Sunday, 30 December 2012

What to eat in the post Christmas / pre New Year lull..

We're in that weird inbetweeny stage aren't we? For those of us lucky enough to be off work for the duration, we're facing the middle ground - those lost days between Christmas and New Year to be precise. What do you eat when you're fed up of left over turkey and pork pie/cheeseboard buffets and can't be bothered to cook anything complex? Here are a few of my quick and easy suggestions.

Last of the leftovers Bubble & Squeak

- Ok, I know I just said "when you're fed up of the leftovers" but this is really yummy and easy to make. Bubble and Squeak appears periodically in cook books and magazines but in my mind, you can't make it from fresh. It has to be leftovers!

Ingredients, serves 2
  • Handful of left over ham or a couple of strips of crispy bacon
  • 2 eggs
  • Left over veg - ideally:
    • roast or mashed potatoes
    • brussels 
    • carrots
    • parsnips
    • cabbage
Method: 
  • Break all the veg up into chunks and throw into a frying pan with some olive oil.
  • Heat some oil in a pan ready to fry your eggs and add bacon if using (as this will take longer than the eggs).
  • Fry the mixture, pressing down with a spatula for a good 10 -12 minutes. You want some burnt bits as these really add to the flavour of bubble and squeak. Chuck in any chunks of ham or gammon too (instead of bacon)
  • Serve on a plate with a good crack of salt and black pepper and top with a fried egg. We use  Burford Browns. You really can't beat them!
Gingeybites leftovers bubble and squeak
Gingeybites bubble and squeak topped with a fried egg


Spicy griddled chicken with salad & potatoes

- A great antidote to all the heavy food associated with Christmas. Feel like you've done a good deed for your body without having to go to the gym!

Method:
  • Slash deep grooves across the top of two chicken breasts and leave to marinade in a bowl with 2 tsp chilli sauce with 20ml water. Leave to marinade in the fridge for at least 1 hour. I used Wiga Wagaa chilli cooking paste but there are other chilli sauces available of course! I love the depth of flavour Wiga Wagaa has but be careful, the whole range packs a punch! 
  • Pre-heat oven to 180degrees and cook chicken breasts for around 20 mins.
  • Take out the oven and finish in a griddle pan - not only does this make the chicken look better to eat, it adds those nice charry bits!
  • Serve with a nice rocket salad and boiled new potatoes with butter and salt and pepper.
Wiga Wagaa chilli sauces
Spicy chicken with salad and potatoes




Crab and Fennel Linguine

- Another healthy meal with ingredients from the cupboards plus just a couple of fresh items. I can't take credit for this, my inspiration came from this recipe on the BBC Good Food website but I've made a few small tweaks along the way.  

Ingredients:
  • 400g baby plum tomatoes, halved
  • 1 chilli, finely chopped
  • 1 bulb of fennel sliced thinly. 
  • 150g linguine or spaghetti
  • 100g white crabmeat or 1 tin of crabmeat drained (if you can't get fresh)
  • large handful flat-leaf parsley, chopped
  • olive oil 
  • lemon juice
Method: 
  • Heat a drizzle of oil in a large pan and add the tomatoes, chilli and fennel. Season and fry gently for 5 minutes until the tomatoes are soft but still have their skins intact and hold their shape.
  • Cook the pasta, drain, reserving some of the cooking water. 
  • Add the pasta to the pan with the tomato mixture and add the crab meat and half the parsley. 
  • Let this warm through and add the pasta water as needed to just coat the pasta, stirring it gently to avoid breaking up the tomatoes. 
  • Taste and season before scattering over the remaining parsley.


Now I need to prepare myself for New Years Day - I'm cooking for 6 and have challenged myself to make a Mary Berry Cappuccino Cake.. wish me luck! x
 

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