Saturday, 18 October 2014

Rich tomato and chicken casserole

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 600g chicken thigh fillets, cut into 4cm pieces
  • 1 cup roasted red onion*
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 2 shortcut bacon rashers, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon plain flour
  • 1 tin 400g chopped tomatoes 
  • 2/3 cup chicken stock
  • 1 cup each roasted potato, roasted carrot and roasted zucchini*
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 100g green beans, trimmed, halved

Heat half the oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Cook chicken, in batches, for 4 to 5 minutes or until browned all over. Transfer to a bowl.

Heat remaining oil in pan. Add onion and garlic. Cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add bacon. Cook, stirring, for 3 minutes or until bacon is browned. Add flour and tomato paste. Cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Stir in tomato sauce and stock. Bring to the boil. Season with salt and pepper.

Return chicken and any juices to pan. Add potato, carrot, zucchini and vinegar. Reduce heat to medium-low. Simmer for 20 minutes or until chicken is cooked through. Add beans. Cook for 3 to 4 minutes or until beans are just tender. Serve casserole with crusty bread.

Place the vegetable on prepared trays. Drizzle with oil. Season with salt and pepper. Toss to coat. Roast for 40 minutes or until browned and tender. Set aside to cool completely.

Saturday, 11 October 2014

Brilliant Banana Cake

A cross between banana bread and a drizzle-topped sponge, this cake is great for using up overripe fruit

  • 140g butter, softened, plus extra for the tin
  • 2 large eggs, beaten
  • 140g self-raising flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 2 very ripe bananas, mashed
  • 50g icing sugar
  • handful dried banana chips, for decoration

Heat oven to 180C/160C fan. Butter a 2lb loaf tin and line the base and sides with baking parchment.

Cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, then slowly add the eggs with a little flour. Fold in the remaining flour, baking powder and bananas. Pour into the tin and bake for about 30 mins until a skewer comes out clean. Cool in the tin for 10 mins, then remove to a wire rack.

Mix the icing sugar with 2-3 tsp water to make a runny icing. Drizzle the icing across the top of the cake and decorate with banana chips.