Lamb, Courgette and Aubergine Casserole

Ingredients

1 large white onion, chopped

3 garlic cloves, crushed

4 courgettes (zucchini), cut in different shapes

1 large aubergine, sliced in rings

1/2 a kilo of lamb cut into chunks

4 fresh tomatoes cut in quarters

tomato puree

salt and pepper

500 mls chicken stock

A small glass of wine

Olive oil to cook

A little butter

Method

Fry the onions and garlic in olive oil.  Then a tablespoon of tomato purée.  Add the chicken stock and glass of wine.  Leave to simmer whilst you prepare the meat.  In a frying pan, seal the meat in olive oil and butter.  When brown on the outside, add to the other pan and turn the heat to medium for half an hour.  Then add the courgettes, tomatoes and aubergines.  Continue cooking for 20 minutes or so.  I sometimes add oregano or sesame seeds.  Nice served with plain white rice and a mixed salad.

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Chicken and pea risotto

Ingredients

1 onion finely chopped

2 garlic cloves, peeled and chopped

A chicken breast for each person, cut into slices

A sprinkle of oregano and basil

2 bay leaves

Small tea cup of peas (asparagus is nice when in season)

Salt and pepper to taste

500 mls chicken stock

A good drop of white wine

A knob of butter and olive oil to cook

Padano cheese, grated into slivers with a potato peeler

Method

Melt the butter and olive oil in a large frying pan.  Gently fry the onions and garlic for a few minutes before adding the chicken pieces.  When the chicken is sealed, add the rice, peas, seasoning and dried herbs.  Stir everything to mix well.  With a ladle, add the chicken stock slowly one or two ladles at a time.  When the stock is finished, add the wine.  Continue to stir occasionally and if it needs more liquid add a little water in the same way.  Take a spoon out to check if the rice is cooked.  It shouldn’t be mushy.

Side 1

I made a side of courgettes (zucchini), cubed with sliced mushrooms in a little olive oil, butter, teaspoon of turmeric, salt and pepper with a little lemon juice.

Side 2

A large bowl of mixed salad

Avocado spring salad

Chicken Casserole with Red Peppers and Mushrooms

Ingredients:

6 boneless chicken thighs

2 skinless chicken breasts cut into 4

One large cooking onion peeled, cut in half and sliced

Four large garlic cloves, peeled and chopped or crushed

Fresh mushrooms cleaned and sliced

1 red pepper cut into small chunks

1 large tomato cut into small chunks (tinned is fine, if you don’t have fresh)

Splash of Lee and Perrins Worcestershire sauce

A heaped teaspoon of paprika

A heaped teaspoon of dried oregano

Salt and pepper to taste

Olive oil and butter to cook

Splash of good quality red wine.  I used Spanish Faustino.

Chicken stock to cover

Method:

In a large deep frying pan, add the butter and olive oil and warm.  Add the onions and garlic.  Add the chicken and fry until sealed. Then add the mushrooms.

Add the rest of the ingredients and cook on a low heat for about 40 minutes.  I set the timer.

Sides:

Courgettes on the griddle pan

Cut the courgettes as in the photograph.  I sprinkled them with salt to release some of their water.  Then heat a griddle pan and pop them on with black pepper until charred.

Potatoes with zatar and sesame seeds

Boil some baby potatoes.  Wash and drain them.  Cut in halves.  Put some butter and olive oil in a frying pan and warm them through again, adding a teaspoon or two of zatar and some sesame seeds.  I had fresh rosemary and parsley to hand so cut some over the potatoes as well