Meal Inspiration Monday- Chicken Katsu Curry

 

Katsu curry is a meal which I always seem to order when we go to Waggamama. We do not live that close to one I think the local one is around 30 mins drive and then it does mean that we spend a lot of money on food. I wanted to be able to make my own Katsu curry at home finally I  I managed around Christmas time. I may have to make this again because I am craving Katsu Curry.  The recipe which I actually used came from an old Asda magazine but they share recipes in you can find a lot of them on Pinterest. If you do not know what Katsu Curry is it is a Japanese curry which is completely different from any other curry which I have actually tried.  This recipe does even allow you to make the pickled veg and egg fried rice which sometime is served with Katsu curry of course this is an element which you do not have to include.

Ingredients – Serves 6

For the Chicken Katsu

4tbsp plain flour

1 beaten large egg

80g fresh breadcrumbs

2tbsp sesame seeds

3 Chicken Breast Fillets sliced in half

Rapeseed oil, for frying

For the curry sauce

1tbsp rapeseed oil

1 large chopped onion

1 large diced carrot

2 crushed cloves garlic

3cm piece grated ginger

3tbsp mild curry powder

500ml chicken stock

1tbsp clear honey

1 tbsp light soy sauce

1 star anise

1/2 tsp chilli flakes

1 bay leaf

For Pickled Veg

4 sliced radishes

1/4 cucumber, halved, deseeded and sliced

1 medium carrot, peeled and finely sliced

1 red chilli, finely sliced

2tsbp rice vinegar

1tsbp caster sugar

For Egg Rice

275g Jasmine Rice

125g Frozen Peas

1 Large Carrot Diced

2 Large Beaten Eggs

2tbsp Rice Vinegar.

Method
  1. To make the pickled veg, toss the sliced vegetables, chilli, rice vinegar and caster sugar together in a bowl until the sugar dissolves. Then set aside until needed later.
  2. To make the curry sauce, heat the oil in a pan on medium and fry the onion and carrot for 5-6 mins, until soft
  3. Add the garlic, ginger and curry powder and cook for 2 mins. Sprinkle in the flour then gradually add the stock, stirring constantly
  4. Add the honey, soy sauce, star anise, bay leaf and chilli flakes, then simmer for 15 mins
  5. Remove the star anise and bay leaf, then blitz the sauce with a handheld blender until smooth. Keep warm until needed.
  6. To make the egg rice, bring a large pan of water to the boil. Add the rice and simmer for 12 mins.
  7. Add the peas and carrot and cook for 3 mins. Swirl the water, pour in the eggs and cook for 2 mins.
  8. Drain through a sieve and return to the pan then stir through the vinegar, then allow to sit.
  9. To make the katsu, put the flour and beaten egg on separate plates
  10. Mix the breadcrumbs and sesame seeds, then put on a third plate. Dip the chicken in the flour, then the egg and then the crumb mixture.
  11. Heat the oil in a large frying pan over a high setting. Fry the chicken for 5 mins on each side until crisp, golden and cooked through inside. You will probably need to do this in 2 or 3 batches. Once cooked cut the chicken into wide strips.
  12. Serve and top with katsu sauce,and pickled veg.

This katsu curry is actually fun this is for sure something that Joe and I will be making again in the future. It is cheaper to make than going out and eating at waggamamas and it does give you some bonding time if you cook with your partner which is something which we tend to do. In total I think it took us around an hour to make this meal however, it was full of flavour and was a meal which I enjoyed. To be honest it did taste as good as the waggamamas offering which they have on their menu.

Have you ever made Katsu Curry?

 

Charlotte xxx

 

 

Meal Inspiration Monday- Cheesey Bacon and Sausage Carbonana

 

It’s Monday again which means that it is time to share with you another recipe which I have made. Today I am going to share a pasta dish which is something which I have not done for a long time. Recently, you will know if you read my meal plans that we had a cheesey bacon and sausage carbonana. It came around because we had some sausages which needed to be used up so I turned them into this tasty meal.  It was a pretty simple dish but the twist of having sausage in it was something which I really enjoyed.  I feel like this meal was actually very comforting and warm and we actually had it during a cold spell when that is what you want to consume.

Ingredients- Serves 6

5 Tablespoons of soft butter

2 eggs

2 egg yolks

360ml double cream

150g cooked spaghetti

450g sliced sausage

225g bacon cut into pieces

1-2 teaspoons crushed garlic

115g Parmesan Cheese

115g Italian Blend Cheeses

Method
  1. In a small bowl, cream the soft butter by beating it against the side of the bowl with a wooden spoon until it is soft and fluffy.
  2. In another small bowl, beat the eggs and egg yolks with a whisk until they are well blended, then stir in 50g grated cheese. Set both bowls aside.
  3. Put the spaghetti into the boiling water and stir with a wooden spoon to be sure the strands don’t stick to one another. Stir occasionally, about 7-12 minutes.
  4. Add oil to the pan and fry the bacon and sausage fry until browned then flip over the sausage.
  5. Once sausage is cooked move the cooked sausages to the side of the pan, reduce heat and add your garlic and blend in with your cooked sauage.
  6.  Stir in the cream to bacon and sausage. Bring the cream to a simmer and keep it warm until the spaghetti is done.
  7. When the spaghetti is cooked, drain it thoroughly in a large colander.  Stir in the creamed butter, tossing and turning the spaghetti with tongs to coat every strand.
  8. The stir in the hot bacon, sausage and cream mixture and finally the beaten eggs and cheese, mixing everything together thoroughly.
  9. The heat of the pasta and other ingredients should cook the raw egg on contact.
  10. Taste and season with garlic salt and a few grindings of pepper.

I think this meal only took around 20-30 minutes which is not very long. These does mean that you can make this on a work night.

Have you ever thought about doing a twist on carbonana? I loved the twist which we did on this meal.

Charlotte xxx

Meal Inspiration Monday- Pork Schnitzel

It’s Monday so it is time to share with you another recipe which we have made recently. Today I am going to be sharing with you a recipe for Pork Schnitzel. Like last weeks this is something which Joe choose out of one of the cookery books we have. I seem to remember it is a Hairy Bikers Recipe. I will admit that Pork is something which we do not consume that much of for some reason.

Ingredient- Serves 2

2 Pork Loin Steaks

50g fresh breadcrumbs

Finely Grated 1/2 a lemon zest

1tbsp Thyme

1 tbsp Paprika

2 tbsp fat- free natural yogurt

Salt and Pepper

Method

Preheat the oven to 200/ Gas 6.

Cut any fat off the pork steaks and place between two pieces of cling film. Bash the pork with a rolling pin. (My favourite part). Try and keep the shape you want to bash the pork till it is around 1cm thick.

Remove from the clingfilm and season with salt and pepper.

Place the breadcrumbs in a bowl with the lemon zest, thyme, paprika and a good pinch of salt and some black pepper. Mix this all together well.

Scatter a 1/4 of the mixture over a large plate ready to make the pork schinitzel.

Put the yoghurt into bowl. Take a pork steak and then dip it into the yoghurt until lightly covered on both sides.

Press the crumbs on to the pork until evenly covered on both sides. Put the pork schnitzel on the baking tray and then bake for between 12-15 minutes.

This meal was so easy to prepare so it could be very easily made on a weekday. There was so much flavour in the meat which is not something you get with the supermarket offerings.

Have you ever made your own pork schnitzel?

Charlotte xxx

Meal Inspiration Monday- Italian Chicken Bake

Chicken is something which we love to eat in this family. I think one of the reason why this is the case is because there are so many different things which you can do. The Italian chicken bake is supposed to be a twist on actually pizza because it does have the same ingredient as the pepperoni pizza. I know if I was going to make this Italian chicken bake again I would actually serve with pasta in order to make sure this soaked the sauce up. This is one which I could make easy on a weekend because it does take around 45 minutes. This includes the preparation time.

Ingredient- Serves 4

1 Chopped Onion

1 tbsp Olive Oil

3 Diced Chicken Breast Fillet

2 Peeled and thinly sliced garlic

2 tsp Dried Oregano

2 x 400g tins chopped tomatos

125g Mozzaraella cheese thinly sliced

50g Sliced pepperoni

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 180f
  2. In a frying pan add the oil and then fry the onion until this is translucent.
  3. Add the diced chicken and fry until brown for 5 minutes. Add the garlic and oregano for another 1-2 minutes.
  4. Pour in the tomatoes and then allow it to bubble for 5 more minutes.
  5. Pop the mixture into an ovenproof dish topping it with mozzeraella and then pepperoni.
  6. Bake for 25 minutes until the pepperoni starts to curl.

The Italian chicken bake is something which we shared served with the garlic bread. You may have seen this in our meal plan a couple of weeks ago. For sure this is another meal which I will be making in the future, it is one which I would not have thought about. I think this is going to be a meal which I could serve with in the summer with salad.

Have you made something like this Italian Chicken Bake?

Charlotte xxx

Meal Inspiration Monday- Chicken and Chilli Burgers

Today I am back with another meal inspiration Monday. This is one which is inspired by Joe because he actually choose it. He actually found the recipe when he was flicking through one of the cookbooks which we have. The meal which he chose this week was Chicken and Chilli burgers. You may have seen it in our meal plan last week. This is a simple burger which we both enjoyed so much so I know it is one which we will be making again in the future.

This is a healthy option when it comes to burgers it also does not take too long. Plus a huge bonus for me is that it can be frozen for those meals I need when Joe is not home.

Ingredient- Serves 4

1 Onion peeled and quatered

4 Chicken breast fillets

2 Garlic cloves peeled and halved

2 Red Chillies Deseeded

Salt and Pepper

1 tbsp plain flour

1 Egg

Method

  1. Put the onion, chicken , garlic and chillies in a food processor.
  2. Season with salt and pepper and pulse DON’T turn it into a paste.
  3. Tip the mixture out into a bowl and mix in the flour and egg
  4. Use your hands, scoop a small handful of the mixture, roll and then flatten into a burger.
  5. Chill in the fridge to firm up.
  6. Heat on the grill. The burgers on a medium heat for 8-10 minutes on each side until golden and cooked through.

These in total take around 30 minutes including the prep time. You could always prepare them before you go to work or the night before if you are short of time on an evening. But you fancy the Chicken and Chilli burgers for sure they are something we will be making again. I think I could see me doing these for an BBQ which we host in the summer. They are healthy and so full of flavour.

Have you ever thought of having Chicken and Chilli Burgers?

Charlotte xxx

Baking- Raspberry Heart Cookies

Baking is something which I love to do, I find it therapeutic. With Valentine’s Day coming up I thought I would create something which ties in with the theme. Hearts is something which is symbolic with Valentines so this is why I created the raspberry heart cookies. These are cute, easy to make and also great mix of been light and sweet.

These are super easy to make which means that you could make them with your children. In the future I can see this been something I do with Jess as she loves to bake. You do not have to make them raspberry at all you can use any flavour jam. Some of the ones which I made ended up been strawberry due to it been the only type of Jam which we had in.

Prep Time- 10 Minutes

Cook Time- 10 Minutes

Serves- 11 depending on size of your cookie cutter

Ingredients

2 TSP Almond Extract

113g Butter

135g Sugar

240g Plain Flour

Raspberry Jam

Utensils– Baking Tray, Heart Cutter, Rolling Pin

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 170
  2. Add the sugar and butter and mix together
  3. Once this is creamed add the plan flour
  4. This then should be all mixed when you add the 2 tsp almond
  5. Roll out your mixtures
  6. Use the heart cookie cutter and cut out the cookies
  7. Place them in the oven and bake for 10 minutes
  8. Leave to harder and cool.
  9. Use the same heart cookie cutter to spread the Jam over the heart biscuit
  10. Serve and enjoy

These raspberry heart cookies go really nice with a cup of coffee. These could be a great valentine’s day present for your other half. They are also great to have as a cheeky treat for sure they are something I will be making again.

What cookies do you like to make?

Charlotte xxxx

Meal Inspiration Monday- Bacon and Leek Riscotto

If you have read my meal plans you will know that bacon and leek risotto is something which I made recently. The reason behind this was the fact that I had some leek to use up and wanted something warm. I was searching online for something to make and this is when I came across a bacon and leek risotto recipe. I for some reason thought that it was going to be super hard to make. This could not have been further from the truth. This is a meal which you could make after work if you wished.

Ingredient -Serves 4

1 tbsp olive oil

6 rashers back bacon finely chopped

2 leeks halves then finely sliced

250g risotto rice

750ml Hot chicken stock

175g frozen peas

3tbsp soft cheese

Utensils- Frying pan, Knife, Wooden spoon, Ovenproof dish with lid,

Method

1.Heat oven to 200C/180C fan

2. Add bacon to frying pan and fry for 2 mins. 

3. Add leeks and fry for a further 4-5 mins until soft

4. Tip Rice in and cook for a further 1 minute

5. Pour hot chicken stock

6. Transfer into overproof dish and cover

7. Place in oven for 20 minutes stirring half way through

8. When rice is just tender and all liquid is absorbed, remove from oven and stir in peas. Place back in oven for 2 mins more

9. Remove from oven and stir in the cheese.

This is so simple and takes under 40 minutes to make a tasty and filling bacon and leek risotto. I think that this was an easy way of using some leftover which would have otherwise got thrown away.

Have you ever made a risotto from scratch?

Charlotte xxx

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 6 rashers smoked back bacon, roughly chopped
  • leeks, halved lengthways and finely sliced
  • 250g risotto rice
  • 700ml hot chicken or vegetable stock
  • 175g frozen peas
  • 3 tbsp soft cheese
  • zest 1 lemon

Meal Inspiration Monday – Beef In Black Bean Sauce

Chinese food is one which is my weakness I love it for sure. However, having takeaways can be very expensive let alone the amount of salt that can go into the meals. At the moment I am trying to eat a little bit more healthier and save money. So we made our own homemade Chinese last week I shared the special chow mein and today it is the turn of the beef in black bean sauce. This is something which we order more times than not when we order a Chinese takeaway. We found that when we made it there was more flavour than when we have had it from the takeaway and for sure more sauce.

Ingredient serves 4

1tbsp cornflour

2tbsp rice win

120g sachet black been sauce

100ml cold water

400 rump or sirloin steak

1 medium onion

2 tbsp sunflower oil

2 peppers cut into 3cm strips

2 garlic cloves very thinly sliced

20g ginger finely sliced

Salt

Pepper

Utensils- small bowl, spoon, frying pan

Method

  1. Mixed the cornflour with the rice wine in a small bowl until smooth. Following this stir in the black bean sauce and water and put to one side.
  2. Trim all the fat from the beef and cut into 5cm wide strips then season with salt and pepper.
  3. Heat 1 teaspoon of oil in a large non-stick frying pan. Fry the beef until browned. This will take around 6 minutes. Remove the meat from the pan.
  4. Stir fry the onion and peppers for another 4 minutes. Or until they are softened and lightly coloured. Add the garlic and ginger for another minute.
  5. Return the meat to the pan and pour over the sauce and stir fry for another 2-3 minutes. Or until the beef is hot and glossy.

What meal do you order from the takeaway and wish you could make it home for a fraction of the price.

Charlotte xxx

Meal Inspiration Monday- Special Chow Mein

This time of year many people are trying to cut down on the amount of takeaway which they consume. Usually, there are a couple of reasons why this may be the case it is because they are either trying to save money after a expensive period of time. Or the other reason is that they are trying to eat a little bit healthier. If I told you I had a recipe which would save you money on your regular special chow mein, it is healthier and still packed with as much flavour would you believe me.

Special chow mein was part of the homemade Chinese which we had on new years eve. Since then I have vowed if it is possible that I would make this every time instead of ordering a takeaway. I found that it was not flooded with water or sauce like they can be when you order them from the takeaway. I am going to share with you the recipe which I used to create this special chow mein dish.

Ingredients – Serves 4

100g dried medium egg noodles

1 1/2 tsp sunflower oil

1 medium red onion

2 peppers

2 medium thinly sliced carrots

2 tsp cornflour

1 tbsp light soft brown sugar

3 tbsp dark soy sauce

2 tbsp rice wine (mirin)

100ml cold water

150g cooked and peeled prawns

75g frozen peas

20g chunk fresh root ginger

3 garlic cloves thinly sliced

100g bean sprouts

Utensils

Medium saucepans, wok, sieve and wood spoon.

Method

  1. Half fill a medium saucepan with water and bring to the boil add the noodles for 3 minutes or until tender. Once this has been done drain in a sieve under running water until cold and toss with 1/2 teaspoon of sunflower oil. Then set aside until later.
  2. Heat the remaining oil in a large wok. Fry the chicken and the onion over high heat for 2-3 minutes or until they lightly brown.
  3. Add the pepper and carrots and fry for a further 2 minutes more.
  4. While this is frying mix the cornflour and sugar together in a bowl, gradually stir in the soy sauce, mirin and water and put to one side.
  5. Add the cooked noodles, prawns, peas, ginger and garlic to the pan. Add some grinds of black pepper and stir-fry together for 2-3 minutes. Or until the noodles, prawns and peas are hot.
  6. Give the soy mixture a good stir and pour into the pan. Add the bean sprouts and toss everything together for 1-2 minutes or until everything is pipping hot.

As you can see this is a very easy meal to make and take you less time to cook than it would for the Chinese you order from to deliver. I found that it was so full of flavour and a meal which for sure will be on our radar to make again it was that tasty.

Have you every made special chow mein or is it a dish you order from the Chinese.

Charlotte xxx

Meal Inspiration Monday- Spicy Sausage Chilli

 

Something which I love to consume in the winter is a chilli. For me it is one of those hearty warm meals which warms me up after a cold hard day. This is something which I have consumed so many times when I have been growing up and has become a staple. I have even managed to cook it when I was living away at university on a budget. When we moved house and I actually purchased the Hello Fresh cook book. I found a variation which used Sausage this is something which I have made several times since and I love. I think it may be one of my favourite meals I have had the book.  Today I am going to share with you the recipe.

Ingredient – Serves 2

1 Leak

1 Red Pepper

4 Sausages

1 Clove Garlic

1 Tin Chopped Tomatoes

1/2 Bunch Chives

1 Tin Kidney Beans

1.5 tsp Paprika

1.5 tbsp Ground Cumin

1 Beef Stock Pot

Utensils

Knife, Frying Pan , Sieve,Bowl

Method
  1. Remove the dark green top and the bottom root from the leek. Cut in half length ways, then slice into thin half moon shapes. Peel and grate the garlic. Remove the core from the red pepper and chop into small 1cm chunks. Chop the chives into ½cm pieces.

2. Put a large frying pan on medium-high heat and drizzle in some oil. Add your leek and pepper and cook for 5 mins till softened.

3. Remove the sausage from the skins, you can get rid of the skin. Drain the kidney beans.

4. After the 5 minutes of the Leeks cooking add the sausage meat to the pan. Cook this for a further 5 mins making sure you break down the sausage meat so it cooks evenly. During this time it should go brown when this is up add a pinch of salt and black pepper.

5. Once you have done this add in the  garlic, smoked paprika and ground cumin. Mix together and cook for a further 1 minute.

6. Pour the chopped tomatoes into the pan, rinse the tin out and then add a 1/4 of a tin of water and mix it together.

7. Add the beef stock pot and stir until dissolved, then add your kidney beans. Stir together and cook for a futher 10-12 mins, until your chilli is thick. The consistency you would expect chilli to be.

8. You may want to season with some salt and pepper.

I serve mine sometimes on it’s own as I find the chilli to be very filling. I have also served it with rice and also tortillas which have been toasted or even the cheap slightly salted Doritos. You could serve it with whatever you would like.

Have you tried using sausage in chilli?

 

Charlotte xx