Mid-week cheat: Turkey Satay Stir-Fry with Pilau Rice

After a busy day working nobody wants to spend hours in the kitchen preparing dinner. That doesn’t mean you have to grab a take-away or heat up a ready meal. It is easy to have a freshly cooked meal in less time then it would take to wait for the pizza guy to arrive.

Turkey Satay Stir-Fry

  • Preparation time: less than five minutes
  • Cooking time: 10-15 minutes
  • Serves: 4
  • Skill level: easy

Ingredients

  • ½ tbsp vegetable oil
  • 400g turkey breast strips
  • 200g fine beans, trimmed and halved
  • 1 orange, yellow or red pepper, seeded and sliced
  • 1 x 120g pack satay stir-fry sauce
  • 2 x 250g pouches of microwave pilau rice

Method

  1. Heat the oil in a wok over a high heat and add the turkey. Cook for three minutes, stirring until lightly golden.
  2. Add the beans and peppers and continue to stir-fry for five minutes or until softened.
  3. Pour in the satay sauce and a splash of water. Continue to cook for 1-2 minutes until the sauce is thick and the turkey is cooked through.
  4. Heat the rice to pack instructions. Divide the rice between four plates, and serve the stir-fry on top.
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Lemon Chicken with Spiced Roasted Cauliflower 

I am always on the lookout for easy, fast midweek dinners, and this recipe fits the bill perfectly. It was on the table in 45 minutes, and the kids ate it without any fuss which is always a bonus. I also liked the fact that I have found something to do with cauliflower (one of the most boring vegetables) which added a bit of flavour to it without smothering it in cheese.


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Lemon Chicken

  • Preparation time: less than five minutes plus marinating
  • Cooking time 10-15 minutes
  • Serves 4
  • Skill level: easy

Ingredients

  • 1 lemon zested and juiced
  • 4 skinless chicken breasts

Method

  1. Put the chicken fillets between two sheets of cling film and flatten with a meat mallet or rolling pin.
  2. Mix the lemon juice and zest with a little black pepper in a large shallow dish. Add the chicken and turn to coat the chicken. Marinate for a minimum of 15 minutes. (I left mine for an hour)
  3. Cook in a hot griddle pan for a minimum of 10 minutes, turning regularly. (Ensure there is no pink meat showing)

 Roasted Cauliflower

  • Preparation time: less than 5 minutes
  • Cooking time: 20-25 minutes
  • Serves: 4
  • Skill level: easy

Ingredients

  • Small cauliflower, separated into florets
  • 1 tsp coriander seeds
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp fennel seeds
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 red chilli, seeded and finely sliced (optional)

Method

  1. Heat oven to gas 7, 220°C, 200°C fan
  2. Put the florets, seeds, chilli and oil in a roasting tin. Toss well. Roast for 20-25 minutes.

Things I learned this week; coffee can fuel a workout 

An article I read this week said that recent research has confirmed that caffeine can boost your workout. It said that drinking a large coffee before working out can help you work out at a higher intensity without feeling like you are trying any harder. The same study also said that cyclist could last an additional 15 minutes after drinking caffeine one hour before their ride. So, put on the kettle and let it fuel your workout.

Apple Crumble Muffins

I love apples. Red ones, green ones, and occasionally a yellow one. I love apple cider (both the strong and non-alcoholic varieties), apple pie and apple sauce. My favourite use for an apple though is in a crumble with a big helping of custard.

The problem with apple crumble though is you are frowned upon for eating it at breakfast time, a muffin however, is something you can eat in the morning without too many people judging you, so imagine my glee when I found a recipe for an apple crumble topped muffin.

And with loads of locally grown apples appearing on the supermarket shelves every week, you can also support local farmers by giving this delicious recipe a whirl.


Apple Crumble Muffins

  • Preparation time: 15-20 minutes
  • Baking time: 30-35 minutes
  • Makes 12 muffins
  • Skill level: easy

Ingredients

For the crumble topping

  • 50g porridge oats
  • 50g demerara (or caster/granulated) sugar
  • 50g plain flour
  • 50g unsalted butter, at room temperature

For the base

  • 250g plain flour
  • 25g porridge oats
  • 175g caster/granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • finely grated zest of 1 medium, unwaxed lemon
  • 150g unsalted butter, diced
  • 2 medium eggs at room temperature
  • 100ml milk, at room temperature
  • 1 large eating apple, cored and cut into bit sized pieces.

Method

  1. Heat your oven to 190°C/375°F/Gas 5. Take your ingredients from the refrigerator, and prepare your apple and dice the butter.
  2. Make the crumble topping first by putting the oats, sugar and flour into a mixing bowl and combining by hand. Cut the butter into pieces, add to the bowl and rub into the dry ingredients with your finger tips until the mixture looks like coarse crumbs.
  3. Now make the base. Put the flour, oats sugar, baking powder and lemon zest into a mixing bowl and mix together thoroughly with a wooden spoon. Melt the butter in a small pan or the microwave (use short 10 second bursts); leave to cool. Beat the eggs and milk in a small bowl until just combined. Add the melted butter and milk mixture to the flour mix and stir gently until just combined; there is no need to beat the mixture.
  4. Spoon into the paper cases evenly. Top each with and equal amount of chopped apples, and gently press into the muffin mixture (the apples should remain visible). Cover with the crumble mixture, and gently press down onto the base.
  5. Place into the heated oven and bake for 30-35 mins until golden and just firm when gently pressed. Set the tray on a wire rack and let cool for 5 minutes before removing from the muffin tray.

The Bakeoff is back and so am I

I will begin with a confession and an apology…

Dear reader, please forgive me, it has been over a year since my last post. For that I ask forgiveness.

As way of an excuse, I will say it was a combination of life getting in a way of my blog, and an element of laziness. I am back however, and so is the Great British Bake-off, and both of us have a new home.

I have moved into a fabulous four bedroom semi in the London suburbs, and the Bake-off has switched from the BBC to Channel 4. I won’t bore you with details of my fabulous new home, but I will tell you that if you have been avoiding the new series of the Bake-off, I can only urge you to give it a go. Sure, there is no Mary Berry or Mel and Sue, but it is still the same show, just with a few new faces.

Mary Berry, sadly, has been replaced by Prue Leith, who admittedly I have never heard of, but seems to be a decent, but slightly less entertaining replacement. Mel & Sue have been replaced by Noel Fielding, and Sandi Toksvig, who seem to be a pretty decent choice.

Thankfully, however, the judges are the only thing that have changed. Essentially #GBBO is exactly the same as it was before, and for that I can only recommend that if you love watching competitive baking then you should pop over to Channel 4 and give the show a chance.

You can catch-up with the series here.