Category Archives: Dinners

Slow Cooker Pork & Sage Ragu

Deliciously rich and comforting, this Slow Cooker Pork & Sage Ragu is one of my new favourite recipes. This recipe needs minimal effort but is the perfect dish for a cold evening.

 
This Slow Cooker Pork & Sage Ragu is my pork version of a ragu you would usually have as spaghetti bolognese. If you follow my blog, you’ll know pork is my favourite meat. So naturally I wanted to make a pork version of a recipe I already love. 

You will see the resemblance to the typical ragu, but also the changes I have made. I wanted to use two different cuts of pork to bring different textures to the dish. I especially like the texture the pork shoulder brings to the dish and it makes the dish more exciting than just mince. 

Sage is a classic combination with pork and works really well in this Slow Cooker Pork & Sage Ragu. I have used a mix of fresh and dried sage because I like using fresh herbs when I can, but like the convenience of dried herbs. If you don’t have fresh sage, you can use just tried thyme but add slightly less before tasting and adding more if needed.

This Slow Cooker Pork & Sage Ragu freezes really well. I made a batch of this to keep in the freezer which when defrosted makes a fantastic week night dinner served with pasta. It’s a fantastic no fuss meal that it sow comforting and tasty. 

5 from 2 votes
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Slow Cooker Pork & Sage Ragu

Deliciously rich and comforting, this Slow Cooker Pork & Sage Ragu is one of my new favourite recipes. This recipe needs minimal effort but is the perfect dish for a cold evening. 

Course Main Course
Cuisine Italian
Keyword Slow Cooker, Pork, Crock pot, Ragu, Sage
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 5 hours
Total Time 5 hours 20 minutes
Servings 6
Calories 239 kcal
Author Curly

Ingredients

  • 500 g pork mince (lean)
  • 300 g pork shoulder steaks (approx 2 steaks)
  • 400 g tinned tomatoes (1 tin)
  • 1 onion diced
  • 250 g carrots peeled and diced
  • 2 sticks celery
  • 1 tbsp tomato puree
  • 1 tsp mustard powder
  • 2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1 tsp dried sage
  • 2 tsp fresh sage
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • ¼ tsp black pepper
  • 250 ml chicken or vegetable stock

Instructions

  1. Brown the pork mince either in the slow cooker pan on the hob (if your slow cooker allows) or in a pan. This will take up to 5 minutes 

  2. Add the pork shoulder steaks on top of the browned mince

  3. Peel the onion and carrots and dice them finely along with the celery. Add to the slow cooker along with the rest of the ingredients 

  4. Stir thoroughly and allow to cook on high for 5-6 hours 

  5. Take the pork shoulder out of the slow cooker and shred it before adding it back. Stir thoroughly. 

Recipe Notes

Do not skip the browning of the mince step as it will alter the texture of the final dish. 

Nutritional information is given as a guide only.

Nutrition Facts
Slow Cooker Pork & Sage Ragu
Amount Per Serving
Calories 239 Calories from Fat 153
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 17g 26%
Saturated Fat 6g 30%
Cholesterol 60mg 20%
Sodium 495mg 21%
Potassium 467mg 13%
Total Carbohydrates 7g 2%
Dietary Fiber 1g 4%
Sugars 3g
Protein 15g 30%
Vitamin A 141%
Vitamin C 7.1%
Calcium 4.6%
Iron 6.6%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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Easy Cheese & Broccoli Pasta

This Easy Cheese & Broccoli Pasta is a perfect midweek dinner. It is quick, easy and delicious as well as being packed with cheesy goodness. 

The inspiration for this Easy Cheese & Broccoli Pasta came from my newly found appreciation of pasta and my obsession with tenderstem broccoli. Together they have made a tasty but really simple dish which I think the whole family would enjoy. 

I’m sure I have mentioned before that pasta wasn’t really a dish I enjoyed growing up. I found it a bit boring unless it was with spaghetti bolognese because we usually had it with the same shop bough tomato based sauce which had lumps of onion in it. Me and lumps of onion do not go well together. 

This did put me off pasta for quite a few years, but recently I can’t get enough of it! I have already shared my Skinny Creamy Chicken Sausage Pasta and Sausage, Mustard & Basil Pasta recipes with you. Although these are easy and relatively quick, you have to cook the meat so that adds some extra time. 

I wanted to come up with more vegetarian recipes because I don’t have that many as my friend Katie keeps telling me! Plus any excuse to eat tenderstem broccoli and I’m there! 

The creamy sauce for this Easy Cheese & Broccoli Pasta couldn’t be easier to make and is a real time saving element. I used mascarpone because I love it’s rich, creamy flavour. I have also used full fat mascarpone, but you could definitely use reduced fat mascarpone or even cream cheese if you would prefer. I used Parmesan to add another level of cheesy goodness. It adds great flavour but is healthier than other types of cheese such as cheddar. 

Although it pains me to say this, you could also use regular broccoli instead of tenderstem broccoli.  You would just need to cut the florets up slightly to make sure they steam quickly. 

  

This recipe doesn’t reheat particularly well as the sauce splits slightly. I don’t mind this and will still heat it up for lunch the next day. But if you don’t fancy the sauce splitting, you can always eat it cold like Mr Curly does. Talking about Mr Curly, you can use whatever pasta shape you like but just so you know, he doesn’t approve of the pasta shape you can see in the photos. He couldn’t tell me why exactly but it definitely troubled him!

5 from 8 votes
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Easy Cheese & Broccoli Pasta

This Easy Cheese & Broccoli Pasta is a perfect midweek dinner. It is quick, easy and delicious as well as being packed with cheesy goodness. 

Course Main Dish
Cuisine Italian
Keyword Cream Cheese, Broccoli, Pasta
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Servings 2
Calories 605 kcal
Author Curly

Ingredients

  • 150 g pasta
  • 1 tsp sunflower oil
  • 200 g tenderstem broccoli
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 100 g mascarpone
  • 3- ml semi skimmed milk
  • 20 g Parmesan grated
  • pinch black pepper
  • 50 ml pasta water

Instructions

  1. Cook the pasta as per the packet's instructions 

  2. While the pasta is cooking, cut the tenderstem broccoli stalks into chunks leaving the florets as they are. 

  3. Heat the oil in a frying pan on medium/high heat and add the broccoli stalks. Saute for a couple of minutes before adding the broccoli florets. Add approximately 50ml of the pasta water to the broccoli. Turn the heat down and put a lid on to allow the broccoli to steam. 

  4. Mix the mascarpone and milk together. This will take a minute or so to combine thoroughly. 

  5. After a couple of minutes, the water will have evaporated from the broccoli. Add the garlic, salt and pepper.

  6. Add the pasta to the broccoli when it is cooked al dente. Then add the mascarpone mix and stir before finally adding the grated Parmesan. 

Recipe Notes

Nutritional information is given as a guide only.

Nutrition Facts
Easy Cheese & Broccoli Pasta
Amount Per Serving
Calories 605 Calories from Fat 252
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 28g 43%
Saturated Fat 16g 80%
Cholesterol 56mg 19%
Sodium 1356mg 57%
Potassium 167mg 5%
Total Carbohydrates 58g 19%
Dietary Fiber 2g 8%
Sugars 2g
Protein 17g 34%
Vitamin A 15.6%
Vitamin C 1.1%
Calcium 21%
Iron 5.4%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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Five Fantastic Pasta Recipes for #CookBlogShare Week 43

I was drawn to these Five Fantastic Pasta Recipes for Week 43 of #CookBlogShare for their inventive and delicious ways of cooking a kitchen staple. 

Welcome to Curly’s Cooking and #CookBlogShare Week 43! I am so excited to be guest hosting this week. #CookBlogShare is a weekly link where food bloggers come to link up their delicious treats and share and comment on each other’s recipes. 

Thanks to Michelle at Flipped Out Food for hosting #CookBlogShare last week. There were so many delicious looking recipes linked up, but it was pasta that caught my eye. 

Five Fantastic Pasta Recipes 

As a child pasta was never a meal I looked forward to eating. We always had the same tomato based pasta sauce which definitely wasn’t my favourite! Then when I moved away to Uni, unlike the majority of the other students; pasta wasn’t my go-to dish. It was only been in the last year or so that I’ve realised just how versatile and delicious pasta can be.  

This is why I was drawn to these yummy looking pasta recipes and chose it as my theme for #CookBlogShare Week 43. 

Three Cheese Vegetable Lasagne 

The first recipe that caught my eye is from Jacqui at Recipes Made Easy. This Three Cheese Lasagne is packed full of delicious vegetables which help create a tasty meal which would appeal whether you’re vegetarian or not. 

Cauliflower Cheese Vegan Pasta Bake 

When I saw this Cauliflower Cheese Vegan Pasta Bake, I hadn’t even considered it would be vegan. The sauce looks so cheesy and creamy it didn’t even cross my mind. Kate at The Veg Space has created a delicious pasta dish that proves vegan recipes can be full of cheese flavour too.

Meatball Mozzarella Pasta Bake 

Now onto a yummy looking meat dish. This Meatball Mozzarella Pasta Bake from Nickki at Something Sweet Something Savoury looks so comforting and perfect for this time of year. Not only does it have meatballs in it, but Nickki has added chorizo too taking it to the next level!

Fall Rotini with Roasted Vegetables and Goat Cheese 

I love meals that consist of throwing together what you have in your fridge and cupboards. Patrick from Looney For Food came up with this Fall Rotini with Roasted Vegetables and Goat Cheese this way. I am a huge brussel sprouts fan and love the sound of the rest of the flavours in this dish. 

One-Pot Buffalo Chicken Macaroni and Cheese 

And finally, we have last week’s host Michelle from Flipped Out Food. I love how deliciously creamy this One-Pot Buffalo Chicken Macaroni Cheese looks! One pot dishes are always a hit in my book and the addition of buffalo sauce elevates this recipe further. 

#CookBlogShare Week 43

And that leads us to this week, we’d love you to join in!

I’ll visit and comment on every post that is linked up. I’ll also pin all of your recipes to the #CookBlogShare Pinterest Page and share across social media. 

Make sure if you share your recipes on Twitter and tag myself @CurlysCooking along with the regular hosts @jacdotbee @easypeasyfoodie @MonikaRecipes using the #CookBlogShare hashtag and we will do our best to retweet. 

Also use the #CookBlogShare hashtag on Instagram so we can all see each other’s posts and share the love by liking and commenting.  

You can also post your recipes on the #CookBlogShare Facebook Page so everyone can see which delicious recipes you are linking up this week!

To join in, all you need to know is:

  • You can link up any foodie posts you have. Both old and new posts are welcome as long as they have not been linked to #CookBlogShare before.
  • Link up a recipe or foodie post by clicking the blue ‘add your link’ button below and following the instructions. You can link up to 4 posts.
  • Add a link from your post back to this post (so everyone else can find it and link up too!)
  • Add the  #CookBlogShare badge to your post (Code below – for WordPress copy and paste the code below into the text view of your post).
  • Comment on some of the other recipes linked up here (at least 2 for each link you added but the more you can the better) and generally share the love with a bit of social media action!
  • Plus comment on either this post or one of the posts labelled HOST in the linky
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Just a reminder that by linking up, you are giving the #CookBlogShare hosts permission to use your pictures in a roundup and on social media if your recipe is selected as one of our favourites.

Next week’s #CookBlogShare is back to regular host Eb at Easy Peasy Foodie

Thank you for stopping by and joining in with #CookBlogShare. I can’t wait to see what you’ve all been making!

Slow Cooker Teriyaki Chicken

Tender chicken in a glossy sauce packed with flavour. This Slow Cooker Teriyaki Chicken is not only delicious, it is also a really quick dish even in the slow cooker! When I asked my followers on Facebook what recipes they wanted to see, slow cooker recipes came out on top. I am always up for developing new slow cooker recipes because I love how easy they are to prepare and then leave to do their own thing. 

When looking at the slow cooker recipes already on my blog, I realised they were either British or Mexican inspired recipes. So my inspiration was to broaden this and go Asian.  

Teriyaki Chicken is something I have always liked but never actually made myself. Well I have made it using a jar of sauce in the past, but I’m pretty sure we can’t count that! I assumed that it would be easier to buy a jar rather than make the sauce myself, but I was wrong. 

I used a recipe by Woks of Life as a base for my Slow Cooker Teriyaki Chicken to get the ratios of my sauce right. I tweaked it by adding the honey and adapted it for a slow cooker. Even though this is a slow cooker dish, it can actually be a quick slow cooker dish – yes they do exist! This Slow Cooker Teriyaki Chicken can be cooked in just over two hours. I love slow cooking, but sometimes you don’t have five plus hours to wait for a dish to come together. 

Teriyaki Chicken is something I think a lot of people will have eaten before so is a familiar dish. I recently found out that teri means ‘gloss’ and yaki means ‘to grill or sear’. So it was important to me to make sure my sauce was thick and glossy. I prefer to use chicken thighs, especially when slow cooking because I think it stays moist better than breast. 

Mr Curly gave this Slow Cooker Teriyaki Chicken a big thumbs up so I can see this becoming a regular recipe in our house. 

5 from 8 votes
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Slow Cooker Teriyaki Chicken

Tender chicken in a glossy sauce packed with flavour. This Slow Cooker Teriyaki Chicken is not only delicious, it is also a really quick dish even in the slow cooker!

Course Main Course
Cuisine Japanese
Keyword Slow Cooker, Chicken, Crock pot, Teriyaki
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 2 hours
Total Time 2 hours 15 minutes
Servings 4
Calories 710 kcal
Author Curly

Ingredients

  • 1 kg chicken thighs bones and skin removed
  • tbsp Mirin
  • tbsp light soy sauce
  • tbsp dark soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp light brown sugar
  • 1 tsp ginger grated
  • tbsp sesame oil
  • 1 tbsp cornflour
  • 2 tbsp runny honey
  • spray oil

To Finish

  • 1 tbsp cornflour mixed with water
  • 2 spring onions sliced
  • 1 tbsp sesame seeds

Instructions

  1. Remove the skin and bones from the chicken thighs and cut into large chunks.

  2. Brown the chicken thighs in the slow cooker dish on the hob with some spray oil (if you slow cooker allows). If not, do this is in a frying pan.

  3. Mix together all of the sauce ingredients in a jug. 

  4. Add the chicken back to the slow cooker and pour the sauce. Stir to coat the chicken in the sauce. Leave to cook for 2 hours on high or 4 hours on low. Stir the chicken once or twice throughout the cooking time. 

  5. Ten minutes before serving, mix the remaining cornflour with water and stir through. 

  6. Serve with boiled rice sprinkled with sliced spring onions and sesame seeds. 

Nutrition Facts
Slow Cooker Teriyaki Chicken
Amount Per Serving
Calories 710 Calories from Fat 423
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 47g 72%
Saturated Fat 12g 60%
Cholesterol 245mg 82%
Sodium 1189mg 50%
Potassium 572mg 16%
Total Carbohydrates 26g 9%
Sugars 18g
Protein 42g 84%
Vitamin A 5.1%
Vitamin C 1.4%
Calcium 5.4%
Iron 13.7%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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Slow Cooker Shredded Pork with Pineapple

This deliciously tender Slow Cooker Shredded Pork with Pineapple has flavours that make it perfect for stuffing into tacos and adding your favourite toppings. 

Something you may, or may not know about me; is my love of obsession with pork. I am constantly looking for ways to celebrate my favourite meat. What better way than to seek inspiration from one of my favourite cuisines – Mexican! 

Pork and pineapple is a combination I have loved for as long as I can remember. When I have a gammon steak, I have to have grilled pineapple with it. The sweet flavours of the pineapple compliment the pork so well which is where I started when coming up with my Slow Cooker Shredded Pork with Pineapple. 

Fresh ingredients are fantastic, but with this recipe I chose to use tinned pineapple. This is firstly because of ease, but mainly because I wanted to use the juice as well as the pineapple and a tin made this easier. You may think that the pineapple juice will make the pork too sweet, but it really doesn’t. It helps keep the meat really succulent. 

Bringing in the Mexican influence, I added some ancho chile. It doesn’t add heat at all, but a depth of flavour that works really well. So rest assured that this is suitable for children and people who don’t like any spice!

I have used this Slow Cooker Shredded Pork with Pineapple as a tasty filling for tacos because who doesn’t love tacos?! Seriously if you don’t love them comment below because I don’t believe such people exist! If you want to serve this with tacos too, I would recommend using the small corn tortillas you can now buy in most supermarkets (or online from Mexican food specialists). If you generously fill the tacos (how else would you fill them), then you should have enough for 8 tacos. For me this works as a filling dinner for two people or a starter for at least four. 

Tacos aren’t your only option though! This Slow Cooker Shredded Pork with Pineapple can be eaten simply with rice, in a tasty burrito or even just with salad. It is so versatile that you could really enjoy it with whatever you fancy!

5 from 3 votes
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Slow Cooker Shredded Pork with Pineapple

This deliciously tender Slow Cooker Shredded Pork with Pineapple has flavours that make it perfect for stuffing into tacos and adding your favourite toppings. 

Course Appetizer, Main Course
Cuisine Mexican
Keyword Pork, Pineapple
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 5 hours
Total Time 5 hours 5 minutes
Servings 4
Calories 178 kcal

Ingredients

  • 700 g pork shoulder
  • 150 ml pineapple juice
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • ½ tsp ancho chile powder
  • ½ tsp ancho chile flakes
  • ¼ tsp black pepper
  • 50 ml water
  • 432 g tin of pineapple rings

Instructions

  1. Add the pork shoulder to the slow cooker along with all of the ingredients apart from the pineapple. Lie a few slices of pineapple on top of the pork and leave set the rest aside. 

  2. Cook on high for 4 - 4½ hours. After the pork it cooked, remove it and the pineapple from the slow cooker. Shred the pork using two forks and add back to the slow cooker. 

  3. Cook the shredded pork on high for a further 30 minutes. 

  4. While the pork is finishing cooking, grill the pineapple for a couple of minutes on each side until you have dark grill marks 

  5. If serving in tacos, fill the tortillas with the shredded pork and top with the grilled pineapple, coriander and sliced chills. 

Recipe Notes

If you're serving this with tacos it makes 8 good sized tacos which I would serve for 2 people as a main course or 4 people as a starter. 

Alternatively cook for 6 - 7 hours on low. 

Nutrition Facts
Slow Cooker Shredded Pork with Pineapple
Amount Per Serving
Calories 178 Calories from Fat 63
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 7g 11%
Saturated Fat 2g 10%
Cholesterol 71mg 24%
Sodium 668mg 28%
Potassium 412mg 12%
Total Carbohydrates 5g 2%
Sugars 3g
Protein 21g 42%
Vitamin A 1.5%
Vitamin C 5.6%
Calcium 2%
Iron 7.9%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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Skinny Slow Cooker Turkey Chilli

A delicious, healthier version of a Mexican Classic. My Skinny Slow Cooker Turkey Chilli is not only tasty and healthy, it is really easy too!

Chilli Con Carne was the first meal my Mum taught me to make as a child. It is still one I make often and really love. However I do like to try and adapt tasty recipes to make healthier versions. Obviously healthier recipes can’t compromise on taste and my Skinny Slow Cooker Turkey Chilli definitely doesn’t. 

When I was making this Skinny Slow Cooker Turkey Chilli, I knew I wanted to mirror most of the flavours in my traditional Chilli Con Carne but make some tweaks. Obviously the biggest change I have made is the meat choice. Instead of minced beef, I used minced turkey. Although I use 5% fat minced beef, with turkey you can buy breast minced meat which is 2% fat. If I was buying meat to use that wasn’t being used in a highly flavoured dish, I would opt for turkey thigh mince which is approximately 5% fat. This is because it provides more flavour and adds moisture. However with this dish, there are so many tasty flavours this isn’t necessary. However as always, use whichever you prefer. 

I have also added more vegetables to my Skinny Slow Cooker Turkey Chilli as firstly they help make the dish even more delicious. They also help bulk the dish out without adding more unnecessary fat. 

As with a lot of my recipes, you can easily adapt my Skinny Slow Cooker Turkey Chilli. If you don’t like sweetcorn, leave it out. If you really love peppers, add more. You can also play around with the heat depending on your taste. Obviously everyone’s spice tolerance is different, but I would say that this has a mild to medium rating. If you are making this recipe for children or spice intolerant people, you can add less. One advantage of this recipe is that you can taste it after an hour or so to see how the flavours are developing and then add a little bit more chile powder if needed. 

You will see why I called this my Skinny Slow Cooker Turkey Chilli when you see there are just over 200 calories per portion! This makes it a healthy meal as well as a tasty meal. The rice and toppings obviously iI often take this to work for lunch without the rice for a warm and filling lunch. 

I always serve chili with rice, salad and soured cream and my Skinny Slow Cooker Turkey Chilli is no exception. Add whichever toppings you like – avocado, coriander and onion would also be good toppings to use. I like to add a sprinkling of feta cheese because it is the closest to the cheeses traditionally used in Mexican cooking. It is also better for you that cheese like cheddar. 

5 from 1 vote
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Skinny Slow Cooker Turkey Chilli

A delicious, healthier version of a Mexican Classic. My Skinny Slow Cooker Turkey Chilli is not only tasty and healthy, it is really easy too!

Course Main Course
Cuisine Mexican
Keyword Turkey, Chilli, Slow Cooker, Healthy
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 5 hours
Total Time 20 minutes
Servings 6
Calories 221 kcal
Author Curly

Ingredients

  • 500 g 2% turkey mince
  • 1 onion diced
  • 400g tin chopped tomatoes
  • 340g tin sweetcorn
  • 2 peppers sliced
  • 395g tin kidney beans in chilli sauce
  • 3-4 cloves garlic
  • tsp sea salt
  • ¼ tsp pepper
  • ¼ tsp cumin ground
  • ¼ tsp ancho chile powder
  • ¼ tsp ancho chile flakes
  • ¼ tsp chipotle chile powder
  • tbsp Mexican oregano
  • 1 red chile
  • 1 tbsp tomato puree
  • 150 ml chicken stock
  • 1 tbsp cornflour (optional)
  • spray oil

Instructions

  1. Brown the turkey mince either in the dish from your slow cooker (if it allows) or in a pan on the hob 

  2. Add all of the ingredients to the slow cooker dish 

  3. Stir all of the ingredients together and cook for 5-6 hours on high or 7-8 on low. Stir every couple of hours if possible 

  4. An hour before the end of the cooking time, look to see if the sauce needs thickening. If it is thinner than you would like, mix the cornflour with water to make a slurry and add to the dish 

  5. Serve with rice and toppings of your choice

Nutrition Facts
Skinny Slow Cooker Turkey Chilli
Amount Per Serving
Calories 221 Calories from Fat 72
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 8g 12%
Saturated Fat 2g 10%
Cholesterol 62mg 21%
Sodium 783mg 33%
Potassium 620mg 18%
Total Carbohydrates 20g 7%
Dietary Fiber 2g 8%
Sugars 7g
Protein 19g 38%
Vitamin A 10%
Vitamin C 66.5%
Calcium 4.9%
Iron 12.9%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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Garlic & Lime Chicken Thighs

My Garlic & Lime Chicken Thighs are crisp and packed full of the delicious flavours of garlic and lime. The tasty marinade does all the work for you and you can just sit back and enjoy. 

These Garlic & Lime Chicken Thighs are my version of a recipe my Mum used to make us. This recipe takes minimum effort and makes such delicious chicken so it is a win win!

I confess, I am a chicken thigh kinda girl. Whether it’s roast chicken or any other chicken, I prefer the dark thigh meat. It always seems to be more moist and has more flavour than the white breast meat. Having said that, I do not like eating thighs on the bone which is why I always choose to debone the thighs before cooking. 

This recipe is so versatile you can use whatever cut of chicken you prefer – on or off the bone. Whether you are remove the bones yourself or you buy them already deboned; make sure you thoroughly check all of the bones have been removed as sometimes there is the odd stray small piece of bone. Also remember if you are using chicken on the bone, you will need to cook the chicken for longer to make sure it is completely cooked through. 

If you would like even more delicious flavours for your Garlic & Lime Chicken Thighs, buy chicken thighs with the skin still on. This crisps up when cooking and has the tasty flavours of the marinade which makes it even better. However, if you are trying to keep this recipe as healthy as possible like I did, remove the skin and you will still have yummy chicken. 

The longer this chicken marinates, the more flavour the chicken will take on. I recommend preparing this chicken in the morning and leaving it in the fridge for around six hours. If you leave it for longer than this, the lime juice could start to ‘cook’ the chicken so it may start to turn white. 

I love cooking these Garlic & Lime Chicken Thighs on the BBQ where you can get lovely char marks and crisp the chicken up. But as the British weather is incredibly unpredictable, you can bake this in the oven just as easily. This also means you can enjoy the chicken all year round. 

Eat these Garlic & Lime Chicken Thighs hot or cold; either is very tasty. They can be served in so many different ways but I like to make a lightly spiced lime mayo that mirrors most of the flavours in the chicken. The chicken and lime mayo go really well with some salad in a flat bread which is one of my favourite ways to eat them. 

Serves 2 

500g chicken thighs, deboned
Zest of 2 limes
2 tbsp lime juice
3 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp sea salt
2 – 3 garlic cloves, minced

Lime Mayo 
50g light mayonnaise
¼ tsp garlic, minced
Pinch of sea salt
1 tsp lime juice
Pinch of chile powder (I used chipotle)

  1. Debone the chicken thighs if they aren’t already and add them to a dish or a seal-able sandwich bag 
  2. Add the rest of the marinade ingredients to the chicken and mix thoroughly. Allow to marinate for up to 6 hours 

  1. Cook on the BBQ or in an oven set to 190ºC (fan assisted 210ºC non fan) for 20-25 mins turning half way 
  2. For the lime mayo, mix all of the ingredients together in a bowl and serve with the chicken 
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Fiesta Friday cohosted by Lizet @ Chipa by the dozen and Jhuls @ The Not So Creative Cook

Baked Sweet & Sour Chicken

Once you’ve made my Baked Sweet & Sour Chicken you will never use a jar again! It is simple, delicious and you’ve probably got most of the ingredients in your cupboard already.     

I’ve never been a fan of sweet and sour sauce from a jar. Apart from it tasting quite artificial in my opinion, I also don’t like the chunks of onion it has in it. But I do really like sweet and sour, and my favourite being sweet and sour Hong Kong style. I can’t claim that this is an authentic Chinese recipe, but it is what Chinese restaurants here call meat that is fried in a crisp batter and then added to sweet and sour sauce.

I couldn’t order a takeaway every time I fancied sweet and sour so I had to make it myself. I first started making my own sweet and sour back in my first year of uni. Zoe ; my foodie friend that you’ll know if you’re a regular to my blog, and I used to make a big batch of sweet and sour to freeze for quick a quick meal. 

We used a John Torode recipe which we made using pork. The recipe then called for some deep frying action which although made the pork lovely and crisp, this effort seemed a little pointless because it softens when you add it to the sauce later. John Torode appears to have a few recipes for sweet and sour, all of which involve this frying step. 

So for my adaptation, I decided to remove the frying step altogether. It was the most time consuming step of the recipe and added a lot more calories to the dish. Therefore I left this step out, swapped to chicken which I baked and also tweaked the sauce. And voilà, you have my Baked Sweet & Sour Chicken.  

Baking the chicken gives the chicken the crisp exterior but without the extra hassle and calories. I recommend adding the baked chicken just before you serve because this will help keep the chicken at its crispest. You can definitely freeze this dish, but bear in mind the chicken will loose it’s crispiness but still be tasty. 

 Once you have made my Baked Sweet & Sour Chicken, I don’t think you will reach for a jar of sauce again. You know what is going into this sauce, there are no nasty preservatives and it really doesn’t take much effort at all. You could even skip the baked chicken stage and just brown the chicken in the pan before adding the sauce ingredients if you want to make it even quicker. Obviously I like the crisp chicken so if you have the time I would still bake the chicken. 

I’ve used spring onions because I much prefer these, but if you want to dice up some normal white onion then please feel free to. 

Serves 2 (add more chicken and you could stretch to 4)

For the marinade
2 chicken breasts, diced

1 tbsp light soy sauce
2 tbsp shaoxing rice wine
1 garlic clove, minced
3cm piece of ginger, grated

50g cornflour 

For the sauce
2 tsp sunflower oil

2 gloves of garlic, minced
3cm piece of ginger, grated
2 large peppers
4 spring onions
2 tbsp ketchup
4 tbsp shaoxing rice wine
1 tsp sesame oil
2 tbsp light soy sauce
1 tbsp light brown sugar
300g pineapple chunks/ slices – keep the juice
2 tbsp pineapple juice
1 tbsp cornflour mixed with 1 tbsp pineapple juice

To garnish
Sprinkle of sesame seeds 
1 spring onion, chopped

  1. Dice the chicken breast into chunks and add to a bowl along with the rest of the marinade ingredients. Leave to marinade for 15 minutes

  1. After the chicken has marinated, drain it
  2. Preheat the oven to 180ºC fan (200ºC non fan) and line a baking tray with a silicon mat or baking paper
  3. Add the cornflour to a shallow dish and coat the chicken in the cornflour. Make sure each piece is completed coated, but tap off any excess cornflour. Place the chicken on the prepared baking tray

  1. Bake in the oven for 10 minutes before turning the chicken and cooking for another 10 minutes
  2. While the chicken is baking, make the sauce by chopping the peppers and spring onions and mincing the garlic and ginger
  3. Add the oil to a pan on a medium heat before adding the peppers, spring onions, garlic and ginger. Let soften for around 10 minutes before adding the rest of the ingredients 

  1. Cook on a medium heat until the sauce has thickened and turns glossy. If you prefer the sauce to be a bit thicker, mix the cornflour with one tablespoon of pineapple juice to help thicken the sauce

  1. Once the chicken has cooked and just before you are going to serve, add it to the sauce and stir through to make sure it is all coated in the sauce

  1. Serve with rice and top with a sprinkle of sesame seeds and spring onions
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Bibimbap

Bibimbap is not only a delicious Korean dish but it is also a pretty dish. The lovely colours and spicy heat make this a very special and really comforting dish.

Bibimbap is a fantastic Koreon dish which means ‘mixed rice’. Although every time I have seen this dish it has been beautifully presented, it is traditionally mixed up all together. I like the idea of taking time to make a dish look beautiful only to completely mix it up before you eat it. 

It was only last year that I tried Korean food for the first time. Oddly enough it was whilst Mr Curly and I were on a trip to Copenhagen. When we’re away, food plays a huge part in our trips. We had had a very busy day walking around the city in less than ideal weather so we didn’t want to stray too far from our hotel for dinner. We did what we usually do and started to look at TripAdvisor for restaurants with good reviews near us. 

One of the best rated restaurants happened to be a Korean restaurant which was only 2 streets away. Neither of us had tried Korean food before so decided it would be a good place to go. We decided on a few smaller dishes to share including Korean Fried Chicken and then also Bibimbap. For my husband who has a chicken obsession the Korean Fried Chicken was love at first sight. 

The Bibimbap was the dish that instantly impacted me though. It was served in a traditional hot stone dish which gave the rice a delicious crispness at the bottom. I have done a bit of research when trying to recreate my own recipe and I believe this type is called dolsot bibimbap after the stone bowl it is cooked in. 

Since then I have had other Bibimbap that hasn’t had the crisp rice on the bottom as it wasn’t cooked in the dolsot and it was still delicious. My Bibimbap doesn’t have the crisp rice as I didn’t happen to have a dosot, but I don’t think it reduces from the tastiness of the dish. 

I researched lots of different Bibimbap recipes before coming up with my own. There are some things I think you need to include and others you can adapt to your taste. Obviously you need rice to make this and it is traditionally made with beef. You do also need gochujang which is a Korean staple ingredient. It is a thick fermented soybean paste (stay with me) that is quite spicy. You will probably need to get this from your Asian supermarket but it is definitely essential. 

The sauce for this Bibimbap is quite spicy, especially if you taste it on its own. When it’s mixed in the dish I think it does mellow slightly. If you are worried about the level of spice, you could reduce the amount of gochujang slightly. But I really do recommend making this dish a little spicy if you can handle it!

I think you do really need to include a fried egg on top and some beansprouts, but feel free to add any combination of vegetables. Mushrooms, spinach and kim chi are other popular toppings. Personally, I don’t mind the extra effort of cooking them separately, but if you wanted to make this dish quicker then you could cook them all together. 

I think this dish is really comforting and so delicious. I wouldn’t usually associate spicy food with comfort, but believe me this really is. It isn’t a dish to be eaten with chop sticks, a spoon is definitely advised. Get comfy on the sofa with a big bowl of this and put a film on – instant comfort! 

For the meat
200g beef mince
1 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp sesame oil
½ tsp minced garlic

1 tsp sugar
 

For the sauce
1 tbsp gochujang paste
½ tsp sesame oil
½ tsp sugar
2 tbsp water
½ tbsp sesame seeds
½ tsp apple cider vinegar
½  tsp minced garlic

For the vegetables and toppings
1 medium carrot, peeled
1 courgette
Handful of beansprouts
1 tsp vegetable oil 
¼ tsp salt 
200g rice
2 eggs + 1 tbsp oil 
Sprinkle of sesame seeds 

  1. Add the beef mince to a bowl along with the rest of the marinade ingredients and allow to sit for at least 15 minutes whilst you prepare the rest
  2. Mix all of the sauce ingredients together in a bowl and set aside. You want it to be thin enough to be able to drizzle so add a touch more water if needed

  1. Cook the rice as per the packet instructions with a pinch of salt
  2. Julienne (cut into matchsticks) the carrot and courgette 

  1. Heat a small amount of the oil in a frying pan over a medium/low heat. Add the carrot and cook slowly until they have taken on some colour and softened. Season with a pinch of salt and set aside – you may want to keep them in a very low temperature oven on the bottom shelf to keep them warm once cooked

  1. Repeat with the courgette and beansprouts and set aside

 

  1. Using the same frying pan as you have cooked the vegetables in, on a high heat add the beef mince and cook for 5 minutes or until cooked through and starting to get crispy. Add a small amount of oil if needed 
  2. Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in another frying pan and cook the eggs 
  3. To serve, add the rice to the bottom of the bowl and flatten the top. Place the cooked vegetables and meat in a circular pattern keeping each ingredient separate 

  1. Add the fried egg to the top and drizzle with as much of the gochujang sauce as you want. Finish with a sprinkle of sesame seeds
  2. To eat, mix all of the ingredients together 
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Chicken & Ham Hock Filo Pie

My Chicken & Ham Hock Filo Pie is a lighter way to enjoy a pie, perfect for #BritishPieWeek. A delicious creamy filling packed with chicken and ham hock and topped with crisp filo pastry. 

Pies are a British Institution. As a nation we do love our pies and this can be seen by just how many variations of pies there are. There are so many different pies out there with lots of variations of fillings and pastry used. 

Technically I think a pie is defined as a pastry lined dish usually topped with pastry. I however think pies can also just be topped with pastry. Apologies if this offends you but I’m still going to refer to my dish as a pie even though it isn’t pastry lined!

I do love a pie, they are comforting and delicious. I don’t associate pies with healthy eating however as the pastry is usually quite calorific. The fillings can also be quite rich which isn’t always what you’re looking for. 

This is why I came up with my Chicken & Ham Hock Filo Pie as a lighter way to enjoy a pie. Using filo pastry as a pie topping isn’t a new idea, but it is far lower in calories than a lot of other types. Not only is it healthier, but it is also far lighter and less dense than shortcrust pastry, for example. This makes this pie perfect for enjoying in spring and even summer. 

This pie is a great way to use up leftover roast chicken to make a completely new meal. If you don’t have any leftover chicken, you can do what I did and cook a few chicken thighs. The ham hock can be easily substituted to what you have to hand too. I love ham hock but haven’t found any to cook myself yet. Most supermarkets these days sell packs of cooked ham hock in the cold meat section. If you didn’t want to use ham hock, you could chop up some ham or add some cooked bacon lardons. 

Although this pie has a lovely creamy sauce, it is actually less than 400 calories per portion. For a creamy pie, personally I think this is pretty good. You can serve this with whatever you like, but I served it with tenderstem broccoli and rainbow carrots I saw in M&S. I wish I could get these carrots in my local shop because they were so delicious and gave the dish some lovely colour. 

 

5 from 1 vote
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Chicken & Ham Hock Filo Pie

My Chicken & Ham Hock Filo Pie is a lighter way to enjoy a pie, perfect for #BritishPieWeek. A delicious creamy filling packed with chicken and ham hock and topped with crisp filo pastry. 

Course Main Course
Cuisine British
Keyword Chicken, Pie, Healthier Pie
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Servings 4
Calories 391 kcal
Author Curly

Ingredients

  • 1 tsp vegetable oil
  • 1 large leek sliced
  • 3 tbsp plain flour
  • 1 ½ tbsp olive oil
  • 250 ml chicken stock
  • 250 ml semi skimmed milk
  • 1 tsp fresh thyme or ½ tsp dried thyme
  • 1 tbsp wholegrain mustard
  • ½ tsp sea salt
  • Pinch of black pepper
  • ¼ tsp mustard powder
  • 150 g cooked chicken shredded
  • 100 g ham hock
  • 5 sheets filo pastry
  • Spray oil

Instructions

  1. Add the vegetable oil to a frying pan of a medium heat and add the sliced leek. Stir for approximately 10 minutes until soft

  2. Remove the leeks from the pan and set aside. In the same pan, add the olive oil and the flour. Stir to create a paste and cook for a minute 

  3. Slowly add the chicken stock whisking to make sure it is all absorbed before you add more

  4. Once all of the stock has been added, gradually pour in the milk and whisk to combine

  5. Add the thyme, wholegrain mustard, salt, pepper and mustard powder and simmer for a couple of minutes until the sauce thickens 

  6. After the sauce has thickened, add the cooked chicken, ham hock and leeks. Stir though to make sure everything is coated in the sauce

  7. Preheat the oven to 180ºC (fan or 200ºC non fan assisted). Pour the pie filling into a dish

  8. Unwrap the filo pastry and crumple each sheet on top of the pie filling – this doesn’t have to be neat

  9. Once the pie is completely covered with the filo pastry, spray thoroughly with oil and put in the oven for 30 minutes or until the pastry is golden brown

Recipe Notes

I use a baking dish approximately 20x20cm and 4cm deep

Nutrition Facts
Chicken & Ham Hock Filo Pie
Amount Per Serving
Calories 391 Calories from Fat 351
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 39g 60%
Saturated Fat 10g 50%
Cholesterol 56mg 19%
Sodium 2236mg 93%
Potassium 564mg 16%
Total Carbohydrates 195g 65%
Dietary Fiber 7g 28%
Sugars 4g
Protein 43g 86%
Vitamin A 1.9%
Vitamin C 0.4%
Calcium 12.2%
Iron 69.9%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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