Chicken Caesar Sandwich

It’s been a long time since I last blogged!  Following the birth of my twins, I’ve been waiting for the right moment to return and last night I finally felt inclined to take some pictures of the food knowing I had a bit of free time this morning to write about it!  I thought this recipe would link in well with my previous post of Chicken Caesar Salad and would give me the chance to test an alternative caesar dressing.

This one didn’t use mustard but lemon juice and worcester sauce instead (full ingredients at the bottom of the post) and overall I’m not really sure which one I prefer.  Both have their merits.  This one was more runny for sure so made the eating a bit messier.  But taste wise, both are good!

I started by cooking the chicken breast on 180 C for 20 mins and then prepared the caesar sauce in the meantime.  I mixed all the sauce ingredients together well and added half to some chopped lettuce leaves.  Then I toasted the ciabatta for a couple of minutes, placed the cooked chicken on top, then the dressed lettuce, ham and added some more caesar sauce and Parmesan shavings.

In terms of overall recipe I would say I preferred the Caesar salad as it is easier to eat (a knife and fork help!) but this was a tasty alternative and a great, fast homemade snack albeit not the healthiest!  Life with twins has definitely led to repeating more of the same meals over and over so this made a welcome change last night🙂

Ingredients (serves 2-3)

1 chicken breast

2 pieces of cooked ham/parma ham torn into small pieces

Mixed lettuce leaves

2 ciabattas

6 tablespoons of mayonnaise

6 tablespoons of lemon juice

Sprinkling of worcester sauce

Salt and pepper

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Filed under Chicken, Food, Ham, Sandwich

Quiche with ham, leek, mushroom and cheese


In my recent quest to do relatively simple recipes that are favourite dishes but I’ve never made myself before, I decided upon quiche.  The timing worked quite well as we bought a replacement motor for our blender so this saved me some mixing of the pastry.

I found inspiration in one of my favourite cooking books; Little Paris Kitchen by Rachel Khoo.  She has a nice recipe for Quiche Lorraine which this was intended to be until I found I had no lardons or bacon in the fridge!  This item is a usual staple in our fridge so an indicator of time to go shopping!

I started the recipe by mixing 90g of butter with 1 teaspoon of sugar and a pinch of salt in the blender until it was quite creamy.


Then I added in 180g of plain flour followed by 2 eggs yolks and 2 tablespoons of ice cold water.



I blended this mixture some more until the dough came together.  I then took it out of the blender and rolled into a ball with my hands, wrapped in cling film and put in the fridge for about 1.5 hours (you can do this from 1 hour – overnight though).


Then, upon the discovery of the lack of lardons/bacon, I chopped some cheddar cheese and tore up the remaining piece of ham I had in the fridge.


I also softened a leek with a few mushrooms to supplement the ingredients.


I took the dough from the fridge and placed between two pieces of baking paper and rolled out as close to the size of the baking tray as I could (25cm).



For the remainder of the filling, I beat 4 eggs with 2 egg yolks, adding about 100ml of creme fraiche and 200ml of double cream and mixed together with a teaspoon of salt and a little bit of ground pepper.


I then lined the baking tin as best I could and used the remaining 2 egg whites to coat the pastry.  If I’d rolled the pastry for longer I suspect I could have filled the sides a little bit better (it is also quite a high baking tin!) but I was getting quite tired and my hope was that the filling would cover the sides well….


I then added my improvised ingredients before pouring the egg and cream mixture over the top and putting in the oven for 35 mins on 180 degrees.



Having just eaten a sample I can say the taste is good; nice and simple!  I like the combinations of ingredients and the thing I’m most pleased with is the pastry.  I hardly ever make it, it’s something that always scares me a little but it turned out well cooked and thin🙂

I think if I would change one thing it would be to add more herbs or maybe some more black pepper to give it a bit more flavour.  Otherwise more cheese!  Everything tastes better with more cheese!!!





Filed under Cheese, Eggs, Ham, Quiche, Simple, Vegetables

Hummus baked chicken with spinach and lemon, chilli breadcrumbs

Following on from my hummus recipe the other day, I had some left over and wanted to use it within another recipe, within cooking and not just as a dip.

I found this one on the internet which looked pretty good:

And I supplemented it with another recipe I found using spinach and breadcrumbs:

It was simple enough to do; spreading the hummus on the chicken breasts and placing over the chopped vegetables and sprinkling over lemon juice and some paprika.



The breadcrumbs were also pretty fast and resulted in a really nice smell while cooking.



The two recipes worked really well in combination and it was a good way of using up the hummus and a nice take on spinach to give some different flavours.  Sometimes I can find spinach a bit bland but I like to eat it due to the health benefits so this was a great way of making it more interesting.  I really enjoyed the zesty flavour in the breadcrumbs from the lemon and my only change would be that next time would add more chilli (I used about 1/4 teaspoon of chilli powder rather than a whole chilli) to give it more of a kick.

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Filed under Chicken, Hummus, Leftovers

Simple hummus


This simple recipe has been on my list for a while in terms of something that I always meant to get round to making, something that is simple but maybe for that reason, I hadn’t quite got there yet.

I wanted to do a simple one first and without tahini and then with the intention of adding extra flavours to future recipes to experiment.  One of my favourites that I remember eating was a shop bought lemon and coriander hummus.  So that shouldn’t be too much of a stretch after this one.

As I said, the ingredients are pretty simple:

Juice of one lemon

4-5 tablespoons of olive oil

1 clove of garlic

A generous sprinkle of cumin

580g jar of chickpeas (drained)


Just the chickpeas missing – they were being drained at the time!

I simply put all these ingredients into a blender and mixed until smooth.  I have to say that my initial recipe started with 3 tablespoons of olive oil which I increased to make the mixture smoother and also I added cumin to my taste (I really like it so probably added about half a teaspoon in total).





When I put the hummus into pots I used glass as I heard it keeps longer that way and also added olive oil on the top to preserve it a little.  I’ve read various opinions on how long it keeps in the fridge and the consensus seems about 1 week.  As I made enough for 3-4 people I think it will be gone in a couple of days so I’m not worrying too much about this, this time!

Like many recipes, this is one I wish I had made earlier because it is so simple and tasty.  I’m looking forward to experimenting with more flavours to perfect my favourite🙂

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Filed under Hummus, Simple Snack, Vegetarian

Slow cooked shoulder of lamb


For our special New Year’s Eve meal this year, we decided upon lamb.  The original aim was leg of lamb but upon a disappointing shopping trip on 30th, we opted for lamb shoulder due to availability.  One word of caution; pretty expensive!

I scoured the internet for recipes when we got back and found this one:

Mary Berry is better known for her baking but as I’m a big fan of hers, I was keen to give a savoury recipe a go.

First I made the mint sauce earlier in the day.  Very straightforward; just mixing the honey, white wine vinegar and chopped mint together in a bowl and storing in a bowl for later.  A really good mint taste was achieved and controlling the amount of sugar in the sauce was great also (compared to shop bought sauce).

I got the lamb out of the fridge about 3 hours before I started cooking it to bring it to room temperature.  Then I made the rosemary and paprika rub (with oil) and spread it over both sides of the lamb shoulder.




I made 2 pints of chicken stock and added this to the baking tray with one chopped onion before adding a rack above the tray and placing the lamb on it.


I put it in the oven for 30 mins on 220 degrees to brown it a little (next time I would do this at 200 or 210 because I think it was too high – still getting used to my new oven :-))



Then I took it out, covered it in foil and put it back in the oven for 3 hours on 140 degrees.

All fairly straightforward so far so my tips for this recipe are be careful with how much stock you use or keep an eye on it at least.  I checked it after about an hour and all the stock had dried up.  Not a big problem; I could make and add more but I was more worried about the state of the burnt baking tray under the lamb (actually it seems fine now!).  Then I think I added too much as we had an excessive amount of gravy!  Again, not a problem, as I love gravy so will be using the leftovers today!

Final tip is just the impracticality of taking out a tray filled with stock from the oven to repeatedly baste.  Even though I now have a beautiful new oven at a normal height in my new kitchen (!), still it seemed a bit precarious so the basting frequency was somewhat reduced from what was recommended in the recipe!  There are plenty of lamb shoulder recipes out there so next time I would be looking for one without stock underneath and where the lamb could sit directly in the roasting tray.

However, after all this cooking, the lamb was amazing!  Very tender, tasty and the gravy was very rich!  I loved the homemade mint sauce also.  I served it all with leek and mushrooms and we polished it off in no time.  We bought a shoulder of 1.5kg and managed to finish it between two people (with seconds of course!).  So either we are very greedy or the recipe that states 2.2kg serving 6-8 people is a little ambitious.  It’s probably a combination of both these things…



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Filed under English, Lamb, Roast, Slow cooking

Mini pizzas

I haven’t blogged for a while and was keen to get one out there before the year end!  So this one is a recipe/recipes that I have used a lot over recent months.  Partly because they are so quick, partly because they are relatively healthy, as you control the ingredients, and mainly because I have never been disappointed whatever combination of ingredients I have decided upon!

The main ingredient in this dish is the Buitoni mini pizza bases.  You get 8 in a pack so good for 4 people (2 pizzas each) or a good party size if you halve them after cooking.


From there I’ve used a base topping of either creme fraiche or tinned tomatoes.  The creme fraiche topping was inspired by a trip to France earlier in the year and I have to say it is my favourite.

I usually spread some herbs on the main sauce (basil, oregano, pesto, parsley, etc).  Well some combination of these, not all!

Then on top of that I’ve added chicken or chorizo as my meat of choice (I always pre-cook the chicken to be on the safe side).  And then some vegetables from mushrooms, onions, peppers, courgette (which I usually pre-cook if I’m doing it with chicken although it’s not really necessary).

From then I might add cherry tomatoes before the cheese (I usually choose between feta or cheddar or parmesan).

I bake them in the oven for 10 mins on 220 and enjoy a great dish afterwards.  Recently we made them with our niece so they are child friendly and can be quite a good interactive cooking dish with kids.  Also I made a few for our house warming so great party food also.  I’ve tested them on various guests that came to visit and no disappointment yet even amongst foodies.  Alternatively I have a couple with salad for my dinner.  They are an easy thing to make quickly from whatever you have in the fridge so definitely my recommendation from 2014, even if they are not the most advanced dish!  Sometimes the most simple are the best🙂

Here you have a picture of one of my favourites:


Happy New Year to anyone reading!!!

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Filed under Cheese, Chicken, French, Healthy, Italian, Pizza


The inspiration for this recipe came from the veg box again, having received three aubergines this week.  When I thought what I could do with aubergines my mind went back to growing up and my mum making delicious moussaka!

I did a quick search and the first recipe online that I found was from Rick Stein, who I love, so all in all a quick recipe search!

The day started early in the supermarket trying to get lamb mince.  I don’t think it is so common in Spain but as in all good supermarkets, they have quite an extensive butcher counter we were able to get some minced for us.  A few eyebrows were raised when we said we wanted to mince that nice piece of leg that they had but anyway we achieved our goal!

The recipe does take a couple of hours so make sure you set enough time aside.

I started by browning the onion and garlic, before adding the lamb mince and frying for 3-4 mins.  I then added the wine, tinned tomatoes, half a teaspoon of cinnamon (I didn’t have a stick) and about 1 tablespoon of dried oregano (I didn’t have it fresh!).  I then left it to simmer for about 40 mins.



I then started on the aubergine base, by cutting my aubergines lengthways into thin(ish) strips.  I used 2 rather than 3 in the end as it seemed like a fair amount already.  I think this was a wise choice also considering how full my dish got at the end!


I fried the aubergine strips in batches adding a bit of salt and pepper as I went and then layered them at the bottom of the dish.



The final step was to make the béchamel sauce.  I melted the butter, added the flour and then slowly added the milk, stirring constantly.  Then I let it simmer for 10 mins before adding the cheese and then beating in the eggs.  It made for a rich and thick béchamel.





I layered the meat sauce on the aubergines, followed by the béchamel sauce.  Fairly straightforward but clearly my dish wasn’t big enough as I couldn’t fit all the sauce in and you can see it was pretty full!  The problem I have though is that in my very small kitchen, I have a very small oven so bigger dishes are not an option right now.  But in other exciting news, the renovation of our new place is reaching the final stages so possibly my next post will be from a normal size oven but still in a relatively small kitchen🙂

Size issues aside, the recipe is great.  Yes, it does take a bit of time but it’s not complicated and the taste of the moussaka is rich and filling!








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Filed under Casserole, Cheese, Food, Herbs, Recipes, Slow cooking, Uncategorized, Vegetables