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Friday, 27 April 2012

Chicken Escalopes

This is rather an unhealthy way of cooking chicken as the chicken is bread crumbed and then shallow fried. However, as at treat once in a while, it's a brilliant option. The bread crumbs retain the moisture within the chicken and give a very welcome crisp coating.

Chicken breasts (allow one per person)
Bread crumbs (either whizz up stale bread yourself or cheat by buying them pre-made)
Flour, seasoned with salt and pepper
2 Eggs, beaten
Vegetable oil

1. Begin by hammering out the chicken. You do this by laying each breast between cling film and hammering the breast flat using a rolling pin. You are looking for a thickness of 2cm.
2. Coat the chicken in flour, then dip into the beaten egg, before finally coating in bread crumbs.
3. Make sure you pat the bread crumbs firmly onto the chicken.
4. Repeat steps two and three, omitting the flour stage. This double layer of bread ensures a beautifully crisp chicken breast.
5. Fill in a shallow frying pan with the oil, approximately 5 cm deep.
6. Heat on a medium heat for 5 minutes until the oil is nice and hot.
7. Add the chicken breasts carefully to the pan (do not overcrowd the pan).
8. Fry for around 9 minutes or until the chicken is cooked (check this by cutting into a breast).

This is great served with a simple tomato sauce, lemon wedge and green salad. For an imitation of Wagamama's chicken katsu curry, serve the chicken with a shop bought katsu sauce and some sticky rice.

Wednesday, 25 April 2012

Cranberry and White Chocolate Cookies

This is a fabulous recipe. I'm obsessed with making cookies, and finding a recipe which produces chewy, american-stye cookies has proven very tricky. Some recipes work brilliantly some of the time, but then will fail me for some unknown reason. This recipe is brilliant, it comes up trumps 99% of the time.

Makes approximately 12 cookies.

Preheat the oven to 190 degrees Celcius

75g butter (soft)
110g caster sugar
110g soft brown sugar
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla essence
225g plain flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
2 handfuls of dried cranberries
100g giant white chocolate buttons

1. Cream together the butter and two types of sugar
2. Beat the eggs and vanilla together in a bowl.
3. Gradually add the wet ingredients to the dry ones.
4. Sieve the flour and baking powder into the rest of the cookie mixture.
5. Add the cranberries and white chocolate and stir to combine the ingredients.
6. Add tablespoons of the cookie mixture to a oiled baking tray, 2 inches apart.
7. Bake for 10 minutes. Don't worry if the cookies seem rather moist, they do set when they cool, and it's better to have them slightly oozing.

Tuesday, 24 April 2012

Marcia's Bulgur Wheat Salad

This recipe was given to me by the nanny of the boy I tutor. It makes a delicious light accompaniment to a main meal and is easily transportable for a picnic. Personally, I prefer bulgur wheat to cous cous - it's far less 'cardboardy' and has a better texture.

Serves 6 as a side for dinner

500g bulgur wheat
10 spring onions
small bunch of fresh mint
3 lemons
3 tbs olive oil
1 tsp Bouillon vegetable stock powder
1 punnet of baby plum tomatoes

1. Add the bulgur wheat to a large bowl and cover it fully with boiling water. Add the bouillon to the bowl and stir. Cover with cling film. Leave to stand for 30 minutes.
2. Chop the mint, spring onions and tomatoes finely.
3. Juice the three lemons.
4. Combine all of the ingredients in one bowl.