Saturday, 13 September 2014

Michael's club sandwich

I've focused many blog post on weekend breakfast, but for a change I'll focus on weekend lunch. The weekend is a time to relax and spend time lingering in the kitchen. Whilst making cakes, tart, breads and pastry this can become quite hungry work. I had my first club sandwich back in June 2014 and I was dazzled by the thick slices of bread, combined with chicken, bacon and salad which was so filling and hearty it kept me satisfied into the early evening. I promptly decided I will have to make this again and remembered that I bookmarked a recipe for this three tiered sandwich from Deliah Smith's cookery book How to Cheat at Cooking. There are many fabulous quick recipes in this book which can be whipped up in minutes. Deliah named this recipe Micheal's club sandwich after her husbands love for this sandwich. I was so pleased that I created this classic sandwich for my lunch. In fact, next time I make this I'll probably have this for my evening meal with some chunky chips with a dollop of ketchup. This sandwich is quick and easy to make and if you follow the lovely Deliah's guide on buying ready cooked chicken and bacon this will be on your plate in less than ten minutes.
Here is how my club sandwich turned out:

Recipe for Micheal's club sandwich

6 thin slices white bread, from a large good quality loaf
1 ready-cooked chicken breast
soft butter
1 generous handful watercress, spinach and rocket salad (tough stalks removed)
2 medium tomatoes, thinly sliced
1/2 medium red onion, thinly sliced, or 4 spring onions, chopped
4 spoonfuls of mayonnaise
1 pack of ready-cooked crispy smoked bacon
1 small avocado peeled, halved, stoned and thinly sliced

You're  also going to need toothpicks. Start off by toasting the bread lightly on both sides and,  while that's happening, slice the chicken breast as thinly as possible. Then let the toast cool in a rack to keep it crisp before buttering 4 of the slices.
For the first sandwich, place one piece of toast, buttered side up, on a board and arrange a few of the salad leaves on top. Then add half the tomato slices spoon of mayonnaise over the onion, then crumble the crispy bacon and sprinkle half to it over the mayonnaise.
Now, place one of the un-buttered pieces of toast on top, followed by half the slices of chicken. Spread another dessert spoon of mayonnaise over that, followed by half the slices of avocado and a few more salad leaves. Season, then top with another buttered piece of toast.
Press the toothpicks, then press the toothpicks through the sandwich, one near each corner. Cut the sandwich into 4, using gentle sawing movements. Repeat the same process for the other sandwich.

Wednesday, 19 September 2012

Spanish pork and chorizo stew.

As previously stated in my blog posts, I am a big fan of Spanish food and I love to attempt to recreate Spanish classics or traditional recipes with a Spanish dish. I'm always intrigued on how the professional chefs take on this classic cuisine, as I think sometimes classics such as paella, can easily become un authentic with the numerous short cuts and not so traditional ingredients.
The recipe that I will share, taken from Deliah Smith's How to Cheat at cooking is Spanish pork and chorizo stew is not a classic dish, as it uses new potatoes, but it also uses classic Spanish ingredients such as chorizo. This book was given to me by a friend, and although I did not grow up with Deliah on my tv screens growing up, I certainly know that she is one of the iconic tv chefs. The book uses simple cheats to make dishes quicker, such as canned peppers or jarred onions to make everything that much quicker. As this dish is cooked in the oven, it gives the cook, me, plenty of time to chill as the oven is doing all the hard work.
Here is how my Spanish pork and chorizo stew turned out (a bit random but I was craving peas).

As per usual I started by seasoning the pork with all purpose seasoning, only a tea spoon this time as the chorizo is salty.

I then par boiled some new potatoes for around 6 minutes. Whilst the new potatoes was boiling away I chopped an onion, green, yellow and red pepper to be cooked in this one pan dish.

I then placed the pork, peppers and onion in a roasting dish and added passata and olives in the oven dish. When the new potatoes were cooked I placed the new potatoes in the roasting tin and mixed everything together.

I was pleased of the taste of this dish, and it reminded me of Nigella's Spanish chicken and chorizo bake. The flavours of the chorizo and paprika really came through and it made a lovely dinner.

Recipe for Spanish Pork and chorizo stew. I have made several amendments to this dish, and my alterations are in red.
450g piece trimmed shoulder of pork.
450g small salad potatoes
100g chorizo sausage
250g Odysea roasted red peppers in oil, drained and halved (I used 3 fresh peppers, red, green and yellow)
1 fat clove garlic, peeled, halved and thinly sliced.
1 large red onion, peeled and cut into thick slices
6 sprigs fresh thyme (I used dried thyme)
1 tablespoon of olive oil
1/4 teaspoon of saffron strands (I omitted this from the recipe)
2 tablespoon white wine vinegar
150ml dry white wine (I omitted this from the recipe) 
300g jar Heniz tomato frito (I used passata) 
2 heaped tablespoons mixed green and black olives (I used a 100g packet of olives from Asda)

Preheat the oven to gas mark 1, 140C. Chop the pork into 2.5cm chunks and pop it straight into a flameproof casserole. Then chop the chorizo into slightly smaller chunks before you toss it in to join the pork. Next, add the halved drained peppers, the garlic and the onion. After that, add the thyme, some seasoning and the olive oil and toss everything together.
Next, using a pestle and mortar, crush the saffron to a powder and mix the wine vinegar. Add this to the casserole, followed by the white wine, tomato frito, olives and potatoes. Give everything another stir, put a lid on the casserole and bring up to simmering point on top of the stove, then transfer the casserole to the oven for 1 1/2 hours.

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