Butter Chicken

Midweek is upon us yet again, and its the perfect time for an easy tasty meal that’s going to leave lots of left overs. Tonight’s midweek meal is a curry, a family friendly curry at that. It’s Butter Chicken! Yeah yeah you probably already knew that since you clicked the link but let me live a little.

The nice thing about this butter chicken is once you get past caramelising the onion (which is a must because it adds just the best flavour and depth to the meal) its really just a matter of chucking it all in the pot and walk away. There’s not a million and one spices you have to worry about, and if you have made just about any curry in the past you probably already have the spices needed.  So give it a try and let me know what you think!

Prep time – 10 mins, Cooking time – 40 mins, Serves 4

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Butter Chicken

2 chicken breasts – diced

¼ cup vegetable oil

2 medium onions – chopped

2 tbs minced garlic

1 tbs chicken stock powder

2 tbs garam masala

2 tsp paprika

¼ tsp cinnamon

1 tsp sugar

2 tsp salt

410g can of chopped tomato

300ml heavy cream

2 tbs butter

  1. Heat the oil in a heavy bottom saucepan over a medium heat and add the onions. Cook slowly until golden, around 20 minutes. Reduce the heat if the onions start to get crisp or are browning too quickly.
  2. When onion is caramelised, add garlic and cook for about a minute, stir in garam masala, cinnamon, paprika, salt and sugar. Cook for a few minutes.
  3. Add tomatoes and cook for a further few minutes, then add the cream.
  4. Now, you have options here, if you’re feeling fancy you can puree the sauce. If you have an immersion blender use that, if not a regular blender will work, just mind the steam. I have an old Magic Bullet which did the trick just fine. If you’re just looking to put food on the table and get fed in a hurry then skip the puree, honestly it tastes just the same!
  5. Return the sauce to the pan and bring to a simmer. When just bubbling, add the chicken and stir through. Cover with a lid and allow to simmer for 15mins or until the chicken is no longer pink in the centre.
  6. When cooked, stir in butter. If needed add some more salt to taste.
  7. Serve with rice, pappadums or naan (or if your my husband… all three!)
  8. Enjoy!

~A

P.S. Thanks to foodess.com for the inspo on this one 🙂 As usual though I couldn’t help myself and have tweaked her recipe to make it a bit more to my tastes!

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Simple Fried Rice

I can remember when I was in primary school when we learned Indonesian we did a unit on food. The best part was the day the teacher made us nasi goreng which translates to fried rice.

It was delicious and has been a favourite to eat and make ever since that day.

Here is my simple fried rice recipe.

Prep time – 15 mins, Cooking time -20 mins, Serves 6

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Simple Fried Rice

2 cups rice

1/2 cup frozen peas

2 carrots – finely diced

1/4 cabbage – finely sliced

200g chopped mushrooms

200g finely chopped chicken

100g finely chopped bacon

2 eggs

1 tbs minced garlic

1/4 cup soy sauce

1 tbs sugar

1tbs sesame oil

1tbs peanut oil

  1.  Rinse rice under cold water until water runs clear. Boil rice and when cooked rinse with cold water and set aside to drain.
  2. In a wok or large frying pan heat peanut oil over a high heat. When hot, fry up chicken, bacon and garlic until the chicken is no longer pink.
  3. Add to the meat all vegies and stirfry until the carrot is soft and the peas are hot.
  4. Add rice, mixing through well.
  5. In a small bowl mix the sesame oil, soy sauce and sugar. Add to the rice mixture and stir through well.
  6. Create a well in the centre of the rice mixture and crack both eggs into the centre. Stir eggs and when they are starting to solidify mix through the rice mixture.
  7. Rice is ready when the egg is cooked throughout the rice.
  8. Serve with crushed peanuts or chopped shallots or with nothing at all (the sooner it gets in your belly the better!)
  9. Enjoy 🙂

~A

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Thai Peanut Noodles with Chicken and Broccoli

There is nothing better than stumbling upon food inspiration and then thinking about making that meal for a few weeks, and then finally being able to make it and it being better than your wildest expectations! That’s exactly what happened to me a few weeks ago, and tonight I finally had a chance to create this delicious, protein packed dinner.

My inspiration came in the form of another food blog called Show Me The Yummy, their Thai Peanut Noodles made my mouth water just looking at them. I knew I had to make them because a) noodles and b) Asian flavours. That’s like totally my thing! I knew I would never get away with just noodles and egg for dinner, the hubby would never allow it (the man needs his meat!), so I chucked in some chicken and broccoli (because I’ve eaten really badly this week – stress eating as Saki-pup was in vet hospital for a few nights – I thought I should add something green).

This dish was a hit, hubby loved it, Saki (now home) loved it when I dropped some chicken and I super duper loved it!

Why not give it a try yourself 🙂

Prep time – 15 mins, Cooking time – 15 mins, Serves 6-8

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Thai Peanut Noodles with Chicken & Brocolli

180g packet of ramen noodles

1 heaped tbs minced garlic

¼ tsp cayenne pepper (optional)

¼ cup soy sauce

¼ cup rice wine vinegar

2 tbs dark brown sugar

1 tbs sesame oil

1 tps fish sauce

¼ cup smooth peanut butter

Sides

2 skinless chicken breasts – diced

1 large head of broccoli

Topping

Fried eggs (as many as you need per dish)

1 bunch spring onion – finely sliced

Fried spring onion

Sesame seeds

Chilli flakes (optional)

  1. Put noodles on to boil as per packet instructions and mix all sauce ingredients together in a bowl.
  2. Stir fry the chicken in a small amount of oil and when no longer pink add broccoli and stir fry until just soft. Set aside and keep warm once cooked.
  3. When cooked, drain the noodles and mix sauce through while hot.
  4. Fry eggs in a lightly oiled non stick pan. Keep sunny side up and cover with a lid to cook the top, you want these slightly runny as the yolk mixes amazingly with the peanut noodles.
  5. Place noodles in a bowl and top with chicken, broccoli and egg, and garnish with spring onion, sesame seeds and chilli flakes.
  6. Enjoy!

~A

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Creamy Chicken and Spinach Pasta

This is one of the easiest and yummiest pasta recipes I know how to make. It’s at the point now that I don’t even use a recipe , I usually just go by feel, but tonight I decided to actually work out how much of everything I use and here it is just for you! This does make quite a lot, so feel free to dial back the amounts if you don’t want left overs.

Prep time – 10 mins, Cooking time – 20 mins, Serves 8

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Creamy Chicken and Spinach Pasta

2 skinless chicken breasts – diced

1 large brown onion – finely sliced

1 tbs minced garlic

1tbs chicken stock powder

250g frozen chopped spinach

600ml cream

½ cup water

500g pasta (I used large spirals)

3 heaped tbs wholegrain mustard

½ tbs honey

Salt and pepper to taste

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  1. Put a large pot on to boil for the pasta while preparing the ingredients.
  2. Put pasta in to cook. In a large frying pan/wok on a medium heat cook onion and garlic in some olive oil until onion is soft then add the diced chicken. Sprinkle chicken with stock and cook until chicken is slightly golden and no longer pink.
  3. Add water, spinach, cream, mustard and honey and stir through.
  4. Once pasta is just cooked add to chicken mixture and cook for a further 10 minutes on a low heat.
  5. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  6. Enjoy!

~A

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Chicken, Corn and Noodle Soup

I had a really hard time figuring out what to say to introduce this meal. Its been a tough couple of days in our household. A very good friend suffered horrible injuries in a freak accident which landed her on the operating table and now in hospital for at minimum a week.

When I got home today from seeing her, the last thing I wanted to do was cook but I knew I should make something. I had a look and found that we had left over BBQ chicken and enough in the pantry to create this comforting soup. It turned out to be just what I needed.

That whole chicken soup for the soul stuff? They might actually be onto something. Just wish I could have taken some in so our friend didn’t have to eat hospital food!

If you read this, please send good vibes to our dear friend for a speedy recovery!

Now, on to the yummy stuff!

Prep time 15 mins, Cooking time 15 mins,  Serves 6

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Chicken, Corn and Noodle Soup

420g can sweet corn kernels

420g can creamed corn

270g packet dry ramen noodles

1 small bunch spring onion

2 eggs – beaten

1tbs sesame oil

3tbs soy sauce

1 litre chicken stock

1 ½ tbs corn flour

5 tbs water

½ BBQ Chicken – shredded (I used left overs so about ½ a chicken was more than enough)

1 inch piece of ginger – grated

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  1. Bring stock to the boil and add in one strand of spring onion and the grated ginger.
  2. In a bowl mix the two tins of corn and add soy, oil and beaten eggs mixing till combined.
  3. Add corn mix to the stock. Stir well and removed strand of spring onion.
  4. Add shredded chicken to the stock mixture.
  5. In a cup mix the corn flour and 5 tbs water making sure there are no lumps.
  6. While the pot is boiling, add the corn flour and water and stir until thickened slightly.
  7. Add ramen noodles and cook until tender.
  8. Serve topped with sliced spring onion and your favourite crusty bread.
  9. Enjoy!

~A

Sesame Ramen Noodles

Our time in Japan last year for our honeymoon saw us eating many questionable things, especially when we had a stay at a ryokan (traditional accommodation). I’m talking breakfasts with more eyes than I have fingers, and easily 7 different species of sea creature on each plate! While that was an experience, we tended to lean more to things that we could recognise when out and about. Noodles of every kind fast became a favourite!

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While we were in Hiroshima we found this great looking noodle store attached to the main train station. We thought great! Normal food! Well… kind of… We took our seats and were given a menu. The menu seemed to indicate a hotness scale to the food. 1 being so bland that no one would even think about being so boring and 100 being insanely hot, we are talking surface of the sun. Well let me tell you, I think we got played hard at this place! We, being simple Australians thought we better stick to the basic boring number 1 on the scale, but when ordering the lovely young Japanese man suggested (persuaded, shamed us into…) getting at least a number 2 on the scale. The starting level he said. So being the nice folk that we are, and not wanting to insult anyone, we agreed. Number 2.

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Have you ever eaten something so hot that your lips tingled for a hour afterwards? Well I hadn’t until that day. Middle of a Japanese summer and I am literally on fire. It was the strangest thing, the noodles were amazingly delicious but so damn hot! The more you ate the better you could deal with the heat and the more delicious the noodles became, but once you stopped it was like the surface of the sun was your new lip gloss.

The most strange thing for me is since I’ve had these noodles in Hiroshima I’ve wanted more! So here is my attempt at Sesame Ramen – way less like the surface of the sun but still just as yummy!

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Sesame Ramen Noodles

3tbs sesame oil

3tbs peanut oil

¼ cup soy sauce

2tbs rice wine vinegar

3tbs white sugar

4 cloves of garlic – finely chopped

Ground cayenne pepper to taste

Chilli flakes to taste

180g packet of ramen noodles

1 small bunch of spring onion finely sliced to serve

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  1. Bring a large pot of water to the boil. Add ramen noodles and cook as per packet instructions.
  2. While the ramen is cooking in a small bowl mix oils, sugar, vinegar and garlic. Add spices now if you wish, and mix well.
  3. After draining the noodles simply stir through the sauce and serve hot.
  4. Top with finely sliced spring onion and extra chilli flakes.
  5. Enjoy!

Tip: I always make the bulk of the mixture with less heat (chilli) and add a little more later by mixing a small bowl of soy sauce and sesame oil with added cayenne pepper for those that love their noodles spicy!

~A

Country style Chicken and Leek Pie

Chicken and Leek pie is one of those things that just screams comfort food to me. Deliciously creamy on the inside with amazingly crunchy puff pastry on top, this pie is sure to appeal to just about everyone! This is a favourite of my husband’s and one of the only ways I can get him to touch leek! He especially loves it when I add the “swirls” as he calls them, on top.

Prep time 10 mins, Cooking time 40 mins, Serves 4-6

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Country Style Chicken and Leek Pie

2 Skinless chicken breast fillets – diced into 2cm cubes

1 Large leek – chopped into rounds, about 1cm thick

2 tbs butter

1 tbs plain flour – to thicken

½ cup thickened cream

½ cup milk

2 sprigs of thyme

1 tsp Chicken stock powder

1 sheet short crust pastry (for the base, you will need enough to cover the base and sides of your baking dish)

2 sheets puff pastry (for the pie lid, and of course the swirls!)

Sea salt and cracked pepper to taste

  1. Pre heat oven to 180 degrees C. In a large frying pan over a medium/high heat add 1tbs butter and the chopped chicken to the pan and cook until golden. Set aside but keep warm.
  2. Add ½ tbs of the remaining butter and chopped leek to the pan and sauté until the leek is tender. Set aside with the chicken.**
  3. In the pan now add the remaining butter and flour, stirring until combined, then add the cream and milk, stirring gently.**
  4. Reduce to a low head and add to the cream mixture the chicken and leek, the thyme and chicken stock. Let simmer for a few minutes until the sauce is thick enough to your liking.
  5. Meanwhile, prepare your baking dish by lightly greasing and laying down a sheet of your short crust pastry and press into the sides and base of the dish lightly. When ready fill the dish with the chicken mixture. Lay a sheet of puff pastry as a lid to close the pie, pressing down around the edges of dish to seal. For extra points, go ahead and slice the remaining sheet of puff pastry into 1 cm strips. Roll these strips up to resemble the sliced leek and place on top of your pie lid.
  6. Brush the pie with egg wash and place into the oven and bake for 30-40minutes, or until pastry is cooked and golden brown.
  7. Enjoy!

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**Added extra – If you would like to add some white wine into the dish you would do so at this stage, sautéing the leek until the alcohol has evaporated. Also, if you want to get extra fancy, why not try adding in a tablespoon of Dijon mustard.

~A