Monthly Archives: May 2012

First attempt at arancini

Not sure I am doing this reblogging correctly but you can see the original post which was my inspiration below!  Many thanks to Frugalfeeding for the idea (you can also access through the link below – it’s a great site with many mouth watering and inspiring pictures):

I’ve wanted to create this for a while and as I had so much leftover risotto, it was the perfect opportunity!  For the ingredients for the risotto base you can see the recipe below or here:

I left the risotto in the fridge overnight and then put a bit of plain flour on one plate, 1/4 of a baguette worth of breadcrumbs (!) on another plate and one beaten egg in a bowl.

I made 8 balls of risotto (for size guide see the pictures) and rolled in the flour, then the egg and finally the breadcrumbs.  I put them on an oiled baking tray and cooked in the oven for about 25 minutes on 200 degrees by which time they had a nice golden colour.

The result;  great!  Very tasty and a nice alternative to traditional risotto.  I think they would be great as a starter to a dinner party.  However, I love risotto and for me, it is quite a time investment so I think unless I had a lot of leftovers, I would serve risotto as risotto, plain and simple!



Filed under Chicken, Food, Herbs, Italian, Recipes, Rice, Starter, Uncategorized

An inspiration for my next blog!



One of the most enjoyable things about food blogging is its innate ability to furnish one with a wider knowledge of food, via the community. Though no one blog has influenced, or inspired me, in a particularly direct sense, certain ideas, as well as types of food, do tend to rub-off onto my gastronomic sleeve fairly frequently. Of course, that doesn’t mean that none of you are inspirational, you most certainly are, only that my blog has a very distinct drive and direction. This dish marks just one of the many culinary blotches which reside upon my metaphorical garments and I am so glad that it decided to transfer itself so vividly. Indeed, though they take a little time, care and preparation, arancini, which are essentially crispy balls of risotto, are exceptionally delicious, almost to the point of fatal delirium.

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I have been blogging for about two months now and am still enjoying it a lot.  I’m not cooking or blogging as much as I would like but it is more a question of time than anything else!

So after two months, I’ve finally managed to cook one of my favourite recipes and one that I’ve always got good feedback on from friends and family.  Also it will give me a chance to adapt the leftovers into a reblog very soon…

But first, the risotto!  I tend to keep the recipe quite flexible apart from a few staple ingredients of chicken, rice, chicken stock, butter, parmesan and porcini mushrooms.  I will list the full ingredients at the end of the recipe but just to say you can be flexible on the meat, fish and vegetables that you might want to use!

The first step is to fry a little butter and cook the chicken, peppers and asparagus until the chicken is starting to be golden.  Then add the onions and fresh mushrooms and cook for a couple more minutes before adding the garlic for one minute.  Then add the wine and the rice, meanwhile making the chicken stock.

With the stock I am also quite flexible with the amount!  The main thing is to have enough to cook the rice for long enough that it is not too hard (some people like a bit of bite to their rice in a risotto but my dining companions never have so I make sure it is fully cooked!).  So if I need more stock I just boil more water adding more stock cubes to the water if necessary.  At the point of making the stock I also soak the porcini mushrooms in boiling water for 10 mins or so, until needed.

With the stock, the key is adding it bit by bit (or ladle by ladle) so the rice has time to cook before adding more.  If you work on the theory that you need the process to last at least as long as it says on the packet of the rice to cook, then it is a good starting point.  Usually I would say it takes about 30 mins though; the adding, absorbing, adding stock process and it’s important to be present during all of the process to prevent the rice sticking or even worse, burning!  During the stock process I also added some basil, oregano and parsley as well as salt and pepper.

Once the rice is close to cooking I added the chopped porcini mushrooms along with the fresh chives and cooked in the risotto until the rice was fully cooked.

The final step is to add more butter and parmesan cheese, give a good stir and serve.

For me, I don’t think risotto is that complicated.  It definitely takes time and you have to be patient but if you get the stock part right and add butter and parmesan cheese, you get the result of a rich risotto!

I managed to cook enough for 6 people so as I said, I will be using the leftovers to reblog a great post I found from a fellow blogger…tbc…

Ingredients (serves 4-6)

  • 50g of butter (25g at the beginning, 25g at the end)
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • Half an onion
  • 1 chicken breast
  • 6 asparagus sticks
  • 1/4 green pepper
  • 1/4 red pepper
  • Half a pack of closed cup mushrooms
  • 500g of arborio rice
  • Chicken stock (one small saucepan full!)
  • 1 tablespoon of porcini dried mushrooms
  • Half a glass of white wine
  • 1 tablespoon of chopped fresh chives
  • 1/2 teaspoon of oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon of basil
  • 1 teaspoon of parsley
  • Salt and pepper
  • 40g of parmesan cheese


Filed under Chicken, Food, Herbs, Italian, Recipes, Rice, Vegetables

Cream of broccoli and goat’s cheese soup

This recipe is loosely based on the following:

It is very simple to make and fast too!  I substituted goat’s cheese for Stilton as this is what I wanted to use up from the fridge.  Was a nice alternative but I’m sure Stilton would be good too!

As you can see from the picture below, I just put a slice of goat’s cheese in the bottom of each bowl (rather than crumbling any cheese on top as the recipe link says):

I served it with some freshly baked bread.

It was a great recipe for using a couple of ingredients leftover in the fridge!  And not complicated at all, as you basically cook the vegetables a little and just blend everything together.

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Filed under Cheese, Food, Recipes, Soup, Starter, Vegetables

Stuffed chicken thigh with herb sauce

I am a bit behind with my aim to blog once a week but better late than never!

Yesterday in the supermarket I found “contracuixa” which is chicken thigh in English.  My main aim for this weekend was to cook some nice meat with herbs and I thought this could fit the bill.

I searched on the bbc food website and found this recipe:

It is pretty straightforward to follow apart from the fact I didn’t have any string so I couldn’t keep the chicken around the slices of pepper very well.  This was only really an issue when frying the meat.  Once in the oven it was fine!  As you will see from the photos I supplemented the dish with carrots (that I roasted in the oven along with the chicken for 15 mins in some olive oil and parsley) and also broccoli which I boiled for about 15 minutes as well.

A very simple but tasty dish!


Filed under Chicken, Food, Herbs, Recipes, Vegetables