Saturday, 1 October 2011

Saturday night fuel for Joe's Half Marathon for the Seve Ballesteros Foundation

In case we hadn't managed to make it clear enough, Joe is running the Bradford half marathon and the Edinburgh marathon over the next six or seven months.  The Bradford half has sneaked up on us and is tomorrow so a huge GOOD LUCK to him!  He is running both for the Seve Ballesteros foundation, which raises money for the fight against brain cancer.  If you would like to sponsor him and support this great charity click the link here to donate. 

Anyway back to tonight: as he needs fuel, this means pasta.  I'm not a huge fan of pasta though so to try and make it work for both of us, we had Italian roasted chicken legs and a salad to go with it which wasn't too shabby.

Roast chicken leg and wing with bacon, garlic, parsley and white wine
The obligatory pasta!
Joe's plate - proper marathon prep!

Friday Night Takeaway from Pinche Pinche

After a very long week, Pinche Pinche in Chapel Allerton came to my rescue on Friday night.  After finally leaving the office at 10.15 (don't ask...!) I stopped by for some takeaway.

Pinche Pinche is a relatively new Mexican restaurant in Chapel Allerton that we had heard good things about.  The menu doesn't have heaps of variety but when I dashed in last night at 10.30 the atmosphere was really fun and I was pretty disappointed to be going home!

Anyways, after requesting some recommendations we were advised that the burritos were best for takeaway as they travel the best.  My choices were a chicken tinga and a pork chorizo burrito.  Although the menu says that you get a choice of salsas, in reality I was asked how hot I wanted my food, and then they recommended the best salsa.  One came with habanero salsa which was seriously hot but really tasty, and one with the salsa one stage down, which was much much milder.  The chicken burrito with the habanero salso was brilliant, the chorizo a left a little in the shade (and they left the skin on the chorizo which didn't go down to well with Joe!).

We also went for starters of guacamole with tortilla chips and chile rellanos (breaded jalapenos filled with cheese), both of which were pretty good.

All in, the prices for takeaway are not much lower than the restaurant (10%) and it looked a little disappointing for £23, but the burritos were so filling I was deceived and is reasonable value.

I definitely want to go and try the restaurant now and I don't think that take-away gives 100% justice to the food - dining is looks perfect Friday night and sharing some food and drinks (and I also noticed what looked like an awesome tequila and mezcal shelf in the bar which I need to try!)

Chile Rellanos
Chilli and sour cream dips with the jalapenos
Chicken tinga burrito
The untouched burrito - deceptively filling!
The two burrito types and dips

Thursday, 29 September 2011

Thursday - Joe cooking again!!

On Sunday our oven went pop and we are still waiting to have it fixed (should be on Saturday). That, plus the fact that Jo was work late again led to mild panic - no oven and only vegetables in the fridge!! Where is Jo when I need her!!?

I decided the best plan of action was to go to the Co-op; I had an unhealthy days food today which included toast with peanut butter and Jam x 2, ham and cheese on white rolls x 2, pork pie x 1 from J&M Rowlands (good but not quite as good as Wilsons) and way too much Soreen (don't ask)

I needed something healthy-ish. After much deliberation (I have a supermarket habit of repeatedly picking stuff up and putting it back - weird I know), I decided on having a warm chicken and potato salad and very nice it was too - this was followed by more Soreen. 

The chicken
The cheese
The salad
The potatoes
Other stuff
Salad shot one
Salad shot two
Thursday liquor - rock on

At 9pm I went to pick up Jo from Nation of Shopkeepers where she was having a post work drink, and she had the same dinner as me.....let's hope things get back to normal next week!

Wednesday, 28 September 2011

Wednesday - Jo finished work at 9.30pm!

So it was a very quick dinner made by me - chicken, broccoli, chilli and mushrooms on toast with pesto and cheese on top!! Sounds a bit pants but quick and pretty tasty (this is a dull post but it is 10.30pm and time to get ready for bed! - it has been a lonnnnng day!)

Tuesday, 27 September 2011

It's Tuesday and Joe is in the Kitchen!

What a treat! After a late evening at work, I arrived home to find Joe in the kitchen making dinner with a glass of wine ready for me.  What a lovely husband to be!  He is even letting me watch Don't Tell the Bride on BBC3.

Dinner was a rather tasty version of Jamie's sausage fusilli, which Joe has been making for years and has perfected.  He even squeezed in some cauliflower at my request.  One day I'll convince him to put his secret recipe on here....

Joe's sausage fusilli

Monday, 26 September 2011

Monday - Happy Birthday Mum (and Chicken Stir Fry)

Happy Birthday Mum! 

These are cup cakes that Jo made for her last year (with her face on!) for her birthday with some pictures from a day out at the Harewood House Country Fair. (the was a semi-colon here but I have had to replace it with a full stop as it was 'illegal grammar' - I didn't know there was such a thing!)

Brilliantly fun treats
Mum and a parrot
Jo and Mum

Mum, Auntie Karen, Dave Bro & me
All of us!!
For tonights dinner, Jo made good use of the veg that is filling the fridge with a fresh and zingy chicken stir-fry with rice noodles...

Prawn crackers - I am addicted!

Sunday, 25 September 2011

Sunday - Slow Cooked Stuffed & Rolled Pork Belly and recipe for French Onion Soup - as promised!

One of the few positive features from the Holmfirth Food Festival was Joe's purchase of some pork belly from Two Valleys Fresh Produce - see website here.  The plan was to slow roast it, taking inspiration from the pork we had at Jamie's Italian in August (see post from 16 August 2011).

Joe stuffed the belly with sausage meat, dried fruits and pine nuts and expertly rolled it up.  He had intended to do the traditional high temp and then slow cook to get some crackling, but the element on our oven blew so we had to rely on our ever-reliable crock pot! We're not keen on crackling anyway, so after five hours we had melt-in-your mouth seriously tasty pork.  Served with fresh new potatoes, savoy cabbage, slow cooked veg and home-made apple sauce and gravy, this was a serious treat!  I felt very spoiled!

Please also see the bottom of the post for the french onion soup recipe, as promised yesterday.

Slow cooked veg, potatoes and savoy cabbage
Slow cooked, stuffed and rolled belly pork
Joe's home-made apple sauce
A close up of the pork - very tasty
Joe's plate
pork cooking liquor - some yummy cider!
French Onion Soup for two

750g onions
1 pint beef stock
1 glass white wine
garlic clove
bay leaf
2 table spoons of flour
pinch of sugar
gruyere cheese

1.  Finely slice the onions, as thin as you can.  I used a mixture of white organic and some red for added sweetness.
2.  Heat a knob of butter with some oil in the pan, until the butter is foaming.
3.  Add the onions and turn the heat down low.  The aim is to cook the onions for at least 15/20 minutes on a low heat so that they caramelise and all the natural sweet flavour is brought out.
4.  When the onions are turning slightly golden, add finely chopped garlic and continue to cook for a few minutes.  Try an onion to check for sweetness and add some sugar if it needs it.
5.  Sprinkle the flour over the onions and cook out for a few more minutes. There should be no lumps of flour.
6.  Add the glass of wine, stir through and add the thyme and bay leaf.
7.  Add the beef stock and cook on a low heat for about 30 minutes.  Check your seasoning about half way through and adjust accordingly.
8.  Slice the baguette into thick slices.  Heat the grill to medium and grill the baguette slices on both sides until golden brown.  Top one side of the baguette with grated gruyere and grill until golden and bubbling.
9.  Ladle the soup into bowls (heat proof is best!).  Place the cheesy croutons on top and then sprinkle some more gruyere on top.  Put the bowls under the grill for another minute (be very careful if the bowls aren't heat proof as they won't stand much heat under the grill) and then serve while piping hot.  A big hug in a bowl.