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Wednesday, 28 September 2011

Time for a freshen up

Been very busy the last couple of weeks, Work is going well and its all non stop along with moving house my life seems to be one big rush at the moment and i cannot wait till November when i get to get away for a bit.
This week i have found a little time though. And in that time i have spent it creating a new website. But boy is it fun when trying to transfer it.
I currently run my website through one particular web provider but am looking at changing it over as the web designer offers a lot more of a professional look to their finished product. However it seems that the original web provider who i am currently with do not want to let me go easily. Constantly ignoring my emails. Transferring me on a wild goose chase when i try ring their customer services on the phone. What  to do???

Well like i say the website is all created and waiting to go live however if you want you can view it here 

Have a look at be honest with me and tell me what you think of it? Do you prefer the new modern look or do you believe i should have stuck with the original style?

Out with the old
In with the new

Saturday, 17 September 2011

Warming healthy salad

Well i was roped into cooking once more last after i finished work. Was given strict orders.

"Please can you pick up my dry cleaning whilst in town"

"I really fancy something healthy how about a salad."

So there was my mission. a healthy salad. But knowin me i couldnt just do a plain salad so decided to come up with somethin that would be just right for the time of year.

In the end i decided to go for a lemon, thyme and garlic chicken salad. And i must say its a definate one for the masses. So easy. Yet so tasty.

Ingredients (for four people):

4 chicken breasts
1 lemon
Few sprigs of thyme
1 clove of garlic
Black olives
1 red onion
Cracked black pepper
3 baby gem lettuce

1. Get your chicken and slice into 2cm chunks
2. Zest and juice the lemon
3. Add few sprigs of thyme to a bowl along with the lemon zest. Add the chicken and pepper and coat the chicken in the thyme and lemon
4. Fry the chicken in a little oil for about 8 minutes
5. Whilst the chicken is frying chop your garlic and cut your olives in half
6. Slice your onion and seperate the washed leaves of the baby gem.
7. In a nice salad bowl lay out the leaves and sprinkle the onion over the top
8. After 8 minutes of the chicken cooking add the onion and garlic and cook for a further minute.
9. Remove pan from heat and the ingredients from the pan and then add oil and lemon to make a warm dressing
10. Evenly spread the chicken mix over the salad
11. Pour the dressing over the salad and serve with fresh bread

Saturday, 3 September 2011

Nice relaxing night off ??!!!?

So last night i had a well earned night off work. Yes, no cooking I thought, Maybe go out for a meal or get a takeaway with a nice glass of wine and enjoy the Indian summer evening we were having.

But no. The girlfriend had other ideas and really wanted me to cook us a nice dinner. So eventually I was persuaded and made the trip to town to get the ingredients. I had decided to go fish as it was such a nice evening.

Unfortunately I had arrived a little to late and the Fish monger in the market had just cleared up. So had to make the walk to the supermarket. I was undecided at this point what I was going to cook. But when I got to the fish counter there was all your normal supermarket mass produced fish. You know the type. The unsustainable types. Your Cods, Seabass and Salmon. But i noticed out of the corner of my eye some reduced fish, now being a chef im always on the lookout for a bargain.

They were selling Red Tilapia for just £2 a fillet, Bargain!! This fish is quite often on offer as a lot of people do not know what to do with it when it comes to cooking however it is a very simple fish to cook as ill explain later. I honestly feel more people should use these uncommon types of fish a lot more rather than always plumping for the Seabass and Cod type of fish

I rang the girlfriend and asked her if that was ok, Unfortunately she had never heard of Red Tilapia. So i ran the risk and got them anyway, Now for anyone that doesn't know Tilapia is a white meaty fish somewhere between the taste of Cod and Seabass and goes well with a variety of flavours. So I went down to the salad section i had Decided to serve it with Wilted spinach and a fresh, vibrant, rustic tomato and white wine sauce and a lemon and paprika dressing.

I got all the ingredients home along with a lovely bottle of Sauvignon and put everything in the fridge until she returned home from work

Below is the recipe i used and it is guaranteed to be a success, I give you my word.

Ingredients (serves 2)

1 Fillet of Tilapia per portion
200g tin chopped tomatoes
12 Cherry tomatoes
1 Clove of Garlic
1/2 red onion
glass white wine
500g  spinach
Juice of 1 lemon
Pinch of Paprika
4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

  1. Make sure your fish is at room temperature
  2. To make the dressing. Get your juice of one lemon and put into a bowl add the paprika and oil and oil and mix to form the dressing
  3. To make the Sauce Thinly dice your red onion and garlic and add to a hot pan with a little oil. Slice your tomatoes in half and add to the mix. 
  4. After a 5 minutes add your Tin of Chopped tomatoes and bring to a boil stirring every so often
  5. Now add the glass of white wine and reduce down for ten minutes.
  6. Get a roasting tray and add your spinach (It will look like a lot but will wilt down) Add a little butter and Salt and Pepper and Roast on a low heat of about 180 for upto ten minutes or until the spinach has wilted.
  7. Get a frying pan on the stove and add another butter to coat the base of the pan add a little oil to stop the butter burning Season the fish and prepare to add to the pan
  8. Once the pan is upto temperature add the fillets press gently down to stop curling at the edges and cook for 5 minutes  until the fish is 3/4 cooked. 
  9. Now turn the fish and do the same on the other side for a couple of minutes after it has been turned over drizzle a little of the dressing over the fish so it can soak through whilst cooking
  10. Once the fish is cooked Get your Spinach and tomato sauce and put on a plate and place the fish on top with a drizzle of the lemon and paprika dressing over the top.