Chicken and prawn xinxim

Yet another Diana Henry recipe today from A Bird in the Hand, and it’s a spicy one!

I’d never heard of xinxim before but it sounded like an interesting recipe and I’m absolutely delighted that I tried it. The whole dish was a spicy delight – I’m not sure why, but it seems that added ground nuts to curry type dishes really works well (I’m thinking of the peanut stew which we made a while back).

Roast Chicken with Peppers and Chilli, plus fried potatoes

Some more Diana Henry goodness today. Seriously, her book – A Bird in the Hand – is a ridiculously great source of recipes. Go and buy it!

The ingredient list for this one is pretty short but creates a quick and tasty supper. She recommends serving with fried potato slices, which isn’t something I’ve ever made before and there is no specific guidance in the recipe. I gave it a go, and the end results tasted okay but were a bit wet and floppy rather than the crispiness I had expected. Still, tasted good so I’m not going to complain!

Italian Roast Chicken

We always enjoy a bit of roast chicken, but for a bit of variety today’s recipe comes from Nigellissima and is an Italian take on the meal.

The chicken gets a lemon and some rosemary stuffed inside it and then sits in a roasting tin with some chopped leek, red pepper, and a few black olives – plus some more rosemary for good measure. The whole thing sat in the oven for about an hour and a half and then it’s done. Simple.

The only problem I had with this was that by the time the chicken was cooked, the veg was starting to burn a bit. Not enough to ruin it, but I think a bigger chicken would have bigger problems.

One-pan Chicken

(Spoiler alert – don’t read to the end if you’ve not watched the last episode of the 2015 Great British Bake Off!)

I’m not convinced by the name of this recipe. It’s cooked on a baking tray. But at any rate, it was the simplicity of it that appealed – it was the final of the Great British Bake Off tonight so I needed something that didn’t require too much attention. This one comes from How To Eat and definitely fits the bill.

Basically you just cover everything in olive oil and stick it on the baking sheet/tray/tin and stick in the oven at 210ºC for 45 minutes. Out comes dinner – roasted, succulent and tasty. It’s like magic.

In fact, it’s so simple I felt quite guilty watch the Bake Off final as the contestants made all of their amazing dishes. Congratulations to the amazing Nadia!

Chicken with Tomatoes and Peppers

An old favourite from Nigellissima here; very easy to make since the only fresh ingredients required are chicken and an onion which isn’t too demanding. You may not have Marsala in the cupboard, but if you plan on cooking a few Nigella recipes then you’ll definitely make use of it!

To accompany this we did some orzo pasta on the side – another common ingredient from Nigellissima.

Halloumi Aubergine Burgers with Harissa Relish

Although we’re those strange type of people who enjoy reading recipe books for pleasure in an evening, the BBC Good Food website is our go-to when we’re stuck for inspiration. While idly browsing vegetarian recipes this one for halloumi burgers jumped out as worth a try.

It was difficult to scale for two: the single aubergine that Sainsburys delivered was far too much for just two burgers, while I could have had more of the harissa relish (largely because it was so delicious – it would go particularly well stuffed in a pitta with falafel). Perhaps I should have chopped the ciabattas into daintier sandwiches, but the enormous slippers of bread were somehow appropriate for, essentially, high-end vegetarian burger van food.

Savoury Cheesecake

Having bought Honey & Co: Food from the Middle East over a year ago it has in that time been more source of inspiration than actual food on the plate. So we set ourselves the challenge of picking something from it that could be quick and easy to make, and settled upon the recipe for savoury cheese cake.

Supremely easy (essentially: put all the ingredients in a blender then place in the oven) this is also infinitely customisable. We chose roasted peppers and olives, but courgettes, aubergines, asparagus could all be good substitutions.

We dusted over some left-over parmesan before placing in the oven, which helped to brown the top of the cheesecake. A light, tasty treat that is worth repeating.