Posts tagged mushroom
Risottos are one of my mid-week “go to” meals. They are simple, fairly quick, and only use one pan. They are also pretty healthy when you cook them this way…
Ok so I admit this is probably not a proper risotto – there is no cream, no butter, not even any crème fraiche. In fact I don’t even use proper risotto rice. It’s more like a one-pot-rice-dish that I call a risotto because that’s what it started out as when I learnt how to make them years ago – this is the result.
Here’s my recipe for two people using left over slow cooked gammon.
- Couple of handfuls of left over gammon. Mine had been slow cooked but it really doesn’t matter. Cut or rip into small chunks.
- Bunch of spring onions, a couple of peppers (I used one red and one yellow – a colourful meal is a healthy meal), some button mushrooms and a handful of frozen peas. Chop your peppers and spring onions into bite sized pieces, you may also wish to cut your mushrooms in half depending on the size.
- Rice – I use Basmati as it’s brown rice and therefore slightly healthier. Use 50-60g per person.
- Stock – I use chicken stock when cooking with gammon, it gives the rice a nice mellow flavour. You’ll need 500-600ml.
- Ground black pepper and minced garlic (I love that cheating garlic that comes in a little jar, it’s so convenient).
Rinse the rice. Heat a small amount of oil in a pan. Add some pepper and garlic and fry the rice in it for a couple of minutes until it’s gone translucent.
Add a small amount of the stock and allow to simmer. Once the rice has absorbed that add some more, stirring regularly. Repeat this until the rice is almost cooked – you may not need all the stock. Adding a little at a time means you will not end up with too much liquid in the pan.
At this point add your vegetables and stir through until well mixed. I add these sorts of vegetables close to the end as they really only need warming up, not cooking through (keeps texture and makes the meal nice and fresh). You will find you end up with more liquid thanks to the peppers and peas, which should be enough to finish cooking the rice. If not, add a little more stock or water until the rice is fluffy. You may wish to add another helping of black pepper.
That’s it – serve up in bowls and eat with a spoon!
I’ve no idea on calories but working out what’s in it I reckon a portion comes in at about 10 Weight Watchers Pro Points (I am a Weight Watchers Blog Ambassdor remember!), made up mainly of the rice, so not bad at all for an evening meal, and very filling. You can of course use whatever you have leftover, it’s a great dish to use up what’s in the fridge – chicken or prawns taste good – and it’ll happily accept frozen vegetables if you’ve not got anything fresh in.
If you want a recipe for a “proper” risotto made with the right sort of rice and featuring some lovely goats cheese, see my Chicken and Goats Cheese Risotto recipe.
With goats cheese being my new favourite ingredient, I wondered how I would find cooking with another cheese I hadn’t tried until recently.
Port Salut is a mild, creamy cheese that is said to appeal to everyone. It is a fairly soft cheese that comes in wedges and is available from the supermarket.
Like other cheese, Port Salut is particularly good for cooking. Jean Christophe Novelli has come up with a few recipes using the cheese that are listed over on the Port Salut website, and I was sent a couple of wedges of this cheese to try out his ideas. I was immediately inspired by the fricassée recipe, and tried it as a mid-week dinner earlier this week.
Chicken, Leek, Port Salut and Mushroom Fricassée
- 4 x skinned and boneless chicken breasts (cut into thin strips)
- 2 leeks, trimmed, washed and cut into thin slices
- 2 x spring onions (trimmed and chopped into thin roundels)
- 1 clove of garlic (peeled and crushed)
- 100g chestnut or button mushrooms (sliced)
- 100g Port Salut (thinly sliced)
- 50g Port Salut (cut into cubes)
- 50g breadcrumbs
- 75ml double cream
- 25g butter
- 1 bunch of chives (chopped)
- 4 slices of wholemeal bread (cut into fingers)
- 25ml olive oil
- 1/2 tsp dried herbs
- 1/2 glass white wine
- 1 tsp paprika
- Heat a griddle pan, brush the chicken strips with a little olive oil and season with salt, pepper and paprika
- Char-grill the chicken until well coloured and cooked through, remove from the pan and keep warm
- In a large saucepan, melt the butter over a low heat and then add the leeks and spring onions and sweat until tender
- Add the garlic and mushrooms and continue to cook until the mushrooms are tender and soft
- Add the white wine and cream, and bring to the boil
- Add 100g of Port Salut (thinly sliced) and simmer until the cheese is melted and the sauce is thick, and then sprinkle in the chives
- Add the strips of chicken and stir until coated with sauce
- Place in an oven proof serving dish and set to one side
- In a bowl combine the remaining 50g of Port Salut (cut into small cubes) with the breadcrumbs and scatter over the top of the dish
- Bake in a pre heated oven (160°C) until the crumbs are crisp and golden and the cheese has melted (approx. 15 minutes)
For the wholemeal croutons
- Place the bread fingers on a baking tray. Brush with olive oil and dried herbs and season with cracked pepper
- Bake in a hot oven until crisp and golden brown, serve on a side plate alongside the fricassée
I didn’t make the wholemeal croutons because I felt we had enough food, and I made the fricassée itself for two (the above recipe will feed four).
Not being anything like a chef it always worries me when proper chefs come up with recipes – they are often complicated, taking ages, and using ingredients I can’t get. Not so with this one – it was easy peasy. I’ve made fricassée before but not for a very long time – I don’t remember it being as simple as this. The combination of the cheese and cream with the chicken, leeks and mushroom was lovely, and it was a perfect mid-week evening meal.
If I may criticise it a teeny bit I would say I would like more sauce (I should have made sauce for four even though I halved everything else). The other little thing was that once the breadcrumbs came in contact with the sauce (when served up), it went soggy really fast. I’m not a fan of soggy breadcrumbs. Two very small things that I hope help you make yours better than I did.
Recipe aside, the cheese itself is lovely – mild, creamy, soft, great with crackers or in a panini. Because it’s so mild it works well with other flavours such as chutneys or pickles, in fact I’d go as far as saying it kind of needs an additional flavour. Definitely something I’ll be eating again.
I think goats cheese is my new favourite ingredient. Apart from being particularly tasty on its own, it also seems to elevate mid-week dinners to a new level. This time I used it alongside a jar of Sacla Tomato and Mascarpone stir-in pasta sauce to turn a pretty normal pasta dish into something creamy and even more delicious.
Splodz’s Pasta with Goats Cheese
We eat a fair amount of pasta in our hours. It’s quick to cook (especially the fresh stuff I used for this dish – four minutes in boiling water) and you can combine it with all sorts of ingredients to make it the star of the meal or just a side.
- Bag of pappardelle pasta
- Cubed pancetta
- One yellow and one green pepper, diced
- Several mushrooms, diced
- Jar of Sacla Tomato and Mascarpone Sauce
- Half a Capricorn Somerset Goats Cheese, sliced
- Fry the pancetta briefly in a teeny bit of oil, add the pepper and mushrooms and fry until hot (but not too much or the colours start to dull – a wise lady once told me a colourful meal is a healthy meal!).
- Cook the pasta – the pappardelle I used took four minutes. Drain.
- Heat the pasta sauce and add the pasta, stir through until coated.
- To serve put the coated pasta in a bowl, top with the pancetta and veg mix, add slices of goats cheese and allow to melt over the pasta.
So quick and simple, this meal went down a treat. I liked having the goats cheese just on the top of the pasta – as I ate it gradually melted through and got mixed in with the pasta sauce and veg. Totally yummy.
My other half told me he’d prefer “smaller pasta” – the pappardelle I used (from the hamper Ethel sent me) was wide and long, like ribbon. I liked this as it was different to what I normally buy. I’d say this would (obviously) work with any kind of pasta – as long as you get a decent enough coating from the sauce and cheese. In fact I reckon you could top pretty much any pasta dish with goats cheese.