil

1/2 an onion – chopped

2 cloves of garlic – finely chopped

8 oz. small mushrooms – sliced

1 cup crushed tomatoes

1 tbsp. harissa paste

1 cup veg. broth/stock (add more if needed but in the end you want a thickish sauce)

 

Place oil in a cast iron casserole dish and when sizzling add onion and garlic.

When softened, add mushrooms and stir for a moment.

Add crushed tomatoes, harissa paste and veg broth.

Bring to a boil, then simmer for 20 minutes or until sauce is thickish.

 

 

Vegetarian Breakfast

Vegetarian Breakfast

Who says vegetarians can’t have a good old fry up for breakfast? Instead of the traditional scrambled eggs, sausage and bacon try a poached egg with tomato halves and Portobello mushroom slices (cooked in a frying pan in a little seasoned extra virgin olive oil) and half an avocado, thinly sliced. A lovely way to start the day!

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.